« ZurückWeiter »
Nor ceased till Pallas bid her sorrows fly,
To this Ulysses: What the prince requires And in soft slumbers seal'd her flowing eye. Of swift removal, seconds my desires.
And now Eumæus, at the evening hour, 470 To want like mine the peopled town can yield Came late returning to his sylvan bower.
More hopes of comfort than the lonely field: Ulysses and his son had dress'd with art
Nor fits my age to till the labour'd lands, A yearling boar, and gave the gods their part. Or stoop to tasks a rural lord demands. Holy repast! That instant from the skies
Adieu ! but since this rugged garb can bear The martial goddess to Ulysses flies :
So ill the inclemencies of morning air, She waves her golden wand, and re-assumes A few hours space permit me here to stay; From every feature every grace that blooms: My steps Eumæus shall to town convey, At once his vestures change ; at once she sheds With riper beams when Phæbus warms the day. 30 Age o'er his limbs, that tremble as he treads.
Thus he: nor aught Telemachus replied,
Schemes of revenge his pondering breast elate,
He props his spear against the pillar'd wall;
Whether, he cries, they measure back the flood, The marble pavement with his step resounds
His eye first glanced where Euryclea spreads
(Her beauteous cheeks the blush of Venus wear, The eluded suitors stem the watery way.
Chasten'd with coy Diana's pensive air ;) The prince well pleased to disappoint their wiles, Hangs o'er her son, in his embraces dies ; Steals on his sire a glance, and secret smiles. Rains kisses on his neck, his face, his eyes : And now a short repast prepared, they fed Few words she spoke, though much she had to say; Till the keen rage of craving hunger fled :
And scarce those few, for tears, could force their Then to repose withdrawn, apart they lay,
way. And in soft sleep forgot the cares of day.
Light of my eyes! he comes ! unhoped for joy!
Thy father's fate ? and tell me all thy own.
Oh dearest ! most revered of womankind !
Cease with those tears to melt a manly mind, the sum of his travels. Ulysses is conducted by (Replied the prince;) nor be our fates deplored, Eumæus to the palace, where his old dog Argus ac. From death and treason to thy arms restored. knowledges his master, after an absence of iwenty Go bathe, and, robed in white, ascend the towers, 60 years, and dies with joy. Eumæus returns into the With all thy handmaids thank the immortal powers; country, and Ulysses remains among the suitors, To every god vow hecatombs to bleed, whose behaviour is described.
And call Jove's vengeance on their guilty deed :
While to the assembled council I repair ;
A stranger sent by heaven attends me there;
My new-accepted guest I haste to find, Soon as Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
Now to Peiræus' honour'd charge consign'd. Sprinkled with roseate light the dewy lawn;
The matron heard, nor was his word in vain. In haste the prince arose, prepared to part; She bathed ; and, robed in white, with all her train, His hand impatient grasps the pointed dart; To every god vow'd becatombs to bleed, 70 Fair on his feet the polish'd sandals shine,
And call’d Jove's vengeance on the guilty deed. And thus he greets the master of the swine. Arm'd with his lance, the prince then pass'd the gate;
My friend, adieu ; let this short stay suffice; Two dogs behind, a faithful guard, await; I haste to meet my mother's longing eyes,
Pallas his form with grace divine improves : And end her tears, her sorrows, and her sighs. The gazing crowd admires him as he moves : But thou, attentive, what we order heed: 10 Him, gathering round, the haughty suitors greet This hapless stranger to the city lead:
With semblance fair, but inward deep deceit. By public bounty let him there be fed,
Their false addresses generous he denied, And bless the hand that stretches forth the bread. Pass'd on, and sate by faithful Mentor's side; To wipe the tears from all afilicted eyes,
With Antiphus, and Halitherses sage
80 My will may covet, but my power denies.
(His father's counsellors revered for age.) If this raise anger in the stranger's thought,
Of his own fortunes, and Ulysses' fame, The pain of anger punishes the fault :
Much ask'd the seniors; till Peiræus came. The very truth I undisguised declare ;
The stranger-guest pursued him close behind; For what so easy as to be sincere ?
