Графични страници
PDF файл


Not so a youth who deals the goblet round, 440
Full on his shoulder it inflicts a wound:
Dash'd from his hand the sounding goblet flies,
He shrieks, he reels, he falls, and breathless lies.
Then wild uproar and clamour mount the sky,
Till mutual thus the peers indignant cry: 445

“ Oh had this stranger sunk to realms beneath, To the black realms of darkness and of death, Ere yet he trod these shores! to strife he draws Peer against peer; and what the weighty cause ? A vagabond! for him the great destroy,

450 In vile ignoble jars, the feast of joy."

To whom the stern Telemachus uprose : “ Gods! what wild folly from the goblet flows! Whence this unguarded openness of soul, But from the license of the copious bowl? 455 Or Heaven delusion sends : but hence, away! Force I forbear, and without force obey."

Silent, abash'd, they hear the stern rebuke, Till thus Amphinomus the silence broke: * True are his words, and he whom truth offends, Not with Telemachus, but truth contends : 461 Let not the hand of violence invade The reverend stranger, or the spotless maid : Retire we hence; but crown with


wine The flowing goblet to the powers divine ! 465 Guard he his guest beneath whose roof he stands : This justice, this the social rite demands.'

The peers assent; the goblet Mulius crown'd With purple juice, and bore in order round; Each peer successive his libation pours 470 To the bless'd gods who fill the aerial bowers ; Then swill’d with wine, with noise the crowds obey, And rushing forth tumultuous, reel away.

U 2



The discovery of Ulysses to Euryclea.

Ulysses and his son remove the weapons out of the armory

Ulysses, in conversation with Penelope, gives a fictitious ac, count of his adventures; then assures her he had formerly entertained her husband in Crete; and describes exactly his person and dress; affirms to have heard of him in Phæacia and Thesprotia, and that his return is certain, and within a month - He then goes to bathe, and is attended by Euryclea, who discovers him to be Ulysses by the scar on his leg, which he formerly received in hunting the wild boar on ParnassusThe poet inserts a digression, relating that accident, with all its particulars.


CONSULTING secret with the blue-eyed maid,
Still in the dome divine Ulysses staid ;
Revenge mature for act infamed his breast;
And thus the son the fervent sire address'd :

“ Instant convey those steely stores of war
To distant rooms, disposed with secret care :
The cause demanded by the suitor train,
To sooth their fears, a specious reason feign :
Say, since Ulysses left his natal coast,
Obscene with smoke, their beamy lustre lost,
His arms deform the roof they wont adorn :
From the glad walls inglorious lumber torn.
Suggest, that Jove the peaceful thought inspired,
Lest, they by sight of swords to fury fired,
Dishonest wounds, or violence of soul,
Defame the bridal feast and friendly bowl.”.

The prince obedient to the sage command,
To Euryclea thus : “ The female band



[ocr errors]

In their apartments keep; secure the doors ;
These swarthy arms among the covert stores 20
Are seemlier hid; my thoughtless youth they blame,
Imbrown'd with vapour of the smouldering flame.”

“In happy hour, pleased Euryclea cries, “ Tutor'd by early woes, grow early wise ! Inspect with sharpen'd sight, and frugal care, 25 Your patrimonial wealth, a prudent heir. But who the lighted taper will provide (The female train retired) your toils to guide ?"

“Without infringing hospitable right, This guest,” he cried, “ shall bear the guiding light : I cheer no lazy vagrants with repast;

31 They share the meal that earn it ere they taste.”

He said ; from female ken she straight secures The purposed deed, and guards the bolted doors : Auxiliar to his son, Ulysses bears

35 The plumy-crested helms and pointed spears, With shields indented deep in glorious wars. Minerva viewless on her charge attends, And with her golden lamp his toil befriends. Not such the sickly beams, which insincere 40 Gild the gross vapour of this nether sphere ! A present deity the prince confess'd, And rapt with ecstasy the sire address'd:

What miracle thus dazzles with surprise ! Distinct in rows the radiant columns rise : 45 The walls, where'er my wondering sight I turn, And roofs, amid a blaze of glory burn! Some visitant of pure ethereal race With his bright presence deigns the dome to grace.”

