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While yet he exercis'd the steerman's art,
Apollo touch'd him with his gentle dart;
Ev'n with the rudder in his hand, he fell.
To pay whose honours to the shades of hell,


We check'd our haste, by pious office bound,

And laid our old companion in the ground.

And now, the rites discharg'd, our course we keep
Far on the gloomy bosom of the deep:
Soon as Malæa's misty tops arise,


Sudden the Thunderer blackens all the skics,
And the winds whistle, and the surges roll

Mountains on mountains, and obscure the pole.
The tempest scatters, and divides our fleet;
Part, the storm urges on the coast of Crete,
Where winding round the rich Cydonian plain,
The streams of Jardan issue to the main.
There stands a rock, high eminent and steep,
Whose shaggy brow o'erhangs the shady deep,



And views Gortyna on the western side;

On this rough Auster drove th' impetuous tide:

With broken force the billows roll'd away,

And heav'd the fleet into the neighb'ring bay.

Thus sav'd from death, they gain'd the Phæstan shores, With shatter'd vessels and disabled oars:


But five tall barks the winds and waters tost,

Far from their fellows, on th' Egyptian coast.
There wander'd Menelaus through foreign shores,
Amassing gold, and gathering naval stores;
While curst Ægysthus the detested deed
By fraud fulfill'd, and his great brother bled.
Seven years, the traitor rich Mycena sway'd,
And his stern rule the groaning land obey'd;
The eighth, from Athens to his realm restor'd,
Orestes brandish'd the revenging sword,
Slew the dire pair, and gave to funeral flame
The vile assassin, and adulterous dame.



That day, ere yet the bloody triumphs cease,
Return'd Atrides to the coast of Greece,


And safe to Argos' port his navy brought,

With gifts of price and ponderous treasure fraught.
Hence warn'd, my son, beware! nor idly stand
Too long a stranger to thy native land;

Lest heedless absence wear thy wealth away,
While lawless feasters in thy palace sway;
Perhaps may seize thy realm, and share the spoil;
And thou return, with disappointed toil,
From thy vain journey, to a rifled isle.
Howe'er, my friend, indulge one labour more,
And seek Atrides on the Spartan shore.
He, wandering long, a wider circle made,
And many languag'd nations has survey'd ;
And measur'd tracts unknown to other ships
Amid the monstrous wonders of the deeps
(A length of ocean and unbounded sky,
Which scarce the sea-fowl in a year o'erfly).
Go then; to Sparta take the watery way,
Thy ship and sailors but for orders stay;
Or, if by land thou choose thy course to bend,
My steeds, my chariots, and my sons, attend:
Thee to Atrides they shall safe convey,
Guides of thy road, companions of thy way.
Urge him with truth to frame his free replies,
And sure he will: for Menelaus is wise.

Thus while he speaks the ruddy sun descends,
And twilight grey her evening shade extends.
Then thus the blue-ey'd maid: O full of days!
Wise are thy words, and just are all thy ways.
Now immolate the tongues, and mix the wine,
Sacred to Neptune and the powers divine.
The lamp of day is quench'd beneath the deep,
And soft approach the balmy hours of sleep:
Nor fits it to prolong the heavenly feast,
Timeless, indecent, but retire to rest.

So spake Jove's daughter, the celestial maid.
The sober train attended and obey'd.

The sacred heralds on their hands around








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And pour, above, the consecrated stream.

And now, their thirst by copious draughts allay'd, The youthful hero and th' Athenian maid


Propose departure from the finish'd rite,
And in their hollow bark to pass the night:
But this the hospitable sage deny'd.

Forbid it Jove! and all the gods! he cry'd,

Thus from my walls the much-lov'd son to send 445
Of such a hero, and of such a friend!

Me, as some needy peasant, would ye leave,
Whom heaven denies the blessing to relieve?
Me would ye leave who boast imperial sway,
When beds of royal state invite your stay?
No-long as life this mortal shall inspire,
Or as my children imitate their sire,

Here shall the wandering stranger find his home,
And hospitable rites adorn the dome.


Well hast thou spoke (the blue-ey'd maid re


Belov'd old man! benevolent as wise.

