Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

But 'twere unjust to leave in jeopardy

The dear companions who sailed here with me.

Chorus. Come! who is first that with his hand

Will urge down the burning brand
Through the lids, and quench and pierce
The Cyclops' eye so fiery fierce?

[ocr errors]

Semi-chorus 1. 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.

Semi-chorus II. Happy those made odorous
With the dew which sweet grapes weep,
To the village hastening thu,

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?

Cyc. 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
Tempt me forth, thus wandering

To my brothers on the mountains,

Who shall share the wine's sweet fountains.

Bring the cask, O stranger, bring!

Chorus. 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.

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

In Bacchus, whom I gave thee of to drink.

Cyc. What sort of God is Bacchus then accounted?
Ulys. The greatest among men for joy of life.
Cyc. I gulpt him down with very great delight.
Ulys. This is a God who never injures men.
Cyc. How does the God like living in a skin?
Ulys. He is content wherever he is put.
Cyc. Gods should not have their body in a skin.
Ulys. If he give joy, what is his skin to you?
Clyc. I hate the skin, but love the wine within.
Ulys. Stay here; now drink, and make your spirit glad.
Cyc. Should not share this liquor with my brothers?
Ulys. Keep it yourself, and be more honoured so.
Cyc. I were more useful, giving to my friends.
Ulys. But village mirth breeds contests, broils, and blows.
Cyc. When I am drunk none shall lay hands on me.-
Ulys. A drunken man is better within doors.
Cyc. He is a fool, who drinking loves not mirth.
Ulys. But he is wise, who, drunk, remains at home.
ye. What shall I do, Silenus? Shall I st· ?
? A

Sil. Stay-for what need have you of pot companions? Cyc. Indeed this place is closely carpeted With flowers and grass.

Sil. And in the sun-warm noon

'Tis sweet to drink. Lie down beside me now,
Placing your mighty sides upon the ground.

Cyc. What do you put the cup behind me for?
Sil. That no one here may touch it.
Thievish one!

Cyc.

You want to drink;—here, place it in the midst.
And thou, O stranger, tell how art thou called?

Ulys. My name is Nobody. What favour now
Shall I receive to praise you at your hands?

Cyc. I'll feast on you the last of your companions. Ulys. You grant your guest a fair reward, O Cyclops. Cyc. Ha! what is this? Stealing the wine, you rogue! Sil. It was this stranger kissing me, because I looked so beautiful.

Cyc.

You shall repent
For kissing the coy wine that loves you not.

Sil. By Jupiter! you said that I am fair.
Cyc. Pour out, and only give me the cup full.
Sil. How is it mixed? Let me observe.
Curse you!

Cyc.

Give it me so.

. Sil.

Not till I see you wear

That coronal, and taste the cup to you.
Thou wily traitor!

Cyc.

Sil.
But the wine is sweet,
Aye, you will roar if you are caught in drinking.
Cyc. See now, my lip is clean and all my beard.
Sil. Now put your elbow right, and drink again.
As you see me drink-

*

*

Cyc. How now?

Sil. Ye Gods, what a delicious gulp!

Cyc. Guest, take it ;-you pour out the wine for me.
Ulys. The wine is well accustomed to my hand.
Cyc. Pour out the wine!

Ulys. I pour; only be silent.

Cyc. Silence is a hard task to him who drinks. Ulys. Take it and drink it off; leave not a dreg. Oh, that the drinker died with his own draught!

Cyc. Papai! the vine must be a sapient plant. Ulys. If you drink much after a mighty feast, Moistening your thirsty maw, you will sleep well; If you leave aught, Bacchus will dry you up.

Cyc. Ho! ho! I can scarce rise. What pure delight!
The heavens and earth appear to whirl about
Confusedly. I see the throne of Jove

And the clear congregation of the Gods.
Now if the Graces tempted me to kiss
I would not, for the loveliest of them all
I would not leave this Ganymede.

Sil.

Polypheme,

I am the Ganymede of Jupiter.

Cyc. By Jove you are; I bore you off from Dardanus.

ULYSSES and the CHORUS.

Ulys. Come, boys of Bacchus, children of high race,

This man within is folded up in sleep,

And soon will vomit flesh from his fell maw;

The brand under the shed thrusts out its smoke,

No preparation needs, but to burn out

The monster's eye;--but bear yourselves like men.

Chorus. We will have courage like the adamant rock.

All things are ready for you here; go in,
Before our father shall perceive the noise.

Ulys. Vulcan, Ætnean king! burn out with fire
The shining eye of this thy neighbouring monster!
And thou, O Sleep, nursling of gloomy night,
Descend unmixed on this God-hated beast,
Aud suffer not Ulysses and his comrades,
Returning from their famous Trojan toils,
To perish by this man, who cares not either
For God or mortal; or I needs must think
That Chance is a supreme divinity,

And things divine are subject to her power.
Chorus. Soon a crab the throat will seize
Of him who feeds upon his guest;
Fire will burn his lamp-like eyes
In revenge of such a feast!
A great oak stump now is lying
In the ashes yet undying.

Come, Maron, come!
Raging let him fix the doom,
Let him tear the eyelid up,
Of the Cyclops-that his cup
May be evil!

Oh, I long to dance and revel
With sweet Bromian, long desired,
In loved ivy-wreathes attired;

Leaving this abandoned home-
Will the moment ever come?

Ulys. Be silent, ye wild things! Nay, hold your peace,
And keep your lips quite close; dare not to breathe,
Or spit, or e'en wink, lest ye wake the monster,
Until his eye be tortured out with fire.

[ocr errors]

Chorus. Nay, we are silent, and we chaw the air. Ulys. Come now, and lend a hand to the great stake Within-it is delightfully red hot.

Chorus.

You then command who first should seize the

stake

« ForrigeFortsett »