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To prove a genuine birth (the prince replies) 275 On female truth assenting faith relies: Thus manifest of right, I build my claim Sure-founded on a fair maternal fame, Ulysses' son: but happier he, whom fate.


Hath plac'd beneath the storms which toss the great!
Happier the son, whose hoary sire is blest
With humble affluence, and domestic rest!

Happier than I, to future empire born,

But doom'd a father's wretched fate to mourn!

To whom, with aspect mild, the guest divine: 285 Oh true descendant of a scepter'd line!

The gods a glorious fate from anguish free

To chaste Penelope's increase decree.
But say, yón jovial troop so gaily drest,
Is this a bridal or a friendly feast?

Or from their deed I rightlier may divine,
Unseemly flown with insolence and wine;
Unwelcome revellers, whose lawless joy
Pains the sage ear, and hurts the sober eye.
Magnificence of old (the prince reply'd)
Beneath our roof with virtue could reside;
Unblam'd abundance crown'd the royal board,



What time this dome rever'd her prudent lord;

Who now (so Heaven decrees) is doom'd to mourn,

Bitter constraint! erroneous and forlorn.

Better the chief, on Ilion's hostile plain,

Had fall'n surrounded with his warlike train;

Or safe return'd, the race of glory past,


New to his friends' embrace, had breath'd his last!

Then grateful Greece with streaming eyes would raise

Historic marbles to record his praise;


His praise, eternal on the faithful stone,
Had with transmissive honour grac'd his son.

Now snatch'd by harpies to the dreary coast,
Sunk is the hero, and his glory lost:


Vanish'd at once! unheard-of, and unknown!
And I his heir in misery alone.

Nor for a dear lost father only flow

The filial tears, but woe succeeds to woe:

To tempt the spouseless queen with amorous wiles, Resort the nobles from the neighbouring isles; 316

From Samos, circled with th' lönian main,
Dulichium, and Zacynthus' sylvan reign:
Ev'n with presumptuous hope her bed t'ascend,
The lords of Ithaca their right pretend.
She seems attentive to their pleaded vows,
Her heart detesting what her ear allows.
They, vain expectants of the bridal hour,
My stores in riotous expense devour,


In feast and dance the mirthful months employ, 325
And meditate my doom, to crown their joy.
With tender pity touch'd, the goddess cried:
Soon, may kind Heaven a sure relief provide,
Soon may your sire discharge the vengeance due,
And all your wrongs the proud oppressors rue! 330
Oh! in that portal should the chief appear,

Each hand tremendous with a brazen spear,
In radiant panoply his limbs incas'd

(For so of old my father's court he grac'd,
When social mirth unbent his serious soul,
O'er the full banquet, and the sprightly bowl):
He then from Ephyré, the fair domain

Of Ilus, sprung from Jason's royal strain,


Measur'd a length of seas, a toilsome length, in vain.
For, voyaging to learn the direful art

To taint with deadly drugs the barbed dart;
Observant of the gods, and sternly just,
llus refus'd t'impart the baneful trust:

With friendlier zeal my father's soul was fir'd,


The drugs he knew, and gave the boon desir'd. 345 Appear'd he now with such heroic port,

As then conspicuous at the Taphian court;


Soon should yon boasters cease their haughty strife,
Or each atone his guilty love with life.
But of his wish'd return the care resign;
Be future vengeance to the powers divine.
My sentence hear: with stern distaste avow'd,
To their own districts drive the suitor-crowd:
When next the morning warms the purple east,
Convoke the peerage, and the gods attest;
The sorrows of your inmost soul relate;
And form sure plans to save the sinking state.



Should second love a pleasing flame inspire,
And the chaste queen connubial rites require;
Dismiss'd with honour, let her hence repair
To great Icarius, whose paternal care
Will guide her passion, and reward the choice
With wealthy dower, and bridal gifts of price.
Then let this dictate of my love prevail:
Instant, to foreign realms prepare to sail,
To learn your father's fortunes: Fame may prove,
Or omen'd voice (the messenger of Jove),
Propitious to the search. Direct your toil
Through the wide ocean first to sandy Pyle;
Of Nestor, hoary sage, his doom demand:




Thence speed your voyage to the Spartan strand;
For young Atrides to th' Achaian coast
Arriv'd the last of all the victor host.

