In a council of the Gods,

Minerva calls their attention to Ulysses,

still a wanderer.

They resolve to grant him a safe return to Ithaca.

Minerva descends to encourage Telemachus,

and in the form of Mentes directs him in what manner to proceed.

Throughout this book the extravagance and profligacy of the suitors are occasionally suggested.

Muse make the man thy theme,

for shrewdness famed And genius versatile,

who far and wide A Wand'rer,

after Ilium overthrown,

Discover'd various cities,

and the mind And manners learn'd of men,

in lands remote.

He num'rous woes on Ocean toss'd,


Anxious to save himself,

and to conduct His followers to their home;

yet all his care Preserved them not;

they perish'd self-destroy'd By their own fault;


who devoured   10 The oxen of the all-o'erseeing Sun,


punish'd for that crime,

return'd no more.

Daughter divine of Jove,

these things record,

As it may please thee,

even in our ears.

The rest,

all those who had perdition

'scaped By war or on the Deep,

dwelt now at home;

Him only,

of his country and his wife Alike desirous,

in her hollow grots Calypso,

Goddess beautiful,

detained Wooing him to her arms.

But when,

at length,

  20 (Many a long year elapsed) the year arrived Of his return (by the decree of heav'n) To Ithaca,

not even then had he,

Although surrounded by his people,

reach'd The period of his suff'rings and his toils.

Yet all the Gods,

with pity moved,

beheld His woes,

save Neptune;

He alone with wrath Unceasing and implacable pursued Godlike Ulysses to his native shores.

But Neptune,


the Æthiopians fought,

   30 (The Æthiopians,

utmost of mankind,

These Eastward situate,

those toward the West) Call'd to an hecatomb of bulls and lambs.

There sitting,

pleas'd he banqueted;

the Gods In Jove's abode,


assembled all,

'Midst whom the Sire of heav'n and earth began.

For he recall'd to mind Ægisthus slain By Agamemnon's celebrated son Orestes,

and retracing in his thought That dread event,

the Immortals thus address'd.

  40 Alas!

how prone are human-kind to blame The Pow'rs of Heav'n!

From us,

they say,

proceed The ills which they endure,

yet more than Fate Herself inflicts,

by their own crimes incur.

So now Ægisthus,

by no force constrained Of Destiny,

Atrides' wedded wife Took to himself,

and him at his return Slew,

not unwarn'd of his own dreadful end By us: for we commanded Hermes down The watchful Argicide,

who bade him fear    50 Alike,

to slay the King,

or woo the Queen.

For that Atrides' son Orestes,

soon As grown mature,

and eager to assume His sway imperial,

should avenge the deed.

So Hermes spake,

but his advice moved not Ægisthus,

on whose head the whole arrear Of vengeance heap'd,

at last,

hath therefore fall'n.

Whom answer'd then Pallas cærulean-eyed.

Oh Jove,

Saturnian Sire,

o'er all supreme!

And well he merited the death he found;

   60 So perish all,

who shall,

like him,


But with a bosom anguish-rent I view Ulysses,

hapless Chief!

who from his friends Remote,

affliction hath long time endured In yonder wood-land isle,

the central boss Of Ocean.

That retreat a Goddess holds,

Daughter of sapient Atlas,

who the abyss Knows to its bottom,

and the pillars high Himself upbears which sep'rate earth from heav'n.

His daughter,


the sorrowing Chief detains,

  70 And ever with smooth speech insidious seeks To wean his heart from Ithaca;

meantime Ulysses,

happy might he but behold The smoke ascending from his native land,

Death covets.

Canst thou not,

Olympian Jove!

At last relent?

Hath not Ulysses oft With victims slain amid Achaia's fleet Thee gratified,

while yet at Troy he fought?

How hath he then so deep incensed thee,


To whom,

the cloud-assembler God replied.

  80 What word hath pass'd thy lips,

Daughter belov'd?

Can I forget Ulysses?

Him forget So noble,

who in wisdom all mankind Excels,

and who hath sacrific'd so oft To us whose dwelling is the boundless heav'n?

Earth-circling Neptune --He it is whose wrath Pursues him ceaseless for the Cyclops' sake Polypheme,

strongest of the giant race,

Whom of his eye Ulysses hath deprived.

For Him,

Thoösa bore,

Nymph of the sea    90 From Phorcys sprung,

by Ocean's mighty pow'r Impregnated in caverns of the Deep.

E'er since that day,

the Shaker of the shores,

Although he slay him not,

yet devious drives Ulysses from his native isle afar.

Yet come --in full assembly his return Contrive we now,

both means and prosp'rous end;

So Neptune shall his wrath remit,

whose pow'r In contest with the force of all the Gods Exerted single,

can but strive in vain.

   100 To whom Minerva,

Goddess azure-eyed.

Oh Jupiter!

above all Kings enthroned!

If the Immortals ever-blest ordain That wise Ulysses to his home return,

Dispatch we then Hermes the Argicide,

Our messenger,

hence to Ogygia's isle,

Who shall inform Calypso,

nymph divine,

Of this our fixt resolve,

that to his home Ulysses,

toil-enduring Chief,


Myself will hence to Ithaca,


   110 His son to animate,

and with new force Inspire,

that (the Achaians all convened In council,) he may,


bid depart The suitors from his home,


day by day,

His num'rous flocks and fatted herds consume.

And I will send him thence to Sparta forth,

And into sandy Pylus,

there to hear (If hear he may) some tidings of his Sire,

And to procure himself a glorious name.

This said,

her golden sandals to her feet   120 She bound,


which o'er all the earth And o'er the moist flood waft her fleet as air,


seizing her strong spear pointed with brass,

In length and bulk,

and weight a matchless beam,

With which the Jove-born Goddess levels ranks Of Heroes,

against whom her anger burns,

From the Olympian summit down she flew,

And on the threshold of Ulysses' hall In Ithaca,

and within his vestibule Apparent stood;


grasping her bright spear,

 130 Mentes[1] she seem'd,

the hospitable Chief Of Taphos' isle --she found the haughty throng The suitors;

they before the palace gate With iv'ry cubes sported,

on num'rous hides Reclined of oxen which themselves had slain.

The heralds and the busy menials there Minister'd to them;

these their mantling cups With water slaked;

with bibulous sponges those Made clean the tables,

set the banquet on,

And portioned out to each his plenteous share.

  140 Long ere the rest Telemachus himself Mark'd her,

for sad amid them all he sat,

Pourtraying in deep thought contemplative His noble Sire,

and questioning if yet Perchance the Hero might return to chase From all his palace that imperious herd,

To his own honour lord of his own home.

Amid them musing thus,

sudden he saw The Goddess,

and sprang forth,

for he abhorr'd To see a guest's admittance long delay'd;

  150 Approaching eager,

her right hand he seized,

The brazen spear took from her,

and in words With welcome wing'd Minerva thus address'd.


all hail!

to share our cordial love Thou com'st;

the banquet finish'd,

thou shalt next Inform me wherefore thou hast here arrived.

So saying,

toward the spacious hall he moved,

Follow'd by Pallas,


arriving soon Beneath the lofty roof,

placed her bright spear Within a pillar's cavity,

long time    160 The armoury where many a spear had stood,

Bright weapons of his own illustrious Sire.


leading her toward a footstool'd throne Magnificent,

which first he overspread With linen,

there he seated her,

apart From that rude throng,

and for himself disposed A throne of various colours at her side,


stunn'd with clamour of the lawless band,

The new-arrived should loth perchance to eat,

And that more free he might the stranger's ear   170 With questions of his absent Sire address,

And now a maiden charg'd with golden ew'r,

And with an argent laver,

pouring first Pure water on their hands,

supplied them,


With a resplendent table,

which the chaste Directress of the stores furnish'd with bread And dainties,

remnants of the last regale.


in his turn,

the sewer[2] with sav'ry meats,

Dish after dish,

served them,

of various kinds,

And golden cups beside the chargers placed,

  180 Which the attendant herald fill'd with wine.

Ere long,

in rush'd the suitors,

and the thrones And couches occupied,

on all whose hands The heralds pour'd pure water;

then the maids Attended them with bread in baskets heap'd,

And eager they assail'd the ready feast.

At length,

when neither thirst nor hunger more They felt unsatisfied,

to new delights Their thoughts they turn'd,

to song and sprightly dance,

Enlivening sequel of the banquet's joys.

   190 An herald,


to Phemius' hand consign'd His beauteous lyre;

he through constraint regaled The suitors with his song,

and while the chords He struck in prelude to his pleasant strains,

Telemachus his head inclining nigh To Pallas' ear,

lest others should his words Witness,

the blue-eyed Goddess thus bespake.

My inmate and my friend!

far from my lips Be ev'ry word that might displease thine ear!

The song --the harp,

--what can they less than charm  200 These wantons?

who the bread unpurchased eat Of one whose bones on yonder continent Lie mould'ring,

drench'd by all the show'rs of heaven,

Or roll at random in the billowy deep.


could they see him once to his own isle Restored,

both gold and raiment they would wish Far less,

and nimbleness of foot instead.

But He,


hath by a wretched fate,

Past question perish'd,

and what news soe'er We hear of his return,

kindles no hope    210 In us,

convinced that he returns no more.

But answer undissembling;

tell me true;

Who art thou?


where stands thy city?

where Thy father's mansion?

In what kind of ship Cam'st thou?

Why steer'd the mariners their course To Ithaca,

and of what land are they?

For that on foot thou found'st us not,

is sure.

This also tell me,

hast thou now arrived New to our isle,

or wast thou heretofore My father's guest?

Since many to our house   220 Resorted in those happier days,

for he Drew pow'rful to himself the hearts of all.

Then Pallas thus,

Goddess cærulean-eyed.

I will with all simplicity of truth Thy questions satisfy.

Behold in me Mentes,

the offspring of a Chief renown'd In war,


and I rule,


An island race,

the Taphians oar-expert.

With ship and mariners I now arrive,

Seeking a people of another tongue    230 Athwart the gloomy flood,

in quest of brass For which I barter steel,

ploughing the waves To Temesa.

My ship beneath the woods Of Neïus,

at yonder field that skirts Your city,

in the haven Rhethrus rides.

We are hereditary guests;

our Sires Were friends long since;


when thou seest him next,

The Hero old Laertes will avouch,

Of whom,

I learn,

that he frequents no more The city now,

but in sequester'd scenes    240 Dwells sorrowful,

and by an antient dame With food and drink supplied oft as he feels Refreshment needful to him,

while he creeps Between the rows of his luxuriant vines.

But I have come drawn hither by report,

Which spake thy Sire arrived,

though still it seems The adverse Gods his homeward course retard.

For not yet breathless lies the noble Chief,

But in some island of the boundless flood Resides a prisoner,

by barbarous force    250 Of some rude race detained reluctant there.

And I will now foreshow thee what the Gods Teach me,

and what,

though neither augur skill'd Nor prophet,

I yet trust shall come to pass.

He shall not,


live an exile long From his own shores,


not although in bands Of iron held,

but will ere long contrive His own return;

for in expedients,

framed With wond'rous ingenuity,

he abounds.

But tell me true;

art thou,

in stature such,

  260 Son of himself Ulysses?

for thy face And eyes bright-sparkling,

strongly indicate Ulysses in thee.

Frequent have we both Conversed together thus,

thy Sire and I,

Ere yet he went to Troy,

the mark to which So many Princes of Achaia steer'd.

Him since I saw not,

nor Ulysses me.

To whom Telemachus,




I tell thee true;

my mother's voice Affirms me his,

but since no mortal knows   270 His derivation,

I affirm it not.

Would I had been son of some happier Sire,

Ordain'd in calm possession of his own To reach the verge of life.

But now,

report Proclaims me his,

whom I of all mankind Unhappiest deem.

--Thy question is resolved.

Then answer thus Pallas blue-eyed return'd.

From no ignoble race,

in future days,

The Gods shall prove thee sprung,

whom so endow'd With ev'ry grace Penelope hath borne.

   280 But tell me true.

What festival is this?

This throng --whence are they?

wherefore hast thou need Of such a multitude?

Behold I here A banquet,

or a nuptial?

for these Meet not by contribution[3] to regale,

With such brutality and din they hold Their riotous banquet!

a wise man and good Arriving,


among them,

at the sight Of such enormities would much be wroth.

To whom replied Telemachus discrete.

   290 Since,


thou hast ask'd,

learn also this.

While yet Ulysses,

with his people dwelt,

His presence warranted the hope that here Virtue should dwell and opulence;

but heav'n Hath cast for us,

at length,

a diff'rent lot,

And he is lost,

as never man before.

For I should less lament even his death,

Had he among his friends at Ilium fall'n,

Or in the arms of his companions died,

Troy's siege accomplish'd.

Then his tomb the Greeks  300 Of ev'ry tribe had built,

and for his son,

He had immortal glory atchieved;

but now,

By harpies torn inglorious,

beyond reach Of eye or ear he lies;

and hath to me Grief only,

and unceasing sighs bequeath'd.

Nor mourn I for his sake alone;

the Gods Have plann'd for me still many a woe beside;

For all the rulers of the neighbour isles,



and the forest-crown'd Zacynthus,

others also,

rulers here    310 In craggy Ithaca,

my mother seek In marriage,

and my household stores consume.

But neither she those nuptial rites abhorr'd,

Refuses absolute,

nor yet consents To end them;

they my patrimony waste Meantime,

and will not long spare even me.

To whom,

with deep commiseration pang'd,

Pallas replied.


great need hast thou Of thy long absent father to avenge These num'rous wrongs;

for could he now appear   320 There,

at yon portal,

arm'd with helmet,


And grasping his two spears,

such as when first I saw him drinking joyous at our board,

From Ilus son of Mermeris,

who dwelt In distant Ephyre,

just then return'd,

(For thither also had Ulysses gone In his swift bark,

seeking some pois'nous drug Wherewith to taint his brazen arrows keen,

Which drug through fear of the eternal Gods Ilus refused him,

and my father free    330 Gave to him,

for he loved him past belief) Could now,


clad in arms as then,

Mix with these suitors,

short his date of life To each,

and bitter should his nuptials prove.

But these events,

whether he shall return To take just vengeance under his own roof,

Or whether not,

lie all in the Gods lap.

Meantime I counsel thee,

thyself to think By what means likeliest thou shalt expel These from thy doors.

Now mark me: close attend.

  340 To-morrow,

summoning the Grecian Chiefs To council,

speak to them,

and call the Gods To witness that solemnity.

Bid go The suitors hence,

each to his own abode.

Thy mother --if her purpose be resolved On marriage,

let her to the house return Of her own potent father,



Shall furnish forth her matrimonial rites,

And ample dow'r,

such as it well becomes A darling daughter to receive,


   350 But hear me now;

thyself I thus advise.

The prime of all thy ships preparing,

mann'd With twenty rowers,

voyage hence to seek Intelligence of thy long-absent Sire.

Some mortal may inform thee,

or a word,[4] Perchance,

by Jove directed (safest source Of notice to mankind) may reach thine ear.

First voyaging to Pylus,

there enquire Of noble Nestor;

thence to Sparta tend,

To question Menelaus amber-hair'd,

   360 Latest arrived of all the host of Greece.

There should'st thou learn that still thy father lives,

And hope of his return,

although Distress'd,

thou wilt be patient yet a year.

