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I stay reluctant seven continued years,
lost. Joy touch'd my soul : my soul was' joy'd in vain, For angry Neptune roused the raging main; The wild winds whistle, and the hillows roar; The splitting raft the furious tempest tore; And storms vindictive intercept the shore. Soon as their rage subsides, the seas I brave With naked force, and shoot along the wave, To reach this isle: but there my hopes were lost, The surge impell’d me on a craggy coast. I chose the safer sea, and chanced to find A river's mouth, impervious to the wind, „And clear of rocks. I fainted by the flood; Then took the shelter of the neighbouring wood, 'Twas night; and cover'd in the foliage deep, Jove plunged my senses in the death of sleep. All night I slept, oblivious of my pain : Aurora dawn'd, and Phæbus shined in vain, Nor till oblique he sloped his evening ray, Had Somnus dried the balmy dews away. Then female voices from the shore I heard : A maid amidst them, goddesslike, appear'd : To her I sued, she pitied my distress; Like thee in beauty, nor in virtue less. Who from such youth could hope considerate care? In youth and beauty wisdom is but rare !
She gave me life, relieved with just supplies
eyes. This is the truth : and oh, ye powers on high! Forbid that want should sink me to a lie.'
To this the king— Our daughter but express'd Her cares imperfect to our godlike guest. Suppliant to her, since first he chose to pray, Why not herself did she conduct the way, And with her handmaids to our court convey?'
· Hero and king! (Ulysses thus replied) Nor blame her, faultless, nor suspect of pride : She bade me follow in the attendant train; But fear and reverence did my steps detain, Lest rash suspicion might alarm thy mind : Man's of a jealous and mistaking kind.'
• Far from my soul (he cried) the gods efface All wrath ill grounded, and suspicion base! Whate'er is honest, stranger,
approve; And would to Phæbus, Pallas, and to Jove, Such as thou art, thy thought and mine were one, Nor thou unwilling to be callid my son: In such alliance couldst thou wish to join, A palace stored with treasures should be thine. But if reluctant, who shall force thy stay? Jove bids to set the stranger on his way, And ships shall wait thee with the morning ray. Till then, let slumber close thy careful eyes; The wakeful mariners shall watch the skies, And seize the moment when the breezes rise: Then gently waft thee to the pleasing shore, Where thy soul rests, and labour is no more. Far as Eubea though thy country lay, Our ships with ease transport thee in a day..
Thither of old, earth's giant son to view,
Thus he. No word the’experienced man replies, But thus to Heaven (and heavenward lifts his
eyes) • O Jove! O father! what the king accords Do thou make perfect! sacred be his words! Wide o’er the world Alcinoüs glory shine; Let fame be his, and ah! my country mine!' Meantime Arete, for the hour of rest, Ordains the fleecy couch, and covering vest: Bids her fair train the purple quilts prepare, And the thick carpets spread with busy care. With torches blazing in their hands they pass’d, And finish'd all the queen’s command with haste: Then gave the signal to the willing guest: He rose with pleasure, and retired to rest. There, soft extended, to the murmuring sound Of the high porch, Ulysses sleeps profound! Within, released from cares Alcinoüs lies; And fast beside were closed Arete's eyes,
The argument. Alcinoüs calls a council, in which it is resolved to transport
Ulysses into bis country. After which splendid entertainments are made, where the celebrated musician and poet Demodocus plays and sings to the guests. They next proceed to the games, the race, the wrestling, discus, &c. where Ulysses casts a prodigious length, to the admiration of all the spectators. They return again to the banquet, and Demodocus sings the love of Mars and Venus. Ulysses, after a compliment to the poet, desires him to sing the introduction of the wooden horse into Troy; which subject provoking his tears, Alcinoüs inquires of his guest his name, parentage, and fortunes.
Now fair Aurora lifts her golden ray,
Meanwhile Minerva, in her guardian care,
peer, and thus incessant cries · Nobles and chiefs who rule Phæacia's states, The king in council your attendance waits : A prince of grace divine your aid implores, O’er unknown seas, arrived from unknown shores.'
She spoke, and sudden with tumultuous sounds Of thronging multitudes the shore rebounds:
At once the seats they fill: and every eye
Then from his glittering throne Alcinoüs rose:
Thus spoke the prince: the attending peers In state they move; Alcinoüs leads the way: Swift to Demodocus the herald flies, At once the sailors to their charge arise ; They launch the vessel, and unfurl the sails, And stretch the swelling canvass to the gales ; Then to the palace move: a gathering throng, Youth, and white age, tumultuous pour along :