« הקודםהמשך »
The monster's club within the cave I spied,
A tree of stateliest growth, and yet undried,
Green from the wood; of height and bulk so vast,
The largest ship might claim it for a mast.
This, shorten'd of its top, I gave my train
A fathom's length, to shape it and to plane;
The narrower end I sharpen'd to a spire;
Whose point we harden’d with the force of fire,
And hid it in the dust that strow'd the cave.
Then to my few companions, bold and brave,
Proposed, who first the venturous deed should try,
In the broad orbit of his monstrous eye
To plunge the brand, and twirl the pointed wood,
When slumber next should tame the man of blood.
Just as I wish'd, the lots were cast on four:
Myself the fifth. We stand and wait the hour.
He comes with evening : all his fleecy flock
Before him march, and pour into the rock;
Not one, or male or female, stay'd behind
(So fortune chanced, or so some god design'd):
Then heaving high the stone's unwieldy weight,
He roll'd it on the cave, and closed the gate.
First down he sits, to milk the woolly dams,
And then permits their udder to the lambs.
Next seized two wretches more,and headlong cast,
Brain'd on the rock; his second dire repast.
I then approach'd him reeking with their gore,
And held the brimming goblet foaming o'er :
“Cyclop! since human flesh has been thy feast,
Now drain this goblet, potent to digest:
Know hence what treasures in our ship we lost,
And what rich liquors other climates boast.
We to thy shore the precious freight shall bear,
If home thou send us, and vouchsafe to spare.
But, oh! thus furious, thirsting thus for gore, The sons of men shall ne'er approach thy shore, And never shalt thou taste this nectar more.”
He heard, he took, and pouring down his throat Delighted, swill’d the large luxurious draught. “ More! give me more! (he cried) the boon be
thine, Whoe'er thou art, that bear'st celestial wine! Declare thy name; not mortal is this juice, Such as the'unbless'd Cyclopean climes produce (Though sure our vine the largest cluster yields, And Jove's scorn'd thunder serves to drench our
fields), But this descended from the bless'd abodes, A rill of nectar, streaming from the gods.”
• He said, and greedy grasp'd the heady bowl, Thrice drain’d, and pour’d the deluge on his soul. His sense lay cover'd with the dozy fume; While thus
fraudful speech I reassume** Thy promised boon, O Cyclop! now I clair, And plead my title: Noman is my name. By that distinguish'd from my tender years, 'Tis what my parents call me, and my peers.”
“The giant then—“Our promised grace receive, The hospitable boon we mean to give : When all thy wretched crew have felt my power, Noman shall be the last I will devour.”
• He said: then nodding with the fumes of wine Dropp'd his huge head, and snoring lay supine, His neck obliquely o'er his shoulders hung, Press’d with the weight of sleep that tames the strong!
[blood, There belch'd the mingled steams of wine and And human flesh, his indigested food.
Sudden I stir the embers, and inspire
With animating breath the seeds of fire;
Each drooping spirit with bold words repair,
And urge my train the dreadful deed to dare.
The stake now glow'd beneath the burning bed
(Green as it was) and sparkled fiery red.
Then forth the vengeful instrument I bring;
With beating hearts my fellows form a ring.
Urged by some present god, they swift let fall
The pointed torment on his visual ball.
Myself above them from a rising ground (round.
Guide the sharp stake, and twirl it round and
As when a shipwright stands his workmen o'er,
Who ply the wimble, some huge beam to bore;
Urged on all hands it nimbly spins about,
The grain deep-piercing till it scoops it out:
In his broad eye so whirls the fiery wood;
From the pierced pupil spouts the boiling blood;
Singed are his brows; the scorching lids grow
The jelly bubbles, and the fibres crack. [black;
And as when armourers temper in the ford
The keen-edged poleaxe, or the shining sword,
The red-hot metal hisses in the lake :
Thus in his eyeball hiss'd the plunging stake.
He sends a dreadful groan: the rocks around
Through all their inmost winding caves resound.
Scared we receded. Forth, with frantic hand,
He tore and dash'd on earth the
gory brand : Then calls the Cyclops, all that round him dwell, With voice like thunder, and a direful yell. From all their dens the one-eyed race repair, From rifted rocks, and mountains bleak in air. All haste assembled, at his well known roar, Inquire the cause, and crowd the cavern door.
“ What hurts thee, Polypheme? what strange
affright Thus breaks our slumbers, and disturbs the night? Does any mortal in the' unguarded hour Of sleep oppress thee, or by fraud or power? Or thieves insidious the fair flock surprise?" Thus they. The Cyclop from his den replies
• Friends, Noman kills me; Noman in the hour Of sleep oppresses me with fraudful power." “ If no man hurt thee, but the hand divine Inflicts disease, it fits thee to resign : To Jove or to thy father Neptune pray," The brethren cried, and instant strode away.
Joy touch'd my secret soul and conscious heart, Pleased with the effect of conduct and of art. Meantime the Cyclop, raging with his wound, Spreads his wide arms, and searches round and
round: At last, the stone removing from the gate, With hands extended in the midst he sat; And search'd each passing sheep, and felt it o'er, Seçure to seize us ere we reach'd the door (Such as his shallow wit, he deem'd was mine); But secret I revolved the deep design; "Twas for our lives my labouring bosom wrought; Each scheme I turn'd, and sharpen'd every thought; This way and that, I cast, to save my friends, Till one resolve my varying counsel ends.
* Strong were the rams, with native purple fair, Well fed, and largest of the fleecy care. These three and three, with osier bands we tied (The twining bands the Cyclops' bed supplied); The midmost bore a man; the outward two Secured each side: so bound we all the crew.
One ram remain’d, the leader of the flock;
In his deep fleece my grasping hands I lock,
And fast beneath, in woolly curls inwove,
There cling implicit, and confide in Jove.
When rosy morning glimmer'd o'er the dales,
He drove to pasture all the lusty males :
The ewes still folded, with distended thighs
Unmilk’d, lay bleating in distressful cries.
But heedless of those cares, with anguish stung,
He felt their fleeces as they pass'd along :
(Fool that he was) and let them safely go,
All unsuspecting of their freight below.
• The master ram at last approach'd the gate,
Charged with his wool, and with Ulysses' fate.
Him, while he pass'd, the monster blind bespoke:
“ What makes my ram the lag of all the flock?
First thou wert wont to crop the flowery mead,
First to the field and river's bank to lead,
And first with stately step at evening hour
Thy fleecy fellows usher to their bower.
Now far the last, with pensive pace and slow
Thou movest, as conscious of thy master's woe!
Seest thou these lids that now unfold in vain?
(The deed of Noman and his wicked train!)
Oh! didst thou feel for thy afflicted lord,
And would but Fate the power of speech afford,
Soon mightst thou tell me, where in secret here
The dastard lurks, all trembling with his fear:
Swung round and round, and dash'd from rock
to rock, His batter'd brains should on the pavement smoke. No ease, no pleasure my sad heart receives, While such a monster as vile Noman lives."