Imatges de pÓgina

Uly. Friends, can you show me some clear water spring, The remedy of our thirst? Will any one Furnish with food seamen in want of it? Ha! what is this? We seem to be arrived At the blithe court of Bacchus. I observe This sportive band of Satyrs near the caves. First let me greet the elder. Hail!


Hail thou,
O, Stranger! tell thy country and thy race.
Uly. The Ithacan Ulysses and the king
Of Cephalonia.


Oh, I know the man,

Wordy and shrewd, the son of Sisyphus.

Uly. I am the same, but do not rail upon me.
Sil. Whence sailing do you come to Sicily?
Uly. From Ilion, and from the Trojan toils.

Sil. How, touched you not at your paternal shore?
Uly. The strength of tempests bore me here by force.
Sil. The self-same accident occurred to me.

Uly. Were you then driven here by stress of weather?
Sil. Following the Pirates who had kidnapped Bacchus.
Uly. What land is this, and who inhabit it?
Sil. Etna, the loftiest peak in Sicily.

Uly. And are there walls, and tower-surrounded towns?
Sil. There are not;-These lone rocks are bare of men.
Uly. And who possess the land? the race of beasts?
Sil. Cyclops, who live in caverns, not in houses.
Uly. Obeying whom? Or is the state popular?
Sil. Shepherds: no one obeys any in aught.

Uly. How live they? do they sow the corn of Ceres?
Sil. On milk and cheese, and on the flesh of sheep.

Uly. Have they the Bromian drink from the vine's stream?

Sil. Ah! no; they live in an ungracious land.

Uly. 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.

Uly. The Cyclops now-Where is he? Not at home?
Sil. Absent on Etna, hunting with his dogs.

Uly. Knowst thou what thou must do to aid us hence?
Sil. I know not: we will help you all we can.
Uly. Provide us food, of which we are in want.
Sil. Here is not anything, as I said, but meat.
Uly. But meat is a sweet remedy for hunger.

Sil. Cow's milk there is, and store of curdled cheese.
Uly. Bring out:- I would see all before I bargain.
Sil. But how much gold will you engage to give?
Uly. bring no gold, but Bacchic juice.

O, joy!
Tis long since these dry lips were wet with wine.
Uly. Maron, the son of the God, gave it me.
Sil. Whom I have nursed a baby in my arms.
Uly. The son of Bacchus, for your clearer knowledge.
Sil. Have you it now?-or is it in the ship?

Uly. Old man, this skin contains it, which you 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.
Uly. Would you first taste of the unmingled wine?
Sil. 'Tis just-tasting invites the purchaser.

Uly. Here is the cup, together with the skin.

Sil. Pour: that the draught may fillip my remembrance Uly. See!


Papaiapax! what a sweet smell it has !

Uly. You see it then?—


By Jove, no! but I smell it. Uly. Taste, that you may not praise it in words only. Sil. Babai! Great Bacchus calls me forth to dance! Joy! joy!

Uly. Did it flow sweetly down your throat?

Sil. So that it tingled to my very nails.

Uly. And in addition I will give you gold.

Sil. Let gold alone! only unlock the cask.

Uly. Bring out some cheeses now, or a young 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 Helen? Uly. And utterly destroyed the race of Priam.

Sil. * * 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 so she left that good man Menelaus.
There should be no more women in the world

But such as are reserved for me alone.

See, here are sheep, and here are goats, Ulysses,
Here are unsparing cheeses of pressed milk;
Take them; depart with what good speed ye may;
First leaving my reward, the Bacchic dew

Of joy-inspiring grapes.


Ah me! Alas!

What shall we do? the Cyclops is at hand!

Old man, we perish! whither can we fly?

Sil. Hide yourselves quick within that hollow rock.
Uly. "Twere perilous to fly into the net.

Sil. The cavern has recesses numberless;
Hide yourselves quick.

That will I never do!

The mighty Troy would be indeed disgraced
If I should fly one man. How many times
Have I withstood, with shield immovable,

Ten thousand Phrygians!-if I needs must die,
Yet will I die with glory;-if I live,

The praise which I have gained will yet remain.

Sil. What, ho! assistance, comrades, haste assistance!


Cyc. What is this tumult? Bacchus is not here,
Nor tympanies nor brazen castanets.
How are my young lambs in the cavern? Milking
Their dams or playing by their sides? And is

The new cheese pressed into the bulrush baskets?
Speak! I'll beat some of you till you rain tears—
Look up, not downwards when I speak to you.
Sil. See! I now gape at Jupiter himself,

I stare upon Orion and the stars.

Cyc. Well, is the dinner fitly cooked and laid?
Sil. All ready, if your throat is ready too.
Cyc. Are the bowls full of milk besides?



So you may drink a tunful if you will.

Cyc. Is it ewe's milk or cow's milk, or both mixed?
Sil. Both, either; only pray don't swallow me.
Cyc. By no means.

