Atalanta in Calydon

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Atalanta in Calydon by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Title page and contents
Dedicated to Walter Savage Landor

Tous zontas eu dran. katthanon de pas aner Ge kai skia. to meden eis ouden repei

EUR. Fr. Mel. 20 (537).


To the memory of Walter Savage Landor[edit]

I now dedicate, with equal affection, reverence, and regret, a poem inscribed to him while yet alive in words which are now retained because they were laid before him; and to which, rather than cancel them, I have added such others as were evoked by the news of his death: that though losing the pleasure I may not lose the honour of inscribing in front of my work the highest of contemporary names.

  oixeo de Boreethen apotropos' alla se Numphai
    egagon aspasian edupnooi kath' ala,
  plerousai melitos theothen stoma, me ti Poseidon
    blapsei, en osin exon sen meligerun opa.
  toios aoidos ephus: emeis d' eti klaiomen, oi sou
    deuometh' oixomenou, kai se pothoumen aei.
  eipe de Pieridon tis anastrephtheisa pros allen:
    elthen, idou, panton philtatos elthe broton,
  stemmata drepsamenos neothelea xersi geraiais,
    kai polion daphnais amphekalupse kara, 10
  edu ti Sikelikais epi pektisin, edu ti xordais,
    aisomenos: pollen gar meteballe luran,
  pollaki d' en bessaisi kathemenon euren Apollon,
    anthesi d' estepsen, terpna d' edoke legein,
  Pana t' aeimneston te Pitun Koruthon te dusedron,
    en t' ephilese thean thnetos Amadruada:
  pontou d' en megaroisin ekoimise Kumodameian,
    ten t' Agamemnonian paid' apedoke patri,
  pros d' ierous Delphous theoplekton epempsen Oresten,
    teiromenon stugerais entha kai entha theais. 20




  oixeo de kai aneuthe philon kai aneuthen aoides,
    drepsomenos malakes anthea Persephones.
  oixeo: kouk et' esei, kouk au pote soi paredoumai
    azomenos, xeiron xersi thigon osiais:
  nun d' au mnesamenon glukupikros upeluthen aidos,
    oia tuxon oiou pros sethen oios exo:
  oupote sois, geron, omma philois philon ommasi terpso,
    ses, geron, apsamenos, philtate, dechiteras.
  e psaphara konis, e psapharos bios esti: ti touton
    meion ephemerion; ou konis alla bios. 10
  alla moi eduteros ge peleis polu ton et' eonton,
    epleo gar: soi men tauta thanonti phero,
  paura men, all' apo keros etetuma: med' apotrephtheis,
    pros de balon eti nun esuxon omma dexou.
  ou gar exo, mega de ti thelon, sethen achia dounai,
    thaptomenou per apon: ou gar enestin emoi:
  oude melikretou parexein ganos : ei gar eneie
    kai se xeroin psausai kai se pot' authis idein,
  dakrusi te spondais te kara philon amphipoleuein
    ophthalmous th' ierous sous ieron te demas. 20
  eith' ophelon: mala gar tad' an ampauseie merimnes:
    nun de prosothen aneu sematos oikton ago:
  oud' epitumbidion threno melos, all' apamuntheis,
    all' apaneuthen exon amphidakruta pathe.
  alla su xaire thanon, kai exon geras isthi pros andron
    pros te theon, enerois ei tis epesti theos.
  xaire geron, phile xaire pater, polu phertat' aoidon
    on idomen, polu de phertat' aeisomenon:
  xaire, kai olbon exois, oion ge thanontes exousin,
    esuxian exthras kai philotetos ater. 30
  sematos oixomenou soi mnemat' es usteron estai,
    soi te phile mneme mnematos oixomenou:
  on Xarites klaiousi theai, klaiei d' Aphrodite
    kallixorois Mouson terpsamene stephanois.
  ou gar apach ierous pote geras etripsen aoidous:
    tende to son phainei mnema tod' aglaian.
  e philos es makaressi brotos, soi d' ei tini Numphai
    dora potheina nemein, ustata dor', edosan.
  tas nun xalkeos upnos ebe kai anenemos aion,
    kai sunthaptomenai moiran exousi mian. 40
  eudeis kai su, kalon kai agakluton en xthoni koilei
    upnon ephikomenos, ses aponosphi patras,
  tele para chanthou Tursenikon oidma katheudeis
    namatos, e d' eti se maia se gaia pothei,
  all' apexeis, kai prosthe philoptolis on per apeipas:
    eude: makar d' emin oud' amegartos esei.
  baios epixthonion ge xronos kai moira kratesei,
    tous de pot' euphrosune tous de pot' algos exei:
  pollaki d' e blaptei phaos e skotos amphikaluptei
    muromenous, daknei d' upnos egregorotas: 50
  oud' eth' ot' en tumboisi katedrathen omma thanonton
    e skotos e ti phaos dechetai eeliou:
  oud' onar ennuxion kai enupnion oud' upar estai
    e pote terpomenois e pot' oduromenois:
  all' ena pantes aei thakon sunexousi kai edran
    anti brotes abroton, kallimon anti kakes.



Atalanta in Calydon[edit]

The Persons[edit]

  • Chief Huntsman
  • Chorus
  • Althaea
  • Meleager
  • Oeneus
  • Atalanta
  • Toxeus
  • Plexippus
  • Herald
  • Messenger
  • Second Messenger



  isto d' ostis oux upopteros
  phrontisin daeis,
  tan a paidolumas talaina THestias mesato
  purdae tina pronoian,
  kataithousa paidos daphoinon
  dalon elik', epei molon
  matrothen keladese;
  summetron te diai biou
  moirokranton es amar.

    Aesch. Cho. 602-612



The Argument[edit]

Althaea, daughter of Thestius and Eurythemis, queen of Calydon, being with child of Meleager her first-born son, dreamed that she brought forth a brand burning; and upon his birth came the three Fates and prophesied of him three things, namely these; that he should have great strength of his hands, and good fortune in this life, and that he should live no longer when the brand then in the fire were consumed: wherefore his mother plucked it forth and kept it by her. And the child being a man grown sailed with Jason after the fleece of gold, and won himself great praise of all men living; and when the tribes of the north and west made war upon Aetolia, he fought against their army and scattered it. But Artemis, having at the first stirred up these tribes to war against Oeneus king of Calydon, because he had offered sacrifice to all the gods saving her alone, but her he had forgotten to honour, was yet more wroth because of the destruction of this army, and sent upon the land of Calydon a wild boar which slew many and wasted all their increase, but him could none slay, and many went against him and perished. Then were all the chief men of Greece gathered together, and among them Atalanta daughter of Iasius the Arcadian, a virgin, for whose sake Artemis let slay the boar, seeing she favoured the maiden greatly; and Meleager having despatched it gave the spoil thereof to Atalanta, as one beyond measure enamoured of her; but the brethren of Althaea his mother, Toxeus and Plexippus, with such others as misliked that she only should bear off the praise whereas many had borne the labour, laid wait for her to take away her spoil; but Meleager fought against them and slew them: whom when Althaea their sister beheld and knew to be slain of her son, she waxed for wrath and sorrow like as one mad, and taking the brand whereby the measure of her son's life was meted to him, she cast it upon a fire; and with the wasting thereof his life likewise wasted away, that being brought back to his father's house he died in a brief space, and his mother also endured not long after for very sorrow; and this was his end, and the end of that hunting.

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