The Thirteenth Labor
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The Thirteenth Labor1
Jonathan Wells
 
For Hercules, the thirteenth labor,
        is allowing the mortal lovers to go
back to their separate beds unreconciled,
        to leave well enough alone,
                to let their oaths uncouple
        from their stars, to abandon the
                            strange planets
            to the idiosyncrasies of their orbits.
        To shun2 the power that Zeus
had given, Hercules searches for fortitude3
        along an ordinary shore where all waves
reach their breaking point, some staring
        with demonic eyes
                        while others lap
the beach rhapsodically.
        Recovering, he asks
the heavens for extra strength, not sleight4
                        of hand or muscles he’d flexed5 before
cleaning or slaughtering6 or filching7
        the golden apples of the nymphs.
                    He prays for
a mind that would leave the lovers
                    alone with their distrust.
        But that is another fantasy
of self-possession, of holding himself in check,
                    letting love be love; love refused, or
        breathing lightly or unloved
                    like unpicked apples. The lovers’ slurs8,
staccato, strike the night and he is
                    certain that turning away
        is his one impossible labor.


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1 labor P9Tzs     
n.勞動,努力,工作,勞工;分娩;vi.勞動,努力,苦干;vt.詳細分析;麻煩
參考例句:
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我們從不延誤付給他勞動報酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艱苦勞動兩周后,他已經疲憊不堪了。
2 shun 6EIzc     
vt.避開,回避,避免
參考例句:
  • Materialists face truth,whereas idealists shun it.唯物主義者面向真理,唯心主義者則逃避真理。
  • This extremist organization has shunned conventional politics.這個極端主義組織有意避開了傳統政治。
3 fortitude offzz     
n.堅忍不拔;剛毅
參考例句:
  • His dauntless fortitude makes him absolutely fearless.他不屈不撓的堅韌讓他絕無恐懼。
  • He bore the pain with great fortitude.他以極大的毅力忍受了痛苦。
4 sleight MEFyT     
n.技巧,花招
參考例句:
  • With a little statistical sleight of hand they could make things look all right.只要在統計上耍些小小的花招,他們就能瞞天過海。
  • In the theater of the media there is an economic sleight of hand.傳播媒介在經濟上耍了一個大花招。
5 flexed 703e75e8210e20f0cb60ad926085640e     
adj.[醫]曲折的,屈曲v.屈曲( flex的過去式和過去分詞 );彎曲;(為準備大干而)顯示實力;摩拳擦掌
參考例句:
  • He stretched and flexed his knees to relax himself. 他伸屈膝關節使自己放松一下。 來自辭典例句
  • He flexed his long stringy muscles manfully. 他孔武有力地彎起膀子,顯露出細長條的肌肉。 來自辭典例句
6 slaughtering 303e79b6fadb94c384e21f6b9f287a62     
v.屠殺,殺戮,屠宰( slaughter的現在分詞 )
參考例句:
  • The Revolutionary Tribunal went to work, and a steady slaughtering began. 革命法庭投入工作,持續不斷的大屠殺開始了。 來自英漢非文學 - 歷史
  • \"Isn't it terrific slaughtering pigs? “宰豬的! 來自漢英文學 - 中國現代小說
7 filching c9d334d1d480ace9336d2cc8183143bb     
v.偷(尤指小的或不貴重的物品)( filch的現在分詞 )
參考例句:
  • The boys were in the habit of filching fruit from the peddler's carts. 那些男孩們有偷小販車上水果的習慣。 來自互聯網
8 slurs f714abb1a09d3da4d64196cc5701bd6e     
含糊的發音( slur的名詞復數 ); 玷污; 連奏線; 連唱線
參考例句:
  • One should keep one's reputation free from all slurs. 人應該保持名譽不受責備。
  • Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian. 種族主義辱罵,種族笑話,都是跟亞裔有關的。
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