Imatges de pàgina
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THE

INFANT HERCULES AND THE SERPENTS.

FROM THEOCRITUS.

Juno, jealous of the child which Jupiter has had by Alcmena, sends two dreadful serpents to devour the boy. The serpents come upon him, while he and his half-brother Iphiclus, the son of Amphitryon, are sleeping together. Iphiclus, the child of the mortal father, is terrified : Hercules, the infant demi-god, seizes and destroys them, as if they were living play-things. His mother consults the prophet Tiresias on the occasion, and is told of her son's future renown.

Young Hercules had now beheld the light
Only ten months, when once upon a night,
Alcmena, having washed, and given the breast
To both her heavy boys, laid them to rest.

Ηρακλέα δεκάμηνον εόντα ποχ’ ά Μιδεατις
'Αλκμήνα, και νυκτί νεώτερον Ιφικλήα,
'Αμφοτέρους λούσασα και εμπλήσασα γάλακτος,

Their cradle was a noble shield of brass,

Won by her lord from slaughtered Pterelas.
Gently she laid them down, and gently laid
Her hand on both their heads, and yearned, and said,

Sleep, sleep, my boys, a light and pleasant sleep ;
My little souls, my twins, my guard and keep!
Sleep happy, and wake happy !” And she kept
Rocking the mighty buckler, and they slept.

At midnight, when the Bear went down, and broad Orion's shoulder lit the starry road,

Χαλκείαν κατέθηκεν επ' ασπίδα, ταν Πτερελάου

'Αμφιτρύων καλών όπλον απεσκύλευσε πεσόντος:
Απτομένα δε γυνά κεφαλάς μυθήσατο παίδων:
Εύδετ' εμά βρέφεα γλυκερόν και εγέρσιμον ύπνον:
Εύδετ' εμα ψυχά, δύο αδελφεώ, εύσοα τέκνα
Ολβιοι ευνάξοισθε, και όλβιοι αω ίκοισθε.

Ως φαμένα δίνασε σάκος μέγα' τους δ' έλαβ’ ύπνος. *Αμος δε τρέφεται μεσονύκτιον ές δύσιν άρκτος, Ωρίωνα κατ' αυτόν, ο δ' άμφαίνει μέγαν ώμον,

There came, careering through the opening halls,
On livid spires, two dreadful animals-
Serpents; whom Juno, threatening as she drove,
Had sent there to devour the boy of Jove.
Orbing their blood-fed bellies in and out,
They towered along ; and as they look'd about,
An evil fire out of their eyes came lamping;
A heavy poison dropt about their champing.

And now they have arriv'd, and think to fall To their dread meal, when lo! (for Jove sees all),

Ταμος άρ αινα πίλωρα δύω πολυμήχανος "Ηρη
Κυανέαις φρίσσοντας υπό σπείραισι δράκοντας
Ωρσεν επί πλατύν ουδών, όθι ταμα κοίλα θυρώων
Οίκου απειλήσασα φαγείν βρέφος Ηρακλήα.
Τω δεξιλυσθέντε επί χθονί γατέρας άμφω
Αιμοβόρως εκύλιoν αποφθαλμών δε κακών πυρ
'Ερχομένοις λάμπεσκε, βαρύν δ' εξέπτυον ιόν:
'Αλλ' ότε δή παίδων λιγμώμενοι εγγύθεν ήλθον,
Και τότ' αρ εξέγροντο (Διός νοέοντος άπαντα)

The house is lit, as with the morning's break,

And the dear children of Alcmena wake.

The younger one, as soon as he beheld
The evil creatures coming on the shield,
And saw their loathsome teeth, began to cry
And shriek, and kick away the clothes, and try
All his poor little instincts of escape ;
The other, grappling, seized them by the nape
Of either poisonous neck, for all their twists,
And held, like iron, in his little fists.
Buckled and bound he held them, struggling wild ;
And so they wound about the boy, the child,

'Αλκμήνας φίλα τέκνα φάος δ' ανά οίκον ετύχθη.
Ή τοι όγ' ευθύς άυσεν, όπως κακά θηρίο ανέγνω
Κοίλου υπέρ σάκεος, και αναιδέας είδεν οδόντας,
Ιφικλέης. ούλαν δε ποσίν διελάκτισε χλαίναν,
Φευγέμεν όρμαίνων. οδ' εναντίος είχετο χερσιν
Ηρακλέης άμφω δε βαρεί ενεδύσατο δεσμω,
Δραξάμενος φάρυγος, τόθι φάρμακα λυγρά τέτυκται
Ουλομένοις οφίεσσι, τα και θεοι εχθαίροντι.
Τώ δ' αύτε σπείρησιν έλισσέσθην περί παίδα

The long-begetting boy, the suckling dear,

That never teazed his nurses with a tear.

Tired out at length, they trail their spires and gasp,

Locked in that

young
indissoluble

grasp.

Alemena heard the noise, and « Wake,” she cried,

Amphitryon, wake ; for terror holds me tied ! Up; stay not for the sandals : hark! the child, The youngest-how he shrieks! The babe is wild: And see, the walls and windows! 'Tis as light As if ’twere day, and yet ’tis surely night.

Όψίγονον, γαλαθηνόν, υπό τροφη αιέν άδακρυν.
*Αψ δε πάλιν διέλυον, επεί μογέoιεν ακάνθας,
Δεσμού αναγκαίου πειρώμενοι έκλυσιν ευρείν.
'Αλκμήνα δ' εσάκουσε βοάς, και επέγρετο πράτα.
ΑνταθΑμφιτρύων: εμε γαρ δέος ίσχει οκνηρόν:
"Ανσα, μηδέ πόδεσσι τεοίς υπό σάνδαλα θείης.
Ουκ άίεις παίδων ο νεώτερος όσσον αύτεί και
Ου νοέεις ότι νυκτός άωρί που οίδε τε τοίχοι
Πάντες άριφραδέες, καθαράς άτερ ήριγενείας και

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