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Mature in wisdom rose: "Your words," he cries,
"Demand obedience, for your words are wise.
But let our king direct the glorious way
To generous act; our part is to obey." [ply'd)
"While life informs these limbs," (the king re-
"Well to deserve, be all my cares employ'd:
But here this night the royal guest detain,
Till the Sun flames along th' ethereal plain:
Be it my task to send with ample stores
The stranger from our hospitable shores:
Tread you my steps! "Tis mine to lead the race,
The first in glory as the first in place.”

To whom the prince: "This night with joy I stay,
O, monarch great in virtue as in sway!
If thou the circling year my stay control,
To raise a bounty noble as thy soul;
The circling year I wait, with ampler stores
And fitter pomp to hail my native shores;
Then by my realins due homage would be paid;
For wealthy kings are loyally obey'd!

"O king! for such thou art, and sure thy blood Through veins" (he cry'd)" of royal fathers flow'd;

Unlike those vagrants who on falsehood live,
Skill'd in smooth tales, and artful to deceive;
Thy better soul abhors the liar's part,
Wise is thy voice, and noble is thy heart;
Thy words like music every breast control,
Steal through the ear, and win upon the soul;
Soft, as some song divine, thy story flows,
Nor better could the Muse record thy woes.

"But say, upon the dark and dismal coast,
Saw'st thou the worthies of the Grecian host?
The godlike leaders who, in battle slain,
Fell before Troy, and nobly prest the plain?
And, lo a length of night behind remains,
The evening stars still mount th' ethereal plains.
Thy tale with raptures I could hear thee tell,
Thy woes on Earth, the wondrous scenes in Hell,
Till in the vault of Heaven the stars decay,
And the sky reddens with the rising day."
"Oworthy of the power the gods assign'd,"
(Ulysses thus replies) "a king in mind
Since yet the early hour of night allows
Time for discourse, and time for soft repose,
If scenes of misery can entertain,
Woes I unfold, of woes a dismal train.
Prepare to hear of murther and of blood:
Of godlike heroes who uninjur'd stood
Amidst a war of spears in foreign lands,
Yet bled at home, and bled by female hands.
"Now summon'd Proserpine to Hell's black hall
The heroine shades; they vanish'd at her call.
"When, lo! advanc'd the forms of heroes slain
By stern Egysthus, a majestic train;

And high above the rest, Atrides prest the plain.
He quaff'd the gore: and straight his soldier knew,
And from his eyes pour'd down the tender dew;
His arms he stretch'd; his arms the touch deceive,
Nor in the fond embrace, en braces give :
His substance vanish'd, and his strength decay'd,
Now all Atrides is an empty shade.

"Mov'd at the sight, I for a space resign'd
To soft affliction all my manly mind;
At last with tears- O what relentless doom,
Imperial phantom, bow'd thee to the tomb?
Say while the sea, and while the tempest raves,
Has fate oppress'd thee in the roaring waves,
Or nobly seiz'd thee in the dire alarms

Of war and slaughter, and the clash of arms?'

"The ghost returns: 'O chief of human kind
For active courage and a patient mind;
Nor while the sea, nor while the tempest raves,
Has fate oppress'd me on the roaring waves!
Nor nobly seiz'd me in the dire alarms
Of war and slaughter, and the clash of arms.
Stabb'd by a murderous hand Atrides dy'd,
A foul adulterer, and a faithless bride;
Ev'n in my mirth and at the friendly feast,
O'er the full bowl, the traitor stabb'd his guest;
Thus by the gory arm of slaughter falls
The stately ox, and bleeds within the stalls.
But not with me the direful murther ends,
These, these expir'd! their crime, they were my
friends!

