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Hard in the waves, consigns void vows to the blustering breezes.
thus she is gazing,
weed of the fine-spun Snood, and the vesture light of her
mantle down from the shoulders
Slips, and the twisted scarf encircling her womanly bosom;
Then, they say, that at last, infuriate out of all measure, Once and again she poured shrill-voiced shrieks from her bosom; Helpless, clambered steeps, sheer beetling over the surges, Whence to enrange with her eyes vast futile regions of ocean; — Lifting the folds, soft folds of her garments, baring her ankles, Dashed into edges of upward waves that trembled before her; Uttered, anguished then, one wail, her maddest and saddest, – Catching with tear-wet lips poor sobs that shivering choked her: -"Thus is it far from my home, O traitor, and far from its altars -Thus on a desert strand, - dost leave me, treacherous Theseus? Thus is it thou dost flout our vow, dost flout the Immortals, —
Carelessly homeward bearest, with baleful ballast of curses?
“Oh! what lioness whelped thee? Oh! what desolate cavern?
“But to the hollow winds why stand repeating my quarrel, I, for sorrow unselfed, — they, but breezes insensate, Potent neither voices to hear nor words to re-echo? ... Yea, but where shall I turn? Forlorn, what succor rely on? *Haste to the Gnossian hills?' Ah, see how distantly surging Deeps forbid, distending their gulfs abhorrent before me! • Comfort my heart, mayhap, with the loyal love of my husband?' Lo, the reluctant oar, e'en now, he plies to forsake me! Nought but the homeless strand of an isle remote of the ocean! No, no way of escape, where the circling sea without shore is, – No, no counsel of flight, no hope, no sound of a mortal; All things desolate, dumb, yea, all things summoning deathward! Yet mine eyes shall not fade in death that sealeth the eyelids, Nor from the frame outworn shall fare my lingering senses, Ere, undone, from powers divine I claim retributionEre I call — in the hour supreme, on the faith of Immortals !
“Come, then, Righters of Wrong, () vengeful dealers of justice, Braided with coil of the serpents, O Eumenides, ye of Brows that blazon ire exhaling aye from the bosom, Haste, oh, haste ye, hither and hear me, vehement plaining, Destitute, fired with rage, stark-blind, demented for fury! As with careless heart yon Theseus sailed and forgot me, So with folly of heart, may he slay himself and his household !”
... Then with a nod supreme Olympian Jupiter nodded:
For, as was said before, Ægeus, on the departure of his son for Creta, had given him this command: “If Minerva, goddess of our city, grant thee victory over the Minotaur, hoist on thy return, when first the dear hills of Attica greet thy vision, white canvas to herald thy joy and mine, that mine eyes may see the propitious sign and know the glad day that restores thee safe to me."
... Even as clouds compelled by urgent push of the breezes
behest of his father.
from his tower over ocean, Wasted his anxious eyes in futile labor
ward sails black-bellied —
horrid steep to destruction, Weening hateful Fate had severed the
fortune of Theseus.
of the home of his father, Insolent Theseus knew himself what
He with a careless heart had aforetime dealt
ship had receded, -
ter of sorrows.
$ 154. Bacchus and Ariadne. — But for the deserted daughter of Minos a happier fate was
yet reserved. This island, on which she had been abandoned, was Naxos, loved and especially haunted by Bacchus, where with his train of reeling devotees he was wont to hold high carnival.
. . . Sweeping over the shore, lo, beautiful, blooming lacchus, –
Seeking fair Ariadne, - afire with
flame of a lover! Lightly around him leaped Bac
chantès, strenuous, frenzied, Nodding their heads, “Euhoe!”
to the cry, “Euhoe, O Bac
chus!" Some — enwreathèd spears of
lacchus madly were waving; Some - ensanguined limbs of the
builock, quivering, brand
ished; Some — were twining themselves
with sinuous snakes that twist
Some — with vessels of signs
mysterious, passed in proces
So the grieving, much-wronged Ariadne was consoled for the loss of her mortal spouse by an immortal lover. The blooming god of the vine wooed and won her. After her death, the golden crown that he had given her was transferred by him to the heavens. As it mounted the ethereal spaces, its gems, growing in brightness, became stars ; and still it remains fixed, as a constellation, between the kneeling Hercules and the man that holds the serpent.
1 Catullus, LXIV. Translation, Charles Mills Gayley.
§ 155. The Amazons. — As king of Athens, it is said that Theseus undertook an expedition against the Amazons. Assailing them before they had recovered from the attack of Hercules, he carried off their queen Antiope ; but they in turn, invading the country of Athens, penetrated into the city itself; and there was fought the final battle in which Theseus overcame them.
§ 156. Theseus and Pirithous. — A famous friendship between Theseus and Pirithoüs of Thessaly, son of Jupiter, originated in the midst of arms. Pirithous had made an irruption into the plain of Marathon, and had carried off the herds of the king of Athens. Theseus went to repel the plunderers. The moment the Thessalian beheld him, he was seized with admiration ; and stretching out his hand as a token of peace, he cried, “Be judge thyself, — what satisfaction dost thou require?” — “Thy friendship,” replied the Athenian ; and they swore inviolable fidelity. Their deeds corresponding to their professions, they continued true brothers in arms. When, accordingly, Pirithous was to marry Hippodamia, daughter of Atrax, Theseus took his friend's part in the battle that ensued between the Lapithæ (of whom Pirithous was king) and the Centaurs. For it happened that at the marriage feast, the Centaurs were among the guests; and one of them, Eurytion, becoming intoxicated, attempted to offer violence to the bride. Other Centaurs followed his example ; combat was joined ; Theseus leaped into the fray, and not a few of the guests bit the dust.
Later, each of these friends aspired to espouse a daughter of Jupiter. Theseus fixed his choice on Leda's daughter Helen, then a child, but afterwards famous as the cause of the Trojan war; and with the aid of his friend he carried her off, only, however, to restore her at very short notice. As for Pirithoüs, he aspired to the wife of the monarch of Erebus; and Theseus, though aware of the danger, accompanied the ambitious lover to the underworld. But Pluto seized and set them on an enchanted rock at his palace gate, where, fixed, they remained till Hercules, arriving, liberated Theseus, but left Pirithous to his fate.