« НазадПродовжити »
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,
Carelessly homeward bearest, with baleful ballast of curses?
Never, could never a plea forefend thy cruelly minded
Counsel? Never a pity entreat thy bosom for shelter? . . .
Hence, let never a maid confide in the oath of a lover,
Never presume man's vows hold aught trustworthy within them!
Verily, while in anguish of heart his spirit is longing,
Nothing he spares to assever, nor aught makes scruple to promise:
But, an his dearest desire, his nearest of heart be accorded —
Nothing he recks of affiance, and reckons perjury, — nothing.
"Oh! what lioness whelped thee? Oh! what desolate cavern? What was the sea that spawned, that spat from its churning abysses, Thee, — what wolfish Scylla, or Syrtis, or vasty Charybdis, Thee, — thus thankful for life, dear gift of living, I gave thee? . . . Had it not liked thee still to acknowledge vows that we plighted, Mightest thou homeward, yet, have borne me a damsel beholden, Fain to obey thy will, and to lave thy feet like a servant, Fain to bedeck thy couch with purple coverlet for thee.
"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 retribution — Ere I call — in the hour supreme, on the faith of Immortals!
"Come, then, Righters of Wrong, O 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, ^geus, 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,
horrid steep to destruction, —
fortune of Theseus.
of the home of his father,
manner of evil
Fixed Ariadne that still, still stared where the
Wounded, revolving in heart her countless mus-
§ 154. Bacchus and Ariadne. — But for the 1 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 Iacchus,1 —
Seeking fair Ariadne, — afire with
flame of a lover! Lightly around him leaped Bacchantes, strenuous, frenzied, Nodding their heads, " Euhoe!" to the cry, "Euhoe, O Bacchus!"
Some — enwreathed spears of
Iacchus madly were waving; Some — ensanguined limbs of the bullock, quivering, brandished;
Some — were twining themselves with sinuous snakes that twisted;
Some — with vessels of signs
Symbols profound that in vain the profane may seek to decipher;
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.
l 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 Pirithoiis. —A famous friendship between Theseus and Pirithoiis of Thessaly, son of Jupiter, originated in the midst of arms. Pirithoiis 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, Pirithoiis was to marry Hippodamia, daughter of Atrax, Theseus took his friend's part in the battle that ensued between the Lapithae (of whom Pirithoiis 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 Pirithoiis, 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 Pirithoiis to his fate.