But should'st thou there hear tidings that he breathes No longer,

to thy native isle return'd,

First heap his tomb;

then with such pomp perform His funeral rites as his great name demands,

And make thy mother's spousals,


thy care.

These duties satisfied,

delib'rate last    370 Whether thou shalt these troublers of thy house By stratagem,

or by assault,


For thou art now no child,

nor longer may'st Sport like one.

Hast thou not the proud report Heard,

how Orestes hath renown acquired With all mankind,

his father's murtherer Ægisthus slaying,

the deceiver base Who slaughter'd Agamemnon?

Oh my friend!

(For with delight thy vig'rous growth I view,

And just proportion) be thou also bold,

   380 And merit praise from ages yet to come.

But I will to my vessel now repair,

And to my mariners,


absent long,

I may perchance have troubled.

Weigh thou well My counsel;

let not my advice be lost.

To whom Telemachus discrete replied.


thy words bespeak thee much my friend,


as a father teaches his own son,

Hast taught me,

and I never will forget.


though in haste thy voyage to pursue,

  390 Yet stay,

that in the bath refreshing first Thy limbs now weary,

thou may'st sprightlier seek Thy gallant bark,

charged with some noble gift Of finish'd workmanship,

which thou shalt keep As my memorial ever;

such a boon As men confer on guests whom much they love.

Then Pallas thus,

Goddess cærulean-eyed.

Retard me not,

for go I must;

the gift Which liberal thou desirest to bestow,

Give me at my return,

that I may bear    400 The treasure home;


in exchange,

thyself Expect some gift equivalent from me.

She spake,

and as with eagle-wings upborne,

Vanish'd incontinent,

but him inspired With daring fortitude,

and on his heart Dearer remembrance of his Sire impress'd Than ever.

Conscious of the wond'rous change,

Amazed he stood,


in his secret thought Revolving all,

believed his guest a God.

The youthful Hero to the suitors then    410 Repair'd;

they silent,

listen'd to the song Of the illustrious Bard: he the return Deplorable of the Achaian host From Ilium by command of Pallas,



Icarius' daughter,

mark'd Meantime the song celestial,

where she sat In the superior palace;

down she came,

By all the num'rous steps of her abode;

Not sole,

for two fair handmaids follow'd her.

She then,

divinest of her sex,

arrived    420 In presence of that lawless throng,

beneath The portal of her stately mansion stood,

Between her maidens,

with her lucid veil Her lovely features mantling.


profuse She wept,

and thus the sacred bard bespake.


for many a sorrow-soothing strain Thou know'st beside,

such as exploits record Of Gods and men,

the poet's frequent theme;

Give them of those a song,

and let themselves Their wine drink noiseless;

but this mournful strain  430 Break off,

unfriendly to my bosom's peace,

And which of all hearts nearest touches mine,

With such regret my dearest Lord I mourn,

Rememb'ring still an husband praised from side To side,

and in the very heart of Greece.

Then answer thus Telemachus return'd.

My mother!

wherefore should it give thee pain If the delightful bard that theme pursue To which he feels his mind impell'd?

the bard Blame not,

but rather Jove,


as he wills,

  440 Materials for poetic art supplies.

No fault is his,

if the disastrous fate He sing of the Achaians,

for the song Wins ever from the hearers most applause That has been least in use.

Of all who fought At Troy,

Ulysses hath not lost,


His day of glad return;

but many a Chief Hath perish'd also.

Seek thou then again Thy own apartment,

spindle ply and loom,

And task thy maidens;

management belongs    450 To men of joys convivial,

and of men Especially to me,

chief ruler here.

She heard astonish'd;

and the prudent speech Reposing of her son deep in her heart,

Again with her attendant maidens sought Her upper chamber.

There arrived,

she wept Her lost Ulysses,

till Minerva bathed Her weary lids in dewy sleep profound.

Then echoed through the palace dark-bedimm'd With evening shades the suitors boist'rous roar,

  460 For each the royal bed burn'd to partake,

Whom thus Telemachus discrete address'd.

All ye my mother's suitors,

though addict To contumacious wrangling fierce,

suspend Your clamour,

for a course to me it seems More decent far,

when such a bard as this,


for sweetness,


to hear his song.

To-morrow meet we in full council all,

That I may plainly warn you to depart From this our mansion.

Seek ye where ye may   470 Your feasts;

consume your own;

alternate feed Each at the other's cost;

but if it seem Wisest in your account and best,

to eat Voracious thus the patrimonial goods Of one man,

rend'ring no account of all,[5] Bite to the roots;

but know that I will cry Ceaseless to the eternal Gods,

in hope That Jove,

for retribution of the wrong,

Shall doom you,

where ye have intruded,

there To bleed,

and of your blood ask no account.[5]   480 He ended,

and each gnaw'd his lip,

aghast At his undaunted hardiness of speech.

Then thus Antinoüs spake,

Eupithes' son.


the Gods,


themselves Teach thee sublimity,

and to pronounce Thy matter fearless.

Ah forbid it,


That one so eloquent should with the weight Of kingly cares in Ithaca be charged,

A realm,

by claim hereditary,


Then prudent thus Telemachus replied.

   490 Although my speech Antinoüs may,


Provoke thee,

know that I am not averse From kingly cares,

if Jove appoint me such.

Seems it to thee a burthen to be fear'd By men above all others?

trust me,


There is no ill in royalty;

the man So station'd,

waits not long ere he obtain Riches and honour.

But I grant that Kings Of the Achaians may no few be found In sea-girt Ithaca both young and old,

   500 Of whom since great Ulysses is no more,

Reign whoso may;

but King,


I am In my own house,

and over all my own Domestics,

by Ulysses gained for me.

To whom Eurymachus replied,

the son Of Polybus.

What Grecian Chief shall reign In sea-girt Ithaca,

must be referr'd To the Gods' will,


meantime Thou hast unquestionable right to keep Thy own,

and to command in thy own house.

  510 May never that man on her shores arrive,

While an inhabitant shall yet be left In Ithaca,

who shall by violence wrest Thine from thee.

But permit me,

noble Sir!

To ask thee of thy guest.

Whence came the man?

What country claims him?

Where are to be found His kindred and his patrimonial fields?

Brings he glad tidings of thy Sire's approach Homeward?

or came he to receive a debt Due to himself?

How swift he disappear'd!

  520 Nor opportunity to know him gave To those who wish'd it;

for his face and air Him speak not of Plebeian birth obscure.

Whom answered thus Telemachus discrete.


my father comes no more.

I can no longer now tidings believe,

If such arrive;

nor he'd I more the song Of sooth-sayers whom my mother may consult.

But this my guest hath known in other days My father,

and he came from Taphos,

son    530 Of brave Anchialus,

Mentes by name,

And Chief of the sea-practis'd Taphian race.

So spake Telemachus,

but in his heart Knew well his guest a Goddess from the skies.

Then they to dance and heart-enlivening song Turn'd joyous,

waiting the approach of eve,

And dusky evening found them joyous still.

Then each,

to his own house retiring,

sought Needful repose.

Meantime Telemachus To his own lofty chamber,

built in view    540 Of the wide hall,


but with a heart In various musings occupied intense.

Sage Euryclea,

bearing in each hand A torch,

preceded him;

her sire was Ops,

Pisenor's son,


in her early prime,

At his own cost Laertes made her his,

Paying with twenty beeves her purchase-price,

Nor in less honour than his spotless wife He held her ever,

but his consort's wrath Fearing,

at no time call'd her to his bed.

  550 She bore the torches,

and with truer heart Loved him than any of the female train,

For she had nurs'd him in his infant years.

He open'd his broad chamber-valves,

and sat On his couch-side: then putting off his vest Of softest texture,

placed it in the hands Of the attendant dame discrete,

who first Folding it with exactest care,

beside His bed suspended it,


going forth,

Drew by its silver ring the portal close,

  560 And fasten'd it with bolt and brace secure.

There lay Telemachus,

on finest wool Reposed,

contemplating all night his course Prescribed by Pallas to the Pylian shore.


[1] We are told that Homer was under obligations to Mentes,

who had frequently given him a passage in his ship to different countries which he wished to see,

for which reason he has here immortalised him.

[2] Milton uses the word --Sewers and seneschals.

[3] Ἔρανος,

a convivial meeting,

at which every man paid his proportion,

at least contributed something;

but it seems to have been a meeting at which strict sobriety was observed,

else Pallas would not have inferred from the noise and riot of this,

that it was not such a one.

[4] Οσσα --a word spoken,

with respect to the speaker,


but with reference to the inquirer supposed to be sent for his information by the especial appointment and providential favour of the Gods.

[5] There is in the Original an evident stress laid on the word Νήποινοι,

which is used in both places.

It was a sort of Lex Talionis which Telemachus hoped might be put in force against them;

and that Jove would demand no satisfaction for the lives of those who made him none for the waste of his property.



Telemachus having convened an assembly of the Greecians,

publicly calls on the Suitors to relinquish the house of Ulysses.

During the continuance of the Council he has much to suffer from the petulance of the Suitors,

from whom,

having informed them of his design to undertake a voyage in hope to obtain news of Ulysses,

he asks a ship,

with all things necessary for the purpose.

He is refused,

but is afterwards furnished with what he wants by Minerva,

in the form of Mentor.

He embarks in the evening without the privity of his mother,

and the Goddess sails with him.


rosy daughter of the dawn,

Now ting'd the East,

when habited again,

Uprose Ulysses' offspring from his bed.

Athwart his back his faulchion keen he flung,

His sandals bound to his unsullied feet,



issued from his chamber-door.

At once the clear-voic'd heralds he enjoin'd To call the Greeks to council;

they aloud Gave forth the summons,

and the throng began.

When all were gather'd,

and the assembly full,

  10 Himself,

his hand arm'd with a brazen spear,

Went also;

nor alone he went;

his hounds Fleet-footed follow'd him,

a faithful pair.

O'er all his form Minerva largely shed Majestic grace divine,


as he went,

The whole admiring concourse gaz'd on him,

The seniors gave him place,

and down he sat On his paternal Throne.

Then grave arose The Hero,

old Ægyptius;

bow'd with age Was he,

and by experience deep-inform'd.

   20 His son had with Ulysses,

godlike Chief,

On board his fleet to steed-fam'd Ilium gone,

The warrior Antiphus,

whom in his cave The savage Cyclops slew,

and on his flesh At ev'ning made obscene his last regale.

Three sons he had beside,

a suitor one,


the other two,

employ Found constant managing their Sire's concerns.

Yet he forgat not,

father as he was Of these,

his absent eldest,

whom he mourn'd   30 Ceaseless,

and thus his speech,



Hear me,

ye men of Ithaca,

my friends!

Nor council here nor session hath been held Since great Ulysses left his native shore.

Who now convenes us?

what especial need Hath urged him,

whether of our youth he be,

Or of our senators by age matured?

Have tidings reach'd him of our host's return,

Which here he would divulge?

or brings he aught Of public import on a diff'rent theme?

   40 I deem him,

whosoe'er he be,

a man Worthy to prosper,

and may Jove vouchsafe The full performance of his chief desire!

He ended,

and Telemachus rejoiced In that good omen.

Ardent to begin,

He sat not long,


moving to the midst,

Received the sceptre from Pisenor's hand,

His prudent herald,

and addressing,


The hoary Chief Ægyptius,

thus began.

Not far remote,

as thou shalt soon thyself   50 Perceive,

oh venerable Chief!

he stands,

Who hath convened this council.


am He.

I am in chief the suff'rer.

Tidings none Of the returning host I have received,

Which here I would divulge,

nor bring I aught Of public import on a different theme,

But my own trouble,

on my own house fall'n,

And two-fold fall'n.

One is,

that I have lost A noble father,


as fathers rule Benign their children,

govern'd once yourselves;

  60 The other,

and the more alarming ill,

With ruin threatens my whole house,

and all My patrimony with immediate waste.


(their children who in this our isle Hold highest rank) importunate besiege My mother,

though desirous not to wed,

And rather than resort to her own Sire Icarius,

who might give his daughter dow'r,

And portion her to whom he most approves,

(A course which,

only named,

moves their disgust)   70 They chuse,

assembling all within my gates Daily to make my beeves,

my sheep,

my goats Their banquet,

and to drink without restraint My wine;

whence ruin threatens us and ours;

For I have no Ulysses to relieve Me and my family from this abuse.

Ourselves are not sufficient;



Too feeble should be found,

and yet to learn How best to use the little force we own;


had I pow'r,

I would,


redress   80 The evil;

for it now surpasses far All suff'rance,

now they ravage uncontroul'd,

Nor show of decency vouchsafe me more.

Oh be ashamed[6] yourselves;

blush at the thought Of such reproach as ye shall sure incur From all our neighbour states,

and fear beside The wrath of the Immortals,

lest they call Yourselves one day to a severe account.

I pray you by Olympian Jove,

by her Whose voice convenes all councils,

and again   90 Dissolves them,


that henceforth ye cease,

That ye permit me,

oh my friends!

to wear My days in solitary grief away,

Unless Ulysses,

my illustrious Sire,

Hath in his anger any Greecian wrong'd,

Whose wrongs ye purpose to avenge on me,

Inciting these to plague me.

Better far Were my condition,

if yourselves consumed My substance and my revenue;

from you I might obtain,


righteous amends   100 Hereafter;

you I might with vehement suit O'ercome,

from house to house pleading aloud For recompense,

till I at last prevail'd.

But now,

with darts of anguish ye transfix My inmost soul,

and I have no redress.

He spake impassion'd,

and to earth cast down His sceptre,


Pity at that sight Seiz'd all the people;

mute the assembly sat Long time,

none dared to greet Telemachus With answer rough,

till of them all,

at last,

  110 Antinoüs,

sole arising,

thus replied.


intemp'rate in harangue,

High-sounding orator!

it is thy drift To make us all odious;

but the offence Lies not with us the suitors;

she alone Thy mother,

who in subtlety excels,

And deep-wrought subterfuge,

deserves the blame.

It is already the third year,

and soon Shall be the fourth,

since with delusive art Practising on their minds,

she hath deceived   120 The Greecians;

message after message sent Brings hope to each,

by turns,

and promise fair,

But she,


far otherwise intends.

Her other arts exhausted all,

she framed This stratagem;

a web of amplest size And subtlest woof beginning,

thus she spake.


my suitors!

since the noble Chief Ulysses is no more,

press not as yet My nuptials,

wait till I shall finish,


A fun'ral robe (lest all my threads decay)   130 Which for the antient Hero I prepare,


looking for the mournful hour When fate shall snatch him to eternal rest;

Else I the censure dread of all my sex,

Should he,

so wealthy,

want at last a shroud.

So spake the Queen,

and unsuspicious,

we With her request complied.


all day She wove the ample web,

and by the aid Of torches ravell'd it again at night.

Three years by such contrivance she deceived   140 The Greecians;

but when (three whole years elaps'd) The fourth arriv'd,


conscious of the fraud,

A damsel of her train told all the truth,

And her we found rav'ling the beauteous work.


through necessity she hath,

at length,

Perform'd the task,

and in her own despight.

Now therefore,

for the information clear Of thee thyself,

and of the other Greeks,

We answer.

