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Words to her dumb complaint a pause supplies,
Behold a wretch whom all the gods consign
Then Euryclea thus— My dearest dread! Though to the sword I bow this hoary head, Or if a dungeon be the pain decreed, I own me conscious of the' unpleasing deed : Auxiliar to his flight, my aid implored, With wine and viands I the vessel stored ; A solemn oath imposed, the secret seald, Till the twelfth dawn the light of heaven reveald.
Dreading the effect of a fond mother's fear,
The queen her speech with calm attention hears, Her eyes
restrain the silver-streaming tears : She bathes, and, robed, the sacred dome ascends : Her pious speed a female train attends : The salted cakes in canisters are laid, And thus the queen invokes Minerva's aid: • Daughter divine of Jove! whose arm can wield The’avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield! If e'er Ulysses to thy fane preferr’d The best and choicest of his flock and herd ; Hear, goddess, hear, by those oblations won; And for the pious sire preserve the son: His wish'd return with happy power befriend, And on the suitors let thy wrath descend !'
She ceased; shrill ecstasies of joy declare The favouring goddess present to the prayer: The suitors heard, and deem'd the mirthful voice A signal of her hymeneal choice; Whilst one most jovial thus accosts the board« Too late the
selects a second lord ; In evil hour the nuptial rite intends, When o'er her son disastrous death impends.'
Thus he unskilld of what the Fates provide. But with severe rebuke Antinoüs cried :
• These empty vaunts will make the voyage vain; Alarm not with discourse the menial train : The great event with silent hope attend; Our deeds alone our counsel must commend.'
His speech thus ended short, he frowning rose, And twenty chiefs renown’d for valour chose : Down to the strand he speeds with haughty strides, Where anchor’d in the bay the vessel rides, Replete with mail and military store, In all her tackle trim to quit the shore. The desperate crew ascend, unfurl the sails (The seaward prow invites the tardy gales); Then take repast, till Hesperus display'd His golden circlet in the western shade.
Meantime the queen without refection due, Heart-wounded, to the bed of state withdrew : In her sad breast the prince's fortunes roll, And hope and doubt alternate seize her soul. So when the woodman's toil her cave surrou
ounds, And with the hunter's
resounds; With grief and rage the mother-lion stung, Fearless herself, yet trembles for her young.
While pensive in the silent slumberous shade, Sleep’s gentle powers her drooping eyes invade; Minerva, lifelike, on embodied air Impress'd the form of Iphthima the fair (Icarius' daughter she, whose blooming charms Allured Eumelus to her virgin arms; A sceptred lord, who o'er the fruitful plain Of Thessaly, wide stretch'd his ample reign); As Pallas will’d, along the sable skies To calm the queen the phantom sister flies,
Swift on the regal dome descending right,
• O why, Penelope, this causeless fear,
To whom the queen, whilst yet her pensive mind
O sister, tò my soul for ever dear, Why this first visit to reprove my fear? How in a realm so distant should
Courage resume (the shadowy form replied),
The queen replies-- If in the bless'd abodes,