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“O Frogs! the Mice send threats to you of arms,
And bid me bid ye battle and fix’d fight;
Their eyes all wounded with Psicharpax’ sight
Floating your waters, whom your king hath kill’d,

--Batrachomyomachia by anon.

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Batrachomyomachia or the Battle of Frogs and Mice is a comic epic or parody on the Iliad, definitely attributed to Homer by the Romans, but according to Plutarch the work of Pigres of Halicarnassus, the brother (or son) of Artemisia, queen of Caria and ally of Xerxes. Some modern scholars, however, assign it to an anonymous poet of the time of Alexander the Great.

The word batrachomyomachia has come to mean "a silly altercation". The German translation, Froschmäusekrieg, has been used to describe any dispute of such kind.



A mouse drinking water from a lake meets the Frog King, who invites him to his house. As the Frog King swims across the lake, the Mouse seated on his back, they are confronted by a frightening water-snake. The Frog dives, forgetting about the Mouse, who drowns. Another Mouse witnesses the scene from the bank of the lake, and runs to tell everyone about it. The Mice arm themselves for battle to avenge the Frog King's treachery, and send a herald to the Frogs with a declaration of war. The Frogs blame their King, who altogether denies the incident. In the meantime, Zeus, seeing the brewing war, proposes that the gods take sides, and specifically that Athena help the Mice. Athena refuses, saying that mice have done her a lot of mischief. Eventually the gods decide to watch rather than get involved. A battle ensues and the Mice prevail. Zeus summons a force of crabs to prevent complete destruction of the Frogs. Powerless against the armoured crabs, the Mice retreat, and the one-day war ends at sundown.

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1624 in poetry, A. E. Stallings, Ancient accounts of Homer, Athletics in epic poetry, Battle of the Frogs, Brouwer–Hilbert controversy, Capture of Oechalia, Carlo Marsuppini, Cercopes (epic poem), Circe, Contest of Homer and Hesiod, Cypria, Daemones Ceramici, Enceladus (giant), Epigoni (epic), Epigrams (Homer), Epyllion, Fedor Flinzer, Frogs in culture, George Chapman, Giacomo Leopardi, Giants (Greek mythology), Giuseppe Schirò Di Maggio, Henrich Smet, Herbert Willi, Hieronymus Osius, Homer, Homeric Hymns, Iacopo Vittorelli, Igor Gindis, Iliad, Index of ancient Greece-related articles, Jean Boivin the Younger, Kiln (poem), Life of Homer (Pseudo-Herodotus), List of editiones principes in Greek, Little Iliad, Margites, Mock-heroic, Mousetrap, Nostoi, Odyssey, Parody, Phocais, Pigres of Halicarnassus, Samuel Butler (poet), The Frog and the Mouse, Thebaid (Greek poem), Theodor Bilharz

Champman translation

The Odysseys of Homer

by Homer

Translated according to the Greek by George Chapman

London: Published by

George Newnes Limited

Southhampton Street Strand W.C.

New York: Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons


A Hymn to Apollo
A Hymn to Hermes
A Hymn to Venus (First Hymn)
A Hymn to Venus (Second Hymn)
A Hymn to Bacchus, or the Pirates
A Hymn to Mars
A Hymn to Diana
A Hymn to Venus (Third Hymn)
A Hymn to Pallas
A Hymn to Juno
A Hymn to Ceres
A Hymn to the Mother of the Gods
A Hymn to Lion-Hearted Hercules
A Hymn to Æsculapius
A Hymn to Castor and Pollux
A Hymn to Mercury
A Hymn to Pan
A Hymn to Vulcan
A Hymn to Phœbus
A Hymn to Neptune
A Hymn to Jove
A Hymn to Vesta
A Hymn to the Muses and Apollo
A Hymn to Bacchus
A Hymn to Diana
A Hymn to Pallas
A Hymn to Vesta and Mercury
A Hymn to Earth, the Mother of All
A Hymn to the Sun
A Hymn to the Moon
A Hymn to Castor and Pollux
A Hymn to Men of Hospitality
To Cuma
In his Return to Cuma
Upon the Sepulchre of Midus
Cuma, refusing to eternize their State, etc.
An Essay of his begun Iliads
To Thestor’s Son inquisitive about the Causes of Things
To Neptune
To the City of Erythræa
To Mariners
The Pine
To Glaucus
Against the Samian Ministress or Nun
Written on the Council Chamber
The Furnace called in to sing by Potters
Eiresione, or the Olive Branch
To certain Fisher-Boys pleasing him with Riddles
_The Translator’s Epilogue_



I have adventured, right noble Earl, out of my utmost and ever-vowed service to your virtues, to entitle their merits to the patronage of Homer’s English life, whose wished natural life the great Macedon would have protected as the spirit of his empire,

That he to his unmeasur’d mighty acts Might add a fame as vast; and their extracts, In fires as bright and endless as the stars, His breast might breathe and thunder out his wars. But that great monarch’s love of fame and praise Receives an envious cloud in our foul days; For since our great ones ceased themselves to do, Deeds worth their praise, they hold it folly too To feed their praise in others. But what can, Of all the gifts that are, be giv’n to man More precious than Eternity and Glory, Singing their praises in unsilenc’d story? Which no black day, no nation, nor no age, No change of time or fortune, force nor rage, Shall ever rase? All which the monarch knew, Where Homer liv’d entitled, would ensue: _Cuius de gurgite vivo Combibit arcanos vatum omnis turba furores, etc._ From whose deep fount of life the thirsty rout Of Thespian prophets have lien sucking out Their sacred rages. And as th’ influent stone Of Father Jove’s great and laborious son Lifts high the heavy iron, and far implies The wide orbs that the needle rectifies, In virtuous guide of ev’ry sea-driv’n course, To all aspiring his one boundless force; So from one Homer all the holy fire That ever did the hidden heat inspire In each true Muse came clearly sparkling down, And must for him compose one flaming crown. He, at Jove’s table set, fills out to us Cups that repair age sad and ruinous, And gives it built of an eternal stand With his all-sinewy Odyssæan hand, Shifts time and fate, puts death in life’s free state, And life doth into ages propagate. He doth in men the Gods’ affects inflame, His fuel Virtue blown by Praise and Fame; And, with the high soul’s first impression driv’n, Breaks through rude chaos, earth, the seas, and heav’n. The nerves of all things hid in nature lie Naked before him; all their harmony Tun’d to his accents, that in beasts breathe minds. What fowls, what floods, what earth, what air, what winds, What fires ethereal, what the Gods conclude In all their counsels, his Muse makes indued With varied voices that ev’n rocks have mov’d. And yet for all this, naked Virtue lov’d, Honours without her he as abject prizes, And foolish Fame, deriv’d from thence, despises. When from the vulgar taking glorious bound Up to the mountain where the Muse is crown’d, He sits and laughs to see the jaded rabble Toil to his hard heights, t’ all access unable, etc.

And that your Lordship may in his face take view of his mind, the first words of his Iliads is _μη̑νιν, wrath_; the first word of his Odysseys, _ἄνδρα man:_ contracting in either word his each work’s proposition. In one _predominant perturbation;_ in the other _over-ruling wisdom._ In one the body’s fervour and fashion of outward fortitude to all possible height of heroical action; in the other the mind’s inward, constant, and unconquered empire, unbroken, unaltered, with any most insolent, and tyrannous infliction. To many most sovereign praises is this poem entitled; but to that grace, in chief, which sets on the crown both of poets and orators; _τὸ τὰ μικρὰ μεγάλως, καὶ τὰ κοινὰ καιίνως:_ that is, _Parva magnè dicere; pervulgata novè; jejuna plenè.—To speak things little greatly; things common rarely; things barren and empty fruitfully and fully._ The return of a man into his country is his whole scope and object; which in itself, your Lordship may well say, is jejune and fruitless enough, affording nothing feastful, nothing magnificent. And yet even this doth the divine inspiration render vast, illustrious, and of miraculous composure. And for this, my Lord, is this poem preferred to his lliads; for therein much magnificence, both of person and action, gives great aid to his industry; but in this are these helps exceeding sparing, or nothing; and yet is the structure so elaborate and pompous that the poor plain ground-work, considered together, may seem the naturally rich womb to it, and produce it needfully. Much wondered at, therefore, is the censure of Dionysius Longinus, (a man otherwise affirmed grave and of elegant judgment,) comparing Homer in his Iliads to the Sun rising, in his Odysseys to his descent or setting, or to the ocean robbed of his æsture, many tributary floods and rivers of excellent ornament withheld from their observance. When this his work so far exceeds the ocean, with all his court and concourse, that all his sea is only a serviceable stream to it. Nor can it be compared to any one power to be named in nature, being an entirely well-sorted and digested confluence of all; where the most solid and grave is made as nimble and fluent as the most airy and fiery, the nimble and fluent as firm and well-bounded as the most grave and solid. And, taking all together, of so tender impression, and of such command to the voice of the Muse, that they knock heaven with her breath, and discover their foundations as low as hell. Nor is this all-comprising Poesy fantastic or mere fictive; but the most material and doctrinal illations of truth, both for all manly information of manners in the young, all prescription of justice, and even Christian piety, in the most grave and high governed. To illustrate both which, in both kinds, with all heightof expression, the Poet creates both a body and a soul in them. Wherein, if the body (being the letter or history) seems fictive, and beyond possibility to bring into act, the sense then and allegory, which is the soul, is to be sought, which intends a more eminent expressure of Virtue for her loveliness, and of Vice for her ugliness, in their several effects; going beyond the life than any art within life can possibly delineate. Why then is fiction to this end so hateful to our true ignorants? Or why should a poor chronicler of a Lord Mayor’s naked truth (that peradventure will last his year) include more worth with our modern wizards than Homer for his naked Ulysses clad in eternal fiction? But this proser Dionysius, and the rest of these grave and reputatively learned—that dare undertake for their gravities the headstrong censure of all things, and challenge the understanding of these toys in their childhoods; when even these childish vanities retain deep and most necessary learning enough in them to make them children in their ages, and teach them while they live—are not in these absolute divine infusions allowed either voice or relish: for, _Qui Poeticas ad fores accedit, etc._ (says the divine philosopher) he that knocks at the gates of the Muses, _sine Musarum furore,_ is neither to be admitted entry, nor a touch at their thresholds; his opinion of entry ridiculous, and his presumption impious. Nor must Poets themselves (might I a little insist on these contempts, not tempting too far your Lordship’s Ulyssean patience) presume to these doors without the truly genuine and peculiar induction. There being in Poesy a twofold rapture,—or alienation of soul, as the abovesaid teacher terms it,—one _insania,_ a disease of the mind, and a mere madness, by which the infected is thrust beneath all the degrees of humanity: _et ex homine, brutum quodammodò redditur:_—(for which poor Poesy, in this diseased and impostorous age, is so barbarously vilified;)—the other is, _divinus furor,_ by which the sound and divinely healthful _suprà hominis naturam erigitur, et in Deum transit._ One a perfection directly infused from God; the other an infection obliquely and degenerately proceeding from man. Of the divine fury, my Lord, your Homer hath ever been both first and last instance; being pronounced absolutely, _τὸν σοφώτατον, καὶ τὸν θειότατον ποιητήν,_ “the most wise and most divine poet.” Against whom whosoever shall open his profane mouth may worthily receive answer with this of his divine defender—Empedocles, Heraclitus, Protagoras, Epicharmus, etc., being of Homer’s part—_τίς οο͒ν,_ etc.; who against such an army, and the general Homer, dares attempt the assault, but he must be reputed ridiculous? And yet against this host, and this invincible commander, shall we have every _besogne_ and fool a leader. The common herd, I assure myself, ready to receive it on their horns. Their infected leaders,

Such men as sideling ride the ambling Muse, Whose saddle is as frequent as the stews. Whose raptures are in ev’ry pageant seen, In ev’ry wassail-rhyme and dancing-green; When he that writes by any beam of truth Must dive as deep as he, past shallow youth. Truth dwells in gulfs, whose deeps hide shades so rich That Night sits muffled there in clouds of pitch, More dark than Nature made her, and requires, To clear her tough mists, heav’n’s great fire of fires, To whom the sun itself is but a beam. For sick souls then—but rapt in foolish dream— To wrastle with these heav’n-strong mysteries, What madness is it? when their light serves eyes That are not worldly in their least aspect, But truly pure, and aim at heav’n direct. Yet these none like but what the brazen head Blatters abroad, no sooner born but dead.

Holding, then, in eternal contempt, my Lord, those short-lived bubbles, eternize your virtue and judgment with the Grecian monarch; esteeming, not as the least of your new-year’s presents,

Homer, three thousand years dead, now reviv’d, Ev’n from that dull death that in life he liv’d; When none conceited him, none understood That so much life in so much death as blood Conveys about it could mix. But when death Drunk up the bloody mist that human breath Pour’d round about him—poverty and spite. Thick’ning the hapless vapour—then truth’s light Glimmer’d about his poem; the pinch’d soul (Amidst the mysteries it did enrol) Brake pow’rfully abroad. And as we see The sun all-hid in clouds, at length got free, Through some forc’d covert, over all the ways, Near and beneath him, shoots his vented rays Far off, and sticks them in some little glade, All woods, fields, rivers, left besides in shade; So your Apollo, from that world of light Clos’d in his poem’s body, shot to sight Some few forc’d beams, which near him were not seen, (As in his life or country) Fate and spleen Clouding their radiance; which when Death had clear’d, To far-off regions his free beams appear’d; In which all stood and wonder’d, striving which His birth and rapture should in right enrich. Twelve labours of your Thespian Hercules I now present your Lordship; do but please To lend life means till th’ other twelve receive Equal achievement; and let Death then reave My life now lost in our patrician loves, That knock heads with the herd; in whom there moves One blood, one soul, both drown’d in one set height Of stupid envy and mere popular spite. Whose loves with no good did my least vein fill; And from their hates I fear as little ill. Their bounties nourish not when most they feed, But, where there is no merit or no need, Rain into rivers still, and are such show’rs As bubbles spring and overflow the flow’rs. Their worse parts and worst men their best suborns, Like winter cows whose milk runs to their horns. And as litigious clients’ books of law Cost infinitely; taste of all the awe Bench’d in our kingdom’s policy, piety, state; Earn all their deep explorings; satiate All sorts there thrust together by the heart With thirst of wisdom spent on either part; Horrid examples made of Life and Death From their fine stuff wov’n; yet when once the breath Of sentence leaves them, all their worth is drawn As dry as dust, and wears like cobweb lawn: So these men set a price upon their worth, That no man gives but those that trot it forth Though Need’s foul ways, feed Humours with all cost Though Judgment sterves in them; rout, State engrost (At all tobacco-benches, solemn tables, Where all that cross their envies are their fables) In their rank faction; shame and death approv’d Fit penance for their opposites; none lov’d But those that rub them; not a reason heard That doth not soothe and glorify their preferr’d Bitter opinions. When, would Truth resume The cause to his hands, all would fly in fume Before his sentence; since the innocent mind Just God makes good, to Whom their worst is wind. For, that I freely all my thoughts express, My conscience is my thousand witnesses; And to this stay my constant comforts vow, _You for the world I have, or God for you._


All stars are drunk-up by the fiery sun, And in so much a flame lies shrunk the moon. Homer’s all-liv’d name all names leaves in death, Whose splendour only Muses’ bosoms breathe.


Heav’n’s fires shall first fall darken’d from his sphere, Grave Night the light weed of the Day shall wear, Fresh streams shall chase the sea, tough ploughs shall tear Her fishy bottoms, men in long date dead Shall rise and live, before Oblivion shed Those still-green leaves that crown great Homer’s head.


The great Mæonides doth only write, And to him dictates the great God of Light.


Sev’n kingdoms strove in which should swell the womb That bore great Homer, whom Fame freed from tomb; Argos, Chios, Pylos, Smyrna, Colophone, The learn’d Athenian, and Ulyssean throne.


Art thou of Chios? No. Of Salamine? As little. Was the Smyrnean country thine? Nor so. Which then? Was Cuma’s? Colophone? Nor one nor other. Art thou, then, of none That fame proclaims thee? None. Thy reason call. If I confess of one I anger all.



The Gods in council sit, to call Ulysses from Calypso’s thrall, And order their high pleasures thus: Grey Pallas to Telemachus (In Ithaca) her way addrest; And did her heav’nly limbs invest In Mentas’ likeness, that did reign King of the Taphians, in the main Whose rough waves near Leucadia run. Advising wise Ulysses’ son To seek his father, and address His course to young Tantalides, That govern’d Sparta. Thus much said, She shew’d she was Heav’n’s martial Maid, And vanish’d from him. Next to this, The Banquet of the Wooers is.


_Ἂλφα._ The Deities sit; The Man retired; Th’ Ulyssean wit By Pallas fired.

The man, O Muse, inform, that many a way[1] Wound with his wisdom to his wished stay; That wander’d wondrous far, when he the town Of sacred Troy had sack’d and shiver’d down; The cities of a world of nations, With all their manners, minds, and fashions, He saw and knew; at sea felt many woes, Much care sustain’d, to save from overthrows Himself and friends in their retreat for home; But so their fates he could not overcome, Though much he thirsted it. O men unwise, They perish’d by their own impieties! That in their hunger’s rapine would not shun The oxen of the lofty-going Sun, Who therefore from their eyes the day bereft Of safe return. These acts, in some part left, Tell us, as others, deified Seed of Jove. Now all the rest that austere death outstrove At Troy’s long siege at home safe anchor’d are, Free from the malice both of sea and war; Only Ulysses is denied access To wife and home. The grace of Goddesses, The rev’rend nymph Calypso, did detain Him in her caves, past all the race of men Enflam’d to make him her lov’d lord and spouse. And when the Gods had destin’d that his house, Which Ithaca on her rough bosom bears, (The point of time wrought out by ambient years) Should be his haven, Contention still extends Her envy to him, ev’n amongst his friends. All Gods took pity on him; only he, That girds earth in the cincture of the sea, Divine Ulysses ever did envy, And made the fix’d port of his birth to fly. But he himself solemniz’d a retreat To th’ Æthiops, far dissunder’d in their seat, (In two parts parted, at the sun’s descent, And underneath his golden orient, The first and last of men) t’ enjoy their feast Of bulls and lambs, in hecatombs addrest;[2] At which he sat, giv’n over to delight. The other Gods in heav’n’s supremest height Were all in council met; to whom began The mighty Father both of God and man Discourse, inducing matter that inclin’d To wise Ulysses, calling to his mind Faultful Ægisthus, who to death was done[3] By young Orestes, Agamemnon’s son. His memory to the Immortals then Mov’d Jove thus deeply: “O how falsely men Accuse us Gods as authors of their ill! When, by the bane their own bad lives instill, They suffer all the mis’ries of their states, Past our inflictions, and beyond their fates. As now Ægisthus, past his fate, did wed The wife of Agamemnon, and (in dread To suffer death himself) to shun his ill, Incurr’d it by the loose bent of his will, In slaughtering Atrides in retreat. Which we foretold him would so hardly set To his murd’rous purpose, sending Mercury That slaughter’d Argus, our consid’rate spy, To give him this charge: ‘Do not wed his wife, Nor murder him; for thou shalt buy his life With ransom of thine own, impos’d on thee By his Orestes, when in him shall be Atrides’-self renew’d, and but the prime Of youth’s spring put abroad, in thirst to climb His haughty father’s throne by his high acts.’ These words of Hermes wrought not into facts Ægisthus’ powers; good counsel he despis’d, And to that good his ill is sacrific’d.” Pallas, whose eyes did sparkle like the skies, Answer’d: “O Sire! Supreme of Deities, Ægisthus pass’d his fate, and had desert To warrant our infliction; and convert May all the pains such impious men inflict On innocent suff’rers to revenge as strict, Their own hearts eating. But, that Ithacus, Thus never meriting, should suffer thus, I deeply suffer. His more pious mind Divides him from these fortunes. Though unkind Is piety to him, giving him a fate More suff’ring than the most unfortunate, So long kept friendless in a sea-girt soil, Where the sea’s navel is a sylvan isle, In which the Goddess dwells that doth derive Her birth from Atlas, who of all alive The motion and the fashion doth command With his wise mind, whose forces understand[4] The inmost deeps and gulfs of all the seas, Who (for his skill of things superior) stays The two steep columns that prop earth and heav’n. His daughter ‘tis, who holds this homeless-driv’n[5] Still mourning with her; evermore profuse Of soft and winning speeches, that abuse And make so languishingly, and possest[6] With so remiss a mind her loved guest, Manage the action of his way for home. Where he, though in affection overcome, In judgment yet more longs to show his hopes His country’s smoke leap from her chimney tops, And death asks in her arms. Yet never shall Thy lov’d heart be converted on his thrall, Austere Olympius. Did not ever he, In ample Troy, thy altars gratify, And Grecians’ fleet make in thy off’rings swim? Jove, why still then burns thy wrath to him?” The Cloud-assembler answer’d: “What words fly, Bold daughter, from thy pale of ivory?[7] As if I ever could cast from my care Divine Ulysses, who exceeds so far All men in wisdom, and so oft hath giv’n To all th’ Immortals thron’d in ample heav’n So great and sacred gifts? But his decrees, That holds the earth in with his nimble knees, Stand to Ulysses’ longings so extreme, For taking from the God-foe Polypheme His only eye; a Cyclop, that excell’d All other Cyclops, with whose burden swell’d The nymph Thoosa, the divine increase Of Phorcys’ seed, a great God of the seas. She mix’d with Neptune in his hollow caves, And bore this Cyclop to that God of waves. For whose lost eye, th’ Earth-shaker did not kill Erring Ulysses, but reserves him still In life for more death. But use we our pow’rs, And round about us cast these cares of ours, All to discover how we may prefer His wish’d retreat, and Neptune make forbear His stern eye to him, since no one God can, In spite of all, prevail, but ’gainst a man.” To this, this answer made the grey-eyed Maid: “Supreme of rulers, since so well apaid The blesséd Gods are all then, now, in thee, To limit wise Ulysses’ misery, And that you speak as you referr’d to me Prescription for the means, in this sort be Their sacred order: Let us now address With utmost speed our swift Argicides, To tell the nymph that bears the golden tress In th’ isle Ogygia, that ’tis our will She should not stay our lov’d Ulysses still, But suffer his return; and then will I To Ithaca, to make his son apply His sire’s inquest the more; infusing force Into his soul, to summon the concourse Of curl’d-head Greeks to council, and deter Each wooer, that hath been the slaughterer Of his fat sheep and crooked-headed beeves. From more wrong to his mother, and their leaves Take in such terms as fit deserts so great. To Sparta then, and Pylos, where doth beat Bright Amathus, the flood, and epithet To all that kingdom, my advice shall send The spirit-advanc’d Prince, to the pious end Of seeking his lost father, if he may Receive report from Fame where rests his stay; And make, besides, his own successive worth Known to the world, and set in action forth.” This said, her wing’d shoes to her feet she tied, Form’d all of gold, and all eternified, That on the round earth or the sea sustain’d Her ravish’d substance swift as gusts of wind. Then took she her strong lance with steel made keen, Great, massy, active, that whole hosts of men, Though all heroës, conquers, if her ire Their wrongs inflame, back’d by so great a Sire. Down from Olympus’ tops she headlong div’d, And swift as thought in Ithaca arriv’d, Close at Ulysses’ gates; in whose first court She made her stand, and, for her breast’s support, Lean’d on her iron lance; her form imprest With Mentas’ likeness, come as being a guest. There found she those proud wooers, that were then Set on those ox-hides that themselves had slain, Before the gates, and all at dice were playing. To them the heralds, and the rest obeying, Fill’d wine and water; some, still as they play’d, And some, for solemn supper’s state, purvey’d, With porous sponges cleansing tables, serv’d With much rich feast; of which to all they kerv’d. God-like Telemachus amongst them sat, Griev’d much in mind; and in his heart begat All representment of his absent sire, How, come from far-off parts, his spirits would fire With those proud wooers’ sight, with slaughter parting Their bold concourse, and to himself converting The honours they usurp’d, his own commanding. In this discourse, he first saw Pallas standing, Unbidden entry; up rose, and addrest His pace right to her, angry that a guest Should stand so long at gate; and, coming near, Her right hand took, took in his own her spear, And thus saluted: “Grace to your repair, Fair guest, your welcome shall be likewise fair. Enter, and, cheer’d with feast, disclose th’ intent That caus’d your coming.” This said, first he went, And Pallas follow’d. To a room they came, Steep, and of state; the jav’lin of the Dame He set against a pillar vast and high, Amidst a large and bright-kept armory, Which was, besides, with woods of lances grac’d Of his grave father’s. In a throne he plac’d The man-turn’d Goddess, under which was spread A carpet, rich and of deviceful thread; A footstool staying her feet; and by her chair Another seat (all garnish’d wondrous fair, To rest or sleep on in the day) he set, Far from the prease of wooers, lest at meat The noise they still made might offend his guest, Disturbing him at banquet or at rest, Ev’n to his combat with that pride of theirs, That kept no noble form in their affairs. And these he set far from them, much the rather To question freely of his absent father. A table fairly-polish’d then was spread, On which a rev’rend officer set bread, And other servitors all sorts of meat (Salads, and flesh, such as their haste could get) Serv’d with observance in. And then the sewer Pour’d water from a great and golden ewer, That from their hands t’ a silver caldron ran. Both wash’d, and seated close, the voiceful man Fetch’d cups of gold, and set by them, and round Those cups with wine with all endeavour crown’d. Then rush’d in the rude wooers, themselves plac’d; The heralds water gave; the maids in haste Serv’d bread from baskets. When, of all prepar’d And set before them, the bold wooers shar’d, Their pages plying their cups past the rest. But lusty wooers must do more than feast; For now, their hungers and their thirsts allay’d, They call’d for songs and dances; those, they said, Were th’ ornaments of feast. The herald straight A harp, carv’d full of artificial sleight, Thrust into Phemius’, a learn’d singer’s, hand, Who, till he much was urg’d, on terms did stand, But, after, play’d and sung with all his art. Telemachus to Pallas then (apart, His ear inclining close, that none might hear) In this sort said: “My guest, exceeding dear, Will you not sit incens’d with what I say? These are the cares these men take; feast and play. Which eas’ly they may use, because they eat, Free and unpunish’d, of another’s meat; And of a man’s, whose white bones wasting lie In some far region; with th’ incessancy Of show’rs pour’d down upon them, lying ashore, Or in the seas wash’d nak’d. Who, if he wore Those bones with flesh and life and industry, And these might here in Ithaca set eye On him return’d, they all would wish to be Either past other in celerity Of feet and knees, and not contend t’ exceed In golden garments. But his virtues feed The fate of ill death; nor is left to me The least hope of his life’s recovery, No, not if any of the mortal race Should tell me his return; the cheerful face Of his return’d day never will appear. But tell me, and let Truth your witness bear, Who, and from whence you are? What city’s birth? What parents? In what vessel set you forth? And with what mariners arriv’d you here? I cannot think you a foot passenger. Recount then to me all, to teach me well Fit usage for your worth. And if it fell In chance now first that you thus see us here, Or that in former passages you were My father’s guest? For many men have been Guests to my father. Studious of men His sociable nature ever was.” On him again the grey-eyed Maid did pass This kind reply: “I’ll answer passing true All thou hast ask’d: My birth his honour drew From wise Anchialus. The name I bear Is Mentas, the commanding islander Of all the Taphians studious in the art Of navigation; having touch’d this part With ship and men, of purpose to maintain Course through the dark seas t’ other-languag’d men; And Temesis sustains the city’s name For which my ship is bound, made known by fame For rich in brass, which my occasions need, And therefore bring I shining steel in stead, Which their use wants, yet makes my vessel’s freight, That near a plough’d field rides at anchor’s weight, Apart this city, in the harbour call’d Rhethrus, whose waves with Neius’ woods are wall’d. Thy sire and I were ever mutual guests, At either’s house still interchanging feasts. I glory in it. Ask, when thou shalt see Laertes, th’ old heroë, these of me, From the beginning. He, men say, no more Visits the city, but will needs deplore His son’s believ’d loss in a private field; One old maid only at his hands to yield Food to his life, as oft as labour makes His old limbs faint; which, though he creeps, he takes Along a fruitful plain, set all with vines, Which husbandman-like, though a king, he proins. But now I come to be thy father’s guest; I hear he wanders, while these wooers feast. And (as th’ Immortals prompt me at this hour) I’ll tell thee, out of a prophetic pow’r, (Not as profess’d a prophet, nor clear seen At all times what shall after chance to men) What I conceive, for this time, will be true: The Gods’ inflictions keep your sire from you. Divine Ulysses, yet, abides not dead Above earth, nor beneath, nor buried In any seas, as you did late conceive, But, with the broad sea sieg’d, is kept alive Within an isle by rude and upland men, That in his spite his passage home detain. Yet long it shall not be before he tread His country’s dear earth, though solicited, And held from his return, with iron chains; For he hath wit to forge a world of trains, And will, of all, be sure to make good one For his return, so much relied upon. But tell me, and be true: Art thou indeed So much a son, as to be said the seed[8] Of Ithacus himself? Exceeding much Thy forehead and fair eyes at his form touch; For oftentimes we met, as you and I Meet at this hour, before he did apply His pow’rs for Troy, when other Grecian states In hollow ships were his associates. But, since that time, mine eyes could never see Renown’d Ulysses, nor met his with me.” The wise Telemachus again replied: “You shall with all I know be satisfied. My mother certain says I am his son; I know not; nor was ever simply known By any child the sure truth of his sire. But would my veins had took in living fire From some man happy, rather than one wise, Whom age might see seis’d of what youth made prise. But he whoever of the mortal race Is most unblest, he holds my father’s place. This, since you ask, I answer.” She, again: “The Gods sure did not make the future strain Both of thy race and days obscure to thee, Since thou wert born so of Penelope. The style may by thy after acts be won, Of so great sire the high undoubted son. Say truth in this then: What’s this feasting here? What all this rout? Is all this nuptial cheer? Or else some friendly banquet made by thee? For here no shots are, where all sharers be. Past measure contumeliously this crew Fare through thy house; which should th’ ingenuous view Of any good or wise man come and find, (Impiety seeing play’d in ev’ry kind) He could not but through ev’ry vein be mov’d.” Again Telemachus: “My guest much lov’d. Since you demand and sift these sights so far, I grant ’twere fit a house so regular, Rich, and so faultless once in government, Should still at all parts the same form present That gave it glory while her lord was here. But now the Gods, that us displeasure bear, Have otherwise appointed, and disgrace My father most of all the mortal race. For whom I could not mourn so were he dead, Amongst his fellow-captains slaughteréd By common enemies, or in the hands Of his kind friends had ended his commands, After he had egregiously bestow’d His pow’r and order in a war so vow’d, And to his tomb all Greeks their grace had done, That to all ages he might leave his son Immortal honour; but now Harpies have Digg’d in their gorges his abhorréd grave. Obscure, inglorious, death hath made his end, And me, for glories, to all griefs contend. Nor shall I any more mourn him alone, The Gods have giv’n me other cause of moan. For look how many optimates remain In Samos, or the shores Dulichian, Shady Zacynthus, or how many bear Rule in the rough brows of this island here; So many now my mother and this house At all parts make defam’d and ruinous; And she her hateful nuptials nor denies, Nor will despatch their importunities, Though she beholds them spoil still as they feast All my free house yields, and the little rest Of my dead sire in me perhaps intend To bring ere long to some untimely end.” This Pallas sigh’d and answer’d: “O,” said she, “Absent Ulysses is much miss’d by thee, That on these shameless suitors he might lay His wreakful hands. Should he now come, and stay In thy court’s first gates, arm’d with helm and shield, And two such darts as I have seen him wield, When first I saw him in our Taphian court, Feasting, and doing his desert’s disport; When from Ephyrus he return’d by us From Ilus, son to Centaur Mermerus, To whom he travell’d through the wat’ry dreads, For bane to poison his sharp arrows’ heads, That death, but touch’d, caus’d; which he would not give, Because he fear’d the Gods that ever live Would plague such death with death; and yet their fear Was to my father’s bosom not so dear As was thy father’s love; (for what he sought My loving father found him to a thought.) If such as then Ulysses might but meet With these proud wooers, all were at his feet But instant dead men, and their nuptialls Would prove as bitter as their dying galls. But these things in the Gods’ knees are repos’d, If his return shall see with wreak inclos’d, These in his house, or he return no more; And therefore I advise thee to explore All ways thyself, to set these wooers gone; To which end give me fit attentión: To-morrow into solemn council call The Greek heroës, and declare to all (The Gods being witness) what thy pleasure is. Command to towns of their nativity These frontless wooers. If thy mother’s mind Stands to her second nuptials so inclin’d, Return she to her royal father’s tow’rs, Where th’ one of these may wed her, and her dow’rs Make rich, and such as may consort with grace So dear a daughter of so great a race And thee I warn as well (if thou as well Wilt hear and follow) take thy best-built sail, With twenty oars mann’d, and haste t’ inquire Where the abode is of thy absent sire, If any can inform thee, or thine ear From Jove the fame of his retreat may hear, For chiefly Jove gives all that honours men. To Pylos first be thy addression then, To god-like Nestor; thence to Sparta haste, To gold-lock’d Menelaus, who was last Of all the brass-arm’d Greeks that sail’d from Troy; And try from both these, if thou canst enjoy News of thy sire’s return’d life anywhere, Though sad thou suffer’st in his search a year. If of his death thou hear’st, return thou home, And to his memory erect a tomb, Performing parent-rites, of feast and game, Pompous, and such as best may fit his fame; And then thy mother a fit husband give. These past, consider how thou mayst deprive Of worthless life these wooers in thy house, By open force, or projects enginous. Things childish fit not thee; th’ art so no more. Hast thou not heard, how all men did adore Divine Orestes, after he had slain Ægisthus murd’ring by a treach’rous train His famous father? Be then, my most lov’d, Valiant and manly, ev’ry way approv’d As great as he. I see thy person fit, Noble thy mind, and excellent thy wit, All giv’n thee so to use and manage here That ev’n past death they may their memories bear. In meantime I’ll descend to ship and men, That much expect me. Be observant then Of my advice, and careful to maintain In equal acts thy royal father’s reign.” Telemachus replied: “You ope, fair guest, A friend’s heart in your speech, as well exprest As might a father serve t’ inform his son; All which sure place have in my memory won. Abide yet, though your voyage calls away, That, having bath’d, and dignified your stay With some more honour, you may yet beside Delight your mind by being gratified With some rich present taken in your way, That, as a jewel, your respect may lay Up in your treasury, bestow’d by me, As free friends use to guests of such degree.” “Detain me not,” said she, “so much inclin’d To haste my voyage. What thy loved mind Commands to give, at my return this way, Bestow on me, that I directly may Convey it home; which more of price to me The more it asks my recompense to thee.” This said, away grey-eyed Minerva flew, Like to a mounting lark; and did endue His mind with strength and boldness, and much more Made him his father long for than before; And weighing better who his guest might be, He stood amaz’d, and thought a Deity Was there descended; to whose will he fram’d His pow’rs at all parts, and went so inflam’d Amongst the wooers, who were silent set, To hear a poet sing the sad retreat The Greeks perform’d from Troy; which was from thence Proclaim’d by Pallas, pain of her offence. When which divine song was perceiv’d to bear That mournful subject by the list’ning ear Of wise Penelope, Icarius’ seed, Who from an upper room had giv’n it heed, Down she descended by a winding stair, Not solely, but the state in her repair Two maids of honour made. And when this queen Of women stoop’d so low, she might be seen By all her wooers. In the door, aloof, Ent’ring the hall grac’d with a goodly roof, She stood, in shade of graceful veils, implied About her beauties; on her either side, Her honour’d women. When, to tears mov’d, thus She chid the sacred singer: “Phemiüs, You know a number more of these great deeds Of Gods and men, that are the sacred seeds, And proper subjects, of a poet’s song, And those due pleasures that to men belong, Besides these facts that furnish Troy’s retreat, Sing one of those to these, that round your seat They may with silence sit, and taste their wine; But cease this song, that through these ears of mine Conveys deserv’d occasion to my heart Of endless sorrows, of which the desert In me unmeasur’d is past all these men, So endless is the memory I retain, And so desertful is that memory, Of such a man as hath a dignity So broad it spreads itself through all the pride Of Greece and Argos.” To the queen replied Inspir’d Telemachus: “Why thus envies My mother him that fits societies[9] With so much harmony, to let him please His own mind in his will to honour these? For these ingenious and first sort of men,[10] That do immediately from Jove retain Their singing raptures, are by Jove as well Inspir’d with choice of what their songs impell, Jove’s will is free in it, and therefore theirs. Nor is this man to blame, that the repairs The Greeks make homeward sings; for his fresh muse Men still most celebrate that sings most news. And therefore in his note your ears employ: For not Ulysses only lost in Troy The day of his return, but numbers more The deadly ruins of his fortunes bore. Go you then in, and take your work in hand, Your web, and distaff; and your maids command To ply their fit work. Words to men are due, And those reproving counsels you pursue, And most to me of all men, since I bear The rule of all things that are manag’d here.” She went amaz’d away, and in her heart Laid up the wisdom Pallas did impart To her lov’d son so lately, turn’d again Up to her chamber, and no more would reign In manly counsels. To her women she Applied her sway; and to the wooers he Began new orders, other spirits bewray’d Than those in spite of which the wooers sway’d. And (whiles his mother’s tears still wash’d her eyes, Till grey Minerva did those tears surprise With timely sleep, and that her wooers did rouse Rude tumult up through all the shady house, Dispos’d to sleep because their widow was) Telemachus this new-giv’n spirit did pass On their old insolence: “Ho! you that are, My mother’s wooers! much too high ye bear Your petulant spirits; sit; and, while ye may Enjoy me in your banquets, see ye lay These loud notes down, nor do this man the wrong, Because my mother hath disliked his song, To grace her interruption. ’Tis a thing Honest, and honour’d too, to hear one sing Numbers so like the Gods in elegance, As this man flows in. By the morn’s first light,[11] I’ll call ye all before me in a Court, That I may clearly banish your resort, With all your rudeness, from these roofs of mine. Away; and elsewhere in your feasts combine. Consume your own goods, and make mutual feast At either’s house. Or if ye still hold best, And for your humours’ more sufficéd fill, To feed, to spoil, because unpunish’d still, On other findings, spoil; but here I call Th’ Eternal Gods to witness, if it fall In my wish’d reach once to be dealing wreaks, By Jove’s high bounty, these your present checks To what I give in charge shall add more reins To my revenge hereafter; and the pains Ye then must suffer shall pass all your pride Ever to see redress’d, or qualified.” At this all bit their lips, and did admire His words sent from him with such phrase and fire; Which so much mov’d them that Antinous, Eupitheus’ son, cried out: “Telemachus! The Gods, I think, have rapt thee to this height Of elocution, and this great conceit Of self-ability. We all may pray, That Jove invest not in this kingdom’s sway Thy forward forces, which I see put forth A hot ambition in thee for thy birth.” “Be not offended,” he replied, “if I[12] Shall say, I would assume this empery, If Jove gave leave. You are not he that sings: _The rule of kingdoms is the worst of things._ Nor is it ill, at all, to sway a throne; A man may quickly gain possession Of mighty riches, make a wondrous prize Set of his virtues; but the dignities That deck a king, there are enough beside In this circumfluous isle that want no pride To think them worthy of, as young as I, And old as you are. An ascent so high My thoughts affect not. Dead is he that held Desert of virtue to have so excell’d. But of these turrets I will take on me To be the absolute king, and reign as free, As did my father, over all his hand Left here in this house slaves to my command.” Eurymachus, the son of Polybus, To this made this reply: “Telemachus! The girlond of this kingdom let the knees Of Deity run for; but the faculties This house is seis’d of, and the turrets here, Thou shalt be lord of, nor shall any bear The least part off of all thou dost possess, As long as this land is no wilderness. Nor rul’d by out-laws. But give these their pass, And tell me, best of princes, who he was That guested here so late? From whence? And what In any region boasted he his state? His race? His country? Brought he any news Of thy returning father? Or for dues Of moneys to him made he fit repair? How suddenly he rush’d into the air, Nor would sustain to stay and make him known! His port show’d no debauch’d companion.” He answer’d: “The return of my lov’d sire Is past all hope; and should rude Fame inspire From any place a flatt’ring messenger With news of his survival, he should bear No least belief off from my desp’rate love. Which if a sacred prophet should approve, Call’d by my mother for her care’s unrest, It should not move me. For my late fair guest, He was of old my father’s, touching here From sea-girt Taphos; and for name doth bear Mentas, the son of wise Anchialus; And governs all the Taphians studious Of navigation.” This he said, but knew It was a Goddess. These again withdrew To dances and attraction of the song; And while their pleasures did the time prolong, The sable Even descended, and did steep The lids of all men in desire of sleep. Telemachus, into a room built high, Of his illustrious court, and to the eye Of circular prospect, to his bed ascended, And in his mind much weighty thought contended Before him Euryclea (that well knew All the observance of a handmaid’s due, Daughter to Opis Pisenorides) Bore two bright torches; who did so much please Laërtes in her prime, that, for the price Of twenty oxen, he made merchandise Of her rare beauties; and love’s equal flame, To her he felt, as to his nuptial dame, Yet never durst he mix with her in bed, So much the anger of his wife he fled. She, now grown old, to young Telemachus Two torches bore, and was obsequious Past all his other maids, and did apply Her service to him from his infancy. His well-built chamber reach’d, she op’d the door, He on his bed sat, the soft weeds he wore Put off, and to the diligent old maid Gave all; who fitly all in thick folds laid, And hung them on a beam-pin near the bed, That round about was rich embroidered. Then made she haste forth from him, and did bring The door together with a silver ring, And by a string a bar to it did pull. He, laid, and cover’d well with curled wool Wov’n in silk quilts, all night employ’d his mind About the task that Pallas had design’d.

[1] The information or fashion of an absolute man; and necessary (or
fatal) passage through many afflictions (according with the most
Sacred Letter) to his natural haven and country, is the whole argument
and scope of this inimitable and miraculous poem. And therefore is the
epithet _πολὐτροπον_ given him in the first verse: _πολὐτροπος_
signifying, _Homo cujus ingenium velut per multas et varias vias
vertitur in verum._
[2] These notes following I am forced to insert (since the words they
contain differ from all other translations) lest I be thought to err
out of that ignorance that may perhaps possess my depraver.
[3] _‘Αμὑμονος_ translated in this place _inculpabilis,_ and made the
epithet of Ægisthus, is from the true sense of the word, as it is here
to be understood; which is quite contrary. As _ὰντίθεος_ is to be
expounded in some place _Divinus,_ or _Deo similis,_ but in another
(soon after) _contrarius Deo._ The person to whom the epithet is given
giving reason to distinguish it. And so _ὀλοὁφρων,_ an epithet given
to Atlas, instantly following, in one place signifies _mente
perniciosus,_ in the next, _qui universa mente gerit._
[4] In this place is Atlas given the epithet _ὀλοὁφρων,_ which
signifies _qui universa mente agitat,_ here given him for the power
the stars have in all things. Yet this receives other interpretation
in other places, as abovesaid.
[5] _Δὐστηνος_ is here turned by others, _infelix,_ in the general
collection; when it hath here a particular exposition, applied to
express Ulysses’ desert errors, _‘παρἁ τὁ στἣναι, ut sit, qui vix
locum invenire potest ubi consistat._
[6] This is thus translated, the rather to express and approve the
allegory driven through the whole Odysseys. Deciphering the intangling
of the wisest in his affections; and the torments that breed in every
pious mind; to be thereby hindered to arrive so directly as he
desires, at the proper and only true natural country of every worthy
man, whose haven is heaven and the next life, to which, this life is
but a sea in continual æsture and vexation. The words occasioning all
this are _μαλακοἳς λὀλοις: μαλακὀς_ signifying, _qui languide, et
animo remisso rem aliquam gerit;_ which being the effect of Calypso’s
sweet words in Ulysses, is here applied passively to his own
sufferance of their operation.
[7] _῞Ερκος ὀδὀντων,_ viz. _vallum_ or _clanstrum dentium,_ which, for
the better sound in our language, is here turned, Pale of Ivory. The
teeth being that rampire, or pale, given us by nature in that part for
restraint and compression of our speech, till the imagination,
appetite, and soul (that ought to rule in their examination, before
their delivery) have given worthy pass to them. The most grave and
divine poet, teaching therein, that not so much for the necessary
chewing of our sustenance our teeth are given us, as for their stay of
our words, lest we utter them rashly.
[8] _Τὀσος παîς, Tantus filius._ Pallas thus enforcing her question to
stir up the son the more to the father’s worthiness.
[9] _’Ερἰηρος ἀοιδὀς. Cantor, cujus tam apta est societas hominibus._
[10] _’Ανδρἀσιν ἀλφηστᾔσιν. ’Αλφηστᾔσιν_ is an epithet proper to poets
for their first finding out of arts and documents tending to elocution
and government inspired only by Jove, and are here called the first of
men, since first they gave rules to manly life, and have their
information immediately from Jove (as Plato in Ione witnesseth); the
word deduced from _ἅλφα,_ which is taken for him _qui primas teneat
aliquâ in re,_ and will _ἀλφηστῃσιν_ then be sufficiently expressed
with _ingeniosis,_ than which no exposition goes further.
[11] _’Ηωθεν, prima luce._
[12] Upon this answer of Telemachus, because it hath so sudden a
change and is so far let down from his late height of heat, altering
and tempering so commandingly his affections I thought not amiss to
insert here Spondanus’ further annotations, which is this: _Prudenter
Telemachus joco furorem Antinoi ac asperitatem emolliit. Nam ita
dictum illius interpretatur, ut existimetur censere jocosè ilia etiam
ab Antinoo adversum se pronunciata. Et primum ironicè se Regem esse
exoptat propter commoda quæ Reges solent comitari. Ne tamen invidiam
in se ambitionis concitet, testatur se regnum, Ithacæ non ambire,
mortuo Ulysse, cum id alii possidere queant se longe præstantiores ac
digniores: hoc unum ait se moliri, ut propriarum ædium et bonorum
solus sit dominus, iis exclusis, ac ejectis, qui vi illa occupare ac
disperdere conantur._



Telemachus to court doth call The Wooers, and commands them all To leave his house; and taking then From wise Minerva ship and men, And all things fit for him beside, That Euryclea could provide For sea-rites till he found his sire, He hoists sail; when Heav’n stoops his fire.


_βητα._ The old Maid’s store The voyage cheers. The ship leaves shore, Minerva steers.

Now when with rosy fingers, th’ early born And thrown through all the air, appear’d the Morn, Ulysses’ lov’d son from his bed appear’d, His weeds put on, and did about him gird His sword that thwart his shoulders hung, and tied To his fair feet fair shoes, and all parts plied For speedy readiness: who, when he trod The open earth, to men show’d like a God. The heralds then he straight charg’d to consort The curl’d-head Greeks, with loud calls, to a Court. They summon’d; th’ other came in utmost haste. Who all assembled, and in one heap plac’d He likewise came to council, and did bear In his fair hand his iron-headed spear. Nor came alone, nor with men-troops prepar’d, But two fleet dogs made both his train and guard. Pallas supplied with her high wisdom’s grace, That all men’s wants supplies, State’s painted face. His ent’ring presence all men did admire; Who took seat in the high throne of his sire, To which the grave peers gave him rev’rend way. Amongst whom, an Egyptian heroë (Crookéd with age, and full of skill) begun The speech to all; who had a loved son That with divine Ulysses did ascend His hollow fleet to Troy; to serve which end, He kept fair horse, and was a man-at-arms, And in the cruel Cyclop’s stern alarms His life lost by him in his hollow cave, Whose entrails open’d his abhorréd grave, And made of him, of all Ulysses’ train, His latest supper, being latest slain; His name was Antiphus, And this old man, This crookéd-grown, this wise Egyptian, Had three sons more; of which one riotous A wooer was, and call’d Eurynomus; The other two took both his own wish’d course. Yet both the best fates weigh’d not down the worse, But left the old man mindful still of moan; Who, weeping, thus bespake the Session: “Hear, Ithacensians, all I fitly say: Since our divine Ulysses’ parting day Never was council call’d, nor session, And now by whom is this thus undergone? Whom did necessity so much compell, Of young or old? Hath anyone heard tell Of any coming army, that he thus now May openly take boldness to avow, First having heard it? Or will any here Some motion for the public good prefer? Some worth of note there is in this command; And, methinks, it must be some good man’s hand That’s put to it, that either hath direct Means to assist, or, for his good affect, Hopes to be happy in the proof he makes; And that Jove grant, whate’er he undertakes.” Telemachus (rejoicing much to hear The good hope and opinion men did bear Of his young actions) no longer sat, But long’d t’ approve what this man pointed at, And make his first proof in a cause so good; And in the council’s chief place up he stood; When straight Pisenor (herald to his sire, And learn’d in counsels) felt his heart on fire To hear him speak, and put into his hand The sceptre that his father did command; Then, to the old Egyptian turn’d, he spoke: “Father, not far he is that undertook To call this Council; whom you soon shall know. Myself, whose wrongs my griefs will make me show, Am he that author’d this assembly here. Nor have I heard of any army near, Of which, being first told, I might iterate, Nor for the public good can aught relate, Only mine own affairs all this procure, That in my house a double ill endure; One, having lost a father so renown’d, Whose kind rule once with’ your command was crown’d; The other is, what much more doth augment His weighty loss, the ruin imminent Of all my house by it, my goods all spent. And of all this the wooers, that are sons To our chief peers, are the confusións, Importuning my mother’s marriáge Against her will; nor dares their blood’s bold rage Go to Icarius’, her father’s, court, That, his will ask’d in kind and comely sort, He may endow his daughter with a dow’r, And, she consenting, at his pleasure’s pow’r Dispose her to a man, that, thus behav’d, May have fit grace, and see her honour sav’d. But these, in none but my house, all their lives Resolve to spend; slaught’ring my sheep and beeves, And with my fattest goats lay feast on feast, My gen’rous wine consuming as they list. A world of things they spoil, here wanting one, That, like Ulysses, quickly could set gone These peace-plagues from his house, that spoil like war; Whom my pow’rs are unfit to urge so far, Myself immartial. But, had I the pow’r, My will should serve me to exempt this hour From out my life-time. For, past patience, Base deeds are done here, that exceed defence Of any honour. Falling is my house, Which you should shame to see so ruinous. Rev’rence the censures that all good men give, That dwell about you; and for fear to live Expos’d to heav’n’s wrath (that doth ever pay Pains for joys forfeit) even by Jove I pray, Or Themis, both which pow’rs have to restrain, Or gather, councils, that ye will abstain From further spoil, and let me only waste In that most wretched grief I have embrac’d For my lost father. And though I am free From meriting your outrage, yet, if he, Good man, hath ever with a hostile heart Done ill to any Greek, on me convert Your like hostility, and vengeance take Of his ill on my life, and all these make Join in that justice; but, to see abus’d Those goods that do none ill but being ill-us’d, Exceeds all right. Yet better ’tis for me, My whole possessions and my rents to see Consum’d by you, than lose my life and all; For on your rapine a revenge may fall, While I live; and so long I may complain About the city, till my goods again, Oft ask’d, may be with all amends repaid. But in the mean space your misrule hath laid Griefs on my bosom, that can only speak, And are denied the instant pow’r of wreak.” This said, his sceptre ’gainst the ground he threw, And tears still’d from him; which mov’d all the crew, The court struck silent, not a man did dare To give a word that might offend his ear. Antinous only in this sort replied: “High spoken, and of spirit unpacified, How have you sham’d us in this speech of yours! Will you brand us for an offence not ours? Your mother, first in craft, is first in cause. Three years are past, and near the fourth now draws, Since first she mock’d the peers Achaian. All she made hope, and promis’d ev’ry man, Sent for us ever, left love’s show in nought, But in her heart conceal’d another thought. Besides, as curious in her craft, her loom She with a web charg’d, hard to overcome, And thus bespake us: ‘Youths, that seek my bed, Since my divine spouse rests amongst the dead, Hold on your suits but till I end, at most, This funeral weed, lest what is done be lost. Besides, I purpose, that when th’ austere fate Of bitter death shall take into his state Laertes the heroë, it shall deck His royal corse, since I should suffer check In ill report of ev’ry common dame, If one so rich should show in death his shame.’ This speech she us’d; and this did soon persuade Our gentle minds. But this a work she made So hugely long, undoing still in night, By torches, all she did by day’s broad light, That three years her deceit div’d past our view, And made us think that all she feign’d was true. But when the fourth year came, and those sly hours That still surprise at length dames’ craftiest powers, One of her women, that knew all, disclos’d The secret to us, that she still unloos’d Her whole day’s fair affair in depth of night. And then no further she could force her sleight, But, of necessity, her work gave end. And thus, by me, doth ev’ry other friend, Professing love to her, reply to thee; That ev’n thyself, and all Greeks else, may see, That we offend not in our stay, but she. To free thy house then, send her to her sire, Commanding that her choice be left entire To his election, and one settled will. Nor let her vex with her illusions still Her friends that woo her, standing on her wit, Because wise Pallas hath giv’n wills to it So full of art, and made her understand All works in fair skill of a lady’s hand. But (for her working mind) we read of none Of all the old world, in which Greece hath shown Her rarest pieces, that could equal her: Tyro, Alcmena, and Mycena were To hold comparison in no degree, For solid brain, with wise Penelope. And yet, in her delays of us, she shows No prophet’s skill with all the wit she owes; For all this time thy goods and victuals go To utter ruin; and shall ever so, While thus the Gods her glorious mind dispose. Glory herself may gain, but thou shalt lose Thy longings ev’n for necessary food, For we will never go where lies our good, Nor any other where, till this delay She puts on all she quits with th’ endless stay Of some one of us, that to all the rest May give free farewell with his nuptial feast.” The wise young prince replied: “Antinous! I may by no means turn out of my house Her that hath brought me forth and nourish’d me. Besides, if quick or dead my father be In any region, yet abides in doubt; And ’twill go hard, my means being so run out, To tender to Icarius again, If he again my mother must maintain In her retreat, the dow’r she brought with her. And then a double ill it will confer, Both from my father and from God on me, When, thrust out of her house, on her bent knee, My mother shall the horrid Furies raise With imprecations, and all men dispraise My part in her exposure. Never then Will I perform this counsel. If your spleen Swell at my courses, once more I command Your absence from my house; some other’s hand Charge with your banquets; on your own goods eat, And either other mutually in treat, At either of your houses, with your feast. But if ye still esteem more sweet and best Another’s spoil, so you still wreakless live, Gnaw, vermin-like, things sacred, no laws give[1] To your devouring; it remains that I Invoke each Ever-living Deity, And vow, if Jove shall deign in any date Pow’r of like pains for pleasure so past rate, From thenceforth look, where ye have revell’d so Unwreak’d, your ruins all shall undergo.” Thus spake Telemachus; t’ assure whose threat, Far-seeing Jove upon their pinions set Two eagles from the high brows of a hill, That, mounted on the Winds, together still Their strokes extended; but arriving now Amidst the Council, over ev’ry brow Shook their thick wings and, threat’ning death’s cold fears, Their necks and cheeks tore with their eager seres; Then, on the court’s right hand away they flew, Above both court and city. With whose view, And study what events they might foretell The Council into admiration fell. The old heroë, Halitherses, then, The son of Nestor, that of all old men, His peers in that court, only could foresee By flight of fowls man’s fixed destiny, ’Twixt them and their amaze, this interpos’d: “Hear, Ithacensians, all your doubts disclos’d. The Wooers most are touch’d in this ostent, To whom are dangers great and imminent; For now not long more shall Ulysses bear Lack of his most lov’d, but fills some place near, Addressing to these Wooers fate and death. And many more this mischief menaceth Of us inhabiting this famous isle. Let us consult yet, in this long forewhile, How to ourselves we may prevent this ill. Let these men rest secure, and revel still; Though they might find it safer, if with us They would in time prevent what threats them thus; Since not without sure trial I foretell These coming storms, but know their issue well. For to Ulysses all things have event, As I foretold him, when for Ilion went The whole Greek fleet together, and with them Th’ abundant-in-all-counsels took the stream. I told him, that, when much ill he had past, And all his men were lost, he should at last, The twentieth year, turn home, to all unknown; All which effects are to perfection grown.” Eurymachus, the son of Polybus, Oppos’d this man’s presage, and answer’d thus: “Hence, great in years, go, prophesy at home, Thy children teach to shun their ills to come. In these superior far to thee am I. A world of fowls beneath the sun-beams fly That are not fit t’ inform a prophecy. Besides, Ulysses perish’d long ago; And would thy fates to thee had destin’d so, Since so thy so much prophecy had spar’d Thy wronging of our rights, which, for reward Expected home with thee, hath summon’d us Within the anger of Telemachus. But this I will presage, which shall be true: If any spark of anger chance t’ ensue Thy much old art in these deep auguries, In this young man incenséd by thy lies, Ev’n to himself his anger shall confer The greater anguish, and thine own ends err From all their objects; and, besides, thine age Shall feel a pain, to make thee curse presage With worthy cause, for it shall touch thee near. But I will soon give end to all our fear, Preventing whatsoever chance can fall, In my suit to the young prince for us all, To send his mother to her father’s house, That he may sort her out a worthy spouse, And such a dow’r bestow, as may befit One lov’d, to leave her friends and follow it. Before which course be, I believe that none Of all the Greeks will cease th’ ambitión Of such a match. For, chance what can to us, We no man fear, no not Telemachus, Though ne’er so greatly spoken. Nor care we For any threats of austere prophecy, Which thou, old dotard, vaunt’st of so in vain. And thus shalt thou in much more hate remain; For still the Gods shall bear their ill expense, Nor ever be dispos’d by competence, Till with her nuptials she dismiss our suits, Our whole lives’ days shall sow hopes for such fruits. Her virtues we contend to, nor will go To any other, be she never so Worthy of us, and all the worth we owe.” He answer’d him: “Eurymachus, and all Ye gen’rous Wooers, now, in general, I see your brave resolves, and will no more Make speech of these points, and, much less, implore. It is enough, that all the Grecians here, And all the Gods besides, just witness bear, What friendly premonitions have been spent On your forbearance, and their vain event. Yet, with my other friends, let love prevail To fit me with a vessel free of sail, And twenty men, that may divide to me My ready passage through the yielding sea For Sparta, and Amathoan Pylos’ shore, I now am bound, in purpose to explore My long-lack’d father, and to try if fame Or Jove, most author of man’s honour’d name, With his return and life may glad mine ear, Though toil’d in that proof I sustain a year. If dead I hear him, nor of more state, here Retir’d to my lov’d country, I will rear A sepulchre to him, and celebrate Such royal parent-rites, as fits his state; And then my mother to a spouse dispose.” This said, he sat; and to the rest arose Mentor, that was Ulysses’ chosen friend, To whom, when he set forth, he did commend His cómplete family, and whom he will’d To see the mind of his old sire fulfill’d, All things conserving safe, till his retreat. Who, tender of his charge, and seeing so set In slight care of their king his subjects there, Suff’ring his son so much contempt to bear, Thus gravely, and with zeal, to him began: “No more let any sceptre-bearing man, Benevolent, or mild, or human be, Nor in his mind form acts of piety, But ever feed on blood, and facts unjust Commit, ev’n to the full swing of his lust, Since of divine Ulysses no man now, Of all his subjects, any thought doth show. All whom he govern’d, and became to them, Rather than one that wore a diadem, A most indulgent father. But, for all That can touch me, within no envy fall These insolent Wooers, that in violent kind Commit things foul by th’ ill wit of the mind, And with the hazard of their heads devour Ulysses’ house, since his returning hour They hold past hope. But it affects me much, Ye dull plebeians, that all this doth touch Your free states nothing; who, struck dumb, afford These Wooers not so much wreak as a word, Though few, and you with only number might Extinguish to them the profaned light.” Evenor’s son, Leocritus, replied: “Mentor! the railer, made a fool with pride, What language giv’st thou that would quiet us With putting us in storm, exciting thus The rout against us? Who, though more than we, Should find it is no easy victory To drive men, habited in feast, from feasts, No not if Ithacus himself such guests Should come and find so furnishing his Court, And hope to force them from so sweet a fort. His wife should little joy in his arrive, Though much she wants him; for, where she alive Would her’s enjoy, there death should claim his rights. _He must be conquer’d that with many fights._ Thou speak’st unfit things. To their labours then Disperse these people; and let these two men, Mentor and Halitherses, that so boast From the beginning to have govern’d most In friendship of the father, to the son Confirm the course he now affects to run. But my mind says, that, if he would but use A little patience, he should here hear news Of all things that his wish would understand, But no good hope for of the course in hand.” This said, the Council rose; when ev’ry peer And all the people in dispersion were To houses of their own; the Wooers yet Made to Ulysses’ house their old retreat. Telemachus, apart from all the prease, Prepar’d to shore, and, in the aged seas His fair hands wash’d, did thus to Pallas pray: “Hear me, O Goddess, that but yesterday Didst deign access to me at home, and lay Grave charge on me to take ship, and inquire Along the dark seas for mine absent sire! Which all the Greeks oppose; amongst whom most Those that are proud still at another’s cost, Past measure, and the civil rights of men, My mother’s Wooers, my repulse maintain.” Thus spake he praying; when close to him came Pallas, resembling Mentor both in frame Of voice and person, and advis’d him thus: “Those Wooers well might know, Telemachus, Thou wilt not ever weak and childish be, If to thee be instill’d the faculty Of mind and body that thy father grac’d; And if, like him, there be in thee enchac’d Virtue to give words works, and works their end. This voyage, that to them thou didst commend, Shall not so quickly, as they idly ween, Be vain, or giv’n up, for their opposite spleen. But, if Ulysses nor Penelope Were thy true parents, I then hope in thee Of no more urging thy attempt in hand; For few, that rightly bred on both sides stand, Are like their parents, many that are worse, And most few better. Those then that the nurse Or mother call true-born yet are not so, Like worthy sires much less are like to grow. But thou show’st now that in thee fades not quite Thy father’s wisdom; and that future light Shall therefore show thee far from being unwise, Or touch’d with stain of bastard cowardice. Hope therefore says, that thou wilt to the end Pursue the brave act thou didst erst intend. But for the foolish Wooers, they bewray They neither counsel have nor soul, since they Are neither wise nor just, and so must needs Rest ignorant how black above their heads Fate hovers holding Death, that one sole day Will make enough to make them all away. For thee, the way thou wishest shall no more Fly thee a step; I, that have been before Thy father’s friend, thine likewise now will be, Provide thy ship myself, and follow thee. Go thou then home, and sooth each Wooer’s vein, But under hand fit all things for the main; Wine in as strong and sweet casks as you can, And meal, the very marrow of a man, Which put in good sure leather sacks, and see That with sweet food sweet vessels still agree. I from the people straight will press for you Free voluntaries; and, for ships, enow Sea-circled Ithaca contains, both new And old-built; all which I’ll exactly view, And choose what one soever most doth please; Which rigg’d, we’ll straight launch, and assay the seas.” This spake Jove’s daughter, Pallas; whose voice heard, No more Telemachus her charge deferr’d, But hasted home, and, sad at heart, did see Amidst his hall th’ insulting Wooers flea Goats, and roast swine. ’Mongst whom, Antinous Careless, discov’ring in Telemachus His grudge to see them, laugh’d, met, took his hand, And said: “High-spoken, with the mind so mann’d! Come, do as we do, put not up your spirits With these low trifles, nor our loving merits In gall of any hateful purpose steep, But eat egregiously, and drink as deep. The things thou think’st on, all at full shall be By th’ Achives thought on, and perform’d to thee; Ship, and choice oars, that in a trice will land Thy hasty fleet on heav’nly Pylos’ sand, And at the fame of thy illustrious sire.” He answer’d: “Men, whom pride did so inspire, Are not fit consorts for an humble guest; Nor are constrain’d men merry at their feast. Is ’t not enough, that all this time ye have Op’d in your entrails my chief goods a grave, And, while I was a child, made me partake? My now more growth more grown my mind doth make, And, hearing speak more judging men than you, Perceive how much I was misgovern’d now. I now will try if I can bring ye home An ill Fate to consort you; if it come From Pylos, or amongst the people here. But thither I resolve, and know that there I shall not touch in vain. Nor will I stay, Though in a merchant’s ship I steer my way; Which shows in your sights best; since me ye know Incapable of ship, or men to row.” This said, his hand he coyly snatch’d away From forth Antinous’ hand. The rest the day Spent through the house with banquets; some with jests, And some with railings, dignifying their feasts. To whom a jest-proud youth the wit began: “Telemachus will kill us ev’ry man. From Sparta, to the very Pylian sand, He will raise aids to his impetuous hand. O he affects it strangely! Or he means To search Ephyra’s fat shores, and from thence Bring deathful poisons, which amongst our bowls Will make a general shipwrack of our souls.” Another said: “Alas, who knows but he Once gone, and erring like his sire at sea, May perish like him, far from aid of friends, And so he makes us work? For all the ends Left of his goods here we shall share, the house Left to his mother and her chosen spouse.” Thus they; while he a room ascended, high And large, built by his father, where did lie Gold and brass heap’d up, and in coffers were Rich robes, great store of odorous oils, and there Stood tuns of sweet old wines along the wall, Neat and divine drink, kept to cheer with all Ulysses’ old heart, if he turn’d again From labours fatal to him to sustain. The doors of plank were, their close exquisite, Kept with a double key, and day and night A woman lock’d within; and that was she Who all trust had for her sufficiency, Old Euryclea, one of Opis’ race, Son to Pisenor, and in passing grace With grey Minerva; her the prince did call, And said: “Nurse! Draw me the most sweet of all The wine thou keep’st; next that which for my sire Thy care reserves, in hope he shall retire. Twelve vessels fill me forth, and stop them well. Then into well-sew’d sacks of fine ground meal Pour twenty measures. Nor, to anyone But thee thyself, let this design be known. All this see got together; I it all In night will fetch off, when my mother shall Ascend her high room, and for sleep prepare. Sparta and Pylos I must see, in care To find my father.” Out Euryclea cried, And ask’d with tears: “Why is your mind applied. Dear son, to this course? Whither will you go? So far off leave us, and belovéd so, So only? And the sole hope of your race? Royal Ulysses, far from the embrace Of his kind country, in a land unknown Is dead; and, you from your lov’d country gone, The Wooers will with some deceit assay To your destruction, making then their prey Of all your goods. Where, in your own y’are strong, Make sure abode. It fits not you so young To suffer so much by the aged seas, And err in such a wayless wilderness.” “Be cheer’d, lov’d nurse,” said he, “for, not without The will of God, go my attempts about. Swear therefore, not to wound my mother’s ears With word of this, before from heav’n appears Th’ elev’nth or twelfth light, or herself shall please To ask of me, or hears me put to seas, Lest her fair body with her woe be wore.” To this the great oath of the Gods she swore; Which having sworn, and of it every due Perform’d to full, to vessels wine she drew, And into well-sew’d sacks pour’d foody meal. In mean time he, with cunning to conceal All thought of this from others, himself bore In broad house, with the Wooers, as before. Then grey-eyed Pallas other thoughts did own, And like Telemachus trod through the town, Commanding all his men in th’ even to be Aboard his ship. Again then question’d she Noënon, fam’d for aged Phronius’ son, About his ship; who all things to be done Assur’d her freely should. The sun then set, And sable shadows slid through ev’ry street, When forth they launch’d, and soon aboard did bring All arms, and choice of ev’ry needful thing That fits a well-rigg’d ship. The Goddess then Stood in the port’s extreme part, where her men, Nobly appointed, thick about her came, Whose ev’ry breast she did with spirit enflame. Yet still fresh projects laid the grey-eyed Dame. Straight to the house she hasted, and sweet sleep Pour’d on each Wooer; which so laid in steep Their drowsy temples, that each brow did nod, As all were drinking, and each hand his load, The cup, let fall. All start up, and to bed, Nor more would watch, when sleep so surfeited Their leaden eye-lids. Then did Pallas call Telemachus, in body, voice, and all, Resembling Mentor, from his native nest, And said, that all his arm’d men were addrest To use their oars, and all expected now He should the spirit of a soldier show. “Come then,” said she, “no more let us defer Our honour’d action.” Then she took on her A ravish’d spirit, and led as she did leap; And he her most haste took out step by step. Arrived at sea and ship, they found ashore The soldiers that their fashion’d-long hair wore; To whom the prince said: “Come, my friends, let’s bring Our voyage’s provision; ev’ry thing Is heap’d together in our court; and none, No not my mother, nor her maids, but one Knows our intention.” This express’d, he led, The soldiers close together followed; And all together brought aboard their store. Aboard the prince went; Pallas still before Sat at the stern, he close to her, the men Up hasted after. He and Pallas then Put from the shore. His soldiers then he bad See all their arms fit; which they heard, and had. A beechen mast, then, in the hollow base They put, and hoisted, fix’d it in its place With cables; and with well-wreath’d halsers hoise Their white sails, which grey Pallas now employs With full and fore-gales through the dark deep main. The purple waves, so swift cut, roar’d again Against the ship sides, that now ran and plow’d The rugged seas up. Then the men bestow’d Their arms about the ship, and sacrifice With crown’d wine-cups to th’ endless Deities They offer’d up. Of all yet thron’d above, They most observ’d the grey-eyed seed of Jove; Who, from the evening till the morning rose, And all day long their voyage did dispose.

[1] The word is _κεἰρετε, κεἰρω_ signifying _insatiabili, quddâm
edacitate voro._



Telemachus, and Heav’n’s wise Dame That never husband had, now came To Nestor; who his either guest Receiv’d at the religious feast He made to Neptune, on his shore; And there told what was done before The Trojan turrets, and the state Of all the Greeks since Ilion’s fate. This book these three of greatest place Doth serve with many a varied grace. Which past, Minerva takes her leave. Whose state when Nestor doth perceive, With sacrifice he makes it known, Where many a pleasing rite is shown. Which done, Telemachus hath gain’d A chariot of him; who ordain’d Pisistratus, his son, his guide To Sparta; and when starry eyed The ample heav’n began to be, All house-rites to afford them free, In Pheris, Diocles did please, His surname Ortilochides.


_Γἀμμα._ Ulysses’ son With Nestor lies, To Sparta gone; Thence Pallas flies.

The sun now left the great and goodly lake, And to the firm heav’n bright ascent did make, To shine as well upon the mortal birth, Inhabiting the plow’d life-giving earth, As on the ever-treaders upon death. And now to Pylos, that so garnisheth Herself with buildings, old Neleus’ town, The prince and Goddess come had strange sights shown, For, on the marine shore, the people there To Neptune, that the azure locks doth wear, Beeves that were wholly black gave holy flame. Nine seats of state they made to his high name; And ev’ry seat set with five hundred men, And each five hundred was to furnish then With nine black oxen ev’ry sacred seat. These of the entrails only pleas’d to eat, And to the God enflam’d the fleshy thighs. By this time Pallas with the sparkling eyes, And he she led, within the haven bore, Struck sail, cast anchor, and trod both the shore, She first, he after. Then said Pallas: “Now No more befits thee the least bashful brow; T’ embolden which this act is put on thee, To seek thy father both at shore and sea, And learn in what clime he abides so close, Or in the pow’r of what Fate doth repose. Come then, go right to Nestor; let us see, If in his bosom any counsel be, That may inform us. Pray him not to trace The common courtship, and to speak in grace Of the demander, but to tell the truth; Which will delight him, and commend thy youth For such prevention; for he loves no lies, Nor will report them, being truly wise.” He answer’d: “Mentor! how, alas! shall I Present myself? How greet his gravity? My youth by no means that ripe form affords, That can digest my mind’s instinct in words Wise, and beseeming th’ ears of one so sage. Youth of most hope blush to use words with age.” She said: “Thy mind will some conceit impress, And something God will prompt thy towardness; For, I suppose, thy birth, and breeding too, Were not in spite of what the Gods could do.” This said, she swiftly went before, and he Her steps made guides, and follow’d instantly. When soon they reach’d the Pylian throngs and seats, Where Nestor with his sons sat; and the meats, That for the feast serv’d, round about them were Adherents dressing, all their sacred cheer, Being roast and boil’d meats. When the Pylians saw These strangers come, in thrust did all men draw About their entry, took their hands, and pray’d They both would sit; their entry first assay’d By Nestor’s son, Pisistratus. In grace Of whose repair, he gave them honour’d place Betwixt his sire and brother Thrasymed, Who sat at feast on soft fells that were spread Along the sea sands, kerv’d, and reach’d to them Parts of the inwards, and did make a stream Of spritely wine into a golden bowl; Which to Minerva with a gentle soul He gave, and thus spake: “Ere you eat, fair guest, Invoke the Seas’ King, of whose sacred feast Your travel hither makes ye partners now; When, sacrificing as becomes, bestow This bowl of sweet wine on your friend, that he May likewise use these rites of piety; For I suppose his youth doth prayers use, Since all men need the Gods. But you I choose First in this cup’s disposure, since his years Seem short of yours, who more like me appears.” Thus gave he her the cup of pleasant wine; And since a wise and just man did design The golden bowl first to her free receit, Ev’n to the Goddess it did add delight, Who thus invok’d: “Hear thou, whose vast embrace Enspheres the whole earth, nor disdain thy grace To us that ask it in performing this: To Nestor first, and these fair sons of his, Vouchsafe all honour; and, next them, bestow On all these Pylians, that have offer’d now This most renowned hecatomb to thee, Remuneration fit for them, and free; And lastly deign Telemachus and me, The work perform’d for whose effect we came, Our safe return, both with our ship and fame.” Thus pray’d she; and herself herself obey’d, In th’ end performing all for which she pray’d. And now, to pray, and do as she had done, She gave the fair round bowl t’ Ulysses’ son. The meat then dress’d, and drawn, and serv’d t’ each guest, They celebrated a most sumptuous feast. When appetite to wine and food allay’d, Horse-taming Nestor then began, and said: “Now life’s desire is serv’d, as far as fare, Time fits me to enquire what guests these are. Fair guests, what are ye? And for what coast tries Your ship the moist deeps? For fit merchandise? Or rudely coast ye, like our men of prise, The rough seas tempting, desperately erring, The ill of others in their good conferring?” The wise prince now his boldness did begin, For Pallas’ self had harden’d him within, By this device of travel to explore His absent father; which two girlonds wore; His good by manage of his spirits; and then To gain him high grace in th’ accounts of men. “O Nestor! still in whom Nelëus lives! And all the glory of the Greeks survives, You ask from whence we are, and I relate: From Ithaca (whose seat is situate Where Neius, the renownéd mountain, rears His haughty forehead, and the honour bears To be our sea-mark) we assay’d the waves. The business, I must tell, our own good craves, And not the public. I am come t’ enquire, If, in the fame that best men doth inspire Of my most-suff’ring father, I may hear Some truth of his estate now, who did bear The name, being join’d in fight with you alone, To even with earth the height of Ilion. Of all men else, that any name did bear, And fought for Troy, the sev’ral ends we hear; But his death Jove keeps from the world unknown, The certain fame thereof being told by none; If on the continent by enemies slain, Or with the waves eat of the ravenous main. For his love ’tis that to your knees I sue, That you would please, out of your own clear view, T’ assure his sad end; or say, if your ear Hath heard of the unhappy wanderer, To too much sorrow whom his mother bore. You then by all your bounties I implore, (If ever to you deed or word hath stood, By my good father promis’d, render’d good Amongst the Trojans, where ye both have tried The Grecian suff’rance) that in nought applied To my respect or pity you will glose, But uncloth’d truth to my desires disclose.” “O my much-lov’d,” said he, “since you renew Remembrance of the miseries that grew Upon our still-in-strength-opposing Greece Amongst Troy’s people, I must touch a piece Of all our woes there, either in the men Achilles brought by sea and led to gain About the country, or in us that fought About the city, where to death were brought All our chief men, as many as were there. There Mars-like Ajax lies; Achilles there; There the in-counsel-like-the-Gods, his friend; There my dear son Antilochus took end, Past measure swift of foot, and staid in fight. A number more that ills felt infinite; Of which to reckon all, what mortal man, If five or six years you should stay here, can Serve such enquiry? You would back again, Affected with unsufferable pain, Before you heard it. Nine years sieg’d we them, With all the depth and sleight of stratagem That could be thought. Ill knit to ill past end. Yet still they toil’d us; nor would yet Jove send Rest to our labours, nor will scarcely yet. But no man liv’d, that would in public set His wisdom by Ulysses’ policy, As thought his equal; so excessively He stood superior all ways. If you be His son indeed, mine eyes ev’n ravish me To admiration. And in all consent Your speech puts on his speech’s ornament. Nor would one say, that one so young could use, Unless his son, a rhetoric so profuse. And while we liv’d together, he and I Never in speech maintain’d diversity; Nor sat in council but, by one soul led, With spirit and prudent counsel furnishéd The Greeks at all hours, that, with fairest course, What best became them, they might put in force. But when Troy’s’ high tow’rs we had levell’d thus, We put to sea, and God divided us. And then did Jove our sad retreat devise; For all the Greeks were neither just nor wise, And therefore many felt so sharp a fate, Sent from Minerva’s most pernicious hate; Whose mighty Father can do fearful things. By whose help she betwixt the brother kings Let fall contention; who in council met In vain, and timeless, when the sun was set, And all the Greeks call’d, that came charg’d with wine. Yet then the kings would utter their design, And why they summon’d. Menelaus, he Put all in mind of home, and cried, To sea. But Agamemnon stood on contraries, Whose will was, they should stay and sacrifice Whole hecatombs to Pallas, to forego Her high wrath to them. Fool! that did not know She would not so be won; for not with ease Th’ Eternal Gods are turn’d from what they please. So they, divided, on foul language stood. The Greeks in huge rout rose, their wine-heat blood Two ways affecting. And, that night’s sleep too, We turn’d to studying either other’s woe; When Jove besides made ready woes enow. Morn came, we launch’d, and in our ships did stow Our goods, and fair-girt women. Half our men The people’s guide, Atrides, did contain, And half, being now aboard, put forth to sea. A most free gale gave all ships prosp’rous way. God settled then the huge whale-bearing lake, And Tenedos we reach’d; where, for time’s sake, We did divine rites to the Gods. But Jove, Inexorable still, bore yet no love To our return, but did again excite A second sad contention, that turn’d quite A great part of us back to sea again; Which were th’ abundant-in-all-counsels man, Your matchless father, who, to gratify The great Atrides, back to him did fly. But I fled all, with all that follow’d me, Because I knew God studied misery, To hurl amongst us. With me likewise fled Martial Tydides. I the men he led Gat to go with him. Winds our fleet did bring To Lesbos, where the yellow-headed king, Though late, yet found us, as we put to choice A tedious voyage; if we sail should hoise Above rough Chius, left on our left hand, To th’ isle of Psyria, or that rugged land Sail under, and for windy Mimas steer. We ask’d of God that some ostent might clear Our cloudy business, who gave us sign, And charge, that all should, in a middle line, The sea cut for Eubœa, that with speed Our long-sustain’d infortune might be freed. Then did a whistling wind begin to rise, And swiftly flew we through the fishy skies, Till to Geræstus we in night were brought; Where, through the broad sea since we safe had wrought, At Neptune’s altars many solid thighs Of slaughter’d bulls we burn’d for sacrifice. The fourth day came, when Tydeus’ son did greet The haven of Argos with his cómplete fleet. But I for Pylos straight steer’d on my course; Nor ever left the wind his foreright force, Since God fore-sent it first. And thus I came, Dear son, to Pylos, uninform’d by fame, Nor know one sav’d by Fate, or overcome. Whom I have heard of since, set here at home, As fits, thou shalt be taught, nought left unshown. The expert spear-men, ev’ry Myrmidon, Led by the brave heir of the mighty-soul’d Unpeer’d Achilles, safe of home got hold; Safe Philoctetes, Pœan’s famous seed; And safe Idomenæus his men led To his home, Crete, who fled the arméd field, Of whom yet none the sea from him withheld. Atrides, you have both heard, though ye be His far-off dwellers, what an end had he, Done by Ægisthus to a bitter death; Who miserably paid for forcéd breath, Atrides leaving a good son, that dyed, In blood of that deceitful parricide, His wreakful sword. And thou my friend, as he For this hath his fame, the like spirit in thee Assume at all parts. Fair and great, I see, Thou art in all hope, make it good to th’ end, That after-times as much may thee commend.” He answer’d: “O thou greatest grace of Greece, Orestes made that wreak his master-piece, And him the Greeks will give a master-praise, Verse finding him to last all after-days. And would to God the Gods would favour me With his performance, that my injury, Done by my mother’s Wooers, being so foul, I might revenge upon their ev’ry soul; Who, pressing me with contumelies, dare Such things as past the pow’r of utt’rance are. But Heav’n’s great Pow’rs have grac’d my destiny With no such honour. Both my sire and I Are born to suffer everlastingly.” “Because you name those Wooers, friend,” said he, “Report says, many such, in spite of thee, Wooing thy mother, in thy house commit The ills thou nam’st. But say: Proceedeth it From will in thee to bear so foul a foil? Or from thy subjects’ hate, that wish thy spoil, And will not aid thee, since their spirits rely, Against thy rule, on some grave augury? What know they, but at length thy father may Come, and with violence their violence pay; Or he alone, or all the Greeks with him? But if Minerva now did so esteem Thee, as thy father in times past; whom, past All measure, she with glorious favours grac’t Amongst the Trojans, where we suffer’d so; (O! I did never see, in such clear show, The Gods so grace a man, as she to him, To all our eyes, appear’d in all her trim) If so, I say, she would be pleas’d to love, And that her mind’s care thou so much couldst move, As did thy father, ev’ry man of these Would lose in death their seeking marriages.” “O father,” answer’d he, “you make amaze Seize me throughout. Beyond the height of phrase You raise expression; but ’twill never be, That I shall move in any Deity So blest an honour. Not by any means, If Hope should prompt me, or blind Confidence, (The Gods of Fools) or ev’ry Deity Should will it; for ’tis past my destiny.” The burning-eyed Dame answer’d: “What a speech Hath past the teeth-guard Nature gave to teach Fit question of thy words before they fly! God easily can[1] (when to mortal eye He’s furthest off) a mortal satisfy; And does the more still. For thy car’d-for sire, I rather wish, that I might home retire, After my suff’rance of a world of woes, Far off, and then my glad eyes might disclose The day of my return, then straight retire, And perish standing by my household fire; As Agamemnon did, that lost his life By false Ægisthus, and his falser wife. For Death to come at length, ’tis due to all; Nor can the Gods themselves, when Fate shall call Their most-lov’d man, extend his vital breath Beyond the fix’d bounds of abhorréd Death.” “Mentor!” said he, “let’s dwell no more on this, Although in us the sorrow pious is. No such return, as we wish, Fates bequeath My erring father; whom a present death The Deathless have decreed. I’ll now use speech That tends to other purpose; and beseech Instruction of grave Nestor, since he flows Past shore in all experience, and knows The sleights and wisdoms, and whose heights aspire Others, as well as my commended sire, Whom Fame reports to have commanded three Ages of men, and doth in sight to me Show like th’ Immortals. Nestor! the renown Of old Neleius, make the clear truth known, How the most-great-in-empire, Atreus’ son, Sustain’d the act of his destruction, Where then was Menelaus? How was it That false Ægisthus, being so far unfit A match for him, could his death so enforce? Was he not then in Argos? or his course With men so left, to let a coward breathe Spirit enough to dare his brother’s death?” “I’ll tell thee truth in all, fair son,” said he: “Right well was this event conceiv’d by thee. If Menelaus in his brother’s house Had found the idle liver with his spouse, Arriv’d from Troy, he had not liv’d, nor dead Had the digg’d heap pour’d on his lustful head, But fowls and dogs had torn him in the fields, Far off of Argos; not a dame it yields Had giv’n him any tear, so foul his fact Show’d ev’n to women. Us Troy’s wars had rack’d To ev’ry sinew’s sufferance, while he In Argos’ uplands liv’d, from those works free, And Agamemnon’s wife with force of word Flatter’d and soften’d, who, at first, abhorr’d A fact so infamous. The heav’nly dame A good mind had, but was in blood to blame. There was a poet, to whose care the king His queen committed, and in ev’ry thing, When he from Troy went, charg’d him to apply Himself in all guard to her dignity. But when strong Fate so wrapt-in her effects, That she resolv’d to leave her fit respects, Into a desert isle her guardian led, There left, the rapine of the vultures fed. Then brought he willing home his will’s won prize, On sacred altars offer’d many thighs, Hung in the God’s fanes many ornaments, Garments and gold, that he the vast events Of such a labour to his wish had brought, As neither fell into his hope nor thought. At last, from Troy sail’d Sparta’s king and I, Both holding her untouch’d. And, that his eye Might see no worse of her, when both were blown To sacred Sunium, of Minerva’s town The goodly promontory, with his shafts severe Augur Apollo slew him that did steer Atrides’ ship, as he the stern did guide, And she the full speed of her sail applied. He was a man that natións of men Excell’d in safe guide of a vessel, when A tempest rush’d in on the ruffled seas; His name was Phrontis Onetorides. And thus was Menelaus held from home, Whose way he thirsted so to overcome, To give his friend the earth, being his pursuit, And all his exequies to execute. But sailing still the wine-hued seas,[2] to reach Some shore for fit performance, he did fetch The steep mount of the Malians, and there, With open voice, offended Jupiter Proclaim’d the voyage his repugnant mind, And pour’d the puffs out of a shrieking wind, That nourish’d billows heighten’d like to hills; And with the fleet’s division fulfills His hate proclaim’d; upon a part of Crete Casting the navy, where the sea-waves meet Rough Jardanus, and where the Cydons live. There is a rock, on which the sea doth drive, Bare, and all broken, on the confines set Of Gortys, that the dark seas likewise fret; And hither sent the South a horrid drift Of waves against the top, that was the left Of that torn cliff as far as Phæstus’ strand. A little stone the great sea’s rage did stand. The men here driv’n ‘scap’d hard the ship’s sore shocks, The ships themselves being wrack’d against the rocks, Save only five, that blue fore-castles bore, Which wind and water cast on Egypt’s shore. When he (there victling well, and store of gold Aboard his ships brought) his wild way did hold, And t’ other languag’d men was forc’d to roam. Mean space Ægisthus made sad work at home, And slew his brother, forcing to his sway Atrides’ subjects, and did sev’n years lay His yoke upon the rich Mycenian state. But in the eighth, to his affrighting fate, Divine Orestes home from Athens came, And what his royal father felt, the same He made the false Ægisthus groan beneath. _Death evermore is the reward of death._ Thus having slain him, a sepulchral feast He made the Argives for his lustful guest, And for his mother whom he did detest. The self-same day upon him stole the king Good-at-a-martial-shout, and goods did bring, As many as his freighted fleet could bear. But thou, my son, too long by no means err, Thy goods left free for many a spoilful guest, Lest they consume some, and divide the rest, And thou, perhaps, besides, thy voyage lose. To Menelaus yet thy course dispose I wish and charge thee; who but late arriv’d From such a shore and men, as to have liv’d In a return from them he never thought, And whom black whirlwinds violently brought Within a sea so vast, that in a year Not any fowl could pass it anywhere, So huge and horrid was it. But go thou With ship and men (or, if thou pleasest now To pass by land, there shall be brought for thee Both horse and chariot, and thy guides shall be My sons themselves) to Sparta the divine, And to the king whose locks like amber shine. Intreat the truth of him, nor loves he lies, Wisdom in truth is, and he’s passing wise.” This said, the Sun went down, and up rose Night, When Pallas spake: “O father, all good right Bear thy directions. But divide we now The sacrifices’ tongues, mix wines, and vow To Neptune, and the other Ever-Blest, That, having sacrific’d, we may to rest. The fit hour runs now, light dives out of date, At sacred feasts we must not sit too late.” She said; they heard; the heralds water gave; The youths crown’d cups with wine, and let all have Their equal shares, beginning from the cup Their parting banquet. All the tongues cut up, The fire they gave them, sacrific’d, and rose, Wine, and divine rites us’d, to each dispose; Minerva and Telemachus desir’d They might to ship be, with his leave, retir’d. He, mov’d with that, provok’d thus their abodes: “Now Jove forbid, and all the long-liv’d Gods, Your leaving me, to sleep aboard a ship; As I had drunk of poor Penia’s whip, Even to my nakedness, and had nor sheet Nor cov’ring in my house; that warm nor sweet A guest, nor I myself, had means to sleep; Where I, both weeds and wealthy cov’rings keep For all my guests. Nor shall Fame ever say, The dear son of the man Ulysses lay All night a-ship-board here while my days shine, Or in my court whiles any son of mine Enjoys survival, who shall guests receive, Whomever my house hath a nook to leave.” “My much-lov’d father,” said Minerva, “well All this becomes thee. But persuade to dwell This night with thee thy son Telemachus, For more convenient is the course for us, That he may follow to thy house and rest, And I may board our black-sail, that addrest At all parts I may make our men, and cheer All with my presence, since of all men there I boast myself the senior, th’ others are Youths, that attend in free and friendly care Great-soul’d Telemachus, and are his peers In fresh similitude of form and years. For their confirmance, I will therefore now Sleep in our black bark. But, when light shall show Her silver forehead, I intend my way Amongst the Caucons, men that are to pay A debt to me, nor small, nor new. For this, Take you him home; whom in the morn dismiss, With chariot and your sons, and give him horse Ablest in strength, and of the speediest course” This said, away she flew, form’d like the fowl Men call the ossifrage; when ev’ry soul Amaze invaded; even th’ old man admir’d, The youth’s hand took, and said: “O most desir’d, My hope says thy proof will no coward show, Nor one unskill’d in war, when Deities now So young attend thee, and become thy guides; Nor any of the heav’n-hous’d States besides, But Tritogenia’s self, the Seed of Jove, The great-in-prey, that did in honour move So much about thy father, amongst all The Grecian army. Fairest queen, let fall On me like favours! Give me good renown! Which, as on me, on my lov’d wife let down, And all my children. I will burn to thee An ox right bred, broad-headed, and yoke-free, To no man’s hand yet humbled. Him will I, His horns in gold hid, give thy Deity.” Thus pray’d he, and she heard; and home he led His sons, and all his heaps of kindered. Who ent’ring his court royal, ev’ry one He marshall’d in his sev’ral seat and throne; And ev’ry one, so kindly come, he gave His sweet-wine cup; which none was let to have Before his ‘leventh year landed him from Troy; Which now the butleress had leave t’ employ, Who therefore pierc’d it, and did give it vent. Of this the old duke did a cup present To ev’ry guest; made his Maid many a pray’r That wears the shield fring’d with his nurse’s hair, And gave her sacrifice. With this rich wine And food suffic’d, sleep all eyes did decline, And all for home went; but his court alone Telemachus, divine Ulysses’ son, Must make his lodging, or not please his heart. A bed, all chequer’d with elaborate art, Within a portico that rung like brass, He brought his guest to; and his bedfere was Pisistratus, the martial guide of men, That liv’d, of all his sons, unwed till then. Himself lay in a by-room, far above, His bed made by his barren wife, his love. The rosy-finger’d Morn no sooner shone, But up he rose, took air, and sat upon A seat of white and goodly polish’d stone, That such a gloss as richest ointments wore, Before his high gates; where the counsellor That match’d the Gods (his father) us’d to sit, Who now, by fate forc’d, stoop’d as low as it. And here sat Nestor, holding in his hand A sceptre; and about him round did stand, As early up, his sons’ troop; Perseus, The god-like Thrasymed, and Aretus, Echephron, Stratius, and sixth and last Pisistratus, and by him (half embrac’d Still as they came) divine Telemachus; To these spake Nestor, old Gerenius: “Haste, lovéd sons, and do me a desire, That, first of all the Gods, I may aspire To Pallas’ favour, who vouchsaf’d to me At Neptune’s feast her sight so openly. Let one to field go, and an ox with speed Cause hither brought, which let the herdsman lead; Another to my dear guest’s vessel go, And all his soldiers bring, save only two; A third the smith that works in gold command (Laertius) to attend, and lend his hand, To plate the both horns round about with gold; The rest remain here close. But first, see told The maids within, that they prepare a feast, Set seats through all the court, see straight addrest The purest water, and get fuel fell’d.” This said, not one but in the service held Officious hand. The ox came led from field; The soldiers troop’d from ship; the smith he came, And those tools brought that serv’d the actual frame His art conceiv’d, brought anvil, hammers brought, Fair tongs, and all, with which the gold was wrought. Minerva likewise came, to set the crown On that kind sacrifice, and make ’t her own. Then th’ old knight Nestor gave the smith the gold, With which he straight did both the horns infold, And trimm’d the off’ring so, the Goddess joy’d. About which thus were Nestor’s sons employ’d: Divine Echephron, and fair Stratius, Held both the horns. The water odorous, In which they wash’d, what to the rites was vow’d, Aretus, in a caldron all bestrow’d With herbs and flowers, serv’d in from th’ holy room Where all were drest, and whence the rites must come. And after him a hallow’d virgin came, That brought the barley-cake, and blew the flame. The axe, with which the ox should both be fell’d And cut forth, Thrasymed stood by and held. Perseus the vessel held that should retain The purple liquor of the off’ring slain. Then wash’d the pious father, then the cake (Of barley, salt, and oil, made) took, and brake, Ask’d many a boon of Pallas, and the state Of all the off’ring did initiate, In three parts cutting off the hair, and cast Amidst the flame. All th’ invocation past, And all the cake broke, manly Thrasymed Stood near, and sure, and such a blow he laid Aloft the off’ring, that to earth he sunk, His neck-nerves sunder’d, and his spirits shrunk. Out shriek’d the daughters, daughter-in-laws, and wife Of three-ag’d Nestor, who had eldest life Of Clymen’s daughters, chaste Eurydice. The ox on broad earth then laid laterally They held, while duke Pisistratus the throat Dissolv’d, and set the sable blood afloat, And then the life the bones left. Instantly They cut him up; apart flew either thigh, That with the fat they dubb’d, with art alone, The throat-brisk, and the sweet-bread pricking on. Then Nestor broil’d them on the coal-turn’d wood, Pour’d black wine on; and by him young men stood, That spits fine-pointed held, on which, when burn’d The solid thighs were, they transfix’d, and turn’d The inwards, cut in cantles; which, the meat Vow’d to the Gods consum’d, they roast and eat. In mean space, Polycasté (call’d the fair, Nestor’s young’st daughter) bath’d Ulysses’ heir; Whom having cleans’d, and with rich balms bespread, She cast a white shirt quickly o’er his head, And then his weeds put on; when forth he went, And did the person of a God present, Came, and by Nestor took his honour’d seat, This pastor of the people. Then, the meat Of all the spare parts roasted, off they drew, Sat, and fell to. But soon the temp’rate few Rose, and in golden bowls fill’d others wine. Till, when the rest felt thirst of feast decline, Nestor his sons bad fetch his high-man’d horse, And them in chariot join, to run the course The prince resolv’d. Obey’d, as soon as heard, Was Nestor by his sons, who straight prepar’d Both horse and chariot. She that kept the store, Both bread and wine, and all such viands more, As should the feast of Jove-fed kings compose, Purvey’d the voyage. To the rich coach rose Ulysses’ son, and close to him ascended The duke Pisistratus, the reins intended, And scourg’d, to force to field, who freely flew; And left the town that far her splendour threw, Both holding yoke, and shook it all the day. But now the sun set, dark’ning ev’ry way, When they to Pheris came; and in the house Of Diocles (the son t’ Orsilochus, Whom flood Alphëus got) slept all that night; Who gave them each due hospitable rite. But when the rosy-finger’d Morn arose, They went to coach, and did their horse inclose, Drave forth the fore-court, and the porch that yields Each breath a sound, and to the fruitful fields Rode scourging still their willing flying steeds, Who strenuously perform’d their wonted speeds. Their journey ending just when sun went down, And shadows all ways through the earth were thrown.

[1] _Volente Deo, nihil est difficile._
[2] _Οἲνοπα πὀντον: οἲνοψ cujus facies vinum repræsentat._



Receiv’d now in the Spartan court, Telemachus prefers report To Menelaus of the throng Of Wooers with him, and their wrong. Atrides tells the Greeks’ retreat, And doth a prophecy repeat That Proteus made, by which he knew His brother’s death; and then doth show How with Calypso liv’d the sire Of his young guest. The Wooers conspire Their prince’s death. Whose treach’ry known, Penelope in tears doth drown. Whom Pallas by a dream doth cheer, And in similitude appear Of fair Iphthima, known to be The sister of Penelope.


_Δἐλτα._ Here of the sire The son doth hear. The Wooers conspire. The Mother’s fear.

In Lacedæmon now, the nurse of whales,[1] These two arriv’d, and found at festivals, With mighty concourse, the renownéd king, His son and daughter jointly marrying. Alector’s daughter he did give his son, Strong Megapenthes, who his life begun By Menelaus’ bondmaid; whom he knew In years when Helen could no more renew In issue like divine Hermione, Who held in all fair form as high degree As golden Venus. Her he married now To great Achilles’ son, who was by vow Betroth’d to her at Troy, And thus the Gods To constant loves give nuptial periods. Whose state here past, the Myrmidons’ rich town (Of which she shar’d in the imperial crown) With horse and chariots he resign’d her to. Mean space, the high huge house with feast did flow Of friends and neighbours, joying with the king. Amongst whom did a heav’nly poet sing, And touch his harp. Amongst whom likewise danc’d Two, who in that dumb motion advanc’d, Would prompt the singer what to sing and play.[2] All this time in the utter court did stay, With horse and chariot, Telemachus, And Nestor’s noble son Pisistratus. Whom Eteoneus, coming forth, descried, And, being a servant to the king, most tried In care and his respect, he ran and cried: “Guests, Jove-kept Menelaus, two such men As are for form of high Saturnius’ strain. Inform your pleasure, if we shall unclose Their horse from coach, or say they must dispose Their way to some such house, as may embrace Their known arrival with more welcome grace?”

He, angry, answer’d: “Thou didst never show Thyself a fool, Boethides, till now; But now, as if turn’d child, a childish speech Vents thy vain spirits. We ourselves now reach Our home by much spent hospitality Of other men; nor know if Jove will try With other after-wants our state again; And therefore from our feast no more detain Those welcome guests, but take their steeds from coach, And with attendance guide in their approach.”

This said, he rush’d abroad, and call’d some more Tried in such service, that together bore Up to the guests, and took their steeds that swet Beneath their yokes from coach; at mangers set, Wheat and white barley gave them mix’d; and plac’d Their chariot by a wall so clear, it cast A light quite through it. And then they led Their guests to the divine house; which so fed Their eyes at all parts with illustrious sights, That admiration seiz’d them. Like the lights The sun and moon gave, all the palace threw A lustre through it. Satiate with whose view, Down to the king’s most bright-kept baths they went, Where handmaids did their services present, Bath’d, balm’d them, shirts and well-napt weeds put on, And by Atrides’ side set each his throne. Then did the handmaid-royal water bring, And to a laver, rich and glittering, Of massy gold, pour’d; which she plac’d upon A silver caldron, into which might run The water as they wash’d. Then set she near A polish’d table, on which all the cheer The present could afford a rev’rend dame, That kept the larder, set. A cook then came, And divers dishes, borne thence, serv’d again; Furnish’d the board with bowls of gold. And then, His right hand giv’n the guests, Atrides said: “Eat, and be cheerful. Appetite allay’d, I long to ask, of what stock ye descend; For not from parents whose race nameless end We must derive your offspring. Men obscure Could get none such as you. The portraiture Of Jove-sustain’d and sceptre-bearing kings Your either person in his presence brings.” An ox’s fat chine then they up did lift, And set before the guests; which was a gift, Sent as an honour to the king’s own taste. They saw yet ’twas but to be eaten plac’d, And fell to it. But food and wine’s care past, Telemachus thus prompted Nestor’s son, (His ear close laying, to be heard of none):[3]

“Consider, thou whom most of my mind esteems, The brass-work here, how rich it is in beams, And how, besides, it makes the whole house sound; What gold, and amber, silver, ivory, round Is wrought about it. Out of doubt, the hall Of Jupiter Olympius hath of all This state the like. How many infinites Take up to admiration all men’s sights!”

Atrides over-heard, and said: “Lov’d son, No mortal must affect contentión With Jove, whose dwellings are of endless date. Perhaps of men some one may emulate, Or none, my house, or me; for I am one That many a grave extreme have undergone, Much error felt by sea, and till th’ eighth year, Had never stay, but wander’d far and near, Cyprus, Phœnicia, and Sidonia, And fetch’d the far-off Æthiopia, Reach’d the Erembi of Arabia, And Lybia, where with horns ewes yean their lambs, Which ev’ry full year ewes are three times dams, Where neither king, nor shepherd, want comes near Of cheese, or flesh, or sweet milk; all the year They ever milk their ewes. And here while I Err’d, gath’ring means to live, one, murd’rously, Unwares, unseen, bereft my brother’s life, Chiefly betray’d by his abhorréd wife. So hold I, not enjoying, what you see. And of your fathers, if they living be, You must have heard this, since my suff’rings were So great and famous; from this palace here (So rarely-well-built, furnishéd so well, And substancéd with such a precious deal Of well-got treasure) banish’d by the doom Of Fate, and erring as I had no home. And now I have, and use it, not to take Th’ entire delight it offers, but to make Continual wishes, that a triple part Of all it holds were wanting, so my heart Were eas’d of sorrows, taken for their deaths That fell at Troy, by their revivéd breaths. And thus sit I here weeping, mourning still Each least man lost; and sometimes make mine ill, In paying just tears for their loss, my joy. Sometimes I breathe my woes, for in annoy The pleasure soon admits satiety. But all these men’s wants wet not so mine eye, Though much they move me, as one sole man’s miss, For which my sleep and meat ev’n loathsome is In his renew’d thought, since no Greek hath won Grace for such labours as Laërtes’ son Hath wrought and suffer’d, to himself nought else But future sorrows forging, to me hells For his long absence, since I cannot know If life or death detain him; since such woe For his love, old Laërtes, his wise wife, And poor young son sustains, whom new with life He left as sireless.” This speech grief to tears (Pour’d from the son’s lids on the earth) his ears, Told of the father, did excite; who kept His cheeks dry with his red weed as he wept, His both hands us’d therein. Atrides then Began to know him, and did strife retain, If he should let himself confess his sire, Or with all fitting circumstance enquire.

While this his thoughts disputed, forth did shine, Like to the golden distaff-deck’d Divine, From her bed’s high and odoriferous room, Helen. To whom, of an elaborate loom, Adresta set a chair; Alcippe brought A piece of tapestry of fine wool wrought; Phylo a silver cabinet conferr’d, Giv’n by Alcandra, nuptially endear’d To lord Polybius, whose abode in Thebes Th’ Ægyptian city was, where wealth in heaps His famous house held, out of which did go, In gift t’ Atrides, silver bath-tubs two, Two tripods, and of fine gold talents ten. His wife did likewise send to Helen then Fair gifts, a distaff that of gold was wrought, And that rich cabinet that Phylo brought, Round, and with gold ribb’d, now of fine thread full; On which extended (crown‘d with finest wool, Of violet gloss) the golden distaff-lay.

She took her state-chair, and a foot-stool’s stay Had for her feet; and of her husband thus Ask’d to know all things: “Is it known to us, King Menelaus, whom these men commend Themselves for, that our court now takes to friend? I must affirm, be I deceiv’d or no, I never yet saw man nor woman so Like one another, as this man is like Ulysses’ son. With admiration strike His looks my thoughts, that they should carry now Pow’r to persuade me thus, who did but know, When newly he was born, the form they bore. But ’tis his father’s grace, whom more and more His grace resembles, that makes me retain Thought that he now is like Telemachus, then Left by his sire, when Greece did undertake Troy’s bold war for my impudency’s sake.”

He answer’d: “Now wife, what you think I know, The true cast of his father’s eye doth show In his eyes’ order. Both his head and hair, His hands and feet, his very father’s are. Of whom, so well remember’d, I should now Acknowledge for me his continual flow Of cares and perils, yet still patient. But I should too much move him, that doth vent Such bitter tears for that which hath been spoke, Which, shunning soft show, see how he would cloak, And with his purple weed his weepings hide.”

Then Nestor’s son, Pisistratus, replied: “Great pastor of the people, kept of God! He is Ulysses’ son, but his abode Not made before here, and he modest too, He holds it an indignity to do A deed so vain, to use the boast of words, Where your words are on wing; whose voice affords Delight to us as if a God did break The air amongst us, and vouchsafe to speak. But me my father, old duke Nestor, sent To be his consort hither; his content Not to be heighten’d so as with your sight, In hope that therewith words and actions might Inform his comforts from you, since he is Extremely griev’d and injur’d by the miss Of his great father; suff’ring ev’n at home, And few friends found to help him overcome His too weak suff’rance, now his sire is gone; Amongst the people, not afforded one To check the miseries that mate him thus. And this the state is of Telemachus.”

