The Odyssey of Homer
by Homer
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[25] Kairoseon d' othoneon apoleibetai hygron elaion.

Pope has given no translation of this line in the text of his work, but has translated it in a note. It is variously interpreted by commentators; the sense which is here given of it is that recommended by Eustathius.

[26] The Scholiast explains the passage thus—We resemble the Gods in righteousness as much as the Cyclops and Giants resembled each other in impiety. But in this sense of it there is something intricate and contrary to Homer's manner. We have seen that they derived themselves from Neptune, which sufficiently justifies the above interpretation.



The Phaeacians consult on the subject of Ulysses. Preparation is made for his departure. Antinoues entertains them at his table. Games follow the entertainment. Demodocus the bard sings, first the loves of Mars and Venus, then the introduction of the wooden horse into Troy. Ulysses, much affected by his song, is questioned by Alcinoues, whence, and who he is, and what is the cause of his sorrow.

But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Blush'd in the East, then from his bed arose The sacred might of the Phaeacian King. Then uprose also, city-waster Chief, Ulysses, whom the King Alcinoues Led forth to council at the ships convened. There, side by side, on polish'd stones they sat Frequent; meantime, Minerva in the form Of King Alcinoues' herald ranged the town, With purpose to accelerate the return 10 Of brave Ulysses to his native home, And thus to ev'ry Chief the Goddess spake. Phaeacian Chiefs and Senators, away! Haste all to council on the stranger held, Who hath of late beneath Alcinoues' roof Our King arrived, a wand'rer o'er the Deep, But, in his form, majestic as a God. So saying, she roused the people, and at once The seats of all the senate-court were fill'd With fast-assembling throngs, no few of whom 20 Had mark'd Ulysses with admiring eyes. Then, Pallas o'er his head and shoulders broad Diffusing grace celestial, his whole form Dilated, and to the statelier height advanced, That worthier of all rev'rence he might seem To the Phaeacians, and might many a feat Atchieve, with which they should assay his force. When, therefore, the assembly now was full, Alcinoues, them addressing, thus began. Phaeacian Chiefs and Senators! I speak 30 The dictates of my mind, therefore attend. This guest, unknown to me, hath, wand'ring, found My palace, either from the East arrived, Or from some nation on our western side. Safe conduct home he asks, and our consent Here wishes ratified, whose quick return Be it our part, as usual, to promote; For at no time the stranger, from what coast Soe'er, who hath resorted to our doors, Hath long complain'd of his detention here. 40 Haste—draw ye down into the sacred Deep A vessel of prime speed, and, from among The people, fifty and two youths select, Approved the best; then, lashing fast the oars, Leave her, that at my palace ye may make Short feast, for which myself will all provide. Thus I enjoin the crew; but as for those Of sceptred rank, I bid them all alike To my own board, that here we may regale The stranger nobly, and let none refuse. 50 Call, too, Demodocus, the bard divine, To share my banquet, whom the Gods have blest With pow'rs of song delectable, unmatch'd By any, when his genius once is fired. He ceas'd, and led the way, whom follow'd all The sceptred senators, while to the house An herald hasted of the bard divine. Then, fifty mariners and two, from all The rest selected, to the coast repair'd, And, from her station on the sea-bank, launched 60 The galley down into the sacred Deep. They placed the canvas and the mast on board, Arranged the oars, unfurl'd the shining sail, And, leaving her in depth of water moor'd, All sought the palace of Alcinoues. There, soon, the portico, the court, the hall Were fill'd with multitudes of young and old, For whose regale the mighty monarch slew Two beeves, twelve sheep, and twice four fatted brawns. They slay'd them first, then busily their task 70 Administ'ring, prepared the joyous feast. And now the herald came, leading with care The tuneful bard; dear to the muse was he, Who yet appointed him both good and ill; Took from him sight, but gave him strains divine. For him, Pontonoues in the midst disposed An argent-studded throne, thrusting it close To a tall column, where he hung his lyre Above his head, and taught him where it hung. He set before him, next, a polish'd board 80 And basket, and a goblet fill'd with wine For his own use, and at his own command. Then, all assail'd at once the ready feast, And when nor hunger more nor thirst they felt, Then came the muse, and roused the bard to sing Exploits of men renown'd; it was a song, In that day, to the highest heav'n extoll'd. He sang of a dispute kindled between The son of Peleus, and Laertes'[27] son, Both seated at a feast held to the Gods. 90 That contest Agamemnon, King of men, Between the noblest of Achaia's host Hearing, rejoiced; for when in Pytho erst He pass'd the marble threshold to consult The oracle of Apollo, such dispute The voice divine had to his ear announced; For then it was that, first, the storm of war Came rolling on, ordain'd long time to afflict Troy and the Greecians, by the will of Jove. So sang the bard illustrious; then his robe 100 Of purple dye with both hands o'er his head Ulysses drew, behind its ample folds Veiling his face, through fear to be observed By the Phaeacians weeping at the song; And ever as the bard harmonious ceased, He wiped his tears, and, drawing from his brows The mantle, pour'd libation to the Gods. But when the Chiefs (for they delighted heard Those sounds) solicited again the bard, And he renew'd the strain, then cov'ring close 110 His count'nance, as before, Ulysses wept. Thus, unperceiv'd by all, the Hero mourn'd, Save by Alcinoues; he alone his tears, (Beside him seated) mark'd, and his deep sighs O'erhearing, the Phaeacians thus bespake. Phaeacia's Chiefs and Senators, attend! We have regaled sufficient, and the harp Heard to satiety, companion sweet And seasonable of the festive hour. Now go we forth for honourable proof 120 Of our address in games of ev'ry kind, That this our guest may to his friends report, At home arriv'd, that none like us have learn'd To leap, to box, to wrestle, and to run. So saying, he led them forth, whose steps the guests All follow'd, and the herald hanging high The sprightly lyre, took by his hand the bard Demodocus, whom he the self-same way Conducted forth, by which the Chiefs had gone Themselves, for that great spectacle prepared. 130 They sought the forum; countless swarm'd the throng Behind them as they went, and many a youth Strong and courageous to the strife arose. Upstood Acroneus and Ocyalus, Elatreus, Nauteus, Prymneus, after whom Anchialus with Anabeesineus Arose, Eretmeus, Ponteus, Proreus bold, Amphialus and Thoeon. Then arose, In aspect dread as homicidal Mars, Euryalus, and for his graceful form 140 (After Laodamas) distinguish'd most Of all Phaeacia's sons, Naubolides. Three also from Alcinoues sprung, arose, Laodamas, his eldest; Halius, next, His second-born; and godlike Clytoneus. Of these, some started for the runner's prize. They gave the race its limits.[28] All at once Along the dusty champaign swift they flew. But Clytoneus, illustrious youth, outstripp'd All competition; far as mules surpass 150 Slow oxen furrowing the fallow ground, So far before all others he arrived Victorious, where the throng'd spectators stood. Some tried the wrestler's toil severe, in which Euryalus superior proved to all. In the long leap Amphialus prevail'd; Elatreus most successful hurled the quoit, And at the cestus,[29] last, the noble son Of Scheria's King, Laodamas excell'd. When thus with contemplation of the games 160 All had been gratified, Alcinoues' son Laodamas, arising, then address'd. Friends! ask we now the stranger, if he boast Proficiency in aught. His figure seems Not ill; in thighs, and legs, and arms he shews Much strength, and in his brawny neck; nor youth Hath left him yet, though batter'd he appears With num'rous troubles, and misfortune-flaw'd. Nor know I hardships in the world so sure To break the strongest down, as those by sea. 170 Then answer thus Euryalus return'd. Thou hast well said, Laodamas; thyself Approaching, speak to him, and call him forth. Which when Alcinoues' noble offspring heard, Advancing from his seat, amid them all He stood, and to Ulysses thus began. Stand forth, oh guest, thou also; prove thy skill (If any such thou hast) in games like ours, Which, likeliest, thou hast learn'd; for greater praise Hath no man, while he lives, than that he know 180 His feet to exercise and hands aright. Come then; make trial; scatter wide thy cares, We will not hold thee long; the ship is launch'd Already, and the crew stand all prepared. To whom replied the wily Chief renown'd Wherefore, as in derision, have ye call'd Me forth, Laodamas, to these exploits? No games have I, but many a grief, at heart, And with far other struggles worn, here sit Desirous only of conveyance home, 190 For which both King and people I implore. Then him Euryalus aloud reproach'd. I well believ'd it, friend! in thee the guise I see not of a man expert in feats Athletic, of which various are perform'd In ev'ry land; thou rather seem'st with ships Familiar; one, accustom'd to controul Some crew of trading mariners; well-learn'd In stowage, pilotage, and wealth acquired By rapine, but of no gymnastic pow'rs. 200 To whom Ulysses, frowning dark, replied. Thou hast ill spoken, sir, and like a man Regardless whom he wrongs. Therefore the Gods Give not endowments graceful in each kind, Of body, mind, and utt'rance, all to one. This man in figure less excels, yet Jove Crowns him with eloquence; his hearers charm'd Behold him, while with modest confidence He bears the prize of fluent speech from all, And in the streets is gazed on as a God! 210 Another, in his form the Pow'rs above Resembles, but no grace around his words Twines itself elegant. So, thou in form Hast excellence to boast; a God, employ'd To make a master-piece in human shape, Could but produce proportions such as thine; Yet hast thou an untutor'd intellect. Thou much hast moved me; thy unhandsome phrase Hath roused my wrath; I am not, as thou say'st, A novice in these sports, but took the lead 220 In all, while youth and strength were on my side. But I am now in bands of sorrow held, And of misfortune, having much endured In war, and buffeting the boist'rous waves. Yet, though with mis'ry worn, I will essay My strength among you; for thy words had teeth Whose bite hath pinch'd and pain'd me to the proof. He said; and mantled as he was, a quoit Upstarting, seized, in bulk and weight all those Transcending far, by the Phaeacians used. 230 Swiftly he swung, and from his vig'rous hand Sent it. Loud sang the stone, and as it flew The maritime Phaeacians low inclined Their heads beneath it; over all the marks, And far beyond them, sped the flying rock. Minerva, in a human form, the cast Prodigious measur'd, and aloud exclaim'd. Stranger! the blind himself might with his hands Feel out the 'vantage here. Thy quoit disdains Fellowship with a crowd, borne far beyond. 240 Fear not a losing game; Phaeacian none Will reach thy measure, much less overcast. She ceased; Ulysses, hardy Chief, rejoiced That in the circus he had found a judge So favorable, and with brisker tone, As less in wrath, the multitude address'd. Young men, reach this, and I will quickly heave Another such, or yet a heavier quoit. Then, come the man whose courage prompts him forth To box, to wrestle with me, or to run; 250 For ye have chafed me much, and I decline No strife with any here, but challenge all Phaeacia, save Laodamas alone. He is mine host. Who combats with his friend? To call to proof of hardiment the man Who entertains him in a foreign land, Would but evince the challenger a fool, Who, so, would cripple his own interest there. As for the rest, I none refuse, scorn none, But wish for trial of you, and to match 260 In opposition fair my force with yours. There is no game athletic in the use Of all mankind, too difficult for me; I handle well the polish'd bow, and first Amid a thousand foes strike whom I mark, Although a throng of warriors at my side Imbattled, speed their shafts at the same time. Of all Achaia's sons who erst at Troy Drew bow, the sole who bore the prize from me Was Philoctetes; I resign it else 270 To none now nourish'd with the fruits of earth. Yet mean I no comparison of myself With men of antient times, with Hercules, Or with Oechalian Eurytus, who, both, The Gods themselves in archery defied. Soon, therefore, died huge Eurytus, ere yet Old age he reach'd; him, angry to be call'd To proof of archership, Apollo slew. But if ye name the spear, mine flies a length By no man's arrow reach'd; I fear no foil 280 From the Phaeacians, save in speed alone; For I have suffer'd hardships, dash'd and drench'd By many a wave, nor had I food on board At all times, therefore I am much unstrung. He spake; and silent the Phaeacians sat, Of whom alone Alcinoues thus replied. Since, stranger, not ungraceful is thy speech, Who hast but vindicated in our ears Thy question'd prowess, angry that this youth Reproach'd thee in the presence of us all, 290 That no man qualified to give his voice In public, might affront thy courage more; Now mark me, therefore, that in time to come, While feasting with thy children and thy spouse, Thou may'st inform the Heroes of thy land Even of our proficiency in arts By Jove enjoin'd us in our father's days. We boast not much the boxer's skill, nor yet The wrestler's; but light-footed in the race Are we, and navigators well-inform'd. 300 Our pleasures are the feast, the harp, the dance, Garments for change; the tepid bath; the bed. Come, ye Phaeacians, beyond others skill'd To tread the circus with harmonious steps, Come, play before us; that our guest, arrived In his own country, may inform his friends How far in seamanship we all excel, In running, in the dance, and in the song. Haste! bring ye to Demodocus his lyre Clear-toned, left somewhere in our hall at home. 310 So spake the godlike King, at whose command The herald to the palace quick return'd To seek the charming lyre. Meantime arose Nine arbiters, appointed to intend The whole arrangement of the public games, To smooth the circus floor, and give the ring Its compass, widening the attentive throng. Ere long the herald came, bearing the harp, With which Demodocus supplied, advanced Into the middle area, around whom 320 Stood blooming youths, all skilful in the dance. With footsteps justly timed all smote at once The sacred floor; Ulysses wonder-fixt, The ceaseless play of twinkling[30] feet admired. Then, tuning his sweet chords, Demodocus A jocund strain began, his theme, the loves Of Mars and Cytherea chaplet-crown'd; How first, clandestine, they embraced beneath The roof of Vulcan, her, by many a gift Seduced, Mars won, and with adult'rous lust 330 The bed dishonour'd of the King of fire. The sun, a witness of their amorous sport, Bore swift the tale to Vulcan; he, apprized Of that foul deed, at once his smithy sought, In secret darkness of his inmost soul Contriving vengeance; to the stock he heav'd His anvil huge, on which he forged a snare Of bands indissoluble, by no art To be untied, durance for ever firm. The net prepared, he bore it, fiery-wroth, 340 To his own chamber and his nuptial couch, Where, stretching them from post to post, he wrapp'd With those fine meshes all his bed around, And hung them num'rous from the roof, diffused Like spiders' filaments, which not the Gods Themselves could see, so subtle were the toils. When thus he had encircled all his bed On ev'ry side, he feign'd a journey thence To Lemnos, of all cities that adorn The earth, the city that he favours most. 350 Nor kept the God of the resplendent reins Mars, drowsy watch, but seeing that the famed Artificer of heav'n had left his home, Flew to the house of Vulcan, hot to enjoy The Goddess with the wreath-encircled brows. She, newly from her potent Sire return'd The son of Saturn, sat. Mars, ent'ring, seiz'd Her hand, hung on it, and thus urg'd his suit. To bed, my fair, and let us love! for lo! Thine husband is from home, to Lemnos gone, 360 And to the Sintians, men of barb'rous speech. He spake, nor she was loth, but bedward too Like him inclined; so then, to bed they went, And as they lay'd them down, down stream'd the net Around them, labour exquisite of hands By ingenuity divine inform'd. Small room they found, so prison'd; not a limb Could either lift, or move, but felt at once Entanglement from which was no escape. And now the glorious artist, ere he yet 370 Had reach'd the Lemnian isle, limping, return'd From his feign'd journey, for his spy the sun Had told him all. With aching heart he sought His home, and, standing in the vestibule, Frantic with indignation roar'd to heav'n, And roar'd again, summoning all the Gods.