Be the kind dictates of thy heart obey'd,
And let thy words Telemachus persuade:
He to thy palace shall thy steps pursue;
I to the ship to give the orders due,
Prescribe directions, and confirm the crew.
For I alone sustain their naval cares,

Who boast experience from these silver hairs;
All youths the rest, whom to this journey move



Like years, like tempers, and their prince's love. 465 There in the vessel shall I pass the night;

And soon as morning paints the fields of light,
I go to challenge from the Caucons bold,
A debt, contracted in the days of old.

But this thy guest, receiv'd with friendly care,
Let thy strong coursers swift to Sparta bear;
Prepare thy chariot at the dawn of day,
And be thy son companion of his way.


Then turning with the word, Minerva flies,
And soars an eagle through the liquid skies.
Vision divine! the throng'd spectators gaze
In holy wonder fix'd, and still amaze.
But chief the reverend sage admir'd; he took
The hand of young Telemachus, and spoke.
Oh, happy youth! and favour'd of the skies,
Distinguish'd care of guardian deities!



Whose early years for future worth engage,
No vulgar manhood, no ignoble age.
For lo! none other of the court above
Than she, the daughter of almighty Jove,
Pallas herself, the war-triumphant maid,
Confest is thine, as once thy father's aid.
So guide me, goddess! so propitious shine
On me, my consort, and my royal line!
A yearling bullock to thy name shall smoke,
Untam'd, unconscious of the galling yoke,
With ample forehead, and yet tender horns,
Whose budding honours ductile gold adorns.

Submissive thus the hoary sire preferr'd
His holy vow: the favouring goddess heard.
Then, slowly rising, o'er the sandy space
Precedes the father, follow'd by his race,
(A long procession) timely marching home
In comely order to the regal dome.




There when arriv'd, on thrones around him plac'd,

His sons and grandsons the wide circle grac'd.
To these the hospitable sage, in sign


Of social welcome, mix'd the racy wine

(Late from the mellowing cask restor❜d to light,
By ten long years refin'd, and rosy-bright).
To Pallas high the foaming bowl he crown'd,


And sprinkled large libations on the ground.
Each drinks a full oblivion of his cares,
And to the gifts of balmy sleep repairs.
Deep in a rich alcove the prince was laid,
And slept beneath the pompous colonnade;
Fast by his side Pisistratus lay spread,
(In age his equal) on a splendid bed:
But in an inner court, securely clos'd,


The reverend Nestor and his queen repos'd.


When now Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
With rosy lustre purpled o'er the lawn;
The old man early rose, walk'd forth, and sate
On polish'd stone before his palace gate:

With unguents smooth the lucid marble shone,
Where ancient Neleus sate, a rustic throne;
But he descending to th' infernal shade,
Sage Nestor fill'd it, and the sceptre sway'd.


His sons around him mild obeisance pay,

And duteous take the orders of the day.


First Echephron and Stratius quit their bed:
Then Perseus, Aretus, and Thrasymed;

The last Pisistratus arose from rest:

They came, and near him plac'd the stranger-guest. To these the senior thus declar'd his will:


My sons! the dictates of your sire fulfil.

To Pallas, first of gods, prepare the feast,

Who grac'd our rites, a more than mortal guest.
Let one, dispatchful, bid some swain to lead
A well-fed bullock from the grassy mead;
One seek the harbour where the vessels moor,
And bring thy friends, Telemachus! ashore
(Leave only two the galley to attend);
Another to Laerceus must we send,
Artist divine, whose skilful hands infold
The victim's horn with circumfusile gold.
The rest may here the pious duty share,



And bid the handmaids for the feast prepare,

The seats to range, the fragrant wood to bring,
And limpid waters from the living spring.
He said, and busy each his care bestow'd;
Already at the gates the bullock low'd,
Already came the Ithacensian crew,



The dexterous smith the tools already drew:
His ponderous hammer, and his anvil sound,
And the strong tongs to turn the metal round.
Nor was Minerva absent from the rite,
She view'd her honours, and enjoy'd the sight.
With reverend hand the king presents the gold,
Which round th' intorted horns the gilder roll'd, 555
So wrought, as Pallas might with pride behold.
Young Aretus from forth his bridal bower
Brought the full laver, o'er their hands to pour,
And canisters of consecrated flour.

Stratius and Echephron the victim led;
The ax was held by warlike Thrasymed,
In act to strike: before him Perseus stood,
The vase extending to receive the blood.
The king himself initiates to the power;
Scatters with quivering hand the sacred flour,



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