“闪光的未必是金子” —— J.R.R托尔金《指环王》
With his harebrained schemesand asinine dealings with the gods,
King Midas ruled the ancient kingdom of Phrygia with an uneven hand.
He was known in Greek mythologyas a rogue ruler
whose antics bemused his peopleand distracted the gods.
Midas spent his daysin a stupor of splendor,
spoiling himself and his beloved daughter and gorging himself on feasts and wine. Unsurprisingly,
显然 他对酒神 狂欢之神
he feltan affinity with Dionysus,
god of wine, carnival, and performance.
One day, Midas discovered a satyr
dozing in his rose garden and drunk on more than the scent of flowers.
Midas recognized the satyras one of Dionysus’s followers
and let him nursehis hangover at the palace.
Pleased with the king ’ s hospitality,
Dionysus offered to grant him one wish.
Midas cast a greedy eyeover his surroundings.
Despite the luxury in which he lived,
但再多的珠宝 上乘的丝绸 华丽的装饰都无法满足他
no amount of precious jewels, finest silk or splendid decor felt like enough.
His life, he thought, was lacking luster;
what he needed was more gold.
The god sent the power to
turn anything the king touched to gold
surging through Midas. Ecstatic,
he turned to his possessions.
At his lightest touch,the palace walls transformed,
stone statues shone,
and goblets glittered.
He galloped through his home in a frenzy,
handling each item untilit took on a lustrous sheen.
Soon the palace heaved with gold,
and Midas’s deliriouslaughter echoed off the walls.
Exhausted and hungry from his rampage,
Midas picked up a bunch of grapes from his newly gilded fruit bowl.
But he nearly shattered his teeth,
for the fruit had turnedto metal in his mouth.
When he picked up a loaf of bread,
the crumbs hardened in his hand.
Flinging himself ontohis bed in frustration,
Midas discovered his plush pillowshad morphed into solid gold.
Hearing his cries of frustration,his daughter entered the room.
But when Midas reached out to her,
he saw with horror that he had frozen her into a golden statue.
Horrified at what he had done,
Midas begged the gods to rid him of his power.
Taking pity on the foolish king,
Dionysus told Midas to wash his hands in the River Pactolus.
When Midas reached into the river, the gold drained from his fingertips.
Midas returned hometo find his daughter alive
and his palace back to normal,and he rejoiced.
You’d think he would’ve learnedhis lesson,
but just a few weeks later,Midas blundered again,
insulting the music and sun god Apollo when he declared Pan a greater musician.
Apollo scornfully declared
that the king must have the ears of an ass
to make such a misjudgment,and transformed Midas accordingly.
Once again regretting his behavior, Midas kept his hairy ears hidden in public.
They were seen only by his barber,
who was sworn to secrecy duringa very awkward grooming session.
The barber stifled his laughter and
fought the desire to tell someone,
yet the secret consumed him.
One day, he walked
outside the city and dug a hole in the ground.
Plunging his head into the earth,
the desperate barber whispered,“Midas has ass’s ears.”
Soon after, a clump of reeds sprang up
in the spot where the barberhad buried his words.
When the wind blew,
they carried the echoes of his whisper through the breeze:
“Midas has ass’s ears.”
At the sound,
donkeys in the fields raised their heads in recognition
and people chuckled to themselvesat the follies of their king.
With his golden touch and ass ’ s ears,
Midas was not the most respected ruler.
And where other leaders were honoredthrough statues and temples,
his people remembered hima little differently:
in the depths of the glittering river and the rustle of the Phrygian wind.
“闪光的未必是金子” —— J.R.R托尔金《指环王》