Cum vero faciem dempto nudaverat aere
purpureusque albi stratis insignia pictis
terga premebat equi spumantiaque ora regebat,
vix sua, vix sanae virgo Niseia compos
mentis erat: felix iaculum, quod tangeret ille,
quaeque manu premeret, felicia frena vocabat.
impetus est illi, liceat modo, ferre per agmen
virgineos hostile gradus, est impetus illi
turribus e summis in Cnosia mittere corpus
castra vel aeratas hosti recludere portas,
vel siquid Minos aliud velit.
(Ovid, Met. 8.32-42)
But when unhelmed he showed his face, when clad in purple he bestrode his milk-white steed gorgeous with broidered trappings, and managed the foaming bit, then was Nisus’ daughter hardly her own, hardly mistress of a sane mind. Happy the javelin which he touched and happy the reins which he held in his hand, she thought. She longed, were it but allowed, to speed her maiden steps through the foemen’s line; she longed to leap down from her lofty tower into the Cretan camp, to open the city’s bronze-bound gates to the enemy, to do any other thing which Minos might desire. (tr. Frank Justus Miller, revised by G.P. Goold)