men, ‘What deeds are these?
What noise assails my ears? What means decoyed
my wandering footsteps? Whither do ye lead?’
‘Fear not,’ the steersman said, ‘but tell us fair
the haven of your hope, and you shall land
whereso your heart desires.’ ‘To Naxos steer,’
Quoth Bacchus, ‘for it is indeed my home,
and there the mariner finds welcome cheer.’
Him to deceive, they pledged themselves, and swore
by Gods of seas and skies to do his will:
and they commanded me to steer that way.
“The Isle of NaxoNaxos was upon our right;
and when they saw the sails were set that way,
they all began to shout at once, ‘What, ho!
Thou madman! what insanity is this,
Acoetes? Make our passage to the left.’
And all the while they made their meaning known
by artful signs or whispers in my ears.
“I was amazed and answered, ‘Take the helm.’
And I refused to execute their will,
atrocious, and at once resigned command.
Then all began to murmur, and the crew
reviled me. Up Aethalion jumped an
ck and forth
it meets itself, until the wandering stream
fatigued, impedes its wearied waters' flow;
from source to sea, from sea to source involved.
So Daedalus contrived innumerous paths,
and windings vague, so intricate that he,
the architect, hardly could retrace his steps.
In this the Minotaur was long concealed,
and there devoured Athenian victims sent
three seasons, nine years each, till Theseus, son
of Aegeus, slew him and retraced his way,
finding the path by Ariadne's thread.
Without delay the victor fled from Crete,
together with the loving maid, and sailed
for Dia Isle of Naxos, where he left
the maid forlorn, abandoned. Her, in time,
lamenting and deserted, Bacchus found
and for his love immortalized her name.
He set in the dark heavens the bright crown
that rested on her brows. Through the soft air
it whirled, while all the sparkling jewels changed
to flashing fires, assuming in the sky
between the Serpent-holder and the Kneeler
the well-known shape of Ariadne's Crown.