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Where the gay blooming nymph constrain'd his stay,
With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay;
And promised, vainly promised, to bestow
Immortal life, exempt from age and wo:
How saved from storms Phæacia's coast he trod,
By great Alcinous honour'd as a god,
366 Who gave him last his country to behold, With change of raiment, brass, and heaps of gold.
He ended, sinking into sleep, and shares A sweet forgetfulness of all his cares.
370 Soon as soft slumber eased the toils of day, Minerva rushes through the aerial way, And bids Aurora with her golden wheels Flame from the ocean o'er the western hills; Up rose Ulysses from the genial bed,
375 And thus with thought mature the monarch said :
My queen, my consort! through a length of years We drank the cup of sorrow mix'd with tears ; Thou, for thy lord: while me the immortal powers Detain'd reluctant from my native shores. 380 Now, bless'd again by Heaven, the queen display, And rule our palace with an equal sway. Be it my care, by loans, or martial toils, To throng my empty folds with gifts or spoils. But now I haste to bless Laertes' eyes
385 With sight of his Ulysses ere he dies; The good old man, to wasting woes a prey, Weeps a sad life in solitude away. But hear, though wise! This morning shall unfold The deathful scene, on heroes heroes roll'd. 390 Thou with thy maids within the palace stay, From all the scene of tumult far away!"
He spoke, and sheath'd in arms incessant flies To wake his son, and bid his friends arise. “ To arms !" aloud he cries : his friends obey, 395 With glittering arms their manly limbs array, And pass the city gate; Ulysses leads the way. Now flames the rosy dawn, but Pallas shrouds The latent warriors in a veil of clouds.
THE souls of the suitors are conducted by Mercury to the in
fernal shades--Ulysses in the country goes to the retirement of his father Laertes; he finds him in his garden all alone : the manner of his discovery to him is beautifully describedThey return together to his lodge, and the king is acknowledged by Dolius and the servants-The Ithacensians, led by Eupithes, the father of Antinous, rise against Ulysses, who gives them battle, in which Eupithes is killed by Laertes ; and the goddess Pallas makes a lasting peace between Vlys. ses and his subjects, which concludes the Odyssey.
CYLLENIUS now to Pluto's dreary reign
Conveys the dead, a lamentable train!
The golden wand, that causes sleep to fly,
Or in soft slumber seals the wakeful eye,
That drives the ghosts to realms of night or day, 5
Points out the long uncomfortable way.
Trembling the spectres glide, and plaintive vent
Thin, hollow screams, along the deep descent.
As in the cavern of some rifted den,
Where flock nocturnal bats, and birds obscene: 10
Cluster'd they hang, till at some sudden shock
They move, and murmurs run through all the rock!
So cowering fled the sable heaps of ghosts,
And such a scream fill'd all the dismal coasts.
And now they reach'd the earth's remotest ends, 15
And now the gates where evening Sol descends,
And Leucas' rock, and ocean's utmost streams,
And now pervade the dusky land of dreams,
And rest at last, where souls unbodied dwell
In ever-flowering meads of asphodel.
The empty forms of men inhabit there,
Impassive semblance, images of air !
Naught else are all that shined on earth before ;
Ajax and great Achilles are no more!
Yet still a master ghost, the rest he awed,
The rest adored him, towering as he trod;
Still at his side is Nestor's son survey'd,
And loved Patroclus still attends his shade.
New as they were to that infernal shore,
The suitors stopp'd, and gazed the hero o'er. 30
When, moving slow, the regal form they view'd
Of great Atrides : him in pomp pursued
And solemn sadness through the gloom of hell,
The train of those who by Ægysthus fell.