Thick as the boars, which some luxurious lord
Kills for the feast, to crown the nuptial board.
When war has thunder'd with its loudest storms,
Death thou hast seen in all her ghastly forms;
In duel met her, on the listed ground,
When hand to hand they wound return for wound;
But never have thy eyes astonish'd view'd
So vile a deed, so dire a scene of blood.
Ev'n in the flow of joy, when now the bowl
Glows in our veins, and opens every soul,
We groan, we faint; with blood the dome is
dy'd,

And o'er the pavement floats the dreadful tide-
Her breast all gore, with lamentable cries,
The bleeding innocent Cassandra dies!
Then though pale death froze cold in every vein,
My sword I strive to wield, but strive in vain ;
Nor did my traitress wife these eye-lids close,
Or decently in death my limbs compose.
O woman, woman, when to ill thy mind
Is bent, all Hell contains no fouler fiend :
And such was mine! who basely plung'd her sword
Through the fond bosom where she reign'd ador'd!
Alas! I hop'd, the toils of war o'ercome,
To meet soft quiet and repose at home;
Delusive hope! O wife, thy deeds disgrace
The perjur'd sex, and blacken all the race;
And should posterity one virtuous find,
Name Clytemnestra, they will curse the kind.'
"O injur'd shade,' I cry'd, 'what mighty woes
To thy imperial race from woman rose!
By woman here thou tread'st this mournful strand,
And Greece by woman lies a desert land.'

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"Warn'd by my ills beware,' the shade replies, "Nor trust the sex that is so rarely wise; When earnest to explore thy secret breast, Unfold some trifle, but conceal the rest. But in thy consort cease to fear a foe, For thee she feels sincerity of woe: When Troy first bled beneath the Grecian arms, She shone unrivall'd with a blaze of charms; Thy infant son her fragrant bosom press'd, Hung at her knee, or wanton'd at her breast; But now the years a numerous train have ran ; The blooming boy is ripen'd into man; Thy eyes shall see him burn with noble fire, The sire shall bless his son, the son his sire: But my Orestes never met these eyes, Without one look the murther'd father dies; Then from a wretched friend this wisdom learn, Ev'n to thy queen disguis'd, unknown, return; For since of woman kind so few are just, Think all are false, nor ev'n the faithful trust. But say, resides my son in royal port, In rich Orchomenos, or Sparta's court ?

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Or say in Pyle for yet he views the light,
Nor glides a phantom through the realms of night.'
"Then I: Thy suit is vain, nor can I say,
If yet he breathes in realms of cheerful day?
Or pale or wan beholds these nether skies:
Truth I revere: for wisdom never lies.'

"Thus in a tide of tears our sorrows flow,
And add new horrour to the realms of woe;
Till side by side along the dreary coast
Advanc'd Achilles' and Patroclus' ghost,
A friendly pair! near these the Pylian' stray'd,
And towering Ajax, an illustrious shade!
War was his joy, and pleas'd with loud alarms,
None but Pelides brighter shone in arms.
"Through the thick gloom his friend Achilles knew,
And as he speaks the tears descend in dew.
"Com'st thou alive to view the Stygian bounds,
Where the wan spectres walk eternal rounds;
Nor fear'st the dark and dismal waste to tread,
Throng'd with pale ghosts, familiar with the dead?'
"To whom with sighs: I pass these dreadful
To seek the Theban, and consult the Fates: [gates
For still, distrest, I rove from coast to coast,
Lost to my friends, and to my country lost.
But sure the eye of time beholds no name
So blest as thine in all the rolls of fame;
Alive we hail'd thee with our guardian gods,
And dead, thou rul'st a king in these abodes.'
"Talk not of ruling in this dolorous gloom,
Nor think vain words' (he cries) can ease my
Rather I chuse laboriously to bear [doom.
A weight of woes, and breathe the vital air,
A slave to some poor hind that toils for bread;
Than reign the sceptred monarch of the dead.
But say, if in my steps my son proceeds,
And emulates his godlike father's deeds?
If at the clash of arms, and shout of foes,
Swells his bold heart, his bosom nobly glows?
Say, if my sire, the reverend Peleus, reigns,
Great in his Phthia, and his throne maintains:
Or, weak and old, my youthful arm demands,
To fix the sceptre stedfast in his hands?
Oh might the lamp of life rekindled burn,
And death release me from the silent urn!
This arm, that thunder'd o'er the Phrygian
plain,

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And swell'd the ground with mountains of the slain,
Should vindicate my injur'd father's fame,
Crush the proud rebel, and assert his claim.'
"Illustrious shade,' (I cried) of Peleus' fates
No circumstance the voice of fame relates:
But hear with pleas'd attention the renown,
The wars and wisdom of thy gallant son:
With me from Seyros to the field of fame
Radiant in arms the blooming hero came.
When Greece assembled all her hundred states,
To ripen counsels, and decide debates;
Heavens! how he charm'd us with a flow of sense,
And won the heart with manly eloquence!
He first was seen of all the peers to rise,
The third in wisdom where they all were wise;
But when, to try the fortune of the day,
Host mov'd tow'rd host in terrible array,
Before the van, impatient for the fight,
With martial port he strode, and stern delight;
Heaps strew'd on heaps, beneath his falchion
groan'd,

And monuments of dead deform the ground.

