Galatea recalls Polyphemus' unwelcome wooing.
Inde recordati Teucros a sanguine Teucri 705
ducere principium Creten tenuere locique
ferre diu nequiere Iovem centumque relictis
urbibus Ausonios optant contingere portus,
saevit hiems iactatque viros, Strophadumque receptos
portubus infidis exterruit ales Aello. 710
et iam Dulichios portus Ithacamque Samonque
Neritiasque domus, regnum fallacis Ulixis,
praeter erant vecti: certatam lite deorum
Ambraciam versique vident sub imagine saxum
iudicis, Actiaco quae nunc ab Apolline nota est, 715
vocalemque sua terram Dodonida quercu
Chaoniosque sinus, ubi nati rege Molosso
inpia subiectis fugere incendia pennis.
Proxima Phaeacum felicibus obsita pomis
rura petunt, Epiros ab his regnataque vati 720
Buthrotos Phrygio simulataque Troia tenetur;
inde futurorum certi, quae cuncta fideli
Priamides Helenus monitu praedixerat, intrant
Sicaniam: tribus haec excurrit in aequora linguis,
e quibus imbriferos est versa Pachynos ad austros, 725
mollibus oppositum zephyris Lilybaeon, ad arctos
aequoris expertes spectat boreanque Peloros.
hac subeunt Teucri, et remis aestuque secundo
sub noctem potitur Zanclaea classis harena:
Scylla latus dextrum, laevum inrequieta Charybdis 730
infestat; vorat haec raptas revomitque carinas,
illa feris atram canibus succingitur alvum,
virginis ora gerens, et, si non omnia vates
ficta reliquerunt, aliquo quoque tempore virgo:
hanc multi petiere proci, quibus illa repulsis 735
ad pelagi nymphas, pelagi gratissima nymphis,
ibat et elusos iuvenum narrabat amores.
cui dum pectendos praebet Galatea capillos,
talibus adloquitur repetens suspiria dictis:
‘te tamen, o virgo, genus haut inmite virorum 740
expetit, utque facis, potes his inpune negare;
at mihi, cui pater est Nereus, quam caerula Doris
enixa est, quae sum turba quoque tuta sororum,
non nisi per luctus licuit Cyclopis amorem
effugere.’ et lacrimae vocem inpediere loquentis. 745
quas ubi marmoreo detersit pollice virgo
et solata deam est, ‘refer, o carissima’ dixit
‘neve tui causam tege (sic sum fida) doloris!’
Nereis his contra resecuta Crataeide natam est:
‘Acis erat Fauno nymphaque Symaethide cretus 750
magna quidem patrisque sui matrisque voluptas,
nostra tamen maior; nam me sibi iunxerat uni.
pulcher et octonis iterum natalibus actis
signarat teneras dubia lanugine malas.
hunc ego, me Cyclops nulla cum fine petebat. 755
nec, si quaesieris, odium Cyclopis amorne
Acidis in nobis fuerit praesentior, edam:
par utrumque fuit. pro, quanta potentia regni
est, Venus alma, tui! nempe ille inmitis et ipsis
horrendus silvis et visus ab hospite nullo 760
inpune et magni cum dis contemptor Olympi,
quid sit amor, sentit validaque cupidine captus
uritur oblitus pecorum antrorumque suorum.
iamque tibi formae, iamque est tibi cura placendi,
iam rigidos pectis rastris, Polypheme, capillos, 765
iam libet hirsutam tibi falce recidere barbam
et spectare feros in aqua et conponere vultus.
caedis amor feritasque sitisque inmensa cruoris
cessant, et tutae veniuntque abeuntque carinae.
Telemus interea Siculam delatus ad Aetnen, 770
Telemus Eurymides, quem nulla fefellerat ales,
terribilem Polyphemon adit “lumen” que, “quod unum
fronte geris media, rapiet tibi” dixit “Ulixes.”
risit et “o vatum stolidissime, falleris,” inquit,
“altera iam rapuit.” sic frustra vera monentem 775
spernit et aut gradiens ingenti litora passu
degravat, aut fessus sub opaca revertitur antra.
prominet in pontum cuneatus acumine longo
collis (utrumque latus circumfluit aequoris unda):
huc ferus adscendit Cyclops mediusque resedit; 780
lanigerae pecudes nullo ducente secutae.
