תמונות בעמוד

Nurse of Nausicaa from her infant years,
And tender second to a mother's cares.

Now from the sacred thicket where he lay,
To town Ulysses took the winding way.
Propitious Pallas to secure her care,
Around him spread a veil of thicken'd air;
To shun the encounter of the vulgar crowd,
Insulting still, inquisitive and loud.
When near the famed Phæacian walls he drew,
The beauteous city opening to his view,
His step a virgin met, and stood before :
A polish'd urn the seeming virgin bore,
And youthful smiled; but in the low disguise
Lay hid the goddess with the azure eyes.
Show me, fair daughter (thus the chief de-

mands), The house of him who rules these happy lands, Through many woes and wanderings, lo! I come To good Alcinoüs' hospitable dome. Far from my native coast, I rove alone, A wretched stranger, and of all unknown!

The goddess answer'd— Father, I obey, And point the wandering traveller his way: Well known to me the palace you inquire, For fast beside it dwells my honour'd sire; But silent march, nor greet the common train With question needless, or inquiry vain. A race of rugged mariners are these; Unpolish'd men, and boisterous as their seas: The native islanders alone their care, And hateful he that breathes a foreign air. These did the ruler of the deep ordain To build proud navies, and command the main; On canvass wings to cut the watery way; No bird so light, no thought so swift as they.'


Thus having spoke, the’unknown celestial leads: The footsteps of the deity he treads, And secret moves along the crowded space, Unseen of all the rude Phæacian race (So Pallas order'd, Pallas to their eyes The mist objected, and condensed the skies). The chief with wonder sees the’ extended streets, The spreading harbours, and the riding fleets; He next their princes' lofty domes admires, In separate islands crown'd with rising spires ; And deep intrenchments, and high walls of stone, That gird the city like a marble zone. At length the kingly palace gates he view'd: There stopp'd the goddess, and her speech re

My task is done; the mansion you inquire
Appears before you: enter, and admire.
High-throned, and feasting, there thou shalt behold
The sceptred rulers. Fear not, but be bold:
A decent boldness ever meets with friends,
Succeeds, and e'en a stranger recommends.
First to the queen prefer a suppliant's claim,
Alcinoüs' queen, Arete is her name,
The same her parents, and her power the same.
For know, from Ocean’s god Nausithous sprung,
And Peribæa, beautiful and young
(Eurymedon's last hope, who ruled of old
The race of giants, impious, proud, and bold;
Perish'd the nation in unrighteous war,
Perish'd the prince, and left this only heir),
Who now by Neptune's amorous power com-

Produced a monarch that his people bless’d,
Father and prince of the Phæacian name;
From him Rhexenor and Alcinoüs came.

The first by Phoebus' burning arrows fired,
New from his nuptials, hapless youth! expired.
No son survived: Arete heir'd his state,
And her, Alcinoüs chose his royal mate.
With honours yet to womankind unknown,


and divides the throne:
In equal tenderness her sons conspire,
And all the children emulate their sire.
When through the street she gracious deigns to


(The public wonder, and the public love), The tongues of all with transport sound her praise, The eyes

of all, as on a goddess, gaze. She feels the triumph of a generous breast, To heal divisions, to relieve the oppress'd; In virtue rich; in blessing others, bless'd. Go then secure, thy humble suit prefer, And owe thy country and thy friends to her.'

With that the goddess deign'd no longer stay, But o'er the world of waters wing’d her way: Forsaking Scheria's everpleasing shore, The winds to Marathon the virgin bore; Thence, where proud Athens rears her towery head,

[spread, With opening streets and shining structures She pass’d, delighted with the well known seats; And to Erectheus' sacred dome retreats.

Meanwhile Ulysses at the palace waits, There stops, and anxious with his soul debates, Fix'd in amaze before the royal gates. The front appear'd with radiant splendours gay, Bright as the lamp of night, or orb of day. The walls were massy brass: the cornice high Blue metals crown'd, in colours of the sky:

Rich plates of gold the folding doors incase;
The pillars silver, on a brazen base;
Silver, the lintels deep projecting o’er,
And gold, the ringlets that command the door.
Two rows of stately dogs, on either hand,
In sculptured gold and labour'd silver, stand.
These Vulcan form’d with art divine, to wait
Immortal guardians at Alcinoüs' gate;
Alive each animated frame appears,
And still to live beyond the power of years.
Fair thrones within from space to space were

Where various carpets with embroidery blazed,
The work of matrons : these the princes press’d,
Day following day, a long continued feast.
Refulgent pedestals the walls surround,
Which boys of gold with flaming torches crown'd;
The polish'd ore, reflecting every ray,
Blazed on the banquets with a double day.
Full fifty handmaids form the household train;
Some turn the mill, or sift the golden grain;
Some ply the loom; their busy fingers move.
Like poplar leaves, when Zephyr fans the grove.
Not more renown’d the men of Scheria's isle,
For sailing arts and all the naval toil,
Than works of female skill their women's pride,
The flying shuttle through the threads to guide:
Pallas to these her double gifts imparts,
Inventive genius, and industrious arts.

Close to the gates a spacious garden lies, From storms defended, and inclement skies. Four acres was the' allotted space of ground, Fenced with a green enclosure all around: Tall' thriving trees confess’d the fruitful mould; The reddening apple ripens here to gold :

Here the blue fig with luscious juice o'erflows,
With deeper red the full pomegranate glows,
The branch here bends beneath the weighty pear,
And verdant olives flourish round the year.
The balmy spirit of the western gale
Eternal breathes on fruits untaught to fail:
Each dropping pear a following pear supplies,
On apples apples, figs on figs arise :
The same mild season gives the blooms to blow,
The buds to harden, and the fruits to grow.

Here order'd vines in equal ranks appear,
With all the united labours of the year:
Some to unload the fertile branches run,
Some dry the blackening clusters in the sun,
Others to tread the liquid harvest join,
The groaning presses foam with floods of wine.
Here are the vines in early flower descried,
discolour'd on the

sunny side, And there in autumn's richest purple dyed.

Beds of all various herbs, for ever green, İn beauteous order terminate the scene. Two plenteous fountains the whole prospect

crown'd; This through the gardens leads its streams around, Visits each plant, and waters all the ground; While that in pipes beneath the palace flows, And thence its current on the town bestows: To various use their various streams they bring, The people one, and one supplies the king.

Such were the glories which the gods ordain’d, To grace Alcinoüs, and his happy land ! E’en from the chief, who men and nations knew, The' unwonted scene surprise and rapture drew; In pleasing thought he ran the prospect o’er, Then hasty enter'd at the lofty door.

Here grapes

« הקודםהמשך »