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[希腊神话49]玛彭莎

2006-02-28 00:00

  Marpessa

  Marpessa was the only daughter of King Evenus.She was noble and graceful.From her childhood she was trained by her father like a young hero and was not allowed to have any thought of love and marriage.To deal with the crowd of men who now rushed into his palace,the king proposed that a man have to beat him in a carriage race to win his daughter. Death would be the penalty for the loser . The king was sure of his victory,for his horses came from Ares' stables . Many young princes lost their lives.

  Last came Idas,prince of Messenia. He was not discouraged by the fate of those men,because he had Poseidon on his side.Granting his prayers,the sea god had given him two fleet horses  and advised him to take his reward as soon as he won the race and flee from the king's attack . He did as he had been told,and King Evenus,lost his own daughter,his only hope in life,drowned himself in a river.

  Idas and Marpessa presently arrived at a riverside,where Idas put down his beloved to enjoy a bit of rest and food and drink.They spent the night in a temple nearby.When morning came,Idas found that Marpessa had been stolen by Apollo.He ran after the immortal god—Apollo,feeling quite ready to fight and die for his love.Apollo held his unescapable arrows .Idas went forward with his sword.The duel was about to start when suddenly they heard a thunder bolt round about,and Zeus himself arrived to stop the unequal contest.He gave the maiden the choice between immorality and eternal glory on one side and on the other a mortal life of faithful love mixed with endless cares and griefs .Fearing infidelity on part of a god ,Marpessa turned down the sweet promises of Apollo and chose for her companion in life one capable of a like fate.Apollo left in bad spirits; Idas felt on top of the world .

  玛彭莎是国王伊万诺斯的独生女,她高贵优雅。从童年起,父亲就想将她培养成一位富有青春活力的英雄,不允许她产生一点爱情与婚姻的杂念。为了对付涌入宫殿的求婚男子,国王提出:哪位男人如想得到玛彭莎,必须在战车较量中战胜他。死亡将作为对失败者的惩罚。国王确信自己能够胜利,因为他的马来自阿瑞斯的马厩。许多年轻的王子就这样丧了命。

  莫塞尼亚的王子伊达斯最后出场。那些王子们的命运并未使他气馁,因为他有海神波塞冬的支持。海神同意了他的恳求,赐他两匹快马,并劝告他一旦赢得竞赛,就应夺过战利品并策马躲避国王的进攻。他按海神的话做了。结果国王伊万诺斯失去了女儿——生活中惟一的希望,因而投江自尽。

  不久伊达斯和玛彭莎来到江边。伊达斯放下情人歇息以恢复精力。他们在附近一寺庙中过夜。早晨醒来,伊达斯发现阿波罗将玛彭莎偷走了。他追赶那长生不老的太阳神,准备与他的战斗,为爱情而献身。阿波罗握着百发百中的箭,而伊达斯手持短剑迎面而上。决斗即将开始。突然,他们周围响起了雷电声。原来是宙斯赶来制止这场不公平的决斗。宙斯让玛彭莎作出选择:要么长生不老,享受永久的荣耀;要么对爱情忠贞不渝,而过一种充满忧虑和悲伤的凡人的生活。由于怕神对爱情不忠,玛彭莎谢绝了阿波罗甜蜜的许诺。她选择了能同甘共苦的人作伴侣。阿波罗垂头丧气地走了。伊达斯则感到万分喜悦。

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