« AnteriorContinua »
And thou, O Sleep, nursling of gloomy night,
Descend unmixed on this God-hated beast,
And 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.
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!
O, I long to dance and revel
With sweet Bromian, long desired,
In loved ivy-wreaths attired;
Leaving this abandoned home--
Will the moment ever come?
Uly. 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.
Chorus. Nay, we are silent, and we chaw the air.
Uly. Come now, and lend a hand to the great stake
Within-it is delightfuly red hot.
Chorus. You then command who first should seize the stake
To burn the Cyclops' eye, that all may share
In the great enterprise.
We are too few,
We cannot at this distance from the door
Thrust fire into his eye.
Semichorus II. And we just now
Have become lame; cannot move hand or foot.
Chorus. The same thing has occurred to us our ankles
Are sprained with standing here, I know not how.
Uly. What, sprained with standing still?
And there is dust Or ashes in our eyes, I know not whence.
Uly. Cowardly dogs ! ye will not aid me then?
Chorus. With pitying my own back and my backbone,
And with not wishing all my teeth knocked out,
This cowardice comes of itself—but stay,
I know a famous Orphic incantation
To make the brand stick of its own accord
Into the skull of this one-eyed son of Earth.
Uly. Of olu I knew ye thus by nature; now
I know ye better.-I will use the aid
Of my own comrades-yet though weak of hand
Speak cheerfully, that so ye may awaken
The courage of my friends with your blithe words.
Chorus. This I will do with peril of my life,
And blind you with my exhortations, Cyclops.
Hasten and thrust,
And parch up to dust,
The eye of the beast,
Who feeds on his guest.
Burn and blind
The Ætnean hind!
Scoop and draw,
But beware lest he clax
Your limbs near his maw.
Cyc. Ah me! my eyesight is parched up to cinders.
Chorus. What a sweet pæan! sing me that again !
Cyc. Ah me! indeed, what woe has fallen upon me!
But wretched nothings, think ye not to flee
Out of this rock; I, standing at the outlet,
Will bar the way and catch you as you pass.
Chorus. What are you roaring out, Cyclops ?
Chorus. For you are wicked.
And besides miserable.
Chorus. What, did you fall into the fire when drunk?
Cyc. 'Twas Nobody destroyed me.
Why then no one
Can be to blame.
I say 'twas Nobody
Who blinded me.
Why then you are not blind.
Cyc. I wish you were as blind as I am.
It cannot be that no one made you blind.
Cyc. You jeer me; where, I ask, is Nobody?
Chorus. Nowhere, O Cyclops
Cyc. It was that stranger ruined me:-the wretch
First gave me wine and then burnt out my eyes,
For wine is strong and hard to struggle with.
Have they escaped, or are they yet within ?
Chorus. They stand under the darkness of the rock
And cling to it.
At my right hand or left?
Chorus. Close on your right.
Near the rock itself.
You have them.
Oh, misfortune on misfortune!
I've cracked my skull.
Now they escape you there.
Cyc. Not there, although you say so.
Not on that side.
Cyc. Where then ?
They creep about you on your left.
Cyc. Ah! I am mocked! They jeer me in my ills.
Chorus. Not there! he is a little there beyond you.
Cyc. Detested wretch! where are you?
Far from you I keep with care this body of Ulysses.
Cyc. What do you say? You proffer a new name.
Uly. My father named me so; and I have taken
A full revenge for your unnatural feast ;
I should have done ill to have burned down Troy
And not revenged the murder of my comrades.
Cyc. Ai! ai! the ancient oracle is accomplished ;
It is said that I should have my eyesight blinded
By you coming from Troy, yet it foretold
That you should pay the penalty for this
By wandering long over the homeless sea.
Uly. I bid thee weep-consider what I say,
I go towards the shore to drive my ship
To mine own land, o'er the Sicilian wave.
Cyc. Not so, if whelming you with this huge stone
I can crush you and all your men together ;
I will descend upon the shore, though blind,
Groping my way down the steep ravine.
Chorus. And we, the shipmates of Ulysses now,
Will serve our Bacchus all our happy lives.
TRANSLATIONS FROM MOSCHUS.
WHEN winds that move not its calm surface sweep
The azure sea, I love the land no more. The smiles of the serene and tranquil deep
Tempt my unquiet mind.-But when the war Of ocean's grey abyss resounds, and foam
Gathers upon the sea, and vast waves burst, I turn from the drear aspect to the home
Of earth and its deep woods, where interspersed,
When winds blow loud pines make sweet melody.
