תמונות בעמוד

When lo! appear'd along the dusky coasts,
Thin, airy shoals of visionary ghosts;
Fair, pensive youths, and soft, enamour'd maids;
And wither'd elders, pale and wrinkled shades;
Ghastly with wounds, the forms of warriors slain
Stalk'd with majestic port, a martial train :
These and a thousand more swarm’d o'er the

And all the dire assembly shriek'd around.
Astonish'd at the sight, aghast I stood,
And a cold fear ran shivering through my blood :
Straight I command the sacrifice to haste,
Straight the flay'd victims to the flames are cast,
And mutter'd vows, and mystic song, applied
To grisly Pluto, and his gloomy bride.

• Now swift I waved my falchion o'er the blood; Back started the pale throngs, and trembling

stood. Round the black trench the gore untasted flows, Till awful from the shades Tiresias rose. * There wandering through the gloom, I first

New to the realms of death, Elpenor's shade:
His cold remains all naked to the sky,
On distant shores unwept, unburied, lie.
Sad at the sight I stand, deep fix'd in woe,
And ere I spoke the tears began to flow.


angry power Elpenor led
To glide in shades, and wander with the dead?
How could thy soul, by realms and seas disjoin'd,
Outfly the nimble sail, and leave the lagging

wind ?* The ghost replied: "To hell my doom I owe, Demons accursed, dire ministers of woe!

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My feet, through wine unfaithful to their weight,
Betray'd me tumbling from a towery height:
Staggering I reeld, and as I reeld I fell,
Lux'd the neck-joint-my soul descends to hell.
But lend me aid, I now conjure thee lend,
By the soft tie and sacred name of friend!
By thy fond consort! by thy father's cares !
By loved Telemachus's blooming years!
For well I know that soon the heavenly powers
Will give thee back to day and Circe's shores :
There pious on my cold remains attend,
There call to mind thy poor departed friend;
The tribute of a tear is all I crave,
And the possession of a peaceful grave.
But if, unheard, in vain compassion plead,
Revere the gods, the gods revenge the dead!
A tomb along the watery margin raise,
The tomb with manly arms and trophies grace,
To show posterity Elpenor was.
There high in air, memorial of my name,
Fix the smooth oar, and bid me live to fame.”
To whom with tears—" These rites, 0

mournful shade! Due to thy ghost, shall to thy ghost be paid.”

• Still as I spoke, the phantom seem'd to moan, Tear follow'd tear, and

groan. But as my waving sword the blood surrounds, The shade withdrew, and mutter'd empty sounds.

• There as the wondrous visions I survey'd, All pale ascends my royal mother's shade: A queen, to Troy she saw our legions pass ; Now a thin form is all Anticlea was ! Struck at the sight I melt with filial woe, And down my cheek the pious sorrows flow:

groan succeeded


Yet as I shook my falchion o'er the blood,
Regardless of her son the parent stood.

When lo! the mighty Theban I behold;
To guide his steps he bore a staff of gold :
Awful he trod! majestic was his look!
And from his holy lips these accents broke-

Why, mortal, wander’st thou from cheerful
To tread the downward melancholy way? [day,
What angry gods to these dark legions led
Thee yet alive, companion of the dead?
But sheath thy poniard, while my tongue relates
Heaven's steadfast purpose, and thy future fates."

While yet he spoke, the prophet I obey'd, And in the scabbard plunged the glittering blade. Eager he quaff’d the gore, and then express’d Dark things to come, the counsels of his breast.

“ Weary of light, Ulysses here explores A prosperous voyage to his native shores : But know--by me unerring Fates disclose New trains of dangers, and new scenes of woes; I see! I see, thy bark by Neptune toss'd, For injured Cyclops, and his eyeball lost! Yet to thy woes the gods decree an end, If Heaven thou please; and how to please attend ! Where on Trinacrian rocks the ocean roars, Graze numerous herds along the verdant shores; Though hunger press, yet fly the dangerous prey, The herds are sacred to the god of day, Who all surveys with his extensive eye, Above, below, on earth, and in the sky! Rob not the god, and so propitious gales Attend thy voyage, and impel thy sails ; But if his herds ye seize, beneath the waves I see thy friends o'erwhelm'd in liquid graves !

The direful wreck Ulysses scarce survives !
Ulysses at his country scarce arrives !
Strangers thy guides ! nor there thy labours end,
New foes arise, domestic ills attend !
There foul adulterers to thy bride resort,
And lordly gluttons riot in thy court.
But vengeance hastes amain! These eyes behold
The deathful scene, princes on princes rollid!
That done, a people far from sea explore,
Who ne'er knew salt, or heard the billows roar,
Or saw gay vessel stem the watery plain,
A painted wonder flying on the main!
Bear on thy back an oar: with strange amaze
A shepherd meeting thee, the oar surveys,
And names a van: there fix it on the plain,
To calm the god that holds the watery reign ;
A threefold offering to his altar bring,
A bull, a ram, a boar; and hail the ocean-king.
But home return’d, to each etherial power
Slay the due victim in the genial hour:
So peaceful shalt thou end thy blissful days,
And steal thyself from life by slow decays:
Unknown to pain, in age resign thy breath,
When late stern Neptune points the shaft with
To the dark grave retiring as to rest, [death :
Thy people blessing, by thy people bless’d!

“ Unerring truths, O man, my lips relate; This is thy life to come, and this is Fate.”

“ To whom unmoved—“If this the gods prepare, What Heaven ordains, the wise with courage bear. But say, why yonder on the lonely strands, Unmindful of her son, Anticlea stands? Why to the ground she bends her downcast eye? Why is she silent, while her son is nigh?

The latent cause, O sacred seer, reveal ?

“ Nor this (replies the seer) will I conceal. Know; to the spectres, that thy beverage taste, The scenes of life recur, and actions pass’d; They, seal’d with truth, return the sure reply; The rest, repell’d, a train oblivious fly.”

* The phantom prophet ceased, and sunk from To the black palace of eternal night. [sight

• Still in the dark abodes of death I stood, When near Anticlea moved, and drank the blood. Straight all the mother in her soul awakes, And, owning her Ulysses, thus she speaks“ Comest thou, my son, alive, to realms beneath, The dolesome realms of darkness and of death; Comest thou alive from pure, etherial day? Dire is the region, dismal is the way! Here lakes profound, there floods oppose their

waves, There the wide sea with all his billows raves! Or (since to dust proud Troy submits her towers) Comest thou a wanderer from the Phrygian shores? Or say, since honour callid thee to the field, Hast thou thy Ithaca, thy bride, beheld ?”

“ Source of my life (I cried), from earth I Ay To seek Tiresias in the nether sky, To learn my doom; for, toss'd from woe to woe, In every land Ulysses finds a foe: Nor have these eyes beheld my native shores, Since in the dust proud Troy submits her towers.

But, when thy soul from her sweet mansion

fled, Say, what distemper gave thee to the dead? Has life's fair lamp declined by slow decays, Or swift expired it in a sudden blaze?

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