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Whom young Orestes to the dreary coast
Of Pluto sent, a blood-polluted ghost.
“ Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free,
When to his lust Ægysthus gave the rein,
Did fate, or we, th' adulterous act constrain ?
Did fate, or we, when great Atrides dy'd,
Urge the bold traitor to the regicide?
rival of Ulysses in his dominions. He had now Sincere from royal blood, and faith profan’d;
The wonders of the deep expanded lie;
End in the starry vault, and prop the spheres.)
Who soothes to dear delight his anxious mind : Wło, when his arms had wrought the destin'd fall Successless all her soft caresses proye, Of sacred Troy, and raz'd her heaven-built wall,
To banish from his breast his country's love; Wandering from clime to clime, observant stray'd, To see the smoke from his lov'd palace rise, Their manners noted, and their states survey'd.
While the dear isle in distant prospect lies, On stormy seas unnumber'd toils he bore,
With what contentment would he close bis eyes? Safe pith his friends to gain his natal shore: And will Omnipotence neglect to save Vain toils! their impious folly dar'd to prey
The suffering virtue of the wise and brave? On herds devoted to the god of day;
Must he, whose altars on the Phrygian shore The gods vindictive doom'd them never more
With frequent rites, and pure, avow'd thy power, (Ah, men unbless'd!) to touch that natal shore.
Be dooin'd the worst of human ills to prove, Oh, snatch some portion of these acts from fate,
Unbless'd, abandon'd to the wrath of Jove?" Celestial Muse! and to our world relate.
Daughter! what words have pass'd thy lips Now at their native realms the Greeks arriv'd;
unweigh'd ?" All who the war of ten long years surviv'd,
(Reply'd the thunderer to the martial mail) And 'scap'd the perils of the gulphy main.
Deem not unjustly by my doom opprest Ulysses, sole of all the victor train,
Of human race the wisest and the best. An exile from his dear paternal coast,
Neptune, by prayer repentant rarely won, Deplor'd his absent queen, and empire lost.
Adicts the ohief, t'avenge his giant-son, Calypso in her caves constrain'ul his stay,
Whose visual orb Ulysse's robb’d of light! With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay :
Great Polypheme, of more than mortal might! In vain--for now the circling years disclose
Him young Thoösa bore (the bright increase The day predestin'd to reward his woes.
Of Phorcys, dreaded in the sounds and scas): At length his Ithaca is given by fate,
W'hom Neptune ey'd with bloom of beauty blest, Where yet new labours his arrival wait ;
And in bis cave the yielding nympli comprest. At length their rage the hostile powers restrain,
For this, the god constrains the Greek to roain, All but the ruthless monarch of the main.
A hopeless exile, from his native home, But now the god, remote, a heavenly guest,
From death alone exempt---but cease to mourn! In Ethiopia grac'd the genial feast
Let all combine t’achieve his wish'd return : (A race divided, whom with sloping rays
Neptune aton'd, his wrath shall now refrain, The rising and descending Sun surveys);
Or thwart the synod of the gods in vain.” There on the world's extremest verge, rever'd
“ Father and king ador'd !" Minerva cry'a, With hecatombs and prayer in pomp preferr'd,
“ Since all who in th’ Olympian bower reside Distant he lay: wbile in the bright abodes
Now make the wandering Greek their public care, Of high Olympus, Jove conven'd the gods :
Let Hermes to th' Atlantic isle' repair;
Bid him, arriv'd in bright Calypso's court, Far from the suitor-train a brutal crowd,
Where the free guest, unnotic'd, might relate,
Replenishi'd from the cool, translucent springs ;
They wash. The tables in fair order spread,
They heap the glittering canisters with bread :
Delicious wines th' attending herald brought;
Marshall'd in order due, to each a sewer The promise of a great, immortal name."
