|Greek and Roman Mythology > The Camenae
it also some other deities, principally nymphs of fountains.
Egeria was one of them, whose fountain and grotto are still
shown. It was said that Numa, the second king of Rome, was
favored by this nymph with secret interviews, in which she taught
him those lessons of wisdom and of law which he embodied in the
institutions of his rising nation. After the death of Numa the
nymph pined away and was changed into a fountain.
Byron, in Childe Harold, Canto IV., thus alludes to Egeria and
"Here didst thou dwell in this enchanted cover,
Egeria! All thy heavenly bosom beating
For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover;
The purple midnight veiled that mystic meeting
With her most starry canopy."
Tennyson, also, in his Palace of Art, gives us a glimpse of the
royal lover expecting the interview.
"Holding one hand against his ear,
To list a footfall ere he saw
The wood-nymph, stayed the Tuscan king to hear
Of wisdom and of law."