“O Gods,” said he, “how certain, now, I see My house enjoys that friend’s son, that for me Hath undergone so many willing fights! Whom I resolv’d, past all the Grecian knights, To hold in love, if our return by seas The far-off Thunderer did ever please To grant our wishes. And to his respect A palace and a city to erect, My vow had bound me; whither bringing then His riches, and his son, and all his men, From barren Ithaca, (some one sole town Inhabited about him batter’d down) All should in Argos live. And there would I Ease him of rule, and take the empery Of all on me. And often here would we, Delighting, loving either’s company, Meet and converse; whom nothing should divide, Till death’s black veil did each all over hide. But this perhaps hath been a mean to take Ev’n God himself with envy; who did make Ulysses therefore only the unblest, That should not reach his loved country’s rest.”

These woes made ev’ry one with woe in love; Ev’n Argive Helen wept, the Seed of Jove; Ulysses’ son wept; Atreus’ son did weep; And Nestor’s son his eyes in tears did steep, But his tears fell not from the present cloud That from Ulysses was exhal’d, but flow’d From brave Antilochus’ remember’d due, Whom the renown’d Son of the Morning slew, Which yet he thus excus’d: “O Atreus’ son! Old Nestor says, there lives not such a one Amongst all mortals as Atrides is For deathless wisdom. ’Tis a praise of his, Still giv’n in your remembrance, when at home Our speech concerns you. Since then overcome You please to be with sorrow, ev’n to tears, That are in wisdom so exempt from peers, Vouchsafe the like effect in me excuse, If it be lawful, I affect no use Of tears thus after meals; at least, at night; But when the morn brings forth, with tears, her light, It shall not then impair me to bestow My tears on any worthy’s overthrow. It is the only rite that wretched men Can do dead friends, to cut hair, and complain. But Death my brother took, whom none could call The Grecian coward, you best knew of all. I was not there, nor saw, but men report Antilochus excell’d the common sort For footmanship, or for the chariot race, Or in the fight for hardy hold of place.”

“O friend,” said he, “since thou hast spoken so, At all parts as one wise should say and do, And like one far beyond thyself in years, Thy words shall bounds be to our former tears. O he is questionless a right-born son, That of his father hath not only won The person but the wisdom; and that sire Complete himself that hath a son entire, Jove did not only his full fate adorn, When he was wedded, but when he was born. As now Saturnius, through his life’s whole date, Hath Nestor’s bliss rais’d to as steep a state, Both in his age to keep in peace his house, And to have children wise and valorous. But let us not forget our rear feast thus. Let some give water here. Telemachus! The morning shall yield time to you and me To do what fits, and reason mutually.”

This said, the careful servant of the king, Asphalion, pour’d on th’ issue of the spring; And all to ready feast set ready hand. But Helen now on new device did stand, Infusing straight a medicine to their wine, That, drowning care and angers; did decline All thought of ill. Who drunk her cup could shed All that day not a tear, no not if dead That day his father or his mother were, Not if his brother, child, or chiefest dear, He should see murder’d then before his face. Such useful medicines, only borne in grace Of what was good, would Helen ever have. And this juice to her Polydamna gave The wife of Thoon, an Ægyptian born, Whose rich earth herbs of medicine do adorn In great abundance. Many healthful are, And many baneful. Ev’ry man is there A good physician out of Nature’s grace, For all the nation sprung of Pæon’s race.

When Helen then her medicine had infus’d, She bad pour wine to it, and this speech us’d:

“Atrides, and these good men’s sons, great Jove Makes good and ill one after other move, In all things earthly; for he can do all. The woes past, therefore, he so late let fall, The comforts he affords us let us take; Feast, and, with fit discourses, merry make. Nor will I other use. As then our blood Griev’d for Ulysses, since he was so good, Since he was good, let us delight to hear How good he was, and what his suff’rings were; Though ev’ry fight, and ev’ry suff’ring deed, Patient Ulysses underwent, exceed My woman’s pow’r to number, or to name. But what he did, and suffer’d, when he came Amongst the Trojans, where ye Grecians all Took part with suff’rance, I in part can call To your kind memories. How with ghastly wounds Himself he mangled, and the Trojan bounds, Thrust thick with enemies, adventur’d on, His royal shoulders having cast upon Base abject weeds, and enter’d like a slave. Then, beggar-like, he did of all men crave, And such a wretch was, as the whole Greek fleet Brought not besides. And thus through ev’ry street He crept discov’ring, of no one man known. And yet through all this diff’rence, I alone Smoked his true person, talk’d with him; but he Fled me with wiles still. Nor could we agree, Till I disclaim’d him quite; and so (as mov’d With womanly remorse of one that prov’d So wretched an estate, whate’er he were) Won him to take my house. And yet ev’n there, Till freely I, to make him doubtless, swore A pow’rful oath, to let him reach the shore Of ships and tents before Troy understood, I could not force on him his proper good. But then I bath’d and sooth’d him, and he then Confess’d, and told me all; and, having slain A number of the Trojan guards, retir’d, And reach’d the fleet, for sleight and force admir’d. Their husbands’ deaths by him the Trojan wives Shriek’d for; but I made triumphs for their lives, For then my heart conceiv’d, that once again I should reach home; and yet did still retain Woe for the slaughters Venus made for me, When both my husband, my Hermione, And bridal room, she robb’d of so much right, And drew me from my country with her sleight, Though nothing under heaven I here did need, That could my fancy or my beauty feed.”

Her husband said: “Wife! what you please to tell Is true at all parts, and becomes you well; And I myself, that now may say have seen The minds and manners of a world of men, And great heroes, measuring many a ground, Have never, by these eyes that light me, found One with a bosom so to be belov’d, As that in which th’ accomplish’d spirit mov’d Of patient Ulysses. What, brave man, He both did act, and suffer, when he wan The town of Ilion, in the brave-built horse, When all we chief states of the Grecian force Were hous’d together, bringing death and Fate Amongst the Trojans, you, wife, may relate; For you, at last, came to us; God, that would The Trojans’ glory give, gave charge you should Approach the engine; and Deiphobus, The god-like, follow’d. Thrice ye circled us With full survey of it; and often tried The hollow crafts that in it were implied.[4] When all the voices of their wives in it You took on you with voice so like and fit, And ev’ry man by name so visited, That I, Ulysses, the king Diomed, (Set in the midst, and hearing how you call’d) Tydides, and myself (as half appall’d With your remorseful plaints) would passing fain Have broke our silence, rather than again Endure, respectless, their so moving cries. But Ithacus our strongest phantasies Contain’d within us from the slenderest noise, And ev’ry man there sat without a voice. Anticlus only would have answer’d thee, But his speech Ithacus incessantly With strong hand held in, till, Minerva’s call Charging thee off, Ulysses sav’d us all.”

Telemachus replied: “Much greater is My grief, for hearing this high praise of his. For all this doth not his sad death divert, Nor can, though in him swell’d an iron heart. Prepare, and lead then, if you please, to rest: Sleep, that we hear not, will content us best.” Then Argive Helen made her handmaid go, And put fair bedding in the portico, Lay purple blankets on, rugs warm and soft, And cast an arras coverlet aloft.

They torches took, made haste, and made the bed; When both the guests were to their lodgings led Within a portico without the house. Atrides, and his large-train-wearing spouse, The excellent of women, for the way, In a retir’d receit, together lay. The Morn arose; the king rose, and put on His royal weeds, his sharp sword hung upon His ample shoulders, forth his chamber went, And did the person of a God present.

Telemachus accosts him, who begun Speech of his journey’s proposition:

“And what, my young Ulyssean heroë, Provok’d thee on the broad back of the sea, To visit Lacedæmon the divine? Speak truth, some public [good] or only thine?”

“I come,” said he, “to hear, if any fame Breath’d of my father to thy notice came. My house is sack’d, my fat works of the field Are all destroy’d; my house doth nothing yield But enemies, that kill my harmless sheep, And sinewy oxen, nor will ever keep Their steels without them. And these men are they That woo my mother, most inhumanly Committing injury on injury. To thy knees therefore I am come, t’ attend Relation of the sad and wretched end My erring father felt, if witness’d by Your own eyes, or the certain news that fly From others’ knowledges. For, more than is The usual heap of human miseries, His mother bore him to. Vouchsafe me then, Without all ruth of what I can sustain, The plain and simple truth of all you know. Let me beseech so much, if ever vow Was made, and put in good effect to you, At Troy, where suff’rance bred you so much smart, Upon my father good Ulysses’ part, And quit it now to me (himself in youth) Unfolding only the uncloséd truth.”

He, deeply sighing, answer’d him: “O shame, That such poor vassals should affect the fame To share the joys of such a worthy’s bed! As when a hind, her calves late farrowéd, To give suck, enters the bold lion’s den, He roots of hills and herby vallies then For food (there feeding) hunting; but at length Returning to his cavern, gives his strength The lives of both the mother and her brood In deaths indecent; so the Wooers’ blood Must pay Ulysses’ pow’rs as sharp an end. O would to Jove, Apollo, and thy friend The wise Minerva, that thy father were As once he was, when he his spirits did rear Against Philomelides, in a fight Perform’d in well-built Lesbos, where, down-right He strook the earth with him, and gat a shout Of all the Grecians! O, if now full out He were as then, and with the Wooers coped, Short-liv’d they all were, and their nuptials hoped Would prove as desp’rate. But, for thy demand Enforc’d with pray’rs, I’ll let thee understand The truth directly, nor decline a thought, Much less deceive, or sooth thy search in ought; But what the old and still-true-spoken God, That from the sea breathes oracles abroad, Disclos’d to me, to thee I’ll all impart, Nor hide one word from thy sollicitous heart.

I was in Ægypt, where a mighty time The Gods detain’d me, though my natural clime I never so desir’d, because their homes I did not greet with perfect hecatombs. For they will put men evermore in mind, How much their masterly commandments bind.

There is, besides, a certain island, call’d Pharos, that with the high-wav’d sea is wall’d, Just against Ægypt, and so much remote, As in a whole day, with a fore-gale smote, A hollow ship can sail. And this isle bears A port most portly, where sea-passengers Put in still for fresh water, and away To sea again. Yet here the Gods did stay My fleet full twenty days; the winds, that are Masters at sea, no prosp’rous puff would spare To put us off; and all my victuals here Had quite corrupted, as my men’s minds were, Had not a certain Goddess giv’n regard, And pitied me in an estate so hard; And ’twas Idothea, honour’d Proteus’ seed, That old sea-farer. Her mind I make bleed With my compassion, when (walk’d all alone, From all my soldiers, that were ever gone About the isle on fishing with hooks bent; Hunger their bellies on her errand sent) She came close to me, spake, and thus began:

‘Of all men thou art the most foolish man! Or slack in business, or stay’st here of choice, And dost in all thy suff’rances rejoice, That thus long liv’st detain’d here, and no end Canst give thy tarriance? Thou dost much offend The minds of all thy fellows.’ I replied:

‘Whoever thou art of the Deified, I must affirm, that no way with my will I make abode here; but, it seems, some ill The Gods, inhabiting broad heav’n, sustain Against my getting off. Inform me then, For Godheads all things know, what God is he That stays my passage from the fishy sea?’

‘Stranger,’ said she, ‘I’ll tell thee true: There lives An old sea-farer in these seas, that gives A true solution of all secrets here, Who deathless Proteus is, th’ Ægyptian peer, Who can the deeps of all the seas exquire, Who Neptune’s priest is, and, they say, the sire That did beget me. Him, if any way Thou couldst inveigle, he would clear display Thy course from hence, and how far off doth lie Thy voyage’s whole scope through Neptune’s sky. Informing thee, O God-preserv’d, beside, If thy desires would so be satisfied, Whatever good or ill hath got event, In all the time thy long and hard course spent, Since thy departure from thy house.’ This said; Again I answer’d: ‘Make the sleights display’d Thy father useth, lest his foresight see, Or his foreknowledge taking note of me, He flies the fixt place of his us’d abode. ’Tis hard for man to countermine with God.’

She straight replied: ‘I’ll utter truth in all: When heav’n’s supremest height the sun doth skall, The old Sea-tell-truth leaves the deeps, and hides Amidst a black storm, when the West Wind chides, In caves still sleeping. Round about him sleep (With short feet swimming forth the foamy deep) The sea-calves, lovely Halosydnes call’d, From whom a noisome odour is exhal’d, Got from the whirl-pools, on whose earth they lie. Here, when the morn illustrates all the sky, I’ll guide, and seat thee in the fittest place For the performance thou hast now in chace. In mean time, reach thy fleet, and choose out three Of best exploit, to go as aids to thee.

But now I’ll show thee all the old God’s sleights: He first will number, and take all the sights Of those his guard, that on the shore arrives. When having view’d, and told them forth by fives, He takes place in their midst, and there doth sleep, Like to a shepherd midst his flock of sheep. In his first sleep, call up your hardiest cheer, Vigour and violence, and hold him there, In spite of all his strivings to be gone. He then will turn himself to ev’ry one Of all things that in earth creep and respire, In water swim, or shine in heav’nly fire. Yet still hold you him firm, and much the more Press him from passing. But when, as before, When sleep first bound his pow’rs, his form ye see, Then cease your force, and th’ old heroë free, And then demand, which heav’n-born it may be That so afflicts you, hind’ring your retreat, And free sea-passage to your native seat.’

This said, she div’d into the wavy seas, And I my course did to my ships address, That on the sands stuck; where arriv’d, we made Our supper ready. Then th’ ambrosian shade Of night fell on us, and to sleep we fell. Rosy Aurora rose; we rose as well, And three of them on whom I most relied, For firm at ev’ry force, I choos’d, and hied Straight to the many-river-servéd seas; And all assistance ask’d the Deities.

Mean time Idothea the sea’s broad breast Embrac’d, and brought for me, and all my rest, Four of the sea-calves’ skins but newly flay’d, To work a wile which she had fashionéd Upon her father. Then, within the sand A covert digging, when these calves should land, She sat expecting. We came close to her; She plac’d us orderly, and made us wear Each one his calf’s skin. But we then must pass A huge exploit. The sea-calves’ savour was So passing sour, they still being bred at seas, It much afflicted us; for who can please To lie by one of these same sea-bred whales? But she preserves us, and to memory calls A rare commodity; she fetch’d to us Ambrosia, that an air most odorous Bears still about it, which she ‘nointed round Our either nosthrils, and in it quite drown’d The nasty whale-smell. Then the great event The whole morn’s date, with spirits patient, We lay expecting. When bright noon did flame, Forth from the sea in shoals the sea-calves came, And orderly, at last lay down and slept Along the sands. And then th’ old Sea-God crept From forth the deeps, and found his fat calves there, Survey’d, and number’d, and came never near The craft we us’d, but told us five for calves. His temples then dis-eas’d with sleep he salves; And in rush’d we, with an abhorréd cry, Cast all our hands about him manfully; And then th’ old Forger all his forms began: First was a lion with a mighty mane, Then next a dragon, a pied panther then, A vast boar next, and suddenly did strain All into water. Last he was a tree, Curl’d all at top, and shot up to the sky.

We, with resolv’d hearts, held him firmly still, When th’ old one (held too strait for all his skill To extricate) gave words, and question’d me:

‘Which of the Gods, O Atreus’ son,’ said he, ‘Advis’d and taught thy fortitude this sleight, To take and hold me thus in my despite?’ ‘What asks thy wish now?’ I replied. ‘Thou know’st. Why dost thou ask? What wiles are these thou show’st? I have within this isle been held for wind A wondrous time, and can by no means find An end to my retention. It hath spent The very heart in me. Give thou then vent To doubts thus bound in me, ye Gods know all, Which of the Godheads doth so foully fall On my addression home, to stay me here, Avert me from my way, the fishy clear Barr’d to my passage?’ He replied: ‘Of force, If to thy home thou wishest free recourse, To Jove, and all the other Deities, Thou must exhibit solemn sacrifice; And then the black sea for thee shall be clear, Till thy lov’d country’s settled reach. But where Ask these rites thy performance? ’Tis a fate To thee and thy affairs appropriate, That thou shalt never see thy friends, nor tread Thy country’s earth, nor see inhabited Thy so magnificent house, till thou make good Thy voyage back to the Ægyptian flood, Whose waters fell from Jove, and there hast giv’n To Jove, and all Gods housed in ample heav’n, Devoted hecatombs, and then free ways Shall open to thee, clear’d of all delays.’ This told he; and, methought, he brake my heart, In such a long and hard course to divert My hope for home, and charge my back retreat As far as Ægypt. I made answer yet: ‘Father, thy charge I’ll perfect; but before Resolve me truly, if their natural shore All those Greeks, and their ships, do safe enjoy, That Nestor and myself left, when from Troy We first rais’d sail? Or whether any died At sea a death unwish’d? Or, satisfied, When war was past, by friends embrac’d, in peace Resign’d their spirits? He made answer: ‘Cease To ask so far. It fits thee not to be So cunning in thine own calamity. Nor seek to learn what learn’d thou shouldst forget. Men’s knowledges have proper limits set, And should not prease into the mind of God. But ’twill not long be, as my thoughts abode, Before thou buy this curious skill with tears. Many of those, whose states so tempt thine ears, Are stoop’d by death, and many left alive, One chief of which in strong hold doth survive, Amidst the broad sea. Two, in their retreat, Are done to death. I list not to repeat Who fell at Troy, thyself was there in fight, But in return swift Ajax lost the light, In his long-oar’d ship. Neptune, yet, awhile Saft him unwrack’d, to the Gyræan isle, A mighty-rock removing from his way. And surely he had ‘scap’d the fatal day, In spite of Pallas, if to that foul deed He in her fane did, (when he ravishéd The Trojan prophetess) he had not here Adjoin’d an impious boast, that he would bear, Despite the Gods, his ship safe through the waves Then rais’d against him. These his impious braves When Neptune heard, in his strong hand he took His massy trident, and so soundly strook The rock Gyræan, that in two it cleft; Of which one fragment on the land he left, The other fell into the troubled seas; At which first rush’d Ajax Oïliades, And split his ship, and then himself afloat Swum on the rough waves of the world’s vast mote, Till having drunk a salt cup for his sin, There perish’d he. Thy brother yet did win The wreath from death, while in the waves they strove, Afflicted by the rev’rend wife of Jove. But when the steep mount of the Malian shore He seem’d to reach, a most tempestuous blore, Far to the fishy world that sighs so sore, Straight ravish’d him again as far away, As to th’ extreme bounds where the Agrians stay, Where first Thyestes dwelt, but then his son Ægisthus Thyestiades liv’d. This done, When his return untouch’d appear’d again, Back turn’d the Gods the wind, and set him then Hard by his house. Then, full of joy, he left His ship, and close t’ his country earth he cleft, Kiss’d it, and wept for joy, pour’d tear on tear, To set so wishedly his footing there. But see, a sentinel that all the year Crafty Ægisthus in a watchtow’r set To spy his landing, for reward as great As two gold talents, all his pow’rs did call To strict remembrance of his charge, and all Discharg’d at first sight, which at first he cast On Agamemnon, and with all his haste Inform’d Ægisthus. He an instant train Laid for his slaughter: Twenty chosen men Of his plebeians he in ambush laid; His other men he charg’d to see purvey’d A feast; and forth, with horse and chariots grac’d, He rode t’ invite him, but in heart embrac’d Horrible welcomes, and to death did bring, With treach’rous slaughter, the unwary king, Receiv’d him at a feast, and, like an ox Slain at his manger, gave him bits and knocks. No one left of Atrides’ train, nor one Sav’d to Ægisthus, but himself alone, All strew’d together there the bloody court.’ This said, my soul he sunk with his report, Flat on the sands I fell, tears spent their store, I light abhorr’d, my heart would live no more. When dry of tears, and tir’d of tumbling there, Th’ old Tell-truth thus my daunted spirits did cheer: ‘No more spend tears nor time, O Atreus’ son, With ceaseless weeping never wish was won, Use uttermost assay to reach thy home, And all unwares upon the murderer come, For torture, taking him thyself alive; Or let Orestes, that should far out-strive Thee in fit vengeance, quickly quit the light Of such a dark soul, and do thou the rite Of burial to him with a funeral feast.’

With these last words I fortified my breast, In which again a gen’rous spring began Of fitting comfort, as I was a man; But, as a brother, I must ever mourn. Yet forth I went, and told him the return Of these I knew; but he had nam’d a third, Held on the broad sea, still with life inspir’d, Whom I besought to know, though likewise dead, And I must mourn alike. He answeréd: ‘He is Laertes’ son; whom I beheld In nymph Calypso’s palace, who compell’d His stay with her, and, since he could not see His country earth, he mourn’d incessantly. For he had neither ship instruct with oars, Nor men to fetch him from those stranger shores. Where leave we him, and to thy self descend, Whom not in Argos Fate nor Death shall end, But the immortal ends of all the earth, So rul’d by them that order death by birth, The fields Elysian, Fate to thee will give; Where Rhadamanthus rules, and where men live A never-troubled life, where snow, nor show’rs, Nor irksome Winter spends his fruitless pow’rs, But from the ocean Zephyr still resumes A constant breath, that all the fields perfumes. Which, since thou marriedst Helen, are thy hire, And Jove himself is by her side thy sire.’ This said; he div’d the deepsome wat’ry heaps; I and my tried men took us to our ships, And worlds of thoughts I varied with my steps. Arriv’d and shipp’d, the silent solemn night And sleep bereft us of our visual light. At morn, masts, sails, rear’d, we sat, left the shores, And beat the foamy ocean with our oars. Again then we the Jove-fall’n flood did fetch, As far as Ægypt; where we did beseech The Gods with hecatombs; whose angers ceast, I tomb’d my brother that I might be blest. All rites perform’d, all haste I made for home, And all the prosp’rous winds about were come, I had the passport now of ev’ry God, And here clos’d all these labours’ period. Here stay then till th’ eleventh or twelfth day’s light, And I’ll dismiss thee well, gifts exquisite Preparing for thee, chariot, horses three, A cup of curious frame to serve for thee To serve th’ immortal Gods with sacrifice, Mindful of me while all suns light thy skies.” He answer’d: “Stay me not too long time here, Though I could sit attending all the year. Nor should my house, nor parents, with desire, Take my affections from you, so on fire With love to hear you are my thoughts; but so My Pylian friends I shall afflict with woe Who mourn ev’n this stay. Whatsoever be The gifts your grace is to bestow on me, Vouchsafe them such as I may bear and save For your sake ever. Horse, I list not have, To keep in Ithaca, but leave them here, To your soil’s dainties, where the broad fields bear Sweet cypers grass, where men-fed lote doth flow, Where wheat-like spelt, and wheat itself, doth grow, Where barley, white, and spreading like a tree; But Ithaca hath neither ground to be, For any length it comprehends, a race To try a horse’s speed, nor any place To make him fat in; fitter far to feed A cliff-bred goat, than raise or please a steed. Of all isles, Ithaca doth least provide Or meads to feed a horse, or ways to ride.” He, smiling, said: “Of good blood art thou, son. What speech, so young! What observatión Hast thou made of the world! I well am pleas’d To change my gifts to thee, as being confess’d Unfit indeed, my store is such I may. Of all my house-gifts then, that up I lay For treasure there, I will bestow on thee The fairest, and of greatest price to me. I will bestow on thee a rich carv’d cup, Of silver all, but all the brims wrought up With finest gold; it was the only thing That the heroical Sidonian king Presented to me, when we were to part At his receipt of me, and ’twas the art Of that great Artist that of heav’n is free; And yet ev’n this will I bestow on thee.” This speech thus ended, guests came, and did bring Muttons, for presents, to the God-like king, And spirit-prompting wine, that strenuous makes. Their riband-wreathed wives brought fruit and cakes. Thus in this house did these their feast apply; And in Ulysses’ house activity The Wooers practis’d; tossing of the spear, The stone, and hurling; thus delighted, where They exercis’d such insolence before, Ev’n in the court that wealthy pavements wore Antinous did still their strifes decide, And he that was in person deified Eurymachus; both ring-leaders of all, For in their virtues they were principal. These by Noëmon, son to Phronius, Were sided now, who made the question thus: “Antinous! Does any friend here know, When this Telemachus returns, or no, From sandy Pylos? He made bold to take My ship with him; of which, I now should make Fit use myself, and sail in her as far As spacious Elis, where of mine there are Twelve delicate mares, and under their sides go Laborious mules, that yet did never know The yoke, nor labour; some of which should bear The taming now, if I could fetch them there.” This speech the rest admir’d, nor dream’d that he Neleïan Pylos ever thought to see, But was at field about his flocks’ survey, Or thought his herdsmen held him so away. Eupitheus son, Antinous, then replied: “When went he, or with what train dignified? Of his selected Ithacensian youth? Prest men, or bond men, were they? Tell the truth. Could he effect this? Let me truly know. To gain thy vessel did he violence show, And us’d her ’gainst thy will? or had her free, When fitting question he had made with thee?” Noëmon answer’d: “I did freely give My vessel to him. Who deserves to live That would do other, when such men as he Did in distress ask? He should churlish be That would deny him. Of our youth the best Amongst the people, to the interest His charge did challenge in them, giving way, With all the tribute all their pow’rs could pay. Their captain, as he took the ship, I knew, Who Mentor was, or God. A Deity’s shew Mask’d in his likeness. But, to think ’twas he, I much admire, for I did clearly see, But yester-morning, God-like Mentor here; Yet th’ other ev’ning he took shipping there, And went for Pylos.” Thus went he for home, And left the rest with envy overcome; Who sat, and pastime left. Eupitheus son, Sad, and with rage his entrails overrun, His eyes like flames, thus interpos’d his speech: “Strange thing! An action of how proud a reach Is here committed by Telemachus! A boy, a child, and we, a sort of us, Vow’d ’gainst his voyage, yet admit it thus! With ship and choice youth of our people too! But let him on, and all his mischief do, Jove shall convert upon himself his pow’rs, Before their ill presum’d he brings on ours. Provide me then a ship, and twenty men To give her manage, that, against again He turns for home, on th’ Ithacensian seas, Or cliffy Samian, I may interprease, Way-lay, and take him, and make all his craft Sail with his ruin for his father saft.” This all applauded, and gave charge to do, Rose, and to greet Ulysses’ house did go. But long time past not, ere Penelope Had notice of their far-fetch’d treachery. Medon the herald told her, who had heard Without the hall how they within conferr’d, And hasted straight to tell it to the queen, Who, from the entry having Medon seen, Prevents him thus: “Now herald, what affair Intend the famous Wooers, in your repair? To tell Ulysses’ maids that they must cease From doing our work, and their banquets dress? I would to heav’n, that, leaving wooing me, Nor ever troubling other company, Here might the last feast be, and most extreme, That ever any shall address for them. They never meet but to consent in spoil, And reap the free fruits of another’s toil. O did they never, when they children were, What to their fathers was Ulysses, hear? Who never did ’gainst anyone proceed With unjust usage, or in word or deed? ’Tis yet with other kings another right, One to pursue with love, another spite; He still yet just, nor would, though might, devour, Nor to the worst did ever taste of pow’r. But their unrul’d acts show their minds’ estate. Good turns receiv’d once, thanks grow out of date.” Medon, the learn’d in wisdom, answer’d her: “I wish, O queen, that their ingratitudes were Their worst ill towards you; but worse by far, And much more deadly, their endeavours are, Which Jove will fail them in. Telemachus Their purpose is, as he returns to us, To give their sharp steels in a cruel death; Who now is gone to learn, if fame can breathe News of his sire, and will the Pylian shore, And sacred Sparta, in his search explore.” This news dissolv’d to her both knees and heart, Long silence held her ere one word would part, Her eyes stood full of tears, her small soft voice All late use lost; that yet at last had choice Of wonted words, which briefly thus she us’d: “Why left my son his mother? Why refus’d His wit the solid shore, to try the seas, And put in ships the trust of his distress, That are at sea to men unbridled horse, And run, past rule, their far-engagéd course, Amidst a moisture past all mean unstaid? No need compell’d this. Did he it, afraid To live and leave posterity his name?” “I know not,” he replied, “if th’ humour came From current of his own instinct, or flow’d From others’ instigations; but he vow’d Attempt to Pylos, or to see descried His sire’s return, or know what death he died.” This said, he took him to Ulysses’ house After the Wooers; the Ulyssean spouse, Run through with woes, let Torture seize her mind, Nor in her choice of state chairs stood inclin’d To take her seat, but th’ abject threshold chose Of her fair chamber for her loath’d repose, And mourn’d most wretch-like. Round about her fell Her handmaids, join’d in a continuate yell. From ev’ry corner of the palace, all Of all degrees tun’d to her comfort’s fall Their own dejections; to whom her complaint She thus enforc’d: “The Gods, beyond constraint Of any measure, urge these tears on me; Nor was there ever dame of my degree So past degree griev’d. First, a lord so good, That had such hardy spirits in his blood, That all the virtues was adorn’d withall, That all the Greeks did their superior call, To part with thus, and lose! And now a son, So worthily belov’d, a course to run Beyond my knowledge; whom rude tempests have Made far from home his most inglorious grave! Unhappy wenches, that no one of all (Though in the reach of ev’ry one must fall His taking ship) sustain’d the careful mind, To call me from my bed, who this design’d And most vow’d course in him had either stay’d, How much soever hasted, or dead laid He should have left me. Many a man I have, That would have call’d old Dolius my slave, (That keeps my orchard, whom my father gave At my departure) to have run, and told Laertes this; to try if he could hold From running through the people, and from tears, In telling them of these vow’d murderers; That both divine Ulysses’ hope, and his, Resolv’d to end in their conspiracies.” His nurse then, Euryclea, made reply: “Dear sov’reign, let me with your own hands die, Or cast me off here, I’ll not keep from thee One word of what I know. He trusted me With all his purpose, and I gave him all The bread and wine for which he pleas’d to call. But then a mighty oath he made me swear, Not to report it to your royal ear Before the twelfth day either should appear, Or you should ask me when you heard him gone. Impair not then your beauties with your moan, But wash, and put untear-stain’d garments on, Ascend your chamber with your ladies here, And pray the seed of goat-nurs’d Jupiter, Divine Athenia, to preserve your son, And she will save him from confusión, Th’ old king, to whom your hopes stand so inclin’d For his grave counsels, you perhaps may find Unfit affected, for his age’s sake. But heav’n-kings wax not old, and therefore make Fit pray’rs to them; for my thoughts never will Believe the heav’nly Pow’rs conceit so ill The seed of righteous Arcesiades, To end it utterly, but still will please In some place evermore some one of them To save, and deck him with a diadem, Give him possession of erected tow’rs, And far-stretch’d fields, crown’d all of fruits and flowr’s.” This eas’d her heart, and dried her humorous eyes, When having wash’d, and weeds of sacrifice Pure, and unstain’d with her distrustful tears, Put on, with all her women-ministers Up to a chamber of most height she rose, And cakes of salt and barley did impose Within a wicker basket; all which broke In decent order, thus she did invoke: “Great Virgin of the goat-preservéd God, If ever the inhabited abode Of wise Ulysses held the fatted thighs Of sheep and oxen, made thy sacrifice By his devotion, hear me, nor forget His pious services, but safe see set His dear son on these shores, and banish hence These Wooers past all mean in insolence.” This said, she shriek’d, and Pallas heard her pray’r. The Wooers broke with tumult all the air About the shady house; and one of them, Whose pride his youth had made the more extreme, Said: “Now the many-wooer-honour’d queen Will surely satiate her delayful spleen, And one of us in instant nuptials take. Poor dame, she dreams not, what design we make Upon the life and slaughter of her son.” So said he; but so said was not so done; Whose arrogant spirit in a vaunt so vain Antinous chid, and said: “For shame, contain These braving speeches. Who can tell who hears? Are we not now in reach of others’ ears? If our intentions please us, let us call Our spirits up to them, and let speeches fall. By watchful danger men must silent go. What we resolve on, let’s not say, but do.” This said, he choos’d out twenty men, that bore Best reckoning with him, and to ship and shore All hasted, reach’d the ship, launch’d, rais’d the mast, Put sails in, and with leather loops made fast The oars; sails hoisted, arms their men did bring, All giving speed and form to ev’rything. Then to the high deeps their rigg’d vessel driven, They supp’d, expecting the approaching even. Mean space, Penelope her chamber kept And bed, and neither eat, nor drank, nor slept, Her strong thoughts wrought so on her blameless son, Still in contention, if he should be done To death, or ‘scape the impious Wooers’ design. Look how a lion, whom men-troops combine To hunt, and close him in a crafty ring, Much varied thought conceives, and fear doth sting For urgent danger; so far’d she, till sleep All juncture of her joints and nerves did steep In his dissolving humour. When, at rest, Pallas her favours varied, when addrest An idol, that Iphthima did present In structure of her ev’ry lineament,[5] Great-soul’d Icarius’ daughter, whom for spouse Eumelus took, that kept in Pheris’ house. This to divine Ulysses’ house she sent, To try her best mean how she might content Mournful Penelope, and make relent The strict addiction in her to deplore. This idol, like a worm, that less or more[6] Contracts or strains her, did itself convey, Beyond the wards or windings of the key, Into the chamber, and, above her head Her seat assuming, thus she comforted Distress’d Penelope: “Doth sleep thus seize Thy pow’rs, affected with so much dis-ease? The Gods, that nothing troubles, will not see Thy tears nor griefs, in any least degree, Sustain’d with cause, for they will guard thy son Safe to his wish’d and native mansión. Since he is no offender of their states, And they to such are firmer than their fates.” The wise Penelope receiv’d her thus, Bound with a slumber most delicious, And in the port of dreams: “O sister, why Repair you hither, since so far off lie Your house and household? You were never here Before this hour, and would you now give cheer To my so many woes and miseries, Affecting fitly all the faculties My soul and mind hold, having lost before A husband, that of all the virtues bore The palm amongst the Greeks, and whose renown So ample was that Fame the sound hath blown Through Greece and Argos to her very heart? And now again, a son, that did convert My whole pow’rs to his love, by ship is gone; A tender plant, that yet was never grown To labour’s taste, nor the commerce of men; For whom more than my husband I complain, And lest he should at any suff’rance touch (Or in the sea, or by the men so much Estrang’d to him that must his consorts be) Fear and chill tremblings shake each joint of me. Besides, his danger sets on foes profess’d To way-lay his return, that have address’d Plots for his death.” The scarce-discernéd Dream, Said: “Be of comfort, nor fears so extreme Let thus dismay thee; thou hast such a mate Attending thee, as some at any rate Would wish to purchase, for her pow’r is great; Minerva pities thy delights’ defeat, Whose grace hath sent me to foretell thee these.” “If thou,” said she, “be of the Goddesses, And heardst her tell thee these, thou mayst as well From her tell all things else. Deign then to tell, If yet the man to all misfortunes born, My husband, lives, and sees the sun adorn The darksome earth, or hides his wretched head In Pluto’s house, and lives amongst the dead?” “I will not,” she replied, “my breath exhale In one continued and perpetual tale, Lives he or dies he. ’Tis a filthy use, To be in vain and idle speech profuse.” This said, she, through the key-hole of the door, Vanish’d again into the open blore. Icarius’ daughter started from her sleep, And Joy’s fresh humour her lov’d breast did steep, When now so clear, in that first watch of night, She saw the seen Dream vanish from her sight. The Wooers’ ship the sea’s moist waves did ply, And thought the prince a haughty death should die. There lies a certain island in the sea, Twixt rocky Samos and rough Ithaca, That cliffy is itself, and nothing great, Yet holds convenient havens that two ways let Ships in and out, call’d Asteris; and there The Wooers hop’d to make their massacre.

[1] _Αακεδαἰμονα κητὠσσαν_ which is expounded _Spartam amplam,_ or
_πεγἀλην magnam;_ where _κητὠεσσαν_ signifies properly _plurima cete
[2] _Μολπης ἐ ἄρχοντες Cantum auspicantes:_ of which place, the
critics affirm that _saltatores motu suo indicant cantori quo genere
cantus saltaturi forent._ The rapture of Eteoneus at sight of
Telemachus and Pisistratus.
[3] Telemachus to Pisistratus, in observation of the house, not so
much that he heartily admired it, as to please Menelaus, who he knew
heard, though he seemed desirous he should not hear.
[4] Helen counterfeited the wives’ voices of those kings of Greece
that were in the wooden horse, and calls their husbands.
[5] _Δἐμας, membrorum structura._
[6] _Παρἁ κληîδος ἱμἀντα. Ιμἀς, affectus curculionis significat quod
longior et gracilior evaserit._



A second Court on Jove attends; Who Hermes to Calypso sends, Commanding her to clear the ways Ulysses sought; and she obeys. When Neptune saw Ulysses free, And so in safety plough the sea, Enrag’d, he ruffles up the waves, And splits his ship. Leucothea saves His person yet, as being a Dame Whose Godhead govern’d in the frame Of those seas’ tempers. But the mean, By which she curbs dread Neptune’s spleen, Is made a jewel, which she takes From off her head, and that she makes Ulysses on his bosom wear, About his neck, she ties it there, And, when he is with waves beset, Bids wear it as an amulet, Commanding him, that not before He touch’d upon Phæacia’s shore, He should not part with it, but then Return it to the sea again, And cast it from him. He performs; Yet, after this, bides bitter storms, And in the rocks sees death engrav’d, But on Phæacia’s shore is sav’d.


E. Ulysses builds A ship; and gains The glassy fields; Pays Neptune pains.

Aurora rose from high-born Tithon’s bed, That men and Gods might be illustrated, And then the Deities sat. Imperial Jove, That makes the horrid murmur beat above, Took place past all, whose height for ever springs, And from whom flowers th’ eternal pow’r of things. Then Pallas, mindful of Ulysses, told The many cares that in Calypso’s hold He still sustain’d, when he had felt before So much affliction, and such dangers more. “O Father,” said she, “and ye Ever-blest, Give never king hereafter interest In any aid of yours, by serving you, By being gentle, human, just, but grow Rude, and for ever scornful of your rights, All justice ord’ring by their appetites, Since he, that rul’d as it in right behov’d, That all his subjects as his children lov’d, Finds you so thoughtless of him and his birth. Thus men begin to say, ye rule in earth, And grudge at what ye let him undergo, Who yet the least part of his suff’rance know: Thrall’d in an island, shipwrack’d in his tears, And, in the fancies that Calypso bears, Bound from his birthright, all his shipping gone, And of his soldiers not retaining one. And now his most-lov’d son’s life doth inflame Their slaught’rous envies; since his father’s fame He puts in pursuit, and is gone as far As sacred Pylos, and the singular Dame-breeding Sparta.” This, with this reply, The Cloud-assembler answer’d: “What words fly Thine own remembrance, daughter? Hast not thou The counsel giv’n thyself, that told thee how Ulysses shall with his return address His Wooers wrong? And, for the safe access His son shall make to his innative port, Do thou direct it, in as curious sort As thy wit serves thee; it obeys thy pow’rs; And in their ship return the speedless Wooers.” Then turn’d he to his issue Mercury, And said: “Thou hast made good our ambassy To th’ other Statists, to the Nymph then now, On whose fair head a tuft of gold doth grow, Bear our true-spoken counsel, for retreat Of patient Ulysses; who shall get No aid from us, nor any mortal man, But in a patch’d-up skiff (built as he can,[1] And suff’ring woes enough) the twentieth day At fruitful Scheria let him breathe his way, With the Phæacians, that half Deities live, Who like a God will honour him, and give His wisdom clothes, and ship, and brass, and gold, More than for gain of Troy he ever told; Where, at the whole division of the prey, If he a saver were, or got away Without a wound, if he should grudge, ’twas well. But th’ end shall crown all; therefore Fate will deal So well with him, to let him land, and see His native earth, friends, house, and family.” Thus charg’d he; nor Argicides denied, But to his feet his fair wing’d shoes he tied, Ambrosian, golden, that in his command Put either sea, or the unmeasur’d land, With pace as speedy as a puft of wind. Then up his rod went, with which he declin’d The eyes of any waker, when he pleas’d, And any sleeper, when he wish’d, diseas’d. This took; he stoop’d Pieria, and thence Glid through the air, and Neptune’s confluence Kiss’d as he flew, and check’d the waves as light As any sea-mew in her fishing flight, Her thick wings sousing in the savory seas. Like her, he pass’d a world of wilderness; But when the far-off isle he touch’d, he went Up from the blue sea to the continent, And reach’d the ample cavern of the Queen, Whom he within found, without seldom seen. A sun-like fire upon the hearth did flame, The matter precious, and divine the frame, Of cedar cleft and incense was the pile, That breath’d an odour round about the isle. Herself was seated in an inner room, Whom sweetly sing he heard, and at her loom, About a curious web, whose yarn she threw In with a golden shittle. A grove grew In endless spring about her cavern round, With odorous cypress, pines, and poplars, crown’d, Where hawks, sea-owls, and long-tongued bittours bred, And other birds their shady pinions spread; All fowls maritimal; none roosted there, But those whose labours in the waters were. A vine did all the hollow cave embrace, Still green, yet still ripe bunches gave it grace. Four fountains, one against another, pour’d Their silver streams; and meadows all enflower’d With sweet balm-gentle, and blue-violets hid, That deck’d the soft breasts of each fragrant mead. Should anyone, though he immortal were, Arrive and see the sacred objects there, He would admire them, and be over-joy’d; And so stood Hermes’ ravish’d pow’rs employ’d, But having all admir’d, he enter’d on The ample cave, nor could be seen unknown Of great Calypso (for all Deities are Prompt in each other’s knowledge, though so far Sever’d in dwellings) but he could not see Ulysses there within; without was he, Set sad ashore, where ’twas his use to view Th’ unquiet sea, sigh’d, wept, and empty drew His heart of comfort. Plac’d here in her throne, That beams cast up to admiratión, Divine Calypso question’d Hermes thus: “For what cause, dear, and much-esteem’d by us, Thou golden-rod-adorned Mercury, Arriv’st thou here? Thou hast not us’d t’ apply Thy passage this way. Say, whatever be Thy heart’s desire, my mind commands it thee, If in my means it lie, or pow’r of fact. But first, what hospitable rites exact, Come yet more near, and take.” This said, she set A table forth, and furnish’d it with meat, Such as the Gods taste; and serv’d in with it Vermilion nectar. When with banquet fit He had confirm’d his spirits, he thus exprest His cause of coming: “Thou hast made request, Goddess of Goddesses, to understand My cause of touch here; which thou shalt command, And know with truth: Jove caus’d my course to thee Against my will, for who would willingly Lackey along so vast a lake of brine, Near to no city that the Pow’rs divine Receives with solemn rites and hecatombs? But Jove’s will ever all law overcomes, No other God can cross or make it void; And he affirms, that one the most annoy’d With woes and toils of all those men that fought For Priam’s city, and to end hath brought Nine years in the contention, is with thee. For in the tenth year, when roy victory Was won to give the Greeks the spoil of Troy, Return they did profess, but not enjoy, Since Pallas they incens’d, and she the waves By all the winds’ pow’r, that blew ope their graves. And there they rested. Only this poor one This coast both winds and waves have cast upon; Whom now forthwith he wills thee to dismiss, Affirming that th’ unalter’d Destinies Not only have decreed he shall not die Apart his friends, but of necessity Enjoy their sights before those fatal hours, His country earth reach, and erected tow’rs.” This struck a love-check’d horror through her pow’rs, When, naming him, she this reply did give: “Insatiate are ye Gods, past all that live, In all things you affect; which still converts Your pow’rs to envies. It afflicts your hearts, That any Goddess should, as you obtain The use of earthly dames, enjoy the men, And most in open marriage. So ye far’d, When the delicious-finger’d Morning shar’d Orion’s bed; you easy-living States Could never satisfy your emulous hates, Till in Ortygia the precise-liv’d Dame, Gold-thron’d Diana, on him rudely came, And with her swift shafts slew him. And such pains, When rich-hair’d Ceres pleas’d to give the reins To her affections, and the grace did yield Of love and bed, amidst a three-cropp’d field, To her Iasion, he paid angry Jove, Who lost no long time notice of their love, But with a glowing lightning was his death. And now your envies labour underneath A mortal’s choice of mine; whose life I took To lib’ral safety, when his ship Jove strook, With red-hot flashes, piece-meal in the seas, And all his friends and soldiers succourless Perish’d but he. Him, cast upon this coast With blasts and billows, I, in life giv’n lost, Preserv’d alone, lov’d, nourish’d, and did vow To make him deathless, and yet never grow Crooked, or worn with age, his whole life long. But since no reason may be made so strong To strive with Jove’s will, or to make it vain, No not if all the other Gods should strain Their pow’rs against it, let his will be law, So he afford him fit means to withdraw, As he commands him, to the raging main. But means from me he never shall obtain, For my means yield nor men, nor ship, nor oars, To set him off from my so envied shores. But if my counsel and good will can aid His safe pass home, my best shall be assay’d.” “Vouchsafe it so,” said heav’n’s ambassador, “And deign it quickly. By all means abhor T’ incense Jove’s wrath against thee, that with grace He may hereafter all thy wish embrace.” Thus took the Argus-killing God his wings. And since the rev’rend Nymph these awful things Receiv’d from Jove, she to Ulysses went; Whom she ashore found, drown’d in discontent, His eyes kept never dry he did so mourn, And waste his dear age for his wish’d return; Which still without the cave he us’d to do, Because he could not please the Goddess so, At night yet, forc’d, together took their rest, The willing Goddess and th’ unwilling Guest; But he all day in rocks, and on the shore, The vex’d sea view’d, and did his fate deplore. Him, now, the Goddess coming near bespake: “Unhappy man, no more discomfort take For my constraint of thee, nor waste thine age, I now will passing freely disengage Thy irksome stay here. Come then, fell thee wood, And build a ship, to save thee from the flood. I’ll furnish thee with fresh wave, bread, and wine Ruddy and sweet, that will the piner pine,[2] Put garments on thee, give the winds foreright, That ev’ry way thy home-bent appetite May safe attain to it; if so it please At all parts all the heav’n-hous’d Deities, That more in pow’r are, more in skill, than I, And more can judge what fits humanity.” He stood amaz’d at this strange change in her, And said: “O Goddess! Thy intents prefer Some other project than my parting hence, Commanding things of too high consequence For my performance, that myself should build A ship of pow’r, my home-assays to shield Against the great sea of such dread to pass; Which not the best-built ship that ever was Will pass exulting, when such winds, as Jove Can thunder up, their trims and tacklings prove. But could I build one, I would ne’er aboard, Thy will oppos’d, nor, won, without thy word, Giv’n in the great oath of the Gods to me, Not to beguile me in the least degree.” The Goddess smil’d, held hard his hand, and said: “O y’ are a shrewd one, and so habited In taking heed thou know’st not what it is To be unwary, nor use words amiss. How hast thou charm’d me, were I ne’er so sly! Let earth know then, and heav’n, so broad, so high, And th’ under-sunk waves of th’ infernal stream, (Which is an oath, as terribly supreme, As any God swears) that I had no thought But stood with what I spake, nor would have wrought, Nor counsell’d, any act against thy good; But ever diligently weigh’d, and stood On those points in persuading thee, that I Would use myself in such extremity. For my mind simple is, and innocent, Not giv’n by cruel sleights to circumvent, Nor bear I in my breast a heart of steel, But with the suff’rer willing suff’rance feel.” This said, the Grace of Goddesses led home, He trac’d her steps; and, to the cavern come, In that rich throne, whence Mercury arose, He sat. The Nymph herself did then appose, For food and bev’rage, to him all best meat And drink, that mortals use to taste and eat. Then sat she opposite, and for her feast Was nectar and ambrosia addrest By handmaids to her. Both, what was prepar’d, Did freely fall to. Having fitly far’d, The Nymph Calypso this discourse began: “Jove-bred Ulysses! Many-witted man! Still is thy home so wish’d? So soon, away? Be still of cheer, for all the worst I say. But, if thy soul knew what a sum of woes, For thee to cast up, thy stern Fates impose, Ere to thy country earth thy hopes attain, Undoubtedly thy choice would here remain, Keep house with me, and be a liver ever. Which, methinks, should thy house and thee dissever, Though for thy wife there thou art set on fire, And all thy days are spent in her desire; And though it be no boast in me to say In form and mind I match her ev’ry way. Nor can it fit a mortal dame’s compare, T’ affect those terms with us that deathless are.” The great-in-counsels made her this reply: “Renown’d, and to be rev’renc’d, Deity! Let it not move thee, that so much I vow My comforts to my wife; though well I know All cause myself why wise Penelope In wit is far inferior to thee, In feature, stature, all the parts of show, She being a mortal, an immortal thou, Old ever growing, and yet never old. Yet her desire shall all my days see told, Adding the sight of my returning day, And natural home. If any God shall lay His hand upon me as I pass the seas, I’ll bear the worst of what his hand shall please, As having giv’n me such a mind as shall The more still rise the more his hand lets fall. In wars and waves my suff’rings were not small. I now have suffer’d much, as much before, Hereafter let as much result, and more.” This said, the sun set, and earth shadows gave; When these two (in an in-room of the cave, Left to themselves) left love no rites undone. The early Morn up, up he rose, put on His in and out weed. She herself enchaces Amidst a white robe, full of all the Graces, Ample, and pleated thick like fishy scales; A golden girdle then her waist impales; Her head a veil decks; and abroad they come. And now began Ulysses to go home. A great axe first she gave, that two ways cut, In which a fair well-polish’d helm was put, That from an olive bough receiv’d his frame. A plainer then. Then led she, till they came To lofty woods that did the isle confine. The fir-tree, poplar, and heav’n-scaling pine, Had there their offspring. Of which, those that were Of driest matter, and grew longest there, He choos’d for lighter sail. This place thus shown, The Nymph turn’d home. He fell to felling down, And twenty trees he stoop’d in little space, Plain’d, used his plumb, did all with artful grace. In mean time did Calypso wimbles bring. He bor’d, clos’d, nail’d, and order’d ev’ry thing, And look how much a ship-wright will allow A ship of burden (one that best doth know What fits his art) so large a keel he cast, Wrought up her decks, and hatches, side-boards, mast, With willow watlings arm’d her to resist The billows’ outrage, added all she miss’d, Sail-yards, and stern for guide. The Nymph then brought Linen for sails, which with dispatch he wrought, Gables, and halsters, tacklings. All the frame In four days’ space to full perfection came.[3] The fifth day, they dismiss’d him from the shore, Weeds neat, and odorous, gave him, victuals store, Wine, strong waters, and a prosp’rous wind, To which, Ulysses, fit-to-be-divin’d, His sails expos’d, and hoiséd. Off he gat; And cheerful was he. At the stern he sat, And steer’d right artfully. Nor sleep could seize His eye-lids. He beheld the Pleiades; The Bear, surnam’d the Wain, that round doth move About Orion, and keeps still above The billowy ocean; the slow-setting star Bootes call’d, by some the Waggoner. Calypso warn’d him he his course should steer Still to his left hand. Seventeen days did clear The cloudy night’s command in his moist way, And by the eighteenth light he might display The shady hills of the Phæacian shore, For which, as to his next abode, he bore. The country did a pretty figure yield, And look’d from off the dark seas like a shield. Imperious Neptune, making his retreat From th’ Æthiopian earth, and taking seat Upon the mountains of the Solymi, From thence, far off discov’ring, did descry Ulysses his fields ploughing. All on fire The sight straight set his heart, and made desire Of wreak run over, it did boil so high. When, his head nodding; “O impiety,” He cried out, “now the Gods’ inconstancy Is most apparent, alt’ring their designs Since I the Æthiops saw, and here confines To this Ulysses’ fate his misery. The great mark, on which all his hopes rely, Lies in Phæacia. But I hope he shall Feel woe at height, ere that dead calm befall.” This said; he, begging, gather’d clouds from land,[4] Frighted the seas up, snatch’d into his hand His horrid trident, and aloft did toss, Of all the winds, all storms he could engross, All earth took into sea with clouds, grim Night Fell tumbling headlong from the cope of light, The East and South winds justled in the air, The violent Zephyr, and North making-fair, Roll’d up the waves before them. And then bent Ulysses’ knees, then all his spirit was spent. In which despair, he thus spake: “Woe is me! What was I born to, man of misery! Fear tells me now, that, all the Goddess said, Truth’s self will author, that Fate would be paid Grief’s whole sum due from me, at sea, before I reach’d the dear touch of my country’s shore. With what clouds Jove heav’n’s heighten’d forehead binds! How tyrannize the wraths of all the winds! How all the tops he bottoms with the deeps, And in the bottoms all the tops he steeps! Thus dreadful is the presence of our death. Thrice four times blest were they that sunk beneath Their fates at Troy, and did to nought contend But to renown Atrides with their end! I would to God, my hour of death and fate That day had held the’ pow’r to terminate, When show’rs of darts my life bore undepress’d About divine Æacides deceas’d! Then had I been allotted to have died, By all the Greeks with fun’rals glorified, (Whence death, encouraging good life, had grown) Where now I die, by no man mourn’d nor known.” This spoke, a huge wave took him by the head, And hurl’d him o’er board; ship and all it laid Inverted quite amidst the waves, but he Far off from her sprawl’d, strow’d about the sea, His stern still holding broken off, his mast Burst in the midst, so horrible a blast Of mix’d winds struck it. Sails and sail-yards fell Amongst the billows; and himself did dwell A long time under water, nor could get In haste his head out, wave with wave so met In his depression; and his garments too, Giv’n by Calypso, gave him much to do, Hind’ring his swimming; yet he left not so His drenchéd vessel, for the overthrow Of her nor him, but gat at length again, Wrastling with Neptune, hold of her; and then Sat in her bulk, insulting over death, Which, with the salt stream prest to stop his breath, He ’scap’d, and gave the sea again to give To other men. His ship so striv’d to live, Floating at random, cuff’d from wave to wave. As you have seen the North wind when he drave In autumn heaps of thorn-fed grasshoppers Hither and thither, one heap this way bears, Another that, and makes them often meet in his confus’d gales; so Ulysses’ fleet The winds hurl’d up and down; now Boreas Toss’d it to Notus, Notus gave it pass To Eurus, Eurus Zephyr made pursue The horrid tennis. This sport call’d the view Of Cadmus’ daughter, with the narrow heel, Ino Leucothea, that first did feel A mortal dame’s desires, and had a tongue, But now had th’ honour to be nam’d among The marine Godheads. She with pity saw Ulysses justled thus from flaw to flaw, And, like a cormorant in form and flight, Rose from a whirl-pool, on the ship did light, And thus bespake him: “Why is Neptune thus In thy pursuit extremely furious, Oppressing thee with such a world of ill, Ev’n to thy death? He must not serve his will, Though ’tis his study. Let me then advise As my thoughts serve; thou shalt not be unwise To leave thy weeds and ship to the commands Of these rude winds, and work out with thy hands Pass to Phæacia, where thy austere Fate Is to pursue thee with no more such hate. Take here this tablet, with this riband strung, And see it still about thy bosom hung; By whose eternal virtue never fear To suffer thus again, nor perish here. But when thou touchest with thy hand the shore, Then take it from thy neck, nor wear it more, But cast it far off from the continent, And then thy person far ashore present. Thus gave she him the tablet; and again, Turn’d to a cormorant, div’d, past sight, the main. Patient Ulysses sigh’d at this, and stuck In the conceit of such fair-spoken luck, And said: “Alas! I must suspect ev’n this, Lest any other of the Deities Add sleight to Neptune’s force, to counsel me To leave my vessel, and so far off see The shore I aim at. Not with thoughts too clear Will I obey her, but to me appear These counsels best: As long as I perceive My ship not quite dissolv’d, I will not leave The help she may afford me, but abide, And suffer all woes till the worst be tried. When she is split, I’ll swim. No miracle can, Past near and clear means, move a knowing man.” While this discourse employ’d him, Neptune rais’d A huge, a high, and horrid sea, that seiz’d Him and his ship, and toss’d them through the lake. As when the violent winds together take Heaps of dry chaff, and hurl them ev’ry way; So his long wood-stack Neptune strook astray Then did Ulysses mount on rib, perforce, Like to a rider of a running horse, To stay himself a time, while he might shift His drenched weeds, that were Calypso’s gift. When putting straight Leucothea’s amulet About his neck, he all his forces set To swim, and cast him prostrate to the seas. When pow’rful Neptune saw the ruthless prease Of perils siege him thus, he mov’d his head, And this betwixt him and his heart he said: “So, now feel ills enow, and struggle so, Till to your Jove-lov’d islanders you row. But my mind says, you will not so avoid This last task too, but be with suff’rance cloy’d.” This said, his rich-man’d horse he mov’d, and reach’d His house at Ægas. But Minerva fetch’d The winds from sea, and all their ways but one Barr’d to their passage; the bleak North alone She set to blow, the rest she charg’d to keep Their rages in, and bind themselves in sleep. But Boreas still flew high to break the seas, Till Jove-bred Ithacus the more with ease The navigation-skill’d Phæacian states Might make his refuge, Death and angry Fates At length escaping. Two nights, yet, and days He spent in wrastling with the sable seas; In which space, often did his heart propose Death to his eyes. But when Aurora rose, And threw the third light from her orient hair, The winds grew calm, and clear was all the air, Not one breath stirring. Then he might descry, Rais’d by the high seas, clear, and land was nigh. And then, look how to good sons that esteem Their father’s life dear, (after pains extreme, Felt in some sickness, that hath held him long Down to his bed, and with affections strong Wasted his body, made his life his load, As being inflicted by some angry God) When on their pray’rs they see descend at length Health from the heav’ns, clad all in spirit and strength, The sight is precious; so, since here should end Ulysses’ toils, which therein should extend Health to his country, held to him his sire And on which long for him disease did tire, And then, besides, for his own sake to see The shores, the woods so near, such joy had he, As those good sons for their recover’d sire. Then labour’d feet and all parts to aspire To that wish’d continent; which when as near He came, as Clamour might inform an ear, He heard a sound beat from the sea-bred rocks, Against which gave a huge sea horrid shocks, That belch’d upon the firm land weeds and foam, With which were all things hid there, where no room Of fit capacity was for any port, Nor from the sea for any man’s resort, The shores, the rocks, the cliff’s, so prominent were. “O,” said Ulysses then, “now Jupiter Hath giv’n me sight of an unhop’d for shore, Though I have wrought these seas so long, so sore. Of rest yet no place shows the slend’rest prints, The rugged shore so bristled is with flints, Against which ev’ry way the waves so flock, And all the shore shows as one eminent rock, So near which ’tis so deep, that not a sand Is there for any tired foot to stand, Nor fly his death-fast-following miseries, Lest, if he land, upon him foreright flies A churlish wave, to crush him ’gainst a cliff, Worse than vain rend’ring all his landing strife. And should I swim to seek a hav’n elsewhere, Or land less way-beat, I may justly fear I shall be taken with a gale again, And cast a huge way off into the main; And there the great Earth-shaker (having seen My so near landing, and again his spleen Forcing me to him) will some whale send out, (Of which a horrid number here about His Amphitrite breeds) to swallow me. I well have prov’d, with what malignity He treads my steps.” While this discourse he held, A curs’d surge ’gainst a cutting rock impell’d His naked body, which it gash’d and tore, And had his bones broke, if but one sea more Had cast him on it. But She prompted him, That never fail’d, and bade him no more swim Still off and on, but boldly force the shore, And hug the rock that him so rudely tore; Which he with both hands sigh’d and clasp’d, till past The billow’s rage was; when ’scap’d, back so fast The rock repuls’d it, that it reft his hold, Sucking him from it, and far back he roll’d And as the polypus that (forc’d from home Amidst the soft sea, and near rough land come For shelter ’gainst the storms that beat on her At open sea, as she abroad doth err) A deal of gravel, and sharp little stones, Needfully gathers in her hollow bones; So he forc’d hither by the sharper ill, Shunning the smoother, where he best hop’d, still The worst succeeded; for the cruel friend, To which he cling’d for succour, off did rend From his broad hands the soaken flesh so sore That off he fell, and could sustain no more. Quite under water fell he; and, past fate, Hapless Ulysses there had lost the state He held in life, if, still the grey-eyed Maid His wisdom prompting, he had not assay’d Another course, and ceas’d t’ attempt that shore, Swimming, and casting round his eye t’ explore Some other shelter. Then the mouth he found Of fair Callicoe’s flood, whose shores were crown’d With most apt succours: rocks so smooth they seem’d Polish’d of purpose; land that quite redeem’d With breathless coverts th’ others’ blasted shores. The flood he knew, and thus in heart implores: “King of this river, hear! Whatever name Makes thee invok’d, to thee I humbly frame My flight from Neptune’s furies. Rev’rend is To all the ever-living Deities What erring man soever seeks their aid. To thy both flood and knees a man dismay’d With varied suff’rance sues. Yield then some rest To him that is thy suppliant profest.” This, though but spoke in thought, the Godhead heard, Her current straight stay’d, and her thick waves clear’d Before him, smooth’d her waters, and, just where He pray’d half-drown’d, entirely sav’d him there. Then forth he came, his both knees falt’ring, both His strong hands hanging down, and all with froth His cheeks and nosthrils flowing, voice and breath Spent to all use, and down he sunk to death. The sea had soak’d his heart through; all his veins His toils had rack’d t’ a labouring woman’s pains.[5] Dead weary was he. But when breath did find A pass reciprocal, and in his mind His spirit was recollected, up he rose, And from his neck did th’ amulet unloose, That Ino gave him; which he hurl’d from him To sea. It sounding fell, and back did swim With th’ ebbing waters, till it straight arriv’d Where Ino’s fair hand it again receiv’d. Then kiss’d he th’ humble earth; and on he goes, Till bulrushes show’d place for his repose, Where laid, he sigh’d, and thus said to his soul: “O me, what strange perplexities control The whole skill of thy pow’rs in this event! What feel I? If till care-nurse night be spent I watch amidst the flood, the sea’s chill breath, And vegetant dews, I fear will be my death, So low brought with my labours. Towards day A passing sharp air ever breathes at sea. If I the pitch of this next mountain scale, And shady wood, and in some thicket fall Into the hands of Sleep, though there the cold May well be check’d, and healthful slumbers hold Her sweet hand on my pow’rs, all care allay’d, Yet there will beasts devour me. Best appaid Doth that course make me yet; for there, some strife, Strength, and my spirit, may make me make for life; Which, though impair’d, may yet be fresh applied, Where peril possible of escape is tried. But he that fights with heav’n, or with the sea, To indiscretion adds impiety.” Thus to the woods he hasted; which he found Not far from sea, but on far-seeing ground, Where two twin underwoods he enter’d on, With olive-trees and oil-trees overgrown; Through which the moist force of the loud-voic’d wind Did never beat, nor ever Phœbus shin’d, Nor show’r beat through, they grew so one in one, And had, by turns, their pow’r t’ exclude the sun. Here enter’d our Ulysses; and a bed Of leaves huge, and of huge abundance, spread With all his speed. Large he made it, for there For two or three men ample cov’rings were, Such as might shield them from the winter’s worst, Though steel it breathed, and blew as it would burst.[6] Patient Ulysses joy’d, that ever day Show’d such a shelter. In the midst he lay, Store of leaves heaping high on ev’ry side. And as in some out-field a man doth hide A kindled brand, to keep the seed of fire, No neighbour dwelling near, and his desire Serv’d with self store, he else would ask of none, But of his fore-spent sparks rakes th’ ashes on; So this out-place Ulysses thus receives, And thus nak’d virtue’s seed lies hid in leaves. Yet Pallas made him sleep as soon as men Whom delicacies all their flatt’ries deign, And all that all his labours could comprise Quickly concluded in his closed eyes.

[1] _᾽Επἱ σχεδἰης πογυδἐσμον, in rate multis vinculis ligatus._
[2] The piner—Hunger.
[3] This four day days’ work (you will say) is too much for one man:
and Pliny affirms, that Hiero (a king of Sicily) in five-and forty
days built two hundred and twenty ships, rigged them, and put to sea
with them.
[4] _Συναγεἰρω—Mendicando colligo._
[5] _Ὤιδεε_ of _ὠδἰνω ἁ partu doleo._
[6] A metaphorical hyperbole, expressing the winter’s extremity of



Minerva in a vision stands Before Nausicaa: and commands She to the flood her weeds should bear; For now her nuptial day was near. Nausicaa her charge obeys, And then with other virgins plays. Their sports make wak’d Ulysses rise; Walk to them, and beseech supplies Of food and clothes. His naked sight Puts th’ other maids, afraid, to flight; Nausicaa only boldly stays, And gladly his desire obeys. He, furnish’d with her favour’s shown, Attends her and the rest to town.


_Ζη̑τα._ Here olive leaves T’ hide shame began, The maid receives The naked man.

The much-sustaining, patient, heav’nly man, Whom Toil and Sleep had worn so weak and wan,[1] Thus won his rest. In mean space Pallas went To the Phæacian city, and descent That first did broad Hyperia’s lands divide, Near the vast Cyclops, men of monstrous pride, That prey’d on those Hyperians, since they were Of greater pow’r; and therefore longer there Divine Nausithous dwelt not, but arose, And did for Scheria all his pow’rs dispose; Far from ingenious art-inventing men But there did he erect a city then, First drew a wall round, then he houses builds, And then a temple to the Gods, the fields Lastly dividing. But he, stoop’d by Fate, Div’d to th’ infernals; and Alcinous sate In his command, a man the Gods did teach Commanding counsels. His house held the reach Of grey Minerva’s project, to provide That great-soul’d Ithacus might be supplied With all things fitting his return. She went Up to the chamber, where the fair descent Of great Alcinous slept; a maid, whose parts In wit and beauty wore divine deserts. Well-deck’d her chamber was; of which the door Did seem to lighten, such a gloss it bore Betwixt the posts, and now flew ope to find The Goddess entry. Like a puft of wind She reach’d the virgin bed; neat which there lay Two maids, to whom the Graces did convey Figure and manners. But above the head Of bright Nausicaa did Pallas tread The subtle air, and put the person on Of Dymas’ daughter, from comparison Exempt in business naval. Like his seed Minerva look’d now; whom one year did breed[2] With bright Nausicaa, and who had gain’d Grace in her love, yet on her thus complain’d: “Nausicaa! Why bred thy mother one So negligent in rites so stood upon By other virgins? Thy fair garments lie Neglected by thee, yet thy nuptials nigh; When rich in all attire both thou shouldst be, And garments give to others honouring thee, That lead thee to the temple. Thy good name Grows amongst men for these things; they inflame Father and rev’rend mother with delight. Come, when the Day takes any wink from Night, Let’s to the river, and repurify Thy wedding garments. My society Shall freely serve thee for thy speedier aid, Because thou shalt no mote stand on the maid. The best of all Phæacia woo thy grace, Where thou wert bred, and ow’st thyself a race. Up, and stir up to thee thy honour’d sire, To give thee mules and coach, thee and thy tire, Veils, girdles, mantles, early to the flood To bear in state. It suits thy high-born blood, And far more fits thee, than to foot so far, For far from town thou know’st the bath-founts are.” This said, away blue-eyed Minerva went Up to Olympus, the firm continent That bears in endless being the Deified kind, That’s neither sous’d with show’rs, nor shook with wind, Nor chill’d with snow, but where Serenity flies Exempt from clouds, and ever-beamy skies Circle the glitt’ring hill, and all their days Give the delights of blesséd Deity praise. And hither Pallas flew, and left the maid, When she had all that might excite her said. Straight rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise Fair-veil’d Nausicaa, whose dream her praise To admiration took; who no time spent To give the rapture of her vision vent To her lov’d parents, whom she found within. Her mother set at fire, who had to spin A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shin’d; Her maids about her. But she chanc’d to find Her father going abroad, to council call’d By his grave Senate. And to him exhal’d Her smother’d bosom was: “Lov’d sire,” said she,[3] “Will you not now command a coach for me, Stately and cómplete, fit for me to bear To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear Before repurified? Yourself it fits To wear fair weeds, as ev’ry man that sits In place of council. And five sons you have, Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave In ev’ry day’s shift, that they may go dance; For these three last with these things must advance Their states in marriage, and who else but I, Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?” This gen’ral cause she show’d, and would not name Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame. He understood her yet, and thus replied: “Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside, I either will deny thee, or defer, Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular, Fitting at all parts. Go, my servants shall Serves thy desires, and thy command in all.” The servants then commanded soon obey’d, Fetch’d coach, and mules join’d in it. Then the Maid Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid All up in coach; in which her mother plac’d A maund of victuals, varied well in taste, And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill’d Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill’d Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse, Both for her daughter’s, and her handmaid’s, use, To soften their bright bodies, when they rose Cleans’d from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes Th’ observéd Maid, takes both the scourge and reins, And to her side her handmaid straight attains. Nor these alone, but other virgins, grac’d The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy plac’d, Nausicaa scourg’d to make the coach-mules run, That neigh’d, and pac’d their usual speed, and soon Both maids and weeds brought to the river-side, Where baths for all the year their use supplied, Whose waters were so pure they would not stain, But still ran fair forth, and did more remain Apt to purge stains, for that purg’d stain within, Which by the water’s pure store was not seen. These, here arriv’d, the mules uncoach’d, and drave Up to the gulfy river’s shore, that gave Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took Their clothes, and steep’d them in the sable brook: Then put them into springs, and trod them clean With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then Who should have soonest and most cleanly done. When having thoroughly cleans’d, they spread them on The flood’s shore, all in order. And then, where The waves the pebbles wash’d, and ground was clear, They bath’d themselves, and all with glitt’ring oil Smooth’d their white skins; refreshing then their toil With pleasant dinner, by the river-side; Yet still watch’d when the sun their clothes had dried. Till which time, having din’d, Nausicaa With other virgins did at stool-ball play, Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by. Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory, The liking stroke struck, singing first a song, As custom order’d, and amidst the throng Made such a show, and so past all was seen, As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving, Queen, Along the mountains gliding, either over Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover, Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar’s chace, Or swift-hov’d hart, and with her Jove’s fair race, The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see How far Diana had priority, Though all were fair, for fairness yet of all, As both by head and forehead being more tall, Latona triumph’d, since the dullest sight Might eas’ly judge whom her pains brought to light; Nausicaa so, whom never husband tam’d, Above them all in all the beauties flam’d. But when they now made homewards, and array’d, Ord’ring their weeds disorder’d as they play’d, Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought, That he might see this lovely-sighted maid, Whom she intended should become his aid, Bring him to town, and his return advance. Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance:[4] The queen now, for the upstroke, struck the ball Quite wide off th’ other maids, and made it fall Amidst the whirlpools. At which out shriek’d all, And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake; Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make That sudden outcry, and in mind thus striv’d: “On what a people am I now arriv’d? At civil hospitable men, that fear The Gods? Or dwell injurious mortals here? Unjust, and churlish? Like the female cry Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods, In herby marshes, or in leafy woods? Or are they high-spoke men I now am near? I’ll prove, and see.” With this, the wary peer Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough Broke with his broad hand, which he did bestow In covert of his nakedness, and then Put hasty head out. Look how from his den A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued With drops of trees, and weather-beaten-hued, Bold of his strength, goes on, and in his eye A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart, His belly charging him, and he must part Stakes with the herdsman in his beasts’ attempt, Ev’n where from rape their strengths are most exempt; So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need, Ev’n to the home-fields of the country’s breed Ulysses was to force forth his access, Though merely naked; and his sight did press The eyes of soft-hair’d virgins. Horrid was His rough appearance to them; the hard pass He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight The virgins scatter’d, frighted with this sight, About the prominent windings of the flood. All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood, Pallas had put a boldness in her breast, And in her fair limbs tender fear comprest. And still she stood him, as resolv’d to know What man he was, or out of what should grow His strange repair to them. And here was he Put to his wisdom; if her virgin knee He should be bold, but kneeling, to embrace, Or keep aloof, and try with words of grace, In humblest suppliance, if he might obtain Some cover for his nakedness, and gain Her grace to show and guide him to the town. The last he best thought, to be worth his own, In weighing both well; to keep still aloof, And give with soft words his desires their proof, Lest, pressing so near as to touch her knee, He might incense her maiden modesty. This fair and fil’d speech then shew’d this was he: “Let me beseech, O queen, this truth of thee, Are you of mortal, or the defied, race? If of the Gods, that th’ ample heav’ns embrace, I can resemble you to none above So near as to the chaste-born birth of Jove, The beamy Cynthia. Her you full present, In grace of ev’ry God-like lineament, Her goodly magnitude, and all th’ address You promise of her very perfectness. If sprung of humans, that inhabit earth, Thrice blest are both the authors of your birth, Thrice blest your brothers, that in your deserts Must, ev’n to rapture, bear delighted hearts, To see, so like the first trim of a tree, Your form adorn a dance. But most blest he, Of all that breathe, that hath the gift t’ engage Your bright neck in the yoke of marriage, And deck his house with your commanding merit I have not seen a man of so much spirit, Nor man, nor woman, I did ever see, At all parts equal to the parts in thee. T’ enjoy your sight, doth admiration seize My eyes, and apprehensive faculties. Lately in Delos (with a charge of men Arriv’d, that render’d me most wretched then, Now making me thus naked) I beheld The burthen of a palm, whose issue swell’d About Apollo’s fane, and that put on A grace like thee; for Earth had never none Of all her sylvan issue so adorn’d. Into amaze my very soul was turn’d, To give it observation; as now thee To view, O virgin, a stupidity Past admiration strikes me, join’d with fear To do a suppliant’s due, and press so near, As to embrace thy knees. Nor is it strange, For one of fresh and firmest spirit would change T’ embrace so bright an object. But, for me, A cruel habit of calamity Prepar’d the strong impression thou hast made; For this last day did fly night’s twentieth shade Since I, at length, escap’d the sable seas; When in the mean time th’ unrelenting prease Of waves and stern storms toss’d me up and down, From th’ isle Ogygia. And now God hath thrown My wrack on this shore, that perhaps I may My mis’ries vary here; for yet their stay, I fear, Heav’n hath not order’d, though, before These late afflictions, it hath lent me store. O queen, deign pity then, since first to you My fate importunes my distress to vow. No other dame, nor man, that this Earth own, And neighbour city, I have seen or known. The town then show me; give my nakedness Some shroud to shelter it, if to these seas Linen or woollen you have brought to cleanse. God give you, in requital, all th’ amends Your heart can wish, a husband, family, And good agreement. Nought beneath the sky More sweet, more worthy is, than firm consent Of man and wife in household government. It joys their wishers-well, their enemies wounds, But to themselves the special good redounds.” She answer’d: “Stranger! I discern in thee Nor sloth, nor folly, reigns; and yet I see Th’ art poor and wretched. In which I conclude, That industry nor wisdom make endued Men with those gifts that make them best to th’ eye; Jove only orders man’s felicity. To good and bad his pleasure fashions still The whole proportion of their good and ill. And he, perhaps, hath form’d this plight in thee, Of which thou must be patient, as he free. But after all thy wand’rings, since thy way, Both to our earth, and near our city, lay, As being expos’d to our cares to relieve, Weeds, and what else a human hand should give To one so suppliant and tam’d with woe, Thou shalt not want. Our city I will show, And tell our people’s name: This neighbour town, And all this kingdom, the Phæacians own. And (since thou seem’dst so fain to know my birth, And mad’st a question, if of heav’n or earth.) This earth hath bred me; and my father’s name Alcinous is, that in the pow’r and frame Of this isle’s rule is supereminent.” Thus, passing him, she to the virgins went, And said: “Give stay both to your feet and fright. Why thus disperse ye for a man’s mere sight? Esteem you him a Cyclop, that long since Made use to prey upon our citizens? This man no moist man is, (nor wat’rish thing,[5] That’s ever flitting, ever ravishing All it can compass; and, like it, doth range In rape of women, never stay’d in change). This man is truly manly, wise, and stay’d,[6] In soul more rich the more to sense decay’d, Who nor will do, nor suffer to be done, Acts lewd and abject; nor can such a one Greet the Phæacians with a mind envíous, Dear to the Gods they are, and he is pious, Besides, divided from the world we are, The out-part of it, billows circular The sea revolving round about our shore; Nor is there any man that enters more Than our own countrymen, with what is brought From other countries. This man, minding nought But his relief, a poor unhappy wretch, Wrack’d here, and hath no other land to fetch, Him now we must provide for. From Jove come[7] All strangers, and the needy of a home, Who any gift, though ne’er so small it be, Esteem as great, and take it gratefully. And therefore, virgins, give the stranger food, And wine; and see ye bathe him in the flood, Near to some shore to shelter most inclin’d. _To cold-bath-bathers hurtful is the wind,_ Not only rugged making th’ outward skin, But by his thin pow’rs pierceth parts within.’ This said, their flight in a return they set, And did Ulysses with all grace entreat, Show’d him a shore, wind-proof, and full of shade, By him a shirt and utter mantle laid, A golden jug of liquid oil did add, Bad wash, and all things as Nausicaa bad. Divine Ulysses would not use their aid; But thus bespake them: “Ev’ry lovely maid, Let me entreat to stand a little by,[8] That I, alone, the fresh flood may apply To cleanse my bosom of the sea-wrought brine, And then use oil, which long time did not shine On my poor shoulders. I’ll not wash in sight Of fair-hair’d maidens. I should blush outright, To bathe all-bare by such a virgin light.” They mov’d, and mus’d a man had so much grace, And told their mistress what a man he was. He cleans’d his broad soil’d shoulders, back, and head Yet never tam’d, but now had foam and weed Knit in the fair curls. Which dissolv’d, and he Slick’d all with sweet oil, the sweet charity The untouch’d virgin show’d in his attire He cloth’d him with. Then Pallas put a fire, More than before, into his sparkling eyes, His late soil set off with his soon fresh guise. His locks, cleans’d, curl’d the more, and match’d, in pow’r To please an eye, the hyacinthian flow’r. And as a workman, that can well combine Silver and gold, and make both strive to shine, As being by Vulcan, and Minerva too, Taught how far either may be urg’d to go In strife of eminence, when work sets forth A worthy soul to bodies of such worth, No thought reproving th’ act, in any place, Nor Art no debt to Nature’s liveliest grace; So Pallas wrought in him a grace as great From head to shoulders, and ashore did seat His goodly presence. To which such a guise He show’d in going, that it ravish’d eyes. All which continued, as he sat apart, Nausicaa’s eye struck wonder through her heart, Who thus bespake her consorts: “Hear me, you Fair-wristed virgins! This rare man, I know, Treads not our country-earth, against the will Of some God thronéd on th’ Olympian hill. He show’d to me, till now, not worth the note, But now he looks as he had godhead got. I would to heav’n my husband were no worse, And would be call’d no better, but the course Of other husbands pleas’d to dwell out here. Observe and serve him with our utmost cheer.” She said, they heard and did. He drunk and eat Like to a harpy, having touch’d no meat A long before time. But Nausicaa now Thought of the more grace she did lately vow, Had horse to chariot join’d, and up she rose, Up cheer’d her guest, and said: “Guest, now dispose Yourself for town, that I may let you see My father’s court, where all the peers will be Of our Phæacian state. At all parts, then, Observe to whom and what place y’ are t’ attain; Though I need usher you with no advice, Since I suppose you absolutely wise. While we the fields pass, and men’s labours there, So long, in these maids’ guides, directly bear Upon my chariot (I must go before For cause that after comes, to which this more Be my induction) you shall then soon end Your way to town, whose tow’rs you see ascend[9] To such a steepness. On whose either side A fair port stands, to which is nothing wide An ent’rer’s passage; on whose both hands ride Ships in fair harbours; which once past, you win The goodly market-place (that circles in A fane to Neptune, built of curious stone, And passing ample) where munitión, Gables, and masts, men make, and polish’d oars; For the Phæacians are not conquerors By bows nor quivers; oars, masts, ships they are With which they plough the sea, and wage their war. And now the cause comes why I lead the way, Not taking you to coach: The men, that sway In work of those tools that so fit our state, Are rude mechanicals, that rare and late Work in the market-place; and those are they Whose bitter tongues I shun, who straight would say (For these vile vulgars are extremely proud, And foully-languag’d) ‘What is he, allow’d To coach it with Nausicaa, so large set, And fairly fashion’d? Where were these two met? He shall be sure her husband. She hath been Gadding in some place, and, of foreign men Fitting her fancy, kindly brought him home In her own ship. He must, of force, be come From some far region; we have no such man. It may be, praying hard, when her heart ran On some wish’d husband, out of heav’n some God Dropp’d in her lap; and there lies she at road Her cómplete life time. But, in sooth, if she, Ranging abroad, a husband, such as he Whom now we saw, laid hand on, she was wise, For none of all our nobles are of prize Enough for her; he must beyond sea come, That wins her high mind, and will have her home. Of our peers many have importun’d her, Yet she will none.’ Thus these folks will confer Behind my back; or, meeting, to my face The foul-mouth rout dare put home this disgrace; And this would be reproaches to my fame, For, ev’n myself just anger would inflame, If any other virgin I should see, Her parents living, keep the company Of any man to any end of love, Till open nuptials should her act approve. And therefore hear me, guest, and take such way, That you yourself may compass, in your stay, Your quick deduction by my father’s grace, And means to reach the root of all your race. We shall, not far out of our way to town, A never-fell’d grove find, that poplars crown, To Pallas sacred, where a fountain flows, And round about the grove a meadow grows, In which my father holds a manor-house, Deck’d all with orchards, green, and odorous, As far from town as one may hear a shout. There stay, and rest your foot-pains, till full out We reach the city; where, when you may guess We are arriv’d, and enter our access Within my father’s court, then put you on For our Phæacian state, where, to be shown My father’s house, desire. Each infant there Can bring you to it; and yourself will clear Distinguish it from others, for no shows The city-buildings make compar’d with those That king Alcinous’ seat doth celebrate. In whose roofs, and the court (where men of state, And suitors sit and stay) when you shall hide, Straight pass it, ent’ring further, where abide My mother, with her withdrawn housewif’ries, Who still sits in the fire-shine, and applies Her rock, all-purple, and of pompous show, Her chair plac’d ’gainst a pillar, all-a-row Her maids behind her set; and to her here My father’s dining-throne looks, seated where He pours his choice of wine in, like a God. This view once past, for th’ end of your abode, Address suit to my mother, that her mean May make the day of your redition seen, And you may frolic straight, though far away You are in distance from your wishéd stay. For, if she once be won to wish you well, Your hope may instantly your passport seal, And thenceforth sure abide to see your friends, Fair house, and all to which your heart contends.” This said, she us’d her shining scourge, and lash’d Her mules, that soon the shore left where she wash’d, And, knowing well the way, their pace was fleet, And thick they gather’d up their nimble feet. Which yet she temper’d so, and us’d her scourge[10] With so much skill, as not to over-urge The foot behind, and make them straggle so From close society. Firm together go Ulysses and her maids. And now the sun Sunk to the waters, when they all had won The never-fell’d, and sound-exciting, wood, Sacred to Pallas; where the god-like good Ulysses rested, and to Pallas pray’d: “Hear me, of goat-kept Jove th’ unconquer’d Maid![11] Now throughly hear me, since, in all the time Of all my wrack, my pray’rs could never climb Thy far-off ears; when noiseful Neptune toss’d Upon his wat’ry bristles my emboss’d And rock-torn body. Hear yet now, and deign I may of the Phæacian state obtain Pity, and grace.” Thus pray’d he, and she heard, By no means yet, expos’d to sight, appear’d, For fear t’ offend her uncle, the supreme Of all the Sea-Gods, whose wrath still extreme Stood to Ulysses; and would never cease, Till with his country shore he crown’d his peace.

[1] _ϒπνῳ καἱ καμἀτῳ ἁρημένος. Sonno et labore afflictus._ Sleep
(_καταχρηστικω̑ς_) for the want of sleep.
[2] Intending Dymas’ daughter.
[3] This familiar and near wanton carriage of Nausicaa to her father,
joined with that virgin modesty expressed in her after, is much
praised by the gravest of Homer’s expositors; with her father’s loving
allowance of it, knowing her shamefastness and judgment would not let
her exceed at any part. Which note is here inserted, not as if this
were more worthy the observation than other every-where strewed
flowers of precept, but because this more generally pleasing subject
may perhaps find more fitness for the stay of most readers.
[4] The piety and wisdom of the Poet was such, that (agreeing with the
Sacred Letter) not the least of things he makes come to pass _sine
Numinis providentiâ._ As Spondanus well notes of him.
[5] _Διερὸς βροτός. Cui vitalis vel sensualis humiditas inest. βροτὸς
ὰ ῥέω, ut dicatur quasi ῥοτὸς,_ i.e. _ὁ ἐν ῥοᾓ ὢν, quod nihil sit
magis fluxum quam homo._
[6] _Ανήρ virili animo præditus, fortis, magnanimus._ Nor are those
affirmed to be men, _qui servile quidpiam et abjectum faciunt, vel,
facere sustinent_: according to this of Herodotus in Polym. _πολλοὶ
μὲν ἄνθρωποι ει͒εν, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἄνδρες._ Many men’s forms sustain, but
few are men.
[7] According to another translator: _“Ab Jove nam supplex pauper
procedit et hospes, Res brevis, at chara est, magni quoque munaris
instar.”_ Which I cite to show his good when he keeps him to the
original, and near in any degree expounds it.
[8] He taught their youths modesty by his aged judgment. As receiving
the custom of maids then used to that entertainment of men,
notwithstanding the modesty of that age, could not be corrupted
inwardly for those outward kind observations of guests and strangers,
and was therefore privileged. It is easy to avoid show; and those,
that most curiously avoid the outward construction, are ever most
tainted with the inward corruption.
[9] The city’s description so far forth as may in part induce her
promised reason why she took not Ulysses to coach with her.
[10] Not without some little note of our omnisufficient Homer’s
general touch of the least fitness lying in his way, may this courtly
discretion he describes in Nausicaa be observed, if you please.
[11] More of our Poet’s curious and sweet piety.



Nausicaa arrives at town; And then Ulysses. He makes known His suit to Arete: who view Takes of his vesture, which she knew, And asks him from whose hands it came. He tells, with all the hapless frame Of his affairs in all the while Since he forsook Calypso’s isle.


_Ητα._ The honour’d minds, And welcome things, Ulysses finds In Scheria’s kings.

Thus pray’d the wise and God-observing man. The Maid, by free force of her palfreys, wan Access to town, and the renownéd court Reach’d of her father; where, within the port, She stay’d her coach, and round about her came Her brothers, made as of immortal frame, Who yet disdain’d not, for her love, mean deeds, But took from coach her mules, brought in her weeds.[1] And she ascends her chamber; where purvey’d A quick fire was by her old chamber-maid, Eurymedusa, th’ Aperæan born, And brought by sea from Apera t’ adorn The court of great Alcinous, because He gave to all the blest Phæacians laws, And, like a heav’n-born pow’r in speech, acquir’d The people’s ears. To one then so admir’d, Eurymedusa was esteem’d no worse Than worth the gift; yet now, grown old, was nurse To ivory-arm’d Nausicaa, gave heat To all her fires, and dress’d her privy meat. Then rose Ulysses, and made way to town; Which ere he reach’d, a mighty mist was thrown By Pallas round about him, in her care, Lest, in the sway of envies popular, Some proud Phæacian might foul language pass, Justle him up, and ask him what he was. Ent’ring the lovely town yet, through the cloud Pallas appear’d, and like a young wench show’d Bearing a pitcher, stood before him so As if objected purposely to know What there he needed; whom he question’d thus: “Know you not, daughter, where Alcinous, That rules this town, dwells? I, a poor distrest Mere stranger here, know none I may request To make this court known to me.” She replied: “Strange father, I will see you satisfied In that request. My father dwells just by The house you seek for; but go silently, Nor ask, nor speak to any other, I Shall be enough to show your way. The men That here inhabit do not entertain With ready kindness strangers, of what worth Or state soever, nor have taken forth Lessons of civil usage or respect To men beyond them. They, upon their pow’rs Of swift ships building, top the wat’ry tow’rs, And Jove hath giv’n them ships, for sail so wrought, They cut a feather, and command a thought.”[2] This said, she usher’d him, and after he Trod in the swift steps of the Deity. The free-sail’d seamen could not get a sight Of our Ulysses yet, though he forthright Both by their houses and their persons past, Pallas about him such a darkness cast By her divine pow’r, and her rev’rend care, She would not give the town-born cause to stare. He wonder’d, as he past, to see the ports; The shipping in them; and for all resorts The goodly market-steads; and aisles beside For the heroës; walls so large and wide; Rampires so high, and of such strength withall, It would with wonder any eye appall. At last they reach’d the court, and Pallas said: “Now, honour’d stranger, I will see obey’d Your will, to show our ruler’s house; ’tis here; Where you shall find kings celebrating cheer. Enter amongst them, nor admit a fear. _More bold a man is, he prevails the more, Though man nor place lie ever saw before._ You first shall find the queen in court, whose name Is Arete, of parents born the same That was the king her spouse; their pedigree[3] I can report. The great Earth-shaker, he Of Peribœa (that her sex out-shone, And youngest daughter was t’ Eurymedon, Who of th’ unmeasur’d-minded giants sway’d Th’ imperial sceptre, and the pride allay’d Of men so impious with cold death, and died Himself soon after) got the magnified In mind, Nausithous; whom the kingdom’s state First held in supreme rule. Nausithous gat Rhexenor, and Alcinous, now king. Rhexenor (whose seed did no male fruit spring, And whom the silver-bow-grac’d Phœbus slew Young in the court) his shed blood did renew In only Arete, who now is spouse To him that rules the kingdom in this house, And is her uncle king Alcinous, Who honours her past equal. She may boast More honour of him than the honour’d most[4] Of any wife in earth can of her lord, How many more soever realms afford, That keep house under husbands. Yet no more Her husband honours her, than her blest store Of gracious children. All the city cast Eyes on her as a Goddess, and give taste Of their affections to her in their pray’rs, Still as she decks the street; for, all affairs Wrapt in contention, she dissolves to men. Whom she affects, she wants no mind to deign Goodness enough. If her heart stand inclin’d To your dispatch, hope all you wish to find, Your friends, your longing family, and all That can within your most affections fall.” This said, away the grey-eyed Goddess flew Along th’ untam’d sea, left the lovely hue Scheria presented, out-flew Marathon, And ample-streeted Athens lighted on; Where to the house, that casts so thick a shade,[5] Of Erechtheüs she ingression made. Ulysses to the lofty-builded court Of king Alcinous made bold resort; Yet in his heart cast many a thought, before The brazen pavement of the rich court bore His enter’d person. Like heav’n’s two main lights The rooms illustrated both days and nights. On ev’ry side stood firm a wall of brass, Ev’n from the threshold to the inmost pass, Which bore a roof up that all-sapphire was. The brazen thresholds both sides did enfold Silver pilasters, hung with gates of gold; Whose portal was of silver; over which A golden cornice did the front enrich. On each side, dogs, of gold and silver fram’d, The house’s guard stood: which the Deity lam’d With knowing inwards had inspir’d, and made That death nor age should their estates invade. Along the wall stood ev’ry way a throne, From th’ entry to the lobby, ev’ry one Cast over with a rich-wrought cloth of state. Beneath which the Phæacian princes sate At wine and food, and feasted all the year. Youths forg’d of gold, at ev’ry table there, Stood holding flaming torches, that, in night, Gave through the house each honour’d guest his light And, to encounter feast with housewif’ry, In one room fifty women did apply Their sev’ral tasks. Some apple-colour’d corn Ground in fair querns, and some did spindles turn, Some work in looms; no hand least rest receives, But all had motion apt as aspen leaves. And from the weeds they wove, so fast they laid, And so thick thrust together thread by thread, That th’ oil, of which the wool had drunk his fill, Did with his moisture in light dews distill. As much as the Phæacian men excell’d All other countrymen in art to build A swift-sail’d ship; so much the women there For work of webs, past other women were. Past mean, by Pallas’ means, they understood The grace of good works; and had wits as good. Without the hall, and close upon the gate, A goodly orchard-ground was situate, Of near ten acres; about which was led A lofty quickset. In it flourished High and broad fruit trees, that pomegranates bore, Sweet figs, pears, olives; and a number more Most useful plants did there produce their store, Whose fruits the hardest winter could not kill, Nor hottest summer wither. There was still Fruit in his proper season all the year. Sweet Zephyr breath’d upon them blasts that were Of varied tempers. These he made to bear Ripe fruits, these blossoms. Pear grew after pear, Apple succeeded apple, grape the grape, Fig after fig came; time made never rape Of any dainty there. A spritely vine Spread here his root, whose fruit a hot sunshine Made ripe betimes; here grew another green. Here some were gath’ring, here some pressing, seen. A large-allotted sev’ral each fruit had; And all th’ adorn’d grounds their appearance made In flow’r and fruit, at which the king did aim To the precisest order he could claim. Two fountains grac’d the garden; of which, one Pour’d out a winding stream that over-run The grounds for their use chiefly, th’ other went Close by the lofty palace gate, and lent The city his sweet benefit. And thus The Gods the court deck’d of Alcinous. Patient Ulysses stood a while at gaze, But, having all observ’d, made instant pace Into the court; where all the peers he found, And captains of Phæacia, with cups-crown’d Off’ring to sharp-eyed Hermes, to whom last They us’d to sacrifice, when sleep had cast His inclination through their thoughts. But these Ulysses pass’d, and forth went; nor their eyes Took note of him, for Pallas stopp’d the light With mists about him, that, unstay’d, he might First to Alcinous, and Arete, Present his person; and, of both them, she, By Pallas’ counsel, was to have the grace Of foremost greeting. Therefore his embrace He cast about her knee. And then off flew The heav’nly air that hid him. When his view With silence and with admiration strook The court quite through; but thus he silence broke: “Divine Rhexenor’s offspring, Arete, To thy most honour’d husband, and to thee, A man whom many labours have distrest Is come for comfort, and to ev’ry guest. To all whom heav’n vouchsafe delightsome lives, And after to your issue that survives A good resignment of the goods ye leave, With all the honour that yourselves receive Amongst your people. Only this of me Is the ambition; that I may but see (By your vouchsaf’d means, and betimes vouchsaf’d) My country-earth; since I have long been left To labours, and to errors, barr’d from end, And far from benefit of any friend,” He said no more, but left them dumb with that, Went to the hearth, and in the ashes sat, Aside the fire. At last their silence brake, And Echinëus, th’ old heroë, spake; A man that all Phæacians pass’d in years, And in persuasive eloquence all the peers, Knew much, and us’d it well; and thus spake he: “Alcinous! It shews not decently, Nor doth your honour what you see admit, That this your guest should thus abjectly sit, His chair the earth, the hearth his cushion, Ashes as if appos’d for food. A throne, Adorn’d with due rites, stands you more in hand To see his person plac’d in, and command That instantly your heralds fill-in wine, That to the God that doth in lightnings shine We may do sacrifice; for he is there, Where these his rev’rend suppliants appear. Let what you have within be brought abroad, To sup the stranger. All these would have show’d This fit respect to him, but that they stay For your precedence, that should grace the way.” When this had added to the well-inclin’d And sacred order of Alcinous’ mind, Then of the great-in-wit the hand he seis’d, And from the ashes his fair person rais’d, Advanc’d him to a well-adornéd throne, And from his seat rais’d his most lovéd son, Laodamas, that next himself was set, To give him place. The handmaid then did get An ewer of gold, with water fill’d, which plac’d Upon a caldron, all with silver grac’d, She pour’d out on their hands. And then was spread A table, which the butler set with bread, As others serv’d with other food the board, In all the choice the present could afford. Ulysses meat and wine took; and then thus The king the herald call’d: “Pontonous! Serve wine through all the house, that all may pay Rites to the Lightner, who is still in way With humble suppliants, and them pursues With all benign and hospitable dues.” Pontonous gave act to all he will’d, And honey-sweetness-giving-minds wine fill’d,[6] Disposing it in cups for all to drink. All having drunk what either’s heart could think Fit for due sacrifice, Alcinous said: “Hear me, ye dukes that the Phæacians lead, And you our counsellors, that I may now Discharge the charge my mind suggests to you, For this our guest: Feast past, and this night’s sleep, Next morn, our senate summon’d, we will keep Justs, sacred to the Gods, and this our guest Receive in solemn court with fitting feast; Then think of his return, that, under hand Of our deduction, his natural land (Without more toil or care, and with delight, And that soon giv’n him, how far-hence dissite Soever it can be) he may ascend; And in the mean time without wrong attend, Or other want, fit means to that ascent.[7] What, after, austere Fates shall make th’ event Of his life’s thread, now spinning, and began When his pain’d mother freed his root of man, He must endure in all kinds. If some God Perhaps abides with us in his abode, And other things will think upon than we, The Gods’ wills stand, who ever yet were free Of their appearance to us, when to them We offer’d hecatombs of fit esteem, And would at feast sit with us, ev’n where we Order’d our session. They would likewise be Encount’rers of us, when in way alone About his fit affairs went any one. Nor let them cloak themselves in any care To do us comfort, we as near them are, As are the Cyclops, or the impious race[8] Of earthy giants, that would heav’n outface.” Ulysses answer’d: “Let some other doubt Employ your thoughts than what your words give out, Which intimate a kind of doubt that I Should shadow in this shape a Deity. I bear no such least semblance, or in wit, Virtue, or person. What may well befit One of those mortals, whom you chiefly know Bears up and down the burthen of the woe Appropriate to poor man, give that to me; Of whose moans I sit in the most degree, And might say more, sustaining griefs that all The Gods consent to; no one ’twixt their fall And my unpitied shoulders letting down The least diversion. Be the grace then shown, To let me taste your free-giv’n food in peace. _Through greatest grief the belly must have ease; Worse than an envious belly nothing is._ It will command his strict necessities, Of men most griev’d in body or in mind, That are in health, and will not give their kind A desp’rate wound. When most with cause I grieve, It bids me still, Eat, man, and drink, and live; And this makes all forgot. Whatever ill I ever bear, it ever bids me fill. But this ease is but forc’d, and will not last, Till what the mind likes be as well embrac’d; And therefore let me wish you would partake In your late purpose; when the morn shall make Her next appearance, deign me but the grace, Unhappy man, that I may once embrace My country-earth. Though I be still thrust at By ancient ills, yet make me but see that. And then let life go, when withal I see My high-roof’d large house, lands, and family.” This all approv’d; and each will’d ev’ry one, Since he hath said so fairly, set him gone. Feast past and sacrifice, to sleep all vow Their eyes at either’s house. Ulysses now Was left here with Alcinous, and his Queen, The all-lov’d Arete. The handmaids then The vessel of the banquet took away. When Arete set eye on his array; Knew both his out and under weed, which she Made with her maids; and mus’d by what means he Obtain’d their wearing; which she made request To know, and wings gave to these speeches: “Guest! First let me ask, what, and from whence you are? And then, who grac’d you with the weeds you wear? Said you not lately, you had err’d at seas, And thence arriv’d here?” Laertiades To this thus answer’d: “’Tis a pain, O Queen, Still to be op’ning wounds wrought deep, and green, Of which the Gods have open’d store in me; Yet your will must be serv’d. Far hence, at sea, There lies an isle, that bears Ogygia’s name, Where Atlas’ daughter, the ingenious dame, Fair-hair’d Calypso lives; a Goddess grave, And with whom men nor Gods society have; Yet I, past man unhappy, liv’d alone, By Heav’n’s wrath forc’d, her house-companion. For Jove had with a fervent lightning cleft My ship in twain, and far at black sea left Me and my soldiers; all whose lives I lost. I in mine arms the keel took, and was tost Nine days together up from wave to wave. The tenth grim night, the angry Deities drave Me and my wrack on th’ isle, in which doth dwell Dreadful Calypso; who exactly well Receiv’d and nourish’d me, and promise made To make me deathless, nor should age invade My pow’rs with his deserts through all my days. All mov’d not me, and therefore, on her stays, Sev’n years she made me lie; and there spent I The long time, steeping in the misery Of ceaseless tears the garments I did wear, From her fair hand. The eighth revolvéd year (Or by her chang’d mind, or by charge of Jove) She gave provok’d way to my wish’d remove, And in a many-jointed ship, with wine Dainty in savour, bread, and weeds divine, Sign’d, with a harmless and sweet wind, my pass. Then sev’nteen days at sea I homeward was, And by the eighteenth the dark hills appear’d That your earth thrusts up. Much my heart was cheer’d, Unhappy man, for that was but a beam, To show I yet had agonies extreme To put in suff’rance, which th’ Earth-shaker sent, Crossing my way with tempests violent, Unmeasur’d seas up-lifting, nor would give The billows leave to let my vessel live The least time quiet, that ev’n sigh’d to bear Their bitter outrage, which, at last, did tear Her sides in pieces, set on by the winds. I yet through-swum the waves that your shore binds, Till wind and water threw me up to it; When, coming forth, a ruthless billow smit Against huge rocks, and an accessless shore, My mangl’d body. Back again I bore, And swum till I was fall’n upon a flood, Whose shores, methought, on good advantage stood For my receipt, rock-free, and fenc’d from wind; And this I put for, gath’ring up my mind. Then the divine night came, and treading earth, Close by the flood that had from Jove her birth, Within a thicket I repos’d; when round I ruffled up fall’n leaves in heap; and found, Let fall from heav’n, a sleep interminate. And here my heart, long time excruciate, Amongst the leaves I rested all that night, Ev’n till the morning and meridian light. The sun declining then, delightsome sleep No longer laid my temples in his steep, But forth I went, and on the shore might see Your daughter’s maids play. Like a Deity She shin’d above them; and I pray’d to her, And she in disposition did prefer Noblesse, and wisdom, no more low than might Become the goodness of a Goddess’ height. Nor would you therefore hope, suppos’d distrest As I was then, and old, to find the least Of any grace from her, being younger far. _With young folks Wisdom makes her commerce rare._ Yet she in all abundance did bestow Both wine, that makes the blood in humans grow,[9] And food, and bath’d me in the flood, and gave The weeds to me which now ye see me have. This through my griefs I tell you, and ’tis true.” Alcinous answer’d: “Guest! my daughter knew Least of what most you give her; nor became The course she took, to let with ev’ry dame Your person lackey; nor hath with them brought Yourself home too; which first you had besought.” “O blame her not,” said he, “heroical lord, Nor let me hear against her worth a word. She faultless is, and wish’d I would have gone With all her women home, but I alone Would venture my receipt here, having fear And rev’rend awe of accidents that were Of likely issue; both your wrath to move, And to inflame the common people’s love Of speaking ill, to which they soon give place. _We men are all a most suspicious race.”_ “My guest,” said he, “I use not to be stirr’d To wrath too rashly; and where are preferr’d To men’s conceits things that may both ways fail, The noblest ever should the most prevail. Would Jove our Father, Pallas, and the Sun, That, were you still as now, and could but run One fate with me, you would my daughter wed, And be my son-in-law, still vow’d to lead Your rest of life here! I a house would give, And household goods, so freely you would live, Confin’d with us. But ’gainst your will shall none Contain you here, since that were violence done To Jove our Father. For your passage home, That you may well know we can overcome So great a voyage, thus it shall succeed: To-morrow shall our men take all their heed, While you securely sleep, to see the seas In calmest temper, and, if that will please, Show you your country and your house ere night, Though far beyond Eubœa be that sight. And this Eubœa, as our subjects say That have been there and seen, is far away, Farthest from us of all the parts they know; And made the trial when they help’d to row The gold-lock’d Rhadamanth, to give him view Of earth-born Tityus; whom their speeds did show In that far-off Eubœa, the same day They set from hence; and home made good their way With ease again, and him they did convey. Which I report to you, to let you see How swift my ships are, and how matchlessly My young Phæacians with their oars prevail, To beat the sea through, and assist a sail.” This cheer’d Ulysses, who in private pray’d: “I would to Jove our Father, what he said, He could perform at all parts; he should then Be glorified for ever, and I gain My natural country.” This discourse they had; When fair-arm’d Arete her handmaids bad A bed make in the portico, and ply With clothes, the cov’ring tapestry, The blankets purple; well-napp’d waistcoats too, To wear for more warmth. What these had to do, They torches took and did. The bed purvey’d, They mov’d Ulysses for his rest, and said: “Come guest, your bed is fit, now frame to rest.” Motion of sleep was gracious to their guest; Which now he took profoundly, being laid Within a loop-hole tow’r, where was convey’d The sounding portico. The King took rest In a retir’d part of the house; where drest The Queen her self a bed, and trundlebed, And by her lord repos’d her rev’rend head.