Send thy mother hence,

with charge That him she wed on whom her father's choice   150 Shall fall,

and whom she shall,



But if by long procrastination still She persevere wearing our patience out,

Attentive only to display the gifts By Pallas so profusely dealt to her,

Works of surpassing skill,

ingenious thought,

And subtle shifts,

such as no beauteous Greek (For aught that we have heard) in antient times E'er practised,


or Alcemena fair,

Or fair Mycene,

of whom none in art    160 E'er match'd Penelope,

although we yield To this her last invention little praise,

Then know,

that these her suitors will consume So long thy patrimony and thy goods,

As she her present purpose shall indulge,

With which the Gods inspire her.

Great renown She to herself insures,

but equal woe And devastation of thy wealth to thee;

For neither to our proper works at home Go we,

of that be sure,

nor yet elsewhere,

  170 Till him she wed,

to whom she most inclines.

Him prudent,


answer'd Telemachus.


it is not possible That I should thrust her forth against her will,

Who both produced and reared me.

Be he dead,

Or still alive,

my Sire is far remote,

And should I,


hence dismiss My mother to Icarius,

I must much Refund,

which hardship were and loss to me.

So doing,

I should also wrath incur    180 From my offended Sire,

and from the Gods Still more;

for she,


would invoke Erynnis to avenge her,

and reproach Beside would follow me from all mankind.

That word I,


never will pronounce.


if ye judge your treatment at her hands Injurious to you,

go ye forth yourselves,

Forsake my mansion;

seek where else ye may Your feasts;

consume your own;

alternate feed Each at the other's cost.

But if it seem    190 Wisest in your account and best to eat Voracious thus the patrimonial goods Of one man,

rend'ring no account of all,

Bite to the roots;

but know that I will cry Ceaseless to the eternal Gods,

in hope That Jove,

in retribution of the wrong,

Shall doom you,

where ye have intruded,

there To bleed,

and of your blood ask no account.

So spake Telemachus,

and while he spake,

The Thund'rer from a lofty mountain-top    200 Turn'd off two eagles;

on the winds,


With outspread pinions ample side by side They floated;


ere long,

hov'ring aloft,

Right o'er the midst of the assembled Chiefs They wheel'd around,

clang'd all their num'rous plumes,

And with a downward look eyeing the throng,

Death boded,


then rending each The other's face and neck,

they sprang at once Toward the right,

and darted through the town.

Amazement universal,

at that sight,

   210 Seized the assembly,

and with anxious thought Each scann'd the future;

amidst whom arose The Hero Halitherses,

antient Seer,

Offspring of Mastor;

for in judgment he Of portents augural,

and in forecast Unerring,

his coevals all excell'd,

And prudent thus the multitude bespake.

Ye men of Ithaca,

give ear!

hear all!

Though chief my speech shall to the suitors look,


on their heads devolved,

comes down the woe.

 220 Ulysses shall not from his friends,


Live absent long,


hasting to his home,

Comes even now,

and as he comes,

designs A bloody death for these,

whose bitter woes No few shall share,

inhabitants with us Of pleasant Ithaca;

but let us frame Effectual means maturely to suppress Their violent deeds,

or rather let themselves Repentant cease;

and soonest shall be best.

Not inexpert,

but well-inform'd I speak    230 The future,

and the accomplishment announce Of all which when Ulysses with the Greeks Embark'd for Troy,

I to himself foretold.

I said that,

after many woes,

and loss Of all his people,

in the twentieth year,

Unknown to all,

he should regain his home,

And my prediction shall be now fulfill'd.



Eurymachus thus answer'd rough The son of Polybus.

Hence to thy house,

Thou hoary dotard!



teach   240 Thy children to escape woes else to come.

Birds num'rous flutter in the beams of day,

Not all predictive.


far hence remote Hath found Ulysses,

and I would to heav'n That,

where he died,

thyself had perish'd too.

Thou hadst not then run o'er with prophecy As now,

nor provocation to the wrath Giv'n of Telemachus,

in hope to win,


for thine some favour at his hands.

But I to -thee- foretell,

skilled as thou art   250 In legends old,

(nor shall my threat be vain) That if by artifice thou move to wrath A younger than thyself,

no matter whom,

Woe first the heavier on himself shall fall,

Nor shalt thou profit him by thy attempt,

And we will charge thee also with a mulct,

Which thou shalt pay with difficulty,

and bear The burthen of it with an aching heart.

As for Telemachus,

I him advise,


and press the measure on his choice   260 Earnestly,

that he send his mother hence To her own father's house,

who shall,


Set forth her nuptial rites,

and shall endow His daughter sumptuously,

and as he ought.

For this expensive wooing,

as I judge,

Till then shall never cease;

since we regard No man --no --not Telemachus,

although In words exub'rant;

neither fear we aught Thy vain prognostics,

venerable sir!

But only hate thee for their sake the more.

  270 Waste will continue and disorder foul Unremedied,

so long as she shall hold The suitors in suspense,


day by day,

Our emulation goads us to the strife,

Nor shall we,

going hence,

seek to espouse Each his own comfort suitable elsewhere.

To whom,


Telemachus replied.


and ye the suitor train Illustrious,

I have spoken: ye shall hear No more this supplication urged by me.

   280 The Gods,

and all the Greeks,

now know the truth.

But give me instantly a gallant bark With twenty rowers,

skill'd their course to win To whatsoever haven;

for I go To sandy Pylus,

and shall hasten thence To Lacedemon,

tidings to obtain Of my long-absent Sire,

or from the lips Of man,

or by a word from Jove vouchsafed Himself,

best source of notice to mankind.


there inform'd that still my father lives,

  290 I hope conceive of his return,

although Distress'd,

I shall be patient yet a year.

But should I learn,


that he survives No longer,



I will raise At home his tomb,

will with such pomp perform His fun'ral rites,

as his great name demands,

And give my mother's hand to whom I may.

This said,

he sat,

and after him arose Mentor,

illustrious Ulysses' friend,

To whom,

embarking thence,

he had consign'd   300 All his concerns,

that the old Chief might rule His family,

and keep the whole secure.


thus the senior,



Hear me,

ye Ithacans!

be never King Henceforth,



humane Or righteous,

but let every sceptred hand Rule merciless,

and deal in wrong alone,

Since none of all his people,

whom he sway'd With such paternal gentleness and love,

Remembers the divine Ulysses more!

   310 That the imperious suitors thus should weave The web of mischief and atrocious wrong,

I grudge not;

since at hazard of their heads They make Ulysses' property a prey,

Persuaded that the Hero comes no more.

But much the people move me;

how ye sit All mute,

and though a multitude,


Opposed to few,

risque not a single word To check the license of these bold intruders!

Then thus Liocritus,

Evenor's son.

   320 Injurious Mentor!

headlong orator!

How dar'st thou move the populace against The suitors?

Trust me they should find it hard,

Numerous as they are,

to cope with us,

A feast the prize.

Or should the King himself Of Ithaca,


undertake T' expell the jovial suitors from his house,

Much as Penelope his absence mourns,

His presence should afford her little joy;

For fighting sole with many,

he should meet   330 A dreadful death.



speak'st amiss.

As for Telemachus,

let Mentor him And Halytherses furnish forth,

the friends Long valued of his Sire,

with all dispatch;

Though him I judge far likelier to remain Long-time contented an enquirer here,

Than to perform the voyage now proposed.

Thus saying,

Liocritus dissolved in haste The council,

and the scattered concourse sought Their sev'ral homes,

while all the suitors flock'd  340 Thence to the palace of their absent King.


Telemachus from all resort Retiring,

in the surf of the gray Deep First laved his hands,


thus to Pallas pray'd.

O Goddess!

who wast yesterday a guest Beneath my roof,

and didst enjoin me then A voyage o'er the sable Deep in quest Of tidings of my long regretted Sire!

Which voyage,

all in Ithaca,

but most The haughty suitors,

obstinate impede,

   350 Now hear my suit and gracious interpose!

Such pray'r he made;

then Pallas,

in the form,

And with the voice of Mentor,

drawing nigh,

In accents wing'd,

him kindly thus bespake.


thou shalt hereafter prove Nor base,

nor poor in talents.


in truth,

Thou have received from heav'n thy father's force Instill'd into thee,

and resemblest him In promptness both of action and of speech,

Thy voyage shall not useless be,

or vain.

  360 But if Penelope produced thee not His son,



hope not for good effect Of this design which,


thou pursuest.

Few sons their fathers equal;

most appear Degenerate;

but we find,

though rare,

sometimes A son superior even to his Sire.

And since thyself shalt neither base be found Nor spiritless,

nor altogether void Of talents,

such as grace thy royal Sire,

I therefore hope success of thy attempt.

   370 Heed not the suitors' projects;

neither wise Are they,

nor just,

nor aught suspect the doom Which now approaches them,

and in one day Shall overwhelm them all.

No long suspense Shall hold thy purposed enterprise in doubt,

Such help from me,

of old thy father's friend,

Thou shalt receive,

who with a bark well-oar'd Will serve thee,

and myself attend thee forth.

But haste,

join thou the suitors,

and provide,

In sep'rate vessels stow'd,

all needful stores,

  380 Wine in thy jars,

and flour,

the strength of man,

In skins close-seam'd.

I will,


select Such as shall voluntary share thy toils.

In sea-girt Ithaca new ships and old Abound,

and I will chuse,


for thee The prime of all,

which without more delay We will launch out into the spacious Deep.

Thus Pallas spake,

daughter of Jove;

nor long,

So greeted by the voice divine,

remain'd Telemachus,

but to his palace went    390 Distress'd in heart.

He found the suitors there Goats slaying in the hall,

and fatted swine Roasting;

when with a laugh Antinoüs flew To meet him,

fasten'd on his hand,

and said,


in eloquence sublime,

And of a spirit not to be controul'd!

Give harbour in thy breast on no account To after-grudge or enmity,

but eat,

Far rather,

cheerfully as heretofore,

And freely drink,

committing all thy cares   400 To the Achaians,

who shall furnish forth A gallant ship and chosen crew for thee,

That thou may'st hence to Pylus with all speed,

Tidings to learn of thy illustrious Sire.

To whom Telemachus,




I have no heart to feast With guests so insolent,

nor can indulge The pleasures of a mind at ease,

with you.

Is't not enough,


that ye have used My noble patrimony as your own     410 While I was yet a child?


grown mature,

And competent to understand the speech Of my instructors,



a mind Within me conscious of augmented pow'rs,

I will attempt your ruin,

be assured,

Whether at Pylus,

or continuing here.

I go,


(nor shall my voyage prove Of which I speak,

bootless or vain) I go An humble passenger,

who neither bark Nor rowers have to boast my own,

denied    420 That honour (so ye judg'd it best) by you.

He said,

and from Antinoüs' hand his own Drew sudden.

Then their delicate repast The busy suitors on all sides prepar'd,

Still taunting as they toil'd,

and with sharp speech Sarcastic wantoning,

of whom a youth,

Arrogant as his fellows,

thus began.

I see it plain,

Telemachus intends Our slaughter;

either he will aids procure From sandy Pylus,

or will bring them arm'd   430 From Sparta;

such is his tremendous drift.

Even to fruitful Ephyre,


He will proceed,

seeking some baneful herb Which cast into our cup,

shall drug us all.

To whom some haughty suitor thus replied.

Who knows but that himself,

wand'ring the sea From all his friends and kindred far remote,

May perish like Ulysses?

Whence to us Should double toil ensue,

on whom the charge To parcel out his wealth would then devolve,

  440 And to endow his mother with the house For his abode whom she should chance to wed.

So sported they;

but he,

ascending sought His father's lofty chamber,

where his heaps He kept of brass and gold,

garments in chests,

And oils of fragrant scent,

a copious store.

There many a cask with season'd nectar fill'd The grape's pure juice divine,

beside the wall Stood orderly arranged,

waiting the hour (Should e'er such hour arrive) when,

after woes   450 Num'rous,

Ulysses should regain his home.

Secure that chamber was with folding doors Of massy planks compact,

and night and day,

Within it antient Euryclea dwelt,

Guardian discrete of all the treasures there,


thither call'd,

Telemachus address'd.


draw me forth sweet wine into my jars,

Delicious next to that which thou reserv'st For our poor wand'rer;

if escaping death At last,

divine Ulysses e'er return.

   460 Fill twelve,

and stop them close;

pour also meal Well mill'd (full twenty measures) into skins Close-seam'd,

and mention what thou dost to none.

Place them together;

for at even-tide I will convey them hence,

soon as the Queen,

Retiring to her couch,

shall seek repose.

For hence to Sparta will I take my course,

And sandy Pylus,

tidings there to hear (If hear I may) of my lov'd Sire's return.

He ceas'd,

then wept his gentle nurse that sound   470 Hearing,

and in wing'd accents thus replied.

My child!


wherefore hath a thought so rash Possess'd thee?


only and belov'd,

Seek'st thou to ramble,



To distant climes?

Ulysses is no more;

Dead lies the Hero in some land unknown,

And thou no sooner shalt depart,

than these Will plot to slay thee,

and divide thy wealth.


stay with us who love thee.

Need is none That thou should'st on the barren Deep distress   480 Encounter,

roaming without hope or end.



thus answer'd Telemachus.

Take courage,


for not without consent Of the Immortals I have thus resolv'd.

But swear,

that till eleven days be past,

Or twelve,


till enquiry made,

she learn Herself my going,

thou wilt not impart Of this my purpose to my mother's ear,

Lest all her beauties fade by grief impair'd.

He ended,

and the antient matron swore    490 Solemnly by the Gods;

which done,

she fill'd With wine the vessels and the skins with meal,

And he,


join'd the throng below.

Then Pallas,

Goddess azure-eyed,

her thoughts Elsewhere directing,

all the city ranged In semblance of Telemachus,

each man Exhorting,

at the dusk of eve,

to seek The gallant ship,

and from Noëmon,

son Renown'd of Phronius,



a bark,

Which soon as ask'd,

he promis'd to supply.

  500 Now set the sun,

and twilight dimm'd the ways,


drawing down his bark into the Deep,

He gave her all her furniture,


arms And tackle,

such as well-built galleys bear,

Then moor'd her in the bottom of the bay.


his mariners in haste repair'd Down to the shore,

for Pallas urged them on.

And now on other purposes intent,

The Goddess sought the palace,

where with dews Of slumber drenching ev'ry suitor's eye,

   510 She fool'd the drunkard multitude,

and dash'd The goblets from their idle hands away.

They through the city reeled,

happy to leave The dull carousal,

when the slumb'rous weight Oppressive on their eye-lids once had fall'n.


Pallas azure-eyed in Mentor's form And with the voice of Mentor,

summoning Telemachus abroad,

him thus bespake.


already at their oars Sit all thy fellow-voyagers,

and wait    520 Thy coming;

linger not,

but haste away.

This said,

Minerva led him thence,

whom he With nimble steps follow'd,

and on the shore Arrived,

found all his mariners prepared,

Whom thus the princely voyager address'd.


my companions!

bring we down the stores Already sorted and set forth;

but nought My mother knows,

or any of her train Of this design,

one matron sole except.

