« הקודםהמשך »
Against yon destined head in vain I swore,
To whom the father of the’ immortal powers, Who swells the clouds, and gladdens earth with
showers * Can mighty Neptune thus of man complain? Neptune, tremendous o’er the boundless main! Revered and awful e'en in heaven's abodes, Ancient and great! a god above the gods ! If that low race offend thy power divine, (Weak, daring creatures !) is not vengeance thine? Go, then, the guilty at thy will chastise.' He said : the shaker of the earth replies-
• This then I doom; to fix the gallant ship A mark of vengeance on the sable deep: To warn the thoughtless self-confiding train, No more unlicensed thus to brave the main. Full in their port a shady hill shall rise, If such thy will.'--' We will it (Jove replies); E'en when with transport blackening all the strand, The swarming people hail their ship to land, Fix her for ever, a memorial stone: Still let her seem to sail, and seem alone; The trembling crowds shall see the sudden shade Of whelming mountains overhang their head!'
With that the god, whose earthquakes rock
the ground, Fierce to Phæacia cross'd the vast profound. Swift as a swallow sweeps the liquid way, The winged pinnace shot along the sea. The god arrests her with a sudden stroke, And roots her down an everlasting rock. Aghast the Scherians stand in deep surprise ; All press to speak, all question with their eyes. What hands unseen the rapid bark restrain? And yet it swims, or seems to swim, the main! Thus they, unconscious of the deed divine: Till great Alcinoüs, rising, own'd the sign.
• Behold the long predestined day! (he cries) O certain faith of ancient prophecies! These ears have heard my royal sire disclose A dreadful story, big with future woes ; How, moved with wrath that careless we convey Promiscuous every guest to every bay, Stern Neptune raged; and how by his command Firm rooted in the surge a ship should stand; (A monument of wrath) and mound on mound Should hide our walls, or whelm beneath the
ground. The Fates have follow'd as declared the seer. Be humbled, nations! and your monarch hear: No more unlicensed brave the deeps, no more With every stranger pass from shore to shore; On angry Neptune now for mercy call : To his high name let twelve black oxen fall. So may the god reverse his purposed will, Nor o'er our city hang the dreadful hill.'
The monarch spoke: they trembled and obey’d, Forth on the sands the victim oxen led:
The gather'd tribes before the altars stand,
Meanwhile Ulysses in his country lay,
Now all the land another prospect bore, Another port appear'd, another shore, And long-continued ways, and winding floods, And unknown mountains, crown'd with unknown
woods. Pensive and slow, with sudden grief oppress'd The king arose, and beat his careful breast; Cast a long look o'er all the coast and main, And sought, around, his native realm in vain : Then with erected eyes stood fix'd in woe, And as he spoke, the tears began to flow.
Ye gods! (he cried) upon what barren coast, In what new region, is Ulysses toss’d? Possess’d by wild barbarians, fierce in arms? Or men, whose bosom tender pity warms? Where shall this treasure now in safety lie? And whither, whither its sad owner fly? Ah why did I Alcinoüs' grace implore? Ah why forsake Phæacia's happy shore?
Some juster prince perhaps had entertain'd,
I bear :
Then on the sands he ranged his wealthy store, The gold, the vests, the tripods, number'd o'er : All these he found, but still in error lost, Disconsolate he wanders on the coast, Sighs for his country, and laments again To the deaf rocks, and hoarse-resounding main. When, lo! the guardian goddess of the wise, Celestial Pallas, stood before his
eyes; In show a youthful swain, of form divine, Who seem'd descended from some princely line ; A graceful robe her slender body dress'd, Around her shoulders flew the waving vest, Her decent hand a shining javelin bore, And painted sandals on her feet she wore. To whom the king~ Whoe'er of human race Thou art, that wander'st in this desert place! With joy to thee, as to some god, I bend, To thee my treasures and myself commend. O tell a wretch in exile doom’d to stray, What air I breathe, what country I survey? The fruitful continent's extremest bound, Orsome fair isle which Neptune's arms surround?
* From what fair clime (said she) remote from Arrivest thou here, a stranger to our name? (fame Thou seest an island, not to those unknown Whose hills are brighten'd by the rising sun, Nor those that placed beneath his utmost reign Behold him sinking in the western main. The rugged soil allows no level space For flying chariots, or the rapid race; Yet not ungrateful to the peasant's pain, Suffices fulness to the swelling grain : The loaded trees their various fruits produce, And clustering grapes afford a generous juice : Woods crown our mountains, and in every grove The bounding goats and frisking heifers rove: Soft rains and kindly dews refresh the field, And rising springs eternal verdure yield. E’en to those shores is Ithaca renown'd, Where Troy's majestic ruins strow the ground.'
At this, the chief with transport was possess'd, His panting heart exulted in his breast; Yet well dissembling his untimely joys, And veiling truth in plausible disguise, Thus, with an air sincere, in fiction bold, His ready tale the’ inventive hero told.
• Oft have I heard in Crete this island's name; For 'twas from Crete, my native soil, I came; Self-banish'd thence. I sail'd before the wind, And left my children and my friends behind. From fierce Idomeneus' revenge I flew, Whose son, the swift Orsilochus, I slew (With brutal force he seized my Trojan prey, Due to the toils of many a bloody day): Unseen I scaped; and favour'd by the night In a Phoenician vessel took my flight,