cui postquam pinus, baculi quae praebuit usum,
ante pedes posita est antemnis apta ferendis
sumptaque harundinibus conpacta est fistula centum,
senserunt toti pastoria sibila montes, 785
senserunt undae; latitans ego rupe meique
Acidis in gremio residens procul auribus hausi
talia dicta meis auditaque mente notavi:
‘“Candidior folio nivei Galatea ligustri,
floridior pratis, longa procerior alno, 790
splendidior vitro, tenero lascivior haedo,
levior adsiduo detritis aequore conchis,
solibus hibernis, aestiva gratior umbra,
mobilior damma, platano conspectior alta,
lucidior glacie, matura dulcior uva, 795
mollior et cycni plumis et lacta coacto,
et, si non fugias, riguo formosior horto;
‘“Saevior indomitis eadem Galatea iuvencis,
durior annosa quercu, fallacior undis,
lentior et salicis virgis et vitibus albis, 800
his inmobilior scopulis, violentior amne,
laudato pavone superbior, acrior igni,
asperior tribulis, feta truculentior ursa,
surdior aequoribus, calcato inmitior hydro,
et, quod praecipue vellem tibi demere possem, 805
non tantum cervo claris latratibus acto,
verum etiam ventis volucrique fugacior aura,
(at bene si noris, pigeat fugisse, morasque
ipsa tuas damnes et me retinere labores)
sunt mihi, pars montis, vivo pendentia saxo 810
antra, quibus nec sol medio sentitur in aestu,
nec sentitur hiems; sunt poma gravantia ramos,
sunt auro similes longis in vitibus uvae,
sunt et purpureae: tibi et has servamus et illas.
ipsa tuis manibus silvestri nata sub umbra 815
mollia fraga leges, ipsa autumnalia corna
prunaque non solum nigro liventia suco,
verum etiam generosa novasque imitantia ceras.
nec tibi castaneae me coniuge, nec tibi deerunt
arbutei fetus: omnis tibi serviet arbor. 820
‘“Hoc pecus omne meum est, multae quoque vallibus errant,
multas silva tegit, multae stabulantur in antris,
nec, si forte roges, possim tibi dicere, quot sint:
pauperis est numerare pecus; de laudibus harum
nil mihi credideris, praesens potes ipsa videre, 825
ut vix circumeant distentum cruribus uber.
sunt, fetura minor, tepidis in ovilibus agni.
sunt quoque, par aetas, aliis in ovilibus haedi.
lac mihi semper adest niveum: pars inde bibenda
servatur, partem liquefacta coagula durant. 830
‘“Nec tibi deliciae faciles vulgataque tantum
munera contingent, dammae leporesque caperque,
parve columbarum demptusve cacumine nidus:
inveni geminos, qui tecum ludere possint,
inter se similes, vix ut dignoscere possis, 835
villosae catulos in summis montibus ursae:
inveni et dixi ‘dominae servabimus istos.’
Thence, remembering that the Teucrians sprang from Teucer’s stock, they sailed away to Crete.Here, unable to endure for long the ills which Jove inflicted, they abandoned Crete with its hundred cities and set out with eager spirit for the Ausonian shores. The wintry seas raged and tossed the heroic band; and, when they came to the treacherous harbour of the Strophades, Aëllo, the harpy, frightened them. And now Dulichium’s anchorage, Ithaca and Samos, the homes of Neritos, the false Ulysses’ kingdom—past all these they sailed. Ambracia next, once object of heaven’s strife, they saw, and the image of the judge once changed to stone—Ambracia, now famed for Actian Apollo’s sake; Dodona’s land, with its speaking oaks; Chaonia’s sheltered bay, where the sons of King Molossus on new-grown wings escaped impious fires.
