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While here I sojourn'd, oft I heard the fame A few revolving months should waft him o'er, How late Ulysses to the country came,
Fraught with bold warriors, and a boundless store. How loved, how honour'd, in this court he stay'd, O thou ! whom age has taught to understand, And here his whole collected treasure laid;
And heaven has guided with a favouring hand, I saw myself the vast unnumber'd store
On god or mortal to obtrude a lie Of steel elaborate, and refulgent ore,
360 Forbear, and dread to flatter, as to die And brass high heap'd amidst the regal dome; Not for such ends my house and heart are free, Immense supplies for ages yet to come!
But dear respeci to Jove, and charity. Meantime he voyaged to explore the will
And why, oh swain of unbelieving mind! Or Jove, on high Dodona's holy hill,
(Thus quick replied the wisest of mankind) What means might best his safe return avail, Doubt you my oath ? yet more my faith to try, To come in pomp, or bear a secret sail ?
A solemn compact let us ratify,
If here Ulysses from his labours rest,
440 To good Acastus' friendly care consign'd:
Hurl me from yon dread precipice on high; But other counsels pleased the sailors' mind: The due reward of fraud and perjury. New frauds were plotted by the faithless train, Doubtless, oh guest! great laud and praise were And misery demands me once again.
mine, Soon as remote from shore they plough the wave, (Replied the swain, for spotless faith divine,) With ready hands they rush to seize their slave; If, atter social rites and gifts bestow'd, Then with these tatter'd rags they wrap me round I stain'd my hospitable hearth with blood. (Stript of my own,) and to the vessel bound. 380 How would the gods my righteous toils succeed, At eve, at Ithaca's delightful land
And bless the hand that made a stranger bleed? The ship arrived : forth-issuing on the sand
No more-the approaching hours of silent night They sought repast; while, to the unhappy kind, First claim refection, then to rest invite;
450 The pitying gods themselves my chains unbind. Beneath our humble cottage let us haste, Soft I descended, to the sea applied
And here, unenvied, rural dainties taste. My naked breast, and shot along the tide.
Thus communed these ; while to their lowly dome
Their prize escaped, the faithless pirates mourn'd; With din obstreperous, and ungrateful cries.
With him let us the genial banquet share,
For great and many are the griefs we bear; 460 And wait the woes heaven dooms me yet to bear. While those who from our labours heap their board,
Unhappy guest! whose sorrows touch my mind! Blaspheme their feeder and forget their lord. (Thus good Eumæus with a sigh rejoin'd,)
Thus speaking, with despatchful hand he took For real sufferings since I grieve sincere,
A weighty ax, and cleft the solid oak:
Of five years age, before the pile was led :
First shears the forehead of the bristly boar,
To speed Ulysses to his native shore. His praise, eternal on the faithful stone,
A knotty stake then aiming at his head, And with transmissive honours graced his son. Down dropi he groaning, and the spirit fled. Now, snatch'd by harpies to the dreary coast, The scorching flames climb round on every side : Sunk is the hero, and his glory lost!
Then the singed members they with skill divide; While pensive in this solitary den,
On these, in rolls of fat involved with art, Far from gay cities and the ways of men, 410 The choicest morsels lay from every part. I linger life: nor to the court repair,
Some in the flames bestrew'd with flour they threw;
These while on several tables they dispose,
Another to the winged son of May;
Who sate delighted at his servant's board;
|The faithful servant joy'd his unknown lord
Oh be thou dear (Ulysses cried) to Jove, 420 And then (supporting on his arm his head)
Be then thy thanks (the bounteous swain replied) Methinks too distant from the fleet we lie:
Even now a vision stood before my eye, 560 From God's own hand descend our joys and woes; And sure the warning vision was from high: These he decrees, and he but suffers those :
Let from among us some swift courier rise, All power is his, and whatsoe'er he wills,
Haste to the general, and demand supplies.
Up started Thoas straight, Andræmon's son,
The morn conspicuous on her golden throne. (Eumaus' proper treasure bought this slave,
Oh were my strength as then, as then my age! 570 And led from Taphos, to attend his board,
Some friend would fence me from the winter's rage A servant added to his absent lord ;)
Yet, tatter'd as I look, I challenged then
The honours and the offices of men:
A cloak and vest—but I am nothing now!
Well hast thou spoke (rejoin'd the attentive swain ;) Now came the night, and darkness cover'd o'er 510 Thy lips let fall no idle word or vain ! The face of things : the winds began to roar; Nor garment shalt thou want, nor ought beside, The driving storm the watery west wind pours, Meet for the wandering suppliant to provide. And Jove descends in deluges of showers.
