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Each favourite fowl he pounced with deathful sway,
645 This said, the pleasing feathered omen ceased. When from the downy bands of sleep released, Fast by the limpid lake my swanlike train I found, insatiate of the golden grain."
“ The vision self-explain'd,” the chief replies, 650 "Sincere reveals the sanction of the skies: Ulysses ks his own return decreed; And by his sword the suitors sure to bleed.”
“ Hard is the task, and rare," the queen rejoin'd, "Impending destinies in dreams to find:
655 Immured within the silent bower of sleep, To portals firm the various phantoms keep: Of ivory one; whence flit, to mock the brain, Of winged lies a light fantastic train : The gate opposed pellucid valves adorn,
660 And columns fair incased with polish'd horn: Where images of truth for passage wait, With visions manifest of future fate. Not to this troop, I fear, that phantom soar'd, Which spoke Ulysses to this realm restored:
665 Delusive semblance! but my remnant life Heaven shall determine in a gameful strife : With that famed bow Ulysses taught to bend, For me the rival archers shall contend.
As on the listed field he used to place
670 Six beams, opposed to six in equal space : Elanced afar by his unerring art, Sure through six circlets flew the whizzing dart. So, when the sun restores the purple day, Their strength and skill the suitors shall assay: 675 To him the spousal honour is decreed, Who through the rings directs the feather'd reed. Torn from these walls, (where long the kinder
powers With joy and pomp have wing'd my youthful hours !) On this poor breast no dawn of bliss shall beam; The pleasure past supplies a copious theme 680 For many a dreary thought, and many a doleful
dream!” Propose the sportive lot,” the chief replies, “Nor dread to name yourself the bowyer's prize: Ulysses will surprise the unfinish'd game 685 Avow'd, and falsify the suitors' claim.” To whom with grace serene the queen rejoin'd: “ In all thy speech what pleasing force I find ! O'er my suspended wo thy words prevail; I part reluctant from the pleasing tale.
690 But Heaven, that knows what all.terrestrials need, Repose to night, and toil to day decreed; Grateful vicissitude! yet me withdrawn, Wakeful to weep and watch the tardy dawn Establish'd use enjoins; to rest and joy
695 Estranged, since dear Ulysses sail'd to Troy! Meantime instructed is the menial tribe Your couch to fashion as yourself prescribe.”
Thus affable, her bower the queen ascends; The sovereign step a beauteous train attends : 700 There naged to her soul Ulysses rose; Down her pale cheek new streaming sorrow flows: Till soft oblivious shade Minerva spread, And o'er her eyes ambrosial slumber shed.
While Ulysses lies in the vestibule of the palace he is wit
ness to the disorders of the women-Minerva comforts him, and casts him asleep-At his waking he desires a favourable sign from Jupiter, which is granted—The feast of Apollo is celebrated by the people, and the suitors banquet in the palace-Telemachus exerts his authority among them; notwithstanding which, Ulyssés is insulted by Ctesippus, and the rest continue in their excesses-Strange prodigies are seen by Theoclymenus the augur, who explains them to the destruction of the wooers.
An ample hide divine Ulysses spread,
As thus pavilion'd in the porch he lay,
20 HoM.-IH –
And bays the stranger groom: so wrath compress'd
Thus anchored safe on reason's peaceful coast, Tempests of wrath his soul no longer toss'd; 30 Restless his budy rolls, to rage resign'd: As one who long with pale-eyed famine pined, The savoury çates on glowing embers cast Incessant turns, impatient for repast: Ulysses so, from side to side devolved,
35 In self-debate the suitors' dooin resolved. When, in the form of mortal nymph array'd, From heaven descends the Jove-born martial maid; And hovering o'er his head in view confess'd, The goddess thus her favourite care address'd : 40
“Oh thou, of mortals most inured to woes! Why roll those eyes unfriended of repose ? Beneath thy palace roof forget thy care; Bless'd in thy queen! bless'd in thy blooming heir! Whom, to the gods when suppliant fathers bow, 45 They nanie the standard of their dearest vow."
“Just is thy kind reproach,” the chief rejoin'd, “ Deeds full of fate distract my various mind, In contemplation wrapp'd. This hostile crew What single arm hath prowess to subdue ? 50 Or if, by Jove's and thy auxiliar aid, They're doom'd to bleed; oh say, celestial maid ! Where shall Ulysses shun, or how sustain Nations embattled to revenge the slain ?"
“Oh impotence of faith !" Minerva cries, 55 “ If man on frail unknowing man relies, Doubt you the gods? Lo, Pallas' self descends, Inspires thy counsels, and thy toils attends.
In me affianced, fortify thy breast,
Not so the queen: the downy bands of sleep By grief relax’d, she waked again to weep: A gloomy pause ensued of dumb despair; 70 Then thus her fate invoked with fervent prayer:
“ Diana! speed thy deathful ebon dart, And cure the pangs of this convulsive heart. Snatch me, ye whirlwinds ! far from human race, Toss'd through the void illimitable space : 75 Or if dismounted from the rapid cloud, Me with his whelming wave let ocean shroud! So, Pandarus, thy hopes, three orphan fair, Were doom'd to wander through the devious air ; Thyself untimely, and thy consort died,
80 But four celestials both your cares supplied. Venus in tender delicacy rears With honey, milk, and wine, their infant years: Imperial Juno to their youth assign'd A form majestic and sagacious mind :
85 With shapely growth Diana graced their bloom; And Pallas taught the texture of the loom. But while, to learn their lots in nuptial love, Bright Cytherea sought the bower of Jove, (The god supreme, to whose eternal eye
90 The registers of fate expanded lie,) Wing'd harpies snatch the unguarded charge away, And to the furies bore a grateful prey. Be such my lot! Or thou, Diana, speed Thy shast, and send me joyful to the dead : 95 To seek my lord among the warrior train, Ere second vows my bridal faith profane,