Whose house is some lone bark, whose toil the sea,
Whose prey the wandering fish, an evil lot
Has chosen. - But I my languid limbs will fing
Beneath the plane, where the brook's murmuring
Moves the calm spirit but disturbs it not.
PAN loved his neighbour Echo-but that child
Of Earth and Air pined for the Satyr leaping;
The Satyr loved with wasting madness wild
The bright nymph Lyda, -and so the three went weeping. As Pan loved Echo, Echo loved the Satyr;
The Satyr, Lyda-and thus love consumed them. And thus to each--which was a woful matter
To bear what they inflicted, justice doomed them; For inasmuch as each might hate the lover,
Each loving, so was hated.—Ye that love not Be warned-in thought turn this example over,
That when ye love, the like return ye prove not.
From the Italian of Dante.
DANTE ALIGHIERI TO GUIDO CAVALCANTI.
GUIDO, I would that Lappo, thou, and I,
Led by some strong enchantment, might ascend
A magic ship, whose charmed sails should fly
With winds at will where'er our thoughts might wend,
And that no change, nor any evil chance,
Should mar our joyous voyage; but it might be,
That even satiety should still enhance
Between our hearts their strict community.
And that the bounteous wizard then would place
Vanna and Bice and my gentle love,
Companions of our wandering, and would grace
With passionate talk wherever we might rove
Our time, and each were as content and free
As I believe that thou and I should be.
SCENES FROM THE “MAGICO PRODIGIOSO"
CYPRIAN as a Student; CLARIN and Moscon as poor Scholars, with books.
Cyp. In the sweet solitude of this calm place,
This intricate wild wilderness of trees
And flowers and undergrowth of odorous plants,
Leave me; the bouks you brought out of the house
To me are ever best society.
And whilst with glorious festival and song
Antioch now celebrates the consecration
Of a proud temple to great Jupiter,
And bears his image in loud jubilee
To its new shrine, I would consume what still
Lives of the dying day, in studious thought,
Far from the throng and turmoil. You, my friends,
Go and enjoy the festival ; it will
Be worth the labour, and return for me
When the sun seeks its grave among the billows,
Which among dim grey clouds on the horizon
Dance like white plumes upon a hearse ;-and here
I shall expect you.
I cannot bring my mind,
Great as my haste to see the festival
Certainly is, to leave you, sir, without
Just saying some three or four hundred words.
How is it possible that on a day
Of such festivity, you can bring your mind
To come forth to a solitary country
With three or four old books, and turn your back
On all this mirth ?
My master's in the right;
There is not anything more tiresome
Than a procession day, with troops of men,
And dances, and all that.
From first to last,
Clarin, you are a temporizing flatterer ;
You praise not what you feel but what he does ;
Cla. You lie-under a mistake-
For this is the most civil sort of lie
That can be given to a man's face. I now
Say what I think.
Cyp: Enough, you foolish fellows.
Puffed up with your own doting ignorance,
You always take the two sides of one question.
Now go, and as I said, return for me
When night falls, veiling in its shadows wide
This glorious fabric of the universe.
Mos. How happens it, although you can maintain
The folly of enjoying festivals,
That yet you go there?
Nay, the consequence
Is clear:-who ever did what he advises
Others to do?
Mos. Would that my feet were wings,
So would I fly to Livia.
To speak truth,
Livia is she who has surprised my heart :
But he is more than half way there.--Soho !
Livia, I come ; good sport, Livia, Soho ! [Exit.
Cyp. Now, since I am alone, let me examine
The question which has long disturbed my mind
With doubt ; since first I read in Plinius
The words of mystic import and deep sense
In which he defines God. My intellect
Can find no God with whom these marks and signs
Fitly agree. It is a hidden truth
Which I must fathom.
Enter the DEVIL, as a fine Gentleman,
Demon. Search even as thou wilt,
But thou shalt never find what I can hide.
Cyp. What noise is that among the boughs? Who moves ?
What art thou?
Demon. 'Tis a foreign gentleman.
Even from this morning I have lost my way
In this wild place, and my poor horse at last
Quite overcome, has stretched himself upon
The enamelled tapestry of this mossy mountain,
And feeds and rests at the same time. I was
Upon my way to Antioch upon business
Of some importance, but wrapt up in cares
(Who is exempt from this inheritance ?)
I parted from my company, and lost
My way, and lost my servants and my comrades.
Cyp. 'Tis singular, that even within the sight
Of the high towers of Antioch, you could lose
Of all the avenues and green paths Of this wild wood there is not one but leads