Presents, to bathe his hands, a radiant ewer. She said: the sandals of celestial mould, Luxuriant then they feast. Observant round Fledgʻd with ambrosial plumes, and rich with gold, Gay stripling youths the brimming goblets crown'd. Surround her feet; with these sublime she sails The rage of hunger quell’d, they all advance, Th' aërial space, and mounts the winged gales : And form to measur'd airs the mazy dance : O'er earth and occan wide prepar'd to soar, To Phemius was consign:d the chorded lyre, Her dreaded arır a beamy javelin bore,
Whose hand reluctant touch'd the warbling wire : Ponderous and vast; which, when her fury burns, Phemjus, whose voice divine could sweetest sing Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o'er- High strajns, responsive to the vocal string. turns.
Meanwhile, in whispers to his heavenly guest From high Olympus prone her flight she bends, His indignation thus the prince exprest : And in the realm of Ithaca desrends.
Indulge my rising grief, whilst these (my friend) Her lineaments divine, the grave disguise
With song and dance the pompous revel end.
His treasur'd stores these cormorants consume, There in the portal piac'd, the heaven-born maid Whose bones, defrauded of a regal tomb Enormous riot and misrule survey'd.
And common turf, lie naked on the plain, On hides of beeres, before the palace gate, Or doom'd to welter in the whelıning main. (Sad spoils of luxury!) the suitors sate.
Should he return, that troop so blithe and bold, With rival art, and ardour in their mien,
With purple robes inwrought, and stiff with gold, Atchess they vie, to captirate the queen;
Precipitant in fear would wing their flight, Divining of their loves. Attending vigh
And curse their cumbrous pride's unweildy weight. A menial train the flowing boal supply:
But, ah, I dream!-th' appointed hour is fled ! Others, apart, the spacious hall prepare,
And hope, too long with vain delusion fed,
Deaf to the rumour of fallacious fame,
Thy name, thy lineage, and paternal land: (Painful vicissitude !) his bosom tear.
Sincere, from whence began thy course, recite, Now, imag'd in his mind, he sees restor'd,
And to what ship I owe the friendly freight? In peace and joy, the people's rightful lord; Now first to me this visit dost thou deign, The proud oppressors fly the vengeful sword. Or number'd in my father's social train ? While his fond soul these fancied triumphs swellid, All who deserv'd his choice he made his own, The stranger guest the royal youth beheld: And, curious much to know, he far was known.” Griev'd that a visitant so long should wait
My birth I boast” (the blue-ey'd virgin cries) Unmark'l, unhonour'd, at a monarch's gate; “ From great Anchialus, renown'd and wise : Instant he fiew with hospitable haste,
Mentes my name: I rule the Taphian rade, And the new friend with courteous air embrac'd. Whose bounds the deep circumuent waves embrace: " Stranger ! whoe'er thou art, securely rest, A duteous people, and industrious isle, Afijanc'd in my faith, a friendly guest:
To naval arts inur'd, and stormy toil.
Thus, affable and mill, the prince precedes, To gain by commerce for the labour'd mass,
Supremely tall, and shade the deeps belove.
Thence to revisit your imperial dome,
And ola hereditary guest I come :
Our faith urspotted, and its early date;
Who, prest with heart-corroding grief and years, To tempt the spouselesss queen with amorous To the gay court a rural shade prefers,
wiles, Where, sole of all his train, a matron sage Resort the nobles from the ncighbouring isles; Supports with homely food his drooping age, From Samos, circled with th' Tönian main, With feeble steps from marshalling his vines Dulichium, and Zacynthus' sylvan reign : Returning sad, when toilsome day declines. Ev'n with presumptuous hope her bed ascend,
“ With friendly speed, induc'd by erring fame, The lords of Ithaca their right pretend. To hail Ulysses' safe return, I came;
She seeins attentive to their pleaded vows, But still the frown of some celestial power
Her heart detesting what her ear allows. With envious joy retards the blissful hour.
They, vain expectants of the bridal hour, Let not your soul be sunk in sad despair;
My stores in riotous expense devour,
Oh! in that portal should the chief appear,
(For so of old my father's court he grac'd, And soon restore him to bis regal seat.