But in the morning take thy clothes again, Studious of rest and warmth, Ulysses lies,
For here one vest suffices every swain; Forseeing from the first the storm would rise; No change of garments to our hinds is known: In mere necessity of coat and cloak,
But when return'd, the good Ulysses' son With artful preface to his host he spoke.
With better hand shall grace with fit attires Hear me, my friends! who this good banquet grace; Ilis guest, and send thee where thy soul desires. 'Tis sweet to play the fool in time and place,
The honest herdsman rose, as this he said, And wine can of their wits the wise beguile, 520 And drew before the hearth the stranger's bed: Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile, The fleecy spoils of sheep, a goat's rough hide The grave in merry measures frisk about,
He spreads; and adds a mandle thick and wide; And many a long-repented word bring out. With store to heap above him, and below, 590 Since to be talkative I now commence,
And guard each quarter as the tempests blow. Let wit cast off the sullen yoke of sense.
There lay the king and all the rest supine ; Once I was strong (would heaven restore those days !) All but the careful master of the swine : And with my betters claim'd a share of praise. Forth hasted he to tend his bristly care; Ulysses, Menelaus, led forth a band,
Well arm'd, and fenced against nocturnal air ; And join'd me with them ('twas their own com His weighty falchion o'er his shoulder tied ; mand :)
His shaggy cloak a mountain goat supplied: A deathful ambush for the foe to lay,
530 With his broad spear, the dread of dogs and men, Beneath Troy walls by night we took our way: He seeks his lodging in the rocky den. There, clad in arms, along the marshes spread, There to the tusky herd he bends his way, 600 We made the ozier-fringed bank our bed.
Where, screen'd from Boreas, high o'erarch'd they lay. Full soon the inclemency of heaven I feel, Nor had these shoulders covering, but of steel. Sharp blew the north ; snow whitening all the felds Froze with the blast, and gathering glazed our shields :
The Return of Telemachus. The skill of weather and of winds unknown, The goddess Minerva commands Telemachus in a vision And trusted to my coat and shield alone !
to return to Ithaca. Pisistratus and he take leave of When now was wasted more than half the night, Menelaus, and arrive at Pylos, where they part; and And the stars faded at approaching light;
Telemachus sets sail, after having received on board Sudden I jogg'd Ulysses, who was laid
Theoclymenus the soothsayer. The scene then changes Fast by my side, and shivering thus I said:
to the cottage of Eumeus, who entertains Ulysses
with a recital of his adventures. In the meantime Here longer in this field I cannot lie;
Telemachus arrives on the coast, and sending the The winter pinches, and with cold I die,
vessel to the town, proceeds by himself to the lodge of And die ashamed (oh wisest of mankind,)
Now had Minerva reach'd those ample plains, Still met the emergence, and determined right.) Famed for the dance, where Menelaus reigns; Hush thee, he cried (soft whispering in my ear,) Anxious she flics to great Ulysses' heir, Speak not a word, lest any Grock may hear His instant voyage challenged all her care.
Beneath the royal portico display'd,
Swift let us measure back the watery way, With Nestor's son Telemachus was laid ;
Nor check our speed, impatient of delay.
If with desire so strong thy bosom glows,
Who love too much, hate in the like extreme,
Alike he thwarts the hospitable end, The robber's prize, the prey to lawless might. Who drives the free, or stays the hasty friend; On fond pursuits neglectful while you roam, True friendship's laws are by this rule express'd, Even now the hand of rapine sacks the dome. Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest. Hence to Atrides; and his leave implore
Yet stay, my friends, and in your chariot take
Atrides in his chariot shall attend;
No prince will let Ulysses' heir remove
Without some pledge some monument of love : Let o'er thy house some chosen maid preside, These will the caldron, these the tripod give, Till heaven decrees to bless thee with a bride. 30 From those the well-pair'd mules we shall receive, But now thy more attentive ears incline,
Or bowl emboss'd whose golden figures live. Observe the warnings of a power divine ;
To whom the youth, for prudence famed, reFor thee their saares the suitor lords shall lay
plied: In Samos' sands, or straits of Ithaca ;
O monarch, care of heaven! thy people's pride ! 103 To seize thy life shall lurk the murderous band, No friend in Ithaca, my place supplies, Ere yet thy footsteps press thy native land, No powerful hands are there, no watchful eyes No-sooner far their riot and their lust
My stores exposed, and fenceless house demand All-covering earth shall bury deep in dust ! The speediest succour from my guardian hand; Then distant from the scatter'd islands steer, Lest, in a search too anxious and too vain Nor let the night retard thy full career ;
40 of one lost joy, I loose what yet remain. Thy heavenly guardian shall instruct the gales His purpose when the generous warrior heard, To smooth thy passage and supply thy sails ; He charged the household cates to be prepared. And when at Ithaca thy labour ends,
Now with the dawn, from his adjoining home, 110 Send to the town the vessel with thy friends ;
Was Boothædes Eteoneus come;
Where the rich wardrobe breath'd a costly scent
Thus spoke the goddess and resumed her flight The beauteous queen revolved with careful eyes To the pure regions of eternal light.
