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On angry Neptune now for mercy call; 210|With joy to thee, as to some god I bend,
O tell a wretch in exile doom'd to stray,
What air I breathe, what country I survey ? 290 The monarch spoke: they trembled and obey'd. The fruitful continent's extremest bound, Forth on the sands the victim oxen led :
Or some fair isle which Neptune's arm surround ? The gather'd tribes before the altars stand,
From what fair clime (said she) remote from fame And chiefs and rulers, a majestic band.
Arrivest thou here a stranger to our name? The king of ocean all the tribes implore;
Thou seest an island, not to those unknown The blazing altars redden all the shore.
Whose hills are brighten'd by the rising sun, Meanwhile Ulysses in his country lay, 220 Nor those that placed beneath his utmost reign Released from sleep, and round him might survey Behold him sinking in the western main. The solitary shore and rolling sea.
The rugged soil allows no level space Yet had his mind through tedious absence lost For flying chariots or the rapid race ;
290 The dear resemblance of his native coast;
Yet, not ungrateful to the peasant's pain, Besides, Minerva, to secure her care,
Suffices fulness to the swelling grain : Diffused around a veil of thicken'd air :
The loaded trees their various fruits produce, For so the gods ordain'd, to keep unseen
And clustering grapes afford a generous juice: His royal person from his friends and queen; Woods crown our mountains, and in every grove Till the proud suitors for their crimes afford The bounding goats and frisking heifers rove: An ample vengeance to their injured lord. 230 Soft rains and kindly dews refresh the field, Now all the land another prospect bore,
And rising springs eternal verdure yield. Another port appear'd, another shore,
Even to those shores is Ithaca renown'd, And long-continued ways, and winding floods, Where Troy's majestic ruins strew the ground. 300 And unknown mountains, crown'd with unknown At this, the chief with transport was possess'd, woods
His panting heart exulted in bis breast : Pensive and slow, with sudden grief oppress'd, Yet, well dissembling his untimely joys, The king arose, and beat his careful breast,
And veiling truth in plausible disguise, Cast a long look o'er all the coast and main, Thus, with an air sincere, in fiction bold, And sought, around, his native realm in vain : His ready tale the inventive hero told : Then with erected eyes stood fix'd in woe,
On have I heard in Crete, this island's name: And as he spoke, the tears began to flow. 240 For 'twas from Crete, my native soil, I came :
Ye gods, he cried, upon what barren coast, Self-banish'd thence. I sail'd before the wind, In what new region is Ulysses toss'd ?
And left my children and my friends behind; 310 Possess'd by wild barbarians, fierce in arms ? From fierce Idomeneus' revenge I flew, Or men whose bosom tender pity warms?
Whose son, the swift Orsilochus, I slew. Where shall this treasure now in safety lie ? (With brutal force he seized my Trojan prey, And whither, whither its sad owner fly?
Due to the toils of many a bloody day.) Ah why did I Alcinoiis' grace implore ?
Unseen I 'scaped, and, favour'd by the night,
In a Phænician vessel took my flight,
In dead of night an unknown port we gain'd,
Spent with fatigue, and slept secure on land. 320 Oh righteous gods! of all the great, how few But ere the rosy morn renew'd the day, Are just to heaven, and to their promise true! While in the embrace of pleasing sleep I lay, But he, the power to whose all-seeing eyes Sudden, invited by auspicious gales, The deeds of men appear without disguise, They land my goods, and hoist their flying sails. 'Tis dis alone to avenge the wrongs I bear; Abandon'd here my fortune I deplore, For still the oppress'd are his peculiar care. A hapless exile on a foreign shore. To count these presents, and from thence to prove Thus while he spoke, the blue-eyed maid began Their faith, is mine : the rest belongs to Jove. 260 With pleasing smiles to view the godlike man:
Then on the sands he ranged his wealthy store, Then changed her form : and now, divinely bright, The gold, the vests, the tripods number'd o'er : Jove's heavenly daughter stood confess'd to sight; All these he found, but still in error lost
Like a fair virgin in her beauty's bloom,
331 Disconsolate he wanders on the coast,
Skill d in the illustrious labours of the loom. Sighs for his country, and laments again
O süll the same Ulysses ! she rejoin'd, To the deaf rocks, and hoarse resounding main. In useful craft successfully refined ! When lo! the guardian goddess of the wise, Artful in speech, in action, and in mind ! Celestial Pallas, stood before his eyes :
Sufficed it not, that, thy long labours past,
Secure thou seest thy native shore at last ?
