Imatges de pÓgina
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TRANSLATIONS.

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 ἐόντα ποχ ̓ ἁ Μιδεᾶτις
̓Αλκμήνα, καὶ νυκτὶ νεώτερον Ιφικλῆα,

̓Αμφοτέρους λούσασα καὶ ἐμπλήσασα 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,

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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 ἐπ ̓ ἀσπίδα, τὰν Πτερελάου
̓Αμφιτρύων καλὸν ὅπλον ἀπεσκύλευσε πεσόντος·
̔Απτομένα δὲ γυνὰ κεφαλᾶς μυθήσατο παίδων·
Εὕδετ ̓ ἐμὰ βρέφεα γλυκερὸν καὶ ἐγέρσιμον ὕπνον·
Εὕδετ ̓ ἐμὰ ψυχὰ, δύ' ἀδελφεὼ, εὔσοα τέκνα·

Ολβιοι εὐνάξοισθε, καὶ ὄλβιοι ἀῶ ἵκοισθε.

Ὣς φαμένα δίνασε σάκος μέγα· τοὺς δ ̓ ἔλαβ ̓ ὕπνος.
̓Αμος δὲ τρέφεται μεσονύκτιον ἐς δύσιν ἄρκτος,

Ωρίωνα κατ ̓ ἀυτὸν, ὁ δ ̓ ἀμφαίνει μέγαν ὦμον,

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),

Τάμος ἄρ αἰνὰ πέλωρα δύω πολυμήχανος Ηρη
Κυανέαις φρίσσοντας ὑπὸ σπείραισι δράκοντας
Ωρσεν ἐπὶ πλατὸν οὐδὸν, ὅθι παθμὰ κοίλα Ξυράων
Οἴκου· ἀπειλήσασα φαγεῖν βρέφος Ἡρακλῆα.
Τὼ δ ἐξειλυσθέντε ἐπὶ χθονὶ γατέρας ἄμφω
Αἱμοβόρως ἐκύλιον· ἀπ ̓ ὀφθαλμῶν δὲ κακὸν πῦρ
Ερχομένοις λάμπεσκε, βαρὺν δ' ἐξέπτυον ἰόν·
̓Αλλ ̓ ὅτε δὴ παίδων λιχμώμενοι ἐγγύθεν ἦλθον,
Καὶ τότ ̓ ἄρ ἐξέγροντο (Διὸς νοέοντος ἅπαντα)

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 ̓ ἀνὰ οἶκον ἐτύχθη.
Ἤ τοι ὅγ ̓ εὐθὺς ἄϋσεν, ὅπως κακὰ θηρί ̓ ἀνέγνω
Κοίλου ὑπέρ σάκεος, καὶ ἀναιδέας εἶδεν ὀδόντας,
Ιφικλέης. οὔλαν δὲ ποσὶν διελάκτισε χλαῖναν,
Φευγέμεν ὁρμαίνων. ὁ δ ̓ ἐναντίος εἴχετο χερσὶν
Ἡρακλέης· ἄμφω δὲ βαρεῖ ἐνεδήσατο δεσμῷ,
Δραξάμενος φάρυγος, τόθι φάρμακα λυγρὰ τέτυκται
Οὐλομένοις οφίεσσι, τὰ καὶ θεοὶ ἐχθαίροντι.

Τὼ δ ̓ αὖτε σπείρῃσιν ἑλισσέσθην περὶ παῖδα

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.

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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!

And see, the walls and windows!

The babe is wild:

'Tis as light As if 'twere day, and yet 'tis surely night.

Ὀψίγονον, γαλαθηνὸν, ὑπὸ τροφῷ αἰὲν ἄδακρυν.
*Αψ δὲ πάλιν διέλυον, ἐπεὶ μογέοιεν ἀκάνθας,
Δεσμοῦ ἀναγκαίου πειρώμενοι ἔκλυσιν εὑρεῖν·
̓Αλκμήνα δ ̓ ἐσάκουσε βοᾶς, καὶ ἐπέγρετο πράτα.
Ανταθ' Αμφιτρύων· ἐμὲ γὰρ δέος ἴσχει ὀκνηρόν·
̓́Αντα, μηδὲ πόδεσσι τεοῖς ὑπὸ σάνδαλα θείης.
Οὐκ αίεις παίδων ὁ νεώτερος ὅσσον ἀϋτεῖ ;
Οὐ νοέεις ὅτι νυκτὸς ἀωρί που οἵδε τε τοῖχοι
Πάντες ἀριφραδέες, καθαρᾶς ἄτερ ἠριγενείας ;

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