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[希腊神话37]法厄同

2006-02-28 00:00

  Phaeton

  Phaeton was the son of Apollo by Clymene.The mother had filled the lad's head with so many stories of his father's glory that the youth was quite proud.Wher ever he went he told those stories again and again until everybody was tired of him.On one occasion,when one of his playmates asked him to show his skill of coming down from sky,he felt quite hard to do it.He came back to his mother and told the unhappy event in tears.Unable to do anything for him,she sent her soneast wards to pray to Apollo for help.

  The sungod graciously received his son and heard the story with interest.Then he took an oath by the Styx ,ready to give help according to the boy's request.But he was surprised to hear that the boy's hope was to drive his fiery carriage.He told his son of the dangers on the way,but failed to stop him fromthe try.As the god had sworn by the Styx there was no going back on his word.In his desperate effort to avoid disaster,Apollo warned his son to keep to the middle course and stop the horses in time.

  Phaeton joyfully jumped on the carriage and set off.Very soon he lost his way.he grew pale at the great height and the vast sky in front of him and behind.The horses ran wild.Unable to hold them,Phaeton dropped them in fear.Straight downto the earth the carriage dashed.Rivers were dried up.Cropshung down and withered .Men's cries of suffering rose up from the burnt earth.The enraged Zeus soon found the cause of the trouble,and without hesitation gave one of his most powerful thunderbolts at the proud and careless boy.Phaeton droppedstraight down into a river.Both parents were sad over the loss of their son.And his sisters,who were so unhappy with his untimely death,were changed into poplars and their tearsambers .

  法厄同是阿波罗与克里敏尼生的儿子。母亲给法厄同灌输了许多父亲可歌可泣的故事,以致于法厄同变得十分得意忘形。无论走到何处,他总是反复给人们讲述那些故事,最后大家都厌烦了。有一次一位伙伴要他显露一下从天而降的本领,他颇感棘手,就痛哭流涕地将这一不快之事回家告诉了母亲,母亲无能为力只好将他派到东方向父亲阿波罗求援。

  阿波罗宽厚地接待了儿子,绕有兴趣地听了事情的原委,然后阿波罗站在斯蒂克斯河边发誓:按儿子的请求予以帮助。然而令他惊讶的是:儿子原来是想驾驶他那带有火焰的战车。他警告儿子,路上会有危险。但无济于事。因太阳神已在河边发过誓,一言既出、驷马难追。为避免灾难,阿波罗绝望地做最后的努力,他警告儿子要在道路中间行驶,遇事要及时勒马。

  法厄同怀着喜悦的心情跳上战车出发了。很快他就迷失了方向。看到前后令人头晕目眩的高度和浩瀚的天空,他变得脸色苍白。战马狂奔了,简直无法驾驶。恐惧之下,他把缰绳松了。战车向地面猛栽下去。河流干涸了,作物枯萎凋谢了。从烧焦的土地上传来了人类受难的恸哭。暴跳如雷的宙斯很快找到了这场乱子的原因。他毫不犹豫地朝高傲自大、粗心大意的法厄同施放了雷电中最猛烈的一击。法厄同径直地掉入江中。父母为失去儿子而哀痛。法厄同的姐妹们也为他的夭折而悲伤。她们都变成了白杨树,而她们的泪水则变成了琥珀。

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