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Drowsy they rose, with heavy fumes oppress'd,
Reel'd from the palace, and retired to rest.
Then thus, in Mentor's reverend form array'd,
Spoke to Telemachus the martial maid—
* Lo! on the seas prepared the vessel stands,
The impatient mariner thy speed demands.’
Swift as she spoke, with rapid pace she leads;
The footsteps of the deity he treads.
Swift to the shore they move: along the strand
The ready vessel rides, the sailors ready stand.
He bids them bring their stores; the attending
Load the tall bark, and launch into the main.
The prince and goddess to the stern ascend;
To the strong stroke at once the rowers bend.
Full from the west she bids fresh breezes blow;
The sable billows foam and roar below.
The chief his orders gives: the obedient band
With due observance wait the chief's command;
With speed the mast they rear, with speed unbind
The spacious sheet, and stretch it to the wind.
High o'er the roaring waves the spreading sails
Bow the tall mast, and swell before the gales;
The crooked keel the parting surge divides,
And to the stern retreating roll the tides.
And now they ship their oars, and crown with wine
The holy goblet to the powers divine:
Imploring all the gods that reign above,
But chief the blue-eyed progeny of Jove.
Thus all the night they stem the liquid way,
And end their voyage with the morning ray.
The INTERVIEW OF TELEMACHUS AND NESTOR.
Telemachus, guided by Pallas in the shape of Mentor, arrives in the morning at Pylos, where Nestor and his sons are sacrificing on the seashore to Neptune. Telemachus declares the occasion of his coming ; and Nestor relates what passed in their return from Troy, how their fleets were separated, and he never since heard of Ulysses. The discourse concerning the death of Agamemnon, the revenge of Orestes, and the injuries of the suitors. Nestor advises him to go to Sparta, and inquire further of Menelaús. The sacrifice ending with the night, Minerva vanishes from them in the form of an eagle : Telemachus is lodged in the palace. The next morning they sacrifice a bullock to Minerva, and Telemachus proceeds on his journey to Sparta, attended by Pisistratus. The scene lies on the seashore of Pylos,
THE sacred Sun, above the waters raised,
Through heaven's eternal brazen portals blazed;
And wide o'er earth diffused his cheering ray,
To gods and men to give the golden day.
Now on the coast of Pyle the vessel falls,
Before old Neleus’ venerable walls.
There, suppliant to the monarch of the flood,
At nine green theatres the Pylians stood;
Each held five hundred (a deputed train),
At each, nine oxen on the sand lay slain.
They taste the entrails, and the altars load
With smoking thighs, an offering to the god.
Full for the port the Ithacensians stand,
And furl their sails, and issue on the land.
Telemachus already press'd the shore;
Not first, the power of wisdom march'd before,
And, ere the sacrificing throng he join'd,
Admonish'd thus his well attending mind—
“Proceed, my son! this youthful shame expel;
An honest business never blush to tell.
To learn what fates thy wretched sire detain,
We pass'd the wide immeasurable main.
Meet then the senior far renown'd for sense,
With reverend awe, but decent confidence:
Urge him with truth to frame his fair replies;
And sure he will; for wisdom never lies.’
* O tell me, Mentor' tell me, faithful guide
(The youth with prudent modesty replied),
How shall I meet, or how accost the sage,
Unskill'd in speech, nor yet mature of age?
Awful the approach, and hard the task appears,
To question wisely men of riper years.”
To whom the martial goddess thus rejoin’d—
“Search, for some thoughts, thy own suggesting
And others, dictated by heavenly power,
Shall rise spontaneous in the needful hour:
For nought unprosperous shall thy ways attend,
Born with good omens, and with Heaven thy
She spoke, andled the way with swiftest speed:
As swift, the youth pursued the way she led;
And join'd the band before the sacred fire,
Where sat, encompass'd with his sons, the sire.
The youth of Pylos, some on pointed wood
Transfix'd the fragments, someprepared the food.
In friendly throngs they gather, to embrace
Their unknown guests, and at the banquet place.
Pisistratus was first to grasp their hands,
And spread soft hides upon the yellow sands;
Along the shore the illustrious pair he led;
Where Nestor sat with youthful Thrasymed.
To each a portion of the feast he bore,
And held a golden goblet foaming o'er;
Then first approaching to the elder guest,
The latent goddess in these words address'd—
“Whoe'er thou art, whom fortune brings to keep
These rites of Neptune, monarch of the deep,
Thee first it fits, O stranger! to prepare
The due libation and the solemn prayer;
Then give thy friend to shed the sacred wine:
Though much thy younger, and his years like mine,
He too, I deem, implores the powers divine:
For all mankind alike require their grace,
All born to want; a miserable race!’
He spake, and to her hand preferr'd the bowl:
A secret pleasure touch’d Athena's soul,
To see the preference due to sacred age
Regarded ever by the just and sage. -
Of ocean's king she then implores the grace.
“O thou! whose arms this ample globe embrace,
Fulfil our wish, and let thy glory shine
On Nestor first, and Nestor's royal line;
Next grant the Pylian states their just desires,
Pleased with their hecatomb's ascending fires;
Last, deign Telemachus and me to bless,
And crown our voyage with desired success.’
Thus she; and having paid the rite divine,
Gave to Ulysses’ son the rosy wine.
Supplianthe pray'd. And now the victims dress'd
They draw, divide, and celebrate the feast.
The banquet done, the narrative old man,
Thus mild, the pleasing conference began—
‘Now, gentle guests! the genial banquet o'er, It fits to ask ye, what your native shore, And whence your race? on what adventure, say, Thus far ye wander through the watery way? Relate, if business, or the thirst of gain, Engage your journey o'er the pathless main: Where savage pirates seek through seas unknown The lives of others, venturous of their own.”
Urged by the precepts by the goddess given, And fill'd with confidence infused from Heaven, The youth, whom Pallas destined to be wise And famed among the sons of men, replies— “Inquirestthou, father! from what coast we came? (O grace and glory of the Grecian name!) From where high Ithaca o'erlooks the floods, Brown with o'erarching shades and pendent
Us to these shores our filial duty draws,
A private sorrow, not a public cause.
My sire I seek, where'er the voice of fame
Has told the glories of his noble name,
The great Ulysses; famed from shore to shore
For valour much, for hardy suffering more.
Long time with thee before proud Ilion's wall
In arms he fought; with thee beheld her fall.
Of all the chiefs, this hero's fate alone
Has Jove reserved, unheard of, and unknown;
Whether in fields by hostile fury slain,
Or sunk by tempests in the gulfy main.
Of this to learn, oppress'd with tender fears,
Lo, at thy knee his suppliant son appears.
If or thy certain eye, or curious ear,
Have learn'd his fate, the whole dark story clear:
And oh! whate'er Heaven destined to betide,
Let neither flattery smooth, nor pity hide,