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BOOK. X V.

ARGUMENT.

The Return of Telemachus.

The goddess Minerva commands Telemachus in a vision to re

turn to Ithaca-Pisistratus and he take leave of Menelaus, ani arrive at Pylos, where they part ; and Telemachus sets sail, after having received on board Theoclymenus the soothsayer

- The scene then changes to the cottage of Eumæus, who entertains Ulysses with a recital of his adventures—In the mean time Telemachus arrives on the coast, and sending the vessel to the town, proceeds by himself to the lodge of Eu. mæus.

Now had Minerva reach'd those ample plains,
Famed for the ce, where Menelaus reigns ;
Anxious she flies to great Ulysses' heir,
His instant voyage challenged all her care,
Beneath the royal portico display'd,

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With Nestor's son Telemachus was laid ;
In sleep pşofound the son of Nestor lies;
Not thine, Ulysses !-Care unseald his eyes :
Restless he grieved, with various fears oppress'd,
And all thy fortunes rollid within his breast, 10
" When, oh Telemachus !" the goddess said,
“ Too long in vain, too widely hast thou stray'd,
Thus leaving careless thy paternal right
The robbers' prize, the prey to lawless might.
On fond pursuits neglectful while you roam, 15
Ev'n now the hand of rapine sacks the dome.
Hence to 4.trides ; and his leave implore
To launch thy vessel for thy natal shore ;

Fly, while thy mother virtuous yet withstands
Her kindred's wishes, and her sire's commands: 20
Through both, Eurymachus pursues the dame,
And with the noblest gifts asserts his claim.
Hence therefore, while thy stores thy own remain ;
Thou know'st the practice of the female train,
Lost in the children of the present spouse,

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They slight the pledges of their former vows;
Their love is always with the lover pass'd ;
Still the succeeding flame expels the last.
Let o'er thy house some chosen maid preside,
Till Heaven decrees to bless thee in a bride. 30
But now thy more attentive ears incline,
Observe the warnings of a power divine ;
For thee their snares the suitor lords shall lay
In Samos' sands, or straits of Ithaca;
To seize thy life shall lurk the murderous band, 35
Ere yet thy footsteps press thy native land.
No: sooner far their riot and their lust
All-covering earth shall bury deep in dust!
Then distant from the scatter'd islands steer,
Nor let the night retard thy full career:

40 Thy heavenly guardian shall instruct the gales To smooth thy passage and supply thy sails : And when at Ithaca thy labour ends, Send to the town the vessel with thy friends ; But seek thou first the master of the swine; 45 (For still to thee his loyal thoughts incline ;) There pass the night: while he his course pursues To bring Penelope the wish'd-for news, That thou, safe sailing from the Pylian strand, Art come to bless her in thy native land." 50

Thus spoke the goddess, and resumed her flight To the pure regions of eternal light. Meanwhile Pisistratus he gently shakes, And with these words the slumbering youth awakes : Rise, son of Nestor ; for the road prepare,

55 And join the harness'd coursers to the car."

“What cause," he cried,“ can justify our flight To tempt the dangers of forbidding night? Here wait we rather, till approaching day Shall prompt our speed, and point the ready way. 60 Nor think of flight before the Spartan king Shall bid farewell, and bounteous presents bring; Gifts, which to distant ages safely stored, The sacred act of friendship shall record.”.

Thus he. But when the dawn bestreak'd the east, The king from Helen rose, and sought his guest. 68 As soon as his approach the hero knew, The splendid mantle round him first he threw, Then o'er his ample shoulders whirl'd the cloak, Respectful met the monarch, and bespoke : 70

“Hail, great Atrides, favour'd of high Jove! Let not thy friends in vain for license move. Swift let us measure back the watery way, Nor check our speed, impatient of delay."

“If with desire so strong thy bosom glows, 775 111,” said the king, “should I thy wish oppose : For oft in others freely I reprove The ill-timed efforts of officious love; Who love too much, hate in the like extreme, And both the golden mean alike condemn. 80 Alike he thwarts the hospitable end, Who drives the free, or stays the hasty friend : True friendship’s laws are by this rule expressid, Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest, Yet stay, my friends, and in your chariot take 85 The noblest presents that our love can make; Meantime commit we to our women's care Some choice domestic viands to prepare ; The traveller, rising from the banquet gay, Eludes the labours of the tedious way.

90 Then if a wider course shall rather please Through spacious Argos and the realms of Greece, Atrides in his chariot shall attend, Himself thy convoy to each royal friend.

No prince will let Ulysses' heir remove

95 Without some pledge, some monument of love : These will the caldron, these the tripod give, From those the well-pair'd mules we shall receive, Or bowl emboss'd whose golden figures live.” 99

To whom the youth, for prudence famed, replied: “Oh monarch, care of Heaven! thy people's pride ! No friend in Ithaca my place supplies, No powerful hands are there, no watchful eyes: My stores exposed and fenceless house demand The speediest succour from my guardian hand; 105 Lest in a search too anxious and too vain Of one lost joy, I loose what yet remain."

His purpose when the generous warrior heard, He charged the household cates to be prepared. Now with the dawn from his adjoining home, 110 Was Boethæedes Eteoneus come; Swift as the word he forms the rising blaze, And o'er the coals the smoking, fragments lays. Meantime the king, his son, and Helen, went 114 Where the rich wardrobe breathed a costly scent. The king selected from the glittering rows A bowl ; the prince a silver beaker chose. The beauteous queen revolved with careful eyes Her various textures of unnumber'd dies, And chose the largest; with no vulgar art 120 Her own fair hands embroider'd every part : Beneath the rest it lay divinely bright, Like radiant Hesper o'er the gems of night. Then with each gift they hastend to their guest, And thus the king Ulysses' heir address'd : 125 “Since fix'd are thy resolves, may thundering Jove With happiest omens thy desires approve ! The silver bowl, whose costly margins shine Enchased with gold, this valued gist be thine; To me this present, of Vulcanian frame,

130 From Sidon's hospitable monarch came; To thee we now consign the precious load. The pride of kings, and labour of a god."

Then gave the cup, while Megapenthe brought The silver vase with living sculpture wrought. 135 The beauteous queen, advancing next, display'd The shining veil, and thus endearing said:

Accept, dear youth, this monument of love, Long since, in better days, by Helen wove: Safe in thy mother's care the vesture lay, 140 To deck thy bride, and grace thy nuptial day. Meantime mayst thou with happiest speed regain Thy stately palace, and thy wide domain."

She said, and gave the veil; with grateful look The prince the variegated present took.

145 And now, when through the royal dome they pass'd, High on a throne the king each stranger placed. A golden ewer the attendant damsel brings, Replete with water from the crystal springs; With copious streams the shining vase supplies 150 A silver laver of capacious size. They wash. The tables in fair order spread, The glittering canisters are crown'd with bread; Viands of various kinds allure the taste, Of choicest sort and savour; rich repast ! 155 While Eteoneus portions out the shares, Atride's son the purple draught prepares. And now, each sated with the genial feast, And the short rage of thirst and hunger ceased, Ulysses' son, with his illustrious friend,

160 The horses join, the polished car ascend. Along the court the fiery steeds rebound, And the wide portal echoes to the sound. The king precedes ; a bowl with fragrant wine (Libation destined to the powers divine)

165 His right hand held : before the steeds he stands, Then, mix'd with prayers, he utters these commands:

“ Farewell, and prosper, youths ! let Nestor know What grateful thoughts still in this bosom glow, For all the proofs of his paternal care,

170 Through the long dangers of the ten years' war.”

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