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The rest with duteous love his griefs assuage,
And ease the sire of half the cares of age.
Yet still his Antiplius he loves, he mourns,
And, as he stood, he spoke and wept by turns.
Since great Ulysses sought the Phrygian plains,
Within these walls inglorious silence reigns.
Say then, ye peers! by whose commands we meet;
Why here once more in solemn council sit?

Ye young, ye old, the weighty cause disclose:
Arrives some message of invading foes?
Or say, does high necessity of state
Inspire some patriot, and demand debate?
The present synod speaks its author wise;
Assist him, Jove, thou regent of the skies!




He spoke. Telemachus with transport glows, Embrac'd the omen, and majestic rose

(His royal hand th'imperial sceptre sway'd);


Then thus, addressing to Egyptius, said:

Reverend old man! lo here confest he stands

By whom ye meet; my grief your care demands.
No story I unfold of public woes,
Nor bear advices of impending foes:


Peace the blest land, and joys incessant crown:
Of all this happy realm, I grieve alone.
For my lost sire continual sorrows spring,

The great, the good; your father and your king.
Yet more; our house from its foundation bows,
Our foes are powerful, and your sons the foes:
Hither, unwelcome to the queen they come;
Why seek they not the rich Icarian dome?
If she must wed, from other hands require


The dowry: is Telemachus her sire?


Yet through my court the noise of revel rings,

And wastes the wise frugality of kings.

Scarce all my herds their luxury suffice;

Scarce all my wine their midnight hours supplies.

Safe in my youth, in riot still they grow,


Nor in the helpless orphan dread a foe.

But come it will, the time when manhood grants
More powerful advocates than vain complaints.
Approach that hour! insufferable wrong

Cries to the gods, and vengeance sleeps too long. 70

Rise then, ye peers! with virtuous anger rise;
Your fame revere, but most th' avenging skies.
By all the deathless powers that reign above,
By righteous Themis and by thundering Jove
(Themis, who gives to councils, or denies
Success; and humbles, or confirms the wise),
Rise in my aid! suffice the tears that flow
For my lost sire, nor add new woe to woe.
If e'er he bore the sword to strengthen ill,
Or, having power to wrong, betray'd the will,
On me, on me your kindled wrath assuage,
And bid the voice of lawless riot rage.
If ruin to our royal race ye doom,

the spoilers, and our wealth consume.
Then might we hope redress from juster laws,
And raise all Ithaca to aid our cause:

But while your sons commit th' unpunish'd wrong,
You make the arm of violence too strong.




While thus he spoke, with rage and grief he frown'd, And dash'd th' imperial sceptre to the ground. The big round tear hung trembling in his eye: The synod griev'd, and gave a pitying sigh, Then silent sate-at length Antinous burns With haughty rage, and sternly thus returns.


O insolence of youth! whose tongue affords Such railing eloquence, and war of words. Studious thy country's worthies to defame, Thy erring voice displays thy mother's shame. Elusive of the bridal day, she gives


Fond hopes to all, and all with hopes deceives. 100
Did not the sun, through heaven's wide azure roll'd,
For three long years the royal fraud behold?
While she, laborious in delusion spread


The spacious loom, and mix'd the various thread: Where as to life the wondrous figures rise, Thus spoke th' inventive queen, with artful sighs: "Though cold in death Ulysses breathes no more, "Cease yet awhile to urge the bridal hour:

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"Cease, till to great Laërtes I bequeath
"A task of grief, his ornaments of death.
"Lest when the Fates his royal ashes claim,
"The Grecian matrons taint my spotless fame;


For lo! my words no fancy'd woes relate:
1 speak from science, and the voice is fate.
When great Ulysses sought the Phrygian shores
To shake with war proud Ilion's lofty towers,
Deeds then undone my faithful tongue foretold:
Heaven' seal'd my words, and you those deeds behold.
I see (I cry'd) his woes, a countless train;


I see his friends o'erwhelm'd beneath the main; 204
How twice ten years from shore to shore he roams :
Now twice ten years are past, and now he comes!
To whom Eurymachus-Fly, dotard, fly!
With thy wise dreams, and fables of the sky.

Go prophesy at home; thy sons advise:


Here thou art sage in vain-I better read the skies.

Unnumber'd birds glide through th' aërial way,
Vagrants of air, and unforeboding stray.
Cold in the tomb, or in the deeps below,
Ulysses lies: oh wert thou laid as low!

Then would that busy head no broils suggest,
Nor fire to rage Telemachus's breast.


From him some bribe thy venal tongue requires,
And interest, not the god, thy voice inspires.

