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Straight to the queen and palace shall I fiy,
Or yet more distant, to some lord apply ?” 550

The prince return'd: “Renown'd in days of yore
Has stood our father's hospitable door;
No other roof a stranger should receive,
Nor other hands than ours the welcome give.
But in my absence riot fills the place,

555 Nor bears the modest queen a stranger's face; From noiseful revel far remote she flies, But rarely seen, or seen with weeping eyes. No-let Eurymachus receive my guest, Of nature courteous, and by far the best ; 560 He woos the queen with more respectful flame, And emulates her former husband's fame: With what success, 'tis Jove's alone to know, And the hoped nuptials turn 10 joy or wo."

Thus speaking, on the right npsoar'd in air 665
The hawk, Apollo's swift-wing'd messenger:
His deathful pounces tore a trembling dove;
The clotted feathers, scatter'd from above,
Between the hero and the vessel pour
Thick plumage, mingled with a sanguine shower.

The observing augur took the prince aside,
Seized by the hand, and thus prophetic cried :
“ Yon bird, that dexter cuts the aerial road,
Rose ominous, nor flies without a god :
No race but thine shall Ithaca obey,

575 To thine, for ages, Heaven decrees the sway.".

“Succeed the omens, gods!” the youth rejoind; “Soon shall my bounties speak a grateful mind, And soon each envied happiness attend The man, who calls Telemachus his friend." 580 Then to Peiræus : “ Thou whom tinie has proved A faithful servant, by the prince beloved! Till we returning shall our guest demand, Accept this charge with honour, at our hand." To this Peiræus : “ Joyful I obey,

585 Well pleased the hospitable rites to pay.

571

The presence of thy guest shall best reward (If long thy stay) the absence of my lord.”

With that, their anchors he commands to weigh, Mount the tall bark, and launch into the sea. 590 All with obedient haste forsake the shores, And placed in order, spread their equal oars. Then from the deck the prince his sandals takes; Poised in his hand the pointed javelin shakes. They part; while, lessening from the hero's view, Swift io the town the well-row'd galley flew : 596 The hero trod the margin of the main, And reach'd the mansion of his faithful swain.

BOOK X V I.

ARGUMENT.

The discovery of Ulysses to Telemachus.

TELEMACHUS arriving at the lodge of Eumæus, sends him to

carry Penelope the news of his return-Minerva appearing to Ulysses, commands him to discover himself to his son The princes, who had lain in ambush to intercept Telemachus in his way, their project being defeated, return to Ithaca.

Soon as the morning blush'd along the plains,
Ulysses, and the monarch of the swains,
Awake the sleeping fires, their meal prepare,
And forth to pasture send the bristly care.
The prince's near approach the dogs descry, 5
And fawning round his feet confess their joy.
Their gentle blandishment the king surveyd,
Heard his resounding step, and instant said:
“ Some well-known friend, Eumæus, bends this

way: His steps I hear; the dogs familiar play." 10

While yet he spoke, the prince advancing drew Nigh to the lodge, and now appear'd in view. Transported from his seat Eumæus sprung, Dropp'd the full bowl, and round his bosom hung; Kissing his cheek, his hand, while from his eye 15 'The tears rain'd copious in a shower of joy. As some fond sire who ten long winters grieves, From foreign climes an only son receives, (Child of his age,) with strong paternal joy Forward he springs, and clasps the favourite boy:

So round the youth his arms Eumæus spread, 21 As if the grave had given him from the dead.

“And is it thou? my ever-dear delight! Oh art thou come to bless my longing sight! Never, I never hoped to view this day,

25 When o'er the waves you plough'd the desperate

way. Enter, my child! Beyond my hopes restored, Oh give these eyes to feast upon their lord. Enter, oh seldom seen! for lawless powers Too much detain thee from these sylvan bowers.”

The prince replied: "Eumæus, I obey; 31 To seek thee, friend, I hither took my way. But say, if in the court the queen reside Severely chaste, or if commenced a bride ?"

Thus he; and thus the monarch of the swains : 35 "Severely chaste Penelope remains; But, lost to every joy, she wastes the day In tedious cares, and weeps the night away."

He ended, and (receiving as they pass The javelin, pointed with a star of brass) 40 They reach'd the dome; the dome with marble

shined. His seat Ulysses to the prince resign'd.

Not so,” exclaims the prince with decent grace, “For me, this house shall find an humbler place: To usurp the honours due to silver hairs

45 And reverend strangers modest youth forbears.”

Instant the swain the spoils of beasts supplies, And bids the rural throne with osiers rise. There sat the prince: the feast Eumæus spread, And heap'd the shining canisters with bread. 50 Thick o'er the board the plenteous viands lay, The frugal remnants of the former day. Then in a bowl he tempers generous wines, Around whose verge a mimic ivy twines. And now, the rage of thirst and hunger ned, 55 Tbus young Ulysses to Eumæus said;

say?

“ Whence, father, from what shore this stranger, What vessel bore him o'er the watery way; To human step our land impervious lies, And round the coast circumfluent oceans rise.” 69

The swain returns: “A tale of sorrows hear: In spacious Crete he drew his natal air; Long doom'd to wander o'er the land and main, For Heaven has wove his thread of life with pain. Half breathless 'scaping to the land he flew 65 From Thresprot mariners, a murderous crew. To thee, my son, the suppliant 1 resign ; I gave him my protection, grant him thine." * Hard task," he cries, “ thy virtue gives thy

friend, Willing to aid, unable to defend.

70 Can strangers safely in the court reside, Mid the swell'd insolence of lust and pride? Ev'n I unsafe: the queen in doubt to wed, Or pay due honours to the nuptial bed ? Perhaps she weds regardless of her fame, 75 Deaf to the mighty Ulyssean name. However, stranger! from our grace receive Such honours as befit a prince to give; Sandals, a sword and robes, respect to prove, And safe to sail with ornaments of love.

80 Till then, thy guest amid the rural train, Far from the court, from danger far, detain. 'Tis mine with food the hungry to supply, And clothe the naked from the inclement sky. Here dwell in safety from the suitors' wrongs,

85 And the rude insults of ungovern'd tongues. For shouldst thou suffer, powerless to relieve, I must behold it, and can only grieve. The brave encompass'd by a hostile train, O’erpower'd by numbers, is but brave in vain.” 90

To whom, while anger in his bosom glows, With warmth replies the man of mighty woes :

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