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Then cautious through the rocky reaches wind, And, turning sudden, shun the death design'd.
Meantime the king, Eumæus, and the rest, Sat in the cottage, at their rural feast : The banquet pass'd, and satiate every man, To try his host Ulysses thus began- [guest;
Yet one night more, my friends, indulge your The last I purpose
walls to rest : To-morrow for myself I must provide, And only ask your counsel, and a guide; Patient to roam the street, by hunger led, And bless the friendly hand that gives me bread. There in Ulysses' roof I may relate Ulysses' wanderings to his royal mate; Or, mingling with the suitors' haughty train, Not undeserving, some support obtain. Hermes to me his various gifts imparts, Patron of industry and manual arts : Few can with me in dexterous works contend, The
pyre to build, the stubborn oak to rend; To turn the tasteful viand o’er the flame; Or foam the goblet with a purple stream. Such are the tasks of men of mean estate, Whom fortune dooms to serve the rich and great.'
* Alas! (Eumæus with a sigh rejoin'd) How sprung a thought so monstrous in thy mind? If on thạt godless race thou wouldst attend, Fate owes thee sure a miserable end! Their wrongs and blasphemies ascend the sky, And pull descending vengeance from on high. Not such, my friend, the servants of their feast; A blooming train in rich embroidery dress’d. With earth’s whole tribute the bright table bends; And smiling round celestial youth attends.
Stay then: no eye askance beholds thee here;
Sweet is thy converse to each social ear;
Well pleased, and pleasing, in our cottage rest,
Till good Telemachus accepts his guest
With genial gifts, and change of fair attires,
And safe conveys thee where thy soul desires.'
To him the man of woes—' O gracious Jove!
Reward this stranger's hospitable love,
Who knows the son of sorrow to relieve,
Cheers the sad heart, nor lets affliction grieve.
Of all the ills unhappy mortals know,
A life of wanderings is the greatest woe:
On all their weary ways wait care and pain,
And pine and penury, a meagre train.
To such a man since harbour you afford,
Relate the further fortunes of your lord;
What cares his mother's tender breast engage,
And sire, forsaken on the verge of age;
Beneath the sun prolong they yet their breath,
the house of darkness and of death?' To whom the swain Attend what you inquire: Laertes lives, the miserable sire;Lives, but implores of every power to lay The burden down, and wishes for the day. Torn from his offspring in the eve of life, Torn from the embraces of his tender wife, Sole, and all comfortless, he wastes away; Old age untimely posting ere his day. She too, sad mother! for Ulysses lost Pined out her bloom, and vanish'd to a ghost. (So dire a fate, ye righteous gods! avert, From every friendly, every feeling heart!) While yet she was, though clouded o'er with grief, Her pleasing converse minister'd relief:
With Climene, her youngest daughter, bred,
One roof contain’d us, and one table fed.
But when the softly stealing pace of time
Crept on from childhood into youthful prime,
To Samos’ isle she sent the wedded fair ;
Me to the fields, to tend the rural care;
Array’d in garments her own hands had wove,
Nor less the darling object of her love.
Her hapless death my brighter days o'ercast,
Yet Providence deserts me not at last;
My present labours food and drink procure,
And more, the pleasure to relieve the poor.
Small is the comfort from the queen to hear
Unwelcome news, or vex the royal ear;
Blank and discountenanced the servants stand,
Nor dare to question where the proud command.
No profit springs beneath usurping powers :
Want feeds not there where luxury devours;
Nór harbours charity where riot reigns:
Proud are the lords, and wretched are the swains.'
The suffering chief at this began to melt:-
* And, oh Eumæus! thou (he cries) hast felt
The spite of Fortune too! her cruel hand
Snatch'd thee an infant from thy native land !
Snatch'd from thy parents' arms, thy parents’eyes,
To early wants! a man of miseries!
Thy whole sad story, from its first declare:
Sunk the fair city by the rage of war,
Where once thy parents dwelt? or did they keep,
In humbler life, the lowing herds and sheep?
So left perhaps to tend the fleecy train,
Rude pirates seized,and shipp'd thee o'er the main ?
Doom'd a fair prize to grace some prince's board,
The worthy purchase of a foreign lord.'
fortunes can delight my friend,
A story, fruitful of events, attend:
Another's sorrow'may thy ear enjoy;
And wine the lengthen'd intervals employ.
Long nights the now declining year bestows :
A part we consecrate to soft repose;
A part in pleasing talk we entertain,
For too much rest itself becomes a pain.
Let those, whom sleep invites, the call obey,
Their cares resuming with the dawning day:
Here let us feast;—and to the feast be joind
Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind;-
Review the series of our lives, and taste
The melancholy joy of evils past:
For he who much has suffer’d, much will know;
And pleased remembrance builds delight on woe.
: Above Ortygia lies isle of fame,
Far hence remote, and Syria is the name
(There curious eyes inscribed with wonder trace
The sun's diurnal and his annual race):
Not large, but fruitful; stored with grass to keep
The bellowing oxen and the bleating sheep.
Her sloping hills the mantling vines adorn,
And her rich valleys wave with golden corn.
No want, no famine, the glad natives know,
Nor sink by sickness to the shades below:
But when a length of years unnerves the strong,
Apollo comes, and Cynthia comes along;
They bend the silver bow with tender skill,
And void of pain the silent arrows kill.
Two equal tribes this fertile land divide,
Where two fair cities rise with equal pride.
But both in constant peace one prince obey,
And Ctesius there, my father, holds the sway.
Freighted, it seems, with toys of every sort,
A ship of Sidon anchor'd in our port;
What time it chanced the palace entertain’d,
Skill'd in rich works, a woman of their land.
This nymph, where anchor'd the Phænician train,
To wash her robes descending to the main,
A smooth-tongued sailor won her to his mind
(For love deceives the best of womankind);
A sudden trust from sudden liking grew;
She told her name, her race, and all she knew,
“ I too (she cried) from glorious Sidon came,
My father Arybas, of wealthy fame;
But snatch'd by pirates from my native place,
The Taphians sold me to this man's embrace.”
“Haste then(the false designing youth replied) Haste to thy country: love shall be thy guide: Haste to thy father's house, thy father's breast; For still he lives, and lives with riches bless’d.”
“Swear first (she cried) ye sailors! to restore A wretch' in safety to her native shore." Swift as she ask'd, the ready sailors swore. She then proceeds"Now let our compact made Be nor by signal nor by word betray'd, Nor near me any
your crew descried By road frequented, or by fountain side. Be silence still our guard. The monarch's spies (For watchful age is ready to surmise) Are still at hand; and this, reveal'd, must be Death to yourselves, eternal chains to me. Your vessel loaded, and your traffic pass'd, Dispatch a wary messenger with haste: Then gold and costly treasures will I bring, And more, the infant offspring of the king.