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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 sprung, 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 ; 386 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.
He said, and with full force a footstool threw;
Not so a youth who deals the goblet round, 440
“Oh had this stranger sunk to realms beneath,
To whom the stern Telemachus uprose :
Silent, abash'd, they hear the stern rebuke,
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.
The discovery of Ulysses to Euryclea.
ULYSSES and his son remove the weapons out of the armory
L'lysses, in conversation with Penelope, gives a fictitious account 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 PamassusThe poet inserts a digression, relating that accident, with all its particulars.
CONSULTING secret with the blue-eyed maid,
“ Instant convey those steely stores of war 5
15 Defame the bridal feast and friendly bowl."
The prince obedient to the sage command, To Euryclea thus: “The female band
In their apartments keep; secure the doors ;
“In happy hour, pleased Euryclea cries, $6 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 confessid, 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 : 55 The pensive queen, perchance, desires to know The series of my toils, to sooth her wo.”