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THEN thus Ulysses: Thou, whom first in sway,
As first in virtue, these thy realms obey;
How sweet the products of a peaceful reign!
The heav'n-taught poet, and enchanting strain;
The well-fill'd palace, the perpetual feast,
A land rejoicing, and a people blest!
How goodly seems it, ever to employ

Man's social days in union and in joy;


The plenteous board high-heap'd with cates divine, And o'er the foaming bowl the laughing wine! 10

Amid these joys, why seeks thy mind to know Th' unhappy series of a wand'rer's woe;

Remembrance sad, whose image to review,
Alas! must open all my

wounds anew?

And oh, what first, what last shall I relate,
Of woes unnumber'd sent by heav'n and fate?


Know first the man (tho' now a wretch distress'd) Who hopes thee, monarch, for his future guest: Behold Ulysses! no ignoble name,

Earth sounds my wisdom, and high heav'n my fame.


My native soil is Ithaca the fair,
Where high Neritus waves his woods in air:
Dulichium, Samè, and Zacynthus crown'd
With shady mountains, spread their isles around.
(These to the north and night's dark regions run,
Those to Aurora and the rising sun.)


Low lies our isle, yet bless'd in fruitful stores;
Strong are her sons, though rocky are her shores;
And none, ah none so lovely to my sight,
Of all the lands that heav'n o'erspreads with light!
In vain Calypso long constrain'd my stay,
With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay;
With all her charms as vainly Circe strove,
And added magic, to secure my love.
In pomps or joys, the palace or the grot,
My country's image never was forgot,
My absent parents rose before my sight,



And distant lay contentment and delight.

Hear then the woes,which mighty Jove ordain'd

To wait my passage from the Trojan land.

The winds from Ilion to the Cicons' shore,

Beneath cold Ismarus, our vessels bore.
We boldly landed on the hostile place,
And sack'd the city, and destroy'd the race,


Their wives made captive, their possessions shar'd, And ev'ry soldier found a like reward.


I then advis'd to fly; not so the rest,

Who staid to revel, and prolong the feast:

The fatted sheep and sable bulls they slay,

And bowls fly round, and riot wastes the day. 50
Meantime the Cicons, to their holds retir'd,
Call on the Cicons, with new fury fir'd;
With early morn the gather'd country swarms,
And all the continent is bright with arms;

Thick as the budding leaves or rising flow'rs 55
O'erspread the land, when spring descends in


All expert soldiers, skill'd on foot to dare,
Or from the bounding courser urge the war.
Now fortune changes (so the fates ordain),
Our hour was come to taste our share of pain. 60
Close at the ships the bloody fight began,
Wounded they wound, and man expires on man.
Long as the morning sun increasing bright
O'er heav'n's pure azure spread the growing light,
Promiscuous death the form of war confounds, 65
Each adverse battle gor'd with equal wounds:
But when his ev'ning wheels o'erhung the main,
Then conquest crown'd the fierce Ciconian train.


Six brave companions from each ship we lost,
The rest escape in haste, and quit the coast.
With sails outspread we fly th' unequal strife,
Sad for their loss, but joyful of our life.
Yet as we fled, our fellows' rites we paid,
And thrice we call'd on each unhappy shade.
Meanwhile the god, whose hand the thunder



Drives clouds on clouds, and blackens heav'n with


Wide o'er the waste the rage of Boreas sweeps,
And night rush'd headlong on the shaded deeps.
Now here, now there, the giddy ships are borne,
And all the rattling shrouds in fragments torn. 80
We furl'd the sail, we plied the lab'ring oar,
Took down our masts, and row'd our ships to shore.
Two tedious days and two long nights we lay,
O'erwatch'd and batter'd in the naked bay.
But the third morning when Aurora brings,
We rear the masts, we spread the canvas wings;
Refresh'd, and careless on the deck reclin'd,
We sit, and trust the pilot and the wind.

Then to my native country had I sail'd:


But the cape doubled, adverse winds prevail'd. 90


Strong was the tide, which by the northern blast Impell❜d, our vessels on Cythera cast.


Nine days our fleet th' uncertain tempest bore
Far in wide ocean, and from sight of shore:
The tenth we touch'd, by various errors tost, 95
The land of Lotos, and the flow'ry coast.
We climb❜d the beach, and springs of water found,
Then spread our hasty banquet on the ground.
Three men were sent, deputed from the crew,
(An herald one) the dubious coast to view,
And learn what habitants possess'd the place.
They went, and found a hospitable race;
Not prone to ill, nor strange to foreign guest,
They eat, they drink, and nature gives the feast;
The trees around them, all their fruit produce; 105
Lotos, the name; divine, nectareous juice!
(Thence call'd Lotophagi) which whoso tastes,
Insatiate riots in the sweet repasts,

Nor other home nor other care intends,


But quits his house, his country, and his friends:
The three we sent, from off th' enchanting ground
We dragg'd reluctant, and by force we bound:
The rest in haste forsook the pleasing shore,
Or, the charm tasted, had return'd no more. 114

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