— Oh Jove! and all ye Pow'rs for ever blest! Here; hither look, that ye may view a sight Ludicrous, yet too monstrous to be borne, How Venus always with dishonour loads 380 Her cripple spouse, doating on fiery Mars! And wherefore? for that he is fair in form And sound of foot, I ricket-boned and weak. Whose fault is this? Their fault, and theirs alone Who gave me being; ill-employ'd were they Begetting me, one, better far unborn. See where they couch together on my bed Lascivious! ah, sight hateful to my eyes! Yet cooler wishes will they feel, I ween, To press my bed hereafter; here to sleep 390 Will little please them, fondly as they love. But these my toils and tangles will suffice To hold them here, till Jove shall yield me back Complete, the sum of all my nuptial gifts Paid to him for the shameless strumpet's sake His daughter, as incontinent as fair. He said, and in the brazen-floor'd abode Of Jove the Gods assembled. Neptune came Earth-circling Pow'r; came Hermes friend of man, And, regent of the far-commanding bow, 400 Apollo also came; but chaste reserve Bashful kept all the Goddesses at home. The Gods, by whose beneficence all live, Stood in the portal; infinite arose The laugh of heav'n, all looking down intent On that shrewd project of the smith divine, And, turning to each other, thus they said. Bad works speed ill. The slow o'ertakes the swift. So Vulcan, tardy as he is, by craft Hath outstript Mars, although the fleetest far 410 Of all who dwell in heav'n, and the light-heel'd Must pay the adult'rer's forfeit to the lame. So spake the Pow'rs immortal; then the King Of radiant shafts thus question'd Mercury. Jove's son, heaven's herald, Hermes, bounteous God! Would'st thou such stricture close of bands endure For golden Venus lying at thy side? Whom answer'd thus the messenger of heav'n Archer divine! yea, and with all my heart; And be the bands which wind us round about 420 Thrice these innumerable, and let all The Gods and Goddesses in heav'n look on, So I may clasp Vulcan's fair spouse the while. He spake; then laugh'd the Immortal Pow'rs again. But not so Neptune; he with earnest suit The glorious artist urged to the release Of Mars, and thus in accents wing'd he said. Loose him; accept my promise; he shall pay Full recompense in presence of us all. Then thus the limping smith far-famed replied. 430 Earth-circler Neptune, spare me that request. Lame suitor, lame security.[31] What bands Could I devise for thee among the Gods, Should Mars, emancipated once, escape, Leaving both debt and durance, far behind? Him answer'd then the Shaker of the shores. I tell thee, Vulcan, that if Mars by flight Shun payment, I will pay, myself, the fine. To whom the glorious artist of the skies. Thou must not, canst not, shalt not be refused. 440 So saying, the might of Vulcan loos'd the snare, And they, detain'd by those coercive bands No longer, from the couch upstarting, flew, Mars into Thrace, and to her Paphian home The Queen of smiles, where deep in myrtle groves Her incense-breathing altar stands embow'r'd. Her there, the Graces laved, and oils diffused O'er all her form, ambrosial, such as add Fresh beauty to the Gods for ever young, And cloath'd her in the loveliest robes of heav'n. 450 Such was the theme of the illustrious bard. Ulysses with delight that song, and all The maritime Phaeacian concourse heard. Alcinoues, then, (for in the dance they pass'd All others) call'd his sons to dance alone, Halius and Laodamas; they gave The purple ball into their hands, the work Exact of Polybus; one, re-supine, Upcast it high toward the dusky clouds, The other, springing into air, with ease 460 Received it, ere he sank to earth again. When thus they oft had sported with the ball Thrown upward, next, with nimble interchange They pass'd it to each other many a time, Footing the plain, while ev'ry youth of all The circus clapp'd his hands, and from beneath The din of stamping feet fill'd all the air. Then, turning to Alcinoues, thus the wise Ulysses spake: Alcinoues! mighty King! Illustrious above all Phaeacia's sons! 470 Incomparable are ye in the dance, Ev'n as thou said'st. Amazement-fixt I stand! So he, whom hearing, the imperial might Exulted of Alcinoues, and aloud To his oar-skill'd Phaeacians thus he spake. Phaeacian Chiefs and Senators, attend! Wisdom beyond the common stint I mark In this our guest; good cause in my account, For which we should present him with a pledge Of hospitality and love. The Chiefs 480 Are twelve, who, highest in command, controul The people, and the thirteenth Chief am I. Bring each a golden talent, with a vest Well-bleach'd, and tunic; gratified with these, The stranger to our banquet shall repair Exulting; bring them all without delay; And let Euryalus by word and gift Appease him, for his speech was unadvised. He ceas'd, whom all applauded, and at once Each sent his herald forth to bring the gifts, 490 When thus Euryalus his Sire address'd. Alcinoues! o'er Phaeacia's sons supreme! I will appease our guest, as thou command'st. This sword shall be his own, the blade all steel. The hilt of silver, and the unsullied sheath Of iv'ry recent from the carver's hand, A gift like this he shall not need despise. So saying, his silver-studded sword he gave Into his grasp, and, courteous, thus began. Hail, honour'd stranger! and if word of mine 500 Have harm'd thee, rashly spoken, let the winds Bear all remembrance of it swift away! May the Gods give thee to behold again Thy wife, and to attain thy native shore, Whence absent long, thou hast so much endured! To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied. Hail also thou, and may the Gods, my friend, Grant thee felicity, and may never want Of this thy sword touch thee in time to come, By whose kind phrase appeas'd my wrath subsides! 510 He ended, and athwart his shoulders threw The weapon bright emboss'd. Now sank the sun, And those rich gifts arrived, which to the house Of King Alcinoues the heralds bore. Alcinoues' sons receiv'd them, and beside Their royal mother placed the precious charge. The King then led the way, at whose abode Arrived, again they press'd their lofty thrones, And to Areta thus the monarch spake. Haste, bring a coffer; bring thy best, and store 520 A mantle and a sumptuous vest within; Warm for him, next, a brazen bath, by which Refresh'd, and viewing in fair order placed The noble gifts by the Phaeacian Lords Conferr'd on him, he may the more enjoy Our banquet, and the bard's harmonious song. I give him also this my golden cup Splendid, elaborate; that, while he lives What time he pours libation forth to Jove And all the Gods, he may remember me. 530 He ended, at whose words Areta bade Her maidens with dispatch place o'er the fire A tripod ample-womb'd; obedient they Advanced a laver to the glowing hearth, Water infused, and kindled wood beneath The flames encircling bright the bellied vase, Warm'd soon the flood within. Meantime, the Queen Producing from her chamber-stores a chest All-elegant, within it placed the gold, And raiment, gifts of the Phaeacian Chiefs, 540 With her own gifts, the mantle and the vest, And in wing'd accents to Ulysses said. Now take, thyself, the coffer's lid in charge; Girdle it quickly with a cord, lest loss Befall thee on thy way, while thou perchance Shalt sleep secure on board the sable bark. Which when Ulysses heard, Hero renown'd, Adjusting close the lid, he cast a cord Around it which with many a mazy knot He tied, by Circe taught him long before. 550 And now, the mistress of the household charge Summon'd him to his bath; glad he beheld The steaming vase, uncustom'd to its use E'er since his voyage from the isle of fair Calypso, although, while a guest with her, Ever familiar with it, as a God. Laved by attendant damsels, and with oil Refresh'd, he put his sumptuous tunic on And mantle, and proceeding from the bath To the symposium, join'd the num'rous guests; 560 But, as he pass'd, the Princess all divine Beside the pillars of the portal, lost In admiration of his graceful form, Stood, and in accents wing'd him thus address'd. Hail, stranger! at thy native home arrived Remember me, thy first deliv'rer here. To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied. Nausicaa! daughter of the noble King Alcinoues! So may Jove, high-thund'ring mate Of Juno, grant me to behold again 570 My native land, and my delightful home, As, even there, I will present my vows To thee, adoring thee as I adore The Gods themselves, virgin, by whom I live! He said, and on his throne beside the King Alcinoues sat. And now they portion'd out The feast to all, and charg'd the cups with wine, And introducing by his hand the bard Phaeacia's glory, at the column's side The herald placed Demodocus again. 580 Then, carving forth a portion from the loins Of a huge brawn, of which uneaten still Large part and delicate remain'd, thus spake Ulysses—Herald! bear it to the bard For his regale, whom I will soon embrace In spite of sorrow; for respect is due And veneration to the sacred bard From all mankind, for that the muse inspires Herself his song, and loves the tuneful tribe. He ended, and the herald bore his charge 590 To the old hero who with joy received That meed of honour at the bearer's hand. Then, all, at once, assail'd the ready feast, And hunger now, and thirst both satisfied, Thus to Demodocus Ulysses spake. Demodocus! I give thee praise above All mortals, for that either thee the muse Jove's daughter teaches, or the King, himself, Apollo; since thou so record'st the fate, With such clear method, of Achaia's host, 600 Their deeds heroic, and their num'rous toils, As thou hadst present been thyself, or learnt From others present there, the glorious tale. Come, then, proceed; that rare invention sing, The horse of wood, which by Minerva's aid Epeus framed, and which Ulysses erst Convey'd into the citadel of Troy With warriors fill'd, who lay'd all Ilium waste. These things rehearse regular, and myself Will, instant, publish in the ears of all 610 Thy fame, reporting thee a bard to whom Apollo free imparts celestial song. He ended; then Apollo with full force Rush'd on Demodocus, and he began What time the Greeks, first firing their own camp Steer'd all their galleys from the shore of Troy. Already, in the horse conceal'd, his band Around Ulysses sat; for Ilium's sons Themselves had drawn it to the citadel. And there the mischief stood. Then, strife arose 620 Among the Trojans compassing the horse, And threefold was the doubt; whether to cleave The hollow trunk asunder, or updrawn Aloft, to cast it headlong from the rocks, Or to permit the enormous image, kept Entire, to stand an off'ring to the Gods, Which was their destined course; for Fate had fix'd Their ruin sure, when once they had received Within their walls that engine huge, in which Sat all the bravest Greecians with the fate 630 Of Ilium charged, and slaughter of her sons. He sang, how, from the horse effused, the Greeks Left their capacious ambush, and the town Made desolate. To others, in his song, He gave the praise of wasting all beside, But told how, fierce as Mars, Ulysses join'd With godlike Menelaus, to the house Flew of Deiphobus; him there engaged In direst fight he sang, and through the aid Of glorious Pallas, conqu'ror over all. 640 So sang the bard illustrious, at whose song Ulysses melted, and tear after tear Fell on his cheeks. As when a woman weeps, Her husband, who hath fallen in defence Of his own city and his babes before The gates; she, sinking, folds him in her arms And, gazing on him as he pants and dies, Shrieks at the sight; meantime, the enemy Smiting her shoulders with the spear to toil Command her and to bondage far away, 650 And her cheek fades with horror at the sound; Ulysses, so, from his moist lids let fall, The frequent tear. Unnoticed by the rest Those drops, but not by King Alcinoues, fell Who, seated at his side, his heavy sighs Remark'd, and the Phaeacians thus bespake. Phaeacian Chiefs and Senators attend! Now let Demodocus enjoin his harp Silence, for not alike grateful to all His music sounds; during our feast, and since 660 The bard divine began, continual flow The stranger's sorrows, by remembrance caused Of some great woe which wraps his soul around. Then, let the bard suspend his song, that all (As most befits th' occasion) may rejoice, Both guest and hosts together; since we make This voyage, and these gifts confer, in proof Of hospitality and unfeign'd love, Judging, with all wise men, the stranger-guest And suppliant worthy of a brother's place. 670 And thou conceal not, artfully reserv'd, What I shall ask, far better plain declared Than smother'd close; who art thou? speak thy name, The name by which thy father, mother, friends And fellow-citizens, with all who dwell Around thy native city, in times past Have known thee; for of all things human none Lives altogether nameless, whether good Or whether bad, but ev'ry man receives Ev'n in the moment of his birth, a name. 680 Thy country, people, city, tell; the mark At which my ships, intelligent, shall aim, That they may bear thee thither; for our ships No pilot need or helm, as ships are wont, But know, themselves, our purpose; know beside All cities, and all fruitful regions well Of all the earth, and with dark clouds involv'd Plough rapid the rough Deep, fearless of harm, (Whate'er betide) and of disast'rous wreck. Yet thus, long since, my father I have heard 690 Nausithoues speaking; Neptune, he would say, Is angry with us, for that safe we bear Strangers of ev'ry nation to their home; And he foretold a time when he would smite In vengeance some Phaeacian gallant bark Returning after convoy of her charge, And fix her in the sable flood, transform'd Into a mountain, right before the town. So spake my hoary Sire, which let the God At his own pleasure do, or leave undone. 700 But tell me truth, and plainly. Where have been Thy wand'rings? in what regions of the earth Hast thou arrived? what nations hast thou seen, What cities? say, how many hast thou found Harsh, savage and unjust? how many, kind To strangers, and disposed to fear the Gods? Say also, from what secret grief of heart Thy sorrows flow, oft as thou hear'st the fate Of the Achaians, or of Ilium sung? That fate the Gods prepared; they spin the thread 710 Of man's destruction, that in after days The bard may make the sad event his theme. Perish'd thy father or thy brother there? Or hast thou at the siege of Ilium lost Father-in-law, or son-in-law? for such Are next and dearest to us after those Who share our own descent; or was the dead Thy bosom-friend, whose heart was as thy own? For worthy as a brother of our love The constant friend and the discrete I deem. 720


