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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, 5
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: 10
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: 16
At once the seats they fill: and ev'ry 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 glitt❜ring throne Alcinous rose: Attend, he cried, while we our will disclose. 26 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 ev'ry 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: th'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 canvas to the gales; Then to the palace move: a gath'ring throng, Youth, and white age, tumultuous pour along: 50 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. The herald now arrives, and guides along

The sacred master of celestial song:


Dear to the muse! who gave his days to flow
With mighty blessings, mix'd with mighty woe:
With clouds of darkness quench'd his visual

But gave him skill to raise the lofty lay.
High on a radiant throne sublime in state,

Encircled by huge multitudes, he sat:



With silver shone the throne; his lyre, well strung
To rapt'rous sounds, at hand Pontonous hung:
Before his seat a polish'd table shines,

And a full goblet foams with gen'rous wines:
His food a herald bore: and now they fed;
And now the rage of craving hunger fled.


Then fir'd by all the muse, aloud he sings
The mighty deeds of demigods and kings:

From that fierce wrath the noble song arose,
That made Ulysses and Achilles foes:

How o'er the feast they doom the fall of Troy;
The stern debate Atrides hears with joy :


For heav'n foretold the contest, when he trod 75 The marble threshold of the Delphic god, Curious to learn the counsels of the sky,

Ere yet he loos'd the rage of war on Troy.

Touch'd at the song, Ulysses straight resign'd

To soft affliction all his manly mind:
Before his eyes the purple vest he drew,
Industrious to conceal the falling dew:

But when the music paus'd, he ceas'd to shed
The flowing tear, and rais'd his drooping head:
And lifting to the gods a goblet crown'd,



He pour'd a pure libation to the ground.

Transported with the song, the list'ning train Again with loud applause demand the strain: Again Ulysses veil'd his pensive head,

Again unmann'd, a show'r of sorrow shed:
Conceal'd he wept: the king observ'd alone
The silent tear, and heard the secret groan:


Then to the bard aloud: O cease to sing,
Dumb be thy voice, and mute th' harmonious string;
Enough the feast has pleas'd, enough the pow'r
Of heav'nly song has crown'd the genial hour! 96
Incessant in the games your strength display,
Contest, ye brave, the honours of the day!
That pleas'd th' admiring stranger may proclaim
In distant regions the Phæacian fame:


None wield the gauntlet with so dire a sway,
Or swifter in the race devour the way;
None in the leap spring with so strong a bound,
Or firmer, in the wrestling, press the ground.

Thus spoke the king: th' attending peers obey, In state they move; Alcinous leads the way: 106 His golden lyre Demodocus unstrung,

High on a column in the palace hung;
And guided by a herald's guardian cares,

Majestic to the lists of fame repairs.


Now swarms the populace; a countless throng, Youth and hoar age; and man drives man along: The games begin; ambitious of the prize,

Acroneus, Thoon, and Eretmeus rise;
The prize Ocyalus and Prymneus claim,


Anchialus and Ponteus, chiefs of fame:

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