In arts of counsel, and dissembling well :
No less than mortals are surpass'd by thine. And painted sandals on her feet she wore.
Know'st thou not me? who made thy life my care, To whom the king : Whoe'er of human race Through ten years' wandering, and through ten Thou art, that wander'st in this desert place!
Who taught thee arts, Aleinous to persuade, If Jove prolong my days, and Pallas crown
The growing virtues of my youthful son,
To you shall rites divine be ever paid, Conceal thy person, thy designs direct,
And grateful offerings on your altars laid. And tell what more thou must from Fate expect : Thus then Minerva. From that anxious breast Domestic woes far heavier to be borne !
Dismiss those cares, and leave to heaven the rest The pride of fools and slaves' insulting scorn. 350 Our task be now thy treasured stores to save, But thou be silent, nor reveal thy state;
Deep in the close recesses of the cave: Yield to the force of unresisted fate,
Then future means consult-She spoke, and trod And bear unmoved the wrongs of base mankind, The shady grot, that brighten'd with the god. 420 The last, and hardest, conquest of the mind. The closest caverns of the grot she sought; Goddess of wisdom! Ithacus replies,
The gold, the brass, the robes, Ulysses brought: He who discerns thee must be truly wise,
These in the secret gloom the chief disposed;
The entrance with a rock the goddess closed.
360 The goddess of the azure eyes began : Graced with thy sight, and favour'd with thy aid: Son of Laërtes ! much-experienced man! But when the Trojan piles in ashes lay,
The suitor-train thy earliest care demand, And bound for Greece we plough'd the watery or that luxurious race to rid the land :
Three years ihy house their lawless rule has seen, Our fleet dispersed and driven from coast to coast, And proud addresses to the matchless queen. Thy sacred presence from that hour I lost;
But she thy absence mourns from day to day,
And inly bleeds, and silent wastes away:
Fond hopes to all, and all with hopes deceives. Tell me, oh tell, is this my native place ?
To this Ulysses. Oh, celestial maid!
Else had I seen my native walls in vain,
Like great Atrides, just restored and slain. 440 To soothe my hopes, and mitigate my woes. Vouchsafe the means of vengeance to debate,
Thus he. The blue-eyed goddess thus replies. And plan with all thy arts the scene of fate: How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise! Then, then be present, and my soul inspire, Who, versed in fortune, fear the flattering show, As when we wrapt Troy's heaven-built walls in fire, And taste not half the bliss the gods bestow. Though leagued against me hundred heroes stand, The more shall Pallas aid thy just desires,
Hundreds shall fall, if Pallas aid my hand. And guard the wisdom which herself inspires. She answer'd : In the dreadful day of fight Oihers, long absent from their native place. 380 Know, I am with thee, strong in all my might, Straight seek their home, and Ny with eager pace If thou but equal to thyself be found, To their wives' arms, and children's dear embrace. What gasping numbers then shall press the ground! Not thus Ulysses: he decrees to prove
What human victims stain the feastful floor! 451
For this, my hand shall wither every grace
O'er thy smooth skin a bark of wrinkles spread, And mighty Neptune's unrelenting rage ? 300 Turn hoar the auburn honours of thy head; Now lift thy longing eyes, while I restore
Disfigure every limb with coarse attire, The pleasing prospect of thy native shore.
