a community of people smaller than a village
Yet she their daughter, tho' her time was spent
In a small
hamlet, and of mean descent,
Thro' the great towns of Lydia gain'd a name,
And fill'd the neighb'ring countries with her fame.
This the proud maid with scornful air denies,
And ev'n the Goddess at her work defies;
Disowns her heav'nly mistress ev'ry hour,
Nor asks her aid, nor
deprecates her pow'r.
cautionary advice about something imminent
Young maid attend, nor stubbornly despise
admonitions of the old, and wise;
For age, tho' scorn'd, a ripe experience bears,
That golden fruit, unknown to blooming years:
take to task
Thou doting thing, whose idle babbling tongue
But too well shows the plague of living long;
reprove, with this your sage advice,
Your giddy daughter, or your awkward niece;
Know, I despise your counsel, and am still
A woman, ever wedded to my will;
worthy of religious veneration
Haste, haste, ye Theban matrons, and adore,
With hallow'd rites, Latona's mighty pow'r;
And, to the heav'nly twins that from her spring,
With laurel crown'd, your smoking incense bring.
a wanderer with no established residence or means of support
Seven are my daughters, of a form divine,
With seven fair sons, an indefective line.
Go, fools! consider this; and ask the cause
From which my pride its strong presumption draws;
Consider this; and then prefer to me
Caeus the Titan's
born out of wedlock
To whom, in travel, the whole spacious Earth
No room afforded for her
"Spurious" also means "plausible but false"--this definition is suggested in Niobe's questioning of Latona's divinity ("What madness this, to court a Goddess, founded merely on report?"), but the example sentence is focused on the shameful circumstances surrounding Latona's pregnancy--no land would let Latona give birth there because they were all afraid of what Juno would do to them. Unlike Niobe's lawfully fathered children, Latona's twins were fathered by a cheating Zeus.
timid by nature or revealing timidity
timorous throng their sacred rites forbore,
And from their heads the verdant laurel tore;
Their haughty queen they with regret obey'd,
And still in gentle murmurs softly pray'd.
Nay more, the imp of Tantalus has flung
Reflections with her vile paternal tongue;
Has dar'd prefer her mortal breed to mine,
And call'd me childless; which, just fate, may she
consisting of tendons or resembling a tendon
But Damasichthon, by a double wound,
Beardless, and young, lay gasping on the ground.
Fix'd in his
sinewy ham, the steely point
Stuck thro' his knee, and pierc'd the nervous joint:
"Sinewy" also means "possessing physical strength and weight; rugged and powerful"--this could describe the young Damasichthon who was a young man and required two arrows shot by the god Phoebus to kill him.
showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
obdurate by her load of grief,
Insensible she sits, nor hopes relief.
rude and boorish
churlish peasants, in the days of yore,
Provok'd the Goddess to exert her pow'r.
walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
Here, as we
saunter'd thro' the verdant meads,
We spied a lake o'er-grown with trembling reeds,
Whose wavy tops an op'ning scene disclose,
From which an antique smoky altar rose.
reason with for the purpose of dissuasion
The Goddess came, and kneeling on the brink,
Stoop'd at the fresh repast, prepar'd to drink.
Then thus, being hinder'd by the rabble race,
In accents mild
expostulates the case.
prevent from entering; keep out
Water I only ask, and sure 'tis hard
From Nature's common rights to be
agreeable, conducive to comfort
This, as the
genial sun, and vital air,
Should flow alike to ev'ry creature's share.
express criticism towards
Yet they the Goddess's request refuse,
And with rude words reproachfully abuse:
conspicuously and offensively loud
Often upon the bank their station take,
Then spring, and leap into the cooly lake.
Still, void of shame, they lead a
And, croaking, still scold on in endless strife;
try to stir up public opinion
Tereus surveys her with a luscious eye,
And in his mind forestalls the blissful joy:
Her circling arms a scene of lust inspire,
And ev'ry kiss
foments the raging fire.
In the example sentence, "foment" simply means "stir up"--because the object of his lust is his wife's virgin sister and a daughter of the king of Athens, Tereus would not want the public's opinion. Although he considers bribing Philomela, her attendants, and her governess or using the resources of his kingdom and going to war, in the end, he secretly rapes Philomela and then lies about it.
beg persistently and urgently
Her piercing accents to her sire complain,
And to her absent sister, but in vain:
In vain she
importunes, with doleful cries,
Each unattentive godhead of the skies.
tending to betray
Oh happy! had it come, before I knew
The curs'd embrace of vile
Then my pale ghost, pure from incestuous love,
Had wander'd spotless thro' th' Elysian grove.
to move in a twisting or contorted motion,
And, as a serpent
writhes his wounded train,
Uneasy, panting, and possess'd with pain;
The piece, while life remain'd, still trembled fast,
And to its mistress pointed to the last.
make believe with the intent to deceive
At last he ventures to his Procne's sight,
Loaded with guilt, and cloy'd with long delight;
There, with feign'd grief, and false,
Begins a formal narrative of lies;
characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
But when the cyphers, figur'd in each fold,
Her sister's melancholy story told
(Strange that she could!) with silence, she survey'd
The tragic piece, and without weeping read:
tumultuous haste her passions sprung,
They chok'd her voice, and quite disarm'd her tongue.
used of riotously drunken merrymaking
From thence, her sister snatching by the hand,
Mask'd like the ranting
Within the limits of the court she drew
Although the modern definition of the word is focused on partying, in the example sentence's situation, Procne uses the religious celebration of Bacchus (god of wine and ecstasy) as an opportunity to dress in disguise, slip away from the palace, and retrieve her sister (whom her husband had raped and mutilated).
make amends for
Tears, unavailing, but defer our time,
The stabbing sword must
expiate the crime;
Or worse, if wit, on bloody vengeance bent,
A weapon more tormenting can invent.
relating to the relationship between a wife and husband
O Procne, see the fortune of your house!
Such is your fate, when match'd to such a spouse!
Conjugal duty, if observ'd to him,
Would change from virtue, and become a crime;
the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil
The Thracian monarch from the table flings,
While with his cries the vaulted parlour rings;
imprecations echo down to Hell,
And rouse the snaky Furies from their Stygian cell.
a spirit that lives in or frequents the woods
Two of these sisters, of a lovelier air,
Excell'd the rest, tho' all the rest were fair.
Procris, to Cephalus in wedlock tied,
Bless'd the young
sylvan with a blooming bride:
young and inexperienced
But when, in time, the budding silver down
Shaded their face, and on their cheeks was grown,
Two sprouting wings upon their shoulders sprung,
Like those in birds, that veil the