תמונות בעמוד

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,
And mingled horrors echo to the skies!
The men, like fish,

they stuck


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,

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And spiry tops, the tufted trees above,
Of Circè's palace bosom'd in the grove.

• Thither to haste, the region to explore,
Was my first thought: but speeding back to shore
I deem'd it best to visit first my crew,
And send out spies the dubious coast to view.
As down the hill I solitary go,
Some power divine, who pities human woe,
Sent a tall stag, descending from the wood,
To cool his fervour in the crystal flood;
Luxuriant on the wave-worn bank he lay,
Stretch'd forth, and panting in the sunny ray.
1 launch'd my spear, and with a sudden wound
Transpierced his back, and fix'd him to the ground.
He falls, and mourns his fate with human cries :
Through the wide wound the vital spirit Aies.
I drew, and casting on the river side
The bloody spear, his gather'd feet I tied
With twining osiers which the bank supplied.
An ell in length the pliant wisp I weaved,
And the huge body on my shoulders heaved:
Then leaning on the spear with both my hands,
Upbore my load, and press’d the sinking sands
With weighty steps, till at the ship I threw
The welcome burden, and bespoke my crew:

“ 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,
They sat indulging in the genial rite.
When evening rose, and darkness cover'd o’er
The face of things, we slept along the shore.
But when the rosy morning warm’d ihe east,
My men I summon’d, and these words address'd—

« Followers and friends; attend what I propose:
Ye sad companions of Ulysses' woes!
We know not here what land before us lies,
Or to what quarter now we turn our eyes,
Or where the sun shall set, or where shall rise.
Here let us think (if thinking be not vain)
If any counsel, any hope remain.
Alas! from yonder promontory's brow,
I view'd the coast, a region flat and low;
An isle encircled with the boundless flood;
A length of thickets, and entangled wood.
Some smoke I saw amid the forest rise,
And all around it only seas and skies!”

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,
(By magic tamed) familiar to the dome.
With gentle blandishment our men they meet,
And wag their tails, and fawning lick their feet.
As from some feast a man returning late,
His faithful dogs all meet him at the gate,
Rejoicing round, some morsel to receive
(Such as the good man ever used to give);
Domestic thus the grisly beasts drew near:
They gaze with wonder, not unmix'd with fear.
Now on the threshold of the dome they stood,
And heard a voice resounding through the wood:
Placed at her loom within, the goddess sung;
The vaulted roofs and solid pavement rung.
O'er the fair web the rising figures shine,
Immortal labour! worthy hands divine.
Polites to the rest the question moved
(A gallant leader, and a man I loved):

- 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.

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