This was the Golden
Age that, without coercion, without laws, spontaneously nurtured the good
and the true. There was no fear or punishment: there were no threatening
words to be read, fixed in bronze, no crowd of suppliants fearing the judge’s
face: they lived safely without protection. No pine tree felled in the
mountains had yet reached the flowing waves to travel to other lands: human
beings only knew their own shores. There were no steep ditches surrounding
towns, no straight war-trumpets, no coiled horns, no swords and helmets.
Without the use of armies, people passed their lives in gentle peace and
security. The earth herself also, freely, without the scars of ploughs,
untouched by hoes, produced everything from herself. Contented with food
that grew without cultivation, they collected mountain strawberries and
the fruit of the strawberry tree, wild cherries, blackberries clinging
to the tough brambles, and acorns fallen from Jupiter’s spreading oak-tree.
Spring was eternal, and gentle breezes caressed with warm air the flowers
that grew without being seeded. Then the untilled earth gave of its produce
and, without needing renewal, the fields whitened with heavy ears of corn.
Sometimes rivers of milk flowed, sometimes streams of nectar, and golden
honey trickled from the green holm oak.
- Metamorphoses Book I:89-112 [Link]
image from the NASA Cassini Mission [Link]