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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 13

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Nor did king Neptune keep a vain watch; for he sat aloft upon the highest summit of the woody Thracian Samos, admiring the war and the battle. For from thence all Ida was visible, and the city of Priam was visible, and the ships of the Greeks. Then coming out of the sea, he sat down, and he pitied the Greeks, subdued by the Trojans, and was very indignant with Jove. But presently he descended down, from the rugged mountain, rapidly advancing on foot, and the high hills and woods trembled beneath the immortal feet of Neptune, advancing. Thrice indeed he strode, advancing, and with the fourth step he reached AEgae, his destined goal. There distinguished mansions, golden, glittering, ever incorruptible, were erected to him in the depths of the sea. Coming thither, he yoked beneath his chariot the brazen-footed steeds, swiftly flying, crested with golden manes. But he himself placed gold around his person, took his golden lash, well wrought, and ascended his chariot. He proceeded to drive over the billows, and the monsters of the deep[412] sported beneath him on all sides from their recesses, nor were ignorant of their king. For joy the sea separated; and they flew very rapidly, nor was the brazen axle moist beneath. And his well-bounding steeds bore him to the ships of the Greeks.

Now there is an ample cave[413] in the recesses of the deep sea, between Tenedos and rugged Imbrus. There earth-shaking Neptune stopped his horses, loosing them from the chariot, and cast beside [them] ambrosial fodder to eat. And round their feet he threw golden fetters, irrefragable, indissoluble, that they might there steadily await their king returning, but he departed towards the army of the Greeks.

[Footnote 412: So I have ventured to render [Greek: ketea]. Nonius Marcell. v. Cetarii—"cete in mari majora sunt piscium genera." Thus Quintus Calaber, v. 94, imitating this passage, has [Greek: delphines], and Hesychius defines [Greek: keton] by [Greek: thunnon phora], the word evidently meaning any huge fish. Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 378, sq.]

[Footnote 413: Compare the description of the cave of Nereus, in Apoll. Rhod. iv. 771, sqq., and of the river Peneus, in Virg. Georg. iv. 359, sqq., with my note on Aesch. Prom. p. 11, ed. Bohn.]

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