And here, as Pentheus spies
the sacred rites with his profaning eyes,
the one who is the very first to sight
Echion's son – just as she is the first
to rush against him madly, and the first
to hurl a thyrsus at him – is his mother.
"Come, come, my sisters, both of you!" she shouts.
"A giant boar is roaming on our slopes:
I must tear him apart." Against him rush
all that mad crowd, attacking from all sides (3.710-715)
What happened then was most incredible:
the wefts turned green; and all the hanging cloth
began to sprout with boughs, as ivy does;
a part became grapevines; where threads had been,
now twining tendrils grew; along the warp,
vine leaves began to sprout; the purple hue
that had adorned rich fabrics passed into
a purple hue that colored clustered grapes. (4.394-398)
She gave herself to tears and then dissolved
into the very pool of which she had –
till now – been the presiding deity.
You could have seen the softening of her limbs,
the bones and nails that lost solidity.
Her slender hairs, her fingers, legs, and feet –
these were the first to join the waves. In fact,
the slenderest parts can sooner turn into
cool waters. Shoulders, back, and sides, and breasts
were next to vanish in thin streams. At last,
clear water flows through Cyane's weakened veins,
and there is nothing left that one can grasp. (5.425-437)