The House of Rumor
From Metamorphoses, by Ovid (Book 12.39-64)

At the world’s center, betwixt land and sea and sky
The three realms of the universe converge.
From this vantage everything can be seen,
And listening ears hear every far-flung word,
For Rumor has built her house on the highest peak.
She’s fashioned countless entrances; a thousand windows
Without a single door or gate or shutter.

Day and night, the house stands open
Everywhere reverberating like echoing brass—
A steady hum of voices carries and repeats all sounds.
Nothing is at rest inside—the house is never silent
But there’s no clamor either, just a constant whispering murmur,
Like the sound of the sea from far away,
Or a last distant rumble of thunder, after Jupiter
Has clashed black clouds together.

A crowd roves these halls—an ethereal throng
Forever coming and going. Tall tales wander to and fro,
Intermingling with truth, and a thousand stories
And jumbled words flutter. Some fill idle ears with yarns
While others ferry tales off to other lands.
Falsehoods bloom—each author adds something new
Look: here’s Credulity and there’s rash Error and empty Joy and frantic Fear
Here’s sudden Sedition and numerous Whisperings of unknown provenance.

Rumor herself sees all that happens in the land, sea and sky—
She peers into every corner of the globe, searching out and gathering her stories.

Original Latin Text

Orbe locus medio est inter terrasquae fretumque
caelestesque plagas, triplicis confinia mundi;
unde quod est usquam, quamvis regionibus absit,
inspicitur, penetratque cavas vox omnis ad aures:
Fama tenet summaque domum sibi legit in arce,
innumerosque aditus ac mille foramina tectis
addidit et nullis inclusit limina portis;

nocte dieque patet: tota est ex aere sonanti,
tota fremit vocesque refert iteratque quod audit;
nulla quies intus nullaque silentia parte,
nec tamen est clamor, sed parvae murmura vocis,
qualia de pelagi, siquis procul audiat, undis          
esse solent, qualemve sonum, cum Iuppiter atras
increpuit nubes, extrema tonitrua reddunt.

atria turba tenet: veniunt, leve vulgus, euntque
mixtaque cum veris passim commenta vagantur
milia rumorum confusaque verba volutant;                                     
e quibus hi vacuas inplent sermonibus aures,
hi narrata ferunt alio, mensuraque ficti
crescit, et auditis aliquid novus adicit auctor.
illic Credulitas, illic temerarius Error
vanaque Laetitia est consternatique Timores           
Seditioque repens dubioque auctore Susurri

ipsa, quid in caelo rerum pelagoque geraturet tellure,
videt totumque inquirit in orbem.