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He seiz'd my hand, and gracious thus began: Beneath thy charms when my companions groas, • Ah! whither roam'st thou, much-enduring man? Transform d w beasts, with accents not their own. Oh, blind to fate! what led thy steps to rove
() thou of fraudful beart! shall love led The horrid mazes of this magic grove!
To share thy feast-rites, or ascend thy bed : Fach friend you seek in yon enclosure lies, That, all unarm'd, thy vengeance may have vent, All lost their form, and babitants of sties.
And magic bind me, cold and impotent ! Think'st thou by wit to model their escape ? Celestial as thou art, yet stand denied ; Sooner shalt thou, a stranger to thy shape, Or swear that oath by which the gods are tied, Fall prone their equal : first thy danger know, Swear, in thy soul no latent frauds remain, Then take the antidote the gods bestow.
Swear by the vow which never can be vain.' The plant I give, through all the direful bower “ The goddess swore : then seiz'd my hand, and Shall guard thee, and avert the evil hour.
Tú the sweet transports of the genial bed. (led Now hear her wicked arts.
Before thy eyes
Ministrant to their queen, with busy care T'he bowl shall sparkle, and ine banquet rise ;
Four faithful handmaids the soft rites prepare; Take this, nor from the faithless feast abstain, Nymphs sprung from fountains, or from shady For temper'd drugs and poisons shall be vain. Or the fair offspring of the sacred foods. (woods, Soon as she strikes :.er wand, and gives the word, One o'er the couches painted carpets threw, Draw forth and brandish thy refulgent sword, Whose purple lustre glow'd against the view : And menace death : those menaces shall move White linen tay beneath. Another plac'd Her alter'd mind to blandisbment and love, The silver stands with golden flaskets grac'd: Nor shun the blessing proffer'd to thy arms,
With dulcet beverage this the beaker crown'd, Ascend her bçd, and taste celestial charms : Fair in the midst, with gilded cups around: So shall thy tedious toils a respite find,
That in the tripod o'er the kindled pile
Reviving sweets repair the mind's decay,
“ Thus, while he spoke, the sovereign plant he A vest and tunic o'er me next she threw, Where on th' all-bearing Earth unmark'd it grew, Fresh from the bath, and dropping balmy dew; And show'd its nature and its wondrous power: Then led and plac'd me on the sovereign seat, Black was the root, but milky-white the flower ; With carpets spread; a footstool at my feet. Moly the name, to mortals hard to find,
The golden ewer a nymph obsequious brings, But all is easy to th' etherial kind.
Replenish'd from the cool translucent springs : This Hermes gave; then, gliding off the glade, With copious water the bright vase supplies Shot to Olympus from the woodland shade. A silver larer of capacious size.
“ While, full of thought, revolving fates to come, I wash'd. The table in fair order spread, I speed my passage to th' enchanted dome: They heap the glittering canisters with bread: Arrivd, before the lofty gates I stay'd;
Viands of various kinds allure the taste, The lofty gates the goddess wide display'd : Of choicest sort and savour, rich repast ! She leads before, and to the feast invites:
Circe in vain invites the feast to share; I follow sadly to the magic rites.
Absent l ponder, and absorb in care: Radiant with starry studs, a silver seat
While scenes of woe rose anxious in my breast, Recejv'd my limbs; a footstool eas'd my feet. The queen beheld me, and those words addrest : She mix'd the potion, fraudulent of soul;
Why sits Ulysses silent and apart, The poison mantled in the golden bowl.
Some board of grief close-harbour'd at bis heart? I took, and quafrd it, confident in Heaven : Untouch'd before thee stand the cates divine, Then wav'd the wand, and then the word was given. And unregarded laughs the rosy wine. · Hence to thy fellows !' (dreadful she began) Can yet a doubt or any dread remain, 'Go, be a beast !'-I heard, and yet was man. When sworn that oath which never can be vain"
“ 'Then sudden whirling, like a waving flame, “ I answer'd: Goddess ! human is thy breast, My beamy falchion, I assault the dame.
