Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HYMN 3. ARTEMIS VISITS THE CYCLOPES, by CALLIMACHUS



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HYMN 3. ARTEMIS VISITS THE CYCLOPES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At once, she went, and found the cyclopes
Last Line: The child dives for her mother's lap, eyes covered.
Alternate Author Name(s): Kallimachos
Subject(s): Artemis; Mythology - Classical


AT once, she went, and found the Cyclopes
in Lipara's island -- not called Lipara then,
but Meligunis, as of old. They stood
each to his anvil in Hephaestos' forge
around a mass new-molten, hard at work
on a huge horse-trough to Poseidon's order.
Fear took the Nymphs, seeing those shapes of horror
like scaurs on Ossa, giants every one,
each with a single brow, and single eye
big as a targe of four bulls' hides, that shot
a lowering glance; fear took them as they heard
loud-ringing anvils and the roaring blast
of bellows, and from Cyclopes themselves

a deep-fetcht groaning. AEtna's echoes rang,
rang all Trinacria, home of Sican folk,
Italy rang, their neighbour; and all Cyrnus
answered with clamour to the smiths at work --
so hard they laboured, swinging hammers down
from high over the shoulder, turn by turn,
on furnaced bronze or iron hissing-hot.
If ocean's daughters not without dismay
looked on them, face to face, and heard that din,
let none condemn. Not even girls full-grown,
children of gods, can meet them unafraid.
When some young goddess disobeys her mother,
then for the Cyclopes her mother calls --
'Arges' or 'Steropes', she cries, 'will catch you!'
-- and out comes Hermes from an inner room,
fouled with burnt ashes. At his fee-faw-fum
the child dives for her mother's lap, eyes covered.





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