Her various textures of unnumber'd dyes, Meanwhile Pisistratus he gently shakes,
And chose the largest ; with no vulgar art And with these words the slumbering youth awakes. Her own fair hands embroider'd every part Rise, son of Nestor; for the road prepare,
Beneath the rest it lay divinely bright, And join the harness'd coursers to the car
Like radiant Hesper o'er the gems of night. What cause, he cried, can justify our flight, Then with each gift they hasten'd to their guest, To tempt the dangers of forbidding night? And thus the king Ulysses' heir address'd. Here wait we rather, till approaching day
Since fix'd are thy resolves, may thundering Jore Shall prompt our speed, and point the ready way. 60 With happiest omens thy desires approve ! Nor think of fight before the Spartan king This silver bowl, whose costly margins shine Shall bid farewell, and bounteous presents bring ; Enchased with gold, this valued gift be thine ; Gifts, which to distant ages cafely stored,
To me this present, of Vulcanian frame,
From Sidon's hospitable monarch came;
Then gave the cup, while Megapenthe brought
Accept, dear youth, this monument of love,
Safe in thy mother's care the vesture lay, 1401 He said ; and, bending o'er his chariot, flung To deck thy bride, and grace the nuptial day. Athwart the fiery steeds the smarting thong; Meantime may'st thou with happiest speed regain The bounding shafts upon the harness play, Thy stately palace, and thy wide domain.
Till night descending intercepts the way. She said, and give the veil; with grateful look To Diocles at Pheræ they repair,
210 The prince the variegated present took.
Whose boasted sire was sacred Alpheus' heir ; And now, when through the royal dome they pass'd, With him all night the youthful strangers stay'd, High on a throne the king each stranger placed. Nor found the hospitable rites unpaid. A golden ewer the attendant damsel brings, But soon as morning from her orient bed Replete with water from the crystal springs; Had tinged the mountains with her earliest red, With copious streams the shining vase supplies 150 They join'd the steeds, and on the chariot sprung, A silver laver of capacious size.
The brazen portals in their passage rung. They wash. The tables in fair order spread,
To Pylos soon they came: when thus begun The glittering canisters are crown'd with bread; To Nestor's heir Ulysses' godlike son: Viands of various kinds allure the taste,
Let not Pisistratus in vain be press'd,
220 Of choicest sort and savour; rich repast !
Nor unconsenting hear his friend's request; Whilst Eteoneus portions out the shares,
His friend by long hereditary claim, Atrides' son the purple draught prepares.
In toils his equal, and in years the same. And now (each sated with the genial feast,
No farther from our vessel, I implore, And the short rage of thirst and hunger ceased) The coursers drive ; but lash them to the shore. Ulysses' son, with his illustrious friend,
160 Too long thy father would his friend detain; The horses join, the polish'd car ascend
I dread his proffer’d kindness urged in vain. Along the court the fiery steeds rebound,
The hero paused and ponder'd this request, And the wide portal echoes to the sound.
While love and duty warr'd within his breast. The king precedes; a bowl with fragrant wine At length resolved, he turn'd his ready hand, 230 (Libation destined to the powers divine)
And lash'd his panting coursers to the strand.
With speed begone (said he ;) call every mate,
170 Brooks no repulse, nor couldst thou soon depart:
But when, arrived, he thy return shall know, 240 And oh! return'd might we Ulysses meet!
How will his breast with honest fury glow!
Now (cried Telemachus) with speedy care
Meantime the prince with sacrifice adores
When lo! a wretch ran breathless to the shore, 250 Full dexter to the car: the prosperous sight New from his crime, and reeking yet with gore. Fillid every breast with wonder and delight. A seer he was, from great Melampus sprung,
But Nestor's son the cheerful silence broke, Melampus, who in Pylos flourish'd long, And in these words the Spartan chief bespoke. Till, urged by wrongs, a foreign realm he chose, Say if to us the gods these omens send,
Far from the hateful cause of all his woes. Or fates peculiar to thyself portend?
