« ForrigeFortsett »
Sil. Following the Pirates who had kidnapped Bacchus.
Ulys. What land is this, and who inhabit it ?—
Sil. Etna, the loftiest peak in Sicily.
Ulys. And are there walls, and tower-surrounded towns?
Sil. There are not. These lone rocks are bare of men.
Ulys. And who possess the land? the race of beasts?
Sil. Cyclops, who live in caverns, not in houses.
Ulys. Obeying whom? Or is the state popular?
Sil. Shepherds: no one obeys any in aught.
Ulys. How live they? do they sow the corn of Ceres?
Sil. On milk and cheese, and on the flesh of sheep.
Ulys. Have they the Bromian drink from the vine's
Sil. Ah! no; they live in an ungracious land.
Ulys. And are they just to strangers ?-hospitable?
Sil. They think the sweetest thing a stranger brings
Is his own flesh.
What do they eat man's flesh ?
Sil. No one comes here who is not eaten up.
Ulys. The Cyclops now- -Where is he? Not at home?
Sil. Absent on Etna, hunting with his dogs.
Ulys. Know'st thou what thou must do to aid us hence?
Sil. I know not: we will help you all we can.
Ulys. Provide us food, of which we are in want.
Sil. Here is not any thing, as I said, but meat.
Ulys. But meat is a sweet remedy for hunger.
Sil. Cow's milk there is, and store of curdled cheese.
Ulys. Bring out:-I would see all before I bargain.
Sil. But how much gold will you engage to give?
Ulys. I bring no gold, but Bacchic juice.
'Tis long since these dry lips were wet with wine.
Ulys. Maron, the son of the God, gave it me.
Sil. Whom I have nursed a baby in my arms.
Ulys. The son of Bacchus, for your clearer knowledge.
Sil. Have you it now ?-or is it in the ship?
Ulys. Old man, this skin contains it, which yon see.
Sil. Why this would hardly be a mouthful for me.
Uly. Nay, twice as much as you can draw from thence.
Sil. You speak of a fair fountain, sweet to me.
Ulys. Would you first taste of the unmingled wine?
Sil. "Tis just--tasting invites the purchaser.
Ulys. Here is the cup, together with the skin.
Sil. Pour: that the draught may fillip my remembrance.
Ulys. You see it then?—
By Jove, no! but I smell it.
Ulys. Taste, that you may not praise it in words only.
Sil. Babai! Great Bacchus calls me forth to dance!
Papaiapax! what a sweet smell it has !
Did it flow sweetly down your throat?
Sil. So that it tingled to my very nails.
Ulys. And in addition I will give you gold.
Sil. Let gold alone! only unlock the cask.
Ulys. Bring out some cheeses now, or a goung goat.
Sil. That will I do, despising any master.
Yes, let me drink one cup, and I will give
All that the Cyclops feed upon their mountains.
Chorus. Ye have taken Troy, and laid your hands on
Ulys. And utterly destroyed the race of Priam.
The wanton wretch! She was bewitched to see
The many-coloured anklets and the chain
Of woven gold which girt the neck of Paris,
"And I will give thee as a good-will token
The beautiful wand of wealth and happiness;
A perfect three-leaved rod of gold unbroken,
Whose magic will thy footsteps ever bless;
And whatsoever by Jove's voice is spoken
Of earthly or divine from its recess,
It like a loving soul to thee will speak,
And more than this do thou forbear to seek.
"For, dearest child, the divinations high
Which thou requirest, 'tis unlawful ever That thou, or any other deity,
Should understand-and vain were the endeavour; For they are hidden in Jove's mind, and I,
In trust of them, have sworn that I would never Betray the counsels of Jove's inmost will To any God-the oath was terrible.
"Then, golden-wanded brother, ask me not
To speak the fates by Jupiter designed; But be it mine to tell their various lot
To the unnumbered tribes of human kind.
Let good to these and ill to those be wrought
As I dispense-but he, who comes consigned
By voice and wings of perfect augury
To my great shrine, shall find avail in me.
Tim will I not deceive, but will assist;
ut he who comes relying on such birds
atter vainly, who would strain and twist
purpose of the Gods with idle words,
ms their knowledge light, he shall have mist d-whilst I among my other hoards
His gifts deposit. Yet, O son of May,
I have another wondrous thing to say.
"There are three Fates, three virgin Sisters, who,
Rejoicing in their wind-outspeeding wings,
Their heads with flour snowed over white and new,
Sit in a vale round which Parnassus flings
Its circling skirts-from these I have learned true
Vaticinations of remotest things.
My father cared not. Whilst they search out dooms, They sit apart and feed on honeycombs.
"They, having eaten the fresh honey, grow
Drunk with divine enthusiasm, and utter With earnest willingness the truth they know; But, if deprived of that sweet food, they mutter All plausible delusions ;-these to you
I give ;-if you inquire, they will not stutter; Delight your own soul with them :-any man You would instruct may profit if he can.
"Take these and the fierce oxen, Maia's childO'er many a horse and toil-enduring mule, O'er jagged-jawed lions, and the wild
White-tusked boars, o'er all, by field or pool, Of cattle which the mighty Mother mild
Nourishes in her bosom, thou shalt ruleThou dost alone the veil of death upliftThou givest not-yet this is a great gift,"
Thus King Apollo loved the child of May
In truth, and Jove covered them with love and joy. Hermes with Gods and men even from that day
Mingled, and wrought the latter much annoy,
And little profit, going far astray
Through the dun night. Farewell, delightful Boy,
Of Jove and Maia sprung,—never by me,
Nor thou, nor other songs, shall unremembered be.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK OF EURIPEDES.
CHORUS OF SATYRS.
Silenus. O BACCHUS, what a world of toil, both now
And ere these limbs were overworn with age,
Have I endured for thee! First, when thou fled'st
The mountain-nymphs who nurst thee, driven afar
By the strange madness Juno sent upon thee;
Then in the battle of the sons of Earth,
When I stood foot by foot close to thy side,
No unpropitious fellow combatant,
And, driving through his shield my winged spear,
Slew vast Enceladus. Consider now,
Is it a dream of which I speak to thee?
By Jove it is not, for you have the trophies!
And now I suffer more than all before;
For, when I heard that Juno had devised
A tedious voyage for you, I put to sea