And in thy eyes extinguish all the fire ; Behold the port of Phorcys : fenced around Add all the wants and the decays of life; With rocky mountains, and with olives crown'd: Estrange thee from thy own; thy son, thy wife ; Behold the gloomy grot! whose cool recess From the loathed object every sight shall turn, Delights the Nereids of the neighbouring seas: And the blind suitors their destruction scorn. Whose now-neglected altars in thy reign
Go first the master of thy herds to find, Blush'd with the blood of sheep and oxen slain. True to his charge, a loyal swain and kind Behold! where Neritus the clouds divides,
For thee he sighs : and to the royal heir And shakes the waving forests on his sides. 400 And chaste Penelope extends his care.
So spake the goddess; and the prospect clear’d, At the Coracian rock he now resides,, The mists dispersed, and all the coast appear'd. Where Arethusa's sable water glides;
All hail! ye virgin daughters of the main ! Me into other realms my cares convey,
At this the father, with a father's care.
| Full fifty pregnant females each contain’d;
To whom Minerva. Be thy soul at rest; To form strong buskins of well-season'd hide.
Three now were absent on the rural care;
The fourth drove victims to the suitor-train: Secure he sits, near great Atrides placed ; 490 But he, of ancient faith, a simple swain,
30 With friendships strengthen'd, and with honours Sigh’d, while he furnish'd the luxurious board, graced.
And wearied heaven with wishes for his lord. But lo! an ambush waits his passage o'er;
Soon as Ulysses near the inclosure drew, Fierce foes insidious intercept the shore;
With open mouths the furious mastiffs flew :
Down sate the sage, and cautious to withstand,
And from his hasty hand the leather falls ;
Unhappy stranger! (thus the faithful swain Nor longer in the heavy eye-ball shined 500 Began with accents gracious and humane) The glance divine, forth-beaming from the mind. What sorrow had been mine, if at my gate His robe, which spots indelible besmear,
Thy reverend age had met a shameful fate! In rags dishonest flutters with the air:
Enough of woes already have I known; A stag's torn hide is lapt around his reins :
Enough my master's sorrows and my own.
Or sigh'd in exile forth his latest breath,
But enter this my homely roof, and see
Then tell me whence thou art, and what the share
Of woes and wanderings thou wert born to bear?
He said, and, seconding the kind request,
With friendly step precedes his unknown guest.
A shaggy goat's soft hide beneath him spread, Ulysses arrives in disguise at the house of Eumæus where And with fresh rushes heap'd an ample bed : 60
he is received, entertained, and lodged with the utmost Joy touch'd the hero's tender soul, to find hospitality. The several discourses of that faithful So just reception from a heart so kind : old servant, with the feigned story told by Ulysses to And, oh, ye gods! with all your blessings grace conceal himself, and other conversations on various (He thus broke forth) this friend of human race! subjects, take up this entire book.
The swain replied. It never was our guise
To slight the poor, or aught humane despise;
For Jove unfolds our hospitable door,
70 With cliffs and nodding forests overhung.
Accept such treatment as a swain affords, Eumæus at his sylvan lodge he sought,
Slave to the insolence of youthful lords ! A faithful servant, and without a fault.
Far hence is by unequal gods removed Ulysses found him busied as he sate
That man of bounties, loving and beloved ! Before the threshold of his rustic gate;
To whom whate'er his slave enjoys is owed, Around the mansion in a circle shone
And more, had Fate allow'd, had been bestow'd: A rural portico of rugged stone;
10 But Fate condemn'd him to a foreign shore; (In absence of his lord, with honest toil
Much have I sorrow'd, but my master more. His own industrious hands had raised the pile.) Now cold he lies, to death's embrace resign'd: The wall was stone, from neighbouring quarries Ah, perish Helen! perish all her kind!
