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Thursday, April 19 2001
Volume 01 : Number 212

In this issue:

-Neptune and Leander
-A Few Thoughts

From: "Ben Boxer"
Subject: Neptune and Leander

Hero, in Greek mythology, is priestess of Aphrodite in Sestos. Her lover, Leander (leeANder), swims the Hellespont nightly from Abydos to see her. During a storm the light by which she guides him blows out, and he drowns. Hero, in despair, then throws herself into the sea.

Christopher Marlowe's poem "Hero and Leander" is based on the story. I will tell you more about sexy Elizabethan poet Chris Marlowe another time. You have already met him if you saw "Shakespeare in Love."

Our interest here is not in the story of Hero and Leander, but in young Leander and old Neptune, Roman god of the sea and of earthquakes. Neptune constituted a spin-off from Poseidon, his Greek counterpart. Roman Neptune was not as powerful as Poseidon, nor was he as popular with sailors. He should have been, though, for as you will see in the poem excerpt below, Neptune was a horny silverfox always ready to lend a helping hand to a handsome man in distress.

This excerpt, by the way, seems to be impossible to locate on the Internet although you will find the first part of the poem, in which Marlowe describes Leander, caressingly, as the object of desire for many wealthy men. Leander, however, turns his back on them (hee hee!) for the sake of the lovely girl ambiguously named Hero. Society approves, but heaven forbid if an old man of the sea should fiddle with Leander's water-lily! We don't want to read about THAT!

Glossary of references for better understanding of the poem:

ABYDOS---where Leander lived, on the Asian side of the Hellespont;
GANYMEDE---already written about in our Gay History Series, a youth of great beauty who was carried off by Zeus (aka JOVE to the Romans) to be cupbearer to the gods before becoming the constellation of stars known as Aquarius;
HELLE'S BRACELET---from the legend of the Golden Fleece, when a flying ram saved two children, but dropped the girl, Helle, into the sea as it flew over, thus giving the strait where she fell the name Hellespont;
HELLESPONT---ancient name for the Dardanelles strait, 40 miles (60 km) long, 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) wide, connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and separating the Gallipoli peninsula of European Turkey from Asian Turkey. (Many Australian, New Zealander, and British soldiers were killed in the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, WW I, a story movingly told in Peter Weir's 1981 film with a cast including the young Mel Gibson.); Orestes and Pylades sailed through the Hellespont en route to Crimea on the Black Sea to steal the statue of Artemis;
NEPTUNE...god of the sea, his flesh blue-green as the sea ("sapphire-visaged god"), who carries a TRIPLE MACE (three-pronged ceremonial staff showing suthority);
TRITON---a son of Neptune, half-man, half-fish, who rode ahead on a sea horse blowing a conch-shell trumpet to announce his father's approach.

And now, an excerpt from Christopher Marlowe's "Hero and Leander":

"O, Hero, Hero!" thus he cried full oft;
And then he got him to a rock aloft,
Where having spied her tower, long stared he on it,
And prayed the narrow toiling Hellespont
To part in twain, that he might come and go;
But still the rising billows answered, "No."
With that, he stripped him to the ivory skin
And. crying, "Love, I come," leaped lively in:
Whereat the sapphire-visaged god grew proud,
And made his capering Triton sound aloud,
Imagining that Ganymede, displeased,
Had left the heavens, therefore on him he seized.
Leander strived, the waves about him wound,
And pulled him to the bottom, where the ground
Was strewed with pearls, and in low coral groves
Sweet-singing mermaids sported with their loves
On heaps of heavy gold, and took great pleasure
To spurn in careless sort the shipwreck treasure;
For here the stately azure palace stood
Where kingly Neptune and his train abode.
The lusty god embraced him, called him "love,"
And swore he never should return to Jove:
But when he knew it was not Ganymede,
For under water he was almost dead.
He heaved him up, and, looking on his face,
Beat down the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kissed him,
And fell in drops like tears because they missed him.
Leander, being up, began to swim,
And, looking back, saw Neptune follow him:
Whereat aghast, the poor soul gan to cry,
"O, let me visit Hero ere I die!"
The god put Helle's bracelet on his arm,
And swore the sea should never do him harm.
He clapped his plump cheeks, with his tresses played,
And, smiling wantonly, his love betrayed.
He watched his arms, and, as they opened wide
At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
And steal a kiss, and then run out and dance,
And, as he turned, cast many a lustful glance,
And throw him gaudy toys to please his eye,
And dive into the water, and there pry
Upon his breast, his thighs, and every limb,
And up again, and close beside him, swim,
And talk of love. Leander made reply,
"You are deceived; I am no woman, I....

(End of excerpt)

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt. By the way, I wouldn't swallow the assumption that Leander actually drowned, as the legend says. Being the god of the sea, I reckon old Neptune made the young man an offer he could not refuse: "You may drown if you like, Leander, but I can work up a miracle that will keep you alive as long as you stay with me. If you need the titillation of ladies, my mermaids are a horny lot, but you can only get to them through me. Daddy cums first! How about it, young man?" Leander would have been a fool to turn him down.

So, if your ship ever sails through the Dardanelles, keep your eyes open for a silverfox swimming beside his love. Everyone will swear they're dolphins, but you'll know better. Stand right up and declare: "No! Not Dolphins! They are Neptune and Leander! Long live the Gay Gene!"

Subject: A Few Thoughts

I was just thinking.............

Women should not have children after 35. Really...35 children are enough.

After all is said and done, usually more is said than done.

I am a nobody, nobody is perfect, therefore I am perfect.

I married my wife for her looks... but not the ones she's been giving me lately!

"No one ever says "It's only a game," when their team is winning."

I gave my son a hint. On his room door I put a sign: "CHECKOUT TIME IS 18."

"If carrots are so good for the eyes, how come I see so many dead rabbits on the highway?"

"How come we choose from just two people for president and 50 for Miss America?"

Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?

Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?

I earn a seven-figure salary. Unfortunately, there's a decimal point involved.

The next time you feel like complaining, remember: Your garbage disposal probably eats better than thirty percent of the people in this world.

Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.

Every time I walk into a singles bar I can hear Mom's wise words: "Don't pick that up, you don't know where it's been."

The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in school was my blood alcohol content.

Home is where you can say anything you like 'cause nobody listens to you anyway.

I live in my own little world, but it's ok, they know me here.

"I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, 'Thyroid problem?'"

"I don't do drugs anymore 'cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast."

Sign In Pet Store: "Buy one dog, get one flea..."

Dyslexia means never having to say that you're yrros.

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the 'terminal'?

I see your IQ test results were negative.

Regular naps prevent old age..... especially if you take them while driving.

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won't either.

I don't approve of political jokes... I've seen too many of them get elected.

How much can I get away with and still go to heaven?

I think your problem is low self-esteem. It is very common among losers."

If women can have PMS, then men can have ESPN.

The most precious thing we have is life. Yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.

Travel is very educational. I can now say "Kaopectate" in seven different languages.

End of silverfoxesclub-digest V1 #212