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If to the right to urge the pilot's toil,
Never on man did heavenly favour shine The safer road,) beside the Psyrian isle:
With rays so strong, distinguish’d, and divine, Or the straight course to rocky Chios plough, As those with which Minerva mark'd thy sire) And anchor under Mimas shaggy brow?
So might she love thee, so thy soul inspire !
So should their hopes in humble dust be laid,
Ah! no such hope (the prince with sighs replies) And in Euba shun the woes we fear.
Can touch my breast ; that blessing heaven denies. The whistling winds already waked the sky; Even by celestial favour were it given,
281 Before the whistling winds the vessels fly,
Fortune or fate would cross the will of Heaven. With rapid swiftness cut the liquid way,
What words are these, and what imprudence thine ? And reach Gerestus at the point of day.
(Thus interposed the martial maid divine) There hecatombs of bulls, to Neptune slain, Forgetful youth! but know, the Power above High-Haming please the monarch of the main. With ease can save each object of his love; The fourth day shone, when all their labours o'er Wide as his will, extends his boundless grace ; Tydides' vessels touch'd the wish'd-for shore. 220 Nor lost in time, nor circumscribed by place. But I to Pylos scud before the gales,
Happier his lot, who, many sorrows past, The god still breathing on my swelling sails ; Long labouring, gains his natal shore at last ; 290 Separate from all, I safely landed here;
Than who, too speedy, hastes to end his life Their fates or fortunes never reach'd my ear. By some stern ruffian, or adulterous wife. Yet what I learn'd, attend; as here I sate,
Death only is the lot which none can miss, And ask'd each voyager each hero's fate,
And all is possible to Heaven, but this. Curious to know, and willing to relate.
The best, the dearest favourite of the sky Safe reach'd the Myrmidons their native land, Must taste that cup, for man is born to die. Beneath Achilles' warlike son's command.
Thus checkd, replied Ulysses' prudent heir: Those, whom the heir of great Apollo's art, 230 Mentor, no more-the mournful thought forbear; Brave Philoctetes, taught to wing the dart; For he no more must draw his country's breath, And those whom Idomen from llion's plain Already snatch'd by fate, and the black doom of Had led, securely cross'd the dreadful main.
300 How Agamemnon touch'd his Argive coast, Pass we to other subjects; and engage And how his life by fraud and force he lost, On themes remote the venerable sage, And how the murderer paid his forfeit breath; (Who thrice has seen the perishable kind What lands so distant from that scene on death Of men decay, and through three ages shined But trembling heard the fame; and heard, admire Like gods majestic, and like gods in mind;) How well the son appeased his slaughter'd sire, For much he knows, and just conclusions draws Even to the unhappy, that unjustly bleed, 240 From various precedents, and various laws. Heaven gives posterity, to avenge the deed. O son of Neleus! awful Nestor, tell So fell Egysthus; and mayest thou, my friend How he, the mighty Agamemnon, fell; (On whom the virtue of thy sire descend,)
By what strange fraud Egysthus wrought, relate, 310 Make future times thy equal act adore,
(By force he could not) such a hero's fate ? And be what brave Orestes was before !
Lived Menelaus not in Greece? or where The prudent youth replied: 0 thou the grace Was then the martial brother's pious care ? And lasting glory of the Grecian race!
Condemn'd perhaps some foreign shore to tread; Just was the vengeance, and to latest days
Or sure Egysthus had not dared the deed. Shall long posterity resound the praise.
To whom the full of days. Illustrious youth, Some god this arm with equal prowess bless! 250 Attend (though partly thou hast guess'd) the truth. And the proud suitors shall its force confess; For had the martial Menelaus found Injurious men! who while my soul is sore The ruffian breathing yet on Argive ground, Of fresh affronts, are meditating more.
Nor earth had hid his carcass from the skies, 320 But Heaven denies this honour to my hand, Nor Grecian virgins shriek'd his obsequies, Nor shall my father repossess the land :
But fowls obscene dismember'd his remains, The father's fortune never to return,
And dogs had torn him on the naked plains. And the sad son's to suffer and to mourn.
While us the works of bloody Mars employ'd, Thus he : and Nestor took the word : My son, The wanton youth inglorious peace enjoy'd; Is it then true, as distant rumours run,
He, stretch'd at ease in Argos' calm recess That crowds of rivals for thy mother's charms 260|(Whose stately steeds luxuriant pastures bless,) Thy palace fill with insults and alarms ?
