West Wind. South Wind
W. Such a splendid pageant I never saw on the waves, since the day I first blew. You were not there, Notus? S. Pageant, Zephyr? what pageant? and whose?
W. You missed a most ravishing spectacle; such another chance you are not likely to have.
S. I was busy with the Red Sea; and I gave the Indian coasts a little airing too. So I don't know what you are talking about.
W. Well, you know Agenor the Sidonian?
S. Europa's father? what of him?
W. Europa it is that I am going to tell you about.
S. You need not tell me that Zeus has been in love with her this long while; that is stale news.
W. We can pass the love, then, and get on to the sequel.
Europa had come down for a frolic on the beach with her playfellows. Zeus transformed himself into a bull, and joined the game. A fine sight he was--spotless white skin, crumpled horns, and gentle eyes. He gambolled on the shore with them, bellowing most musically, till Europa took heart of grace and mounted him. No sooner had she done it than, with her on his back, Zeus made off at a run for the sea, plunged in, and began swimming; she was dreadfully frightened, but kept her seat by clinging to one of his horns with her left hand, while the right held her skirt down against the puffs of wind.
S. A lovely sight indeed, Zephyr, in every sense--Zeus swimming with his darling on his back.
W. Ay, but what followed was lovelier far.
Every wave fell; the sea donned her robe of peace to speed them on their way; we winds made holiday and joined the
train, all eyes; fluttering Loves skimmed the waves, just dipping now and again a heedless toe--in their hands lighted torches, on their lips the nuptial song; up floated Nereids--few but were prodigal of naked charms--and clapped their hands, and kept pace on dolphin steeds; the Triton company, with every sea-creature that frights not the eye, tripped it around the maid; for Posidon on his car, with Amphitrite by him, led them in festal mood, ushering his brother through the waves. But, crowning all, a Triton pair bore Aphrodite, reclined on a shell, heaping the bride with all flowers that blow.
So went it from Phoenice even to Crete. But, when he set foot on the isle, behold, the bull was no more; ’twas Zeus that took Europa's hand and led her to the Dictaean Cave--blushing and downward-eyed; for she knew now the end of her bringing.
But we plunged this way and that, and roused the still seas anew.
S. Ah me, what sights of bliss! and I was looking at griffins, and elephants, and blackamoors!