He spake,

and led them;



brought  530 All down,


as Ulysses' son enjoin'd,

Within the gallant bark the charge bestow'd.


led by Pallas,

went the prince on board,

Where down they sat,

the Goddess in the stern,

And at her side Telemachus.

The crew Cast loose the hawsers,

and embarking,

fill'd The benches.

Blue-eyed Pallas from the West Call'd forth propitious breezes;

fresh they curled The sable Deep,



swept the waves.

He loud-exhorting them,

his people bade    540 Hand,


the tackle;



reared The pine-tree mast,

which in its socket deep They lodg'd,

then strain'd the cordage,

and with thongs Well-twisted,

drew the shining sail aloft.

A land-breeze fill'd the canvas,

and the flood Roar'd as she went against the steady bark That ran with even course her liquid way.

The rigging,


of all the galley set,

Their beakers crowning high with wine,

they hail'd The ever-living Gods,

but above all    550 Minerva,

daughter azure-eyed of Jove.


all night long the galley,

and till dawn Had brighten'd into day,

cleaved swift the flood.


[6] The reader is to be reminded that this is not an assembly of the suitors only,

but a general one,

which affords Telemachus an opportunity to apply himself to the feelings of the Ithacans at large.



Telemachus arriving at Pylus,

enquires of Nestor concerning Ulysses.

Nestor relates to him all that he knows or has heard of the Greecians since their departure from the siege of Troy,

but not being able to give him any satisfactory account of Ulysses,

refers him to Menelaus.

At evening Minerva quits Telemachus,

but discovers herself in going.

Nestor sacrifices to the Goddess,

and the solemnity ended,

Telemachus sets forth for Sparta in one of Nestor's chariots,

and accompanied by Nestor's son,


The sun,

emerging from the lucid waves,

Ascended now the brazen vault with light For the inhabitants of earth and heav'n,

When in their bark at Pylus they arrived,

City of Neleus.

On the shore they found The people sacrificing;

bulls they slew Black without spot,

to Neptune azure-hair'd.

On ranges nine of seats they sat;

each range Received five hundred,

and to each they made Allotment equal of nine sable bulls.

   10 The feast was now begun;

these eating sat The entrails,

those stood off'ring to the God The thighs,

his portion,

when the Ithacans Push'd right ashore,


furling close the sails,

And making fast their moorings,


Forth came Telemachus,

by Pallas led,

Whom thus the Goddess azure-eyed address'd.


there is no longer room For bashful fear,

since thou hast cross'd the flood With purpose to enquire what land conceals   20 Thy father,

and what fate hath follow'd him.

Advance at once to the equestrian Chief Nestor,

within whose bosom lies,


Advice well worthy of thy search;

entreat Himself,

that he will tell thee only truth,

Who will not lye,

for he is passing wise.

To whom Telemachus discrete replied.

Ah Mentor!

how can I advance,

how greet A Chief like him,

unpractis'd as I am In manag'd phrase?

Shame bids the youth beware   30 How he accosts the man of many years.

But him the Goddess answer'd azure-eyed,


Thou wilt,

in part,

thyself Fit speech devise,

and heav'n will give the rest;

For thou wast neither born,

nor hast been train'd To manhood,

under unpropitious Pow'rs.

So saying,

Minerva led him thence,

whom he With nimble steps attending,

soon arrived Among the multitude.

There Nestor sat,

And Nestor's sons,


busily the feast   40 Tending,

his num'rous followers roasted,


The viands,


transfix'd them with the spits.

They seeing guests arrived,

together all Advanced,


grasping courteously their hands,

Invited them to sit;

but first,

the son Of Nestor,

young Pisistratus,



fast'ning on the hands of both,

beside The banquet placed them,

where the beach was spread With fleeces,

and where Thrasymedes sat His brother,

and the hoary Chief his Sire.

  50 To each a portion of the inner parts He gave,

then fill'd a golden cup with wine,


tasted first,

he to the daughter bore Of Jove the Thund'rer,

and her thus bespake.

Oh guest!

the King of Ocean now adore!

For ye have chanced on Neptune's festival;


when thou hast,


libation made Duly,

and pray'r,

deliver to thy friend The gen'rous juice,

that he may also make Libation;

for he,



in prayer   60 The Immortals,

of whose favour all have need.


since he younger is,

and with myself Coeval,

first I give the cup to thee.

He ceas'd,

and to her hand consign'd the cup,

Which Pallas gladly from a youth received So just and wise,

who to herself had first The golden cup presented,

and in pray'r Fervent the Sov'reign of the Seas adored.


earth-encircler Neptune!

O vouchsafe To us thy suppliants the desired effect    70 Of this our voyage;



bestow On Nestor and his offspring both,

then grant To all the Pylians such a gracious boon As shall requite their noble off'ring well.

Grant also to Telemachus and me To voyage hence,

possess'd of what we sought When hither in our sable bark we came.

So Pallas pray'd,

and her own pray'r herself Accomplish'd.

To Telemachus she gave The splendid goblet next,

and in his turn    80 Like pray'r Ulysses' son also preferr'd.

And now (the banquet from the spits withdrawn) They next distributed sufficient share To each,

and all were sumptuously regaled.

At length,

(both hunger satisfied and thirst) Thus Nestor,

the Gerenian Chief,


Now with more seemliness we may enquire,

After repast,

what guests we have received.

Our guests!

who are ye?

Whence have ye the waves Plough'd hither?

Come ye to transact concerns   90 Commercial,

or at random roam the Deep Like pirates,

who with mischief charged and woe To foreign States,

oft hazard life themselves?

Him answer'd,

bolder now,

but still discrete,


For Pallas had his heart With manly courage arm'd,

that he might ask From Nestor tidings of his absent Sire,

And win,


distinction and renown.

Oh Nestor,

Neleus' son,

glory of Greece!

Thou askest whence we are.

I tell thee whence.

  100 From Ithaca,

by the umbrageous woods Of Neritus o'erhung,

by private need,

Not public,


we come.

My errand is To seek intelligence of the renown'd Ulysses;

of my noble father,

prais'd For dauntless courage,

whom report proclaims Conqueror,

with thine aid,

of sacred Troy.

We have already learn'd where other Chiefs Who fought at Ilium,


but Jove conceals Even the death of my illustrious Sire    110 In dull obscurity;

for none hath heard Or confident can answer,

where he dy'd;

Whether he on the continent hath fall'n By hostile hands,

or by the waves o'erwhelm'd Of Amphitrite,

welters in the Deep.

For this cause,

at thy knees suppliant,

I beg That thou would'st tell me his disast'rous end,

If either thou beheld'st that dread event Thyself,

or from some wanderer of the Greeks Hast heard it: for my father at his birth   120 Was,


predestin'd to no common woes.

Neither through pity,

or o'erstrain'd respect Flatter me,

but explicit all relate Which thou hast witness'd.

If my noble Sire E'er gratified thee by performance just Of word or deed at Ilium,

where ye fell So num'rous slain in fight,


recollect Now his fidelity,

and tell me true.

Then Nestor thus Gerenian Hero old.

Young friend!

since thou remind'st me,

speaking thus,

 130 Of all the woes which indefatigable We sons of the Achaians there sustain'd,

Both those which wand'ring on the Deep we bore Wherever by Achilles led in quest Of booty,

and the many woes beside Which under royal Priam's spacious walls We suffer'd,


that there our bravest fell.

There warlike Ajax lies,

there Peleus' son;




like the Gods themselves In council,

and my son beloved there,

   140 Brave,


swift of foot,

and bold in fight,


Nor are these sorrows all;

What tongue of mortal man could all relate?

Should'st thou,

abiding here,

five years employ Or six,

enquiring of the woes endured By the Achaians,

ere thou should'st have learn'd The whole,

thou would'st depart,

tir'd of the tale.

For we,

nine years,

stratagems of all kinds Devised against them,

and Saturnian Jove Scarce crown'd the difficult attempt at last.

  150 There,

no competitor in wiles well-plann'd Ulysses found,

so far were all surpass'd In shrewd invention by thy noble Sire,

If thou indeed art his,

as sure thou art,

Whose sight breeds wonder in me,

and thy speech His speech resembles more than might be deem'd Within the scope of years so green as thine.


never in opinion,

or in voice Illustrious Ulysses and myself Divided were,


one in heart,

contrived   160 As best we might,

the benefit of all.

But after Priam's lofty city sack'd,

And the departure of the Greeks on board Their barks,

and when the Gods had scatter'd them,

Then Jove imagin'd for the Argive host A sorrowful return;

for neither just Were all,

nor prudent,

therefore many found A fate disast'rous through the vengeful ire Of Jove-born Pallas,

who between the sons Of Atreus sharp contention interposed.

   170 They both,


and against Just order,

summoning by night the Greeks To council,

of whom many came with wine Oppress'd,

promulgated the cause for which They had convened the people.

Then it was That Menelaus bade the general host Their thoughts bend homeward o'er the sacred Deep,

Which Agamemnon in no sort approved.

His counsel was to slay them yet at Troy,

That so he might assuage the dreadful wrath   180 Of Pallas,


by sacrifice and pray'r.

Vain hope!

he little thought how ill should speed That fond attempt,


once provok'd,

the Gods Are not with ease conciliated again.

Thus stood the brothers,

altercation hot Maintaining,

till at length,

uprose the Greeks With deaf'ning clamours,

and with diff'ring minds.

We slept the night,

but teeming with disgust Mutual,

for Jove great woe prepar'd for all.

At dawn of day we drew our gallies down    190 Into the sea,



put on board The spoils and female captives.

Half the host,

With Agamemnon,

son of Atreus,

stay'd Supreme commander,



half Push'd forth.

Swift course we made,

for Neptune smooth'd The waves before us of the monstrous Deep.

At Tenedos arriv'd,

we there perform'd Sacrifice to the Gods,

ardent to reach Our native land,

but unpropitious Jove,

Not yet designing our arrival there,

   200 Involved us in dissension fierce again.

For all the crews,

followers of the King,

Thy noble Sire,

to gratify our Chief,

The son of Atreus,

chose a diff'rent course,

And steer'd their oary barks again to Troy.

But I,

assured that evil from the Gods Impended,

gath'ring all my gallant fleet,

Fled thence in haste,

and warlike Diomede Exhorting his attendants,

also fled.

At length,

the Hero Menelaus join'd    210 Our fleets at Lesbos;

there he found us held In deep deliberation on the length Of way before us,

whether we should steer Above the craggy Chios to the isle Psyria,

that island holding on our left,

Or under Chios by the wind-swept heights Of Mimas.

Then we ask'd from Jove a sign,

And by a sign vouchsafed he bade us cut The wide sea to Eubœa sheer athwart,

So soonest to escape the threat'ned harm.

  220 Shrill sang the rising gale,

and with swift prows Cleaving the fishy flood,

we reach'd by night Geræstus,

where arrived,

we burn'd the thighs Of num'rous bulls to Neptune,

who had safe Conducted us through all our perilous course.

The fleet of Diomede in safety moor'd On the fourth day at Argos,

but myself Held on my course to Pylus,

nor the wind One moment thwarted us,

or died away,

When Jove had once commanded it to blow.

   230 Thus,


I have arrived,

my son!

Nor of the Greecians,

who are saved have heard,

Or who have perish'd;

but what news soe'er I have obtain'd,

since my return,

with truth I will relate,

nor aught conceal from thee.

The spear-famed Myrmidons,

as rumour speaks,

By Neoptolemus,

illustrious son Of brave Achilles led,

have safe arrived;



also son renown'd Of Pæas;

and Idomeneus at Crete     240 Hath landed all his followers who survive The bloody war,

the waves have swallow'd none.

Ye have yourselves doubtless,

although remote,

Of Agamemnon heard,

how he return'd,

And how Ægisthus cruelly contrived For him a bloody welcome,

but himself Hath with his own life paid the murth'rous deed.

Good is it,


if a son survive The slain,

since Agamemnon's son hath well Avenged his father's death,



  250 Ægisthus,

foul assassin of his Sire.

Young friend!

(for pleas'd thy vig'rous youth I view,

And just proportion) be thou also bold,

That thine like his may be a deathless name.



him answer'd Telemachus.

Oh Nestor,

Neleus' son,

glory of Greece!

And righteous was that vengeance;

-his- renown Achaia's sons shall far and wide diffuse,

To future times transmitting it in song.


would that such ability the Gods    260 Would grant to me,

that I,

as well,

the deeds Might punish of our suitors,

whose excess Enormous,

and whose bitter taunts I feel Continual,

object of their subtle hate.

But not for me such happiness the Gods Have twined into my thread;


not for me Or for my father.

Patience is our part.

To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied.

Young friend!

(since thou remind'st me of that theme) Fame here reports that num'rous suitors haunt   270 Thy palace for thy mother's sake,

and there Much evil perpetrate in thy despight.

But say,

endur'st thou willing their controul Imperious,

or because the people,

sway'd By some response oracular,

incline Against thee?

But who knows?

the time may come When to his home restored,

either alone,

Or aided by the force of all the Greeks,

Ulysses may avenge the wrong;

at least,

Should Pallas azure-eyed thee love,

as erst   280 At Troy,

the scene of our unnumber'd woes,

She lov'd Ulysses (for I have not known The Gods assisting so apparently A mortal man,

as him Minerva there) Should Pallas view thee also with like love And kind solicitude,

some few of those Should dream,


of wedlock never more.

Then answer thus Telemachus return'd.

That word's accomplishment I cannot hope;

It promises too much;

the thought alone    290 O'erwhelms me;

an event so fortunate Would,

unexpected on my part,


Although the Gods themselves should purpose it.

But Pallas him answer'd cærulean-eyed.


what word was that which leap'd The iv'ry guard[7] that should have fenced it in?

A God,

so willing,

could with utmost ease Save any man,

howe'er remote.


I had much rather,

many woes endured,

Revisit home,

at last,

happy and safe,

   300 Than,

sooner coming,

die in my own house,

As Agamemnon perish'd by the arts Of base Ægisthus and the subtle Queen.

Yet not the Gods themselves can save from death All-levelling,

the man whom most they love,

When Fate ordains him once to his last sleep.

To whom Telemachus,



Howe'er it interest us,

let us leave This question,



I am assured,

Returns no more,

but hath already found    310 A sad,

sad fate by the decree of heav'n.

But I would now interrogate again Nestor,

and on a different theme,

for him In human rights I judge,

and laws expert,

And in all knowledge beyond other men;

For he hath govern'd,

as report proclaims,

Three generations;

therefore in my eyes He wears the awful impress of a God.

Oh Nestor,

son of Neleus,

tell me true;

What was the manner of Atrides' death,

   320 Wide-ruling Agamemnon?

Tell me where Was Menelaus?

By what means contrived Ægisthus to inflict the fatal blow,

Slaying so much a nobler than himself?

Had not the brother of the Monarch reach'd Achaian Argos yet,


wand'ring still In other climes,

his long absence gave Ægisthus courage for that bloody deed?

Whom answer'd the Gerenian Chief renown'd.

My son!

I will inform thee true;

meantime   330 Thy own suspicions border on the fact.

Had Menelaus,


amber hair'd,

Ægisthus found living at his return From Ilium,

never on -his- bones the Greeks Had heap'd a tomb,

but dogs and rav'ning fowls Had torn him lying in the open field Far from the town,

nor him had woman wept Of all in Greece,

for he had foul transgress'd.

