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And lo, with speed we plough the watery way;
My power shall guard thee, and my hand convey:
The winged vessel studious I prepare,
Through seas and realms companion of thy care.
Thou to the court ascend: and to the shores
(When night advances) bear the naval stores;
Bread, that decaying man with strength supplies,
And generous wine, which thoughtful sorrow flies.
Meanwhile the mariners, by my command,
Shall speed aboard, a valiant chosen band.
Wide o'er the bay, by vessel vessel rides;
The best I choose to waft thee o'er the tides.
She spoke to his high dome the prince returns,
And, as he moves, with royal anguish mourns.
'Twas riot all, among the lawless train;
Boar bled by boar, and goat by goat lay slain.
Arriv'd, his hand the gay Antinoüs prest,
And thus deriding, with a smile addrest.
Grieve not, oh daring prince! that noble heart:
Ill suits gay youth the stern heroic part.
Indulge the genial hour, unbend thy soul,
Leave thought to age, and drain the flowing bowl.
Studious to ease thy grief, our care provides
The bark, to waft thee o'er the swelling tides.
Is this, returns the prince, for mirth a time?
When lawless gluttons riot, mirth's a crime;
The luscious wines, dishonour'd, lose their taste;
The
is noise, and impious is the feast.
Suffice it to have spent with swift decay

song

The wealth of kings, and made my youth a prey.
But now the wise instructions of the sage,
And manly thoughts inspir'd by manly age,
Teach me to seek redress for all my woe,
Here, or in Pyle-in Pyle, or here, your
Deny your vessels, ye deny in vain:

A private voyager I pass the main.

foe.

Free breathe the winds, and free the billows flow;
And where on earth I live, I live

foe. your

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He spoke and frown'd, nor longer deign'd, to

stay,

Sternly his hand withdrew, and strode away.

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Meantime, o'er all the dome, they quaff, they feast, Derisive taunts were spread from guest to guest, And each in jovial mood his mate addrest. Tremble ye not, oh friends! and coward fly, Doom'd by the stern Telemachus to die? To Pyle or Sparta to demand supplies, Big with revenge, the mighty warrior flies: Or comes from Ephyré with poisons fraught, And kills us all in one tremendous draught!

Or who can say (his gamesome mate replies) But, while the dangers of the deeps he tries, He, like his sire, may sink depriv'd of breath, And punish us unkindly by his death?

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What mighty labours would he then create,
To seize his treasures, and divide his state,
The royal palace to the queen convey,

Or him she blesses in the bridal day!

Meantime the lofty rooms the prince surveys,

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Where lay the treasures of th' Ithacian race:

Here ruddy brass and gold refulgent blaz'd;

There polish'd chests embroider'd vestures grac'd;
Here jars of oil breath'd forth a rich perfume;

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There casks of wine in rows adorn'd the dome
(Pure flavorous wine, by gods in bounty given,
And worthy to exalt the feasts of heaven).
Untouch'd they stood, till, his long labours o'er,
The great Ulysses reach'd his native shore,
A double strength of bars secur'd the gates:
Fast by the door the wise Euryclea waits;
Euryclea, who, great Ops! thy lineage shar'd,
And watch'd all night, all day; a faithful guard.

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To whom the prince: O thou, whose guardian care Nurs'd the most wretched king that breathes the air! Untouch'd and sacred may these vessels stand, 396 Till great Ulysses views his native land.

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But by thy care twelve urns of wine be fill'd;
Next these in worth, and firm those urns be seal'd;
And twice ten measures of the choicest flour
Prepar'd, e'er yet descends the evening hour.
For when the favouring shades of night arise,
And peaceful slumbers close my mother's eyes,

Me from our coast shall spreading sails convey,
To seek Ulysses through the watery way.

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While yet he spoke, she fill'd the walls with cries, And tears ran trickling from her aged eyes. Oh whither, whither flies my son? she cry'd, To realms, that rocks and roaring seas divide? In foreign lands thy father's days decay'd, And foreign lands contain the mighty dead. The watery way ill-fated if thou try,

All, all must perish, and by fraud you die!

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Then stay, my child! storms beat, and rolls the main;
Oh, beat those storms, and roll the seas in vain! 415
Far, hence (reply'd the prince) thy fears be driven:
Heaven calls me forth; these counsels are of Heaven.
But, by the powers that hate the perjur'd, swear,
To keep my voyage from the royal ear,
Nor uncompell'd the dangerous truth betray,
Till twice six times descends the lamp of day:
Lest the sad tale a mother's life impair,
And grief destroy what time a while would spare.
Thus he. The matron with uplifted eyes
Attests th' all-seeing sovereign of the skies.
Then studious she prepares the choicest flour,
The strength of wheat, and wines an ample store.
While to the rival train the prince returns,
The martial goddess with impatience burns;
Like thee, Telemachus, in voice and size,
With speed divine from street to street she flies,
She bids the mariners prepar'd, to stand,
When night descends, embody'd on the strand,
Then to Noëmon swift she runs, she flies,
And asks a bark: the chief a bark supplies.

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And now, declining with his sloping wheels, Down sunk the sun behind the western hills. The goddess shov'd the vessel from the shores, And stow'd within its womb the naval stores. Full in the openings of the spacious main It rides; and now descends the sailor-train. Next, to the court, impatient of delay, With rapid step the goddess urg'd her way: There every eye with slumberous chains she bound, And dash'd the flowing goblet to the ground.

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Drowsy they rose, with heavy fumes opprest,
Reel'd from the palace, and retir'd to rest.
Then thus, in Mentor's reverend form array'd,
Spoke to Telemachus the martial maid.
Lo! on the seas, prepar'd the vessel stands,
Th' impatient mariner thy speed demands.
Swift as she spoke, with rapid pace she leads;
The footsteps of the deity he treads.

Swift to the shore they move: along the strand
The ready vessel rides, the sailors ready stand.

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He bids them bring their stores; th' attending

train

Load the tall bark, and launch into the main.
The prince and goddess to the stern ascend;
To the strong stroke at once the rowers bend.
Full from the west she bids fresh breezes blow; 460
The sable billows foam and roar below.

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The chief his orders gives; th' obedient band
With due observance wait the chief's command:
With speed the mast they rear, with speed unbind
The spacious sheet, and stretch it to the wind.
High o'er the roaring waves the spreading sails
Bow the tall mast, and swell before the gales;
The crooked keel the parting surge divides,
And to the stern retreating roll the tides.

And now they ship their oars, and crown with wine
The holy goblet to the powers divine:

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Imploring all the gods that reign above,

But chief the blue-ey'd progeny of Jove.

Thus all the night they stem the liquid way, And end their voyage with the morning ray.

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THE

ODYSSEY.

BOOK III.

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