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I wash’d. The table in fair order spread,
Why sits Ulysses silent and apart,
I answer’d, “Goddess! humane is thy breast, By justice sway'd, by tender pity press'd: Ill fits it me, whose friends are sunk to beasts, To quaff' thy bowls, or riot in thy feasts. Me wouldst thou please? for them thy cares
employ, And them to me restore, and me to joy.”
• With that, she parted: in her potent hand She bore the virtue of the magic wand. Then hastening to the styes, set wide the door, Urged forth, and drove the bristly herd before; Unwieldy, out they rush'd, with general cry, Enormous beasts dishonest to the eye. Now touch'd by countercharms, they change
again, And stand majestic, and recall’d to men. Those hairs of late that bristled every part, Fall off; miraculous effect of art! Till all the form in full proportion rise, More young, more large, more graceful to my eyes.
They saw, they knew me, and with eager pace
“ Son of Laertes! (then the queen began) Oh much enduring, much experienced man! Haste to thy vessel on the seabeat shore, Unload thy treasures, and the galley moor: Then bring thy friends, secure from future harms, And in our grottos stow thy spoils and arms."
• She said. Obedient to her high command I quit the place, and hasten to the strand, My sad companions on the beach I found, Their wistful eyes in floods of sorrow drown'd. As from fresh pas and the dewy field (When loaded cribs their evening banquet yield) The lowing herds return; around them throng With leaps and bounds their late imprison’d young, Rush to their mothers with unruly joy, And echoing hills return the tender cry; So round me press’d, exulting at my sight, With cries and agonies of wild delight, The weeping sailors; nor less fierce their joy Than if return’d to Ithaca from Troy.
Ah, master! ever honour'd, ever dear (These tender words on every side I hear), What other joy can equal thy return? Not that loved country for whose sight we mourn, The soil that nursed us, and that gave us breath : But, ah! relate our lost companions' death." • I answer'd cheerful—“ Haste, your galley
moor, And bring our treasures and our arms ashore ;
Those in yon hollow caverns let us lay;
and To taste the joys of Circè’s sacred dome.”
With ready speed the joyful crew obey : Alone Eurylochus persuades their stay. " Whither (he cried), ah, whither will ye run? Seek
ye to meet those evils ye should shun? Will
you the terrors of the dome explore, In swine to grovel, or in lions roar, Or wolf-like howl away the midnight hour In dreadful watch around the magic bower? Remember Cyclops, and his bloody deed; The leader's rashness made the soldiers bleed.”
I heard incensed, and first resolved to speed My flying falchion at the rebel's head. Dear as he was, by ties of kindred This hand had stretch'd him breathless on the
ground; But all at once my interposing train For mercy pleaded, nor could plead in vain. “ Leave here the man who dares his prince desert, Leave to repentance and his own sad heart, To guard the ship. Seek we the sacred shades Of Circè’s palace, where Ulysses leads.”
• This with one voice declared, the rising train Left the black vessel by the murmuring main. Shame touch'd Eurylochus's alter'd breast, He fear’d my threats, and follow'd with the rest.
. Meanwhile the goddess, with indulgent cares And social joys, the late transform'd repairs; The bath, the feast, their fainting soul renews; Rich in refulgent robes, and dropping balmy
Brightening with joy their eager eyes behold
Her kind entreaty moved the general breast;
“ Is this, Ulysses, our inglorious lot?
Melting I heard; yet still the sun's decline Prolong'd the feast, and quaffd the rosy wine : But when the shades came on at evening hour, And all lay slumbering in the dusky bower;
I came a suppliant to fair Circè’s bed,
“ Be mindful, goddess, of thy promise made;
“Go then (she cried), ah, go! yet think, not I, Not Circè, but the Fates your wish deny. Ah, hope not yet to breathe thy native air! Far other journey first demands thy care; To tread the unco
comfortable paths beneath, And view the realms of darkness and of death. There seek the Theban bard, deprived of sight; Within, irradiate with prophetic light; To whom Persephone, entire and whole, Gave to retain the’unseparated soul : The rest are forms of empty ether made; Impassive semblance, and a flitting shade.” * Struck at the word,
my very heart was dead; Pensive I sat; my tears bedew'd the bed; To hate the light and life my
soul begun, And saw that all was grief beneath the sun. Composed at length, the gushing tears suppress’d, And my toss'd limbs now wearied into rest, “ How shall I tread (I cried), ah, Circè! say, The dark descent, and who shall guide the way? Can living eyes behold the realms below? What bark to waft me, and what wind to blow ?”
“ Thy fated road (the magic power replied), Divine Ulysses! asks no mortal guide. Rear but the mast, the spacious sail display, The northern winds shall wing thee on thy way.