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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.
Ulysses. Of old I knew ye thus by nature; now
Chorus. This I will do with peril of my life,
Hasten and thrust!
Cyclops. Ah me! my eyesight is parched up to cinders!
Chorus. What a sweet paean! Sing me that again!
Cyclops. 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?
Cyclops. I perish!
Chorus. For you are wicked.
Cyclops. And besides miserable.
Chorus. What, did you fall into the fire when drunk?
Cyclops. 'Twas Nobody destroyed me.
Chorus. Why then, no one
Can be to blame.
Cyclops. I say 'twas Nobody
Who blinded me.
Chorus. Why then you are not blind.
Cyclops. I wish you were as blind as I am!
It cannot be that no one made you blind.
Cyclops. You jeer me; where, I ask, is Nobody?
Cyclop. It was that stranger ruined me !—the wretch
Chorus. They stand under the darkness of the rock,
Cyclop. At my right hand or left?
Chorus. Close on your right.
Chorus. Near the rock itself.
You have them.
Cyclops. Oh misfortune on misfortune!
I've cracked my skull!
Chorus. Now they escape you there.
Cyclops. Not there, although you say so.
Chorus. Not on that side.
Cyclops. Where then?
Chorus. They creep about you on your left.
Cyclops. Ah! I am mocked! They jeer me in my ills.
Chorus. Not there! he is a little there beyond you.
Cyclops. Detested wretch! where are you?
Ulysses. Far from you
I keep with care this body of Ulysses.
Cyclops. What do you say? You proffer a new name.
Ulysses. My father named me so. And I have taken
Cyclops. Ai! ai! the ancient oracle is accomplished;
Ulysses. I bid thee weep !—Consider what I say;
Cyclops. Not so, if whelming you with this huge stone
Chorus. And we, the shipmates of Ulysses now,
EPIGRAMS FROM THE GREEK.
I.—SPIRIT OF PLATO.
"Eagle! why soarest thou above that tomb?
His corpse below."
A Man who was about to hang himself,
The owner, coming to reclaim his pelf,
The halter found, and used it . So is hope
Changed for despair—one laid upon the shelf,
Fortune is God: all you endure and do
Depends on circumstance as much as you.
Ere thy fair light had fled ;—
New splendour to the dead.
Kissing Helena, together
Came to my lips, and there I kept it,—
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 roar
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 fling
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, in as much 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.
THE TENTH ECLOGUE, [v. 1-26].
Melodious Arethusa, o'er my verse
Shed thou once more the spirit of thy stream: Who denies verse to Gallus? So, when thou
Glidest beneath the green and purple gleam Of Syracusan waters, mayst thou flow
Unmingled with the bitter Doric dew! Begin, and, whilst the goats are browzing now
The soft leaves, in our way let us pursue The melancholy loves of Gallus. List!
We sing not to the dead: the wild woods knew His sufferings, and their echoes . .
Young Naiads, . . in what far woodlands wild Wandered ye when unworthy love possessed
Your Gallus? Not where Pindus is up-piled, Nor where Parnassus' sacred mount, nor where
Aonian Aganippe expands
The laurels and the myrtle-copses dim.
The pine-encircled mountain, Ma-nalus,
The cold crags of Lycaeus, weep for him;
And Sylvan, crowned with rustic coronals,
What madness is this, Gallus? Thy heart's care
DANTE ALLICH1ERI TO CUIDO CAVALCANTI—SONNET.
Guido, I would that Lapo, thou, and I,
Led by some strong enchantment, might ascend
With winds at will, where'er our thoughts might wend,--
Should mar our joyous voyage, but it might be
Between our hearts their strict community;
Vanna and Bice and my gentle love
With passionate talk, wherever we might rove,
THE FIRST CANZONE OF THE CONVITO.
Ye who intelligent the Third Heaven move,
Hear the discourse which is within my heart,
The Heaven whose course follows your power and art,
Even of the life which now I live,—and yet