[27] Agamemnon having inquired at Delphos, at what time the Trojan war would end, was answered that the conclusion of it should happen at a time when a dispute should arise between two of his principal commanders. That dispute occurred at the time here alluded to, Achilles recommending force as most likely to reduce the city, and Ulysses stratagem.

[28] Toisi d' apo nysoes tetato dromos—This expression is by the commentators generally understood to be significant of the effort which they made at starting, but it is not improbable that it relates merely to the measurement of the course, otherwise, karpalimos epetonto will be tautologous.

[29] In boxing.

[30] The Translator is indebted to Mr Grey for an epithet more expressive of the original (Marmarygas) than any other, perhaps, in all our language. See the Ode on the Progress of Poetry.

"To brisk notes in cadence beating, Glance their many-twinkling feet"

[31] The original line has received such a variety of interpretations, that a Translator seems free to choose. It has, however, a proverbial turn, which I have endeavoured to preserve, and have adopted the sense of the words which appears best to accord with what immediately follows. Vulcan pleads his own inability to enforce the demand, as a circumstance that made Neptune's promise unacceptable.



Ulysses discovers himself to the Phaeacians, and begins the history of his adventures. He destroys Ismarus, city of the Ciconians; arrives among the Lotophagi; and afterwards at the land of the Cyclops. He is imprisoned by Polypheme in his cave, who devours six of his companions; intoxicates the monster with wine, blinds him while he sleeps, and escapes from him.