[1] _Hac fuit illius sæculi simplicitas: nam vel fraternus quoque amor
tantus fuit, ut libenter hanc redeunti charissimæ sorori operam
præstiterint. Spond._
[2] _Νέες ώκει̑αι ὡσεὶ πτερὸν ἠὲ νόημα, naves veloces veluti penna,
atque cogitatio._
[3] For the more perspicuity of this pedigree, I have here set down
the diagram, as Spondanus hath it. Neptune begat Nausithous of
Peribœa. By Nausithous, Rhexenor, Alcinous, were begot. By Rhexenor,
Arete, the wife of her uncle Alcinous.
[4] The honour of Arete (or virtue) alleg.
[5] Casts so thick a shade—_πυκινός spissus._
[6] The word that bears this long epithet is translated only _dulce:_
which signifies more, _Μελίϕρονα οι͒νον ἐκίρνα Vinum quod melleâ
dulcedine animum perfundit, et oblectat._
[7] Ascent to his country’s shore.
[8] Eustathius will have this comparison of the Phæacians with the
Giants and Cyclops to proceed out of the inveterate virulency of
Antinous to the Cyclops; who were cause (as is before said) of their
remove from their country; and with great endeavour labours the
approbation of it; but (under his peace) from the purpose: for the
sense of the Poet is clear, that the Cyclops and Giants being in part
the issue of the Gods, and yet afterward their defiers, (as Polyp.
hereafter dares profess) Antinous (out of bold and manly reason, even
to the face of one that might have been a God, for the past manly
appearance he made there) would tell him, and the rest in him, that if
they graced those Cyclops with their open appearance, that, though
descended from them, durst yet deny them, they might much more do them
the honour of their open presence that adored them.
[9] _Αἴθοψ οι͒νος, Vinum calefaciendi vim habens._



The Peers of the Phæacian State A Council call, to consolate Ulysses with all means for home. The Council to a banquet come, Invited by the King. Which done, Assays for hurling of the stone The youths make with the stranger-king. Demodocus, at feast, doth sing Th’ adult’ry of the God of Arms With Her that rules in amorous charms; And after sings the entercourse Of acts about th’ Epæan horse.


_Θη̑τα._ The council’s frame At fleet applied. In strifes of game Ulysses tried.

Now when the rosy-finger’d Morn arose, The sacred pow’r Alcinous did dispose Did likewise rise; and, like him, left his ease The city-razer Laertiades. The Council at the navy was design’d; To which Alcinous, with the sacred mind, Came first of all. On polish’d stones they sate, Near to the navy. To increase the state, Minerva took the herald’s form on her, That serv’d Alcinous, studious to prefer Ulysses’ suit for home. About the town She made quick way, and fill’d with the renown Of that design the ears of ev’ry man, Proclaiming thus: “Peers Phæacensian! And Men of Council, all haste to the court, To hear the stranger that made late resort To King Alcinous, long time lost at sea, And is in person like a Deity.” This all their pow’rs set up, and spirit instill’d, And straight the court and seats with men were fill’d. The whole state wonder’d at Laertes’ son, When they beheld him. Pallas put him on A supernatural and heav’nly dress, Enlarg’d him with a height, and goodliness In breast and shoulders, that he might appear Gracious, and grave, and reverend, and bear A perfect hand on his performance there In all the trials they resolv’d t’ impose. All met, and gather’d in attention close, Alcinous thus bespake them: “Dukes, and lords, Hear me digest my hearty thoughts in words. This stranger here, whose travels found my court, I know not, nor can tell if his resort From East or West comes; but his suit is this: That to his country-earth we would dismiss His hither-forcéd person, and doth bear The mind to pass it under ev’ry peer; Whom I prepare, and stir up, making known My free desire of his deductión. Nor shall there ever any other man That tries the goodness Phæacensian In me, and my court’s entertainment, stay, Mourning for passage, under least delay. Come then, a ship into the sacred seas, New-built, now launch we; and from out our prease Choose two-and-fifty youths, of all, the best To use an oar. All which see straight imprest, And in their oar-bound seats. Let others hie Home to our court, commanding instantly The solemn preparation of a feast, In which provision may for any guest Be made at my charge. Charge of these low things I give our youth. You, sceptre-bearing kings, Consort me home, and help with grace to use This guest of ours; no one man shall refuse. Some other of you haste, and call to us The sacred singer, grave Demodocus, To whom hath God giv’n song that can excite The heart of whom he listeth with delight.” This said, he led. The sceptre-bearers lent Their free attendance; and with all speed went The herald for the sacred man-in-song. Youths two-and-fifty, chosen from the throng, Went, as was will’d, to the untam’d sea’s shore; Where come, they launch’d the ship, the mast it bore Advanc’d, sails hoiséd, ev’ry seat his oar Gave with a leather thong. The deep moist then They further reach’d. The dry streets flow’d with men, That troop’d up to the king’s capacious court, Whose porticos were chok’d with the resort, Whose walls were hung with men, young, old, thrust there In mighty concourse; for whose promis’d cheer Alcinous slew twelve sheep, eight white-tooth’d swine, Two crook-haunch’d beeves; which flay’d and dress’d, divine The show was of so many a jocund guest, All set together at so set a feast. To whose accomplish’d state the herald then The lovely singer led; who past all mean The Muse affected, gave him good, and ill, His eyes put out, but put in soul at will. His place was giv’n him in a chair all grac’d With silver studs, and ’gainst a pillar plac’d: Where, as the centre to the state, he rests, And round about the circle of the guests. The herald on a pin above his head His soundful harp hung, to whose height he led His hand for taking of it down at will, A board set by with food, and forth did fill A bowl of wine, to drink at his desire. The rest then fell to feast, and, when the fire Of appetite was quench’d, the Muse inflam’d The sacred singer. Of men highliest fam’d He sung the glories, and a poem penn’d, That in applause did ample heav’n ascend. Whose subject was, the stern Contentión Betwixt Ulysses and great Thetis’ son, As, at a banquet sacred to the Gods, In dreadful language they express’d their odds. When Agamemnon sat rejoic’d in soul To hear the Greek peers jar in terms so foul; For augur Phœbus in presage had told The King of men (desirous to unfold The war’s perplex’d end, and being therefore gone In heav’nly Pythia to the porch of stone,) That then the end of all griefs should begin ’Twixt Greece and Troy, when Greece (with strife to win That wish’d conclusion) in her kings should jar, And plead, if force or wit must end the war. This brave Contention did the poet sing, Expressing so the spleen of either king, That his large purple weed Ulysses held Before his face and eyes, since thence distill’d Tears uncontain’d; which he obscur’d, in fear To let th’ observing presence note a tear. But, when his sacred song the mere divine Had giv’n an end, a goblet crown’d with wine Ulysses, drying his wet eyes, did seize,[1] And sacrific’d to those Gods that would please T’ inspire the poet with a song so fit To do him honour, and renown his wit. His tears then stay’d. But when again began, By all the kings’ desires, the moving man, Again Ulysses could not choose but yield To that soft passion, which again, withheld, He kept so cunningly from sight, that none, Except Alcinous himself alone, Discern’d him mov’d so much. But he sat next, And heard him deeply sigh; which his pretext Could not keep hid from him. Yet he conceal’d His utt’rance of it, and would have it held From all the rest, brake off the song, and this Said to those oar-affecting peers of his: “Princes, and peers! We now are satiate With sacred song that fits a feast of state, With wine and food. Now then to field, and try In all kinds our approv’d activity, That this our guest may give his friends to know, In his return, that we as little owe To fights and wrastlings, leaping, speed-of race, As these our court-rites; and commend our grace In all to all superior.” Forth he led, The peers and people troop’d up to their head. Nor must Demodocus be left within; Whose harp the herald hung upon the pin, His hand in his took, and abroad he brought The heav’nly poet, out the same way wrought That did the princes, and what they would see With admiration, with his company They wish’d to honour. To the place of game These throng’d; and after routs of other came, Of all sort, infinite. Of youths that strove, Many and strong rose to their trial’s love. Up rose Acroneus, and Ocyalus, Elatreus, Prymneus, and Anchialus,[2] Nauteus, Eretmeus, Thoen, Proreüs, Pontëus, and the strong Amphialus Son to Tectonides Polyneüs. Up rose to these the great Euryalus, In action like the Homicide of War. Naubolides, that was for person far Past all the rest, but one he could not pass, Nor any thought improve, Laodamas. Up Anabesinëus then arose; And three sons of the Sceptre-state, and those Were Halius, the fore-prais’d Laodamas, And Clytonëus like a God in grace. These first the foot-game tried, and from the lists Took start together. Up the dust in mists They hurl’d about, as in their speed they flew; But Clytonëus first of all the crew A stitch’s length in any fallow field Made good his pace; when, where the judges yield The prize and praise, his glorious speed arriv’d. Next, for the boist’rous wrastling game they striv’d; At which Euryalus the rest outshone. At leap Amphialus, At the hollow stone Elatreüs excell’d. At buffets, last, Laodamas, the king’s fair son, surpast. When all had striv’d in these assays their fill, Laodamas said: “Come friends, let’s prove what skill This stranger hath attain’d to in our sport. Methinks, he must be of the active sort, His calves, thighs, hands, and well-knit shoulders show That Nature disposition did bestow To fit with fact their form. Nor wants he prime. But sour affliction, made a mate with time, Makes time the more seen. Nor imagine I, A worse thing to enforce debility Than is the sea, though nature ne’er so strong Knits one together.” “Nor conceive you wrong,” Replied Euryalus, “but prove his blood With what you question.” In the midst then stood Renown’d Laodamas, and prov’d him thus: “Come, stranger-father, and assay with us Your pow’rs in these contentions. If your show Be answer’d with your worth, ’tis fit that you Should know these conflicts. Nor doth glory stand On any worth more, in a man’s command, Than to be strenuous both of foot and hand. Come then, make proof with us, discharge your mind Of discontentments; for not far behind Comes your deduction, ship is ready now,[3] And men, and all things.” “Why,” said he, “dost thou Mock me, Laodamas, and these strifes bind My pow’rs to answer? I am more inclin’d To cares than conflict. Much sustain’d I have, And still am suff’ring. I come here to crave, In your assemblies, means to be dismist, And pray both kings and subjects to assist.” Euryalus an open brawl began, And said: “I take you, sir, for no such man As fits these honour’d strifes. A number more Strange men there are that I would choose before. To one that loves to lie aship-board much, Or is the prince of sailors; or to such As traffic far and near, and nothing mind But freight, and passage, and a foreright wind; Or to a victualler of a ship; or men That set up all their pow’rs for rampant gain; I can compare, or hold you like to be: But, for a wrastler, or of quality Fit for contentions noble, you abhor From worth of any such competitor.” Ulysses, frowning, answer’d: “Stranger, far Thy words are from the fashions regular Of kind, or honour. Thou art in thy guise Like to a man that authors injuries.[4] I see, the Gods to all men give not all Manly addiction, wisdom, words that fall, Like dice, upon the square still. Some man takes Ill form from parents, but God often makes That fault of form up with observ’d repair Of pleasing speech, that makes him held for fair, That makes him speak securely, makes him shine In an assembly with a grace divine. Men take delight to see how ev’nly lie His words asteep in honey modesty. Another, then, hath fashion like a God, But in his language he is foul and broad. And such art thou. A person fair is giv’n, But nothing else is in thee sent from heav’n; For in thee lurks a base and earthy soul, And t’ hast compell’d me, with a speech most foul, To be thus bitter. I am not unseen In these fair strifes, as thy words overween, But in the first rank of the best I stand; At least I did, when youth and strength of hand Made me thus confident, but now am worn With woes and labours, as a human born To bear all anguish. Suffer’d much I have. The war of men, and the inhuman wave, Have I driv’n through at all parts. But with all My waste in suff’rance, what yet may fall In my performance, at these strifes I’ll try. Thy speech hath mov’d, and made my wrath run high.” This said, with robe and all, he grasp’d a stone, A little graver than was ever thrown By these Phæacians in their wrastling rout, More firm, more massy; which, turn’d round about, He hurried from him with a hand so strong It sung, and flew, and over all the throng, That at the others’ marks stood, quite it went; Yet down fell all beneath it, fearing spent The force that drave it flying from his hand, As it a dart were, or a walking wand; And far past all the marks of all the rest His wing stole way; when Pallas straight imprest A mark at fall of it, resembling then One of the navy-giv’n Phæacian men, And thus advanc’d Ulysses: “One, though blind, O stranger, groping, may thy stone’s fall find, For not amidst the rout of marks it fell, But far before all. Of thy worth think well, And stand in all strifes. No Phæacian here This bound can either better or come near.” Ulysses joy’d to hear that one man yet Us’d him benignly, and would truth abet In those contentions; and then thus smooth He took his speech down: “Reach me that now, youth, You shall, and straight I think, have one such more, And one beyond it too. And now, whose core Stands sound and great within him, since ye have Thus put my spleen up, come again and brave The guest ye tempted, with such gross disgrace, At wrastling, buffets, whirlbat, speed o’ race; At all, or either, I except at none, But urge the whole state of you; only one, I will not challenge in my forced boast, And that’s Laodamas, for he’s mine host.[5] And who will fight, or wrangle, with his friend? Unwise he is, and base, that will contend With him that feeds him in a foreign place; And takes all edge off from his own sought grace. None else except I here, nor none despise, But wish to know, and prove his faculties, That dares appear now. No strife ye can name Am I unskill’d in; reckon any game Of all that are, as many as there are In use with men. For archery I dare Affirm myself not mean. Of all a troop I’ll make the first foe with mine arrow stoop, Though with me ne’er so many fellows bend Their bows at mark’d men, and affect their end. Only was Philoctetes with his bow Still my superior, when we Greeks would show Our archery against our foes of Troy. But all, that now by bread frail life enjoy, I far hold my inferiors. Men of old, None now alive shall witness me so bold, To vaunt equality with, such men as these, Œchalián Eurytus, Hercules, Who with their bows durst with the Gods contend; And therefore caught Eurytus soon his end, Nor died at home, in age, a rev’rend man. But by the great incenséd Delphian Was shot to death, for daring competence With him in all an archer’s excellence. A spear I’ll hurl as far as any man Shall shoot a shaft. How at a race I can Bestir my feet, I only yield to fear, And doubt to meet with my superior here. So many seas so too much have misus’d My limbs for race, and therefore have diffus’d A dissolution through my lovéd knees.” This said, he still’d all talking properties. Alcinous only answer’d: “O my guest, In good part take we what you have been prest With speech to answer. You would make appear Your virtues therefore, that will still shine where Your only look is. Yet must this man give Your worth ill language; when, he does not live In sort of mortals (whencesoe’er he springs, That judgment hath to speak becoming things) That will deprave your virtues. Note then now My speech, and what my love presents to you, That you may tell heroës, when you come To banquet with your wife and birth at home, (Mindful of our worth) what deservings Jove Hath put on our parts likewise, in remove From sire to son, as an inherent grace Kind, and perpetual. We must needs give place To other countrymen, and freely yield We are not blameless in our fights of field, Buffets, nor wrastlings; but in speed of feet, And all the equipage that fits a fleet, We boast us best; for table ever spread With neighbour feasts, for garments varied, For poesy, music, dancing, baths, and beds. And now, Phæacians, you that bear your heads And feet with best grace in enamouring dance, Enflame our guest here, that he may advance Our worth past all the world’s to his home-friends, As well for the unmatch’d grace that commends. Your skill in footing of a dance, as theirs That fly a race best. And so, all affairs, At which we boast us best, he best may try, As sea-race, land-race, dance, and poesy. Some one with instant speed to court retire, And fetch Demodocus’s soundful lyre.” This said the God-grac’d king; and quick resort Pontonous made for that fair harp to court. Nine of the lot-choos’d public rulers rose, That all in those contentions did dispose, Commanding a most smooth ground, and a wide, And all the people in fair game aside. Then with the rich harp came Pontonous, And in the midst took place Demodocus. About him then stood forth the choice young men,[6] That on man’s first youth made fresh entry then, Had art to make their natural motion sweet, And shook a most divine dance from their feet, That twinkled star-like, mov’d as swift, and fine, And beat the air so thin, they made it shine. Ulysses wonder’d at it, but amaz’d He stood in mind to hear the dance so phras’d. For, as they danc’d, Demodocus did sing, The bright-crown’d Venus’ love with Battle’s King; As first they closely mix’d in th’ house of fire. What worlds of gifts won her to his desire, Who then the night-and-day-bed did defile Of good king Vulcan. But in little while The Sun their mixture saw, and came and told. The bitter news did by his ears take hold Of Vulcan’s heart. Then to his forge he went, And in his shrewd mind deep stuff did invent. His mighty anvil in the stock he put, And forg’d a net that none could loose or cut, That when it had them it might hold them fast. Which having finish’d, he made utmost haste Up to the dear room where his wife he woo’d, And, madly wrath with Mars, he all bestrow’d The bed, and bed-posts, all the beam above That cross’d the chamber; and a circle strove Of his device to wrap in all the room. And ’twas as pure, as of a spider’s loom The woof before ’tis wov’n. No man nor God Could set his eye on it, a sleight so odd His art show’d in it. All his craft bespent About the bed, he feign’d as if he went To well-built Lemnos, his most lovéd town Of all towns earthly; nor left this unknown To golden-bridle-using Mars, who kept No blind watch over him, but, seeing stept His rival so aside, he hasted home With fair-wreath’d Venus’ love stung, who was come New from the court of her most mighty Sire. Mars enter’d, wrung her hand, and the retire Her husband made to Lemnos told, and said; “Now, love, is Vulcan gone, let us to bed, He’s for the barbarous Sintians.” Well appay’d Was Venus with it; and afresh assay’d Their old encounter. Down they went; and straight About them cling’d the artificial sleight Of most wise Vulcan; and were so ensnar’d, That neither they could stir their course prepar’d In any limb about them, nor arise. And then they knew, they would no more disguise Their close conveyance, but lay, forc’d, stone-still. Back rush’d the both-foot-cook’d, but straight in skill, From his near scout-hole turn’d, nor ever went To any Lemnos, but the sure event Left Phœbus to discover, who told all. Then home hopp’d Vulcan, full of grief and gall, Stood in the portal, and cried out so high, That all the Gods heard; “Father of the sky, And ev’ry other deathless God,” said he, “Come all, and a ridiculous object see, And yet not sufferable neither. Come, And witness how, when still I step from home, Lame that I am, Jove’s daughter doth profess To do me all the shameful offices, Indignities, despites, that can be thought; And loves this all-things-making-come-to-nought, Since he is fair forsooth, foot-sound, and I Took in my brain a little, legg’d awry. And no fault mine, but all my parent’s fault, Who should not get, if mock me, with my halt. But see how fast they sleep, while I, in moan, Am only made an idle looker on. One bed their turn serves, and it must be mine; I think yet, I have made their self-loves shine. They shall no more wrong me, and none perceive; Nor will they sleep together, I believe, With too hot haste again. Thus both shall lie In craft, and force, till the extremity Of all the dow’r I gave her sire (to gain A doggéd set-fac’d girl, that will not stain Her face with blushing, though she shame her head) He pays me back. She’s fair, but was no maid.” While this long speech was making, all were come To Vulcan’s wholly-brazen-founded home, Earth-shaking Neptune, useful Mercury, And far-shot Phœbus. No She-Deity, For shame, would show there. All the give-good Gods Stood in the portal, and past periods Gave length to laughters, all rejoic’d to see That which they said, that no impiety Finds good success at th’ end. “And now,” said one, “The slow outgoes the swift. Lame Vulcan, known To be the slowest of the Gods, outgoes Mars the most swift. And this is that which grows To greatest justice: that adult’ry’s sport, Obtain’d by craft, by craft of other sort (And lame craft too) is plagued, which grieves the more, That sound limbs turning lame the lame restore.”[7] This speech amongst themselves they entertain’d, When Phœbus thus ask’d Hermes: “Thus enchain’d Wouldst thou be, Hermes, to be thus disclos’d? Though with thee golden Venus were repos’d?” He soon gave that an answer: “O,” said he, “Thou king of archers, would ’twere thus with me! Though thrice so much shame; nay, though infinite Were pour’d about me, and that ev’ry light, In great heav’n shining, witness’d all my harms, So golden Venus slumber’d in mine arms.” The Gods again laugh’d; even the Watery State Wrung out a laughter, but propitiate Was still for Mars, and pray’d the God of Fire He would dissolve him, off’ring the desire He made to Jove to pay himself, and said, All due debts should be by the Gods repaid. “Pay me, no words,” said he, “where deeds lend pain, Wretched the words are giv’n for wretched men. How shall I bind you in th’ Immortals’ sight, If Mars be once loos’d, nor will pay his right?”[8] “Vulcan,” said he, “if Mars should fly, nor see Thy right repaid, it should be paid by me.” “Your word, so giv’n, I must accept,” said he. Which said, he loos’d them. Mars then rush’d from sky, And stoop’d cold Thrace. The laughing Deity For Cyprus was, and took her Paphian state, Where she a grove, ne’er cut, had consecrate, All with Arabian odours fum’d, and hath An altar there, at which the Graces bathe, And with immortal balms besmooth, her skin, Fit for the bliss Immortals solace in; Deck’d her in to-be-studiéd attire, And apt to set beholders’ hearts on fire. This sung the sacred muse, whose notes and words The dancers’ feet kept as his hands his chords. Ulysses much was pleas’d, and all the crew. This would the king have varied with a new And pleasing measure, and performéd by Two, with whom none would strive in dancery; And those his sons were, that must therefore dance Alone, and only to the harp advance, Without the words. And this sweet couple was Young Halius, and divine Laodamas; Who danc’d a ball-dance. Then the rich-wrought ball, That Polybus had made, of purple all, They took to hand. One threw it to the sky, And then danc’d back; the other, capering high, Would surely catch it ere his foot touch’d ground, And up again advanc’d it, and so found The other cause of dance; and then did he Dance lofty tricks, till next it came to be His turn to catch, and serve the other still. When they had kept it up to either’s will, They then danc’d ground tricks, oft mix’d hand in hand, And did so gracefully their change command, That all the other youth that stood at pause, With deaf’ning shouts, gave them the great applause. Then said Ulysses: “O, past all men here Clear, not in pow’r, but in desert as clear, You said your dancers did the world surpass, And they perform it clear, and to amaze.” This won Alcinous’ heart, and equal prize He gave Ulysses, saying: “Matchless wise, Princes and rulers, I perceive our guest, And therefore let our hospitable best In fitting gifts be giv’n him: Twelve chief kings There are that order all the glorious things Of this our kingdom; and, the thirteenth, I Exist, as crown to all. Let instantly Be thirteen garments giv’n him, and of gold Precious, and fine, a talent. While we hold This our assembly, be all fetch’d, and giv’n, That to our feast prepar’d, as to his heav’n, Our guest may enter. And, that nothing be Left unperform’d that fits his dignity, Euryalus shall here conciliate Himself with words and gifts, since past our rate He gave bad language.” This did all commend And give in charge; and ev’ry king did send His herald for his gift. Euryalus, Answ’ring for his part, said: “Alcinous! Our chief of all, since you command, I will To this our guest by all means reconcile, And give him this entirely-metall’d sword, The handle massy silver, and the board, That gives it cover, all of ivory, New, and in all kinds worth his quality.” This put he straight into his hand, and said: “Frolic, O guest and father; if words fled Have been offensive, let swift whirlwinds take And ravish them from thought. May all Gods make Thy wife’s sight good to thee, in quick retreat To all thy friends, and best-lov’d breeding seat, Their long miss quitting with the greater joy; In whose sweet vanish all thy worst annoy.” “And frolic thou to all height, friend,” said he, “Which heav’n confirm with wish’d felicity; Nor ever give again desire to thee Of this sword’s use, which with affects so free, In my reclaim, thou hast bestow’d on me.” This said, athwart his shoulders he put on The right fair sword; and then did set the sun. When all the gifts were brought, which back again (With king Alcinous in all the train) Were by the honour’d heralds borne to court; Which his fair sons took, and from the resort Laid by their rev’rend mother. Each his throne Of all the peers (which yet were overshone In king Alcinous’ command) ascended; Whom he to pass as much in gifts contended, And to his queen said: “Wife! See brought me here The fairest cabinet I have, and there Impose a well-cleans’d in, and utter, weed. A caldron heat with water, that with speed Our guest well-bath’d, and all his gifts made sure, It may a joyful appetite procure To his succeeding feast, and make him hear The poet’s hymn with the securer ear. To all which I will add my bowl of gold, In all frame curious, to make him hold My memory always dear, and sacrifice With it at home to all the Deities.” Then Arete her maids charg’d to set on A well-siz’d caldron quickly. Which was done, Clear water pour’d in, flame made so entire, It gilt the brass, and made the water fire. In mean space, from her chamber brought the queen A wealthy cabinet, where, pure and clean, She put the garments, and the gold bestow’d By that free state, and then the other vow’d By her Alcinous, and said: “Now, guest, Make close and fast your gifts, lest, when you rest Aship-board sweetly, in your way you meet Some loss, that less may make your next sleep sweet.” This when Ulysses heard, all sure he made Enclos’d and bound safe; for the saving trade The rev’rend-for-her-wisdom, Circe, had In foreyears taught him. Then the handmaid bad His worth to bathing; which rejoic’d his heart, For, since he did with his Calypso part, He had no hot baths; none had favour’d him, Nor been so tender of his kingly limb. But all the time he spent in her abode, He liv’d respected as he were a God. Cleans’d then and balm’d, fair shirt and robe put on, Fresh come from bath, and to the feasters gone, Nausicaa, that from the Gods’ hands took The sov’reign beauty of her blessed look, Stood by a well-carv’d column of the room, And through her eye her heart was overcome With admiration of the port imprest In his aspéct, and said: “God save you, guest! Be cheerful, as in all the future state Your home will show you in your better fate. But yet, ev’n then, let this remember’d be, Your life’s price I lent, and you owe it me.” The varied-in-all-counsels gave reply: “Nausicaa! Flow’r of all this empery! So Juno’s husband, that the strife for noise Makes in the clouds, bless me with strife of joys, In the desir’d day that my house shall show, As I, as I to a Goddess there shall vow, To thy fair hand that did my being give, Which I’ll acknowledge ev’ry hour I live.” This said, Alcinous plac’d him by his side. Then took they feast, and did in parts divide The sev’ral dishes, fill’d out wine, and then The striv’d-for-for-his-worth of worthy men,[9] And rev’renc’d-of-the-state, Demodocus Was brought in by the good Pontonous. In midst of all the guests they gave him place, Against a lofty pillar, when this grace The grac’d-with-wisdom did him: From the chine, That stood before him, of a white-tooth’d swine, Being far the daintiest joint, mix’d through with fat, He carv’d to him, and sent it where he sat By his old friend the herald, willing thus: “Herald, reach this to grave Demodocus, Say, I salute him, and his worth embrace. Poets deserve, past all the human race, Rev’rend respect and honour, since the queen Of knowledge, and the supreme worth in men, The Muse, informs them, and loves all their race.” This reach’d the herald to him, who the grace Receiv’d encourag’d; which, when feast was spent, Ulysses amplified to this ascent: “Demodocus! I must prefer you far, Past all your sort, if, or the Muse of war, Jove’s daughter, prompts you, that the Greeks respects, Or if the Sun, that those of Troy affects. For I have heard you, since my coming, sing The fate of Greece to an admiréd string. How much our suff’rance was, how much we wrought, How much the actions rose-to when we fought. So lively forming, as you had been there, Or to some free relater lent your ear. Forth then, and sing the wooden horse’s frame, Built by Epëus, by the martial Dame Taught the whole fabric; which, by force of sleight, Ulysses brought into the city’s height, When he had stuff’d it with as many men As levell’d lofty Ilion with the plain. With all which if you can as well enchant, As with expression quick and elegant You sung the rest, I will pronounce you clear Inspir’d by God, past all that ever were.” This said, ev’n stirr’d by God up, he began, And to his song fell, past the forms of man, Beginning where the Greeks aship-board went, And ev’ry chief had set on fire his tent, When th’ other kings, in great Ulysses’ guide, In Troy’s vast market place the horse did hide, From whence the Trojans up to Ilion drew The dreadful engine. Where sat all arew Their kings about it; many counsels giv’n How to dispose it. In three ways were driv’n Their whole distractions. First, if they should feel The hollow wood’s heart, search’d with piercing steel; Or from the battlements drawn higher yet Deject it headlong; or that counterfeit So vast and novel set on sacred fire, Vow’d to appease each anger’d Godhead’s ire. On which opinion, they, thereafter, saw, They then should have resolv’d; th’ unalter’d law Of fate presaging, that Troy then should end, When th’ hostile horse she should receive to friend, For therein should the Grecian kings lie hid, To bring the fate and death they after did. He sung, besides, the Greeks’ eruptión From those their hollow crafts, and horse foregone; And how they made depopulation tread Beneath her feet so high a city’s head. In which affair, he sung in other place, That of that ambush some man else did race The Ilion tow’rs than Laertiades; But here he sung, that he alone did seize,[10] With Menelaus, the ascended roof Of prince Deiphobus, and Mars-like proof Made of his valour, a most dreadful fight Daring against him; and there vanquish’d quite, In little time, by great Minerva’s aid, All Ilion’s remnant, and Troy level laid. This the divine expressor did so give Both act and passion, that he made it live, And to Ulysses’ facts did breathe a fire So deadly quick’ning, that it did inspire[11] Old death with life, and render’d life so sweet, And passionate, that all there felt it fleet; Which made him pity his own cruelty, And put into that ruth so pure an eye Of human frailty, that to see a man Could so revive from death, yet no way can Defend from death, his own quick pow’rs it made Feel there death’s horrors, and he felt life fade, In tears his feeling brain swet; for, in things[12] That move past utt’rance, tears ope all their springs. Nor are there in the pow’rs that all life bears More true interpreters of all than tears. And as a lady mourns her sole-lov’d lord, That fall’n before his city by the sword, Fighting to rescue from a cruel fate His town and children, and in dead estate Yet panting seeing him, wraps him in her arms, Weeps, shrieks, and pours her health into his arms, Lies on him, striving to become his shield From foes that still assail him, spears impell’d Through back and shoulders, by whose points embrued, They raise and lead him into servitude, Labour, and languor; for all which the dame Eats down her cheeks with tears, and feeds life’s flame With miserable suff’rance; so this king Of tear-swet anguish op’d a boundless spring; Nor yet was seen to any one man there But king Alcinous, who sat so near He could not ‘scape him, sighs, so chok’d, so brake From all his tempers; which the king did take Both note and grave respect of, and thus spake: “Hear me, Phæacian councillors and peers, And cease Demodocus; perhaps all ears Are not delighted with his song, for, ever Since the divine Muse sung, our guest hath never Contain’d from secret mournings. It may fall, That something sung he hath been grieved with all, As touching his particular. Forbear, That feast may jointly comfort all hearts here, And we may cheer our guest up; ’tis our best In all due honour. For our rev’rend guest Is all our celebration, gifts, and all, His love hath added to our festival. A guest, and suppliant too, we should esteem Dear as our brother, one that doth but dream He hath a soul, or touch but at a mind Deathless and manly, should stand so inclin’d. Nor cloak you longer with your curious wit, Lov’d guest, what ever we shall ask of it. It now stands on your honest state to tell, And therefore give your name, nor more conceal What of your parents, and the town that bears Name of your native, or of foreigners That near us border, you are call’d in fame. There’s no man living walks without a name, Noble nor base, but had one from his birth Impos’d as fit as to be borne. What earth, People, and city, own you, give to know. Tell but our ships all, that your way must show. For our ships know th’ expressed minds of men, And will so most intentively retain Their scopes appointed, that they never err, And yet use never any man to steer, Nor any rudders have, as others need. They know men’s thoughts, and whither tends their speed, And there will set them; for you cannot name[13] A city to them, nor fat soil, that Fame Hath any notice giv’n, but well they know, And they will fly to them, though they ebb and flow In blackest clouds and nights; and never bear Of any wrack or rock the slend’rest fear. But this I heard my sire Nausithous say. Long since, that Neptune, seeing us convey So safely passengers of all degrees, Was angry with us; and upon our seas A well-built ship we had, near harbour come From safe deduction of some stranger home, Made in his flitting billows stick stone still; And dimm’d our city, like a mighty hill With shade cast round about it. This report, The old king made;[14] in which miraculous sort, If God had done such things, or left undone, At his good pleasure be it. But now, on, And truth relate us, both whence you err’d, And to what clime of men would be transferr’d, With all their fair towns, be they as they are, If rude, unjust, and all irregular, Or hospitable, bearing minds that please The mighty Deity. Which one of these You would be set at, say, and you are there. And therefore what afflicts you? Why, to hear The fate of Greece and Ilion, mourn you so? The Gods have done it; as to all they do Destine destruction, that from thence may rise A poem to instruct posterities. Fell any kinsman before Ilion? Some worthy sire-in-law, or like-near son, Whom next our own blood and self-race we love? Or any friend perhaps, in whom did move A knowing soul, and no unpleasing thing? Since such a good one is no underling To any brother; for, what fits true friends, True wisdom is, that blood and birth transcends.”

[1] The continued piety of Ulysses through all places, times, and
[2] Since the Phæacians were not only dwellers by sea, but studious
also of sea qualities, their names seem to usurp their faculties
therein. All consisting of sea-faring signification, except Laodamas,
As Acroneus, _summa seu extrema navis pars._ Ocyalus, _velox in mari._
Elatreus, or _᾽Ελατὴρ, ἐλατη̑ρος, Remex, etc._
[3] The word is _πομπή,_ signifying _deductio, quâ trausvehendum
curamus eum qui nobiscum aliquando est versatus._
[4] _᾽Ατάσθαλος damnorum magnorum auctor._
[5] He names Laodamas only for all the other brothers; since in his
exception, the others’ envies were curbed: for brothers either are or
should be of one acceptation in all fit things, And Laodamas, he calls
his host, being eldest son to Alcinous: the heir being ever the young
master; nor might he conveniently prefer Alcinous in his exception,
since he stood not in competition at these contentions.
[6] _Μαρμαρυγὰς ποδω̑ν. Μαρμαρυγὴ_ signifies _splendor vibrans_; a
twincked splendor; _μαρμαρύσσειν, vibrare veluti radios solares._
[7] Intending the sound of foot, when they outgo the soundest.
[8] This is _τὸ τὰ μικρὰ μεγάλως, etc. Parva magnè dicere;_ grave
sentence out of lightest vapour.
[9] _’Ερίηρον ἀοιδὸν, Poetam cujus hominibus digna est societas._
[10] As by the divine fury directly inspired so, for Ulysses’ glory.
[11] In that the slaughters he made were expressed so lively.
[12] _Τήκετο ᾽Οδυσσεύς. Τήκω,_ metaph. signifying _consumo, tabesco._
[13] This _τερατολογία_ or _affirmation of miracles,_ how impossible
soever in these times assured, yet in those ages they were neither
absurd nor strange. Those inanimate things having (it seemed) certain
Genii, in whose powers they supposed their ships’ faculties. As others
have affirmed oaks to have sense of hearing; and so the ship of Argos
was said to have a mast made of Dodonean oak, that was vocal, and
could speak.
[14] Intending his father Nausithous.



Ulysses here is first made known; Who tells the stern contention His pow’rs did ’gainst the Cicons try; And thence to the Lotophagi Extends his conquest; and from them Assays the Cyclop Polypheme, And, by the crafts his wits apply, He puts him out his only eye.


_᾿Ιω̑τα._ The strangely fed Lotophagi. The Cicons fled. The Cyclop’s eye.

Ulysses thus resolv’d the king’s demands: “Alcinous, in whom this empire stands, You should not of so natural right disherit Your princely feast, as take from it the spirit. To hear a poet, that in accent brings The Gods’ breasts down, and breathes them as he sings, Is sweet, and sacred; nor can I conceive, In any common-weal, what more doth give Note of the just and blessed empery, Than to see comfort universally Cheer up the people, when in ev’ry roof She gives observers a most human proof Of men’s contents. To see a neighbour’s feast Adorn it through; and thereat hear the breast Of the divine Muse; men in order set; A wine-page waiting; tables crown’d with meat, Set close to guests that are to use it skill’d; The cup-boards furnish’d, and the cups still fill’d; This shows, to my mind, most humanely fair. Nor should you, for me, still the heav’nly air, That stirr’d my soul so; for I love such tears As fall from fit notes, beaten through mine ears With repetitions of what heav’n hath done, And break from hearty apprehensión Of God and goodness, though they show my ill. And therefore doth my mind excite me still, To tell my bleeding moan; but much more now, To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow My tears with such cause may by sighs be driv’n, Though ne’er so much plagued I may seem by heav’n. And now my name; which way shall lead to all My mis’ries after, that their sounds may fall Through your ears also, and show (having fled So much affliction) first, who rests his head In your embraces, when, so far from home, I knew not where t’ obtain it resting room. I am Ulysses Laertiades, The fear of all the world for policies, For which my facts as high as heav’n resound. I dwell in Ithaca, earth’s most renown’d, All over-shadow’d with the shake-leaf hill,[1] Tree-fam’d Neritus; whose near confines fill Islands a number, well-inhabited, That under my observance taste their bread; Dulichius, Samos, and the full-of-food[2] Zacynthus, likewise grac’d with store of wood. But Ithaca, though in the seas it lie, Yet lies she so aloft she casts her eye Quite over all the neighbour continent; Far northward situate, and, being lent But little favour of the morn and sun, With barren rocks and cliffs is over-run; And yet of hardy youths a nurse of name; Nor could I see a soil, where’er I came, More sweet and wishful. Yet, from hence was I Withheld with horror by the Deity, Divine Calypso, in her cavy house, Enflam’d to make me her sole lord and spouse. Circe Ææa too, that knowing dame, Whose veins the like affections did enflame, Detain’d me likewise. But to neither’s love Could I be tempted; which doth well approve, Nothing so sweet is as our country’s earth,[3] And joy of those from whom we claim our birth. Though roofs far richer we far off possess, Yet, from our native, all our more is less. To which as I contended, I will tell The much-distress-conferring facts that fell By Jove’s divine prevention, since I set From ruin’d Troy my first foot in retreat. From Ilion ill winds cast me on the coast The Cicons hold, where I employ’d mine host For Ismarus, a city built just by My place of landing; of which victory Made me expugner. I depeopled it, Slew all the men, and did their wives remit, With much spoil taken; which we did divide, That none might need his part. I then applied All speed for flight; but my command therein, Fools that they were, could no observance win Of many soldiers, who, with spoil fed high, Would yet fill higher, and excessively Fell to their wine, gave slaughter on the shore Clov’n-footed beeves and sheep in mighty store. In mean space, Cicons did to Cicons cry, When, of their nearest dwellers, instantly Many and better soldiers made strong head, That held the continent, and managéd Their horse with high skill, on which they would fight, When fittest cause serv’d, and again alight, With soon seen vantage, and on foot contend. Their concourse swift was, and had never end; As thick and sudden ’twas, as flow’rs and leaves Dark spring discovers, when she light receives.[4] And then began the bitter Fate of Jove To alter us unhappy, which ev’n strove To give us suff’rance. At our fleet we made Enforcéd stand; and there did they invade Our thrust-up forces; darts encounter’d darts, With blows on both sides; either making parts Good upon either, while the morning shone, And sacred day her bright increase held on, Though much out-match’d in number; but as soon As Phœbus westward fell, the Cicons won Much hand of us; six proved soldiers fell, Of ev’ry ship, the rest they did compel! To seek of Flight escape from Death and Fate.

Thence sad in heart we sail’d; and yet our state Was something cheer’d, that (being o’er-match’d so much In violent number) our retreat was such As sav’d so many. Our dear loss the less, That they surviv’d, so like for like success. Yet left we not the coast, before we call’d Home to our country-earth the souls exhal’d Of all the friends the Cicons overcame. Thrice call’d we on them by their sev’ral name,[5] And then took leave. Then from the angry North Cloud-gath’ring Jove a dreadful storm call’d forth Against our navy, cover’d shore and all With gloomy vapours. Night did headlong fall From frowning heav’n. And then hurl’d here and there Was all our navy; the rude winds did tear In three, in four parts, all their sails; and down Driv’n under hatches were we, prest to drown. Up rush’d we yet again, and with tough hand (Two days, two nights, entoil’d) we gat near land, Labours and sorrows eating up our minds. The third clear day yet, to more friendly winds We masts advanc’d, we white sails spread, and sate. Forewinds and guides again did iterate Our ease and home-hopes; which we clear had reach’d, Had not, by chance, a sudden north-wind fetch’d, With an extreme sea, quite about again Our whole endeavours, and our course constrain To giddy round, and with our bow’d sails greet Dreadful Maleia, calling back our fleet As far forth as Cythera. Nine days more Adverse winds toss’d me; and the tenth, the shore, Where dwelt the blossom-fed Lotophagi, I fetch’d, fresh water took in, instantly Fell to our food aship-board, and then sent Two of my choice men to the continent (Adding a third, a herald) to discover What sort of people were the rulers over The land next to us. Where, the first they met, Were the Lotophagi, that made them eat Their country-diet, and no ill intent Hid in their hearts to them; and yet th’ event To ill converted it, for having eat Their dainty viands, they did quite forget (As all men else that did but taste their feast) Both countrymen and country, nor addrest Any return t’ inform what sort of men Made fix’d abode there, but would needs maintain Abode themselves there, and eat that food ever. I made out after, and was feign to sever Th’ enchanted knot by forcing their retreat; That striv’d, and wept, and would not leave their meat For heav’n itself. But, dragging them to fleet, I wrapt in sure bands both their hands and feet, And cast them under hatches, and away Commanded all the rest without least stay, Lest they should taste the lote too, and forget With such strange raptures their despis’d retreat. All then aboard, we beat the sea with oars, And still with sad hearts sail’d by out-way shores, Till th’ out-law’d Cyclops’ land we fetch’d; a race Of proud-liv’d loiterers, that never sow, Nor put a plant in earth, nor use a plow, But trust in God for all things; and their earth, Unsown, unplow’d, gives ev’ry offspring birth That other lands have; wheat, and barley, vines That bear in goodly grapes delicious wines; And Jove sends show’rs for all. No councils there, Nor councillors, nor laws; but all men bear Their heads aloft on mountains, and those steep, And on their tops too; and their houses keep In vaulty caves, their households govern’d all By each man’s law, impos’d in several, Nor wife, nor child awed, but as he thinks good, None for another caring. But there stood Another little isle, well stor’d with wood, Betwixt this and the entry; neither nigh The Cyclops’ isle, nor yet far off doth lie, Men’s want it suffer’d, but the men’s supplies The goats made with their inarticulate cries. Goats beyond number this small island breeds, So tame, that no access disturbs their feeds, No hunters, that the tops of mountains scale, And rub through woods with toil, seek them at all. Nor is the soil with flocks fed down, not plow’d, Nor ever in it any seed was sow’d. Nor place the neighbour Cyclops their delights In brave vermilion-prow-deck’d ships; nor wrights Useful, and skilful in such works as need Perfection to those traffics that exceed Their natural confines, to fly out and see Cities of men, and take in mutually The prease of others; to themselves they live, And to their island that enough would give A good inhabitant; and time of year Observe to all things art could order there. There, close upon the sea, sweet meadows spring; That yet of fresh streams want no watering To their soft burthens, but of special yield. Your vines would be there; and your common field But gentle work make for your plow, yet bear A lofty harvest when you came to shear; For passing fat the soil is. In it lies A harbour so oppórtune, that no ties, Halsers, or gables need, nor anchors cast. Whom storms put in there are with stay embrac’d,[6] Or to their full wills safe, or winds aspire To pilots’ uses their more quick desire. At entry of the haven, a silver ford Is from a rock-impressing fountain pour’d, All set with sable poplars. And this port Were we arriv’d at, by the sweet resort Of some God guiding us, for ’twas a night So ghastly dark all port was past our sight, Clouds hid our ships, and would not let the moon Afford a beam to us, the whole isle won By not an eye of ours. None thought the blore, That then was up, shov’d waves’ against the shore, That then to an unmeasur’d height put on; We still at sea esteem’d us, till alone Our fleet put in itself. And then were strook Our gather’d sails; our rest ashore we took, And day expected. When the morn gave fire, We rose, and walk’d, and did the isle admire; The Nymphs, Jove’s daughters, putting up a herd Of mountain goats to us, to render cheer’d My fellow soldiers. To our fleet we flew, Our crooked bows took, long-pil’d darts, and drew Ourselves in three parts out; when, by the grace That God vouchsaf’d, we made a gainful chace. Twelve ships we had, and ev’ry ship had nine Fat goats allotted [it], ten only mine. Thus all that day, ev’n till the sun was set, We sat and feasted, pleasant wine and meat Plenteously taking; for we had not spent Our ruddy wine aship-board, supplement Of large sort each man to his vessel drew, When we the sacred city overthrew That held the Cicons. Now then saw we near The Cyclops’ late-prais’d island, and might hear The murmur of their sheep and goats, and see Their smokes ascend. The sun then set, and we, When night succeeded, took our rest ashore. And when the world the morning’s favour wore, I call’d my friends to council, charging them To make stay there, while I took ship and stream, With some associates, and explor’d what men The neighbour isle held; if of rude disdain, Churlish and tyrannous, or minds bewray’d Pious and hospitable. Thus much said, I boarded, and commanded to ascend My friends and soldiers, to put off, and lend Way to our ship. They boarded, sat, and beat The old sea forth, till we might see the seat The greatest Cyclop held for his abode, Which was a deep cave, near the common road Of ships that touch’d there, thick with laurels spread, Where many sheep and goats lay shadowéd; And, near to this, a hall of torn-up stone, High built with pines, that heav’n and earth attone, And lofty-fronted oaks; in which kept house A man in shape immane, and monsterous, Fed all his flocks alone, nor would afford Commerce with men, but had a wit abhorr’d, His mind his body answ’ring. Nor was he Like any man that food could possibly Enhance so hugely, but, beheld alone, Show’d like a steep hill’s top, all overgrown With trees and brambles; little thought had I Of such vast objects. When, arriv’d so nigh, Some of my lov’d friends I made stay aboard, To guard my ship; and twelve with me I shor’d, The choice of all. I took besides along A goat-skin flagon of wine, black and strong, That Maro did present, Evantheus’ son, And priest to Phœbus, who had mansión In Thracian Ismarus (the town I took). He gave it me, since I (with rev’rence strook Of his grave place, his wife and children’s good) Freed all of violence. Amidst a wood, Sacred to Phœbus, stood his house; from whence He fetch’d me gifts of varied excellence; Sev’n talents of fine gold; a bowl all fram’d Of massy silver; but his gift most fam’d Was twelve great vessels, fill’d with such rich wine As was incorruptible and divine. He kept it as his jewel, which none knew But he himself, his wife, and he that drew. It was so strong that never any fill’d A cup, where that was but by drops instill’d, And drunk it off, but ’twas before allay’d With twenty parts in water; yet so sway’d The spirit of that little, that the whole A sacred odour breath’d about the bowl. Had you the odour smelt and scent it cast, It would have vex’d you to forbear the taste. But then, the taste gain’d too, the spirit it wrought To dare things high set-up-an-end my thought. Of this a huge great flagon full I bore, And, in a good large knapsack, victuals store; And long’d to see this heap of fortitude, That so illit’rate was and upland rude That laws divine nor human he had learn’d. With speed we reach’d the cavern; nor discern’d His presence there, his flocks he fed at field. Ent’ring his den, each thing beheld did yield Our admiration; shelves with cheeses heap’d; Sheds stuff’d with lambs and goats, distinctly kept, Distinct the biggest, the more mean distinct, Distinct the youngest. And in their precinct, Proper and placeful, stood the troughs and pails, In which he milk’d; and what was giv’n at meals, Set up a creaming; in the ev’ning still All scouring bright as dew upon the hill.

Then were my fellows instant to convey Kids, cheeses, lambs, aship-board, and away Sail the salt billow. I thought best not so, But better otherwise; and first would know, What guest-gifts he would spare me. Little knew My friends on whom they would have prey’d. His view Prov’d after, that his inwards were too rough For such bold usage. We were bold enough In what I suffer’d; which was there to stay, Make fire and feed there, though bear none away. There sat we, till we saw him feeding come, And on his neck a burthen lugging home, Most highly huge, of sere-wood, which the pile That fed his fire supplied all supper-while. Down by his den he threw it, and up rose A tumult with the fall. Afraid, we close Withdrew ourselves, while he into a cave Of huge receipt his high-fed cattle drave, All that he milk’d; the males he left without His lofty roofs, that all bestrow’d about With rams and buck-goats were. And then a rock He lift aloft, that damm’d up to his flock The door they enter’d; ’twas so hard to wield, That two-and-twenty waggons, all four-wheel’d, (Could they be loaded, and have teams that were Proportion’d to them) could not stir it there. Thus making sure, he kneel’d and milk’d his ewes, And braying goats, with all a milker’s dues; Then let in all their young. Then quick did dress His half milk up for cheese, and in a press Of wicker press’d it; put in bowls the rest, To drink and eat, and serve his supping feast. All works dispatch’d thus, he began his fire; Which blown, he saw us, and did thus inquire: ῾Ho! guests! What are ye? Whence sail ye these seas? Traffic, or rove ye, and like thieves oppress Poor strange adventurers, exposing so Your souls to danger, and your lives to woe?’ This utter’d he, when fear from our hearts took The very life, to be so thunder-strook With such a voice, and such a monster see; But thus I answer’d: ‘Erring Grecians, we From Troy were turning homewards, but by force Of adverse winds, in far diverted course, Such unknown ways took, and on rude seas toss’d, As Jove decreed, are cast upon this coast, Of Agamemnon, famous Atreus’ son, We boast ourselves the soldiers; who hath won[7] Renown that reacheth heav’n, to overthrow So great a city, and to ruin so So many nations. Yet at thy knees lie Our prostrate bosoms, forc’d with pray’rs to try If any hospitable right, or boon Of other nature, such as have been won By laws of other houses, thou wilt give. Rev’rence the Gods, thou great’st of all that live. We suppliants are; and hospitable Jove Pours wreak on all whom pray’rs want pow’r to move, And with their plagues together will provide That humble guests shall have their wants supplied.’ He cruelly answer’d: ‘O thou fool,’ said he, To come so far, and to importune me With any God’s fear, or observéd love! We Cyclops care not for your goat-fed Jove, Nor other Bless’d ones; we are better far. To Jove himself dare I bid open war, To thee, and all thy fellows, if I please. But tell me, where’s the ship, that by the seas Hath brought thee hither? If far off, or near, Inform me quickly.’ These his temptings were; But I too much knew not to know his mind, And craft with craft paid, telling him the wind (Thrust up from sea by Him that shakes the shore) Had dash’d our ships against his rocks, and tore Her ribs in pieces close upon his coast, And we from high wrack sav’d, the rest were lost. He answer’d nothing, but rush’d in, and took Two of my fellows up from earth, and strook Their brains against it. Like two whelps they flew About his shoulders, and did all embrue The blushing earth. No mountain lion tore Two lambs so sternly, lapp’d up all their gore Gush’d from their torn-up bodies, limb by limb (Trembling with life yet) ravish’d into him. Both flesh and marrow-stufféd bones he eat, And ev’n th’ uncleanséd entrails made his meat. We, weeping, cast our hands to heav’n, to view A sight so horrid. Desperation flew, With all our after lives, to instant death, In our believ’d destruction. But when breath The fury of his appetite had got, Because the gulf his belly reach’d his throat, Man’s flesh, and goat’s milk, laying lay’r on lay’r, Till near chok’d up was all the pass for air, Along his den, among’st his cattle, down He rush’d, and streak’d him. When my mind was grown Desp’rate to step in, draw my sword, and part His bosom where the strings about the heart Circle the liver, and add strength of hand. But that rash thought, more stay’d, did countermand, For there we all had perish’d, since it past Our pow’rs to lift aside a log so vast, As barr’d all outscape; and so sigh’d away The thought all night, expecting active day. Which come, he first of all his fire enflames, Then milks his goats and ewes, then to their dams Lets in their young, and, wondrous orderly, With manly haste dispatch’d his housewif’ry. Then to his breakfast, to which other two Of my poor friends went; which eat, out then go His herds and fat flocks, lightly putting by The churlish bar, and clos’d it instantly; For both those works with ease as much he did, As you would ope and shut your quiver lid. With storms of whistlings then his flock he drave Up to the mountains; and occasion gave For me to use my wits, which to their height I striv’d to screw up, that a vengeance might By some means fall from thence, and Pallas now Afford a full ear to my neediest vow. This then my thoughts preferr’d: A huge club lay Close by his milk-house, which was now in way To dry and season, being an olive-tree Which late he fell’d, and, being green, must be Made lighter for his manage. ’Twas so vast, That we resembled it to some fit mast, To serve a ship of burthen that was driv’n With twenty oars, and had a bigness giv’n To bear a huge sea. Full so thick, so tall, We judg’d this club; which I, in part, hew’d small, And cut a fathom off. The piece I gave Amongst my soldiers, to take down, and shave; Which done, I sharpen’d it at top, and then, Harden’d in fire, I hid it in the den Within a nasty dunghill reeking there, Thick, and so moist it issued ev’rywhere. Then made I lots cast by my friends to try Whose fortune serv’d to dare the bor’d-out eye Of that man-eater; and the lot did fall On four I wish’d to make my aid of all, And I the fifth made, chosen like the rest. Then came the even, and he came from the feast Of his fat cattle, drave in all; nor kept One male abroad; if, or his memory slept By Gods’ direct will, or of purpose was His driving in of all then, doth surpass My comprehension. But he clos’d again The mighty bar, milk’d, and did still maintain All other observation as before. His work all done, two of my soldiers more At once he snatch’d up, and to supper went. Then dar’d I words to him, and did present A bowl of wine, with these words: ‘Cyclop! take A bowl of wine, from my hand, that may make Way for the man’s flesh thou hast eat, and show What drink our ship held; which in sacred vow I offer to thee to take ruth on me In my dismission home. Thy rages be Now no more sufferable. How shall men, Mad and inhuman that thou art, again Greet thy abode, and get thy actions grace, If thus thou ragest, and eat’st up their race.’ He took, and drunk, and vehemently joy’d To taste the sweet cup; and again employ’d My flagon’s pow’rs, entreating more, and said: ῾Good guest, again afford my taste thy aid, And let me know thy name, and quickly now, That in thy recompense I may bestow A hospitable gift on thy desert, And such a one as shall rejoice thy heart. For to the Cyclops too the gentle earth Bears gen’rous wine, and Jove augments her birth, In store of such, with show’rs; but this rich wine Fell from the river, that is mere divine, Of nectar and ambrosia.’ This again I gave him, and again; nor could the fool abstain, But drunk as often. When the noble juice Had wrought upon his spirit, I then gave use To fairer language, saying: ‘Cyclop! now, As thou demand’st, I’ll tell my name, do thou Make good thy hospitable gift to me. My name is No-Man; No-Man each degree Of friends, as well as parents, call my name.’ He answer’d, as his cruel soul became: ‘No-Man! I’ll eat thee last of all thy friends; And this is that in which so much amends I vow’d to thy deservings, thus shall be My hospitable gift made good to thee.’ This said, he upwards fell, but then bent round His fleshy neck; and Sleep, with all crowns crown’d, Subdued the savage. From his throat brake out My wine, with man’s-flesh gobbets, like a spout, When, loaded with his cups, he lay and snor’d; And then took I the club’s end up, and gor’d The burning coal-heap, that the point might heat; Confirm’d my fellow’s minds, lest Fear should let Their vow’d assay, and make them fly my aid. Straight was the olive-lever, I had laid Amidst the huge fire to get hard’ning, hot, And glow’d extremely, though ’twas green; which got From forth the cinders, close about me stood My hardy friends; but that which did the good Was God’s good inspiratión, that gave A spirit beyond the spirit they us’d to have; Who took the olive spar, made keen before, And plung’d it in his eye, and up I bore, Bent to the top close, and help’d pour it in, With all my forces. And as you have seen A ship-wright bore a naval beam, he oft Thrusts at the auger’s froofe, works still aloft, And at the shank help others, with a cord Wound round about to make it sooner bor’d, All plying the round still; so into his eye The fiery stake we labour’d to imply. Out gush’d the blood that scalded, his eye-ball Thrust out a flaming vapour, that scorch’d all His brows and eye-lids, his eye-strings did crack, As in the sharp and burning rafter brake. And as a smith, to harden any tool, Broad axe, or mattock, in his trough doth cool The red-hot substance, that so fervent is It makes the cold wave straight to seethe and hiss; So sod and hiss’d his eye about the stake. He roar’d withal, and all his cavern brake In claps like thunder. We did frighted fly, Dispers’d in corners. He from forth his eye The fixed stake pluck’d; after which the blood Flow’d freshly forth; and, mad, he hurl’d the wood About his hovel. Out he then did cry For other Cyclops, that in caverns by Upon a windy promontory dwell’d; Who, hearing how impetuously he yell’d, Rush’d ev’ry way about him, and inquir’d, What ill afflicted him, that he exspir’d Such horrid clamours, and in sacred Night To break their sleeps so? Ask’d him, if his fright Came from some mortal that his flocks had driv’n? Or if by craft, or might, his death were giv’n? He answer’d from his den: ‘By craft, nor might, No-Man hath giv’n me death.’ They then said right, ‘If no man hurt thee, and thyself alone, That which is done to thee by Jove is done; And what great Jove inflicts no man can fly. Pray to thy Father yet, a Deity, And prove, from him if thou canst help acquire.’ Thus spake they, leaving him; when all-on-fire My heart with joy was, that so well my wit And name deceiv’d him; whom now pain did split, And groaning up and down he groping tried To find the stone, which found, he put aside; But in the door sat, feeling if he could (As his sheep issued) on some man lay hold; Esteeming me a fool, that could devise No stratagem to ‘scape his gross surprise. But I, contending what I could invent My friends and me from death so eminent To get deliver’d, all my wiles I wove (Life being the subject) and did this approve: Fat fleecy rams, most fair, and great, lay there, That did a burden like a violet bear.[8] These, while this learn’d-in-villainy did sleep, I yok’d with osiers cut there, sheep to sheep, Three in a rank, and still the mid sheep bore A man about his belly, the two more March’d on his each side for defence. I then, Choosing myself the fairest of the den, His fleecy belly under-crept, embrac’d His back, and in his rich wool wrapt me fast With both my hands, arm’d with as fast a mind. And thus each man hung, till the morning shin’d; Which come, he knew the hour, and let abroad His male-flocks first, the females unmilk’d stood Bleating and braying, their full bags so sore With being unemptied, but their shepherd more With being unsighted; which was cause his mind Went not a milking. He, to wreak inclin’d, The backs felt, as they pass’d, of those male dams, Gross fool! believing, we would ride his rams! Nor ever knew that any of them bore Upon his belly any man before. The last ram came to pass him, with his wool And me together loaded to the full, For there did I hang; and that ram he stay’d, And me withal had in his hands, my head Troubled the while, not causelessly, nor least. This ram he grop’d, and talk’d to: ‘Lazy beast! Why last art thou now? Thou hast never us’d To lag thus hindmost, but still first hast bruis’d The tender blossom of a flow’r, and held State in thy steps, both to the flood and field, First still at fold at even, now last remain? Dost thou not wish I had mine eye again, Which that abhorr’d man No-Man did put out, Assisted by his execrable rout, When he had wrought me down with wine? But he Must not escape my wreak so cunningly. I would to heav’n thou knew’st, and could but speak, To tell me where he lurks now! I would break His brain about my cave, strew’d here and there, To ease my heart of those foul ills, that were Th’ inflictions of a man I priz’d at nought.’ Thus let he him abroad; when I, once brought A little from his hold, myself first los’d, And next my friends. Then drave we, and dispos’d, His straight-legg’d fat fleece-bearers over land, Ev’n till they all were in my ship’s command; And to our lov’d friends show’d our pray’d-for sight, Escap’d from death. But, for our loss, outright They brake in tears; which with a look I stay’d, And bade them take our boot in. They obey’d, And up we all went, sat, and us’d our oars. But having left as far the savage shores As one might hear a voice, we then might see The Cyclop at the haven; when instantly I stay’d our oars, and this insultance us’d: ῾Cyclop! thou shouldst not have so much abus’d Thy monstrous forces, to oppose their least Against a man immartial, and a guest, And eat his fellows. Thou mightst know there were Some ills behind, rude swain, for thee to bear, That fear’d not to devour thy guests, and break All laws of humans. Jove sends therefore wreak, And all the Gods, by me.’ This blew the more His burning fury; when the top he tore From off a huge rock, and so right a throw Made at our ship, that just before the prow It overflew and fell, miss’d mast and all Exceeding little; but about the fall So fierce a wave it rais’d, that back it bore Our ship so far, it almost touch’d the shore. A bead-hook then, a far-extended one, I snatch’d up, thrust hard, and so set us gone Some little way; and straight commanded all To help me with their oars, on pain to fall Again on our confusion. But a sign I with my head made, and their oars were mine In all performance. When we off were set, (Then first, twice further) my heart was so great, It would again provoke him, but my men On all sides rush’d about me, to contain, And said: ‘Unhappy! why will you provoke A man so rude, that with so dead a stroke, Giv’n with his rock-dart, made the sea thrust back Our ship so far, and near hand forc’d our wrack? Should he again but hear your voice resound, And any word reach, thereby would be found His dart’s direction, which would, in his fall, Crush piece-meal us, quite split our ship and all; So much dart wields the monster.’ Thus urg’d they Impossible things, in fear; but I gave way To that wrath which so long I held deprest, By great necessity conquer’d, in my breast: ‘Cyclop! if any ask thee, who impos’d[9] Th’ unsightly blemish that thine eye enclos’d, Say that Ulysses, old Laertes’ son, Whose seat is Ithaca, and who hath won Surname of City-razer, bor’d it out.’ At this, he bray’d so loud, that round about He drave affrighted echoes through the air, And said: ‘O beast! I was premonish’d fair, By aged prophecy, in one that was A great and good man, this should come to pass; And how ’tis prov’d now! Augur Telemus, Surnam’d Eurymides (that spent with us His age in augury, and did exceed In all presage of truth) said all this deed Should this event take, author’d by the hand Of one Ulysses, who I thought was mann’d With great and goodly personage, and bore A virtue answerable; and this shore Should shake with weight of such a conqueror; When now a weakling came, a dwarfy thing, A thing of nothing; who yet wit did bring, That brought supply to all, and with his wine Put out the flame where all my light did shine. Come, land again, Ulysses! that my hand May guest-rites give thee, and the great command, That Neptune hath at sea, I may convert To the deduction where abides thy heart, With my solicitings, whose son I am, And whose fame boasts to bear my father’s name. Nor think my hurt offends me, for my sire Can soon repose in it the visual fire, At his free pleasure; which no pow’r beside Can boast, of men, or of the Deified.’ I answer’d: ‘Would to God! I could compell Both life and soul from thee, and send to hell Those spoils of nature! Hardly Neptune then Could cure thy hurt, and give thee all again.’ Then flew fierce vows to Neptune, both his hands To star-born heav’n cast: ‘O thou that all lands Gird’st in thy ambient circle, and in air Shak’st the curl’d tresses of thy sapphire hair, If I be thine, or thou mayst justly vaunt Thou art my father, hear me now, and grant That this Ulysses, old Laertes’ son, That dwells in Ithaca, and name hath won Of City-ruiner, may never reach His natural region. Or if to fetch That, and the sight of his fair roofs and friends, Be fatal to him, let him that amends For all his miseries, long time and ill, Smart for, and fail of; nor that fate fulfill, Till all his soldiers quite are cast away In others’ ships. And when, at last, the day Of his sole-landing shall his dwelling show, Let Detriment prepare him wrongs enow.’ Thus pray’d he Neptune; who, his sire, appear’d, And all his pray’r to ev’ry syllable heard. But then a rock, in size more amplified Than first, he ravish’d to him, and implied A dismal strength in it, when, wheel’d about, He sent it after us; nor flew it out From any blind aim, for a little pass Beyond our fore-deck from the fall there was, With which the sea our ship gave back upon, And shrunk up into billows from the stone, Our ship again repelling near as near The shore as first. But then our rowers were, Being warn’d, more arm’d, and stronglier stemm’d the flood That bore back on us, till our ship made good The other island, where our whole fleet lay, In which our friends lay mourning for our stay, And ev’ry minute look’d when we should land. Where, now arriv’d, we drew up to the sand, The Cyclops’ sheep dividing, that none there Of all our privates might be wrung, and bear Too much on pow’r. The ram yet was alone By all my friends made all my portion Above all others; and I made him then A sacrifice for me and all my men[10] To cloud-compelling Jove that all commands, To whom I burn’d the thighs; but my sad hands Receiv’d no grace from him, who studied how To offer men and fleet to overthrow.

All day, till sun-set, yet, we sat and eat, And lib’ral store took in of wine and meat. The sun then down, and place resign’d to shade, We slept. Morn came, my men I rais’d, and made All go aboard, weigh anchor, and away. They boarded, sat, and beat the aged sea; And forth we made sail, sad for loss before, Any yet had comfort since we lost no more.”

[1] _Εἰνοσίϕυλλον, quatientem seu agitantem frondes._
[2] _Quædam quibus corpus alitur et vita sustentatur ὕλη appellantur._
[3] _Amor patriœ._
[4] After night, in the first of the morning.
[5] The ancient custom of calling home the dead.
[6] The description of all these countries have admirable allegories
besides their artly and pleasing relation.
[7] This his relation of Agamemnon, and his glory and theirs for
Troy’s sack, with the piety of suppliants’ receipt, to him that was so
barbarous and impious, must be intended spoken by Ulysses, with
supposition that his hearers would note, still as he spake, how vain
they would show to the Cyclops; who respected little Agamemnon, or
their valiant exploit against Troy, or the Gods themselves. For
otherwise, the serious observation of the words (though good and
grave, if spoken to another) want their intentional sharpness and
[8] Wool of a violet colour.
[9] Ulysses’ continued insolence, no more to repeat what he said to
the Cyclop, than to let his hearers know epithets, and estimation in
the world.
[10] No occasion let pass to Ulysses’ piety in our Poet’s singular wit
and wisdom.



Ulysses now relates to us The grace he had with Æolus, Great Guardian of the hollow Winds; Which in a leather bag he binds, And gives Ulysses; all but one, Which Zephyr was, who fill’d alone Ulysses’ sails. The bag once seen, While he slept, by Ulysses’ men, They thinking it did gold enclose, To find it, all the winds did loose, Who back flew to their Guard again. Forth sail’d he; and did next attain To where the Læstrygonians dwell. Where he eleven ships lost, and fell On the Ææan coast, whose shore He sends Eurylochus t’ explore, Dividing with him half his men. Who go, and turn no more again, All, save Eurylochus, to swine By Circe turn’d. Their stays incline Ulysses to their search; who got Of Mercury an antidote, Which moly was, ’gainst Circe’s charms, And so avoids his soldiers’ harms. A year with Circe all remain, And then their native forms regain. On utter shores a time they dwell, While Ithacus descends to hell.


_Κάππα._ Great Æolus, And Circe, friends Finds Ithacus; And hell descends.

“To the Æolian island we attain’d, That swum about still on the sea, where reign’d The God-lov’d Æolus Hippotades. A wall of steel it had; and in the seas A wave-beat-smooth rock mov’d about the wall. Twelve children in his house imperial Were born to him; of which six daughters were, And six were sons, that youth’s sweet flow’r did bear. His daughters to his sons he gave as wives; Who spent in feastful comforts all their lives, Close seated by their sire and his grave spouse. Past number were the dishes that the house Made ever savour; and still full the hall As long as day shin’d; in the night-time, all Slept with their chaste wives, each his fair carv’d bed Most richly furnish’d; and this life they led. We reach’d the city and fair roofs of these, Where, a whole month’s time, all things that might please The king vouchsaf’d us; of great Troy inquir’d, The Grecian fleet, and how the Greeks retir’d. To all which I gave answer as behov’d. The fit time come when I dismission mov’d, He nothing would deny me, but addrest My pass with such a bounty, as might best Teach me contentment; for he did enfold Within an ox-hide, flay’d at nine years old, All th’ airy blasts that were of stormy kinds. Saturnius made him Steward of his Winds, And gave him pow’r to raise and to assuage. And these he gave me, curb’d thus of their rage, Which in a glitt’ring silver band I bound, And hung-up in my ship, enclos’d so round That no egression any breath could find; Only he left abroad the Western Wind, To speed our ships, and us with blasts secure. But our securities made all unsure; Nor could he consummate our course alone, When all the rest had got egressión; Which thus succeeded: Nine whole days and nights We sail’d in safety; and the tenth, the lights Borne on our country-earth we might descry, So near we drew; and yet ev’n then fell I, Being overwatch’d, into a fatal sleep, For I would suffer no man else to keep The foot that rul’d my vessel’s course, to lead[1] The faster home. My friends then Envy fed About the bag I hung-up, and suppos’d That gold and silver I had there enclos’d, As gift from Æolus, and said: ‘O heav’n! What grace and grave price is by all men giv’n To our commander! Whatsoever coast Or town he comes to, how much he engrost Of fair and precious prey, and brought from Troy! We the same voyage went, and yet enjoy In our return these empty hands for all. This bag, now, Æolus was so liberal To make a guest-gift to him; let us try Of what consists the fair-bound treasury, And how much gold and silver it contains.’ _Ill counsel present approbation gains._ They op’d the bag, and out the vapours brake, When instant tempest did our vessel take, That bore us back to sea, to mourn anew Our absent country. Up amaz’d I flew, And desp’rate things discours’d; if I should cast Myself to ruin in the seas, or taste Amongst the living more moan, and sustain? Silent, I did so, and lay hid again Beneath the hatches, while an ill wind took My ships back to Æolia, my men strook With woe enough. We pump’d and landed then, Took food, for all this; and of all my men I took a herald to me, and away Went to the court of Æolus, where they Were feasting still; he, wife, and children, set Together close. We would not at their meat Thrust in; but humbly on the threshold sat. He then, amaz’d, my presence wonder’d at, And call’d to me: ‘Ulysses! How thus back Art thou arriv’d here? What foul spirit brake Into thy bosom, to retire thee thus? We thought we had deduction curious Giv’n thee before, to reach thy shore and home; Did it not like thee?’ I, ev’n overcome With worthy sorrow, answer’d: ‘My ill men Have done me mischief, and to them hath been My sleep th’ unhappy motive; but do you, Dearest of friends, deign succour to my vow. Your pow’rs command it.’ Thus endeavour’d I With soft speech to repair my misery. The rest with ruth sat dumb. But thus spake he: ‘Avaunt, and quickly quit my land of thee, Thou worst of all that breathe. It fits not me To convoy, and take-in, whom Heav’ns expose. Away, and with thee go the worst of woes, That seek’st my friendship, and the Gods thy foes.’ Thus he dismiss’d me sighing. Forth we sail’d, At heart afflicted. And now wholly fail’d The minds my men sustain’d, so spent they were With toiling at their oars, and worse did bear Their growing labours; and they caus’d their grought By self-will’d follies; nor now ever thought To see their country more. Six nights and days We sail’d; the seventh we saw fair Lamos raise Her lofty tow’rs, the Læstrygonian state That bears her ports so far disterminate; Where shepherd shepherd calls out, he at home[2] Is call’d out by the other that doth come From charge abroad, and then goes he to sleep, The other issuing; he whose turn doth keep The night observance hath his double hire, Since day and night in equal length expire About that region, and the night’s watch weigh’d At twice the day’s ward, since the charge that’s laid Upon the night’s-man (besides breach of sleep) Exceeds the days-man’s; for one oxen keep, The other sheep. But when the haven we found, (Exceeding famous, and environ’d round With one continuate rock, which so much bent That both ends almost met, so prominent They were, and made the haven’s mouth passing strait) Our whole fleet in we got; in whose receit Our ships lay anchor’d close. Nor needed we Fear harm on any stays, Tranquillity[3] So purely sat there, that waves great nor small Did ever rise to any height at all. And yet would I no entry make, but stay’d Alone without the haven, and thence survey’d, From out a lofty watch-tow’r raised there, The country round about; nor anywhere The work of man or beast appear’d to me, Only a smoke from earth break I might see. I then made choice of two, and added more, A herald for associate, to explore What sort of men liv’d there. They went, and saw A beaten way, through which carts us’d to draw Wood from the high hills to the town, and met A maid without the port, about to get Some near spring-water. She the daughter was Of mighty Læstrygonian Antiphas, And to the clear spring call’d Artacia went, To which the whole town for their water sent. To her they came, and ask’d who govern’d there, And what the people whom he order’d were? She answer’d not, but led them through the port, As making haste to show her father’s court. Where enter’d, they beheld, to their affright, A woman like a mountain-top in height, Who rush’d abroad, and from the council-place Call’d home her horrid husband Antiphas,[4] Who, deadly-minded, straight he snatch’d up one, And fell to supper. Both the rest were gone; And to the fleet came. Antiphas a cry Drave through the city; which heard, instantly This way and that innumerable sorts, Not men, but giants, issued through the ports, And mighty flints from rocks tore, which they threw Amongst our ships; through which an ill noise flew Of shiver’d ships, and life-expiring men, That were, like fishes, by the monsters slain, And borne to sad feast. While they slaughter’d these, That were engag’d in all th’ advantages The close-mouth’d and most dead-calm haven could give, I, that without lay, made some means to live, My sword drew, cut my gables, and to oars Set all my men; and, from the plagues those shores Let fly amongst us, we made haste to fly, My men close working as men loth to die. My ship flew freely off; but theirs that lay On heaps in harbours could enforce no way Through these stern fates that had engag’d them there. Forth our sad remnant sail’d, yet still retain’d The joys of men, that our poor few remain’d. Then to the isle Ææa we attain’d, Where fair-hair’d, dreadful, eloquent Circe reign’d, Ææta’s sister both by dame and sire, Both daughters to Heav’n’s man-enlight’ning Fire, And Perse, whom Oceanus begat, The ship-fit port here soon we landed at, Some God directing us. Two days, two nights, We lay here pining in the fatal spights Of toil and sorrow; but the next third day When fair Aurora had inform’d, quick way I made out of my ship, my sword and lance Took for my surer guide, and made advance Up to a prospect; I assay to see The works of men, or hear mortality Exspire a voice. When I had climb’d a height, Rough and right hardly accessible, I might Behold from Circe’s house, that in a grove Set thick with trees stood, a bright vapour move, I then grew curious in my thought to try[5] Some fit inquiry, when so spritely fly I saw the yellow smoke; but my discourse[6] A first retiring to my ship gave force, To give my men their dinner, and to send (Before th’ adventure of myself) some friend. Being near my ship, of one so desolate Some God had pity, and would recreate My woes a little, putting up to me A great and high-palm’d hart, that (fatally, Just in my way itself to taste a flood) Was then descending; the sun heat had sure Importun’d him, besides the temperature His natural heat gave. Howsoever, I Made up to him, and let my jav’lin fly, That struck him through the mid-part of his chine, And made him, braying, to the dust confine His flying forces. Forth his spirit flew; When I stept in, and from the death’s wound drew My shrewdly-bitten lance; there let him lie Till I, of cut-up osiers, did imply A withe a fathom long, with which his feet I made together in a sure league meet, Stoop’d under him, and to my neck I heav’d The mighty burden, of which I receiv’d A good part on my lance, for else I could By no means with one hand alone uphold (Join’d with one shoulder) such a deathful load. And so, to both my shoulders, both hands stood Needful assistants; for it was a deer Goodly-well-grown. When (coming something near Where rode my ships) I cast it down, and rear’d My friends with kind words; whom by name I cheer’d, In note particular, and said: ‘See, friends, We will not yet to Pluto’s house; our ends Shall not be hasten’d, though we be declin’d In cause of comfort, till the day design’d By Fate’s fix’d finger. Come, as long as food Or wine lasts in our ship, let’s spirit our blood, And quit our care and hunger both in one.’ This said, they frolick’d, came, and look’d upon With admiration the huge-bodied beast; And when their first-serv’d eyes had done their feast, They wash’d, and made a to-be-striv’d-for meal[7] In point of honour. On which all did dwell The whole day long. And, to our venison’s store, We added wine till we could wish no more. Sun set, and darkness up, we slept, till light Put darkness down; and then did I excite My friends to counsel, utt’ring this: ‘Now, friends,[8] Afford unpassionate ear; though ill Fate lends So good cause to your passion, no man knows The reason whence and how the darkness grows; The reason how the morn is thus begun; The reason how the man-enlight’ning sun Dives under earth; the reason how again He rears his golden head. Those counsels, then, That pass our comprehension, we must leave To him that knows their causes; and receive Direction from him in our acts, as far As he shall please to make them regular, And stoop them to our reason. In our state What then behoves us? Can we estimate, With all our counsels, where we are? Or know (Without instruction, past our own skills) how, Put off from hence, to steer our course the more? I think we cannot. We must then explore These parts for information; in which way We thus far are: Last morn I might display (From off a high-rais’d cliff) an island lie Girt with th’ unmeasur’d sea, and is so nigh That in the midst I saw the smoke arise Through tufts of trees. This rests then to advise, Who shall explore this?’ This struck dead their hearts, Rememb’ring the most execrable parts That Læstrygonian Antiphas had play’d, And that foul Cyclop that their fellows bray’d Betwixt his jaws; which mov’d them so, they cried. But idle tears had never wants supplied. I in two parts divided all, and gave To either part his captain. I must have The charge of one; and one of God-like look, Eurylochus, the other. Lots we shook, Put in a casque together, which of us Should lead th’ attempt; and ’twas Eurylochus. He freely went, with two-and-twenty more; All which took leave with tears; and our eyes wore The same wet badge of weak humanity. These in a dale did Circe’s house descry, Of bright stone built, in a conspicuous way. Before her gates hill-wolves, and lions, lay; Which with her virtuous drugs so tame she made, That wolf nor lion would one man invade With any violence, but all arose, Their huge long tails wagg’d, and in fawns would close, As loving dogs, when masters bring them home Relics of feast, in all observance come, And soothe their entries with their fawns and bounds, All guests still bringing some scraps for their hounds; So, on these men, the wolves and lions ramp’d, Their horrid paws set up. Their spirits were damp’d To see such monstrous kindness, stay’d at gate, And heard within the Goddess elevate A voice divine, as at her web she wrought, Subtle, and glorious, and past earthly thought, As all the housewif’ries of Deities are. To hear a voice so ravishingly rare, Polités (one exceeding dear to me, A prince of men, and of no mean degree In knowing virtue, in all acts whose mind[9] Discreet cares all ways us’d to turn, and wind) Was yet surpris’d with it, and said: ‘O friends, Some one abides within here, that commends The place to us, and breathes a voice divine, As she some web wrought, or her spindle’s twine She cherish’d with her song; the pavement rings With imitation of the tunes she sings. Some woman, or some Goddess, ’tis. Assay To see with knocking.’ Thus said he, and they Both knock’d, and call’d; and straight her shining gates She open’d, issuing, bade them in to cates. Led, and unwise, they follow’d; all but one, Which was Eurylochus, who stood alone Without the gates, suspicious of a sleight. They enter’d, she made sit; and her deceit She cloak’d with thrones, and goodly chairs of state; Set herby honey, and the delicate Wine brought from Smynra, to them; meal and cheese; But harmful venoms she commix’d with these, That made their country vanish from their thought. Which eat, she touch’d them with a rod that wrought Their transformation far past human wonts; Swine’s snouts, swine’s bodies, took they, bristles, grunts, But still retain’d the souls they had before, Which made them mourn their bodies’ change the more. She shut them straight in styes, and gave them meat, Oak-mast, and beech, and cornel-fruit, they eat, Grov’lling like swine on earth, in foulest sort. Eurylochus straight hasted the report Of this his fellows’ most remorseful fate, Came to the ships, but so excruciate Was with his woe, he could not speak a word, His eyes stood full of tears, which show’d how stor’d His mind with moan remain’d. We all admir’d, Ask’d what had chanc’d him, earnestly desir’d He would resolve us. At the last, our eyes Enflam’d in him his fellows’ memories,[10] And out his grief burst thus: ‘You will’d; we went Through those thick woods you saw; when a descent Show’d us a fair house, in a lightsome ground, Where, at some work, we heard a heav’nly sound Breath’d from a Goddess’, or a woman’s, breast. They knock’d, she op’d her bright gates; each her guest Her fair invitement made; nor would they stay, Fools that they were, when she once led the way. I enter’d not, suspecting some deceit. When all together vanish’d, nor the sight Of anyone (though long I look’d) mine eye Could any way discover.’ Instantly, My sword and bow reach’d, I bad show the place, When down he fell, did both my knees embrace, And pray’d with tears thus: ‘O thou kept of God, Do not thyself lose, nor to that abode Lead others rashly; both thyself, and all Thou ventur’st thither, I know well, must fall In one sure ruin. With these few then fly; We yet may shun the others’ destiny.’ I answer’d him: ‘Eurylochus! Stay thou, And keep the ship then, eat and drink; I now Will undertake th’ adventure; there is cause In great Necessity’s unalter’d laws.’ This said, I left both ship and seas, and on Along the sacred valleys all alone Went in discov’ry, till at last I came Where of the main-med’cine-making Dame I saw the great house; where encounter’d me The golden-rod-sustaining Mercury, Ev’n ent’ring Circe’s doors. He met me in A young man’s likeness, of the first-flow’r’d chin, Whose form hath all the grace of one so young. He first call’d to me, then my hand he wrung, And said: ‘Thou no-place-finding-for-repose, Whither, alone, by these hill-confines, goes Thy erring foot? Th’ art ent’ring Circe’s house, Where, by her med’cines, black, and sorcerous, Thy soldiers all are shut in well-arm’d styes, And turn’d to swine. Art thou arriv’d with prize Fit for their ransoms? Thou com’st out no more, If once thou ent’rest, like thy men before Made to remain here. But I’ll guard thee free, And save thee in her spite. Receive of me This fair and good receipt; with which once arm’d, Enter her roofs, for th’ art to all proof charm’d Against the ill day. I will tell thee all Her baneful counsel: With a festival She’ll first receive thee, but will spice thy bread With flow’ry poisons; yet unalteréd Shall thy firm form be, for this remedy Stands most approv’d ’gainst all her sorcery, Which thus particularly shun: When she Shall with her long rod strike thee, instantly Draw from thy thigh thy sword, and fly on her As to her slaughter. She, surpris’d with fear And love, at first, will bid thee to her bed. Nor say the Goddess nay, that welcoméd Thou may’st with all respect be, and procure Thy fellows’ freedoms. But before, make sure Her favours to thee; and the great oath take With which the blesséd Gods assurance make Of all they promise; that no prejudice (By stripping thee of form, and faculties) She may so much as once attempt on thee.’ This said, he gave his antidote to me, Which from the earth he pluck’d, and told me all The virtue of it, with what Deities call The name it bears; and Moly[11] they impose For name to it. The root is hard to loose From hold of earth by mortals; but God’s pow’r Can all things do. ’Tis black, but bears a flow’r As white as milk. And thus flew Mercury Up to immense Olympus, gliding by The sylvan island. I made back my way To Circe’s house, my mind of my assay Much thought revolving. At her gates I stay’d And call’d; she heard, and her bright doors display’d, Invited, led; I follow’d in, but trac’d With some distraction. In a throne she plac’d My welcome person; of a curious frame ’Twas, and so bright I sat as in a flame; A foot-stool added. In a golden bowl She then suborn’d a potion, in her soul Deform’d things thinking; for amidst the wine She mix’d her man-transforming medicine; Which when she saw I had devour’d, she then No more observ’d me with her soothing vein, But struck me with her rod, and to her stye Bad, out, away, and with thy fellows lie. I drew my sword, and charg’d her, as I meant To take her life. When out she cried, and bent Beneath my sword her knees, embracing mine, And, full of tears, said: ‘Who? Of what high line Art thou the issue? Whence? What shores sustain Thy native city? I amaz’d remain That, drinking these my venoms, th’ art not turn’d. Never drunk any this cup but be mourn’d In other likeness, if it once had pass’d The ivory bounders of his tongue and taste. All but thyself are brutishly declin’d. Thy breast holds firm yet, and unchang’d thy mind. Thou canst be therefore none else but the man Of many virtues, Ithacensian, Deep-soul’d, Ulysses, who; I oft was told, By that sly God that bears the rod of gold, Was to arrive here in retreat from Troy. Sheathe then thy sword, and let my bed enjoy So much a man, that when the bed we prove, We may believe in one another’s love.’ I then: ‘O Circe, why entreat’st thou me To mix in any human league with thee, When thou my friends hast beasts turn’d; and thy bed Tender’st to me, that I might likewise lead A beast’s life with thee, soften’d, naked stripp’d, That in my blood thy banes may more be steep’d? I never will ascend thy bed, before, I may affirm, that in heav’n’s sight you swore The great oath of the Gods, that all attempt To do me ill is from your thoughts exempt.’ I said, she swore, when, all the oath-rites said, I then ascended her adornéd bed, But thus prepar’d: Four handmaids served her there, That daughters to her silver fountains were, To her bright-sea-observing sacred floods, And to her uncut consecrated woods. One deck’d the throne-tops with rich cloths of state, And did with silks the foot-pace consecrate. Another silver tables set before The pompous throne, and golden dishes’ store Serv’d in with sev’ral feast. A third fill’d wine. The fourth brought water, and made fuel shine In ruddy fires beneath a womb of brass. Which heat, I bath’d; and od’rous water was Disperpled lightly on my head and neck, That might my late heart-hurting sorrows check With the refreshing sweetness; and, for that, Men sometimes may be something delicate. Bath’d, and adorn’d, she led me to a throne Of massy silver, and of fashión Exceeding curious. A fair foot-stool set, Water appos’d, and ev’ry sort of meat Set on th’ elaborately-polish’d board, She wish’d my taste employ’d; but not a word Would my ears taste of taste; my mind had food That must digest; eye-meat would do me good. Circe (observing that I put no hand To any banquet, having countermand From weightier cares the light cates could excuse) Bowing her near me, these wing’d words did use; ‘Why sits Ulysses like one dumb, his mind Less’ning with languors? Nor to food inclin’d, Nor wine? Whence comes it? Out of any fear Of more illusion? You must needs forbear That wrongful doubt, since you have heard me swear.’ ‘O Circe!’ I replied, ‘what man is he, Aw’d with the rights of true humanity, That dares taste food or wine, before he sees His friends redeem’d from their deformities? If you be gentle, and indeed incline To let me taste the comfort of your wine, Dissolve the charms that their forc’d forms enchain, And show me here my honour’d friends like men.’ This said, she left her throne, and took her rod, Went to her stye, and let my men abroad, Like swine of nine years old. They opposite stood, Observ’d their brutish form, and look’d for food; When, with another med’cine, ev’ry one All over smear’d, their bristles all were gone, Produc’d by malice of the other bane, And ev’ry one, afresh, look’d up a man, Both younger than they were, of stature more, And all their forms much goodlier than before. All knew me, cling’d about me, and a cry Of pleasing mourning flew about so high The horrid roof resounded; and the queen Herself was mov’d to see our kind so keen, Who bad me now bring ship and men ashore, Our arms, and goods in caves hid, and restore Myself to her, with all my other men. I granted, went, and op’d the weeping vein In all my men; whose violent joy to see My safe return was passing kindly free Of friendly tears, and miserably wept. You have not seen young heifers (highly kept, Fill’d full of daisies at the field, and driv’n Home to their hovels, all so spritely giv’n That no room can contain them, but about Bace by the dams, and let their spirits out In ceaseless bleating) of more jocund plight Than my kind friends, ev’n crying out with sight Of my return so doubted; circled me With all their welcomes, and as cheerfully Dispos’d their rapt minds, as if there they saw Their natural country, cliffy Ithaca, And ev’n the roofs where they were bred and born, And vow’d as much, with tears; ‘O your return As much delights us as in you had come Our country to us, and our natural home. But what unhappy fate hath reft our friends?’ I gave unlook’d-for answer, that amends Made for their mourning, bad them first of all Our ship ashore draw, then in caverns stall Our foody cattle, hide our mutual prize, ῾And then,᾿ said I, ῾attend me, that your eyes, In Circe’s sacred house, may see each friend Eating and drinking banquets out of end.᾿ They soon obey’d; all but Eurylochus, Who needs would stay them all, and counsell’d thus: ῾O wretches! whither will ye? Why are you Fond of your mischiefs, and such gladness show For Circe’s house, that will transform ye all To swine, or wolves, or lions? Never shall Our heads get out, if once within we be, But stay compell’d by strong necessity. So wrought the Cyclop, when t’ his cave our friends This bold one led on, and brought all their ends By his one indiscretion.᾿ I for this Thought with my sword (that desp’rate head of his Hewn from his neck) to gash upon the ground His mangled body, though my blood was bound In near alliance to him. But the rest With humble suit contain’d me, and request, That I would leave him with my ship alone, And to the sacred palace lead them on. I led them; nor Eurylochus would stay From their attendance on me, our late fray Struck to his heart so. But mean time, my men, In Circe’s house, were all, in sev’ral bain, Studiously sweeten’d, smug’d with oil, and deck’d With in and out weeds, and a feast secret Serv’d in before them; at which close we found They all were set, cheer’d, and carousing round, When mutual sight had, and all thought on, then Feast was forgotten, and the moan again[12] About the house flew, driv’n with wings of joy. But then spake Circe: ‘Now, no more annoy, I know myself what woes by sea, and shore, And men unjust have plagued enough before Your injur’d virtues. Here then feast as long, And be as cheerful, till ye grow as strong As when ye first forsook your country-earth. Ye now fare all like exiles; not a mirth, Flash’d in amongst ye, but is quench’d again With still-renew’d tears, though the beaten vein Of your distresses should, me think, be now Benumb with suff’rance.’ We did well allow Her kind persuasions, and the whole year stay’d In varied feast with her. When, now array’d The world was with the spring, and orby hours Had gone the round again through herbs and flow’rs, The months absolv’d in order, till the days Had run their full race in Apollo’s rays; My friends remember’d me of home, and said; If ever fate would sign my pass, delay’d It should be now no more. I heard them well, Yet that day spent in feast, till darkness fell, And sleep his virtues through our vapours shed. When I ascended sacred Circe’s bed, Implor’d my pass, and her performéd vow Which now my soul urg’d, and my soldiers now Afflicted me with tears to get them gone. All these I told her, and she answer’d these: “Much-skill’d Ulysses Laertiades! Remain no more against your wills with me, But take your free way; only this must be Perform’d before you steer your course for home: You must the way to Pluto overcome, And stern Persephoné, to form your pass, By th’ aged Theban soul Tiresias, The dark-brow’d prophet, whose soul yet can see Clearly, and firmly; grave Persephoné, Ev’n dead, gave him a mind, that he alone Might sing truth’s solid wisdom, and not one Prove more than shade in his comparison.᾿ This broke my heart; I sunk into my bed, Mourn’d, and would never more be comforted With light, nor life. But having now exprest My pains enough to her in my unrest, That so I might prepare her ruth, and get All I held fit for an affair so great, I said: ‘O Circe, who shall steer my course To Pluto’s kingdom? Never ship had force To make that voyage.’ The divine-in-voice Said; ‘Seek no guide, raise you your mast, and hoise Your ship’s white sails, and then sit yon at peace, The fresh North Spirit shall waft ye through the Seas. But, having past the ocean, you shall see A little shore, that to Persephoné Puts up a consecrated wood, where grows Tall firs, and sallows that their fruits soon lose. Cast anchor in the gulfs, and go alone To Pluto’s dark house, where, to Acheron Cocytus runs, and Pyriphlegethon, Cocytus born of Styx, and where a rock Of both the met floods bears the roaring shock. The dark heroë, great Tiresias, Now coming near, to gain propitious pass, Dig of a cubit ev’ry way a pit, And pour to all that are deceas’d in it A solemn sacrifice. For which, first take Honey and wine, and their commixtion make; Then sweet wine neat; and thirdly water pour; And lastly add to these the whitest flour. Then vow to all the weak necks of the dead Off’rings a number; and, when thou shalt tread The Ithacensian shore, to sacrifice A heifer never-tam’d, and most of prize, A pile of all thy most esteeméd goods Enflaming to the dear streams of their bloods; And, in secret rites, to Tiresias vow A ram coal-black at all parts, that doth flow With fat and fleece, and all thy flocks doth lead. When the all-calling nation of the dead[13] Thou thus hast pray’d to, offer on the place A ram and ewe all black being turn’d in face To dreadful Erebus, thyself aside The flood’s shore walking. And then, gratified With flocks of souls of men and dames deceas’d Shall all thy pious rites be. Straight address’d See then the off’ring that thy fellows slew, Flay’d, and impos’d in fire; and all thy crew Pray to the state of either Deity, Grave Pluto, and severe Persephoné. Then draw thy sword, stand firm, nor suffer one Of all the faint shades of the dead and gone T’ approach the blood, till thou hast heard their king, The wise Tiresias; who thy offering Will instantly do honour, thy home-ways, And all the measure of them by the seas, Amply unfolding.’ This the Goddess told; And then the Morning in her throne of gold Survey’d the vast world; by whose orient light The Nymph adorn’d me with attires as bright, Her own hands putting on both shirt and weed, Robes fine, and curious, and upon my head An ornament that glitter’d like a flame, Girt me in gold; and forth betimes I came Amongst my soldiers, rous’d them all from sleep, And bad them now no more observance keep Of ease, and feast, but straight a-shipboard fall, For now the Goddess had inform’d me all. Their noble spirits agreed; nor yet so clear Could I bring all off, but Elpenor there His heedless life left. He was youngest man Of all my company, and one that wan Least fame for arms, as little for his brain; Who (too much steep’d in wine, and so made fain To get refreshing by the cool of sleep, Apart his fellows, plung’d in vapours deep, And they as high in tumult of their way) Suddenly wak’d and (quite out of the stay A sober mind had giv’n him) would descend A huge long ladder, forward, and an end Fell from the very roof, full pitching on The dearest joint his head was plac’d upon, Which, quite dissolv’d, let loose his soul to hell. I to the rest, and Circe’s means did tell Of our return, as crossing clean the hope I gave them first, and said: ‘You think the scope Of our endeavours now is straight for home; No; Circe otherwise design’d, whose doom Enjoin’d us first to greet the dreadful house Of austere Pluto and his glorious spouse, To take the counsel of Tiresias, The rev’rend Theban, to direct our pass.’ This brake their hearts, and grief made tear their hair. But grief was never good at great affair; It would have way yet. We went woful on To ship and shore, where was arriv’d as soon Circe unseen, a black ewe and a ram Binding for sacrifice, and, as she came, Vanish’d again unwitness’d by our eyes; Which griev’d not us, nor check’d our sacrifice, For who would see God, loth to let us see, This way or that bent; still his ways are free.

[1] _Πόδα νηὸς_—He calls the stern the foot of the ship.
[2] This place suffers different construction in all the Commentors:
in which all err from the mind of the Poet, as in a hundred other
places (which yet I want time to approve) especially about _ἐγγὺς γὰρ
νυκτός,_ etc. _Prope enim noetis et diei sunt viœ_ (or _similiter,_
which _ἐγγὺς_ signifies) which they will have to be understood, that
the days in that region are long, and the nights short; where Homer
intends, that the equinoctial is there; for how else is the course of
day and night near or equal? But therefore the night’s-man hath his
double hire, being as long about his charge as the other; and the
night being more dangerous, etc. And if the day were so long, why
should the night’s-man be preferred in wages?
[3] For being cast on the stays, as ships are by weather.
[4] Antiphas was king there.
[5] _Μερμαίρω, curiosè cogito._
[6] _Αἴθοπα καπνόν. Αι͒θοψ_ signifying _rutilus,_ by reason or the
fire mixed with it. _Fumus qui fit dut aliquid accenditur._
[7] _᾿Ερικύδεα δαι̑τα._
[8] The whole end of this counsel was to persuade his soldiers to
explore those parts, which he knew would prove a most unpleasing
motion to them: for their fellows’ terrible entertainment with
Antiphas, and Polyph. and therefore he prepares the little he hath to
say with this long circumstance; implying a necessity of that service,
and necessary resolution to add the trial of the event to their other
[9] _Κεδνὸς, cujus animus curas prudentes versat._
[10] Seeing them, he thought of his fellows.
[11] The herb Moly, which, with Ulysses’ whole narration, hath in
chief an allegorical exposition. Notwithstanding I say with our
Spondanus, _Credo in hoc vasto mundi ambitu extare res innumeras
mirandæ facultatis: adeo, ut ne quidem ista quæ ad transformanda
corpora pertinet, jure è mundo eximi possit, etc._
[12] _Φράσσαντό τε πάντα. Commemorabantque omnia._ Intending all their
miseries, escapes, and meetings.
[13] _Κλυτὰ ἕθνεα νεκρω̑ν._ Which is expounded _Inclyta examina
mortuorum:_ but _κλυτὸς_ is the epithet of Pluto; and by analogy
belongs to the dead, _quod ad se omnes advocat._



Ulysees’ way to Hell appears; Where he the grave Tiresias hears; Enquires his own and others’ fates; His mother sees, and th’ after states In which were held by sad decease Heroës, and Heroesses, A number, that at Troy wag’d war; As Ajax that was still at jar With Ithacus, for th’ arms he lost; And with the great Achilles’ ghost.


_Λάνβδα._ Ulysses here Invokes the dead, The lives appear Hereafter led.