Whom when Telemachias beheld, he join'd.
He (when Peiræus ask d for slaves to bring His prowess, Philomelides confest,
And loud acclaiming Greeks the victor blest : Thus thoughtfulanswer'd: Those we shall not move, Then soon the invaders of his bed and throne, Dark and unconscious of the will of Jove:
Their love presumptuous shall by death atone. We know not yet the full event of all :
90 Now what you question of my ancient friend,
Whose eye can pierce the dark recess of fate.
The sad survivor of his numerous train,
Ulysses lies : detain'd by magic charms,
And prest unwilling in Calypso's arms.
110 This told Atrides, and he told no more; Supply the limpid wave and fragrant oil :
Then safe I voyaged to my native shore. Then o'er their limbs refulgent robes they threw, He ceased ; nor made the pensive queen reply, 170 And fresh from bathing to their seats withdrew; But droop'd her head and drew a secret sigh. The golden ewer a nymph attendant brings, When Theoclymenus the seer began ; Replenish'd from the pure translucent springs ; O suffering consort of the suffering man! With copious streams that golden ewer supplies What human knowledge could, those kings might tell; A silver laver of capacious size.
But I the secrets of high heaven reveal. They wash: the table, in fair order spread,
Before the first of gods be this declared, Is piled with viands and the strength of bread. Before the board whose blessings we have shared; Full opposite, before the folding gate,
110 Witness the genial rites, and witness all The pensive mother sits in humble state;
This house holds sacred in her ample wall! Lowly she sate, and with dejected view
Even now this instant, great Ulysses laid 160 The fleecy threads her ivory fingers drew.
At rest, or wandering in his country's shade, The prince and strangers shared the genial feast, Their guilty deeds, in hearing and in view, Till now the rage of thirst and hunger ceased Secret revolves! and plans the vengeance due.
When thus the queen. My son! my only friend ! of this sure auguries the gods bestow'd, Say, to my mournful couch shall I ascend ? When first our vessel anchor'd in your road. (The couch deserted now a length of years ;
Succeed those omens, heaven! (the queen rejoin'd) The couch for ever water'd with my tears ;) So shall our bounties speak a grateful mind, Say, wilt thou not (ere yet the suitor crew 120 And every envied happiness attend Return, and riot shakes our walls anew,)
The man who calls Penelope his friend. Say, wilt thou not the least account afford ?
Thus communed they; while in the marble court The least glad tidings of my absent lord ?
(Scene of their insolence) the lords resort; 190 To her the youth. We reach'd the Pylian plains, Athwart the spacious square each tries his art Where Nestor, shepherd of his people, reigos. To whirl the disk, or aim the missile dart. All arts of tenderness to him are known,
Now did the hour of sweet repast arrive, Kind to Ulysses race as to his own;
And from the field the victim flock they drive : No father with a fonder grasp of joy
Medon the herald (one who pleased them best, Strains to his bosom his long-absent boy.
And honour'd with a portion of their feast) But all unknown, if yet Ulysses breathe, 130 To bid the banquet, interrupts their play : Or glide a spectre in the realms beneath;
Swift to the hall they haste; aside they lay For farther search, his rapid steeds transport Their garments, and succinct the victims slay. 200 My lengthen'd journey to the Spartan court. Then sheep, and goats, and bristly porkers bled, There Argive Helen I beheld, whose charms And the proud steer was o'er the marble spread. (So heaven decreed) engaged the great in arms. While thus the copious banquet they provide ; My cause of coming told, he thus rejoin'd;
Along the road conversing side by side, And still his words live perfect in my mind. Proceed Ulysses and the faithful swain :
Heavens! would a soft inglorious dastard train When thus, Eumæus, generous and humane An absent hero's nuptial joys profane !