Then answer, thus, Ulysses wise return'd. Alcinoues! King! illustrious above all Phaeacia's sons, pleasant it is to hear A bard like this, sweet as the Gods in song. The world, in my account, no sight affords More gratifying than a people blest With cheerfulness and peace, a palace throng'd With guests in order ranged, list'ning to sounds Melodious, and the steaming tables spread With plenteous viands, while the cups, with wine 10 From brimming beakers fill'd, pass brisk around. No lovelier sight know I. But thou, it seems, Thy thoughts hast turn'd to ask me whence my groans And tears, that I may sorrow still the more. What first, what next, what last shall I rehearse, On whom the Gods have show'r'd such various woes? Learn first my name, that even in this land Remote I may be known, and that escaped From all adversity, I may requite Hereafter, this your hospitable care 20 At my own home, however distant hence. I am Ulysses, fear'd in all the earth For subtlest wisdom, and renown'd to heaven, The offspring of Laertes; my abode Is sun-burnt Ithaca; there waving stands The mountain Neritus his num'rous boughs, And it is neighbour'd close by clust'ring isles All populous; thence Samos is beheld, Dulichium, and Zacynthus forest-clad. Flat on the Deep she lies, farthest removed 30 Toward the West, while, situate apart, Her sister islands face the rising day; Rugged she is, but fruitful nurse of sons Magnanimous; nor shall these eyes behold, Elsewhere, an object dear and sweet as she. Calypso, beauteous Goddess, in her grot Detain'd me, wishing me her own espoused; AEaean Circe also, skill'd profound In potent arts, within her palace long Detain'd me, wishing me her own espoused; 40 But never could they warp my constant mind. So much our parents and our native soil Attract us most, even although our lot Be fair and plenteous in a foreign land. But come—my painful voyage, such as Jove Gave me from Ilium, I will now relate. From Troy the winds bore me to Ismarus, City of the Ciconians; them I slew, And laid their city waste; whence bringing forth Much spoil with all their wives, I portion'd it 50 With equal hand, and each received a share. Next, I exhorted to immediate flight My people; but in vain; they madly scorn'd My sober counsel, and much wine they drank, And sheep and beeves slew num'rous on the shore. Meantime, Ciconians to Ciconians call'd, Their neighbours summoning, a mightier host And braver, natives of the continent, Expert, on horses mounted, to maintain Fierce fight, or if occasion bade, on foot. 60 Num'rous they came as leaves, or vernal flow'rs At day-spring. Then, by the decree of Jove, Misfortune found us. At the ships we stood Piercing each other with the brazen spear, And till the morning brighten'd into noon, Few as we were, we yet withstood them all; But, when the sun verged westward, then the Greeks Fell back, and the Ciconian host prevail'd. Six warlike Greecians from each galley's crew Perish'd in that dread field; the rest escaped. 70 Thus, after loss of many, we pursued Our course, yet, difficult as was our flight, Went not till first we had invoked by name Our friends, whom the Ciconians had destroy'd. But cloud-assembler Jove assail'd us soon With a tempestuous North-wind; earth alike And sea with storms he overhung, and night Fell fast from heav'n. Their heads deep-plunging oft Our gallies flew, and rent, and rent again Our tatter'd sail-cloth crackled in the wind. 80 We, fearing instant death, within the barks Our canvas lodg'd, and, toiling strenuous, reach'd At length the continent. Two nights we lay Continual there, and two long days, consumed With toil and grief; but when the beauteous morn Bright-hair'd, had brought the third day to a close, (Our masts erected, and white sails unfurl'd) Again we sat on board; meantime, the winds Well managed by the steersman, urged us on. And now, all danger pass'd, I had attain'd 90 My native shore, but, doubling in my course Malea, waves and currents and North-winds Constrain'd me devious to Cythera's isle. Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne Athwart the fishy Deep, but on the tenth Reach'd the Lotophagi, a race sustain'd On sweetest fruit alone. There quitting ship, We landed and drew water, and the crews Beside the vessels took their ev'ning cheer. When, hasty, we had thus our strength renew'd, 100 I order'd forth my people to inquire (Two I selected from the rest, with whom I join'd an herald, third) what race of men Might there inhabit. They, departing, mix'd With the Lotophagi; nor hostile aught Or savage the Lotophagi devised Against our friends, but offer'd to their taste The lotus; of which fruit what man soe'er Once tasted, no desire felt he to come With tidings back, or seek his country more, 110 But rather wish'd to feed on lotus still With the Lotophagi, and to renounce All thoughts of home. Them, therefore, I constrain'd Weeping on board, and dragging each beneath The benches, bound him there. Then, all in haste, I urged my people to ascend again Their hollow barks, lest others also, fed With fruit of lotus, should forget their home. They quick embark'd, and on the benches ranged In order, thresh'd with oars the foamy flood. 120 Thence, o'er the Deep proceeding sad, we reach'd The land at length, where, giant-sized[32] and free From all constraint of law, the Cyclops dwell. They, trusting to the Gods, plant not, or plough, But earth unsow'd, untill'd, brings forth for them All fruits, wheat, barley, and the vinous grape Large cluster'd, nourish'd by the show'rs of Jove. No councils they convene, no laws contrive, But in deep caverns dwell, found on the heads Of lofty mountains, judging each supreme 130 His wife and children, heedless of the rest. In front of the Cyclopean haven lies A level island, not adjoining close Their land, nor yet remote, woody and rude. There, wild goats breed numberless, by no foot Of man molested; never huntsman there, Inured to winter's cold and hunger, roams The dreary woods, or mountain-tops sublime; No fleecy flocks dwell there, nor plough is known, But the unseeded and unfurrow'd soil, 140 Year after year a wilderness by man Untrodden, food for blatant goats supplies. For no ships crimson-prow'd the Cyclops own, Nor naval artizan is there, whose toil Might furnish them with oary barks, by which Subsists all distant commerce, and which bear Man o'er the Deep to cities far remote Who might improve the peopled isle, that seems Not steril in itself, but apt to yield, In their due season, fruits of ev'ry kind. 150 For stretch'd beside the hoary ocean lie Green meadows moist, where vines would never fail; Light is the land, and they might yearly reap The tallest crops, so unctuous is the glebe. Safe is its haven also, where no need Of cable is or anchor, or to lash The hawser fast ashore, but pushing in His bark, the mariner might there abide Till rising gales should tempt him forth again. At bottom of the bay runs a clear stream 160 Issuing from a cove hemm'd all around With poplars; down into that bay we steer'd Amid the darkness of the night, some God Conducting us; for all unseen it lay, Such gloom involved the fleet, nor shone the moon From heav'n to light us, veil'd by pitchy clouds. Hence, none the isle descried, nor any saw The lofty surge roll'd on the strand, or ere Our vessels struck the ground; but when they struck, Then, low'ring all our sails, we disembark'd, 170 And on the sea-beach slept till dawn appear'd. Soon as Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Look'd rosy forth, we with admiring eyes The isle survey'd, roaming it wide around. Meantime, the nymphs, Jove's daughters, roused the goats Bred on the mountains, to supply with food The partners of my toils; then, bringing forth Bows and long-pointed javelins from the ships, Divided all into three sep'rate bands We struck them, and the Gods gave us much prey. 180 Twelve ships attended me, and ev'ry ship Nine goats received by lot; myself alone Selected ten. All day, till set of sun, We eating sat goat's flesh, and drinking wine Delicious, without stint; for dearth was none Of ruddy wine on board, but much remain'd, With which my people had their jars supplied What time we sack'd Ciconian Ismarus. Thence looking forth toward the neighbour-land Where dwell the Cyclops, rising smoke we saw, 190 And voices heard, their own, and of their flocks. Now sank the sun, and (night o'ershadowing all) We slept along the shore; but when again The rosy-finger'd daughter of the dawn Look'd forth, my crews convened, I thus began. Companions of my course! here rest ye all, Save my own crew, with whom I will explore This people, whether wild, they be, unjust, And to contention giv'n, or well-disposed To strangers, and a race who fear the Gods. 200 So speaking, I embark'd, and bade embark My followers, throwing, quick, the hawsers loose. They, ent'ring at my word, the benches fill'd Well-ranged, and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood. Attaining soon that neighbour-land, we found At its extremity, fast by the sea, A cavern, lofty, and dark-brow'd above With laurels; in that cavern slumb'ring lay Much cattle, sheep and goats, and a broad court Enclosed it, fenced with stones from quarries hewn, 210 With spiry firs, and oaks of ample bough. Here dwelt a giant vast, who far remote His flocks fed solitary, converse none Desiring, sullen, savage, and unjust. Monster, in truth, he was, hideous in form, Resembling less a man by Ceres' gift Sustain'd, than some aspiring mountain-crag Tufted with wood, and standing all alone. Enjoining, then, my people to abide Fast by the ship which they should closely guard, 220 I went, but not without a goat-skin fill'd With sable wine which I had erst received From Maron, offspring of Evanthes, priest Of Phoebus guardian god of Ismarus, Because, through rev'rence of him, we had saved Himself, his wife and children; for he dwelt Amid the grove umbrageous of his God. He gave me, therefore, noble gifts; from him Sev'n talents I received of beaten gold, A beaker, argent all, and after these 230 No fewer than twelve jars with wine replete, Rich, unadult'rate, drink for Gods; nor knew One servant, male or female, of that wine In all his house; none knew it, save himself, His wife, and the intendant of his stores. Oft as they drank that luscious juice, he slaked A single cup with twenty from the stream, And, even then, the beaker breath'd abroad A scent celestial, which whoever smelt, Thenceforth no pleasure found it to abstain. 240 Charged with an ample goat-skin of this wine I went, and with a wallet well supplied, But felt a sudden presage in my soul That, haply, with terrific force endued, Some savage would appear, strange to the laws And privileges of the human race. Few steps convey'd us to his den, but him We found not; he his flocks pastur'd abroad. His cavern ent'ring, we with wonder gazed Around on all; his strainers hung with cheese 250 Distended wide; with lambs and kids his penns Close-throng'd we saw, and folded separate The various charge; the eldest all apart, Apart the middle-aged, and the new-yean'd Also apart. His pails and bowls with whey Swam all, neat vessels into which he milk'd. Me then my friends first importuned to take A portion of his cheeses, then to drive Forth from the sheep-cotes to the rapid bark His kids and lambs, and plow the brine again. 260 But me they moved not, happier had they moved! I wish'd to see him, and to gain, perchance, Some pledge of hospitality at his hands, Whose form was such, as should not much bespeak When he appear'd, our confidence or love. Then, kindling fire, we offer'd to the Gods, And of his cheeses eating, patient sat Till home he trudged from pasture. Charged he came With dry wood bundled, an enormous load Fuel by which to sup. Loud crash'd the thorns 270 Which down he cast before the cavern's mouth, To whose interior nooks we trembling flew. At once he drove into his spacious cave His batten'd flock, all those which gave him milk, But all the males, both rams and goats, he left Abroad, excluded from the cavern-yard. Upheaving, next, a rocky barrier huge To his cave's mouth, he thrust it home. That weight Not all the oxen from its place had moved Of twenty and two wains; with such a rock 280 Immense his den he closed. Then down he sat, And as he milk'd his ewes and bleating goats All in their turns, her yeanling gave to each; Coagulating, then, with brisk dispatch, The half of his new milk, he thrust the curd Into his wicker sieves, but stored the rest In pans and bowls—his customary drink. His labours thus perform'd, he kindled, last, His fuel, and discerning us, enquired, Who are ye, strangers? from what distant shore 290 Roam ye the waters? traffic ye? or bound To no one port, wander, as pirates use, At large the Deep, exposing life themselves, And enemies of all mankind beside? He ceased; we, dash'd with terrour, heard the growl Of his big voice, and view'd his form uncouth, To whom, though sore appall'd, I thus replied. Of Greece are we, and, bound from Ilium home, Have wander'd wide the expanse of ocean, sport For ev'ry wind, and driven from our course, 300 Have here arrived; so stood the will of Jove. We boast ourselves of Agamemnon's train, The son of Atreus, at this hour the Chief Beyond all others under heav'n renown'd, So great a city he hath sack'd and slain Such num'rous foes; but since we reach, at last, Thy knees, we beg such hospitable fare, Or other gift, as guests are wont to obtain. Illustrious lord! respect the Gods, and us Thy suitors; suppliants are the care of Jove 310 The hospitable; he their wrongs resents And where the stranger sojourns, there is he. I ceas'd, when answer thus he, fierce, return'd. Friend! either thou art fool, or hast arrived Indeed from far, who bidd'st me fear the Gods Lest they be wroth. The Cyclops little heeds Jove AEgis-arm'd, or all the Pow'rs of heav'n. Our race is mightier far; nor shall myself, Through fear of Jove's hostility, abstain From thee or thine, unless my choice be such. 320 But tell me now. Where touch'd thy gallant bark Our country, on thy first arrival here? Remote or nigh? for I would learn the truth. So spake he, tempting me; but, artful, thus I answer'd, penetrating his intent. My vessel, Neptune, Shaker of the shores, At yonder utmost promontory dash'd In pieces, hurling her against the rocks With winds that blew right thither from the sea, And I, with these alone, escaped alive. 