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With flocks and herds each grassy plain is stored;
And fish of every fin thy seas afford :
Their affluent joys the grateful realms confess, 135
And bless the Power that still delights to bless.
Gracious permit this prayer, imperial dame!
Forbear to know my lineage, or my name:
Urge not this breast to heave, these eyes to weep;
In sweet oblivion let my sorrows sleep!

140
My woes awaked will violate your ear;
And to this gay censorious train appear
A winy vapour melting in a tear."

“ Their gifts the gods resumed," the queen rejoin'd, “ Exterior grace, and energy of mind;

145 When the dear partner of my nuptial joy, Auxiliar troops combined to conquer Troy. My lord's protecting hand alone would raise My drooping verdure, and extend my praise ! Peers from the distant Samian shore resort; 150 Here with Dulichians join'd, besiege the court: Zacynthus, green with ever-shady groves, And Ithaca, presumptuous boast their loves : Obtruding on my choice a second lord, They press the Hymenean rite abhorr'd.

155 Misrule thus mingling with domestic cares, I live regardless of my state affairs ; Receive no stranger guest, no poor relieve ; But ever for my lord in secret grieve ! This art, instinct by some celestial power, 160 I tried, elusive of the bridal hour: • Ye peers,' I cry, 'who press to gain a heart, Where dead Ulysses claims no future part ; Rebate your loves, each rival suit suspend, Till this funereal web my labours end :

165 Cease, till to good Laertes I bequeath A pall of state, the ornament of death. For when to fate he bows, each Grecian dame With just reproach were licensed to defame ; Should he, long honour'd in supreme command, 170 Want the last duties of a daughter's hand.'

The fiction pleased ; their loves I long elude;
The night still ravell'd what the day renewd:
Three years successful in my art conceal'd,
My ineffectual fraud the fourth reveal'd : 175
Befriended by my own domestic spies,
The woof unwrought the suitor train surprise.
From nuptial rites they now no more recede,
And fear forbids to falsify the brede.
My anxious parents urge a speedy choice, 180
And to their suffrage gain the filial voice.
For rule mature, Telemachus deplores
His dome dishonour'd, and exhausted stores.
But, stranger! as thy days seem full of fate,
Divide discourse, in turn thy birth relate:

185 Thy port asserts thee of distinguish'd race ; No poor unfather'd product of disgrace.”

“ Princess!” he cries,“ renew'd by your command, The dear remembrance of my native land, of secret grief unseals the fruitful source ; 190 And tears repeat their long-forgotten course ! So pays the wretch, whom fame constrains to roam, The dues of nature to his natal home! But inward on my soul let sorrow prey, Your sovereign will my duty bids obey.

195 6 Crete awes the circling waves, a fruitful soil ! And ninety cities crown the seaborn isle: Mix'd with her genuine sons, adopted names In various tongues avow their various claims : Cydonians, dreadful with the bended yew, 200 And bold Pelasgi boast a native's due : The Dorians, plumed amid the files of war, Her foodful glebe with fierce Achaians share; Cnossus, her capital of high command ; Where sceptred Minos with impartial hand 205 Divided right; each ninth revolving year By Jove received in council to confer. His son Deucalian bore successive sway; His son, who gave me first to view the day!

The royal bed an elder issue bless'd,

210 Idomeneus, whom Ilion's fields attest Of matchless deeds : untrain'd to martial toil I lived inglorious in my native isle, Studious of peace, and Æthon is my name. 'Twas then to Crete the great Ulysses came; 215 For elemental war, and wintry Jove, From Malea's gusty cape his navy drove To bright Lucina's fane; the shelfy coast Where loud Amnisus in the deep is lost. His vessels moor’d, (an incommodious port!) 220 The hero speeded to the Cnossian court ; Ardent the partner of his arms to find, In leagues of long-commutual friendship join'd. Vain hope ! ten suns had warm’d the western strand Since my brave brother with his Cretan band 225 Had sail'd for Troy : but to the genial feast My honour'd roof received the royal guest : Beeves for his train the Cnossian peers assign, A public treat, with jars of generous wine. Twelve days while Boreas vex'd the aerial space, My hospitable dome he deign'd to grace: 231 And when the north had ceased the stormy roar, He wing’d his voyage to the Phrygian shore.”