To town, observant of our lord's behest, So with her young amid the woodland shades, 140 Now let us speed; my friend, no more my guest! A timorous hind the lion's court invades,
Yet like myself I wish thee here preferr'd, Leaves in that fatal lair her tender fawns,
Guard of the flock, or keeper of the herd. 210 And climbs the cliff, or feeds along the lawns ; But much to raise my master's wrath I fear; Meantime returning, with remorseless sway The wrath of princes ever is severe. The monarch savage rends the panting prey ; Then heed his will, and be our journey mad With equal fury and with equal fame,
While the broad beams of Phæbus are display'd, Shall great Ulysses reassert his claim.
Or ere brown evening spreads her chilly shade.
My feeble step, since rugged is the way.
Across his shoulders then the scrip he flung, 220 Succeed my wish, your votary restore ; Wide-patch’d, and fastend by a twisted thong. Oh, be some god his convoy to our shore! A staff Eumæus gave. Along the way
Due pains shall punish then this slave's offence, 290 Cheerly they fare: behind, the keepers stay ; And humble all his airs of insolence, These with their watchful dogs (a constant guard) Who, proudly stalking, leaves the herds at large, Supply his absence and attend the herd.
Commences courtier, and neglects his charge. And now his city strikes the monarch's eyes,
What mutters he? (Melanthius sharp rejoins;) Alas! how changed! a man of miseries;
This crafty miscreant big with dark designs ? Propt on a staff, a beggar old and bare,
The day shall come: nay, 'tis already near, In rags dishonest, fluttering with the air!
When, slave! to sell thee at a price too dear, Now pass'd the rugged road, they journey down 230 Must be my care; and hence transport thee o'er, The cavern'd way descending to the town, A load and scandal to this happy shore. Where from the rock, with liquid drops distils Oh! that as surely great Apollo's dart,
300 A limpid fount, that, spread in parting rills, Or some brave suitor's sword, might pierce the heart Ils current thence to serve the city brings :
of the proud son; as that we stand this hour An useful work, adorn'd by ancient kings.
In lasting safety from the father's power! Neritus, Ithacus, Polyctor there,
So spoke the wretch; but, shunning farther fray, In sculptured stone immortalized their care ; Turn'd his proud step, and left them on their way. In marble urns received it from above,
Straight to the feastful palace he repair'd,
Meantime they heard, soft-cireling in the sky, 310 A mossy altar, deep embower'd in green;
Sweet airs ascend, and heavenly minstrelsy; Where constant vows by travellers are paid, (For Phemius to the lyre attuned the strain :) And holy borrors solemnize the shade.
Ulysses hearken'd, then addrest the swain Here with his goats (not vow'd to sacred flame Well may this palace admiration claim, But pamper'd luxury) Melanthius came :
Great, and respondent to the master's fame! Two grooms attend him. With an envious look
Stage above stage the imperial structure stands, He eyed the stranger, and imperious spoke : Holds the chief honours, and the town commands:
The good old proverb how this pair fulfil ! 250 High walls and battlements the courts inclose, One rogue is usher to another still.
And the strong gates defy a host of foes. Heaven with a secret principle endued
Far other cares its dwellers now employ;
320 Mankind, to seek their own similitude.
The throng'd assembly and the feast of joy:
And hear (what graces every feast) the lyre.
Some rude insult thy reverend age may bear : 330
Just is, oh friend! thy caution, and addrest
Fresh to my sense, and always in my mind.
The bravely-patient to no fortune yields :
On rolling oceans, and in fighting fields,
What cannot want? The best she will expose, 340
With him the youth pursued the goat or fawn, Fhe yearly firstlingo of his tlock and herd; Or traced the mazy leveret o'er the lawn,
Now left to man's ingratitude he lay,
Bold let him ask, encouraged thus by me; Unhoused, neglected in the public way:
How ill, alas! do want and shame agree!
He knew his lord: he knew, and strove to meet; Blest be Telemachus ! in every deed
This said, the portion from his son convey'd, Salute his master, and confess his joys.
