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Her hero's danger touch'd the pitying power, 10
20 Abandon'd, banish'd from his native reign, Unbless'd he sighs, detain'd by lawless charms, And press'd unwilling in Calypso's arms. Nor friends are there, nor vessels to convey, Nor oars to cut the immeasurable way.
25 And now fierce traitors studious to destroy His only son, their ambush'd fraud employ ; Who, pious, following his great father's fame, To sacred Pylos and to Sparta came. “What words are these !" replied the power who forms
30 The clouds of night, and darkens heaven with
storms; “Is not already in thy soul decreed, The chief's return shall make the guilty bleed ? What cannot wisdom do ? 'Thou mayst restore The son in safety to his native shore;
35 While the fell foes, who late in ambush lay, With fraud defeated measure back their way.”
Then thus to Hermes the command was given, “Hermes, thou chosen messenger of heaven] Go, to the nymph be these our orders borne : 40 'Tis Jove's decree, Ulysses shall return : The patient man shall view his old abodes, Nor help'd by mortal hand, nor guiding gods : In twice ten days shall fertile Scheria find, Alone, and floating to the waye and wind. 45
The bold Phæacians there, whose haughty line
On whose high branches, waving with the storm,
105 And rollid his eyes around the restless deep; Towards his loved coast he rollid his eyes in vain, Till, dimm'd with rising grief, they stream'd again.
Now graceful seated on her shining throne, To Hermes thus the nymph divine begun: 110 “ God of the silver wand! on what behest Arrivest thou here, an unexpected guest ? Loved as thou art, thy free injunctions lay; 'Tis mine, with joy and duty to obey. Till now a stranger, in a happy hour
115 Approach, and taste the dainties of my bower."
Thus having spoke, the nymph the table spread; (Ambrosial cates, with nectar rosy red ;) Hermes the hospitable rite partook, Divine refection! then, recruited, spoke : 120 “What moved this journey from my native sky, A goddess asks, nor can a god deny : Hear then the truth. By mighty Jove's command Unwilling have I trod this pleasing land; For who, self-moved, with weary wing would sweep Such length of ocean and unmeasured deep : 126 A world of waters ! far from all the ways Where men frequent, or sacred altars blaze ? But to Jove's will submission we must pay ; What power so great to dare to disobey? 130 A man, he says, a man resides with thee, Of all his kind most worn with misery ; The Greeks, (whose arms for nine long years em
ploy'd Their force on Ilion, in the tenth destroy'd,) At length embarking in a luckless hour,
135 With conquest proud, incensed Minerva's power: Hence on the guilty race her vengeance hurl'd With storms pursued them through the liquid world. There all his vessels sunk beneath the wave! 139 There all his dear companions found their grave ! Saved from the jaws of death by Heaven's decree, The tempest drove him to these shores and thee. Him, Jove now orders to his native lands Straight to dismiss ; so destiny commands: Impatient fate his near return attends,
145 And calls him to his country, and his friends."
Ev'n to her inmost soul the goddess shook ; Then thus her anguish and her passion broke:
Ungracious gods! with spite and envy cursed ! Still to your own ethereal race the worst ! 150 Ye envy mortal and immortal joy, And love, the only sweet of life, destroy. Did ever goddess by her charms engage A favour'd mortal, and not feel your rage ? So when Aurora sought Orion's love,
155 Her joys disturb'd your blissful hours above, Till, in Ortygia, Dian's winged dart Had pierced the hapless hunter to the heart.
So when the covert of the thrice-ear'd field
171 Received the friendless, and the hungry fed ; Nay promised, vainly promised, to bestow Immortal life, exempt from age and wo. 'Tis pass'd-and Jove decrees he shall remove ; 175 Gods as we are, we are but slaves to Jove. Go then he may: (he must, if he ordain, Try all those dangers, all those deeps again :) But never, never shall Calypso send To toil like these her husband and her friend. 180 What ships have I, what sailors to convey, What oars to cut the long laborious way? Yet I'll direct the safest means to go; That last advice is all I can bestow."
To her the power who bears the charming rod : “ Dismiss the man, nor irritate the god; 186 Prevent the rage of him who reigns above, For what so dreadful as the wrath of Jove ?" Thus having said, he cut the cleaving sky, And in a moment vanish'd from her eye.
190 The nymph, obedient to divine command, To seek Ulysses, paced along the sand. Him pensive on the lonely beach she found, With streaming eyes in briny torrents drown'd, And inly pining for his native shore ;
195 For now the soft enchantress pleased no more :