With flattery's insinuating art Say, is the fault through tame submission, thine; Sooth'd the frail queen, and poison'd all her heart. Or leagued against thee, do thy people join, At first, with worthy shame and decent pride, 330 Moved by some oracle or voice divine ?
The royal dame his lawless suit denied : And yet who knows, but ripening lies in fate For virtue's image yet possess'd her mind, An hour of vengeance for the atflicted state; Taught by a master of the tuneful kind : When great Ulysses shall suppress these harms, Atrides, parting for the Trojan war, Ulysses singly, or all Greece in arms.
Consign'd the youthful consort to his care. But if Athena, war's triumphant maid,
True to his charge, the bard preserved her long The happy son will, as the father, aid, 270 In honour's limits; such the power of song. (Whose fame and safety was her constant care But when the gods these objects of their hate In every danger and in every war :
Dragg'd to destruction by the links of fate;
The bard they banish'd from his native soil, 340 He, wandering long, a wider circle made,
And many-languaged nations has survey'd;
And measured tracks unknown to other ships
Which scarce the sea-fowl in a year o'erfly :)
Meantime from flaming Troy we cut the way, 350 Thee to Atrides they shall safe convey,
Guides of thy road, companions of thy way. But when to Sunium's sacred point we came, Urge him with truth to frame his free replies, Crown'd with the temple of the Athenian dame ; And sure he will: for Menelaus is wise. 420 Atrides pilot, Phrontes, there expired:
Thus while he speaks the ruddy sun descends, (Phrontes, of all the sons of men admired And twilight gray her evening shade extends. To steer the bounding bark with steady toil, Then thus the blue-eyed maid: O full of days ! When the storm thickens, and the billows boil ;) Wise are thy words, and just are all thy ways. While yet be exercised the steerman's art, Now immolate the tongues, and mix the wine, Apollo touch'd him with his gentle dart;
Sacred to Neptune and the powers divine. E'en with the rudder in his hand he fell. 360 The lamp of day is quench'd beneath the deep, To pay whose honours to the shades of hell, And soft approach the balmy hours of sleep: We check'd our haste, by pious office bound, Nor fits it to prolong the heavenly feast, And laid our old companion in the ground. Timeless, indecent, but retire to rest.
430 And now, the rites discharged, our course we keep So spake Jove's daughter, the celestial maid. Far on the gloomy bosom of the deep:
The sober train attended and obey'd. Soon as Malæa's misty tops arise,
The sacred heralds on their hands around Sudden the Thunderer blackens all the skies, Pour'd the full urns; the youths the goblets crown'd; And the winds whistle, and the surges roll From bowl to bowl the holy beverage flows; Mountains on mountains, and obscure the pole. While to the final sacrifice they rose. The tempest scatters, and divides our fleet; 370 The tongues they cast upon the fragrant flame, Part, the storm urges on the coast of Crete, And pour, above, the consecrated stream. Where winding round the rich Cydonian plain, And now, their thirst by copious draughts allay'd, The streams of Jardan issue to the main.
The youthful hero and the Athenian maid 440 There stands a rock, high eminent and steep, Propose departure from the finish'd rite, Whose shaggy brow o'erhangs the shady deep, And in their hollow bark to pass the night : And views Gortyna on the western side;
But this the hospitable sage denied. On this rough Auster drove the impetuous tide; Forbid it, Jove! and all the gods! he cried. With broken force the billows roll'd away, Thus from my walls the much-loved son to send And heaved the fleet into the neighbouring bay. Of such a hero, and of such a friend ! Thus saved from death, they gain'd the Phæstan Me, as some needy peasant, would ye leave, shores,
Whom heaven denies the blessing to relieve ? With shatter'd vessels and disabled oars : 381 Me would ye leave, who boast imperial sway But five tall barks the winds and waters tost, When beds of royal state invite your stay? 450 Far from their fellows, on the Ægyptian coast. No-long as life this mortal shall inspire, There wander'd Menelaus through foreign shores, Or as my children imitate their sire, Amassing gold, and gathering naval stores; Here shall the wandering stranger find his home, While curst Ægysthus the detested deed
And hospitable rites adorn the dome. By fraud fulfill'd, and his great brother bled.