With sroiles receiving on his scrip he laid. Soft pity touch'd the mighty master's soul; Long as the minstrel swept the sounding wire, 430 Adown his cheek a tear unbidden stole,
He fed, and ceased when silence held the lyre. Stole unperceived: he turn'd his head and dried Soon as the suitors from the banquet rose, The drop humane: then thus impassion'd cried : Minerva prompts the man of mighty woes
What noble beast in this abandon'd state To tempt their bounties with a suppliant's art, Lies here all helpless at Ulysses' gate?
And learn the generous from the ignoble heart; His bulk and beauty speak no vulgar praise : 370 (Not but his soul, resentful as humane, If, as he seems, he was in better days,
Dooms to full vengeance all the offending train :) Some care his age deserves; or was he prized With speaking eyes, and voice of plaintive sound, For worthless beauty ? therefore now despised : Humble he moves, imploring all around. Such dogs and men there are, mere things of The proud feel pity, and relief bestow,
With such an image touch'd of human woe;
And eye the inan majestic in distress.
While thus they gaze, and question with their Who never, never, shall behold him more!
381 The good Eumæus usher'd to your court. Him no fell savage on the plain withstood,
Full well I mark'd the features of his face, None 'scaped him bosom'd in the gloomy wood; Though all unknown his clime, or noble race. His eye how piercing, and his scent how true, And is this present, swineherd ! of thy hand ? 450 To wind the vapour in the tainted dew!
Bring'st thou these vagrants to infest the land ? Such, when Ulysses left his natal coast :
(Returns Antinous with retorted eye:) Now years unnerve him, and his lord is lost ! Objects uncouth, to check the genial joy? The women keep the generous creature bare, Enough of these our court already grace, A sleek and idle race is all their care:
Of giant stomach, and of famish'd face. The master gone,
the servants what restrains ? 390 Such guests Eumæus to his country brings, Or dwells humanity where riot reigns ?
To share our feast, and lead the life of kings. Jove fix'd it certain, that whatever day
To whom the hospitable swain rejoin'd: Makes man a slave, takes haif his worth away. Thy passion, prince, belies thy knowing mind.
This said, the honest herdsman strode before : Who calls, from distant nations to his own, The musing monarch pauses at the door:
The poor, distinguish'd by their wants alone ?
Or bless with salutary arts to heal;
By rival nations courted for their songs ;
These states invite, and mighty kings admire, Then gave a sign, and beckon'd him to come: Wide as the sun displays his vital fire. There stood an empty seat, where late was placed, It is not so with want! how few that feed 170 In order due, the steward of the feast,
A wretch unhappy, merely for his need! (Who now was busied carving round the board) Unjust to me, and all that serve the state, Eumæus took, and plac'd it near his lord,
To love Ulysses is to raise thy hate. Before him instant was the banquet spread,
suffice the approbation won And the bright basket piled with loaves of bread. Of my great mistress, and her godlike son. Next came Ulysses lowly at the door
To him Telemachus. No more incense A figure despicable, old and poor,
The man by nature prone to insolence: In squalid vests, with many a gaping rent,
Injurious minds just answers but provokePropt on a staff, and trembling as he went.
Then turning to Antinous, thus he spoke : Then resting on the threshold of the gate,
Thanks to thy care! whose absolute command 480 Against a cypress pillar lean'd his weight,
Thus drives the stranger from our court and la (Smoothed by the workman to a polish'd plain :) Heaven bless its owner with a better mind! The thoughtful son beheld, and call'd his swain : From envy free, to charity inclined.
These viands, and this bread, Eumæus! bear, This both Penolope and I afford :
Then, prince! be bounteous of Clysses' board.
So much more sweet to spoil than to bestow!
Whence, great Telemachus ! this lofty strain ? May what I speak your princely minds approve, (Antinouis cries, with insolent disdain :)
Ye peers and rivals in this noble love! Portions like mine if every suitor gave, 490 Not for the hurt I grieve, but for the cause. Our walls this twelvemonth should not see the slave. If, when the sword our country's quarrel draws,
He spoke ; and lifting high above the board Or if defending what is justly dear, His ponderous footstool, shook it at his lord. From Mars impartial some broad wound we bear; The rest with equal hand conferr'd the bread; The generous motive dignifies the scar.
