Obrázky na stránke

As soon as they are slaughtered, they If I speak false, then may my father shall fill


My belly, broiling warm from the live But do not thou wrong hospitality. coals, Cyclops. You lie! I swear that he is juster far Than Rhadamanthus-I trust more in

Or boiled and seethed within the bubbling cauldron.

I am quite sick of the wild mountain'

Of stags and lions I have gorged enough,
And I grow hungry for the flesh of men.
Silenus. Nay, master, something new
is very pleasant

After one thing for ever, and of late
Very few strangers have approached our


And all by mutual compact, without force.

There is no word of truth in what he

For slily he was selling all your store.
Silenus. I? May you perish,
Ulysses. If I speak false!
Silenus. Cyclops, I swear by Nep-
tune who begot thee,
By mighty Triton and by Nereus old,
Calypso and the glaucous ocean Nymphs,
The sacred waves and all the race of

Be these the witnesses, my dear sweet


But let me ask, whence have ye sailed,
O strangers?

Who are you? And what city nourished

Ulysses. Hear, Cyclops, a plain tale on the other side. We, wanting to buy food, came from our ship

Cyclops. What, have ye shared in the unenvied spoil

Into the neighbourhood of your cave, Of the false Helen, near Scamander's and here


This old Silenus gave us in exchange These lambs for wine, the which he took and drank,


My children, perish wretchedly!


Ulysses. Our race is Ithacan-having destroyed

The town of Troy, the tempests of the

There stop! I saw him giving these things to the



Have driven us on thy land, O Polypheme.

Ulysses. The same, having endured a woful toil.

Cyclops. Oh, basest expedition! sailed ye not

From Greece to Phrygia for one woman's sake?

Ulysses. 'Twas the Gods' work-no
Imortal was in fault.

But, O great offspring of the oceanking,

We pray thee and admonish thee with freedom,

And place no impious food within thy jaws.

For in the depths of Greece we have upreared

My darling little Cyclops, that I never
Gave any of your stores to these false
strangers; -

Temples to thy great father, which are all
His homes. The sacred bay of Tænarus
Remains inviolate, and each dim recess
Scooped high on the Malean promontory,

If I speak false may those whom most I And airy Sunium's silver-veined crag,
Which divine Pallas keeps unprofaned

That thou dost spare thy friends who visit thee,


The Gerastian asylums, and whate'er
Within wide Greece our enterprise has


From Phrygian contumely; and in which As to the rest I care not:- When he You have a common care, for you inhabit


Rain from above, I have a close pavilion The skirts of Grecian land, under the Under this rock, in which I lie supine, roots Feasting on a roast calf or some wild beast,

Of Ætna and its crags, spotted with fire.
Turn then to converse under human And drinking pans of milk, and glori-



Receive us shipwrecked suppliants, and Emulating the thunder of high heaven. provide And when the Thracian wind pours down the snow,

Food, clothes, and fire, and hospitable

I wrap my body in the skins of beasts,
Kindle a fire, and bid the snow whirl on.
The earth, by force, whether it will

Nor fixing upon oxen-piercing spits
Our limbs, so fill your belly and your

or no,

Priam's wide land has widowed Greece Bringing forth grass, fattens my flocks enough;

And weapon-winged murder heaped to

and herds,

Which, to what other God but to myself
And this great belly, first of deities,
Should I be bound to sacrifice? I well


Enough of dead, and wives are husbandless,


And ancient women and gray fathers The wise man's only Jupiter is this,
To eat and drink, during his little day,
Their childless age;—if you should roast | And give himself no care. And as for
the rest,

And 'tis a bitter feast that you prepare,
Where then would any turn? Yet be


Forego the lust of your jaw-bone;
Pious humanity to wicked will:
Many have bought too dear their evil




Who complicate with laws the life of


I freely give them tears for their reward.
I will not cheat my soul of its delight,
Or hesitate in dining upon you :—
And that I may be quit of all demands,
These are my hospitable gifts;-fierce

Silenus. Let me advise you, do not spare a morsel Of all his flesh.

If you should eat his

tongue You would become most eloquent, O Creep in !— Cyclops.

And yon ancestral cauldron, which o'er-
Shall finely cook your miserable flesh.

Ulysses. Ai! ai! I have escaped the
Trojan toils,

I have escaped the sea, and now I fall
Under the cruel grasp of one impious


Cyclops. Wealth, my good fellow, is the wise man's God,

All other things are a pretence and boast. What are my father's ocean promontories,

The sacred rocks whereon he dwells, O Pallas, mistress, Goddess, sprung from to me? Jove,

Stranger, I laugh to scorn Jove's thunder- Now, now, assist me ! than Troy

Mightier toils


I know not that his strength is more Are these;-I totter on the chasms of than mine.

peril ;-

And thou who inhabitest the thrones
Of the bright stars, look, hospitable Jove,
Upon this outrage of thy deity,
Otherwise be considered as no God!
Chorus (alone)

For your gaping gulph, and your gullet The knotty limbs of an enormous oak, wide Three waggon-loads at least, and then he strewed

Upon the ground, beside the red firelight,

His couch of pine leaves; and he milked the cows,

And pouring forth the white milk, filled a bowl

The ravin is ready on every side,
The limbs of the strangers are cooked
and done,

There is boiled meat, and roast meat, and meat from the coal,

You may chop it, and tear it, and gnash it for fun,

An hairy goat's-skin contains the whole.

Let me but escape, and ferry me o'er The stream of your wrath to a safer shore.