Well hast thou spoke (the blue-eyed maid reSeven years, the traitor rich Mycena sway'd,
And let thy words Telemachus persuade :
I to the ship, to give the orders due,
460 That day, ere yet the bloody triumph cease, Prescribe directions and confirm the crew. Return'd Atrides to the coast of Greece,
For I alone sustain their naval cares, And safe to Argos' port bis navy brought,
Who boast experience from these silver hairs; With gifts of price and ponderous treasure fraught. All youths the rest, whom to this journey move Hence warn'd, my son, beware! nor idly stand Like years, like tempers, and their prince's love. Too long a stranger to thy native land;
There in the vessel shall I pass the night;
But this thy guest, received with friendly care, 470 From thy vain journey, to a rifled isle.
Let thy strong coursers swift to Sparta bear:
And be thy son companion of his way
Then turning with the word, Minerva flies, The rest may here the pious duty share,
And limpid waters from the living spring.
The dextrous smith the tools already drew:
And the strong tongs to turn the metal round. For lo! none other of the court above
Nor was Minerva absent from the rite, Than she, the daughter of almighty Jove,
She view'd her honours, and enjoy'd the sight. Pallas herself, the war-triumphant maid,
With reverend hand the king presents the gold, Confess'd is thine, as once thy father's aid.
Which round the intorted horns the gilder rollid, So guide, me goddess ! so propitious shine So wrought, as Pallas might with pride behold. On me, my consort, and my royal line !
Young Aretus from forth his bridal bower A yearling bullock to thy name shall smoke, 490 Brought the full laver, o'er their hands to pour, Untamed, unconscious of the galling yoke,
And canisters of consecrated flour. With ample forehead, and yet tender horns, Stratius and Echephron the victim led :
560 Whose budding honours ductile gold adorns. The ax was held by warlike Thrasymed, Submissive thus the hoary sire preferr'd
In act to strike: before him Perseus stood, His holy vow: the favouring goddess heard. The vase extending to receive the blood. Then, slowly rising, o'er the sandy space
The king himself initiates to the power; Precede the father, follow'd by his race,
Scatters with quivering hand the sacred flour, (A long procession) timely marching home
And the stream sprinkles : from the curling brows In comely order to the regal dome.
The hair collected in the fire he throws. There when arrived, on thrones around him placed, Soon as due vows on every part were pai His sons, and grandsons the wide circle graced. 500 And sacred wheat upon the victim laid, To these the hospitable sage, in sign
Strong Thrasymed discharged the speeding blow 570 Of social welcome mix'd the racy wine,
Full on his neck, and cut the nerves in two. (Late from the mellowing cask restored to light, Down sunk the heavy beast; the females round, By ten long years refined, and rosy bright.) Maids, wives, and matrons, mix a shrilling sound. To Pallas high the foaming bowl he crown'd, Nor scorn d the queen the holy choir to join; And sprinkled large libations on the ground. (The first-born she, of old Clymeneus' line, Each drinks a full oblivion of his cares,
In youth by Nestor loved, of spotless fame, And to the gifts of balmy sleep repairs.
And loved in age, Eurydice her name.) Deep in a rich alcove the prince was laid, 510 From earth they rear him, struggling now with death, And slept beneath the pompous colonade:
And Nestor's youngest stops the vents of breath. Fast by his side Pisistratus lay spread,
The soul for ever flies : on all sides round 580 (in age his equal) on a splendid bed :
Streams the black blood, and smokes upon the ground. But in an inner court, securely closed,
The beast they then divide, and disunite The reverend Nestor and his queen reposed. The ribs and limbs, observant of the rite:
When now Aurora, daughter of the dawn, On these, in double cawls involved with art,
The choicest morsels lay from every part.
Turns the burnt-offering with his holy hands, With unguents smooth the lucid marble shone, 520 And pours the wine, and bids the flames aspire ; Where ancient Neleus sate, a rustic throne; The youth with instruments surround the fire. But he descending to the infernal shade,
The thighs now sacrificed, and entrails dress'd, 590 Sage Nestor fill'd it, and the sceptre sway'd. The assistants part, transfix, and boil the rest. His sons around him mild obeisance pay,
While these officious tend the rites divine, And duteous take the orders of the day.
The last fair branch of the Nestorean line, First Echephron and Stratius quit their bed: Sweet Polycastè, took the pleasing toil Then Perseus, Aretus, and Thrasymed;
To bathe the prince, and pour the fragrant oil.