? Antilochus,

The time would fail, should I in order tell
What foes were vanquish'd, and what numbers fell:
How, lost through love, Eurypylus was slain,
And round him bled his bold Cetæan train.
To Troy no hero came of nobler line;
Or if of nobler, Memnon, it was thine.
"When Ilion in the horse receiv'd her doom,
And unseen armies ambush'd in its womb;
Greece gave her latent warriors to my care,
'Twas mine on Troy to pour th' imprison'd war:
Then when the boldest bosom beat with fear,
When the stern eyes of heroes dropp'd a tear;
Fierce in his look his ardent valour glow'd,
Flush'd in his cheek, or sallied in his blood;
Indignant in the dark recess he stands,
Pants for the battle, and the war demands;
His voice breath'd death, and with a martial air
He grasp'd his sword, and shook his glittering spear,
And when the gods our arms with conquest crown'd,
When Troy's proud bulwarks smok'd upon the
ground,

Greece to reward her soldier's gallant toils,
Heap'd high his navy with unnumber'd spoils.

"Thus great in glory from the din of war Safe he return'd without one hostile scar; Though spears in iron tempests rain'd around, Yet innocent they play'd, and guiltless of a wound.' [glow'd, "While yet I spoke, the shade with transport Rose in his majesty, and nobler trod; With haughty stalk he sought the distant glades Of warrior kings, and join th' illustrious shades. "Now without number ghost by ghost arose, All wailing with unutterable woes. Alone, apart, in discontented mood, A gloomy shade, the sullen Ajax stood; For ever sad with proud disdain he pin'd, And the lost arms for ever stung his mind; Though on the contest Thetis gave the laws, And Pallas, by the Trojans, judg'd the cause. O why was I victorious in the strife;

O dear-bought honour with so brave a life!
With him the strength of war, the soldier's pride,
Our second hope to great Achilles died!
Touch'd at the sight, from tears I scarce refrain,
And tender sorrow thrills in every vein;
Pensive and sad I stand, at length accost
With accents mild th' inexorable ghost.

"Still burns thy rage? and can brave souls resent
Ev'n after death? Relent, great shade, relent!
Perish those arms which by the gods' decree
Accurs'd our army with the loss of thee!
With thee we fell; Greece wept thy hapless fates;
And shook astonish'd through her hundred states;
Not more, when great Achilles press'd the ground,
And breath'd his manly spirit through the wound.
Oh, deem thy fall not ow'd to man's decree,
Jove hated Greece, and punish'd Greece in thee!
Turn then, oh! peaceful turn, thy wrath control,
And calm the raging tempest of thy soul.'

"While yet I speak, the shade disdains to stay, In silence turns, and sullen stalks away. [night,

"Touch'd at his sour retreat, through deepest Through Hell's black bounds I had pursued his And forc'd the stubborn spectre to reply; [fight, But wondrous visions drew my curious eye. High on a throne, tremendous to behold, Stern Minos waves a mace of burnish'd gold; Around ten thousand thousand spectres stand Through the wide dame of Dis, a trembling band.

Still as they plead, the fatal lots he rolls,
Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls.
"There huge Orion, of portentous size,
Swift through the gloom a giant-hunger flies;
A ponderous mace of brass with direful sway
Aloft he whirls, to crush the savage prey;
Stern beasts in trains that by his truncheon fell,
Now grisly forms, shoot o'er the lawns of Hell.
"There Tityus large and long, in fetters bound,
O'erspreads nine acres of infernal ground;
Two ravenous vultures, furious for their food,
Scream o'er the fiend, and riot in his blood,
Incessant gore the liver in his breast,

[feast.

