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The Departure of Ulysses from Calypso.
Pallas in a council of the gods complains of the detention of
Ulysses in the island of Calypso ; whereon Mercury is sent to command his removal—The seat of Calypso described She consents with much difficulty ; and Ulysses builds a vessel with his own hands, on which he embarks-Neptune overtakes him with a terrible tempest, in which he is shipwrecked, and in the last danger of death; till Leucothea, a sea goddess, assists him, and, after innumerable perils, he gets ashore on Phæacia.
The saffron morn, with early blushes spread,
Her hero's danger touch'd the pitying power,
20 Abandon'd, banish'd from his native reign, Unbless'd he sighs, detain'd by lawless
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
50 Of brass, of vestures, and resplendent ore, (A richer prize than if his joyful isle Received him charged with Ilion's noble spoil) His friends, his country, he shall see, though late; Such is our sovereign will, and such is fate.” 55 He spoke. The god who mounts the winged
winds Fast to his feet the golden pinions binds, That high through fields of air his flight sustain O'er the wide earth, and o'er the boundless main. He grasps the wand that causes sleep to fly, Or in soft slumber seals the wakeful eye: Then shoots from heaven to high Pieria's steep, And stoops incumbent on the rolling deep. So watery fowl, that seek their fishy food, With wings expanded o'er the foaming flood, 65 Now sailing smooth the level surface sweep, Now dip their pinions in the briny deep. Thus o'er the world of waters Hermes flew, Till now the distant island rose in view : Then, swift ascending from the azure wave, He took the path that winded to the cave. Large was the grot in which the nymph he found: (The fair-hair'd nymph, with every beauty crown'd.) She sat and sung; the rocks resound her lays : The cave was brightend with a rising blaze: 75 Cedar and frankincense, an odorous pile, Flamed on the hearth, and wide perfumed the isle ; While she with work and song the time divides, And through the loom the golden shuttle guides. Without the grot a various sylvan scene
80 Appear'd around, and groves of living green; Poplars and alders ever quivering play'd, And nodding cypress form'd a fragrant shade;