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Great are thy wrongs, and much hast thou sustain'd
All, all the treasures that enrich'd our throne
75 'Tis you that offer, and I scorn them all ; Your blood is my demand, your lives the prize, Till pale as yonder wretch each suitor lies. Hence with those coward terms; or fight or fly; This choice is left you, to resist or die :
80 And die I trust ye shall.” He sternly spoke: With guilty fears the pale assembly shook. Alone Eurymachus exhorts the train : “ Yon archer, comrades, will not shoot in vain ; But from the threshold shall his darts be sped, 85 (Whoe'er he be,) till every prince lie dead! Be mindful of yourselves, draw forth your swords, And to his shafts obtend these ample boards : (So need compels.) Then, all united strive The bold invader from his post to drive ;
90 The city roused shall to our rescue haste, And this mad archer soon have shot his last.”
Swift as he spoke, he drew his traitor sword, And like a lion rush'd against his lord ; The wary chief the rushing foe repress'd, 95 Who met the point and forced it in his breast :
His falling hand deserts the listed sword,
120 In arms attend us, and their part sustain."
“ Haste, and return,” Ulysses made reply, "While yet the auxiliar shafts this hand supply ; Lest thus alone, encounter'd by a host, Driven from the gate, the important pass be lost.”
With speed Telemachus obeys, and flies 126 Where piled in heaps the royal armour lies: Four brazen helmets, eight refulgent spears, And four broad bucklers to his sire he bears: At once in brazen panoply they shone,
130 At once each servant braced his armour on; Around their king a faithful guard they stand, While yet each shaft flew deathful from his hand : Chief after chief expired at every wound, And swell’d the bleeding mountain on the ground.
Soon as his store of flying fates was spent, 136
There stood a window near, whence looking down
145 The cautious king, with all-preventing care, To guard that outlet, placed Eumæus there: When Agelaus thus : “ Has none the sense To mount yon window, and alarm from thence The neighbour town? the town shall force the door, And this bold archer soon shall shoot no more." 151
Melanthius then : “ That outlet to the gate So near adjoins, that one may guard the strait. But other methods of defence remain; Myself with arms can furnish all the train; 155 Stores from the royal magazine I bring, And their own darts shall pierce the prince and
king.” He said; and mounting up the lofty stairs, Twelve shields, twelve lances, and twelve helmets
bears : All arm, and sudden round the hall appears 160 A blaze of bucklers, and a wood of spears.
The hero stands oppress'd with mighty wo, On every side he sees the labour grow : “ Oh cursed event! and oh unlook'd-for aid ! Melanthius or the women have betray'd- 165 Oh my dear son !" the father with a sigh, Then ceased; the filial virtue made reply:
6. Falsehood is folly, and 'tis just to own Thy fault committed : this was mine alone ; My haste neglected yonder door to bar,
170 And hence the villain has supplied their war.
Run, good Eumæus, then, and (what before
While yet they spoke, in quest of arms again
“The miscreant we suspected takes that way; 180
“ Not so," replied Ulysses; “ leave him there, For us sufficient is another care :
185 Within the structure of this palace wall To keep enclosed his masters till they fall. Go you, and seize the felon; backward bind His arms and legs, and fix a plank behind ; On this his body by strong cords extend, 190 And on a column near the roof suspend; So studied tortures his vile days shall end."
The ready swains obey'd with joyful haste, Behind the felon unperceived they pass’d, As round the room in quest of arms he goes: 195 (The half-shut door conceal'd his lurking foes :) One hand sustain'd a helm, and one the shield Which old Laertes wont in youth to wield, Cover'd with dust, with dryness chapp'd and worn, The brass corroded, and the leather torn. 200 Thus laden, o'er the threshold as he stepp'd, Fierce on the villain from each side they leap'd, Back by the hair the trembling dastard drew, And down reluctant on the pavement threw. Active and pleased the zealous swains fulfil 205 At every point their master's rigid will : First, fast behind, his hands and feet they bound, Then straiten'd cords involved his body round; So drawn aloft, athwart the column tied, The howling felon swung from side to side, 210 Eumæus scoffing then with keen disdain: “ There pass thy pleasing night, oh gentle swain ! On that soft pillow, from that envied height, First mayst thou see the springing dawn of light; So timely rise, when morning streaks the east, 215 To drive thy victims to the suitors' feast."
This said, they left him, tortured as he lay, Secured the door, and hasty strode away : Each, breathing death, resumed his dangerous post Near great Ulysses; four against a host.
220 When lo? descending to her hero's aid, Jove's daughter Pallas, war's triumphant maid: In Mentor's friendly form she joind his side ; Ulysses saw, and thus with transport cried :
Come, ever welcome, and thy succour lend ; 225 Oh every sacred name in one! my friend! Early we loved, and long our loves have grown; Whate'er through life's whole series I have done Or good, or grateful, now to mind recall, And, aiding this one hour, repay it all.”
230 Thus he; but pleasing hopes his bosom warm Of Pallas latent in the friendly form. The adverse host the phantom warrior eyed, And first, loud threatening Agelaus cried :
“ Mentor, beware, nor let that tongue persuade 235 Thy frantic arm to lend Ulysses aid; Our force successful shall our threat make good, And with the sire and son's commix thy blood. What hopest thou here? Thee first the sword shall
slay, Then lop thy whole posterity away;
240 Far hence thy banish'd consort shall we send; With his, thy forfeit lands and treasures blend ; Thus, and thus only, shalt thou join thy friend."
His barbarous insult ev'n the goddess fires, Who thus the warrior to revenge inspires : 245 “ Art thou Ulysses? where then shall we find The patient body and the constant mind ?