“Arriv’d now at our ship, we launch’d, and set Our mast up, put forth sail, and in did get Our late-got cattle. Up our sails, we went, My wayward fellows mourning now th’ event.[1] A good companion yet, a foreright wind, Circe (the excellent utt’rer of her mind) Supplied our murmuring consorts with, that was Both speed and guide to our adventurous pass. All day our sails stood to the winds, and made Our voyage prosp’rous. Sun then set, and shade All ways obscuring, on the bounds we fell Of deep Oceanus, where people dwell Whom a perpetual cloud obscures outright, To whom the cheerful sun lends never light, Nor when he mounts the star-sustaining heaven, Nor when he stoops earth, and sets up the even, But night holds fix’d wings, feather’d all with banes, Above those most unblest Cimmerians. Here drew we up our ship, our sheep withdrew, And walk’d the shore till we attain’d the view, Of that sad region Circe had foreshow’d; And then the sacred off’rings to be vow’d Eurylochus and Persimedes bore. When I my sword drew, and earth’s womb did gore Till I a pit digg’d of a cubit round, Which with the liquid sacrifice we crown’d, First honey mix’d with wine, then sweet wine neat, Then water pour’d in, last the flour of wheat. Much I importun’d then the weak-neck’d dead, And vow’d, when I the barren soil should tread Of clifty Ithaca, amidst my hall To kill a heifer, my clear best of all, And give in off’ring, on a pile compos’d Of all the choice goods my whole house enclos’d. And to Tiresias himself, alone, A sheep coal-black, and the selectest one Of all my flocks. When to the Pow’rs beneath, The sacred nation that survive with death, My pray’rs and vows had done devotions fit, I took the off’rings, and upon the pit Bereft their lives. Out gush’d the sable blood, And round about me fled out of the flood The souls of the deceas’d. There cluster’d then Youths, and their wives, much-suff’ring aged men, Soft tender virgins that but new came there By timeless death, and green their sorrows were. There men-at-arms, with armours all embrew’d, Wounded with lances, and with faulchions hew’d, In numbers, up and down the ditch, did stalk, And threw unmeasur’d cries about their walk, So horrid that a bloodless fear surpris’d My daunted spirits. Straight then I advis’d My friends to flay the slaughter’d sacrifice, Put them in fire, and to the Deities, Stern Pluto and Persephoné, apply Exciteful pray’rs. Then drew I from my thigh My well-edg’d sword, stept in, and firmly stood Betwixt the prease of shadows and the blood, And would not suffer anyone to dip Within our off’ring his unsolid lip, Before Tiresias that did all controul. The first that press’d in was Elpenor’s soul, His body in the broad-way’d earth as yet Unmourn’d, unburied by us, since we swet With other urgent labours. Yet his smart I wept to see, and rued it from my heart, Enquiring how he could before me be That came by ship? He, mourning, answer’d me: ‘In Circe’s house, the spite some spirit did bear, And the unspeakable good liquor there, Hath been my bane; for, being to descend A ladder much in height, I did not tend My way well down, but forwards made a proof To tread the rounds, and from the very roof Fell on my neck, and brake it; and this made My soul thus visit this infernal shade. And here, by them that next thyself are dear, Thy wife, and father, that a little one Gave food to thee, and by thy only son At home behind thee left, Telemachus, Do not depart by stealth, and leave me thus, Unmourn’d, unburied, lest neglected I Bring on thyself th’ incenséd Deity. I know that, sail’d from hence, thy ship must touch On th’ isle Ææa; where vouchsafe thus much, Good king, that, landed, thou wilt instantly Bestow on me thy royal memory To this grace, that my body, arms and all, May rest consum’d in fiery funeral; And on the foamy shore a sepulchre Erect to me, that after-times may hear Of one so hapless. Let me these implore And fix upon my sepulchre the oar[2] With which alive I shook the aged seas, And had of friends the dear societies.’ I told the wretched soul I would fulfill And execute to th’ utmost point his will; And, all the time we sadly talk’d, I still My sword above the blood held, when aside The idol of my friend still amplified His plaint, as up and down the shades he err’d. Then my deceaséd mother’s soul appear’d, Fair daughter of Autolycus the great, Grave Anticlea, whom, when forth I set For sacred Ilion, I had left alive. Her sight much mov’d me, and to tears did drive My note of her decease; and yet not she (Though in my ruth she held the high’st degree) Would I admit to touch the sacred blood, Till from Tiresias I had understood What Circe told me. At the length did land Theban Tiresias’ soul, and in his hand Sustain’d a golden sceptre, knew me well, And said: ‘O man unhappy, why to hell Admitt’st thou dark arrival, and the light The sun gives leav’st, to have the horrid sight Of this black region, and the shadows here? Now sheathe thy sharp sword, and the pit forbear, That I the blood may taste, and then relate The truth of those acts that affect thy fate.’ I sheath’d my sword, and left the pit, till he, The black blood tasting, thus instructed me: ‘Renown’d Ulysses! All unask’d I know That all the cause of thy arrival now Is to enquire thy wish’d retreat for home; Which hardly God will let thee overcome, Since Neptune still will his opposure try, With all his laid-up anger, for the eye His lov’d son lost to thee. And yet through all Thy suff’ring course (which must be capital) If both thine own affections, and thy friends, Thou wilt contain, when thy access ascends The three-fork’d island, having ‘scap’d the seas, Where ye shall find fed on the flow’ry leas Fat flocks, and oxen, which the Sun doth own, To whom are all things as well heard as shown, And never dare one head of those to slay, But hold unharmful on your wishéd way, Though through enough affliction, yet secure Your Fates shall land ye; but presage says sure, If once ye spoil them, spoil to all thy friends, Spoil to thy fleet, and if the justice ends Short of thyself, it shall be long before, And that length forc’d out with inflictions store, When, losing all thy fellows, in a sail Of foreign built (when most thy Fates prevail In thy deliv’rance) thus th’ event shall sort: Thou shalt find shipwrack raging in thy port, Proud men thy goods consuming, and thy wife Urging with gifts, give charge upon thy life. But all these wrongs revenge shall end to thee, And force, or cunning, set with slaughter free The house of all thy spoilers. Yet again Thou shalt a voyage make, and come to men That know no sea, nor ships, nor oars that are Wings to a ship, nor mix with any fare[3] Salt’s savoury vapour. Where thou first shalt land, This clear-giv’n sign shall let thee understand, That there those men remain: Assume ashore Up to thy royal shoulder a ship oar, With which, when thou shalt meet one on the way That will in country admiration say What dost thou with that wan upon thy neck? There fix that wan thy oar, and that shore deck With sacred rites to Neptune; slaughter there A ram, a bull, and (who for strength doth bear The name of husband to a herd) a boar. And, coming home, upon thy natural shore, Give pious hecatombs to all the Gods, Degrees observ’d. And then the periods Of all thy labours in the peace shall end Of easy death; which shall the less extend His passion to thee, that thy foe, the Sea, Shall not enforce it, but Death’s victory Shall chance in only-earnest-pray-vow’d age,[4] Obtain’d at home, quite emptied of his rage, Thy subjects round about thee, rich and blest. And here hath Truth summ’d up thy vital rest.’ I answer’d him: ‘We will suppose all these Decreed in Deity; let it likewise please Tiresias to resolve me, why so near The blood and me my mother’s soul doth bear, And yet nor word, nor look, vouchsafe her son? Doth she not know me?’ ‘No,’ said he, ‘nor none Of all these spirits, but myself alone, Knows anything till he shall taste the blood. But whomsoever you shall do that good, He will the truth of all you wish unfold; Who you envy it to will all withhold.’ Thus said the kingly soul, and made retreat Amidst the inner parts of Pluto’s seat, When he had spoke thus by divine instinct. Still I stood firm, till to the blood’s precinct My mother came, and drunk; and then she knew I was her son, had passion to renew Her natural plaints, which thus she did pursue: ‘How is it, O my son, that you alive This deadly-darksome region underdive? ’Twixt which, and earth, so many mighty seas, And horrid currents, interpose their prease, Oceanus in chief? Which none (unless More help’d than you) on foot now can transgress. A well-built ship he needs that ventures there. Com’st thou from Troy but now, enforc’d to err All this time with thy soldiers? Nor hast seen, Ere this long day, thy country, and thy queen?’ I answer’d: ‘That a necessary end To this infernal state made me contend; That from the wise Tiresias’ Theban soul I might an oracle involv’d unroll; For I came nothing near Achaia yet, Nor on our lov’d earth happy foot had set, But, mishaps suff’ring, err’d from coast to coast, Ever since first the mighty Grecian host Divine Atrides led to Ilion, And I his follower, to set war upon The rapeful Trojans; and so pray’d she would The fate of that ungentle death unfold, That forc’d her thither; if some long disease, Or that the spleen of her-that-arrows-please, Diana, envious of most eminent dames, Had made her th’ object of her deadly aims? My father’s state and sons I sought, if they Kept still my goods? Or they became the prey Of any other, holding me no more In pow’r of safe return? Or if my store My wife had kept together with her son? If she her first mind held, or had been won By some chief Grecian from my love and bed?’ All this she answer’d: ‘That affliction fed On her blood still at home, and that to grief She all the days and darkness of her life In tears had consecrate. That none possest My famous kingdom’s throne, but th’ interest My son had in it still he held in peace, A court kept like a prince, and his increase Spent in his subjects’ good, administ’ring laws With justice, and the general applause A king should merit, and all call’d him king. My father kept the upland, labouring, And shunn’d the city, us’d no sumptuous beds, Wonder’d-at furnitures, nor wealthy weeds, But in the winter strew’d about the fire Lay with his slaves in ashes, his attire Like to a beggar’s; when the summer came, And autumn all fruits ripen’d with his flame, Where grape-charg’d vines made shadows most abound, His couch with fall’n leaves made upon the ground, And here lay he, his sorrow’s fruitful state Increasing as he faded for my fate; And now the part of age that irksome is Lay sadly on him. And that life of his She led, and perish’d in; not slaughter’d by The Dame that darts lov’d, and her archery; Nor by disease invaded, vast and foul, That wastes the body, and sends out the soul With shame and horror; only in her moan, For me and my life, she consum’d her own.’ She thus, when I had great desire to prove My arms the circle where her soul did move. Thrice prov’d I, thrice she vanish’d like a sleep, Or fleeting shadow, which struck much more deep The wounds my woes made, and made ask her why She would my love to her embraces fly, And not vouchsafe that ev’n in hell we might Pay pious Nature her unalter’d right, And give Vexation here her cruel fill? Should not the Queen here, to augment the ill Of ev’ry suff’rance, which her office is, Enforce thy idol to afford me this? ‘O son,’ she answer’d, ‘of the race of men The most unhappy, our most equal Queen Will mock no solid arms with empty shade, Nor suffer empty shades again t’ invade Flesh, bones, and nerves; nor will defraud the fire Of his last dues, that, soon as spirits expire And leave the white bone, are his native right, When, like a dream, the soul assumes her flight. The light then of the living with most haste, O son, contend to. This thy little taste Of this state is enough; and all this life Will make a tale fit to be told thy wife.’ This speech we had; when now repair’d to me More female spirits, by Persephoné Driv’n on before her. All th’ heroës’ wives, And daughters, that led there their second lives, About the black blood throng’d. Of whom yet more My mind impell’d me to inquire, before I let them all together taste the gore, For then would all have been dispers’d, and gone Thick as they came. I, therefore, one by one Let taste the pit, my sword drawn from my thigh, And stand betwixt them made, when, sev’rally, All told their stocks. The first, that quench’d her fire, Was Tyro, issued of a noble sire. She said she sprung from pure Salmoneus’ bed, And Cretheus, son of Æolus, did wed; Yet the divine flood Enipëus lov’d, Who much the most fair stream of all floods mov’d. Near whose streams Tyro walking, Neptune came, Like Enipëus, and enjoy’d the dame. Like to a hill, the blue and snaky flood Above th’ immortal and the mortal stood, And hid them both, as both together lay, Just where his current falls into the sea. Her virgin waist dissolv’d, she slumber’d then; But when the God had done the work of men, Her fair hand gently wringing, thus he said: ‘Woman! rejoice in our combinéd bed, For when the year hath run his circle round (Because the Gods’ loves must in fruit abound) My love shall make, to cheer thy teeming moans, Thy one dear burden bear two famous sons; Love well, and bring them up. Go home, and see That, though of more joy yet I shall be free, Thou dost not tell, to glorify thy birth; Thy love is Neptune, shaker of the earth.’ This said, he plung’d into the sea; and she, Begot with child by him, the light let see Great Pelias, and Neleus, that became In Jove’s great ministry of mighty fame. Pelias in broad Iolcus held his throne, Wealthy in cattle; th’ other royal son Rul’d sandy Pylos. To these issue more This queen of women to her husband bore, Æson, and Pheres, and Amythaon That for his fight on horseback stoop’d to none. Next her, I saw admir’d Antiope, Asopus’ daughter, who (as much as she Boasted attraction of great Neptune’s love) Boasted to slumber in the arms of Jove, And two sons likewise at one burden bore To that her all-controlling paramour, Amphion, and fair Zethus; that first laid Great Thebes’ foundations, and strong walls convey’d About her turrets, that seven ports enclos’d, For though the Thebans much in strength repos’d, Yet had not they the strength to hold their own, Without the added aids of wood and stone. Alcmena next I saw, that famous wife Was to Amphitryo, and honour’d life Gave to the lion-hearted Hercules, That was of Jove’s embrace the great increase. I saw, besides, proud Creon’s daughter there, Bright Megara, that nuptial yoke did wear With Jove’s great son, who never field did try But bore to him the flow’r of victory. The mother then of Œdipus I saw, Fair Epicasta, that, beyond all law, Her own son married, ignorant of kind. And he, as darkly taken in his mind, His mother wedded, and his father slew. Whose blind act Heav’n expos’d at length to view, And he in all-lov’d Thebes the supreme state With much moan manag’d, for the heavy fate The Gods laid on him. She made violent flight To Pluto’s dark house from the loathéd light, Beneath a steep beam strangled with a cord, And left her son, in life, pains as abhorr’d As all the Furies pour’d on her in hell. Then saw I Chloris, that did so excell In answering beauties, that each part had all. Great Neleus married her, when gifts not small Had won her favour, term’d by name of dow’r. She was of all Amphion’s seed the flow’r; Amphion, call’d Iasides, that then Rul’d strongly Myniæan Orchomen, And now his daughter rul’d the Pylian throne, Because her beauty’s empire overshone. She brought her wife-awed husband, Neleús, Nestor much honour’d, Periclymenus, And Chromius, sons with sov’reign virtues grac’d; But after brought a daughter that surpass’d, Rare-beautied Pero, so for form exact That Nature to a miracle was rack’d In her perfections, blaz’d with th’ eyes of men; That made of all the country’s hearts a chain, And drew them suitors to her. Which her sire Took vantage of, and, since he did aspire To nothing more than to the broad-brow’d herd Of oxen, which the common fame so rear’d, Own’d by Iphiclus, not a man should be His Pero’s husband, that from Phylace Those never-yet-driv’n oxen could not drive. Yet these a strong hope held him to achieve, Because a prophet, that had never err’d, Had said, that only he should be preferr’d To their possession. But the equal fate Of God withstood his stealth; inextricate Imprisoning bands, and sturdy churlish swains That were the herdsmen, who withheld with chains The stealth-attempter; which was only he That durst abet the act with prophecy, None else would undertake it, and he must; The king would needs a prophet should be just. But when some days and months expired were, And all the hours had brought about the year, The prophet did so satisfy the king (Iphiclus, all his cunning questioning) That he enfranchis’d him; and, all worst done, Jove’s counsel made th’ all-safe conclusión. Then saw I Leda, link’d in nuptial chain With Tyndarus, to whom she did sustain Sons much renown’d for wisdom; Castor one, That pass’d for use of horse comparison; And Pollux, that excell’d in whirlbat fight; Both these the fruitful earth bore, while the light Of life inspir’d them; after which, they found Such grace with Jove, that both liv’d under ground, By change of days; life still did one sustain, While th’ other died; the dead then liv’d again, The living dying; both of one self date Their lives and deaths made by the Gods and Fate. Iphimedia after Leda came, That did derive from Neptune too the name Of father to two admirable sons. Life yet made short their admiratións, Who God-opposéd Otus had to name, And Ephialtes far in sound of fame. The prodigal earth so fed them, that they grew To most huge stature, and had fairest hue Of all men, but Orion, under heav’n. At nine years old nine cubits they were driv’n Abroad in breadth, and sprung nine fathoms high. They threaten’d to give battle to the sky, And all th’ Immortals. They were setting on Ossa upon Olympus, and upon Steep Ossa leavy Pelius, that ev’n They might a highway make with lofty heav’n; And had perhaps perform’d it, had they liv’d Till they were striplings; but Jove’s son depriv’d Their limbs of life, before th’ age that begins The flow’r of youth, and should adorn their chins. Phædra and Procris, with wise Minos’ flame, Bright Ariadne, to the off’ring came. Whom whilome Theseus made his prise from Crete, That Athens’ sacred soil might kiss her feet, But never could obtain her virgin flow’r, Till, in the sea-girt Dia, Dian’s pow’r Detain’d his homeward haste, where (in her fane, By Bacchus witness’d) was the fatal wane Of her prime glory, Mæra, Clymene, I witness’d there; and loath’d Eriphyle, That honour’d gold more than she lov’d her spouse.[5] But, all th’ heroesses in Pluto’s house That then encounter’d me, exceeds my might To name or number, and ambrosian night Would quite be spent, when now the formal hours Present to sleep our all disposéd pow’rs, If at my ship, or here. My home-made vow I leave for fit grace to the Gods and you.” This said; the silence his discourse had made With pleasure held still through the house’s shade, When white-arm’d Areté this speech began: “Phæacians! How appears to you this man, So goodly person’d, and so match’d with mind? My guest he is, but all you stand combin’d In the renown he doth us. Do not then With careless haste dismiss him, nor the main Of his dispatch to one so needy maim, The Gods’ free bounty gives us all just claim To goods enow.” This speech, the oldest man Of any other Phæacensian, The grave heroë, Echinëus, gave All approbation, saying: “Friends! ye have The motion of the wise queen in such words As have not miss’d the mark, with which accords My clear opinion. But Alcinous, In word and work, must be our rule.” He thus; And then Alcinous said: “This then must stand, If while I live I rule in the command Of this well-skill’d-in-navigation state: Endure then, guest, though most importunate Be your affects for home. A little stay If your expectance bear, perhaps it may Our gifts make more complete. The cares of all Your due deduction asks; but principal I am therein the ruler.” He replied: “Alcinous, the most duly glorified With rule of all of all men, if you lay Commandment on me of a whole year’s stay, So all the while your preparations rise, As well in gifts as time,[6] ye can devise No better wish for me; for I shall come Much fuller-handed, and more honoured, home, And dearer to my people, in whose loves The richer evermore the better proves.” He answer’d: “There is argued in your sight A worth that works not men for benefit, Like prollers or impostors; of which crew, The gentle black earth feeds not up a few, Here and there wand’rers, blanching tales and lies, Of neither praise, nor use. You move our eyes With form, our minds with matter, and our ears With elegant oration, such as bears A music in the order’d history It lays before us. Not Demodocus With sweeter strains hath us’d to sing to us All the Greek sorrows, wept out in your own. But say: Of all your worthy friends, were none Objected to your eyes that consorts were To Ilion with you, and serv’d destiny there? This night is passing long, unmeasur’d, none Of all my household would to bed yet; on, Relate these wondrous things. Were I with you, If you would tell me but your woes, as now, Till the divine Aurora show’d her head, I should in no night relish thought of bed.” “Most eminent king,” said he, “times all must keep, There’s time to speak much, time as much to sleep. But would you hear still, I will tell you still, And utter more, more miserable ill Of friends than yet, that scap’d the dismal wars, And perish’d homewards, and in household jars Wag’d by a wicked woman. The chaste Queen No sooner made these lady ghosts unseen, Here and there flitting, but mine eyesight won The soul of Agamemnon, Atreus’ son, Sad, and about him all his train of friends, That in Ægisthus’ house endur’d their ends With his stern fortune. Having drunk the blood, He knew me instantly, and forth a flood Of springing tears gush’d; out he thrust his hands, With will t’ embrace me, but their old commands Flow’d not about him, nor their weakest part. I wept to see, and moan’d him from my heart, And ask’d: ‘O Agamemnon! King of men! What sort of cruel death hath render’d slain Thy royal person? Neptune in thy fleet Heav’n and his hellish billows making meet, Rousing the winds? Or have thy men by land Done thee this ill, for using thy command, Past their consents, in diminution Of those full shares their worths by lot had won Of sheep or oxen? Or of any town, In covetous strife, to make their rights thine own In men or women prisoners?’ He replied: ‘By none of these in any right I died, But by Ægisthus and my murd’rous wife (Bid to a banquet at his house) my life Hath thus been reft me, to my slaughter led Like to an ox pretended to be fed. So miserably fell I, and with me My friends lay massacred, as when you see At any rich man’s nuptials, shot, or feast, About his kitchen white-tooth’d swine lie drest. The slaughters of a world of men thine eyes, Both private, and in prease of enemies, Have personally witness’d; but this one Would all thy parts have broken into moan, To see how strew’d about our cups and cates, As tables set with feast, so we with fates, All gash’d and slain lay, all the floor embrued With blood and brain. But that which most I rued, Flew from the heavy voice that Priam’s seed, Cassandra, breath’d, whom, she that wit doth feed With baneful crafts, false Clytemnestra, slew, Close sitting by me; up my hands I threw From earth to heav’n, and tumbling on my sword Gave wretched life up; when the most abhorr’d, By all her sex’s shame, forsook the room, Nor deign’d, though then so near this heavy home, To shut my lips, or close my broken eyes. Nothing so heap’d is with impieties, As such a woman that would kill her spouse That married her a maid. When to my house I brought her, hoping of her love in heart, To children, maids, and slaves. But she (in th’ art Of only mischief hearty) not alone Cast on herself this foul aspersión, But loving dames, hereafter, to their lords Will bear, for good deeds, her bad thoughts and words.’ ‘Alas,’ said I, ‘that Jove should hate the lives Of Atreus’ seed so highly for their wives! For Menelaus’ wife a number fell, For dang’rous absence thine sent thee to hell.’ ‘For this,’ he answer’d, ‘be not thou more kind Than wise to thy wife. Never all thy mind Let words express to her. Of all she knows, Curbs for the worst still, in thyself repose. But thou by thy wife’s wiles shalt lose no blood, Exceeding wise she is, and wise in good. Icarius’ daughter, chaste Penelope, We left a young bride, when for battle we Forsook the nuptial peace, and at her breast Her first child sucking, who, by this hour, blest, Sits in the number of surviving men. And his bliss she hath, that she can contain, And her bliss thou hast, that she is so wise. For, by her wisdom, thy returnéd eyes Shall see thy son, and he shall greet his sire With fitting welcomes; when in my retire, My wife denies mine eyes my son’s dear sight, And, as from me, will take from him the light, Before she adds one just delight to life, Or her false wit one truth that fits a wife. For her sake therefore let my harms advise, That though thy wife be ne’er so chaste and wise, Yet come not home to her in open view,[7] With any ship or any personal show, But take close shore disguis’d, nor let her know, For ’tis no world to trust a woman now. But what says Fame? Doth my son yet survive, In Orchomen, or Pylos? Or doth live In Sparta with his uncle? Yet I see Divine Orestes is not here with me.’ I answer’d, asking: ‘Why doth Atreus’ son Enquire of me, who yet arriv’d where none Could give to these news any certain wings? And ’tis absurd to tell uncertain things.’ Such sad speech past us; and as thus we stood, With kind tears rend’ring unkind fortunes good, Achilles’ and Patroclus’ soul appear’d, And his soul, of whom never ill was heard, The good Antilochus, and the soul of him That all the Greeks past both for force and limb, Excepting the unmatch’d Æacides, Illustrious Ajax. But the first of these That saw, acknowledg’d, and saluted me, Was Thetis’ conqu’ring son, who (heavily His state here taking) said: ‘Unworthy breath! What act yet mightier imagineth Thy vent’rous spirit? How dost thou descend These under-regions, where the dead man’s end Is to be look’d on, and his foolish shade?’ I answer’d him: ‘I was induc’d t’ invade These under-parts, most excellent of Greece, To visit wise Tiresias, for advice Of virtue to direct my voyage home To rugged Ithaca; since I could come To note in no place, where Achaia stood, And so liv’d ever, tortur’d with the blood In man’s vain veins. Thou, therefore, Thetis’ son, Hast equall’d all, that ever yet have won The bliss the earth yields, or hereafter shall. In life thy eminence was ador’d of all, Ev’n with the Gods; and now, ev’n dead, I see Thy virtues propagate thy empery To a renew’d life of command beneath; So great Achilles triumphs over death.’ This comfort of him this encounter found; ‘Urge not my death to me, nor rub that wound, I rather wish to live in earth a swain, Or serve a swain for hire, that scarce can gain Bread to sustain him, than, that life once gone, Of all the dead sway the imperial throne. But say, and of my son some comfort yield, If he goes on in first fights of the field, Or lurks for safety in the obscure rear? Or of my father if thy royal ear Hath been advertis’d, that the Phthian throne He still commands, as greatest Myrmidon? Or that the Phthian and Thessalian rage (Now feet and hands are in the hold of age) Despise his empire? Under those bright rays, In which heav’n’s fervour hurls about the days. Must I no more shine his revenger now, Such as of old the Ilion overthrow Witness’d my anger, th’ universal host Sending before me to this shady coast, In fight for Grecia. Could I now resort, (But for some small time) to my father’s court, In spirit and pow’r as then, those men should find My hands inaccessible, and of fire my mind, That durst with all the numbers they are strong Unseat his honour, and suborn his wrong.’ This pitch still flew his spirit, though so low, And this I answer’d thus: ‘I do not know Of blameless Peleus any least report, But of your son, in all the utmost sort, I can inform your care with truth, and thus: From Scyros princely Neoptolemus By fleet I convey’d to the Greeks, where he Was chief, at both parts, when our gravity Retir’d to council, and our youth to fight. In council still so fiery was Conceit In his quick apprehension of a cause, That first he ever spake, nor pass’d the laws Of any great stay, in his greatest haste. None would contend with him, that counsell’d last, Unless illustrious Nestor, he and I Would sometimes put a friendly contrary On his opinion. In our fights, the prease Of great or common, he would never cease, But far before fight ever. No man there, For force, he forcéd. He was slaughterer Of many a brave man in most dreadful fight. But one and other whom he reft of light, In Grecian succour, I can neither name, Nor give in number. The particular fame Of one man’s slaughter yet I must not pass; Eurypylus Telephides he was, That fell beneath him, and with him the falls Of such huge men went, that they show’d like whales[8] Rampir’d about him. Neoptolemus Set him so sharply, for the sumptuous Favours of mistresses he saw him wear; For past all doubt his beauties had no peer Of all that mine eyes noted, next to one, And that was Memnon, Tithon’s Sun-like son. Thus far, for fight in public, may a taste Give of his eminence. How far surpast His spirit in private, where he was not seen, Nor glory could be said to praise his spleen, This close note I excerpted. When we sat Hid in Epëus’ horse, no optimate Of all the Greeks there had the charge to ope And shut the stratagem but I.[9] My scope To note then each man’s spirit in a strait Of so much danger, much the better might Be hit by me, than others, as, provok’d, I shifted place still, when, in some I smok’d Both privy tremblings, and close vent of tears, In him yet not a soft conceit of theirs Could all my search see, either his wet eyes Ply’d still with wipings, or the goodly guise, His person all ways put forth, in least part, By any tremblings, show’d his touch’d-at heart. But ever he was urging me to make Way to their sally, by his sign to shake His sword hid in his scabbard, or his lance Loaded with iron, at me. No good chance His thoughts to Troy intended. In th’ event, High Troy depopulate, he made ascent To his fair ship, with prise and treasure store, Safe, and no touch away with him he bore Of far-off-hurl’d lance, or of close-fought sword, Whose wounds for favours war doth oft afford, Which he (though sought) miss’d in war’s closest wage. _In close fights Mars doth never fight, but rage.’_ This made the soul of swift Achilles tread A march of glory through the herby mead, For joy to hear me so renown his son; And vanish’d stalking. But with passión Stood th’ other souls struck, and each told his bane. Only the spirit Telamonian[10] Kept far off, angry for the victory I won from him at fleet; though arbitry Of all a court of war pronounc’d it mine, And Pallas’ self. Our prise were th’ arms divine Of great Æacides, proposd t’ our fames By his bright Mother, at his funeral games. I wish to heav’n I ought not to have won; Since for those arms so high a head so soon The base earth cover’d, Ajax, that of all The host of Greece had person capital, And acts as eminent, excepting his Whose arms those were, in whom was nought amiss. I tried the great soul with soft words, and said: ‘Ajax! Great son of Telamon, array’d In all our glories! What! not dead resign Thy wrath for those curst arms? The Pow’rs divine In them forg’d all our banes, in thine own one, In thy grave fall our tower was overthrown. We mourn, for ever maim’d, for thee as much As for Achilles; nor thy wrong doth touch, In sentence, any but Saturnius’ doom; In whose hate was the host of Greece become A very horror; who express’d it well In signing thy fate with this timeless hell. Approach then, king of all the Grecian merit, Repress thy great mind and thy flamy spirit, And give the words I give thee worthy ear.’ All this no word drew from him, but less near The stern soul kept; to other souls he fled, And glid along the river of the dead. Though anger mov’d him, yet he might have spoke, Since I to him. But my desires were strook With sight of other souls. And then I saw Minos, that minister’d to Death a law, And Jove’s bright son was. He was set, and sway’d A golden sceptre; and to him did plead A sort of others, set about his throne, In Pluto’s wide-door’d house; when straight came on Mighty Orion, who was hunting there The herds of those beasts he had slaughter’d here In desert hills on earth. A club he bore, Entirely steel, whose virtues never wore. Tityus I saw, to whom the glorious earth Open’d her womb, and gave unhappy birth. Upwards, and flat upon the pavement, lay His ample limbs, that spread in their display Nine acres’ compass. On his bosom sat Two vultures, digging, through his caul of fat, Into his liver with their crookéd beaks; And each by turns the concrete entrail breaks (As smiths their steel beat) set on either side. Nor doth he ever labour to divide His liver and their beaks, nor with his hand Offer them off, but suffers by command Of th’ angry Thund’rer, off’ring to enforce His love Latona, in the close recourse She us’d to Pytho through the dancing land, Smooth Panopëus. I saw likewise stand, Up to the chin, amidst a liquid lake, Tormented Tantalus, yet could not slake His burning thirst. Oft as his scornful cup Th’ old man would taste, so oft ’twas swallow’d up, And all the black earth to his feet descried, Divine pow’r (plaguing him) the lake still dried. About his head, on high trees, clust’ring, hung Pears, apples, granates, olives ever-young, Delicious figs, and many fruit-trees more Of other burden; whose alluring store When th’ old soul striv’d to pluck, the winds from sight, In gloomy vapours, made them vanish quite. There saw I Sisyphus in infinite moan, With both hands heaving up a massy stone, And on his tip-toes racking all his height, To wrest up to a mountain-top his freight; When prest to rest it there, his nerves quite spent, Down rush’d the deadly quarry, the event Of all his torture new to raise again; To which straight set his never-rested pain. The sweat came gushing out from ev’ry pore And on his head a standing mist he wore, Reeking from thence, as if a cloud of dust Were rais’d about it. Down with these was thrust The idol of the force of Hercules, But his firm self did no such fate oppress, He feasting lives amongst th’ Immortal States, White-ankled Hebe and himself made mates In heav’nly nuptials. Hebe, Jove’s dear race, And Juno’s whom the golden sandals grace. About him flew the clamours of the dead Like fowls, and still stoop’d cuffing at his head. He with his bow, like Night, stalk’d up and down, His shaft still nock’d, and hurling round his frown At those vex’d hov’rers, aiming at them still, And still, as shooting out, desire to still. A horrid bawdrick wore he thwart his breast, The thong all-gold, in which were forms imprest, Where art and miracle drew equal breaths, In bears, boars, lions, battles, combats, deaths, Who wrought that work did never such before, Nor so divinely will do ever more. Soon as he saw, he knew me, and gave speech: ‘Son of Laertes, high in wisdom’s reach, And yet unhappy wretch, for in this heart, Of all exploits achiev’d by thy desert, Thy worth but works out some sinister fate, As I in earth did. I was generate By Jove himself, and yet past mean opprest By one my far inferior, whose proud hest Impos’d abhorréd labours on my hand. Of all which one was, to descend this strand, And hale the dog from thence. He could not think An act that danger could make deeper sink. And yet this depth I drew, and fetch’d as high, As this was low, the dog. The Deity Of sleight and wisdom, as of downright pow’r, Both stoop’d, and rais’d, and made me conqueror.’ This said, he made descent again as low As Pluto’s court; when I stood firm, for show Of more heroës of the times before, And might perhaps have seen my wish of more, (As Theseus and Pirithous, deriv’d From roots of Deity) but before th’ achiev’d Rare sight of these, the rank-soul’d multitude In infinite flocks rose, venting sounds so rude, That pale Fear took me, lest the Gorgon’s head Rush’d in amongst them, thrust up, in my dread, By grim Persephoné. I therefore sent My men before to ship, and after went. Where, boarded, set, and launch’d, the ocean wave Our oars and forewinds speedy passage gave.

[1] They mourned the event before they knew it.
[2] _Misenus apud Virgilium, ingenti mole, etc._
[3] Men that never eat salt with their food.
[4] _Γήπᾳ ὑπὸ λιπαρῳ̑._ Which all translate _senectute sub molli._ The
epithet _λιπαρῳ̑;_ not of _λιπαρὸς,_ viz, _pinguis,_ or _λιπαρω̑ς,
pinguiter,_ but _λιπαρω̑ς_ signifying _flagitanter orando._ To which
pious age is ever altogether addicted.
[5] Amphiaraus was her husband, whom she betrayed to his ruin at
Thebes, for gold taken of Adrastus her brother.
[6] _Venustè et salsè dictum._
[7] This advice he followed at his coming home.
[8] This place (and a number more) is most miserably mistaken by all
translators and commentors.
[9] The horse abovesaid.
[10] Ajax the son of Telamon.



He shows from Hell his safe retreat To th’ isle Ææa, Circe’s seat; And how he ’scap’d the Sirens’ calls, With th’ erring rocks, and waters’ falls, That Scylla and Charybdis break; The Sun’ s stol’ n herds; and his sad wreak Both of Ulysses’ ship and men, His own head ’scaping scarce the pain.


_Μυ̑_ The rocks that err’d, The Sirens’ call. The Sun’s stol’n herd. The soldiers’ fall.

“Our ship now past the straits of th’ ocean flood, She plow’d the broad sea’s billows, and made good The isle Ææa, where the palace stands Of th’ early riser with the rosy hands, Active Aurora, where she loves to dance, And where the Sun doth his prime beams advance. When here arriv’d, we drew her up to land, And trod ourselves the re-saluted sand, Found on the shore fit resting for the night, Slept, and expected the celestial light. Soon as the white-and-red-mix’d finger’d Dame Had gilt the mountains with her saffron flame, I sent my men to Circe’s house before, To fetch deceas’d Elpenor to the shore. Straight swell’d the high banks with fell’d heaps of trees, And, full of tears, we did due exsequies To our dead friend. Whose corse consum’d with fire, And honour’d arms, whose sepulchre entire, And over that a column rais’d, his oar, Curiously carv’d, to his desire before, Upon the top of all his tomb we fix’d. Of all rites fit his funeral pile was mix’d. Nor was our safe ascent from Hell conceal’d From Circe’s knowledge; nor so soon reveal’d But she was with us, with her bread and food, And ruddy wine, brought by her sacred brood Of woods and fountains. In the midst she stood, And thus saluted us; ‘Unhappy men, That have, inform’d with all your senses, been In Pluto’s dismal mansion! You shall die Twice now, where others, that Mortality In her fair arms holds, shall but once decease. But eat and drink out all conceit of these, And this day dedicate to food and wine, The following night to sleep. When next shall shine The cheerful morning, you shall prove the seas. Your way, and ev’ry act ye must address, My knowledge of their order shall design, Lest with your own bad counsels ye incline Events as bad against ye, and sustain, By sea and shore, the woful ends that reign In wilful actions.’ Thus did she advise And, for the time, our fortunes were so wise To follow wise directions. All that day We sat and feasted. When his lower way The Sun had entered, and the Even the high, My friends slept on their gables; she and I (Led by her fair hand to place apart, By her well-sorted) did to sleep convert Our timid pow’rs; when all things Fate let fall In our affair she ask’d; I told her all. To which she answer’d: ‘These things thus took end. And now to those that I inform attend, Which you rememb’ring, God himself shall be The blesséd author of your memory. First to the Sirens ye shall come, that taint The minds of all men whom they can acquaint With their attractions. Whosoever shall, For want of knowledge mov’d, but hear the call Of any Siren, he will so despise Both wife and children, for their sorceries, That never home turns his affection’s stream, Nor they take joy in him, nor he in them. The Sirens will so soften with their song (Shrill, and in sensual appetite so strong) His loose affections, that he gives them head. And then observe: They sit amidst a mead, And round about it runs a hedge or wall Of dead men’s bones, their wither’d skins and all Hung all along upon it; and these men Were such as they had fawn’d into their fen, And then their skins hung on their hedge of bones. Sail by them therefore, thy companions Beforehand causing to stop ev’ry ear With sweet soft wax, so close that none may hear A note of all their charmings. Yet may you, If you affect it, open ear allow To try their motion; but presume not so To trust your judgment, when your senses go So loose about you, but give strait command To all your men, to bind you foot and hand Sure to the mast, that you may safe approve How strong in instigation to their love Their rapting tunes are. If so much they move, That, spite of all your reason, your will stands To be enfranchis’d both of feet and hands, Charge all your men before to slight your charge, And rest so far from fearing to enlarge That much more sure they bind you. When your friends Have outsail’d these, the danger that transcends Rests not in any counsel to prevent, Unless your own mind finds the tract and bent Of that way that avoids it. I can say That in your course there lies a twofold way, The right of which your own, taught, present wit, And grace divine, must prompt. In gen’ral yet Let this inform you: Near these Sirens’ shore Move two steep rocks, at whose feet lie and roar The black sea’s cruel billows; the bless’d Gods Call them the Rovers. Their abhorr’d abodes No bird can pass; no not the doves, whose fear[1] Sire Jove so loves that they are said to bear Ambrosia to him, can their ravine ’scape, But one of them falls ever to the rape Of those sly rocks; yet Jove another still Adds to the rest, that so may ever fill The sacred number. Never ship could shun The nimble peril wing’d there, but did run With all her bulk, and bodies of her men, To utter ruin. For the seas retain Not only their outrageous æsture there, But fierce assistants of particular fear, And supernatural mischief, they exspire, And those are whirlwinds of devouring fire Whisking about still. Th’ Argive ship alone, Which bore the care of all men, got her gone,[2] Come from Areta. Yet perhaps ev’n she Had wrack’d at those rocks, if the Deity, That lies by Jove’s side, had not lent her hand To their transmission; since the man, that mann’d In chief that voyage, she in chief did love. Of these two spiteful rocks, the one doth shove Against the height of heav’n her pointed brow. A black cloud binds it round, and never show Lends to the sharp point; not the clear blue sky Lets ever view it, not the summer’s eye, Nor fervent autumn’s. None that death could end Could ever scale it, or, if up, descend, Though twenty hands and feet he had for hold, A polish’d ice-like glibness doth enfold The rock so round, whose midst a gloomy cell Shrouds so far westward that it sees to hell. From this keep you as far, as from his bow An able young man can his shaft bestow. For here the whuling Scylla shrouds her face,[3] That breathes a voice at all parts no more base Than are a newly-kitten’d kitling’s cries, Herself a monster yet of boundless size, Whose sight would nothing please a mortal’s eyes, No nor the eyes of any God, if he (Whom nought should fright) fell foul on her, and she Her full shape show’d. Twelve foul feet bear about Her ugly bulk. Six huge long necks look out Of her rank shoulders; ev’ry neck doth let A ghastly head out; ev’ry head three set, Thick thrust together, of abhorréd teeth, And ev’ry tooth stuck with a sable death. She lurks in midst of all her den, and streaks From out a ghastly whirlpool all her necks; Where, gloting round her rock, to fish she falls; And up rush dolphins, dogfish; somewhiles whales If got within her when her rapine feeds; For ever-groaning Amphitrite breeds About her whirlpool an unmeasur’d store. No sea-man ever boasted touch of shore That there touch’d with his ship, but still she fed Of him and his; a man for ev’ry head Spoiling his ship of. You shall then descry The other humbler rock, that moves so nigh Your dart may mete the distance. It receives A huge wild fig-tree, curl’d with ample leaves, Beneath whose shades divine Charybdis sits, Supping the black deeps. Thrice a day her pits She drinking all dry, and thrice a day again All up she belches, baneful to sustain. When she is drinking, dare not near her draught, For not the force of Neptune, if once caught, Can force your freedom. Therefore, in your strife To ’scape Charybdis, labour all for life To row near Scylla, for she will but have For her six heads six men; and better save The rest, than all make off’rings to the wave.’ This need she told me of my loss, when I Desir’d to know, if that Necessity, When I had ’scap’d Charybdis’ outrages, My pow’rs might not revenge, though not redress? She answer’d: ‘O unhappy! art thou yet Enflam’d with war, and thirst to drink thy sweat? Not to the Gods give up both arms and will? She deathless is, and that immortal ill Grave, harsh, outrageous, not to be subdued, That men must suffer till they be renew’d. Nor lives there any virtue that can fly The vicious outrage of their cruelty. Shouldst thou put arms on, and approach the rock, I fear six more must expiate the shock. Six heads six men ask still. Hoise sail, and fly, And, in thy flight, aloud on Cratis cry (Great Scylla’s mother, who expos’d to light The bane of men) and she will do such right To thy observance, that she down will tread Her daughter’s rage, nor let her show a head. From thenceforth then, for ever past her care, Thou shalt ascend the isle triangular, Where many oxen of the Sun are fed, And fatted flocks. Of oxen fifty head In ev’ry herd feed, and their herds are seven; And of his fat flocks is their number even. Increase they yield not, for they never die. There ev’ry shepherdess a Deity. Fair Phaëthusa, and Lampetié, The lovely Nymphs are that their guardians be, Who to the daylight’s lofty-going Flame Had gracious birthright from the heav’nly Dame, Still young Neæra; who (brought forth and bred) Far off dismiss’d them, to see duly fed Their father’s herds and flocks in Sicily. These herds and flocks if to the Deity Ye leave, as sacred things, untouch’d, and on Go with all fit care of your home, alone, (Though through some suff’rance) you yet safe shall land In wishéd Ithaca. But if impious hand You lay on those herds to their hurts, I then Presage sure ruin to thy ship and men. If thou escap’st thyself, extending home Thy long’d-for landing, thou shalt loaded come With store of losses, most exceeding late, And not consorted with a savéd mate.’ This said, the golden-thron’d Aurora rose, She her way went, and I did mine dispose Up to my ship, weigh’d anchor, and away. When rev’rend Circe help’d us to convey Our vessel safe, by making well inclin’d A seaman’s true companion, a forewind, With which she fill’d our sails; when, fitting all Our arms close by us, I did sadly fall To grave relation what concern’d in fate My friends to know, and told them that the state Of our affairs’ success, which Circe had Presag’d to me alone, must yet be made To one nor only two known, but to all; That, since their lives and deaths were left to fall In their elections, they might life elect, And give what would preserve it fit effect. I first inform’d them, that we were to fly The heav’nly-singing Sirens’ harmony, And flow’r-adorned meadow; and that I Had charge to hear their song, but fetter’d fast In bands, unfavour’d, to th’ erected mast, From whence, if I should pray, or use command, To be enlarg’d, they should with much more band Contain my strugglings. This I simply told To each particular, nor would withhold What most enjoin’d mine own affection’s stay, That theirs the rather might be taught t’ obey. In mean time flew our ships, and straight we fetch’d The Siren’s isle; a spleenless wind so stretch’d Her wings to waft us, and so urg’d our keel. But having reach’d this isle, we could not feel The least gasp of it, it was stricken dead, And all the sea in prostrate slumber spread, The Sirens’ devil charm’d all. Up then flew My friends to work, struck sail, together drew, And under hatches stow’d them, sat, and plied The polish’d oars, and did in curls divide The white-head waters. My part then came on: A mighty waxen cake I set upon, Chopp’d it in fragments with my sword, and wrought With strong hand ev’ry piece, till all were soft. The great pow’r of the sun, in such a beam As then flew burning from his diadem, To liquefaction help’d us. Orderly I stopp’d their ears; and they as fair did ply My feet and hands with cords, and to the mast With other halsers made me soundly fast. Then took they seat, and forth our passage strook, The foamy sea beneath their labour shook. Row’d on, in reach of an erected voice, The Sirens soon took note, without our noise, Tun’d those sweet accents that made charms so strong, And these learn’d numbers made the Sirens’ song: _‘Come here, thou worthy of a world of praise, That dost so high the Grecian glory raise, Ulysses! stay thy ship, and that song hear That none pass’d ever but it bent his ear, But left him ravish’d, and instructed more By us, than any ever heard before. For we know all things whatsoever were In wide Troy labour’d; whatsoever there The Grecians and the Trojans both sustain’d By those high issues that the Gods ordain’d. And whatsoever all the earth can show T’ inform a knowledge of desert, we know.’_ This they gave accent in the sweetest strain That ever open’d an enamour’d vein. When my constrain’d heart needs would have mine ear Yet more delighted, force way forth, and hear. To which end I commanded with all sign Stern looks could make (for not a joint of mine Had pow’r to stir) my friends to rise, and give My limbs free way. They freely striv’d to drive Their ship still on. When, far from will to loose, Eurylochus and Perimedes rose To wrap me surer, and oppress’d me more With many a halser than had use before. When, rowing on without the reach of sound, My friends unstopp’d their ears, and me unbound, And that isle quite we quitted. But again Fresh fears employ’d us. I beheld a main Of mighty billows, and a smoke ascend, A horrid murmur hearing. Ev’ry friend Astonish’d sat; from ev’ry hand his Oar Fell quite forsaken; with the dismal roar Were all things there made echoes; stone-still stood Our ship itself, because the ghastly flood Took all men’s motions from her in their own. I through the ship went, labouring up and down My friends’ recover’d spirits. One by one I gave good words, and said: That well were known These ills to them before, I told them all, And that these could not prove more capital Than those the Cyclops block’d us up in, yet My virtue, wit, and heav’n-help’d counsels set Their freedoms open. I could not believe But they remember’d it, and wish’d them give My equal care and means now equal trust. The strength they had for stirring up they must Rouse and extend, to try if Jove had laid His pow’rs in theirs up, and would add his aid To ’scape ev’n that death. In particular then, I told our pilot, that past other men He most must bear firm spirits, since he sway’d The continent that all our spirits convey’d, In his whole guide of her. He saw there boil The fiery whirlpools that to all our spoil Inclos’d a rock, without which he must steer, Or all our ruins stood concluded there. All heard me and obey’d, and little knew That, shunning that rock, six of them should rue The wrack another hid. For I conceal’d The heavy wounds, that never would be heal’d, To be by Scylla open’d; for their fear Would then have robb’d all of all care to steer, Or stir an oar, and made them hide beneath, When they and all had died an idle death. But then ev’n I forgot to shun the harm Circe forewarn’d; who will’d I should not arm, Nor show myself to Scylla, lest in vain I ventur’d life. Yet could not I contain, But arm’d at all parts, and two lances took, Up to the foredeck went, and thence did look That rocky Scylla would have first appear’d And taken my life with the friends I fear’d. From thence yet no place could afford her sight, Though through the dark rock mine eye threw her light, And ransack’d all ways. I then took a strait That gave myself, and some few more, receit ’Twixt Scylla and Charybdis; whence we saw How horridly Charybdis’ throat did draw The brackish sea up, which when all aboard She spit again out, never caldron sod With so much fervour, fed with all the store That could enrage it; all the rock did roar With troubled waters; round about the tops Of all the steep crags flew the foamy drops. But when her draught the sea and earth dissunder’d, The troubled bottoms turn’d up, and she thunder’d, Far under shore the swart sands naked lay. Whose whole stern sight the startled blood did fray From all our faces. And while we on her Our eyes bestow’d thus to our ruin’s fear, Six friends had Scylla snatch’d out of our keel, In whom most loss did force and virtue feel. When looking to my ship, and lending eye To see my friends’ estates, their heels turn’d high, And hands cast up, I might discern, and hear Their calls to me for help, when now they were To try me in their last extremities. And as an angler med’cine for surprise Of little fish sits pouring from the rocks, From out the crook’d horn of a fold-bred ox, And then with his long angle hoists them high Up to the air, then slightly hurls them by, When helpless sprawling on the land they lie; So eas’ly Scylla to her rock had rapt My woeful friends, and so unhelp’d entrapt Struggling they lay beneath her violent rape, Who in their tortures, desp’rate of escape, Shriek’d as she tore, and up their hands to me Still threw for sweet life. I did never see, In all my suff’rance ransacking the seas, A spectacle so full of miseries. Thus having fled these rocks (these cruel dames Scylla, Charybdis) where the King of flames Hath off’rings burn’d to him, our ship put in The island that from all the earth doth win The epithet _Faultless,_ where the broad-of-head And famous oxen for the Sun are fed, With many fat flocks of that high-gone God. Set in my ship, mine ear reach’d where we rode The bellowing of oxen, and the bleat Of fleecy sheep, that in my memory’s seat Put up the forms that late had been imprest By dread Ææn Circe, and the best Of souls and prophets, the blind Theban seer, The wise Tiresias, who was grave decreer Of my return’s whole means; of which this one In chief he urg’d—that I should always shun The island of the man-delighting Sun. When, sad at heart for our late loss, I pray’d My friends to hear fit counsel (though dismay’d With all ill fortunes) which was giv’n to me By Circe’s and Tiresias’ prophecy,— That I should fly the isle where was ador’d The Comfort of the world, for ills abhorr’d Were ambush’d for us there; and therefore will’d They should put off and leave the isle. This kill’d Their tender spirits; when Eurylochus A speech that vex’d me utter’d, answ’ring thus: ‘Cruel Ulysses! Since thy nerves abound In strength, the more spent, and no toils confound Thy able limbs, as all beat out of steel, Thou ablest us too, as unapt to feel The teeth of Labour, and the spoil of Sleep, And therefore still wet waste us in the deep, Nor let us land to eat, but madly now In night put forth, and leave firm land to strew The sea with errors. All the rabid flight Of winds that ruin ships are bred in night. Who is it that can keep off cruel Death, If suddenly should rush out th’ angry breath Of Notus, or the eager-spirited West, That cuff ships dead, and do the Gods their best? Serve black Night still with shore, meat, sleep, and ease, And offer to the Morning for the seas.’ This all the rest approv’d, and then knew I That past all doubt the Devil did apply His slaught’rous works. Nor would they be withheld; I was but one, nor yielded but compell’d. But all that might contain them I assay’d, A sacred oath on all their pow’rs I laid, That if with herds or any richest-flocks We chanc’d t’ encounter, neither sheep nor ox We once should touch, nor (for that constant ill That follows folly) scorn advice and kill, But quiet sit us down and take such food As the immortal Circe had bestow’d. They swore all this in all severest sort; And then we anchor’d in the winding port Near a fresh river, where the long’d-for shore They all flew out to, took in victuals store, And, being full, thought of their friends, and wept Their loss by Scylla, weeping till they slept. In night’s third part, when stars began to stoop, The Cloud-assembler put a tempest up. A boist’rous spirit he gave it, drave out all His flocks of clouds, and let such darkness fall That Earth and Seas, for fear, to hide were driv’n, For with his clouds he thrust out Night from heav’n. At morn we drew our ships into a cave, In which the Nymphs that Phœbus’ cattle drave Fair dancing-rooms had, and their seats of state. I urg’d my friends then, that, to shun their fate, They would observe their oath, and take the food Our ship afforded, nor attempt the blood Of those fair herds and flocks, because they were The dreadful God’s that all could see and hear. They stood observant, and in that good mind Had we been gone; but so adverse the wind Stood to our passage, that we could not go. For one whole month perpetually did blow Impetuous Notus, not a breath’s repair But his and Eurus’ rul’d in all the air. As long yet as their ruddy wine and bread Stood out amongst them, so long not a head Of all those oxen fell in any strife Amongst those students for the gut and life; But when their victuals fail’d they fell to prey, Necessity compell’d them then to stray In rape of fish and fowl; whatever came In reach of hand or hook, the belly’s flame Afflicted to it. I then fell to pray’r, And (making to a close retreat repair, Free from both friends and winds) I wash’d my hands, And all the Gods besought, that held commands In liberal heav’n, to yield some mean to stay Their desp’rate hunger, and set up the way Of our return restrain’d. The Gods, instead Of giving what I pray’d for—pow’r of deed— A deedless sleep did on my lids distill, For mean to work upon my friends their fill. For whiles I slept, there wak’d no mean to curb Their headstrong wants; which he that did disturb My rule in chief at all times, and was chief To all the rest in counsel to their grief, Knew well, and of my present absence took His fit advantage, and their iron strook At highest heat. For, feeling their desire In his own entrails, to allay the fire That Famine blew in them, he thus gave way To that affection: ‘Hear what I shall say, Though words will staunch no hunger, ev’ry death To us poor wretches that draw temporal breath You know is hateful; but, all know, to die The death of Famine is a misery Past all death loathsome. Let us, therefore, take The chief of this fair herd, and off’rings make To all the Deathless that in broad heav’n live, And in particular vow, if we arrive In natural Ithaca, to straight erect A temple to the Haughty-in-aspect, Rich and magnificent, and all within Deck it with relics many and divine. If yet he stands incens’d, since we have slain His high-brow’d herd, and, therefore, will sustain Desire to wrack our ship, he is but one, And all the other Gods that we atone With our divine rites will their suffrage give To our design’d return, and let us live. If not, and all take part, I rather crave To serve with one sole death the yawning wave, Than in a desert island lie and sterve, And with one pin’d life many deaths observe.’ All cried ‘He counsels nobly,’ and all speed Made to their resolute driving; for the feed Of those coal-black, fair, broad-brow’d, sun-lov’d beeves Had place close by our ships. They took the lives Of sence, most eminent; about their fall Stood round, and to the States Celestial Made solemn vows; but other rites their ship Could not afford them, they did, therefore, strip The curl’d-head oak of fresh young leaves, to make Supply of service for their barley-cake. And on the sacredly-enflam’d, for wine, Pour’d purest water, all the parts divine Spitting and roasting; all the rites beside Orderly using. Then did light divide My low and upper lids; when, my repair Made near my ship, I met the delicate air Their roast exhal’d; out instantly I cried, And said: ‘O Jove, and all ye Deified, Ye have oppress’d me with a cruel sleep, While ye conferr’d on me a loss as deep As Death descends to. To themselves alone My rude men left ungovern’d, they have done A deed so impious, I stand well assur’d, That you will not forgive though ye procur’d.’ Then flew Lampetié with the ample robe Up to her father with the golden globe, Ambassadress t’ inform him that my men Had slain his oxen. Heart-incensed then, He cried: ‘Revenge me, Father, and the rest Both ever-living and for ever blest! Ulysses’ impious men have drawn the blood Of those my oxen that it did me good To look on, walking all my starry round, And when I trod earth all with meadows crown’d. Without your full amends I’ll leave heav’n quite, Dis and the dead adorning with my light.’ The Cloud-herd answer’d: ‘Son! Thou shalt be ours, And light those mortals in that mine of flow’rs! My red-hot flash shall graze but on their ship, And eat it, burning, in the boiling deep.’ This by Calypso I was told, and she Inform’d it from the verger Mercury. Come to our ship, I chid and told by name Each man how impiously he was to blame. But chiding got no peace, and beeves were slain! When straight the Gods forewent their following pain With dire ostents. The hides the flesh had lost Crept all before them. As the flesh did roast, It bellow’d like the ox itself alive. And yet my soldiers did their dead beeves drive Through all these prodigies in daily feasts. Six days they banqueted and slew fresh beasts; And when the sev’nth day Jove reduc’d the wind That all the month rag’d, and so in did bind Our ship and us, was turn’d and calm’d, and we Launch’d, put up masts, sails hoised, and to sea. The island left so far that land nowhere But only sea and sky had pow’r t’ appear, Jove fix’d a cloud above our ship, so black That all the sea it darken’d. Yet from wrack She ran a good free time, till from the West Came Zephyr ruffling forth, and put his breast Out in a singing tempest, so most vast It burst the gables that made sure our mast. Our masts came tumbling down, our cattle down Rush’d to the pump, and by our pilot’s crown The main-mast pass’d his fall, pash’d all his skull, And all this wrack but one flaw made at full. Off from the stern the sternsman diving fell, And from his sinews flew his soul to hell. Together all this time Jove’s thunder chid, And through and through the ship his lightning glid, Till it embrac’d her round; her bulk was fill’d With nasty sulphur, and her men were kill’d, Tumbled to sea, like sea-mews swum about, And there the date of their return was out. I toss’d from side to side still, till all-broke Her ribs were with the storm, and she did choke With let-in surges; for the mast torn down Tore her up piecemeal, and for me to drown Left little undissolv’d. But to the mast There was a leather thong left, which I cast About it and the keel, and so sat tost With baneful weather, till the West had lost His stormy tyranny. And then arose The South, that bred me more abhorréd woes; For back again his blasts expell’d me quite On ravenous Charybdis. All that night I totter’d up and down, till Light and I At Scylla’s rock encounter’d, and the nigh Dreadful Charybdis. As I drave on these, I saw Charybdis supping up the seas, And had gone up together, if the tree That bore the wild figs had not rescued me; To which I leap’d, and left my keel, and high Chamb’ring upon it did as close imply My breast about it as a reremouse could; Yet might my feet on no stub fasten hold To ease my hands, the roots were crept so low Beneath the earth, and so aloft did grow The far-spread arms that, though good height I gat, I could not reach them. To the main bole flat I, therefore, still must cling; till up again She belch’d my mast, and after that amain My keel came tumbling. So at length it chanc’d To me, as to a judge that long advanc’d To judge a sort of hot young fellows’ jars, At length time frees him from their civil wars, When glad he riseth and to dinner goes; So time, at length, releas’d with joys my woes, And from Charybdis’ mouth appear’d my keel. To which, my hand now loos’d and now my heel, I altogether with a huge noise dropp’d, Just in her midst fell, where the mast was propp’d, And there row’d off with owers of my hands. God and man’s Father would not from her sands Let Scylla see me, for I then had died That bitter death that my poor friends supplied. Nine days at sea I hover’d; the tenth night In th’ isle Ogygia, where, about the bright And right renown’d Calypso, I was cast By pow’r of Deity; where I lived embrac’d With love and feasts. But why should I relate Those kind occurrents? I should iterate What I in part to your chaste queen and you So late imparted. And, for me to grow A talker-over of my tale again, Were past my free contentment to sustain.”


_Opus novem dierum._

_Σὺν Θεᾳ._

[1] _Πέλειαι τρήρωνες. Columbæ timidæ._ What these doves were, and the
whole mind of this place, the great Macedon asking Chiron
Amphipolites, he answered: They were the Pleiades or seven Stars. One
of which (besides his proper imperfection of being _ἀμυδρὸς,_ i.e.
_adeo exilis, vel subobscurus, ut vix appareat_) is utterly obscured
or let by these rocks. Why then, or how, Jove still supplied the lost
one, that the number might be full, Athenæus falls to it, and helps
the other out, interpreting it to be affirmed of their perpetual
septenary number, though there appeared but six. But how lame and
loathsome these prosers show in their affected expositions of the
poetical mind, this and an hundred others, spent in mere presumptuous
guess at this inaccessible Poet, I hope will make plain enough to the
most envious of any thing done, besides their own set censures and
most arrogant over-weenings. In the 23 of the lliads (being _ψ_) at
the games celebrated at Patroclus’ funerals, they tied to the top of a
mast _πέλειαν τρήρωνα, timidam columbam,_ to shoot at for a game, so
that (by these great men’s abovesaid expositions) they shot at the
[2] _Νηυ̑ς πα̑σι μέλουσα,_ etc. _Navis omnibus curæ: the ship that
held the care of all men, or of all things:_ which our critics will
needs restrain, _omnibus heroibus, Poetis omnibus, vel Historicis,_
when the care of all men’s preservation is affirmed to be the freight
of it; as if poets and historians comprehended all things, when I
scarce know any that makes them any part of their care. But this
likewise is garbage good enough for the monster. Nor will I tempt our
spiced consciences with expressing the divine mind it includes. Being
afraid to affirm any good of poor poesy, since no man gets any goods
by it. And notwithstanding many of our bird-eyed starters at
profanation are for nothing so afraid of it; as that lest their galled
consciences (scarce believing the most real truth, in approbation of
their lives) should be rubbed with the confirmation of it, even in
these contemned vanities (as their impieties please to call them)
which by much more learned and pious than themselves have ever been
called the raptures of divine inspiration, by which, _Homo supra
humanam naturam erigitur, et in Deum transit._—Plat.
[3] _Δεινὸν λελακυι̑α,_ etc. _Graviter vociferans;_ as all most
untruly translate it. As they do in the next verse these words
_σκύλακος νεογιλη̑ς catuli leonis,_ no lion being here dreamed of, nor
any vociferation. _Δεινὸν λελακυι̑α_ signifying _indignam,
dissimilem,_ or _horribilem vocem edens:_ but in what kind
_horribilem?_ Not for the gravity or greatness of her voice, but for
the unworthy or disproportionable small whuling of it; she being in
the vast frame of her body, as the very words _πέλωρ κακὸν_ signify,
_monstrum ingens;_ whose disproportion and deformity is too poetically
(and therein elegantly) ordered for fat and flat prosers to
comprehend. Nor could they make the Poet’s words serve their
comprehension; and therefore they add of their own, _λάσκω,_ from
whence _λελακυι̑α_ is derived, signifying _crepo,_ or _stridulê
clamo._ And _σκύλακος νεογιλη̑ς_ is to be expounded, _catuli nuper_ or
_recens nati,_ not _leonis._ But thus they botch and abuse the
incomparable expressor, because they knew not how otherwise to be
monstrous enough themselves to help out the monster. Imagining so huge
a great body must needs have a voice as huge; and then would not our
Homer have likened it to a lion’s whelp’s voice, but to the lion’s
own; and all had been much too little to make a voice answerable to
her hugeness. And therefore found our inimitable master a new way to
express her monstrous disproportion; performing it so, as there can be
_nihil suprâ._ And I would fain learn of my learned detractor, that
will needs have me only translate out of the Latin, what Latin
translation tells me this? Or what Grecian hath ever found this and a
hundred other such? Which may be some poor instance, or proof, of my
Grecian faculty, as far as old Homer goes in his two simple Poems, but
not a syllable further will my silly spirit presume.



Ulysses (shipp’d, but in the even, With all the presents he was given, And sleeping then) is set next morn In full scope of his wish’d return, And treads unknown his country-shore, Whose search so many winters wore. The ship (returning, and arriv’d Against the city) is depriv’d Of form, and, all her motion gone, Transform’d by Neptune to a stone. Ulysses (let to know the strand Where the Phæacians made him land) Consults with Pallas, for the life Of ev’ry wooer of his wife. His gifts she hides within a cave, And him into a man more grave, All hid in wrinkles, crookéd, gray, Transform’d; who so goes on his way.


_Νυ̑._ Phæacia Ulysses leaves; Whom Ithaca, Unwares, receives.

He said; and silence all their tongues contain’d, In admiration, when with pleasure chain’d Their ears had long been to him. At last brake Alcinous silence, and in this sort spake To th’ Ithacensian, Laertes’ son: “O Ithacus! However over-run With former suff’rings in your way for home, Since ’twas, at last, your happy fate to come To my high-roof’d and brass-foundation’d house, I hope, such speed and pass auspicious Our loves shall yield you, that you shall no more Wander, nor suffer, homewards, as before. You then, whoever that are ever grac’d With all choice of authoriz’d pow’r to taste Such wine with me as warms the sacred rage, And is an honorary giv’n to age,[1] With which ye likewise hear divinely sing, In honour’s praise, the poet of the king, I move, by way of my command, to this: That where in an elaborate chest there lies A present for our guest, attires of price, And gold engrav’n with infinite device, I wish that each of us should add beside A tripod, and a caldron, amplified With size, and metal of most rate, and great; For we, in council of taxation met, Will from our subjects gain their worth again; Since ’tis unequal one man should sustain A charge so weighty, being the grace of all, Which borne by many is a weight but small.” Thus spake Alcinous, and pleas’d the rest; When each man clos’d with home and sleep his feast. But when the colour-giving light arose, All to the ship did all their speeds dispose,[2] And wealth, that honest men makes, brought with them.[3] All which ev’n he that wore the diadem Stow’d in the ship himself, beneath the seats The rowers sat in, stooping, lest their lets In any of their labours he might prove. Then home he turn’d, and after him did move The whole assembly to expected feast. Among whom he a sacrifice addrest, And slew an ox, to weather-wielding Jove, Beneath whose empire all things are, and move. The thighs then roasting, they made glorious cheer Delighted highly; and amongst them there The honour’d-of-the-people us’d his voice, Divine Demodocus. Yet, through this choice Of cheer and music, had Ulysses still An eye directed to the Eastern hill, To see Him rising that illustrates all; For now into his mind a fire did fall Of thirst for home. And as in hungry vow To needful food a man at fixéd plow (To whom the black ox all day long hath turn’d The stubborn fallows up, his stomach burn’d With empty heat and appetite to food, His knees afflicted with his spirit-spent blood) At length the long-expected sunset sees, That he may sit to food, and rest his knees; So to Ulysses set the friendly light The sun afforded, with as wish’d a sight. Who straight bespake that oar-affecting State, But did in chief his speech appropriate To him by name, that with their rule was crown’d. “Alcinous, of all men most renown’d, Dismiss me with as safe pass as you vow (Your off’ring past) and may the Gods to you In all contentment use as full a hand; For now my landing here and stay shall stand In all perfection with my heart’s desire, Both my so safe deduction to aspire, And loving gifts; which may the Gods to me As blest in use make as your acts are free, Ev’n to the finding firm in love, and life, With all desir’d event, my friends, and wife. When, as myself shall live delighted there, May you with your wives rest as happy here, Your sons and daughters, in particular state, With ev’ry virtue render’d consummate; And, in your gen’ral empire, may ill never Approach your land, but good your good quit ever.” This all applauded, and all jointly cried: “Dismiss the stranger! He hath dignified With fit speech his dismission.” Then the king Thus charg’d the herald: “Fill for offering A bowl of wine; which through the whole large house Dispose to all men, that, propitious Our father Jove made with our pray’rs, we may Give home our guest in full and wishéd way.” This said, Pontonous commix’d a bowl Of such sweet wine as did delight the soul. Which making sacred to the blessed Gods, That hold in broad heav’n their supreme abodes, God-like Ulysses from his chair arose, And in the hands of th’ empress did impose The all-round cup; to whom, fair spoke, he said: “Rejoice, O queen, and be your joys repaid By heav’n, for me, till age and death succeed; Both which inflict their most unwelcome need On men and dames alike. And, first, for me, I must from hence, to both: Live you here free, And ever may all living blessings spring, Your joy in children, subjects, and your king.” This said, divine Ulysses took his way; Before whom the unalterable sway Of king Alcinous’ virtue did command A herald’s fit attendance to the strand, And ship appointed. With him likewise went Handmaids, by Arete’s injunction sent. One bore an out and in-weed, fair and sweet, The other an embroider’d cabinet, The third had bread to bear, and ruddy wine; All which, at sea and ship arriv’d, resign Their freight conferr’d. With fair attendants then, The sheets and bedding of the man of men, Within a cabin of the hollow keel, Spread, and made soft, that sleep might sweetly seel His restful eyes, he enter’d, and his bed In silence took. The rowers orderéd Themselves in sev’ral seats, and then set gone The ship, the gable from the hollow stone Dissolv’d and weigh’d-up, all, together, close Then beat the sea. His lids in sweet repose Sleep bound so fast, it scarce gave way to breath Inexcitable, most dear, next of all to death. And as amids a fair field four brave horse Before a chariot stung into their course With fervent lashes of the smarting scourge, That all their fire blows high, and makes them urge To utmost speed the measure of their ground; So bore the ship aloft her fiery bound; About whom rush’d the billows black and vast, In which the sea-roars burst. As firm as fast She ply’d her course yet; nor her wingéd speed The falcon-gentle could for pace exceed; So cut she through the waves, and bore a man Even with the Gods in counsels, that began And spent his former life in all misease, Battles of men, and rude waves of the seas, Yet now securely slept, forgetting all. And when heav’n’s brightest star, that first doth call The early morning out, advanc’d her head, Then near to Ithaca the billow-bred Phræcian ship approach’d. There is a port, That th’ aged sea-God Phorcys makes his fort, Whose earth the Ithacensian people own, In which two rocks inaccessible are grown Far forth into the sea, whose each strength binds The boist’rous waves in from the high-flown winds On both the out-parts so, that all within The well-built ships, that once their harbour win In his calm bosom, without anchor rest, Safe, and unstirr’d. From forth the haven’s high crest Branch the well-brawn’d arms of an olive-tree; Beneath which runs a cave from all sun free, Cool, and delightsome, sacred to th’ access Of Nymphs whose surnames are the Naiadés; In which flew humming bees, in which lay thrown Stone cups, stone vessels, shittles all of stone, With which the Nymphs their purple mantles wove, In whose contexture art and wonder strove; In which pure springs perpetually ran; To which two entries were; the one for man, On which the North breath’d; th’ other for the Gods, On which the South; and that bore no abodes For earthy men, but only deathless feet Had there free way. This port these men thought meet To land Ulysses, being the first they knew, Drew then their ship in, but no further drew Than half her bulk reach’d, by such cunning hand Her course was manag’d. Then her men took land, And first brought forth Ulysses, bed, and all That richly furnish’d it, he still in thrall Of all-subduing sleep. Upon the sand They set him softly down; and then the strand They strew’d with all the goods he had, bestow’d By the renown’d Phæacians, since he show’d So much Minerva. At the olive root They drew them then in heap, most far from foot Of any traveller, lest, ere his eyes Resum’d their charge, they might be others’ prise. These then turn’d home; nor was the sea’s Supreme Forgetful of his threats, for Polypheme Bent at divine Ulysses, yet would prove (Ere their performance) the decree of Jove. “Father! no more the Gods shall honour me, Since men despise me, and those men that see The light in lineage of mine own lov’d race.[4] I vow’d Ulysses should, before the grace Of his return, encounter woes enow To make that purchase dear; yet did not vow Simply against it, since thy brow had bent To his reduction, in the fore-consent Thou hadst vouchsaf’d it; yet, before my mind Hath full pow’r on him, the Phæacians find Their own minds’ satisfaction with his pass, So far from suff’ring what my pleasure was, That ease and softness now is habited In his secure breast, and his careless head Return’d in peace of sleep to Ithaca, The brass and gold of rich Phæacia Rocking his temples, garments richly wov’n, And worlds of prise, more than was ever strov’n From all the conflicts he sustain’d at Troy, If safe he should his full share there enjoy.” The Show’r-dissolver answer’d: “What a speech Hath pass’d thy palate, O thou great in reach Of wrackful empire! Far the Gods remain From scorn of thee, for ’twere a work of pain To prosecute with ignominies one That sways our ablest and most ancient throne. For men, if any so beneath in pow’r Neglect thy high will, now, or any hour That moves hereafter, take revenge to thee, Soothe all thy will, and be thy pleasure free.” “Why then,” said he, “thou blacker of the fumes That dim the sun, my licens’d pow’r resumes Act from thy speech; but I observe so much And fear thy pleasure, that, I dare not touch At any inclination of mine own, Till thy consenting influence be known. But now this curious-built Phæacian ship, Returning from her convoy, I will strip Of all her fleeting matter, and to stone Transform and fix it, just when she hath gone Her full time home, and jets before their prease In all her trim, amids the sable seas, That they may cease to convoy strangers still, When they shall see so like a mighty hill Their glory stick before their city’s grace, And my hands cast a mask before her face.”[5] “O friend,” said Jove, “it shows to me the best Of all earth’s objects, that their whole prease, drest In all their wonder, near their town shall stand, And stare upon a stone, so near the land, So like a ship, and dam up all their lights, As if a mountain interpos’d their sights.” When Neptune heard this, he for Scheria went, Whence the Phæacians took their first descent. Which when he reach’d, and, in her swiftest pride, The water-treader by the city’s side Came cutting close, close he came swiftly on, Took her in violent hand, and to a stone Turn’d all her sylvan substance; all below Firm’d her with roots, and left her. This strange show When the Phæacians saw, they stupid stood, And ask’d each other, who amids the flood Could fix their ship so in her full speed home, And quite transparent make her bulk become? Thus talk’d they; but were far from knowing how These things had issue. Which their king did show, And said: “O friends, the ancient prophecies My father told to me, to all our eyes Are now in proof. He said, the time would come, When Neptune, for our safe conducting home All sorts of strangers, out of envy fir’d, Would meet our fairest ship as she retir’d, And all the goodly shape and speed we boast Should like a mountain stand before us lost Amids the moving waters; which we see Perform’d in full end to our prophecy. Hear then my counsel, and obey me then: Renounce henceforth our convoy home of men, Whoever shall hereafter greet our town; And to th’ offended Deity’s renown Twelve chosen oxen let us sacred make, That he may pity us, and from us take This shady mountain.” They, in fear, obey’d, Slew all the beeves, and to the Godhead pray’d, The dukes and princes all ensphering round The sacred altar; while whose tops were crown’d, Divine Ulysses, on his country’s breast Laid bound in sleep, now rose out of his rest, Nor (being so long remov’d) the region knew. Besides which absence yet, Minerva threw A cloud about him, to make strange the more His safe arrival, lest upon his shore He should make known his face, and utter all That might prevent th’ event that was to fall. Which she prepar’d so well, that not his wife, Presented to him, should perceive his life, No citizen, no friend, till righteous fate Upon the Wooer’s wrongs were consummate. Through which cloud all things show’d now to the king Of foreign fashion; the enflow’réd spring Amongst the trees there, the perpetual waves, The rocks, that did more high their foreheads raise To his wrapt eye than naturally they did, And all the haven, in which a man seem’d hid From wind and weather, when storms loudest chid. He therefore, being risen, stood and view’d His country-earth; which, not perceiv’d, he rued, And, striking with his hurl’d-down hands his thighs, He mourn’d, and said: “O me! Again where lies My desert way? To wrongful men and rude, And with no laws of human right endued? Or are they human, and of holy minds? What fits my deed with these so many kinds Of goods late giv’n? What with myself will floods And errors do? I would to God, these goods Had rested with their owners, and that I Had fall’n on kings of more regality, To grace out my return, that lov’d indeed, And would have giv’n me consorts of fit speed To my distresses’ ending! But, as now All knowledge flies me where I may bestow My labour’d purchase, here they shall not stay, Lest what I car’d for others make their prey. O Gods! I see the great Phæacians then Were not all just and understanding men, That land me elsewhere than their vaunts pretended, Assuring me my country should see ended My miseries told them, yet now eat their vaunts. O Jove! Great Guardian of poor suppliants, That others sees, and notes too, shutting in All in thy plagues that most presume on sin, Revenge me on them. Let me number now The goods they gave, to give my mind to know If they have stol’n none in their close retreat.” The goodly caldrons then, and tripods, set In sev’ral ranks from out the heap, he told, His rich wrought garments too, and all his gold, And nothing lack’d; and yet this man did mourn The but suppos’d miss of his home-return, And creeping to the shore with much complaint; Minerva (like a shepherd, young, and quaint,[6] As king sons are, a double mantle cast Athwart his shoulders, his fair goers grac’d With fitted shoes, and in his hand a dart) Appear’d to him, whose sight rejoic’d his heart, To whom he came, and said: “O friend! Since first I meet your sight here, be all good the worst That can join our encounter. Fare you fair, Nor with adverse mind welcome my repair, But guard these goods of mine, and succour me. As to a God I offer pray’rs to thee, And low access make to thy lovéd knee. Say truth, that I may know, what country then, What common people live here, and what men? Some famous isle is this? Or gives it vent, Being near the sea, to some rich continent?” She answer’d: “Stranger, whatsoe’er you are, Y’are either foolish, or come passing far, That know not this isle, and make that doubt trouble, For ’tis not so exceedingly ignoble, But passing many know it; and so many, That of all nations there abides not any, From where the morning rises and the sun, To where the even and night their courses run, But know this country. Rocky ’tis, and rough, And so for use of horse unapt enough, Yet with sad barrenness not much infested,[7] Since clouds are here in frequent rains digested, And flow’ry dews. The compass is not great, The little yet well-fill’d with wine and wheat. It feeds a goat and ox well, being still Water’d with floods, that ever over-fill With heav’n’s continual show’rs; and wooded so, It makes a spring of all the kinds that grow. And therefore, Stranger, the extended name Of this dominion makes access by fame From this extreme part of Achaia As far as Ilion, and ’tis Ithaca.” This joy’d him much, that so unknown a land Turn’d to his country. Yet so wise a hand He carried, ev’n of this joy, flown so high, That other end he put to his reply Than straight to show that joy, and lay abroad His life to strangers. Therefore he bestow’d A veil on truth; for evermore did wind About his bosom a most crafty mind, Which thus his words show’d: “I have far at sea, In spacious Crete, heard speak of Ithaca, Of which myself, it seems, now reach the shore, With these my fortunes; whose whole value more I left in Crete amongst my children there, From whence I fly for being the slaughterer Of royal Idomen’s most-lovéd son, Swift-foot Orsilochus, that could out-run Profess’d men for the race. Yet him I slew, Because he would deprive me of my due In Trojan prise; for which I suffer’d so (The rude waves piercing) the redoubled woe Of mind and body in the wars of men. Nor did I gratify his father then With any service, but, as well as he Sway’d in command of other soldiery, So, with a friend withdrawn, we waylaid him, When gloomy night the cope of heav’n did dim, And no man knew; but, we lodg’d close, he came, And I put out to him his vital flame. Whose slaughter having author’d with my sword, I instant flight made, and straight fell aboard A ship of the renown’d Phœnician state; When pray’r, and pay at a sufficient rate, Obtain’d my pass of men in her command; Whom I enjoin’d to set me on the land Of Pylos, or of Elis the divine, Where the Epeïans in great empire shine. But force of weather check’d that course to them, Though (loth to fail me) to their most extreme They spent their willing pow’rs. But, forc’d from thence, We err’d, and put in here, with much expence Of care and labour; and in dead of night, When no man there serv’d any appetite So much as with the memory of food, Though our estates exceeding needy stood. But, going ashore, we lay; when gentle sleep My weary pow’rs invaded, and from ship They fetching these my riches, with just hand About me laid them, while upon the sand Sleep bound my senses; and for Sidon they (Put off from hence) made sail, while here I lay, Left sad alone.” The Goddess laugh’d, and took His hand in hers, and with another look (Assuming then the likeness of a dame, Lovely and goodly, expert in the frame Of virtuous housewif’ries) she answer’d thus: “He should be passing-sly, and covetous Of stealth, in men’s deceits, that coted thee[8] In any craft, though any God should be Ambitious to exceed in subtilty. Thou still-wit-varying wretch! Insatiate[9] In over-reaches! Not secure thy state Without these wiles, though on thy native shore Thou sett’st safe footing, but upon thy store Of false words still spend, that ev’n from thy birth Have been thy best friends? Come, our either worth Is known to either. Thou of men art far, For words and counsels, the most singular, But I above the Gods in both may boast My still-tried faculties. Yet thou hast lost The knowledge ev’n of me, the Seed of Jove, Pallas Athenia, that have still out-strove In all thy labours their extremes, and stood Thy sure guard ever, making all thy good Known to the good Phæacians, and receiv’d. And now again I greet thee, to see weav’d Fresh counsels for thee, and will take on me The close reserving of these goods for thee, Which the renown’d Phæacian states bestow’d At thy deduction homewards, only mov’d With my both spirit and counsel. All which grace I now will amplify, and tell what case Thy household stands in, utt’ring all those pains That of mere need yet still must wrack thy veins. Do thou then freely bear, nor one word give To man nor dame to show thou yet dost live, But silent suffer over all again Thy sorrows past, and bear the wrongs of men.” “Goddess,” said he, “unjust men, and unwise, That author injuries and vanities, By vanities and wrongs should rather be Bound to this ill-abearing destiny, Than just and wise men. What delight hath heav’n, That lives unhurt itself, to suffer giv’n Up to all domage those poor few that strive To imitate it, and like the Deities live? But where you wonder that I know you not Through all your changes, that skill is not got By sleight or art, since thy most hard-hit face Is still distinguish’d by thy free-giv’n grace; And therefore, truly to acknowledge thee In thy encounters, is a mastery In men most-knowing; for to all men thou Tak’st sev’ral likeness. All men think they know Thee in their wits; but, since thy seeming view Appears to all, and yet thy truth to few, Through all thy changes to discern thee right Asks chief love to thee, and inspiréd light. But this I surely know, that, some years past, I have been often with thy presence grac’d, All time the sons of Greece wag’d war at Troy; But when Fate’s full hour let our swords enjoy Our vows in sack of Priam’s lofty town, Our ships all boarded, and when God had blown Our fleet in sunder, I could never see The Seed of Jove, nor once distinguish thee Boarding my ship, to take one woe from me. But only in my proper spirit involv’d, Err’d here and there, quite slain, till heav’n dissolv’d Me, and my ill; which chanc’d not, till thy grace By open speech confirm’d me, in a place Fruitful of people, where, in person, thou Didst give me guide, and all their city show; And that was the renown’d Phæacian earth. Now then, ev’n by the Author of thy birth, Vouchsafe my doubt the truth (for far it flies My thoughts that thus should fall into mine eyes Conspicuous Ithaca, but fear I touch At some far shore, and that thy wit is such Thou dost delude me) is it sure the same Most honour’d earth that bears my country’s name?” “I see,” said she, “thou wilt be ever thus In ev’ry worldly good incredulous, And therefore have no more the pow’r to see Frail life more plagued with infelicity In one so eloquent, ingenious, wise. Another man, that so long miseries Had kept from his lov’d home, and thus return’d To see his house, wife, children, would have burn’d In headlong lust to visit. Yet t’ inquire What states they hold, affects not thy desire, Till thou hast tried if in thy wife there be A sorrow wasting days and nights for thee In loving tears, that then the sight may prove A full reward for either’s mutual love. But I would never credit in you both Least cause of sorrow, but well knew the troth Of this thine own return, though all thy friends, I knew as well, should make returnless ends; Yet would not cross mine uncle Neptune so To stand their safeguard, since so high did go His wrath for thy extinction of the eye Of his lov’d son. Come then, I’ll show thee why I call this isle thy Ithaca, to ground Thy credit on my words: This haven is own’d By th’ agéd sea-god Phorcys, in whose brow This is the olive with the ample bough, And here, close by, the pleasant-shaded cave That to the Fount-Nymphs th’ Ithacensians gave, As sacred to their pleasures. Here doth run The large and cover’d den, where thou hast done Hundreds of off’rings to the Naiades, Here Mount Neritus shakes his curléd tress Of shady woods.” This said, she clear’d the cloud That first deceiv’d his eyes; and all things show’d His country to him. Glad he stood with sight Of his lov’d soil, and kiss’d it with delight; And instantly to all the Nymphs he paid (With hands held up to heav’n) these vows, and said: “Ye Nymphs the Naiades, great Seed of Jove, I had conceit that never more should move Your sight in these spheres of my erring eyes, And therefore, in the fuller sacrifice Of my heart’s gratitude, rejoice, till more I pay your names in off’rings as before; Which here I vow, if Jove’s benign descent, The mighty Pillager, with life convent My person home, and to my sav’d decease Of my lov’d son’s sight add the sweet increase.” “Be confident,” said Pallas, “nor oppress Thy spirits with care of these performances, But these thy fortunes let us straight repose In this divine cave’s bosom, that may close Reserve their value; and we then may see How best to order other acts to thee.” Thus enter’d she the light-excluding cave, And through it sought some inmost nook to save The gold, the great brass, and robes richly-wrought, Giv’n to Ulysses. All which in he brought, Laid down in heap; and she impos’d a stone Close to the cavern’s mouth. Then sat they on The sacred olive’s root, consulting how To act th’ insulting Wooers’ overthrow; When Pallas said: “Examine now the means That best may lay hands on the impudence Of those proud Wooers, that have now three years Thy roof’s rule sway’d, and been bold offerers Of suit and gifts to thy renownéd wife, Who for thy absence all her desolate life Dissolves in tears till thy desir’d return; Yet all her Wooers, while she thus doth mourn, She holds in hope, and ev’ry one affords (In fore-sent message) promise; but her words Bear other utt’rance than her heart approves.” “O Gods,” said Ithacus, “it now behoves My fate to end me in the ill decease That Agamemnon underwent, unless You tell me, and in time; their close intents. Advise then means to the reveng’d events We both resolve on. Be thyself so kind To stand close to me, and but such a mind Breathe in my bosom, as when th’ Ilion tow’rs We tore in cinders. O if equal pow’rs Thou wouldst enflame amidst my nerves as then, I could encounter with three hundred men, Thy only self, great Goddess, had to friend, In those brave ardors thou wert wont t’ extend!” “I will be strongly with thee,” answer’d she, “Nor must thou fail, but do thy part with me. When both whose pow’rs combine, I hope the bloods And brains of some of these that waste thy goods Shall strew thy goodly pavements. Join we then: I first will render thee unknown to men, And on thy solid lineaments make dry Thy now smooth skin; thy bright-brown curls imply In hoary mattings; thy broad shoulders clothe In such a cloak as ev’ry eye shall lothe; Thy bright eyes blear and wrinkle; and so change Thy form at all parts, that thou shalt be strange To all the Wooers, thy young son, and wife. But to thy herdsman first present thy life, That guards thy swine, and wisheth well to thee, That loves thy son and wife Penelopé. Thy search shall find him set aside his herd, That are with taste-delighting acorns rear’d, And drink the dark-deep water of the spring, Bright Arethusa, the most nourishing Raiser of herds. There stay, and, taking seat Aside thy herdsman, of the whole state treat Of home-occurrents, while I make access To fair-dame-breeding Sparta for regress Of lov’d Telemachus, who went in quest Of thy lov’d fame, and liv’d the welcome guest Of Menelaus.” The much-knower said: “Why wouldst not thou, in whose grave breast is bred The art to order all acts, tell in this His error to him? Let those years of his Amids the rude seas wander, and sustain The woes there raging, while unworthy men Devour his fortunes?” “Let not care extend Thy heart for him,” said she, “myself did send His person in thy search; to set his worth, By good fame blown, to such a distance forth. Nor suffers he in any least degree The grief you fear, but all variety That Plenty can yield in her quiet’st fare, In Menelaus’ court, doth sit and share. In whose return from home, the Wooers yet Lay bloody ambush, and a ship have set To sea, to intercept his life before He touch again his birth’s attempted shore. All which, my thoughts say, they shall never do, But rather, that the earth shall overgo Some one at least of these love-making men, By which thy goods so much impair sustain.” Thus using certain secret words to him, She touch’d him with her rod; and ev’ry limb Was hid all-over with a wither’d skin; His bright eyes blear’d; his brow-curls white and thin; And all things did an agéd man present. Then, for his own weeds, shirt and coat, all-rent, Tann’d, and all-sootiéd with noisome smoke, She put him on; and, over all, a cloke Made of a stag’s huge hide, of which was worn The hair quite off; a scrip, all-patch’d and torn, Hung by a cord, oft broke and knit again; And with a staff did his old limbs sustain. Thus having both consulted of th’ event, They parted both; and forth to Sparta went The gray-eyed Goddess, to see all things done That appertain’d to wise Ulysses’ son.

[1] _Γερούσιος οι͒νος, quod pro honorario senibus datur._ And because
the word so Englished hath no other to express it, sounding well, and
helping our language, it is here used.
[2] Intending in chief the senators, with every man’s addition of
[3] _Εὐήνορα χαλκὸν, bene honestos faciens æs._
[4] The Phæacians were descended originally from Neptune.
[5] _Αμϕικαλύπτω, superinjicio aliquid tanquam tegmen seu
[6] Minerva like a shepherd (such as kings’ sons used at those times
to be) appears to Ulysses.
[7] _Λυπρὸς, velut tristis, jejunaque naturâ._
[8] _Επίκλοπος, furandi avidus._
[9] _Σχέτλιε, ποικλομη̑τα, varia et multiplicia habens consilia._



Ulysses meets amids the field His swain Eumæus: who doth yield Kind guest-rites to him, and relate Occurrents of his wrong’d estate.


_Ξι̑._ Ulysses fains For his true good: His pious swain’s Faith understood.

But he the rough way took from forth the port, Through woods and hill-tops, seeking the resort Where Pallas said divine Eumæus liv’d; Who of the fortunes, that were first achiev’d By God-like Ithacus in household rights, Had more true care than all his prosylites.[1] He found him sitting in his cottage door, Where he had rais’d to ev’ry airy blore A front of great height, and in such a place That round ye might behold, of circular grace A walk so wound about it; which the swain (In absence of his far-gone sovereign) Had built himself, without his queen’s supply, Or old Laertes’, to see safely lie His houséd herd. The inner part he wrought Of stones, that thither his own labours brought, Which with an hedge of thorn he fenc’d about, And compass’d all the hedge with pales cleft out Of sable oak, that here and there he fix’d Frequent and thick. Within his yard he mix’d Twelve styes to lodge his herd; and ev’ry stye Had room and use for fifty swine to lie; But those were females all. The male swine slept Without doors ever; nor was their herd kept Fair like the females, since they suffer’d still Great diminution, he being forc’d to kill And send the fattest to the dainty feasts Affected by th’ ungodly wooing guests. Their number therefore but three hundred were And sixty. By them mastiffs, as austere As savage beasts, lay ever, their fierce strain Bred by the herdsman, a mere prince of men, Their number four. Himself was then applied In cutting forth a fair-hued ox’s hide, To fit his feet with shoes. His servants held Guard of his swine: three, here and there, at field, The fourth he sent to city with a sow, Which must of force be offer’d to the vow The Wooers made to all satiety, To serve which still they did those off’rings ply. The fate-born-dogs-to-bark took sudden view[2] Of Odyssëus, and upon him flew With open mouth. He, cunning to appall A fierce dog’s fury, from his hand let fall His staff to earth, and sat him careless down. And yet to him had one foul wrong been shown Where most his right lay, had not instantly The herdsman let his hide fall, and his cry (With frequent stones flung at the dogs) repell’d This way and that their eager course they held; When through the entry past, he thus did mourn: “O father! How soon had you near been torn By these rude dogs, whose hurt had branded me With much neglect of you! But Deity Hath giv’n so many other sighs and cares To my attendant state, that well unwares You might be hurt for me, for here I lie Grieving and mourning for the Majesty That, God-like, wonted to be ruling here, Since now I fat his swine for others’ cheer, Where he, perhaps, errs hungry up and down, In countries, nations, cities, all unknown; If any where he lives yet, and doth see The sun’s sweet beams. But, father, follow me, That, cheer’d with wine and food, you may disclose From whence you truly are, and all the woes Your age is subject to.” This said, he led Into his cottage, and of osiers spread A thicken’d hurdle, on whose top he strow’d A wild-goat’s shaggy skin, and then bestow’d His own couch on it, that was soft and great. Ulysses joy’d to see him so entreat His uncouth presence, saying: “Jove requite, And all th’ immortal Gods, with that delight Thou most desir’st, thy kind receipt of me, friend to human hospitality!” Eumæus answer’d: “Guest! If one much worse Arriv’d here than thyself, it were a curse To my poor means, to let a stranger taste Contempt for fit food. Poor men, and unplac’d In free seats of their own, are all from Jove Commended to our entertaining love. But poor is th’ entertainment I can give, Yet free and loving. Of such men as live The lives of servants, and are still in fear Where young lords govern, this is all the cheer They can afford a stranger. There was one That us’d to manage this now desert throne, To whom the Gods deny return, that show’d His curious favour to me, and bestow’d Possessions on me, a most-wishéd wife, A house, and portion, and a servant’s life, Fit for the gift a gracious king should give; Who still took pains himself, and God made thrive His personal endeavour, and to me His work the more increas’d, in which you see I now am conversant. And therefore much His hand had help’d me, had Heav’n’s will been such, He might have here grown old. But he is gone, And would to God the whole successión Of Helen might go with him, since for her So many men died, whose fate did confer My liege to Troy, in Agamemnon’s grace, To spoil her people, and her turrets race!” This said, his coat to him he straight did gird, And to his styes went that contain’d his herd; From whence he took out two, slew both, and cut Both fairly up; a fire enflam’d, and put To spit the joints; which roasted well, he set With spit and all to him, that he might eat From thence his food in all the singeing heat, Yet dredg’d it first with flour; then fill’d his cup With good sweet wine; sat then, and cheer’d him up “Eat now, my guest, such lean swine as are meat For us poor swains; the fat the Wooers eat, In whose minds no shame, no remorse, doth move, Though well they know the bless’d Gods do not love Ungodly actions, but respect the right, And in the works of pious men delight. But these are worse than impious, for those That vow t’ injustice, and profess them foes To other nations, enter on their land, And Jupiter (to show his punishing hand Upon th’ invaded, for their penance then) Gives favour to their foes, though wicked men, To make their prey on them; who, having freight Their ships with spoil enough, weigh anchor straight, And each man to his house; (and yet ev’n these, Doth pow’rful fear of God’s just vengeance seize Ev’n for that prize in which they so rejoice) But these men, knowing (having heard the voice Of God by some means) that sad death hath reft The ruler here, will never suffer left Their unjust wooing of his wife, nor take Her often answer, and their own roofs make Their fit retreats, but (since uncheck’d they may) They therefore will make still his goods their prey, Without all spare or end. There is no day, Nor night, sent out from God, that ever they Profane with one beast’s blood, or only two, But more make spoil of; and the wrongs they do In meat’s excess to wine as well extend, Which as excessively their riots spend, Yet still leave store, for sure his means were great, And no heroë, that hath choicest seat Upon the fruitful neighbour-continent, Or in this isle itself, so opulent Was as Ulysses; no, nor twenty such, Put altogether, did possess so much. Whose herds and flocks I’ll tell to ev’ry head: Upon the continent he daily fed Twelve herds of oxen, no less flocks of sheep, As many herds of swine, stalls large and steep, And equal sorts of goats, which tenants there, And his own shepherds, kept. Then fed he here Eleven fair stalls of goats, whose food hath yield In the extreme part of a neighbour-field. Each stall his herdsman hath, an honest swain, Yet ev’ry one must ev’ry day sustain The load of one beast (the most-fat, and best Of all the stall-fed) to the Wooers’ feast. And I, for my part, of the swine I keep (With four more herdsmen) ev’ry day help steep The Wooers’ appetites in blood of one, The most select our choice can fall upon.” To this Ulysses gave good ear, and fed, And drunk his wine, and vex’d, and ravishéd His food for mere vexation. Seeds of ill His stomach sow’d, to hear his goods go still To glut of Wooers. But his dinner done, And stomach fed to satisfactión, He drunk a full bowl, all of only wine, And gave it to the guardian of his swine, Who took it, and rejoic’d; to whom he said: “O friend, who is it that, so rich, hath paid Price for thy service, whose commended pow’r, Thou sayst, to grace the Grecian conquerour, At Ilion perish’d? Tell me. It may fall I knew some such. The great God knows, and all The other deathless Godheads, if I can, Far having travell’d, tell of such a man.” Eumæus answer’d: “Father, never one, Of all the strangers that have touch’d upon This coast, with his life’s news could ever yet Of queen, or lov’d son, any credit get. These travellers, for clothes, or for a meal, At all adventures, any lie will tell. Nor do they trade for truth. Not any man That saw the people Ithacensian, Of all their sort, and had the queen’s supplies, Did ever tell her any news, but lies. She graciously receives them yet, inquires Of all she can, and all in tears expires. It is th’ accustom’d law, that women keep, Their husbands elsewhere dead, at home to weep. But do thou quickly, father, forge a tale, Some coat, or cloak, to keep thee warm withal, Perhaps some one may yield thee; but for him, Vultures and dogs have torn from ev’ry limb His porous skin, and forth his soul is fled, His corse at sea to fishes forfeited, Or on the shore lies hid in heaps of sand, And there hath he his ebb, his native strand With friends’ tears flowing. But to me past all Were tears created, for I never shall Find so humane a royal master more, Whatever sea I seek, whatever shore. Nay, to my father, or my mother’s love Should I return, by whom I breathe and move, Could I so much joy offer; nor these eyes (Though my desires sustain extremities For their sad absence) would so fain be blest With sight of their lives, in my native nest, As with Ulysses dead; in whose last rest, O friend, my soul shall love him. He’s not here Nor do I name him like a flatterer, But as one thankful for his love and care To me a poor man; in the rich so rare. And be he past all shores where sun can shine, I will invoke him as a soul divine.” “O friend,” said he, “to say, and to believe, He cannot live, doth too much licence give To incredulity; for, not to speak At needy randon, but my breath to break In sacred oath, Ulysses shall return. And when his sight recomforts those that mourn In his own roofs, then give me cloak, and coat, And garments worthy of a man of note. Before which, though need urg’d me never so, I’ll not receive a thread, but naked go. No less I hate him than the gates of hell, That poorness can force an untruth to tell. Let Jove then (Heav’n’s chief God) just witness bear, And this thy hospitable table here, Together with unblam’d Ulysses’ house, In which I find receipt so gracious, What I affirm’d of him shall all be true. This instant year thine eyes ev’n here shall view Thy lord Ulysses. Nay, ere this month’s end, Return’d full-home, he shall revenge extend To ev’ry one, whose ever deed hath done Wrong to his wife and his illustrious son.” “O father,” he replied, “I’ll neither give Thy news reward, nor doth Ulysses live. But come, enough of this, let’s drink and eat, And never more his memory repeat. It grieves my heart to be remember’d thus By anyone of one so glorious. But stand your oath in your assertion strong, And let Ulysses come, for whom I long, For whom his wife, for whom his agéd sire, For whom his son consumes his god-like fire, Whose chance I now must mourn, and ever shall. Whom when the Gods had brought to be as tall As any upright plant, and I had said, He would amongst a court of men have sway’d In counsels, and for form have been admir’d Ev’n with his father, some God misinspir’d, Or man took from him his own equal mind, And pass’d him for the Pylian shore to find His long-lost father. In return from whence, The Wooers’ pride way-lays his innocence, That of divine Arcesius all the race May fade to Ithaca, and not the grace Of any name left to it. But leave we His state, however, if surpris’d he be, Or if he scape. And may Saturnius’ hand Protect him safely to his native land. Do thou then, father, show your griefs, and cause Of your arrival here; nor break the laws That truth prescribes you, but relate your name, And of what race you are, your father’s fame, And native city’s; ship and men unfold, That to this isle convey’d you, since I hold Your here arrival was not all by shore, Nor that your feet your agéd person bore.” He answer’d him: “I’ll tell all strictly true, If time, and food, and wine enough, accrue Within your roof to us, that freely we May sit and banquet. Let your business be Discharg’d by others; for, when all is done, I cannot easily, while the year doth run His circle round, run over all the woes, Beneath which, by the course the Gods dispose, My sad age labours. First, I’ll tell you then, From ample Crete I fetch my native strain; My father wealthy, whose house many a life Brought forth and bred besides by his true wife, But me a bond-maid bore, his concubine. Yet tender’d was I as his lawful line By him of whose race I my life profess. Castor his name, surnam’d Hylacides. A man, in fore-times, by the Cretan state, For goods, good children, and his fortunate Success in all acts, of no mean esteem. But death-conferring Fates have banish’d him To Pluto’s kingdom. After whom, his sons By lots divided his possessions, And gave me passing little; yet bestow’d A house on me, to which my virtues woo’d A wife from rich men’s roofs; nor was borne low, Nor last in fight, though all nerves fail me now. But I suppose, that you, by thus much seen, Know by the stubble what the corn hath been. For, past all doubt, affliction past all mean Hath brought my age on; but, in seasons past, Both Mars and Pallas have with boldness grac’d, And fortitude, my fortunes, when I chus’d Choice men for ambush, prest to have produc’d Ill to mine enemies; my too vent’rous spirit Set never death before mine eyes, for merit, But, far the first advanc’d still, still I strook Dead with my lance whoever overtook My speed of foot. Such was I then for war. But rustic actions ever fled me far, And household thrift, which breeds a famous race. In oar-driv’n ships did I my pleasures place, In battles, light darts, arrows. Sad things all, And into others’ thoughts with horror fall. But what God put into my mind, to me I still esteem’d as my felicity. As men of sev’ral metals are address’d, So sev’ral forms are in their souls impress’d. Before the sons of Greece set foot in Troy, Nine times, in chief, I did command enjoy Of men and ships against our foreign foe, And all I fitly wish’d succeeded so. Yet, after this, I much exploit achiev’d, When straight my house in all possessions thriv’d. Yet, after that, I great and rev’rend grew Amongst the Cretans, till the Thund’rer drew Our forces out in his foe-Troy decrees; A hateful service that dissolv’d the knees Of many a soldier. And to this was I, And famous Idomen, enjoin’d t’ apply Our ships and pow’rs, Nor was there to be heard One reason for denial, so preferr’d Was the unreasonable people’s rumour. Nine years we therefore fed the martial humour, And in the tenth, de-peopling Priam’s town, We sail’d for home. But God had quickly blown Our fleet in pieces; and to wretched me The counsellor Jove did much mishap decree, For, only one month, I had leave t’ enjoy My wife and children, and my goods t’ employ. But, after this, my mind for Ægypt stood, When nine fair ships I rigg’d forth for the flood, Mann’d them with noble soldiers, all things fit For such a voyage soon were won to it. Yet six days after stay’d my friends in feast, While I in banquets to the Gods addrest Much sacred matter for their sacrifice. The seventh, we boarded; and the Northern skies Lent us a frank and passing prosp’rous gale, ‘Fore which we bore us free and easy sail As we had back’d a full and frolic tide; Nor felt one ship misfortune for her pride, But safe we sat, our sailors and the wind Consenting in our convoy. When heav’n shin’d In sacred radiance of the fifth fair day, To sweetly-water’d Egypt reach’d our way, And there we anchor’d; where I charg’d my men To stay aboard, and watch. Dismissing then Some scouts to get the hill-tops, and discover, They (to their own intemperance giv’n over). Straight fell to forage the rich fields, and thence Enforce both wives and infants, with th’ expence Of both their bloods. When straight the rumour flew Up to the city. Which heard, up they drew By day’s First break, and all the field was fill’d With foot and horse, whose arms did all things gild. And then the lightning-loving Deity cast A foul flight on my soldiers; nor stood fast One man of all. About whom mischief stood, And with his stern steel drew in streams the blood The greater part fed in their dissolute veins; The rest were sav’d, and made enthralléd swains To all the basest usages there bred. And then, ev’n Jove himself supplied my head With saving counsel; though I wish’d to die, And there in Egypt with their slaughters lie, So much grief seiz’d me, but Jove made me yield, Dishelm my head, take from my neck my shield, Hurl from my hand my lance, and to the troop Of horse the king led instantly made up, Embrace, and kiss his knees; whom pity won To give me safety, and (to make me shun The people’s outrage, that made in amain, All jointly fir’d with thirst to see me slain) He took me to his chariot, weeping, home, Himself with fear of Jove’s wrath overcome, Who yielding souls receives, and takes most ill All such as well may save yet love to kill. Seven years I sojourn’d here, and treasure gat In good abundance of th’ Ægyptian state, For all would give; but when th’ eighth year began, A knowing fellow (that would gnaw a man[3] Like to a vermin, with his hellish brain, And many an honest soul ev’n quick had slain, Whose name was Phœnix) close accosted me, And with insinuations, such as he Practis’d on others, my consent he gain’d To go into Phœnicia, where remain’d His house, and living. And with him I liv’d A cómplete year; but when were all arriv’d The months and days, and that the year again Was turning round, and ev’ry season’s reign Renew’d upon us, we for Libya went, When, still inventing crafts to circumvent, He made pretext, that I should only go And help convey his freight; but thought not so, For his intent was to have sold me there, And made good gain for finding me a year. Yet him I follow’d, though suspecting this, For, being aboard his ship, I must be his Of strong necessity. She ran the flood (Driven with a northern gale, right free, and good) Amids the full stream, full on Crete. But then Jove plotted death to him and all his men, For (put off quite from Crete, and so far gone That shore was lost, and we set eye on none, But all show’d heav’n and sea) above our keel Jove pointed right a cloud as black as hell, Beneath which all the sea hid, and from whence Jove thunder’d as his hand would never thence, And thick into our ship he threw his flash;[4] That ’gainst a rock, or flat, her keel did dash With headlong rapture. Of the sulphur all Her bulk did savour; and her men let fall Amids the surges, on which all lay tost, Like sea-gulls, round about her sides, and lost. And so God took all home-return from them. But Jove himself, though plung’d in that extreme, Recover’d me by thrusting on my hand The ship’s long mast. And, that my life might stand A little more up, I embrac’d it round; And on the rude winds, that did ruins sound, Nine days we hover’d. In the tenth black night A huge sea cast me on Thesprotia’s height, Where the heroë Phidon, that was chief Of all the Thesprots, gave my wrack relief, Without the price of that redemptión[5] That Phœnix fish’d for. Where the king’s lov’d son Came to me, took me by the hand, and led Into his court my poor life, surfeited With cold and labour; and because my wrack Chanc’d on his father’s shore, he let not lack My plight or coat, or cloak, or anything Might cherish heat in me. And here the king Said, he receiv’d Ulysses as his guest, Observ’d him friend-like, and his course addrest Home to his country, showing there to me Ulysses’ goods, a very treasury Of brass, and gold, and steel of curious frame. And to the tenth succession of his name He laid up wealth enough, to serve beside In that king’s house, so hugely amplified His treasure was. But from his court the king Affirm’d him shipp’d for the Dodonean spring, To hear, from out the high-hair’d oak of Jove, Counsel from him for means to his remove To his lov’d country, whence so many a year He had been absent; if he should appear Disguis’d, or manifest; and further swore In his mid court, at sacrifice, before These very eyes, that he had ready there Both ship and soldiers, to attend and bear Him to his country. But, before, it chanc’d That a Thesprotian ship was to be launch’d For the much-corn-renown’d Dulichian land, In which the king gave to his men command To take, and bring me under tender hand To king Acastus. But, in ill design Of my poor life, did their desires combine, So far forth, as might ever keep me under In fortune’s hands, and tear my state in sunder. And when the water-treader far away Had left the land, then plotted they the day Of my long servitude, and took from me Both coat and cloak, and all things that might be Grace in my habit, and in place put on These tatter’d rags, which now you see upon My wretched bosom. When heav’n’s light took sea,[6] They fetch’d the field-works of fair Ithaca, And in the arm’d ship, with a well-wreath’d cord, They straitly bound me, and did all disboard To shore to supper, in contentious rout. Yet straight the Gods themselves took from about My pressed limbs the bands, with equal ease, And I, my head in rags wrapp’d, took the seas, Descending by the smooth stern, using then My hands for oars, and made from these bad men Long way in little time. At last, I fetch’d A goodly grove of oaks, whose shore I reach’d, And cast me prostrate on it. When they knew My thus-made ‘scape, about the shores they flew, But, soon not finding, held it not their best To seek me further, but return’d to rest Aboard their vessel. Me the Gods lodg’d close, Conducting me into the safe repose A good man’s stable yielded. And thus Fate This poor hour added to my living date.” “O wretch of guests,” said he, “thy tale hath stirr’d My mind to much ruth, both how thou hast err’d, And suffer’d, hearing in such good parts shown. But, what thy chang’d relation would make known About Ulysses, I hold neither true, Nor will believe. And what need’st thou pursue A lie so rashly, since he sure is so As I conceive, for which my skill shall go? The safe return my king lacks cannot be, He is so envied of each Deity, So clear, so cruelly. For not in Troy They gave him end, nor let his corpse enjoy The hands of friends (which well they might have done, He manag’d arms to such perfection, And should have had his sepulchre, and all, And all the Greeks to grace his funeral, And this had giv’n a glory to his son Through all times future) but his head is run Unseen, unhonour’d, into Harpies’ maws. For my part, I’ll not meddle with the cause, I live a separate life amongst my swine, Come at no town for any need of mine, Unless the circularly-witted queen[7] (When any far-come guest is to be seen That brings her news) commands me bring a brawn, About which (all things being in question drawn, That touch the king) they sit, and some are sad For his long absence, some again are glad To waste his goods unwreak’d, all talking still. But, as for me, I nourish’d little will T’ inquire or question of him, since the man That feign’d himself the fled Ætolian, For slaught’ring one, through many regions stray’d, In my stall, as his diversory, stay’d. Where well entreating him, he told me then, Amongst the Cretans, with king Idomen, He saw Ulysses at his ship’s repair, That had been brush’d with the enragéd air; And that in summer, or in autumn, sure, With all his brave friends and rich furniture, He would be here; and nothing so, nor so. But thou, an old man, taught with so much woe As thou hast suffer’d, to be season’d true, And brought by his fate, do not here pursue His gratulations with thy cunning lies, Thou canst not soak so through my faculties For I did never either honour thee Or give thee love, to bring these tales to me, But in my fear of hospitable Jove Thou didst to this pass my affections move.” “You stand exceeding much incredulous,” Replied Ulysses, “to have witness’d thus My word and oath, yet yield no trust at all. But make me now a covenant here, and call The dreadful Gods to witness, that take seat In large Olympus: If your king’s retreat Prove made, ev’n hither, you shall furnish me With cloak, and coat, and make my passage free For lov’d Dulichius; if, as fits my vow, Your king return not, let your servants throw My old limbs headlong from some rock most high, That other poor men may take fear to lie.” The herdsman, that had gifts in him divine, Replied: “O guest, how shall this fame of mine And honest virtue, amongst men, remain Now, and hereafter, without worthy stain, If I, that led thee to my hovel here, And made thee fitting hospitable cheer, Should after kill thee, and thy lovéd mind Force from thy bones? Or how should stand inclin’d With any faith my will t’ importune Jove, In any pray’r hereafter for his love? Come, now ’tis supper’s hour, and instant haste My men will make home, when our sweet repast We’ll taste together.” This discourse they held In mutual kind, when from a neighbour-field His swine and swine-herds came, who in their cotes Inclos’d their herds for sleep, which mighty throats Laid out in ent’ring. Then the God-like swain His men enjoin’d thus: “Bring me to be slain A chief swine female, for my stranger guest, When altogether we will take our feast, Refreshing now our spirits, that all day take Pains in our swine’s good, who may therefore make For our pains with them all amends with one, Since others eat our labours, and take none.” This said, his sharp steel hew’d down wood, and they A passing fat swine hal’d out of the sty, Of five years old, which to the fire they put. When first Eumæus from the front did cut The sacred hair, and cast it in the fire, Then pray’d to heav’n; for still before desire Was serv’d with food, in their so rude abodes, Not the poor swine-herd would forget the Gods, Good souls they bore, how bad soever were The habits that their bodies’ parts did bear. When all the deathless Deities besought, That wise Ulysses might be safely brought Home to his house; then with a log of oak Left lying by, high lifting it, a stroke He gave so deadly it made life expire. Then cut the rest her throat, and all in fire They hid and sing’d her, cut her up; and then, The master took the office from the men, Who on the altar did the parts impose That serv’d for sacrifice; beginning close About the belly, thorough which he went. And (all the chief fat gath’ring) gave it vent (Part dredg’d with flour) into the sacred flame; Then cut they up the joints, and roasted them, Drew all from spit, and serv’d in dishes all. Then rose Eumæus (who was general In skill to guide each act his fit event) And, all in seven parts cut, the first part went To service of the Nymphs and Mercury, To whose names he did rites of piety In vows particular; and all the rest He shar’d to ev’ry one, but his lov’d guest He grac’d with all the chine, and of that king, To have his heart cheer’d, set up ev’ry string. Which he observing said: “I would to Jove, Eumæus, thou liv’dst in his worthy love As great as mine, that giv’st to such a guest As my poor self of all thy goods the best.” Eumæus answer’d: “Eat, unhappy wretch, And to what here is at thy pleasure reach. This I have, this thou want’st; thus God will give, Thus take away, in us, and all that live. To his will’s equal centre all things fall, His mind he must have, for he can do all.” Thus having eat, and to his wine descended, Before he serv’d his own thirst, he commended The first use of it in fit sacrifice (As of his meat) to all the Deities, And to the city-racer’s hand applied The second cup, whose place was next his side. Mesauliús did distribute the meat, (To which charge was Eumæus solely set, In absence of Ulysses, by the queen And old Laertes) and this man had been Bought by Eumæus, with his faculties, Employ’d then in the Taphian merchandise. But now, to food appos’d, and order’d thus, All fell. Desire suffic’d, Mesauliús Did take away. For bed then next they were, All thoroughly satisfied with cómplete cheer. The night then came, ill, and no taper shin’d; Jove rain’d her whole date; th’ ever-wat’ry wind Zephyr blew loud; and Laertiades (Approving kind Eumæus’ carefulness For his whole good) made far about assay, To get some cast-off cassock (lest he lay That rough night cold) of him, or anyone Of those his servants; when he thus begun: “Hear me, Eumæus, and my other friends, I’ll use a speech that to my glory tends, Since I have drunk wine past my usual guise. _Strong wine commands the fool and moves the wise,_ Moves and impels him too to sing and dance, And break in pleasant laughters, and, perchance, Prefer a speech too that were better in. But when my spirits once to speak begin, I shall not then dissemble. Would to heav’n, I were as young, and had my forces driv’n As close together, as when once our pow’rs We led to ambush under th’ Ilion tow’rs! Where Ithacus and Menelaus were The two commanders, when it pleas’d them there To take myself for third, when to the town And lofty walls we led, we couch’d close down, All arm’d, amids the osiers and the reeds, Which oftentimes th’ o’er-flowing river feeds. The cold night came, and th’ icy northern gale Blew bleak upon us, after which did fall A snow so cold, it cut as in it beat A frozen water, which was all concrete About our shields like crystal. All made feign Above our arms to clothe, and clothe again. And so we made good shift, our shields beside Clapp’d close upon our clothes, to rest and hide From all discovery. But I, poor fool, Left my weeds with my men, because so cool I thought it could not prove; which thought my pride A little strengthen’d, being loth to hide A goodly glitt’ring garment I had on; And so I follow’d with my shield alone, And that brave weed. But when the night near ended Her course on earth, and that the stars descended, I jogg’d Ulysses, who lay passing near, And spake to him, that had a nimble ear, Assuring him, that long I could not lie Amongst the living, for the fervency Of that sharp night would kill me, since as then My evil angel made me with my men Leave all weeds but a fine one. But I know ’Tis vain to talk; here wants all remedy now. This said, he bore that understanding part In his prompt spirit that still show’d his art In fight and counsel, saying (in a word, And that low whisper’d) peace, lest you afford Some Greek note of your softness. No word more, But made as if his stern austerity bore My plight no pity; yet, as still he lay His head reposing on his hand, gave way To this invention: ‘Hear me friends, a dream (That was of some celestial light a beam) Stood in my sleep before me, prompting me With this fit notice: ‘We are far,’ said he, ‘From out our fleet. Let one go then, and try If Agamemnon will afford supply To what we now are strong.’ This stirr’d a speed In Thoas to th’ affair; whose purple weed He left for haste; which then I took, and lay In quiet after, till the dawn of day. This shift Ulysses made for one in need, And would to heav’n, that youth such spirit did feed Now in my nerves, and that my joints were knit With such a strength as made me then held fit To lead men with Ulysses! I should then Seem worth a weed that fits a herdsman’s men, For two respects, to gain a thankful friend, And to a good man’s need a good extend.” “O father,” said Eumæus “thou hast shown Good cause for us to give thee good renown, Not using any word that was not freed From all least ill. Thou, therefore, shalt not need Or coat, or other thing, that aptly may Beseem a wretched suppliant for defray Of this night’s need. But, when her golden throne The morn ascends, you must resume your own, For here you must not dream of many weeds, Or any change at all. We serve our needs As you do yours; one back, one coat. But when Ulysses’ lovéd son returns, he then Shall give you coat and cassock, and bestow Your person where your heart and soul is now,” This said, he rose, made near the fire his bed, Which all with goats’ and sheep skins he bespread. All which Ulysses with himself did line, With whom; besides, he chang’d a gaberdine, Thick lin’d, and soft, which still he made his shift When he would dress him ’gainst the horrid drift Of tempest, when deep winter’s season blows. Nor pleas’d it him to lie there with his sows, But while Ulysses slept there, and close by The other younkers, he abroad would lie, And therefore arm’d him. Which set cheerful fare Before Ulysses’ heart, to see such care Of his goods taken, how far off soever His fate his person and his wealth should sever. First then, a sharp-edg’d sword he girt about His well-spread shoulders, and (to shelter out The sharp West wind that blew) he put him on A thick-lin’d jacket, and yet cast upon All that the large hide of a goat well-fed. A lance then took he, with a keen steel head, To be his keep-off both ’gainst men and dogs. And thus went he to rest with his male hogs, That still abroad lay underneath a rock, Shield to the North wind’s ever-eager shock.