Th' immortal liver grows, and gives th' immortal
For as o'er Panope's enamell'd plains,
Latona journey'd to the Pythian fanes,
With haughty love th' audacious monster strove
To force the goddess, and to rival Jove.

"There Tantalus along the Stygian bounds
Pours out deep groans (with groans all Hell resounds)
Ev'n in the circling floods refreshment craves,
And pines with thirst amidst a sea of waves:
When to the water he his lip applies,
Back from his lip the treacherous water flies.
Above, beneath, around his hapless head,
Trees of all kinds delicious fruitage spread;
There figs sky-died, a purple hue disclose,
Green looks the olive, the pomegranate glows,
There dangling pears exalted scents unfold,
And yellow apples ripen into gold;
The fruit he strives to seize; but blasts arise,
Toss it on high, and whirl it to the skies.

"I turn'd my eye, and as I turn'd survey'd A mournful vision! the Sisyphian shade; With many a weary step, and many a groan, Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone; The huge round stone, resulting with a bound, Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the Again the restless orb his toil renews, [ground. Dust mounts in clouds, and sweat descends in dews. "Now I the strength of Hercules behold, A towering spectre of gigantic mould. A shadowy form! for high in Heaven's abodes Himself resides, a god among the gods; There, in the bright assemblies of the skies, He nectar quaffs, and Hebe crowns his joys. Here hovering ghosts, like fowl, his shade surround, And clang their pinions with terrific sound! Gloomy as night he stands, in act to throw Th' aerial arrow from the twanging bow. Around his breast a wondrous zone is roll'd, Where woodland monsters grin in fretted gold, There sullen lions sternly seem to roar, The bear to growl, to foam the tusky boar, There war and havoc and destruction stood, And vengeful murther red with human blood. Thus terribly adorn'd the figures shine, Inimitably wrought with skill divine, The mighty ghost advanc'd with awful look, And, turning his grim visage, sternly spoke "O exercis'd in grief! by arts refin'd! O taught to bear the wrongs of base mankind! Such, such was I still tost from care to care, While in your world I drew the vital air! Ev'n 1, who from the lord of thunders rose, Bore toils and dangers, and a weight of woes; To a base monarch still a slave confin'd, (The hardest bondage to a generous mind!) Down to those worlds I trod the dismal way, [day; And dragg'd the three-mouth'd dog to upper

Ev'n Hell I conquer'd, through the friendly aid
Of Maïa's offspring and the martial maid.'
"Thus he, nor deign'd for our reply to stay,
But, turning, stalk'd with giant strides away.
"Curious to view the kings of ancient days,
The mighty dead that live in endless praise,
Resolv'd I stand; and haply had survey'd
The godlike Theseus, and Pirithous' shade;
But swarms of spectres rose from deepest Hell,
With bloodless visage, and with hideous yell,
They scream, they shriek; sad groans and dismal
sounds
[bounds.
Stun my scar'd ears, and pierce Hell's utmost
No more my heart the dismal din sustains,
And my cold blood bangs shivering in my veins;
Lest Gorgon, rising from th' infernal lakes,
With horrours arm'd, and curls of hissing snakcs,
Should fix me, stiffen'd at the monstrous sight,
A stony image, in eternal night!

Straight from the direful coast to purer air
I speed my flight, and to my mates repair.
My mates ascend the ship; they strike their oars;
The mountains lessen, and retreat the shores;
Swift o'er the waves we fly; the freshening gales
Sing through the shrouds, and stretch the swelling
sails."

THE ODYSSEY.

BOOK XII,

ARGUMENT.

THE SIRENS, SCYLLA, AND CHARYBDIS.

He relates, how after his return from the shades, he was sent by Circe on his voyage, by the coast of the Sirens, and by the Strait of Scylla and Charybdis: the manner in which he escaped. those dangers: how, being cast on the island Trinacria, his companions destroyed the oxen of the Sun: the vengeance that followed; how all perished by shipwreck except himself, who, swimming on the mast of the ship, arrived on the island of Calypso. With which his relation concludes.

[day.