330 So I, to whom, relentless, answer none He deign'd, but, with his arms extended, sprang Toward my people, of whom seizing two At once, like whelps against his cavern-floor He dash'd them, and their brains spread on the ground. These, piece-meal hewn, for supper he prepared, And, like a mountain-lion, neither flesh Nor entrails left, nor yet their marrowy bones. We, viewing that tremendous sight, upraised Our hands to Jove, all hope and courage lost. 340 When thus the Cyclops had with human flesh Fill'd his capacious belly, and had quaff'd Much undiluted milk, among his flocks Out-stretch'd immense, he press'd his cavern-floor. Me, then, my courage prompted to approach The monster with my sword drawn from the sheath, And to transfix him where the vitals wrap The liver; but maturer thoughts forbad. For so, we also had incurred a death Tremendous, wanting pow'r to thrust aside 350 The rocky mass that closed his cavern-mouth By force of hand alone. Thus many a sigh Heaving, we watch'd the dawn. But when, at length, Aurora, day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd Look'd forth, then, kindling fire, his flocks he milk'd In order, and her yeanling kid or lamb Thrust under each. When thus he had perform'd His wonted task, two seizing, as before, He slew them for his next obscene regale. His dinner ended, from the cave he drove 360 His fatted flocks abroad, moving with ease That pond'rous barrier, and replacing it As he had only closed a quiver's lid. Then, hissing them along, he drove his flocks Toward the mountain, and me left, the while, Deep ruminating how I best might take Vengeance, and by the aid of Pallas win Deathless renown. This counsel pleas'd me most. Beside the sheep-cote lay a massy club Hewn by the Cyclops from an olive stock, 370 Green, but which dried, should serve him for a staff. To us consid'ring it, that staff appear'd Tall as the mast of a huge trading bark, Impell'd by twenty rowers o'er the Deep. Such seem'd its length to us, and such its bulk. Part amputating, (an whole fathom's length) I gave my men that portion, with command To shave it smooth. They smooth'd it, and myself, Shaping its blunt extremity to a point, Season'd it in the fire; then cov'ring close 380 The weapon, hid it under litter'd straw, For much lay scatter'd on the cavern-floor. And now I bade my people cast the lot Who of us all should take the pointed brand, And grind it in his eye when next he slept. The lots were cast, and four were chosen, those Whom most I wish'd, and I was chosen fifth. At even-tide he came, his fleecy flocks Pasturing homeward, and compell'd them all Into his cavern, leaving none abroad, 390 Either through some surmise, or so inclined By influence, haply, of the Gods themselves. The huge rock pull'd into its place again At the cave's mouth, he, sitting, milk'd his sheep And goats in order, and her kid or lamb Thrust under each; thus, all his work dispatch'd, Two more he seiz'd, and to his supper fell. I then, approaching to him, thus address'd The Cyclops, holding in my hands a cup Of ivy-wood, well-charg'd with ruddy wine. 400 Lo, Cyclops! this is wine. Take this and drink After thy meal of man's flesh. Taste and learn What precious liquor our lost vessel bore. I brought it hither, purposing to make Libation to thee, if to pity inclined Thou would'st dismiss us home. But, ah, thy rage Is insupportable! thou cruel one! Who, thinkest thou, of all mankind, henceforth Will visit thee, guilty of such excess? I ceas'd. He took and drank, and hugely pleas'd[33] 410 With that delicious bev'rage, thus enquir'd. Give me again, and spare not. Tell me, too, Thy name, incontinent, that I may make Requital, gratifying also thee With somewhat to thy taste. We Cyclops own A bounteous soil, which yields us also wine From clusters large, nourish'd by show'rs from Jove; But this—this is from above—a stream Of nectar and ambrosia, all divine! He ended, and received a second draught, 420 Like measure. Thrice I bore it to his hand, And, foolish, thrice he drank. But when the fumes Began to play around the Cyclops' brain, With show of amity I thus replied. Cyclops! thou hast my noble name enquired, Which I will tell thee. Give me, in return, The promised boon, some hospitable pledge. My name is Outis,[34] Outis I am call'd At home, abroad; wherever I am known. So I; to whom he, savage, thus replied. 430 Outis, when I have eaten all his friends, Shall be my last regale. Be that thy boon. He spake, and, downward sway'd, fell resupine, With his huge neck aslant. All-conqu'ring sleep Soon seized him. From his gullet gush'd the wine With human morsels mingled, many a blast Sonorous issuing from his glutted maw. Then, thrusting far the spike of olive-wood Into the embers glowing on the hearth, I heated it, and cheer'd my friends, the while, 440 Lest any should, through fear, shrink from his part. But when that stake of olive-wood, though green, Should soon have flamed, for it was glowing hot, I bore it to his side. Then all my aids Around me gather'd, and the Gods infused Heroic fortitude into our hearts. They, seizing the hot stake rasp'd to a point, Bored his eye with it, and myself, advanced To a superior stand, twirled it about. As when a shipwright with his wimble bores 450 Tough oaken timber, placed on either side Below, his fellow-artists strain the thong Alternate, and the restless iron spins, So, grasping hard the stake pointed with fire, We twirl'd it in his eye; the bubbling blood Boil'd round about the brand; his pupil sent A scalding vapour forth that sing'd his brow, And all his eye-roots crackled in the flame. As when the smith an hatchet or large axe Temp'ring with skill, plunges the hissing blade 460 Deep in cold water, (whence the strength of steel) So hiss'd his eye around the olive-wood. The howling monster with his outcry fill'd The hollow rock, and I, with all my aids, Fled terrified. He, plucking forth the spike From his burnt socket, mad with anguish, cast The implement all bloody far away. Then, bellowing, he sounded forth the name Of ev'ry Cyclops dwelling in the caves Around him, on the wind-swept mountain-tops; 470 They, at his cry flocking from ev'ry part, Circled his den, and of his ail enquired. What grievous hurt hath caused thee, Polypheme! Thus yelling to alarm the peaceful ear Of night, and break our slumbers? Fear'st thou lest Some mortal man drive off thy flocks? or fear'st Thyself to die by cunning or by force? Them answer'd, then, Polypheme from his cave. Oh, friends! I die! and Outis gives the blow. To whom with accents wing'd his friends without. 480 If no man[35] harm thee, but thou art alone, And sickness feel'st, it is the stroke of Jove, And thou must bear it; yet invoke for aid Thy father Neptune, Sovereign of the floods. So saying, they went, and in my heart I laugh'd That by the fiction only of a name, Slight stratagem! I had deceived them all. Then groan'd the Cyclops wrung with pain and grief, And, fumbling, with stretch'd hands, removed the rock From his cave's mouth, which done, he sat him down 490 Spreading his arms athwart the pass, to stop Our egress with his flocks abroad; so dull, It seems, he held me, and so ill-advised. I, pondering what means might fittest prove To save from instant death, (if save I might) My people and myself, to ev'ry shift Inclined, and various counsels framed, as one Who strove for life, conscious of woe at hand. To me, thus meditating, this appear'd The likeliest course. The rams well-thriven were, 500 Thick-fleeced, full-sized, with wool of sable hue. These, silently, with osier twigs on which The Cyclops, hideous monster, slept, I bound, Three in one leash; the intermediate rams Bore each a man, whom the exterior two Preserved, concealing him on either side. Thus each was borne by three, and I, at last, The curl'd back seizing of a ram, (for one I had reserv'd far stateliest of them all) Slipp'd underneath his belly, and both hands 510 Enfolding fast in his exub'rant fleece, Clung ceaseless to him as I lay supine. We, thus disposed, waited with many a sigh The sacred dawn; but when, at length, aris'n, Aurora, day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd Again appear'd, the males of all his flocks Rush'd forth to pasture, and, meantime, unmilk'd, The wethers bleated, by the load distress'd Of udders overcharged. Their master, rack'd With pain intolerable, handled yet 520 The backs of all, inquisitive, as they stood, But, gross of intellect, suspicion none Conceiv'd of men beneath their bodies bound. And now (none left beside) the ram approach'd With his own wool burthen'd, and with myself, Whom many a fear molested. Polypheme The giant stroak'd him as he sat, and said, My darling ram! why latest of the flock Com'st thou, whom never, heretofore, my sheep Could leave behind, but stalking at their head, 530 Thou first was wont to crop the tender grass, First to arrive at the clear stream, and first With ready will to seek my sheep-cote here At evening; but, thy practice chang'd, thou com'st, Now last of all. Feel'st thou regret, my ram! Of thy poor master's eye, by a vile wretch Bored out, who overcame me first with wine, And by a crew of vagabonds accurs'd, Followers of Outis, whose escape from death Shall not be made to-day? Ah! that thy heart 540 Were as my own, and that distinct as I Thou could'st articulate, so should'st thou tell, Where hidden, he eludes my furious wrath. Then, dash'd against the floor his spatter'd brain Should fly, and I should lighter feel my harm From Outis, wretch base-named and nothing-worth. So saying, he left him to pursue the flock. When, thus drawn forth, we had, at length, escaped Few paces from the cavern and the court, First, quitting my own ram, I loos'd my friends, 550 Then, turning seaward many a thriven ewe Sharp-hoof'd, we drove them swiftly to the ship. Thrice welcome to our faithful friends we came From death escaped, but much they mourn'd the dead. I suffer'd not their tears, but silent shook My brows, by signs commanding them to lift The sheep on board, and instant plow the main. They, quick embarking, on the benches sat Well ranged, and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood; But distant now such length as a loud voice 560 May reach, I hail'd with taunts the Cyclops' ear. Cyclops! when thou devouredst in thy cave With brutal force my followers, thou devour'dst The followers of no timid Chief, or base, Vengeance was sure to recompense that deed Atrocious. Monster! who wast not afraid To eat the guest shelter'd beneath thy roof! Therefore the Gods have well requited thee. I ended; he, exasp'rate, raged the more, And rending from its hold a mountain-top, 570 Hurl'd it toward us; at our vessel's stern Down came the mass, nigh sweeping in its fall The rudder's head. The ocean at the plunge Of that huge rock, high on its refluent flood Heav'd, irresistible, the ship to land. I seizing, quick, our longest pole on board, Back thrust her from the coast and by a nod In silence given, bade my companions ply Strenuous their oars, that so we might escape. Procumbent,[36] each obey'd, and when, the flood 580 Cleaving, we twice that distance had obtain'd,[37] Again I hail'd the Cyclops; but my friends Earnest dissuaded me on ev'ry side. Ah, rash Ulysses! why with taunts provoke The savage more, who hath this moment hurl'd A weapon, such as heav'd the ship again To land, where death seem'd certain to us all? For had he heard a cry, or but the voice Of one man speaking, he had all our heads With some sharp rock, and all our timbers crush'd 590 Together, such vast force is in his arm. So they, but my courageous heart remain'd Unmoved, and thus again, incensed, I spake. Cyclops! should any mortal man inquire To whom thy shameful loss of sight thou ow'st, Say, to Ulysses, city-waster Chief, Laertes' son, native of Ithaca. I ceas'd, and with a groan thus he replied. Ah me! an antient oracle I feel Accomplish'd. Here abode a prophet erst, 600 A man of noblest form, and in his art Unrivall'd, Telemus Eurymedes. He, prophesying to the Cyclops-race, Grew old among us, and presaged my loss Of sight, in future, by Ulysses' hand. I therefore watch'd for the arrival here, Always, of some great Chief, for stature, bulk And beauty prais'd, and cloath'd with wond'rous might. But now—a dwarf, a thing impalpable, A shadow, overcame me first by wine, 610 Then quench'd my sight. Come hither, O my guest! Return, Ulysses! hospitable cheer Awaits thee, and my pray'rs I will prefer To glorious Neptune for thy prosp'rous course; For I am Neptune's offspring, and the God Is proud to be my Sire; he, if he please, And he alone can heal me; none beside Of Pow'rs immortal, or of men below. He spake, to whom I answer thus return'd. I would that of thy life and soul amerced, 620 I could as sure dismiss thee down to Hell, As none shall heal thine eye—not even He. So I; then pray'd the Cyclops to his Sire With hands uprais'd towards the starry heav'n. Hear, Earth-encircler Neptune, azure-hair'd! If I indeed am thine, and if thou boast Thyself my father, grant that never more Ulysses, leveller of hostile tow'rs, Laertes' son, of Ithaca the fair, Behold his native home! but if his fate 630 Decree him yet to see his friends, his house, His native country, let him deep distress'd Return and late, all his companions lost, Indebted for a ship to foreign aid, And let affliction meet him at his door. He spake, and Ocean's sov'reign heard his pray'r. Then lifting from the shore a stone of size Far more enormous, o'er his head he whirl'd The rock, and his immeasurable force Exerting all, dismiss'd it. Close behind 640 The ship, nor distant from the rudder's head, Down came the mass. The ocean at the plunge Of such a weight, high on its refluent flood Tumultuous, heaved the bark well nigh to land. But when we reach'd the isle where we had left Our num'rous barks, and where my people sat Watching with ceaseless sorrow our return, We thrust our vessel to the sandy shore, Then disembark'd, and of the Cyclops' sheep Gave equal share to all. To me alone 650 My fellow-voyagers the ram consign'd In distribution, my peculiar meed. Him, therefore, to cloud-girt Saturnian Jove I offer'd on the shore, burning his thighs In sacrifice; but Jove my hallow'd rites Reck'd not, destruction purposing to all My barks, and all my followers o'er the Deep. Thus, feasting largely, on the shore we sat Till even-tide, and quaffing gen'rous wine; But when day fail'd, and night o'ershadow'd all, 660 Then, on the shore we slept; and when again Aurora rosy daughter of the Dawn, Look'd forth, my people, anxious, I enjoin'd To climb their barks, and cast the hawsers loose. They all obedient, took their seats on board Well-ranged, and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood. Thus, 'scaping narrowly, we roam'd the Deep With aching hearts and with diminish'd crews.


