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Night now approaching, in the palace stand,
• Daughter of great Rhexenor! (thus began,
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
His sage advice the listening king obeys;
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,
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;
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.