When social mirth unbent his serious soul, But, generous youth! sincere and free declare, O'er the full banquet, and the sprightly bowl): Are you, of manly growth, his royal heir ? He then from Epyrè, the fair domain For sure Clysses in your look appears,
Of Ilus, sprung from Jason's royal strain, (vair: The same his features, if the same his years. Measur'd a length of seas, a toilsome length, in Such was that face, on which I dwelt with joy For voyaging to learn the direful art Ere Greece assembled stemm'd the tides to Troy ; To taint with deadly drugs the barbed dart; But, parting then for that detested shore,
Observant of the gods, and sterstly just, Cur eyes, unhappy! never greeted more.” Ilus refus'd t impart the baneful trust:
"To prove a genuine birth" (the prince replies) With friendlier zeal my father's soul was fir'a, “ On fernale truth assenting faith relies ;
The drugs he knew, and gave the boon desir'&. Thus manifest of right, I build my clain
Appear'd be now with such heroic port, Scre-founded on a fair maternal fame,
As then conspicuous at the Taphian court ; Clysses son: but happier he, whom fate
Soon should yon boasters cease their haughty strife, Hath plac'd beneath the storms which toss the great! Or each atone his guilty love with life. Happier the son, whose hoary sire is blest
But of his wish'd return the care resign; With humble affluence, and domestic rest ! Be future vengeance to the powers divine. Happier than I, to future empire born,
My sentence hear: with stern distaste avow'd, But doom'd a father's wretched fate to mourn To their own districts drive the suitor-crowd :
To whom, with aspect mild, the guest divine : When next the morning warms the purple east, "Oh true descendant of a scepter'd line !
Convoke the peerage, and the gods attest; The gods a glorious fate from anguish free
The sorrows of your inmost soul relate; "To chaste Penelope's increase decree.
And forin sure plans to save the sinking state. But say, yon joyful troop so gaily drest,
Should second love a pleasing flame inspire, Is this a bridal or a friendly feast !
And the chaste queen connubial rites require; Or from their deed I rightlier may divine,
Dismiss'd with honour, let her hence repair l'astemly flown with insolence and wine;
To great Icarius, whose paternal care l'nwelcoine revellers, whose lawless joy
Will guide her passion, and reward the choice Pains the sage ear, and hurts the sober eye?" With wealthy dower, and bridal gifts of price.
Magnificence of old” (the prince replied) Then let this dictate of my love prevail : Beneath our roof with virtue could reside; Instant, to foreign realms prepare to sail, Enblam'd abundance crown'd the royal board, To learn your father's fortunes: Fame may prove, What time this dome rever'd her prudent lord; Or omend voice, (the messenger of Jove) Who dop (so Heaven decrees) is doom'd to mourn Propitious to the search. Direct your toil Bitter constraint; erroneous and forlorn.
Through the wide ocean first to sandy Pyle; Petter the chief, on Ilion's hostile plain,
Of Nestor, hoary sage, his doom demand :
For young Atrides to th’ Achaian coast
But if his soul hath wing'd the destin'd flight,
To the pale shade funereal rites or lain, Vanish'd at once! unheard-of, and unknown! Plant the fair column o'er the vacant grave, And I his beir in misery alone.
A hero's honours let the hero have. Kor for a dear, lost father only How
With decent grief the royal dead deplor'd, The filial tears, bat Foe succeeds to woe: For the chaste queen select an equal lord
Then let revenge your daring mind employ, What Greeks, now wandering in the Stygian gloon, By fraud or force the suitor-train destroy,
With your Ulysses shar'd an equal doom ! And, starting into manhood, scorn the boy. Your widow'd hours, apart, with female toil Hast thou not heard how young Orestes, fir'd And various labours of the loom, beguile; With great revenge, immortal praise acquirid? There rule, from palace-cares remote and free; His virgin-sword Egysthus' veins imbrued ; That care to man belongs, and most to me.” The murderer fell, and blood aton'd for blood. Mature beyond his years the queen admires O greatly bless'd with every blooming grace! His sage reply, and with her train retires. With eqnal steps the paths of glory trace; Then swelling sorrows burst their former bounds, Join to that royal youth's your rival name, With echoing grief afresh the dome resounds; And shine eternal in the sphere of fame.
