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PALLAS, in a council of the gods, complains of the detention of Ulysses in the island of Calypso; whereupon Mercury is sent to command his removal. The seat of Calypso described. She consents with much difficulty, and Ulysses builds a vessel with his own hands, on which he embarks. Neptune overtakes him with a terrible tempest, in which he is shipwrecked, and in the last danger of death; till Lencothea, a sea-goddess, assists him, and after innumerable perils he gets ashore on Phæacia.




THE saffron morn, with early blushes spread, Now rose refulgent from Tithonus' bed; With new-born day to gladden mortal sight, And gild the courts of heaven with sacred light. Then met the' eternal synod of the sky, Before the god who thunders from on high, Supreme in might, sublime in majesty. Pallas, to these, deplores the' unequal fates Of wise Ulysses, and his toils relates; Her hero's danger touch'd the pitying power, The nymph's seducements, and the magic bower. Thus she began her plaint :- Immortal Jove! And you who fill the blissful seats above! Let kings no more with gentle mercy sway, Or bless a people willing to obey, But crush the nations with an iron rod, And every monarch be the scourge of god, If from your thoughts Ulysses you remove, Who rul'd his subjects with a father's love. Sole in an isle, encircled by the main, Abandon'd, banish'd from his native reign, Unbless'd he siglis, detain'd by lawless charms, And press'd unwilling in Calypso's arms.

Nor friends are there, nor vessels to convey,
Nor oars to cut the' immeasurable way.
And now fierce traitors, studious to destroy
His only son, their ambush'd fraud employ;
Who, pious, following his great father's fame,
To sacred Pylos and to Sparta came.'


'What words are these? (replied the power who The clouds of night, and darkens heaven with storms) Is not already in thy soul decreed,

The chief's return shall make the guilty bleed?
What cannot wisdom do? Thou may'st restore
The son in safety to his native shore ;
While the fell foes who late in ambush lay,
With fraud defeated, measure back their way.'
Then thus to Hermes the command was given:
'Hermes, thou chosen messenger of heaven!
Go, to the nymph be these our orders borne:
Tis Jove's decree Ulysses shall return;
The patient man shall view his old abodes,
Nor help'd by mortal hand, nor guiding gods;
In twice ten days shall fertile Scheria find,
Alone, and floating to the wave and wind.
The bold Phæacians there, whose haughty line
Is mix'd with gods, half human, half divine,
The chief shall honour as some heavenly guest,
And swift transport him to his place of rest.
His vessels loaded with a plenteous store
Of brass, of vestures, and resplendent are,
(A richer prize than if his joyful isle

Receiv'd him charg'd with Ilion's noble spoil)
His friends, his country, he shall see, though late;
Such is our sovereign will, and such is fate.'

He spoke. The god who mounts the winged winds Fast to his feet the golden pinions binds,

That high through fields of air his flight sustain
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the boundless main.
He grasps the wand that causes sleep to fly,
Or in soft slumber seals the wakeful eye;
Then shoots from heaven to high Pieria's steep,'
And stoops incumbent on the rolling deep.
So watery fowl, that seek their fishy food,
With wings expanded o'er the foaming flood,
Now sailing smooth the level surface sweep,
Now dip their pinions in the briny deep.
Thus o'er the world of waters Hermes flew,
Till now the distant island rose in view;
Then swift ascending from the azure wave,
He took the path that winded to the cave.
Large was the grot in which the nymph he found,
(The fair-hair'd nymph with every beauty crown'd)
She sat and sung; the rocks resound her lays :
The cave was brighten'd with a rising blaze :
Cedar and frankincense, an odorous pile,
Flam'd on the hearth, and wide perfum'd the isle;
While she with work and song the time divides,
And through the loom the golden shuttle guides.
Without the grot, a various silvan scene
Appear'd around, and groves of living green;
Poplars and alders ever quivering play'd,
And nodding cypress form'd a fragrant shade ;
On whose high branches, waving with the storm,
The birds of broadest wing their mansion form,
The chough, the sea-mew, the loquacious crow,
And scream aloft, and skim the deeps below.
Depending vines the shelving cavern screen,
With purple clusters blushing through the green.
Four limpid fountains from the clefts distil,
And every fountain pours a sev'ral rill,
In mazy windings wandering down the hill:

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