By justice sway'd, by tender pity prest : Struck with unusual fear, she trembling cries, Ili fits it me, whose friends are sunk to beasts, She faints, she falls; she lifts her weeping eyes. To quaff thy bowls, or riot in thy feasts. ""What art thou say! from whence, from whom Me would'st thou please? for them thy cares em
And them to me restore, and me to joy.' (ploy, Oh, more than human! tell thy race, thy name. “ With that she parted : in her potent hand Amazing strength these poisons to sustain !
She bore the virtue of the magic wand. Nor mortal thou, nor mortal is thy brain.
Then hastening to the sties, set wide the door, Or art thou he? the man to come (foretold Urg'd forth, and drove the bristly herd before; By Hermes powerful with the wand of gold) Unwieldy, out they rush'd with general cry, The man from Troy, who wander'd ocean round; Enormous beasts dishonest to the eye. The man for wisdom's various arts renown'd, Now touch'd by counter charms, they change again, Ulysses? Oh, thy threatening fury cease, And stand majestic, and recall'd to men. Sheath thy bright sword, and join our hands in Those hairs, of late that bristled every part, peace;
Pall off, miraculous effect of art! Let mutual joys our mutual trust combine, Till all the form in full proportion rise, And love, and love-born confidence, be thine.' More young, more large, more graceful to my eyes.
"• And how, dread Circe! (furious I rejoin) They saw, they knew me, and with eager pace Can love, and love-born confidence, be mine! Clung to their master in a long embrace :
Sad, pleasing sight! with tears each eye ran o'er, When hush'd their passion, thus the goddess cries :
Let this short memory of grief suffice.
To me are known the various woes ye bore, « i Son of Laertes !' (then the queen began) In storms by sea, in perils on the shore; Oh much-enduring, much-experienc'd man! Forget whatever was in Fortune's power, Haste to thy vessel on the sea-beat shore,
And share the pleasures of this genial hour. Enload thy treasures, and the galley moor: Such be your minds as ere ye left your coast, Then bring thy friends, secure from future harins, Or learn'd to sorrow for a country lost. And in our grottoes stow thy spoils and arms.' Exiles and wanderers now, where-e'er ye go
“ She said : obedient to her high command, Too faithful memory renews your woe; I quit the place, and hasten to the strand. The cause remov'd, habitual griefs remain, My sad companions on the beach I found,
And the soul saddens by the use of pain.' Their wistful eyes in foods of sorrow drown'd. “ Her kind entreaty mov'd the general breast; As from fresh pastures and the dewy field
Tird with long toi!, we willing sunk to rest. (When loaded cribs their evening banquet yield) We ply'd the banquet, and the bowl we crown'd, The loving herds return; around then throng,
Till the full circle of the year came round. With leaps and bounds, their latc-imprison'd But when the seasons, following in their train, young,
Brought back the months, the days, and hours Rush to their mothers with unruly joy,
again: And echoing hills return the tender cry:
As from a lethargy at once they rise,
Is this, Ulysses, our inglorious lot?
Shall never the dear land in prospect rise,
“ Melting I heard ; yet till the Sun's decline " What other joy can equal thy return?
Prolong'd the feast, and quaff’d the rosy wine; Not that lov'd country for whose sight we mourn ! But when the shades came on at evening hour, The soil that nurs'd us, and that gave us breath : And all lay slumbering in the dusky bower; But, ah! relate our lost companions' death.' I came a suppliant to fair Circe's bed,
"I answer'd cheerful: 'Haste, your galley moor, The tender moment seiz'd, and thus I said: Apd bring our treasures and our arms ashore : “• Be mindful, goddess, of thy promise made; Those in yon hollow caverns let us lay;
Must sad Ulysses ever be delay'd! Then rise, and follow where I lead the way. Around their lord my sad companions mourn, Your fellows live: believe your eyes, and come Each breast beats homeward, anxious to return : To taste the joys of Circe's sacred dome.'
If but a moment parted from thy eyes, “ With ready speed the joyful crew obey :
Their tears flow round me, and any heart complies." Alone Eurylochus persuades their stay.
