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Sudden she lightens in their dazzled eyes,
And sudden flames in every bosom rise;
They send their eager souls with every look,
Till silence thus the imperial matron broke :

“Oh why, my son, why now no more appears 255
That warmth of soul that urged thy younger years ?
Thy riper days no growing worth impart,
A man in stature, still a boy in heart!
Thy well-knit frame unprofitably strong,
Speaks thee a hero, from a hero sprung: 260
But the just gods in vain those gifts bestow,
Oh wise alone in form, and brave in show!
Heavens! could a stranger feel oppression's hand
Beneath thy roof, and couldst thou tamely stand?
If thou the stranger's righteous cause decline, 265
His is the sufferance, but the shame is thine.”

To whom, with filial awe, the prince returns: “ That generous soul with just resentment burns; Yet, taught by time, my heart has learn'd to glow For others' good, and melt for others' wo: 270 But, impotent these riots to repel, I bear their outrage, though my soul rebel ; Helpless amid the snares of death I tread, And numbers leagued in impious union dread; But now no crime is theirs, this wrong proceeds 275 From Irus, and the guilty Irus bleeds. Oh would to Jove ! or her whose arms display The shield of Jove, or him who rules the day! That yon proud suitors, who licentious tread These courts, within these courts like Irus bled: 280 Whose loose head tottering, as with wine oppress'd, Obliquely drops, and nodding knocks his breast; Powerless to move, his staggering feet deny The coward wretch the privilege to fly."

Then to the queen Eurymachus replies: 285 “ Oh justly loved, and not more fair than wise! Should Greece through all her hundred states survey Thy finish'd charms, all Greece would own thy sway,

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In rival crowds contest the glorious prize,
Dispeopling realms to gaze upon thy eyes : 290
Oh woman! loveliest of the lovely kind,
In body perfect, and complete in mind.”
“Ah me," returns the queen, “when from this

Ulysses sail'd, then beauty was no more!
The gods decreed these eyes no more should keep
Their wonted grace, but only serve to weep.

296 Should he return, whate'er my beauties prove, My virtues last, my brightest charm is love. Now, grief, thou all art mine! the gods o'ercast My soul with woes, that long, ah long must last! 300 Too faithfully my heart retains the day That sadly tore my royal lord away ; He grasp'd my hand, and, Oh my spouse ! I leave Thy arms,' he cried, perhaps to find a grave: Fame speaks the Trojans bold; they boast the skill To give the feather'd arrow wings to kill, 306 To dart the spear, and guide the rushing car With dreadful inroad through the walks of war. My sentence is gone forth, and 'tis decreed Perhaps by righteous Heaven that I must bleed! 310 My father, mother, all I trust to thee: To them, to them transfer the love of me: But, when my son grows man, the royal sway Resign, and happy be thy bridal day! Such were his words; and Hymen now prepares 315 To light his torch, and give me up to cares ; The afflictive hand of wrathful Jove to bear : A wretch the most complete that breathes the air! Fall'n ev'n below the rights to woman due ! Careless to please, with insolence ye woo!

320 The generous lovers, studious to succeed, Bid their whole herds and flocks in banquets bleed : By precious gifts the vow sincere display: You, only you, make her ye love your prey.".

Well pleased Ulysses hears his queen deceive 325 The suitor train, and raise a thirst to give :


False hopes she kindles, but those hopes betray,
And promise, yet elude, the bridal day.

While yet she speaks, the gay Antinous cries, “ Offspring of kings, and more than woman wise! 330 'Tis right; 'tis man's prerogative to give, And custom bids thee without shame receive; Yet never, never from thy dome we move Till Hymen lights the torch of spousal love."