But we,

in many an arduous task engaged,

Lay before Ilium;


the while,

secure    340 Within the green retreats of Argos,

found Occasion apt by flatt'ry to delude The spouse of Agamemnon;


at first,

(The royal Clytemnestra) firm refused The deed dishonourable (for she bore A virtuous mind,

and at her side a bard Attended ever,

whom the King,

to Troy Departing,

had appointed to the charge.)

But when the Gods had purposed to ensnare Ægisthus,

then dismissing far remote    350 The bard into a desart isle,

he there Abandon'd him to rav'ning fowls a prey,

And to his own home,

willing as himself,

Led Clytemnestra.

Num'rous thighs he burn'd On all their hallow'd altars to the Gods,

And hung with tap'stry,


and gold Their shrines,

his great exploit past hope atchiev'd.

We (Menelaus and myself) had sailed From Troy together,

but when we approach'd Sunium,

headland of th' Athenian shore,

   360 There Phœbus,


with his gentle shafts Slew Menelaus' pilot while he steer'd The volant bark,


Onetor's son,

A mariner past all expert,

whom none In steerage match'd,

what time the tempest roar'd.



Menelaus was detained,

Giving his friend due burial,

and his rites Funereal celebrating,

though in haste Still to proceed.

But when,

with all his fleet The wide sea traversing,

he reach'd at length   370 Malea's lofty foreland in his course,

Rough passage,


and perilous he found.

Shrill blasts the Thund'rer pour'd into his sails,

And wild waves sent him mountainous.

His ships There scatter'd,

some to the Cydonian coast Of Crete he push'd,

near where the Jardan flows.

Beside the confines of Gortyna stands,

Amid the gloomy flood,

a smooth rock,

steep Toward the sea,

against whose leftward point Phæstus by name,

the South wind rolls the surge   380 Amain,

which yet the rock,

though small,


Hither with part he came,

and scarce the crews Themselves escaped,

while the huge billows broke Their ships against the rocks;

yet five he saved,

Which winds and waves drove to the Ægyptian shore.

Thus he,

provision gath'ring as he went And gold abundant,

roam'd to distant lands And nations of another tongue.


Ægisthus these enormities at home Devising,

slew Atrides,

and supreme    390 Rul'd the subjected land;

sev'n years he reign'd In opulent Mycenæ,

but the eighth From Athens brought renown'd Orestes home For his destruction,

who of life bereaved Ægisthus base assassin of his Sire.



the funereal rites Performing to his shameless mother's shade And to her lustful paramour,

a feast Gave to the Argives;

on which self-same day The warlike Menelaus,

with his ships    400 All treasure-laden to the brink,


And thou,

young friend!

from thy forsaken home Rove not long time remote,

thy treasures left At mercy of those proud,

lest they divide And waste the whole,

rend'ring thy voyage vain.

But hence to Menelaus is the course To which I counsel thee;

for he hath come Of late from distant lands,

whence to escape No man could hope,

whom tempests first had driv'n Devious into so wide a sea,

from which    410 Themselves the birds of heaven could not arrive In a whole year,

so vast is the expanse.



with ship and shipmates,

or if more The land delight thee,

steeds thou shalt not want Nor chariot,

and my sons shall be thy guides To noble Lacedemon,

the abode Of Menelaus;

ask from him the truth,

Who will not lye,

for he is passing wise.

While thus he spake,

the sun declined,

and night Approaching,

blue-eyed Pallas interposed.

  420 O antient King!

well hast thou spoken all.

But now delay not.

Cut ye forth the tongues,[8] And mingle wine,

that (Neptune first invoked With due libation,

and the other Gods) We may repair to rest;

for even now The sun is sunk,

and it becomes us not Long to protract a banquet to the Gods Devote,

but in fit season to depart.

So spake Jove's daughter;

they obedient heard.

The heralds,


pour'd water on their hands,

  430 And the attendant youths,

filling the cups,

Served them from left to right.

Next all the tongues They cast into the fire,

and ev'ry guest Arising,

pour'd libation to the Gods.

Libation made,

and all with wine sufficed,

Godlike Telemachus and Pallas both Would have return'd,


on board,

But Nestor urged them still to be his guests.

Forbid it,


and all the Pow'rs of heav'n!

That ye should leave me to repair on board   440 Your vessel,

as I were some needy wretch Cloakless and destitute of fleecy stores Wherewith to spread the couch soft for myself,

Or for my guests.

No. I have garments warm An ample store,

and rugs of richest dye;

And never shall Ulysses' son belov'd,

My frend's own son,

sleep on a galley's plank While I draw vital air;

grant also,




I may leave behind me sons Glad to accommodate whatever guest!

   450 Him answer'd then Pallas cærulean-eyed.

Old Chief!

thou hast well said,

and reason bids Telemachus thy kind commands obey.

Let -him- attend thee hence,

that he may sleep Beneath thy roof,

but I return on board Myself,

to instruct my people,

and to give All needful orders;

for among them none Is old as I,

but they are youths alike,

Coevals of Telemachus,

with whom They have embark'd for friendship's sake alone.

  460 I therefore will repose myself on board This night,

and to the Caucons bold in arms Will sail to-morrow,

to demand arrears Long time unpaid,

and of no small amount.


since he is become thy guest,

afford My friend a chariot,

and a son of thine Who shall direct his way,

nor let him want Of all thy steeds the swiftest and the best.

So saying,

the blue-eyed Goddess as upborne On eagle's wings,


amazement seized   470 The whole assembly,

and the antient King O'erwhelmed with wonder at that sight,

the hand Grasp'd of Telemachus,

whom he thus bespake.

My friend!

I prophesy that thou shalt prove Nor base nor dastard,


so young,

the Gods Already take in charge;

for of the Pow'rs Inhabitants of heav'n,

none else was this Than Jove's own daughter Pallas,

who among The Greecians honour'd most thy gen'rous Sire.

But thou,

O Queen!

compassionate us all,

  480 Myself,

my sons,

my comfort;

give to each A glorious name,

and I to thee will give For sacrifice an heifer of the year,


one that never yet hath borne The yoke,

and will incase her horns with gold.

So Nestor pray'd,

whom Pallas gracious heard.

Then the Gerenian warrior old,

before His sons and sons in law,

to his abode Magnificent proceeded: they (arrived Within the splendid palace of the King)    490 On thrones and couches sat in order ranged,

Whom Nestor welcom'd,

charging high the cup With wine of richest sort,

which she who kept That treasure,

now in the eleventh year First broach'd,

unsealing the delicious juice.

With this the hoary Senior fill'd a cup,

And to the daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd Pouring libation,

offer'd fervent pray'r.

When all had made libation,

and no wish Remain'd of more,

then each to rest retired,

  500 And Nestor the Gerenian warrior old Led thence Telemachus to a carved couch Beneath the sounding portico prepared.

Beside him he bade sleep the spearman bold,


a gallant youth,

the sole Unwedded in his house of all his sons.

Himself in the interior palace lay,

Where couch and cov'ring for her antient spouse The consort Queen had diligent prepar'd.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

   510 Had tinged the East,

arising from his bed,

Gerenian Nestor issued forth,

and sat Before his palace-gate on the white stones Resplendent as with oil,

on which of old His father Neleus had been wont to sit,

In council like a God;

but he had sought,

By destiny dismiss'd long since,

the shades.

On those stones therefore now,

Nestor himself,

Achaia's guardian,


sceptre in hand,

Where soon his num'rous sons,

leaving betimes   520 The place of their repose,

also appeared,





Aretus and Pisistratus.

They placed Godlike Telemachus at Nestor's side,

And the Gerenian Hero thus began.

Sons be ye quick --execute with dispatch My purpose,

that I may propitiate first Of all the Gods Minerva,

who herself Hath honour'd manifest our hallow'd feast.



into the field,

to order thence   530 An ox,

and let the herdsman drive it home.


hasting to the sable bark Of brave Telemachus,

bring hither all His friends,

save two,

and let a third command Laerceus,

that he come to enwrap with gold The victim's horns.

Abide ye here,

the rest,

And bid my female train (for I intend A banquet) with all diligence provide Seats,

stores of wood,

and water from the rock.

He said,

whom instant all obey'd.

The ox   540 Came from the field,

and from the gallant ship The ship-mates of the brave Telemachus;


charged with all his implements of art,

His mallet,



came the smith To give the horns their gilding;

also came Pallas herself to her own sacred rites.

Then Nestor,

hoary warrior,

furnish'd gold,


hammer'd thin,

the artist wrapp'd around The victim's horns,

that seeing him attired So costly,

Pallas might the more be pleased.

  550 Stratius and brave Echephron introduced The victim by his horns;

Aretus brought A laver in one hand,

with flow'rs emboss'd,

And in his other hand a basket stored With cakes,

while warlike Thrasymedes,

arm'd With his long-hafted ax,

prepared to smite The ox,

and Perseus to receive the blood.

The hoary Nestor consecrated first Both cakes and water,

and with earnest pray'r To Pallas,

gave the forelock to the flames.

  560 When all had worshipp'd,

and the broken cakes Sprinkled,

then godlike Thrasymedes drew Close to the ox,

and smote him.

Deep the edge Enter'd,

and senseless on the floor he fell.

Then Nestor's daughters,

and the consorts all Of Nestor's sons,

with his own consort,

chaste Eurydice,

the daughter eldest-born Of Clymenus,

in one shrill orison Vocif'rous join'd,

while they,

lifting the ox,

Held him supported firmly,

and the prince   570 Of men,


his gullet pierced.

Soon as the sable blood had ceased,

and life Had left the victim,

spreading him abroad,

With nice address they parted at the joint His thighs,

and wrapp'd them in the double cawl,

Which with crude slices thin they overspread.

Nestor burn'd incense,

and libation pour'd Large on the hissing brands,

while him beside,

Busy with spit and prong,

stood many a youth Train'd to the task.

The thighs consumed,

each took His portion of the maw,


slashing well   581 The remnant,

they transpierced it with the spits Neatly,

and held it reeking at the fire.

Meantime the youngest of the daughters fair Of Nestor,

beauteous Polycaste,



and in vest and tunic cloathed Telemachus,


so refresh'd,

stepp'd forth From the bright laver graceful as a God,

And took his seat at antient Nestor's side.

The viands dress'd,

and from the spits withdrawn,

 590 They sat to share the feast,

and princely youths Arising,

gave them wine in cups of gold.

When neither hunger now nor thirst remain'd Unsated,

thus Gerenian Nestor spake.

My sons,


lead forth the sprightly steeds,

And yoke them,

that Telemachus may go.

So spake the Chief,

to whose commands his sons,


yoked in haste the rapid steeds,

And the intendant matron of the stores Disposed meantime within the chariot,

bread   600 And wine,

and dainties,

such as princes eat.

Telemachus into the chariot first Ascended,

and beside him,


his place Pisistratus the son of Nestor took,

Then seiz'd the reins,

and lash'd the coursers on.


nothing loth,

into the open plain Flew,

leaving lofty Pylus soon afar.



they shook on either side The yoke all day,

and now the setting sun To dusky evening had resign'd the roads,

   610 When they to Pheræ came,

and the abode Reach'd of Diocles,

whose illustrious Sire Orsilochus from Alpheus drew his birth,

And there,

with kindness entertain'd,

they slept.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy from the East,

yoking the steeds,

They in their sumptuous chariot sat again.

The son of Nestor plied the lash,

and forth Through vestibule and sounding portico The royal coursers,

not unwilling,


   620 A corn-invested land receiv'd them next,

And there they brought their journey to a close,

So rapidly they moved;

and now the sun Went down,

and even-tide dimm'd all the ways.


[7] Ερκος οδοντων.


alluding to this expression,

ludicrously renders it --

"When words like these in vocal breath Burst from his twofold hedge of teeth."

[8] It is said to have been customary in the days of Homer,

when the Greeks retired from a banquet to their beds,

to cut out the tongues of the victims,

and offer them to the Gods in particular who presided over conversation.




with Pisistratus,

arrives at the palace of Menelaus,

from whom he receives some fresh information concerning the return of the Greecians,

and is in particular told on the authority of Proteus,

that his father is detained by Calypso.

The suitors,

plotting against the life of Telemachus,

lie in wait to intercept him in his return to Ithaca.

Penelope being informed of his departure,

and of their designs to slay him,

becomes inconsolable,

but is relieved by a dream sent to her from Minerva.

In hollow Lacedæmon's spacious vale Arriving,

to the house they drove direct Of royal Menelaus;

him they found In his own palace,

all his num'rous friends Regaling at a nuptial banquet giv'n Both for his daughter and the prince his son.

His daughter to renown'd Achilles' heir He sent,

to whom he had at Troy engaged To give her,

and the Gods now made her his.

With chariots and with steeds he sent her forth   10 To the illustrious city where the prince,

Achilles' offspring,

ruled the Myrmidons.

But to his son he gave a Spartan fair,

Alector's daughter;

from an handmaid sprang That son to Menelaus in his age,

Brave Megapenthes;

for the Gods no child To Helen gave,

made mother,


of her Who vied in perfect loveliness of form With golden Venus' self,


Thus all the neighbour princes and the friends   20 Of noble Menelaus,

feasting sat Within his spacious palace,

among whom A sacred bard sang sweetly to his harp,


in the midst,

two dancers smote the ground With measur'd steps responsive to his song.

And now the Heroes,

Nestor's noble son And young Telemachus arrived within The vestibule,


issuing from the hall,

The noble Eteoneus of the train Of Menelaus,


at once he ran     30 Across the palace to report the news To his Lord's ear,


standing at his side,

In accents wing'd with haste thus greeted him.

Oh Menelaus!

Heav'n descended Chief!

Two guests arrive,

both strangers,

but the race Of Jove supreme resembling each in form.


shall we loose,


their rapid steeds,

Or hence dismiss them to some other host?

But Menelaus,

Hero golden-hair'd,

Indignant answer'd him.

Boethe's son!

   40 Thou wast not,



A babbler,

who now pratest as a child.

We have ourselves arrived indebted much To hospitality of other men,

If Jove shall,

even here,

some pause at last Of woe afford us.

Therefore loose,

at once,

Their steeds,

and introduce them to the feast.

He said,



Eteoneus call'd The brisk attendants to his aid,

with whom He loos'd their foaming coursers from the yoke.

  50 Them first they bound to mangers,

which with oats And mingled barley they supplied,

then thrust The chariot sidelong to the splendid wall.[9] Themselves he,


into the royal house Conducted,

who survey'd,


the abode Of the heav'n-favour'd King;

for on all sides As with the splendour of the sun or moon The lofty dome of Menelaus blazed.


at length,

with wonder at that sight,

They enter'd each a bath,

and by the hands   60 Of maidens laved,

and oil'd,

and cloath'd again With shaggy mantles and resplendent vests,

Sat both enthroned at Menelaus' side.

And now a maiden charged with golden ew'r,

And with an argent laver,

pouring first Pure water on their hands,

supplied them next With a bright table,

which the maiden,

chief In office,

furnish'd plenteously with bread And dainties,

remnants of the last regale.

