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And so went striding off, on that straight way
Long time the Thessalians waited and mourned. As for Herakles, no doubt they supposed him dead. When — but can it be?
... Ay, he it was advancing! In he strode,
Shone out, all Herakles was back again,
“Admetus,” said he, “ take and keep this woman, my captive, till I come thy way again.” But Admetus would admit no woman into the hall that Alcestis had left empty. Then cried Herakles, “ Take hold of her. See now, my friend, if she look not somewhat like that wife thou hast lost.”
Ah, but the tears come, find the words at fault!
Beside, when he found speech, you guess the speech.
But all the time, Alkestis moved not once
Herakles solemnly replied, “Not yet
$ 82. Apollo, the Musician. — Not only in Arcadia, Laconia, and Thessaly did Apollo care, as a herdsman, for the cattle of a mortal master; in Mount Ida, too, by the order of Jupiter he herded for a year the “shambling, crook-horned kine" of King Laomedon, and, playing on the lyre, aided Neptune to build the walls of Troy, just as Amphion, in his turn, had aided in the building of Thebes. Apollo's life as herdsman was spent in establishing wise laws and customs, in musical contests on the flute, and the lyre, or in passages of love with nymphs and maidens of mortal mould.
$ 83. Apollo, Pan, and Midas.” — It is said that on a certain occasion Pan had the temerity to compare his music with that of Apollo, and to challenge the god of the lyre to a trial of skill. The challenge was accepted, and Tmolus, the mountain-god, was chosen umpire. The senior took his seat, and cleared away the trees from his ears to listen. At a given signal Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower Midas, who happened to be present. Then Tmolus turned his head toward the sun-god, and all his trees turned with him. Apollo rose ; his brow wreathed with Parnassian laurel, while his robe of Tyrian purple swept the ground. In his left hand he held the lyre, and with his right hand struck the strings. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to the lyric god, and all but Midas acquiesced in the judgment. He dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo promptly transformed his depraved pair of ears into those of an ass.
1 For the originals, see Iliad 2:715, and the Alcestis of Euripides. 2 Ovid, Metam. IT: 146-193.
King Midas tried to hide his misfortune under an ample turban But his hair-dresser found it too much for his discretion to keep such a secret; he dug a hole in the ground, and, stooping down, whispered the story, and covered it up. But a thick bed of reeds springing up in the meadow began whispering the story, and has continued to do so from that day to this, every time a breeze passes over the place.
In the following “Hymn,”! Pan taunts Apollo as he might have done when Midas was sitting contentedly by :From the forests and highlands
We come, we come; From the river-girt islands,
Where loud waves are dumb,
Listening to my sweet pipings. The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
The bees on the bells of thyme,
The cicale above in the lime,
Listening to my sweet pipings.
Liquid Peneüs was Aowing,
And all dark Tempe lay,
The light of the dying day,
Speeded by my sweet pipings.
And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
And the brink of the dewy caves,
With envy of my sweet pipings.
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the dædal Earth,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, —
And then I changed my pipings, –
I pursued a maiden, and clasp'd a reed:
It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed :
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.
§ 84. The Loves of Apollo. — Beside Psamathe of Argos, Coronis of Thessaly,' and the nymph Clymene, Apollo loved the muse Calliope, who bore him Orpheus, and the nymph Cyrene, whose son was Aristæus. Of his relations with two other maidens the following myths exist. . § 85. Daphne.' — The lord of the silver bow was not always prosperous in his wooing. His first love, which, by the way, owed its origin to the malice of Cupid, — was specially unfortunate. It appears that Apollo, seeing the boy playing with his bow and arrows, had tauntingly advised him to leave warlike weapons for hands worthy of them and content himself with the torch of love. Whereupon the son of Venus had rejoined, “ Thine arrows may strike all things else, Apollo, but mine shall strike thee.”