of Zeus and all the godhead's majesty. Kiss thee! no! There are the
Graces trying to tempt me. I shall rest well enough with my Ganymede
here; yea, by the Graces, right fairly; for I like lads better than
SILENUS What! Cyclops, am I Ganymede, Zeus's minion?
CYCLOPS (attempting to carry him into the cave) To be sure, Ganymede
whom I am carrying off from the halls of Dardanus.
SILENUS I am undone, my children; outrageous treatment waits me.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS Dost find fault with thy lover? dost scorn him
in his cups?
SILENUS Woe is me! most bitter shall I find the wine ere long. (SILENUS
is dragged into the cave by the CYCLOPS.)
ODYSSEUS Up now, children of Dionysus, sons of a noble sire, soon
will yon creature in the cave, relaxed in slumber as ye see him, spew
from his shameless maw the meat. Already the brand inside his lair
is vomiting cloud of smoke; and the only reason we prepared it was
to burn the Cyclops' eye; so mind thou quit thee like a man.
LEADER I will have a spirit as of rock or adamant; but go inside,
before my father suffers any shameful treatment; for here thou hast
ODYSSEUS O Hephaestus, lord of Aetna, rid thyself for once and all
of a troublesome neighbour by burning his bright eye out. Come, Sleep,
as well, offspring of sable Night, come with all thy power on the
monster god-detested; and never after Troy's most glorious toils destroy
Odysseus and his crew by the hands of one who recketh naught of God
or man; else roust we reckon Chance a goddess, and Heaven's will inferior
to hers. (ODYSSEUS re-enters the cave.)
CHORUS (singing) Tightly the pincers shall grip the neck of him
who feasts upon his guests; for soon will he lose the light of his
eye by fire; already the brand, a tree's huge limb, lurks amid the
embers charred. Oh! come ye then and work his doom, pluck out the
maddened Cyclops' eye, that he may rue his drinking. And I too fain
would leave the Cyclops' lonely land and see king Bromius, ivy-crowned,
the god I sorely miss. Ah! shall I ever come to that?
ODYSSEUS (leaving the cave cautiously) Silence, ye cattle! I adjure
you; close your lips; make not a sound I'll not let a man of you so
much as breathe or wink or clear his throat, that yon pest awake not,
until the sight in the Cyclops' eye has passed through the fiery ordeal.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS Silent we stand with bated breath.
ODYSSEUS In then, and mind your fingers grip the brand, for it is
LEADER Thyself ordain who first must seize the blazing bar and burn
the Cyclops' eye out, that we may share alike whate'er betides.
FIRST SEMI-CHORUS Standing where I am before the door, I am too far
off to thrust the fire into his eye.
SECOND SEMI-CHORUS I have just gone lame.
FIRST SEMI-CHORUS Why, then, thou art in the same plight as I; for
somehow or other I sprained my ankle, standing still.
ODYSSEUS Sprained thy ankle, standing still?
SECOND SEMI-CHORUS Yes, and my eyes are full of dust or ashes from
somewhere or other.
ODYSSEUS These are sorry fellows, worthless as allies.
LEADER Because I feel for my back and spine, and express no wish
to have my teeth knocked out, I am a coward, am I? Well, but I know
a spell of Orpheus, a most excellent one, to make the brand enter
his skull of its own accord, and set alight the one-eyed son of Earth.
ODYSSEUS Long since I knew thou wert by nature such an one, and now
I know it better; I must employ my own friends; but, though thou bring
no active aid, cheer us on at any rate, that I may find my friends
emboldened by thy encouragement. (ODYSSEUS goes back into the cave.)
LEADER That will I do; the Carian shall run the risk for us; and
as far as encouragement goes, let the Cyclops smoulder.
CHORUS (singing) What ho! my gallants, thrust away, make haste and
burn his eyebrow off, the monster's guest-devouring. Oh! singe and