Next they sought the land of the Phaeacians, set with fertile orchards, and landed at Buthrotos in Epirus with its mimic Troy, a city ruled by the Phrygian seer. There having learned all that awaited them from the friendly prophecies of Helenus, Priam’s son, they came to Sicily. This land runs out into the sea in three capes. Of these, Pachynos looks to the rainy south, Lilybaeon faces the soft western breeze, and Peloros looks to the northern Bears, who never go beneath the sea. Hither the Teucri came and with oars and favouring tides the fleet reached the sandy beach of Zancle as darkness fell. Scylla infests the right-hand coast, unresting Charybdis the left. The one sucks down and vomits forth again the ships she has caught; the other’s uncanny waist is girt with ravening dogs. She has a virgin’s face and, if all the tales of poets are not false, she was herself once a virgin. Many suitors sought her; but she scorned them all and, taking refuge with the sea-nymphs (for the sea-nymphs loved her well), she would tell them of the disappointed wooing of her lovers. There once Galatea, while she let the maiden comb her hair, thus with repeated sighs addressed her: “You truly, maiden, are wooed by a gentle race of men, and you can repulse them without fear, even as you do. But I, whose father is Nereus and whose mother the sea-hued Doris, who am safe also in a throng of sisters, I was not allowed to shun the Cyclops’ love without grievous consequence.” Tears checked her further speech. When the maid with her white fingers had dried the goddess’ tears and had consoled her, she said: “Tell me, O dearest one, and do not conceal the cause of your woe, for I am faithful to you.” And the Nereid answered Crataeis’ daughter in these words: “Acis was son of Faunus and a Symaethian nymph, great joy to his father and his mother, but greater joy to me; for he alone had engaged my affections. Beautiful he was, and at sixteen years a faint beard had marked his youthful cheeks. Him did I love, but the Cyclops loved me with endless wooing. Nor, if you should ask me, could I tell which was stronger in me, my hate of Cyclops or my love of Acis; for both were in equal measure. O mother Venus, how mighty is thy sway! Behold, that savage creature, whom the very woods shudder to look upon, whom no stranger has ever seen save to his own hurt, who despises great Olympus and its gods, he feels the power of love and burns with mighty desire, forgetful of his flocks and of his caves. And now, Polyphemus, you become careful of your appearance, now anxious to please; now with a rake you comb your shaggy locks, and now it is your pleasure to cut your rough beard with a reaping-hook, gazing at your rude features in some clear pool and composing their expression. Your love of slaughter falls away, your fierce nature and your quenchless thirst for blood; and ships come and go in safety. Meanwhile Telemus had come to Sicilian Aetna, Telemus, the son of Eurymus, whom no bird had deceived; and he said to grim Polyphemus: ‘That one eye, which you have in the middle of your forehead, Ulysses will take from you.’ He mocked and answered: ‘O most stupid seer, you are wrong; another has already taken it.’ Thus did he scoff at the man who vainly sought to warn him, and stalked with huge, heavy tread along the shore, or returned, weary, to his shady cave. A wedge-shaped promontory with long, sharp point juts out into the sea, both sides washed by the waves. Hither the fierce Cyclops climbed and sat down on the cliff’s central point, and his woolly sheep, all unheeded, followed him. Then, laying at his feet the pine-trunk which served him for a staff, fit for a vessel’s mast, he took his pipe made of a hundred reeds. All the mountains felt the sound of his rustic pipings; the waves felt it too. I, hiding beneath a rock and resting in my Acis’ arms, at a great distance heard the words he sang and having heard remember:
“‘O Galatea, whiter than snowy privet-leaves, more blooming than the meadows, surpassing the alder in your tall slenderness, more sparkling than crystal, more frolicsome than a tender kid, smoother than shells worn by the lapping waves, more welcome than the winter’s sun and summer’s shade, more nimble than the gazelle, fairer than the tall plane-tree, more shining-clear than ice, sweeter than ripened grapes, softer than swan’s down and curdled milk, and, if only you would not flee from me, more beauteous than a well-watered garden.
“‘Yet you, the same Galatea, are more obstinate than an untamed heifer, harder than aged oak, falser than water, tougher than willow-twigs and white briony-vines, more immovable than these rocks, more boisterous than a stream, vainer than a praised peacock, more cruel than fire, sharper than thorns, more savage than a she-bear with young, deafer than the sea, more pitiless than a trodden snake, and, what I would most of all that I could take from you, swifter not only than the stag driven before the baying hounds, but also than the winds and the fleeting breeze! But, if only you knew me well, you would regret that you have fled from me; you would yourself condemn your coy delays and seek to hold me. I have a whole mountain-side for my possessions, deep caves in the living rock, where neither the sun is felt in his midsummer heat, nor the winter’s cold. I have apples weighing down their branches, grapes yellow as gold on the trailing vines, and purple grapes as well. Both these and those I am keeping for your use. With your own hand you shall gather the luscious strawberries that grow within the woody shade, cherries in autumn-time and plums, both juicy and purple-black and the large yellow kind, yellow as new wax. Chestnuts also shall be yours and the fruit of the arbute-tree, if you will take me for your husband; and every tree shall yield to your desire.
“‘And all this flock is mine. Many besides are wandering in the valleys, many are in the woods, still others are safe within their cavern-folds. Nay, should you chance to ask, I could not tell you how many in all I have. ’Tis a poor man’s business to count his flocks. And you need not believe my praises of them; here you can see for yourself how they can hardly walk for their distended udders. And I have, coming on, lambs in my warm folds and kids, too, of equal age, in other folds. There’s always a plenty of snow-white milk. Some of it is kept for drinking, and some the rennet hardens into curds.
“‘And you shall have no easily gotten pets or common presents, such as does and hares and goats, or a pair of doves, or a nest taken from the cliff. I found on the mountain-top two cubs of a shaggy bear for you to play with, so much alike that you can scarcely tell them apart. I found them and I said: “I’ll keep these for my mistress!”
This, in accordance with their interpretation of the advice given in 1. 678.