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Boreas. Zetes et Calais.

Before the number of his years was told,
Pandion with the shades of Tartarus,
because of this, has wandered in sad dooms.


Erectheus, next in line, with mighty sway
and justice, ruled all Athens on the throne
left vacant by the good Pandion's death.
Four daughters and four sons were granted him;
and of his daughters, two were beautiful,
and one of these was wed to Cephalus,
grandson of Aeolus. — But mighty Boreas
desired the hand of Orithyia, fair
and lovable.—King Tereus and the Thracians
were then such obstacles to Boreas
the god was long kept from his dear beloved.
Although the great king (who compels the cold
north-wind) had sought with prayers to win her hand,
and urged his love in gentleness, not force.

When quite aware his wishes were disdained,
he roughly said, with customary rage
and violence: “Away with sentimental talk!

My prayers and kind intentions are despised,
but I should blame nobody but myself;
then why should I, despising my great strength,
debase myself to weakness and soft prayers?—
might is my right, and violence my strength!—
by force I drive the force of gloomy clouds.

“Tremendous actions are the wine of life!—
monarch of Violence, rolling on clouds,
I toss wide waters, and I fell huge trees—
knotted old oaks—and whirled upon ice-wings,
I scatter the light snow, and pelt the Earth
with sleet and hail! I rush through boundless voids.
My thunders rumble in the hollow clouds—
and crash upon my brothers—fire to fire!

“Possessed of daemon-rage, I penetrate,
sheer to the utmost caverns of old Earth;
and straining, up from those unfathomed deeps,
scatter the terror-stricken shades of hell;
and hurl death-dealing earthquakes through the world!

“Such are the fateful powers I should use,
and never trust entreaties to prevail,
or win my bride—Force is the law of life!”

And now impetuous Boreas, having howled
resounding words, unrolled his rustling wings—
that fan the earth and ruffle the wide sea—
and, swiftly wrapping untrod mountain peaks
in whirling mantles of far-woven dust,
thence downward hovered to the darkened world;
and, canopied in artificial night
of swarthy overshadowing wings, caught up
the trembling Orithyia to his breast:
nor did he hesitate in airy course
until his huge wings fanned the chilling winds
around Ciconian Walls.

There, she was pledged
the wife of that cold, northern king of storms;
and unto him she gave those hero twins,
endowed with wings of their immortal sire,
and graceful in their mother's form and face.

Their bird-like wings were not fledged at their birth
and those twin boys, Zetes and Calais,
at first were void of feathers and soft down.
But when their golden hair and beards were grown,
wings like an eagle's came;—and feather-down
grew golden on their cheeks: and when from youth
they entered manhood, quick they were to join
the Argonauts, who for the Golden Fleece,
sought in that first ship, ventured on the sea.

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load focus Latin (Hugo Magnus, 1892)
load focus English (Arthur Golding, 1567)
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