For whose cursed cause, in Agamemnon's name, Encircled with a fence of native thorn,
He trod so fatally the paths of Fame. And strong with pales, by many a weary stroke His vest succinct then girding round his waist, Or stubborn labour, hewn from heart of oak: Forth rush'd the swain with hospitable haste. Frequent and thick. Within the space were rear'd Straight to the lodgements of his herd he run, Twelve ample cells, the lodgments of his herd. Where the fat porkers slept beneath the sun :
Of two, his cutlass launch'd the spouting blood; Such thou may'st be. But he whose name you crare
Or food for fish or dogs his relics lie,
Much woe to all, but sure to me the most. With flour inbrown'd; next mingled wine yet new, So mild a master never shall I find;
160 And luscious as the bees' nectareous dew:
Less dear the parents whom I left behind; Then sate companion of the friendly feast, Less soft my mother, less my father kind. With open look; and thus bespoke his guest. Not with such transport would my eyes run o'er,
Take with free welcome what our hands prepare, Again to hail them in their native shore, Such food as falls to simple servants' share ; As loved Ulysses once more to embrace, The beat our lords consume ; those thoughtless peers, Restored and breathing in his natal place. Rich without bounty, guilty without fears; 100 That name for ever dread, yet ever dear, Yet sure the gods their impious acts detest, Even in his absence I pronounce with fear: And honour justice and the righteous breast. In my respect, he bears a prince's part: Pirates and conquerors of harden'd mind, But lives a very brother in my heart.
170 The foes of peace, and scourges of mankind,
Thus spoke the faithful swain, and thus rejoin'd To whom offending men are made a prey
The master of his grief, the man of patient mind.
Nor speak I rashly, but with faith averr'd,
Till his return no tille shall I plead,
Though certain be my news, and great my need. Hence springs their confidence, and from our sighs Who want itself can force untruths to tell, 180 Their rapine strengthens, and their riots rise : , My soul detests him as the gates of hell. Constant as Jove the night and day bestows,
Thou first be witness, hospitable Jove,
And every god inspiring social love!
120 His ancient realms Ulysses shall survey; First, on the main-land, of Ulysses' breed,
In blood and dust each proud oppressor mour, Twelve herds, twelve flocks, on ocean's margin And the lost glories of his house return.
Nor shall that meed be thine, nor ever more 190 As many stalls for shaggy goats are rear'd; Shall loved Ulysses hail this happy shore, As many lodgments for the tusky herd;
(Replied Eumæus :) to the present hour Those foreign keepers guard : and here are seen Now turn thy thought, and joys within our power. Twelve herds of goats that graze our utmost green; From sad reflection let my soul repose; To native pastors is their charge assign'd,
The name of him awakes a thousand woes. And mine the are to feed the bristly kind :
But guard him, gods! and to these arms restore! Each day the fautest bleeds of either herd,
Not his true consort can desire him more; All to the suitors' wasteful board preferr'd. 130 Not old Laërtes, broken with despair :
Thus he, benevolent: his unknown guest Not young Telemachus, bis blooming heir. With hunger keen devours the savoury feast; Alas, Telemachus! my sorrows flow
900 While schemes of vengeance ripen in his breast. Afresh for thee, my second cause of woe! Silent and thoughtful while the board he ey'd, Like some fair plant set by a heavenly hand, Eumæus pours on high the purple uide;
he flourish'd, and he bless'd the land;
Say now, what man is he, the man deplored, What man, or god, deceived his better sense,
To seek his father's fate, and find his own!
For traitors wait his way, with dire design 210 To Fame no stranger, nor perhaps to me;
To end at once the great Arcesian line. Who (so the gods, and so the fates ordain'd) But let us leave him to their wills above; Have wander'd many a sea, and many a land. The fates of inen are in the hands of Jove.
Small is the faith the prince and queen ascribe And now, my venerable guest! declare (Replied Eumæus) to the wandering tribe.
Your name, your parents, and your native air; For needy strangers still to flattery fly,
Sincere from whence begun your course relate, And want too oft betrays the tongue to lie. And to what ship I owe the friendly freight ? Each vagrant traveller, that touches here, 150 Thus he: and thus (with prompt invention bold) Deludes with fallacies the royal ear,
The cautious chief his ready story told. To dear remembrance makes his image rise,
On dark reserve what better can prevail, 220 And calls the springing sorrows from her eyes. Or from the fluent tongue produce the tale,
Than when two friends, alone, in peaceful place |The fifth fair morn we stem the Ægyptian tide,
To anchor there my fellows I command, 290
The spreading clamour to their city flies, But such was heaven's high will! know then, I came And horse and foot in mingled tumult rise. From sacred Crete, and from a sire of fame: 230 The reddening dawn reveals the circling fields, Castor Hylacides (that name he bore,)
Horrid with bristly spears, and glancing shields Beloved and honour'd in his native shore;
Jove thunder'd on their side. Our guilty head Bless'd in his riches, in his children more.
