Teatime with Argus Picture

voce nova et captus custos Iunonius arte
'quisquis es, hoc poteras mecum considere saxo',
Argus ait, 'neque enim pecori fecundior ullo
herba loco est, aptamque vides pastoribus umbram.'
sedit Atlantiades et euntem multa loquendo
detinuit sermone diem iunctisque canendo
vincere harundinibus servantia lumina temptat.

- Ovid, Metamorphoses Book I, ll. 679-684.


By this new voice and art Juno's guardian was captivated.
"Whoever you are, you may sit with me on this rock,"
said Argus, "For there are not lusher grasses for flocks
in any place, and you see a shade suited for shepherds."
Atlas' grandson sat and detained the passing day with talk of many things,
with conversation and by playing on his joined
pipes he tried to overcome the vigilant eyes.

A little bit of Classics-related humor. In Ovid class we have been reading the story of Io in the Metamorphoses. You have to feel a bit sorry for Argus, whom Juno set to guard Io in her cow form. He was only doing his job, and as you can tell from the excerpt above, he wasn't a half-bad buy. But Mercury lulls him to sleep and decapitates him nonetheless.

Here I imagine Argus as an amiable chap inviting the passing stranger (Mercury in disguise) for a spot of tea and friendly conversation.
Continue Reading: Mercury