What is this crowd I see beside the stalls?
Outlaws or thieves? for near my cavern-home,
I see my young lambs coupled two by two
With willow bands; mixed with my cheeses lie
Their implements; and this old fellow here
Has his bald head broken with stripes.


Ah me!

I have been beaten till I burn with fever.

Cyc. By whom? Who laid his fist upon your head?
Sil. Those men, because I would not suffer them
To steal your goods.

Did not the rascals know
I am a God, sprung from the race of heaven?
Sil. I told them so, but they bore off your things,
And ate the cheese in spite of all I said,
And carried out the lambs-and said, moreover,
They'd pin you down with a three-cubit collar,
And pull your vitals out through your one eye,
Torture your back with stripes, then binding you,
Throw you as ballast into the ship's hold,

And then deliver you, a slave, to move

Enormous rocks, or found a vestibule.

Cyc. In truth? Nay, haste, and place in order quickly The cooking knives, and heap upon the hearth,

And kindle it, a great faggot of wood

As soon as they are slaughtered, they shall fill

My belly, broiling warm from the live coals,

Or boiled and seethed within the bubbling cauldron.

I am quite sick of the wild mountain game,

Of stags and lions I have gorged enough,
And I grow hungry for the flesh of men.

Sil. Nay, master, something new is very pleasant
After one thing for ever, and of late

Very few strangers have approached our cave.

Uly. Hear, Cyclops, a plain tale on the other side.
We, wanting to buy food, came from our ship
Into the neighbourhood of your cave, and here

This old Silenus gave us in exchange

These lambs for wine, the which he took and drank,
And all by mutual compact, without force.

There is no word of truth in what he says,

For slily he was selling all your store.
Sil. I? May you perish, wretch-
Sil. Cyclops, I swear by Neptune who begot thee,

If I speak false !


By mighty Triton and by Nereus old,
Calypso and the glaucous Ocean Nymphs,
The sacred waves and all the race of fishes
Be these the witnesses, my dear sweet master,
My darling little Cyclops, that I never
Gave any of your stores to these false strangers;
If I speak false may those whom most I love,
My children, perish wretchedly!


There stop!

I saw him giving these things to the strangers.
If I speak false, then may my father perish,
But do not thou wrong hospitality.

Cyc. You lie! I swear that he is juster far
Than Rhadamanthus-I trust more in him.

But let me ask, whence have ye sailed, O strangers? Who are you? And what city nourished ye?

Uiy. Our race is Ithacan-having destroyed The town of Troy, the tempests of the sea Have driven us on thy land, O Polypheme.

Cyc. What, have ye shared in the unenvied spoil Of the false Helen, near Scamander's stream?

Uly. The same, having endured a woful toil. Cyc. O, basest expedition! sailed ye not From Greece to Phrygia for one woman's sake?

Uly. 'Twas the God's work-no mortal was in fault.

But, O great offspring of the ocean-king,

We pray thee and admonish thee with freedom,
That thou dost spare thy friends who visit thee,
And place no impious food within thy jaws.
For in the depths of Greece we have upreared
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,
And aery Sunium's silver-veined crag,
Which divine Pallas keeps unprofaned ever,
The Gerastian asylums, and whate'er
Within wide Greece our enterprise has kept
From Phrygian contumely; and in which
You have a common care, for you inhabit
The skirts of Grecian land, under the roots
Of Etna and its crags, spotted with fire.
Turn then to converse under human laws,
Receive us shipwrecked suppliants and provide
Food, clothes, and fire, and hospitable gifts;
Nor fixing upon oxen-piercing spits
Our limbs, so fill your belly and your jaws.
Priam's wide land has widowed Greece enough;
And weapon-winged murder heaped together
Enough of dead, and wives are husbandless,
And ancient women and grey fathers wail
Their childless age;-if you should roast the rest,
And 'tis a bitter feast that you prepare,

Where then would any turn? Yet be persuaded;
Forego the lust of your jawbone; prefer
Pious humanity to wicked will:

Many have bought too dear their evil joys.

Sil. 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 Cyclops !

Cyc. 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, to me?
Stranger, I laugh to scorn Jove's thunderbolt,
I know not that his strength is more than mine.
As to the rest I care not:-When he pours
Rain from above, I have a close pavilion
Under this rock, in which I lie supine,
Feasting on a roast calf or some wild beast,
And drinking pans of milk, and gloriously
Emulating the thunder of high heaven.

And when the Thracian wind pours down the snow,
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 or no,

Bringing forth grass, fattens my flocks 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 know
The wise man's only Jupiter is this,

To eat and drink during his little day,

And give himself no care. And as for those
Who complicate with laws the life of man,
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 fire

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

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Uly. Ay! ay! I have escaped the Trojan toils, I have escaped the sea, and now I fall

Under the cruel grasp of one impious man.

O Pallas, mistress, Goddess, sprung from Jove,
Now, now, assist me! Mightier toils than Troy

Are these; I totter on the chasms of 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 gulf, and your gullet wide

The ravine 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.

The Cyclops Etnean is cruel and bold,
He murders the strangers

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