behold in the depths a naiad’s face

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
When the stories were being shaped, we are given to un­derstand, little distinction had as yet been made between the real and the unreal. The imagination was vividly alive and not checked by the reason, so that anyone in the woods might see through the trees a fleeing nymph, or bending over a clear pool to drink, behold in the depths a naiad’s face.
Source: Mythology
http://upload7.ir/images/67690828312497612916.jpg
Hello friends,
I can't relate the blue part to the sentences written before. Because it doesn't make sense to me or maybe I can't paraphrase it very well.
I have made two paraphrases:

1. The nymph is looking at the face of the naiad in the depths of the water.
2. The face of the naiad is seen in the depth of the water.

I even don't know what is the subject of the verb "behold". Would you please help me on this confusing part?

Thank you.
 
  • waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The meaning of "behold" is easily found in the WR dictionary:

    to look (at); observe

    A person might in the woods might see (in their imagination) a nymph fleeing through the trees, or (the same person might see) a naiad's face in a pool of water.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Thank you now I got it. So the subject of "bending over a clear pool to drink" is the person too right? Or it's the nymph itself?
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Yes, it's the person who's bending over the pool, and as he does so, he sees a naiad in the water. Remember that naiads are water nymphs.
    Thanks but why the word "bend" has "ing" but the word "behold" doesn't?
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    It's written sort of poetically. See and behold need to be in the same tense and case because they both go with anyone: Anyone might see a nymph in the woods or behold a naiad in the water.
     
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