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The train prepare a cruise of curious mould,
Now mounting the gay seat, the silken reins
Then emulous the royal robes they lave, And plunge the vestures in the cleansing wave (The vestures cleansed o'erspread the shelly sand, Their snowy lustre whitens all the strand): Then with a short repast relieve their toil, And o’er their limbs diffuse ambrosial oil; And while the robes imbibe the solar ray, O’er the green mead the sporting virgins play (Their shining veils unbound). Along the skies Toss'd, and retoss'd, the ball incessant flies. They sport, they feast; Nausicaa lifts her voice, And warbling sweet, makes earth and heaven
rejoice. As when o'er Erymanth Diana roves, Or wide Täygetus' resounding groves; A silvan train the huntress-queen surrounds, Her rattling quiver from her shoulder sounds; Fierce in the sport, along the mountain's brow They bay the boar, or chase the bounding roe: High o’er the lawn, with more majestic pace, Above the nymphs she treads with stately grace:
Distinguish'd excellence the goddess proves ;
Meantime, (the care and favourite of the skies)
Ah me! on what inhospitable coast, On what new region is Ulysses toss'd: Possess’d by wild barbarians fierce in arms; Or men whose bosom tender pity warms? What sounds are these that gather from the shores : The voice of nymphs that haunt the silvan bowers, The fair-hair’d Dryads of the shady wood; Or azure daughters of the silver flood; Or human voice? but, issuing from the shades, Why cease 1 straight to learn what sound invades?" Then, where the grove with leaves umbrageous
bends With forceful strength a branch the hero rends; Around his loins the verdant cincture spreads A wreathy foliage and concealing shades. As when a lion in the midnight hours, Beat by rude blasts, and wet with wintry showers, Descends terrific from the mountain's brow, With living flames his rolling eyeballs glow; With conscious strength elate, he bends his way Majestically fierce, to seize his prey
(The steer or stag); or with keen hunger bold
If from the skies a goddess, or if earth
[charms, But bless'd o'er all, the youth with heavenly Who clasps the bright perfection in his arms! Never, I never view'd till this bless'd hour Such finish'd grace! I gaze and I adore!
Thus seems the palm with stately honours crown'd
To whom the nymph-O stranger, cease thy Wise is thy soul, but man is born to bear: [care; Jove weighs affairs of earth in dubious scales, And the good suffers, while the bad prevails : Bear, with a soul resign'd, the will of Jove; Who breathes, must mourn: thy woes are from
above. But since thou tread'st our hospitable shore, 'Tis mine to bid the wretched grieve no more, To clothe the naked, and thy way to guide Know, the Phæacian tribes this land divide; From great Alcinoüs' royal loins I spring, A happy nation, and a happy king.' Then to her maids~ Why, why, ye coward train, These fears, this flight? ye fear, and fly in vain. Dread
a foe? dismiss that idle dread, 'Tis death with hostile steps these shores to tread: Safe in the love of Heaven, an ocean flows Around our realm, a barrier from the foes; 'Tis ours this son of sorrow to relieve, Cheer the sad heart, nor let affection grieve. By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent, And what to those we give, to Jove is lent. Then food supply, and bathe his fainting limbs Where waving shades obscure the mazy streams.'
Obedient to the call, the chief they guide To the calm current of the secret tide; Close by the stream a royal dress they lay, A vest and robe, with rich embroidery gay: Then unguents in a vase of gold supply, That breathed a fragrance through the balmy sky.
To them the king—No longer I detain Your friendly care; retire, ye virgin train ! Retire, while from my wearied limbs I lave The foul pollution of the briny wave: