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Poseidon Post by :Inklings Category :Poems Author :Heinrich Heine Date :October 2011 Read :3769

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The sunbeams played
Upon the wide rolling sea.
Far out on the roadstead glimmered the vessel
That was to bear me home.
But the favoring wind was lacking,
And still quietly I sat on the white down,
By the lonely shore.

And I read the lay of Odysseus,
The old, the eternally-young lay,
From whose billowy-rushing pages
Joyously into me ascended
The breath of the gods,
And the lustrous spring-tide of humanity,
And the blooming skies of Hellas.

My loyal heart faithfully followed
The son of Laertes in his wanderings and vexations,
By his side I sat with troubled soul,
On the hospitable hearth
Where queens were spinning purple.

And I helped him to lie and happily to escape
From the dens of giants and the arms of nymphs.
And I followed him into Cimmerian night,
Into storm and shipwreck,
And with him I suffered unutterable misery.

With a sigh I spake: "Oh, thou cruel Poseidon,
Fearful is thy wrath,
And I myself tremble
For mine own journey home."
Scarce had I uttered the words,
When the sea foamed,
And from the white billows arose
The reed-crowned head of the sea-god.
And disdainfully he cried:
"Have no fear, Poetling!
Not in the least will I imperil
Thy poor little ship.
Neither will I harass thy precious life
With too considerable oscillations.
For thou, Poetling, hast never offended me,
Thou hast not injured a single turret
On the sacred stronghold of Priam.
Not a single little lash hast thou singed
In the eyelid of my son Polyphemus;
And never hast thou been sagely counselled and protected
By the goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athene."

Thus exclaimed Poseidon,
And plunged again into the sea.
And, at his coarse sailor-wit,
Laughed under the water
Amphitrite, the stout fishwoman,
And the stupid daughters of Nereus.

(The end)
Heinrich Heine's poem: Poseidon

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