“TRUS o'er the rolling surge the vessel flies,
Till from the waves th' Eman hills arise,
Here the gay Morn resides in radiant bowers,
Here keeps her revels with the dancing Hours;
Here Phoebus rising in th' etherial way,
Through Heaven's bright portals pours the beamy
At once we fix our halsers on the sand,
At once descend, and press the desert land;
There, worn and wasted, lose our cares in sleep,
To the hoarse murmurs of the rolling deep.

"Soon as the morn restor❜d the day, we pay'd
Sepulchral honours to Elpenor's shade.
Now by the axe the rushing forest bends,
And the huge pile along the shore ascends.
Around we stand a melancholy train,
And a loud groan re-echoes from the main.
Fierce o'er the pyre, by fanning breezes spread,
The hungry flame devours the silent dead.
A rising tomb, the silent dead to grace,
Fast by the roarings of the main we place;

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The rising tomb a lofty column bore,
And high above it rose the tapering oar.
Meantime the goddess 'our return survey'd
From the pale ghosts, and Hell's tremendous shade.
Swift she descends. A train of nymphs divine
Bear the rich viands and the generous wine:
In act to speak the power of magic stands,
And graceful thus accosts the listening bands:
"O sons of woe! decreed by adverse fates
Alive to pass through Hell's eternal gates!
All, soon or late, are doom'd that path to tread;
More wretched you! twice numbered with the
dead!

This day adjourn your cares; exalt your souls,
Indulge the taste, and drain the sparkling bowls':
And when the morn unveils her saffron ray,
Spread your broad sails, and plough the liquid way;
Lo! I this night, your faithful guide, explain
Your woes by land, your dangers on the main.'

"The goddess spoke; in feasts we waste the day,
Till Phoebus downward plung'd his burning ray;
Then sable night ascends, and balmy rest
Seals every eye, and calms the troubled breast.
Then curious she commands me to relate
The dreadful scenes of Pluto's dreary state:
She sat in silence while the tale I tell,
The wonderous visions, and the laws of Hell.
"Then thus: "The lot of man the gods dispose;
These ills are past: now hear thy future woes.
O prince, attend! some favouring power be kind,
And print th' important story on thy mind!

666

Next, where the Sirens dwell, you plough the seas!

Their song is death, and makes destruction please. Unblest, the man, whom music wins to stay Nigh the curst shore, and listen to the lay: No more that wretch shall view the joys of life, His blooming offspring, or his beauteous wife! In verdant meads they sport; and wide around Lie human bones, that whiten all the ground; The ground polluted floats with human gore, And human carnage taints the dreadful shore, Fly swift the dangerous coast; let every ear Be stopp'd against the song! 'tis death to hear! Firm to the mast with chains thyself be bound, Nor trust thy virtue to th' enchanting sound. If, mad with transport, freedom thou demand, Be every fetter strain'd, and added band to band. "These seas o'erpast, be wise! but I refrain To mark distinct thy voyage o'er the main. New horrours rise! let prudence be thy guide, And guard thy various passage through the tide. "High o'er the main two rocks exalt their brow, The boiling billows thundering roll below; Through the vast waves the dreadful wonders move, Hence nam'd Erratick by the gods above. No bird of air, no dove of swiftest wing, That bears ambrosia to th' etherial king, Shuns the dire rocks: in vain she cuts the skies, The dire rocks meet, and crush her as she flies; Not the fleet bark, when prosperous breezes play, Ploughs o'er that roaring surge its desperate way; O'erwhelm'd it sinks: while round a smoke expires, And the waves flashing seem to burn with fires. Scarce the fam'd Argo pass'd these raging floods, The sacred Argo, fill'd with demigods! Ev'n she had sunk, but Jove's imperial bride Wing'd her fleet sail, and push'd her o'er the tide.

