THE CYCLOPS by Euripides, Part 08
Aha! what next?
I drunk it off at a draught with much pleasure.
Stranger, take the skin thyself and be my cup-bearer.
Well, at any rate the grape is no stranger to my hand.
Come, pour it in.
In it goes! keep silence, that is all.
A difficult task when a man is deep in his cups.
Here, take and drink it off; leave none. Thou must be silent and
only give in when the liquor does.
God wot! it is a clever stock that bears the grape.
Aye, and if thou but swallow plenty of it after a plentiful
meal, moistening thy belly till its thirst is gone, it will throw thee
into slumber; but if thou leave aught behind, the Bacchic god will
parch thee for it.
Ha! ha! what a trouble it was getting out! This is pleasure
unalloyed; earth and sky seem whirling round together; I see the
throne of Zeus and all the godhead's majesty. Kiss thee! no! There are
the Graces trying to tempt me. I shall rest well enough with my
Ganymede here; yea, by the Graces, right fairly; for I like lads
better than the wenches.
What! Cyclops, am I Ganymede, Zeus's minion?
CYCLOPS (attempting to carry him into the cave)
To be sure, Ganymede whom I am carrying off from the halls of
I am undone, my children; outrageous treatment waits me.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Dost find fault with thy lover? dost scorn him in his cups?
Woe is me! most bitter shall I find the wine ere long.
(SILENUS is dragged into the cave by the CYCLOPS.)
Up now, children of Dionysus, sons of a noble sire, soon will
yon creature in the cave, relaxed in slumber as ye see him, spew
from his shameless maw the meat. Already the brand inside his lair
is vomiting cloud of smoke; and the only reason we prepared it was
to burn the Cyclops' eye; so mind thou quit thee like a man.
I will have a spirit as of rock or adamant; but go inside,
before my father suffers any shameful treatment; for here thou hast
O Hephaestus, lord of Aetna, rid thyself for once and all of a
troublesome neighbour by burning his bright eye out. Come, Sleep, as
well, offspring of sable Night, come with all thy power on the monster
god-detested; and never after Troy's most glorious toils destroy
ODYSSEUS and his crew by the hands of one who recketh naught of God or
man; else roust we reckon Chance a goddess, and Heaven's will inferior
(ODYSSEUS re-enters the cave.)
Tightly the pincers shall grip the neck of him who feasts upon his
guests; for soon will he lose the light of his eye by fire; already
the brand, a tree's huge limb, lurks amid the embers charred. Oh! come
ye then and work his doom, pluck out the maddened Cyclops' eye, that
he may rue his drinking. And I too fain would leave the Cyclops'
lonely land and see king Bromius, ivy-crowned, the god I sorely
miss. Ah! shall I ever come to that?
ODYSSEUS (leaving the cave cautiously)
Silence, ye cattle! I adjure you; close your lips; make not a
sound I'll not let a man of you so much as breathe or wink or clear
his throat, that yon pest awake not, until the sight in the Cyclops'
eye has passed through the fiery ordeal.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Silent we stand with bated breath.
In then, and mind your fingers grip the brand, for it is
Thyself ordain who first must seize the blazing bar and burn the
Cyclops' eye out, that we may share alike whate'er betides.
Standing where I am before the door, I am too far off to thrust
the fire into his eye.
I have just gone lame.
Why, then, thou art in the same plight as I; for somehow or
other I sprained my ankle, standing still.
Sprained thy ankle, standing still?
Yes, and my eyes are full of dust or ashes from somewhere or
These are sorry fellows, worthless as allies.