If yet Ulysses views the light; forbear,

Till the fleet hours restore the circling year.
But if his soul hath wing'd the destin'd flight,
Inhabitant of deep disastrous night;
Homeward with pious speed repass the main,
To the pale shade funereal rites ordain,
Plant the fair column o'er the vacant grave,
A hero's honours let the hero have.
With decent grief the royal dead deplor'd,
For the chaste queen select an equal lord.
Then let revenge your daring mind employ,
By fraud or force the suitor-train destroy,
And starting into manhood, scorn the boy.
Hast thou not heard how young Orestes, fir'd
With great revenge, immortal praise acquir'd?
His virgin-sword, Ægysthus' veins imbru'd;
The murderer fell, and blood aton'd for blood.
O greatly bless'd with every blooming grace!
With equal steps the paths of glory trace;
Join to that royal youth's your rival name,
And shine eternal in the sphere of fame.-
But my associates now my stay deplore,
Impatient on the hoarse-resounding shore.
Thou, heedful of advice, secure proceed;
My praise the precept is, be thine the deed.






The counsel of my friend (the youth rejoin'd)
Imprints conviction on my grateful mind.
So fathers speak (persuasive speech and mild)
Their sage experience to the favourite child.
But, since to part, for sweet refection due
The genial viands let my train renew:
And the rich pledge of plighted faith receive,
Worthy the heir of Ithaca to give.

Defer the promis'd boon (the goddess cries,
Celestial azure brightening in her eyes),
And let me now regain the Reithrian port:
From Temesè return'd, your royal court
I shall revisit; and that pledge receive;
And gifts, memorial of our friendship, leave.
Abrupt, with eagle-speed she cut the sky;
Instant invisible to mortal eye.

Then first he recogniz'd th' etherial guest;
Wonder and joy alternate fire his breast;
Heroic thoughts, infus'd, his heart dilate:
Revolving much his father's doubtful fate.
At length, compos'd, he join'd the suitor-throng;
Hush'd in attention to the warbled song.
His tender theme the charming lyrist chose
Minerva's anger, and the direful woes
Which voyaging from Troy the victors bore,
While storms vindictive intercept the shore.
The shrilling airs the vaulted roof rebounds,
Reflecting to the queen the silver sounds.
With grief renew'd the weeping fair descends;
Their sovereign's step a virgin train attends:
A veil, of richest texture wrought, she wears,
And silent to the joyous hall repairs.
There from the portal, with her mild command,
Thus gently checks the minstrel's tuneful hand:



Phemius! let acts of gods, and heroes old,
What ancient bards in hall and bower have told,
Attemper'd to the lyre, your voice employ:
Such the pleas'd ear will drink with silent joy. -
But, oh! forbear that dear disastrous name,
To sorrow sacred, and secure of fame:
My bleeding bosom sickens at the sound,
And every piercing note inflicts a wound.









Why, dearest object of my duteous love, (Reply'd the prince) will you the bard reprove? Oft, Jove's etherial rays (resistless fire) The chanter's soul and raptur'd song inspire; Instinct divine! nor blame severe his choice, Warbling the Grecian woes with harp and voice: For novel lays attract our ravish'd ears; But old, the mind with inattention hears; Patient permit the sadly pleasing strain; Familiar now with grief, your tears refrain, And in the public woe forget your own;" You weep not for a perish'd lord, alone. What Greeks now wandering in the Stygian gloom, With your Ulysses shar'd an equal doom! Your widow'd hours, apart, with female toil And various labours of the loom, beguile; There rule, from palace-cares remote and free; That care to man belongs, and most to me.



Mature beyond his years, the queen admires

His sage reply, and with her train retires.


Then swelling sorrows burst their former bounds,

With echoing grief afresh the dome resounds;
Till Pallas, piteous of her plaintive cries,

In slumber clos'd her silver-streaming eyes.
Meantime, rekindled at the royal charms,
Tumultuous love each beating bosom warms;
Intemperate rage a wordy war began;
But bold Telemachus assum'd the man.
Instant (he cry'd) your female discord end,
Ye deedless boasters! and the song attend:
Obey that sweet compulsion, nor profane
With dissonance the smooth melodious strain.
Pacific now prolong the jovial feast;



But when the dawn reveals the rosy east,
I, to the peers assembled, shall propose
The firm resolve, I here in few disclose:
No longer live the cankers of my court;
All to your several states with speed resort;
Waste in wild riot what your land allows,
There ply the early feast, and late carouse.



But if, to honour lost, 'tis still decreed

For you my bowl shall flow, my flocks shall bleed;

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