Thus the famed hero, perfected in wiles, With fair similitude of truth beguiles

235 The queen's attentive ear; dissolved in wo, From her bright eyes the tears unbounded flow, As snows collected on the mountain freeze; When milder regions breathe a vernal breeze, The fleecy pile obeys the whispering gales, 240 Ends in a stream, and murmurs through the vales: So, melted with the pleasing tale he told, Down her fair cheek the copious torrent roll'd ; She to her present lord laments him lost, And views that object which she wants the most! Withering at heart to see the weeping fair, 246 His eyes look stern, and cast a gloomy stare;

Of horn the stiff relentless balls appear,
Or globes of iron fix'd in either sphere ;
Firm wisdom interdicts the softening tear. 250
A speechless interval of grief ensues,
Till thus the queen the tender theme renews :

“ Stranger! that e'er thy hospitable roof Ulysses graced, confirm by faithful proof; Delineate to my view my warlike lord,

255 His form, his habit, and his train record.”

“ 'Tis hard,” he cries, “ to bring to sudden sight Ideas that have wing'd their distant flight; Rare on the mind those images are traced, Whose footsteps twenty winters have defaced : 260 But what I can, receive: In ample mode, A robe of military purple flow'd O'er all his frame : illustrious on his breast, The double-clasping gold the king confess'd. In the rich woof a hound, mosaic drawn, 265 Bore on full stretch, and seized a dappled fawn: Deep in the neck his fangs indent their hold; They pant and struggle in the moving gold. Fine as a filmy web beneath it shone A vest, that dazzled like a cloudless sun: 270 The female train who round him throng'd to gaze, In silent wonder sigh'd unwilling praise. A sabre, when the warrior press’d to part, I gave, enamell’d with Vulcanian art: A mantle purple-tinged, and radiant vest, 275 Dimension'd equal to his size, express'd Affection grateful to my honour'd guest. A favourite herald in his train I knew, His visage solemn sad, of sable hue ; Short woolly curls o'erfleeced his bending head, 280 O’er which a promontory shoulder spread; Eurybates ! in whose large soul alone Ulysses view'd an image of his own.”

His speech the tempest of her grief restored; In all he told she recognised her lord:

285

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But when the storm was spent in plenteous showers,
A pause inspiriting her languish'd powers,
“Oh thou," she cried, “ whom first inclement fate
Made welcome to my hospitable gate;
With all thy wants the name of poor shall end: 290
Henceforth live honour'd, my domestic friend!
The vest much envied on your native coast,
And regal robe with figured gold emboss'd,
In happier hours my artful hand employ'd,
When my loved lord this blissful bower enjoy’d: 295
The fall of Troy erroneous and forlorn
Doom'd to survive, and never to return!"

Then he, with pity touch'd : “ Oh royal dame!
Your ever-anxious mind, and beauteous frame,
From the devouring rage of grief reclaim. 300
I not the fondness of your soul reprove
For such a lord! who crown'd your virgin love
With the dear blessing of a fair increase ;
Himself adorn'd with more than mortal grace:
Yet while I speak, the mighty wo suspend; 305
Truth forms my tale; to pleasing truth attend.
The royal object of your dearest care
Breathes in no distant clime the vital air:
In rich Thesprotia, and the nearer bound
Of Thessaly, his name I heard renown'd: 310
Without retinue, to that friendly shore
Welcomed with gifts of price, a sumless store!
His sacrilegeous train, who dared to prey
On herds devoted to the god of day,
Were doom'd by Jove and Phæbus' just decree, 315
To perish in the rough Tinacrian sea.
To better fate the blameless chief ordain'd,
A floating fragment of the wreck regain'd,
And rode the storm; till, by the billows toss'd,
He landed on the fair Phæacian coast.

320 That race who emulate the life of gods, Receive him joyous to their bless'd abodes : Large gifts confer, a ready sail command, To speed his voyage to the Grecian strand.

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