Till Pallas, piteous of her plaintive cries, But my associates now my stay deplore,
In slumber clos'd her silver-streaming eyes. Impatient on the hoarse-resounding shore.
Meantime, rekindled at the royal charms, Thou, heedful of advice, secure proceed;
Tumultuous love each beating bosom warms ; My praise the precept is, be thine the deed.” Intemperate rage a wordy war began;
“The counsel of my friend” (the youth rejoin'd) But bold Telemachus assuin'd the man.
Imprints conviction on my grateful mind. “ Instant” (he cry'd)“your female discord end, So fathers speak (persuasive speech and mild) Ye deedless boasters and the song atteud; Their sage experience to the favourite child, Obey that sweet compulsion, nor profane But, since to part, for sweet refection due
With dissonance the smooth melodious strain.
Pacific now prolong the jovial feast;
I, to the peers assembled, shall propose “ Defer the promis'd boon,” (the goddess, cries, The firm resolve, I here in few disclose : Celestial azure brightening in her eyes)
No longer live the cankers of my court; “ And let me now regain the Reithrian port: All to your several states with speed resort; From Temesè return'd, your royal court
Waste in wild riot what your land allows, I shall revisit; and that pledge receive;
There ply the early feast, and late carouse. And gifts, memorial of our friendship, leave.” But if, to honour lost, 'tis still decreed
Abrupt, with eagle-speed she cut the sky; For you my bowl shall flow, my flocks shall bleed; Instant invisible to mortal eye.
Judge and revenge my right, impartial Jove! Then first he recognis'd th' etherial guest;
By him, and all th' immortal thrones above, Wonder and joy alternate fire his breast :
(A sacred oath) each proud oppressor, slain, Heroic thoughts, infus'd, bis heart dilate; Shall with inglorious gore this marble stain." Revolving much his father's doubtful fate,
Aw'd by the prince, thus baughty, bold, and young, At length, compos'd, he join'd the suitor-throng; Rage gnaw'd the lip, and wonder chain'd the tongue, Hush'd in attention to the warbled song.
Silence at length the gay Antinoiis broke, His tender theme the charming lyrist chose, Constrain'd a smile, and thus ambiguous spoke: Minerva's anger, and the direful woes
What god to your untutor'd youth affords Which voyaging from 'Troy the victors bore, This headlong torrent of amazing words? While storms vindictive intercept the shore. May Jove delay thy reign, and cumber late The shrilling airs the vaulted roof rebounds, So bright a genius with the toils of state !" Reflecting to the queen the silver sounds.
“ Those toils” (Telemachus serene replies) With grief renew'd the weeping fair descends ; “Have charms, with all their weight, t'allure the Their sovereign's step a virgin train attends ; Fașt by the throne obsequious fame resides, (wise. A veil, of richest texture wrought, she wears, And :ealth incessant rolls her golden tides. And silent to the joyous hall repairs.