361 He fill'd his scrip, and to the threshold sped; But for mere want, how hard to suffer wrong? But first before Antinoris stopt, and said
Want brings enough of other ills along!
Death shall lay low, the proud aggressor's head,
501 Peace wretch! and eat thy bread without offence, Whate'er gives man the envied name of great ; (The suitor cried) or force shall drag thee hence, Wealth, servants, friends, were mine in better days, Scourge through the public street, and cast thee there, And hospitality was then my praise :
A mangled carcass for the hounds to tear. 371 In every sorrowing soul I pour'd delight,
His furious deed the general anger moved, And poverty stood smiling in my sight.
All, even the worst, condemn'd: and some reBut Jove, all-governing, whose only will
Ill fits the stranger and the poor to wound.
In forms like these, to round the earth and main, The country ravage, and the natives kill.
Just and unjust recording in their mind, The spreading clamour to their city flies,
And with sure eyes inspecting all mankind. And borse and foot in mingled tumult rise:
Telemachus, absorpt in thought severe, The reddening dawn reveals the hostile fields, Nourish'd deep anguish, though he shed no tear; Horrid with bristly spears, and gleaming shields : But the dark brow of silent sorrow shook; Jove thunder'd on their side : our guilty head While thus his mother to her virgins spoke : We turn'd to flight; the gathering vengeance spread "On him and his may the bright god of day On all parts round, and heaps on heaps lay dead. That base, in hospitable blow repay!" Some few the foe in servitude detain ;
The nurse replies: “ If Jove receives my prayer, Death ill exchanged for bondage and for pain! Not one survives to breathe to-morrow's air." Unhappy me a Cyprian took aboard,
All, all are foes, and migchief is their end : 590 And gave to Dmetor, Cyprus' haughty lord : Antinoüs most to gloomy death a friend : Hither, to 'scape his chains, my course I steer, (Replies the queen) the stranger begg'd their grace Still curst by fortune, and insulted here!
And melting pity softened every face; To whom Antinoiis thus his rage exprest: From every other hand redress he found, What god has plagued us with this gormand guest ? But fell Antinoüs answer'd with a wound. Unless at distance, wretch! thou keep behind, 530 Amidst her maids thus spoke the prudent queen, Another isle, than Cyprus more unkind,
Then bade Eumæus call the pilgrim in. Another Egypt, shalt thou quickly find.
Much of the experienced man I long to hear, From all thou begg'st, a bold audacious slave; If or his certain eye, or listening ear, Nor all can give so much as thou canst crave. Have learn'd the fortunes of my wandering lord ? 600 Nor wonder I, at such profusion shown;
Thus she, and good Eumæus took the word. Shameless they give, who give what's not their own. A private audience if thy grace impart,
The chief, retiring: Souls, like that in thee, The stranger's words may ease the royal heart. Ill suit such forms of grace and dignity.
His sacred eloquence in balm distils, Nor will that hand to utmost need afford
And the sooth'd heart with secret pleasure fills. The smallest portion of a wasteful board, 540 Three days have spent their beams, three nights Whose luxury whole patrimonies sweeps,
have run Yet starving want, amidst the riot, weeps.
Their silent journey since his tale begun, The haughty suitor with resentment burns, Unfinish'd yet : and yet I thirst to hear, And, sourly smiling, this reply returns :
As when some heaven-taught poet charms the ear,
Ulysses late he saw, on Cretan ground,
551 He now but wails the wind, to waft him o'er, And inly form'd revenge: then back withdrew; With boundless treasure, from Thesprotia's shore. Before his feet the well-fill'd scrip he threw,
To this the queen. The wanderer let me hear, And thus with semblance mild address'd the crew. While yon luxurious race indulge their cheer,