Then came the sew'r,

who with delicious meats   70 Dish after dish,

served them,

and placed beside The chargers cups magnificent of gold,

When Menelaus grasp'd their hands,

and said.

Eat and rejoice,

and when ye shall have shared Our nuptial banquet,

we will then inquire Who are ye both,



not from those Whose generation perishes are ye,

But rather of some race of sceptred Chiefs Heav'n-born;

the base have never sons like you.

So saying,

he from the board lifted his own   80 Distinguish'd portion,

and the fatted chine Gave to his guests;

the sav'ry viands they With outstretch'd hands assail'd,

and when the force No longer now of appetite they felt,


inclining close his head To Nestor's son,

lest others should his speech Witness,

in whisper'd words him thus address'd.

Dearest Pisistratus,


my friend!

How all the echoing palace with the light Of beaming brass,

of gold and amber shines   90 Silver and ivory!

for radiance such Th' interior mansion of Olympian Jove I deem.

What wealth,

how various,

how immense Is here!

astonish'd I survey the sight!

But Menelaus,


his speech O'erhearing,

thus in accents wing'd replied My children!

let no mortal man pretend Comparison with Jove;

for Jove's abode And all his stores are incorruptible.

But whether mortal man with me may vie    100 In the display of wealth,

or whether not,

This know,

that after many toils endured,

And perilous wand'rings wide,

in the eighth year I brought my treasures home.

Remote I roved To Cyprus,

to Phœnice,

to the shores Of Ægypt;

Æthiopia's land I reach'd,

Th' Erembi,

the Sidonians,

and the coasts Of Lybia,

where the lambs their foreheads shew At once with horns defended,

soon as yean'd.


thrice within the year the flocks produce,

 110 Nor master,


nor shepherd ever feels A dearth of cheese,

of flesh,

or of sweet milk Delicious,

drawn from udders never dry.



commodities on various coasts Gath'ring I roam'd,


by the arts Of his pernicious spouse aided,

of life Bereav'd my brother privily,

and when least He fear'd to lose it.

Therefore little joy To me results from all that I possess.

Your fathers (be those fathers who they may)   120 These things have doubtless told you;

for immense Have been my suff'rings,

and I have destroy'd A palace well inhabited and stored With precious furniture in ev'ry kind;


that I would to heav'n!

I own'd at home Though but the third of it,

and that the Greeks Who perish'd then,

beneath the walls of Troy Far from steed-pastured Argos,

still survived.

Yet while,

sequester'd here,

I frequent mourn My slaughter'd friends,

by turns I sooth my soul   130 With tears shed for them,

and by turns again I cease;

for grief soon satiates free indulged.

But of them all,

although I all bewail,

None mourn I so as one,

whom calling back To memory,

I both sleep and food abhor.


of Achaia's sons none ever toiled Strenuous as Ulysses;

but his lot Was woe,

and unremitting sorrow mine For his long absence,


if still he live,

We know not aught,

or be already dead.

   140 Him doubtless,

old Laertes mourns,

and him Discrete Penelope,

nor less his son Telemachus,

born newly when he sail'd.

So saying,

he kindled in him strong desire To mourn his father;

at his father's name Fast fell his tears to ground,

and with both hands He spread his purple cloak before his eyes;

Which Menelaus marking,

doubtful sat If he should leave him leisure for his tears,

Or question him,

and tell him all at large.

  150 While thus he doubted,

Helen (as it chanced) Leaving her fragrant chamber,


august As Dian,

goddess of the golden bow.


for her use,

set forth a throne,

Alcippe with soft arras cover'd it,

And Philo brought her silver basket,

gift Of fair Alcandra,

wife of Polybus,

Whose mansion in Ægyptian Thebes is rich In untold treasure,

and who gave,


Ten golden talents,

and two silver baths    160 To Menelaus,

with two splendid tripods Beside the noble gifts which,

at the hand Of his illustrious spouse,

Helen receiv'd;

A golden spindle,

and a basket wheel'd,

Itself of silver,

and its lip of gold.

That basket Philo,

her own handmaid,

placed At beauteous Helen's side,

charged to the brim With slender threads,

on which the spindle lay With wool of purple lustre wrapp'd around.


on her foot-stool'd throne she sat,

  170 And,


of her royal spouse enquired.

Know we,

my Menelaus,

dear to Jove!

These guests of ours,

and whence they have arrived?

Erroneous I may speak,

yet speak I must;

In man or woman never have I seen Such likeness to another (wonder-fixt I gaze) as in this stranger to the son Of brave Ulysses,

whom that Hero left New-born at home,

when (shameless as I was) For my unworthy sake the Greecians sailed   180 To Ilium,

with fierce rage of battle fir'd.

Then Menelaus,


the golden-hair'd.

I also such resemblance find in him As thou;

such feet,

such hands,

the cast of eye[10] Similar,

and the head and flowing locks.

And even now,

when I Ulysses named,

And his great sufferings mention'd,

in my cause,

The bitter tear dropp'd from his lids,

while broad Before his eyes his purple cloak he spread.

To whom the son of Nestor thus replied.

  190 Atrides!


Chief renown'd!

He is in truth his son,

as thou hast said,

But he is modest,

and would much himself Condemn,


at his first arrival here,

He should loquacious seem and bold to thee,

To whom we listen,

captived by thy voice,

As if some God had spoken.

As for me,


my father,

the Gerenian Chief Bade me conduct him hither,

for he wish'd To see thee,

promising himself from thee    200 The benefit of some kind word or deed.


destitute of other aid,

he much His father's tedious absence mourns at home.

So fares Telemachus;

his father strays Remote,


in his stead,

no friend hath he Who might avert the mischiefs that he feels.

To whom the Hero amber-hair'd replied.

Ye Gods!

the offspring of indeed a friend Hath reach'd my house,

of one who hath endured Arduous conflicts num'rous for my sake;

   210 And much I purpos'd,

had Olympian Jove Vouchsaf'd us prosp'rous passage o'er the Deep,

To have receiv'd him with such friendship here As none beside.

In Argos I had then Founded a city for him,

and had rais'd A palace for himself;

I would have brought The Hero hither,

and his son,

with all His people,

and with all his wealth,

some town Evacuating for his sake,

of those Ruled by myself,

and neighb'ring close my own.

  220 Thus situate,

we had often interchanged Sweet converse,

nor had other cause at last Our friendship terminated or our joys,

Than death's black cloud o'ershadowing him or me.

But such delights could only envy move Ev'n in the Gods,

who have,

of all the Greeks,

Amerc'd -him- only of his wish'd return.

So saying,

he kindled the desire to weep In ev'ry bosom.

Argive Helen wept Abundant,

Jove's own daughter;

wept as fast   230 Telemachus and Menelaus both;

Nor Nestor's son with tearless eyes remain'd,

Calling to mind Antilochus[11] by the son[12] Illustrious of the bright Aurora slain,

Rememb'ring whom,

in accents wing'd he said.


antient Nestor,

when of late Conversing with him,

we remember'd thee,

Pronounced thee wise beyond all human-kind.

Now therefore,

let not even my advice Displease thee.

It affords me no delight    240 To intermingle tears with my repast,

And soon,


daughter of the dawn,

Will tinge the orient.

Not that I account Due lamentation of a friend deceased Blameworthy,


to sheer the locks and weep,

Is all we can for the unhappy dead.

I also have my grief,

call'd to lament One,

not the meanest of Achaia's sons,

My brother;

him I cannot but suppose To thee well-known,

although unknown to me   250 Who saw him never;[13] but report proclaims Antilochus superior to the most,

In speed superior,

and in feats of arms.

To whom,

the Hero of the yellow locks.

O friend belov'd!

since nought which thou hast said Or recommended now,

would have disgraced A man of years maturer far than thine,

(For wise thy father is,

and such art thou,

And easy is it to discern the son Of such a father,

whom Saturnian Jove    260 In marriage both and at his birth ordain'd To great felicity;

for he hath giv'n To Nestor gradually to sink at home Into old age,


while he lives,

to see His sons past others wise,

and skill'd in arms) The sorrow into which we sudden fell Shall pause.

Come --now remember we the feast;

Pour water on our hands,

for we shall find,

(Telemachus and I) no dearth of themes For mutual converse when the day shall dawn.

  270 He ended;



at his word,

Servant of glorious Menelaus,

poured Pure water on their hands,

and they the feast Before them with keen appetite assail'd.

But Jove-born Helen otherwise,



into the wine of which they drank A drug infused,

antidote to the pains Of grief and anger,

a most potent charm For ills of ev'ry name.

Whoe'er his wine So medicated drinks,

he shall not pour    280 All day the tears down his wan cheek,

although His father and his mother both were dead,

Nor even though his brother or his son Had fall'n in battle,

and before his eyes.

Such drugs Jove's daughter own'd,

with skill prepar'd,

And of prime virtue,

by the wife of Thone,

Ægyptian Polydamna,

giv'n her.

For Ægypt teems with drugs,

yielding no few Which,

mingled with the drink,

are good,

and many Of baneful juice,

and enemies to life.

   290 There ev'ry man in skill medicinal Excels,

for they are sons of Pæon all.

That drug infused,

she bade her servant pour The bev'rage forth,

and thus her speech resumed.



dear to Jove!

These also are the sons of Chiefs renown'd,

(For Jove,

as pleases him,

to each assigns Or good or evil,

whom all things obey) Now therefore,

feasting at your ease reclin'd,

Listen with pleasure,

for myself,

the while,

  300 Will matter seasonable interpose.

I cannot all rehearse,

nor even name,

(Omitting none) the conflicts and exploits Of brave Ulysses;

but with what address Successful,

one atchievement he perform'd At Ilium,

where Achaia's sons endured Such hardship,

will I speak.

Inflicting wounds Dishonourable on himself,

he took A tatter'd garb,

and like a serving-man Enter'd the spacious city of your foes.

   310 So veil'd,

some mendicant he seem'd,

although No Greecian less deserved that name than he.

In such disguise he enter'd;

all alike Misdeem'd him;

me alone he not deceived Who challeng'd him,



he turn'd away.

At length,


when I had myself Bathed him,


cloath'd him,

and had sworn Not to declare him openly in Troy Till he should reach again the camp and fleet,

He told me the whole purpose of the Greeks.

  320 Then,

(many a Trojan slaughter'd,) he regain'd The camp,

and much intelligence he bore To the Achaians.

Oh what wailing then Was heard of Trojan women!

but my heart Exulted,

alter'd now,

and wishing home;

For now my crime committed under force Of Venus' influence I deplored,

what time She led me to a country far remote,

A wand'rer from the matrimonial bed,

From my own child,

and from my rightful Lord   330 Alike unblemish'd both in form and mind.

Her answer'd then the Hero golden-hair'd.


thou hast well spoken.

All is true.

I have the talents fathom'd and the minds Of num'rous Heroes,

and have travell'd far Yet never saw I with these eyes in man Such firmness as the calm Ulysses own'd;

None such as in the wooden horse he proved,

Where all our bravest sat,

designing woe And bloody havoc for the sons of Troy.

   340 Thou thither cam'st,


as it should seem,

By some divinity inclin'd to give Victory to our foes,

and with thee came Godlike Deiphobus.

Thrice round about The hollow ambush,

striking with thy hand Its sides thou went'st,

and by his name didst call Each prince of Greece feigning his consort's voice.

Myself with Diomede,

and with divine Ulysses,

seated in the midst,

the call Heard plain and loud;

we (Diomede and I)    350 With ardour burn'd either to quit the horse So summon'd,

or to answer from within.


all impatient as we were,

Ulysses Controul'd the rash design;

so there the sons Of the Achaians silent sat and mute,

And of us all Anticlus would alone Have answer'd;

but Ulysses with both hands Compressing close his lips,

saved us,

nor ceased Till Pallas thence conducted thee again.

Then thus,


Telemachus replied.

  360 Atrides!


prince renown'd!

Hard was his lot whom these rare qualities Preserved not,

neither had his dauntless heart Been iron,

had he scaped his cruel doom.

But haste,

dismiss us hence,

that on our beds Reposed,

we may enjoy sleep,

needful now.

He ceas'd;

then Argive Helen gave command To her attendant maidens to prepare Beds in the portico with purple rugs Resplendent,

and with arras,


   370 And cover'd warm with cloaks of shaggy pile.

Forth went the maidens,

bearing each a torch,

And spread the couches;


the herald them Led forth,

and in the vestibule the son Of Nestor and the youthful Hero slept,


but in the interior house Atrides,

with the loveliest of her sex Beside him,

Helen of the sweeping stole.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Glow'd in the East,

then from his couch arose   380 The warlike Menelaus,

fresh attir'd;

His faulchion o'er his shoulders slung,

he bound His sandals fair to his unsullied feet,

And like a God issuing,

at the side Sat of Telemachus,

to whom he spake.



what urgent cause Hath hither led thee,

to the land far-famed Of Lacedæmon o'er the spacious Deep?

Public concern or private?

Tell me true.

To whom Telemachus discrete replied.

   390 Atrides!


prince renown'd!

News seeking of my Sire,

I have arrived.

My household is devour'd,

my fruitful fields Are desolated,

and my palace fill'd With enemies,

who while they mutual wage Proud competition for my mother's love,

My flocks continual slaughter,

and my beeves.

For this cause,

at thy knees suppliant,

I beg That thou wouldst tell me his disastrous end,

If either thou beheld'st with thine own eyes   400 His death,

or from some wand'rer of the Greeks Hast heard it;

for no common woes,


Was he ordain'd to share ev'n from the womb.

Neither through pity or o'erstrain'd respect Flatter me,

but explicit all relate Which thou hast witness'd.

If my noble Sire E'er gratified thee by performance just Of word or deed at Ilium,

where ye fell So num'rous slain in fight,

oh recollect Now his fidelity,

and tell me true!

   410 Then Menelaus,

sighing deep,



their ambition is to reach the bed Of a brave man,

however base themselves.

But as it chances,

when the hart hath lay'd Her fawns new-yean'd and sucklings yet,

to rest Within some dreadful lion's gloomy den,

She roams the hills,

and in the grassy vales Feeds heedless,

till the lion,

to his lair Return'd,

destroys her and her little-ones,

So them thy Sire shall terribly destroy.

   420 Jove,

Pallas and Apollo!

oh that such As erst in well-built Lesbos,

where he strove With Philomelides,

and threw him flat,

A sight at which Achaia's sons rejoic'd,



Ulysses might assail them all!

Short life and bitter nuptials should be theirs.

But thy enquiries neither indirect Will I evade,

nor give thee false reply,

But all that from the Antient of the Deep[14] I have receiv'd will utter,

hiding nought.

  430 As yet the Gods on Ægypt's shore detained Me wishing home,

angry at my neglect To heap their altars with slain hecatombs.

For they exacted from us evermore Strict rev'rence of their laws.

There is an isle Amid the billowy flood,

Pharos by name,

In front of Ægypt,

distant from her shore Far as a vessel by a sprightly gale Impell'd,

may push her voyage in a day.

The haven there is good,

and many a ship    440 Finds wat'ring there from riv'lets on the coast.

There me the Gods kept twenty days,

no breeze Propitious granting,

that might sweep the waves,

And usher to her home the flying bark.

And now had our provision,

all consumed,

Left us exhausted,

but a certain nymph Pitying saved me.

