Actaeon, felicitous youth Unblushingly fresh, Did not choose his awful, final truth, Unwitting in his sight of godly flesh. But Diana, Rising from the waters whence She bathed, with nymphs attending, Blushed full, and more, in naked shame, Bold Actaeon her privacy offending When into her glade he came. Angrily she cursed his mortal innocence.
Twixt his surprise and her displeasure Diana mutated his natural make Into a stag, whose swiftest measure Actaeon’s own hounds delight to subjugate For lust’s hungry sake To satiate their appetite, He with grevious recognition saw his fate, Started up in desperate flight.
Diana, Goddess now, rode as Huntress of the Sky, Saw poor Actaeon’s hopeless plight Submit Within her cruel sight; Enjoyed his piteous pain, Waited as he struggled yet, in vain: His knowledge of her dying with his soul. She in her heaven, set on high; He below in hell, by his own hounds Devoured in bloody whole.
Her vengeance knew no bounds But Death: And innocence no more A thing of Beauty on the forest floor.