147. Ceyx sails away leaving Halcyone

Once upon a time, King Ceyx of Trachyn, son of Lucifer, was troubled by his brother Daedalion’s fate, as well as other disturbing events. He prepared to journey to the Clarian god Apollo and consult the oracle at Delphi, so as to sanctify his consolation of suffering. As the road to Delphi was unsafe, due to the robbers Phorbas and the Phlegyans, he decided to travel by sea.

Ceyx told his faithful queen Halcyone, daughter of Aeolus, about his journey. Halcyone immediately felt fear crawl in her bone marrow, a boxwood pallor engulfed her face, and rushing tears drenched her two cheeks. Thrice she attempted to speak, and three times unending sobs deferred her voice. At length, she begged him to alter his resolve, for she feared the stormy winds and the wild high waves, which boldly urged lightnings to spew fires. Tearfully, she implored Ceyx that if his resolve cannot be changed, then she would go along with him, so that they may together endure the perils of the sea, until the far land of Delphi was reached.

Ceyx was unwilling to cancel the journey and even more reluctant, to submit his dear wife to the hazardous sea, hence Ceyx decided to travel without Halcyone.

When Ceyx was about to board the ship, Halcyone wept inconsolably, embraced him and fainted, as her nerveless frame refused to bear any longer, the weight of the immense sadness of separation. Ceyx boarded the ship, the muscular oarsmen started to slice the waves, and the ship left the harbor. Regaining consciousness, Halcyone lifted her tearful eyes, saw Ceyx waving at her from the ship’s high-bowed stern, and feebly she waved her hands in return. She went on gazing at the woesome sight of the departing ship, until the fluttering white sails of the topmost mast, disappeared from her weeping gaze. Thereafter, she retired to her lonely bed, wept and prayed for the safe return of her beloved husband.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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