We turn'd to flight; the gathering vengeance spread Sprung of a handmaid, from a bought embrace, On all parts round, and heaps on heaps lie dead. 300 I shared his kindness with his lawful race;
I then explored my thought, what course to prove
And saved a life of miseries to come!
I meet the monarch with a suppliant's face,
Approach his chariot, and his knees embrace. A willing widow's copious wealth supplied, He heard, he saved, he placed me at his side; My valour was my plea, a gallant mind
My state he pitied, and my tears he dried, 310 That, true to honour, never laggd behind:
Restrain'd the rage the vengeful foe express'd, (The sex is ever to a soldier kind.)
And turn'd the deadly weapons from my breast. Now wasting years my former strength confound, Pious! to guard the hospitable rite, And added woes have bow'd me to the ground; And fearing Jove whom mercy's works delight. Yet by the stubble you may guess the grain,
In Ægypt thus with peace and plenty bless'd, And mark the ruins of no vulgar man.
250 I lived (and happy still had lived) a guest. Me, Pallas gave to lead the martial storm,
On seven bright years successive blessings wait; And the fair ranks of battle to deform;
The next changed all the colour of my fate. Me, Mars inspired to turn the foe to flight,
A false Phænician, of insidious mind, And tempt the secret ambush of the night.
Versed in vile arts, and foe to human kind,
320 Let ghastly Death in all his forms appear,
With semblance fair invites me to his home; I saw him not, it was not mine to fear.
I seized the proffer (ever fond to roam :) Before the rest I raised my ready steel;
Domestic in his faithless roof I staid, The first I met, he yielded, or he fell.
Till the swift sun his annual circle mado. But works of peace my soul disdain'd to bear, To Lybia then he meditates the way; The rural labour, or domestic care.
260 With guileful art a stranger to betray, To raise the mast, the missile dart to wing, And sell to bondage in a foreign land : And send swift arrows from the bounding string, Much doubting, yet compellid, I quit the strand. Were arts the gods made grateful to my mind; Through the mid seas the nimble pinnace sails Those gods, who turn (to various ends design'd) Aloof from Crete, before the northern gales; 330 The various thoughts and talents of mankind. But when remote her chalky cliffs we lost, Before the Grecians touch'd the Trojan plain, And far from ken of any other coast, Nine times commander, or by land or main, When all was wild expanse of sea and air; In foreign fields I spread my glory far,
Then doom'd high Jove due vengeance to prepare. Great in the praise, rich in the spoils of war: He hung a night of horrors o'er their head Thence charged with riches, as increased in fame, (The shaded ocean blacken'd as it spread ;) To Crete return'd an honourable name. 271 He launch'd the fiery bolt; from pole to pole But when great Jove that direful war decreed, Broad burst the lightnings, deep the thunders roll; Which roused all Greece, and made the mighty In giddy rounds the whirling ship is toss'd, bleed;
And all in clouds of smothering sulphur lost. 340 Our states myself and Idomen employ
As from a hanging rock's tremendous height,
Placed on the mast, (the last resource of life)
With winds and waves I held unequal strife; Six days consumed: the seventh we plough'd the For nine long days the billows tilting o'er, main.
The tenth soft wafts me to Thesprotia's shore. 350 Crete's ample fields diminish to our eye;
The monarch's son a shipwreck'd wretch relieved, Before the Boreal blast the vessels fly;
The sire with hospitable rites received, Safe through the level seas we sweep our way; And in his palace like a brother placed, The steerman governs, and the ships obey; With gifts of price and gorgeous garments graced.