GALATEA AND POLYPHEMUSThen, recollecting how the Trojans had
derived their origin from Teucer's race,
they sailed to Crete but there could not endure
ills sent by Jove, and, having left behind
the hundred cities, they desired to reach
the western harbors of the Ausonian land.
Wintry seas then tossed the heroic band,
and in a treacherous harbor of those isles,
called Strophades, Aello frightened them.
They passed Dulichium's port, and Ithaca,
Samos, and all the homes of Neritos,—
the kingdom of the shrewd deceitful man,
Ulysses; and they reached Ambracia,
contended for by those disputing gods;
which is today renowned abroad, because
of Actian Apollo, and the stone
seen there conspicuous as a transformed judge;
they saw Dodona, vocal with its oaks;
and also, the well known Chaonian bays,
where sons of the Molossian king escaped
with wings attached, from unavailing flames.
They set their sails then for the neighboring land
of the Phaeacians, rich with luscious fruit:
then for Epirus and to Buthrotos,
and came then to a mimic town of Troy,
ruled by the Phrygian seer. With prophecies
which Helenus, the son of Priam, gave,
they came to Sicily, whose three high capes
jut outward in the sea. Of these three points
Pachynos faces towards the showery south;
and Lilybaeum is exposed to soft
delicious zephyrs; but Peloros looks
out towards the Bears which never touch the sea.
The Trojans came there. Favored by the tide,
and active oars, by nightfall all the fleet
arrived together on Zanclaean sands.
Scylla upon the right infests the shore,
Charybdis, restless on the left, destroys.
Charybdis swallows and then vomits forth
misfortuned ships that she has taken down;
Scylla's dark waist is girt with savage dogs.
She has a maiden's face, and, if we may believe
what poets tell, she was in olden time
a maiden. Many suitors courted her,
but she repulsed them; and, because she was
so much beloved by all the Nereids,
she sought these nymphs and used to tell
how she escaped from the love-stricken youths.
But Galatea, while her loosened locks
were being combed, said to her visitor,—
“Truly, O maiden, a gentle race of men
courts you, and so you can, and do, refuse
all with impunity. But I, whose sire
is Nereus, whom the azure Doris bore,
though guarded by so many sister nymphs,
escaped the Cyclops' love with tragic loss.”
And, sobbing, she was choked with tears.
When with her fingers, marble white and smooth,
Scylla had wiped away the rising tears
of sorrow and had comforted the nymph,
she said, “Tell me, dear goddess, and do not
conceal from me (for I am true to you)
the cause of your great sorrows.” And the nymph,
daughter of Nereus, thus replied to her:—