[32] So the Scholium interprets in this place, the word hyperthialos.

[33] Linos

[34] Clarke, who has preserved this name in his marginal version, contends strenuously, and with great reason, that Outis ought not to be translated, and in a passage which he quotes from the Acta eruditorum, we see much fault found with Giphanius and other interpreters of Homer for having translated it. It is certain that in Homer the word is declined not as outis-tinos which signifies no man, but as outis-tidos making outin in the accusative, consequently as a proper name. It is sufficient that the ambiguity was such as to deceive the friends of the Cyclops. Outis is said by some (perhaps absurdly) to have been a name given to Ulysses on account of his having larger ears than common.

[35] Outis, as a name could only denote him who bore it; but as a noun, it signifies no man, which accounts sufficiently for the ludicrous mistake of his brethren.

[36] propesontes ———Olli certamine summo Procumbunt.


[37] The seeming incongruity of this line with line 560, is reconciled by supposing that Ulysses exerted his voice, naturally loud, in an extraordinary manner on this second occasion. See Clarke.



Ulysses, in pursuit of his narrative, relates his arrival at the island of AEolus, his departure thence, and the unhappy occasion of his return thither. The monarch of the winds dismisses him at last with much asperity. He next tells of his arrival among the Laestrygonians, by whom his whole fleet, together with their crews, are destroyed, his own ship and crew excepted. Thence he is driven to the island of Circe. By her the half of his people are transformed into swine. Assisted by Mercury, he resists her enchantments himself, and prevails with the Goddess to recover them to their former shape. In consequence of Circe's instructions, after having spent a complete year in her palace, he prepares for a voyage to the infernal regions.