“"Go then,' (she cry'd)'ah, go ! yet think, not I, 'Whither,' he cry'd, “ah! whither will ye run? Not Circe, but the Fates, your wish deny. Serk Fe to meet those evils ye should shun? Ah, hope not yet to breathe thy natire air! Will you the terrours of the dome explore, Far other journey first demands thy care; In swine to grovel, or in lions roar,
To tread th' uncomfortable paths beneath, Or wolf-like howl away the midnight hour
And view the realıns of darkness and of death. In dreadful watch around the magic bower? There seek the Theban bard, depriv'd of sight; Re Dember Cyrup, and his bloody deed; Within, irradiate with prophetic light; The leader's rashness made the soldiers bleed.' To whom Persephone, entire and whole,
* | beard incens'd, and first resolv'd to speed Gave to retain th' unseparated soul: Myfying falchion at the rebel's head.
The rest are forms, of empty ether made; Dear as he was, by ties of kindred bound, Impassive semblance, and a fitting shade.' This band had stretch'd him breathless on the “ Struck at the word, my very heart was dead : ground.
Pensive I sate; my tears bedew'd the bed ; But all at once my interposing train
To hate the light and life my soul begun, For inercy pleaded, nor could plead in vain. And saw that all was grief beneath the Sun. "Leave here the man who dares his prince desert, Compos'd at length, the gushing tears supprest, Leare to repentance and his own sad heart, And my tost limbs now weary'd into rest : To guard the ship. Seek we the sacred shades " How shall I tread," (I cry'd) 'ah, Circe! say Of Circe's palace, where Ulysses leads.
The dark descent, and who shall guide the way? " This with one voice declar'd, the rising train Can living eyes behold the realms below? Left the black vessel by the murmuring main. What bark to waft me, and what wind to blow ?" Saare toacb'd Eurylochus's alter'd breast,
“ " Thy fated road,' (the magic power reply'd) He fear'd my threats, and follow'd with the rest. · Divine Ulysses ! asks no mortal guide.
“ Meanwhile the goddess, with indulgent cares Rear but the mast, the spacious sail display, And social joys, the late-transform'd repairs; The northern winds shall wing thee on thy way. The bath, the feast, their fainting soul renews; Soon shalt thou reach old Ocean's utmost ends, Rich in refulgent robes, and dropping balmy dews: Where to the main the shelving sbore descends; Brightening with joy their eager eyes behold The barren trees of Proserpine's black woods, Each other's face, and each his story told; Poplars and willows trembling o'er the floods: Then gushing tears the narrative confound, There fix thy vessel in the lonely bay, sed with their sobs the vaulted roofs resound, And enter there the kingdoms void of day:
THE DESCENT INTO HELL.
Where Phlegeton's loud torrents, rushing down, To seek Tiresias' awful shade below,
And thence our fortunes and our fates to know.' And where, slow-rolling from the Stygian bed, “ My sad companions heard in deep despair ; Cocytus' lar: 'ntable waters spread :
Frantic they tore their manly growth of hair;
Sadly they far'd along the sea-beat shore;
For swift as thought the goddess had been there,
Who eyes their motion? who shall trace their And, heap'd with various wealth, a blazing pile :
ULYSSES continues his narration, How he arrived Let the flay'd victims in the flame be cast,
at the land of the Cimmerians, and what cereAnd sacred vows and mystic song apply'd
monies he performed to invoke the dead. The To grisly Pluto and his gloomy bride.
manner of his descent, and the apparition of the Wide o'er the pool, thy falchion wav'd around
shades : his conversation with Elpenor, and with Shall drive the spectres from forbidden ground :
Tiresias, who informs him in a prophetic manner The sacred draught shall all the dead forbear,
of his fortunes to come. He meets bis mother Till awful from the shades arise the seer.
Anticlea, from whom he learns the state of his Let him, oraculous, the end, the way,
family, He sees the shades of the ancient The turns of all thy future fate, display,
heroines, afterwards of the heroes, and converses Thy pilgrimage to come, and remnant of thy
in particular with Agamemnon and Achilles. So speaking, from the ruddy orient shone [day.'
Ajax keeps at a sullen distance, and disdains to The morn, conspicuous on her golden throne. answer him. He then beholds Tityus, Tantalus, The goddess with a radiant tunic dress'd
Sisyphus, Hercules; till he is deterred from My limbs, and o'er me cast a silken vest.
further curiosity by the apparition of horrid Long flowing robes of purest white array
spectres, and the cries of the wicked in torThe nymph that added lustre to the day:
ments. A tiar wreath'd her head with many a fold; Her waist was circled with a zone of gold.