Nor let Antinous rage, if strong desire There from the portal, with her mild command, Of wealth and fame a youthful bosom fire: Thus gently checks the minstrel's tuneful hand : Elect by Jove his delegate of sway, “Pbemius! let acts of gods, and heroes With joyous pride the summons I'd obey. old,
Whene'er Ulysses roams the realm of night, What ancient bards in hall and bower have told, Should factious power dispute my lineal right, Attemper'd to the lyre, your voice employ; Some other Greeks a fairer claim may plead; Such the pleas'd ear will drink with silent joy. To your pretence their title would precede. But, oh! forbear that dear disastrous name, At least, the sceptre lost, I still should reign To sorrow sacred, and secure of fame :
Sole o'er my vassals, and domestic train." My bleeding bosoin sickens at the sound,
To this Eurymachus: “To Heaven alone And every piercing note inflicts a wound"
Refer the choice to fill the vacant throne. “ Why, dearest object of my duteons love,” Your patrimonial stores in peace possess; (Reply'd the prince) is will you the bard reprove? Undoubted, all your filial claim confess: Oft, Jove's ethereal rays (resistless fire)
Your private right should impious power invade, The chanter's soul and raptur'd song inspire; The peers of Ithaca would arm in aid. Instinct divine! nor blame severe his choice, But say, that stranger guest who late withdrew, Warbling the Grecian woes with harp and voice : What and from whence? his name and lineage shew, For novel lays attract our ravish'd ears;
His grave demeanour and majestic grace But old, the mind with inattention hears;
Speak him descended of no vulgar race: Patient permit the sadly pleasing strain ;
Did he some loan of ancient right require, Familiar now with grief, your tears refrain, Or came fore-runner of your scepter'd sire?" And in the public woe forget your own;
“Oh, son of Polybus!" the prince replies, You weep not for a perishi'd lord, alone.
' No more my sịre will glad these longing eyes,
The queen's fond hope inventive rumour cheers, The youthful hero, with returning light,
Rose anxious from th' inquietudes of night.
A two-edg'd falchion threaten'd by his side,
Embroider'd sandals glitter'd as he trod, High in Ulysses' social list enroll’d.”
And forth he mov'd majestic as a god. Thus he, though conscious of th’ etherial guest, Then by his heralds, restless of delay, Answer'd evasive of the sly request.
To council calls his peers: the peers obey, Meantime the lyre rejoins the sprightly lay ;
Soon as in solemn form th' assembly sate, Love-dittied airs, and dance, conclude the day. From his high dome himself descends in state. But when the star of eve with golden light
Bright in his hand a ponderous javelin shin'd, Adorn'd the matron brow of sable night;
Two dogs, a faithful guard, attend behind; The mirthfal train dispersiog quit the court,
Pallas with grace divine his form improves, And to their several domes to rest resort.
And gazing crowds admire him as he moves.
His father's throne he fill’d: while distant stood
"Twas silence all. At last Ægyptius spoke ;
A length of days his soul with prudence crown'd, For twenty beeves by great Laertes won ;
A length of days had bent him to the ground. In rosy prime with charms attractive grac'd, His eldest hope 'io arms to-llion came, Honour'd by him, a gentle lord and chaste, By great Ulysses taught the path to fame; With dear esteem; too wise, with jealous strife But (bapless youth) the hideous Cyclops tore To taint the joys of sweet, connubial life.
His quivering limbs, and quafi'd bis spouting Sole with Telemachus her service ends,
gore. A child she nurs'd him, and a man attends.) Three sons remain'd: to climb with haughty fires
Whilst to his couch the prince himself addrest, The royal bed, Eurynomus aspires ; The duteous dame receiv'd the purple vest :
The rest with duteous love his griefs asswage, The purple vest with decent care dispos’d,
And ease the sire of half the cares of age. The silver ring she pull'd, the door reclos'd ;
Yet still his Antiphus he loves, he mourns, The bolt, obedient to the silken cord,
And, as he stood, he spoke and wept by turns : To the strong staple's iomost depth restord,
“Since great Ulysses sought the Phrygian plains, becur'd the valves. There wrapt in silent shade,
Within these walls inglorious silence reigns.
Ye young, ye old, the weighty cause disclose:
Inspire some patriot, and demand debate !
The present synod speaks its author wise;
He spoke. Telemachus with transport glows,
(His royal hand th’imperial sceptre sway'd);
Then thus, addressing to Ægyptius, said:
“ Reverend old man! lo here confest he stands THE COUNCIL OF ITHACA.
By whom ye meet; my grief your care demands.
spitors, and insists upon their departure from his Peace the blest land, and joys incessant crown;
There appears a Our foes are powerful, and your sons the foes : prodigy of two eagles in the sky, which an
Hither, unwelcome to the queen, they come ;
Nor in the helpless orphan dread a foe.
More powerful advocates than vain complaints.
Approach that hour! insufferable wrong