« הקודםהמשך »
I only in the bay refused to moor, And fix’d, without, my halsers to the shore. • From thence we climb’d a point, whose airy
brow Commands the prospect of the plains below: No tracks of beasts, or signs of men, we found, But smoky volumes rolling from the ground. Two with our herald thither we command, With speed to learn whạt men possess’d the land. They went, and kept the wheel's smooth beaten
road, Which to the city drew the mountain wood; When lo! they met, beside a crystal spring, The daughter of Antiphates the king; She to A:rtacia's silver streams came down (Artacia's streams alone supply the town): The damsel they approach, and ask'd what race The people were? who monarch of the place? With joy the maid the' unwary strangers heard, And show'd them where the royal dome appear’d. They went; but as they entering saw the queen Of size enormous, and terrific mien (Not yielding to some bulky mountain's height), A sudden horror struck their aching sight. Swift at her call her husband scour'd away To wreak his hunger on the destined prey: One for his food the raging glutton slew, But two rush'd out, and to the navy
flew. • Balk'd of his prey, the yelling monster flies, And fills the city with his hideous cries; A ghastly band of giants hear the roar, And,pouring down the mountains,crowd the shore. Fragments they rend from off the craggy brow, And dash the ruins on the ships below:
The crackling vessels burst; hoarse groans arise,
the flood, And cramm’d their filthy throats with human food. Whilst thus their fury rages at the bay, My sword our cables cut, I call’d to weigh; And charged my men, as they from fate would fly, Each nerve to strain, each bending oar to ply. The sailors catch the word, their oars they seize, And
sweep with equal strokes the smoky seas; Clear of the rocks the’ impatient vessel flies; Whilst in the port each wretch encumber'd dies. With earnest haste my frighted sailors press, While kindling transports glow'd at our success; But the sad fate that did our friends destroy Cool'd every breast, and damp'd the rising joy.
Now dropp'd our anchors in the’Ææan bay, Where Circè dwelt, the daughter of the day; Her mother Persè, of old Ocean's strain: Thus from the Sun descended, and the Main (From the same lineage stern Æætes came, The far famed brother of the’enchantress dame); Goddess, and queen, to whom the powers belong Of dreadful magic, and commanding song. Some god directing, to this peaceful bay Silent we came, and melancholy lay, [on, Spent and o'erwatch'd. Two days and nights roll'd And now the third succeeding morning shone, I climb'd a cliff with spear and sword in hand, Whose ridge o'erlook'd a shady length of land; To learn if aught of mortal works appear, Or cheerful voice of mortal strike the ear! From the high point I mark’d, in distant view, A stream of curling smoke, ascending blue,
And spiry tops, the tufted trees above,
• Thither to haste, the region to explore,
“ Cheer up, my friends! it is not yet our fate To glide with ghosts through Pluto's gloomy gate. Food in the desert land, behold! is given, Live, and enjoy the providence of Heaven.”
* The joyful crew survey his mighty size, And on the future banquet feast their eyes, As huge in length extended lay the beast; Then wash their hands, and hąsten to the feast,
There till the setting sun rolld down the light,
« Followers and friends; attend what I propose:
With broken hearts my sad companions stood, Mindful of Cyclops and his human food, And horrid Læstrygons, the men of blood. Presaging tears apace began to rain; But tears in mortal miseries are vain. In equal parts I straight divide my band, And name a chief each party to command. I led the one, and of the other side Appointed brave Eurylochus the guide. Then in the brazen helm the lots we throw, And fortune casts Eurylochus to go: He march’d, with twice eleven in his train : Pensive they march, and pensive we remain.
• The palace in a woody vale they found, High raised of stone; a shaded space around:
Where mountain wolves and brindled lions roam,
- What voice celestial, chanting to the loom, Or nymph or goddess, echoes from the room? Say, shall we seek access ?” With that they call; And wide unfold the portals of the hall.
• The goddess, rising, asks her guests to stay, Who blindly follow where she leads the way. Eurylochus alone of all the band, Suspecting fraud, more prudently remain'd. On thrones around with downy coverings graced, With semblance fair the’unhappy men she placed. Milk newly press'd, the sacred flour of wheat, And honey fresh, and Pramnian wines, the treat: But venom'd was the bread, and mix'd the bowl, With drugs of force to darken all the soul: Soon in the luscious feast themselves they lost, And drank oblivion of their native coast.