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By mighty Cypris wounded at the heart,
Who in his liver fixed her cruel dart.
He found the cure while from the cliff he flung
His glances seaward, and his ditty sung :-
Why, Galatea, scorn for love dost render? Whiter than fresh curds, than the lamb more tender; More skittish than the calf, more clearly bright Than unripe grape transparent in the light ! Here dost thou show thyself when sleeps thy lover, Still flying ever as my sleep is over, E'en as the sheep, the gray wolf seeing, flees. I loved when with my mother from the seas Thou first didst come, and seek the mountain-side To gather hyacinths -- and I thy guide. Since then I never yet have ceased to love thee, Although my passion never yet did move thee. I know the reason why the beauty fliesOne shaggy eye-brow on my forehead lies Over one eye, stretched out from tip to tip Of either ear, and overhangs my lip A nostril broad. Such as I am, I keep, Drinking their best of milk, a thousand sheep; My cheeses fail not in their hurdled row In depth of winter nor in summer's glow.
No Cyclops here can breathe the pipe like me,
Who sing, when I should sleep, myself and thee,
Sweet-apple! I for thee four bear-whelps rear,
And eke eleven fawns that collars wear.
Come live (thou shalt not fare the worse) with me,
And to its murmurs leave that azure sea.
Thy nights will sweeter pass within my cave,
Where the tall cypress and the laurel wave;
The sweet-fruit vine and ivy dark are there;
From the white snow its waters cool and clear
Thick-wooded Ætna sends: whom would it please
In sea to dwell, when land has joys like these?
Though rough I seem in Galatea's eyes,
My wealth of oak a constant fire supplies ;
O fire of love! I could be well content
That life and precious eye at once were brent.
Had I but fins ! then would I dive and kiss
Thy dainty hand, though daintier lip I miss;
In different seasons take thee different flowers,
The summer lily white in summer hours,
And while it winter was, what winter bred,
The tender poppy with its pop-bells red.
From some sea-ranger I will learn to swim,
To see what charms you in your ocean dim.
Come, Galatea / sparkling from the foam,
And then, like me, forget to turn thee home.
Would that the shepherd and his life could please -
To milk my ewes, with runnet fix the cheese.
My mother is in fault, and only she -
She never spake a friendly word for me;
Although she sees me pining fast away,
Thinner and thinner still from day to day.
I'll tell her that my feet and temples throb,
That she, as I have done, with grief may sob.
O Cyclops ! Cyclops I whither dost thou hover ?
To weave thy baskets would more wit discover,
And get thy lambs green leaves. Milk the near ewe ;
Why one that faster flies in vain pursue ?
A fairer Galatea you may find;
Others are fair, and all are not unkind :
For many a damsel, when eve's shadow falls,
Me to sport with her fondly, sweetly calls;
And all of them, with eyes that brightly glisten,
Giggle most merrily, whene'er I listen :
That I am somebody on earth is plain.”
Thus Polypheme with song relieved love's pain; And from his ails himself did safer free, Than had he given a leech a golden fee.
In this piece one of two youthful friends addresses the other.
He expresses a hope that their mutual friendship may last through their lives, and that the memory of it may survive them, and make them famous to late posterity. He then passes to the praise of the Megarians for the divine honours paid by them to Diocles, who lost his life in the defence of his friend.