L. de Gongora
Polyphemus and Galatea
The abundant island of Sicily, the “horn of Bacchus, the garden of Pomona” is beautiful, its fertile fields are golden, like the white wool of sheep grazing on mountain slopes. But there is a horrifying place on it, “a shelter for a terrible night,” where there is always darkness. This is the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus, which serves him and the “deaf devil,” and a dark house, and a spacious enclosure for his sheep herds. Polyphemus, son of the ruler of the sea of Neptune, is a thunderstorm of the whole district. He is a walking mountain of muscles, he is so huge that on the move he likes trees like a blade of grass, and a mighty pine serves him as a shepherd’s staff. The only eye of Polyphemus
One day in the midst of the day’s heat Galatea falls asleep in a bowl on the bank of the stream. At the same place comes the young handsome Aqeed, tired by the scorching heat – “dust in the hair, sweat on his forehead.” When he is about to quench his thirst with cool water, he leans over the stream and freezes to see a beautiful virgin whose image is doubled by reflection in the water. Aqeed forgets everything, his lips greedily take in the “fluid fluid,” while the gaze is as eagerly reveled in “crystal frozen.”
Aqeed, born of the wondrous Simethis and the goat-headed satyr, is as perfect as the perfect Galatea. His face pierces his heart like Cupid’s arrow, but now, at the sight of the beauty of Galatea, he is engulfed in a loving longing. “So the steel captivating magnet found…”
Aqeed does not dare to wake the sleeping nymph, but leaves behind him. her gifts: fruits of almonds, butter from sheep’s milk on the reed leaves, honey of wild bees – and hides in more often. Waking up, Galatea looks at the offering with surprise and wondering who that unknown donor was: “… no, not a cyclope, not a faun and not another freak.” She is flattered by the gifts themselves, and the fact that the stranger reveres not only the goddess herself but her dream, and yet nothing but curiosity is experienced by a nymph who never knew love. Then Cupid decides that it’s time to break her coldness, and inspires her love for an unknown donor. Galatea wants to call him, but she does not know his name, she rushes for searches and finds in the shade of trees Aqeeda, who pretends to be asleep, in order to “hide the desire.”
Galatea examines the sleeper. His beauty, as natural as the beauty of wild nature, completes the work begun by the God of Love: a love for a beautiful young man flares up in Galatea’s soul. And he, still pretending to be asleep, through the closed eyelids watching the nymph and sees that he won. The remnants of fear disappear, Galatea allows the happy Aqeeda to rise, with a gentle smile beckons him under a steep cliff, covering lovers in a cool canopy.
At that time, Polyphemus, climbing a high rock, carelessly plays on the flute, not knowing that Dorid’s daughter, who rejected his love, did not reject the love of another. When the music of Polyphemus reaches the ears of Galatea, fear envelopes her, she wants to turn into a blade or a sheet to hide from the jealousy of Polyphemus, you want to run, but the “vines of crystal hands”, entangled by love, are too strong. Galatea remains in the arms of her lover. Meanwhile, Polyphemus begins to sing, and the mountains are filled with his “all ashes”. Aqeed and Galatea in fear run to the sea, seeking salvation, they run “on the slopes through the thorns” “like a hare’s couple,” after which her death sweeps on her heels. But Polyphem is so keen that he could notice the naked Libyan in an endless desert. The piercing gaze of his terrible eye overtakes the fugitives. Jealousy and fury of the giant are immense. He “pulls out of the mountain rock” a huge rock and throws it into the Aqeedah. With horror looking at the crushed body of the lover, Galatea calls to the immortal gods, praying that they will turn the blood of Aqeed into a “pure crystal current,” and the dying Aqeed joins her pleas. By the grace of the gods, Aqeed turns into a transparent stream, running towards the sea, where he mixes with sea water and where he is met by the mother of Galatea, the nymph Dorida. Dorida mourns the dead son-in-law and calls him a river. By the grace of the gods, Aqeed turns into a transparent stream, running towards the sea, where he mixes with sea water and where he is met by the mother of Galatea, the nymph Dorida. Dorida mourns the dead son-in-law and calls him a river. By the grace of the gods, Aqeed turns into a transparent stream, running towards the sea, where he mixes with sea water and where he is met by the mother of Galatea, the nymph Dorida. Dorida mourns the dead son-in-law and calls him a river.