We came to the AEolian isle; there dwells AEolus, son of Hippotas, belov'd By the Immortals, in an isle afloat. A brazen wall impregnable on all sides Girds it, and smooth its rocky coast ascends. His children, in his own fair palace born, Are twelve; six daughters, and six blooming sons. He gave his daughters to his sons to wife; They with their father hold perpetual feast And with their royal mother, still supplied 10 With dainties numberless; the sounding dome Is fill'd with sav'ry odours all the day, And with their consorts chaste at night they sleep On stateliest couches with rich arras spread. Their city and their splendid courts we reach'd. A month complete he, friendly, at his board Regaled me, and enquiry made minute Of Ilium's fall, of the Achaian fleet, And of our voyage thence. I told him all. But now, desirous to embark again, 20 I ask'd dismission home, which he approved, And well provided for my prosp'rous course. He gave me, furnish'd by a bullock slay'd In his ninth year, a bag; ev'ry rude blast Which from its bottom turns the Deep, that bag Imprison'd held; for him Saturnian Jove Hath officed arbiter of all the winds, To rouse their force or calm them, at his will. He gave me them on board my bark, so bound With silver twine that not a breath escaped, 30 Then order'd gentle Zephyrus to fill Our sails propitious. Order vain, alas! So fatal proved the folly of my friends. Nine days continual, night and day we sail'd, And on the tenth my native land appear'd. Not far remote my Ithacans I saw Fires kindling on the coast; but me with toil Worn, and with watching, gentle sleep subdued; For constant I had ruled the helm, nor giv'n That charge to any, fearful of delay. 40 Then, in close conference combined, my crew Each other thus bespake—He carries home Silver and gold from AEolus received, Offspring of Hippotas, illustrious Chief— And thus a mariner the rest harangued. Ye Gods! what city or what land soe'er Ulysses visits, how is he belov'd By all, and honour'd! many precious spoils He homeward bears from Troy; but we return, (We who the self-same voyage have perform'd) 50 With empty hands. Now also he hath gain'd This pledge of friendship from the King of winds. But come—be quick—search we the bag, and learn What stores of gold and silver it contains. So he, whose mischievous advice prevailed. They loos'd the bag; forth issued all the winds, And, caught by tempests o'er the billowy waste, Weeping they flew, far, far from Ithaca. I then, awaking, in my noble mind Stood doubtful, whether from my vessel's side 60 Immersed to perish in the flood, or calm To endure my sorrows, and content to live. I calm endured them; but around my head Winding my mantle, lay'd me down below, While adverse blasts bore all my fleet again To the AEolian isle; then groan'd my people. We disembark'd and drew fresh water there, And my companions, at their galley's sides All seated, took repast; short meal we made, When, with an herald and a chosen friend, 70 I sought once more the hall of AEolus. Him banqueting with all his sons we found, And with his spouse; we ent'ring, on the floor Of his wide portal sat, whom they amazed Beheld, and of our coming thus enquired. Return'd? Ulysses! by what adverse Pow'r Repuls'd hast thou arrived? we sent thee hence Well-fitted forth to reach thy native isle, Thy palace, or what place soe'er thou would'st. So they—to whom, heart-broken, I replied. 80 My worthless crew have wrong'd me, nor alone My worthless crew, but sleep ill-timed, as much. Yet heal, O friends, my hurt; the pow'r is yours! So I their favour woo'd. Mute sat the sons, But thus their father answer'd. Hence—be gone— Leave this our isle, thou most obnoxious wretch Of all mankind. I should, myself, transgress, Receiving here, and giving conduct hence To one detested by the Gods as thou. Away—for hated by the Gods thou com'st. 90 So saying, he sent me from his palace forth, Groaning profound; thence, therefore, o'er the Deep We still proceeded sorrowful, our force Exhausting ceaseless at the toilsome oar, And, through our own imprudence, hopeless now Of other furth'rance to our native isle. Six days we navigated, day and night, The briny flood, and on the seventh reach'd The city erst by Lamus built sublime, Proud Laestrygonia, with the distant gates. 100 The herdsman, there, driving his cattle home,[38] Summons the shepherd with his flocks abroad. The sleepless there might double wages earn, Attending, now, the herds, now, tending sheep, For the night-pastures, and the pastures grazed By day, close border, both, the city-walls. To that illustrious port we came, by rocks Uninterrupted flank'd on either side Of tow'ring height, while prominent the shores And bold, converging at the haven's mouth 110 Leave narrow pass. We push'd our galleys in, Then moor'd them side by side; for never surge There lifts its head, or great or small, but clear We found, and motionless, the shelter'd flood. Myself alone, staying my bark without, Secured her well with hawsers to a rock At the land's point, then climb'd the rugged steep, And spying stood the country. Labours none Of men or oxen in the land appear'd, Nor aught beside saw we, but from the earth 120 Smoke rising; therefore of my friends I sent Before me two, adding an herald third, To learn what race of men that country fed. Departing, they an even track pursued Made by the waggons bringing timber down From the high mountains to the town below. Before the town a virgin bearing forth Her ew'r they met, daughter of him who ruled The Laestrygonian race, Antiphatas. Descending from the gate, she sought the fount 130 Artacia; for their custom was to draw From that pure fountain for the city's use. Approaching they accosted her, and ask'd What King reign'd there, and over whom he reign'd. She gave them soon to know where stood sublime The palace of her Sire; no sooner they The palace enter'd, than within they found, In size resembling an huge mountain-top, A woman, whom they shudder'd to behold. She forth from council summon'd quick her spouse 140 Antiphatas, who teeming came with thoughts Of carnage, and, arriving, seized at once A Greecian, whom, next moment, he devoured. With headlong terrour the surviving two Fled to the ships. Then sent Antiphatas His voice through all the town, and on all sides, Hearing that cry, the Laestrygonians flock'd Numberless, and in size resembling more The giants than mankind. They from the rocks Cast down into our fleet enormous stones, 150 A strong man's burthen each; dire din arose Of shatter'd galleys and of dying men, Whom spear'd like fishes to their home they bore, A loathsome prey. While them within the port They slaughter'd, I, (the faulchion at my side Drawn forth) cut loose the hawser of my ship, And all my crew enjoin'd with bosoms laid Prone on their oars, to fly the threaten'd woe. They, dreading instant death tugg'd resupine Together, and the galley from beneath 160 Those beetling[39] rocks into the open sea Shot gladly; but the rest all perish'd there. Proceeding thence, we sigh'd, and roamed the waves, Glad that we lived, but sorrowing for the slain. We came to the AEaean isle; there dwelt The awful Circe, Goddess amber-hair'd, Deep-skill'd in magic song, sister by birth Of the all-wise AEaetes; them the Sun, Bright luminary of the world, begat On Perse, daughter of Oceanus. 170 Our vessel there, noiseless, we push'd to land Within a spacious haven, thither led By some celestial Pow'r. We disembark'd, And on the coast two days and nights entire Extended lay, worn with long toil, and each The victim of his heart-devouring woes. Then, with my spear and with my faulchion arm'd, I left the ship to climb with hasty steps An airy height, thence, hoping to espie Some works of man, or hear, perchance, a voice. 180 Exalted on a rough rock's craggy point I stood, and on the distant plain, beheld Smoke which from Circe's palace through the gloom Of trees and thickets rose. That smoke discern'd, I ponder'd next if thither I should haste, Seeking intelligence. Long time I mused, But chose at last, as my discreter course, To seek the sea-beach and my bark again, And, when my crew had eaten, to dispatch Before me, others, who should first enquire. 190 But, ere I yet had reach'd my gallant bark, Some God with pity viewing me alone In that untrodden solitude, sent forth An antler'd stag, full-sized, into my path. His woodland pastures left, he sought the stream, For he was thirsty, and already parch'd By the sun's heat. Him issuing from his haunt, Sheer through the back beneath his middle spine, I wounded, and the lance sprang forth beyond. Moaning he fell, and in the dust expired. 200 Then, treading on his breathless trunk, I pluck'd My weapon forth, which leaving there reclined, I tore away the osiers with my hands And fallows green, and to a fathom's length Twisting the gather'd twigs into a band, Bound fast the feet of my enormous prey, And, flinging him athwart my neck, repair'd Toward my sable bark, propp'd on my lance, Which now to carry shoulder'd as before Surpass'd my pow'r, so bulky was the load. 210 Arriving at the ship, there I let fall My burthen, and with pleasant speech and kind, Man after man addressing, cheer'd my crew. My friends! we suffer much, but shall not seek The shades, ere yet our destined hour arrive. Behold a feast! and we have wine on board— Pine not with needless famine! rise and eat. I spake; they readily obey'd, and each Issuing at my word abroad, beside The galley stood, admiring, as he lay, 220 The stag, for of no common bulk was he. At length, their eyes gratified to the full With that glad spectacle, they laved their hands, And preparation made of noble cheer. That day complete, till set of sun, we spent Feasting deliciously without restraint, And quaffing generous wine; but when the sun Went down, and darkness overshadow'd all, Extended, then, on Ocean's bank we lay; And when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, 230 Look'd rosy forth, convening all my crew To council, I arose, and thus began. My fellow-voyagers, however worn With num'rous hardships, hear! for neither West Know ye, nor East, where rises, or where sets The all-enlight'ning sun. But let us think, If thought perchance may profit us, of which Small hope I see; for when I lately climb'd Yon craggy rock, plainly I could discern The land encompass'd by the boundless Deep. 240 The isle is flat, and in the midst I saw Dun smoke ascending from an oaken bow'r. So I, whom hearing, they all courage lost, And at remembrance of Antiphatas The Laestrygonian, and the Cyclops' deeds, Ferocious feeder on the flesh of man, Mourn'd loud and wept, but tears could nought avail. Then numb'ring man by man, I parted them In equal portions, and assign'd a Chief To either band, myself to these, to those 250 Godlike Eurylochus. This done, we cast The lots into the helmet, and at once Forth sprang the lot of bold Eurylochus. He went, and with him of my people march'd Twenty and two, all weeping; nor ourselves Wept less, at separation from our friends. Low in a vale, but on an open spot, They found the splendid house of Circe, built With hewn and polish'd stones; compass'd she dwelt By lions on all sides and mountain-wolves 260 Tamed by herself with drugs of noxious pow'rs. Nor were they mischievous, but as my friends Approach'd, arising on their hinder feet, Paw'd them in blandishment, and wagg'd the tail. As, when from feast he rises, dogs around Their master fawn, accustom'd to receive The sop conciliatory from his hand, Around my people, so, those talon'd wolves And lions fawn'd. They, terrified, that troop Of savage monsters horrible beheld. 270 And now, before the Goddess' gates arrived, They heard the voice of Circe singing sweet Within, while, busied at the loom, she wove An ample web immortal, such a work Transparent, graceful, and of bright design As hands of Goddesses alone produce. Thus then Polites, Prince of men, the friend Highest in my esteem, the rest bespake. Ye hear the voice, comrades, of one who weaves An ample web within, and at her task 280 So sweetly chaunts that all the marble floor Re-echoes; human be she or divine I doubt, but let us call, that we may learn. He ceas'd; they call'd; soon issuing at the sound, The Goddess open'd wide her splendid gates, And bade them in; they, heedless, all complied, All save Eurylochus, who fear'd a snare. She, introducing them, conducted each To a bright throne, then gave them Pramnian wine, With grated cheese, pure meal, and honey new, 290 But medicated with her pois'nous drugs Their food, that in oblivion they might lose The wish of home. She gave them, and they drank,— When, smiting each with her enchanting wand, She shut them in her sties. In head, in voice, In body, and in bristles they became All swine, yet intellected as before, And at her hand were dieted alone With acorns, chestnuts, and the cornel-fruit, Food grateful ever to the grovelling swine. 