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U.I.Ysses. 'Twas the Gods' 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 Taenarus 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 AEtna 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 jaw-bone; prefer
Pious humanity to wicked will ;
Many have bought too dear their evil joys.
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.
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
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'erbubbling
Shall finely cook your miserable flesh.
Creep in 1–
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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.
Q 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.
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,
A 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 AEtnean is cruel and bold,
He murders the strangers
That sit on his hearth,
And dreads no avengers
To rise from the earth.
He roasts the men before they are cold,
He snatches them broiling from the coal,
And from the cauldron pulls them whole,
And minces their flesh and gnaws their bone
With his cursed teeth, till all be gone.
Farewell, foul pavilion 1
Farewell, rites of dread
The Cyclops vermilion,
With slaughter uncloying,
Now feasts on the dead,
In the flesh of strangers joying!
0 Jupiter I saw within the cave
Horrible things; deeds to be feigned in words,
But not believed as being done.
chorus. What 1 sawest thou the impious Polypheme Feasting upon your loved companions now
Selecting two, the plumpest of the crowd,
He grasped them in his hands-
Soon as we came into this craggy place,
Kindling a fire, he cast on the broad heart!
The knotty limbs of an enormous oak,
Three waggon-loads at least, and then he strewed
Upon the ground, beside the red fire ligh,
His couch of pine leaves; and he milked he cows,
And pouring forth the white milk, filled a bowl
Three cubits wide and four in depth, o much
As would contain four amphorae, and bound it
With ivy wreaths; then placed upon the fire
A brazen pot to boil, and make re, hot -
The points of spits, not sharpened with the sickle,
But with a fruit-tree bough, and with the jaws
Of axes for Ætnean slaughterings".
And when this God-abandone, cook of hell
Had made all ready, he seized two of us,
And killed them in a kind o measured manner;
For he flung one against the brazen rivets
of the huge cauldron, and seized the other .
By the foot's tendon, and knocked out his brains
Upon the sharp edge of the craggy stone : , ,
Then peeled his flesh wth a great cooking knife,
And put him down to roast. The other's limbs
He chopped into the auldron to be boiled.
And I, with the tear raining from my eyes,
Stood near the Cyclops, ministering to him ;
The rest, in the recesses of the cave, .
Clung to the rock fike bats, bloodless with fear.
When he was filled with my companions' flesh,
He threw himsey upon the ground, and sent
A loathsome exhalation from his maw.
Then a divine thought came to me. I filled
The cup of Maron, and I offered him
To taste, and said:—“Child of the Ocean-God,
Behold what drink the vines of Greece produce,
The exultation and the joy of Bacchus.”
He, satiated with his unnatural food,
Received it, and at one draught drank it off
And taking my hand, praised me:–“Thou hast
A sweet draught after a sweet meal, dear guest.”
And I, perceiving that it pleased him, filled
Another cup, well knowing that the wine
Would wound him soon and take a sure revenge.
And the charm fascinated him, and I
Plied him cup after cup, until the drink
Had warmed his entrails, and he sang aloud
In concert with my wailing fellow-seamen
A hideous discord—and the cavern rung.
I have stolen out, so that if you will
You may achieve my safety and your own.
But say, do you desire, or not, to fly
This uncompanionable man, and dwell,
As was your wont, among the Grecian nymphs,
Within the fanes of your beloved God?
Your father there within agrees to it,
But he is weak and overcome with wine,
And caught as if with birdlime by the cup,
He claps his wings and crows in doating joy.
You who are young escape with me, and find
Bacchus your ancient friend; unsuited he
To this rude Cyclops.
There is a trunk of olive-wood within,
Whose point, having made sharp with this good
I will conceal in fire, and when I see
It is alight, will fix it, burning yet,
Within the socket of the Cyclops’ eye,
And melt it out with fire—as when a man
Turns by its handle a great auger round,
Fitting the frame-work of a ship with beams,
So will I in the Cyclops’ fiery eye
Turn round the brand, and dry the pupil up.
Chorus. Joy I am mad with joy at your device.
ULYSSEs. And then with you, my friends, and the old man, We'll load the hollow depth of our black ship, And row with double strokes from this dread
May I, as in libations to a God,
Share in the blinding him with the red brand
I would have some communion in his death.
ULYSSes. Doubtless; the brand is a great brand to hold.
CHORUS. Oh ! I would lift a hundred waggon-loads, If like a wasp's nest I could scoop the eye out Of the detested Cyclops.
Silence now ! Ye know the close device—and when I call, Look ye obey the masters of the craft. I will not save myself and leave behind My comrades in the cave : I might escape, Having got clear from that obscure recess, 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 :
SEMI-chorus I. 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 counsel be but minded.
Happy those made odorous . With the dew which sweet grapes weep,
To the village hastening thus,
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 :