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DANAE AND PERSEUS ADRIFT
By
Simonides
556 BC -- 468 BC


NOTE:   Danae's father, Acrisius, was disappointed he had no heirs and asked an Oracle if it would change. The Oracle told him to go to the Earth's end where he would be killed by his daughter's child.  When Danae had a son, her father was fearful of the Oracle's prediction.   He did not want to kill his daughter himself, so he had Danae and the baby locked in a chest and set to sea.  The Gods watched over them --- along with Poseidon's calming of the sea, Zeus guided the chest to an island where Danae and child were rescued.  Many years later, the Oracle's prediction came true --- when Danae's son, Perseus, became a man he accidentally hit Acrisius with a discus and killed him.

&/\&/\&

As storm winds foundered their bolted chest

And mouthing breakers hollered them about,

She wrapped her arms around her son and wept

Into his ear, "Pale child, while night fears rise

To fuel this storm, death-bound in our brass-ribbed

Boat you sleep the sleep of infancy.

No salt wrack from the breakneck waves

Or rumple of wind off the panels has marked

Your brow in its swathe.  So sleep, my child,

As I pray the sea will also sleep, my fears

Will sleep, the gods will sleep and dream us

Safely back to land.  And if what I ask offends

The gods or breaches the mortal contract,

Then I pray to be forgiven for that as well."
 

&/\&/\&
 
 

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