Unhappy man!

Ulysses. Soon as we came into this craggy place,

Kindling a fire, he cast on the broad hearth

Ulysses. Selecting two, the plumpest of the crowd, He grasped them in his hands.—

Three cubits wide and four in depth, as much

As would contain ten amphoræ, and bound it

With ivy wreaths; then placed upon the fire

The Cyclops Etnean is cruel and bold,
He murders the strangers
That sit on his hearth,
And dreads no avengers

To rise from the earth.

He roasts the men before they are cold,
He snatches them broiling from the coal,
And from the cauldron pulls them whole,
And minces their flesh and gnaws their
With his cursed teeth, till all be gone.
Farewell, foul pavilion:

Farewell, rites of dread!
The Cyclops vermilion,

With slaughter uncloying,
Now feasts on the dead,

Of the huge cauldron, and seized the

By the foot's tendon, and knocked out his brains

In the flesh of strangers joying! Ulysses. O Jupiter! I saw within the cave Horrible things; deeds to be feigned in words, But not to be believed as being done.

Upon the sharp edge of the craggy stone: Then peeled his flesh with a great cooking-knife

Chorus. What! sawest thou the im- And put him down to roast. The pious Polypheme

other's limbs

Feasting upon your loved companions now?


chopped into the cauldron to be boiled.

And I, with the tears raining from my


1 I confess I do not understand this.

A brazen pot to boil, and made red hot The points of spits, not sharpened with the sickle,

But with a fruit tree bough, and with the jaws


Of axes for Etnean slaughterings.1
And when this God-abandoned cook of

Had made all ready, he seized two of


And killed them in a kind of measured manner;

For he flung one against the brazen rivets

Stood near the Cyclops, ministering to He claps his wings and crows in doting him;

The rest, in the recesses of the cave,
Clung to the rock like bats, bloodless
with fear.

When he was filled with my companions'
He threw himself upon the ground and


A loathsome exhalation from his maw.
Then a divine thought came to me. I

The cup of Maron, and I offered him
To taste, and said:-"Child of the
Ocean God,

Behold what drink the vines of Greece

The exultation and the joy of Bacchus."
He, satiated with his unnatural food,
Received it, and at one draught drank
it off,

And taking my hand, praised me :--
"Thou hast given

A sweet draught after a sweet meal,
dear guest."
And I perceiving that it pleased him,

Another cup, well knowing that the wine
Would wound him soon and take a sure

And the charm fascinated him, and I
Plied him cup after cup, until the drink
Had warmed his entrails, and he sang

[blocks in formation]


You who are young escape with me, and find

Bacchus your ancient friend; unsuited

To this rude Cyclops.

Oh my dearest friend, That I could see that day, and leave for ever

The impious Cyclops.

Ulysses. Listen then what a punish

ment I have

For this fell monster, how secure a


From your hard servitude.


O sweeter far Than is the music of an Asian lyre Would be the news of Polypheme destroyed.

Ulysses. Delighted with the Bacchic drink he goes


call his brother Cyclops - who

A village upon Ætna not far off.
Chorus. I understand, catching him
when alone

You think by some measure to dispatch

Or thrust him from the precipice.
Oh no;
Nothing of that kind; my device is

Chorus. How then? I heard of old that thou wert wise.

Ulysses. I will dissuade him from this plan, by saying

It were unwise to give the Cyclopses
This precious drink, which if enjoyed

Would make life sweeter for a longer
When vanquished by the Bacchic power,
he sleeps,
There is a trunk of olive wood within,
Whose point having made sharp with
this good sword

I will conceal in fire, and when I see

It is alight, will fix it, burning yet, Within the socket of the Cyclops' eye And melt it out with fire-as when a


Turns by its handle a great augur round, Fitting the framework of a ship with beams,

So will I, in the Cyclops' fiery eye Turn round the brand and dry the pupil up.

Chorus. Joy! I am mad with joy at your device.

Ulysses. And then with you, my friends, and the old man, We'll load the hollow depth of our black ship,

And row with double strokes from this dread shore.

Chorus. May I, as in libations to a

Share in the blinding him with the red brand?

I would have some communion in his death.

[blocks in formation]

Semichorus I. (Song within.) Listen! listen! he is coming, A most hideous discord humming. Drunken, museless, awkward, yelling, Far along his rocky dwelling; Let us with some comic spell Teach the yet unteachable. By all means he must be blinded, If my council be but minded. Semichorus II

Happy those made odorous

With the dew which sweet grapes weep,

To the village hastening thus,

Seek the vines that soothe to sleep, Having first embraced thy friend, There in luxury without end, With the strings of yellow hair, Of thy voluptuous leman fair, Shalt sit playing on a bed !— Speak what door is opened? Cyclops

Ha ha ha! I'm full of wine,
Heavy with the joy divine,
With the young feast oversated,
Like a merchant's vessel freighted
To the water's edge, my crop
Is laden to the gullet's top.
The fresh meadow grass of spring
Tempts me forth thus wandering

To my brothers on the mountains,
Who shall share the wine's sweet

Bring the cask, O stranger, bring!
One with eyes the fairest

Cometh from his dwelling
Some one loves thee, rarest,

Bright beyond my telling. In thy grace thou shinest Like some nymph divinest, In her caverns dewy :— All delights pursue thee, Soon pied flowers, sweet-breathing, Shall thy head be wreathing.

Ulysses. Listen, O Cyclops, for I am well skilled

« PredošláPokračovať »