« הקודםהמשך »
Him, childlike wandering forth, I'll lead away,
(A noble prize!) and to your ship convey.”
“Thus spoke the dame, and homeward took
A year they traffic, and their vessel load.
Their stores complete, and ready now to weigh,
A spy was sent their summons to convey:
An artist to my father's palace came,
With gold and amber chains, elaborate frame:
Each female eye the glittering links employ;
They turn, review, and cheapen every toy.
He took the occasion as they stood intent,
Gave her the sign, and to his vessel went.
She straight pursued, and seized my willing arm;
I follow’d smiling, innocent of harm.
Three golden goblets in the porch she found
(The guests not enter'd, but the table crown'd):
Hid in her fraudful bosom, these she bore.
Now set the sun, and darken'd all the shore:
Arriving then, where tilting on the tides
Prepared to launch the freighted vessel rides,
Aboard they heave us, mount their decks, and
With level oar along the glassy deep.
Six calmy days and six smooth nights we sail,
And constant Jove supplied the gentle gale.
The seventh, the fraudful wretch (no cause de-
Touch'd by Diana's vengeful arrow died.
Down dropp'd the caitiff corpse, a worthlessload,
Down to the deep; there roll'd the future food
Of fierce sea-wolves, and monsters of the flood,
An helpless infant, I remain’d behind:
Thence borne to Ithaca by wave and wind;
Sold to Laertes, by divine command,
And now adopted to a foreign land.”
To him the king—‘Reciting thus thy cares,
My secret soul in all thy sorrow shares:
But one choice blessing (such is Jove's high will)
Has sweeten’d all thy bitter draught of ill:
Torn from thy country to no hapless end,
The gods have, in a master, given a friend.
Whatever frugal nature needs is thine
(For she needs little), daily bread and wine.
While I, so many wanderings pass'd and woes,
Live but on what thy poverty bestows.’
So pass'd in pleasing dialogue away
The night: then down to short repose they lay;
Till radiant rose the messenger of day.
While in the port of Ithaca, the band
Of young Telemachus approach'd the land;
Their sails they loosed, they lash'd themastaside,
And cast their anchors, and the cables tied:
Then, on the breezy shore descending, join
In grateful banquet o'er the rosy wine.
When thus the prince—“Now each his course
I to the fields, and to the city you.
Long absent hence, I dedicate this day
My swains to visit, and the works survey.
Expect me with the morn, to pay the skies
Our debt of safe return, in feast and sacrifice.”
Then Theoclymenus—: But who shall lend,
Meantime, protection to thy stranger friend?
Straight to the queen and palace shall I fly;
Or, yet more distant, to some lord apply?
The prince return’d—‘ Renown'd in days of
Has stood our father's hospitable door;
No other roof a stranger should receive,
Nor other hands than ours the welcome give.
But in my absence riot fills the place:
Nor bears the modest queen a stranger's face;
From noiseful revel far remote she flies;
But rarely seen, or seen with weeping eyes.
No:—let Eurymachus receive my guest;
Of nature courteous, and by far the best;
He woos the queen with more respectful flame,
And emulates her former husband's fame.
With what success, ’tis Jove's alone to know,
And the hoped nuptials turn to joy or woe.”
Thus speaking, on the right up soar'd in air
The hawk, Apollo's swift-wing'd messenger;
His deathful pounces tore a trembling dove:
The clotted feathers, scatter'd from above,
Between the hero and the vessel pour
Thick plumage, mingled with a sanguine shower.
The observing augur took the prince aside,
Seized by the hand, and thus prophetic cried—
* Yon bird that dexter cuts the aerial road,
Rose ominous, nor flies without a god!—
No race but thine shall Ithaca obey:
To thine, for ages, Heaven decrees the sway.”
‘Succeed the omen, gods! (the youth rejoin'd)
Soon shall my bounties speak a grateful mind;
And soon each envied happiness attend
The man who calls Telemachus his friend.”
Then to Peiraeus—“Thou whom time has proved
A faithful servant, by thy prince beloved!
Till we returning shall our guest demand,
Accept this charge, with honour, at our hand.’
To this Peiraeus— Joyful I obey;
Well pleased the hospitable rites to pay.
The presence of thy guest shall best reward
(If long thy stay) the absence of my lord.”
With that, their anchors he commands to
Mount the tall bark and launch into the sea.
All with obedient haste forsake the shores,
And, placed in order, spread their equal oars.
Then from the deck the prince his sandals takes;
Poised in his hand the pointed javelin shakes.
They part; while, lessening from the hero's view,
Swift to the town the well row’d galley flew :
The hero trod the margin of the main,
And reach'd the mansion of his faithful swain.
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