World Literature to 1660
Metamorphoses: Pygmalion and Galatea


Odyssey:Background on Troy
The Odyssey: Fantastic Voyage
The Odyssey: Penelope and the Suitors
Metamorphoses:Daphne and Apollo
Metamorphoses: Pygmalion and Galatea
The Aeneid

"Pygmalion: The Godhead Fires" by Burne-Jones
Venus grants life to Galatea. (art from

A long, long time in orations deferr'd,
He durst not pray, lest he should not be heard;
Till urg'd by love, his tim'rous silence broke,
Thus, but still tim'rously, at last he spoke-
"If you, ye sacred powers that rule above,
And you, great goddess of propitious love;
If all we want is plac'd within your power,
And you can give whatever we implore;
Exert your godhead now, now lend your aid,
Give me the wife I wish, one like," he said,
But durst not say, "Give me the ivory maid."

"Pygmalion: The Soul Attains" by Burne-Jones
Pygmalion's prayer is answered. Galatea lives.


The Metamorphoses: "Pygmalion and Galatea, the prayer granted"

 Half hoping now, and yet still half afraid,
With doubtful joy he seeks his ivory maid;
Doats more than ever on her fancied charms,
And closely clasps her in his longing arms;
When all at once, with joy and wonder fill'd,
He feels her stubborn sides begin to yield;
Soft was her bosom grown; her throbbing breast
Heav'd with her breath, swell'd greatly to be prest.
Surpriz'd and glad, he feels her oft and oft,
And more and more perceives her warm and soft.
Warm were her lips, and ev'ry pointed kiss
With melting touches met and moisten'd his.
Her blood now circled, and her pulses beat,
And life at last enjoy'd a settled seat.
Slowly she lifts her new and fearful sight
And sees at once her lover and the light;
An unborn maid both life and lover found,
And he too had his desp'rate wishes crown'd.