! Circe,

"High in the air the rock its summit shrouds, In brooding tempests, and in rolling clouds; Loud storms around and mists eternal rise, Beat its bleak brow, and intercept the skies. When all the broad expansion bright with day Glows with th' autumnal or the summer ray. The summer and the autumn glow in vain, The sky for ever lours, for ever clouds remain. Impervious to the step of man it stands, Though borne by twenty feet, though arm'd with ́ twenty hands;

Smooth as the polish of the mirror rise
The slippery sides, and shoot into the skies.
Full in the centre of this rock display'd,
A yawning cavern casts a dreadful shade:
Nor the fleet arrow from the twanging bow,
Sent with full force, could reach the depth below.
Wide to the west the horrid gulph extends,
And the dire passage down to Hell descends.
O fly the dreadful sight! expand thy sails,
Ply the strong oar, and catch the nimble gales;
Here Scylla bellows from her dire abodes,
Tremendous pest! abhorr'd by men and gods!
Hideous her voice, and with less terrours roar
The whelps of lions in the midnight hour.
Twelve feet deform'd and foul the fiend dispreads;
Six horrid necks she rears, and six terrific heads;
Her jaws grin dreadful with three rows of teeth';
Jaggy they stand, the gaping den of death;
Her parts obscene the raging billows hide;
Her bosom terribly o'erlooks the tide.
When stung with hunger she embroils the flood,
The sea-dog and the dolphin are her food;
She makes the huge leviathan her prey,
And all the monsters of the watery way;
The swiftest racer of the azure plain

Here fills her sails and spreads her oars in vain;
Fell Scylla rises, in her fury roars,

At once six-mouths expands, at once six men de

vours.

"Close by, a rock of less enormous height Breaks the wild waves, and forms a dangerous

strait:

Full on its crown a fig's green branches rise,
And shoot a leafy forest to the skies;
Beneath Charybdis holds her boistering reign
'Midst roaring whirlpools, and absorbs the main;
Thrice in her gulfs the boiling seas subside,
Thrice in dire thunders she refunds the tide.
Oh, if thy vessel plough the direful waves
When seas retreating roar within her caves,
Ye perish all! though he who rules the main
Lend his strong aid, his aid he lends in vain.
Ah, shun the horrid gulf! by Scylla fly,
'Tis better six to lose, than all to die.''

"I then: "O nymph propitious to my prayer, Goddess divine! my guardian power, declare, Is the foul fiend from human vengeance freed? Or, if I rise in arms, can Scylla bleed?' "Then she :

fight,

O worn by toils, O broke in

Will martial flames for ever fire thy mind,
Still are new toils and war thy dire delight?
And never, never be to Heaven resign'd?
How vain thy efforts to avenge the wrong?
Deathless the pest! impenetrably strong!
Furious and fell, tremendous to behold!
Ev'n with a look she withers all the bold!
She mocks the weak attempts of human might;
Oh fly her rage! thy conquest is thy flight.

If but to seize thy arms thou make delay,
Again the fury vindicates her prey,

Her six mouths yawn, and six are snatch'd away,
From her foul womb Cratais gave to air
This dreadful pest! To her direct thy prayer,
To curb the monster in her dire abodes,

And guard thee through the tumult of the floods.
Thence to Trinacria's shore you bend your way,
Where graze thy herds, illustrious source of day!
Seven herds, seven flocks, enrich the sacred plains;
Each herd, each flock, full fifty heads contains:
The wondrous kind a length of age survey,
By breed increase not, nor by death decay,
Two sister goddesses possess the plain,
The constant guardians of the woolly train;
Lampetie fair, and Phaethusa young,
From Phoebus and the bright Neæra sprung:
Here, watchful o'er the flocks, in shady bowers
And flowery meads they waste the joyous hours.
Rob not the god! and so propitious gales
Attend thy voyage, and impel thy sails;
But if thy impious hands the flocks destroy,
The gods, the gods avenge it, and ye die!
"Tis thine alone (thy friends and navy lost)
Through tedious toils to view thy native coast.'
"She ceas'd: and now arose the morning ray;
Swift to her dome the goddess held her way.
Then to my mates I measur'd back the plain,
Clinb'd the tall bark, and rush'd into the main ;
Then bending to the stroke, their oars they drew
To their broad breasts, and swift the galley flew.
Up-sprung a brisker breeze; with freshening

gales,

The friendly goddess stretch'd the swelling sails;
We drop our oars; at ease the pilot guides;
The vessel light along the level glides.
When, rising sad and slow, with pensive look,
Thus to the melancholy train I spoke :

“O friends, Oh ever partners of my woes, Attend while I what Heaven foredooms disclose, Hear all! fate hangs o'er all! on you it lies To live, or perish! to be safe, be wise!