[1] _Πρόσυλος, materiæ adhærens: item, qui rebus mundanis deditus
[2] _‘ϒλακόμωρος, ad latrandum fato quodam natus._
[3] _Ανὴρ ἀπατήλια εἰδὼς, τρώκτης._
[4] _‘Ελελίχθη qui terram rapido motu concutit._
[5] _‘Απριάτην sine emptionis seu redemptionis pretio._
[6] At sunset.
[7] _Περίϕρων._



Minerva to his native seat. Exhorts Ulysses’ son’s retreat, In bed, and waking. He receives Gifts of Atrides, and so leaves The Spartan court. And, going aboard, Doth favourable way afford To Theoclymenus, that was The Argive augur, and sought pass, Fled for a slaughter he had done. Eumæus tells Laertes’ son, How he became his father’s man, Being sold by the Phœnician For some agreed-on faculties, From forth the Syrian isle made prise. Telemachus, arrived at home, Doth to Eumæus’ cottage come.


O. From Sparta’s strand Makes safe access To his own land Ulyssides.

In Lacedæmon, large, and apt for dances,[1] Athenian Pallas her access advances Up to the great-in-soul Ulysses’ seed, Suggesting his return now fit for deed. She found both him and Nestor’s noble son In bed, in front of that fair mansión, Nestorides surpris’d with pleasing sleep, But on the watch Ulysses’ son did keep, Sleep could not enter, cares did so excite His soul, through all the solitary night, For his lov’d father. To him, near, she said: “Telemachus! ’Tis time that now were stay’d Thy foreign travels, since thy goods are free For those proud men that all will eat from thee, Divide thy whole possessións, and leave Thy too-late presence nothing to receive. Incite the shrill-voic’d Menelaus then, To send thee to thy native seat again, While thou mayst yet find in her honour strong Thy blameless mother, ’gainst thy fathers’ wrong. For both the father, and the brothers too, Of thy lov’d mother, will not suffer so Extended any more her widow’s bed, But make her now her richest wooer wed, Eurymachus, who chiefly may augment Her gifts, and make her jointure eminent. And therefore haste thee, lest, in thy despite, Thy house stand empty of thy native right. For well thou know’st what mind a woman bears; The house of him, whoever she endears Herself in nuptials to, she sees increas’d, The issue of her first lov’d lord deceas’d Forgotten quite, and never thought on more. In thy return then, the re-counted store Thou find’st reserv’d, to thy most trusted maid Commit in guard, till Heav’n’s Pow’rs have purvey’d A wife, in virtue and in beauty’s grace, Of fit sort for thee, to supply her place. And this note more I’ll give thee, which repose In sure remembrance: The best sort of those That woo thy mother watchful scouts address Both in the straits of th’ Ithacensian seas, And dusty Samos, with intent t’ invade And take thy life, ere thy return be made. Which yet I think will fail, and some of them That waste thy fortunes taste of that extreme They plot for thee. But keep off far from shore, And day and night sail, for a fore-right blore, Whoever of th’ Immortals that vow guard And ’scape to thy return, will see prepar’d. As soon as thou arriv’st, dismiss to town Thy ship and men, and first of all make down To him that keeps thy swine, and doth conceive A tender care to see thee well survive. There sleep; and send him to the town, to tell The chaste Penelopé, that safe and well Thou liv’st in his charge, and that Pylos’ sands The place contain’d from whence thy person lands.” Thus she to large Olympus made ascent. When with his heel a little touch he lent To Nestor’s son, whose sleep’s sweet chains he loos’d, Bad rise, and see in chariot inclos’d Their one-hoof’d horse, that they might straight be gone. “No such haste,” he replied, “Night holds her throne, And dims all way to course of chariot. The morn will soon get up. Nor see forgot The gifts with haste, that will, I know, be rich, And put into our coach with gracious speech By lance-fam’d Menelaus. Not a guest Shall touch at his house, but shall store his breast With fit mind of an hospitable man, To last as long as any daylight can His eyes recomfort, in such gifts as he Will proofs make of his hearty royalty.” He had no sooner said, but up arose Aurora, that the golden hills repose. And Menelaus, good-at-martial-cries, From Helen’s bed rais’d, to his guest applies His first appearance. Whose repair made known T’ Ulysses’ lov’d son, on his robe was thrown About his gracious body, his cloak cast Athwart his ample shoulders, and in haste Abroad he went, and did the king accost: “Atrides, guarded with heav’n’s deified host, Grant now remission to my native right, My mind now urging mine own house’s sight.” “Nor will I stay,” said he, “thy person long, Since thy desires to go are grown so strong. I should myself be angry to sustain The like detention urg’d by other men. Who loves a guest past mean, past mean will hate, _The mean in all acts bears the best estate._ A like ill ’tis, to thrust out such a guest As would not go, as to detain the rest. We should a guest love, while he loves to stay, And, when he likes not, give him loving way. Yet suffer so, that we may gifts impose In coach to thee; which ere our hands inclose, Thine eyes shall see, lest else our loves may glose. Besides, I’ll cause our women to prepare What our house yields, and merely so much fare As may suffice for health. Both well will do, Both for our honour and our profit too. And, serving strength with food, you after may As much earth measure as will match the clay. If you will turn your course from sea, and go Through Greece and Argos (that myself may so Keep kind way with thee) I’ll join horse, and guide T’ our human cities. Nor ungratified Will anyone remit us; some one thing Will each present us, that along may bring Our pass with love, and prove our virtues blaz’d: A caldron, or a tripod, richly-braz’d, Two mules, a bowl of gold, that hath his price Heighten’d with emblems of some rare device.” The wise prince answer’d: “I would gladly go Home to mine own, and see that govern’d so That I may keep what I for certain hold, Not hazard that for only hop’d-for gold. I left behind me none so all ways fit To give it guard, as mine own trust with it. Besides, in this broad course which you propose, My father seeking I myself may lose.” When this the shrill-voic’d Menelaus heard, He charg’d his queen and maids to see prepar’d Breakfast, of what the whole house held for best. To him rose Eteoneus from his rest, Whose dwelling was not far off from the court, And his attendance his command did sort With kindling fires, and furth’ring all the roast, In act of whose charge heard no time he lost. Himself then to an odorous room descended, Whom Megapenthe and his queen attended. Come to his treasury, a two-ear’d cup He choos’d of all, and made his son bear up A silver bowl. The queen then taking stand Aside her chest, where by her own fair hand Lay vests of all hues wrought, she took out one Most large, most artful, chiefly fair, and shone Like to a star, and lay of all the last. Then through the house with either’s gift they past; When to Ulysses’ son Atrides said: “Telemachus, since so entirely sway’d Thy thoughts are with thy vow’d return now tender’d, May Juno’s thund’ring husband see it render’d Perfect at all parts, action answ’ring thought. Of all the rich gifts, in my treasure sought, I give thee here the most in grace and best. A bowl but silver, yet the brim’s comprest With gold, whose fabric his desert doth bring From Vulcan’s hand, presented by the king And great heroë of Sidonia’s state, When at our parting he did consummate His whole house-keeping. This do thou command.” This said, he put the round bowl in his hand, And then his strong son Megapenthe plac’d The silver cup before him, amply grac’d With work and lustre. Helen (standing by, And in her hand the robe, her housewifery) His name rememb’ring, said: “And I present, Lov’d son, this gift to thee, the monument Of the so-many-lovéd Helen’s hands, Which, at the knitting of thy nuptial bands, Present thy wife. In mean space, may it lie By thy lov’d mother; but to me apply Thy pleasure in it, and thus take thy way To thy fair house, and country’s wishéd stay.” Thus gave she to his hands the veil, and he The acceptation author’d joyfully. Which in the chariot’s chest Pisistratus Plac’d with the rest, and held miraculous. The yellow-headed king then led them all To seats and thrones plac’d in his spacious hall. The hand-maid water brought, and gave it stream From out a fair and golden ewer to them, From whose hands to a silver caldron fled The troubled wave. A bright board then she spread, On which another rev’rend dame set bread. To which more servants store of victuals serv’d. Eteonëus was the man that kerv’d, And Megapenthe fill’d them all their wine. All fed and drank, till all felt care decline For those refreshings. Both the guests did go To horse, and coach, and forth the portico A little issued, when the yellow King Brought wine himself, that, with an offering To all the Gods, they might their journey take. He stood before the Gods, and thus he spake: “Farewell young Princes! To grave Nestor’s ear This salutation from my gratitude bear: That I profess, in all our Ilion wars, He stood a careful father to my cares.” To whom the wise Ulyssides replied: “With all our utmost shall be signified, Jove-kept Atrides, your right royal will; And would to God, I could as well fulfill Mine own mind’s gratitude, for your free grace, In telling to Ulysses, in the place Of my return, in what accomplish’d kind I have obtain’d the office of a friend At your deservings; whose fair end you crown With gifts so many, and of such renown!” His wish, that he might find in his retreat His father safe return’d (to so repeat The king’s love to him) was saluted thus: An eagle rose, and in her seres did truss A goose, all-white, and huge, a household one, Which men and women, crying out upon, Pursued, but she, being near the guests, her flight Made on their right hand, and kept still fore-right Before their horses; which observ’d by them, The spirits in all their minds took joys extreme, Which Nestor’s son thus question’d: “Jove-kept king,[2] Yield your grave thoughts, if this ostentful thing (This eagle, and this goose) touch us, or you?” He put to study, and not knowing how To give fit answer, Helen took on her Th’ ostent’s solution, and did this prefer: “Hear me, and I will play the prophet’s part, As the Immortals cast it in my heart, And as, I think, will make the true sense known: As this Jove’s bird, from out the mountains flown, (Where was her eyrie, and whence rose her race,) Truss’d up this goose, that from the house did graze, So shall Ulysses, coming from the wild Of seas and suff’rings, reach, unreconcil’d, His native home, where ev’n this hour he is, And on those house-fed Wooers those wrongs of his Will shortly wreak, with all their miseries.” “O,” said Telemachus, “if Saturnian Jove To my desires thy dear presage approve, When I arrive, I will perform to thee My daily vows, as to a Deity.” This said, he us’d his scourge upon the horse, That through the city freely made their course To field, and all day made that first speed good. But when the sun set, and obscureness stood In each man’s way, they ended their access At Pheras, in the house of Diocles, Son to Orsilochus, Alphëus’ seed, Who gave them guest-rites; and sleep’s natural need They that night served there. When Aurora rose, They join’d their horse, took coach, and did dispose Their course for Pylos; whose high city soon They reach’d. Nor would Telemachus be won To Nestor’s house, and therefore order’d thus His speech to Nestor’s son, Pisistratus: “How shall I win thy promise to a grace That I must ask of thee? We both embrace The names of bed-fellows, and in that name Will glory as an adjunct of our fame; Our fathers’ friendship, our own equal age, And our joint travel, may the more engage Our mutual concord. Do not then assay, My God-lov’d friend, to lead me from my way To my near ship, but take a course direct And leave me there, lest thy old sire’s respect, In his desire to love me, hinder so My way for home, that have such need to go.” This said, Nestorides held all discourse In his kind soul, how best he might enforce Both promise and performance; which, at last; He vow’d to venture, and directly cast His horse about to fetch the ship and shore. Where come, his friends’ most lovely gifts he bore Aboard the ship, and in her hind-deck plac’d The veil that Helen’s curious hand had grac’d, And Menelaus’ gold, and said: “Away, Nor let thy men, in any least date, stay, But quite put off, ere I get home, and tell The old duke, you are past; for passing well I know his mind to so exceed all force Of any pray’r, that he will stay your course, Himself make hither, all your course call back, And, when he hath you, have no thought to rack Him from his bounty, and to let you part Without a present, but be vex’d at heart With both our pleadings, if we once put move The least repression of his fiery love.” Thus took he coach, his fair-man’d steeds scourg’d on Along the Pylian city, and anon His father’s court reach’d; while Ulysses’ son Bade board, and arm; which with a thought was done. His rowers set, and he rich odours firing In his hind-deck, for his secure retiring, To great Athenia, to his ship came flying A stranger, and a prophet, as relying On wishéd passage, having newly slain A man at Argos, yet his race’s vein Flow’d from Melampus, who in former date In Pylos liv’d, and had a huge estate, But fled his country, and the punishing hand Of great-soul’d Neleus, in a foreign land, From that most famous mortal, having held A world of riches, nor could be compell’d To render restitution in a year. In mean space, living as close prisoner In court of Phylacus, and for the sake Of Neleus’ daughter mighty cares did take, Together with a grievous languor sent From grave Erinnys, that did much torment His vexéd conscience; yet his life’s expence He scap’d, and drave the loud-voiced oxen thence, To breed-sheep Pylos, bringing vengeance thus Her foul demerit to great Neleüs, And to his brother’s house reduc’d his wife. Who yet from Pylos did remove his life For feed-horse Argos, where his fate set down A dwelling for him, and in much renown Made govern many Argives, where a spouse He took to him, and built a famous house. There had he born to him Antiphates, And forceful Mantius. To the first of these Was great Oïcleus born: Oïcleus gat Amphiaraus, that the popular state Had all their health in, whom ev’n from his heart Jove lov’d, and Phœbus in the whole desert Of friendship held him; yet not bless’d so much That age’s threshold he did ever touch, But lost his life by female bribery.[3] Yet two sons author’d his posterity, Alcmæon, and renown’d Amphilochus. Mantius had issue Polyphidius, And Clytus, but Aurora ravish’d him, For excellence of his admiréd limb, And interested him amongst the Gods. His brother knew men’s good and bad abodes The best of all men, after the decease Of him that perish’d in unnatural peace At spacious Thebes. Apollo did inspire His knowing soul with a prophetic fire. Who, angry with his father, took his way To Hyperesia; where, making stay, He prophesied to all men, and had there A son call’d Theoclymenus, who here Came to Telemachus, and found aboard Himself at sacrifice, whom in a word He thus saluted: “O friend, since I find, Ev’n here at ship, a sacrificing mind Inform your actions, by your sacrifice, And by that worthy choice of Deities To whom you offer, by yourself, and all These men that serve your course maritimal, Tell one that asks the truth, nor give it glose, Both who, and whence, you are? From what seed rose Your royal person? And what city’s tow’rs Hold habitation to your parents’ pow’rs?” He answer’d: “Stranger! The sure truth is this: I am of Ithaca; my father is (Or was) Ulysses, but austere death now Takes his state from him; whose event to know Himself being long away, I set forth thus With ship and soldiers.” Theoclymenus As freely said: “And I to thee am fled From forth my country, for a man struck dead By my unhappy hand, who was with me Of one self-tribe, and of his pedigree Are many friends and brothers, and the sway Of Achive kindred reacheth far away. From whom, because I fear their spleens suborn Blood and black fate against me (being born To be a wand’rer among foreign men) Make thy fair ship my rescue, and sustain My life from slaughter. Thy deservings may Perform that mercy, and to them I pray.” “Nor will I bar,” said he, “thy will to make My means and equal ship thy aid, but take (With what we have here, in all friendly use) Thy life from any violence that pursues.” Thus took he in his lance, and it extended Aloft the hatches, which himself ascended. The prince took seat at stern, on his right hand Set Theoclymenus, and gave command To all his men to arm, and see made fast Amidst the hollow keel the beechen mast With able halsers, hoise sail, launch; which soon He saw obey’d. And then his ship did run A merry course; blue-eyed Minerva sent A fore-right gale, tumultuous, vehement, Along the air, that her way’s utmost yield The ship might make, and plough the brackish field. Then set the sun, and night black’d all the ways. The ship, with Jove’s wind wing’d, where th’ Epian sways, Fetch’d Pheras first, then Elis the divine, And then for those isles made, that sea-ward shine For form and sharpness like a lance’s head, About which lay the Wooers ambushéd; On which he rush’d, to try if he could ’scape His plotted death, or serve her treach’rous rape. And now return we to Eumæus’ shed, Where, at their food with others marshalléd, Ulysses and his noble herdsman sate. To try if whose love’s curious estate Stood firm to his abode, or felt it fade, And so would take each best cause to persuade His guest to town, Ulysses thus contends: “Hear me, Eumæus, and ye other friends. Next morn to town I covet to be gone, To beg some others’ alms, not still charge one. Advise me well then, and as well provide I may be fitted with an honest guide, For through the streets, since need will have it so, I’ll tread, to try if any will bestow A dish of drink on me, or bit of bread, Till to Ulysses’ house I may be led; And there I’ll tell all-wise Penelope news, Mix with the Wooers’ pride, and, since they use To fare above the full, their hands excite To some small feast from out their infinite: For which, I’ll wait, and play the servingman, Fairly enough, command the most they can. For I will tell thee, note me well, and hear, That, if the will be of Heav’n’s Messenger, (Who to the works of men, of any sort, Can grace infuse, and glory) nothing short Am I of him, that doth to most aspire In any service, as to build a fire, To cleave sere wood, to roast or boil their meat, To wait at board, mix wine, or know the neat, Or any work, in which the poor-call’d worst To serve the rich-call’d best in Fate are forc’d.” He, angry with him, said: “Alas, poor guest, Why did this counsel ever touch thy breast? Thou seek’st thy utter spoil beyond all doubt, If thou giv’st venture on the Wooers’ rout, Whose wrong and force affects the iron heav’n, Their light delights are far from being giv’n To such grave servitors. Youths richly trick’d In coats or cassocks, locks divinely slick’d, And looks most rapting, ever have the gift To taste their crown’d cups, and full trenchers shift. Their tables ever like their glasses shine, Loaded with bread, with varied flesh, and wine. And thou go thither? Stay, for here do none Grudge at thy presence, nor myself, nor one Of all I feed. But when Ulysses’ son Again shall greet us, he shall put thee on Both coat and cassock, and thy quick retreat Set where thy heart and soul desire thy seat.” Industrious Ulysses gave reply: “I still much wish, that Heav’n’s chief Deity Lov’d thee, as I do, that hast eas’d my mind Of woes and wand’rings never yet confin’d. _Nought is more wretched in a human race, Than country’s want, and shift from place to place._ But for the baneful belly men take care Beyond good counsel, whosoever are In compass of the wants it undergoes By wand’rings, losses, or dependent woes. Excuse me therefore, if I err’d at home; Which since thou wilt make here, as overcome With thy command for stay, I’ll take on me Cares appertaining to this place, like thee. Does then Ulysses’ sire, and mother, breathe, Both whom he left in th’ age next door to death? Or are they breathless, and descended where The dark house is, that never day doth clear?” “Laertes lives,” said he, “but ev’ry hour Beseecheth Jove to take from him the pow’r That joins his life and limbs; for with a moan That breeds a marvel he laments his son Depriv’d by death, and adds to that another Of no less depth for that dead son’s dead mother, Whom he a virgin wedded, which the more Makes him lament her loss, and doth deplore Yet more her miss, because her womb the truer Was to his brave son, and his slaughter slew her. Which last love to her doth his life engage, And makes him live an undigested age. O! such a death she died as never may Seize anyone that here beholds the day, That either is to any man a friend, Or can a woman kill in such a kind. As long as she had being, I would be A still inquirer (since ’twas dear to me, Though death to her, to hear his name) when she Heard of Ulysses, for I might be bold, She brought me up, and in her love did hold My life, compar’d with long-veil’d Ctimené, Her youngest issue (in some small degree Her daughter yet preferr’d) a brave young dame. And when of youth the dearly-lovéd flame Was lighted in us, marriage did prefer The maid to Samos; whence was sent for her Infinite riches, when the queen bestow’d A fair new suit, new shoes, and all, and vow’d Me to the field, but passing loth to part, As loving me more than she lov’d her heart. And these I want now; but their business grows Upon me daily, which the Gods impose, To whom I hold all, give account to them, For I see none left to the diadem That may dispose all better. So, I drink And eat of what is here; and whom I think Worthy or rev’rend, I have giv’n to, still, These kinds of guest-rites; for the household ill (Which, where the queen is, riots) takes her still From thought of these things. Nor is it delight To hear, from her plight, of or work or word; The Wooers spoil all. But yet my men will board Her sorrows often with discourse of all, Eating and drinking of the festival That there is kept, and after bring to field Such things as servants make their pleasures yield.”

“O me, Eumæus,” said Laertes’ son, “Hast thou then err’d so of a little one, Like me, from friends and country? Pray thee say, And say a truth, doth vast Destruction lay Her hand upon the wide-way’d seat of men,[4] Where dwelt thy sire and rev’rend mother then, That thou art spar’d there? Or else, set alone In guard of beeves, or sheep, set th’ enemy on, Surpris’d, and shipp’d, transferr’d, and sold thee here? He that bought thee paid well, yet bought not dear.” “Since thou enquir’st of that, my guest,” said he, “Hear and be silent, and, mean space, sit free In use of these cups to thy most delights; Unspeakable in length now are the nights. Those that affect sleep yet, to sleep have leave, Those that affect to hear, their hearers give. But sleep not ere your hour; _much sleep doth grieve._ Whoever lists to sleep, away to bed, Together with the morning raise his head, Together with his fellows break his fast, And then his lord’s herd drive to their repast. We two, still in our tabernacle here Drinking and eating, will our bosoms cheer With memories and tales of our annoys. _Betwixt his sorrows ev’ry human joys,_ He most, who most hath felt and furthest err’d. And now thy will to act shall be preferr’d. There is an isle above Ortygia, If thou hast heard, they call it Syria, Where, once a day, the sun moves backward still. ’Tis not so great as good, for it doth fill The fields with oxen, fills them still with sheep, Fills roofs with wine, and makes all corn there cheap. No dearth comes ever there, nor no disease That doth with hate us wretched mortals seize, But when men’s varied nations, dwelling there In any city, enter th’ aged year, The silver-bow-bearer, the Sun, and She That bears as much renown for archery, Stoop with their painless shafts, and strike them dead, As one would sleep, and never keep the bed. In this isle stand two cities, betwixt whom All things that of the soil’s fertility come In two parts are divided. And both these My father rul’d, Ctesius Ormenides, A man like the Immortals. With these states The cross-biting Phœnicians traffick’d rates Of infinite merchandise in ships brought there, In which they then were held exempt from peer. There dwelt within my father’s house a dame, Born a Phœnician, skilful in the frame Of noble housewif’ries, right tall and fair. Her the Phœnician great-wench-net-lay’r[5] With sweet words circumvented, as she was Washing her linen. To his amorous pass He brought her first, shor’d from his ship to her; To whom he did his whole life’s love prefer, Which of these breast-exposing dames the hearts Deceives, though fashion’d of right honest parts. He ask’d her after, what she was, and whence? She, passing presently, the excellence Told of her father’s turrets, and that she Might boast herself sprung from the progeny Of the rich Sidons, and the daughter was Of the much-year-revénued Arybas; But that the Taphian pirates made her prise, As she return’d from her field-housewif’ries, Transferr’d her hither, and, at that man’s house Where now she liv’d, for value precious Sold her to th’ owner. He that stole her love Bade her again to her birth’s seat remove, To see the fair roofs of her friends again, Who still held state, and did the port maintain Herself reported. She said: ‘Be it so, So you, and all that in your ship shall row, Swear to return me in all safety hence.’ All swore. Th’ oath past, with ev’ry consequence, She bade: ‘Be silent now, and not a word Do you, or any of your friends, afford, Meeting me afterward in any way, Or at the washing-fount; lest some display Be made, and told the old man, and he then Keep me strait bound, to you and to your men The utter ruin plotting of your lives. Keep in firm thought then ev’ry word that strives For dang’rous utt’rance. Haste your ship’s full freight Of what you traffic for, and let me straight Know by some sent friend she hath all in hold, And with myself I’ll bring thence all the gold I can by all means finger; and, beside, I’ll do my best to see your freight supplied With some well-weighing burthen of mine own. For I bring-up in house a great man’s son, As crafty as myself, who will with me Run ev’ry way along, and I will be His leader, till your ship hath made him sure. He will an infinite great price procure, Transfer him to what languag’d men ye may.’ This said, she gat her home, and there made stay A whole year with us, goods of great avail Their ship enriching. Which now fit for sail, They sent a messenger t’ inform the dame; And to my father’s house a fellow came, Full of Phœnician craft, that to be sold A tablet brought, the body all of gold, The verge all-amber. This had ocular view Both by my honour’d mother and the crew Of her house-handmaids, handled, and the price Beat, ask’d, and promis’d. And while this device Lay thus upon the forge, this jeweller Made privy signs, by winks and wiles, to her That was his object; which she took, and he, His sign seeing noted, hied to ship. When she, (My hand still taking, as she us’d to do To walk abroad with her) convey’d me so Abroad with her, and in the portico Found cups, with tasted viands, which the guests That us’d to flock about my father’s feasts Had left. They gone (some to the council-court, Some to hear news amongst the talking sort) Her theft three bowls into her lap convey’d, And forth she went. Nor was my wit so stay’d To stay her, or myself. The sun went down, And shadows round about the world were flown, When we came to the haven, in which did ride The swift Phœnician ship; whose fair broad side They boarded straight, took us up; and all went Along the moist waves. Wind Saturnius sent. Six days we day and night sail’d; but when Jove Put up the seventh day, She that shafts doth love Shot dead the woman, who into the pump Like to a dop-chick div’d, and gave a thump In her sad settling. Forth they cast her then To serve the fish and sea-calves, no more men; But I was left there with a heavy heart; When wind and water drave them quit apart Their own course, and on Ithaca they fell, And there poor me did to Laertes sell. And thus these eyes the sight of this isle prov’d.” “Eumæus,” he replied, “thou much hast mov’d The mind in me with all things thou hast said, And all the suff’rance on thy bosom laid, But, truly, to thy ill hath Jove join’d good, That one whose veins are serv’d with human blood Hath bought thy service, that gives competence Of food, wine, cloth to thee; and sure th’ expence Of thy life’s date here is of good desert, Whose labours not to thee alone impart Sufficient food and housing, but to me; Where I through many a heap’d humanity Have hither err’d, where, though, like thee, not sold, Nor stay’d like thee yet, nor nought needful hold.” This mutual speech they us’d, nor had they slept Much time before the much-near morning leapt To her fair throne. And now struck sail the men That serv’d Telemachus, arriv’d just then Near his lov’d shore; where now they stoop’d the mast, Made to the port with oars, and anchor cast, Made fast the ship, and then ashore they went, Dress’d supper, fill’d wine; when (their appetites spent) Telemachus commanded they should yield The ship to th’ owner, while himself at field Would see his shepherds; when light drew to end He would his gifts see, and to town descend, And in the morning at a feast bestow Rewards for all their pains. “And whither, now,” Said Theoclymenus, “my lovéd son, Shall I address myself? Whose mansión, Of all men, in this rough-hewn isle, shall I Direct my way to? Or go readily To thy house and thy mother?” He replied: “Another time I’ll see you satisfied With my house-entertainment, but as now You should encounter none that could bestow Your fit entreaty, and (which less grace were) You could not see my mother, I not there; For she’s no frequent object, but apart Keeps from her Wooers, woo’d with her desert, Up in her chamber, at her housewif’ry But I’ll name one to whom you shall apply Direct repair, and that’s Eurymachus, Renown’d descent to wise Polybius, A man whom th’ Ithacensians look on now As on a God, since he of all that woo Is far superior man, and likest far To wed my mother, and as circular Be in that honour as Ulysses was. But heav’n-hous’d Jove knows the yet hidden pass Of her disposure, and on them he may A blacker sight bring than her nuptial day.” As this he utter’d, on his right hand flew A saker, sacred to the God of view, That in his talons truss’d and plum’d a dove; The feathers round about the ship did rove, And on Telemachus fell; whom th’ augur then Took fast by the hand, withdrew him from his men, And said: “Telemachus! This hawk is sent From God; I knew it for a sure ostent When first I saw it. Be you well assur’d, There will no Wooer be by heav’n endur’d To rule in Ithaca above your race, But your pow’rs ever fill the regal place.” “I wish to heav’n,” said he, “thy word might stand, Thou then shouldst soon acknowledge from my hand Such gifts and friendship, as would make thee, guest, Met and saluted as no less than blest.” This said, he call’d Piræus, Clytus’ son, His true associate, saying: “Thou hast done (Of all my followers to the Pylian shore) My will in chief in other things, once more Be chiefly good to me; take to thy house This lovéd stranger, and be studious T’ embrace and greet him with thy greatest fare, Till I myself come and take off thy care.” The famous-for-his-lance said: “If your stay Take time for life here, this man’s care I’ll lay On my performance, nor what fits a guest Shall any penury withhold his feast.” Thus took he ship, bade them board, and away. They boarded, sat, but did their labour stay Till he had deck’d his feet, and reached his lance. They to the city; he did straight advance Up to his styes, where swine lay for him store, By whose side did his honest swine-herd snore, Till his short cares his longest nights had ended, And nothing worse to both his lords intended.

[1] _Εὐρύχορον Λακεδαίμονα in quâ ampli ut pulchri chori duci possunt,
vel ducuntur;_ which the vulgar translations turn therefore, _latam,
seu amplam._
[2] Nestor’s son to Menelaus, his ironical question continuing still
Homer’s character of Menelaus.
[3] His wife betrayed him for money.
[4] Supposing him to dwell in a city.
[5] _Πολυπαίπαλος, admodum vafer, Der. ex παλεύω, pertraho in retia,
et παι̑ς, puella._



The Prince at field, he sends to town Eumæus, to make truly known His safe return. By Pallas’ will, Telemachus is giv’n the skill To know his father. Those that lay In ambush, to prevent the way Of young Ulyssides for home, Retire, with anger overcome.


_Πι̑._ To his most dear Ulysses shows. The wise-son here His father knows.

Ulysses and divine Eumæus rose Soon as the morning could her eyes unclose, Made fire, brake fast, and to their pasture send The gather’d herds, on whom their swains attend. The self-tire barking dogs all fawn’d upon, Nor bark’d, at first sight of Ulysses’ son. The whinings of their fawnings yet did greet Ulysses’ ears, and sounds of certain feet, Who thus bespake Eumæus: “Sure some friend, Or one well-known, comes, that the mastiffs spend Their mouths no louder. Only some one near They whine, and leap about, whose feet I hear.” Each word of this speech was not spent, before His son stood in the entry of the door. Out-rush’d amaz’d Eumæus, and let go The cup to earth, that he had labour’d so, Cleans’d for the neat wine, did the prince-surprise, Kiss’d his fair forehead, both his lovely eyes, Both his white hands, and tender tears distill’d. There breath’d no kind-soul’d father that was fill’d Less with his son’s embraces, that had liv’d Ten years in far-off earth, now new retriev’d, His only child too, gotten in his age, And for whose absence he had felt the rage Of griefs upon him, than for this divin’d So-much-for-form was this divine-for-mind; Who kiss’d him through, who grew about him kissing, As fresh from death ’scap’d. Whom so long time missing, He wept for joy, and said: “Thou yet art come, Sweet light, sweet sun-rise, to thy cloudy home. O, never I look’d, when once shipp’d away For Pylos’ shores, to see thy turning day. Come, enter, lov’d son, let me feast my heart With thy sweet sight, new-come, so far apart. Nor, when you liv’d at home, would you walk down Often enough here, but stay’d still at town; It pleas’d you then to cast such forehand view About your house on that most damnéd crew.”[1] “It shall be so then, friend,” said he, “but now I come to glad mine eyes with thee, and know If still my mother in her house remain, Or if some Wooer hath aspir’d to gain Of her in nuptials; for Ulysses’ bed, By this, lies all with spiders’s cobwebs spread, In penury of him that should supply it.” “She still,” said he, “holds her most constant quiet, Aloft thine own house, for the bed’s respect; But, for her lord’s sad loss, sad nights and days Obscure her beauties, and corrupt their rays.” This said, Eumæus took his brazen spear, And in he went; when, being enter’d near Within the stony threshold; from his seat His father rose to him, who would not let Th’ old man remove, but drew him back and prest With earnest terms his sitting, saying: “Guest, Take here your seat again, we soon shall get Within our own house here some other seat. Here’s one will fetch it.” This said, down again His father sat, and to his son his swain Strew’d fair green osiers, and impos’d thereon A good soft sheepskin, which made him a throne. Then he appos’d to them his last-left roast, And in a wicker basket bread engrost, Fill’d luscious wine, and then took opposite seat To the divine Ulysses. When, the meat Set there before them, all fell-to, and eat. When they had fed, the prince said: “Pray thee say, Whence comes this guest? What seaman gave him way To this our isle? I hope these feet of his Could walk no water. Who boasts he he is?” “I’ll tell all truly son: From ample Crete He boasts himself, and says, his erring feet Have many cities trod, and God was he Whose finger wrought in his infirmity. But, to my cottage, the last ’scape of his Was from a Thesprot’s ship. Whate’er he is, I’ll give him you, do what you please; his vaunt Is, that he is, at most, a suppliant.” “Eumæus,” said the prince, “to tell me this, You have afflicted my weak faculties; For how shall I receive him to my house With any safety, that suspicious Of my young forces (should I be assay’d With any sudden violence) may want aid To shield myself? Besides, if I go home, My mother is with two doubts overcome, If she shall stay with me, and take fit care For all such guests as there seek guestive fare, Her husband’s bed respecting, and her fame Amongst the people; or her blood may frame A liking to some Wooer, such as best May bed her in his house, not giving least. And thus am I unsure of all means free To use a guest there, fit for his degree. But, being thy guest, I’ll be his supply For all weeds, such as mere necessity Shall more than furnish. Fit him with a sword, And set him where his heart would have been shor’d; Or, if so pleas’d, receive him in thy shed, I’ll send thee clothes, I vow, and all the bread His wish would eat, that to thy men and thee He be no burthen. But that I should be His mean to my house; where a company Of wrong-professing Wooers wildly live, I will in no sort author, lest they give Foul use to him, and me as gravely grieve. For what great act can anyone achieve Against a multitude, although his mind Retain a courage of the greatest kind? For all minds have not force in one degree.” Ulysses answer’d: “O friend, since ’tis free For any man to change fit words with thee, I’ll freely speak: Methinks, a wolfish pow’r My heart puts on to tear and to devour, To hear your affirmation, that, in spite Of what may fall on you, made opposite, Being one of your proportion, birth, and age, These Wooers should in such injustice rage. What should the cause be? Do you wilfully Endure their spoil? Or hath your empery Been such amongst your people, that all gather In troop, and one voice (which ev’n God doth father) And vow your hate so, that they suffer them? Or blame your kinsfolk’s faiths, before th’ extreme Of your first stroke hath tried them, whom a man, When strifes to blows rise, trusts, though battle ran In huge and high waves? Would to heav’n my spirit Such youth breath’d, as the man that must inherit Yet-never-touch’d Ulysses, or that he, But wand’ring this way, would but come, and see What my age could achieve (and there is Fate For Hope yet left, that he may recreate His eyes with such an object) this my head Should any stranger strike off, if stark dead I struck not all, the house in open force Ent’ring with challenge! If their great concourse Did over-lay me, being a man alone, (Which you urge for yourself) be you that one, I rather in mine own house wish to die One death for all, than so indecently See evermore deeds worse than death applied, Guests wrong’d with vile words and blow-giving pride, The women-servants dragg’d in filthy kind About the fair house, and in corners blind Made serve the rapes of ruffians, food devour’d Idly and rudely, wine exhaust, and pour’d Through throats profane; and all about a deed That’s ever wooing, and will never speed.” “I’ll tell you, guest, most truly,” said his son, “I do not think that all my people run One hateful course against me; nor accuse Kinsfolks that I in strifes of weight might use; But Jove will have it so, our race alone (As if made singular) to one and one His hand confining. Only to the king, Jove-bred Arcesius, did Laertes spring; Only to old Laertes did descend Ulysses; only to Ulysses’ end Am I the adjunct, whom he left so young, That from me to him never comfort sprung. And to all these now, for their race, arise Up in their house a brood of enemies. As many as in these isles bow men’s knees, Samos, Dulichius, and the rich-in-trees Zacynthus, or in this rough isle’s command, So many suitors for the nuptials stand, That ask my mother, and, mean space, prefer Their lusts to all spoil, that dishonour her. Nor doth she, though she loaths, deny their suits, Nor they denials take, though taste their fruits. But all this time the state of all things there Their throats devour, and I must shortly bear A part in all. And yet the periods Of these designs lie in the knees of Gods. Of all loves then, Eumæus, make quick way To wise Penelopé, and to her say My safe return from Pylos, and alone, Return thou hither, having made it known. Nor let, besides my mother, any ear Partake thy message, since a number bear My safe return displeasure.” He replied; “I know, and comprehend you. You divide Your mind with one that understands you well. But, all in one yet, may I not reveal To th’ old hard-fated Arcesiades Your safe return? Who, through his whole distress Felt for Ulysses, did not yet so grieve, But with his household he had will to live, And serv’d his appetite with wine and food, Survey’d his husbandry, and did his blood Some comforts fitting life; but since you took Your ship for Pylos, he would never brook Or wine or food, they say, nor cast an eye On any labour, but sits weeping by, And sighing out his sorrows, ceaseless moans Wasting his body, turn’d all skin and bones.” “More sad news still,” said he, “yet, mourn he still; For if the rule of all men’s works be will, And his will his way goes, mine stands inclin’d T’ attend the home-turn of my nearer kind.[2] Do then what I enjoin; which giv’n effect, Err nor to field to him, but turn direct, Entreating first my mother, with most speed, And all the secrecy that now serves need, To send this way their store-house guardian, And she shall tell all to the aged man.”[3] He took his shoes up, put them on, and went. Nor was his absence hid from Jove’s descent, Divine Minerva, who took straight to view, A goodly woman’s shape that all works knew, And, standing in the entry, did prefer Her sight t’ Ulysses; but, though meeting her, His son Telemachus nor saw nor knew. _The Gods’ clear presences are known to few._ Yet, with Ulysses, ev’n the dogs did see, And would not bark, but, whining lovingly, Fled to the stall’s far side. When she her eyne Mov’d to Ulysses; he knew her design, And left the house, pass’d the great sheep-cote’s wall, And stood before her. She bade utter all Now to his son, nor keep the least unlos’d, That, all the Wooers’ deaths being now dispos’d, They might approach the town; affirming; she Not long would fail t’ assist to victory. This said, she laid her golden rod on him, And with his late-worn weeds grac’d ev’ry limb, His body straighten’d, and his youth instill’d, His fresh blood call’d up, ev’ry wrinkle fill’d About his broken eyes, and on his chin The brown hair spread. When his whole trim wrought in, She issued, and he enter’d to his son, Who stood amaz’d, and thought some God had done His house that honour, turn’d away his eyes, And said; “Now guest, you grace another guise Than suits your late show. Other weeds you wear, And other person. Of the starry sphere You certainly present some deathless God. Be pleas’d, that to your here-vouchsaf’d abode We may give sacred rites, and offer gold, To do us favour.” He replied; “I hold No deified state. Why put you thus on me A God’s resemblance? I am only he That bears thy father’s name; for whose lov’d sake Thy youth so grieves, whose absence makes thee take Such wrongs of men.” Thus kiss’d he him, nor could Forbear those tears that in such mighty hold He held before, still held, still issuing ever; And now, the shores once broke, the springtide never Forbore earth from the cheeks he kiss’d. His son, By all these violent arguments not won To credit him his father, did deny His kind assumpt, and said, some Deity Feign’d that joy’s cause, to make him grieve the more; Affirming, that no man, whoever wore The garment of mortality, could take, By any utmost pow’r his soul could make, Such change into it, since, at so much will, Not Jove himself could both remove and fill Old age with youth, and youth with age so spoil, In such an instant. “You wore all the soil Of age but now, and were old; and but now You bear that young grace that the Gods indow Their heav’n-born forms withal.” His father said: “Telemachus! Admire, nor stand dismay’d, But know thy solid father; since within He answers all parts that adorn his skin. There shall no more Ulyssesses come here. I am the man, that now this twentieth year (Still under suff’rance of a world of ill) My country-earth recover. ’Tis the will The prey-professor Pallas puts in act, Who put me thus together, thus distract In aged pieces as ev’n now you saw, This youth now rend’ring. ’Tis within the law Of her free pow’r. Sometimes to show me poor, Sometimes again thus amply to restore My youth and ornaments, she still would please. _The Gods can raise, and throw men down, with ease.”_ This said, he sat; when his Telemachus pour’d Himself about him; tears on tears he show’r’d, And to desire of moan increas’d the cloud. Both wept and howl’d, and laid out shrieks more loud Than or the bird-bone-breaking eagle rears, Or brood-kind vulture with the crooked seres, When rustic hands their tender eyries draw, Before they give their wings their full-plum’d law. But miserably pour’d they from beneath Their lids their tears, while both their breasts did breathe As frequent cries; and, to their fervent moan, The light had left the skies, if first the son Their dumb moans had not vented, with demand What ship it was that gave the natural land To his bless’d feet? He then did likewise lay Hand on his passion, and gave these words way: “I’ll tell thee truth, my son: The men that bear Much fame for shipping, my reducers were To long-wish’d Ithaca, who each man else That greets their shore give pass to where he dwells. The Phæacensian peers, in one night’s date, While I fast slept, fetch’d th’ Ithacensian state, Grac’d me with wealthy gifts, brass, store of gold, And robes fair-wrought; all which have secret hold In caves that by the Gods’ advice I chus’d. And now Minerva’s admonitions us’d For this retreat, that we might here dispose In close discourse the slaughters of our foes. Recount the number of the Wooers then, And let me know what name they hold with men, That my mind may cast over their estates A curious measure, and confer the rates Of our two pow’rs and theirs, to try, if we Alone may propagate to victory Our bold encounters of them all, or prove The kind assistance of some others’ love.” “O father,” he replied, “I oft have heard Your counsels and your force of hand preferr’d To mighty glory, but your speeches now Your vent’rous mind exceeding mighty show. Ev’n to amaze they move me; for, in right Of no fit counsel, should be brought to fight Two men ’gainst th’ able faction of a throng. No one two, no one ten, no twice ten, strong These Wooers are, but more by much. For know, That from Dulichius there are fifty-two, All choice young men; and ev’ry one of these Six men attend. From Samos cross’d the seas Twice-twelve young gallants. From Zacynthus came Twice-ten. Of Ithaca, the best of name, Twice-six. Of all which all the state they take A sacred poet and a herald make. Their delicacies two, of special sort In skill of banquets, serve. And all this port If we shall dare t’ encounter, all-thrust-up In one strong roof, have great care lest the cup, Your great mind thirsts, exceeding bitter taste, And your retreat commend not to your haste Your great attempt, but make you say, you buy Their pride’s revenges at a price too high. And therefore, if you could; ’twere well you thought Of some assistant. Be your spirit wrought In such a man’s election, as may lend His succours freely, and express a friend.” His father answer’d: “Let me ask of thee; Hear me, consider, and then answer me. Think’st thou, if Pallas and the King of skies We had to friend, would their sufficiencies Make strong our part? Or that some other yet My thoughts must work for?” “These,” said he “are set Aloft the clouds, and are found aids indeed, As pow’rs not only that these men exceed, But bear of all men else the high command, And hold of Gods an overruling hand.” “Well then,” said he, “not these shall sever long Their force and ours in fights assur’d and strong. And then ’twixt us and them shall Mars prefer His strength, to stand our great distinguisher, When in mine own roofs I am forc’d to blows. But when the day shall first her fires disclose, Go thou for home, and troop up with the Wooers, Thy will with theirs join’d, pow’r with their rude pow’rs; And after shall the herdsman guide to town My steps, my person wholly overgrown With all appearance of a poor old swain, Heavy, and wretched. If their high disdain Of my vile presence make them my desert Affect with contumelies, let thy lov’d heart Beat in fix’d cónfines of thy bosom still, And see me suffer, patient of their ill. Ay, though they drag me by the heels about Mine own free earth, and after hurl me out, Do thou still suffer. Nay, though with their darts They beat and bruise me, bear. But these foul parts Persuade them to forbear, and by their names Call all with kind words; bidding, for their shames, Their pleasures cease. If yet they yield not way, There breaks the first light of their fatal day. In mean space, mark this: When the chiefly-wise Minerva prompts me, I’ll inform thine eyes With some giv’n sign, and then all th’ arms that are Aloft thy roof in some near room prepare For speediest use. If those brave men inquire Thy end in all, still rake up all thy fire In fair cool words, and say: ‘I bring them down To scour the smoke off, being so overgrown That one would think all fumes, that ever were Breath’d since Ulysses’ loss, reflected here. These are not like the arms he left behind, In way for Troy. Besides, Jove prompts my mind In their remove apart thus with this thought, That, if in height of wine there should be wrought, Some harsh contention ’twixt you, this apt mean To mutual bloodshed may be taken clean From out your reach, and all the spoil prevented Of present feast, perhaps ev’n then presented My mother’s nuptials to your long kind vows. _Steel itself, ready, draws a man to blows.’_ Thus make their thoughts secure; to us alone Two swords, two darts, two shields left: which see done Within our readiest reach, that at our will We may resume, and charge, and all their skill Pallas and Jove, that all just counsels breathe, May darken with secureness to their death. And let me charge thee now, as thou art mine, And as thy veins mine own true blood combine: Let, after this, none know Ulysses near, Not anyone of all the household there, Not here the herdsman, not Laertes be Made privy, not herself Penelopé But only let thyself and me work out The women’s thoughts of all things borne about The Wooers’ hearts; and then thy men approve, To know who honours, who with rev’rence love, Our well-weigh’d memories, and who is won To fail thy fit right, though my only son.” “You teach,” said he, “so punctually now, As I knew nothing, nor were sprung from you. I hope, hereafter, you shall better know What soul I bear, and that it doth not let The least loose motion pass his natural seat. But this course you propose will prove, I fear, Small profit to us; and could wish your care Would weigh it better as too far about. For time will ask much, to the sifting out Of each man’s disposition by his deeds; And, in the mean time, ev’ry Wooer feeds Beyond satiety, nor knows how to spare. The women yet, since they more easy are For our inquiry, I would wish you try, Who right your state, who do it injury. The men I would omit, and these things make Your labour after. But, to undertake The Wooers’ war, I wish your utmost speed, Especially if you could cheer the deed With some ostent from Jove.” Thus, as the sire Consented to the son, did here expire Their mutual speech. And now the ship was come, That brought the young prince and his soldiers home, The deep haven reach’d, they drew the ship ashore, Took all their arms out, and the rich gifts bore To Clitius’ house. But to Ulysses’ court They sent a herald first, to make report To wise Penelopé, that safe at field Her son was left; yet, since the ship would yield Most haste to her, he sent that first, and them To comfort with his utmost the extreme He knew she suffer’d. At the court now met The herald and the herdsman, to repeat One message to the queen. Both whom arriv’d Within the gates; both to be foremost striv’d In that good news. The herald, he for haste Amongst the maids bestow’d it, thinking plac’d The queen amongst them. “Now,” said he, “O queen, Your lov’d son is arriv’d.” And, then was seen The queen herself, to whom the herdsman told All that Telemachus enjoin’d he should; All which discharg’d, his steps he back bestows, And left both court and city for his sows. The Wooers then grew sad; soul-vex’d, and all Made forth the court; when, by the mighty wall They took their sev’ral seats, before the gates. To whom Eurymachus initiates. Their utter’d grievance. “O,” said he, “my friends, A work right-great begun, as proudly ends, We said, Telemachus should never make His voyage good, nor this shore ever take For his return’s receipt; and yet we fail, And he performs it. Come, let’s man a sail, The best In our election, and bestow Such soldiers in her as can swiftest row, To tell our friends that way-lay his retreat ‘Tis safe perform’d, and make them quickly get Their ship for Ithaca.” This was not said Before Amphinomus in port display’d The ship arriv’d, her sails then under-stroke, And oars resum’d; when, laughing, thus he spoke: “Move for no messenger. These men are come, Some God hath either told his turning home, Or they themselves have seen his ship gone by, Had her in chase, and lost her.” Instantly They rose, and went to port; found drawn to land The ship, the soldiers taking arms in hand. The Wooers themselves to council went in throng, And not a man besides, or old, or young, Let sit amongst them. Then Eupitheus’ son, Antinous, said: “See, what the Gods have done! They only have deliver’d from our ill The men we way-laid. Ev’ry windy hill Hath been their watch-tow’r, where by turns they stood Continual sentinel. And we made good Our work as well, for, sun once set, we never Slept wink ashore all night, but made sail ever, This way and that, ev’n till the morning kept Her sacred station, so to intercept And take his life, for whom our ambush lay; And yet hath God to his return giv’n way. But let us prosecute with counsels here His necessary death, nor anywhere Let rest his safety; for if he survive, Our sails will never in wish’d havens arrive; Since he is wise, hath soul, and counsel too, To work the people, who, will never do Our faction favour. What we then intend Against his person, give we present end, Before he call a council, which, believe, His spirit will haste, and point where it doth grieve, Stand up amongst them all, and urge his death Decreed amongst us. Which complaint will breathe A fire about their spleens, and blow no praise On our ill labours. Lest, they therefore raise Pow’r to exile us from our native earth, And force our lives’ societies to the birth Of foreign countries, let our speeds prevent, His coming home to this austere complaint, At field and far from town, or in some way Of narrow passage, with his latest day Shown to his forward youth, his goods and lands Left to the free division of our hands, The moveables made all his mother’s dow’r, And his, whoever Fate affords the pow’r To celebrate, with her sweet Hymen’s rites. Or if this please not, but your appetites Stand to his safety, and to give him seat In his whole birth-right, let us look to eat At his cost never more, but ev’ry man Haste to his home, and wed, with whom he can At home, and there lay first about for dow’r And then the woman give his second pow’r Of nuptial-liking, and, for last, apply His purpose with most gifts and destiny.” This silence caus’d; whose breach, at last, begun Amphinomus, the much renownéd son Of Nisus surnam’d Aretiades, Who from Dulichius full of flow’ry leas Led all the Wooers, and in chief did please The queen with his discourse, because it grew From roots of those good minds that did endue[4] His goodly person; who, exceeding wise, Us’d this speech: “Friends, I never will advise The prince’s death; for ’tis a damnéd thing To put to death the issue of a king. First, therefore, let’s examine, what applause The Gods will give it: If the equal laws Of Jove approve it, I myself will be The man shall kill him, and this company Exhort to that mind: If the Gods remain Adverse, and hate it, I advise, refrain.” This said Amphinomus, and pleas’d them all When all arose, and in Ulysses’ hall Took seat again. Then to the queen was come The Wooers’ plot, to kill her son at home, Since their abroad-design had miss’d success, The herald Medon (who the whole address Knew of their counsels) making the report. The Goddess of her sex, with her fair sort Of lovely women, at the large hall’s door (Her bright cheeks clouded with a veil she wore) Stood, and directed to Antinous Her sharp reproof, which she digested thus: “Antinous! Compos’d of injury! Plotter of mischief! Though reports that fly Amongst our Ithacensian people say That thou, of all that glory in their sway, Art best in words and counsels, th’ art not so. Fond, busy fellow, why plott’st thou the woe And slaughter of my son, and dost not fear The presidents of suppliants, when the ear Of Jove stoops to them? ’Tis unjust to do Slaughter for slaughter, or pay woe for woe, Mischief for kindness. Death for life sought, then, Is an injustice to be loath’d of men. Serves not thy knowledge to remember when Thy father fled to us? Who (mov’d to wrath Against the Taphian thieves) pursued with scathe The guiltless Thesprots; in whose people’s fear, Pursuing him for wreak, he landed here, They after him, professing both their prize Of all his chiefly-valued faculties, And more priz’d life. Of all whose bloodiest ends Ulysses curb’d them, though they were his friends. Yet thou, like one that no law will allow The least true honour, eat’st his house up now That fed thy father; woo’st for love his wife, Whom thus thou griev’st and seek’st her sole son’s life! Cease, I command thee, and command the rest To see all thought of these foul fashions ceas’d.” Eurymachus replied: “Be confident, Thou all-of-wit-made, the most fam’d descent Of king Icarius. Free thy spirits of fear. There lives not anyone, nor shall live here Now, nor hereafter, while my life gives heat And light to me on earth, that dares intreat With any ill touch thy well-lovéd son, But here I vow, and here will see it done, His life shall stain my lance. If on his knees The city-racer, Laertiades, Hath made me sit, put in my hand his food, And held his red wine to me, shall the blood Of his Telemachus on my hand lay The least pollution, that my life can stay? No! I have ever charg’d him not to fear Death’s threat from any. And, for that most dear Love of his father, he shall ever be Much the most lov’d of all that live to me. _Who kills a guiltless man from man may fly, From God his searches all escapes deny.”_ Thus cheer’d his words, but his affections still Fear’d not to cherish foul intent to kill Ev’n him whose life to all lives he preferr’d. The queen went up, and to her love appear’d Her lord so freshly, that she wept, till sleep (By Pallas forc’d on her) her eyes did steep In his sweet humour. When the even was come, The God-like herdsman reach’d the whole way home. Ulysses and his son for supper drest A year-old swine, and ere their host and guest Had got their presence, Pallas had put by With her fair rod Ulysses’ royalty, And render’d him an aged man again, With all his vile integuments, lest his swain Should know him in his trim, and tell his queen, In these deep secrets being not deeply seen. He seen, to him the prince these words did use: “Welcome divine Eumæus! Now what news Employs the city? Are the Wooers come Back from their scout dismay’d? Or here at home Will they again attempt me?” He replied: “These touch not my care. I was satisfied To do, with most speed, what I went to do; My message done, return. And yet, not so Came my news first; a herald (met with there) Forestall’d my tale, and told how safe you were. Besides which merely necessary thing, What in my way chanc’d I may over-bring, Being what I know, and witness’d with mine eyes. Where the Hermæan sepulchre doth rise Above the city, I beheld take port A ship, and in her many a man of sort; Her freight was shields and lances; and, methought, They were the Wooers; but, of knowledge, nought Can therein tell you.” The prince smil’d, and knew They were the Wooers, casting secret view Upon his father. But what they intended Fled far the herdsman; whose swain’s labours ended, They dress’d the supper, which, past want, was eat. When all desire suffic’d of wine and meat, Of other human wants they took supplies At Sleep’s soft hand, who sweetly clos’d their eyes.


[1] _’Αΐδηλον ὅμιλον, ἀΐδηλος of ἀΐδης, orcus,_ and signifies
properly _tenebricosus,_ or _infernalis,_ so that _perniciosus_ (which
is the Latin translation) is not so fit as damned for that crew of
dissolute Wooers. The phrase being now used to all so licentious.
[2] Intending his father, whose return though he were far from
knowing, or fully expecting, yet he desired to order all things as he
were present.
[3] Intending to Laertes all that Eumæus would have told.
[4] _ϕπεσὶ ἀγαθῃ̑σιν, bonis mentibus,_ the plural number used ever by



Telemachus, return’d to town, Makes to his curious mother known, In part, his travels. After whom Ulysses to the court doth come, In good Eumæus’ guide, and prest To witness of the Wooers’ feast; Whom, though twice ten years did bestow In far-off parts, his dog doth know.


_Ρω̑._ Ulysses shows Through all disguise. Whom his dog knows; Who knowing dies.

But when air’s rosy birth, the morn, arose, Telemachus did for the town dispose His early steps; and took to his command His fair long lance, well-sorting with his hand, Thus parting with Eumæus: “Now, my friend, I must to town, lest too far I extend My mother’s moan for me, who, till her eyes Mine own eyes witness, varies tears and cries Through all extremes. Do then this charge of mine, And guide to town this hapless guest of thine, To beg elsewhere his further festival. Give they that please, I cannot give to all, Mine own wants take up for myself my pain. If it incense him, he the worst shall gain. The lovely truth I love, and must be plain.” “Alas, friend,” said his father, “nor do I Desire at all your further charity. ‘Tis better beg in cities than in fields, And take the worst a beggar’s fortune yields. Nor am I apt to stay in swine-styes more, However; ever the great chief before The poor ranks must to ev’ry step obey. But go; your man in my command shall sway, Anon yet too, by favour, when your fires Have comforted the cold heat age expires, And when the sun’s flame hath besides corrected The early air abroad, not being protected By these my bare weeds from the morning’s frost, Which (if so much ground is to be engrost By my poor feet as you report) may give Too violent charge to th’ heat by which I live.” This said, his son went on with spritely pace, And to the Wooers studied little grace. Arriv’d at home, he gave his jav’lin stay Against a lofty pillar, and bold way Made further in. When having so far gone That he transcended the fair porch of stone, The first by far that gave his entry eye Was nurse Euryclea; who th’ embrodery Of stools there set was giving cushions fair; Who ran upon him, and her rapt repair Shed tears for joy. About him gather’d round The other maids; his head and shoulders crown’d With kisses and embraces. From above The Queen herself came, like the Queen of Love, Or bright Diana; cast about her son Her kind embraces, with effusión Of loving tears; kiss’d both his lovely eyes, His cheeks, and forehead; and gave all supplies With this entreaty; “Welcome, sweetest light! I never had conceit to set quick sight On thee thus soon, when thy lov’d father’s fame As far as Pylos did thy spirit inflame, In that search ventur’d all-unknown to me. O say, by what pow’r cam’st thou now to be Mine eyes’ dear object?” He return’d reply: “Move me not now, when you my ’scape descry From imminent death, to think me fresh entrapt; The fear’d wound rubbing, felt before I ’scapt. Double not needless passion on a heart Whose joy so green is, and so apt t’ invert; But pure weeds putting on, ascend and take Your women with you, that ye all may make Vows of full hecatombs in sacred fire To all the Godheads, if their only Sire Vouchsafe revenge of guest-rites wrong’d, which he Is to protect as being their Deity. My way shall be directed to the hall Of common concourse, that I thence may call A stranger, who from off the Pylian shore Came friendly with me; whom I sent before With all my soldiers, but in chief did charge Piræus with him, wishing him t’ enlarge His love to him at home, in best affair, And utmost honours, till mine own repair.” Her son thus spoken, his words could not bear The wings too easily through her either ear, But putting pure weeds on, made vows entire Of perfect hecatombs in sacred fire To all the Deities, if their only Sire Vouchsaf’d revenge of guest-rites wrong’d, which he Was to protect as being their Deity. Her son left house, in his fair hand his lance, His dogs attending; and, on ev’ry glance His looks cast from them, Pallas put a grace That made him seem of the celestial race. Whom, come to concourse, ev’ry man admir’d, About him throng’d the Wooers, and desir’d All good to him in tongues, but in their hearts Most deep ills threaten’d to his most deserts. Of whose huge rout once free, he cast glad eye On some that, long before his infancy, Were with his father great and gracious, Grave Halitherses, Mentor, Antiphus: To whom he went, took seat by them, and they Inquir’d of all things since his parting day. To them Piræus came, and brought his guest Along the city thither, whom not least The prince respected, nor was long before He rose and met him. The first word yet bore Piræus from them both; whose haste besought The prince to send his women to see brought The gifts from his house that Atrides gave, Which his own roofs, he thought, would better save. The wise prince answer’d: “I can scarce conceive The way to these works. If the Wooers reave By privy stratagem my life at home, I rather wish Piræus may become The master of them, than the best of these. But, if I sow in their fields of excess Slaughter and ruin, then thy trust employ, And to me joying bring thou those with joy.” This said, he brought home his grief-practis’d guest; Where both put off, both oil’d, and did invest Themselves in rich robes, wash’d, and sate, and eat. His mother, in a fair chair taking seat Directly opposite, her loom applied; Who, when her son and guest had satisfied Their appetites with feast, said: “O my son, You know that ever since your sire was won To go in Agamemnon’s guide to Troy, Attempting sleep, I never did enjoy One night’s good rest, but made my quiet bed A sea blown-up with sighs, with tears still shed Embrew’d and troubled; yet, though all your miss In your late voyage hath been made for this, That you might know th’ abode your father made. You shun to tell me what success you had. Now then, before the insolent access The Wooers straight will force on us, express What you have heard.” “I will,” said he, “and true. We came to Pylos, where the studious due That any father could afford his son, (But new-arriv’d from some course he had run To an extreme length, in some voyage vow’d), Nestor, the pastor of the people, show’d To me arriv’d, in turrets thrust-up high, Where not his brave sons were more lov’d than I. Yet of th’ unconquer’d ever-sufferer; Ulysses, never he could set his ear, Alive or dead, from any earthy man. But to the great Lacedæmonian, Atrides, famous for his lance, he sent, With horse and chariots, me, to learn th’ event From his relation; where I had the view Of Argive Helen, whose strong beauties drew, By wills of Gods, so many Grecian states, And Trojans, under such laborious fates. Where Menelaus ask’d me, what affair To Lacedæmon render’d my repair. I told him all the truth, who made reply: ‘O deed of most abhorr’d indecency! A sort of impotents attempt his bed Whose strength of mind hath cities levelléd! As to a lion’s den, when any hind Hath brought her young calves, to their rest inclin’d, When he is ranging hills, and herby dales, To make of feeders there his festivals, But, turning to his luster, calves and dam He shows abhorr’d death, in his anger’s flame; So, should Ulysses find this rabble hous’d In his free turrets, courting his espous’d, Foul death would fall them. O, I would to Jove, Phœbus, and Pallas, that, when he shall prove The broad report of his exhausted store True with his eyes, his nerves and sinews wore That vigour then that in the Lesbian tow’rs, Provok’d to wrastle with the iron pow’rs Philomelides vaunted, he approv’d; When down he hurl’d his challenger, and mov’d Huge shouts from all the Achives then in view. If, once come home, he all those forces drew About him there to work, they all were dead, And should find bitter his attempted bed. But what you ask and sue for, I, as far As I have heard the true-spoke mariner, Will tell directly, nor delude your ear: He told me that an island did ensphere, In much discomfort, great Laertes’ son; And that the Nymph Calypso, overrun With his affection, kept him in her caves, Where men, nor ship, of pow’r to brook the waves, Were near his convoy to his country’s shore, And where herself importun’d evermore His quiet stay; which not obtain’d, by force She kept his person from all else recourse.’ This told Atrides, which was all he knew. Nor stay’d I more, but from the Gods there blew A prosp’rous wind, that set me quickly here.” This put his mother quite from all her cheer. When Theoclymenus the augur said: “O woman, honour’d with Ulysses’ bed, Your son, no doubt, knows clearly nothing more, Hear me yet speak, that can the truth uncore, Nor will be curious. Jove then witness bear, And this thy hospitable table here, With this whole household of your blameless lord, That at this hour his royal feet are shor’d On his lov’d country-earth, and that ev’n here Coming, or creeping, he will see the cheer These Wooers make, and in his soul’s field sow Seeds that shall thrive to all their overthrow. This, set a ship-board, I knew sorted thus, And cried it out to your Telemachus.” Penelopé replied: “Would this would prove, You well should witness a most friendly love, And gifts such of me, as encount’ring Fame Should greet you with a blesséd mortal’s name.” This mutual speech past, all the Wooers were Hurling the stone, and tossing of the spear, Before the palace, in the pavéd court, Where otherwhiles their petulant resort Sat plotting injuries. But when the hour Of supper enter’d, and the feeding pow’r Brought sheep from field, that fill’d up ev’ry way With those that us’d to furnish that purvey, Medon, the herald (who of all the rest Pleas’d most the Wooers, and at ev’ry feast Was ever near) said: “You whose kind consort Make the fair branches of the tree our court, Grace it within now, and your suppers take. You that for health, and fair contention’s sake, Will please your minds, know, bodies must have meat; _Play’s worse than idleness in times to eat.”_ This said, all left, came in, cast by, on thrones And chairs, their garments. Their provisións Were sheep, swine, goats, the chiefly-great and fat, Besides an ox that from the herd they gat. And now the king and herdsman, from the field, In good way were to town; ’twixt whom was held Some walking conference, which thus begun The good Eumæus: “Guest, your will was won, Because the prince commanded, to make way Up to the city, though I wish’d your stay, And to have made you guardian of my stall; But I, in care and fear of what might fall In after-anger of the prince, forbore. _The checks of princes touch their subjects sore._ But make we haste, the day is nearly ended, And cold airs still are in the even extended.” “I know’t,” said he, “consider all; your charge Is giv’n to one that understands at large. Haste then. Hereafter, you shall lead the way; Afford your staff too, if it fit your stay, That I may use it; since you say our pass Is less friend to a weak foot than it was.” Thus cast he on his neck his nasty scrip, All-patch’d and torn; a cord, that would not slip For knots and bracks about the mouth of it, Made serve the turn; and then his swain did fit His forc’d state with a staff. Then plied they hard Their way to town, their cottage left in guard To swains and dogs. And now Eumæus led The king along, his garments to a thread All-bare and burn’d, and he himself hard bore Upon his staff, at all parts like a poor And sad old beggar. But when now they got The rough highway, their voyage wanted not Much of the city, where a fount they reach’d, From whence the town their choicest water fetch’d, That ever overflow’d, and curious art Was shown about it; in which three had part Whose names Neritus and Polyctor were, And famous Ithacus. It had a sphere Of poplar, that ran round about the wall; And into it a lofty rock let fall Continual supply of cool clear stream. On whose top, to the Nymphs that were supreme In those parts’ loves, a stately altar rose, Where ev’ry traveller did still impose Devoted sacrifice. At this fount found These silly travellers a man renown’d For guard of goats, which now he had in guide, Whose huge-stor’d herd two herdsmen kept beside, For all herds it excell’d, and bred a feed For Wooers only. He was Dolius’ seed, And call’d Melanthius. Who casting eye On these two there, he chid them terribly, And so past mean, that ev’n the wretched fate Now on Ulysses he did irritate. His fume to this effect he did pursue: “Why so,’tis now at all parts passing true, That ill leads ill, good evermore doth train With like his like. Why, thou unenvied swain, Whither dost thou lead this same victless leaguer, This bane of banquets, this most nasty beggar, Whose sight doth make one sad, it so abhors? Who, with his standing in so many doors, Hath broke his back; and all his beggary tends To beg base crusts, but to no manly ends, As asking swords, or with activity To get a caldron. Wouldst thou give him me, To farm my stable, or to sweep my yard, And bring browse to my kids, and that preferr’d He should be at my keeping for his pains To drink as much whey as his thirsty veins Would still be swilling (whey made all his fees) His monstrous belly would oppress his knees. But he hath learn’d to lead base life about, And will not work, but crouch among the rout For broken meat to cram his bursten gut. Yet this I’ll say, and he will find it put In sure effect, that if he enters where Ulysses’ roofs cast shade, the stools will there About his ears fly, all the house will throw, And rub his ragged sides with cuffs enow.” Past these reviles, his manless rudeness spurn’d Divine Ulysses; who at no part turn’d His face from him, but had his spirit fed With these two thoughts, if he should strike him dead With his bestowéd staff, or at his feet Make his direct head and the pavement meet. But he bore all, and entertain’d a breast That in the strife of all extremes did rest. Eumæus, frowning on him, chid him yet, And, lifting up his hands to heav’n, he set This bitter curse at him: “O you that bear Fair name to be the race of Jupiter, Nymphs of these fountains! If Ulysses ever Burn’d thighs to you, that, hid in fat, did never Fail your acceptance, of or lamb or kid, Grant this grace to me: Let the man thus hid Shine through his dark fate, make some God his guide, That, to thee, goatherd, this same palate’s pride,[1] Thou driv’st afore thee, he may come and make The scatt’rings of the earth, and overtake Thy wrongs, with forcing thee to ever err About the city, hunted by his fear. And in the mean space by some slothful swains Let lousy sickness gnaw thy cattle’s veins.” “O Gods!” replied Melanthius, “what a curse Hath this dog bark’d out, and can yet do worse! This man shall I have giv’n into my hands, When in a well-built ship to far-off lands I shall transport him, that, should I want here, My sale of him may find me victuals there. And, for Ulysses, would to heav’n his joy The silver-bearing-bow God would destroy, This day, within his house, as sure as he The day of his return shall never see.” This said, he left them going silent on; But he out-went them, and took straight upon The palace-royal, which he enter’d straight, Sat with the Wooers, and his trencher’s freight The carvers gave him of the flesh there vented, But bread the rev’rend butleress presented. He took against Eurymachus his place, Who most of all the Wooers gave him grace. And now Ulysses and his swain got near, When round about them visited their ear The hollow harp’s delicious-stricken string, To which did Phemius, near the Wooers, sing. Then by the hand Ulysses took his swain, And said: “Eumæus, one may here see plain, In many a grace, that Laertiades Built here these turrets, and,’mongst others these, His whole court arm’d with such a goodly wall, The cornice, and the cope, majestical, His double gates, and turrets, built too strong For force or virtue ever to expugn. I know the feasters in it now abound, Their cates cast such a savour; and the sound The harp gives argues an accomplish’d feast. _The Gods made music banquet’s dearest guest.”_ “These things,” said he, “your skill may tell with ease, Since you are grac’d with greater knowledges. But now consult we how these works shall sort, If you will first approach this praiséd court, And see these Wooers, I remaining here; Or I shall enter, and yourself forbear? But be not you too tedious in your stay, Lest thrust ye be and buffeted away. _Brain hath no fence for blows;_ look to ’t I pray.” “You speak to one that comprehends,” said he, “Go you before, and here adventure me. I have of old been us’d to cuffs and blows; My mind is harden’d, having borne the throes Of many a sour event in waves and wars, Where knocks and buffets are no foreigners. And this same harmful belly by no mean The greatest abstinent can ever wean. _Men suffer much bane by the belly’s rage;_ For whose sake ships in all their equipage Are arm’d, and set out to th’ untamed seas, Their bulks full-fraught with ills to enemies.” Such speech they chang’d; when in the yard there lay A dog, call’d Argus, which, before his way Assum’d for Ilion, Ulysses bred, Yet stood his pleasure then in little stead, As being too young, but, growing to his grace, Young men made choice of him for ev’ry chace, Or of their wild goats, of their hares, or harts. But his king gone, and he, now past his parts, Lay all abjectly on the stable’s store, Before the oxstall, and mules’ stable door, To keep the clothes cast from the peasants’ hands, While they laid compass on Ulysses’ lands, The dog, with ticks (unlook’d-to) overgrown. But by this dog no sooner seen but known Was wise Ulysses, who new-enter’d there, Up went his dog’s laid ears, and, coming near, Up he himself rose, fawn’d, and wagg’d his stern, Couch’d close his ears, and lay so; nor discern[2] Could evermore his dear-lov’d lord again. Ulysses saw it, nor had pow’r t’ abstain From shedding tears; which (far-off seeing his swain) He dried from his sight clean; to whom he thus His grief dissembled: “’Tis miraculous, That such a dog as this should have his lair On such a dunghill, for his form is fair. And yet, I know not, if there were in him Good pace, or parts, for all his goodly limb; Or he liv’d empty of those inward things, As are those trencher-beagles tending kings, Whom for their pleasure’s, or their glory’s, sake, Or fashion, they into their favour take.” “This dog,” said he, “was servant to one dead A huge time since. But if he bore his head, For form and quality, of such a height, As when Ulysses, bound for th’ Ilion fight, Or quickly after, left him, your rapt eyes Would then admire to see him use his thighs In strength and swiftness. He would nothing fly, Nor anything let ’scape. If once his eye Seiz’d any wild beast, he knew straight his scent; Go where he would, away with him he went. Nor was there ever any savage stood Amongst the thickets of the deepest wood Long time before him, but he pull’d him down; As well by that true hunting to be shown In such vast coverts, as for speed of pace In any open lawn. For in deep chace He was a passing-wise and well-nos’d hound. And yet is all this good in him uncrown’d With any grace here now, nor he more fed Than any errant cur. His king is dead, Far from his country; and his servants are So negligent they lend his hound no care. _Where masters rule not, but let men alone, You never there see honest service done. That man’s half-virtue Jove takes quite away, That once is sun-burnt with the servile day.”_ This said, he enter’d the well-builded-tow’rs, Up bearing right upon the glorious Wooers, And left poor Argus dead; his lord’s first sight Since that time twenty years bereft his light. Telemachus did far the first behold Eumæus enter, and made signs he should Come up to him. He, noting, came, and took On earth his seat. And then the master-cook Serv’d in more banquet; of which, part he set Before the Wooers, part the prince did get, Who sate alone, his table plac’d aside; To which the herald did the bread divide. After Eumæus, enter’d straight the king,[3] Like to a poor and heavy aged thing, Bore hard upon his staff, and was so clad As would have made his mere beholder sad. Upon the ashen floor his limbs he spread, And ’gainst a cypress-threshold stay’d his head, The tree wrought smooth, and in a line direct Tried by the plumb and by the architect. The prince then bade the herdsman give him bread, The finest there, and see that prostrated At-all-parts plight of his giv’n all the cheer His hands could turn to: “Take,” said he, “and bear These cates to him, and bid him beg of all These Wooers here, and to their festival Bear up with all the impudence he can; _Bashful behaviour fits no needy man.”_ He heard, and did his will. “Hold guest,” said he, “Telemachus commends these cates to thee, Bids thee bear up, and all these Wooers implore. _Wit must make impudent whom Fate makes poor.”_ “O Jove,” said he, “do my poor pray’rs the grace To make him blessed’st of the mortal race, And ev’ry thought now in his gen’rous heart To deeds that further my desires convert.” Thus took he in with both his hands his store, And in the uncouth scrip, that lay before His ill-shod feet, repos’d it; whence he fed All time the music to the feasters play’d. Both jointly ending, then began the Wooers To put in old act their tumultuous pow’rs; When Pallas standing close did prompt her friend, To prove how far the bounties would extend Of those proud Wooers; so, to let him try Who most, who least, had learn’d humanity. However, no thought touch’d Minerva’s mind, That anyone should ’scape his wreak design’d. He handsomely became all, crept about To ev’ry Wooer, held a forc’d hand out, And all his work did in so like a way, As he had practis’d begging many a day. And though they knew all beggars could do this, Yet they admir’d it as no deed of his; Though far from thought of other, us’d expence And pity to him, who he was, and whence, Inquiring mutually. Melanthius then: “Hear me, ye Wooers of the far-fam’d queen, About this beggar. I have seen before This face of his; and know for certain more, That this swain brought him hither. What he is, Or whence he came, flies me.” Reply to this Antinous made, and mock’d Eumæus thus: “O thou renownéd herdsman, why to us Brought’st thou this beggar? Serves it not our hands; That other land-leapers, and cormorands, Profane poor knaves, lie on us, unconducted, But you must bring them? So amiss instructed Art thou in course of thrift, as not to know Thy lord’s goods wrack’d in this their overflow? Which think’st thou nothing, that thou call’st in these?” Eumæus answer’d: “Though you may be wise, You speak not wisely. Who calls in a guest That is a guest himself? None call to feast Other than men that are of public use, Prophets, or poets, whom the Gods produce, Physicians for men’s ills, or architects. Such men the boundless earth affords respects Bounded in honour, and may call them well. But poor men who calls? Who doth so excell In others’ good to do himself an ill? But all Ulysses’ servants have been still Eyesores in your way more than all that woo, And chiefly I. But what care I for you, As long as these roofs hold as thralls to none The wise Penelope and her god-like son?” “Forbear,” said he, “and leave this tongue’s bold ill. Antinous uses to be crossing still, And give sharp words; his blood that humour bears, To set men still together by the ears. But,” turning then t’ Antinous, “O,” said he, “You entertain a father’s care of me, To turn these eating guests out. ’Tis advice Of needful use for my poor faculties, But God doth not allow this; there must be Some care of poor men in humanity. What you yourselves take, give; I not envy, But give command that hospitality Be giv’n all strangers. Nor shall my pow’rs fear, If this mood in me reach my mother’s ear; Much less the servants’, that are here to see Ulysses’ house kept in his old degree. But you bear no such mind, your wits more cast To fill yourself than let another taste.” Antinous answer’d him: “Brave-spoken man! Whose mind’s free fire see check’d no virtue can. If all we Wooers here would give as much As my mind serves, his[4] largess should be such As would for three months serve his far-off way From troubling your house with more cause of stay.” This said, he took a stool up, that did rest, Beneath the board, his spangled feet at feast, And offer’d at him; but the rest gave all, And fill’d his fulsome scrip with festival. And so Ulysses for the present was, And for the future, furnish’d, and his pass Bent to the door to eat. Yet could not leave Antinous so, but said: “Do you too give, Lov’d lord; your presence makes a show to me As you not worst were of the company, But best, and so much that you seem the king, And therefore you should give some better thing Than bread, like others. I will spread your praise Through all the wide world, that have in my days Kept house myself, and trod the wealthy ways Of other men ev’n to the title Blest; And often have I giv’n an erring guest (How mean soever) to the utmost gain Of what he wanted, kept whole troops of men, And had all other comings in, with which Men live so well, and gain the fame of rich. Yet Jove consum’d all; he would have it so; To which, his mean was this: He made me go Far off, for Egypt, in the rude consort Of all-ways-wand’ring pirates, where, in port, I bade my lov’d men draw their ships ashore, And dwell amongst them; sent out some t’ explore Up to the mountains, who, intemperate, And their inflam’d bloods bent to satiate, Forag’d the rich fields, hal’d the women thence, And unwean’d children, with the foul expence Both of their fames and bloods. The cry then flew Straight to the city; and the great fields grew With horse and foot, and flam’d with iron arms; When Jove (that breaks the thunder in alarms) An ill flight cast amongst my men; not one Inspir’d with spirit to stand, and turn upon The fierce pursuing foe; and therefore stood Their ill fate thick about them; some in blood, And some in bondage; toils led by constraint Fast’ning upon them. Me along they sent To Cyprus with a stranger-prince they met, Dmetor Iasides, who th’ imperial seat Of that sweet island sway’d in strong command. And thus feel I here need’s contemned hand.” “And what God sent,” said he, “this suff’ring bane To vex our banquet? Stand off, nor profane My board so boldly, lest I show thee here Cyprus and Egypt made more sour than there. You are a saucy set-fac’d vagabond. About with all you go, and they, beyond Discretion, give thee, since they find not here The least proportion set down to their cheer. But ev’ry fountain hath his under-floods. _It is no bounty to give others’ goods.”_ “O Gods,” replied Ulysses, “I see now, You bear no soul in this your goodly show. Beggars at your board, I perceive, should get Scarce salt from your hands, if themselves brought meat; Since, sitting where another’s board is spread, That flows with feast, not to the broken bread Will your allowance reach.” “Nay then,” said he, And look’d austerely, “if so saucy be Your suffer’d language, I suppose, that clear You shall not ’scape without some broken cheer.” Thus rapt he up a stool, with which he smit The king’s right shoulder, ’twixt his neck and it. He stood him like a rock. Antinous’ dart Nor stirr’d Ulysses; who in his great heart Deep ills projected, which, for time yet, close He bound in silence, shook his head, and went Out to the entry, where he then gave vent To his full scrip, sat on the earth, and eat, And talk’d still to the Wooers: “Hear me yet, Ye Wooers of the Queen. It never grieves A man to take blows, where for sheep, or beeves, Or other main possessions, a man fights; But for his harmful belly this man smites, Whose love to many a man breeds many a woe. And if the poor have Gods, and Furies too, Before Antinous wear his nuptial wreath, He shall be worn upon the dart of death.” “Harsh guest,” said he, “sit silent at your meat, Or seek your desp’rate plight some safer seat, Lest by the hands or heels youths drag your years, And rend your rotten rags about your ears.” This made the rest as highly hate his folly, As he had violated something holy. When one, ev’n of the proudest, thus began: “Thou dost not nobly, thus to play the man On such an errant wretch. O ill dispos’d! Perhaps some sacred Godhead goes enclos’d Ev’n in his abject outside; for the Gods Have often visited these rich abodes Like such poor stranger pilgrims, since their pow’rs (Being always shapeful) glide through towns and tow’rs, Observing, as they pass still, who they be That piety love, and who impiety.” This all men said, but he held sayings cheap. And all this time Telemachus did heap Sorrow on sorrow on his beating heart, To see his father stricken; yet let part No tear to earth, but shook his head, and thought As deep as those ills that were after wrought. The Queen now, hearing of her poor guest’s stroke, Said to her maid (as to her Wooer she spoke), “I wish the famous-for-his-bow, the Sun, Would strike thy heart so.” Her wish, thus begun, Her lady, fair Eurynome, pursued Her execration, and did thus conclude: “So may our vows call down from heav’n his end, And let no one life of the rest extend His life till morning.” “O Eurynomé,” Replied the Queen, “may all Gods speak in thee, For all the Wooers we should rate as foes, Since all their weals they place in others’ woes! But this Antinous we past all should hate, As one resembling black and cruel Fate. A poor strange wretch begg’d here, compell’d by need, Ask’d all, and ev’ry one gave in his deed, Fill’d his sad scrip, and eas’d his heavy wants, Only this man bestow’d unmanly taunts, And with a cruel blow, his force let fly, ‘Twixt neck and shoulders show’d his charity.” These minds, above, she and her maids did show, While, at his scrip, Ulysses sat below. In which time she Eumæus call’d, and said: “Go, good Eumæus, and see soon convey’d The stranger to me; bid him come and take My salutations for his welcome’s sake, And my desire serve, if he hath not heard Or seen distress’d Ulysses, who hath err’d Like such a man, and therefore chance may fall He hath by him been met and spoke withal?” “O Queen,” said he, “I wish to heav’n your ear Were quit of this unrev’rend noise you hear From these rude Wooers, when I bring the guest; Such words your ear would let into your breast As would delight it to your very heart. Three nights and days I did my roof impart To his fruition (for he came to me The first of all men since he fled the sea) And yet he had not giv’n a perfect end To his relation of what woes did spend The spite of Fate on him, but as you see[5] A singer, breathing out of Deity Love-kindling lines, when all men seated near Are rapt with endless thirst to ever hear; So sweeten’d he my bosom at my meat, Affirming that Ulysses was in Crete, Where first the memories of Minos were, A guest to him there dwelling then, as dear As his true father; and from thence came he Tir’d on with sorrows, toss’d from sea to sea, To cast himself in dust, and tumble here, At Wooers’ feet, for blows and broken cheer. But of Ulysses, where the Thesprots dwell, A wealthy people, Fame, he says, did tell The still survival; who his native light Was bound for now, with treasure infinite.” “Call him,” said she, “that he himself may say This over to me. We shall soon have way Giv’n by the Wooers; they, as well at gate, As set within doors, use to recreate Their high-fed spirits. As their humours lead They follow; and may well; for still they tread Uncharg’d ways here, their own wealth lying unwasted In poor-kept houses, only something tasted Their bread and wine is by their household swains, But they themselves let loose continual reins To our expenses, making slaughter still Of sheep, goats, oxen, feeding past their fill, And vainly lavishing our richest wine; All these extending past the sacred line, For here lives no man like Ulysses now To curb these reins. But should he once show His country-light his presence, he and his Would soon revenge these Wooers’ injuries.” This said, about the house, in echoes round, Her son’s strange neesings made a horrid sound;[6] At which the Queen yet laugh’d, and said: “Go call The stranger to me. Heard’st thou not, to all My words last utter’d, what a neesing brake From my Telemachus? From whence I make, This sure conclusion: That the death and fate Of ev’ry Wooer here is near his date. Call, then, the guest, and if he tell as true What I shall ask him, coat, cloak, all things new, These hands shall yield him.” This said, down he went, And told Ulysses, “that the Queen had sent To call him to her, that she might enquire About her husband what her sad desire Urg’d her to ask; and, if she found him true, Both coat, and cassock (which he needed) new Her hands would put on him; and that the bread, Which now he begg’d amongst the common tread, Should freely feed his hunger now from her, Who all he wish’d would to his wants prefer.” His answer was: “I will with fit speed tell The whole truth to the Queen; for passing well I know her lord, since he and I have shar’d In equal sorrows. But I much am scar’d With this rude multitude of Wooers here, The rage of whose pride smites heav’n’s brazen sphere. Of whose rout when one struck me for no fault, Telemachus nor none else turn’d th’ assault From my poor shoulders. Therefore, though she haste, Beseech the Queen her patience will see past The day’s broad light, and then may she enquire. ’Tis but my closer pressing to the fire In th’ ev’ning’s cold, because my weeds, you know, Are passing thin; for I made bold to show Their bracks to you, and pray’d your kind supply.” He heard, and hasted; and met instantly The Queen upon the pavement in his way, Who ask’d: “What! Bring’st thou not? What cause of stay Find his austere supposes? Takes he fear Of th’ unjust Wooers? Or thus hard doth bear On any other doubt the house objects? He does me wrong, and gives too nice respects To his fear’d safety.” “He does right,” said he, “And what he fears should move the policy Of any wise one; taking care to shun The violent Wooers. He bids bide, till sun Hath hid his broad light. And, believe it, Queen, ’Twill make your best course, since you two, unseen, May pass th’ encounter; you to speak more free, And he your ear gain less distractedly.” “The guest is wise,” said she, “and well doth give The right thought use. Of all the men that live, Life serves none such as these proud Wooers are, To give a good man cause to use his care.” Thus, all agreed, amongst the Wooers goes Eumæus to the prince, and, whisp’ring close, Said: “Now, my love, my charge shall take up me, (Your goods and mine). What here is, you must see In fit protection. But, in chief, regard Your own dear safeguard; whose state study hard, Lest suff’rance seize you. Many a wicked thought Conceal these Wooers; whom just Jove see brought To utter ruin, ere it touch at us.” “So chance it, friend,” replied Telemachus, “Your bever taken, go. In first of day Come, and bring sacrifice the best you may. To me and to th’ Immortals be the care or whatsoever here the safeties are.” This said, he sat in his elaborate throne. Eumæus (fed to satisfaction) Went to his charge, left both the court and walls Full of secure and fatal festivals, In which the Wooers’ pleasures still would sway. And now begun the even’s near-ending day.

[1] Intending his fat herd, kept only for the Wooers’ dainty palates.
[2] The dog died as soon as he had seen Ulysses.
[3] Ulysses’ ruthful fashion of entry to his own hall.
[4] His—intending Ulysses.
[5] Simile, in which Ulysses is compared with a poet for the sweetness
of his speech.
[6] Neezing a good omen.



Ulysses and rogue Irus fight. Penelope vouchsafes her sight To all her Wooers; who present Gifts to her, ravish’d with content. A certain parlé then we sing. Betwixt a Wooer and the King.


_Σίγμα._ The beggar’s glee. The King’s high fame. Gifts giv’n to see A virtuous dame.

There came a common beggar to the court, Who in the city begg’d of all resort, Excell’d in madness of the gut, drunk, ate, Past intermission, was most hugely great, Yet had no fibres in him nor no force, In sight a man, in mind a living corse. His true name was Arnæus, for his mother Impos’d it from his birth, and yet another The city youth would give him (from the course He after took, deriv’d out of the force That need held on him, which was up and down To run on all men’s errands through the town) Which sounded Irus. When whose gut was come, He needs would bar Ulysses his own home, And fell to chiding him: “Old man,” said he, “Your way out of the entry quickly see Be with fair language taken, lest your stay But little longer see you dragg’d away. See, sir, observe you not how all these make Direct signs at me, charging me to take Your heels, and drag you out? But I take shame. Rise yet, y’ are best, lest we two play a game At cuffs together.” He bent brows, and said: “Wretch! I do thee no ill, nor once upbraid Thy presence with a word, nor, what mine eye By all hands sees thee giv’n, one thought envy. Nor shouldst thou envy others. Thou may’st see The place will hold us both; and seem’st to me A beggar like myself; which who can mend? _The Gods give most to whom they least are friend. The chief goods Gods give, is in good to end._ But to the hands’ strife, of which y’ are so free, Provoke me not, for fear you anger me; And lest the old man, on whose scorn you stood, Your lips and bosom make shake hands in blood. I love my quiet well, and more will love To-morrow than to-day. But if you move My peace beyond my right, the war you make Will never after give you will to take Ulysses’ house into your begging walk.” “O Gods,” said he, “how volubly doth talk This eating gulf! And how his fume breaks out, As from an old crack’d oven! Whom I will clout So bitterly, and so with both hands mall His chaps together, that his teeth shall fall As plain seen on the earth as any sow’s, That ruts the corn-fields, or devours the mows. Come, close we now, that all may see what wrong An old man tempts that takes at cuffs a young.” Thus in the entry of those lofty tow’rs These two, with all spleen, spent their jarring pow’rs. Antinous took it, laugh’d, and said: “O friends, We never had such sport! This guest contends With this vast beggar at the buffet’s fight. Come, join we hands, and screw up all their spite.” All rose in laughters; and about them bore All the ragg’d rout of beggars at the door. Then mov’d Antinous the victor’s hire To all the Wooers thus: “There are now at fire Two breasts of goat; both which let law set down Before the man that wins the day’s renown, With all their fat and gravy. And of both The glorious victor shall prefer his tooth, To which he makes his choice of, from us all, And ever after banquet in our hall, With what our boards yield; not a beggar more Allow’d to share, but all keep out at door.” This he propos’d; and this they all approv’d, To which Ulysses answer’d: “O most lov’d, By no means should an old man, and one old In chief with sorrows, be so over-bold To combat with his younger; but, alas, Man’s own-ill-working belly needs will pass This work upon me, and enforce me, too, To beat this fellow. But then, you must do My age no wrong, to take my younger’s part, And play me foul play, making your strokes’ smart Help his to conquer; for you eas’ly may With your strengths crush me. Do then right, and lay Your honours on it in your oaths, to yield His part no aid, but equal leave the field.” All swore his will. But then Telemachus His father’s scoffs with comforts serious Could not but answer, and made this reply: “Guest! If thine own pow’rs cheer thy victory, Fear no man’s else that will not pass it free. He fights with many that shall touch but thee. I’ll see thy guest-right paid. Thou here art come In my protection; and to this the sum Of all these Wooers (which Antinous are And King Eurymachus) conjoin their care.” Both vow’d it. When Ulysses, laying by His upper weed, his inner beggary Near show’d his shame, which he with rags prevented Pluck’d from about his thighs, and so presented Their goodly sight, which were so white and great, And his large shoulders were to view so set By his bare rags, his arms, his breast, and all, So broad, and brawny—their grace natural Being kept by Pallas, ever standing near— That all the Wooers his admirers were Beyond all measure, mutual whispers driv’n Through all their cluster, saying: “Sure as heav’n Poor Irus pull’d upon him bitter blows. Through his thin garment what a thigh he shows!” They said; but Irus felt. His coward mind Was mov’d at root. But now he needs must find Facts to his brags; and forth at all parts fit The servants brought him, all his art’ries smit With fears and tremblings. Which Antinous saw, And said: “Nay, now too late comes fear. No law Thou shouldst at first have giv’n thy braggart vein, Nor should it so have swell’d, if terrors strain Thy spirits to this pass, for a man so old, And worn with penuries that still lay hold On his ragg’d person. Howsoever, take This vow from me for firm: That if, he make Thy forces stoop, and prove his own supreme, I’ll put thee in a ship, and down the stream Send thee ashore where King Echetus reigns, (The roughest tyrant that the world contains) And he will slit thy nostrils, crop each ear, Thy shame cut off, and give it dogs to tear.” This shook his nerves the more. But both were now Brought to the lists; and up did either throw His heavy fists. Ulysses, in suspense To strike so home that he should fright from thence His coward soul, his trunk laid prostrate there, Or let him take more leisure to his fear, And stoop him by degrees. The last show’d best, To strike him slightly, out of fear the rest Would else discover him. But, peace now broke, On his right shoulder Irus laid his stroke. Ulysses struck him just beneath the ear, His jawbone broke, and made the blood appear; When straight he strew’d the dust, and made his cry Stand for himself; with whom his teeth did lie, Spit with his blood out; and against the ground His heels lay sprawling. Up the hands went round Of all the Wooers, all at point to die With violent laughters. Then the king did ply The beggar’s feet, and dragg’d him forth the hall, Along the entry, to the gates and wall; Where leaving him, he put into his hand A staff; and bade him there use his command On swine and dogs, and not presume to be Lord of the guests, or of the beggary, Since he of all men was the scum and curse; And so bade please with that, or fare yet worse. Then cast he on his scrip, all-patch’d and rent, Hung by a rotten cord, and back he went To greet the entry’s threshold with his seat. The Wooers throng’d to him, and did entreat With gentle words his conquest, laughing still, Pray’d Jove and all the Gods to give his will What most it wish’d him and would joy him most, Since he so happily had clear’d their coast Of that unsavoury morsel; whom they vow’d To see with all their utmost haste bestow’d Aboard a ship, and for Epirus sent To King Echetus, on whose throne was spent The worst man’s seat that breath’d. And thus was grac’d Divine Ulysses, who with joy embrac’d Ev’n that poor conquest. Then was set to him The goodly goat’s breast promis’d (that did swim In fat and gravy) by Antinous, And from a basket, by Amphinomus, Were two breads giv’n him; who, besides, renown’d His banquet with a golden goblet; crown’d, And this high salutation: “Frolic, guest, And be those riches that you first possest Restor’d again with full as many joys, As in your poor state I see now annoys.” “Amphinomus,” said he, “you seem to me Exceeding wise, as being the progeny Of such a father as authentic Fame Hath told me was so, one of honour’d name, And great revenues in Dulichius, His fair name Nisus. He is blazon’d thus; And you to be his son, his wisdom heiring, As well as wealth, his state in nought impairing. To prove which always, let me tell you this, (As warning you to shun the miseries That follow full states, if they be not held With wisdom still at full, and so compell’d To courses that abode not in their brows, By too much swing, their sudden overthrows) _Of all things breathing, or that creep on earth, Nought is more wretched than a human birth. Bless’d men think never they can cursed be, While any power lasts to move a knee._ But when the bless’d Gods make them feel that smart, That fled their faith so, as they had no heart They bear their suff’rings, and, what well they might Have clearly shunn’d, they then meet in despite. _The mind of man flies still out of his way, Unless God guide and prompt it ev’ry day._ I thought me once a blesséd man with men. And fashion’d me to all so counted then, Did all injustice like them, what for lust, Or any pleasure, never so unjust I could by pow’r or violence obtain, And gave them both in all their pow’rs the rein, Bold of my fathers and my brothers still; While which held good my arts seem’d never ill. And thus is none held simply good or bad, But as his will is either miss’d or had. All goods God’s gifts man calls, howe’er he gets them, And so takes all; what price soe’er God sets them, Says nought how ill they come, nor will controul That ravine in him, though it cost his soul. And these parts here I see these Wooers play, Take all that falls, and all dishonours lay On that man’s Queen, that, tell your friends, doth bear No long time’s absence, but is passing near. Let God then guide thee home, lest he may meet In his return thy undeparted feet; For when he enters, and sees men so rude, The quarrel cannot but in blood conclude.” This said, he sacrific’d, then drunk, and then Referr’d the giv’n bowl to the guide-of-men; Who walk’d away, afflicted at his heart, Shook head, and fear’d that these facts would convert To ill in th’ end; yet had not grace to fly, Minerva stay’d him, being ordain’d to die Upon the lance of young Ulyssides. So down he sat; and then did Pallas please T’ incline the Queen’s affections to appear To all the Wooers, to extend their cheer To th’ utmost lightning that still ushers death, And made her put on all the painted sheath, That might both set her Wooers’ fancies high, And get her greater honour in the eye Ev’n of her son and sov’reign than before. Who laughing yet, to show her humour bore No serious appetite to that light show, She told Eurynomé, that not till now She ever knew her entertain desire To please her Wooers’ eyes, but oft on fire She set their hate, in keeping from them still; Yet now she pleas’d t’ appear, though from no will To do them honour, vowing she would tell Her son that of them that should fit him well To make use of; which was, not to converse Too freely with their pride, nor to disperse His thoughts amongst them, since they us’d to give Good words, but through them ill intents did drive. Eurynomé replied: “With good advise You vow his counsel, and your open guise. Go then, advise your son, nor keep more close Your cheeks, still drown’d in your eyes’ overflows, But bathe your body, and with balms make clear Your thicken’d count’nance. _Uncomposéd cheer, And ever mourning, will the marrow wear._ Nor have you cause to mourn; your son hath now Put on that virtue which, in chief, your vow Wish’d, as your blessing, at his birth, might deck His blood and person.” “But forbear to speak Of baths, or balmings, or of beauty, now,” The Queen replied, “lest, urging comforts, you Discomfort much; because the Gods have won The spoil of my looks since my lord was gone. But these must serve. Call hither then to me Hippodamia and Autonoé, That those our train additions may supply Our own deserts. And yet, besides, not I, With all my age, have learn’d the boldness yet T’ expose myself to men, unless I get Some other gracers.” This said, forth she went To call the ladies, and much spirit spent To make their utmost speed, for now their Queen Would both herself show, and make them be seen. But now Minerva other projects laid, And through Icarius’ daughter’s veins convey’d Sweet sleep’s desire; in whose soft fumes involv’d She was as soon as laid, and quite dissolv’d Were all her lineaments. The Goddess then Bestow’d immortal gifts on her, that men Might wonder at her beauties; and the beams That glister in the Deified Supremes She clear’d her mourning count’nance up withall. Ev’n such a radiance as doth round empall Crown’d Cytherea, when her order’d places Conduct the bevy of the dancing Graces, She added to her own; more plump, more high, And fairer than the polish’d ivory, Rend’ring her parts and presence. This grace done, Away the Deity flew; and up did run Her lovely-wristed ladies, with a noise That blew the soft chains from her sleeping joys; When she her fair eyes wip’d, and, gasping, said: “O me unblest! How deep a sweet sleep spread His shades about me! Would Diana pleas’d To shoot me with a death no more diseas’d, As soon as might be, that no more my moan Might waste my blood in weepings never done, For want of that accomplish’d virtue spher’d In my lov’d lord, to all the Greeks preferr’d!” Then she descended with her maids, and took Place in the portal; whence her beamy look Reach’d ev’ry Wooer’s heart; yet cast she on So thin a veil, that through it quite there shone A grace so stol’n, it pleas’d above the clear, And sunk the knees of ev’ry Wooer there, Their minds so melted in love’s vehement fires, That to her bed she heighten’d all desires. The prince then coming near, she said: “O son, Thy thoughts and judgments have not yet put on That constancy in what becomes their good, Which all expect in thee. Thy younger blood Did sparkle choicer spirits; but, arriv’d At this full growth, wherein their form hath thriv’d Beyond the bounds of childhood, and when now, Beholders should affirm, ‘This man doth grow Like the rare son of his matchless Sire, (His goodliness, his beauty, and his fire Of soul aspir’d to)’ thou mak’st nothing good Thy fate, nor fortune, nor thy height of blood, In manage of thy actions. What a deed Of foul desert hath thy gross suff’rance freed Beneath thine own roof! A poor stranger here Us’d most unmanly! How will this appear To all the world, when Fame shall trumpet out, That thus, and thus, are our guests beat about Our court unrighted? ’Tis a blaze will show Extremely shameful to your name and you.” “I blame you not, O mother,” he replied, “That, this clear wrong sustain’d by me, you chide; Yet know I both the good and bad of all, Being past the years in which young errors fall. But, all this known, skill is not so exact To give, when once it knows, things fit their fact. I well may doubt the prease of strangers here, Who, bent to ill, and only my nerves near, May do it in despite. And yet the jar Betwixt our guest and Irus was no war Wrought by the Wooers; nor our guest sustain’d Wrong in that action, but the conquest gain’d. And would to Jove, Minerva, and the Sun, That all your Wooers might serve Contention For such a purchase as the beggar made, And wore such weak heads! Some should death invade, Strew’d in the entry, some embrue the hall, Till ev’ry man had vengeance capital, Sattled like Irus at the gates, his head Ev’ry way nodding, like one forfeited To reeling Bacchus, knees nor feet his own, To bear him where he’s better lov’d or known.” Their speeches giv’n this end, Eurymachus Began his courtship, and express’d it thus: “Most wise Icarius’ daughter! If all those, That did for Colchos vent’rous sail dispose For that rich purchase, had before but seen Earth’s richer prize in th’ Ithacensian Queen, They had not made that voyage, but to you Would all their virtues and their beings vow. Should all the world know what a worth you store, To-morrow than to-day, and next light, more Your court should banquet; since to all dames you Are far preferr’d, both for the grace of show, In stature, beauty, form in ev’ry kind Of all parts outward, and for faultless mind.” “Alas,” said she, “my virtue, body, form, The Gods have blasted with that only storm That ravish’d Greece to Ilion, since my lord, For that war shipp’d, bore all my goods aboard. If he, return’d, should come and govern here My life’s whole state, the grace of all things there His guide would heighten, as the spirit it bore; Which dead in me lives, giv’n him long before. A sad course I live now; Heav’n’s stern decree With many an ill hath numb’d and deaded me. He took life with him, when he took my hand In parting from me to the Trojan strand, These words my witness: ‘Woman! I conceive That not all th’ Achives bound for Troy shall leave Their native earth their safe returnéd bones, Fame saying, that Troy trains up approvéd sons In deeds of arms, brave putters-off of shafts, For winging lances masters of their crafts, Unmatchéd riders, swift of foot, and straight Can arbitrate a war of deadliest weight. Hope then can scarce fill all with life’s supply, And of all any failing, why not I? Nor do I know, if God hath marshall’d me Amongst the safe-return’d; or his decree Hath left me to the thraldom order’d there. However, all cares be thy burthens here, My sire and mother tend as much as now, I further off, more near in cares be you. Your son to man’s state grown, wed whom you will; And, you gone, his care let his household fill.’ Thus made my lord his will, which Heav’n sees prov’d Almost at all parts; for the Sun remov’d Down to his set, ere long, will lead the night Of those abhorréd nuptials, that should fright Each worthy woman, which her second are With any man that breathes, her first lord’s care Dead, because he to flesh and blood is dead; Which, I fear, I shall yield to, and so wed A second husband; and my reason is, Since Jove hath taken from me all his bliss. _Whom God gives over they themselves forsake, Their griefs their joys, their God their devil, make._ And ’tis a great grief, nor was seen till now In any fashion of such men as woo A good and wealthy woman, and contend Who shall obtain her, that those men should spend Her beeves and best sheep, as their chiefest ends, But rather that herself and all her friends They should with banquets and rich gifts entreat. _Their life is death that live with other’s meat.”_ Divine Ulysses much rejoic’d to hear His Queen thus fish for gifts, and keep in cheer. Their hearts with hope that she would wed again, Her mind yet still her first intent retain. Antinous saw the Wooers won to give, And said: “Wise Queen, by all your means receive Whatever bounty any Wooer shall use. Gifts freely giv’n ’tis folly to refuse. For know, that we resolve not to be gone To keep our own roofs, till of all some one, Whom best you like, your long-woo’d love shall win.” This pleas’d the rest, and ev’ry one sent in His present by the herald. First had place Antinous’ gift: A robe of special grace, Exceeding full and fair, and twenty hues Chang’d lustre to it; to which choice of shows, Twelve massy plated buttons, all of gold, Enrich’d the substance, made to fairly hold The robe together, all lac’d down before, Where keeps and catches both sides of it wore. Eurymachus a golden tablet gave, In which did Art her choicest works engrave; And round about an amber verge did run, That cast a radiance from it like the Sun. Eurydamas two servants had that bore Two goodly earrings, whose rich hollows wore Three pearls in either, like so many eyes, Reflecting glances radiant as the skies. The king Pisander, great Polyctor’s heir, A casket gave, exceeding rich and fair. The other other wealthy gifts commended To her fair hand; which took, and straight ascended This Goddess of her sex her upper state. Her ladies all her gifts elaborate Up bearing after. All to dancing then The Wooers went, and song’s delightful strain; In which they frolick’d, till the evening came, And then rais’d sable Hesperus his flame. When, for their lights within, they set up there Three lamps, whose wicks were wood exceeding sere, And passing porous; which they caus’d to burn, Their matter ever minister’d by turn Of sev’ral handmaids. Whom Ulysses seeing Too conversant with Wooers, ill-agreeing With guise of maids, advis’d in this fair sort: “Maids of your long-lack’d King, keep you the port Your Queen’s chaste presence bears. Go up to her, Employ your looms, or rocks, and keep ye there; I’ll serve to feed these lamps, should these lords’ dances Last till Aurora cheer’d us with their glances. They cannot weary me, for I am one Born to endure when all men else have done.” They wantonly brake out in laughters all, Look’d on each other; and to terms did fall Cheek-proud Melantho, who was Dolius’ seed, Kept by the Queen, that gave her dainty bread Fit for her daughter; and yet won not so Her heart to her to share in any woe She suffer’d for her lord, but she was great With great Eurymachus, and her love’s heat In his bed quench’d. And this choleric thing Bestow’d this railing language on the King: “Base stranger, you are taken in your brain, You talk so wildly. Never you again Can get where you were born, and seek your bed In some smith’s hovel, or the marketsted, But here you must take confidence to prate Before all these; for fear can get no state In your wine-hardy stomach. Or ’tis like To prove your native garb, your tongue will strike On this side of your mouth still, being at best. Is the man idle-brain’d for want of rest? Or proud because he beat the roguish beggar? Take heed, Sir, lest some better man beleager Your ears with his fists, and set headlong hence Your bold abode here with your blood’s expence.” He, looking sternly on her, answer’d her: “Dog! What broad language giv’st thou? I’ll prefer Your usage to the prince, that he may fall Foul on your fair limbs till he tell them all.” This fray’d the wenches, and all straight got gone In fear about their business, ev’ry one Confessing he said well. But he stood now Close by the cressets, and did looks bestow On all men there; his brain employ’d about Some sharper business than to dance it out, Which had not long to go. Nor therefore would Minerva let the Wooers’ spleens grow cold With too good usuage of him, that his heart Might fret enough, and make his choler smart. Eurymachus provok’d him first, and made His fellow laugh, with a conceit he had Fetch’d far from what was spoken long before, That his poor form perhaps some Deity bore. “It well may chance,” said he, “some God doth bear This man’s resemblance, for, thus standing near The glist’ring torches, his slick’d head doth throw Beams round about it as those cressets do, For not a hair he hath to give it shade. Say, will thy heart serve t’ undertake a trade For fitting wages? Should I take thee hence To walk my grounds, and look to ev’ry fence, Or plant high trees, thy hire should raise thy forces Food store, and clothes. But these same idle courses Thou art so prompt in that thou wilt not work, But forage up and down, and beg, and lurk In ev’ry house whose roofs hold any will To feed such fellows. That thy gut may fill, Gives end to all thy being.” He replied: “I wish, at any work we two were tried, In height of spring-time, when heav’n’s lights are long, I a good crook’d scythe that were sharp and strong, You such another, where the grass grew deep, Up by day-break, and both our labours keep Up till slow darkness eas’d the labouring light, Fasting all day, and not a crumb till night; We then should prove our either workmanship. Or if, again, beeves, that the goad or whip Were apt t’ obey before a tearing plow, Big lusty beasts, alike in bulk and brow, Alike in labour, and alike in strength, Our task four acres, to be till’d in length Of one sole day; again: then you should try If the dull glebe before the plow should fly, Or I a long stitch could bear clean and even. Or lastly, if the Guide of earth and heaven Should stir stern war up, either here or there, And that at this day I had double spear, And shield, and steel casque fitting for my brows; At this work likewise, ’midst the foremost blows, Your eyes should note me, and get little cause To twit me with my belly’s sole applause. But you affect t’ affect with injury, Your mind ungentle, seem in valour high, Because ’gainst few, and those not of the best, Your conversation hath been still profest. But if Ulysses, landed on his earth, And enter’d on the true right of his birth, Should come and front ye, straight his ample gates Your feet would hold too narrow for your fates.” He frown’d, rag’d, call’d him wretch, and vow’d To be his death, since he durst prove so proud Amongst so many, to tell him so home What he affected; ask’d, if overcome With wine he were, or, as his minion said, Talk’d still so idly, and were palsiéd In his mind’s instruments, or was proud because He gat from Irus off with such applause? With all which, snatching up a stool, he threw; When old Ulysses to the knees withdrew Of the Dulichian lord, Amphinomus, As if he fear’d him. His dart missing thus His aged object, and his page’s hand (A boy that waited on his cup’s command, Now holding of an ewer to him) he smit, Down fell the sounding ewer, and after it The guiltless page lay sprawling in the dust, And crying out. When all the Wooers thrust A tumult up amongst them, wishing all The rogue had perish’d in some hospital, Before his life there stirr’d such uproars up, And with rude speeches spice their pleasures’ cup. And all this for a beggar to fulfill A filthy proverb: _Good still yields to ill._ The prince cried out on them, to let the bad Obscure the good so; told them they were mad, Abus’d their banquet, and affirm’d some God Tried mast’ries with them; bade them take their load Of food and wine, sit up, or fall to bed At their free pleasures; and since he gave head To all their freedoms, why should they mistake Their own rich humours for a beggar’s sake? All bit their lips to be so taken down, And taught the course that should have been their own, Admir’d the prince; and said he bravely spoke. But Nisus’ son then struck the equal stroke, And said: “O friends, let no man here disdain To put up equal speeches, nor maintain With serious words an humour, nor with stroke A stranger in another’s house provoke, Nor touch the meanest servant, but confine All these dissentions in a bowl of wine; Which fill us, cup-bearer, that, having done Our nightly sacrifice, we may atone Our pow’rs with sleep, resigning first the guest Up to the prince, that holds all interest In his disposure here; the house being his In just descent, and all the faculties.” This all approv’d; when noble Mulius, Herald-in-chief to lord Amphinomus, The wine distributed with rev’rend grace To ev’ry Wooer; when the Gods giv’n place; With service fit; they serv’d themselves, and took Their parting cups, till, when they all had shook The angry humour off, they bent to rest, And ev’ry Wooer to sev’ral roofs addrest.