“ Oh mighty chief !” Pelides thus began, 35 “ Honour'd by Jove above the lot of man! King of a hundred kings! to whom resign'd The strongest, bravest, greatest of mankind, Comest thou the first, to view this dreary state? And was the noblest, the first mark of fate, 40 Condemn'd to pay the great arrear so soon, The lot, which all lament, and none can shun! Oh! better hadst thou sunk in Trojan ground, With all thy full-blown honours cover'd round; Then grateful Greece with streaming eyes might raise
45 Historic marbles to record thy praise: Thy praise eternal on the faithful stone Had with transmissive glories graced thy son. But heavier fates were destined to attend : What man is happy, till he knows his end !" 50
“Oh son of Peleus! greater than mankind !" Thus Agamemnon's kingly shade rejoin'd; “Thrice happy thou, to press the martial plain Mid heaps of heroes in thy quarrel slain : In clouds of smoke raised by the noble fray, 55 Great and terrific ev'n in death you lay, And deluges of blood flow'd round you every way.
Nor ceased the strife till Jove himself opposed,
And all in tempests the dire evening closed.
Then to the fleet we bore thy honour'd load, 60
And decent on the funeral bed bestow'd :
Then unguents sweet and tepid streams we shed;
Tears flow'd from every eye, and o'er the dead
Each clipp'd the curling honours of his head.
Struck at the news, thy azure mother came : 65
The sea-green sisters waited on the dame :
A voice of loud lament through all the main
Was heard ; and terror seized the Grecian train :
Back to their ships the frighted host had fled;
But Nestor spoke, they listen'd and obey'd. 70
(From old experience Nestor's counsel springs,
And long vicissitudes of human things.)
Forbear your flight: fair Thetis from the main
To mourn Achilles leads her azure train.'
Around thee stand the daughters of the deep,
Robe thee in heavenly vests, and round thee weep;
Round thee, the muses, with alternate strain,
In ever-consecrating verse, complain.
Each warlike Greek the moving music hears,
And iron-hearted heroes melt in tears.
Till seventeen nights and seventeen days return'd,
All that was mortal or immortal mourn'd.
To flames we gave thee, the succeeding day,
And fatted sheep, and sable oxen slay ;
With oils and honey blaze the augmented fires, 85
And, like a god adorn'd, thy earthly part expires.
Unnumber'd warriors round the burning pile
Urge the fleet courser's or the racer's toil;
Thick clouds of dust o'er all the circle rise,
And the mix'd clamour thunders in the skies. 90
Soon as absorb'd in all embracing flame
Sunk what was mortal of thy mighty name,
We then collect thy snowy bones, and place
With wines and unguents in a golden vase:
(The vase to Thetis Bacchus gave of old, 95
Ànd Vulcan's art enrich'd the sculptured gold.)
There we thy relics, great Achilles ! blend
With dear Patroclus, thy departed friend:
In the same urn a separate space contains
Thy next beloved, Antilochus' remains.
Now all the sons of warlike Greece surround
Thy destined tomb, and cast a mighty mound:
High on the shore the growing hill we raise,
That wide the extended Hellespont surveys ;
Where all, from age to age, who pass the coast, 105
May point Achilles' tomb, and hail the mighty ghost.
Thetis herself to all our peers proclaims
Heroic prizes and exequial games;
The gods assented; and around thee lay
Rich spoils and gifts that blazed against the day. 110
Oft have I seen with solemn funeral games
Heroes and kings committed to the fames;
But strength of youth, or valour of the brave,
With nobler contest ne'er renown'd a grave.
Such were the games by azure Thetis given, 115
And such thy honours, oh beloved of Heaven!
Dear to mankind thy fame survives, nor fades
Its bloom eternal in the Stygian shades.
But what to me avail my honours gone,
Successful toils, and battles bravely won? 120
Doom'd by stern Jove at home to end my life,
By cursed Ægysthus, and a faithless wife !"
Thus they : while Hermes o'er the dreary plain Led the sad numbers by Ulysses slain. On each majestic form they cast a view, 125 And timorous pass'd, and awfully withdrew. But Agamemnon, through the gloomy shade, His ancient host Amphimedon survey'd ; “Son of Melanthius !” be began, “oh say! What cause compellid so many, and so gay, 130 To tread the downward, melancholy way? Say, could one city yield a troop so fair? Were all these partners of one native air ? Or did the rage of stormy Neptune sweep Your lives at once, and whelm beneath the deep ? 135