"In flowery meads the sportive Sirens play, Touch the soft lyre, and tune the vocal lay; Me, me alone, with fetters firmly bound, The gods allow to hear the dangerous sound. Hear and obey: if freedom I demand,' Be every fetter strain'd, and added band to band.' "While yet I speak, the winged galley flics, And, to the Siren shores like mists arise. Sunk were at once the winds; the air above, And waves below, at once forgot to move! Some demon calm'd the air, and sinooth'd the deep, Hush'd the loud winds, and charm'd the waves Now every sail we furl, each oar we ply; [to sleep. Lash'd by the stroke, the frothy waters fly. The ductile wax with busy hands I mould, And cleft in fragments, and the fragments roll'd: 'Th' aërial region now grew warm with day, The wax dissolv'd beneath the burning ray! Then every car I barr'd against the strain, And from access of phrenzy lock'd the brain. Now round the mast my mates the fetters roll'd, And bound me limb by limb, with fold on fold. Then, bending to the stroke, the active train Plunge all at once their oars, and cleave the main. "While to the shore the rapid vessel flies, Our swift approach the Siren quire descries; Celestial music warbles from their tongue, And thus the sweet deluders tune the song:

"Oh stay, O pride of Greece! Ulysses, stay Oh cease thy course, and listen to our lay! Blest is the man ordain'd our voice to hear, The song instructs the soul, and charms the ear. Approach! thy soul shall into raptures rise; Approach and learn new wisdom from the wise! We know whate'er the kings of mighty name Achiev'd at Ilion in the field of fame; Whate'er beneath the Sun's bright journey lies, Oh stay and learn new wisdom from the wise!' "Thus the sweet charmers warbled o'er the main; My soul takes wing to meet the heavenly strain; I give the sign, and struggle to be free; Swift row my mates, and shoot along the sea; New chains they add, and rapid urge the way, Till, dying off, the distant sounds decay: Then, scudding swiftly from the dangerous ground, The deafen'd ear unlock'd, the chains unbound.

"Now all at once tremendous scenes unfold; Thunder'd the deeps, the smoking billows roll'd! Tumultuous waves embroil'd the bellowing flood, All trembling, deafen'd, and aghast we stood! No more the vessel plough'd the dreadful wave, Fear seiz'd the mighty, and unnerv'd the brave; Each dropp'd his oar: but swift from man to man With looks serene I turn'd, and thus began:

O friends! Oh often tried in adverse storins! With ills familiar in more dreadful forms! Deep in the dire Cyclopean den you lay, Yet safe return'd-Ulysses led the way. Learn courage hence! and in my care confide: Lo! still the same Ulysses is your guide! Attend my words! your oars incessant ply; Strain every nerve, and bid the vessel fly. If from yon justling rocks and wavy war Jove safety grants; he grants it to your care. And thou whose guiding hand directs our way, Pilot, attentive listen and obey!

Bear wide thy course, nor plough those angry

waves

Where rolls yon smoke, yon tumbling ocean raves;
Steer by the higher rock; lest whirl'd around
We sink, beneath the circling eddy drown'd.'

"While yet I speak, at once their oars they seize,
Stretch to the stroke, and brush the working seas.
Cautious the name of Scylla I supprest;
That dreadful sound had chill'd the boldest breast.
Meantime, forgetful of the voice divine,
All dreadful bright my limbs in armour shine;
High on the deck I take my dangerous stand,
Two glittering javelins lighten in my hand;
Prepar'd to whirl the whizzing spear I stay,
Till the fell fiend arise to seize her prey.
Around the dungeon, studious to behold
The hideous pest! my labouring eyes I roll'd;
In vain the dismal dungeon dark as night
Veils the dire monster, and confounds the sight.
"Now through the rocks, appall'd with deep

dismay,

We bend our course, and stem the desperate way;
Dire Scylla there a scene of horrour forins,
And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms.
When the tide rushes from her rumbling caves
The rough rock roars; tumultuous boil the waves;
They toss, they foam, a wild confusion raise,
Like waters bubbling o'er the fiery blaze;
Eternal mists obscure th' aërial plain,
And high above the rock she spouts the main!
When in her gulphs the rushing sea subsides,
She drains the ocean with the reduent tides:

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