Io Restored, from the Metamorphoses

Jupiter, embracing his wife's neck,
begs that at last she end the punishments, and says,
"In future give up fear; this will never
cause you sorrow," and he swears by the Styx.
As Juno softens, Io grasps her former shape
and becomes what she was before. Her bristles fall away,
horns disappear, her light-filled eyes draw closer,
her bovine grin now smiles, her arms and hands return,
and each hoof melts into five nails:
her form holds no trace of the cow save whiteness.
The happy nymph stands tall on two feet
but fears to speak, for she might moo from habit,
and timidly she tests suspended words.

Intro - English - Latin - Trot
Animal Poetry

Translations by Ursula Whitcher, 2001