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Ar length we reach'd Æolia's sea-girt shore,
Where great Hippotades the sceptre bore;
A floating isle! High-rais'd by toil divine,
Strong walls of brass the rocky coast confine.
Six blooming youths, in private grandeur bred, 5
And six fair daughters, grac'd the royal bed:
These sons their sisters wed, and all remain
Their parents' pride, and pleasure of their reign.
All day they feast, all day the bowls fly round,
And joy and music through the isle resound: 10
At night each pair on splendid carpets lay,
And crown'd with love the pleasures of the day.
This happy port affords our wand'ring fleet
A month's reception, and a safe retreat.
Full oft the monarch urg'd me to relate
The fall of Ilion, and the Grecian fate;

Full oft I told: at length for parting mov'd;
The king with mighty gifts my suit approv❜d.
The adverse winds in leathern bags he brac'd,


Compress'd their force, and lock'd each struggling



For him the mighty sire of gods assign'd
The tempest's lord, the tyrant of the wind;
His word alone the list'ning storms obey,
To smooth the deep, or swell the foamy sea.
These in my hollow ship the monarch hung, 25
Securely fetter'd by a silver thong;

But Zephyrus exempt, with friendly gales

He charg'd to fill, and guide the swelling sails: Rare gift! but oh, what gift to fools avails!


Nine prosp'rous days we ply'd the lab'ring oar; The tenth presents our welcome native shore: 31 The hills display the beacon's friendly light, And rising mountains gain upon our sight. Then first my eyes, by watchful toils opprest, Comply'd to take the balmy gifts of rest; Then first my hands did from the rudder part, (So much the love of home possess'd my heart) When lo! on board a fond debate arose; What rare device those vessels might enclose? What sum, what prize from Æolus I brought? 40 Whilst to his neighbour each express'd his thought:

Say, whence, ye gods, contending nations strive Who most shall please, who most our hero give?

Long have his coffers groan'd with Trojan spoils; Whilst we, the wretched partners of his toils, 45 Reproach'd by want, our fruitless labours mourn, And only rich in barren fame return.

Now Eolus, ye see, augments his store;

But come, my friends, these mystic gifts explore. They said; and (oh curs'd fate!) the thongs unbound!



The gushing tempest sweeps the ocean round;
Snatch'd in the whirl, the hurry'd navy flew,
The ocean widen'd, and the shores withdrew.
Rous'd from my fatal sleep, I long debate
If still to live, or desp'rate plunge to fate:
Thus doubting, prostrate on the deck I lay,
Till all the coward thoughts of death gave way.
Meanwhile our vessels plough the liquid plain,
And soon the known Æolian coast regain,
Our groans the rocks remurmur'd to the main. 60
We leap'd on shore, and with a scanty feast
Our thirst and hunger hastily repress'd;

That done, two chosen heralds straight attend

Our second progress to my royal friend;

And him amidst his jovial sons we found;


The banquet steaming, and the goblets crown'd:

There humbly stopp'd with conscious shame and


Nor nearer than the gate presum❜d to draw.
But soon his sons their well-known guest descry'd,
And starting from their couches loudly cry'd: 70
Ulysses here! what dæmon couldst thou meet
To thwart thy passage and repel thy fleet?
Wast thou not furnish'd by our choicest care
For Greece, for home, and all thy soul held dear?
Thus they; in silence long my fate I mourn'd, 75
At length these words with accent low return'd :
Me, lock'd in sleep, my faithless crew bereft
Of all the blessings of your godlike gift!

But grant, O grant our loss we may retrieve:
A favour you, and you alone can give.


Thus I with art to move their pity try'd, And touch'd the youths; but their stern sire re


Vile wretch, be gone! this instant I command
Thy fleet accurs'd to leave our hallow'd land.
His baneful suit pollutes these bless'd abodes, 85
Whose fate proclaims him hateful to the gods.

Thus fierce he said: we sighing went our way, And with desponding hearts put off to sea.

The sailors spent with toils their folly mourn,
But mourn in vain; no prospect of return.

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Six days and nights a doubtful course we steer,
The next proud Lamos' stately tow'rs appear,
And Læstrigonia's gates arise distinct in air.
The shepherd quitting here at night the plain, 94
Calls, to succeed his cares, the watchful swain ;
But he that scorns the chains of sleep to wear,
And adds the herdsman's to the shepherd's care,
So near the pastures, and so short the way,
His double toils may claim a double pay,
And join the labours of the night and day. 100
Within a long recess a bay there lies,
Edg'd round with cliffs, high pointing to the skies;
The jutting shores that swell on either side
Contract its mouth, and break the rushing tide.
Our eager sailors seize the fair retreat,


And bound within the port their crowded fleet:
For here retir'd the sinking billows sleep,
And smiling calmness silver'd o'er the deep.
I only in the bay refus'd to moor,

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And fix'd, without, my halsers to the shore.


From thence we climb'd a point, whose airy brow

Commands the prospect of the plains below:

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