“ Now to the shores we hend, a mournful train, Forth issuing then, from place to place I flew ;
Climb the tall bark, and lanch into the main : Rouse man by man, and animate my crew. At once the mast we rear, at once unbind ' Rise, rise, my mates! 'tis Circe gives com
'The spacious sheet, and stretch it to the wind : mand:
Then pale and pensive stand, with cares opprest, Our journey calls us; haste, and quit the land.'
And solemn horrour saddens every breast. All rise and follow, yet depart not all,
A freshening breeze the magic power supplied, For fate decreed one wretched man to fall.
While the wingid vessel few along the tide; “ A youth there was, Elpenor was he nam’d,
Our oars we shipp'd: all day the swelling sails Not much for sense, nor much for courage, fam'd: Pull from the guiding pilot catch'd the gales. The youngest of our band, a vulgar soul,
“ Now sunk the Sun from his aërial height, Born but to banquet, and to drain the bowl.
And o'er the shaded billows rush'd the night : He, hot and careless, on a turret's height
When, lo! we reach'd old Ocean's utmost bounds, With sleep repair'd the long debauch of night: Where rocks control bis waves with ever-during The sudden tumult stirr'd him where he lay,
mounds. And down he hasten'd, but forgot the way;
“ There in a lonely land, and gloomy cells, Full endlong from the roof the sleeper fell,
The dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells; And snapp'd the spinal joint, and wak'd in Hell.
The Sun ne'er views th' uncomfortable seats, “ The rest crowd round me with an eager look ; Wien radiant he advances, or retreats : I met them with a sigh, and thus bespoke:
Unhappy race! whom endless night invades, • Already, friends! ye think your toils are o'er, Clouds" the dull air, and wraps them round in Your hopes already touch your native shore :
shades. Alas! far otherwise the nymph declares.
“ The ship we moor on these obscure abodes; Far other journey first demands our cares ;
Disbạrk the sheep, an offering to the gods ;
And, hell-ward bending, o'er the beach descry But if, unheard, in vain compassion plead,
Revere the gods, the gods avenge the dead !
The tomb with manly arms and trophies grace, “ Here open'd Hell, all Hell I here implor'd, To show posterity Elpenor was. And from the scabbard drew the shining sword;
There high in air, memorial of my name, And, trenching the black earth on every side, Fix the smooth oar, and bid me live to fame.' A cavern form'd, a cubit long and wide.
“ To whoin with tears; . These rites, O mournNew wine, with honey-temper'd milk, we bring,
ful shade, Then living waters from the crystal spring; Due to thy ghost, shall to thy ghost be paid.' O'er these was strew'd the consecrated four,
“ Still as I spoke, the phantom seem'd to moan, And on the surface shone the holy store.
Tear follow'd tear, and groan succeeded groan. “ Now the wan shades we hail, th' infernal gods, But, as my waving sword the blood surrounds, To speed our course, and waft us o'er the floods: The shade withdrew, and mutter'd empty sounds. So shall a barren heifer from the stall
“ There as the wondrous visions I survey'd, Beneath the knife upon your altars fall;
All pale ascends my royal mother's shade:
A queen, to Troy she saw our legions pass;
Struck at the sight, I melt with filial woc,
And down my cheek the pious sorrows fluw, “ Thus solemn rites and holy vows we paid Yet as I shook my falchion o'er the blood, To all the phantom-nations of the dead,
Regardless of her son the parent stood. Then dy'd the sheep; a purple torrent flow'd,
“ When lo! the mighty Theban I behold; And all the caverns sinok'd with streaming blood. To guide his steps he bore a staff of gold; When, lo! appear'd along the dusky coasts,
Awful he trod ! majestic was his look! Thin, airy shoals of visionary ghosts ;
And from his holy lips these accents broke: Fair, pensive youths, and soft enamour'd maids;
Why, mortal, wanderest'thou from cheerful And wither'd elders, pale and wrinkled shades; To tread the downward, melancholy way? [day, Ghastly with wounds the forms of warriors slain What angry gods to these dark regions led Stalk'd with majestic port, a martial train : Thee yet alive, companion of the dead? These, and a thousand more swarm'd o'er the But sheath thy poniard, while my tongue relates And all the dire assembly shriek'd around. (ground, Heaven's stedfast purpose, and thy future fateş.? Astonish'd at the sight, aghast I stood,
“ While yet he spoke, the prophet I obey'd, And a cold fear ran shivering through my blood ; And in the scabbard plung'd the glittering blade : Straight I command the sacrifice to haste,
Eager he quaff'd the gore, and then exprest Straight the flay'd victims to the flames are cast, Dark things to come, the counsels of his breast; And mutter'd vows, and mystic song applied
" • Weary of light, Ulysses here explores To grizzly Pluto, and his gloomy bride.
