presenting favorable circumstances
Come, Bacchus, come
propitious, all implore,
And act thy sacred orgies o'er and o'er.
improperly forward or bold
But Mineus' daughters, while these rites were paid,
At home, impertinently busy, stay'd.
skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
Their wicked tasks they ply with various art,
And thro' the loom the sliding shuttle dart;
Or at the fire to comb the wool they stand,
Or twirl the spindle with a dext'rous hand.
full of difficulty or confusion or bewilderment
She said: her sisters lik'd the humour well,
And smiling, bade her the first story tell.
But she a-while profoundly seem'd to muse,
Perplex'd amid variety to choose:
suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
lewd Nais, when her lust was cloy'd,
To fishes turn'd the youths, she had enjoy'd,
By pow'rful verse, and herbs; effect most strange!
loaded to excess or impeded by a heavy load
There they might rest secure beneath the shade,
Which boughs, with snowy fruit encumber'd, made:
lying face upward
Then in his breast his shining sword he drown'd,
supine, extended on the ground.
having or showing arrogant superiority to
Stung at the sight, and swift on mischief bent,
haughty Juno's shapeless son he went:
a mechanical device that blows a strong current of air
Poor Vulcan soon desir'd to hear no more,
He drop'd his hammer, and he shook all o'er:
Then courage takes, and full of vengeful ire
He heaves the
bellows, and blows fierce the fire:
One who "bellows" can be considered "full of hot air"--Vulcan is both bellowing with ire ("a strong emotion toward some real or supposed grievance") and using a mechanical bellows to fan a fire that would help him make a brass net to catch his wife Venus and her lover Mars.
petty or reluctant in giving or spending
The lamp of light, for human good design'd,
Is to one virgin
the food and drink of the gods
Ambrosia there they eat, and thence they gain
New vigour, and their daily toils sustain.
A traditional ambrosia is a creamy fruit salad made of oranges, bananas, and shredded coconut--this could be what the Sun God's horses enjoy each day so that they have the vigor ("active strength of body") to pull the chariot across the sky each morning.
an aromatic gum resin formerly valued for worship
The body soon dissolv'd, and all around
Perfum'd with heav'nly fragrancies the ground,
A sacrifice for Gods up-rose from thence,
A sweet, delightful tree of
easily irritated or annoyed
You too would
peevish frown, and patience want
To hear, how Celmis grew an adamant.
inclined to a healthy reddish color
The boy knew nought of love, and toucht with shame,
He strove, and blusht, but still the blush became:
In rising blushes still fresh beauties rose;
The sunny side of fruit such blushes shows,
And such the moon, when all her silver white
Turns in eclipses to a
"Blush" is repeated many times here to emphasize the young boy's embarrassment at knowing nothing about love. In addition to the reddening of his face, the example sentence describes the redness of fruit touched by the sun and of eclipses touched by moonlight. With an innocence to match his blushing shame, the young boy tells the nymph to either leave him alone or he will leave.
give a false appearance of
"Fair stranger then," says she, "it shall be so";
And, for she fear'd his threats, she
feign'd to go:
But hid within a covert's neighbouring green,
She kept him still in sight, herself unseen.
a late afternoon or evening worship service
In towns, not woods, the sooty bats delight,
And, never, 'till the dusk, begin their flight;
Vesper rises with his ev'ning flame;
From whom the Romans have deriv'd their name.
"Vesper" means "evening" in Latin, and it is being used here to refer to the God of Evening, similar to how "helios" means "sun" in Greek, which makes Helios the Sun God (although he is often replaced by Apollo).
the husband or wife of a reigning monarch
Imperial Juno saw her with disdain,
Vain in her offspring, in her
Who rul'd the trembling Thebans with a nod,
But saw her vainest in her foster-God.
deadly or sinister
Down a steep, yawning cave, where yews display'd
In arches meet, and lend a
Thro' silent labyrinths a passage lies
To mournful regions, and infernal skies.
Here Styx exhales its
noisome clouds, and here,
The fun'ral rites once paid, all souls appear.
incapable of being placated
Before a lofty, adamantine gate,
Which clos'd a tow'r of brass, the Furies sate:
Mis-shapen forms, tremendous to the sight,
implacable foul daughters of the night.
"Adamantine" and "implacable" could be synonyms--although the example sentence is using "adamantine" to describe a gate that is as hard as diamond, this is a gate of the Underworld, so it would be as "impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, reason" as the Furies who are guarding it are incapable of being placated ("cause to be more favorably inclined").
remove completely from recognition or memory
And that revenge the Furies soon could grant:
They could the glory of proud Thebes
And hide in ruin the Cadmean race.
Es (out) + face (appearance): to literally rub the face away, or rub off "the face of the earth"--which the Furies attempt to do to Thebes by shaking the palace, withering the grass, and infecting the king and queen with so much poison that one smashes his baby son against a wall and the other jumps into the sea with her other son.
a desirable state
To gain this trifling
boon, there is no need
(She cried) in formal speeches to proceed.
bind with something round or circular
Girt in a bloody gown, a torch she shakes,
And round her neck twines speckled wreaths of snakes.
"Gird" also means "prepare oneself for a military confrontation"--this fits the example sentence because the bloody gown, torch, and snakes are weapons the Furies use to efface the kingdom of Thebes.
She wide extended her unfriendly arms,
And all the Fury
lavish'd all her harms.
feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
The grinning Fury her own conquest spied,
And to her
rueful shades return'd with pride,
And threw th' exhausted, useless snakes aside.
characterized by friendship and good will
The transformation was again renew'd,
And, like the husband, chang'd the wife they view'd.
Both, serpents now, with fold involv'd in fold,
To the next covert amicably roul'd.
make amends for
Andromeda was there, doom'd to
By her own ruin follies not her own:
And if injustice in a God can be,
Such was the Libyan God's unjust decree.
money brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
For her my arms I willingly employ,
If I may beauties, which I save, enjoy.
The parents eagerly the terms embrace:
For who would slight such terms in such a case?
Nor her alone they promise, but beside,
dowry of a kingdom with the bride.
Then in the windings of a sandy bed
bearing in abundance especially offspring
Then backward an unerring blow he sped,
And from her body lopped at once her head.
prolific prov'd; with sudden force
Sprung Pegasus, and wing'd his airy course.