Ulysses and his son eschew Offending of the Wooers’ view With any armour. His birth’s seat, Ulysses tells his Queen, is Crete, Euryclea the truth yet found, Discover’d by a scar-heal’d wound, Which in Parnassus’ tops a boar, Struck by him in his chace, did gore.


_Ταυ̑._ The King still hid By what he said; By what he did Informs his maid.

Yet did divine Ulysses keep his roof, And with Minerva plotted still the proof Of all the Wooers’ deaths; when thus his son He taught with these fore-counsels: “We must run A close course with these arms, and lay them by, And to the Wooers make so fair a sky As it would never thunder. Let me then, That you may well retain, repeat again What in Eumæus’ cottage I advis’d: If when they see no leisure exercis’d, In fetching down your arms, and ask what use Your mind will give them, say, ’tis their abuse With smoke and rust that makes you take them down, This not being like the armory well-known To be the leavings of Laertes’ son Consorting the design for Ilion; Your eyes may see how much they are infected, As all fires’ vapours ever since reflected On those sole arms. Besides, a graver thought Jove graves within you, lest, their spirits wrought Above their pitch with wine, they might contend At some high banquet, and to wounds transcend, Their feast inverting; which, perhaps, may be Their nuptial feast with wise Penelopé. _The ready weapon, when the blood is up, Doubles the uproar heighten’d by the cup. Wrath’s means for act, curb all the ways ye can, As loadstones draw the steel, so steel draws man._ Retain these words; nor what is good think, thus Receiv’d at second hand, superfluous.” The son, obeying, did Euryclea call, And bade her shut in th’ utter porches all The other women, till himself brought down His father’s arms, which all were overgrown By his neglect with rust, his father gone, And he too-childish to spend thoughts upon Those manly implements; but he would now Reform those young neglects, and th’ arms bestow Past reach of smoke. The loving nurse replied: “I wish, O son, your pow’rs would once provide For wisdom’s habit, see your household were In thrifty manage, and tend all things there. But if these arms must down, and ev’ry maid Be shut in utter rooms, who else should aid Your work with light?” He answer’d: “This my guest. There shall no one in my house taste my feast, Or join in my nave, that shall idly live,[1] However far hence he his home derive.” He said, and his words stood. The doors she shut Of that so well-fill’d house. And th’ other put Their thoughts in act; best shields, helms, sharpen’d lances, Brought down; and Pallas before both advances A golden cresset, that did cast a light As if the Day sat in the throne of Night. When, half-amaz’d, the prince said: “O my father, Mine eyes my soul’s pow’rs all in wonder gather, For though the walls, and goodly wind-beams here, All all these pillars, that their heads so rear, And all of fir, they seem yet all of fire. Some God is surely with us.” His wise sire Bade peace, and keep the counsels of the Gods, Nor ask a word: “These Pow’rs, that use abodes Above the stars, have pow’r from thence to shine Through night and all shades to earth’s inmost mine. Go thou for sleep, and leave me here to wake The women, and the Queen whose heart doth ache To make inquiry for myself of me.” He went to sleep where lights did endlessly Burn in his night-rooms; where he feasted rest, Till day’s fair weed did all the world invest. Thus was divine Ulysses left alone With Pallas, plotting foul confusion To all the Wooers. Forth then came the Queen; Phœbe, with golden Cytherea seen, Her port presented. Whom they set a chair Aside the fire, the fashion circular, The substance silver and rich elephant; Whose fabric did the cunning finger vaunt Of great Icmalius, who besides had done A footstool for her that did suit her throne, On which they cast an ample skin, to be The cushion for her other royalty. And there she sat; about whom came her maids, Who brought upon a table store of breads, And bowls that with the Wooers’ wine were crown’d. The embers then they cast upon the ground From out the lamps, and other fuel added, That still with cheerful flame the sad house gladded. Melantha seeing still Ulysses there, Thus she held out her spleen: “Still, stranger, here? Thus late in night? To see what ladies do? Avaunt you, wretch, hence, go without doors, go; And quickly, too, lest ye be singed away With burning firebrands.” He, thus seeing their fray Continued by her with such spleen, replied: “Minion! What makes your angry blood thus chide My presence still? Is it because you see I shine not in your wanton bravery, But wear these rags? It fits the needy fate That makes me beg thus of the common state. Such poor souls, and such beggars, yet are men; And ev’n my mean means means had to maintain A wealthy house, and kept a manly press, Was counted blessed, and the poor access Of any beggar did not scorn, but feed, With often hand, and any man of need Reliev’d as fitted; kept my servants, too, Not few, but did with those additions go That call choice men _The Honest_, who are styl’d The rich, the great. But what such great ones build Jove oft pulls down, as thus he ruin’d me; His will was such, which is his equity. And therefore, woman, bear you fitting hand On your behaviour, lest your spirit thus mann’d, And cherish’d with your beauties, when they wane, Comes down, your pride now being then your bane; And in the mean space shun the present danger, Lest your bold fashion breed your sov’reign’s anger, Or lest Ulysses come, of whom ev’n yet Hope finds some life in Fate. Or, be his seat Amongst the merely ruin’d, yet his son, Whose life’s heat Phœbus saves, is such a one As can discover who doth well deserve Of any woman here his years now serve.” The Queen gave ear, and thus suppress’d the flame: “Thou quite without a brow, past female shame, I hear thy monstrous boldness, which thy head Shall pay me pains for. Thou hast heard it said, And from myself too, and ev’ry part Thy knowledge serves thee, that, to ease my heart So punish’d in thy witness, my desire Dwelt on this stranger, that I might inquire My lost friend’s being. But ’tis ever tried, _Both man and God are still forgot with pride._ Eurynomé, bring here this guest a seat, And cushion on it, that we two may treat Of the affair in question. Set it near, That I may softly speak, yet he well hear.” She did this little freely; and he sat Close by the Queen, who ask’d him, Whence, and what He was himself? And what th’ inhabited place Where liv’d his parents? Whence he fetch’d his race? “O woman,” he replied, “with whom no man, That moves in earth’s unbounded circle, can Maintain contention for true honour giv’n, Whose fame hath reach’d the fairly-flowing heav’n, Who, like a never-ill-deserving king, That is well-spoke of, first, for worshipping, And striving to resemble God in empire; Whose equal hand impartially doth temper Greatness and Goodness; to whom therefore bears The black earth store of all grain, trees confers Cracking with burthen, long-liv’d herds creates, All which the sea with her sorts emulates; And all this feeds beneath his pow’rful hand Men, valiant, many, making strong his land With happy lives led; nothing else the cause Of all these blessings, but well-order’d laws; Like such a king are you, in love, in fame, And all the bliss that deifies a dame. And therefore do not mix this with a moan So wretched as is now in question; Ask not my race nor country, lest you fill My heart yet fuller with repeated ill; For I must follow it with many tears, Though ’tis not seemly to sit wounding ears In public roofs with our particular life. _Time’s worst expense is still-repeated grief._ I should be irksome to your ladies here, And you yourself would say you urg’d your ear To what offends it, my still-broken eyne Supposing wounded with your too-much wine.” “Stranger,” said she, “you fear your own excess With giving me too great a nobleness. The Gods my person, beauty, virtue too, Long since subverted, when the Ilion woe The Greek design attempted; in which went My praise and honour. In his government Had I deserv’d your utmost grace, but now Sinister Deity makes dishonour woo, In show of grace, my ruin. All the peers Sylvan Zacynthus, and Dulichius, spheres, Samos and Ithaca, strange strifes have shown To win me, spending on me all mine own; Will wed me, in my spite; and these are those That take from me all virtue to dispose Or guest or suppliant, or take any course Amongst my heralds, that should all disburse, To order anything. Though I need none To give me grief at home, abroad errs one That my veins shrink for, whom these holding gone, Their nuptials hasten, and find me as slow. Good spirits prompted me to make a show Of undertaking a most curious task, That an unmeasur’d space of time would ask; Which they enduring long would often say, When ends thy work? I soon had my delay, And pray’d their stay; for though my lord were dead, His father’s life yet matter ministred That must employ me; which, to tell them true, Was that great work I nam’d. For now near drew Laertes’ death, and on my hand did lie His funeral-robe, whose end, being now so nigh, I must not leave, and lose so much begun, The rather lest the Greek dames might be won To tax mine honour, if a man so great Should greet his grave without his winding sheet. Pride made them credulous, and I went on; When whatsoever all the day had done I made the night help to undo again, Though oil and watch it cost, and equal pain. Three years my wit secur’d me undiscern’d, Yet, when the fourth came, by my maids discern’d, False careless wenches, how they were deluded; When, by my light discern’d, they all intruded, Used threat’ning words, and made me give it end; And then could I to no more length extend My linger’d nuptials; not a counsel more Was to be stood upon; my parents bore Continual hand on me to make me wed; My son grew angry that so ruinéd His goods were by them. He is now a man Wise in a great degree, and one that can Himself give order to his household fare; And Jove give equal glory to his care. But thus you must not pass me; I must know, It may be for more end, from whence doth grow Your race and you; for I suppose you none Sprung of old oak, or justled out of stone.” He answer’d: “O Ulysses’ rev’rend wife! Yet hold you purpose to inquire my life? I’ll tell you, though it much afflict me more Than all the sorrows I have felt before. As worthily it may, since so long time As I have wander’d from my native clime, Through human cities, and in suff’rance still, To rip all wounds up, though of all their ill I touch but part, must actuate all their pain. But, ask you still, I’ll tell, though still sustain. In middle of the sable sea there lies An isle call’d Crete, a ravisher of eyes, Fruitful, and mann’d with many an infinite store; Where ninety cities crown the famous shore, Mix’d with all-languag’d men. There Greeks survive, There the great-minded Eteocretans live, There the Dorensians never out of war, The Cydons there, and there the singular Pelasgian people. There doth Cnossus stand, That mighty city, where had most command Great Jove’s disciple, Minos, who nine years Conferr’d with Jove, both great familiars In mutual counsels. And this Minos’ son, The mighty-minded king Deucalion, Was sire to me and royal Idomen, Who with Atrides went to Ilion then, My elder brother and the better man, My name Aethon. At that time began My knowledge of Ulysses, whom my home Receiv’d with guest-rites. He was thither come By force of weather, from the Malean coast But new got off, where he the navy lost, Then under sail for Troy, and wind-bound lay Long in Amnisus; hardly got away From horrid storms, that made him anchor there, In havens that sacred to Lucina were, Dreadful and dang’rous, in whose bosom crept Lucina’s cavern. But in my roof slept Ulysses, shor’d in Crete; who first inquir’d For royal Idomen, and much desir’d To taste his guest-rites, since to him had been A welcome guest my brother Idomen. The tenth or ’leventh light on Ulysses shin’d In stay at Crete, attending then the wind For threaten’d Ilion. All which time my house With love and entertainments curious Embrac’d his person, though a number more My hospitable roofs receiv’d before, His men I likewise call’d, and from the store Allow’d them meal and heat-exciting wine, And oxen for their slaughter, to confine In my free hand the utmost of their need. Twelve days the Greeks stay’d, ere they got them freed, A gale so bitter blew out of the north, That none could stand on earth, being tumbled forth By some stern God. But on the thirteenth day The tempest ceas’d, and then went Greeks their way.” Thus many tales Ulysses told his wife, At most but painting, yet most like the life; Of which her heart such sense took through her ears, It made her weep as she would turn to tears. And as from off the mountains melts the snow, Which Zephyr’s breath conceal’d, but was made flow By hollow Eurus, which so fast pours down, That with their torrent floods have overflown; So down her fair cheeks her kind tears did glide, Her miss’d lord mourning set so near her side. Ulysses much was mov’d to see her mourn, Whose eyes yet stood as dry as iron or horn In his untroubled lids, which in his craft Of bridling passion he from issue saft. When she had giv’n her moan so many tears, That now ’twas satiate, her yet loving fears Ask’d thus much further: “You have thus far tried My love’s credulity, but if gratified With so long stay he was with you, you can Describe what weed he wore, what kind of man Both he himself was, and what followers Observ’d him there.” “Alas,” said he, “the years Have grown so many since—this making now Their twentieth revolution—that my show Of these slight notes will set my memory sore, But, to my now remembrance, this he wore: A double purple robe, drawn close before With golden buttons, plaited thick, and bore A facing where a hundred colours shin’d. About the skirts a hound a freckled hind In full course hunted; on the fore skirts, yet, He pinch’d and pull’d her down, when with her feet, And all her force, she struggled hard for flight. Which had such life in gold, that to the sight It seem’d the hind itself for ev’ry hue, The hound and all so answering the view, That all admir’d all. I observ’d beside His inner weed, so rarely beautified That dumb amaze it bred, and was as thin As any dry and tender onion skin; As soft ’twas, too, and glister’d like the sun. The women were to loving wonder won By him and by his weeds. But, by the way, You must excuse me, that I cannot say He brought this suit from home, or had it there Sent for some present, or, perhaps, elsewhere Receiv’d it for his guest-gift; for your lord Had friends not few, the fleet did not afford Many that had not fewer. I bestow’d A well-edg’d sword on him, a robe that flow’d In folds and fulness, and did reach his feet, Of richest purple; brought him to his fleet With all my honour; and besides, to add To all this sifted circumstance, he had A herald there, in height a little more Put from the earth, that thicker shoulders wore, A swarth complexion and a curléd head, His name Eurybates; and much in stead He stood your king, employ’d in most command, Since most of all his mind could understand.” When all these signs she knew for chiefly true, Desire of moan upon her beauties grew, And yet, ev’n that desire suffic’d, she said: “Till this, my guest, a wretched state array’d Your ill-us’d person, but from this hour forth You shall be honour’d, and find all the worth That fits a friend. Those weeds these hands bestow’d From out my wardrobe; those gold buttons sew’d Before for closure and for ornament. But never more must his return present The person that gave those adornments state; And therefore, under an abhorréd fate, Was he induc’d to feed the common fame, To visit vile Troy, ay too vile to name.” “No more yet mourn,” said he, “nor thus see pin’d Your lovely person. _Weeping wastes the mind._ And yet I blame you not; for any dame That weds one young, and brings to him his name, Whatever man he is, will mourn his loss. Much more respectful then must show your woes That weep thus for Ulysses, who, Fame says, Was equal with the Gods in all his ways. But where no cause is there must be no moan, And therefore hear me, my relation Shall lay the clear truth naked to your view: I heard amongst the Thesprots for most true, That lord Ulysses liv’d, and stood just now On his return for home; that wealth did flow In his possession, which he made not known, But begg’d amongst the people, since alone He quite was left, for all his men were lost In getting off from the Trinacrian coast; Jove and the Sun was wroth with them for rape Made of his oxen, and no man let ’scape The rugged deeps of Neptune; only he, The ship’s keel only keeping, was by sea Cast on the fair Phæacian continent, Where men survive that are the Gods’ descent, And like a God receiv’d him, gave him heaps Of wealthy gifts, and would conduct his steps Themselves safe home; which he might long ago His pleasure make, but profit would not so. He gather’d going, and had mighty store Of gold in safeguard; so beyond the shore That common sails kept, his high flood of wit Bore glorious top, and all the world for it Hath far exceeded. All this Phædon told, That doth the sceptre of Thesprotia hold, Who swore to me, in household sacrifice, The ship was launch’d, and men to man the prise, That soon should set him on his country earth, Show’d me the goods, enough to serve the birth That in the tenth age of his seed should spring, Yet in his court contain’d. But then the king, Your husband, for Dodona was in way, That from th’ Oraculous Oak he might display Jove’s will what course for home would best prevail, To come in pomp, or bear a secret sail. But me the king dispatch’d in course before, A ship then bound for the Dulichian shore. So thus you see his safety whom you mourn; Who now is passing near, and his return No more will punish with delays, but see His friends and country. All which truth to thee I’ll seal with sacred oath. Be witness, Jove, Thou first and best of all the thron’d above! And thou house of the great Laertes’ heir, To whose high roofs I tender my repair, That what I tell the Queen event shall crown! This year Ulysses shall possess his own, Nay ere the next month ends shall here arrive, Nay, ere it enters, here abide alive!” “O may this prove,” said she; “gifts, friendship, then Should make your name the most renown’d of men. But ’tis of me receiv’d, and must so sort, That nor my lord shall ever see his court, Nor you gain your deduction thence, for now The alter’d house doth no such man allow As was Ulysses, if he ever were, To entertain a rev’rend passenger, And give him fair dismission. But, maids, see Ye bathe his feet, and then with tapestry, Best sheets and blankets, make his bed, and lay Soft waistcoats by him, that, lodg’d warm, he may Ev’n till the golden-seated morning’s ray Enjoy good rest; and then, with her first light, Bathe, and give alms, that cherish’d appetite He may apply within our hall, and sit Safe by Telemachus. Or, if th’ unfit And harmful mind of any be so base To grieve his age again, let none give grace Of doing any deed he shall command, How wroth soever, to his barbarous hand. For how shall you, guest, know me for a dame That pass so far, nay, turn and wind the fame Of other dames for wisdom, and the frame Of household usage, if your poor thin weeds I let draw on you want, and worser deeds, That may, perhaps, cause here your latest day? _The life of man is short and flies away._ And if the ruler’s self of households be Ungentle, studying inhumanity, The rest prove worse, but he bears all the blame; All men will, living, vow against his name Mischiefs and miseries, and, dead, supply With bitter epitaphs his memory. But if himself be noble—noble things Doing and knowing—all his underlings Will imitate his noblesse, and all guests Give it, in many, many interests.” “But, worthiest Queen,” said he, “where you command Baths and rich beds for me, I scorn to stand On such state now nor ever thought it yet, Since first I left the snowy hills of Crete. When once I fell a-shipboard those thoughts fled; I love to take now, as long since, my bed. Though I began the use with sleepless nights, I many a darkness with right homely rites Have spent ere this hour, and desir’d the morn Would come, and make sleep to the world a scorn. Nor run these dainty baths in my rude head; Nor any handmaid, to your service bred, Shall touch my ill-kept feet, unless there live Some poor old drudge here, that hath learn’d to give Old men good usage, and no work will fly, As having suffer’d ill as much as I. But if there live one such in your command, I will not shame to give my foot her hand.” She gave this answer: “O my lovéd guest, There never enter’d these kind roofs for rest Stranger or friend that so much wisdom laid In gage for guest-rites, as your lips have paid. There lives an old maid in my charge that knows The good you speak of by her many woes; That nourish’d and brought up, with curious care, Th’ unhappy man; your old familiar, Ev’n since his mother let him view the light, And oft hath felt in her weak arms his weight; And she, though now much weaker, shall apply Her maiden service to your modesty. Euryclea, rise, and wash the feet of one That is of one age with your sov’reign gone, Such hands, such feet hath, though of alter’d grace. _Much grief in men will bring on change apace.”_ She, from her aged slumber wak’d, did clear Her heavy eyes, and instantly, to hear Her sov’reign’s name, had work enough to dry Her cheeks from tears, and to his memory These moans did offer: “O my son,” said she, “I never can take grief enough for thee, Whom Goodness hurts, and whom ev’n Jove’s high spleen, Since thou art Jove-like, hates the most of men. For none hath offer’d him so many thighs, Nor such whole hecatombs of sacrifice, Fat and selected, as thy zeal hath done; For all, but praying that thy noble son, Thy happy age might see at state of man. And yet hath Jove with mists Cimmerian Put out the light of his returning day. And as yourself, O father, in your way Took these fair roofs for hospitable rites, Yet find, for them, our dogged women’s spites; So he, in like course, being driven to proof, Long time ere this, what such a royal roof Would yield his mis’ries, found such usage there. And you, now flying the foul language here, And many a filthy fact of our fair dames, Fly me like them, and put on causeless shames To let me cleanse your feet. For not the cause The Queen’s command yields is the pow’r that draws My will to wash your feet, but what I do Proceeds from her charge and your rev’rence too; Since I in soul am stricken with a ruth Of your distresses, and past show of truth;[2] Your strangeness claiming little interest In my affections. And yet many a guest Of poor condition hath been harbour’d here, But never any did so right appear Like king Ulysses as yourself, for state Both of your stature, voice, and very gait.” “So all have said,” said he, “that ever yet Had the proportions of our figures met In their observance; so right your eye Proves in your soul your judging faculty.” Thus took she up a caldron brightly scour’d, To cleanse his feet in; and into it pour’d Store of cold wave, which on the fire she set; And therein bath’d, being temperately heat, Her sov’reign’s feet. Who turn’d him from the light, Since suddenly he doubted her conceit, So rightly touching at his state before, A scar now seeing on his foot, that bore An old note, to discern him, might descry The absolute truth; which, witness’d by her eye, Was straight approv’d. He first receiv’d this sore As in Parnassus’ tops a white-tooth’d boar He stood in chase withal, who struck him there, At such time as he liv’d a sojourner With his grandsire, Autolycus; who th’ art Of theft and swearing (not out of the heart, But by equivocation) first adorn’d Your witty man withal, and was suborn’d By Jove’s descent, ingenious Mercury, Who did bestow it, since so many a thigh Of lambs and kids he had on him bestow’d In sacred flames, who therefore when he vow’d Was ever with him. And this man impos’d Ulysses’ name, the light being first disclos’d To his first sight then, when his grandsire came To see the then preferrer of his fame, His lovéd daughter. The first supper done, Euryclea put in his lap her son, And pray’d him to bethink and give his name, Since that desire did all desires inflame. “Daughter and son-in-law,” said he, “let then The name that I shall give him stand with men. Since I arriv’d here at the hour of pain, In which mine own kind entrails did sustain Moan for my daughter’s yet unended throes, And when so many men’s and women’s woes, In joint compassion met of human birth, Brought forth t’ attend the many-feeding earth, Let Odyssëus be his name, as one[3] Expos’d to just constraint of all men’s moan. When here at home he is arriv’d at state Of man’s first youth he shall initiate His practis’d feet in travel made abroad, And to Parnassus, where mine own abode And chief means lie, address his way, where I Will give him from my open’d treasury What shall return him well, and fit the fame Of one that had the honour of his name.” For these fair gifts he went, and found all grace Of hands and words in him and all his race. Amphithea, his mother’s mother, too, Applied her to his love, withal, to do In grandame’s welcomes, both his fair eyes kist, And brows; and then commanded to assist Were all her sons by their respected sire In furnishing a feast, whose ears did fire Their minds with his command; who home straight led A five-years-old male ox, fell’d, slew, and flay’d, Gather’d about him, cut him up with art, Spitted, and roasted, and his ev’ry part Divided orderly. So all the day They spent in feast; no one man went his way Without his fit fill. When the sun was set, And darkness rose, they slept, till day’s fire het Th’ enlighten’d earth; and then on hunting went Both hounds and all Autolycus’ descent. In whose guide did divine Ulysses go, Climb’d steep Parnassus, on whose forehead grow All sylvan offsprings round. And Soon they reach’d The concaves, whence air’s sounding vapours fetch’d Their loud descent. As soon as any sun Had from the ocean, where his waters run In silent deepness, rais’d his golden head, The early huntsmen all the hill had spread, Their hounds before them on the searching trail, They near, and ever eager to assail: Ulysses brandishing a lengthful lance, Of whose first flight he long’d to prove the chance. Then found they lodg’d a boar of bulk extreme, In such a queach as never any beam The sun shot pierc’d, nor any pass let find The moist impressions of the fiercest wind, Nor any storm the sternest winter drives, Such proof it was; yet all within lay leaves In mighty thickness; and through all this flew The hounds’ loud mouths. The sounds the tumult threw, And all together, rous’d the boar, that rush’d Amongst their thickest, all his bristles push’d From forth his rough neck, and with flaming eyes Stood close, and dar’d all. On which horrid prise Ulysses first charg’d; whom above the knee The savage struck, and rac’d it crookedly Along the skin, yet never reach’d the bone. Ulysses’ lance yet through him quite was thrown, At his right shoulder ent’ring, at his left The bright head passage to his keenness cleft, And show’d his point gilt with the gushing gore. Down in the dust fell the extended boar, And forth his life flew. To Ulysses round His uncle drew; who, woeful for his wound, With all art bound it up, and with a charm Stay’d straight the blood, went home, and, when the harm Receiv’d full cure, with gifts, and all event Of joy and love to his lov’d home they sent Their honour’d nephew; whose return his sire And rev’rend mother took with joys entire, Enquir’d all passages, all which he gave In good relation, nor of all would save His wound from utt’rance; by whose scar he came To be discover’d by this aged dame. Which when she cleansing felt, and noted well, Down from her lap into the caldron fell His weighty foot, that made the brass resound, Turn’d all aside, and on th’ embrewéd ground Spilt all the water. Joy and grief together Her breast invaded; and of weeping weather Her eyes stood full; her small voice stuck within Her part expressive; till at length his chin She took and spake to him: “O son,” said she, “Thou art Ulysses, nor canst other be; Nor could I know thee yet, till all my king I had gone over with the warméd spring.” Then look’d she for the Queen to tell her all; And yet knew nothing sure, though nought could fall In compass of all thoughts to make her doubt, Minerva that distraction struck throughout Her mind’s rapt forces that she might not tell. Ulysses, noting yet her aptness well, With one hand took her chin, and made all show Of favour to her, with the other drew Her offer’d parting closer, ask’d her why She, whose kind breast had nurs’d so tenderly His infant life, would now his age destroy, Though twenty years had held him from the joy Of his lov’d country? But, since only she, God putting her in mind, now knew ’twas he, He charg’d her silence, and to let no ear In all the court more know his being there, Lest, if God gave into his wreakful hand Th’ insulting Wooers’ lives, he did not stand On any partial respect with her, Because his nurse, and to the rest prefer Her safety therefore, but, when they should feel His punishing finger, give her equal steel. “What words,” said she, “fly your retentive pow’rs? You know you lock your counsels in your tow’rs In my firm bosom, and that I am far From those loose frailties. Like an iron bar, Or bolt of solid’st stone, I will contain; And tell you this besides; that if you gain, By God’s good aid, the Wooers’ lives in yours, What dames are here their shameless paramours; And have done most dishonour to your worth, My information well shall paint you forth.” “It shall not need,” said he, “myself will soon, While thus I mask here, set on ev’ry one My sure observance of the worst and best. Be thou then silent, and leave God the rest.” This said, the old dame for more water went, The rest was all upon the pavement spent By known Ulysses’ foot. More brought, and he Supplied beside with sweetest ointments, she His seat drew near the fire, to keep him warm, And with his piec’d rags hiding close his harm. The Queen came near, and said: “Yet, guest, afford Your further patience, till but in a word I’ll tell my woes to you; for well I know That Rest’s sweet hour her soft foot orders now, When all poor men, how much soever griev’d, Would gladly get their woe-watch’d pow’rs reliev’d. But God hath giv’n my grief a heart so great It will not down with rest, and so I set My judgment up to make it my delight. All day I mourn, yet nothing let the right I owe my charge both in my work and maids; And when the night brings rest to others’ aids I toss my bed; Distress, with twenty points, Slaught’ring the pow’rs that to my turning joints Convey the vital heat. And as all night Pandareus’ daughter, poor Edone, sings, Clad in the verdure of the yearly springs, When she for Itylus, her lovéd son, By Zethus’ issue in his madness done To cruel death, pours out her hourly moan, And draws the ears to her of ev’ry one; So flows my moan that cuts in two my mind, And here and there gives my discourse the wind, Uncertain whether I shall with my son Abide still here, the safe possession And guard of all goods, rev’rence to the bed Of my lov’d lord, and to my far-off spread Fame with the people, putting still in use, Or follow any best Greek I can chuse To his fit house, with treasure infinite, Won to his nuptials. While the infant plight And want of judgment kept my son in guide, He was not willing with my being a bride, Nor with my parting from his court; but now, Arriv’d at man’s state, he would have me vow My love to some one of my Wooers here, And leave his court; offended that their cheer Should so consume his free possessions. To settle then a choice in these my moans, Hear and expound a dream that did engrave My sleeping fancy: Twenty geese I have, All which, me thought, mine eye saw tasting wheat In water steep’d, and joy’d to see them eat; When straight a crook-beak’d eagle from a hill Stoop’d, and truss’d all their necks, and all did kill; When, all left scatter’d on the pavement there, She took her wing up to the Gods’ fair sphere. I, ev’n amid my dream, did weep and mourn To see the eagle, with so shrewd a turn, Stoop my sad turrets; when, methought, there came About my mournings many a Grecian dame, To cheer my sorrows; in whose most extreme The hawk came back, and on the prominent beam That cross’d my chamber fell, and us’d to me A human voice, that sounded horribly, And said: ‘Be confident, Icarius’ seed, This is no dream, but what shall chance indeed. The geese the Wooers are, the eagle, I, Was heretofore a fowl, but now imply Thy husband’s being, and am come to give The Wooers’ death, that on my treasure live.’ With this sleep left me, and my waking way I took, to try if any violent prey Were made of those my fowls, which well enough I, as before, found feeding at their trough Their yoted wheat.” “O woman,” he replied, “Thy dream can no interpretation bide But what the eagle made, who was your lord, And said himself would sure effect afford To what he told you; that confusion To all the Wooers should appear, and none Escape the fate and death he had decreed.” She answer’d him: “O guest, these dreams exceed The art of man t’ interpret; and appear Without all choice or form; nor ever were Perform’d to all at all parts. But there are To these light dreams, that like thin vapours fare, Two two-leav’d gates, the one of ivory, The other horn. Those dreams, that fantasy Takes from the polish’d ivory port, delude The dreamer ever, and no truth include; Those, that the glitt’ring horn-gate lets abroad, Do evermore some certain truth abode. But this my dream I hold of no such sort To fly from thence; yet, whichsoever port It had access from, it did highly please My son and me. And this my thoughts profess: That day that lights me from Ulysses’ court Shall both my infamy and curse consort. I, therefore, purpose to propose them now, In strong contention, Ulysses’ bow; Which he that eas’ly draws, and from his draft Shoots through twelve axes (as he did his shaft, All set up in a row, and from them all His stand-far-off kept firm) my fortunes shall Dispose, and take me to his house from hence, Where I was wed a maid, in confluence Of feast and riches; such a court here then As I shall ever in my dreams retain.” “Do not,” said he, “defer the gameful prize, But set to task their importunities With something else than nuptials; for your lord Will to his court and kingdom be restor’d Before they thread those steels, or draw his bow.” “O guest,” replied Penelope, “would you Thus sit and please me with your speech, mine ears Would never let mine eyelids close their spheres! But none can live without the death of sleep, Th’ Immortals in our mortal memories keep Our ends and deaths by sleep, dividing so, As by the fate and portion of our woe, Our times spent here, to let us nightly try That while we live, as much live as we die. In which use I will to my bed ascend, Which I bedew with tears, and sigh past end Through all my hours spent, since I lost my joy For vile, lewd, never-to-be-naméd, Troy, Yet there I’ll prove for sleep, which take you here, Or on the earth, if that your custom were, Or have a bed, dispos’d for warmer rest.” Thus left she with her ladies her old guest, Ascended her fair chamber, and her bed, Whose sight did ever duly make her shed Tears for her lord; which still her eyes did steep, Till Pallas shut them with delightsome sleep.

[1] _Χοὶνικος ἅπτηται,_ they will needs turn this, _quadram_ (for
_modium) gustet._ Though the words bear no such signification, but
give a proverb then in use repetition, which was: _he shall not join
or make a spoke in the nave of my chariot, or chariot-wheel.
Χοίνικον,_ or _χοίνικις,_ signifying _modiolus rotæ,_ and _ἅπτω,
[2] Intending with truth itself, not his show only.
[3] Autolycus gives his grandchild Ulysses his name: from whence the
Odysseys is derived, _’Οδυσσεύς,_ derived of _ὀδύζομαι, ex ὀδύνη
factum;_ signifying _dolorem proprie corporis, nam ira ex dolore



Ulysses, in the Wooers’ beds, Resolving first to kill the maids. That sentence giving off, his care For other objects doth prepare.


_ψ._ Jove’s thunder chides, But cheers the King, The Wooers’ prides Discomfiting.

Ulysses in the entry laid his head, And under him an ox-hide newly-flay’d, Above him sheep-fells store; and over those Eurynomé cast mantles. His repose Would bring no sleep yet, studying the ill He wish’d the Wooers; who came by him still With all their wenches, laughing, wantoning, In mutual lightness; which his heart did sting, Contending two ways, if, all patience fled, He should rush up and strike those strumpets dead, Or let that night be last, and take th’ extreme Of those proud Wooers, that were so supreme In pleasure of their high-fed fantasies. His heart did bark within him to surprise Their sports with spoils; no fell she-mastiff can, Amongst her whelps, fly eag’rer on a man She doth not know, yet scents him something near, And fain would come to please her tooth, and tear, Than his disdain, to see his roof so fil’d With those foul fashions, grew within him wild To be in blood of them. But, finding best In his free judgment to let passion rest, He chid his angry spirit, and beat his breast, And said: “Forbear, my mind, and think on this: There hath been time when bitter agonies Have tried thy patience. Call to mind the day In which the Cyclop, which pass’d manly sway Of violent strength, devour’d thy friends; thou then Stood’st firmly bold, till from that hellish den Thy wisdom brought thee off, when nought but death Thy thoughts resolv’d on.” This discourse did breathe The fiery boundings of his heart, that still Lay in that æsture, without end his ill Yet manly suff’ring. But from side to side It made him toss apace. You have not tried A fellow roasting of a pig before A hasty fire, his belly yielding store Of fat and blood, turn faster, labour more To have it roast, and would not have it burn, Than this and that way his unrest made turn His thoughts and body, would not quench the fire, And yet not have it heighten his desire Past his discretion, and the fit enough Of haste and speed, that went to all the proof His well-laid plots, and his exploits requir’d, Since he, but one, to all their deaths aspir’d. In this contention Pallas stoop’d from heav’n, Stood over him, and had her presence giv’n A woman’s form, who sternly thus began: “Why, thou most sour and wretched-fated man Of all that breathe, yet liest thou thus awake? The house in which thy cares so toss and take Thy quiet up is thine; thy wife is there; And such a son, as if thy wishes were To be suffic’d with one they could not mend.” “Goddess,” said he, “’tis true; but I contend To right their wrongs, and, though I be but one, To lay unhelp’d and wreakful hand upon This whole resort of impudents, that here Their rude assemblies never will forbear. And yet a greater doubt employs my care, That if their slaughters in my reaches are, And I perform them, Jove and you not pleas’d, How shall I fly their friends? And would stand seis’d Of counsel to resolve this care in me.” “Wretch,” she replied, “a friend of worse degree Might win thy credence, that a mortal were, I And us’d to second thee, though nothing near So pow’rful in performance nor in care; Yet I, a Goddess, that have still had share In thy achievements, and thy person’s guard, Must still be doubted by thy brain, so hard To credit anything above thy pow’r; And that must come from heav’n; if ev’ry hour There be not personal appearance made, And aid direct giv’n, that may sense invade. I’ll tell thee, therefore, clearly: If there were Of divers-languag’d men an army here Of fifty companies, all driving hence Thy sheep and oxen, and with violence Offer’d to charge us, and besiege us round, Thou shouldst their prey reprise, and them confound. Let sleep then seize thee. _To keep watch all night Consumes the spirits, and makes dull the sight.”_ Thus pour’d the Goddess sleep into his eyes, And reascended the Olympian skies. When care-and-lineament-resolving sleep Had laid his temples in his golden steep, His-wise-in-chaste-wit-worthy wife did rise, First sitting up in her soft bed, her eyes Open’d with tears, in care of her estate, Which now her friends resolv’d to terminate To more delays, and make her marry one. Her silent tears then ceas’d, her orison This Queen of women to Diana made: “Rev’rend Diana, let thy darts invade My woeful bosom, and my life deprive, Now at this instant, or soon after drive My soul with tempests forth, and give it way To those far-off dark vaults, where never day Hath pow’r to shine, and let them cast it down Where refluent Oceanus doth crown His curléd head, where Pluto’s orchard is, And entrance to our after miseries. As such stern whirlwinds ravish’d to that stream Pandareus’ daughters, when the Gods to them Had reft their parents, and them left alone, Poor orphan children, in their mansion; Whose desolate life did Love’s sweet Queen incline To nurse with presséd milk and sweetest wine; Whom Juno deck’d beyond all other dames With wisdom’s light, and beauty’s moving flames; Whom Phœbe goodliness of stature render’d; And to whose fair hands wise Minerva tender’d The loom and needle in their utmost skill; And while Love’s Empress scal’d th’ Olympian hill To beg of lightning-loving Jove (since he The means to all things knows, and doth decree Fortunes, infortunes, to the mortal race) For those poor virgins, the accomplish’d grace Of sweetest nuptials, the fierce Harpies prey’d On ev’ry good and miserable maid, And to the hateful Furies gave them all In horrid service; yet, may such fate fall From steep Olympus on my loathéd head, Or fair-chair’d Phœbe strike me instant dead, That I may undergo the gloomy shore To visit great Ulysses’ soul, before I soothe my idle blood and wed a worse. And yet, beneath how desperate a curse Do I live now! It is an ill that may Be well endur’d, to mourn the whole long day, So night’s sweet sleeps, that make a man forget Both bad and good, in some degree would let My thoughts leave grieving; but, both day and night, Some cruel God gives my sad memory sight. This night, methought, Ulysses grac’d my bed In all the goodly state with which he led The Grecian army; which gave joys extreme To my distress, esteeming it no dream, But true indeed; and that conceit I had, That when I saw it false I might be mad. Such cruel fates command in my life’s guide.” By this the morning’s orient dews had dyed The earth in all her colours; when the King, In his sweet sleep, suppos’d the sorrowing That she us’d waking in her plaintive bed To be her mourning, standing by his head, As having known him there; who straight arose, And did again within the hall dispose The carpets and the cushions, where before They serv’d the seats. The hide without the door He carried back, and then, with held-up hands, He pray’d to Him that heav’n and earth commands: “O Father Jove, if through the moist and dry You, willing, brought me home, when misery Had punish’d me enough by your free dooms, Let some of these within those inner rooms, Startled with horror of some strange ostent, Come here, and tell me that great Jove hath bent Threat’nings without at some lewd men within.” To this his pray’r Jove shook his sable chin, And thunder’d from those pure clouds that, above The breathing air, in bright Olympus move. Divine Ulysses joy’d to hear it roar. Report of which a woman-miller bore Straight to his ears; for near to him there ground Mills for his corn, that twice six women found Continual motion, grinding barley-meal, And wheat, man’s marrow. Sleep the eyes did seal Of all the other women, having done Their usual task; which yet this dame alone Had scarce giv’n end to, being, of all the rest, Least fit for labour. But when these sounds prest Her ears, above the rumbling of her mill, She let that stand, look’d out, and heav’n’s steep hill Saw clear and temp’rate; which made her (unware Of giving any comfort to his care In that strange sign he pray’d for) thus, invoke: “O King of men and Gods, a mighty stroke Thy thund’ring hand laid on the cope of stars, No cloud in all the air; and therefore wars Thou bidst to some men in thy sure ostent! Perform to me, poor wretch, the main event, And make this day the last, and most extreme, In which the Wooers’ pride shall solace them With whorish banquets in Ulysses’ roof, That, with sad toil to grind them meal enough, Have quite dissolv’d my knees. Vouchsafe, then, now Thy thunders may their latest feast foreshow.” This was the boon Ulysses begg’d of Jove,[1] Which, with his thunder, through his bosom drove A joy, that this vaunt breath’d: “Why now these men, Despite their pride, will Jove make pay me pain.” By this had other maids, than those that lay Mix’d with the Wooers, made a fire like day Amidst the hearth of the illustrious hall; And then the Prince, like a Celestial, Rose from his bed, to his embalm’d feet tied Fair shoes, his sword about his breast applied, Took to his hand his sharp-pil’d lance, and met, Amidst the entry, his old nurse, that set His haste at sudden stand; to whom he said: “O, my lov’d nurse, with what grace have you laid And fed my guest here? Could you so neglect His age, to lodge him thus? Though all respect I give my mother’s wisdom, I must yet Affirm it fail’d in this; for she hath set At much more price a man of much less worth, Without his person’s note, and yet casts forth With ignominious hands, for his form sake, A man much better.” “Do not faulty make, Good son, the faultless. He was giv’n his seat Close to her side, and food till he would eat, Wine till his wish was serv’d; for she requir’d His wants, and will’d him all things he desir’d; Commanded her chief maids to make his bed, But he, as one whom sorrow only fed And all infortune, would not take his rest In bed, and cov’rings fit for any guest, But in the entry, on an ox’s hide Never at tanner’s, his old limbs implied, In warm sheep-fells; yet over all we cast A mantle, fitting for a man more grac’d.” He took her answer, left the house, and went, Attended with his dogs, to sift th’ event Of private plots, betwixt him and his sire In common counsel. Then the crew entire Of all the household maids Euryclea bad Bestir them through the house, and see it clad In all best form; gave all their parts; and one She set to furnish ev’ry seat and throne With needle works, and purple clothes of state; Another set to scour and cleanse the plate; Another all the tables to make proud With porous sponges; others she bestow’d In all speed to the spring, to fetch from thence Fit store of water; all at all expence Of pains she will’d to be; for this to all Should be a day of common festival, And not a Wooer now should seek his home, Elsewhere than there, but all were bid to come Exceeding early, and be rais’d to heav’n With all the entertainment could be giv’n. They heard with greedy ears, and ev’rything Put straight in practice. Twenty to the spring Made speed for water; many in the house Took pains; and all were both laborious And skill’d in labour; many fell to fell And cleave their wood; and all did more than well. Then troop’d the lusty Wooers in; and then Came all from spring; at their heels loaded men With slaughter’d brawns, of all the herd the prize, That had been long fed-up in sev’ral styes; Eumæus and his men convey’d them there, He, seeing now the king, began to cheer, And thus saluted him: “How now, my guest? Have yet your virtues found more interest In these great Wooers’ good respects? Or still Pursue they you with all their wonted ill?” “I would to heav’n, Eumæus,” he replied, “The Deities once would take in hand their pride, That such unseemly fashions put in frame In others’ roofs, as show no spark of shame.” Thus these; and to these came Melanthius, Great guardian of the most egregious Rich Wooers’ herds, consisting all of goats; Which he, with two more, drave, and made their cotes The sounding porticos of that fair court. Melanthius, seeing the king, this former sort Of upland language gave: “What? Still stay here, And dull these Wooers with thy wretched cheer? Not gone for ever yet? Why now I see This strife of cuffs betwixt the beggary, That yesterday assay’d to get thee gone, And thy more roguery, needs will fall upon My hands to arbitrate. Thou wilt not hence Till I set on thee; thy ragg’d impudence Is so fast-footed. Are there not beside Other great banquetants, but you must tide At anchor still with us?” He nothing said, But thought of ill enough, and shook his head. Then came Philœtius, a chief of men, That to the Wooers’ all-devouring den A barren steer drave, and fat goats; for they In custom were with traffickers by sea, That who they would sent, and had utt’rance there. And for these likewise the fair porches were Hurdles and sheep-pens, as in any fair. Philœtius took note in his repair Of seen Ulysses, being a man as well Giv’n to his mind’s use as to buy and sell, Or do the drudg’ry that the blood desir’d, And, standing near Eumæus, this enquir’d: “What guest is this that makes our house of late His entertainer? Whence claims he the state His birth in this life holds? What nation? What race? What country stands his speech upon? O’er hardly portion’d by the terrible Fates. The structure of his lineaments relates A king’s resemblance in his pomp of reign Ev’n thus in these rags. But poor erring men, That have no firm home, but range here and there As need compels, God keeps in this earth’s sphere, As under water, and this tune he sings, When he is spinning ev’n the cares of kings.” Thus coming to him, with a kind of fear He took his hand, and, touch’d exceeding near With mere imagination of his worth, This salutation he sent loudly forth: “Health! Father stranger! In another world Be rich and happy, though thou here art hurl’d At feet of never such insulting Need. O Jove, there lives no one God of thy seed More ill to man than thou. Thou tak’st no ruth— When thou thyself hast got him in most truth— To wrap him in the straits of most distress, And in the curse of others’ wickedness. My brows have swet to see it, and mine eyes Broke all in tears, when this being still the guise Of worthiest men, I have but only thought, That down to these ills was Ulysses wrought, And that, thus clad, ev’n he is error-driv’n, If yet he live and sees the light of heav’n. But, if now dead, and in the house of hell, O me! O good Ulysses! That my weal Did ever wish, and when, but half a man Amongst the people Cephallenian, His bounty to his oxen’s charge preferr’d One in that youth; which now is grown a herd Unspeakable for number, and feed there With their broad heads, as thick as of his ear A field of corn is to a man. Yet these Some men advise me with this noted prease Of Wooers may devour, and wish me drive Up to their feasts with them, that neither give His son respect, though in his own free roof, Nor have the wit to fear th’ infallible proof Of Heav’nly vengeance, but make offer now The long-lack’d King’s possessions to bestow In their self-shares. Methinks the mind in me Doth turn as fast, as in a flood or sea A raging whirlpit doth, to gather in To fishy death those swimmers in their sin; Or feeds a motion as circular To drive my herds away. But while the son Bears up with life, ’twere heinous wrong to run To other people with them, and to trust Men of another earth. And yet more just It were to venture their laws, the main right Made still their masters, than at home lose quite Their right and them, and sit and grieve to see The wrong authoriz’d by their gluttony. And I had long since fled, and tried th’ event With other proud kings, since more insolent These are than can be borne, but that ev’n still I had a hope that this, though born to ill, Would one day come from some coast, and their last In his roofs strew with ruins red and vast.” “Herdsman,” said he, “because thou art in show Nor lewd nor indiscreet, and that I know There rules in thee an understanding soul, I’ll take an oath, that in thee shall control All doubt of what I swear: Be witness, Jove, That sway’st the first seat of the thron’d above, This hospitable table, and this house, That still hold title for the strenuous Son of Laertes, that, if so you please, Your eyes shall witness Laertiades Arriv’d at home, and all these men that reign In such excesses here shall here lie slain!” He answer’d: “Stranger! Would just Jove would sign What you have sworn! In your eyes’ beams should shine What pow’rs I manage, and how these my hands Would rise and follow where he first commands.” So said Eumæus, praying all the Sky That wise Ulysses might arrive and try. Thus while they vow’d, the Wooers sat as hard On his son’s death, but had their counsels scar’d, For on their left hand did an eagle soar, And in her seres a fearful pigeon bore. Which seen, Amphinomus presag’d: “O friends, Our counsels never will receive their ends In this man’s slaughter. Let us therefore ply Our bloody feast, and make his oxen die.” Thus came they in, cast off on seats their cloaks, And fell to giving sacrificing strokes Of sheep and goats, the chiefly fat and great, Slew fed-up swine, and from the herd a neat. The inwards roasted they dispos’d bewixt Their then observers, wine in flagons mixt. The bowls Eumæus brought, Philœtius bread, Melanthius fill’d the wine. Thus drank and fed The feastful Wooers. Then the prince, in grace Of his close project, did his father place Amidst the pavéd entry, in a seat Seemless and abject, a small board and meat Of th’ only inwards; in a cup of gold Yet sent him wine, and bade him now drink bold, All his approaches he himself would free ’Gainst all the Wooers, since he would not see His court made popular, but that his sire Built it to his use. Therefore all the fire Blown in the Wooers’ spleens he bade suppress, And that in hands nor words they should digress From that set peace his speech did then proclaim. They bit their lips and wonder’d at his aim In that brave language; when Antinous said: “Though this speech, Grecians, be a mere upbraid, Yet this time give it pass. The will of Jove Forbids the violence of our hands to move, But of our tongues we keep the motion free, And, therefore, if his further jollity Tempt our encounter with his braves, let’s check His growing insolence, though pride to speak Fly passing high with him.” The wise prince made No more spring of his speech, but let it fade. And now the heralds bore about the town The sacred hecatomb; to whose renown The fair-hair’d Greeks assembled, and beneath Apollo’s shady wood the holy death They put to fire; which, made enough, they drew, Divided all, that did in th’ end accrue To glorious satisfaction. Those that were Disposers of the feast did equal cheer Bestow on wretched Laertiades, With all the Wooers’ souls; it so did please Telemachus to charge them. And for these Minerva would not see the malices The Wooers bore too much contain’d, that so Ulysses’ mov’d heart yet might higher flow In wreakful anguish. There was wooing there, Amongst the rest, a gallant that did bear The name of one well-learn’d in jests profane, His name Ctesippus, born a Samian; Who, proud because his father was so rich, Had so much confidence as did bewitch His heart with hope to wed Ulysses’ wife; And this man said: “Hear me, my lords, in strife For this great widow. This her guest did share Even feast with us, with very comely care Of him that order’d it; for ’tis not good Nor equal to deprive guests of their food, And specially whatever guest makes way To that house where Telemachus doth sway; And therefore I will add to his receit A gift of very hospitable weight, Which he may give again to any maid That bathes his grave feet, and her pains see paid, Or any servant else that the divine Ulysses’ lofty battlements confine.” Thus snatch’d he with a valiant hand, from out The poor folks’ common basket, a neat’s foot, And threw it at Ulysses; who his head Shrunk quietly aside, and let it shed His malice on the wall; the suff’ring man A laughter raising most Sardinian, With scorn and wrath mix’d, at the Samian. Whom thus the prince reprov’d: “Your valour wan Much grace, Ctesippus, and hath eas’d your mind With mighty profit, yet you see it find No mark it aim’d at; the poor stranger’s part Himself made good enough, to ’scape your dart. But should I serve thee worthily, my lance Should strike thy heart through, and, in place t’ advance Thyself in nuptials with his wealth, thy sire Should make thy tomb here; that the foolish fire Of all such valours may not dare to show These foul indecencies to me. I now Have years to understand my strength, and know The good and bad of things, and am no more At your large suff’rance, to behold my store Consum’d with patience, see my cattle slain, My wine exhausted, and my bread in vain Spent on your license; for to one then young So many enemies were match too strong. But let me never more be witness to Your hostile minds, nor those base deeds ye do; For, should ye kill me in my offer’d wreak, I wish it rather, and my death would speak Much more good of me, than to live and see Indignity upon indignity, My guests provok’d with bitter words and blows, My women-servants dragg’d about my house To lust and rapture.” This made silence seize The house throughout; till Damastorides At length the calm brake, and said: “Friend, forbear To give a just speech a disdainful ear; The guest no more touch, nor no servant here. Myself will to the Prince and Queen commend A motion grateful, if they please to lend Grateful receipt. As long as any hope Left wise Ulysses any passage ope To his return in our conceits, so long The Queen’s delays to our demands stood strong In cause and reason, and our quarrels thus With guests, the Queen, or her Telemachus, Set never foot amongst our lib’ral feast; For should the King return, though thought deceas’d, It had been gain to us, in finding him, To lose his wife. But now, since nothing dim The days break out that show he never more Shall reach the dear touch of his country-shore, Sit by your mother, in persuasion That now it stands her honour much upon To choose the best of us, and, who gives most, To go with him home. For so, all things lost In sticking on our haunt so, you shall clear Recover in our no more concourse here, Possess your birth-right wholly, eat and drink, And never more on our disgraces think.” “By Jove, no, Agelaus! For I swear By all my father’s sorrows, who doth err Far off from Ithaca, or rests in death, I am so far from spending but my breath To make my mother any more defer Her wishéd nuptials, that I’ll counsel her To make her free choice; and besides will give Large gifts to move her. But I fear to drive Or charge her hence; for God will not give way To any such course, if I should assay.” At this, Minerva made for foolish joy The Wooers mad, and rous’d their late annoy To such a laughter as would never down. They laugh’d with others’ cheeks, ate meat o’erflown With their own bloods, their eyes stood full of tears For violent joys; their souls yet thought of fears, Which Theoclymenus express’d, and said: “O wretches! Why sustain ye, well apaid, Your imminent ill? A night, with which death sees, Your heads and faces hides beneath your knees; Shrieks burn about you; your eyes thrust out tears; These fixéd walls, and that main beam that bears The whole house up, in bloody torrents fall; The entry full of ghosts stands; full the hall Of passengers to hell; and under all The dismal shades; the sun sinks from the poles; And troubled air pours bane about your souls.” They sweetly laughed at this. Eurymachus To mocks dispos’d, and said: “This new-come-t’-us Is surely mad, conduct him forth to light In th’ open market-place; he thinks ’tis night Within the house.” “Eurymachus,” said he, “I will not ask for any guide of thee, I both my feet enjoy, have ears and eyes, And no mad soul within me; and with these Will I go forth the doors, because I know That imminent mischief must abide with you, Which not a man of all the Wooers here Shall fly or ’scape. Ye all too highly bear Your uncurb’d heads. Impieties ye commit, And ev’ry man affect with forms unfit.” This said, he left the house, and took his way Home to Piræus; who, as free as day, Was of his welcome. When the Wooers’ eyes Chang’d looks with one another, and, their guise Of laughters still held on, still eas’d their breasts Of will to set the Prince against his guests, Affirming that of all the men alive He worst luck had, and prov’d it worst to give Guests entertainment; for he had one there A wand’ring hunter-out of provender, An errant beggar ev’ry way, yet thought (He was so hungry) that he needed nought But wine and victuals, nor knew how to do, Nor had a spirit to put a knowledge to, But liv’d an idle burthen to the earth. Another then stepp’d up, and would lay forth His lips in prophecy, thus: “But, would he hear His friends’ persuasions, he should find it were More profit for him to put both aboard For the Sicilian people, that afford These feet of men good price; and this would bring[2] Good means for better guests.” These words made wing To his ears idly, who had still his eye Upon his father, looking fervently When he would lay his long-withholding hand On those proud Wooers. And, within command Of all this speech that pass’d, Icarius’ heir, The wise Penelope, her royal chair Had plac’d of purpose. Their high dinner then With all-pleas’d palates these ridiculous men Fell sweetly to, as joying they had slain Such store of banquet. But there did not reign A bitterer banquet-planet in all heav’n Than that which Pallas had to that day driv’n, And, with her able friend now, meant t’ appose, Since they till then were in deserts so gross.

[1] Viz. That some from within might issue, and witness in his hearing
some wreakful ostent to his enemies from heaven.
[2] These feet of men, etc. _ἀνδραποδισταί._



Penelope proposeth now To him that draws Ulysses’ bow Her instant nuptials. Ithacus Eumæus and Philœtius Gives charge for guarding of the gates; And he his shaft shoots through the plates.


_Φι̑._ The nuptial vow And game rehears’d, Drawn is the bow, The steels are pierc’d.

Pallas, the Goddess with the sparkling eyes, Excites Penelope t’ object the prize, The bow and bright steels, to the Wooers’ strength And here began the strife and blood at length. She first ascended by a lofty stair Her utmost chamber; of whose door her fair And half transparent hand receiv’d the key, Bright, brazen, bitted passing curiously, And at it hung a knob of ivory. And this did lead her where was strongly kept The treasure-royal; in whose store lay heapt Gold, brass, and steel, engrav’n with infinite art; The crooked bow, and arrowy quiver, part Of that rich magazine. In the quiver were Arrows a number, sharp and sighing gear. The bow was giv’n by kind Eurytides Iphitus, fashion’d like the Deities, To young Ulysses, when within the roof Of wise Orsilochus their pass had proof Of mutual meeting in Messena; where Ulysses claim’d a debt, to whose pay were The whole Messenian people bound, since they From Ithaca had forc’d a wealthy prey Of sheep and shepherds. In their ships they thrust Three hundred sheep together; for whose just And instant rendry old Laertes sent Ulysses his ambassador, that went A long way in the ambassy, yet then Bore but the foremost prime of youngest men; His father sending first to that affair His gravest counsellors, and then his heir. Iphitus made his way there, having lost Twelve female horse, and mules commended most For use of burthen; which were after cause Of death and fate to him; for, past all laws Of hospitality, Jove’s mighty son, Skill’d in great acts, was his confusion Close by his house, though at that time his guest, Respecting neither the apposéd feast, And hospitable table, that in love He set before him, nor the voice of Jove, But, seizing first his mares, he after slew His host himself. From those mares’ search now grew Ulysses known t’ Iphitus; who that bow At their encounter did in love bestow, Which great Eurytus’ hand had borne before, (Iphitus’ father) who, at death’s sad door, In his steep turrets, left it to his son. Ulysses gave him a keen falchion, And mighty lance. And thus began they there Their fatal loves; for after never were Their mutual tables to each other known, Because Jove’s son th’ unworthy part had shown Of slaughtering this God-like loving man, Eurytus’ son, who with that bow began And ended love t’ Ulysses; who so dear A gift esteem’d it, that he would not bear In his black fleet that guest-rite to the war, But, in fit memory of one so far In his affection, brought it home, and kept His treasure with it; where till now it slept. And now the Queen of women had intent To give it use, and therefore made ascent Up all the stairs’ height to the chamber door, Whose shining leaves two bright pilasters bore To such a close when both together went It would resist the air in their consent. The ring she took then, and did draw aside A bar that ran within, and then implied The key into the lock, which gave a sound, The bolt then shooting, as in pasture ground A bull doth low, and make the valleys ring; So loud the lock humm’d when it loos’d the spring, And ope the doors flew. In she went, along The lofty chamber, that was boarded strong With heart of oak, which many years ago The architect did smooth and polish so That now as then he made it freshly shine, And tried the evenness of it with a line. There stood in this room presses that enclos’d Robes odoriferous, by which repos’d The bow was upon pins; nor from it far Hung the round quiver glitt’ring like a star; Both which her white extended hand took down. Then sat she low, and made her lap a crown Of both these relics, which she wept to see, And cried quite out with loving memory Of her dear lord; to whose worth paying then Kind debts enow, she left, and, to the men Vow’d to her wooing, brought the crooked bow, And shaft-receiving quiver, that did flow With arrows beating sighs up where they fell. Then, with another chest, replete as well With games won by the King, of steel and brass, Her maids attended. Past whom making pass To where her Wooers were, she made her stay Amidst the fair hall door, and kept the ray Of her bright count’nance hid with veils so thin, That though they seem’d t’ expose, they let love in; Her maids on both sides stood; and thus she spake: “Hear me, ye Wooers, that a pleasure take To do me sorrow, and my house invade To eat and drink, as if ’twere only made To serve your rapines; my lord long away, And you allow’d no colour for your stay But his still absence; striving who shall frame Me for his wife; and, since ’tis made a game, I here propose divine Ulysses’ bow For that great master-piece to which ye vow. He that can draw it with least show to strive, And through these twelve axe-heads an arrow drive, Him will I follow, and this house forego That nourish’d me a maid, now furnish’d so With all things fit, and which I so esteem That I shall still live in it in my dream.” This said, she made Eumæus give it them. He took and laid it by, and wept for woe; And like him wept Philœtius, when the bow Of which his king was bearer he beheld. Their tears Antinous’ manhood much refell’d, And said: “Ye rustic fools! that still each day Your minds give over to this vain dismay, Why weep ye, wretches, and the widow’s eyes Tempt with renew’d thought, that would otherwise Depose her sorrows, since her lord is dead, And tears are idle? Sit, and eat your bread, Nor whisper more a word; or get ye gone, And weep without doors. Let this bow alone To our out-match’d contention. For I fear The bow will scarce yield draught to any here; Here no such man lives as Laertes’ son Amongst us all. I knew him; thought puts on His look’s sight now, methinks, though then a child.” Thus show’d his words doubt, yet his hopes instill’d His strength the stretcher of Ulysses’ string, And his steels’ piercer. But his shaft must sing Through his pierc’d palate first; whom so he wrong’d In his free roof, and made the rest ill-tongued Against his virtues. Then the sacred heat That spirited his son did further set Their confidence on fire, and said: “O friends, Jove hath bereft my wits. The Queen intends, Though I must grant her wise, ere long to leave Ulysses’ court, and to her bed receive Some other lord; yet, notwithstanding, I Am forc’d to laugh, and set my pleasures high Like one mad sick. But, Wooers, since ye have An object for your trials now so brave, As all the broad Achaian earth exceeds, As sacred Pylos, as the Argive breeds, As black Epirus, as Mycena’s birth, And as the more fam’d Ithacensian earth, All which, yourselves well know, and oft have said— For what need hath my mother of my aid In her advancement?—tender no excuse For least delay, nor too much time profuse In stay to draw this bow, but draw it straight, Shoot, and the steels pierce; make all see how slight You make these poor bars to so rich a prize. No eag’rer yet? Come all. My faculties Shall try the bow’s strength, and the piercéd steel. I will not for my rev’rend mother feel The sorrows that I know will seize my heart, To see her follow any, and depart From her so long-held home; but first extend The bow and arrow to their tender’d end. For I am only to succeed my sire In guard of his games, and let none aspire To their besides possession.” This said, His purple robe he cast off; by he laid His well-edg’d sword; and, first, a sev’ral pit He digg’d for ev’ry axe, and strengthen’d it With earth close ramm’d about it; on a rew Set them, of one height, by a line he drew Along the whole twelve; and so orderly Did ev’ry deed belonging (yet his eye Never before beholding how ’twas done) That in amaze rose all his lookers-on. Then stood he near the door, and prov’d to draw The stubborn bow. Thrice tried, and thrice gave law To his uncrown’d attempts; the fourth assay With all force off’ring, which a sign gave stay Giv’n by his father; though he show’d a mind As if he stood right heartily inclin’d To perfect the exploit, when all was done In only drift to set the Wooers on. His weakness yet confess’d, he said: “O shame! I either shall be ever of no name, But prove a wretch; or else I am too young, And must not now presume on pow’rs so strong As sinews yet more growing may engraft, To turn a man quite over with a shaft. Besides, to men whose nerves are best prepar’d, _All great adventures at first proof are hard._ But come, you stronger men, attempt this bow, And let us end our labour.” Thus, below A well-join’d board he laid it, and close by The brightly-headed shaft; then thron’d his thigh Amidst his late-left seat. Antinous then Bade all arise; but first, who did sustain The cup’s state ever, and did sacrifice Before they ate still, and that man bade rise, Since on the other’s right hand he was plac’d, Because he held the right hand’s rising, grac’d With best success still. This discretion won Supreme applause; and first rose Œnops’ son, Liodes, that was priest to all the rest, Sat lowest with the cup still, and their jest Could never like, but ever was the man That check’d their follies; and he now began To taste the bow, the sharp shaft took, tugg’d hard, And held aloft, and, till he quite had marr’d His delicate tender fingers, could not stir The churlish string; who therefore did refer The game to others, saying, that same bow, In his presage, would prove the overthrow Of many a chief man there; nor thought the fate Was any whit austere, since death’s short date Were much the better taken, than long life Without the object of their amorous strife, For whom they had burn’d-out so many days To find still other, nothing but delays Obtaining in them; and affirm’d that now Some hop’d to have her, but when that tough bow They all had tried, and seen the utmost done, They must rest pleas’d to cease; and now some one Of all their other fair-veil’d Grecian dames With gifts, and dower, and Hymeneal flames, Let her love light to him that most will give, And whom the nuptial destiny did drive. Thus laid he on the well-join’d polish’d board The bow and bright-pil’d shaft, and then restor’d His seat his right. To him Antinous Gave bitter language, and reprov’d him thus: “What words, Liodes, pass thy speech’s guard, That ’tis a work to bear, and set so hard They set up my disdain! This bow must end The best of us? Since thy arms cannot lend The string least motion? Thy mother’s throes Brought never forth thy arms to draught of bows, Or knitting shafts off. Though thou canst not draw The sturdy plant, thou art to us no law. Melanthius! Light a fire, and set thereat A chair and cushions, and that mass of fat That lies within bring out, that we may set Our pages to this bow, to see it het And suppled with the suet, and then we May give it draught, and pay this great decree Utmost performance.” He a mighty fire Gave instant flame, put into act th’ entire Command laid on him, chair and cushions set, Laid on the bow, which straight the pages het, Chaf’d, suppled with the suet to their most; And still was all their unctuous labour lost, All Wooers’ strengths too indigent and poor To draw that bow; Antinous’ arms it tore, And great Eurymachus’, the both clear best, Yet both it tir’d, and made them glad to rest. Forth then went both the swains, and after them Divine Ulysses; when, being past th’ extreme Of all the gates, with winning words he tried Their loves, and this ask’d: “Shall my counsels hide Their depths from you? My mind would gladly know If suddenly Ulysses had his vow Made good for home, and had some God to guide His steps and strokes to wreak these Wooers’ pride, Would your aids join on his part, or with theirs? How stand your hearts affected?” They made pray’rs That some God would please to return their lord, He then should see how far they would afford Their lives for his. He, seeing their truth, replied; “I am your lord, through many a suff’rance tried, Arriv’d now here, whom twenty years have held From forth my country. Yet are not conceal’d From my sure knowledge your desires to see My safe return. Of all the company Now serving here besides, not one but you Mine ear hath witness’d willing to bestow Their wishes of my life, so long held dead. I therefore vow, which shall be perfected, That if God please beneath my hand to leave These Wooers lifeless, ye shall both receive Wives from that hand, and means, and near to me Have houses built to you, and both shall be As friends and brothers to my only son. And, that ye well may know me, and be won To that assurance, the infallible sign The white-tooth’d boar gave, this mark’d knee of mine, When in Parnassus he was held in chase By me, and by my famous grandsire’s race, I’ll let you see.” Thus sever’d he his weed From that his wound; and ev’ry word had deed In their sure knowledges. Which made them cast Their arms about him, his broad breast embrac’d, His neck and shoulders kiss’d. And him as well Did those true pow’rs of human love compell To kiss their heads and hands, and to their moan Had sent the free light of the cheerful sun, Had not Ulysses broke the ruth, and said; “Cease tears and sorrows, lest we prove display’d By some that issue from the house, and they Relate to those within. Take each his way, Not altogether in, but one by one, First I, then you; and then see this be done; The envious Wooers will by no means give The offer of the bow and arrow leave To come at me; spite then their pride, do thou, My good Eumæus, bring both shaft and bow To my hand’s proof; and charge the maids before That instantly they shut in ev’ry door, That they themselves (if any tumult rise Beneath my roofs by any that envies My will to undertake the game) may gain No passage forth, but close at work contain With all free quiet, or at least constrain’d, And therefore, my Philœtius, see maintain’d, When close the gates are shut, their closure fast, To which end be it thy sole work to cast Their chains before them.” This said, in he led, Took first his seat; and then they seconded His entry with their own. Then took in hand Eurymachus the bow, made close his stand Aside the fire, at whose heat here and there He warm’d and suppled it, yet could not stere To any draught the string, with all his art; And therefore swell’d in him his glorious heart, Affirming, “that himself and all his friends Had cause to grieve, not only that their ends They miss’d in marriage, since enough besides Kind Grecian dames there liv’d to be their brides In Ithaca, and other bord’ring towns, But that to all times future their renowns Would stand disparag’d, if Ulysses’ bow They could not draw, and yet his wife would woo.” Antinous answer’d; “That there could ensue No shame at all to them; for well he knew That this day was kept holy to the Sun By all the city, and there should be done No such profane act, therefore bade lay by The bow for that day; but the mastery Of axes that were set up still might stand, Since that no labour was, nor any hand Would offer to invade Ulysses’ house, To take, or touch with surreptitious Or violent hand, what there was left for use. He, therefore, bade the cup-bearer infuse Wine to the bowls, that so with sacrifice They might let rest the shooting exercise, And in the morning make Melanthius bring The chief goats of his herd, that to the King Of bows and archers they might burn the thighs For good success, and then attempt the prize.” The rest sat pleas’d with this. The heralds straight Pour’d water on their hands; each page did wait With his crown’d cup of wine, serv’d ev’ry man Till all were satisfied. And then began Ulysses’ plot of his close purpose thus: “Hear me, ye much renown’d Eurymachus, And king Antinous, in chief, who well, And with decorum sacred, doth compell This day’s observance, and to let lay down The bow all this light, giving Gods their own. The morning’s labour God the more will bless, And strength bestow where he himself shall please. Against which time let me presume to pray Your favours with the rest, that this assay May my old arms prove, trying if there lie In my poor pow’rs the same activity That long since crown’d them; or if needy fare And desolate wand’ring have the web worn bare Of my life’s thread at all parts, that no more Can furnish these affairs as heretofore.” This het their spleens past measure, blown with fear Lest his loath’d temples would the garland wear Of that bow’s draught; Antinous using speech To this sour purpose: “Thou most arrant wretch Of all guests breathing, in no least degree Grac’d with a human soul, it serves not thee To feast in peace with us, take equal share Of what we reach to, sit, and all things hear That we speak freely,—which no begging guest Did ever yet,—but thou must make request To mix with us in merit of the Queen. But wine inflames thee, that hath ever been The bane of men whoever yet would take Th’ excess it offers and the mean forsake. Wine spoil’d the Centaur great Eurytion, In guest-rites with the mighty-minded son Of bold Ixion, in his way to war Against the Lapithes; who, driv’n as far As madness with the bold effects of wine, Did outrage to his kind host, and decline Other heroës from him feasted there With so much anger that they left their cheer, And dragg’d him forth the fore-court, slit his nose, Cropp’d both his ears, and, in the ill-dispose His mind then suffer’d, drew the fatal day On his head with his host; for thence the fray Betwixt the Centaurs and the Lapithes Had mortal act. But he for his excess In spoil of wine fared worse himself; as thou For thy large cups, if thy arms draw the bow, My mind fortells shalt fear; for not a man Of all our consort, that in wisdom can Boast any fit share, will take prayers then, But to Echetus, the most stern of men, A black sail freight with thee, whose worst of ill, Be sure, is past all ransom. Sit, then, still, Drink temp’rately, and never more contend With men your youngers.” This the Queen did end With her defence of him, and told his foe It was not fair nor equal t’ overcrow The poorest guest her son pleas’d t’ entertain In his free turrets with so proud a strain Of threats and bravings; asking if he thought, That if the stranger to his arms had brought The stubborn bow down, he should marry her, And bear her home? And said, himself should err In no such hope; nor of them all the best That griev’d at any good she did her guest Should banquet there; since it in no sort show’d Noblesse in them, nor paid her what she ow’d Her own free rule there. This Eurymachus Confirm’d and said: “Nor feeds it hope in us, Icarius’ daughter, to solemnize rites Of nuptials with thee; nor in noblest sights It can show comely; but to our respects The rumour both of sexes and of sects Amongst the people would breed shame and fear, Lest any worst Greek said: ‘See, men that were Of mean deservings will presume t’ aspire To his wife’s bed, whom all men did admire For fame and merit, could not draw his bow, And yet his wife had foolish pride to woo, When straight an errant beggar comes and draws The bow with ease, performing all the laws The game besides contain’d’; and this would thus Prove both indignity and shame to us.” The Queen replied: “The fame of men, I see, Bears much price in your great suppos’d degree; Yet who can prove amongst the people great, That of one so esteem’d of them the seat Doth so defame and ruin? And beside, With what right is this guest thus vilified In your high censures, when the man in blood Is well compos’d and great, his parents good?[1] And therefore give the bow to him, to try His birth and breeding by his chivalry. If his arms draw it, and that Phœbus stands So great a glory to his strength, my hands Shall add this guerdon: Ev’ry sort of weed, A two-edg’d sword, and lance to keep him freed From dogs and men hereafter, and dismiss His worth to what place tends that heart of his.” Her son gave answer: “That it was a wrong To his free sway in all things that belong To guard of that house, to demand the bow Of any Wooer, and the use bestow Upon the stranger: for the bow was his To give or to withhold; no masteries Of her proposing giving any pow’r T’ impair his right in things for any Wooer, Or any that rough Ithaca affords, Any that Elis; of which no man’s words Nor pow’rs should curb him, stood he so inclin’d, To see the bow in absolute gift resign’d To that his guest to bear and use at will, And therefore bade his mother keep her still Amongst her women at her rock and loom; Bows were for men; and this bow did become Past all men’s his disposure, since his sire Left it to him, and all the house entire.” She stood dismay’d at this, and in her mind His wise words laid up, standing so inclin’d As he had will’d, with all her women going Up to her chamber, there her tears bestowing, As ev’ry night she did, on her lov’d lord, Till sleep and Pallas her fit rest restor’d. The bow Eumæus took, and bore away; Which up in tumult, and almost in fray, Put all the Wooers, one enquiring thus: “Whither, rogue, abject, wilt thou bear from us That bow propos’d? Lay down, or I protest Thy dogs shall eat thee, that thou nourishest To guard thy swine; amongst whom, left of all, Thy life shall leave thee, if the festival, We now observe to Phœbus, may our zeals Grace with his aid, and all the Deities else.” This threat made good Eumæus yield the bow To his late place, not knowing what might grow From such a multitude. And then fell on Telemachus with threats, and said: “Set gone That bow yet further; ’tis no servant’s part To serve too many masters; raise your heart And bear it off, lest, though you’re younger, yet With stones I pelt you to the field with it. If you and I close, I shall prove too strong. I wish as much too hard for all this throng The Gods would make me, I should quickly send Some after with just sorrow to their end, They waste my victuals so, and ply my cup, And do me such shrewd turns still.” This put up The Wooers all in laughters, and put down Their angers to him, that so late were grown So grave and bloody; which resolv’d that fear Of good Eumæus, who did take and bear The King the bow; call’d nurse, and bade her make The doors all sure, that if men’s tumults take The ears of some within, they may not fly, But keep at work still close and silently. These words put wings to her, and close she put The chamber door. The court-gates then were shut By kind Philœtius, who straight did go From out the hall, and in the portico Found laid a gable of a ship, compos’d Of spongy bulrushes; with which he clos’d, In winding round about them, the court-gates, Then took his place again, to view the fates That quickly follow’d. When he came, he saw Ulysses viewing, ere he tried to draw, The famous bow, which ev’ry way he mov’d, Up and down turning it; in which be prov’d The plight it was in, fearing, chiefly, lest The horns were eat with worms in so long rest. But what his thoughts intended turning so, And keeping such a search about the bow, The Wooers little knowing fell to jest, And said: “Past doubt he is a man profest In bowyers’ craft, and sees quite through the wood; Or something, certain, to be understood There is in this his turning of it still. A cunning rogue he is at any ill.” Then spake another proud one: “Would to heav’n, I might, at will, get gold till he hath giv’n That bow his draught!” With these sharp jests did these Delightsome Woo’rs their fatal humours please. But when the wise Ulysses once had laid His fingers on it, and to proof survey’d The still sound plight it held, as one of skill In song, and of the harp, doth at his will, In tuning of his instrument, extend A string out with his pin, touch all, and lend To ev’ry well-wreath’d string his perfect sound, Struck all together; with such ease drew round The King the bow. Then twang’d he up the string, That as a swallow in the air doth sing With no continued tune, but, pausing still, Twinks out her scatter’d voice in accents shrill; So sharp the string sung when he gave it touch, Once having bent and drawn it. Which so much Amaz’d the Wooers, that their colours went And came most grievously. And then Jove rent The air with thunder; which at heart did cheer The now-enough-sustaining traveller, That Jove again would his attempt enable. Then took he into hand, from off the table, The first drawn arrow: and a number more Spent shortly on the Wooers; but this one He measur’d by his arm, as if not known The length were to him, nock’d it then, and drew; And through the axes, at the first hole, flew The steel-charg’d arrow; which when he had done He thus bespake the Prince: “You have not won Disgrace yet by your guest; for I have strook The mark I shot at, and no such toil took In wearying the bow with fat and fire As did the Wooers. Yet reserv’d entire, Thank Heav’n, my strength is, and myself am tried, No man to be so basely vilified As these men pleas’d to think me. But, free way Take that, and all their pleasures; and while day Holds her torch to you, and the hour of feast Hath now full date, give banquet, and the rest, Poem and harp, that grace a well-fill’d board.” This said, he beckon’d to his son; whose sword He straight girt to him, took to hand his lance, And cómplete-arm’d did to his sire advance.

[1] _Εὐπηγής, bene compactus et coagmentatus._



The Wooers in Minerva’s sight Slain by Ulysses; all the light And lustful housewives by his son And servants are to slaughter done.


_Χι̑._ The end of pride, And lawless lust, Is wretched tried With slaughters just.

The upper rags that wise Ulysses wore Cast off, he rusheth to the great hall door With bow and quiver full of shafts, which down He pour’d before his feet, and thus made known His true state to the Wooers: “This strife thus Hath harmless been decided; now for us There rests another mark, more hard to hit, And such as never man before hath smit; Whose full point likewise my hands shall assay, And try if Phœbus will give me his day.” He said, and off his bitter arrow thrust Right at Antinous; and struck him just As he was lifting up the bowl, to show That ’twixt the cup and lip much ill may grow. Death touch’d not at his thoughts at feast; for who Would think that he alone could perish so Amongst so many, and he best of all? The arrow in his throat took full his fall, And thrust his head far through the other side. Down fell his cup, down he, down all his pride; Straight from his nostrils gush’d the human gore; And, as he fell, his feet far overbore The feastful table; all the roast and bread About the house strew’d. When his high-born head The rest beheld so low, up rush’d they all, And ransack’d ev’ry corner of the hall For shields and darts; but all fled far their reach. Then fell they foul on him with terrible speech, And told him it should prove the dearest shaft That ever pass’d him; and that now was saft No shift for him, but sure and sudden death; For he had slain a man, whose like did breathe In no part of the kingdom; and that now He should no more for games strive with his bow, But vultures eat him there. These threats they spent, Yet ev’ry man believ’d that stern event Chanc’d ’gainst the author’s will. O fools, to think That all their rest had any cup to drink But what their great Antinous began! He, frowning, said: “Dogs, see in me the man Ye all held dead at Troy. My house it is That thus ye spoil, and thus your luxuries File with my women’s rapes; in which ye woo The wife of one that lives, and no thought show Of man’s fit fear, or God’s, your present fame, Or any fair sense of your future name; And, therefore, present and eternal death Shall end your base life.” This made fresh fears breathe Their former boldness. Ev’ry man had eye On all the means, and studied ways to fly So deep deaths imminent. But seeing none, Eurymachus began with suppliant moan To move his pity, saying: “If you be This isle’s Ulysses, we must all agree, In grant of your reproof’s integrity, The Greeks have done you many a wrong at home, At field as many. But of all the sum Lies here contract in death; for only he Impos’d the whole ill-offices that we Are now made guilty of, and not so much Sought his endeavours, or in thought did touch At any nuptials, but a greater thing Employ’d his forces; for to be our king Was his chief object; his sole plot it was To kill your son, which Jove’s hand would not pass, But set it to his own most merited end. In which end your just anger, nor extend Your stern wreak further; spend your royal pow’rs In mild ruth of your people; we are yours; And whatsoever waste of wine or food Our liberties have made, we’ll make all good In restitutions. Call a court, and pass A fine of twenty oxen, gold, and brass, On ev’ry head, and raise your most rates still, Till you are pleas’d with your confesséd fill. Which if we fail to tender, all your wrath It shall be justice in our bloods to bathe.” “Eurymachus,” said he, “if you would give All that your fathers’ hoard, to make ye live, And all that ever you yourselves possess, Or shall by any industry increase, I would not cease from slaughter, till your bloods Had bought out your intemp’rance in my goods. It rests now for you that you either fight That will ’scape death, or make your way by flight. In whose best choice, my thoughts conceive, not one Shall shun the death your first hath undergone.” This quite dissolv’d their knees. Eurymachus, Enforcing all their fears, yet counsell’d thus: “O friends! This man, now he hath got the bow And quiver by him, ever will bestow His most inaccessible hands at us, And never leave, if we avoid him thus, Till he hath strewn the pavement with us all; And, therefore, join we swords, and on him fall With tables forc’d up, and borne in oppos’d Against his sharp shafts; when, being round-enclos’d By all our onsets, we shall either take His horrid person, or for safety make His rage retire from out the hall and gates; And then, if he escape, we’ll make our states Known to the city by our gen’ral cry. And thus this man shall let his last shaft fly That ever his hand vaunted.” Thus he drew His sharp-edg’d sword; and with a table flew In on Ulysses, with a terrible throat His fierce charge urging. But Ulysses smote The board, and cleft it through from end to end Borne at his breast; and made his shaft extend His sharp head to his liver, his broad breast Pierc’d at his nipple; when his hand releast Forthwith his sword, that fell and kiss’d the ground, With cups and victuals lying scatter’d round About the pavement; amongst which his brow Knock’d the imbrued earth, while in pains did flow His vital spirits, till his heels shook out His feastful life, and hurl’d a throne about That way-laid death’s convulsions in his feet; When from his tender eyes the light did fleet. Then charg’d Amphinomus with his drawn blade The glorious king, in purpose to have made His feet forsake the house; but his assay The prince prevented, and his lance gave way Quite through his shoulder, at his back; his breast The fierce pile letting forth. His ruin prest Groans from the pavement, which his forehead strook. Telemachus his long lance then forsook— Left in Amphinomus—and to his sire Made fiery pass, not staying to acquire His lance again, in doubt that, while he drew The fixéd pile, some other might renew Fierce charge upon him, and his unharm’d head Cleave with his back-drawn sword; for which he fled Close to his father, bade him arm, and he Would bring him shield and jav’lins instantly, His own head arming, more arms laying by To serve the swine-herd and the oxen-herd. _Valour well arm’d is ever most preferr’d._ “Run then,” said he, “and come before the last Of these auxiliary shafts are past, For fear, lest, left alone, they force my stand From forth the ports.” He flew, and brought to hand Eight darts, four shields, four helms. His own parts then First put in arms, he furnish’d both his men, That to their king stood close; but he, as long As he had shafts to friend, enough was strong For all the Wooers, and some one man still He made make even with earth, till all a hill Had rais’d in th’ even-floor’d hall. His last shaft spent, He set his bow against a beam, and went To arm at all parts, while the other three Kept off the Wooers, who, unarm’d, could be No great assailants. In the well-built wall A window was thrust out, at end of all The house’s entry; on whose utter side There lay a way to town, and in it wide And two-leav’d folds were forg’d, that gave fit mean For flyers-out; and, therefore, at it then Ulysses plac’d Eumæus in close guard; One only pass ope to it, which (prepar’d In this sort by Ulysses ’gainst all pass) By Agelaus’ tardy memory was In question call’d, who bade some one ascend At such a window, and bring straight to friend The city with his clamour, that this man Might quickly shoot his last. “This no one can Make safe access to,” said Melanthius, “For ’tis too near the hall’s fair doors, whence thus The man afflicts ye; for from thence there lies But one strait passage to it, that denies Access to all, if any one man stand, Being one of courage, and will countermand Our offer to it. But I know a way To bring you arms, from where the King doth lay His whole munition; and believe there is No other place to all the armories Both of himself and son.” This said, a pair Of lofty stairs he climb’d, and to th’ affair Twelve shields, twelve lances brought, as many casques With horsehair plumes; and set to bitter tasks Both son and sire. Then shrunk Ulysses’ knees, And his lov’d heart, when thus in arms he sees So many Wooers, and their shaken darts; For then the work show’d as it ask’d more parts To safe performance, and he told his son That or Melanthius or his maids had done A deed that foul war to their hands conferr’d. “O father,” he replied, “’tis I have err’d In this caus’d labour; I, and none but I, That left the door ope of your armoury. But some, it seems, hath set a sharper eye On that important place. Eumæus! Haste And shut the door, observing who hath past To this false action; any maid, or one That I suspect more, which is Dolius’ son.” While these spake thus, Melanthius went again For more fair arms; when the renownéd swain Eumæus saw, and told Ulysses straight It was the hateful man that his conceit Before suspected, who had done that ill; And, being again there, ask’d if he should kill, If his pow’r serv’d, or he should bring the swain To him, t’ inflict on him a sev’ral pain For ev’ry forfeit he had made his house. He answer’d: “I and my Telemachus Will here contain these proud ones in despite, How much soever these stol’n arms excite Their guilty courages, while you two take Possession of the chamber. The doors make Sure at your back, and then, surprising him, His feet and hands bind, wrapping ev’ry limb In pliant chains; and with a halter cast Above the wind-beam—at himself made fast— Aloft the column draw him; where alive He long may hang, and pains enough deprive His vexéd life before his death succeed.” This charge, soon heard, as soon they put to deed, Stole on his stealth, and at the further end Of all the chamber saw him busily bend His hands to more arms, when they, still at door, Watch’d his return. At last he came, and bore In one hand a fair helm, in th’ other held A broad and ancient rusty-rested shield, That old Laertes in his youth had worn, Of which the cheek-bands had with age been torn. They rush’d upon him, caught him by the hair, And dragg’d him in again; whom, crying out, They cast upon the pavement, wrapp’d about With sure and pinching cords both foot and hand, And then, in full act of their King’s command, A pliant chain bestow’d on him, and hal’d His body up the column, till he scal’d The highest wind-beam; where made firmly fast, Eumæus on his just infliction past This pleasurable cavil: “Now you may All night keep watch here, and the earliest day Discern, being hung so high, to rouse from rest Your dainty cattle to the Wooers’ feast. There, as befits a man of means so fair, Soft may you sleep, nought under you but air; And so long hang you.” Thus they left him there, Made fast the door, and with Ulysses were All arm’d in th’ instant. Then they all stood close, Their minds fire breath’d in flames against their foes, Four in th’ entry fighting all alone; When from the hall charg’d many a mighty one. But to them then Jove’s seed, Minerva, came, Resembling Mentor both in voice and frame Of manly person. Passing well apaid Ulysses was, and said: “Now, Mentor, aid ’Gainst these odd mischiefs; call to memory now My often good to thee, and that we two Of one year’s life are.” Thus he said, but thought ft was Minerva, that had ever brought To her side safety. On the other part, The Wooers threaten’d; but the chief in heart Was Agelaus, who to Mentor spake: “Mentor! Let no words of Ulysses make Thy hand a fighter on his feeble side ‘Gainst all us Wooers; for we firm abide In this persuasion, that when sire and son Our swords have slain, thy life is sure to run One fortune with them. What strange acts hast thou Conceit to form here? Thy head must bestow The wreak of theirs on us. And when thy pow’rs Are taken down by these fierce steels of ours, All thy possessions, in-doors and without, Must raise on heap with his; and all thy rout Of sons and daughters in thy turrets bleed Wreak off’rings to us; and our town stand freed Of all charge with thy wife.” Minerva’s heart Was fir’d with these braves, the approv’d desert Of her Ulysses chiding, saying: “No more Thy force nor fortitude as heretofore Will gain thee glory; when nine years at Troy White-wristed Helen’s rescue did employ Thy arms and wisdom, still and ever us’d, The bloods of thousands through the field diffus’d By thy vast valour; Priam’s broad-way’d town By thy grave parts was sack’d and overthrown; And now, amongst thy people and thy goods, Against the Wooers’ base and petulant bloods Stint’st thou thy valour? Rather mourning here Than manly fighting? Come, friend, stand we near, And note my labour, that thou may’st discern Amongst thy foes how Mentor’s nerves will earn All thy old bounties.” This she spake, but stay’d Her hand from giving each-way-often-sway’d Uncertain conquest to his certain use, But still would try what self-pow’rs would produce Both in the father and the glorious son. Then on the wind-beam that along did ron The smoky roof, transform’d, Minerva sat, Like to a swallow; sometimes cuffing at The swords and lances, rushing from her seat, And up and down the troubl’d house did beat Her wing at ev’ry motion. And as she Had rous’d Ulysses; so the enemy Damastor’s son excited, Polybus, Amphinomus, and Demoptolemus, Eurynomus, and Polyctorides; For these were men that of the wooing prease Were most egregious, and the clearly best In strength of hand of all the desp’rate rest That yet surviv’d, and now fought for their souls; Which straight swift arrows sent among the fowls. But first, Damastor’s son had more spare breath To spend on their excitements ere his death, And said: That now Ulysses would forbear His dismal hand, since Mentor’s spirit was there, And blew vain vaunts about Ulysses’ ears; In whose trust he would cease his massacres, Rest him, and put his friend’s huge boasts in proof; And so was he beneath the entry’s roof Left with Telemachus and th’ other two. “At whom,” said he, “discharge no darts, but throw All at Ulysses, rousing his faint rest; Whom if we slaughter, by our interest In Jove’s assistance, all the rest may yield Our pow’rs no care, when he strews once the field.” As he then will’d, they all at random threw Where they suppos’d he rested; and then flew Minerva after ev’ry dart, and made Some strike the threshold, some the walls invade, Some beat the doors, and all acts render’d vain Their grave steel offer’d. Which escap’d, again Came on Ulysses, saying: “O that we The Wooers’ troop with our joint archery Might so assail, that where their spirits dream On our deaths first, we first may slaughter them!” Thus the much-suff’rer said; and all let-fly, When ev’ry man struck dead his enemy. Ulysses slaughter’d Demoptolemus. Euryades by young Telemachus His death encounter’d. Good Eumæus slew Elatus. And Philœtius overthrew Pisander. All which tore the pavéd floor Up with their teeth. The rest retir’d before Their second charge to inner rooms; and then Ulysses follow’d; from the slaughter’d men Their darts first drawing. While which work was done, The Wooers threw with huge contention To kill them all; when with her swallow-wing Minerva cuff’d, and made their jav’lins ring Against the doors and thresholds, as before. Some yet did graze upon their marks. One tore The prince’s wrist, which was Amphimedon, Th’ extreme part of the skin but touch’d upon. Ctesippus over good Eumeeus’ shield His shoulder’s top did taint; which yet did yield The lance free pass, and gave his hurt the ground. Again then charg’d the Wooers, and girt round Ulysses with their lances; who turn’d head, And with his jav’lin struck Eurydamas dead. Telemachus disliv’d Amphimedon; Eumæus, Polybus; Philœtius won Ctesippus’ bosom with his dart, and said, In quittance of the jester’s part he play’d, The neat’s foot hurling at Ulysses: “Now, Great son of Polytherses, you that vow Your wit to bitter taunts, and love to wound The heart of any with a jest, so crown’d Your wit be with a laughter, never yielding To fools in folly, but your glory building On putting down in fooling, spitting forth Puff’d words at all sorts, cease to scoff at worth, And leave revenge of vile words to the Gods, Since their wits bear the sharper edge by odds; And, in the mean time, take the dart I drave, For that right hospitable foot you gave Divine Ulysses, begging but his own.” Thus spake the black-ox-herdsman; and straight down Ulysses struck another with his dart— Damastor’s son. Telemachus did part, Just in the midst, the belly of the fair Evenor’s son; his fierce pile taking air Out at his back. Flat fell he on his face, His whole brows knocking, and did mark the place. And now man-slaught’ring Pallas took in hand Her snake-fring’d shield, and on that beam took stand In her true form, where swallow-like she sat. And then, in this way of the house and that, The Wooers, wounded at the heart with fear, Fled the encounter; as in pastures where Fat herds of oxen feed, about the field (As if wild madness their instincts impell’d) The high-fed bullocks fly, whom in the spring, When days are long, gad-bees or breezes sting. Ulysses and his son the flyers chas’d, As when, with crooked beaks and seres, a cast Of hill-bred eagles, cast-off at some game, That yet their strengths keep, but, put up, in flame The eagle stoops; from which, along the field The poor fowls make wing, this and that way yield Their hard-flown pinions, then the clouds assay For ’scape or shelter, their forlorn dismay All spirit exhaling, all wings’ strength to carry Their bodies forth, and, truss’d up, to the quarry Their falconers ride-in, and rejoice to see Their hawks perform a flight so fervently; So, in their flight, Ulysses with his heir Did stoop and cuff the Wooers, that the air Broke in vast sighs, whose heads they shot and cleft, The pavement boiling with the souls they reft. Liodes, running to Ulysses, took His knees, and thus did on his name invoke; “Ulysses! Let me pray thee to my place Afford the rev’rence, and to me the grace; That never did or said, to any dame Thy court contain’d, or deed, or word to blame; But others so affected I have made I lay down their insolence; and, if the trade They kept with wickedness have made them still Despise my speech, and use their wonted ill, They have their penance by the stroke of death, Which their desert divinely warranteth. But I am priest amongst them, and shall I That nought have done worth death amongst them die? From thee this proverb then will men derive: _Good turns do never their mere deeds survive.”_ He, bending his displeaséd forehead, said: “If you be priest among them, as you plead, Yet you would marry, and with my wife too, And have descent by her. For all that woo Wish to obtain, which they should never do, Dames’ husbands living. You must therefore pray Of force, and oft in Court here, that the day Of my return for him might never shine; The death to me wish’d, therefore, shall be thine.” This said, he took a sword up that was cast From Agelaus, having struck his last, And on the priest’s mid neck he laid a stroke That struck his head off, tumbling as he spoke. Then did the poet Phemius (whose surname Was call’d Terpiades; who thither came Forc’d by the Wooers) fly death; but being near The court’s great gate, he stood, and parted there In two his counsels; either to remove And take the altar of Herceian Jove (Made sacred to him, with a world of art Engrav’n about it, where were wont t’ impart Laertes and Ulysses many a thigh Of broad-brow’d oxen to the Deity) Or venture to Ulysses, clasp his knee, And pray his ruth. The last was the decree His choice resolv’d on. ’Twixt the royal throne And that fair table that the bowl stood on With which they sacrific’d, his harp he laid Along the earth, the King’s knees hugg’d, and said: “Ulysses! Let my pray’rs obtain of thee My sacred skill’s respect, and ruth to me! It will hereafter grieve thee to have slain A poet, that doth sing to Gods and men. I of myself am taught, for God alone All sorts of song hath in my bosom sown, And I, as to a God, will sing to thee; Then do not thou deal like the priest with me. Thine own lov’d son Telemachus will say, That not to beg here, nor with willing way Was my access to thy high court addrest, To give the Wooers my song after feast, But, being many, and so much more strong, They forced me hither, and compell’d my song.” This did the prince’s sacred virtue hear, And to the King, his father, said: “Forbear To mix the guiltless with the guilty’s blood. And with him likewise let our mercies save Medon the herald, that did still behave Himself with care of my good from a child; If by Eumæus yet he be not kill’d, Or by Philœtius, nor your fury met, While all this blood about the house it swet.” This Medon heard, as lying hid beneath A throne set near, half-dead with fear of death; A new-flay’d ox-hide, as but there thrown by, His serious shroud made, he lying there to fly. But hearing this he quickly left the throne, His ox-hide cast as quickly, and as soon The prince’s knees seiz’d, saying: “O my love, I am not slain, but here alive and move. Abstain yourself, and do not see your sire Quench with my cold blood the unmeasur’d fire That flames in his strength, making spoil of me, His wrath’s right, for the Wooers’ injury.” Ulysses smil’d, and said: “Be confident This man hath sav’d and made thee different, To let thee know, and say, and others see, _Good life is much more safe than villany._ Go then, sit free without from death within. This much-renownéd singer from the sin Of these men likewise quit. Both rest you there, While I my house purge as it fits me here.” This said, they went and took their seat without At Jove’s high altar, looking round about, Expecting still their slaughter. When the King Search’d round the hall, to try life’s hidden wing Made from more death. But all laid prostrate there In blood and gore he saw. Whole shoals they were, And lay as thick as in a hollow creek Without the white sea, when the fishers break Their many-mesh’d draught-net up, there lie Fish frisking on the sands, and fain the dry Would for the wet change, but th’ all-seeing beam The sun exhales hath suck’d their lives from them; So one by other sprawl’d the Wooers there. Ulysses and his son then bid appear The nurse Euryclea, to let her hear His mind in something fit for her affair. He op’d the door, and call’d, and said: “Repair, Grave matron long since born, that art our spy To all this house’s servile housewif’ry; My father calls thee, to impart some thought That asks thy action.” His word found in nought Her slack observance, who straight op’d the door And enter’d to him; when himself before Had left the hall. But there the King she view’d Amongst the slain, with blood and gore imbrued. And as a lion skulking all in night, Far-off in pastures, and come home, all dight In jaws and breast-locks with an ox’s blood New feasted on him, his looks full of mood; So look’d Ulysses, all his hands and feet Freckled with purple. When which sight did greet The poor old woman (such works being for eyes Of no soft temper) out she brake in cries, Whose vent, though throughly open’d, he yet clos’d, Call’d her more near, and thus her plaints compos’d: “Forbear, nor shriek thus, but vent joys as loud. _It is no piety to bemoan the proud,_ Though ends befall them moving ne’er so much, These are the portions of the Gods to such. _Men’s own impieties in their instant act Sustain their plagues, which are with stay but rackt._ But these men Gods nor men had in esteem, Nor good nor bad had any sense in them, Their lives directly ill were, therefore, cause That Death in these stern forms so deeply draws. Recount, then, to me those licentious dames That lost my honour and their sex’s shames.” “I’ll tell you truly,” she replied: “There are Twice five-and-twenty women here that share All work amongst them; whom I taught to spin, And bear the just bands that they suffer’d in. Of all which only there were twelve that gave Themselves to impudence and light behave, Nor me respecting, nor herself—the Queen. And for your son he hath but lately been Of years to rule; nor would his mother bear His empire where her women’s labours were, But let me go and give her notice now Of your arrival. Sure some God doth show His hand upon her in this rest she takes, That all these uproars bears and never wakes.” “Nor wake her yet,” said he, “but cause to come Those twelve light women to this utter room.” She made all utmost haste to come and go, And bring the women he had summon’d so. Then both his swains and son he bade go call The women to their aid, and clear the hall Of those dead bodies, cleanse each board and throne With wetted sponges. Which with fitness done, He bade take all the strumpets ’twixt the wall Of his first court and that room next the hall, In which the vessels of the house were scour’d, And in their bosoms sheath their ev’ry sword, Till all their souls were fled, and they had then Felt ’twas but pain to sport with lawless men. This said, the women came all drown’d in moan, And weeping bitterly. But first was done The bearing thence the dead; all which beneath The portico they stow’d, where death on death They heap’d together. Then took all the pains Ulysses will’d. His son yet and the swains With paring-shovels wrought. The women bore Their parings forth, and all the clotter’d gore. The house then cleans’d, they brought the women out, And put them in a room so wall’d about That no means serv’d their sad estates to fly. Then said Telemachus: “These shall not die A death that lets out any wanton blood, And vents the poison that gave lust her food, The body cleansing, but a death that chokes The breath, and altogether that provokes And seems as bellows to abhorréd lust, That both on my head pour’d depraves unjust, And on my mother’s, scandalling the Court, With men debauch’d, in so abhorr’d a sort.” This said, a halser of a ship they cast About a cross-beam of the roof, which fast They made about their necks, in twelve parts cut, And hal’d them up so high they could not put Their feet to any stay. As which was done, Look how a mavis, or a pigeon, In any grove caught with a springe or net, With struggling pinions ’gainst the ground doth beat Her tender body, and that then strait bed Is sour to that swing in which she was bred; So striv’d these taken birds, till ev’ry one Her pliant halter had enforc’d upon Her stubborn neck, and then aloft was haul’d To wretched death. A little space they sprawl’d, Their feet fast moving, but were quickly still. Then fetch’d they down Melanthius, to fulfill The equal execution; which was done In portal of the hall, and thus begun: They first slit both his nostrils, cropp’d each ear, His members tugg’d off, which the dogs did tear And chop up bleeding sweet; and, while red-hot The vice-abhorring blood was, off they smote His hands and feet; and there that work had end. Then wash’d they hands and feet that blood had stain’d, And took the house again. And then the King Euryclea calling, bade her quickly bring All-ill-expelling brimstone, and some fire, That with perfumes cast he might make entire The house’s first integrity in all. And then his timely will was, she should call Her Queen and ladies; still yet charging her That all the handmaids she should first confer. She said he spake as fitted; but, before, She held it fit to change the weeds he wore, And she would others bring him, that not so His fair broad shoulders might rest clad, and show His person to his servants was to blame. “First bring me fire,” said he. She went and came With fire and sulphur straight; with which the hall And of the huge house all rooms capital He throughly sweeten’d. Then went nurse to call The handmaid servants down; and up she went To tell the news, and will’d them to present Their service to their sov’reign. Down they came Sustaining torches all, and pour’d a flame Of love about their lord, with welcomes home, With huggings of his hands, with laboursome Both heads and foreheads kisses, and embraces, And plied him so with all their loving graces That tears and sighs took up his whole desire; For now he knew their hearts to him entire.




