תמונות בעמוד

Night now approaching, in the palace stand,
With goblets crown'd, the rulers of the land;
Prepared for rest, and offering to the god
Who bears the virtue of the sleepy rod.
Unseen he glided through the joyous crowd,
With darkness circled, and an ambient cloud.
Direct to great Alcinoüs' throne he came,
And prostrate fell before the’ imperial dame.
Then from around him dropp'd the veil of night;
Sudden he shines, and manifest to sight.
The nobles gaze, with awful fear oppress’d;
Silent they gaze, and eye the godlike guest.

• Daughter of great Rhexenor! (thus began,
Low at her knees, the much enduring man)
To thee, thy consort, and this royal train,
To all that share the blessings of your reign,
A suppliant bends! O pity human woe!
"Tis what the happy to the' unhappy owe.
A wretched exile to his country send,
Long worn with griefs, and long without a friend.
So may the gods your better days increase,
And all your joys descend on all your race;
So reign for ever on your country's breast,
Your people blessing, by your people bless'd!

Then to the genial hearth he bow'd his face, And humbled in the ashes took his place. Silence ensued. The eldest first began, Echeneus sage, a venerable man! [pass'd; Whose well taught mind the present age surAnd join'd to that the experience of the last. Fit words attended on his weighty sense, And mild persuasion flow'd in eloquence.

Oh sight (he cried) dishonest and unjust! A guest, a stranger, seated in the dust!

To raise the lowly suppliant from the ground
Betits a monarch. Lo! the peers around
But wait thy word, the gentle guest to grace,
And seat him fair in some distinguish'd place.
Let first the herald due libation pay
To Jove, who guides the wanderer on his way;
Then set the genial banquet in his view,
And give the stranger guest a stranger's due.'

His sage advice the listening king obeys;
He stretch'd his hand the prudent chief to raise,
And from his seat Laodamas removed
(The monarch's offspring, and his best beloved),
There next his side the godlike hero sat;
With stars of silver shone the bed of state.
The golden ewer a beauteous handmaid brings,
Replenish'd from the cool translucent springs,
Whose polish'd vase with copious streams supplies
A silver laver of capacious size.
The table next in regal order spread,
The glittering canisters are heap'd with bread:
Viands of various kinds invite the taste,
Of choicest sort and savour, rich repast!
Thus feasting high, Alcinoüs gave

the sign, And bade the herald


wine. • Let all around the due libation pay To Jove, who guides the wanderer on his way.'

He said. Pontonus heard the king's command: The circling goblet moves from hand to hand: Each drinks the juice that glads the heart of man. Alcinoüs then, with aspect mild, began

· Princes and peers, attend! while we impart To

you the thoughts of no inhuman heart. Now pleased and satiate from the social rite Repair we to the blessings of the night:

But with the rising day, assembled here,
Let all the elders of the land

Pious observe our hospitable laws,
And Heaven propitiate in the stranger’s cause:
Then join'd in council, proper means explore
Safe to transport him to the wish’d-for shore
(How distant that, imports not us to know,
Nor weigh the labour, but relieve the woe):
Meantime, nor harm nor anguish let him bear:
This interval, Heaven trusts him to our care;
But to his native land our charge resign’d,
Heaven's is his life to come, and all the woes

behind. Then must he suffer what the Fates ordain; For Fate has wove the thread of life with pain, Andtwins,e'en from the birth, are misery and man!

* But if, descended from the’Olympian bower, Gracious approach us some immortal power ; If in that form thou comest a guest divine, Some high event the conscious gods design. As yet, unbid they never graced our feast, The solemn sacrifice call'd down the guest; Then manifest of heaven the vision stood, And to our eyes familiar was the god. Oft with some favour'd traveller they stray, And shine before him all the desert way: With social intercourse, and face to face, The friends and guardians of our pious race. So near approach we their celestial kind, By justice, truth, and probity of mind; As our dire neighbours of Cyclopæan birth Match in fierce wrong the giant sons of earth.'

'Let no such thought(with modest grace rejoin'd The prudent Greek) possess the royal mind.

Alas! a mortal, like thyself, am I;
No glorious native of yon azure sky:
In form, ah, how unlike their heavenly kind!
How more inferior in the gifts of mind!
Alas, a mortal! most oppress'd of those
Whom Fate has loaded with a weight of woes;
By a sad train of miseries alone
Distinguish'd long, and second now to none!
By Heaven's high will compellid from shore to

With Heaven's high will prepared to suffer more.
What histories of toil could I declare!
But still long-wearied nature wants repair ;
Spent with fatigue, and shrunk with pining fast,
My craving bowels still require repast.
Howe'er the noble, suffering mind may grieve
Its load of anguish, and disdain to live;
Necessity demands our daily bread;
Hunger is insolent, and will be fed.
But finish, O ye peers! what you propose,
And let the morrow's dawn conclude my woes:
Pleased will I suffer all the gods ordain,
To see my soil, my son, my friends, again.
That view vouchsafed, let instant death surprise
With everduring shade these happy eyes!
The'assembled peers with general praise ap-

proved His pleaded reason, and the suit he moved. Each drinks a full oblivion of his cares, And to the gifts of balmy sleep repairs. Ulysses in the regal walls alone Remain’d: beside him, on a splendid throne, Divine Arete and Alcinoüs shone.

The queen, on nearer view, the guest survey'd Robed in the garments her own hands had made; Not without wonder seen.

Then thus began, Her words addressing to the godlike man• Camest thou not hither, wondrous stranger!

say, From lands remote, and o’er a length of sea ? Tell then whence art thou? whence that princely

air? And robes like these, so recent and so fair?

· Hard is the task, O princess! you impose , (Thus sighing spoke the man of many woes), The long, the mournful series to relate Of all my sorrows, sent by Heaven and Fate! Yet what you ask, attend. An island lies Beyond these tracts, and under other skies, Ogygia named, in Ocean's watery arms; Where dwells Calypso, dreadful in her charms! Remote from gods or men she holds her reign, Amid the terrors of the rolling main. Me, only me, the hand of Fortune bore, Unbless'd! to tread that interdicted shore, When Jove tremendous in the sable deeps Launch'd his red lightning at our scatter'd ships: Then, all my fleet, and all my followers, lost, Sole on a plank, by boiling surges toss'd, Heaven drove my wreck the Ogygian isle to find, Full nine days floating to the wave and wind. Met by the goddess there with open arms, She bribed my stay with more than human charms; Nay promised, vainly promised to bestow Immortal life, exempt from age and woe. But all her blandishments successless prove, To banish from my breast my country's love.

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