תמונות בעמוד

Before herself were placed the cates divine,
Ambrosial banquet, and celestial wine.
Their hunger satiate, and their thirst repress’d,
Thus spoke Calypso to her godlike guest-

• Ulysses! (with a sigh she thus began) O sprung

from gods! in wisdom more than man!
Is then thy home the passion of thy heart?
Thus wilt thou leave me, are we thus to part?
Farewell! and ever joyful mayst thou be,
Nor break the transport with one thought of me.
But ah, Ulysses! wert thou given to know
What Fate yet dooms thee, yet, to undergo;
Thy heart might settle in this scene of ease,
And e'en these slighted charms might learn to
A willing goddess, and immortal life, (please.
Might banish from thy mind an absent wife.
Am I inferior to a mortal dame?
Less soft my feature, less august my frame?
Or shall the daughters of mankind compare
Their earth-born beauties with the heavenly fair?

· Alas! for this (the prudent man replies)
Against Ulysses shall thy anger rise?
Loved and adored, 0 goddess! as thou art,
Forgive the weakness of a human heart.
Though well I see thy graces far above
The dear, though mortal object of my love,
Of youth eternal well the difference know,
And the short date of fading charms below;
Yet every day, while absent thus I roam,
I languish to return, and die at home.
Whate'er the gods shall destine me to bear
In the black ocean, or the watery war,
'Tis mine to master with a constant mind;
Inured to perils, to the worst resign’d.

By seas, by wars, so many dangers run;
Still I can suffer: their high will be done!

Thus while he spoke, the beamy sun descends,
And rising night her friendly shade extends.
To the close grot the lonely pair remove,
And slept delighted with the gifts of love.
When rosy morning call’d them from their rest,
Ulysses robed him in the cloak and vest.
The nymph's fair head a veil transparent graced;
Her swelling loins a radiant zone embraced
With flowers of gold: an under robe, unbound,
In snowy waves flow'd glittering on the ground.
Forth issuing thus, she gave him first to wield
A weighty axe, with truest temper steeld,
And double edged; the handle smooth and plain,
Wrought of the clouded olive's easy grain;
And next, a wedge to drive with sweepy sway:
Then to the neighbouring forest led the way.
On the lone island's utmost verge there stood
Of poplars, pines, and firs, a lofty wood,
Whose leafless summits to the skies aspire,
Scorch'd by the sun, or sear’d by heavenly fire:
(Already dried). These pointing out to view,
The nymph just show'd him, and with tears with-

drew. Now toils the hero; trees on trees o’erthrown Fall crackling round him, and the forests groan: Sudden, full twenty on the plain are strow'd, And lopp'd, and lighten’d of their branchy load. At equal angles these disposed to join, [line. He smooth'd and squared them, by the rule and (The wimbles for the work Calypso found) With those he pierced them, and with clinchers


Long and capacious as a shipwright forms
Some bark's broad bottom to outride the storms,
So large he built the raft: then ribb’d it strong


and nail'd the planks along;
These form’d the sides: the deck he fashion’d last;
Then o'er the vessel raised the taper mast,
With crossing sailyards dancing in the wind:
And to the helm the guiding rudder join'd
(With yielding osiers fenced, to break the force
Of surging waves, and steer the steady course).
Thy loom, Calypso! for the future sails
Supplied the cloth, capacious of the gales.
With stays and cordage last he rigg’d the ship,
And, rolld on levers, launch'd her in the deep.
Four days were pass’d, and now, the work

complete, ne the fifth morn: when from her sacred seat The nymph dismiss’d him (odorous garments given),

heaven; And bathed in fragrant oils that breathed of Then fill'd two goat-skins with her hands divine, With water one, and one with sable wine; Of every kind, provisions heaved aboard; And the full decks with copious viands stored. The goddess, last, a gentle breeze supplies, To curl old ocean, and to warm the skies.

And now rejoicing in the prosperous gales, With beating heart Ulysses spreads his sails; Placed at the helm he sat, and mark'd the skies, Nor closed in sleep his everwatchful eyes. There view'd the Pleiads, and the northern team, And great Orion's more refulgent beam, To which, around the axle of the sky The Bear revolving, points his golden eye:

Who shines exalted on the’ etherial plain,
Nor bathes his blazing forehead in the main.
Far on the left those radiant fires to keep
The nymph directed, as he sail'd the deep.
Full seventeen nights he cut the foamy way;
The distant land appear'd the following day:
Then swell’d to sight Phæacia's dusky coast,
And woody mountains, half in vapours lost;
That lay before him, indistinct and vast,
Like a broad shield amid the watery waste.

But him, thus voyaging the deeps below,
From far, on Solymé's aerial brow,
The king of Ocean saw, and seeing burn’d
(From Ethiopia's happy climes return'd):
The raging monarch shook his azure head,
And thus in secret to his soul he said- [high!

· Heavens! how uncertain are the powers on Is then reversed the sentence of the sky, In one man's favour; while a distant guest I shared secure the Ethiopian feast? Behold how near Phæacia's land he draws! The land, affix'd by Fate's eternal laws To end his toils. Is then our anger vain ? No; if this sceptre yet commands the main.'

He spoke, and high the forky trident hurld, Rolls clouds on clouds, and stirs the watery world, At once the face of earth and sea deforms, Swells all the winds, and rouses all the storms. Down rush'd the night; east, west, together roar; And south, and north, roll mountains to the shore; Then shook the hero, to despair resign’d, And question'd thus his yet unconquer'd mind:

• Wretch that I am! what further fates attend This life of toils, and what my

destined end?

Too well, alas! the island goddess knew
On the black sea what perils should ensue.
New horrors now this destined head enclose;
Unfilld is yet the measure of my woes;
With what a cloud the brows of heaven are

What raging winds! what roaring waters round!
'Tis Jove himself the swelling tempest rears;
Death, present death, on every side appears.
Happy! thrice happy! who, in battle slain,
Press'd, in Atrides' cause, the Trojan plain:
Oh! had I died before that well fought wall;
Had some distinguish'd day renown'd my fall
(Such as was that, when showers of javelins fled
From conquering Troy around Achilles dead);
All Greece had paid me solemn funerals then,
And spread my glory with the sons of men.
A shameful fate now hides my hapless head,
Unwept, unnoted, and for ever dead!

A mighty wave rush'd o'er him as he spoke, The raft it cover'd, and the mast it broke; Swept from the deck, and from the rudder torn, Far on the swelling surge the chief was borne: While by the howling tempest rent in twain Flew sail and sailyards rattling o'er the main. Long press’d, he heaved beneath the weighty wave, Clogg'd by the cumbrous vest Calypso gave: At length emerging from his nostrils wide And gushing mouth effused the briny tide; E’en then not mindless of his last retreat, He seized the raft, and leap'd into his seat, Strong with the fear of death. The rolling flood Now here, now there, impell’d the floating wood. As when a heap of gather'd thorns is cast, Now to, now fro, before the' autumnal blast;

« הקודםהמשך »