Neleus his treasures one long year detains ; Whilst yet the monarch paused, with doubts op As long he groan'd in Philacus's chains : press'd,
190 Meantime what anguish and what rage combined, The beauteous queen relieved his labouring breast. For lovely Pero rack'd his labouring mind!
she cried, to whom the gods have given Yet 'scaped he death; and vengeful of his wrong To read this sign, the mystic sense of heaven To Pylos drove the lowing herds along; 261 As thus the plumy sovereign of the air
Then (Neleus vanquish'd, and consign'd the fair Left on the mountain's brow his callow care, To Bias' arms) he sought a foreign air; And wander'd through the wide ethereal way Argos the rich for his retreat he chose, To pour his wrath on yon luxurious prey;
There form'd his empire; there his palace rose. So shall thy godlike father, toss'd in vain
From him Antiphates and Mantius came : Through all the dangers of the boundless main The first begot Oicleus great in fame, Arrive (or is perchance already come) 200 And he Amphiaraus, immortal name! From slaughter'd gluttons to release the dome. The people's saviour and divinely wise,
Oh! if this promised bliss by thundering Jove Beloved by Jove, and him who gilds the skies; 270 (The prince replied) stand fix'd in fate above, Yet short his date of life! by female pride he dies. To thee, as to some god, I'll temples raise, From Mantius Clitus, whom Aurora's love And crown thy altars with the costly blaze. Snatch'd for his beauty to the thrones above;
And Polyphidos, on whorn Phæbus shone
Such are the tasks of men of mean estate With fullest rays, Amphiaraus now gone :
Whom fortune dooms to serve the rich and great. In Hyperesia's groves he made abode,
Alas! (Eumæus with a sigh rejoin'd) And taught mankind the counsels of the god. How sprung a thought so monstrous in thy mind ? From him sprung Theoclymenus, who found If on that godless race thou would'st attend, (The sacred wine yet foaming on the ground) Fate owes thee sure a miserable end! Telemachus: whom, as to heaven he press'd 280 Their wrongs and blasphemies ascend the sky, His ardent vows, the stranger thus address'd: And pull descending vengeance from on bigh.
O thou! That dost thy happy course prepare Not such, my friend, the servants of their feast, 350 With pure libations and with solemn prayer ; A blooming train in rich embroidery dress'd, By that dread power to whom thy vows are paid; With earth's whole tribute the bright table bends, By all the lives of these; thy own dear head, And smiling round celestial youth attends. Declare sincerely to no foe's demand
Stay then: no eye askance beholds thee here
Sweet is thy converse to each social ear.
290 With genial gifts, and change of fair attires, And great Ulysses (ever honour'd name!)
And safe conveys thee where thy soul desires.
The stranger then. Nor shall I aught conceal, Of all the ills unhappy mortals know,
A life of wanderings is the greatest woe : Of my own tribe an Argive wretch I slew ; On all their weary ways wait care and pain, Whose powerful friends the luckless deed pursue And pine and penury, a meagre train. With unrelenting rage, and force from home 300 To such a man since harbour you afford, The blood-stain d exile, ever doom'd to roam. Relate the farther fortunes of your lord; But bear, oh bear me o'er yon azure flood : What cares his mother's tender breast engage, 370 Receive the suppliant! spare my destined blood! And sire, forsaken on the verge of age;
Stranger (replied the prince) securely rest Beneath the sun prolong they yet their breath? Affianced in our faith, henceforth our guest. Or range the house of darkness and of death? Thus affable Ulysses godlike heir
To whom the swain. Attend what you inquire ;
She too, sad mother! for Ulysses lost
While yet she was, though clouded o'er with gries, And skimm'd along by Elis sacred coast.
Her pleasing converse minister'd relief : Then cautious through the rocky reaches wind, 320 With Climene, her youngest daughter, bred, And, turning sudden, shun the death design'd. One roof contain'd us, and one table fed.
Meantime the king, Eumæus, and the rest, But when the softly stealing pace of time, 390 Sate in the cottage, at their rural feast :
Crept on from childhood into youthful prime,
Me to the fields to tend the rural care ;
Nor less the darling object of her love.
Her hapless death my brighter days o'ercast, And only ask your counsel and a guide ;
Yet providence deserts me not at last; Patient to roam the street, by hunger led, 330 My present labours food and drink procure, And bless the friendly hand that gives me bread. And more, the pleasure to relieve the poor. There in Ulysses' roof I may relate
Small is the comfort from the queen to hear 400 Ulysses' wanderings to his royal mate
Unwelcome news, or vex the royal ear;
Nor dare to question where the proud command;
No profit springs beneath usurping powers;
Want feeds not there, where luxury devours ;
And, oh Eumæus! thou (he cries) hast felt