The character of Nausicaa, as here unfolded in the ancient poet, has captivated many generations of readers since Homer began to be read. The story has lived and renewed itself in manifold forms; it has that highest power of a genuine mythus, it produces itself through all ages, taking on a fresh vesture in Time. In old Hellas the tale of Nausicaa was wrought over into various shapes after Homer; it was transformed into a drama, love-story, as well as idyl. The myth-making spirit did not let it drop, but kept unfolding it; later legend, for instance, brought about a marriage between Telemachus and Nausicaa. Our recent greatest poet, Goethe, also responded mightily to the story of Nausicaa; he planned a drama on the subject, of which the outline is to be found in his published works. He did not find time to finish his poem, but there is evidence that he thought much about it and carried it around with him, for a long period. One regrets that the German poet was not able to give this new transformation of his ancient Greek brother, with whom he has manifested on so many lines an intimate connection and poetical kinship. In portions of the
specially we see how deeply the Odyssey was moving him and how he was almost on the point of reproducing the whole poem with its marine scenery. But Nausicaa in particular fascinated him, and it would have been the best commentary on the present Book to have seen her in a now grand poetic epiphany in the modern drama of Goethe.