Ulysses to his wife is known. A brief sum of his travels shown. Himself, his son, and servants go T’ approve the Wooers’ overthrow.


_Ψι̑._ For all annoys Sustain’d before, The true wife’s joys Now made the more.

The servants thus inform’d, the matron goes Up where the Queen was cast in such repose, Affected with a fervent joy to tell What all this time she did with pain conceal. Her knees revok’d their first strength, and her feet Were borne above the ground with wings to greet The long-griev’d Queen with news her King was come; And, near her, said: “Wake, leave this withdrawn room, That now your eyes may see at length, though late, The man return’d, which, all the heavy date Your woes have rack’d out, you have long’d to see. Ulysses is come home, and hath set free His court of all your Wooers, slaught’ring all For wasting so his goods with festival, His house so vexing, and for violence done So all ways varied to his only son.” She answer’d her: “The Gods have made thee mad, Of whose pow’r now thy pow’rs such proof have had. The Gods can blind with follies wisest eyes, And make men foolish so to make them wise. For they have hurt ev’n thy grave brain, that bore An understanding spirit heretofore. Why hast thou wak’d me to more tears, when Moan Hath turn’d my mind, with tears into her own? Thy madness much more blameful, that with lies Thy haste is laden, and both robs mine eyes Of most delightsome sleep, and sleep of them, That now had bound me in his sweet extreme, T’ embrace my lids and close my visual spheres: I have not slept so much this twenty years, Since first my dearest sleeping-mate was gone For that too-ill-to-speak-of Ilion. Hence, take your mad steps back. If any maid Of all my train besides a part had play’d So bold to wake, and tell mine ears such lies, I had return’d her to her housewif’ries With good proof of my wrath to such rude dames. But go, your years have sav’d their younger blames.” She answer’d her: “I nothing wrong your ear, But tell the truth. Your long-miss’d lord is here, And, with the Wooers’ slaughter, his own hand, In chief exploit, hath to his own command Reduc’d his house; and that poor guest was he, That all those Wooers wrought such injury. Telemachus had knowledge long ago That ’twas his father, but his wisdom so Observ’d his counsels, to give surer end To that great work to which they did contend.” This call’d her spirits to their conceiving places; She sprung for joy from blames into embraces Of her grave nurse, wip’d ev’ry tear away From her fair cheeks, and then began to say What nurse said over thus: “O nurse, can this Be true thou say’st? How could that hand of his Alone destroy so many? They would still Troop all together. How could he then kill Such numbers so united?” “How,” said she, “I have not seen nor heard; but certainly The deed is done. We sat within in fear, The doors shut on us, and from thence might hear The sighs and groans of ev’ry man he slew, But heard nor saw more, till at length there flew Your son’s voice to mine ear, that call’d to me, And bade me then come forth, and then I see Ulysses standing in the midst of all Your slaughter’d Wooers, heap’d up, like a wall, One on another round about his side. It would have done you good to have descried Your conqu’ring lord all-smear’d with blood and gore So like a lion. Straight, then, off they bore The slaughter’d carcasses, that now before The fore-court gates lie, one on another pil’d. And now your victor all the hall, defil’d With stench of hot death, is perfuming round, And with a mighty fire the hearth hath crown’d.

“Thus, all the death remov’d, and ev’ry room Made sweet and sightly, that yourself should come His pleasure sent me. Come, then, take you now Your mutual fills of comfort. Grief on you Hath long and many suff’rings laid; which length, Which many suff’rings, now your virtuous strength Of uncorrupted chasteness hath conferr’d A happy end to. He that long hath err’d Is safe arriv’d at home; his wife, his son, Found safe and good; all ill that hath been done On all the doers’ heads, though long prolong’d, His right hath wreak’d, and in the place they wrong’d.” She answer’d: “Do not you now laugh and boast As you had done some great act, seeing most Into his being; for you know he won— Ev’n through his poor and vile condition— A kind of prompted thought that there was plac’d Some virtue in him fit to be embrac’d By all the house, but most of all by me, And by my son that was the progeny Of both our loves. And yet it is not he, For all the likely proofs ye plead to me,— Some God hath slain the Wooers in disdain Of the abhorréd pride he saw so reign In those base works they did. No man alive, Or good or bad, whoever did arrive At their abodes once, ever could obtain Regard of them; and therefore their so vain And vile deserts have found as vile an end. But, for Ulysses, never will extend His wish’d return to Greece, nor he yet lives.” “How strange a Queen are you,” said she, “that gives No truth your credit, that your husband, set Close in his house at fire, can purchase yet No faith of you, but that he still is far From any home of his! Your wit’s at war With all credulity ever! And yet now, I’ll name a sign shall force belief from you: I bath’d him lately, and beheld the scar That still remains a mark too ocular To leave your heart yet blinded; and I then Had run and told you, but his hand was fain To close my lips from th’ acclamation My heart was breathing, and his wisdom won My still retention, till he gave me leave And charge to tell you this. Now then receive My life for gage of his return; which take In any cruel fashion, if I make All this not clear to you.” “Lov’d nurse,” said she, “Though many things thou know’st, yet these things be Veil’d in the counsels th’ uncreated Gods Have long time mask’d in; whose dark periods ’Tis hard for thee to see into. But come, Let’s see my son, the slain, and him by whom They had their slaughter.” This said, down they went; When, on the Queen’s part, divers thoughts were spent, If, all this giv’n no faith, she still should stand Aloof, and question more; or his hugg’d hand And lovéd head she should at first assay With free-giv’n kisses. When her doubtful way Had pass’d the stony pavement, she took seat Against her husband, in the opposite heat The fire then cast upon the other wall. Himself set by the column of the hall, His looks cast downwards, and expected still When her incredulous and curious will To shun ridiculous error, and the shame To kiss a husband that was not the same, Would down, and win enough faith from his sight. She silent sat, and her perplexéd plight Amaze encounter’d. Sometimes she stood clear He was her husband; sometimes the ill wear His person had put on transform’d him so That yet his stamp would hardly current go. Her son, her strangeness seeing, blam’d her thus: “Mother, ungentle mother! tyrannous! In this too-curious modesty you show. Why sit you from my father, nor bestow A word on me t’ enquire and clear such doubt As may perplex you? Found man ever out One other such a wife that could forbear Her lov’d lord’s welcome home, when twenty year In infinite suff’rance he had spent apart. _No flint so hard is as a woman’s heart.”_ “Son,” said she, “amaze contains my mind, Nor can I speak and use the common kind Of those enquiries, nor sustain to see With opposite looks his count’nance. If this be My true Ulysses now return’d, there are Tokens betwixt us of more fitness far To give me argument he is my lord; And my assurance of him may afford My proofs of joy for him from all these eyes With more decorum than objéct their guise To public notice.” The much-suff’rer brake In laughter out, and to his son said: “Take Your mother from the prease, that she may make Her own proofs of me, which perhaps may give More cause to the acknowledgments that drive Their show thus off. But now, because I go So poorly clad, she takes disdain to know So loath’d a creature for her lovéd lord. Let us consult, then, how we may accord The town to our late action. Some one slain Hath made the all-left slaughterer of him fain To fly his friends and country; but our swords Have slain a city’s most supportful lords, The chief peers of the kingdom, therefore see You use wise means t’ uphold your victory.” “See you to that, good father,” said the son, “Whose counsels have the sov’reign glory won From all men living. None will strive with you, But with unquestion’d girlands grace your brow, To whom our whole alacrities we vow In free attendance. Nor shall our hands leave Your onsets needy of supplies to give All the effects that in our pow’rs can fall.” “Then this,” said he, “to me seems capital Of all choice courses: Bathe we first, and then Attire we freshly; all our maids and men Enjoining likewise to their best attire. The sacred singer then let touch his lyre, And go before us all in graceful dance, That all without, to whose ears shall advance Our cheerful accents, or of travellers by, Or firm inhabitants, solemnity Of frolic nuptials may imagine here. And this perform we, lest the massacre Of all our Wooers be divulg’d about The ample city, ere ourselves get out And greet my father in his grove of trees, Where, after, we will prove what policies Olympius shall suggest to overcome Our latest toils, and crown our welcome home.” This all obey’d; bath’d, put on fresh attire Both men and women did. Then took his lyre The holy singer, and set thirst on fire With songs and faultless dances; all the court Rung with the footings that the numerous sport From jocund men drew and fair-girdled dames; Which heard abroad, thus flew the common fames: “This sure the day is when the much-woo’d Queen Is richly wed. O wretch! That hath not been So constant as to keep her ample house Till th’ utmost hour had brought her foremost spouse.” Thus some conceiv’d, but little knew the thing. And now Eurynomé had bath’d the King, Smooth’d him with oils, and he himself attir’d In vestures royal. Her part then inspir’d The Goddess Pallas, deck’d his head and face With infinite beauties, gave a goodly grace Of stature to him, a much plumper plight Through all his body breath’d, curls soft and bright Adorn’d his head withal, and made it show As if the flow’ry hyacinth did grow In all his pride there, in the gen’ral trim Of ev’ry lock and ev’ry curious limb. Look how a skilful artizan, well-seen In all arts metalline, as having been Taught by Minerva and the God of fire, Doth gold with silver mix so that entire They keep their self-distinction, and yet so That to the silver from the gold doth flow A much more artificial lustre than his own, And thereby to the gold itself is grown A greater glory than if wrought alone, Both being stuck off by either’s mixtion; So did Minerva her’s and his combine, He more in her, she more in him, did shine. Like an Immortal from the bath he rose, And to his wife did all his grace dispose, Encount’ring this her strangeness: “Cruel dame Of all that breathe, the Gods past steel and flame Have made thee ruthless. Life retains not one Of all dames else that bears so overgrown A mind with abstinence, as twenty years To miss her husband drown’d in woes and tears, And at his coming keep aloof, and fare As of his so long absence and his care No sense had seiz’d her. Go, nurse, make a bed, That I alone may sleep; her heart is dead To all reflection!” To him thus replied The wise Penelope: “Man half-deified, ’Tis not my fashion to be taken straight With bravest men, nor poorest use to sleight. Your mean appearance made not me retire, Nor this your rich show makes me now admire, Nor moves at all; for what is all to me If not my husband? All his certainty I knew at parting; but, so long apart, The outward likeness holds no full desert For me to trust to. Go, nurse, see addrest A soft bed for him, and the single rest Himself affects so. Let it be the bed That stands within our bridal chamber-sted, Which he himself made. Bring it forth from thence, And see it furnish’d with magnificence.” This said she to assay him, and did stir Ev’n his establish’d patience; and to her Whom thus he answer’d: “Woman! your words prove My patience strangely. Who is it can move My bed out of his place? It shall oppress Earth’s greatest understander; and, unless Ev’n God himself come, that can eas’ly grace Men in their most skills, it shall hold his place; For man he lives not that (as not most skill’d, So not most young) shall easily make it yield, If, building on the strength in which he flows, He adds both levers too and iron crows: For in the fixture of the bed is shown A master-piece, a wonder; and ’twas done By me, and none but me, and thus was wrought: There was an olive-tree that had his grought Amidst a hedge, and was of shadow proud, Fresh, and the prime age of his verdure show’d, His leaves and arms so thick that to the eye It show’d a column for solidity. To this had I a comprehension To build my bridal bow’r; which all of stone, Thick as the tree of leaves, I rais’d, and cast A roof about it nothing meanly grac’d, Put glued doors to it, that op’d art enough, Then from the olive ev’ry broad-leav’d bough I lopp’d away; then fell’d the tree; and then Went over it both with my axe and plane, Both govern’d by my line, And then I hew’d My curious bedstead out; in which I shew’d Work of no common hand. All this begun, I could not leave till to perfection My pains had brought it; took my wimble, bor’d The holes, as fitted, and did last afford The varied ornament, which show’d no want Of silver, gold, and polish’d elephant. An ox-hide dyed in purple then I threw Above the cords. And thus to curious view I hope I have objected honest sign To prove I author nought that is not mine. But if my bed stand unremov’d or no, O woman, passeth human wit to know.” This sunk her knees and heart, to hear so true The signs she urg’d; and first did tears ensue Her rapt assurance; then she ran and spread Her arms about his neck, kiss’d oft his head, And thus the curious stay she made excus’d: “Ulysses! Be not angry that I us’d Such strange delays to this, since heretofore Your suff’ring wisdom hath the garland wore From all that breathe; and ’tis the Gods that, thus With mutual miss so long afflicting us, Have caus’d my coyness; to our youths envied That wish’d society that should have tied Our youths and years together; and since now Judgment and Duty should our age allow As full joys therein as in youth and blood, See all young anger and reproof withstood For not at first sight giving up my arms, My heart still trembling lest the false alarms That words oft strike-up should ridiculize me. Had Argive Helen known credulity Would bring such plagues with it, and her again, As authoress of them all, with that foul stain To her and to her country, she had stay’d Her love and mixture from a stranger’s bed; But God impell’d her to a shameless deed, Because she had not in herself decreed, Before th’ attempt, that such acts still were shent As simply in themselves as in th’ event By which not only she herself sustains, But we, for her fault, have paid mutual pains. Yet now, since these signs of our certain bed You have discover’d, and distinguishéd From all earth’s others, no one man but you Yet ever getting of it th’ only show, Nor one of all dames but myself and she My father gave, old Actor’s progeny, Who ever guarded to ourselves the door Of that thick-shaded chamber, I no more Will cross your clear persuasion, though till now I stood too doubtful and austere to you,” These words of hers, so justifying her stay, Did more desire of joyful moan convey To his glad mind than if at instant sight She had allow’d him all his wishes’ right. He wept for joy, t’ enjoy a wife so fit For his grave mind, that knew his depth of wit, And held chaste virtue at a price so high, And as sad men at sea when shore is nigh, Which long their hearts have wish’d, their ship quite lost By Neptune’s rigour, and they vex’d and tost ’Twixt winds and black waves, swimming for their lives, A few escap’d, and that few that survives, All drench’d in foam and brine, crawl up to land, With joy as much as they did worlds command; So dear to this wife was her husband’s sight, Who still embrac’d his neck, and had, till light Display’d her silver ensign, if the Dame, That bears the blue sky intermix’d with flame In her fair eyes, had not infix’d her thought On other joys, for loves so hardly brought To long’d-for meeting; who th’ extended night Withheld in long date, nor would let the light Her wing-hoov’d horse join—Lampus, Phaeton— Those ever-colts that bring the morning on To worldly men, but, in her golden chair, Down to the ocean by her silver hair Bound her aspirings. Then Ulysses said: “O wife! Nor yet are my contentions stay’d. A most unmeasur’d labour long and hard Asks more performance; to it being prepar’d By grave Tiresiás, when down to hell I made dark passage, that his skill might tell My men’s return and mine. But come, and now Enjoy the sweet rest that our Fates allow.” “The place of rest is ready,” she replied, “Your will at full serve, since the Deified Have brought you where your right is to command. But since you know, God making understand Your searching mind, inform me what must be Your last set labour; since ’twill fall to me, I hope, to hear it after, tell me now. _The greatest pleasure is before to know.”_ “Unhappy!” said Ulysses; “To what end Importune you this labour? It will lend Nor you nor me delight, but you shall know I was commanded yet more to bestow My years in travel, many cities more By sea to visit; and when first for shore I left my shipping, I was will’d to take A naval oar in hand, and with it make My passage forth till such strange men I met As knew no sea, nor ever salt did eat With any victuals, who the purple beaks Of ships did never see, nor that which breaks The waves in curls, which is a fan-like oar, And serves as wings with which a ship doth soar. To let me know, then, when I was arriv’d On that strange earth where such a people liv’d, He gave me this for an unfailing sign: When any one that took that oar of mine, Borne on my shoulder, for a corn-cleanse fan, I met ashore, and show’d to be a man Of that land’s labour, there had I command To fix mine oar, and offer on that strand T’ imperial Neptune, whom I must implore, A lamb, a bull, and sow-ascending boar; And then turn home, where all the other Gods That in the broad heav’n made secure abodes I must solicit—all my curious heed Giv’n to the sev’ral rites they have decreed— With holy hecatombs; and then, at home, A gentle death should seize me that would come From out the sea, and take me to his rest In full ripe age, about me living blest My loving people; to which, he presag’d, The sequel of my fortunes were engag’d.” “If then,” said she, “the Gods will please t’ impose A happier being to your fortune’s close Than went before, your hope gives comfort strength That life shall lend you better days at length.” While this discourse spent mutual speech, the bed Eurynomé and nurse had made, and spread With richest furniture, while torches spent Their parcel-gilt thereon. To bed then went The aged nurse; and, where their sov’reigns were, Eurynomé, the chambermaid, did bear A torch, and went before them to their rest; To which she left them and for her’s addrest. The King and Queen then now, as newly-wed, Resum’d the old laws of th’ embracing bed. Telemachus and both his herdsmen then Dissolv’d the dances both to maids and men; Who in their shady roofs took timely sleep. The bride and bridegroom having ceas’d to keep Observéd love-joys, from their fit delight They turn’d to talk. The Queen then did recite What she had suffer’d by the hateful rout Of harmful Wooers, who had eat her out So many oxen and so many sheep, How many tun of wine their drinking deep Had quite exhausted. Great Ulysses then Whatever slaughters he had made of men, Whatever sorrows he himself sustain’d, Repeated amply; and her ears remain’d With all delight attentive to their end, Nor would one wink sleep till he told her all, Beginning where he gave the Cicons fall; From thence his pass to the Lotophagi; The Cyclop’s acts, the putting out his eye, And wreak of all the soldiers he had eat, No least ruth shown to all they could entreat; His way to Æolus; his prompt receit And kind dismission; his enforc’d retreat By sudden tempest to the fishy main, And quite distraction from his course again; His landing at the Læstrigonian port, Where ships and men in miserable sort Met all their spoils, his ship and he alone Got off from the abhorr’d confusión; His pass to Circe, her deceits and arts; His thence descension to th’ Infernal parts; His life’s course of the Theban prophet learn’d, Where all the slaughter’d Grecians he discern’d, And lovéd mother; his astonish’d ear With what the Siren’s voices made him hear; His ’scape from th’ erring rocks, which Scylla was, And rough Charybdis, with the dang’rous pass Of all that touch’d there; his Sicilian Offence giv’n to the Sun; his ev’ry man Destroy’d by thunder vollied out of heav’n, That split his ship; his own endeavours driv’n To shift for succours on th’ Ogygian shore, Where Nymph Calypso such affection bore To him in his arrival, that with feast She kept him in her caves, and would have blest His welcome life with an immortal state Would he have stay’d and liv’d her nuptial mate, All which she never could persuade him to; His pass to the Phæacians spent in woe; Their hearty welcome of him, as he were A God descended from the starry sphere; Their kind dismission of him home with gold, Brass, garments, all things his occasions would. This last word us’d, sleep seiz’d his weary eye That salves all care to all mortality. In mean space Pallas entertain’d intent That when Ulysses thought enough time spent In love-joys with his wife, to raise the day, And make his grave occasions call away. The morning rose and he, when thus he said: “O Queen, now satiate with afflictions laid On both our bosoms,—you oppresséd here With cares for my return, I ev’rywhere By Jove and all the other Deities tost Ev’n till all hope of my return was lost,— And both arriv’d at this sweet haven, our bed, Be your care us’d to see administ’red My house-possessions left. Those sheep, that were Consum’d in surfeits by your Wooers here, I’ll forage to supply with some; and more The suff’ring Grecians shall be made restore, Ev’n till our stalls receive their wonted fill.

“And now, to comfort my good father’s ill Long suffer’d for me, to the many-tree’d And ample vineyard grounds it is decreed In my next care that I must haste and see His long’d-for presence. In the mean time, be Your wisdom us’d, that since, the sun ascended, The fame will soon be through the town extended Of those I here have slain, yourself, got close Up to your chamber, see you there repose, Cheer’d with your women, and nor look afford Without your court, nor any man a word.” This said, he arm’d; to arms both son and swain His pow’r commanding, who did entertain His charge with spirit, op’d the gates and out, He leading all. And now was hurl’d about Aurora’s ruddy fire; through all whose light Minerva led them through the town from sight.




By Mercury the Wooers’ souls Are usher’d to th’ infernal pools. Ulysses with Laertes met, The people are in uproar set Against them, for the Wooers’ ends; Whom Pallas stays and renders friends.


_Ω._ The uproar’s fire, The people’s fall: The grandsire, sire, And son, to all.

Cyllenian Hermes, with his golden rod, The Wooers’ souls, that yet retain’d abode Amidst their bodies, call’d in dreadful rout Forth to th’ Infernals; who came murmuring out. And as amidst the desolate retreat Of some vast cavern, made the sacred seat Of austere spirits, bats with breasts and wings Clasp fast the walls, and each to other clings, But, swept off from their coverts, up they rise And fly with murmurs in amazeful guise About the cavern; so these, grumbling, rose And flock’d together. Down before them goes None-hurting Mercury to Hell’s broad ways, And straight to those straits; where the ocean stays His lofty current in calm deeps, they flew, Then to the snowy rock they next withdrew, And to the close of Phœbus’ orient gates, The nation then of dreams, and then the states Of those souls’ idols that the weary dead Gave up in earth, which in a flow’ry mead Had habitable situatión. And there they saw the soul of Thetis’ son, Of good Patroclus, brave Antilochus, And Ajax, the supremely strenuous Of all the Greek host next Pelëion; All which assembled about Maia’s son. And to them, after, came the mournful ghost Of Agamemnon, with all those he lost In false Ægisthus’ court. Achilles then Beholding there that mighty king of men, Deplor’d his plight, and said: “O Atreus’ son! Of all heroës, all opinion Gave thee for Jove’s most lov’d, since most command Of all the Greeks he gave thy eminent hand At siege of Ilion, where we suffer’d so. And is the issue this, that first in woe Stern Fate did therefore set thy sequel down? _None borne past others’ Fates can pass his own._ I wish to heav’n that in the height of all Our pomp at Ilion Fate had sign’d thy fall, That all the Greeks might have advanc’d to thee A famous sepulchre, and Fame might see Thy son giv’n honour in thy honour’d end! But now a wretched death did Fate extend To thy confusion and thy issue’s shame.” “O Thetis’ son,” said he, “the vital flame Extinct at Ilion, far from th’ Argive fields, The style of Blessed to thy virtue yields. About thy fall the best of Greece and Troy Were sacrific’d to slaughter. Thy just joy Conceiv’d in battle with some worth forgot In such a death as great Apollo shot At thy encounters. Thy brave person lay Hid in a dusty whirlwind, that made way With human breaths spent in thy ruin’s state Thou, great, wert greatly valued in thy fate. All day we fought about thee; nor at all Had ceas’d our conflict, had not Jove let fall A storm that forc’d off our unwilling feet. But, having brought thee from the fight to fleet, Thy glorious person, bath’d and balm’d, we laid Aloft a bed; and round about thee paid The Greeks warm tears to thy deplor’d decease, Quite daunted, cutting all their curls’ increase. Thy death drave a divine voice through the seas That started up thy mother from the waves; And all the márine Godheads left their caves, Consorting to our fleet her rapt repair. The Greeks stood frighted to see sea and air And earth combine so in thy loss’s sense, Had taken ship and fled for ever thence, If old much-knowing-Nestor had not stay’d Their rushing off; his counsels having sway’d In all times former with such cause their courses; Who bade contain themselves, and trust their forces, For all they saw was Thetis come from sea, With others of the wat’ry progeny, To see and mourn for her deceaséd son. Which stay’d the fears that all to flight had won; And round about thee stood th’ old sea-God’s Seeds Wretchedly mourning, their immortal weeds Spreading upon thee. All the sacred Nine Of deathless Muses paid thee dues divine, By varied turns their heav’nly voices venting, All in deep passion for thy death consenting. And then of all our army not an eye You could have seen undrown’d in misery, The moving Muse so rul’d in ev’ry mind. Full seventeen days and nights our tears confin’d To celebration of thy mournéd end; Both men and Gods did in thy moan contend. The eighteenth day we spent about thy heap Of dying fire. Black oxen, fattest sheep We slew past number. Then the precious spoil, Thy corse, we took up, which with floods of oil And pleasant honey we embalm’d, and then Wrapp’d thee in those robes that the Gods did rain. In which we gave thee to the hallow’d flame; To which a number of heroical name, As prest to sacrifice their vital right To thy dead ruins while so bright they burn’d. Both foot and horse brake in, and fought and mourn’d In infinite tumult. But when all the night The rich flame lasted, and that wasted quite Thy body was with the enamour’d fire: We came in early morn, and an entire Collection made of ev’ry ivory bone; Which wash’d in wine, and giv’n fit unctión, A two-ear’d bowl of gold thy mother gave, By Bacchus giv’n her and did form receive From Vulcan’s famous hand, which, O renown’d Great Thetis’ son, with thy fair bones we crown’d Mix’d with the bones of Menœtiades And brave Antilochus; who, in decease Of thy Patroclus, was thy favour’s dear. About thee then a matchless sepulchre The sacred host of the Achaians rais’d Upon the Hellespont, where most it seiz’d, For height and conspicuity, the eyes Of living men and their posterities. Thy mother then obtain’d the Gods’ consent To institute an honour’d game, that spent The best approvement of our Grecian fames. In whose praise I must say that many games About heroës’ sepulchres mine eyes Have seen perform’d, but these bore off the prize With miracles to me from all before. In which thy silver-footed mother bore The institution’s name, but thy deserts, Being great with heav’n, caus’d all the eminent parts. And thus, through all the worst effects of Fate, Achilles’ fame ev’n Death shall propagate. While anyone shall lend the light an eye Divine Æacides shall never die. But wherein can these comforts be conceiv’d As rights to me? When, having quite achiev’d An end with safety, and with conquest, too, Of so unmatch’d a war, what none could do Of all our enemies there, at home a friend And wife have giv’n me inglorious end?” While these thus spake, the Argus-killing spy Brought-near Ulysses’ noble victory To their renew’d discourse, in all the ends The Wooers’ suffer’d, and show’d those his friends; Whom now amaze invaded with the view And made give back; yet Agamemnon knew Melanthius’ heir, much-fam’d Amphimedon, Who had in Ithaca guest-favours shown To great Atrides; who first spake, and said: “Amphimedon! What suff’rance hath been laid On your alive parts that hath made you make This land of darkness the retreat you take, So all together, all being like in years, Nor would a man have choos’d, of all the peers A city honours, men to make a part More strong for any object? Hath your smart Been felt from Neptune, being at sea—his wrath The winds and waves exciting to your scathe? Or have offensive men impos’d this fate— Your oxen driving, or your flock’s estate? Or for your city fighting and your wives, Have deaths untimely seiz’d your best-tim’d lives? Inform me truly. I was once your guest, When I and Menelaus had profest First arms for Ilion, and were come ashore On Ithaca, with purpose to implore Ulysses’ aid, that city-racing man, In wreak of the adult’rous Phrygian. Retain not you the time? A whole month’s date We spent at sea, in hope to instigate In our arrival old Laertes’ son, Whom, hardly yet, to our design we won.” The soul made answer: “Worthiest king of men, I well remember ev’ry passage then You now reduce to thought, and will relate The truth in whole form of our timeless fate: “We woo’d the wife of that long-absent king, Who (though her second marriage were a thing Of most hate to her) she would yet deny At no part our affections, nor comply With any in performance, but decreed, In her delays, the cruel Fates we feed. Her craft was this: She undertook to weave A funeral garment destin’d to receive The corse of old Laertes; being a task Of infinite labour, and which time would ask. In midst of whose attempt she caus’d our stay With this attraction: ‘Youths, that come in way Of honour’d nuptials to me, though my lord Abide amongst the dead, yet cease to board My choice for present nuptials, and sustain, Lest what is past me of this web be vain, Till all receive perfection. ’Tis a weed Dispos’d to wrap in at his funeral need The old Laertes; who, possessing much, Would, in his want of rites as fitting, touch My honour highly with each vulgar dame.’ Thus spake she, and persuaded; and her frame All-day she labour’d, her day’s work not small, But ev’ry night-time she unwrought it all. Three years continuing this imperfect task; But when the fourth year came her sleights could mask In no more covert, since her trusted maid Her whole deceit to our true note betray’d. With which surpriz’d, she could no more protract Her work’s perfection, but gave end exact To what remain’d, wash’d-up, and set thereon A gloss so bright that like the sun and moon The whole work show’d together. And when now Of mere necessity her honour’d vow She must make good to us, ill-fortune brought Ulysses home, who yet gave none one thought Of his arrival, but far-off at field Liv’d with his herdsman, nor his trust would yield Note of his person, but liv’d there as guest, Ragg’d as a beggar in that life profest. At length Telemachus left Pylos’ sand, And with a ship fetch’d soon his native land, When yet not home he went, but laid his way Up to his herdsman where his father lay; And where both laid our deaths. To town then bore The swine-herd and his King, the swain before, Telemachus in other ways bestow’d His course home first, t’ associate us that woo’d. The swain the King led after, who came on Raggéd and wretched, and still lean’d upon A borrow’d staff. At length he reach’d his home, Where (on the sudden and so wretched come) Nor we nor much our elders once did dream Of his return there, but did wrongs extreme Of words and blows to him; all which he bore With that old patience he had learn’d before. But when the mind of Jove had rais’d his own, His son and he fetch’d all their armour down, Fast-lock’d the doors, and, to prepare their use, He will’d his wife, for first mean, to produce His bow to us to draw; of which no one Could stir the string; himself yet set upon The deadly strength it held, drew all with ease, Shot through the steels, and then began to seize Our armless bosoms; striking first the breast Of king Antinous, and then the rest In heaps turn’d over; hopeful of his end Because some God, he knew, stood firm his friend. Nor prov’d it worse with him, but all in flood The pavement straight blush’d with our vital blood. And thus our souls came here; our bodies laid Neglected in his roofs, no word convey’d To any friend to take us home and give Our wounds fit balming, nor let such as live Entomb our deaths, and for our fortunes shed Those tears and dead-rites that renown the dead.” Atrides’ ghost gave answer: “O bless’d son Of old Laertes, thou at length hast won With mighty virtue thy unmatchéd wife. How good a knowledge, how untouch’d a life, Hath wise Penelope! How well she laid Her husband’s rights up, whom she lov’d a maid! For which her virtues shall extend applause, Beyond the circles frail mortality draws; The deathless in this vale of death comprising Her praise in numbers into infinites rising. The daughter Tyndarus begat begot No such chaste thoughts, but cut the virgin knot That knit her spouse and her with murd’rous swords. For which posterities shall put hateful words To notes of her that all her sex defam’d, And for her ill shall ev’n the good be blam’d.” To this effect these these digressions made In hell, earth’s dark and ever-hiding shade. Ulysses and his son, now past the town, Soon reach’d the field elaborately grown By old Laertes’ labour, when, with cares For his lost son, he left all court affairs, And took to this rude upland; which with toil He made a sweet and habitable soil; Where stood a house to him; about which ran, In turnings thick and labyrinthian, Poor hovels, where his necessary men That did those works (of pleasure to him then) Might sit, and eat, and sleep. In his own house An old Sicilian dame liv’d, studious To serve his sour age with her cheerful pains. Then said Ulysses to his son and swains: “Go you to town, and for your dinner kill The best swine ye can choose; myself will still Stay with my father, and assay his eye If my acknowledg’d truth it can descry, Or that my long time’s travel doth so change My sight to him that I appear as strange.” Thus gave he arms to them, and home they hied. Ulysses to the fruitful field applied His present place; nor found he Dolius there, His sons, or any servant, anywhere In all that spacious ground; all gone from thence Were dragging bushes to repair a fence, Old Dolius leading all. Ulysses found His father far above in that fair ground, Employ’d in proining of a plant; his weeds All torn and tatter’d, fit for homely deeds, But not for him. Upon his legs he wore Patch’d boots to guard him from the bramble’s gore; His hands had thorn-proof hedging mittens on; His head a goat-skin casque; through all which shone His heart giv’n over to abjectest moan. Him when Ulysses saw consum’d with age, And all the ensigns on him that the rage Of grief presented, he brake out in tears; And, taking stand then where a tree of pears Shot high his forehead over him, his mind Had much contention, if to yield to kind, Make straight way to his father, kiss, embrace, Tell his return, and put on all the face And fashion of his instant-told return; Or stay th’ impulsion, and the long day burn Of his quite loss giv’n in his father’s fear A little longer, trying first his cheer With some free dalliance, th’ earnest being so near. This course his choice preferr’d, and forth he went. His father then his aged shoulders bent Beneath what years had stoop’d, about a tree Busily digging: “O, old man,” said he, “You want no skill to dress and deck your ground, For all your plants doth order’d distance bound. No apple, pear, or olive, fig; or vine, Nor any plat or quarter you confine To grass or flow’rs stands empty of your care, Which shows exact in each peculiar; And yet (which let not move you) you bestow No care upon yourself, though to this show Of outward irksomeness to what you are You labour with an inward froward care, Which is your age, that should wear all without More neat and cherishing. I make no doubt That any sloth you use procures your lord To let an old man go so much abhorr’d In all his weeds; nor shines there in your look A fashion and a goodliness so took With abject qualities to merit this Nasty entreaty. Your resemblance is A very king’s, and shines through this retreat. You look like one that having wash’d and eat Should sleep securely, lying sweet and neat. _It is the ground of age, when cares abuse it, To know life’s end, and, as ’tis sweet, so use it._ “But utter truth, and tell what lord is he That rates your labour and your liberty? Whose orchard is it that you husband thus? Or quit me this doubt, for if Ithacus This kingdom claims for his, the man I found At first arrival here is hardly sound Of brain or civil, not enduring stay To tell nor hear me my inquiry out Of that my friend, if still he bore about His life and being, or were div’d to death, And in the house of him that harboureth The souls of men. For once he liv’d my guest; My land and house retaining interest In his abode there; where there sojourn’d none As guest from any foreign region Of more price with me. He deriv’d his race From Ithaca, and said his father was Laertes, surnam’d Arcesiades, I had him home, and all the offices Perform’d to him that fitted any friend, Whose proof I did to wealthy gifts extend: Seven talents gold; a bowl all-silver, set With pots of flowers; twelve robes that had no pleat! Twelve cloaks, or mantles, of delicious dye; Twelve inner weeds; twelve suits of tapestry. I gave him likewise women skill’d in use Of loom and needle, freeing him to choose Four the most fair.” His father, weeping, said: “Stranger! The earth to which you are convey’d Is Ithaca; by such rude men possess’d, Unjust and insolent, as first address’d To your encounter; but the gifts you gave Were giv’n, alas! to the ungrateful grave. If with his people, where you now arrive, Your fate had been to find your friend alive, You should have found like guest-rites from his hand, Like gifts, and kind pass to your wishéd land. But how long since receiv’d you for your guest Your friend, my son, who was th’ unhappiest Of all men breathing, if he were at all? O born when Fates and ill-aspects let fall A cruel influence for him! Far away From friends and country destin’d to allay. The sea-bred appetites, or, left ashore, To be by fowls and upland monsters tore, His life’s kind authors nor his wealthy wife Bemoaning, as behov’d, his parted life, Nor closing, as in honour’s course it lies To all men dead, in bed his dying eyes. But give me knowledge of your name and race. What city bred you? Where the anchoring-place Your ship now rides-at lies that shor’d you here And where your men? Or, if a passenger In other keels you came, who (giving land To your adventures here, some other strand To fetch in further course) have left to us Your welcome presence?” His reply was thus: “I am of Alybandé, where I hold My name’s chief house, to much renown extoll’d. My father Aphidantes, fam’d to spring From Polypemon, the Molossian king. My name Eperitus. My taking land On this fair Isle was rul’d by the command Of God or fortune, quite against consent Of my free purpose, that in course was bent For th’ isle Sicania. My ship is held Far from the city, near an ample field. And for Ulysses, since his pass from me ’Tis now five years. Unbless’d by destiny, That all this time hath had the fate to err! Though, at his parting, good birds did augur His putting-off, and on his right hand flew, Which to his passage my affection drew, His spirit joyful; and my hope was now To guest with him, and see his hand bestow Rites of our friendship.” This a cloud of grief Cast over all the forces of his life. With both his hands the burning dust he swept Up from the earth, which on his head he heapt, And fetch’d a sigh as in it life were broke. Which grieved his son, and gave so smart a stroke Upon his nostrils with the inward stripe, That up the vein rose there; and weeping ripe He was to see his sire feel such woe For his dissembled joy; which now let go, He sprung from earth, embrac’d and kiss’d his sire, And said: “O father! He of whom y’ enquire Am I myself, that, from you twenty years, Is now return’d. But do not break in tears, For now we must not forms of kind maintain, But haste and guard the substance. I have slain All my wife’s Wooers, so revenging now Their wrong so long time suffer’d. Take not you The comfort of my coming then to heart At this glad instant, but, in prov’d desert Of your grave judgment, give moan glad suspense, And on the sudden put this consequence In act as absolute, as all time went To ripening of your resolute assent.” All this haste made not his staid faith so free To trust his words; who said: “If you are he, Approve it by some sign.” “This scar then see,” Replied Ulysses, “giv’n me by the boar Slain in Parnassus, I being sent before By your’s and by my honour’d mother’s will, To see your sire Autolycus fulfill The gifts he vow’d at giving of my name. I’ll tell you, too, the trees, in goodly frame Of this fair orchard, that I ask’d of you Being yet a child, and follow’d for your show And name of ev’ry tree. You gave me then Of fig-trees forty, apple-bearers ten, Pear-trees thirteen, and fifty ranks of vine; Each one of which a season did confine For his best eating. Not a grape did grow That grew not there, and had his heavy brow When Jove’s fair daughters, the all ripening Hours, Gave timely date to it.” This charg’d the pow’rs Both of his knees and heart with such impression Of sudden comfort, that it gave possession Of all to Trance, the signs were all so true, And did the love that gave them so renew. He cast his arms about his son and sunk, The circle slipping to his feet; so shrunk Were all his age’s forces with the fire Of his young love rekindled. The old sire The son took up quite lifeless. But his breath Again respiring, and his soul from death His body’s pow’r recov’ring, out he cried, And said: “O Jupiter! I now have tried That still there live in heav’n rememb’ring Gods Of men that serve them; though the periods They set on their appearances are long In best men’s suff’rings, yet as sure as strong They are in comforts, be their strange delays Extended never so from days to days. Yet see the short joys or the soon-mix’d fears Of helps withheld by them so many years! For if the Wooers now have paid the pain Due to their impious pleasures, now again Extreme fear takes me, lest we straight shall see The Ithacensians here in mutiny, Their messengers dispatch’d to win to friend The Cephallenian cities.” “Do not spend Your thoughts on these cares,” said his suff’ring son, “But be of comfort, and see that course run That best may shun the worst. Our house is near, Telemachus and both his herdsmen there To dress our supper with their utmost haste; And thither haste we.” This said, forth they past, Came home, and found Telemachus at feast With both his swains; while who had done, all drest With baths and balms and royally array’d The old king was by his Sicilian maid. By whose side Pallas stood, his crook’d-age straight’ning, His flesh more plumping, and his looks enlight’ning. Who issuing then to view, his son admir’d The Gods’ aspects into his form inspir’d, And said: “O father, certainly some God By your addression in this state hath stood, More great, more rev’rend, rend’ring you by far At all your parts than of yourself you are!” “I would to Jove,” said he, “the Sun, and She That bears Jove’s shield, the state had stood with me That help’d me take-in the well-builded tow’rs Of strong Nericus (the Cephalian pow’rs To that fair city leading) two days past, While with the Wooers thy conflict did last, And I had then been in the Wooers’ wreak! I should have help’d thee so to render weak Their stubborn knees, that in thy joy’s desert Thy breast had been too little for thy heart.” This said, and supper order’d by their men, They sat to it; old Dolius ent’ring then, And with him, tried with labour, his sons came, Call’d by their mother, the Sicilian dame That brought them up and dress’d their father’s fare, As whose age grew, with it increas’d her care To see him serv’d as fitted. When thus set These men beheld Ulysses there at meat, They knew him, and astonish’d in the place Stood at his presence; who, with words of grace, Call’d to old Dolius, saying: “Come and eat, And banish all astonishment. Your meat Hath long been ready, and ourselves made stay, Expecting ever when your wishéd way Would reach amongst us.” This brought fiercely on Old Dolius from his stand; who ran upon, With both his arms abroad, the King, and kiss’d Of both his rapt up hands the either wrist, Thus welcoming his presence: “O my love, Your presence here, for which all wishes strove, No one expected. Ev’n the Gods have gone In guide before you to your mansión. Welcome, and all joys to your heart contend. Knows yet Penelope? Or shall we send Some one to tell her this?” “She knows,” said he, “What need these troubles, father, touch at thee?” Then came the sons of Dolius, and again Went over with their father’s entertain, Welcom’d, shook hands, and then to feast sat down. About which while they sat, about the town Fame flew, and shriek’d about the cruel death And fate the Wooers had sustain’d beneath Ulysses’ roofs. All heard; together all From hence and thence met in Ulysses’ hall, Short-breath’d and noiseful, bore out all the dead To instant burial, while their deaths were spread To other neighbour cities where they liv’d, From whence in swiftest fisher-boats arriv’d Men to transfer them home. In mean space here The heavy nobles all in council were; Where, met in much heap, up to all arose Extremely-griev’d Eupitheus so to lose His son Antinous, who, first of all, By great Ulysses’ hand had slaught’rous fall. Whose father, weeping for him, said: “O friends, This man hath author’d works of dismal ends, Long since conveying in his guide to Troy Good men, and many that did ships employ, All which are lost, and all their soldiers dead; And now the best men Cephallenia bred His hand hath slaughter’d. Go we then (before His ’scape to Pylos, or the Elians’ shore, Where rule the Epeans) ’gainst his horrid hand; For we shall grieve, and infamy will brand Our fames for ever, if we see our sons And brothers end in these confusions, Revenge left uninflicted. Nor will I Enjoy one day’s life more, but grieve and die With instant onset. Nor should you survive To keep a base and beastly name alive. Haste, then, lest flight prevent us.” This with tears His griefs advis’d, and made all sufferers In his affliction. But by this was come Up to the council from Ulysses’ home— When sleep had left them, which the slaughters there And their self-dangers from their eyes in fear Had two nights intercepted—those two men That just Ulysses sav’d out of the slain, Which Medon and the sacred singer were. These stood amidst the council; and the fear The slaughter had impress’d in either’s look Stuck still so ghastly, that amaze it strook Through ev’ry there beholder. To whose ears One thus enforc’d, in his fright, cause of theirs: “Attend me, Ithacensians! This stern fact Done by Ulysses was not put in act Without the Gods’ assistance. These self eyes Saw one of the immortal Deities Close by Ulysses, Mentor’s form put on At ev’ry part. And this sure Deity shone Now near Ulysses, setting on his bold And slaught’rous spirit, now the points controll’d Of all the Wooers’ weapons, round about The arm’d house whisking, in continual rout Their party putting, till in heaps they fell.” This news new fears did through their spirits impell, When Halitherses (honour’d Mastor’s son, Who of them all saw only what was done Present and future) the much-knowing man And aged heroë this plain course ran Amongst their counsels: “Give me likewise ear, And let me tell ye, friends, that these ills bear On your malignant spleens their sad effects, Who not what I persuaded gave respects, Nor what the people’s pastor, Mentor, said,— That you should see your issues’ follies stay’d In those foul courses, by their petulant life The goods devouring, scandalling the wife Of no mean person, who, they still would say, Could never more see his returning-day. Which yet appearing now, now give it trust, And yield to my free counsels: Do not thrust Your own safe persons on the acts your sons So dearly bought, lest their confusions On your lov’d heads your like addictions draw.” This stood so far from force of any law To curb their loose attempts, that much the more They rush’d to wreak, and made rude tumult roar. The greater part of all the court arose; Good counsel could not ill designs dispose. Eupitheus was persuader of the course, Which, cómplete-arm’d, they put in present force; The rest sat still in council. These men met Before the broad town, in a place they set All girt in arms; Eupitheus choosing chief To all their follies, who put grief to grief, And in his slaughter’d son’s revenge did burn. But Fate gave never feet to his return, Ordaining there his death. Then Pallas spake To Jove, her Father, with intent to make His will high arbiter of th’ act design’d, And ask’d of him what his unsearchéd mind Held undiscover’d? If with arms, and ill, And grave encounter he, would first fulfill His sacred purpose, or both parts combine In peaceful friendship? He ask’d: “Why incline These doubts thy counsels? Hast not thou decreed That Ithacus should come and give his deed The glory of revenge on these and theirs? Perform thy will; the frame of these affairs Have this fit issue: When Ulysses’ hand Hath reach’d full wreak, his then renown’d command Shall reign for ever, faithful truces strook ’Twixt him and all; for ev’ry man shall brook His sons’ and brothers’ slaughters; by our mean To send Oblivion in, expunging clean The character of enmity in them all, As in best leagues before. _Peace, festival, And riches in abundance, be the state That crowns the close of wise Ulysses’ Fate.”_ This spurr’d the free, who from heav’n’s continent To th’ Ithacensian isle made straight descent. Where, dinner past, Ulysses said: “Some one Look out to see their nearness.” Dolius’ son Made present speed abroad, and saw them nigh, Ran back, and told, bade arm; and instantly Were all in arms. Ulysses’ part was four, And six more sons of Dolius; all his pow’r Two only more, which were his aged sire And like-year’d Dolius, whose lives’-slak’d fire All-white had left their heads, yet, driv’n by need, Made soldiers both of necessary deed. And now, all-girt in arms, the ports set wide, They sallied forth, Ulysses being their guide; And to them in the instant Pallas came, In form and voice like Mentor, who a flame Inspir’d of comfort in Ulysses’ heart With her seen presence. To his son, apart, He thus then spake: “Now, son, your eyes shall see, Expos’d in slaught’rous fight, the enemy, Against whom who shall best serve will be seen. Disgrace not then your race, that yet hath been For force and fortitude the foremost tried Of all earth’s offsprings.” His true son replied: “Yourself shall see, lov’d father, if you please, That my deservings shall in nought digress From best fame of our race’s foremost merit.” The old king sprung for joy to hear his spirit, And said: “O lov’d Immortals, what a day Do your clear bounties to my life display! I joy, past measure, to behold my son And nephew close in such contention Of virtues martial.” Pallas, standing near, Said: “O my friend! Of all supremely dear, Seed of Arcesius, pray to Jove and Her That rules in arms, his daughter, and a dart, Spritefully brandish’d, hurl at th’ adverse part.” This said, he pray’d; and she a mighty force Inspir’d within him, who gave instant course To his brave-brandish’d lance, which struck the brass That cheek’d Eupitheus’ casque, and thrust his pass Quite through his head; who fell, and sounded falling, His arms the sound again from earth recalling. Ulysses and his son rush’d on before, And with their both-way-headed darts did gore Their enemies’ breasts so thick, that all had gone The way of slaughter, had not Pallas thrown Her voice betwixt them, charging all to stay And spare expense of blood. Her voice did fray The blood so from their faces that it left A greenish paleness; all their hands it reft Of all their weapons, falling thence to earth; And to the common mother of their birth, The city, all fled, in desire to save The lives yet left them. Then Ulysses gave A horrid shout, and like Jove’s eagle flew In fiery pursuit, till Saturnius threw His smoking lightning ’twixt them, that had fall Before Minerva, who then out did call Thus to Ulysses: “Born of Jove! Abstain From further bloodshed. Jove’s hand in the slain Hath equall’d in their pains their prides to thee. Abstain, then, lest you move the Deity.” Again then, ’twixt both parts the Seed of Jove, Athenian Pallas, of all future love A league compos’d, and for her form took choice Of Mentor’s likeness both in limb and voice.


_So wrought divine Ulysses through his woes, So crown’d the light with him his mother’s throes, As through his great Renowner I have wrought, And my safe sail to sacred anchor brought. Nor did the Argive ship more burthen feel, That bore the care of all men in her keel, Than my adventurous bark; the Colchian fleece Not half so precious as this Soul of Greece, In whose Songs I have made our shores rejoice, And Greek itself vail to our English voice. Yet this inestimable Pearl will all Our dunghill chanticleers but obvious call; Each modern scraper this Gem scratching by, His oat preferring far. Let such let lie. So scorn the stars the clouds, as true-soul’d men Despise deceivers. For, as clouds would fain Obscure the stars, yet (regions left below With all their envies) bar them but of show, For they shine ever, and will shine, when they Dissolve in sinks, make mire, and temper clay; So puff’d impostors (our muse-vapours) strive, With their self-blown additions, to deprive Men solid of their full, though infinite short They come in their compare, and false report Of levelling or touching at their light, That still retain their radiance, and clear right, And shall shine ever, when, alas! one blast Of least disgrace tears down th’ impostor’s mast, His tops and tacklings, his whole freight, and he Confiscate to the fishy monarchy, His trash, by foolish Fame brought now, from hence Given to serve mackarel forth, and frankincense. Such then, and any too soft-eyed to see, Through works so solid, any worth, so free Of all the learn’d professions, as is fit To praise at such price, let him think his wit Too weak to rate it, rather than oppose With his poor pow’rs Ages and Hosts of Foes._


_Troy rac’d, Greece wrack’d, who mourns? Ye both may boast, Else th’ Iliads and Odysseys had been lost!_


_The Only True God (betwixt Whom and me I only bound my comfort, and agree With all my actions) only truly knows, And can judge truly, me, with all that goes To all my faculties, In Whose free Grace And Inspiration I only place All means to know (with my means, study, pray’r, In and from His Word taken) stair by stair, In all continual contentation, rising To knowledge of His Truth, and practising His Will in it, with my sole Saviour’s Aid, Guide, and Enlight’ning; nothing done, nor said, Nor thought, that good is, but acknowledg’d by His Inclination, Skill, and Faculty. By which, to find the way out to His Love Past all the worlds, the sphere is where doth move My studies, pray’rs, and pow’rs; no pleasure taken But sign’d by His, for which, my blood forsaken, My soul I cleave to, and what (in His Blood That hath redeem’d, cleans’d, taught her) fits her good._




_Not forc’d by fortune, but since your free mind (Made by affliction) rests in choice resign’d To calm retreat, laid quite beneath the wind Of grace and glory, I well know, my Lord, You would not be entitled to a word That might a thought remove from your repose, To thunder and spit flames, as greatness does, For all the trumps that still tell where he goes. Of which trumps Dedication being one, Methinks I see you start to hear it blown. But this is no such trump as summons lords ’Gainst Envy’s steel to draw their leaden swords, Or ’gainst hare-lipp’d Detraction, Contempt, All which from all resistance stand exempt, It being as hard to sever wrong from merit, As meat-indu’d from blood, or blood from spirit. Nor in the spirit’s chariot rides the soul In bodies chaste, with more divine control, Nor virtue shines more in a lovely face, Than true desert is stuck off with disgrace. And therefore Truth itself, that had to bless The merit of it all, Almightiness, Would not protect it from the bane and ban Of all moods most distraught and Stygian; As counting it the crown of all desert, Borne to heaven, to take of earth, no part Of false joy here, for joys-there-endless troth, Nor sell his birthright for a mess of broth. But stay and still sustain, and his bliss bring, Like to the hatching of the blackthorn’s spring, With bitter frosts, and smarting hailstorms, forth. Fates love bees’ labours; only Pain crown’s Worth. This Dedication calls no greatness, then, To patron this greatness-creating pen, Nor you to add to your dead calm a breath, For those arm’d angels, that in spite of death Inspir’d those flow’rs that wrought this Poet’s wreath, Shall keep it ever, Poesy’s steepest star, As in Earth’s flaming walls, Heaven’s sevenfold Car, From all the wilds of Neptune’s wat’ry sphere, For ever guards the Erymanthian bear. Since then your Lordship settles in your shade A life retir’d, and no retreat is made But to some strength, (for else ’tis no retreat, But rudely running from your battle’s heat) I give this as your strength; your strength, my Lord, In counsels and examples, that afford More guard than whole hosts of corporeal pow’r, And more deliverance teach the fatal hour. Turn not your med’cine then to your disease, By your too set and slight repulse of these, The adjuncts of your matchless Odysses; Since on that wisest mind of man relies Refuge from all life’s infelicities. Nor sing these such division from them, But that these spin the thread of the same stream From one self distaff’s stuff; for Poesy’s pen, Through all themes, is t’ inform the lives of men; All whose retreats need strengths of all degrees; Without which, had you even Herculean knees, Your foes’ fresh charges would at length prevail, To leave your noblest suff’rance no least sail. Strength then the object is of all retreats; Strength needs no friends’ trust; strength your foes defeats. Retire to strength, then, if eternal things, And y’are eternal; for our knowing springs Flow into those things that we truly know, Which being eternal, we are render’d so. And though your high-fix’d light pass infinite far Th’ adviceful guide of my still-trembling star, Yet hear what my discharg’d piece must foretel, Standing your poor and perdue sentinel. Kings may perhaps wish even your beggar’s-voice To their eternities, how scorn’d a choice Soever now it lies; and (dead) I may Extend your life to light’s extremest ray. If not, your Homer yet past doubt shall make Immortal, like himself, your bounty’s stake Put in my hands, to propagate your fame; Such virtue reigns in such united name. Retire to him then for advice, and skill, To know things call’d worst, best; and best, most ill. Which known, truths best choose, and retire to still. And as our English general, (whose name_[1] _Shall equal interest find in th’ house of fame With all Earth’s great’st commanders,) in retreat To Belgian Gant, stood all Spain’s armies’ heat By Parma led, though but one thousand strong; Three miles together thrusting through the throng Of th’ enemy’s horse, still pouring on their fall ’Twixt him and home, and thunder’d through them all; The Gallic Monsieur standing on the wall, And Wond’ring at his dreadful discipline, Fir’d with a valour that spit spirit divine; In five battalions ranging all his men, Bristl’d with pikes, and flank’d with flankers ten; Gave fire still in his rear; retir’d, and wrought Down to his fix’d strength still; retir’d and fought; All the battalions of the enemy’s horse Storming upon him still their fieriest force; Charge upon charge laid fresh; he, fresh as day, Repulsing all, and forcing glorious way Into the gates, that gasp’d, (as swoons for air,) And took their life in, with untouch’d repair:— So fight out, sweet Earl, your retreat in peace; No ope-war equals that where privy prease Of never-number’d odds if enemy, Arm’d all by envy, in blind ambush lie, To rush out like an opening threat’ning sky, Broke all in meteors round about your ears. ’Gainst which, though far from hence, through all your rears, Have fires prepar’d; wisdom with wisdom flank, And all your forces range in present rank; Retiring as you now fought in your strength, From all the force laid, in time’s utmost length, To charge, and basely come on you behind. The doctrine of all which you here shall find, And in the true glass of a human mind. Your Odysses, the body letting see All his life past, through infelicity, And manage of it all. In which to friend, The full Muse brings you both the prime and end Of all arts ambient in the orb of man; Which never darkness most Cimmerian Can give eclipse, since, blind, he all things saw, And to all ever since liv’d lord and law. And through our mere-learn’d men; and modern wise, Taste not poor Poesy’s ingenuities, Being crusted with their covetous leprosies, But hold her pains worse than the spiders’ work, And lighter than the shadow of a cork, Yet th’ ancient learn’d, heat with celestial fire, Affirms her flames so sacred and entire, That not without God’s greatest grace she can Fall in the wid’st capacity of man._ _If yet the vile soul of this verminous time Love more the sale-muse, and the squirrel’s chime, Than this full sphere of poesy’s sweetest prime, Give them unenvied their vain vein and vent, And rest your wings in his approv’d ascent That yet was never reach’d, nor ever fell Into affections bought with things that sell, Being the sun’s flow’r, and wrapt so in his sky He cannot yield to every candle’s eye._

_Whose most worthy discoveries, to your lordship’s judicial perspective, in most subdue humility submitteth,_


[1] A simile illustrating the most renowned service of General Norris
in his retreat before Gant, never before made sacred to memory.

After this not only Prime of Poets, but Philosophers, had written his two great poems of Iliads and Odysses; which (for their first lights born before all learning) were worthily called the Sun and Moon of the Earth; finding no compensation, he writ in contempt of men this ridiculous poem of Vermin, giving them nobility of birth, valorous elocution not inferior to his heroes. At which the Gods themselves, put in amaze, called councils about their assistance of either army, and the justice of their quarrels, even to the mounting of Jove’s artillery against them, and discharge of his three-forked flashes; and all for the drowning of a mouse. After which slight and only recreative touch, he betook him seriously to the honour of the Gods, in Hymns resounding all their peculiar titles, jurisdictions, and dignities; which he illustrates at all parts, as he had been continually conversant amongst them; and whatsoever authentic Poesy he omitted in the episodes contained in his Iliads and Odysses, he comprehends and concludes in his Hymns and Epigrams. All his observance and honour of the Gods, rather moved their envies against him, than their rewards, or respects of his endeavours. And so like a man _verecundi ingenii_ (which he witnesseth of himself) he lived unhonoured and needy till his death; and yet notwithstanding all men’s servile and manacled miseries, to his most absolute and never-equalled merit, yea even bursten profusion to imposture and impiety, hear our ever-the-same intranced, and never-sleeping, Master of the Muses, to his last accents, incomparably singing.


Ent’ring the fields, first let my vows call on The Muses’ whole quire out of Helicon Into my heart, for such a poem’s sake, As lately I did in my tables take, And put into report upon my knees. A fight so fierce, as might in all degrees Fit Mars himself, and his tumultuous hand, Glorying to dart to th’ ears of every land Of all the voice-divided;[1] and to show How bravely did both Frogs and Mice bestow In glorious fight their forces, even the deeds Daring to imitate of Earth’s Giant Seeds. Thus then men talk’d; this seed the strife begat: The Mouse once dry, and ’scaped the dangerous cat, Drench’d in the neighbour lake her tender beard, To taste the sweetness of the wave it rear’d. The far-famed Fen-affecter, seeing him, said: “Ho, stranger! What are you, and whence, that tread This shore of ours? Who brought you forth? Reply What truth may witness, lest I find you lie. If worth fruition of my love and me, I’ll have thee home, and hospitality Of feast and gift, good and magnificent, Bestow on thee; for all this confluent Resounds my royalty; my name, the great In blown-up-count’nances and looks of threat, Physignathus,[2] adored of all Frogs here All their days’ durance, and the empire bear Of all their beings; mine own being begot By royal Peleus,[3] mix’d in nuptial knot With fair Hydromedusa,[4] on the bounds Near which Eridanus[5] his race resounds. And thee mine eye makes my conceit inclined To reckon powerful both in form and mind, A sceptre-bearer, and past others far Advanc’d in all the fiery fights of war. Come then, thy race to my renown commend.” The Mouse made answer: “Why inquires my friend? For what so well know men and Deities, And all the wing’d affecters of the skies? Psicharpax[6] I am call’d; Troxartes’[7] seed, Surnamed the mighty-minded. She that freed Mine eyes from darkness was Lichomyle,[8] King Pternotroctes’[9] daughter, showing me, Within an aged hovel, the young light, Fed me with figs and nuts, and all the height Of varied viands. But unfold the cause, Why, ’gainst similitude’s most equal laws Observed in friendship, thou mak’st me thy friend? Thy life the waters only help t’ extend; Mine, whatsoever men are used to eat, Takes part with them at shore; their purest cheat, Thrice boulted, kneaded, and subdued in paste, In clean round kymnels, cannot be so fast From my approaches kept but in I eat; Nor cheesecakes full of finest Indian wheat, That crusty-weeds[10] wear, large as ladies’ trains; Liverings,[11] white-skinn’d as ladies; nor the strains, Of press’d milk, renneted; nor collops cut Fresh from the flitch; nor junkets, such as put Palates divine in appetite; nor any Of all men’s delicates, though ne’er so many Their cooks devise them, who each dish see deckt With all the dainties all strange soils affect.[12] Yet am I not so sensual to fly Of fields embattled the most fiery cry, But rush out straight, and with the first in fight Mix in adventure. No man with affright Can daunt my forces, though his body be or never so immense a quantity, But making up, even to his bed, access, His fingers’ ends dare with my teeth compress, His feet taint likewise, and so soft seize both They shall not taste th’ impression of a tooth. Sweet sleep shall hold his own in every eye Where my tooth takes his tartest liberty. But two there are, that always, far and near, Extremely still control my force with fear, The Cat, and Night-hawk, who much scathe confer On all the outrays where for food I err. Together with the straits-still-keeping trap,[13] Where lurks deceitful and set-spleen’d mishap. But most of all the Cat constrains my fear, Being ever apt t’ assault me everywhere; For by that hole that hope says I shall ’scape, At that hole ever she commits my rape. The best is yet, I eat no pot-herb grass, Nor radishes, nor coloquintidas, Nor still-green beets, nor parsley; which you make Your dainties still, that live upon the lake.” The Frog replied: “Stranger, your boasts creep all Upon their bellies; though to our lives fall Much more miraculous meats by lake and land, Jove tend’ring our lives with a twofold hand, Enabling us to leap ashore for food, And hide us straight in our retreatful flood. Which, if you will serve, you may prove with ease. I’ll take you on my shoulders; which fast seize, If safe arrival at my house y’ intend.” He stoop’d, and thither spritely did ascend, Clasping his golden neck, that easy seat Gave to his sally; who was jocund yet, Seeing the safe harbours of the king so near, And he a swimmer so exempt from peer. But when he sunk into the purple wave, He mourn’d extremely, and did much deprave Unprofitable penitence; his hair Tore by the roots up, labour’d for the air With his feet fetch’d up to his belly close; His heart within him panted out repose, For th’ insolent plight in which his state did stand; Sigh’d bitterly, and long’d to greet the land, Forced by the dire need of his freezing fear. First, on the waters he his tail did stere, Like to a stern; then drew it like an oar, Still praying the Gods to set him safe ashore; Yet sunk he midst the red waves more and more, And laid a throat out to his utmost height; Yet in forced speech he made his peril slight, And thus his glory with his grievance strove: “Not in such choice state was the charge of love Borne by the bull, when to the Cretan shore He swum Europa through the wavy roar, As this Frog ferries me, his pallid breast Bravely advancing, and his verdant crest (Submitted to my seat) made my support, Through his white waters, to his royal court.” But on the sudden did apparance make An horrid spectacle,—a Water-snake Thrusting his freckled neck above the lake. Which seen to both, away Physignathus Dived to his deeps, as no way conscious Of whom he left to perish in his lake, But shunn’d black fate himself, and let him take The blackest of it; who amidst the fen Swum with his breast up, hands held up in vain, Cried _Peepe_, and perish’d; sunk the waters oft, And often with his sprawlings came aloft, Yet no way kept down death’s relentless force, But, full of water, made an heavy corse. Before he perish’d yet, he threaten’d thus: “Thou lurk’st not yet from heaven, Physignathus, Though yet thou hid’st here, that hast cast from thee, As from a rock, the shipwrack’d life of me, Though thou thyself no better was than I, O worst of things, at any faculty, Wrastling or race. But, for thy perfidy In this my wrack, Jove bears a wreakful eye; And to the host of Mice thou pains shalt pay, Past all evasion.” This his life let say, And left him to the waters. Him beheld Lichopinax,[14] placed in the pleasing field, Who shriek’d extremely, ran and told the Mice; Who having heard his wat’ry destinies, Pernicious anger pierced the hearts of all, And then their heralds forth they sent to call A council early, at Troxartes’ house, Sad father of this fatal shipwrack’d Mouse; Whose dead corse upwards swum along the lake, Nor yet, poor wretch, could be enforced to make The shore his harbour, but the mid-main Swum. When now, all haste made, with first morn did come All to set council; in which first rais’d head Troxartes, angry for his son, and said: “O friends, though I alone may seem to bear All the infortune, yet may all met here Account it their case. But ’tis true, I am In chief unhappy, that a triple flame Of life feel put forth, in three famous sons; The first, the chief in our confusions, The Cat, made rape of, caught without his hole: The second, Man, made with a cruel soul, Brought to his ruin with a new-found sleight, And a most wooden engine of deceit, They term a Trap, mere murth’ress of our Mice. The last, that in my love held special price, And his rare mother’s, this Physignathus (With false pretext of wafting to his house) Strangled in chief deeps of his bloody stream. Come then, haste all, and issue out on them, Our bodies deck’d in our Dædalean arms.” This said, his words thrust all up in alarms, And Mars himself, that serves the cure of war, Made all in their appropriates circular. First on each leg the green shales of a bean They closed for boots, that sat exceeding clean;[15] The shales they broke ope, boothaling by night, And ate the beans; their jacks art exquisite Had shown in them, being cats’ skins, everywhere Quilted with quills; their fenceful bucklers were The middle rounds of can’sticks; but their spear A huge long needle was, that could not bear The brain of any but be Mars his own Mortal invention; their heads’ arming crown Was vessel to the kernel of a nut. And thus the Mice their powers in armour put. This the Frogs hearing, from the water all Issue to one place, and a council call Of wicked war; consulting what should be Cause to this murmur and strange mutiny. While this was question’d, near them made his stand An herald with a sceptre in his hand, Embasichytrus[16] call’d, that fetch’d his kind From Tyroglyphus[17] with the mighty mind, Denouncing ill-named war in these high terms: “O Frogs! the Mice send threats to you of arms, And bid me bid ye battle and fix’d fight; Their eyes all wounded with Psicharpax’ sight Floating your waters, whom your king hath kill’d, And therefore all prepare for force of field, You that are best born whosoever held.” This said, he sever’d: his speech firing th’ ears Of all the Mice, but freez’d the Frogs with fears, Themselves conceiting guilty; whom the king Thus answer’d, rising, “Friends! I did not bring Psicharpax to his end; he, wantoning Upon our waters, practising to swim, Aped us,[18] and drown’d without my sight of him. And yet these worst of vermin accuse me, Though no way guilty. Come, consider we How we may ruin these deceitful Mice. For my part, I give voice to this advice, As seeming fittest to direct our deeds: Our bodies decking with our arming weeds, Let all our pow’rs stand rais’d in steep’st repose Of all our shore; that, when they charge us close, We may the helms snatch off from all so deckt, Daring our onset, and them all deject Down to our waters; who, not knowing the sleight. To dive our soft deeps, may be strangled straight, And we triumphing may a trophy rear, Of all the Mice that we have slaughter’d here.” These words put all in arms; and mallow leaves They drew upon their legs, for arming greaves.[19] Their curets, broad green beets; their bucklers were Good thick-leaved cabbage, proof ’gainst any spear; Their spears sharp bulrushes, of which were all Fitted with long ones; their parts capital They hid in subtle cockleshells from blows. And thus all arm’d, the steepest shores they chose T’ encamp themselves; where lance with lance they lined, And brandish’d bravely, each Frog full of mind. Then Jove call’d all Gods in his flaming throne, And show’d all all this preparation For resolute war; these able soldiers, Many, and great, all shaking lengthful spears, In show like Centaurs, Or the Giants’ host. When, sweetly smiling, he inquired who, most Of all th’ Immortals, pleased to add their aid To Frogs or Mice; and thus to Pallas said: “O Daughter! Must not your needs aid these Mice, That, with the odours and meat sacrifice Used in your temple, endless triumphs make, And serve you for your sacred victuals’ sake?” Pallas replied: “O Father, never I Will aid the Mice in any misery. So many mischiefs by them I have found, Eating the cotton that my distaffs crown’d,[20] My lamps still haunting to devour the oil. But that which most my mind eats, is their spoil Made of a veil, that me in much did stand, On which bestowing an elaborate hand, A fine woof working of as pure a thread; Such holes therein their petulancies fed That, putting it to darning, when ’twas done, The darner a most dear pay stood upon For his so dear pains, laid down instantly; Or, to forbear, exacted usury.[21] So, borrowing from my fane the weed I wove, I can by no means th’ usurous darner move To let me have the mantle to restore. And this is it that rubs the angry sore Of my offence took at these petulant Mice. Nor will I yield the Frogs’ wants my supplies, For their infirm minds that no confines keep; For I from war retir’d, and wanting sleep, All leap’d ashore in tumult, nor would stay Till one wink seized mine eyes, and so I lay Sleepless, and pain’d with headache, till first light The cock had crow’d up. Therefore, to the fight Let no God go assistant, lest a lance Wound whosoever offers to advance, Or wishes but their aid, that scorn all foes; Should any God’s access their spirits oppose. Sit we then pleased to see from heaven their fight.” She said, and all Gods join’d in her delight. And now both hosts to one field drew the jar, Both heralds bearing the ostents of war. And then the wine-gnats,[22] that shrill trumpets sound, Terribly rung out the encounter round; Jove thund’red; all heaven sad war’s sign resounded. And first Hypsiboas[23] Lichenor[24] wounded, Standing th’ impression of the first in fight. His lance did in his liver’s midst alight, Along his belly. Down he fell; his face His fall on that part sway’d, and all the grace Of his soft hair fil’d with disgraceful dust. Then Troglodytes[25] his thick javelin thrust In Pelion’s[26] bosom, bearing him to ground, Whom sad death seiz’d; his soul flew through his wound. Seutlæus[27] next Embasichytros slew, His heart through-thrusting. Then Artophagus[28] threw His lance at Polyphon,[29] and struck him quite Through his mid-belly; down he fell upright, And from his fair limbs took his soul her flight. Limnocharis,[30] beholding Polyphon Thus done to death, did, with as round a stone As that the mill turns, Troglodytes wound, Near his mid-neck, ere he his onset found; Whose eyes sad darkness seiz’d. Lichenor[31] cast A flying dart off, and his aim so placed Upon Limnocharis; that sure he thought[32] The wound he wish’d him; nor untruly wrought The dire success, for through his liver flew The fatal lance; which when Crambophagus[33] knew, Down the deep waves near shore he, diving, fled; But fled not fate so; the stern enemy fed Death with his life in diving; never more The air he drew in; his vermilion gore Stain’d all the waters, and along the shore He laid extended; his fat entrails lay (By his small guts’ impulsion) breaking way Out at his wound. Limnisius[34] near the shore Destroy’d Tyroglyphus. Which frighted sore The soul of Calaminth,[35] seeing coming on, For wreak, Pternoglyphus;[36] who got him gone With large leaps to the lake, his target thrown Into the waters. Hydrocharis[37] slew King Pternophagus,[38] at whose throat he threw A huge stone, strook it high, and beat his brain Out at his nostrils. Earth blush’d with the stain His blood made on her bosom. For next prise, Lichopinax to death did sacrifice Borboroccetes’[39] faultless faculties; His lance enforced it; darkness closed his eyes. On which when Prassophagus[40] cast his look, Cnissodioctes[41] by the heels he took, Dragg’d him to fen from off his native ground, Then seized his throat, and soused him till he drown’d But now Psicharpax wreaks his fellows’ deaths, And in the bosom of Pelusius[42] sheaths, In centre of his liver, his bright lance. He fell before the author of the chance; His soul to hell fled. Which Pelobates[43] Taking sad note of, wreakfully did seize His hand’s gripe full of mud, and all besmear’d His forehead with it so, that scarce appear’d The light to him. Which certainly incensed His fiery spleen; who with his wreak dispensed No point of time, but rear’d with his strong hand A stone so massy it oppress’d the land, And hurl’d it at him; when below the knee It strook his right leg so impetuously It piecemeal brake it; he the dust did seize, Upwards everted. But Craugasides[44] Revenged his death, and at his enemy Discharged a dart that did his point imply In his mid-belly. All the sharp-pil’d spear Got after in, and did before it bear His universal entrails to the earth, Soon as his swoln hand gave his jav’lin birth. Sitophagus,[45] beholding the sad sight, Set on the shore, went halting from the fight, Vex’d with his wounds extremely; and, to make Way from extreme fate, leap’d into the lake. Troxartes strook, in th’ instep’s upper part, Physignathus; who (privy to the smart His wound imparted) with his utmost haste Leap’d to the lake, and fled. Troxartes cast His eye upon the foe that fell before, And, seeing him half-liv’d, long’d again to gore His gutless bosom; and, to kill him quite, Ran fiercely at him. Which Prassseus’[46] sight Took instant note of, and the first in fight Thrust desp’rate way through, casting his keen lance Off at Troxartes; whose shield turn’d th’ advance The sharp head made, and check’d the mortal chance. Amongst the Mice fought an egregious Young springall, and a close-encount’ring Mouse, Pure Artepibulus’s[47] dear descent; A prince that Mars himself show’d where he went. (Call’d Meridarpax,[48]) of so huge a might, That only he still domineer’d in fight Of all the Mouse-host. He advancing close Up to the lake, past all the rest arose In glorious object, and made vaunt that he Came to depopulate all the progeny Of Frogs, affected with the lance of war. And certainly he had put on as far As he advanced his vaunt, he was endu’d With so unmatch’d a force and fortitude, Had not the Father both of Gods and men Instantly known it, and the Frogs, even then Given up to ruin, rescued with remorse. Who, his head moving, thus began discourse: “No mean amaze affects me, to behold Prince Meridarpax rage so uncontroll’d, In thirst of Frog-blood, all along the lake. Come therefore still, and all addression make, Despatching Pallas, with tumultuous Mars, Down to the field, to make him leave the wars, How potently soever he be said[49] Where he attempts once to uphold his head.” Mars answer’d: “O Jove, neither She nor I, With both our aids, can keep depopulacy From off the Frogs! And therefore arm we all, Even thy lance letting brandish to his call From off the field, that from the field withdrew The Titanois, the Titanois that slew, Though most exempt from match of all earth’s Seeds, So great and so inaccessible deeds It hath proclaim’d to men; bound hand and foot The vast Enceladus; and rac’d by th’ root The race of upland Giants.” This speech past, Saturnius a smoking lightning cast Amongst the armies, thund’ring then so sore, That with a rapting circumflex he bore All huge heaven over. But the terrible ire Of his dart, sent abroad, all wrapt in fire, (Which certainly his very finger was) Amazed both Mice and Frogs. Yet soon let pass Was all this by the Mice, who much the more Burn’d in desire t’ exterminate the store Of all those lance-loved soldiers. Which had been, If from Olympus Jove’s eye had not seen The Frogs with pity, and with instant speed Sent them assistants. Who, ere any heed Was given to their approach, came crawling on With anvils on their backs, that, beat upon[50] Never so much, are never wearied yet; Crook-paw’d, and wrested on with foul cloven feet, Tongues in their mouths,[51] brick-back’d, all over bone, Broad shoulder’d, whence a ruddy yellow shone, Distorted, and small-thigh’d; had eyes that saw Out at their bosoms; twice four feet did draw About their bodies; strong-neck’d, whence did rise Two heads; nor could to any hand be prise; They call them lobsters; that ate from the Mice Their tails, their feet, and hands, and wrested all Their lances from them, so that cold appall The wretches put in rout, past all return. And now the Fount of Light forbore to burn Above the earth; when, which men’s laws commend, Our battle in one day took absolute end.

[1] Intending _men:_ being divided from all other creatures by the
voice; _μέροψ,_ being a periphrasis, signifying _voce divisus,_ of
_μείρω (μείρομαι) divido,_ and _ὅψ, ὁπός, vox._
[2] _Φυσίγναθος, Genas et buccas inflans._
[3] _Πηλεύς, qui ex luto nascitur._
[4] _‘ϒδρομέδουνα. Aquarum regina._
[5] The river Po, in Italy.
[6] _Ψιχάρπαξ._ Gather-crum, or ravish-crum,
[7] Shear-crust.
[8] Lick-mill.
[9] Bacon-flitch-devourer, or gnawer.
[10] _Τανύπεπλος. Extenso et prourisso peploamictus._ A metaphor taken
from ladies’ veils, or trains, and therefore their names are here
[11] _῞Ηπατα λευκοχίτωνα._ Livering puddings white-skinn’d.
[12] _Παντοδαποι̑σιν._ Whose common exposition is only _variis,_ when
it properly signifies _ex omni solo._
[13] _Στονόεσσαν,_ of _στενός, angutstus._
[14] Lickdish.
[15] _Ευ͒ τ᾽ ἀσκήσαντες, ab ἀσκέω, elaboratè concinno._
[16] Enter-pot, or search-pot.
[17] Cheese-miner. _Qui caseum rodendo cavat._
[18] _Μιμούμενος._ Aping, or imitating us.
[19] Boots of war.
[20] _Στέμματα, Lanas, eo quod colus cingant seu coronent._ Which our
learned sect translate eating the crowns that Pallas wore.
[21] _Τόκος. Partus, et id quod partu edidit mater. Metap. hic
appellatur fænus quod ex usurâ ad nos redit._
[22] _Κώνωψ. Culex vinarius._
[23] Loud-mouth.
[24] Kitchen-vessel licker.
[25] Hole-dweller. _Qui foramina subit._
[26] Mud-born.
[27] Beet-devourer.
[28] The great bread eater.
[29] _Πολύφωνον._ The great-noise-maker, shrill or big-voiced.
[30] The lake-lover.
[31] _Qui lambit culinaria vasa._
[32] _Τιτύσκομαι intentissime dirigo ut certum ictum inferam._
[33] The cabbage-eater.
[34] _Paludis incola._ Lake-liver.
[35] _Qui in calaminthâ, herbâ palustri, habitat._
[36] Bacon-eater.
[37] _Qui aquis delectatur._
[38] Collop-devourer.
[39] Mud-sleeper.
[40] Leek or scallion lover.
[41] Kitchen-smell haunter, or hunter.
[42] Fenstalk.
[43] _Qui per lutum it._
[44] Vociferator.
[45] Eat-corn.
[46] Scallion-devourer.
[47] Bread-betrayer.
[48] Scrap, or broken-meat-eater.
[49] _Κρατερός, validus seu potens in retineudo._
[50] _Νωτάκμονες. Incudes ferentes,_ or anvil-backed. _῞Ακμων. Incus,
dicta per syncopen quasi nullis ictibus fatigetur._
[51] _Ψαλίδοστομος. Forcipem in ore habens._


A Hymn to Apollo

I will remember and express the praise Of heaven’s Far-darter, the fair King of days, Whom even the Gods themselves fear when he goes Through Jove’s high house; and when his goodly bows He goes to bend, all from their thrones arise, And cluster near, t’ admire his faculties. Only Latona stirs not from her seat Close by the Thund’rer, till her Son’s retreat From his dread archery; but then she goes, Slackens his string, and shuts his quiver close, And (having taken to her hand his bow, From off his able shoulders) doth bestow Upon a pin of gold the glorious tiller, The pin of gold fix’d in his father’s pillar. Then doth She to his throne his state uphold, Where his great Father, in a cup of gold, Serves him with nectar, and shows all the grace Of his great son. Then th’ other Gods take place; His gracious mother glorying to bear So great an archer, and a son so clear. All hail, O blest Latona! to bring forth An issue of such all-out-shining worth, Royal Apollo, and the Queen that loves The hurls of darts. She in th’ Ortygian groves, And he in cliffy Delos, leaning on The lofty Oros, and being built upon By Cynthus’ prominent, that his head rears Close to the palm that Inops’ fluent cheers. How shall I praise thee, far being worthiest praise, O Phœbus? To whose worth the law of lays In all kinds is ascrib’d, if feeding flocks By continent or isle. All eminent’st rocks Did sing for joy, hill-tops, and floods in song Did break their billows, as they flow’d along To serve the sea; the shores, the seas, and all Did sing as soon as from the lap did fall Of blest Latona thee the joy of man. Her child-bed made the mountain Cynthian In rocky Delos, the sea-circled isle, On whose all sides the black seas brake their pile, And overflow’d for joy, so frank a gale The singing winds did on their waves exhale. Here born, all mortals live in thy commands, Whoever Crete holds, Athens, or the strands Of th’ isle Ægina, or the famous land For ships (Eubœa), or Eresia, Or Peparethus bord’ring on the sea, Ægas, or Athos that doth Thrace divide And Macedon; or Pelion, with the pride Of his high forehead; or the Samian isle, That likewise lies near Thrace; or Scyrus’ soil; Ida’s steep tops; or all that Phocis fill; Or Autocanes, with the heaven-high hill; Or populous Imber; Lemnos without ports; Or Lesbos, fit for the divine resorts; And sacred soil of blest Æolion; Or Chios that exceeds comparison For fruitfulness; with all the isles that lie Embrac’d with seas; Mimas, with rocks so high; Or lofty-crown’d Corycius; or the bright Charos; or Æsagæus’ dazzling height; Or watery Samos; Mycale, that bears Her brows even with the circles of the spheres; Miletus; Cous, that the city is Of voice-divided-choice humanities; High Cnidus; Carpathus, still strook with wind; Naxos, and Paros; and the rocky-min’d Rugged Rhenæa. Yet through all these parts Latona, great-grown with the King of darts, Travell’d; and tried if any would become To her dear birth an hospitable home. All which extremely trembled, shook with fear, Nor durst endure so high a birth to bear In their free states, though, for it, they became Never so fruitful; till the reverend Dame Ascended Delos, and her soil did seize With these wing’d words: “O Delos! Wouldst thou please To be my son Apollo’s native seat, And build a wealthy fane to one so great, No one shall blame or question thy kind deed. Nor think I, thou dost sheep or oxen feed In any such store, or in vines exceed, Nor bring’st forth such innumerable plants, Which often make the rich inhabitants Careless of Deity. If thou then shouldst rear A fane to Phœbus, all men would confer Whole hecatombs of beeves for sacrifice, Still thronging hither; and to thee would rise Ever unmeasur’d odours, shouldst thou long Nourish thy King thus; and from foreign wrong The Gods would guard thee; which thine own address Can never compass for thy barrenness.” She said, and Delos joy’d, replying thus: “Most happy sister of Saturnius! I gladly would with all means entertain The King your son, being now despised of men, But should be honour’d with the greatest then. Yet this I fear, nor will conceal from thee: Your son, some say, will author misery In many kinds, as being to sustain A mighty empire over Gods and men, Upon the holy-gift-giver the Earth. And bitterly I fear that, when his birth Gives him the sight of my so barren soil, He will contemn, and give me up to spoil, Enforce the sea to me, that ever will Oppress my heart with many a wat’ry hill. And therefore let him choose some other land, Where he shall please, to build at his command Temple and grove, set thick with many a tree. For wretched polypuses breed in me Retiring chambers, and black sea-calves den In my poor soil, for penury of men. And yet, O Goddess, wouldst thou please to swear The Gods’ great oath to me, before thou bear Thy blessed son here, that thou wilt erect A fane to him, to render the effect Of men’s demands to them before they fall, Then will thy son’s renown be general, Men will his name in such variety call, And I shall then be glad his birth to bear.” This said, the Gods’ great oath she thus did swear: “Know this, O Earth! broad heaven’s inferior sphere, And of black Styx the most infernal lake, (Which is the gravest oath the Gods can take) That here shall ever rise to Phœbus’ name An odorous fane and altar; and thy fame Honour, past all isles else, shall see him employ’d.” Her oath thus took and ended, Delos joy’d in mighty measure that she should become To far-shot Phœbus’ birth the famous home. Latona then nine days and nights did fall In hopeless labour; at whose birth were all Heaven’s most supreme and worthy Goddesses, Dione, Rhæa, and th’ Exploratress Themis, and Amphitrite that will be Pursu’d with sighs still; every Deity, Except the snowy-wristed wife of Jove, Who held her moods aloft, and would not move; Only Lucina (to whose virtue vows Each childbirth patient) heard not of her throes, But sat, by Juno’s counsel, on the brows Of broad Olympus, wrapp’d in clouds of gold. Whom Jove’s proud wife in envy did withhold, Because bright-lock’d Latona was to bear A son so faultless and in force so clear. The rest Thaumantia sent before, to bring Lucina to release the envied king, Assuring her, that they would straight confer A carcanet, nine cubits long, on her, All woven with wires of gold. But charg’d her, then, To call apart from th’ ivory-wristed Queen The childbirth-guiding Goddess, for just fear Lest, her charge utter’d in Saturnia’s ear, She, after, might dissuade her from descent. When wind-swift-footed Iris knew th’ intent Of th’ other Goddesses, away she went, And instantly she pass’d the infinite space ’Twixt earth and heaven; when, coming to the place Where dwelt th’ Immortals, straight without the gate She gat Lucina, and did all relate The Goddesses commanded, and inclin’d To all that they demanded her dear mind. And on their way they went, like those two doves That, walking highways, every shadow moves Up from the earth, forc’d with their natural fear. When ent’ring Delos, She, that is so dear To dames in labour, made Latona straight Prone to delivery, and to wield the weight Of her dear burthen with a world of ease. When, with her fair hand, she a palm did seize, And, staying her by it, stuck her tender knees Amidst the soft mead, that did smile beneath Her sacred labour; and the child did breathe The air in th’ instant. All the Goddesses Brake in kind tears and shrieks for her quick ease, And thee, O archer Phœbus, with waves clear Wash’d sweetly over, swaddled with sincere And spotless swathbands; and made then to flow About thy breast a mantle, white as snow, Fine, and new made; and cast a veil of gold Over thy forehead. Nor yet forth did hold Thy mother for thy food her golden breast, But Themis, in supply of it, address’d Lovely Ambrosia, and drunk off to thee A bowl of nectar, interchangeably With her immortal fingers serving thine. And when, O Phœbus, that eternal wine Thy taste had relish’d, and that food divine, No golden swathband longer could contain Thy panting bosom; all that would constrain Thy soon-eas’d Godhead, every feeble chain Of earthy child-rites, flew in sunder all. And then didst thou thus to the Deities call: “Let there be given me my lov’d lute and bow, I’ll prophesy to men, and make them know Jove’s perfect counsels.” This said, up did fly From broad-way’d Earth the unshorn Deity, Far-shot Apollo. All th’ Immortals stood In steep amaze to see Latona’s brood. All Delos, looking on him, all with gold Was loaden straight, and joy’d to be extoll’d By great Latona so, that she decreed Her barrenness should bear the fruitful’st seed Of all the isles and continents of earth, And lov’d her from her heart so for her birth. For so she flourish’d, as a hill that stood Crown’d with the flow’r of an abundant wood. And thou, O Phœbus, bearing in thy hand Thy silver bow, walk’st over every land, Sometimes ascend’st the rough-hewn rocky hill Of desolate Cynthus, and sometimes tak’st will To visit islands, and the plumps of men. And many a temple, all ways, men ordain To thy bright Godhead; groves, made dark with trees, And never shorn, to hide the Deities, All high-lov’d prospects, all the steepest brows Of far-seen hills, and every flood that flows Forth to the sea, are dedicate to thee. But most of all thy mind’s alacrity Is rais’d with Delos; since, to fill thy fane, There flocks so many an Ionian, With ample gowns that flow down to their feet, With all their children, and the reverend sweet Of all their pious wives. And these are they That (mindful of thee) even thy Deity Render more spritely with their champion fight, Dances, and songs, perform’d to glorious sight, Once having publish’d, and proclaim’d their strife. And these are acted with such exquisite life That one would say, “Now, the Ionian strains Are turn’d Immortals, nor know what age means.” His mind would take such pleasure from his eye, To see them serv’d by all mortality, Their men so human, women so well grac’d, Their ships so swift, their riches so increas’d, Since thy observance, who, being all before Thy opposites, were all despis’d and poor. And to all these this absolute wonder add, Whose praise shall render all posterities glad: The Delian virgins are thy handmaids all, And, since they serv’d Apollo, jointly fall Before Latona, and Diana too, In sacred service, and do therefore know How to make mention of the ancient trims Of men and women, in their well-made hymns, And soften barbarous nations with their songs, Being able all to speak the several tongues Of foreign nations, and to imitate Their musics there, with art so fortunate That one would say, there everyone did speak, And all their tunes in natural accents break, Their songs so well compos’d are, and their art To answer all sounds is of such desert. But come, Latona, and thou King of flames, With Phœbe, rect’ress of chaste thoughts in dames Let me salute ye, and your graces call Hereafter to my just memorial. And you, O Delian virgins, do me grace, When any stranger of our earthy race, Whose restless life affliction hath in chace, Shall hither come and question you, who is, To your chaste ears, of choicest faculties In sacred poesy, and with most right Is author of your absolut’st delight, Ye shall yourselves do all the right ye can To answer for our name:—“The sightless man Of stony Chios. All whose poems shall In all last ages stand for capital.” This for your own sakes I desire, for I Will propagate mine own precedency As far as earth shall well-built cities bear, Or human conversation is held dear, Not with my praise direct, but praises due, And men shall credit it, because ’tis true. However, I’ll not cease the praise I vow To far-shot Phœbus with the silver bow, Whom lovely-hair’d Latona gave the light. O King! both Lycia is in rule thy right, Fair Mœony, and the maritimal Miletus, wish’d to be the seat of all. But chiefly Delos, girt with billows round, Thy most respected empire doth resound. Where thou to Pythus went’st, to answer there, As soon as thou wert born, the burning ear Of many a far-come, to hear future deeds, Clad in divine and odoriferous weeds, And with thy golden fescue play’dst upon Thy hollow harp, that sounds to heaven set gone. Then to Olympus swift as thought he flew, To Jove’s high house, and had a retinue Of Gods t’ attend him; and then straight did fall To study of the harp, and harpsical, All th’ Immortals. To whom every Muse With ravishing voices did their answers use, Singing th’ eternal deeds of Deity, And from their hands what hells of misery Poor humans suffer, living desperate quite, And not an art they have, wit, or deceit, Can make them manage any act aright, Nor find, with all the soul they can engage, A salve for death, or remedy for age. But here the fair-hair’d Graces, the wise Hours, Harmonia, Hebe, and sweet Venus’ pow’rs, Danc’d, and each other’s palm to palm did cling. And with these danc’d not a deformed thing, No forespoke dwarf, nor downward witherling, But all with wond’rous goodly forms were deckt, And mov’d with beauties of unpriz’d aspect. Dart-dear Diana, even with Phœbus bred, Danc’d likewise there; and Mars a march did tread With that brave bevy. In whose consort fell Argicides, th’ ingenious sentinel. Phœbus-Apollo touch’d his lute to them Sweetly and softly, a most glorious beam Casting about him, as he danc’d and play’d, And even his feet were all with rays array’d; His weed and all of a most curious trim With no less lustre grac’d and circled him. By these Latona, with a hair that shin’d Like burnish’d gold, and, with the mighty mind; Heaven’s counsellor, Jove, sat with delightsome eyes; To see their son new rank’d with Deities. How shall I praise thee, then, that art all praise? Amongst the brides shall I thy Deity raise? Or being in love, when sad thou went’st to woo The virgin Aza, and didst overthrow The even-with-Gods, Elation’s mighty seed, That had of goodly horse so brave a breed, And Phorbas, son of sovereign Triopus, Valiant Leucippus, and Ereutheus, And Triopus himself with equal fall, Thou but on foot, and they on horseback all? Or shall I sing thee, as thou first didst grace Earth with thy foot, to find thee forth a place Fit to pronounce thy oracles to men? First from Olympus thou alightedst then Into Pieria, passing all the land Of fruitless Lesbos, chok’d with drifts of sand, The Magnets likewise, and the Perrhæbes; And to Iolcus variedst thy access, Cenæus’ tops ascending, that their base Make bright Eubœa, being of ships the grace, And fix’d thy fair stand in Lelantus’ field, That did not yet thy mind’s contentment yield To raise a fane on, and a sacred grove. Passing Euripus then, thou mad’st remove Up to earth’s ever-green and holiest hill. Yet swiftly thence, too, thou transcendedst still To Mycalessus, and didst touch upon Teumessus, apt to make green couches on, And flowery field-beds. Then thy progress found Thebes out, whose soil with only woods was crown’d, For yet was sacred Thebes no human seat, And therefore were no paths nor highways beat On her free bosom, that flows now with wheat, But then she only wore on it a wood. From hence (even loth to part, because it stood Fit for thy service) thou putt’st on remove To green Onchestus, Neptune’s glorious grove, Where new-tam’d horse, bred, nourish nerves so rare That still they frolic, though they travell’d are Never so sore, and hurry after them Most heavy coaches, but are so extreme (In usual travel) fiery and free, That though their coachman ne’er so masterly Governs their courages, he sometimes must Forsake his seat, and give their spirits their lust, When after them their empty coach they draw, Foaming, and neighing, quite exempt from awe. And if their coachman guide through any grove Unshorn, and vow’d to any Deity’s love, The lords encoach’d leap out, and all their care Use to allay their fires, with speaking fair Stroking and trimming them, and in some queach, Or strength of shade, within their nearest reach, Reining them up, invoke the deified King Of that unshorn and everlasting spring, And leave them then to her preserving hands, Who is the Fate that there the God commands. And this was first the sacred fashion there. From hence thou went’st, O thou in shafts past peer, And found’st Cephissus with thy all-seeing beams, Whose flood affects so many silver streams, And from Lilæus pours so bright a wave. Yet forth thy foot flew, and thy fair eyes gave The view of Ocale the rich in tow’rs; Then to Amartus that abounds in flow’rs, Then to Delphusa putt’st thy progress on, Whose blessed soil nought harmful breeds upon; And there thy pleasure would a fane adorn, And nourish woods whose shades should ne’er be shorn. Where this thou told’st her, standing to her close: “Delphusa, here I entertain suppose To build a far-fam’d temple, and ordain An oracle t’ inform the minds of men, Who shall for ever offer to my love Whole hecatombs; even all the men that move In rich Peloponnesus, and all those Of Europe, and the isles the seas enclose, Whom future search of acts and beings brings. To whom I’ll prophesy the truths of things In that rich temple where my oracle sings.” This said, the All-bounds-reacher, with his bow, The fane’s divine foundations did foreshow; Ample they were, and did huge length impart, With a continuate tenour, full of art. But when Delphusa look’d into his end, Her heart grew angry, and did thus extend Itself to Phœbus: “Phœbus, since thy mind A far-fam’d fane hath in itself design’d To bear an oracle to men in me, That hecatombs may put in fire to thee, This let me tell thee, and impose for stay Upon thy purpose: Th’ inarticulate neigh Of fire-hov’d horse will ever disobey Thy numerous ear, and mules will for their drink Trouble my sacred springs, and I should think That any of the human race had rather See here the hurries of rich coaches gather, And hear the haughty neighs of swift-hov’d horse, Than in his pleasure’s place convert recourse T’a mighty temple; and his wealth bestow On pieties, where his sports may freely flow, Or see huge wealth that he shall never owe. And, therefore, wouldst thou hear my free advice,— Though mightier far thou art, and much more wise, O king, than I, thy pow’r being great’st of all In Crissa, underneath the bosom’s fall Of steep Parnassus,—let thy mind be given To set thee up a fane, where never driven Shall glorious coaches be, nor horses’ neighs Storm near thy well-built altars, but thy praise Let the fair race of pious humans bring Into thy fane, that Io-pæans sing. And those gifts only let thy deified mind Be circularly pleas’d with, being the kind And fair burnt-offerings that true Deities bind.” With this his mind she altered, though she spake Not for his good, but her own glory’s sake. From hence, O Phœbus, first thou mad’st retreat, And of the Phlegians reached the walled seat, Inhabited with contumelious men, Who, slighting Jove, took up their dwellings then Within a large cave, near Cephissus’ lake. Hence, swiftly moving, thou all speed didst make Up to the tops intended, and the ground Of Crissa, under the-with-snow-still-crown’d Parnassus, reach’d, whose face affects the West; Above which hangs a rock, that still seems prest To fall upon it, through whose breast doth run A rocky cave, near which the King the Sun Cast to contrive a temple to his mind, And said, “Now here stands my conceit inclin’d To build a famous fane, where still shall be An oracle to men, that still to me Shall offer absolute hecatombs, as well Those that in rich Peloponnesus dwell As those of Europe, and the isles that lie Wall’d with the sea, that all their pains apply T’ employ my counsels. To all which will I True secrets tell, by way of prophecy, In my rich temple, that shall ever be An oracle to all posterity.” This said, the fane’s form he did straight present, Ample, and of a length of great extent; In which Trophonius and Agamede, Who of Erginus were the famous seed, Impos’d the stony entry, and the heart Of every God had for their excellent art. About the temple dwelt of human name Unnumber’d nations, it acquired such fame, Being all of stone, built for eternal date. And near it did a fountain propagate A fair stream far away; when Jove’s bright seed, The King Apollo, with an arrow, freed From his strong string, destroy’d the Dragoness That wonder nourish’d, being of such excess In size, and horridness of monstrous shape, That on the forc’d earth she wrought many a rape, Many a spoil made on it, many an ill On crook-haunch’d herds brought, being impurpled still With blood of all sorts; having undergone The charge of Juno, with the golden throne, To nourish Typhon, the abhorr’d affright And bane of mortals, whom into the light Saturnia brought forth, being incensed with Jove, Because the most renown’d fruit of his love (Pallas) he got, and shook out of his brain. For which majestic Juno did complain In this kind to the Bless’d Court of the skies: “Know all ye sex-distinguish’d Deities, That Jove, assembler of the cloudy throng, Begins with me first, and affects with wrong My right in him, made by himself his wife, That knows and does the honour’d marriage life All honest offices; and yet hath he Unduly got, without my company, Blue-eyed Minerva, who of all the sky Of blest Immortals is the absolute grace; Where I have brought into the Heavenly Race A son, both taken in his feet and head, So ugly, and so far from worth my bed, That, ravish’d into hand, I took and threw Down to the vast sea his detested view; Where Nereus’ daughter, Thetis, who her way With silver feet makes, and the fair array Of her bright sisters, saved, and took to guard. But, would to heaven, another yet were spared The like grace of his godhead! Crafty mate, What other scape canst thou excogitate? How could thy heart sustain to get alone The grey-eyed Goddess? Her conception Nor bringing forth had any hand of mine, And yet, know all the Gods, I go for thine To such kind uses. But I’ll now employ My brain to procreate a masculine joy, That ’mongst th’ Immortals may as eminent shine, With shame affecting nor my bed nor thine. Nor will I ever touch at thine again, But far fly it and thee; and yet will reign Amongst th’ Immortals ever.” This spleen spent (Still yet left angry) far away she went From all the Deathless, and yet pray’d to all, Advanced her hand, and, ere she let it fall, Used these excitements: “Hear me now, O Earth! Broad Heaven above it, and beneath, your birth, The deified Titanois, that dwell about Vast Tartarus, from whence sprung all the rout Of Men and Deities! Hear me all, I say, With all your forces, and give instant way T’ a son of mine without Jove, who yet may Nothing inferior prove in force to him, But past him spring as far in able limb As he past Saturn.” This pronounced, she strook Life-bearing Earth so strongly, that she shook Beneath her numb’d hand. Which when she beheld, Her bosom with abundant comforts swell’d, In hope all should to her desire extend. From hence the year, that all such proofs gives end, Grew round; yet all that time the bed of Jove She never touch’d at, never was her love Enflam’d to sit near his Dædalian throne, As she accustomed, to consult upon Counsels kept dark with many a secret skill, But kept her vow-frequented temple still, Pleas’d with her sacrifice; till now, the nights And days accomplish’d, and the year’s whole rights In all her revolutions being expired, The hours and all run out that were required To vent a birth-right, she brought forth a son, Like Gods or men in no condition, But a most dreadful and pernicious thing, Call’d Typhon, who on all the human spring Conferr’d confusion. Which received to hand By Juno, instantly she gave command (Ill to ill adding) that the Dragoness Should bring it up; who took, and did oppress With many a misery (to maintain th’ excess Of that inhuman monster) all the race Of men that were of all the world the grace, Till the far-working Phœbus at her sent A fiery arrow, that invoked event Of death gave to her execrable life. Before which yet she lay in bitter strife, With dying pains, grovelling on earth, and drew Extreme short respirations; for which flew A shout about the air, whence no man knew, But came by power divine. And then she lay Tumbling her trunk, and winding every way About her nasty nest, quite leaving then Her murderous life, embrued with deaths of men. Then Phœbus gloried, saying: “Thyself now lie On men-sustaining earth, and putrefy, Who first of putrefaction was inform’d. Now on thy life have death’s cold vapours storm’d, That storm’dst on men the earth-fed so much death, In envy of the offspring they made breathe Their lives out on my altars. Now from thee Not Typhon shall enforce the misery Of merited death, nor She, whose name implies Such scathe (Chimæra), but black earth make prise To putrefaction thy immanities, And bright Hyperion, that light all eyes shows, Thine with a night of rottenness shall close.” Thus spake he glorying. And then seiz’d upon Her horrid heap, with putrefaction, Hyperion’s lovely pow’rs; from whence her name Took sound of Python, and heaven’s Sovereign Flame Was surnam’d Pythius, since the sharp-eyed Sun Affected so with putrefaction The hellish monster. And now Phœbus’ mind Gave him to know that falsehood had strook blind Even his bright eye, because it could not find The subtle Fountain’s fraud; to whom he flew, Enflamed with anger, and in th’ instant drew Close to Delphusa, using this short vow: “Delphusa! You must look no longer now To vent your frauds on me; for well I know Your situation to be lovely, worth A temple’s imposition, it pours forth So delicate a stream. But your renown Shall now no longer shine here, but mine own.” This said, he thrust her promontory down, And damm’d her fountain up with mighty stones, A temple giving consecrations In woods adjoining. And in this fane all On him, by surname of Delphusius, call, Because Delphusa’s sacred flood and fame His wrath affected so, and hid in shame. And then thought Phœbus what descent of men To be his ministers he should retain, To do in stony Pythos sacrifice. To which his mind contending, his quick eyes He cast upon the blue sea, and beheld A ship, on whose masts sails that wing’d it swell’d, In which were men transferr’d, many and good, That in Minoian Cnossus ate their food, And were Cretensians; who now are those That all the sacrificing dues dispose, And all the laws deliver to a word Of Day’s great King, that wears the golden sword, And oracles (out of his Delphian tree That shrouds her fair arms in the cavity Beneath Parnassus’ mount) pronounce to men. These now his priests, that lived as merchants then, In traffics and pecuniary rates, For sandy Pylos and the Pylian states. Were under sail. But now encounter’d them Phœbus-Apollo, who into the stream Cast himself headlong, and the strange disguise Took of a dolphin of a goodly size. Like which he leap’d into their ship, and lay As an ostent of infinite dismay. For none with any strife of mind could look Into the omen, all the ship-masts shook, And silent all sat with the fear they took, Arm’d not, nor strook they sail, but as before Went on with full trim, and a foreright blore, Stiff, and from forth the south, the ship made fly. When first they stripp’d the Malean promont’ry, Touch’d at Laconia’s soil, in which a town Their ship arriv’d at, that the sea doth crown, Called Tenarus, a place of much delight To men that serve Heaven’s Comforter of sight. In which are fed the famous flocks that bear The wealthy fleeces, on a delicate lair Being fed and seated. Where the merchants fain Would have put in, that they might out again To tell the miracle that chanced to them, And try if it would take the sacred stream, Rushing far forth, that he again might bear Those other fishes that abounded there Delightsome company, or still would stay Aboard their dry ship. But it fail’d t’ obey, And for the rich Peloponnesian shore Steer’d her free sail; Apollo made the blore Directly guide it. That obeying still Reach’d dry Arena, and (what wish doth fill) Fair Argyphæa, and the populous height Of Thryus, whose stream, siding her, doth wait With safe pass on Alphæus, Pylos’ sands, And Pylian dwellers; keeping by the strands On which th’ inhabitants of Crunius dwell, And Helida set opposite to hell; Chalcis and Dymes reach’d, and happily Made sail by Pheras; all being overjoy’d With that frank gale that Jove himself employ’d. And then amongst the clouds they might descry The hill, that far-seen Ithaca calls her Eye, Dulichius, Samos, and, with timber graced, Shady Zacynthus. But when now they past Peloponnesus all, and then when show’d The infinite vale of Crissa, that doth shroud All rich Morea with her liberal breast, So frank a gale there flew out of the West As all the sky discover’d; ’twas so great, And blew so from the very council seat Of Jove himself, that quickly it might send The ship through full seas to her journey’s end. From thence they sail’d, quite opposite, to the East, And to the region where Light leaves his rest, The Light himself being sacred pilot there, And made the sea-trod ship arrive them near The grapeful Crissa, where he rest doth take Close to her port and sands. And then forth brake The far-shot King, like to a star that strows His glorious forehead where the mid-day glows, That all in sparkles did his state attire, Whose lustre leap’d up to the sphere of fire. He trod where no way oped, and pierced the place That of his sacred tripods held the grace, In which he lighted such a fluent flame As gilt all Crissa; in which every dame, And dame’s fair daughter, cast out vehement cries At those fell fires of Phœbus’ prodigies, That shaking fears through all their fancies threw. Then, like the mind’s swift light, again he flew Back to the ship, shaped like a youth in height Of all his graces, shoulders broad and straight, And all his hair in golden curls enwrapp’d; And to the merchants thus his speech he shap’d: “Ho! Strangers! What are you? And from what seat Sail ye these ways that salt and water sweat? To traffic justly? Or use vagrant scapes Void of all rule, conferring wrongs and rapes, Like pirates, on the men ye never saw, With minds project exempt from list or law? Why sit ye here so stupefied, nor take Land while ye may, nor deposition make Of naval arms, when this the fashion is Of men industrious, who (their faculties Wearied at sea) leave ship, and use the land For food, that with their healths and stomachs stand?” This said, with bold minds he their breast supplied, And thus made answer the Cretensian guide: “Stranger! Because you seem to us no seed Of any mortal, but celestial breed For parts and person, joy your steps ensue, And Gods make good the bliss we think your due. Vouchsafe us true relation, on what land We here arrive, and what men here command. We were for well-known parts bound, and from Crete (Our vaunted country) to the Pylian seat Vow’d our whole voyage; yet arrive we here, Quite cross to those wills that our motions steer, Wishing to make return some other way, Some other course desirous to assay, To pay our lost pains. But some God hath fill’d Our frustrate sails, defeating what we will’d.” Apollo answer’d: “Strangers! Though before Ye dwelt in woody Cnossus, yet no more Ye must be made your own reciprocals To your loved city and fair severals Of wives and houses, but ye shall have here My wealthy temple, honour’d far and near Of many a nation; for myself am son To Jove himself, and of Apollo won The glorious title, who thus safely through The sea’s vast billows still have held your plough, No ill intending, that will yet ye make My temple here your own, and honours take Upon yourselves, all that to me are given. And more, the counsels of the King of Heaven Yourselves shall know, and with his will receive Ever the honours that all men shall give. Do as I say then instantly, strike sail, Take down your tackling, and your vessel hale Up into land; your goods bring forth, and all The instruments that into sailing fall; Make on this shore an altar, fire enflame, And barley white cakes offer to my name; And then, environing the altar, pray, And call me (as ye saw me in the day When from the windy seas I brake swift way Into your ship) Delphinius, since I took A dolphin’s form then. And to every look That there shall seek it, that my altar shall Be made a Delphian memorial From thence for ever. After this, ascend Your swift black ship and sup, and then intend Ingenuous offerings to the equal Gods That in celestial seats make blest abodes. When, having stay’d your healthful hunger’s sting, Come all with me, and Io-pæans sing All the way’s length, till you attain the state Where I your opulent fane have consecrate.” To this they gave him passing diligent ear, And vow’d to his obedience all they were. First, striking sail, their tacklings then they losed, And (with their gables stoop’d) their mast imposed Into the mast-room. Forth themselves then went, And from the sea into the continent Drew up their ship; which far up from the sand They rais’d with ample rafters. Then in hand They took the altar; and inform’d it on The sea’s near shore, imposing thereupon White cakes of barley, fire made, and did stand About it round, as Phœbus gave command, Submitting invocations to his will. Then sacrific’d to all the heavenly hill Of pow’rful Godheads. After which they eat Aboard their ship, till with fit food replete They rose, nor to their temple used delay. Whom Phœbus usher’d, and touch’d all the way His heavenly lute with art above admired, Gracefully leading them. When all were fired With zeal to him, and follow’d wond’ring all To Pythos; and upon his name did call With Io-pæans, such as Cretans use. And in their bosoms did the deified Muse Voices of honey-harmony infuse. With never-weary feet their way they went, And made with all alacrity ascent Up to Parnassus, and that long’d-for place Where they should live, and be of men the grace. When, all the way, Apollo show’d them still Their far-stretch’d valleys, and their two-topp’d hill, Their famous fane, and all that all could raise To a supreme height of their joy and praise. And then the Cretan captain thus inquired Of King Apollo: “Since you have retired, O sovereign, our sad lives so far from friends And native soil (because so far extends Your dear mind’s pleasure) tell us how we shall Live in your service? To which question call Our provident minds, because we see not crown’d This soil with store of vines, nor doth abound In wealthy meadows, on which we may live, As well as on men our attendance give.” He smiled, and said: “O men that nothing know, And so are follow’d with a world of woe, That needs will succour care and curious moan, And pour out sighs without cessation, Were all the riches of the earth your own! Without much business, I will render known To your simplicities an easy way To wealth enough, Let every man purvey A skeane, or slaught’ring steel, and his right hand, Bravely bestowing, evermore see mann’d With killing sheep, that to my fane will flow From all far nations. On all which bestow Good observation, and all else they give To me make you your own all, and so live. For all which watch before my temple well, And all my counsels, above all, conceal. If any give vain language, or to deeds, Yea or as far as injury, proceeds, Know that, at losers’ hands, for those that gain, It is the law of mortals to sustain. Besides, ye shall have princes to obey, Which still ye must, and (so ye gain) ye may. All now is said; give all thy memory’s stay.” And thus to thee, Jove and Latona’s son, Be given all grace of salutation! Both thee and others of th’ Immortal State My song shall memorize to endless date.


