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THE

EIGHTH BOOK

OF THE

ODYSSEY.

THE ARGUMENT.

ALCINOUS calls a council, in which it is resolved to transport Ulysses into his country. After which splendid entertain. ments are made, where the celebrated musician and poet Demodocus plays and sings to the guests. They next proceed to the games, the race, the wrestling, discus, &c. where Ulysses casts a prodigious length, to the admiration of all the spectators. They return again to the banquet, and Demodocus sings the loves of Mars and Venus. Ulysses, after a compli ment to the poet, desires him to sing the introduction of the wooden horse into Troy; which subject provoking his tears, Alcinous inquires of his guest his name, parentage, and for

tunes.

THE

ODYSSEY.

BOOK VIII.

Now fair Aurora lifts her golden ray,
And all the ruddy orient flames with day :
Alcinous, and the chief, with dawning light,
Rose instant from the slumbers of the night;
Then to the council-seat they bend their way,
And fill the shining thrones along the bay.

Meanwhile Minerva, in her guardian care,
Shoots from the starry vault through fields of air;
In form a herald of the king, she flies
From peer to peer, and thus incessant cries:
'Nobles and chiefs who rule Phæacia's states,
The king in council your attendance waits :
A prince of grace divine your aid implores,
O'er unknown seas arriv'd from unknown shores.'
She spoke, and sudden with tumultuous sounds
Of thronging multitudes the shore rebounds:
At once the seats they fill: and every eye
Gaz'd, as before some brother of the sky.
Pallas with grace divine his form improves,
More high he treads, and more enlarg'd he moves:
She sheds celestial bloom, regard to draw ;
And gives a dignity of mien to awe;

With strength, the future prize of fame to play, And gather all the honours of the day.

Then from his glittering throne Alcinous rose: 'Attend (he cried) while we our will disclose. Your present aid this godlike stranger craves, Tost by rude tempest through a war of waves; Perhaps from realms that view the rising day, Or nations subject to the western ray. Then grant, what here all sons of woe obtain (For here affliction never pleads in vain): Be chosen youths prepar'd, expert to try The vast profound, and bid the vessel fly: Launch the tall bark, and order every oar; Then in our court indulge the genial hour. Instant, you sailors, to this task attend; Swift to the palace, all ye peers ascend; Let none to strangers honours due disclaim: Be there Demodocus, the bard of fame, Taught by the gods to please, when high he sings The vocal lay, responsive to the strings.'

Thus spoke the prince: the' attending peers obey,
In state they move; Alcinous leads the way:
Swift to Demodocus the herald flies,

At once the sailors to their charge arise;
They launch the vessel, and unfurl the sails,
And stretch the swelling canvass to the gales;
Then to the palace move: a gathering throng,
Youth, and white age, tumultuous pour along :
Now all accesses to the dome are filled;

Eight boars, the choicest of the herd, are kill'd: Two beeves, twelve fatlings from the flock, they bring

To crown the feast; so wills the bounteous king.

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