O'er his fair limbs a flowery vest he threw,
(His people's father, with his peers around ;) To Pallas, first of gods, prepare the feast,
All placed at ease the holy banquet join, 600 Who graced our rites, a more than mortal guest. And in the dazzling goblet laughs the wine. Let one, dispatchful, bid some swain to lead
The rage of thirst and hunger now suppressid, A well-fed bullock from the grassy mead; The monarch turns him to his royal guest; Ope seek the harbour, where the vessels moor, And for the promised journey bids prepare And bring thy friends, Telemachus! ashore : The smooth-hair'd horses, and the rapid car. (Leave only two the galley to attend.)
Observant of his word ; the word scarre spoke, Another to Laerceus must we send,
The sons obey, and join them to the yoke. Artist divine, whose skilful hands infold 540 Then bread and wine a ready handmaid brings, The victim's horn with circumfusile gold.
And presents, such as suit the state of kings,
The glittering seat Telemachus ascends 610 On the bright eminence young Nestor shone,
And fast beside him great Ulysses' son:
Two youths approach whose semblant features prove
Is due reception deign'd, or must they bend Fields after fields fly back till close of day: Their doubtful course to seek a distant friend ? Then sunk the sun, and darken'd all the way.
Insensate! (with a sigh the king replies) To Pheræ now Diocleus' stately seat
Too long, misjudging, have I thought thee wise: (Of Alpheus' race, the weary youth retreat. 620 But sure relentless folly steels thy breast, His house affords the hospitable rite,
Obdurate to reject the stranger-guest; And pleased they sleep, (the blessing of the night.) To those dear hospitable rites a foe, But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
Which in my wanderings oft relieved my woe; With rosy lustre purpled'o'er the lawn
Fed by the bounty of another's board, Again they mount their journey to renew,
Till pitying Jove my native realm restoredAnd from the sounding portico they flew.
Straight be the coursers from the car released, Along the waving fields their way they hold, Conduct the youths to grace the genial feast. The fields receding as their chariot rollid:
The seneschal, rebuked, in haste withdrew;
Each to a crib with choicest grain surcharged ; 50
Part in a portico, profusely graced
With rich magnificence, the chariot placed :
Then to the dome the friendly pair invite,
Who eye the dazzling roofs with vast delight;
Resplendent as the blaze of summer-noon,
pitably received by Menelaus, to whom he relates the From room to room their eager view they bend;
Where circled with his peers Atrides sale:
chus in his voyage home. Penelope is apprised of The purest product of the crystal springs;
The burnish'd laver flames with solid gold;
In solid gold the purple vintage flows,
And on the board a second banquet rose.
The waste of nature let the feast repair, Where sate Atrides 'midst his bridal friends, Then your bigh lineage and your names declare : With double vows invoking Hymen's power, Say from what scepter'd ancestry ye claim, To bless his son's and daughter's nuptial hour. Recorded eminent in deathless fame?
That day, to great Achilles' son resign'd, For vulgar parents cannot stamp their race Hermione, the fairest of her kind,
With signatures of such majestic grace. Was sent to crown the long-protracted joy,
Ceasing, benevolent he straight assigns Espoused before the final door of Troy: 10 The royal portion of the choicest chines With steeds and gilded cars, a gorgeous train To each accepted friend : with grateful haste Attend the nymph to Phihia's distant reign. They share the honours of the rich repast.
80 Meanwhile at home, to Megapenthes' bed Sufficed, soft whispering thus to Nestor's son, The virgin-choir Alector's daughter lesy.
His head reclined, young Ithacus begup: Brave Megapenthes, from a giotenamour
View’st thou unmoved, 0 ever-honour'd most! To great Atrides' age his hand-maid bore : These prodigies of art, and wondrous cost! To Helen's bed the gods alone assign
Above, beneath, around the palace shines Hermione, to extend the regal line :
The sumless treasure of exhausted mines; On whom a radiant pomp of
The spoils of elephants the roofs inlay, Resembling Venus in attractive state.
20 And studded amber darts a golden ray: While this gay friendly troop the king surround, Such, and not nobler, in the realms above With festival and mirth the roofs resound:
My wonder dictates is the dome of Jove.
90 A bard amid the joyous circle sings
The monarch took the word, and grave replied, High airs, attemper'd to the vocal strings : Presumptuous are the vaunts, and vain the pride Whilst warbliug to the varied strain, advance Of man, who dares in pomp with Jove contest, Two sprightly youths to form the bounding dance. Unchanged, immortal, and supremely blest! "Twas then, that, issuing through the palace gate, With all my affluence when my woes are weigh'd The splendid car roll'd slow in regal state: Envy will own the purchase dearly paid.
