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Judge and revenge my right, impartial Jove!-
By him and all th' immortal thrones above
(A sacred oath), each proud oppressor, slain,
Shall with inglorious gore this marble stain.
Aw'd by the prince, thus haughty, bold, and young,
Rage gnaw'd the lip, and wonder chain'd the tongue.
Silence at length the gay Antinous broke,

Constrain'd a smile, and thus ambiguous spoke: 490
What god to your untutor'd youth affords
This headlong torrent of amazing words?
May Jove delay thy reign, and cumber late
So bright a genius with the toils of state!
Those toils (Telemachus serene replies)


Have charms, with all their weight, t'allure the wise.
Fast by the throne obsequious fame resides,
And wealth incessant rolls her golden tides.
Nor let Antinous rage, if strong desire

Of wealth and fame a youthful bosom fire:
Elect by Jove his delegate of sway,
With joyous pride the summons I'd obey.
Whene'er Ulysses roams the realm of night,
Should factious power dispute my lineal right,
Some other Greeks a fairer claim may plead;
To your pretence their title would precede.
At least, the sceptre lost, I still should reign
Sole o'er my vassals, and domestic train.

To this Eurymachus: To heaven alone
Refer the choice to fill the vacant throne.
Your patrimonial stores in peace possess ;
Undoubted, all your filial claim confess :
Your private right should impious power invade,
peers of Ithaca would arm in aid.





But say, that stranger guest who late withdrew, 515
What and from whence? his name and lineage shew.
His grave demeanour and majestic grace
Speak him descended of no vulgar race:
Did he some loan of ancient right require
Or came fore-runner of your scepter'd sire?
Oh son of Polybus! the prince replies,
No more my sire will glad these longing eyes:
The queen's fond hope inventive rumour cheers,
Or vain diviners' dreams divert her fears.



That stranger-guest the Taphian realm obeys,

A realm defended with incircling seas.
Mentes, an ever-honour'd name, of old
High in Ulysses' social list inroll'd.

Thus he, though conscious of th' etherial. guest,
Answer'd evasive of the sly request.

Meantime the lyre rejoins the sprightly lay;
Love-dittied airs, and dance, conclude the day.
But when the star of eve with golden light
Adorn'd the matron-brow of sable night;
The mirthful train dispersing quit the court,
And to their several domes to rest resort.
A towering structure to the palace join'd;
To this his steps the thoughtful prince inclin'd:
In his pavilion there, to sleep repairs;




• The lighted torch, the sage Euryclea bears
(Daughter of Ops, the just Pisenor's son,
For twenty beeves by great Laertes won;
In rosy prime with charms attractive grac'd,
Honour'd by him, a gentle lord and chaste,
With dear esteem: too wise, with jealous strife 545
To taint the joys of sweet connubial life.
Sole with Telemachus her service ends,

A child she nurs'd him, and a man attends).
Whilst to his touch himself the prince addrest,
The duteous dame receiv'd the purple vest:
The purple vest with decent care dispos'd,
The silver ring she pull'd, the door reclos'd;
The bolt, obedient to the silken cord,


To the strong staple's inmost depth restor'd,
Secur'd the valves. There wrapt in silent shade, 555
Pensive, the rules the goddess gave, he weigh'd;
Stretch'd on the downy fleece, no rest he knows,
And in his raptur'd soul the vision glows.



BOOK 11.


The Council of Ithaca,

Telemachus, in the assembly of the lords of Ithaca, complains of the injustice done him by the suitors, and insists upon their departure from his palace; appealing to the princes, and exciting the people to declare against them. The suitors endeavour to justify their stay, at least till he shall send the queen to the court of Icarius her father; which he refuses. There appears a prodigy of two eagles in the sky, which an augur expounds to the ruin of the suitors. Telemachus then demands a vessel to carry him to Pylos and Sparta, there to inquire of his father's fortunes. Pallas, in the shape of Mentor (an ancient friend of Ulysses), helps him to a ship, assists him in preparing necessaries for the voyage, and embarks with him that night; which concludes the second day from the opening of the poem.

The scene continues in the palace of Ulysses in Ithaca.




NOW reddening from the dawn, the morning-ray

Glow'd in the front of heaven, and gave the day.

The youthful hero, with returning light,
Rose anxious from th' inquietudes of night.
A royal robe he wore with graceful pride,
A two-edg'd falchion threaten'd by his side,
Embroider'd sandals glitter'd as he trod,
And forth he mov'd, majestic as a god.
Then by his heralds, restless of delay,
To council calls the peers: the peers obey.
Soon as in solemn form th' assembly sate,
From his high dome himself descends in state.
Bright in his hand a ponderous javelin shin'd;
Two dogs, a faithful guard, attend behind;
Pallas with grace divine his form improves,
And gazing crowds admire him as he moves.




His father's throne he fill'd: while distant stood

The hoary peers, and aged wisdom bow'd.
'Twas silence all. At last Egyptius spoke;
Egyptius, by his age and sorrows broke:


A length of days his soul with prudence crown'd,
A length of days had bent him to the ground.
His eldest hope in arms to Ilion came,
By great Ulysses taught the path to fame;
But (hapless youth) the hideous Cyclops tore
His quivering limbs, and quaff'd his spouting gore.
Three sons remain'd: to climb with haughty fires
The royal bed, Eurynomus aspires;


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