A prosperous voyage to his native shores ; “ Now swift I wave my falchion o'er the blood; But know-by me unerring Fates disclose Back started the pale throngs, and trembling stood. New trains of dangers, and new scenes of woes; Round the black trench the gore untasted flows,
I see! I see thy bark by Neptune tost, Till awful from the shades Tiresias rose.
For injur'd Cyclop, and his eye.ball lost ! “ There wandering through the gloom I first Yet to thy woes the gods decree an end, survey'd,
If Heaven thou please, and how to please attend ! New to the realms of Death, Elpenor's shade:
Where on Trinacrian rocks the ocean roars, His cold remains all naked to the sky
Graze numerous herds along the verdant shores; On distant shores unwept, unburied lie.
Though hunger press, yet fly the dangerous prey, Sad at the sight I stand, deep fix'd in woe,
The herds are sacred to the god of day, dnd ere I spoke the tears began to flow :
Who all surveys with his extensive eye “O say, what angry power Elpenor led Above, below, on Farth, and in the sky ! To glide in shades, and wander with the dead? Rob not the god; and to propitious gales How could thy soul, by realms and seas disjoin’d, Attend thy voyage, and impel thy sails : Out-fly the nimble sail, and leave the laggmg But, if his herds ye seize, beneath the waves wind ?'
I see thy friends o’erwhelm'd in liquid graves ! “The ghost replied : 'To Hell my doom lowe, The direful wreck Ulysses scarce survives! Demons accurst, dire ministers of woe!
Ulysses at his country scarce arrives !
There foul adulterers to thy bride resort,
But vengeance hastes amain! These eyes behold By the soft tie and sacred name of friend!
The deathful scene, princes or princes rollid! By thy fond consort ! by thy father's cares ! That done, a people far from sea explore, By lov'd Telemachus's blooming years!
Who ne'er knew salt, or heard the billows roar, For well I know that soon the heavenly powers Or saw gay vessel stem the waterv plain, Will give thee back to day, and Circe's shores : A painted wonder flying on the main ! There pious on my cold remains attend,
Bear on thy back an oar: with strange amaze There call to mind thy poor departed friend. A shepherd meeting thee, the oar surveys, The tribute of a tear is all I crave,
And names a van: there fix it on the plain, And the possession of a peaceful grave.
To calm the god that holds the watery reigo ;
A three-fold offering to his altar bring,
No costly carpets raise his hoary head,
Rank'd with his slaves, on earth the monarch lies :
His bed the leaves, his canopy the skies. Unerring truths, O man! my lips relate; Thus cares on cares his painful days consume, This is thy life to come, and this is fate.'
And bow his age with sorrow to the tomb ! “ To whom unmov'd : ' If this the gods prepare; “ Por thee, my son, I wept my life away; What Heaven ordains, the wise with courage bcar. For thee through Hell's eternial dungeons stray : But say, why yonder on the lonely strands, Nor came my fate by lingering pains and slow, Unmindful of her son, Anticlea stands?
Nor bent the silver-shafted queen her bow ; Why to the ground she bends her downcast eye? No dire disease bereav'd ine of my breath: Why is she silent, while her son is nigh?
Thon, thou, my son, wert iny disease and death; The latent cause, O sacred seer, reveal!!
