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Whom Neptune ey'd with bloom of beauty blest,
And in his cave the yielding nymph comprest.
For this, the god constrains the Greek to roam,
A hopeless exile from his native home,
From death alone exempt-but cease to mourn;
Let all combine t' achieve his wish'd return:
Neptune aton'd, his wrath shall now refrain,
Or thwart the synod of the gods in vain.
Father and king ador'd! Minerva cried,
Since all who in the Olympian bower reside
Now make the wandering Greek their public care,
Let Hermes to th' Atlantic isle* repair;
Bid him, arriv'd in bright Calypso's court,
The sanction of the assembled powers report:
That wise Ulysses to his native land
Must speed, obedient to their high command.
Meantime Telemachus, the blooming heir
Of sea-girt Ithaca, demands my care:
'Tis mine to form his green, unpractis'd years,
In sage debates; surrounded with his peers,
To save the state, and timely to restrain
The bold intrusion of the suitor-train;
Who crowd his palace, and with lawless power
His herds and flocks in feastful rites devour.
To distant Sparta, and the spacious waste
Of sandy Pyle, the royal youth shall haste.
There, warm with filial love, the cause inquire
That from his realm retards his godlike sire:
Delivering early to the voice of fame
The promise of a great, immortal name.

She said the sandals of celestial mould,
Fledg'd with ambrosial plumes, and rich with gold,
Surround her feet: with these sublime she sails
Th' aërial space, and mounts the winged gales:

⚫ Ogygia.

O'er earth and ocean wide prepar'd to soar,
Her dreaded arm a beamy javelin bore,
Ponderous and vast; which, when her fury burns,
Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o'erturns.
From high Olympus prone her flight she bends,
And in the realms of Ithaca descends.
Her lineaments divine, the grave disguise
Of Mentes' form conceal'd from human eyes
(Mentes, the monarch of the Taphian land) :
A glittering spear wav'd awful in her hand.
There in the portal plac'd, the heaven-born maid
Enormous riot and misrule survey'd.

On hides of beeves, before the palace gate
(Sad spoils of luxury), the suitors sate.
With rival art, and ardour in their mien,
At chess they vie, to captivate the queen;
Divining of their loves. Attending nigh,
A menial train the flowing bowl supply:
Others, apart, the spacious hall prepare,
And form the costly feast with busy care.
There young Telemachus, his bloomy face
Glowing celestial sweet, with godlike grace
Amid the circle shines: but hope and fear
(Painful vicissitude!) his bosom tear.
Now, imag'd in his mind, he sees restor❜d
In peace and joy the people's rightful lord:
The proud oppressors fly the vengeful sword.
While his fond soul these fancied triumphs swell'd,
The stranger-guest the royal youth beheld :
Griev'd that a visitant so long should wait
Unmark'd, unhonour'd, at a monarch's gate;
Instant he flew with hospitable haste,

And the new friend with courteous air embrac❜d.
Stranger! whoe'er thou art, securely rest,
Affianc'd in my faith, a ready guest:

Approach the dome, the social banquet share,
And then the purpose of thy soul declare.

Thus affable and mild, the prince precedes,
And to the dome th' unknown celestial leads.
The spear receiving from her hand, he plac'd
Against a column, fair with sculpture grac'd;
Where seemly rang'd in peaceful order stood
Ulysses' arms, now long disus'd to blood.
He led the goddess to the sovereign seat,
Her feet supported with a stool of state
(A purple carpet spread the pavement wide);
Then drew his seat, familiar, to her side;
Far from the suitor-train, a brutal crowd,
With insolence, and wine, elate and loud :
Where the free guest, unnoted, might relate,
If haply conscious, of his father's fate.
The golden ewer a maid obsequious brings,
Replenish'd from the cool, translucent springs;
With copious water the bright vase supplies
A silver laver of capacious size :

They wash.

The tables in fair order spread, They heap the glittering canisters with bread : Viands of various kinds allure the taste, Of choicest sort and savour, rich repast! Delicious wines th' attending herald brought; The gold gave lustre to the purple draught. Lur'd with the vapour of the fragrant feast, In rush'd the suitors with voracious haste: Marshall'd in order due, to each a sewer Presents, to bathe his hands, a radiant ewer. Luxurious then they feast. Observant round Gay stripling youths the brimming goblets crown'd. The rage of hunger quell'd, they all advance, And form to measur'd airs the mazy dance: To Phemius was consign'd the chorded lyre, Whose hand reluctant touch'd the warbling wire:

Phemius, whose voice divine could sweetest sing
High strains responsive to the vocal string.
Meanwhile, in whispers to his heavenly guest
His indignation thus the prince exprest.

Indulge my rising grief, whilst these (my friend)
With song and dance the pompous revel end.
Light is the dance, and doubly sweet the lays
When for the dear delight another pays.
His treasur'd stores these cormorants consume,
Whose bones, defrauded of a regal tomb
And common turf, lie naked on the plain,
Or doom'd to welter in the whelming main.
Should he return, that troop so blithe and bold,
With purple robes inwrought, and stiff with gold,
Precipitant in fear would wing their flight,
And curse their cumb'rous pride's unwieldy weight.
But, ah, I dream!-th' appointed hour is fled;
And hope, too long with vain delusion fed,
Deaf to the rumour of fallacious fame,
Gives to the roll of death his glorious name!
With venial freedom let me now demand
Thy name, thy lineage, and paternal land;
Sincere, from whence began thy course, recite,
And to what ship I owe the friendly freight?
Now first to me this visit dost thou deign,
Or number'd in my father's social train?
All who deserv'd his choice, he made his own,
And, curious much to know, he far was known.
My birth I boast (the blue-ey'd virgin cries)
From great Anchialus, renown'd and wise:
Mentes my name; I rule the Taphian race,
Whose bourds the deep circumfluent waves embrace:
A duteous people, and industrious isle,
To naval arts inur'd, and stormy toil.
Freighted with iron from my native land,
I steer my voyage to the Brutian strand;

To gain by commerce, for the labour'd mass,
A just proportion of refulgent brass.
Far from your capital my ship resides
At Reithrus, and secure at anchor rides;
Where waving groves on airy Neion grow,
Supremely tall, and shade the deeps below.
Thence to revisit your imperial dome,
An old hereditary guest I come :

Your father's friend. Laërtes can relate
Our faith unspotted, and its early date;
Who, prest with heart-corroding grief and years,
To the gay court a rural shed prefers,
Where, sole of all his train, a matron sage
Supports with homely food his drooping age,
With feeble steps from marshalling his vines
Returning sad, when toilsome day declines.

With friendly speed, induc'd by erring fame,
To hail Ulysses' safe return, I came;
But still the frown of some celestial power
With envious joy retards the blissful hour.
Let not your soul be sunk in sad despair;
He lives, he breathes this heavenly vital air,
Among a savage race, whose shelfy bounds
With ceaseless roar the foaming deep surrounds.
The thoughts which roll within my ravish'd breast,
To me, no seer, th' inspiring gods suggest;
Nor skill'd, nor studious, with prophetic eye
To judge the winged omens of the sky.
Yet hear this certain speech, nor deem it vain;
Though adamantine bonds the chief restrain,
The dire restraint his wisdom will defeat,
And soon restore him to his regal seat.
But, generous youth! sincere and free declare,
Are you, of manly growth, his royal heir?
For sure Ulysses in your look appears,
The same his features, if the same his years.

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