A Hymn to Hermes

Hermes, the son of Jove and Maia, sing, O Muse, th’ Arcadian and Cyllenian king, They rich in flocks, he heaven enriching still In messages return’d with all his will. Whom glorious Maia, the nymph rich in hair, Mixing with Jove in amorous affair, Brought forth to him, sustaining a retreat From all th’ Immortals of the blessed seat, And living in the same dark cave, where Jove Inform’d at midnight the effect of love, Unknown to either man or Deity, Sweet sleep once having seized the jealous eye Of Juno deck’d with wrists of ivory. But when great Jove’s high mind was consummate, The tenth month had in heaven confined the date Of Maia’s labour, and into the sight She brought in one birth labours infinite; For then she bore a son, that all tried ways Could turn and wind to wish’d events assays, A fair-tongu’d, but false-hearted, counsellor, Rector of ox-stealers, and for all stealths bore A varied finger; speeder of night’s spies, And guide of all her dreams’ obscurities; Guard of door-guardians; and was born to be, Amongst th’ Immortals, that wing’d Deity That in an instant should do acts would ask The powers of others an eternal task. Born in the morn, he form’d his lute at noon, At night stole all the oxen of the Sun; And all this in his birth’s first day was done, Which was the fourth of the increasing moon. Because celestial limbs sustain’d his strains, His sacred swath-bands must not be his chains, So, starting up, to Phœbus’ herd he stept, Found straight the high-roof’d cave where they were kept, And th’ entry passing, he th’ invention found Of making lutes; and did in wealth abound By that invention, since he first of all Was author of that engine musical, By this means moved to the ingenious work: Near the cave’s inmost overture did lurk A tortoise, tasting th’ odoriferous grass, Leisurely moving; and this object was The motive to Jove’s son (who could convert To profitable uses all desert That nature had in any work convey’d) To form the lute; when, smiling, thus he said: “Thou mov’st in me a note of excellent use, Which thy ill form shall never so seduce T’ avert the good to be inform’d by it, In pliant force, of my form-forging wit.” Then the slow tortoise, wrought on by his mind, He thus saluted: “All joy to the kind Instinct of nature in thee, born to be The spiriter of dances, company For feasts, and following banquets, graced and blest For bearing light to all the interest Claim’d in this instrument! From whence shall spring Play fair and sweet, to which may Graces sing. A pretty painted coat thou putt’st on here, O Tortoise, while thy ill-bred vital sphere Confines thy fashion; but, surprised by me, I’ll bear thee home, where thou shalt ever be A profit to me; and yet nothing more Will I contemn thee in my merited store. Goods with good parts got worth and honour gave, Left goods and honours every fool may have, And since thou first shall give me means to live, I’ll love thee ever. Virtuous qualities give To live at home with them enough content, Where those that want such inward ornament Fly out for outward, their life made their load. _Tis best to be at home, harm lurks abroad._ And certainly thy virtue shall be known, ’Gainst great-ill-causing incantation To serve as for a lance or amulet. And where, in comfort of thy vital heat, Thou now breath’st but a sound confus’d for song, Expos’d by nature, after death, more strong Thou shalt in sounds of art be, and command Song infinite sweeter.” Thus with either hand He took it up, and instantly took flight Back to his cave with that his home delight. Where (giving to the mountain tortoise vents Of life and motion) with fit instruments Forged of bright steel he straight inform’d a lute, Put neck and frets to it, of which a suit He made of splitted quills, in equal space Impos’d upon the neck, and did embrace Both back and bosom. At whose height (as gins T’ extend and ease the string) he put in pins. Seven strings of several tunes he then applied, Made of the entrails of a sheep well-dried, And throughly twisted. Next he did provide A case for all, made of an ox’s hide, Out of his counsels to preserve as well As to create. And all this action fell Into an instant consequence. His word And work had individual accord, All being as swiftly to perfection brought As any worldly man’s most ravish’d thought, Whose mind care cuts in an infinity Of varied parts or passions instantly, Or as the frequent twinklings of an eye. And thus his house-delight given absolute end, He touch’d it, and did every string extend (With an exploratory spirit assay’d) To all the parts that could on it be play’d. It sounded dreadfully; to which he sung, As if from thence the first and true force sprung That fashions virtue. God in him did sing. His play was likewise an unspeakable thing, Yet, but as an extemporal assay, Of what show it would make being the first way, It tried his hand; or a tumultuous noise, Such as at feasts the first-flower’d spirits of boys Pour out in mutual contumelies still, As little squaring with his curious will, Or was as wanton and untaught a store. Of Jove, and Maia that rich shoes still wore, He sung; who suffer’d ill reports before, And foul stains under her fair titles bore. But Hermes sung her nation, and her name Did iterate ever; all her high-flown fame Of being Jove’s mistress; celebrating all Her train of servants, and collateral Sumpture of houses; all her tripods there, And caldrons huge, increasing every year. All which she knew, yet felt her knowledge stung With her fame’s loss, which (found) she more wish’d sung. But now he in his sacred cradle laid His lute so absolute, and straight convey’d Himself up to a watch-tow’r forth his house, Rich, and divinely odoriferous, A lofty wile at work in his conceit, Thirsting the practice of his empire’s height. And where impostors rule (since sable night Must serve their deeds) he did his deeds their right. For now the never-resting Sun was turn’d For th’ under earth, and in the ocean burn’d His coach and coursers; when th’ ingenious spy Pieria’s shady hill had in his eye, Where the immortal oxen of the Gods In air’s flood solaced their select abodes, And earth’s sweet green flow’r, that was never shorn, Fed ever down. And these the witty-born, Argicides, set serious spy upon, Severing from all the rest, and setting gone Full fifty of the violent bellowers. Which driving through the sands, he did reverse (His birth’s-craft straight rememb’ring) all their hoves, And them transpos’d in opposite removes, The fore behind set, the behind before, T’ employ the eyes of such as should explore. And he himself, as sly-pac’d, cast away His sandals on the sea sands; past display And unexcogitable thoughts in act Putting, to shun of his stol’n steps the tract, Mixing both tamrisk and like-tamrisk sprays In a most rare confusion, to raise His footsteps up from earth. Of which sprays he (His armful gathering fresh from off the tree) Made for his sandals ties, both leaves and ties Holding together; and then fear’d no eyes That could affect his feet’s discoveries. The tamrisk boughs he gather’d, making way Back from Pieria, but as to convey Provision in them for his journey fit, It being long and, therefore, needing it. An old man, now at labour near the field Of green Onchestus, knew the verdant yield Of his fair armful; whom th’ ingenious son Of Maia, therefore, salutation Did thus begin to: “Ho, old man! that now Art crooked grown with making plants to grow, Thy nerves will far be spent, when these boughs shall To these their leaves confer me fruit and all. But see not thou whatever thou dost see, Nor hear though hear, but all as touching me Conceal, since nought it can endamage thee.” This, and no more, he said, and on drave still His broad-brow’d oxen. Many a shady hill, And many an echoing valley, many a field Pleasant and wishful, did his passage yield Their safe transcension. But now the divine And black-brow’d Night, his mistress, did decline Exceeding swiftly; Day’s most early light Fast hasting to her first point, to excite Worldlings to work; and in her watch-tow’r shone King Pallas-Megamedes’ seed (the Moon); When through th’ Alphæan flood Jove’s powerful son Phœbus-Apollo’s ample-foreheaded herd (Whose necks the lab’ring yoke had never sphered) Drave swiftly on; and then into a stall (Hilly, yet pass’d to through an humble vale And hollow dells, in a most lovely mead) He gather’d all, and them divinely fed With odorous cypress, and the ravishing tree That makes his eaters lose the memory Of name and country. Then he brought withal Much wood, whose sight into his search let fall The art of making fire; which thus he tried: He took a branch of laurel, amplified Past others both in beauty and in size, Yet lay next hand, rubb’d it, and straight did rise A warm fume from it; steel being that did raise (As agent) the attenuated bays To that hot vapour. So that Hermes found Both fire first, and of it the seed close bound In other substances; and then the seed He multiplied, of sere-wood making feed The apt heat of it, in a pile combined Laid in a low pit, that in flames straight shined, And cast a sparkling crack up to the sky, All the dry parts so fervent were, and high In their combustion. And how long the force Of glorious Vulcan kept the fire in course, So long was he in dragging from their stall Two of the crook-haunch’d herd, that roar’d withal, And raged for fear, t’ approach the sacred fire, To which did all his dreadful pow’rs aspire. When, blust’ring forth their breath, he on the soil Cast both at length, though with a world of toil, For long he was in getting them to ground After their through-thrust and most mortal wound. But work to work he join’d, the flesh and cut, Cover’d with fat, and, on treen broches put, In pieces roasted; but in th’ intestines The black blood, and the honorary chines, Together with the carcases, lay there, Cast on the cold earth, as no Deities’ cheer; The hides upon a rugged rock he spread. And thus were these now all in pieces shred, And undistinguish’d from earth’s common herd, Though born for long date, and to heaven endear’d, And now must ever live in dead event. But Hermes, here hence having his content, Cared for no more, but drew to places even The fat-works, that, of force, must have for heaven Their capital ends, though stol’n, and therefore were In twelve parts cut, for twelve choice Deities’ cheer, By this devotion. To all which he gave Their several honours, and did wish to have His equal part thereof, as free and well As th’ other Deities; but the fatty smell Afflicted him, though he Immortal were, Playing mortal parts, and being like mortals here Yet his proud mind nothing the more obey’d For being a God himself, and his own aid Having to cause his due, and though in heart He highly wish’d it; but the weaker part Subdued the stronger, and went on in ill. Even heavenly pow’r had rather have his will Than have his right; and will’s the worst of all, When but in least sort it is criminal, One taint being author of a number still. And thus, resolved to leave his hallow’d hill, First both the fat parts and the fleshy all Taking away, at the steep-entried stall He laid all, all the feet and heads entire, And all the sere-wood, making clear with fire. And now, he leaving there then all things done, And finish’d in their fit perfection, The coals put out, and their black ashes thrown From all discovery by the lovely light The cheerful moon cast, shining all the night, He straight assumed a novel voice’s note, And in the whirl-pit-eating flood afloat He set his sandals. When now, once again The that-morn-born Cyllenius did attain His home’s divine height; all the far-stretch’d way No one bless’d God encount’ring his assay, Nor mortal man; nor any dog durst spend His born-to-bark mouth at him; till in th’ end He reach’d his cave, and at the gate went in Crooked, and wrapt into a fold so thin That no eye could discover his repair, But as a darkness of th’ autumnal air. When, going on fore-right, he straight arrived At his rich fane; his soft feet quite deprived Of all least noise of one that trod the earth, They trod so swift to reach his room of birth. Where, in his swath-bands he his shoulders wrapt, And (like an infant, newly having scap’t The teeming straits) as in the palms he lay Of his loved nurse. Yet instantly would play (Freeing his right hand) with his bearing cloth About his knees wrapt, and straight (loosing both His right and left hand) with his left he caught His much-loved lute. His mother yet was taught His wanton wiles, nor could a God’s wit lie Hid from a Goddess, who did therefore try His answer thus: “Why, thou made-all-of-sleight, And whence arriv’st thou in this rest of night? Improvident impudent! In my conceit Thou rather shouldst be getting forth thy gate, With all flight fit for thy endanger’d state, (In merit of th’ inevitable bands To be impos’d by vex’d Latona’s hands, Justly incens’d for her Apollo’s harms) Than lie thus wrapt, as ready for her arms, To take thee up and kiss thee. Would to heaven, In cross of that high grace, thou hadst been given Up to perdition, ere poor mortals bear Those black banes, that thy Father Thunderer Hath planted thee of purpose to confer On them and Deities!” He returned reply: “As master of the feats of policy, Mother, why aim you thus amiss at me, As if I were a son that infancy Could keep from all the skill that age can teach, Or had in cheating but a childish reach, And of a mother’s mandates fear’d the breach? I mount that art at first, that will be best When all times consummate their cunningest, Able to counsel now myself and thee, In all things best, to all eternity. We cannot live like Gods here without gifts, No, nor without corruption and shifts, And, much less, without eating; as we must In keeping thy rules, and in being just, Of which we cannot undergo the loads. ’Tis better here to imitate the Gods, And wine or wench out all time’s periods, To that end growing rich in ready heaps, Stored with revenues, being in corn-field reaps Of infinite acres, than to live enclosed In caves, to all earth’s sweetest air exposed. I as much honour hold as Phœbus does; And if my Father please not to dispose Possessions to me, I myself will see If I can force them in; for I can be Prince of all thieves. And, if Latona’s son Make after my stealth indignation, I’ll have a scape as well as he a search, And overtake him with a greater lurch; For I can post to Pythos, and break through His huge house there, where harbours wealth enough, Most precious tripods, caldrons, steel, and gold, Garments rich wrought, and full of liberal fold. All which will I at pleasure own, and thou Shalt see all, wilt thou but thy sight bestow.” Thus changed great words the Goat-hide-wearer’s son, And Maia of majestic fashion. And now the air-begot Aurora rose From out the Ocean great-in-ebbs-and-flows, When, at the never-shorn pure-and-fair grove (Onchestus) consecrated to the love Of round-and-long-neck’d Neptune, Phœbus found A man whom heavy years had press’d half round, And yet at work in plashing of a fence About a vineyard, that had residence Hard by the highway; whom Latona’s son Made it not strange, but first did question, And first saluted: “Ho you! aged sire, That here are hewing from the vine the briar, For certain oxen I come here t’ inquire Out of Pieria; females all, and rear’d All with horns wreath’d, unlike the common herd; A coal-black bull fed by them all alone; And all observ’d, for preservation, Through all their foody and delicious fen With four fierce mastiffs, like one-minded men. These left their dogs and bull (which I admire) And, when was near set day’s eternal fire, From their fierce guardians, from their delicate fare, Made clear departure. To me then declare, O old man, long since born, if thy grave ray Hath any man seen making steathful way With all those oxen.” Th’ old man made reply: “’Tis hard, O friend, to render readily Account of all that may invade mine eye, For many a traveller this highway treads, Some in much ills search, some in noble threads, Leading their lives out; but I this young day, Even from her first point, have made good display Of all men passing this abundant hill Planted with vines, and no such stealthful ill Her light hath shown me; but last evening, late, I saw a thing that show’d of childish state To my old lights, and seem’d as he pursued A herd of oxen with brave heads endued, Yet but an infant, and retain’d a rod; Who wearily both this and that way trod, His head still backwards turn’d.” This th’ old man spake; Which he well thought upon, and swiftly brake Into his pursuit with abundant wing, That strook but one plain, ere he knew the thing That was the thief to be th’ impostor born; Whom Jove yet with his son’s name did adorn. In study and with ardour then the King (Jove’s dazzling son) placed his exploring wing On sacred Pylos, for his forced herd, His ample shoulders in a cloud enspher’d Of fiery crimson. Straight the steps he found Of his stol’n herd, and said: “Strange sights confound My apprehensive powers, for here I see The tracks of oxen, but aversively Converted towards the Pierian hills, As treading to their mead of daffodils: But nor mine eye men’s feet nor women’s draws, Nor hoary wolves’, nor bears’, nor lions’, paws, Nor thick-neck’d bulls, they show. But he that does These monstrous deeds, with never so swift shoes Hath pass’d from that hour hither, but from hence His foul course may meet fouler consequence.” With this took Phœbus wing; and Hermes still, For all his threats, secure lay in his hill Wall’d with a wood; and more, a rock, beside, Where a retreat ran, deeply multiplied In blinding shadows, and where th’ endless Bride Bore to Saturnius his ingenious son; An odour, worth a heart’s desire, being thrown Along the heaven-sweet hill, on whose herb fed Rich flocks of sheep, that bow not where they tread Their horny pasterns. There the Light of men (Jove’s son, Apollo) straight descended then The marble pavement, in that gloomy den. On whom when Jove and Maia’s son set eye, Wroth for his oxen, on then, instantly, His odorous swath-bands flew; in which as close Th’ impostor lay, as in the cool repose Of cast-on ashes hearths of burning coals Lie in the woods hid, under the controls Of skilful colliers; even so close did lie Inscrutable Hermes in Apollo’s eye, Contracting his great Godhead to a small And infant likeness, feet, hands, head, and all. And as a hunter hath been often view’d, From chase retired, with both his hands embrued In his game’s blood, that doth for water call To cleanse his hands, and to provoke withal Delightsome sleep, new-wash’d and laid to rest; So now lay Hermes in the close-compress’d Chace of his oxen, his new-found-out lute Beneath his arm held, as if no pursuit But that prise, and the virtue of his play, His heart affected. But to Phœbus lay His close heart open; and he likewise knew The brave hill-nymph there, and her dear son, new- Born, and as well wrapt in his wiles as weeds. All the close shrouds too, for his rapinous deeds, In all the cave he knew; and with his key He open’d three of them, in which there lay Silver and gold-heaps, nectar infinite store, And dear ambrosia; and of weeds she wore, Pure white and purple, a rich wardrobe shined. Fit for the bless’d states of Pow’rs so divined. All which discover’d, thus to Mercury He offer’d conference: “Infant! You that lie Wrapt so in swath-bands, instantly unfold In what conceal’d retreats of yours you hold My oxen stol’n by you; or straight we shall Jar, as beseems not Pow’rs Celestial. For I will take and hurl thee to the deeps Of dismal Tartarus, where ill Death keeps His gloomy and inextricable fates, And to no eye that light illuminates Mother nor Father shall return thee free, But under earth shall sorrow fetter thee, And few repute thee their superior.” On him replied craft’s subtlest Counsellor: “What cruel speech hath past Latona’s care! Seeks he his stol‘n wild-cows where Deities are? I have nor seen nor heard, nor can report From others’ mouths one word of their resort To any stranger. Nor will I, to gain A base reward, a false relation feign. Nor would I, could I tell. Resemble I An ox-thief, or a man? Especially A man of such a courage, such a force As to that labour goes, that violent course? No infant’s work is that. My pow’rs aspire To sleep, and quenching of my hunger’s fire With mother’s milk, and, ’gainst cold shades, to arm With cradle-cloths my shoulders, and baths warm, That no man may conceive the war you threat Can spring in cause from my so peaceful heat. And, even amongst th’ Immortals it would bear Event of absolute miracle, to hear A new-born infant’s forces should transcend The limits of his doors; much less contend With untam’d oxen. This speech nothing seems To savour the decorum of the beams Cast round about the air Apollo breaks, Where his divine mind her intention speaks. I brake but yesterday the blessed womb, My feet are tender, and the common tomb Of men (the Earth) lies sharp beneath their tread. But, if you please, even by my Father’s head I’ll take the great oath, that nor I protest Myself to author on your interest Any such usurpation, nor have I Seen any other that feloniously Hath forced your oxen. Strange thing! What are those Oxen of yours? Or what are oxen? Knows My rude mind, think you? My ears only touch At their renown, and hear that there are such.” This speech he pass’d; and, ever as he spake, Beams from the hair about his eyelids brake, His eyebrows up and down cast, and his eye Every way look’d askance and carelessly, And he into a lofty whistling fell, As if he idle thought Apollo’s spell. Apollo, gently smiling, made reply: “O thou impostor, whose thoughts ever lie In labour with deceit! For certain, I Retain opinion, that thou (even thus soon) Hast ransack’d many a house, and not in one Night’s-work alone, nor in one country neither, Hast been besieging house and man together, Rigging and rifling all ways, and no noise Made with thy soft feet, where it all destroys. Soft, therefore, well, and tender, thou may’st call The feet that thy stealths go and fly withal, For many a field-bred herdsman (unheard still) Hast thou made drown the caverns of the hill, Where his retreats lie, with his helpless tears, When any flesh-stealth thy desire endears, And thou encount’rest either flocks of sheep, Or herds of oxen! Up then! Do not sleep Thy last nap in thy cradle, but come down, Companion of black night, and, for this crown Of thy young rapines, bear from all the state And style of Prince Thief, into endless date.” This said, he took the infant in his arms, And with him the remembrance of his harms, This presage utt’ring, lifting him aloft: “Be evermore the miserably-soft Slave of the belly, pursuivant of all, And author of all mischiefs capital.” He scorn’d his prophecy so he sneezed in’s face Most forcibly; which hearing, his embrace He loathed and hurl’d him ’gainst the ground; yet still Took seat before him, though, with all the ill He bore by him, he would have left full fain That hewer of his heart so into twain. Yet salv’d all thus: “Come, you so-swaddled thing! Issue of Maia, and the Thunder’s King! Be confident, I shall hereafter find My broad-brow’d oxen, my prophetic mind So far from blaming this thy course, that I Foresee thee in it to posterity The guide of all men, always, to their ends.” This spoken, Hermes from the earth ascends, Starting aloft, and as in study went, Wrapping himself in his integument, And thus ask’d Phœbus: “Whither force you me, Far-shot, and far most powerful Deity? I know, for all your feigning, you’re still wroth About your oxen, and suspect my troth. O Jupiter! I wish the general race Of all earth’s oxen rooted from her face. I steal your oxen! I again profess That neither I have stol’n them, nor can guess Who else should steal them. What strange beasts are these Your so-loved oxen? I must say, to please Your humour thus far, that even my few hours Have heard their fame. But be the sentence yours Of the debate betwixt us, or to Jove (For more indifferency) the cause remove.” Thus when the solitude-affecting God, And the Latonian seed, had laid abroad All things betwixt them; though not yet agreed, Yet, might I speak, Apollo did proceed Nothing unjustly, to charge Mercury With stealing of the cows he does deny. But his profession was, with filed speech, And craft’s fair compliments, to overreach All, and even Phœbus. Who because he knew His trade of subtlety, he still at view Hunted his foe through all the sandy way Up to Olympus. Nor would let him stray From out his sight, but kept behind him still. And now they reach’d the odorif’rous hill Of high Olympus, to their Father Jove, To arbitrate the cause in which they strove. Where, before both, talents of justice were Propos’d for him whom Jove should sentence clear, In cause of their contention. And now About Olympus, ever crown’d with snow, The rumour of their controversy flew. All the Incorruptible, to their view, On Heaven’s steep mountain made return’d repair. Hermes, and He that light hurls through the air, Before the Thund’rer’s knees stood; who begun To question thus far his illustrious Son: “Phœbus! To what end bring’st thou captive here Him in whom my mind puts delights so dear? This new-born infant, that the place supplies Of Herald yet to all the Deities? This serious business, you may witness, draws The Deities’ whole Court to discuss the cause.” Phœbus replied: “And not unworthy is The cause of all the Court of Deities, For, you shall hear, it comprehends the weight Of devastation, and the very height Of spoil and rapine, even of Deities’ rights. Yet you, as if myself loved such delights, Use words that wound my heart. I bring you here An infant, that, even now, admits no peer In rapes and robb’ries. Finding out his place, After my measure of an infinite space, In the Cyllenian mountain, such a one In all the art of opprobration, As not in all the Deities I have seen, Nor in th’ oblivion-mark’d whole race of men. In night he drave my oxen from their leas, Along the lofty roar-resounding seas, From out the road-way quite; the steps of them So quite transpos’d, as would amaze the beam Of any mind’s eye, being so infinite much Involv’d in doubt, as show’d a deified touch Went to the work’s performance; all the way, Through which my cross-hoved cows he did convey, Had dust so darkly-hard to search, and he So past all measure wrapt in subtilty. For, nor with feet, nor hands, he form’d his steps, In passing through the dry way’s sandy heaps, But used another counsel to keep hid His monstrous tracts, that show’d as one had slid On oak or other boughs, that swept out still The footsteps of his oxen, and did fill Their prints up ever, to the daffodill (Or dainty-feeding meadow) as they trod, Driven by this cautelous and infant God. A mortal man, yet, saw him driving on His prey to Pylos. Which when he had done, And got his pass sign’d, with a sacred fire, In peace, and freely (though to his desire, Not to the Gods, he offer’d part of these My ravish’d oxen) he retires, and lies, Like to the gloomy night, in his dim den, All hid in darkness; and in clouts again Wrapp’d him so closely, that the sharp-seen eye Of your own eagle could not see him lie. For with his hands the air he rarified (This way, and that moved) till bright gleams did glide About his being, that, if any eye Should dare the darkness, light appos’d so nigh Might blind it quite with her antipathy. Which wile he wove, in curious care t’ illude Th’ extreme of any eye that could intrude. On which relying, he outrageously (When I accus’d him) trebled his reply: ‘I did not see, I did not hear, nor I Will tell at all, that any other stole Your broad-brow’d beeves. Which an impostor’s soul Would soon have done, and any author fain Of purpose only a reward to gain.’ And thus he colour’d truth in every lie.” This said, Apollo sat; and Mercury The Gods’ Commander pleased with this reply: “Father! I’ll tell thee truth (for I am true, And far from art to lie): He did pursue Even to my cave his oxen this self day, The sun new-raising his illustrious ray; But brought with him none of the Bliss-endued, Nor any ocular witness, to conclude His bare assertion; but his own command Laid on with strong and necessary hand, To show his oxen; using threats to cast My poor and infant powers into the vast Of ghastly Tartarus; because he bears Of strength-sustaining youth the flaming years, And I but yesterday produced to light. By which it fell into his own free sight, That I in no similitude appear’d Of power to be the forcer of a herd. And credit me, O Father, since the grace Of that name, in your style, you please to place, I drave not home his oxen, no, nor prest Past mine own threshold; for ’tis manifest, I reverence with my soul the Sun, and all The knowing dwellers in this heavenly Hall, Love you, observe the least; and ’tis most clear In your own knowledge, that my merits bear No least guilt of his blame. To all which I Dare add heaven’s great oath, boldly swearing by All these so well-built entries of the Blest. And therefore when I saw myself so prest With his reproaches, I confess I burn’d In my pure gall, and harsh reply return’d. Add your aid to your younger then, and free The scruple fixt in Phœbus’ jealousy.” This said he wink’d upon his Sire; and still His swathbands held beneath his arm; no will Discern’d in him to hide, but have them shown. Jove laugh’d aloud at his ingenious Son, Quitting himself with art, so likely wrought, As show’d in his heart not a rapinous thought; Commanding both to bear atoned minds And seek out th’ oxen; in which search he binds Hermes to play the guide, and show the Sun (All grudge exil’d) the shrowd to which he won His fair-eyed oxen; then his forehead bow’d For sign it must be so; and Hermes show’d His free obedience; so soon he inclined To his persuasion and command his mind. Now, then, Jove’s jarring Sons no longer stood, But sandy Pylos and th’ Alphæan flood Reach’d instantly, and made as quick a fall On those rich-feeding fields and lofty stall Where Phœbus’ oxen Hermes safely kept, Driven in by night. When suddenly he stept Up to the stony cave, and into light Drave forth the oxen. Phœbus at first sight Knew them the same, and saw apart dispread Upon a high-rais’d rock the hides new flead Of th’ oxen sacrific’d. Then Phœbus said: “O thou in crafty counsels undisplaid! How couldst thou cut the throats, and cast to earth, Two such huge oxen, being so young a birth, And a mere infant? I admire thy force, And will, behind thy back. But this swift course Of growing into strength thou hadst not need Continue any long date, O thou Seed Of honour’d Maia!” Hermes (to show how He did those deeds) did forthwith cut and bow Strong osiers in soft folds, and strappled straight One of his hugest oxen, all his weight Lay’ng prostrate on the earth at Phœbus’ feet, All his four cloven hoves eas’ly made to greet Each other upwards, all together brought. In all which bands yet all the beast’s powers wrought, To rise, and stand; when all the herd about The mighty Hermes rush’d in, to help out Their fellow from his fetters. Phœbus’ view Of all this up to admiration drew Even his high forces; and stern looks he threw At Hermes for his herd’s wrong, and the place To which he had retir’d them, being in grace And fruitful riches of it so entire; All which set all his force on envious fire. All whose heat flew out of his eyes in flames, Which fain he would have hid, to hide the shames, Of his ill-govern’d passions. But with ease Hermes could calm them, and his humours please. Still at his pleasure, were he ne’er so great In force and fortitude, and high in heat, In all which he his lute took, and assay’d A song upon him, and so strangely play’d, That from his hand a ravishing horror flew. Which Phœbus into laughter turn’d, and grew Pleasant past measure; tunes so artful clear Strook even his heart-strings, and his mind made hear. His lute so powerful was in forcing love, As his hand rul’d it, that from him it drove All fear of Phœbus; yet he gave him still The upper hand; and, to advance his skill To utmost miracle, he play’d sometimes Single awhile; in which, when all the climes Of rapture he had reach’d, to make the Sun Admire enough, O then his voice would run Such points upon his play, and did so move, They took Apollo prisoner to his love. And now the deathless Gods and deathful Earth He sung, beginning at their either’s birth To full extent of all their empery. And, first, the honour to Mnemosyne, The Muses’ mother, of all Goddess states He gave; even forced to’t by the equal fates. And then (as it did in priority fall Of age and birth) he celebrated all. And with such elegance and order sung (His lute still touch’d, to stick more off his tongue) That Phœbus’ heart with infinite love he eat. Who, therefore, thus did his deserts entreat: “Master of sacrifice! Chief soul of feast! Patient of all pains! Artizan so blest, That all things thou canst do in anyone! Worth fifty oxen is th’ invention Of this one lute. We both shall now, I hope, In firm peace work to all our wishes’ scope. Inform me (thou that every way canst wind, And turn to act, all wishes of thy mind) Together with thy birth came all thy skill? Or did some God, or God-like man, instill This heavenly song to thee? Methink I hear A new voice, such as never yet came near The breast of any, either man or God, Till in thee it had prime and period. What art, what Muse that med’cine can produce For cares most cureless, what inveterate use Or practice of a virtue so profuse (Which three do all the contribution keep That Joy or Love confers, or pleasing Sleep.) Taught thee the sovereign facture of them all? I of the Muses am the capital Consort, or follower; and to these belong The grace of dance, all worthy ways of song, And ever-flourishing verse, the delicate set And sound of instruments. But never yet Did anything so much affect my mind With joy and care to compass, as this kind Of song and play, that for the spritely feast Of flourishing assemblies are the best And aptest works that ever worth gave act. My powers with admiration stand distract, To hear with what a hand to make in love Thou rul’st thy lute. And (though thy yong’st hours move At full art in old councils) here I vow (Even by this cornel dart I use to throw) To thee, and to thy mother, I’ll make thee Amongst the Gods of glorious degree, Guide of men’s ways and theirs; and will impart To thee the mighty imperatory art, Bestow rich gifts on thee, and in the end Never deceive thee.” Hermes (as a friend That wrought on all advantage, and made gain His capital object) thus did entertain Phœbus Apollo: “Do thy dignities, Far-working God and circularly wise, Demand my virtues? Without envy I Will teach thee to ascend my faculty. And this day thou shalt reach it; finding me, In acts and counsels, all ways kind to thee, As one that all things knows, and first tak’st seat Amongst th’ Immortals, being good and great, And therefore to Jove’s love mak’st free access, Even out of his accomplisht holiness. Great gifts he likewise gives thee; who, fame says, Hast won thy greatness by his will, his ways, By him know’st all the powers prophetical, O thou far-worker, and the fates of all! Yea, and I know thee rich, yet apt to learn, And even thy wish dost but discern and earn. And since thy soul so burns to know the way So play and sing as I do, sing, and play; Play, and perfection in thy play employ; And be thy care, to learn things good, thy joy. Take thou my lute (my love) and give thou me The glory of so great a faculty. This sweet-tuned consort, held but in thy hand, Sing, and perfection in thy song command. For thou already hast the way to speak Fairly and elegantly, and to break All eloquence into thy utter’d mind. One gift from heaven found may another find. Use then securely this thy gift, and go To feasts and dances that enamour so, And to that covetous sport of getting glory, That day nor night will suffer to be sory. Whoever does but say in verse, sings still; Which he that can of any other skill Is capable, so he be taught by art And wisdom, and can speak at every part Things pleasing to an understanding mind; And such a one that seeks this lute shall find. Him still it teaches eas’ly, though he plays Soft voluntaries only, and assays As wanton as the sports of children are, And (even when he aspires to singular In all the mast’ries he shall play or sing) Finds the whole work but an unhappy thing, He, I say, sure shall of this lute be king. But he, whoever rudely sets upon Of this lute’s skill th’ inquest or question Never so ardently and angrily, Without the aptness and ability Of art, and nature fitting, never shall Aspire to this, but utter trivial And idle accents, though sung ne’er so loud, And never so commended of the crowd. But thee I know, O eminent Son of Jove, The fiery learner of whatever Love Hath sharpen’d thy affections to achieve, And thee I give this lute. Let us now live Feeding upon the hill and horse-fed earth Our never-handled oxen; whose dear birth Their females, fellow’d with their males, let flow In store enough hereafter; nor must you (However cunning-hearted your wits are) Boil in your gall a grudge too circular.” Thus gave he him his lute, which he embrac’d, And gave again a goad, whose bright head cast Beams like the light forth; leaving to his care His oxen’s keeping. Which, with joyful fare, He took on him. The lute Apollo took Into his left hand, and aloft he shook Delightsome sounds up, to which God did sing. Then were the oxen to their endless spring Turn’d; and Jove’s two illustrous Offsprings flew Up to Olympus where it ever snew, Delighted with their lute’s sound all the way. Whom Jove much joy’d to see, and endless stay Gave to their knot of friendship. From which date Hermes gave Phœbus an eternal state In his affection, whose sure pledge and sign His lute was, and the doctrine so divine Jointly conferr’d on him; which well might be True symbol of his love’s simplicity. On th’ other part, Apollo in his friend Form’d th’ art of wisdom, to the binding end Of his vow’d friendship; and (for further meed) Gave him the far-heard fistulary reed. For all these forms of friendship, Phœbus yet Fear’d that both form and substance were not met In Mercury’s intentions; and, in plain, Said (since he saw him born to craft and gain, And that Jove’s will had him the honour done To change at his will the possession Of others’ goods) he fear’d his breach of vows In stealing both his lute and cunning bows, And therefore wish’d that what the Gods affect Himself would witness, and to his request His head bow, swearing by th’ impetuous flood Of Styx that of his whole possessions not a good He would diminish, but therein maintain The full content in which his mind did reign. And then did Maia’s son his forehead bow, Making, by all that he desired, his vow Never to prey more upon anything In just possession of the far-shot King, Nor ever to come near a house of his. Latonian Phœbus bow’d his brow to this, With his like promise, saying: “Not anyone Of all the Gods, nor any man, that son Is to Saturnius, is more dear to me, More trusted, nor more honour’d is than thee. Which yet with greater gifts of Deity In future I’ll confirm, and give thy state A rod that riches shall accumulate, Nor leave the bearer thrall to death, or fate, Or any sickness. All of gold it is, Three-leaved, and full of all felicities. And, this shall be thy guardian, this shall give The Gods to thee in all the truth they live, And, finally, shall this the tut’ress be Of all the words and works informing me From Jove’s high counsels, making known to thee All my instructions. But to prophesy, Of best of Jove’s beloved, and that high skill Which to obtain lies burning in thy will, Nor thee, nor any God, will Fate let learn. Only Jove’s mind hath insight to discern What that importeth; yet am I allow’d (My known faith trusted, and my forehead bow’d, Our great oath taken, to resolve to none Of all th’ Immortals the restriction Of that deep knowledge) of it all the mind. Since then it sits in such fast bounds confin’d, O brother, when the golden rod is held In thy strong hand, seek not to have reveal’d Any sure fate that Jove will have conceal’d. For no man shall, by know’ng, prevent his fate; And therefore will I hold in my free state The pow’r to hurt and help what man I will, Of all the greatest, or least touch’d with ill, That walk within the circle of mine eye, In all the tribes and sexes it shall try. Yet, truly, any man shall have his will To reap the fruits of my prophetic skill, Whoever seeks it by the voice or wing Of birds, born truly such events to sing. Nor will I falsely, nor with fallacies, Infringe the truth on which his faith relies, But he that truths in chattering plumes would find, Quite opposite to them that prompt my mind, And learn by natural forgers of vain lies The more-than-ever-certain Deities, That man shall sea-ways tread that leave no tracts, And false or no guide find for all his facts. And yet will I his gifts accept as well As his to whom the simple truth I tell. One other thing to thee I’ll yet make known, Maia’s exceedingly renowned son, And Jove’s, and of the Gods’ whole session The most ingenious genius: There dwell Within a crooked cranny, in a dell Beneath Parnassus, certain Sisters born, Call’d Parcæ, whom extreme swift wings adorn, Their number three, that have upon their heads White barley-flour still sprinkled, and are maids; And these are schoolmistresses of things to come, Without the gift of prophecy. Of whom (Being but a boy, and keeping oxen near) I learn’d their skill, though my great Father were Careless of it, or them. These flying from home To others’ roofs, and fed with honeycomb, Command all skill, and (being enraged then) Will freely tell the truths of things to men. But if they give them not that Gods’ sweet meat, They then are apt to utter their deceit, And lead men from their way. And these will I Give thee hereafter, when their scrutiny And truth thou hast both made and learn’d; and then Please thyself with them, and the race of men (Wilt thou know any) with thy skill endear, Who will, be sure, afford it greedy ear, And hear it often if it prove sincere. Take these, O Maia’s son, and in thy care Be horse and oxen, all such men as are Patient of labour, lions, white-tooth’d boars, Mastiffs, and flocks that feed the flow’ry shores, And every four-foot beast; all which shall stand In awe of thy high imperatory hand. Be thou to Dis, too, sole Ambassador, Who, though all gifts and bounties he abhor, On thee he will bestow a wealthy one.” Thus king Apollo honour’d Maia’s son With all the rites of friendship; all whose love Had imposition from the will of Jove. And thus with Gods and mortals Hermes lived, Who truly help’d but few, but all deceived With an undifferencing respect, and made Vain words and false persuasions his trade. His deeds were all associates of the night, In which his close wrongs cared for no man’s right. So all salutes to Hermes that are due, Of whom, and all Gods, shall my Muse sing true.


A Hymn to Venus (First Hymn)

The force, O Muse, and functions now unfold Of Cyprian Venus, grac’d with mines of gold; Who even in Deities lights love’s sweet desire, And all Death’s kinds of men makes kiss her fire, All air’s wing’d nation, all the belluine, That or the earth feeds, or the seas confine. To all which appertain the love and care Of well-crown’d Venus’ works. Yet three there are Whose minds She neither can deceive nor move; Pallas, the Seed of Ægis-bearing Jove, Who still lives indevirginate, her eyes Being blue, and sparkling like the freezing skies, Whom all the gold of Venus never can Tempt to affect her facts with God or man. She, loving strife, and Mars’s working banes, Pitch’d fields and fights, and famous artizans, Taught earthy men first all the arts that are, Chariots, and all the frames vehicular, Chiefly with brass arm’d, and adorn’d for war. Where Venus only soft-skinn’d wenches fills With wanton house-works, and suggests those skills Still to their studies. Whom Diana neither, That bears the golden distaff, and together Calls horns, and hollows, and the cries of hounds, And owns the epithet of loving sounds For their sakes, springing from such spritely sports, Can catch with her kind lures; but hill resorts To wild-beasts, slaughters, accents far-off heard Of harps and dances, and of woods unshear’d The sacred shades she loves, yet likes as well Cities where good men and their offspring dwell. The third, whom her kind passions nothing please, Is virgin Vesta; whom Saturnides Made reverend with his counsels, when his Sire, That adverse counsels agitates, life’s fire Had kindled in her, being his last-begot. Whom Neptune woo’d to knit with him the knot Of honour’d nuptials, and Apollo too; Which with much vehemence she refused to do, And stern repulses put upon them both, Adding to all her vows the Gods’ great oath, And touching Jove’s chin, which must consummate All vows so bound, that she would hold her state, And be th’ invincible Maid of Deities Through all her days’ dates. For Saturnides Gave her a fair gift in her nuptials’ stead, To sit in midst of his house, and be fed With all the free and richest feast of heaven, In all the temples of the Gods being given The prize of honour. Not a mortal man, (That either, of the Pow’rs Olympian His half-birth having, may be said to be A mortal of the Gods, or else that he, Deities’ wills doing, is of Deity) But gives her honour of the amplest kind. Of all these three can Venus not a mind Deceive, or set on forces to reflect. Of all Pow’rs else yet, not a sex, nor sect, Flies Venus; either of the blessed Gods, Or men confin’d in mortal periods. But even the mind of Jove she doth seduce, That chides with thunder so her lawless use In human creatures, and by lot is given Of all most honour, both in earth and heaven. And yet even his all-wise and mighty mind She, when she lists, can forge affects to blind, And mix with mortal dames his Deity, Conceal’d at all parts from the jealous eye Of Juno, who was both his sister born, And made his wife; whom beauty did adorn Past all the bevy of Immortal Dames, And whose so chiefly-glorified flames Cross-counsell’d Saturn got, and Rhæa bore, And Jove’s pure counsels (being conqueror) His wife made of his sister. Ay, and more, Cast such an amorous fire into her mind As made her (like him) with the mortal kind Meet in unmeet bed; using utmost haste, Lest she should know that he lived so unchaste, Before herself felt that fault in her heart, And gave her tongue too just edge of desert To tax his lightness. With this end, beside, Lest laughter-studying Venus should deride The Gods more than the Goddesses, and say That she the Gods commix’d in amorous play With mortal dames, begetting mortal seed T’ immortal sires, and not make Goddesses breed The like with mortal fathers. But, t’ acquite Both Gods and Goddesses of her despite, Jove took (even in herself) on him her pow’r, And made her with a mortal paramour Use as deform’d a mixture as the rest; Kindling a kind affection in her breast To God-like-limb’d Anchises, as he kept, On Ida’s top-on-top-to-heaven’s-pole-heapt,[1] Amongst the many fountains there, his herd. For, after his brave person had appear’d To her bright eye, her heart flew all on fire, And to amaze she burn’d in his desire, Flew straight to Cyprus, to her odorous fane And altars, that the people Paphian Advanced to her. Where, soon as enter’d, she The shining gates shut; and the Graces three Wash’d, and with oils of everlasting scent Bathed, as became, her deathless lineament. Then her ambrosian mantle she assum’d, With rich and odoriferous airs perfum’d. Which being put on, and all her trims beside Fair, and with all allurements amplified, The all-of-gold-made laughter-loving Dame Left odorous Cyprus, and for Troy became A swift contendress, her pass cutting all Along the clouds, and made her instant fall On fountful Ida, that her mother-breasts Gives to the preyful brood of savage beasts. And through the hill she went the ready way T’ Anchises’ oxstall, where did fawn and play About her blessed feet wolves grisly-gray, Terrible lions, many a mankind bear, And lybberds swift, insatiate of red deer. Whose sight so pleas’d, that, ever as she past, Through every beast a kindly love she cast, That, in their dens obscured with shadows deep, Made all, distinguish’d in kind couples, sleep. And now she reach’d the rich pavilion Of the heroë, in whom heavens had shown A fair and goodly composition, And whom she in his oxstall found, alone, His oxen feeding in fat pastures by, He walking up and down, sounds clear and high From his harp striking. Then before him she Stood like a virgin, that invincibly Had borne her beauties; yet alluringly Bearing her person, lest his ravish’d eye Should chance t’ affect him with a stupid fear. Anchises seeing her, all his senses were With wonder stricken, and high-taken heeds Both of her form, brave stature, and rich weeds. For, for a veil, she shin’d in an attire That cast a radiance past the ray of fire. Beneath which wore she, girt to her, a gown Wrought all with growing-rose-buds, reaching down T’ her slender smalls, which buskins did divine, Such as taught Thetis’ silver feet to shine. Her soft white neck rich carquenets embraced, Bright, and with gold in all variety graced, That to her breasts let down lay there and shone, As, at her joyful full, the rising Moon. Her sight show’d miracles. Anchises’ heart Love took into his hand, and made him part With these high salutations; “Joy, O Queen! Whoever of the Blest thy beauties been That light these entries; or the Deity That darts affecteth; or that gave the Eye Of heaven his heat and lustre; or that moves The hearts of all with all-commanding loves; Or generous Themis; or the blue-eyed Maid; Or of the Graces any that are laid With all the Gods in comparable scales, And whom fame up to immortality calls; Or any of the Nymphs, that unshorn groves, Or that this fair hill-habitation, loves, Or valleys flowing with earth’s fattest goods, Or fountains pouring forth eternal floods! Say, which of all thou art, that in some place Of circular prospect, for thine eyes’ dear grace, I may an altar build, and to thy pow’rs Make sacred all the year’s devoted hours, With consecrations sweet and opulent. Assur’d whereof, be thy benign mind bent To these wish’d blessings of me: Give me parts Of chief attraction in Trojan hearts; And, after, give me the refulgency Of most renown’d and rich posterity; Long, and free life, and heaven’s sweet light as long; The people’s blessings, and a health so strong That no disease it let my life engage, Till th’ utmost limit of a human age.” To this Jove’s Seed this answer gave again; “Anchises! Happiest of the human strain! I am no Goddess! Why, a thrall to death Think’st thou like those that immortality breathe? A woman brought me forth; my father’s name Was Otreüs, if ever his high fame Thine ears have witness’d, for he govern’d all The Phrygian state, whose every town a wall Impregnable embrac’d. Your tongue, you hear, I speak so well, that in my natural sphere (As I pretend) it must have taken prime. A woman, likewise, of the Trojan clime Took of me, in her house, the nurse’s care From my dear mother’s bosom; and thus are My words of equal accent with your own. How here I come, to make the reason known, Argicides, that bears the golden rod, Transferr’d me forcibly from my abode Made with the maiden train of Her that joys In golden shafts, and loves so well the noise Of hounds and hunters (heaven’s pure-living Pow’r) Where many a nymph and maid of mighty dow’r Chaste sports employ’d, all circled with a crown Of infinite multitude, to see so shown Our maiden pastimes. Yet, from all the fair Of this so forceful concourse, up in air The golden-rod-sustaining Argus’-Guide Rapt me in sight of all, and made me ride Along the clouds with him, enforcing me Through many a labour of mortality, Through many an unbuilt region, and a rude, Where savage beasts devour’d preys warm and crude, And would not let my fears take one foot’s tread On Her by whom are all lives comforted, But said my maiden state must grace the bed Of king Anchises, and bring forth to thee Issue as fair as of divine degree. Which said, and showing me thy moving grace, Away flew he up to th’ Immortal Race, And thus came I to thee; Necessity, With her steel stings, compelling me t’ apply To her high pow’r my will. But you must I Implore by Jove, and all the reverence due To your dear parents, who, in bearing you, Can bear no mean sail, lead me home to them An untouch’d maid, being brought up in th’ extreme Of much too cold simplicity to know The fiery cunnings that in Venus glow. Show me to them then, and thy brothers born, I shall appear none that parts disadorn, But such as well may serve a brother’s wife, And show them now, even to my future life, If such or no my present will extend. To horse-breed-vary’ng Phrygia likewise send, T’ inform my sire and mother of my state, That live for me extreme disconsolate; Who gold enough, and well-woven weeds, will give. All whose rich gifts in my amends receive. All this perform’d, and celebration then Of honour’d nuptials, that by God and men Are held in reverence.” All this while she said, Into his bosom jointly she convey’d The fires of love; when, all-enamour’d, he In these terms answer’d: “If mortality Confine thy fortunes, and a woman were Mother to those attractions that appear In thy admir’d form, thy great father given High name of Otreüs; and the Spy of heaven (Immortal Mercury) th’ enforceful cause That made thee lose the prize of that applause That modesty immaculate virgins gives, My wife thou shalt be call’d through both our lives. Nor shall the pow’rs of men nor Gods withhold My fiery resolution to enfold Thy bosom in mine arms; which here I vow To firm performance, past delay, and now. Nor, should Apollo with his silver bow Shoot me to instant death, would I forbear To do a deed so full of cause so dear. For with a heaven-sweet woman I will lie, Though straight I stoop the house of Dis, and die.” This said, he took her hand, and she took way With him, her bright eyes casting round; whose stay She stuck upon a bed, that was before Made for the king, and wealthy coverings wore. On which bears’ hides and big-voic’d lions’ lay, Whose preyful lives the king had made his prey, Hunting th’ Idalian hills. This bed when they Had both ascended, first he took from her The fiery weed, that was her utmost wear; Unbutton’d her next rosy robe; and loos’d The girdle that her slender waist enclos’d; Unlac’d her buskins; all her jewelry Took from her neck and breasts, and all laid by Upon a golden-studded chair of state. Th’ amaze of all which being remov’d, even Fate And council of the equal Gods gave way To this, that with a deathless Goddess lay A deathful man; since, what his love assum’d, Not with his conscious knowledge was presum’d. Now when the shepherds and the herdsmen, all, Turn’d from their flow’ry pasture to their stall, With all their oxen, fat and frolic sheep, Venus into Anchises cast a sleep, Sweet and profound; while with her own hands now With her rich weeds she did herself endow; But so distinguish’d, that he clear might know His happy glories; then (to her desire Her heavenly person put in trims entire) She by the bed stood of the well-built stall, Advanc’d her head to state celestial, And in her cheeks arose the radiant hue Of rich-crown’d Venus to apparent view. And then she rous’d him from his rest, and said: “Up, my Dardanides, forsake thy bed. What pleasure, late employ’d, lets humour steep Thy lids in this inexcitable sleep? Wake, and now say, if I appear to thee Like her that first thine eyes conceited me.” This started him from sleep, though deep and dear, And passing promptly he enjoy’d his ear. But when his eye saw Venus’ neck and eyes, Whose beauties could not bear the counterprise Of any other, down his own eyes fell, Which pallid fear did from her view repell, And made him, with a main respect beside, Turn his whole person from her state, and hide (With his rich weed appos’d) his royal face, These wing’d words using: “When, at first, thy grace Mine eyes gave entertainment, well I knew Thy state was deified; but thou told’st not true; And therefore let me pray thee (by thy love Borne to thy father, Ægis-bearing Jove) That thou wilt never let me live to be An abject, after so divine degree Taken in fortune, but take ruth on me, For any man that with a Goddess lies, Of interest in immortalities, Is never long-liv’d.” She replied: “Forbear, O happiest of mortal men, this fear, And rest assured, that (not for me, at least) Thy least ills fear fits; no, nor for the rest Of all the Blessed, for thou art their friend; And so far from sustaining instant end, That to thy long-enlarg’d life there shall spring Amongst the Trojans a dear son, and king, To whom shall many a son, and son’s son, rise In everlasting great posterities; His name Æneas; therein keeping life, For ever, in my much-conceited grief, That I, immortal, fell into the bed Of one whose blood mortality must shed. But rest thou comforted, and all the race That Troy shall propagate, in this high grace: That, past all races else, the Gods stand near Your glorious nation, for the forms ye bear, And natures so ingenuous and sincere. For which, the great-in-counsels (Jupiter) Your gold-lock’d Ganymedes did transfer (In rapture far from men’s depressed fates) To make him consort with our Deified States, And scale the tops of the Saturnian skies, He was so mere a marvel in their eyes. And therefore from a bowl of gold he fills Red nectar, that the rude distension kills Of winds that in your human stomachs breed. But then did languor on the liver feed Of Tros, his father, that was king of Troy, And ever did his memory employ[2] With loss of his dear beauty so bereaven, Though with a sacred whirlwind rapt to heaven. But Jove, in pity of him, saw him given Good compensation, sending by Heaven’s Spy White-swift-hov’d horse, that Immortality Had made firm-spirited; and had, beside, Hermes to see his ambassy supplied With this vow’d bounty (using all at large That his unalter’d counsels gave in charge) That he himself should immortality breathe, Expert of age and woe as well as death. “This ambassy express’d, he mourn’d no more, But up with all his inmost mind he bore, Joying that he, upon his swift-hov’d horse, Should be sustain’d in an eternal course.” “So did the golden-throned Aurora raise, Into her lap, another that the praise Of an immortal fashion had in fame, And of your nation bore the noble name, (His title Tithon) who, not pleased with her, As she his lovely person did transfer, To satisfy him, she bade ask of Jove The gift of an Immortal for her love. Jove gave, and bound it with his bowed brow, Performing to the utmost point his vow. Fool that she was, that would her love engage, And not as long ask from the bane of age The sweet exemption, and youth’s endless flow’r! Of which as long as both the grace and pow’r His person entertain’d, she loved the man, And (at the fluents of the ocean Near Earth’s extreme bounds) dwelt with him; but when According to the course of aged men) On his fair head, and honourable beard, His first grey hairs to her light eyes appear’d, She left his bed, yet gave him still for food The Gods’ ambrosia, and attire as good. Till even the hate of age came on so fast That not a lineament of his was grac’d With pow’r of motion, nor did still sustain, Much less, the vigour had t’ advance a vein, The virtue lost in each exhausted limb, That at his wish before would answer him; All pow’rs so quite decay’d, that when he spake His voice no perceptible accent brake. Her counsel then thought best to strive no more, But lay him in his bed and lock his door. Such an Immortal would not I wish thee, T’ extend all days so to eternity. But if, as now, thou couldst perform thy course In grace of form, and all corporeal force, To an eternal date, thou then shouldst bear My husband’s worthy name, and not a tear Should I need rain, for thy deserts declin’d, From my all-clouded bitterness of mind. But now the stern storm of relentless age Will quickly circle thee, that waits t’ engage All men alike, even loathsomeness, and bane Attending with it, every human wane, Which even the Gods hate. Such a penance lies Impos’d on flesh and blood’s infirmities! Which I myself must taste in great degree, And date as endless, for consorting thee. All the Immortals with my opprobry Are full by this time; on their hearts so lie, (Even to the sting of fear) my cunnings us’d, And wiving conversations infus’d Into the bosoms of the best of them With women, that the frail and mortal stream Doth daily ravish. All this long since done. Which now no more, but with effusion Of tears, I must in heaven so much as name, I have so forfeited in this my fame, And am impos’d pain of so great a kind For so much erring from a Goddess’ mind. For I have put beneath my girdle here A son, whose sire the human mortal sphere Gives circumscription. But, when first the light His eyes shall comfort, Nymphs that haunt the height Of hills, and breasts have of most deep receipt; Shall be his nurses; who inhabit now A hill of so vast and divine a brow, As man nor God can come at their retreats; Who live long lives, and eat immortal meats, And with Immortals in the exercise Of comely dances dare contend, and rise Into high question which deserves the prize. The light Sileni mix in love with these, And, of all Spies the Prince, Argicides; In well-trimm’d caves their secret meetings made. And with the lives of these doth life invade Or odorous fir-trees, or high-foreheaded oaks, Together taking their begetting strokes, And have their lives and deaths of equal dates, Trees bearing lovely and delightsome states, Whom Earth first feeds, that men initiates. On her high hills she doth their states sustain, And they their own heights raise as high again. Their growths together made, Nymphs call their groves Vow’d to th’ Immortals services and loves; Which men’s steels therefore touch not, but let grow. But when wise Fates times for their fadings know, The fair trees still before the fair Nymphs die, The bark about them grown corrupt and dry, And all their boughs fall’n yield to Earth her right; And then the Nymphs’ lives leave the lovely night, “And these Nymphs in their caves shall nurse my son, Whom (when in him youth’s first grace is begun) The Nymphs, his nurses, shall present to thee; And show thee what a birth thou hast by me. And, sure as now I tell thee all these things, When Earth hath cloth’d her plants in five fair springs, Myself will make return to this retreat, And bring that flow’r of thy enamour’d heat; Whom when thou then seest, joy shall fire thine eyes; He shall so well present the Deities. And then into thine own care take thy son From his calm seat to windy Ilion, Where, if strict question be upon the past, Asking what mother bore beneath her waist So dear a son, answer, as I afford Fit admonition, nor forget a word: They say a Nymph, call’d Calucopides, That is with others an inhabitress On this thy wood-crown’d hill, acknowledges That she his life gave. But, if thou declare The secret’s truth, and art so mad to dare (In glory of thy fortunes) to approve That rich-crown’d Venus mix’d with thee in love, Jove, fired with my aspersion so dispread, Will with a wreakful lightning dart thee dead. “All now is told thee, comprehend it all. Be master of thyself, and do not call My name in question; but with reverence vow To Deities’ angers all the awe ye owe.” This said, She reach’d heaven, where airs ever flow. And so, O Goddess, ever honour’d be, In thy so odorous Cyprian empery! My Muse, affecting first thy fame to raise, Shall make transcension now to others’ praise.

[1] _᾿Ακροπόλος. Altissimum habens verticem, cujus summitas ipsum
polum attingit._
[2] _ἄληστος. Cujus memoria erit perpetua._

A Hymn to Venus (Second Hymn)

The reverend, rich-crown’d, and fair Queen I sing, Venus, that owes ill fate the fortressing Of all maritimal Cyprus; where the force Of gentle-breathing Zephyr steer’d her course Along the waves of the resounding sea, While, yet unborn, in that soft foam she lay That brought her forth; whom those fair Hours that bear The golden bridles joyfully stood near, Took up into their arms, and put on her Weeds of a never-corruptible wear. On her immortal head a crown they plac’d, Elaborate, and with all the beauties grac’d That gold could give it; of a weight so great, That, to impose and take off, it had set Three handles on it, made, for endless hold, Of shining brass, and all adorn’d with gold. Her soft neck all with carquenets was grac’d, That stoop’d, and both her silver breasts embrac’d, Which even the Hours themselves wear in resort To Deities’ dances, and her Father’s court. Grac’d at all parts, they brought to heaven her graces; Whose first sight seen, all fell into embraces, Hugg’d her white hands, saluted, wishing all To wear her maiden flow’r in festival Of sacred Hymen, and to lead her home; All, to all admiration, overcome With Cytherea with the violet crown. So to the Black-brow’d Sweet-spoke all renown! Prepare my song, and give me, in the end, The victory to whose palm all contend! So shall my Muse for ever honour thee, And, for thy sake, thy fair posterity.

A Hymn to Bacchus, or the Pirates

Of Dionysus, noble Semele’s Son, I now intend to render mention, As on a prominent shore his person shone, Like to a youth whose flow’r was newly blown, Bright azure tresses play’d about his head, And on his bright broad shoulders was dispread A purple mantle. Strait he was descried By certain manly pirates, that applied Their utmost speed to prise him, being aboard A well-built bark, about whose broad sides roar’d The wine-black Tyrrhene billows; death as black Brought them upon him in their future wrack. For, soon as they had purchas’d but his view, Mutual signs past them, and ashore they flew, Took him, and brought him instantly aboard, Soothing their hopes to have obtain’d a hoard Of riches with him; and a Jove-kept king To such a flow’r must needs be natural spring. And therefore straight strong fetters they must fetch, To make him sure. But no such strength would stretch To his constrain’d pow’rs. Far flew all their bands From any least force done his feet or hands. But he sat casting smiles from his black eyes At all their worst. At which discoveries Made by the master, he did thus dehort All his associates: “Wretches! Of what sort Hold ye the person ye assay to bind? Nay, which of all the Pow’r fully-divin’d Esteem ye him, whose worth yields so much weight That not our well-built bark will bear his freight? Or Jove himself he is, or He that bears The silver bow, or Neptune. Nor appears In him the least resemblance of a man, But of a strain at least Olympian. Come! Make we quick dismission of his state, And on the black-soil’d earth exonerate Our sinking vessel of his deified load, Nor dare the touch of an intangible God, Lest winds outrageous, and of wrackful scathe, And smoking tempests, blow his fiery wrath.” This well-spoke master the tall captain gave Hateful and horrible language; call’d him slave, And bade him mark the prosp’rous gale that blew, And how their vessel with her mainsail flew; Bade all take arms, and said, their works requir’d The cares of men, and not of an inspir’d Pure zealous master; his firm hopes being fir’d With this opinion, that they should arrive In Ægypt straight, or Cyprus, or where live Men whose brave breaths above the north wind blow; Yea, and perhaps beyond their region too. And that he made no doubt but in the end To make his prisoner tell him every friend Of all his offspring, brothers, wealth, and all; Since that prise, certain, must some God let fall. This said, the mast and mainsail up he drew, And in the mainsail’s midst a frank gale blew; When all his ship took arms to brave their prise. But straight strange works appear’d to all their eyes: First, sweet wine through their swift-black bark did flow, Of which the odours did a little blow Their fiery spirits, making th’ air so fine That they in flood were there as well as wine. A mere immortal-making savour rose, Which on the air the Deity did impose. The seamen see’ng all, admiration seiz’d; Yet instantly their wonders were increas’d, For on the topsail there ran, here and there, A vine that grapes did in abundance bear, And in an instant was the ship’s mainmast With an obscure-green ivy’s arms embrac’d, That flourish’d straight, and were with berries grac’d; Of which did garlands circle every brow Of all the pirates, and no one knew how. Which when they saw, they made the master steer Out to the shore; whom Bacchus made forbear, With showing more wonders. On the hatches He Appear’d a terrible lion, horribly Roaring; and in the mid-deck a male bear, Made with a huge mane; making all, for fear, Crowd to the stern, about the master there, Whose mind he still kept dauntless and sincere, But on the captain rush’d and ramp’d, with force So rude and sudden, that his main recourse Was to the main-sea straight: and after him Leapt all his mates, as trusting to their swim To fly foul death; but so found what they fled, Being all to dolphins metamorphosed. The master he took ruth of, sav’d, and made The blessed’st man that ever tried his trade, These few words giving him: “Be confident, Thou God-inspired pilot, in the bent Of my affection, ready to requite Thy late-to-me-intended benefit. I am the roaring God of spritely wine, Whom Semele (that did even Jove incline To amorous mixture, and was Cadmus’ care) Made issue to the mighty Thunderer.” And thus, all excellence of grace to thee, Son of sweet-count’nance-carry’ng Semele. I must not thee forget in least degree, But pray thy spirit to render so my song Sweet, and all ways in order’d fury strong.

A Hymn to Mars

Mars, most-strong, gold-helm’d, making chariots crack; Never without a shield cast on thy back; Mind-master, town-guard, with darts never driven; Strong-handed, all arms, fort, and fence of heaven; Father of victory with fair strokes given; Joint surrogate of justice, lest she fall In unjust strifes a tyrant; general Only of just men justly; that dost bear Fortitude’s sceptre, to heaven’s fiery sphere Giver of circular motion, between That and the Pleiads that still wand’ring been, Where thy still-vehemently-flaming horse About the third heaven make their fiery course; Helper of mortals; hear!—As thy fires give The fair and present boldnesses that strive In youth for honour, being the sweet-beam’d light That darts into their lives, from all their height, The fortitudes and fortunes found in fight; So would I likewise wish to have the pow’r To keep off from my head thy bitter hour, And that false fire, cast from my soul’s low kind, Stoop to the fit rule of my highest mind, Controlling that so eager sting of wrath That stirs me on still to that horrid scathe Of war, that God still sends to wreak his spleen (Even by whole tribes) of proud injurious men. But O thou Ever-Blessed! give me still Presence of mind to put in act my will, Varied, as fits, to all occasion; And to live free, unforc’d, unwrought upon, Beneath those laws of peace that never are Affected with pollutions popular Of unjust hurt, or loss to anyone; And to bear safe the burthen undergone Of foes inflexive, and inhuman hates, Secure from violent and harmful fates.

A Hymn to Diana

Diana praise, Muse, that in darts delights, Lives still a maid, and had nutritial rights With her born-brother, the far-shooting Sun. That doth her all-of-gold-made chariot run In chase of game, from Meles that abounds In black-brow’d bulrushes, and, where her hounds She first uncouples, joining there her horse, Through Smyrna carried in most fiery course To grape-rich Claros; where (ill his rich home, And constant expectation She will come) Sits Phœbus, that the silver bow doth bear, To meet with Phœbe, that doth darts transfer As far as He his shafts. As far then be Thy chaste fame shot, O Queen of archery! Sacring my song to every Deity.

A Hymn to Venus (Third Hymn)

To Cyprian Venus still my verses vow, Who gifts as sweet as honey doth bestow On all mortality; that ever smiles, And rules a face that all foes reconciles; Ever sustaining in her hand a flow’r That all desire keeps ever in her pow’r.

Hail, then, O Queen of well-built Salamine, And all the state that Cyprus doth confine, Inform my song with that celestial fire That in thy beauties kindles all desire. So shall my Muse for ever honour thee, And any other thou commend’st to me.

A Hymn to Pallas

Pallas Minerva only I begin To give my song; that makes war’s terrible din, Is patroness of cities, and with Mars Marshall’d in all the care and cure of wars, And in everted cities, fights, and cries. But never doth herself set down or rise Before a city, but at both times She All injur’d people sets on foot and free. Give, with thy war’s force, fortune then to me, And, with thy wisdom’s force, felicity.

A Hymn to Juno

Saturnia, and her throne of gold, I sing, That was of Rhea the eternal spring, And empress of a beauty never yet Equall’d in height of tincture. Of the great Saturnius (breaking air in awful noise) The far-fam’d wife and sister; whom in joys Of high Olympus all the Blessed love, And honour equal with unequall’d Jove.

A Hymn to Ceres

The rich-hair’d Ceres I assay to sing; A Goddess, in whose grace the natural spring Of serious majesty itself is seen; And of the wedded, yet in grace still green, Proserpina, her daughter, that displays A beauty casting every way her rays. All honour to thee, Goddess! Keep this town; And take thou chief charge of my song’s renown!

A Hymn to the Mother of the Gods

Mother of all, both Gods and men, commend, O Muse, whose fair form did from Jove descend; That doth with cymbal sounds delight her life, And tremulous divisions of the fife; Love’s dreadful lions’ roars, and wolves’ hoarse howls, Sylvan retreats, and hills, whose hollow knolls Raise repercussive sounds about her ears. And so may honour ever crown thy years With all-else Goddesses, and ever be Exalted in the Muses’ harmony!

A Hymn to Lion-Hearted Hercules

Alcides, forcefullest of all the brood Of men enforc’d with need of earthy food, My Muse shall memorise; the son of Jove, Whom, in fair-seated Thebes (commix’d in love With great heaven’s sable-cloud-assembling State) Alcmena bore to him; and who, in date Of days forepast, through all the sea was sent, And Earth’s inenarrable continent, To acts that king Eurystheus had decreed; Did many a petulant and imperious deed Himself, and therefore suffer’d many a toil; Yet now inhabits the illustrious soil Of white Olympus, and delights his life With still-young Hebe, his well-ankled wife. Hail, King, and Son of Jove! Vouchsafe me Virtue, and, her effect, felicity!

A Hymn to Æsculapius

With Æsculapius, the physician, That cur’d all sickness, and was Phœbus’ son, My Muse makes entry; to whose life gave yield Divine Coronis in the Dotian field, (King Phlegius’ daughter) who much joy on men Conferr’d, in dear ease of their irksome pain. For which, my salutation, worthy king, And vows to thee paid, ever when I sing!

A Hymn to Castor and Pollux

Castor and Pollux, the Tyndarides, Sweet Muse illustrate; that their essences Fetch from the high forms of Olympian Jove, And were the fair fruits of bright Leda’s love, Which she produc’d beneath the sacred shade Of steep Taygetus, being subdu’d, and made To serve th’ affections of the Thunderer. And so all grace to you, whom all aver (For skill in horses, and their manage given) To be the bravest horsemen under heaven!

A Hymn to Mercury

Hermes I honour, the Cyllenian Spy, King of Cyllenia, and of Arcady With flocks abounding; and the Messenger Of all th’ Immortals, that doth still infer Profits of infinite value to their store; Whom to Saturnius bashful Maia bore, Daughter of Atlas, and did therefore fly Of all th’ Immortals the society, To that dark cave, where, in the dead of night, Jove join’d with her in love’s divine delight, When golden sleep shut Juno’s jealous eye, Whose arms had wrists as white as ivory, From whom, and all, both men and Gods beside, The fair-hair’d nymph had scape kept undescried. Joy to the Jove-got then, and Maia’s care, ’Twixt men and Gods the general Messenger, Giver of good grace, gladness, and the flood Of all that men or Gods account their good!

A Hymn to Pan

Sing, Muse, this chief of Hermes’ love-got joys, Goat-footed, two-horn’d, amorous of noise, That through the fair greens, all adorn’d with trees, Together goes with Nymphs, whose nimble knees Can every dance foot, that affect to scale The most inaccessible tops of all Uprightest rocks, and ever use to call On Pan, the bright-hair’d God of pastoral; Who yet is lean and loveless, and doth owe By lot all loftiest mountains crown’d with snow; All tops of hills, and cliffy highnesses, All sylvan copses, and the fortresses Of thorniest queaches, here and there doth rove, And sometimes, by allurement of his love, Will wade the wat’ry softnesses. Sometimes (In quite oppos’d _capriccios_) he climbs The hardest rocks, and highest, every way Running their ridges. Often will convey Himself up to a watch-tow’r’s top, where sheep Have their observance. Oft through hills as steep His goats he runs upon, and never rests. Then turns he head, and flies on savage beasts, Mad of their slaughters; so most sharp an eye Setting upon them, as his beams let fly Through all their thickest tapistries. And then (When Hesp’rus calls to fold the flocks of men) From the green clossets of his loftiest reeds He rushes forth, and joy with song he feeds. When, under shadow of their motions set, He plays a verse forth so profoundly sweet, As not the bird that in the flow’ry spring, Amidst the leaves set, makes the thickets ring Of her sour sorrows, sweeten’d with her song, Runs her divisions varied so and strong. And then the sweet-voic’d Nymphs that crown his mountains (Flock’d round about the deep-black-water’d fountains) Fall in with their contention of song. To which the echoes all the hills along Their repercussions add. Then here and there (Plac’d in the midst) the God the guide doth bear Of all their dances, winding in and out, A lynce’s hide, besprinkled round about With blood, cast on his shoulders. And thus He, With well-made songs, maintains th’ alacrity Of his free mind, in silken meadows crown’d With hyacinths and saffrons, that abound In sweet-breath’d odours, that th’ unnumber’d grass (Besides their scents) give as through all they pass. And these, in all their pleasures, ever raise The blessed Gods’ and long Olympus’ praise: Like zealous Hermes, who of all I said Most profits up to all the Gods convey’d. Who, likewise, came into th’ Arcadian state, (That’s rich in fountains, and all celebrate For nurse of flocks,) where He had vow’d a grove (Surnam’d Cyllenius) to his Godhead’s love. Yet even himself (although a God he were) Clad in a squalid sheepskin, govern’d there A mortal’s sheep. For soft love ent’ring him Conform’d his state to his conceited trim, And made him long, in an extreme degree, T’ enjoy the fair-hair’d virgin Dryope. Which ere he could, she made consummate The flourishing rite of Hymen’s honour’d state; And brought him such a piece of progeny As show’d, at first sight, monstrous to the eye, Goat-footed, two-horn’d, full of noise even then, And (opposite quite to other childeren) Told, in sweet laughter, he ought death no tear. Yet straight his mother start, and fled, in fear, The sight of so unsatisfying a thing, In whose face put forth such a bristled spring. Yet the most useful Mercury embrac’d, And took into his arms, his homely-fac’d, Beyond all measure joyful with his sight; And up to heaven with him made instant flight, Wrapp’d in the warm skin of a mountain hare, Set him by Jove, and made most merry fare To all the Deities else with his son’s sight; Which most of all fill’d Bacchus with delight; And Pan they call’d him, since he brought to all Of mirth so rare and full a festival. And thus all honour to the shepherds’ King, For sacrifice to thee my Muse shall sing!

A Hymn to Vulcan

Praise Vulcan, now Muse; whom fame gives the prize For depth and fracture of all forge-devise; Who, with the sky-ey’d Pallas, first did give Men rules of buildings, that before did live In caves and dens, and hills, like savage beasts; But now, by art-fam’d Vulcan’s interests In all their civil industries, ways clear Through th’ all-things-bringing-to-their-ends (the year) They work out to their ages’ ends, at ease Lodg’d in safe roofs from Winter’s utmost prease. But, Vulcan, stand propitious to me, Virtue safe granting, and felicity!

A Hymn to Phœbus

O Phœbus! Even the swan from forth her wings, Jumping her proyning-bank, thee sweetly sings, By bright Peneus’ whirl-pit-making streams. Thee, that thy lute mak’st sound so to thy beams, Thee, first and last, the sweet-voic’d singer still Sings, for thy song’s all-songs-transcending skill. Thy pleasure, then, shall my song still supply, And so salutes thee King of Poesy.

A Hymn to Neptune

Neptune, the mighty marine God, I sing, Earth’s mover, and the fruitless ocean’s King, That Helicon and th’ Ægean deeps dost hold. O thou Earth-shaker! Thy command two-fold The Gods have sorted; making thee of horses The awful tamer, and of naval forces The Sure preserver. Hail, O Saturn’s birth! Whose graceful green hair circles all the earth. Bear a benign mind; and thy helpful hand Lend all submitted to thy dread command.

A Hymn to Jove

Jove now I sing, the greatest and the best Of all these Pow’rs that are with Deity blest, That far-off doth his dreadful voice diffuse, And, being King of all, doth all conduce To all their ends. Who (shut from all Gods else With Themis, that the laws of all things tells) Their fit composures to their times doth call, Weds them together, and preserves this all. Grace then, O far-heard Jove, the grace thou’st given, Most Glorious, and most Great of Earth and Heaven!

A Hymn to Vesta

Vesta, that as a servant oversees King Phœbus’ hallow’d house, in all degrees Of guide about it, on the sacred shore Of heavenly Pythos, and hast evermore Rich balms distilling from thy odorous hair, Grace this house with thy housewifely repair! Enter, and bring a mind that most may move, Conferring even, the great in counsels, Jove; And let my verse taste of your either’s love.

A Hymn to the Muses and Apollo

The Muses, Jove, and Phœbus, now I sing; For from the far-off-shooting Phœbus spring All poets and musicians, and from Jove Th’ ascents of kings. The man the Muses love, Felicity blesses; elocution’s choice In syrup lay’ng of sweetest breath his voice. Hail, Seed of Jove, my song your honours give, And so in mine shall yours and others’ live.

A Hymn to Bacchus

Ivy-crown’d Bacchus iterate in thy praises, O Muse; whose voice all loftiest echoes raises, And he with all th’ illustrious Seed of Jove Is join’d in honour, being the fruit of love To him, and Semele the-great-in-graces; And from the King his father’s kind embraces By fair-hair’d Nymphs was taken to the dales Of Nyssa, and with curious festivals Given his fair grought, far from his father’s view, In caves from whence eternal odours flew, And in high number of the Deities plac’d. Yet when the many-hymn-given God had past His Nurses’ cares, in ivies and in bays All over thicketed, his varied ways To sylvan coverts evermore He took, With all his Nurses, whose shrill voices shook Thickets, in which could no foot’s entry fall, And he himself made captain of them all. And so, O grape-abounding Bacchus, be Ever saluted by my Muse and me! Give us to spend with spirit our hours out here, And every hour extend to many a year.

A Hymn to Diana

Diana, that the golden spindle moves, And lofty sounds as well as Bacchus loves, A bashful virgin, and of fearful hearts The death-affecter with delighted darts, By sire and mother Phœbus’ sister born, Whose thigh the golden falchion doth adorn, I sing; who likewise over hills of shade And promontories that vast winds invade, Amorous of hunting, bends her all-gold bow, And sigh-begetting arrows doth bestow In fates so dreadful that the hill-tops quake, And bristled woods their leafy foreheads shake, Horrors invade earth, and [the] fishy seas Impassion’d furies; nothing can appease The dying brays of beasts. And her delight In so much death affects so with affright Even all inanimate natures; for, while she Her sports applies, their general progeny She all ways turns upon to all their banes. Yet when her fiery pleasures find their wanes, Her yielding bow unbent, to th’ ample house, Seated in Delphos, rich and populous, Of her dear brother, her retreats advance. Where th’ instauration of delightsome dance Amongst the Muses and the Graces she Gives form; in which herself the regency (Her unbent bow hung up, and casting on A gracious robe) assumes, and first sets gone The dances’ entry; to which all send forth Their heavenly voices, and advance the worth Of her fair-ankled mother, since to light She children brought the far most exquisite In counsels and performances of all The Goddesses that grace the heavenly hall. Hail then, Latona’s fair-hair’d Seed, and Jove’s! My song shall ever call to mind your loves.

A Hymn to Pallas

Pallas-Minerva’s deity, the renown’d, My Muse in her variety must resound; Mighty in councils; whose illustrous eyes In all resemblance represent the skies. A reverend maid of an inflexible mind; In spirit and person strong; of triple kind; Fautress of cities that just laws maintain; Of Jove, the-great-in-councils, very brain Took prime existence, his unbounded brows Could not contain her, such impetuous throes Her birth gave way to, that abroad she flew, And stood, in gold arm’d, in her Father’s view, Shaking her sharp lance. All Olympus shook So terribly beneath her, that it took Up in amazes all the Deities there. All earth resounded with vociferous fear. The sea was put up all in purple waves, And settled suddenly her rudest raves. Hyperion’s radiant son his swift-hov’d steeds A mighty time stay’d, till her arming weeds, As glorious as the Gods’, the blue-ey’d Maid Took from her deathless shoulders; but then stay’d All these distempers, and heaven’s counsellor, Jove, Rejoic’d that all things else his stay could move. So I salute thee still; and still in praise Thy fame, and others’, shall my memory raise.

A Hymn to Vesta and Mercury

Vesta I sing, who, in bequest of fate, Art sorted out an everlasting state In all th’ Immortals’ high-built roofs, and all Those of earth-dwelling men, as general And ancient honours given thee for thy gift Of free-liv’d chastity, and precious thrift. Nor can there amongst mortals banquets be, In which, both first and last, they give not thee Their endless gratitudes in pour’d-out wine, As gracious sacrifice to thy divine And useful virtues; being invok’d by all, Before the least taste of their festival In wine or food affect their appetites. And Thou, that of th’ adorn’d-with-all-delights Art the most useful angel, born a God Of Jove and Maia, of heaven’s golden rod The sole sustainer, and hast pow’r to bless With all good all men, great Argicides, Inhabit all good houses, see’ng no wants Of mutual minds’ love in th’ inhabitants, Join in kind blessing with the bashful maid And all-lov’d virgin, Vesta; either’s aid Combin’d in every hospitable house; Both being best seen in all the gracious House-works of mortals. Jointly follow then, Even from their youths, the minds of dames and men. Hail then, old Daughter of the oldest God, And thou Great Bearer of Heaven’s golden rod! Yet not to you alone my vows belong, Others as well claim th’ homage of my song.

A Hymn to Earth, the Mother of All

Mother of all things, the well-founded Earth, My Muse shall memorize; who all the birth Gives food that all her upper regions breed, All that in her divine diffusions feed In under continents, all those that live In all the seas, and all the air doth give Wing’d expeditions, of thy bounties eat; Fair children, and fair fruits, thy labour’s sweat, O great in reverence; and referr’d to thee, For life and death is all the pedigree Of mortal humans. Happy then is he Whom the innate propensions of thy mind Stand bent to honour. He shall all things find In all abundance; all his pastures yield Herds in all plenties; all his roofs are fill’d With rich possessions; he, in all the sway Of laws best order’d, cuts out his own way In cities shining with delicious dames, And takes his choice of all those striving flames; High happiness and riches, like his train, Follow his fortunes, with delights that reign In all their princes; glory invests his sons; His daughters, with their crown’d selections Of all the city, frolic through the meads, And everyone her call’d-for dances treads Along the soft-flow’r of the claver-grass. All this, with all those, ever comes to pass, That thy love blesses, Goddess full of grace, And treasurous Angel t’ all the human race. Hail, then, Great Mother of the Deified Kind, Wife to the cope of stars! Sustain a mind Propitious to me for my praise, and give (Answering my mind) my vows fit means to live.

A Hymn to the Sun

The radiant Sun’s divine renown diffuse, Jove’s daughter, great Calliope, my Muse; Whom ox-ey’d Euryphaëssa gave birth To the bright Seed of starry Heaven and Earth. For the far-fam’d Hyperion took to wife His sister Euryphaëssa, that life Of his high race gave to these lovely three: Aurora, with the rosy-wrists; and She That owns th’ enamouring tresses, the bright Moon; Together with the never-wearied Sun, Who (his horse mounting) gives both mortals light And all th’ Immortals. Even to horror, bright A blaze burns from his golden burgonet, Which to behold exceeds the sharpest set Of any eye’s intention, beams so clear It all ways pours abroad. The glorious cheer Of his far-shining face up to his crown Casts circular radiance, that comes streaming down About his temples, his bright cheeks, and all, Retaining the refulgence of their fall. About his bosom flows so fine a weed As doth the thinness of the wind exceed In rich context; beneath whose deep folds fly His masculine horses round about the sky, Till in this hemisphere he renders stay T’ his gold-yok’d coach and coursers; and his way, Let down by heaven, the heavenly coachman makes Down to the ocean, where his rest he takes. My salutations then, fair King, receive, And in propitious returns relieve My life with mind-fit means; and then from thee, And all the race of complete Deity, My song shall celebrate those half-god States, That yet sad death’s condition circulates, And whose brave acts the Gods show men that they As brave may aim at, since they can but die.

A Hymn to the Moon

The Moon, now, Muses, teach me to resound, Whose wide wings measure such a world of ground; Jove’s daughter, deck’d with the mellifluous tongue, And seen in all the sacred art of song. Whose deathless brows when she from heaven displays, All earth she wraps up in her orient rays. A heaven of ornament in earth is rais’d When her beams rise. The subtle air is sais’d Of delicate splendour from her crown of gold. And when her silver bosom is extoll’d, Wash’d in the ocean, in day’s equall’d noon Is midnight seated; but when she puts on Her far-off-sprinkling-lustre evening weeds, (The month is two cut; her high-breasted steeds Man’d all with curl’d flames, put in coach and all, Her huge orb fill’d,) her whole trims then exhale Unspeakable splendours from the glorious sky. And out of that state mortal men imply Many predictions. And with her then, In love mix’d, lay the King of Gods and men; By whom made fruitful, she Pandea bore, And added her state to th’ Immortal Store. Hail, Queen, and Goddess, th’ ivory-wristed Moon Divine, prompt, fair-hair’d! With thy grace begun, My Muse shall forth, and celebrate the praise Of men whose states the Deities did raise To semi-deities; whose deeds t’ endless date Muse-lov’d and sweet-sung poets celebrate.

A Hymn to Castor and Pollux

Jove’s fair Sons, father’d by th’ Oebalian king, Muses well-worth-all men’s beholdings, sing! The dear birth that bright-ankl’d Leda bore; Horse-taming Castor, and, the conqueror Of tooth-tongu’d Momus, Pollux; whom beneath Steep-brow’d Taygetus she gave half-god breath, In love mix’d with the black-clouds King of Heaven; Who, both of men and ships, being tempest driven, When Winter’s wrathful empire is in force Upon th’ implacable seas, preserve the course. For when the gusts begin, if near the shore, The seamen leave their ship, and, evermore Bearing two milk-white lambs aboard, they now Kill them ashore, and to Jove’s issue vow, When though their ship, in height of all the roar The winds and waves confound, can live no more In all their hopes, then suddenly appear Jove’s saving Sons, who both their bodies bear ’Twixt yellow wings down from the sparkling pole, Who straight the rage of those rude winds control, And all the high-waves couch into the breast Of th’ hoary seas. All which sweet signs of rest To seamen’s labours their glad souls conceive, And end to all their irksome grievance give. So, once more, to the swift-horse-riding race Of royal Tyndarus, eternal grace!

A Hymn to Men of Hospitality

Reverence a man with use propitious That hospitable rites wants; and a house (You of this city with the seat of state To ox-ey’d Juno vow’d) yet situate Near Pluto’s region. At the extreme base Of whose so high-hair’d city, from the race Of blue-wav’d Hebrus lovely fluent, grac’d With Jove’s begetting, you divine cups taste.


To Cuma

Lend hospitable rites and house-respect, You that the virgin with the fair eyes deckt Make fautress of your stately-seated town, At foot of Sardes, with the high-hair’d crown, Inhabiting rich Cuma; where ye taste Of Hermus’ heavenly fluent, all embrac’d By curl’d-head whirl pits; and whose waters move From the divine seed of immortal Jove.

In his Return to Cuma

Swiftly my feet sustain me to the town, Where men inhabit whom due honours crown, Whose minds with free-given faculties are mov’d, And whose grave counsels best of best approv’d.

Upon the Sepulchre of Midus Cut in Brass, in the Figure of a Virgin

A maid of brass I am, infixed here T’ eternize honest Midus’ sepulchre; And while the stream her fluent seed receives, And steep trees curl their verdant brows with leaves, While Phœbus rais’d above the earth gives sight, And th’ humorous Moon takes lustre from his light, While floods bear waves, and seas shall wash the shore, At this his sepulchre, whom all deplore, I’ll constantly abide; all passers by Informing, “Here doth honest Midus lie.”

Cuma, refusing to eternize their State, Though Brought Thither by the Muses

O to what fate hath Father Jove given o’er My friendless life, born ever to be poor! While in my infant state he pleas’d to save me, Milk on my reverend mother’s knees he gave me, In delicate and curious nursery; Æolian Smyrna, seated near the sea, (Of glorious empire, and whose bright sides Sacred Meletus’ silver current glides,) Being native seat to me. Which, in the force Of far-past time, the breakers of wild horse, Phriconia’s noble nation, girt with tow’rs; Whose youth in fight put on with fiery pow’rs, From hence, the Muse-maids, Jove’s illustrous Seed, Impelling me, I made impetuous speed, And went with them to Cuma, with intent T’ eternize all the sacred continent And state of Cuma. They, in proud ascent From off their bench, refus’d with usage fierce The sacred voice which I aver is verse. Their follies, yet, and madness borne by me, Shall by some pow’r be thought on futurely, To wreak of him whoever, whose tongue sought With false impair my fall. What fate God brought Upon my birth I’ll bear with any pain, But undeserv’d defame unfelt sustain. Nor feels my person (dear to me though poor) Any great lust to linger any more In Cuma’s holy highways; but my mind (No thought impair’d, for cares of any kind Borne in my body) rather vows to try The influence of any other sky, And spirits of people bred in any land Of ne’er so slender and obscure command.

An Essay of his begun Iliads

Ilion, and all the brave-horse-breeding soil, Dardania, I sing; that many a toil Impos’d upon the mighty Grecian pow’rs, Who were of Mars the manly servitours.

To Thestor’s Son[1] inquisitive about the Causes of Things

Thestorides! of all the skills unknown To errant mortals, there remains not one Of more inscrutable affair to find Than is the true state of a human mind.

[1] Homer intimated, in this his answer to Thestorides, a will to have
him learn the knowledge of himself, before he inquired so curiously
the causes of other things. And from hence had the great peripatetic,
Themistius, his most grave epiphoneme, _Anima quæ seipsam ignorat,
quid sciret ipsa de aliis?_ And, therefore, according to Aristotle,
advises all philosophical students to begin with that study.

To Neptune

Hear, pow’rful Neptune, that shak’st earth in ire, King of the great green, where dance all the quire Of fair-hair’d Helicon; give prosperous gales; And good pass, to these guiders of our sails, Their voyage rend’ring happily directed, And their return with no ill fate affected. Grant likewise at rough Mimas’ lowest roots, Whose strength up to her tops prærupt rocks shoots, My passage safe arrival; and that I My bashful disposition may apply To pious men, and wreak myself upon The man whose verbal circumvention In me did wrong t’ hospitious Jove’s whole state, And th’ hospitable table violate.

To the City of Erythræa

Worshipful Earth, Giver of all things good! Giver of even felicity; whose flood The mind all-over steeps in honeydew; That to some men dost infinite kindness shew, To others that despise thee art a shrew, And giv’st them gamester’s galls; who, once their main Lost with an ill chance, fare like abjects slain.

To Mariners

Ye wave-trod watermen, as ill as she That all the earth in infelicity Of rapine plunges; who upon your fare As sterv’d-like-ravenous as cormorants are; The lives ye lead, but in the worst degree, Not to be envied more than misery; Take shame, and fear the indignation Of Him that thunders from the highest throne, Hospitious Jove, who, at the back, prepares Pains of abhorr’d effect of him that dares The pieties break of his hospitious squares.

The Pine

Any tree else bears better fruit than thee, That Ida’s tops sustain, where every tree Bears up in air such perspirable heights, And in which caves and sinuous receipts Creep in such great abundance. For about Thy foots, that ever all thy fruits put out, As nourish’d by them, equal with thy fruits, Pour Mars’s iron-mines their accurs’d pursuits. So that when any earth-encroaching man, Of all the martial brood Cebrenian, Plead need of iron, they are certain still About thy roots to satiate every will.

To Glaucus, Who was so Miserably Sparing that he Feared All Men’s Access to Him

Glaucus! though wise enough, yet one word more Let my advice add to thy wisdom’s store, For ’twill be better so: Before thy door Give still thy mastiffs meat, that will be sure To lie there, therefore, still, and not endure (With waylaid ears) the softest foot can fall, But men and beasts make fly thee and thy stall.

Against the Samian Ministress or Nun

Hear me, O Goddess, that invoke thine ear, Thou that dost feed and form the youthful year, And grant that this dame may the loves refuse, And beds, of young men, and affect to use Humans whose temples hoary hairs distain, Whose pow’rs are passing coy, whose wills would fain.

Written on the Council Chamber

Of men, sons are the crowns of cities’ tow’rs; Of pastures, horse are the most beauteous flow’rs; Of seas, ships are the grace; and money still With trains and titles doth the family fill. But royal counsellors, in council set, Are ornaments past all, as clearly great As houses are that shining fires enfold, Superior far to houses nak’d and cold.

The Furnace called in to sing by Potters

If ye deal freely, O my fiery friends, As ye assure, I’ll sing, and serve your ends. Pallas, vouchsafe thou here invok’d access, I Impose thy hand upon this Forge, and bless All cups these artists earn so, that they may Look black still with their depth, and every way Give all their vessels a most sacred sale. Make all well-burn’d; and estimation call Up to their prices. Let them market well, And in all highways in abundance sell, Till riches to their utmost wish arise, And, as thou mak’st them rich, so make me wise. But if ye now turn all to impudence, And think to pay with lies my patience, Then will I summon ’gainst your Furnace all Hell’s harmfull’st spirits; Maragus I’ll call, Sabactes, Asbett, and Omadamus, Who ills against your art innumerous Excogitates, supplies, and multiplies. Come, Pallas, then, and all command to rise, Infesting forge and house with fire, till all Tumble together, and to ashes fall, These potters selves dissolv’d in tears as small. And as a horse-cheek chides his foaming bit, So let this Forge murmur in fire and flit, And all this stuff to ashy ruins run. And thou, O Circe, daughter of the Sun, Great-many-poison-mixer, come, and pour Thy cruell’st poisons on this Potters’ floor, Shivering their vessels; and themselves affect With all the mischiefs possible to direct ’Gainst all their beings, urg’d by all thy fiends. Let Chiron likewise come; and all those friends (The Centaurs) that Alcides’ fingers fled, And all the rest too that his hand strook dead, (Their ghosts excited) come, and macerate These earthen men; and yet with further fate Affect their Furnace; all their tear-burst eyes Seeing and mourning for their miseries, While I look on, and laugh their blasted art And them to ruin. Lastly, if apart Any lies lurking, and sees yet, his face Into a coal let th’ angry fire embrace, That all may learn by them, in all their lust, To dare deeds great, to see them great and just.

Eiresione, or the Olive Branch

The turrets of a man of infinite might, Of infinite action, substance infinite, We make access to; whose whole being rebounds From earth to heaven, and nought but bliss resounds. Give entry then, ye doors; more riches yet Shall enter with me; all the Graces met In joy of their fruition, perfect peace Confirming all; all crown’d with such increase, That every empty vessel in your house May stand replete with all things precious; Elaborate Ceres may your larders fill With all dear delicates, and serve in still; May for your son a wife make wish’d approach Into your tow’rs, and rapt in in her coach With strong-kneed mules; may yet her state prove staid, With honour’d housewiferies; her fair hand laid To artful loomworks; and her nak’d feet tread The gum of amber to a golden bead. But I’ll return; return, and yet not press Your bounties now assay’d with oft access, Once a year only, as the swallow prates Before the wealthy Spring’s wide open gates. Meantime I stand at yours, nor purpose stay More time t’ entreat. Give, or not give, away My feet shall bear me, that did never come With any thought to make your house my home.

To certain Fisher-Boys pleasing him with Ingenious Riddles

Yet from the bloods even of your self-like sires Are you descended, that could make ye heirs To no huge hoards of coin, nor leave ye able To feed flocks of innumerable rabble.


_The Translator’s Epilogue_

_The work that I was born to do is done! Glory to Him that the conclusion Makes the beginning of my life; and never Let me be said to live, till I live ever. Where’s the outliving of my fortunes then, Ye errant vapours of Fame’s Lernean fen, That, like possess’d storms, blast all not in herd With your abhorr’d heads; who, because cashier’d By men for monsters, think men monsters all, That are not of your pied Hood and your Hall, When you are nothing but the scum of things, And must be cast off; drones, that have no stings; Nor any more soul than a stone hath wings? Avaunt, ye hags! Your hates and scandals are The crowns and comforts of a good man’s care; By whose impartial perpendicular, All is extuberance, and excretion all, That you your ornaments and glories call. Your wry mouths censure right! Your blister’d tongues, That lick but itches! And whose ulcerous lungs Come up at all things permanent and sound! O you, like flies in dregs, in humours drown’d! Your loves, like atoms, lost in gloomy air, I would not retrieve with a wither’d hair. Hate, and cast still your stings then, for your kisses Betray but truth, and your applauds are hisses. To see our supercilious wizards frown, Their faces fall’n like fogs, and coming down, Stinking the sun out, makes me shine the more; And like a check’d flood bear above the shore, That their profane opinions fain would set To what they see not, know not, nor can let. Yet then our learn’d men with their torrents come, Roaring from their forc’d hills, all crown’d with foam, That one not taught like them, should learn to know Their Greek roots, and from thence the groves that grow, Casting such rich shades from great Homer’s wings, That first and last command the Muses’ springs. Though he’s best scholar, that, through pains and vows Made his own master only, all things knows. Nor pleads my poor skill form, or learned place, But dauntless labour, constant prayer, and grace. And what’s all their skill, but vast varied reading? As if broad-beaten highways had the leading To Truth’s abstract, and narrow path, and pit; Found in no walk of airy worldly wit. And without Truth, all’s only sleight of hand, Or our law-learning in a foreign land, Embroidery spent on cobwebs, braggart show Of men that all things learn, and nothing know. For ostentation humble Truth still flies, And all confederate fashionists defies. And as some sharp-brow’d doctor, English born, In much learn’d Latin idioms can adorn A verse with rare attractions, yet become His English Muse like an Arachnean loom, Wrought spite of Pallas, and therein bewrays More tongue than truth, begs, and adopts his bays; So Ostentation, be he never so Larded with labour to suborn his show, Shall sooth within him but a bastard soul, No more heaven heiring than, Earth’s son, the mole, But as in dead calms emptiest smokes arise, Uncheck’d and free, up straight into the skies; So drowsy Peace, that in her humour steeps All she affects, lets such rise while she sleeps. Many, and most men, have of wealth least store, But none the gracious shame that fits the poor. So most learn’d men enough are ignorant, But few the grace have to confess their want, Till lives and learnings come concomitant. Far from men’s knowledges their lives’-acts flow; Vainglorious acts then vain prove all they know. As night the life-inclining stars best shows, So lives obscure the starriest souls disclose. For me, let just men judge by what I show In acts expos’d how much I err or know; And let not envy make all worse than nought, With her mere headstrong and quite brainless thought, Others, for doing nothing, giving all, And bounding all worth in her bursten gall. God and my dear_ Redeemer _rescue me From men’s immane and mad impiety, And by my life and soul (sole known to Them) Make me of palm, or yew, an anadem. And so my sole_ God, _the_ Thrice-Sacred-Trine, _Bear all th’ ascription of all me and mine._

Supplico tibi, Domine, Pater, et Dux rationis nostræ, ut nostræ nobilitatis recordemur quâ Tu nos ornasti; et ut Tu nobis præstó sis, ut iis qui per sese moventur; ut et à corporis contagio, brutorumque affectuum, repurgemur, eosque superemus, atque regamus, et, sicut decet, pro instrumentis iis utamur. Deinde, ut nobis adjumento sis, ad accuratam rationis nostræ correctionem, et conjunctionem cum iis qui verè sunt per lucem veritatis. Et tertiùm, Salvatori supplex oro, ut ab oculis animorum nostrorum, caliginem prorsus abstergas, ut norimus bene qui Deus, aut mortalis, habendus. _Amen._

_Sine honore vivam, nulloque numera ero._


See also


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