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The lofty palace overlooks the town,
From every dome by pomp superior known;
A child may point the way. With earnest gait
Seek thou the queen along the rooms of state;
Her royal hand a wondrous work designs;
Around a circle of bright damsels shines,
Part twist the threads, and part the wool dispose,
While with the purple orb the spindle glows.
High on a throne, amid the Scherian pow'rs,
My royal father shares the genial hours;
But to the queen thy mournful tale disclose,
With the prevailing eloquence of woes:
So shalt thou view with joy thy natal shore,
Though mountains rise between, and oceans roar.'
She added not, but waving as she wheel'd
The silver scourge, it glitter'd o'er the field:
With skill the virgin guides the' embroider'd rein,
Slow rolls the car before the' attending train.
Now whirling down the heavens, the golden day
Shot through the western clouds a dewy ray;
The grove they reach, where from the sacred shade
To Pallas thus the pensive hero pray'd:
'Daughter of Jove! whose arms in thunder wield
The' avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield;
Forsook by thee, in vain I sought thy aid
When booming billows clos'd above my head:
Attend, unconquer'd maid; accord my vows,
Bid the great hear, and pitying heal my woes.'
This heard Minerva, but forbore to fly
(By Neptune aw'd) apparent from the sky:
Stern god! who rag'd with vengeance unrestrain'd,
Till great Ulysses hail'd his native land.
THE princess Nausicaa returns to the city, and Ulysses soon after follows thither. He is met by Pallas in the form of a young virgin, who guides him to the palace, and directs him in what manner to address the queen Arete. She then involves him in a mist, which causes him to pass invisible. The palace and gardens of Alcinous described. Ulysses fall. ing at the feet of the queen, the mist disperses, the Phæacians admire, and receive him with respect. The queen inquiring by what means he had the garments he then wore, he relates to her and Alcinous his departure from Calypso, and his ar rival on their dominious.
The same day continues, and the book ends with the night.
THE patient heavenly man thus suppliant pray'd;
While the slow mules draw on the' imperial maid :
Through the proud street she moves, the public gaze:
The turning wheel before the palace stays.
With ready love her brothers, gathering round,
Receiv'd the vestures, and the mules unbound.
She seeks the bridal bower: a matron there
The rising fire supplies with busy care,
Whose charms in youth her father's heart inflam'd,
Now worn with age, Eurymedusa nam'd :
The captive dame Phæacian rovers bore,
Snatch'd from Epirus, her sweet native shore,
(A grateful prize) and in her bloom bestow'd
On good Alcinous, honour'd as a god :
Nurse of Nausicaa from her infant years,
And tender second to a mother's cares.
Now from the sacred thicket where he lay,
To town Ulysses took the winding way.
Propitious Pallas, to secure her care,
Around him spread a veil of thicken'd air;
To shun the' encounter of the vulgar crowd,
Insulting still, inquisitive and loud.
When near the fam'd Phæacian walls he drew,
The beauteous city opening to his view,
His step a virgin met, and stood before:
A polish'd urn the seeming virgin bore,
And youthful smil'd; but in the low disguise
Lay hid the goddess with the azure eyes.
Show me, fair daughter (thus the chief demands), The house of him who rules these happy lands. Through many woes and wanderings, lo! I come To good Alcinous' hospitable dome.
Far from my native coast, I rove alone,
A wretched stranger, and of all unknown!'
The goddess answer'd: 'Father, I obey,
And point the wandering traveller his way :
Well known to me the palace you inquire,
For fast beside it dwells my honour'd sire;
But silent march, nor greet the common train
With question needless, or inquiry vain.
A race of rugged mariners are these;
Unpolish'd men, and boisterous as their seas:
The native islanders alone their care,
And hateful he that breathes a foreign air.
These did the ruler of the deep ordain
To build proud navies, and command the main ;
On canvass wings to cut the watery way;
No bird so light, no thought so swift as they.'
Thus having spoke, the' unknown celestial leads : The footsteps of the deity he treads,
And secret moves along the crowded space,
Unseen of all the rude Phæacian race.
(So Pallas order'd, Pallas to their eyes
The mist objected, and condens'd the skies)
The chief with wonder sees the' extended streets,
The spreading harbours, and the riding fleets;