For eight slow-circling years by tempests toss'd A silver canister, divinely wrought, from Cyprus to the far Phænician coast
In her soft hands the beauteous Phylo brought; (Sidon the capital) I stretch'd my toil
To Sparta's queen of old the radiant vase Through regions fatten’d with the flows of Nile. 100 Alcandra gave, a pledge of royal grace: Next, Æthiopia's utmost bounds explore,
For Polybus her lord (whose sovereign sway And the parch'd borders of the Arabian shore : The wealthy tribes of Pharian Thebes obey,) 170 Then warp my voyage on the southern gales, When to that court Atrides came, carest O'er the warm Libyan wave to spread my sails : With vast munificence the imperial guest ; That happy clime! where each revolving year Two lavers from the richest ore refined, The teeming ewes a triple offspring bear;
With silver tripods, the kind host assign'd.
And bounteous from the royal treasure told
And that rich vase, with living sculpture wrought, But every season fills the foaming pail.
Which heap'd with wool the beauteous Phylo brought Whilst, heaping unwish'd wealth, I distant roam, The silken fleece impurpled for the loom, The best of brothers at his natal home,
Rival'd the hyacinth in vernal bloom. By the dire fury of a traitress wife,
The sovereign seat then Jove-born Helen press'd, Ends the sad evening of a stormy life:
And, pleasing, thus ber scepter'd lord address'd : Whence with incessant grief my soul annoy'd, Who grace our palace now, that friendly pair, These riches are possess'd, but not enjoy'd; Speak they their linenge, or their names declare ? My wars,
the copious theme of every tongue, Uncertain of the truth, yet uncontrollid
The feature of the Ulyssean race:
190 Oh! had the gods so large a boon denied,
Diffused o'er each resembling line appear,
In just similitude, the grace and air
What time the Greeks combined their social arms, Regardful of the friendly dues I owe,
To avenge the stain of my ill-fated charms ! I to the glorious dead, for ever dear!
Just is thy thought, the king assenting cries, Indulge the tribute of a grateful tear.
130 Methinks Ulysses strikes my wondering eyes ; But oh! Ulysses—deeper than the rest
Full shines the father in the filial frame, That sad idea wounds my anxious breast !
His port, his features, and his shape the same: 200 My heart bleeds fresh with agonizing pain; Such quick regards his sparkling eyes bestow The bowl and tasteful viands tempt in vain; Such wavy ringlets o'er his shoulders flow. Nor sleep's soft power can close my streaming eyes, And when he heard the long disastrous store When imaged to my soul his sorrows rise.
Of cares, which in my cause Ulysses bore ; No peril in my cause he ceased to prove,
Dismay'd, heart-wounded with paternal woes, His labours equall'd only by my love :
Above restraint the tide of sorrow rose: And both alike to bitter fortune born,
Cautious to let the gushing grief appear, For him to suffer, and for me to mourn ! 140 His purple garment veil'd the falling tear. Whether he wanders on some friendly coast,
See there confess'd, Pisistratus replies, Or glides in Stygian gloom a pensive ghost, The genuine worth of Ithacus the wise! 210 No fame reveals ; but doubtful of his doom,
Of that heroic sire the youth is sprung, His good old sire with sorrow to the tomb
But modest awe hath chain'd his timorous tongue. Declines his trembling steps; untimely care Thy voice, O king! with pleased attention heard, Withers the blooming vigour of his heir;
Is like the dictates of a god revered.
I honour with a parent's name.
Bereaved of parents in his infant years,
220 The conscious monarch pierced the coy disguise, Still must the wrong'd Telemachus sustain, And view'd his filial love with vast surprise : If, hopeful of your aid, he hopes in vain : Dubious to press the tender theme, or wait Affianced in your friendly power alone, To hear the youth inquire his father's fate. The youth would vindicate the vacant throne. In this suspense bright Helen graced the room; Is Sparta blest, and these desiring eyes Before her breathed a gale of rich perfume. View my friend's son ? (the king exulting cries;) So moves, adorn'd with each attractive grace, Son of my friend, by glorious toils approved, The silver-shafted goddess of the chase.
160 Whose sword was sacred to the man he loved : The seat of majesty Adraste brings.
Mirror of constant faith, revered and mourn'd! With arts illustrious for the pomp of kings: When Troy was ruin'd, had the chief return'd, 230 To spread the pall (beneath the regal chair No Greek an equal space had e'er possess'd, Of softest woof, is bright Alcippe's care.
lor dear affection, in my grateful breast.