300 Back flew Eurylochus toward the ship, To tell the woeful tale; struggling to speak, Yet speechless, there he stood, his heart transfixt With anguish, and his eyes deluged with tears. Me boding terrours occupied. At length, When, gazing on him, all had oft enquired, He thus rehearsed to us the dreadful change. Renown'd Ulysses! as thou bad'st, we went Through yonder oaks; there, bosom'd in a vale, But built conspicuous on a swelling knoll 310 With polish'd rock, we found a stately dome. Within, some Goddess or some woman wove An ample web, carolling sweet the while. They call'd aloud; she, issuing at the voice, Unfolded, soon, her splendid portals wide, And bade them in. Heedless they enter'd, all, But I remain'd, suspicious of a snare. Ere long the whole band vanish'd, none I saw Thenceforth, though, seated there, long time I watch'd. He ended; I my studded faulchion huge 320 Athwart my shoulder cast, and seized my bow, Then bade him lead me thither by the way Himself had gone; but with both hands my knees He clasp'd, and in wing'd accents sad exclaim'd. My King! ah lead me not unwilling back, But leave me here; for confident I judge That neither thou wilt bring another thence, Nor come thyself again. Haste—fly we swift With these, for we, at least, may yet escape. So he, to whom this answer I return'd. 330 Eurylochus! abiding here, eat thou And drink thy fill beside the sable bark; I go; necessity forbids my stay. So saying, I left the galley and the shore. But ere that awful vale ent'ring, I reach'd The palace of the sorceress, a God Met me, the bearer of the golden wand, Hermes. He seem'd a stripling in his prime, His cheeks cloath'd only with their earliest down, For youth is then most graceful; fast he lock'd 340 His hand in mine, and thus, familiar, spake. Unhappy! whither, wand'ring o'er the hills, Stranger to all this region, and alone, Go'st thou? Thy people—they within the walls Are shut of Circe, where as swine close-pent She keeps them. Comest thou to set them free? I tell thee, never wilt thou thence return Thyself, but wilt be prison'd with the rest. Yet hearken—I will disappoint her wiles, And will preserve thee. Take this precious drug; 350 Possessing this, enter the Goddess' house Boldly, for it shall save thy life from harm. Lo! I reveal to thee the cruel arts Of Circe; learn them. She will mix for thee A potion, and will also drug thy food With noxious herbs; but she shall not prevail By all her pow'r to change thee; for the force Superior of this noble plant, my gift, Shall baffle her. Hear still what I advise. When she shall smite thee with her slender rod, 360 With faulchion drawn and with death-threat'ning looks Rush on her; she will bid thee to her bed Affrighted; then beware. Decline not thou Her love, that she may both release thy friends, And may with kindness entertain thyself. But force her swear the dreaded oath of heav'n That she will other mischief none devise Against thee, lest she strip thee of thy might, And, quenching all thy virtue, make thee vile. So spake the Argicide, and from the earth 370 That plant extracting, placed it in my hand, Then taught me all its pow'rs. Black was the root, Milk-white the blossom; Moly is its name In heav'n; not easily by mortal man Dug forth, but all is easy to the Gods. Then, Hermes through the island-woods repair'd To heav'n, and I to Circe's dread abode, In gloomy musings busied as I went. Within the vestibule arrived, where dwelt The beauteous Goddess, staying there my steps, 380 I call'd aloud; she heard me, and at once Issuing, threw her splendid portals wide, And bade me in. I follow'd, heart-distress'd. Leading me by the hand to a bright throne With argent studs embellish'd, and beneath Footstool'd magnificent, she made me sit. Then mingling for me in a golden cup My bev'rage, she infused a drug, intent On mischief; but when I had drunk the draught Unchanged, she smote me with her wand, and said. 390 Hence—seek the sty. There wallow with thy friends. She spake; I drawing from beside my thigh My faulchion keen, with death-denouncing looks Rush'd on her; she with a shrill scream of fear Ran under my rais'd arm, seized fast my knees, And in wing'd accents plaintive thus began. Who? whence? thy city and thy birth declare. Amazed I see thee with that potion drench'd, Yet uninchanted; never man before Once pass'd it through his lips, and liv'd the same; 400 But in thy breast a mind inhabits, proof Against all charms. Come then—I know thee well. Thou art Ulysses artifice-renown'd, Of whose arrival here in his return From Ilium, Hermes of the golden wand Was ever wont to tell me. Sheath again Thy sword, and let us, on my bed reclined, Mutual embrace, that we may trust thenceforth Each other, without jealousy or fear. The Goddess spake, to whom I thus replied. 410 O Circe! canst thou bid me meek become And gentle, who beneath thy roof detain'st My fellow-voyagers transform'd to swine? And, fearing my escape, invit'st thou me Into thy bed, with fraudulent pretext Of love, that there, enfeebling by thy arts My noble spirit, thou may'st make me vile? No—trust me—never will I share thy bed Till first, O Goddess, thou consent to swear The dread all-binding oath, that other harm 420 Against myself thou wilt imagine none. I spake. She swearing as I bade, renounced All evil purpose, and (her solemn oath Concluded) I ascended, next, her bed Magnificent. Meantime, four graceful nymphs Attended on the service of the house, Her menials, from the fountains sprung and groves, And from the sacred streams that seek the sea. Of these, one cast fine linen on the thrones, Which, next, with purple arras rich she spread; 430 Another placed before the gorgeous seats Bright tables, and set on baskets of gold. The third, an argent beaker fill'd with wine Delicious, which in golden cups she served; The fourth brought water, which she warm'd within An ample vase, and when the simm'ring flood Sang in the tripod, led me to a bath, And laved me with the pleasant stream profuse Pour'd o'er my neck and body, till my limbs Refresh'd, all sense of lassitude resign'd. 440 When she had bathed me, and with limpid oil Anointed me, and cloathed me in a vest And mantle, next, she led me to a throne Of royal state, with silver studs emboss'd, And footstool'd soft beneath; then came a nymph With golden ewer charged and silver bowl, Who pour'd pure water on my hands, and placed The polish'd board before me, which with food Various, selected from her present stores, The cat'ress spread, then, courteous, bade me eat. 450 But me it pleas'd not; with far other thoughts My spirit teem'd, on vengeance more intent. Soon, then, as Circe mark'd me on my seat Fast-rooted, sullen, nor with outstretch'd hands Deigning to touch the banquet, she approach'd, And in wing'd accents suasive thus began. Why sits Ulysses like the Dumb, dark thoughts His only food? loaths he the touch of meat, And taste of wine? Thou fear'st, as I perceive, Some other snare, but idle is that fear, 460 For I have sworn the inviolable oath. She ceas'd, to whom this answer I return'd. How can I eat? what virtuous man and just, O Circe! could endure the taste of wine Or food, till he should see his prison'd friends Once more at liberty? If then thy wish That I should eat and drink be true, produce My captive people; let us meet again. So I; then Circe, bearing in her hand Her potent rod, went forth, and op'ning wide 470 The door, drove out my people from the sty, In bulk resembling brawns of the ninth year. They stood before me; she through all the herd Proceeding, with an unctuous antidote Anointed each, and at the wholesome touch All shed the swinish bristles by the drug Dread Circe's former magic gift, produced. Restored at once to manhood, they appear'd More vig'rous far, and sightlier than before. They knew me, and with grasp affectionate 480 Hung on my hand. Tears follow'd, but of joy, And with loud cries the vaulted palace rang. Even the awful Goddess felt, herself, Compassion, and, approaching me, began. Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd! Hence to the shore, and to thy gallant bark; First, hale her safe aground, then, hiding all Your arms and treasures in the caverns, come Thyself again, and hither lead thy friends. So spake the Goddess, and my gen'rous mind 490 Persuaded; thence repairing to the beach, I sought my ship; arrived, I found my crew Lamenting miserably, and their cheeks With tears bedewing ceaseless at her side. As when the calves within some village rear'd Behold, at eve, the herd returning home From fruitful meads where they have grazed their fill, No longer in the stalls contain'd, they rush With many a frisk abroad, and, blaring oft, With one consent, all dance their dams around, 500 So they, at sight of me, dissolved in tears Of rapt'rous joy, and each his spirit felt With like affections warm'd as he had reach'd Just then his country, and his city seen, Fair Ithaca, where he was born and rear'd. Then in wing'd accents tender thus they spake. Noble Ulysses! thy appearance fills Our soul with transports, such as we should feel Arrived in safety on our native shore. Speak—say how perish'd our unhappy friends? 510 So they; to whom this answer mild I gave. Hale we our vessel first ashore, and hide In caverns all our treasures and our arms, Then, hasting hence, follow me, and ere long Ye shall behold your friends, beneath the roof Of Circe banqueting and drinking wine Abundant, for no dearth attends them there. So I; whom all with readiness obey'd, All save Eurylochus; he sought alone To stay the rest, and, eager, interposed. 520 Ah whither tend we, miserable men? Why covet ye this evil, to go down To Circe's palace? she will change us all To lions, wolves or swine, that we may guard Her palace, by necessity constrain'd. So some were pris'ners of the Cyclops erst, When, led by rash Ulysses, our lost friends Intruded needlessly into his cave, And perish'd by the folly of their Chief. He spake, whom hearing, occupied I stood 530 In self-debate, whether, my faulchion keen Forth-drawing from beside my sturdy thigh, To tumble his lopp'd head into the dust, Although he were my kinsman in the bonds Of close affinity; but all my friends As with one voice, thus gently interposed. Noble Ulysses! we will leave him here Our vessel's guard, if such be thy command, But us lead thou to Circe's dread abode. So saying, they left the galley, and set forth 540 Climbing the coast; nor would Eurylochus Beside the hollow bark remain, but join'd His comrades by my dreadful menace awed. Meantime the Goddess, busily employ'd, Bathed and refresh'd my friends with limpid oil, And clothed them. We, arriving, found them all Banqueting in the palace; there they met; These ask'd, and those rehearsed the wond'rous tale, And, the recital made, all wept aloud Till the wide dome resounded. Then approach'd 550 The graceful Goddess, and address'd me thus. Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd! Provoke ye not each other, now, to tears. I am not ignorant, myself, how dread Have been your woes both on the fishy Deep, And on the land by force of hostile pow'rs. But come—Eat now, and drink ye wine, that so Your freshen'd spirit may revive, and ye Courageous grow again, as when ye left The rugged shores of Ithaca, your home. 560 For now, through recollection, day by day, Of all your pains and toils, ye are become Spiritless, strengthless, and the taste forget Of pleasure, such have been your num'rous woes. She spake, whose invitation kind prevail'd, And won us to her will. There, then, we dwelt The year complete, fed with delicious fare Day after day, and quaffing gen'rous wine. But when (the year fulfill'd) the circling hours Their course resumed, and the successive months 570 With all their tedious days were spent, my friends, Summoning me abroad, thus greeted me. Sir! recollect thy country, if indeed The fates ordain thee to revisit safe That country, and thy own glorious abode. So they; whose admonition I receiv'd Well-pleas'd. Then, all the day, regaled we sat At Circe's board with sav'ry viands rare, And quaffing richest wine; but when, the sun Declining, darkness overshadow'd all, 580 Then, each within the dusky palace took Custom'd repose, and to the Goddess' bed Magnificent ascending, there I urged My earnest suit, which gracious she receiv'd, And in wing'd accents earnest thus I spake. O Circe! let us prove thy promise true; Dismiss us hence. My own desires, at length, Tend homeward vehement, and the desires No less of all my friends, who with complaints Unheard by thee, wear my sad heart away. 590 So I; to whom the Goddess in return. Laertes' noble son, Ulysses famed For deepest wisdom! dwell not longer here, Thou and thy followers, in my abode Reluctant; but your next must be a course Far diff'rent; hence departing, ye must seek The dreary house of Ades and of dread Persephone there to consult the Seer Theban Tiresias, prophet blind, but blest With faculties which death itself hath spared. 600 To him alone, of all the dead, Hell's Queen Gives still to prophesy, while others flit Mere forms, the shadows of what once they were. She spake, and by her words dash'd from my soul All courage; weeping on the bed I sat, Reckless of life and of the light of day. But when, with tears and rolling to and fro Satiate, I felt relief, thus I replied. O Circe! with what guide shall I perform This voyage, unperform'd by living man? 610 I spake, to whom the Goddess quick replied. Brave Laertiades! let not the fear To want a guide distress thee. Once on board, Your mast erected, and your canvas white Unfurl'd, sit thou; the breathing North shall waft Thy vessel on. But when ye shall have cross'd The broad expanse of Ocean, and shall reach The oozy shore, where grow the poplar groves And fruitless willows wan of Proserpine, Push thither through the gulphy Deep thy bark, 620 And, landing, haste to Pluto's murky abode. There, into Acheron runs not alone Dread Pyriphlegethon, but Cocytus loud, From Styx derived; there also stands a rock, At whose broad base the roaring rivers meet. There, thrusting, as I bid, thy bark ashore, O Hero! scoop the soil, op'ning a trench Ell-broad on ev'ry side; then pour around Libation consecrate to all the dead, First, milk with honey mixt, then luscious wine, 630 Then water, sprinkling, last, meal over all. Next, supplicate the unsubstantial forms Fervently of the dead, vowing to slay, (Return'd to Ithaca) in thy own house, An heifer barren yet, fairest and best Of all thy herds, and to enrich the pile With delicacies such as please the shades; But, in peculiar, to Tiresias vow A sable ram, noblest of all thy flocks. When thus thou hast propitiated with pray'r 640 All the illustrious nations of the dead, Next, thou shalt sacrifice to them a ram And sable ewe, turning the face of each Right toward Erebus, and look thyself, Meantime, askance toward the river's course. Souls num'rous, soon, of the departed dead Will thither flock; then, strenuous urge thy friends, Flaying the victims which thy ruthless steel Hath slain, to burn them, and to sooth by pray'r Illustrious Pluto and dread Proserpine. 650 While thus is done, thou seated at the foss, Faulchion in hand, chace thence the airy forms Afar, nor suffer them to approach the blood, Till with Tiresias thou have first conferr'd. Then, glorious Chief! the Prophet shall himself Appear, who will instruct thee, and thy course Delineate, measuring from place to place Thy whole return athwart the fishy flood. While thus she spake, the golden dawn arose, When, putting on me my attire, the nymph 660 Next, cloath'd herself, and girding to her waist With an embroider'd zone her snowy robe Graceful, redundant, veil'd her beauteous head. Then, ranging the wide palace, I aroused My followers, standing at the side of each— Up! sleep no longer! let us quick depart, For thus the Goddess hath, herself, advised. So I, whose early summons my brave friends With readiness obey'd. Yet even thence I brought not all my crew. There was a youth, 670 Youngest of all my train, Elpenor; one Not much in estimation for desert In arms, nor prompt in understanding more, Who overcharged with wine, and covetous Of cooler air, high on the palace-roof Of Circe slept, apart from all the rest. Awaken'd by the clamour of his friends Newly arisen, he also sprang to rise, And in his haste, forgetful where to find The deep-descending stairs, plunged through the roof. 680 With neck-bone broken from the vertebrae Outstretch'd he lay; his spirit sought the shades. Then, thus to my assembling friends I spake. Ye think, I doubt not, of an homeward course, But Circe points me to the drear abode Of Proserpine and Pluto, to consult The spirit of Tiresias, Theban seer. I ended, and the hearts of all alike Felt consternation; on the earth they sat Disconsolate, and plucking each his hair, 690 Yet profit none of all their sorrow found. But while we sought my galley on the beach With tepid tears bedewing, as we went, Our cheeks, meantime the Goddess to the shore Descending, bound within the bark a ram And sable ewe, passing us unperceived. For who hath eyes that can discern a God Going or coming, if he shun the view?

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