The peers despatch'd their heralds to convey 335 The gifts of love; with speed they take the way. A robe Antinous gives of shining dies, The varying hues in gay confusion rise Rich from the artist's hand! Twelve clasps of gold Close to the lessening waist the vest infold! 340 Down from the swelling loins the vest unbound Floats in bright waves redundant o'er the ground. A bracelet rich with gold, with amber gay, That shot effulgence like the solar ray, Eurymachus presents: and ear-rings bright, 345 With triple stars, that cast a trembling light. Pisander bears a necklace wrought with art:

eer, expressive of his heart, A gift bestows: this done, the queen ascends, And slow behind her damsel train attends. 350

Then to the dance they form the vocal strain, Till Hesperus leads forth the starry train ; And now he raises, as the daylight fades, His golden circlet in the deepening shades : Three vases heap'd with copious fires display 355 O'er all the palace a fictitious day; From space to space the torch wide-beaming burns, And sprightly damsels trim the rays by turns.

To whom the king: “ Ill suits your sex to stay Alone with men! ye modest maids, away! 360 Go, with the queen the spindle guide ; or cull (The partners of her cares) the silver wool; Be it my task the torches to supply Ev'n till the morning lamp adorns the sky;

And every

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Ev'n till the morning, with unwearied care, 365
Sleepless I watch; for I have learn’d to bear.”

Scornful they heard : Melantho, fair and young, (Melantho, from the loins of Dolius

Who with the queen her years an infant led,
With the soft fondness of a daughter bred.) 370
Chiefly derides : regardless of the cares
Her queen endures, polluted joys she shares
Nocturnal with Eurymachus; with eyes
That speak disdain, the wanton thus replies:

“Oh! whither wanders thy distemper'd brain, 375
Thou bold intruder on a princely train ?
Hence to the vagrants' rendezvous repair;
Or shun in some black forge the midnight air.
Proceeds this boldness from a turn of soul,
Or flows licentious from the copious bowl ? 380
Is it that vanquish'd Irus swells thy mind?
A foe may meet thee of a braver kind,
Who, shortening with a storm of blows thy stay,
Shall send thee howling all in blood away!"

To whom with frowns : " Oh impudent in wrong!
Thy lord shall curb that insolence of tongue;

Know, to Telemachus I tell the offence;
The scourge, the scourge shall lash thee into sense."

With conscious shame they hear the stern rebuke,
Nor longer durst sustain the sovereign look. 390
Then to the servile task the monarch turns
His royal hands : each torch refulgent burns
With added day: meanwhile in useful mood,
Absorbed in thought, on vengeance fix'd he stood.
And now the martial maid, by deeper wrongs 395
To rouse Ulysses, points the suitors' tongues :
Scornful of age, to taunt the virtuous man,
Thoughtless and gay, Eurymachus began.

“Hear me,” he cries, “confederates and friends ;
Some god, no doubt, this stranger kindly sends ; 400
The shining baldness of his head survey,
It aids our torchlight, and reflects the ray."


Then to the king that levell’d haughty Troy: Say, if large hire can tempt thee to employ Those hands in work; to tend the rural trade, 405 To dress the walk, and form the imbowering shade? So food and raiment constant will I give : But idly thus thy soul prefers to live, And starve by strolling, not by work to thrive." To whom incensed : “Should we, oh prince, engage

410 In rival tasks beneath the burning rage Of summer suns; were both constrain'd to wield Foodless the scythe along the burden'd field; Or should we labour while the ploughshare wounds, With steers of equal strength, the allotted grounds; Beneath my labours, how thy wondering eyes 416 Might see the sable field at once arise ! Should Jove dire war unloose, with spear and shield, And nodding helm, I tread the ensanguined field, Fierce in the van: then wouldst thou, wouldst thousay

420 Misname me glutton, in that glorious day? No, thy ill-judging thoughts the brave disgrace; 'Tis thou injurious art, not I am base. Proud to seem brave among a coward train ! But know, thou art not valorous, but vain. 425 Gods! should the stern Ulysses rise in might, These gates would seem

too narrow for thy flight." While yet he speaks, Eurymachus replies, With indignation flashing from his eyes :

“ Slave! I with justice might deserve the wrong, Should I not punish that opprobrious tongue, 431 Irreverent to the great, and uncontroll’d, Art thou from wine, or innate folly, bold? Perhaps, these outrages from Irus flow, A worthless triumph o'er a worthless foe !" 435

He said, and with full force a footstool threw; Whirl'd from his arm, with erring rage it flew; Ulysses, cautious of the vengeful foe, Stoops to the ground, and disappoints the blow.


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