My Own Notes

Please Login to save notes.

If you are not a registered user, then click here.


Previous Page 227 of 301 Next Page
Bk XI:410-473 The separation of Ceyx and Alcyone.
Meanwhile Ceyx, troubled by heart’s anxiety, concerning his brother, and what had followed his brother’s strange fate, was preparing to go and consult the sacred oracle of Apollo, at Claros, that reveals human affairs. The infamous Phorbas, leader of the Phlegyans, had made Delphi inaccessible. Nevertheless, before he set out, he discussed it with you, faithful Alcyone.
She felt a chill, immediately, deep in her marrow, her face grew boxwood-pale, and her cheeks were drenched in flowing tears. Three times she tried to speak, three times her face was wet with weeping, and sobs interrupting her loving reproaches, she said: "What sin of mine has turned your mind to this, dear one? Where is that care for me that used to come first? Can you now leave Alcyone behind, without a thought? Does it please you now to travel far? Am I dearer to you, away from you? But I suppose your way is overland, and I shall only grieve, not fear, for you. My anxieties will be free from terror.
The waters scare me, and the sombre face of the deep: and lately I saw wrecked timbers on the shore, and I have often read the names on empty tombs. Do not allow your mind to acquire false confidence, because Aeolus, son of Hippotas, is your father-in-law, who keeps the strong winds imprisoned, and, when he wishes, calms the sea. When once the winds are released and hold sway over the waters, nothing can oppose them: every country, every ocean is exposed to them. They vex the clouds in the sky, and create the red lightning-flashes from their fierce collisions. The more I know of them (I do know them, often seeing them as a child in my father’s house) the more I consider them to be feared. But if no prayers can alter your purpose, dear one, husband, if you are so fixed on going, take me with you, also! Then we shall be storm-tossed together, and at least I shall know what I fear, together we shall bear whatever comes, together we shall be borne over the waters."
The star-born husband was moved by the daughter of Aeolus’s words and tears: there was no less love in himself. But he would not relinquish his planned sea-journey, nor did he want to put Alcyone in peril. His anxious heart tried to comfort her, with many words, yet, despite that, he could not win his case. He added this further solace, the only one that moved his lover: "Every delay will seem long to us indeed, but I swear to you by my father’s light, to return to you as long as the fates allow it, before the moon has twice completed her circle."
When her hopes had been revived by these promises of return, he immediately ordered the ship to be dragged down the slipway, launched into the sea, and fitted out with her gear. Alcyone, seeing this, as if she foresaw what was to come, shuddered again, and she gave way to a flood of tears. She hugged him, and, in wretched misery, said a last, "Farewell," and her whole body gave way beneath her. With Ceyx still seeking reasons for delay, the young crew, double-ranked, pulled on the oars, with deep-chested strokes, and cut the water with their rhythmic blows.
She raised her wet eyes, and leaning forward could see her husband standing on the curved afterdeck, waving his hand, and she returned the signal. When he was further from shore, and she could no longer recognise his features, she followed the fleeting ship with her gaze, while she could. When even that was too far off to be seen, she still could see the topsails unfurling from the masthead. When no sails could be seen, with heavy heart, she sought out the empty bedroom, and threw herself on the bed. The room and the bed provoked more tears and reminded her of her absent half.
Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page
Go to page:   

Copyright © 2020 Gleeditions, LLC. All rights reserved.