Unkindly with my love my son conspir'd, " "Nor this,' replies the seer, will I conceal. For thee I liv'd, for absent thee expir'd.' Know, to the spectres, that thy beverage taste, “ Thrict in my arms I strove her shade to bind, The scenes of life recnr, and actions past : Thrice through my arms she slipp'd like empty They, seal'd with truth, return the sure reply ;
wind, The rest, repelld, a train oblivious fiy.'
Or dreams, the vain illusions of the mind. “ The phantom-prophet ceas'd, and sunk from Wild with despair, I shed a copious tide sight,
Of flowing tears, and thus with sighs reply'd : To the black palace of eternal Night.
“ Fly'st thou, lov'd shade, while I thus fondly “ Still in the dark abodes of Death I stood,
mourn ? While near Anticlea mov'd, and drank the blood. 'Turn to my arms, to my embraces turn! Straight all the mother in her soul awakes,
Is it, ye powers, that smile at human harms ! And, owning her Ulysses, thus she speaks: Too great a bliss to weep within her arms? : Com'st thou, my son, alive, to realms beneath, Or has Hell's queen an empty image sent, The dolesome realms of Darkness and of Death? That wretched I might ev'n my joys lament?' Com'st thou alive from pure, ethereal day?
“O son of woe! the pensive shade rejoin'd, Dire is the region, dismal is the way!
Oh most inur'd to grief of all mankind ! Here lakes profound, there floods oppose their 'Tis not the queen of Hell who thee deceives : 'waves,
All, all are such, when life the body leaves; There the wide sea with all his billows raves ! No more the substance of the man remains, Or (since to dust proud Troy submits her towers) Nor bounds the blood along the purple veins : Com'st thou a wanderer from the Phrygian shores? These the funereal flames in atoms bear, Or say, since honour callèd thee to the field, To wander with the wind in empty air; Hast thou thy Ithaca, thy bride, bcheld ?"
While the impassive soul reluctant Aies, «z« Source of my life,' I cry'd, 'from Earth I fy, Like a vain dream, to these infernal skies. To seek Tiresias in the nether sky,
But from the dark dominions speed thy way, To learn my doom; for, tost from woe to woe,
And climb the steep ascent to upper day; In every land Ulysses finds a foe :
To thy chaste bride the wondrous story tell, Nor have these eyes beheld my native shores, The woes, the horrours, and the laws of Hell.' Since in the dust proud Troy submits her towers. Thus, while she spoke, in swarms Hell's em
"Bat, when thy soul from her sweet mansion fied, press brings Say, what disteinper gave thee to the dead? Daughters and wines of heroes and of kings; Has life's fair lamp declin'd by slow decays, Thick and more thick they gather round the biood, Or swift expir'd it in a sudden blaze ?
Ghost throng'd on ghost (a dire assembly) stood! Say if my sire, good old Laertes, lives?
Dauntless my sword 1 seize : the airy crew, If yét Telemachus, my son, survires ?
Swift as it flash'd along the gloom, withdrew : Say, by his rule is my dominion aw'd,
Then shade to shade in mutual forms succeeds, Or crush'd by traitors with an iron rod?
Her race recounts, and their illustrious deeds. Say; if my spouse maintains her royal trust; “ Tyro began, whom great Salmoneus bred; Though tempted, chaste, and obstinately just! The royal partner of fam'd Cretheus' bed. Or if no more her absent lord she wails,
For fair Enipeus, as from fruitful urns But the false woman o'er the wife prevails?! He pours bis watery store, the virgin burns ;
Thus I, and thus the parent-shade returns: Smooth Rows the gentle stream with wanton pride, • Thee, ever thee, 'thy faithful consort mourns: And in soft mazes rolls a silver tide, Whether the night descends, or day prevails,
As on his banks the maid enamour'd roves, Thee she by night, and thee by day, bewails, The monarch of the deep beholds and loves! Thee in Telemachos thy realm obeys ;
In her Enipeus' form and borrow'd charms, In sacred groves celestial rites he pays,
The amorous god descends into her arms: Aud shares the banquet in superior state,
Around a spacious arch of waves he throws, Grac'd with such hononrs as become the great. And high in air the liquid mountain ruse ; Thy sire in solitude foments his care :
Thus in surrounding Hoods conceal'd he proves I be court is joyless, for thou art not there ! The pleasing transport, and completes his loves