His guideless youth, if thy experienc'd age
Mislead fallacious into idle rage,


Vengeance deserv'd thy málice shall repress,

And but augment the wrongs thou would'st redress: Telemachus may bid the queen repair

To great Icarius, whose paternal care

Will guide her passion, and reward her choice,


With wealthy dower, and bridal gifts of price.
Till she retires, determin'd we remain,
And both the prince and augur threat in vain:
His pride of words, and thy wild dream of fate,
Move not the brave, or only move their hate.
Threat on, O prince! elude the bridal day,
Threat on, till all thy stores in waste decay.
True, Greece affords a train of lovely dames,
In wealth and beauty worthy of our flames:
But never from this nobler suit we cease;
For wealth and beauty less than virtue please..
To whom the youth: Since then in vain I tell
My numerous woes, in silence let them dwell.



But heaven, and all the Greeks, have heard my wrongs;
To heaven, and all the Greeks, redress belongs. 240
Yet this I ask (nor be it ask'd in vain),

A bark to waft me o'er the rolling main,
The realms of Pyle and Sparta to explore,
And seek my royal sire from shore to shore:
If, or to fame his doubtful fate be known,
Or to be learn'd from oracles alone.
If yet he lives; with patience I forbear,
Till the fleet hours restore the circling year:
But if already wandering in the train
Of empty shades; I measure back the main,
Plant the fair column o'er the mighty dead,
And yield his consort to the nuptial bed.

He ceas'd; and while abash'd the peers attend,
Mentor arose, Ulysses' faithful friend:



[When fierce in arms he sought the scenes of war, 255

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My friend (he cry'd) my palace be thy care;

"Years roll'd on years my godlike sire decay, "Guard thou his age, and his behests obey."] Stern as he rose, he cast his eyes around,

That flash'd with rage; and as he spoke, he frown'd: O never, never more, let king be just,

Be mild in power, or faithful to his trust!


Let tyrants govern with an iron rod,

Oppress, destroy, and be the scourge of God;
Since he who like a father held his reign,


So soon forgot, was just and mild in vain!

True, while my friend is griev'd, his griefs I share;
Yet now the rivals are my smallest care:
They, for the mighty mischiefs they devise,


Ere long shall pay their forfeit lives the price. 270
But against you, ye Greeks! ye coward train!
Gods! how my soul is mov'd with just disdain!
Dumb ye all stand, and not one tongue affords
His injur'd prince the little aid of words.
While yet he spoke, Leocritus rejoin'd:
O pride of words, and arrogance of mind!
Would'st thou to rise in arms the Greeks advise?
Join all your powers! in arms, ye Greeks, arise!
Yet would your powers in vain our strength oppose:
The valiant few o'ermatch an host of foes.


Should great Ulysses stern appear in arms,


While the bowl circles, and the banquet warms;
Though to his breast his spouse with transport flies,
Torn from her breast, that hour, Ulysses dies.
But hence retreating to your domes repair;
To arm the vessel, Mentor! be thy care,
And, Halitherses! thine: be each his friend;
Ye lov'd the father: go, the son attend.
But yet, I trust, the boaster means to stay
Safe in the court, nor tempt the watery way.


Then, with a rushing sound, th' assembly bend,

Diverse their steps: the rival rout ascend

The royal dome; while sad the prince explores

The neighbouring main and sorrowing treads the shores. There, as the waters o'er his hands he shed,


The royal suppliant to Minerva pray'd:

O goddess! who descending from the skies Vouchsaf'd thy presence to my wondering eyes, By whose commands the raging deeps I trace,


And seek my sire through storms and rolling seas!
Hear from thy heavens above, oh warrior-maid!
Descend once more, propitious to my aid.
Without thy presence, vain is thy command:
Greece, and the rival train, thy voice withstand.
Indulgent to his prayer the goddess took


Sage Mentor's form, and thus like Mentor spoke.
O prince, in early youth divinely wise,
Born, the Ulysses of thy age to rise!

If to the son the father's worth descends,

O'er the wide waves success thy ways attends :


To tread the walks of death, he stood prepar'd;

And what he greatly thought, he nobly dar'd.
Were not wise sons descendent of the wise,
And did not heroes from brave heroes rise,

Vain were my hopes: few sons attain the praise 315
Of their great sires, and most their sires disgrace.
But since thy veins paternal virtue fires,

And all Penelope thy soul inspires,

Go, and succeed! the rivals' aims despise;
For never, never, wicked man was wise.


Blind they rejoice, though now, ev'n now they fall; Death hastes amain: one hour o'erwhelms them all!

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