“ Be calm,” replies the sire ; " to none impart, 50 But oft revolve the vision in thy heart: Celestials, mantled in excess of light, Can visit unapproach'd by mortal sight. Seek thou repose ; while here I sole remain, To explore the conduct of the female train: The pensive queen, perchance, desires to know The series of my toils, to sooth her wo.”


With tapers flaming day his train attends, His bright alcove the

obsequious youth ascends : Soft slumbering shades his drooping eyelids close, Till on her eastern throne Aurora glows.

61 While, forming plans of death, Ulysses staid, In council secret with the martial maid ; Attendant nymphs in beauteous order wait The queen, descending from her bower of state. 65 Her cheeks the warmer blush of Venus wear, Chasten'd with coy Diana's pensive air. An ivory seat with silver ringlets graced, By famed Icmalius wrought, the menials placed : With ivory silver'd thick the footstool shone, 70 O'er which the panther's various hide was thrown. The sovereign seat with graceful air she press'd ; To different tasks the toil their nymphs address’d: The golden goblets some, and some restored From stains of luxury the polish'd board: 75 These to remove the expiring embers came, While those with unctuous fir foment the flame.

'Twas then Melantho with imperious mien Renew'd the attack, incontinent of spleen:

Avaunt," she cried, “ offensive to my sight! 80 Deem not in ambush here to lurk by night, Into the woman state asquint to pry; A day devourer, and an evening spy ! Vagrant, begone! before this blazing brand Shall urge;" and wav'd it hissing in her hand. 85

The insulted hero rolls his wrathful eyes, And, “Why so turbulent of soul ?” he cries; “ Can these lean shrivell'd limbs unnerved with age, These poor but honest rags, enkindle rage ? In crowds, we wear the badge of hungry fate ; 90 And beg, degraded from superior state! Constrain'd a rent-charge on the rich I live; Reduced to crave the good I once could give : A palace, wealth, and slaves, I late possess'd, And all that makes the great be call'd the bless'd: 95


My gate, an emblem of my open soul,
Embraced the poor, and dealt a bounteous dole.
Scorn not the sad reverse, injurious maid !
'Tis Jove's high will, and be his will obey'd'
Nor think thyself exempt : that rosy prime 100
Must share the general doom of withering time:
To some new channel soon the changeful tide
Of royal grace the offended queen may guide;
And her loved lord unplume thy towering pride.
Or were he dead, 'tis wisdom to beware : 105
Sweet blooms the prince beneath Apollo's care ;
Your deeds with quick impartial eye surveys,
Potent to punish what he cannot praise.
Her keen reproach had reach'd the sovereign's

“ Loquacious insolent !" she cries, “ forbear:

110 To thee the purpose of my soul I told; Venial discourse, unblamed, with him to hold; The storied labours of my wandering lord, To sooth my grief he haply may record : Yet him, my guest, thy venom'd rage hath stung: Thy head shall pay the forfeit of thy tongue ! 116 But thou on whom my palace cares depend, Eurynome, regard the stranger friend : A seat soft spread with furry spoils, prepare; Due distant for us both to speak, and hear." 120

The menial fair obeys with duteous haste:
A seat adorn'd with furry spoils she placed :
Due distant for discourse the hero sat;
When thus the sovereign from her chair of state :
“Reveal, obsequious to my first demand, 125
Thy name, thy lineage, and thy natal land.”
He thus : “Oh queen! whose far-resounding

Is bounded only by the starry frame,
Consummate pattern of imperial sway,
Whose pious rule a warlike race obey !
In wavy gold thy summer vales are dress'd;
Thy autumns bend with copious fruit oppress’d;


« ПредишнаНапред »