Daughter fair was she Of mighty Proteus,

Antient of the Deep,

Idothea named;

her most my sorrows moved;

She found me from my followers all apart    450 Wand'ring (for they around the isle,

with hooks The fishes snaring roamed,

by famine urged) And standing at my side,

me thus bespake.


thou must be ideot born,

or weak At least in intellect,

or thy delight Is in distress and mis'ry,

who delay'st To leave this island,

and no egress hence Canst find,

although thy famish'd people faint.

So spake the Goddess,

and I thus replied.

I tell thee,

whosoever of the Pow'rs    460 Divine thou art,

that I am prison'd here Not willingly,

but must have,


sinn'd Against the deathless tenants of the skies.

Yet say (for the Immortals all things know) What God detains me,

and my course forbids Hence to my country o'er the fishy Deep?

So I;

to whom the Goddess all-divine.


I will inform thee true.

A seer Oracular,

the Antient of the Deep,

Immortal Proteus,

the Ægyptian,

haunts    470 These shores,

familiar with all Ocean's gulphs,

And Neptune's subject.

He is by report My father;

him if thou art able once To seize and bind,

he will prescribe the course With all its measured distances,

by which Thou shalt regain secure thy native shores.

He will,


at thy suit declare,

Thou favour'd of the skies!

what good,

what ill Hath in thine house befall'n,

while absent thou Thy voyage difficult perform'st and long.

  480 She spake,

and I replied --Thyself reveal By what effectual bands I may secure The antient Deity marine,


warn'd Of my approach,

he shun me and escape.

Hard task for mortal hands to bind a God!

Then thus Idothea answer'd all-divine.

I will inform thee true.

Soon as the sun Hath climb'd the middle heav'ns,

the prophet old,

Emerging while the breezy zephyr blows,

And cover'd with the scum of ocean,

seeks   490 His spacious cove,

in which outstretch'd he lies.

The phocæ[15] also,

rising from the waves,

Offspring of beauteous Halosydna,

sleep Around him,


and the fishy scent Exhaling rank of the unfathom'd flood.

Thither conducting thee at peep of day I will dispose thee in some safe recess,

But from among thy followers thou shalt chuse The bravest three in all thy gallant fleet.

And now the artifices understand     500 Of the old prophet of the sea.

The sum Of all his phocæ numb'ring duly first,

He will pass through them,

and when all by fives He counted hath,

will in the midst repose Content,

as sleeps the shepherd with his flock.

When ye shall see him stretch'd,

then call to mind That moment all your prowess,

and prevent,

Howe'er he strive impatient,

his escape.

All changes trying,

he will take the form Of ev'ry reptile on the earth,

will seem    510 A river now,

and now devouring fire;

But hold him ye,

and grasp him still the more.

And when himself shall question you,

restored To his own form in which ye found him first Reposing,

then from farther force abstain;



loose the Antient of the Deep,

And ask him,

of the Gods who checks thy course Hence to thy country o'er the fishy flood.

So saying,

she plunged into the billowy waste.

I then,

in various musings lost,

my ships   520 Along the sea-beach station'd sought again,

And when I reach'd my galley on the shore We supp'd,

and sacred night falling from heav'n,

Slept all extended on the ocean-side.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy forth,

pensive beside the shore I walk'd of Ocean,

frequent to the Gods Praying devout,

then chose the fittest three For bold assault,

and worthiest of my trust.

Meantime the Goddess from the bosom wide    530 Of Ocean rising,

brought us thence four skins Of phocæ,

and all newly stript,

a snare Contriving subtle to deceive her Sire.

Four cradles in the sand she scoop'd,

then sat Expecting us,

who in due time approach'd;

She lodg'd us side by side,

and over each A raw skin cast.

Horrible to ourselves Proved that disguise whom the pernicious scent Of the sea-nourish'd phocæ sore annoy'd;

For who would lay him down at a whale's side?

  540 But she a potent remedy devised Herself to save us,

who the nostrils sooth'd Of each with pure ambrosia thither brought Odorous,

which the fishy scent subdued.

All morning,

patient watchers,

there we lay;

And now the num'rous phocæ from the Deep Emerging,

slept along the shore,

and he At noon came also,

and perceiving there His fatted monsters,

through the flock his course Took regular,

and summ'd them;

with the first   550 He number'd us,

suspicion none of fraud Conceiving,

then couch'd also.


at once,

Loud-shouting flew on him,

and in our arms Constrain'd him fast;

nor the sea-prophet old Call'd not incontinent his shifts to mind.

First he became a long-maned lion grim,

Then dragon,

panther then,

a savage boar,

A limpid stream,

and an o'ershadowing tree.

We persevering held him,

till at length The Antient of the Deep,

skill'd as he is   560 In wiles,

yet weary,

question'd me,

and said.

Oh Atreus' son,

by what confed'rate God Instructed liest thou in wait for me,

To seize and hold me?

what is thy desire?

So He;

to whom thus answer I return'd.

Old Seer!

thou know'st;



should'st thou ask?

It is because I have been prison'd long Within this isle,

whence I have sought in vain Deliv'rance,

till my wonted courage fails.

Yet say (for the Immortals all things know)   570 What God detains me,

and my course forbids Hence to my country o'er the fishy Deep?

So I;

when thus the old one of the waves.

But thy plain duty[16] was to have adored Jove,


in sacrifice,

and all the Gods,

That then embarking,

by propitious gales Impell'd,

thou might'st have reach'd thy country soon.

For thou art doom'd ne'er to behold again Thy friends,

thy palace,

or thy native shores,

Till thou have seen once more the hallow'd flood   580 Of Ægypt,

and with hecatombs adored Devout,

the deathless tenants of the skies.

Then will they speed thee whither thou desir'st.

He ended,

and my heart broke at his words,

Which bade me pass again the gloomy gulph To Ægypt;

tedious course,

and hard to atchieve!


though in sorrow whelm'd,

I thus replied.

Old prophet!

I will all thy will perform.

But tell me,

and the truth simply reveal;

Have the Achaians with their ships arrived   590 All safe,

whom Nestor left and I,

at Troy?

Or of the Chiefs have any in their barks,

Or in their followers' arms found a dire death Unlook'd for,

since that city's siege we closed?

I spake,

when answer thus the God return'd.


why these questions?

Need is none That thou should'st all my secrets learn,

which once Reveal'd,

thou would'st not long dry-eyed remain.

Of those no few have died,

and many live;

But leaders,

two alone,

in their return    600 Have died (thou also hast had war to wage) And one,

still living,

roams the boundless sea.

Ajax,[17] surrounded by his galleys,


Him Neptune,


against the bulky rocks The Gyræ drove,

but saved him from the Deep;

Nor had he perish'd,

hated as he was By Pallas,

but for his own impious boast In frenzy utter'd that he would escape The billows,

even in the Gods' despight.

Neptune that speech vain-glorious hearing,

grasp'd  610 His trident,

and the huge Gyræan rock Smiting indignant,

dash'd it half away;

Part stood,

and part,

on which the boaster sat When,


the brainsick fury seiz'd him,


Bearing him with it down into the gulphs Of Ocean,

where he drank the brine,

and died.

But thy own brother in his barks escaped That fate,

by Juno saved;

yet when,

at length,

He should have gain'd Malea's craggy shore,


by a sudden tempest caught,

he flew   620 With many a groan far o'er the fishy Deep To the land's utmost point,

where once his home Thyestes had,

but where Thyestes' son Dwelt then,


Easy lay his course And open thence,


as it pleased the Gods,

The shifted wind soon bore them to their home.


high in exultation,

trod the shore That gave him birth,

kiss'd it,


at the sight,

The welcome sight of Greece,

shed many a tear.

Yet not unseen he landed;

for a spy,

   630 One whom the shrewd Ægisthus had seduced By promise of two golden talents,

mark'd His coming from a rock where he had watch'd The year complete,


passing unperceived,

The King should reassert his right in arms.

Swift flew the spy with tidings to this Lord,

And He,


this project framed Insidious.

Twenty men,

the boldest hearts Of all the people,

from the rest he chose,

Whom he in ambush placed,

and others charged   640 Diligent to prepare the festal board.

With horses,


and chariots forth he drove Full-fraught with mischief,

and conducting home The unsuspicious King,

amid the feast Slew him,

as at his crib men slay an ox.

Nor of thy brother's train,

nor of his train Who slew thy brother,

one survived,

but all,

Welt'ring in blood together,

there expired.

He ended,

and his words beat on my heart As they would break it.

On the sands I sat   650 Weeping,

nor life nor light desiring more.

But when I had in dust roll'd me,

and wept To full satiety,

mine ear again The oracle of Ocean thus address'd.

Sit not,

O son of Atreus!

weeping here Longer,

for remedy can none be found;

But quick arising,

trial make,

how best Thou shalt,

and soonest,

reach thy home again.

For either him still living thou shalt find,

Or ere thou come,

Orestes shall have slain   660 The traytor,

and thine eyes shall see his tomb.

He ceas'd,

and I,

afflicted as I was,

Yet felt my spirit at that word refresh'd,

And in wing'd accents answer thus return'd.

Of these I am inform'd;

but name the third Who,

dead or living,

on the boundless Deep Is still detain'd;

I dread,

yet wish to hear.

So I;

to whom thus Proteus in return.

Laertes' son,

the Lord of Ithaca -- Him in an island weeping I beheld,

   670 Guest of the nymph Calypso,

by constraint Her guest,

and from his native land withheld By sad necessity;

for ships well-oar'd,

Or faithful followers hath he none,

whose aid Might speed him safely o'er the spacious flood.


Menelaus dear to Jove!

thy fate Ordains not thee the stroke of death to meet In steed-fam'd Argos,

but far hence the Gods Will send thee to Elysium,

and the earth's Extremest bounds;

(there Rhadamanthus dwells,

  680 The golden-hair'd,

and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life;

no snow is there,

No biting winter,

and no drenching show'r,

But zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them to refresh the happy race) For that fair Helen is by nuptial bands Thy own,

and thou art son-in-law of Jove.

So saying,

he plunged into the billowy waste,

I then,

with my brave comrades to the fleet Return'd,

deep-musing as I went,

and sad.

  690 No sooner had I reach'd my ship beside The ocean,

and we all had supp'd,

than night From heav'n fell on us,


at ease reposed Along the margin of the sea,

we slept.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy forth,

drawing our galleys down Into the sacred Deep,

we rear'd again The mast,

unfurl'd the sail,

and to our seats On board returning,

thresh'd the foamy flood.

Once more,

at length,

within the hallow'd stream   700 Of Ægypt mooring,

on the shore I slew Whole hecatombs,

and (the displeasure thus Of the immortal Gods appeased) I reared To Agamemnon's never-dying fame A tomb,

and finishing it,

sail'd again With such a gale from heaven vouchsafed,

as sent My ships swift-scudding to the shores of Greece.

But come --eleven days wait here,

or twelve A guest with me,

when I will send thee hence Nobly,

and honour'd with illustrious gifts,

  710 With polish'd chariot,

with three princely steeds,

And with a gorgeous cup,

that to the Gods Libation pouring ever while thou liv'st From that same cup,

thou may'st remember me.



then answer'd Telemachus.


seek not to detain me here Long time;

for though contented I could sit The year beside thee,

nor regret my home Or parents,

(so delightful thy discourse Sounds in my ear) yet,

even now,

I know,

   720 That my attendants to the Pylian shore Wish my return,

whom thou thus long detain'st.

What boon soe'er thou giv'st me,

be it such As I may treasur'd keep;

but horses none Take I to Ithaca;

them rather far Keep thou,

for thy own glory.

Thou art Lord Of an extended plain,

where copious springs The lotus,

herbage of all savours,



and white barley of luxuriant growth.

But Ithaca no level champaign owns,

   730 A nursery of goats,

and yet a land Fairer than even pastures to the eye.

No sea-encircled isle of ours affords Smooth course commodious and expanse of meads,

But my own Ithaca transcends them all!

He said;

the Hero Menelaus smiled,

And stroaking tenderly his cheek,


Dear youth!

thy speech proclaims thy noble blood.

I can with ease supply thee from within With what shall suit thee better,

and the gift   740 Of all that I possess which most excels In beauty,

and the noblest shall be thine.

I give thee,

wrought elaborate,

a cup Itself all silver,

bound with lip of gold.

It is the work of Vulcan,

which to me The Hero Phædimus imparted,

King Of the Sidonians,

when on my return His house received me.

That shall be thy own.

Thus they conferr'd;

and now the busy train Of menials culinary,[18] at the gate    750 Enter'd of Menelaus,

Chief renown'd;

They brought him sheep,

with heart-ennobling wine,

While all their wives,

their brows with frontlets bound,

Came charg'd with bread.

Thus busy they prepared A banquet in the mansion of the King.


before Ulysses' palace gate The suitors sported with the quoit and spear On the smooth area,

customary scene Of all their strife and angry clamour loud.

There sat Antinoüs,

and the godlike youth   760 Eurymachus,

superior to the rest And Chiefs among them,

to whom Phronius' son Noëmon drawing nigh,

with anxious mien Question'd Antinoüs,

and thus began.

Know we,


or know we not,

When to expect Telemachus at home Again from Pylus?

in my ship he went,

Which now I need,

that I may cross the sea To Elis,

on whose spacious plain I feed Twelve mares,

each suckling a mule-colt as yet   770 Unbroken,

but of which I purpose one To ferry thence,

and break him into use.

He spake,

whom they astonish'd heard;

for him They deem'd not to Nelëian Pylus gone,

But haply into his own fields,

his flocks To visit,

or the steward of his swine.

Then thus,

Eupithes' son,



Say true.

When sail'd he forth?

of all our youth,

Whom chose he for his followers?

his own train Of slaves and hirelings?

hath he pow'r to effect   780 This also?

Tell me too,

for I would learn -- Took he perforce thy sable bark away,

Or gav'st it to him at his first demand?

To whom Noëmon,

Phronius' son,


I gave it voluntary;

what could'st thou,

Should such a prince petition for thy bark In such distress?

Hard were it to refuse.

Brave youths (our bravest youths except yourselves) Attend him forth;

and with them I observed Mentor embarking,

ruler o'er them all,

   790 Or,

if not him,

a God;

for such he seem'd.

But this much moves my wonder.

Yester-morn I saw,

at day-break,

noble Mentor here,

Whom shipp'd for Pylus I had seen before.

He ceas'd;

and to his father's house return'd;



sat aghast.

Their games meantime Finish'd,

the suitors on their seats reposed,

To whom Eupithes' son,



Much troubled spake;

a black storm overcharged His bosom,

and his vivid eyes flash'd fire.

  800 Ye Gods,

a proud exploit is here atchieved,

This voyage of Telemachus,

by us Pronounced impracticable;

yet the boy In downright opposition to us all,

Hath headlong launched a ship,


with a band Selected from our bravest youth,

is gone.

He soon will prove more mischievous,

whose pow'r Jove wither,

ere we suffer its effects!

But give me a swift bark with twenty rowers,


watching his return within the streights   810 Of rocky Samos and of Ithaca,

I may surprise him;

so shall he have sail'd To seek his Sire,

fatally for himself.

He ceased and loud applause heard in reply,

With warm encouragement.


rising all,

Into Ulysses' house at once they throng'd.

Nor was Penelope left uninformed Long time of their clandestine plottings deep,

For herald Medon told her all,

whose ear Their councils caught while in the outer-court   820 He stood,

and they that project framed within.

Swift to Penelope the tale he bore,

Who as he pass'd the gate,

him thus address'd.

For what cause,


have the suitors sent Thee foremost?

Wou'd they that my maidens lay Their tasks aside,

and dress the board for them?

Here end their wooing!

may they hence depart Never,

and may the banquet now prepared,

This banquet prove your last![19] who in such throngs Here meeting,

waste the patrimony fair    830 Of brave Telemachus;

ye never,


When children,

heard how gracious and how good Ulysses dwelt among your parents,

none Of all his people,

or in word or deed Injuring,

as great princes oft are wont,

By favour influenc'd now,

now by disgust.

He no man wrong'd at any time;

but plain Your wicked purpose in your deeds appears,

Who sense have none of benefits conferr'd.

Then Medon answer'd thus,



  840 Oh Queen!

may the Gods grant this prove the worst.

But greater far and heavier ills than this The suitors plan,

whose counsels Jove confound!

Their base desire and purpose are to slay Telemachus on his return;

for he,

To gather tidings of his Sire is gone To Pylus,

or to Sparta's land divine.

He said;

and where she stood,

her trembling knees Fail'd under her,

and all her spirits went.

Speechless she long remain'd,

tears filled her eyes,

 850 And inarticulate in its passage died Her utt'rance,

till at last with pain she spake.


why went my son?

he hath no need On board swift ships to ride,

which are to man His steeds that bear him over seas remote.

Went he,


with himself,

his very name Might perish from among mankind for ever?

Then answer,


Medon the wise return'd.

I know not whether him some God impell'd Or his own heart to Pylus,

there to hear    860 News of his Sire's return,

or by what fate At least he died,

if he return no more.

He said,

and traversing Ulysses' courts,


she with heart consuming woe O'erwhelm'd,

no longer could endure to take Repose on any of her num'rous seats,

But on the threshold of her chamber-door Lamenting sat,

while all her female train Around her moan'd,

the antient and the young,



thus Penelope bespake.

   870 Hear me,

ye maidens!

for of women born Coeval with me,

none hath e'er received Such plenteous sorrow from the Gods as I,

Who first my noble husband lost,

endued With courage lion-like,

of all the Greeks The Chief with ev'ry virtue most adorn'd,

A prince all-excellent,

whose glorious praise Through Hellas and all Argos flew diffused.

And now,

my darling son,

--him storms have snatch'd Far hence inglorious,

and I knew it not.

   880 Ah treach'rous servants!

conscious as ye were Of his design,

not one of you the thought Conceived to wake me when he went on board.

For had but the report once reach'd my ear,

He either had not gone (how much soe'er He wish'd to leave me) or had left me dead.

But haste ye,

--bid my antient servant come,


whom (when I left my father's house He gave me,

and whose office is to attend My num'rous garden-plants) that he may seek   890 At once Laertes,

and may tell him all,

Who may contrive some remedy,


Or fit expedient,

and shall come abroad To weep before the men who wish to slay Even the prince,

godlike Ulysses' son.

Then thus the gentle Euryclea spake,

Nurse of Telemachus.


my Queen!

Slay me,

or spare,

deal with me as thou wilt,

I will confess the truth.

I knew it all.

I gave him all that he required from me.

   900 Both wine and bread,


at his bidding,

swore To tell thee nought in twelve whole days to come,

Or till,

enquiry made,

thou should'st thyself Learn his departure,

lest thou should'st impair Thy lovely features with excess of grief.

But lave thyself,


fresh attired,

ascend To thy own chamber,


with all thy train,

To worship Pallas,

who shall save,


Thy son from death,

what ills soe'er he meet.

Add not fresh sorrows to the present woes   910 Of the old King,

for I believe not yet Arcesias' race entirely by the Gods Renounced,

but trust that there shall still be found Among them,

who shall dwell in royal state,

And reap the fruits of fertile fields remote.

So saying,

she hush'd her sorrow,

and her eyes No longer stream'd.


bathed and fresh attired,

Penelope ascended with her train The upper palace,

and a basket stored With hallow'd cakes off'ring,

to Pallas pray'd.

  920 Hear matchless daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd!

If ever wise Ulysses offer'd here The thighs of fatted kine or sheep to thee,

Now mindful of his piety,

preserve His darling son,

and frustrate with a frown The cruelty of these imperious guests!

She said,

and wept aloud,

whose earnest suit Pallas received.

And now the spacious hall And gloomy passages with tumult rang And clamour of that throng,

when thus,

a youth,

  930 Insolent as his fellows,

dared to speak.

Much woo'd and long,

the Queen at length prepares To chuse another mate,[20] and nought suspects The bloody death to which her son is doom'd.

So he;

but they,


themselves remain'd Untaught,

what course the dread concern elsewhere Had taken,

whom Antinoüs thus address'd.


one and all,

I counsel you,

beware Of such bold boasting unadvised;

lest one O'erhearing you,

report your words within.

  940 No --rather thus,

in silence,

let us move To an exploit so pleasant to us all.

He said,

and twenty chose,

the bravest there,

With whom he sought the galley on the shore,

Which drawing down into the deep,

they placed The mast and sails on board,




Each oar in order to its proper groove,

Unfurl'd and spread their canvas to the gale.

Their bold attendants,


brought them their arms,

And soon as in deep water they had moor'd   950 The ship,

themselves embarking,

supp'd on board,

And watch'd impatient for the dusk of eve.

But when Penelope,

the palace stairs Remounting,

had her upper chamber reach'd,


unrefresh'd with either food or wine,

She lay'd her down,

her noble son the theme Of all her thoughts,

whether he should escape His haughty foes,

or perish by their hands.

Num'rous as are the lion's thoughts,

who sees,

Not without fear,

a multitude with toils    960 Encircling him around,

such num'rous thoughts Her bosom occupied,

till sleep at length Invading her,

she sank in soft repose.

Then Pallas,

teeming with a new design,

Set forth an airy phantom in the form Of fair Iphthima,

daughter of the brave Icarius,

and Eumelus' wedded wife In Pheræ.

Shaped like her the dream she sent Into the mansion of the godlike Chief Ulysses,

with kind purpose to abate    970 The sighs and tears of sad Penelope.

Ent'ring the chamber-portal,

where the bolt Secured it,

at her head the image stood,

And thus,

in terms compassionate,


Sleep'st thou,

distress'd Penelope?

The Gods,

Happy in everlasting rest themselves,

Forbid thy sorrows.

Thou shalt yet behold Thy son again,

who hath by no offence Incurr'd at any time the wrath of heav'n.

To whom,

sweet-slumb'ring in the shadowy gate   980 By which dreams pass,

Penelope replied.

What cause,

my sister,

brings thee,

who art seen Unfrequent here,

for that thou dwell'st remote?

And thou enjoin'st me a cessation too From sorrows num'rous,

and which,


wear My heart continual;


my spouse I lost With courage lion-like endow'd,

a prince All-excellent,

whose never-dying praise Through Hellas and all Argos flew diffused;

And now my only son,

new to the toils    990 And hazards of the sea,

nor less untaught The arts of traffic,

in a ship is gone Far hence,

for whose dear cause I sorrow more Than for his Sire himself,

and even shake With terror,

lest he perish by their hands To whom he goes,

or in the stormy Deep;

For num'rous are his foes,

and all intent To slay him,

ere he reach his home again.

Then answer thus the shadowy form return'd.

Take courage;

suffer not excessive dread   1000 To overwhelm thee,

such a guide he hath And guardian,

one whom many wish their friend,

And ever at their side,

knowing her pow'r,


she compassionates thy griefs,

And I am here her harbinger,

who speak As thou hast heard by her own kind command.

Then thus Penelope the wise replied.


if thou art a goddess,

and hast heard A Goddess' voice,

rehearse to me the lot Of that unhappy one,

if yet he live    1010 Spectator of the cheerful beams of day,

Or if,

already dead,

he dwell below.

Whom answer'd thus the fleeting shadow vain.

I will not now inform thee if thy Lord Live,

or live not.

Vain words are best unspoken.

So saying,

her egress swift beside the bolt She made,

and melted into air.

Upsprang From sleep Icarius' daughter,

and her heart Felt heal'd within her,

by that dream distinct Visited in the noiseless night serene.

   1020 Meantime the suitors urged their wat'ry way,

To instant death devoting in their hearts Telemachus.

There is a rocky isle In the mid sea,

Samos the rude between And Ithaca,

not large,

named Asteris.

It hath commodious havens,

into which A passage clear opens on either side,

And there the ambush'd Greeks his coming watch'd.


[9] Hesychius tells us,

that the Greecians ornamented with much attention the front wall of their courts for the admiration of passengers.

[10] Οφθαλμῶν τε βολαι.

[11] Antilochus was his brother.

[12] The son of Aurora,

who slew Antilochus,

was Memnon.

[13] Because Pisistratus was born after Antilochus had sailed to Troy.

[14] Proteus

[15] Seals,

or sea-calves.

[16] From the abruptness of this beginning,



who has copied the story,

took the hint of his admired exordium.

Nam quis te,

juvenum confidentissime,


Egit adire domos.

[17] Son of Oïleus.

[18] Δαιτυμων --generally signifies the founder of a feast;

but we are taught by Eustathius to understand by it,

in this place,

the persons employed in preparing it.

[19] This transition from the third to the second person belongs to the original,

and is considered as a fine stroke of art in the poet,

who represents Penelope in the warmth of her resentment,

forgetting where she is,

and addressing the suitors as if present.

[20] Mistaking,


the sound of her voice,

and imagining that she sang.

--Vide Barnes in loco.



Mercury bears to Calypso a command from Jupiter that she dismiss Ulysses.


after some remonstrances,

promises obedience,

and furnishes him with instruments and materials,

with which he constructs a raft.

He quits Calypso's island;

is persecuted by Neptune with dreadful tempests,

but by the assistance of a sea nymph,

after having lost his raft,

is enabled to swim to Phæacia.

Aurora from beside her glorious mate Tithonus now arose,

light to dispense Through earth and heav'n,

when the assembled Gods In council sat,

o'er whom high-thund'ring Jove Presided,

mightiest of the Pow'rs above.

Amid them,

Pallas on the num'rous woes Descanted of Ulysses,

whom she saw With grief,

still prison'd in Calypso's isle.



hear me,

and ye other Pow'rs Who live for ever,


Be never King    10 Henceforth to gracious acts inclined,


Or righteous,

but let ev'ry sceptred hand Rule merciless,

and deal in wrong alone,

Since none of all his people whom he sway'd With such paternal gentleness and love Remembers,


divine Ulysses more.


in yon distant isle a suff'rer lies Of hopeless sorrow,

through constraint the guest Still of the nymph Calypso,

without means Or pow'r to reach his native shores again,

  20 Alike of gallant barks and friends depriv'd,

Who might conduct him o'er the spacious Deep.

Nor is this all,

but enemies combine To slay his son ere yet he can return From Pylus,

whither he hath gone to learn There,

or in Sparta,

tidings of his Sire.

To whom the cloud-assembler God replied.

What word hath pass'd thy lips,

daughter belov'd?

Hast thou not purpos'd that arriving soon At home,

Ulysses shall destroy his foes?

   30 Guide thou,


(for well thou canst) That he may reach secure his native coast,

And that the suitors baffled may return.

He ceas'd,

and thus to Hermes spake,

his son.


(for thou art herald of our will At all times) to yon bright-hair'd nymph convey Our fix'd resolve,

that brave Ulysses thence Depart,

uncompanied by God or man.

Borne on a corded raft,

and suff'ring woe Extreme,

he on the twentieth day shall reach,

  40 Not sooner,

Scherie the deep-soil'd,

possess'd By the Phæacians,

kinsmen of the Gods.


as a God shall reverence the Chief,

And in a bark of theirs shall send him thence To his own home,

much treasure,

brass and gold And raiment giving him,

to an amount Surpassing all that,

had he safe return'd,

He should by lot have shared of Ilium's spoil.

Thus Fate appoints Ulysses to regain His country,

his own palace,

and his friends.

  50 He ended,

nor the Argicide refused,

Messenger of the skies;

his sandals fair,



to his feet he bound,

Which o'er the moist wave,

rapid as the wind,

Bear him,

and o'er th' illimitable earth,

Then took his rod with which,

at will,

all eyes He closes soft,

or opes them wide again.

So arm'd,

forth flew the valiant Argicide.

Alighting on Pieria,

down he stoop'd To Ocean,

and the billows lightly skimm'd    60 In form a sew-mew,

such as in the bays Tremendous of the barren Deep her food Seeking,

dips oft in brine her ample wing.

In such disguise o'er many a wave he rode,

But reaching,


that isle remote,

forsook The azure Deep,

and at the spacious grot,

Where dwelt the amber-tressed nymph arrived,

Found her within.

A fire on all the hearth Blazed sprightly,



the scent Of smooth-split cedar and of cypress-wood    70 Odorous,


cheer'd the happy isle.


busied at the loom,

and plying fast Her golden shuttle,

with melodious voice Sat chaunting there;

a grove on either side,

Alder and poplar,

and the redolent branch Wide-spread of Cypress,

skirted dark the cave.

There many a bird of broadest pinion built Secure her nest,

the owl,

the kite,

and daw Long-tongued,

frequenter of the sandy shores.

A garden-vine luxuriant on all sides    80 Mantled the spacious cavern,

cluster-hung Profuse;

four fountains of serenest lymph Their sinuous course pursuing side by side,

Stray'd all around,

and ev'ry where appear'd Meadows of softest verdure,

purpled o'er With violets;

it was a scene to fill A God from heav'n with wonder and delight.


Heav'n's messenger,

admiring stood That sight,

and having all survey'd,

at length Enter'd the grotto;

nor the lovely nymph    90 Him knew not soon as seen,

for not unknown Each to the other the Immortals are,

How far soever sep'rate their abodes.

Yet found he not within the mighty Chief Ulysses;

he sat weeping on the shore,


for there his custom was with groans Of sad regret t' afflict his breaking heart.

Looking continual o'er the barren Deep.

Then thus Calypso,

nymph divine,

the God Question'd,

from her resplendent throne august.

  100 Hermes!

possessor of the potent rod!


though by me much reverenc'd and belov'd,

So seldom com'st,


wherefore comest now?

Speak thy desire;

I grant it,

if thou ask Things possible,

and possible to me.

Stay not,

but ent'ring farther,

at my board Due rites of hospitality receive.

So saying,

the Goddess with ambrosial food Her table cover'd,

and with rosy juice Nectareous charged the cup.

Then ate and drank   110 The argicide and herald of the skies,

And in his soul with that repast divine Refresh'd,

his message to the nymph declared.

Questionest thou,

O Goddess,

me a God?

I tell thee truth,

since such is thy demand.

Not willing,

but by Jove constrain'd,

I come.

For who would,


such a breadth Enormous measure of the salt expanse,

Where city none is seen in which the Gods Are served with chosen hecatombs and pray'r?

  120 But no divinity may the designs Elude,

or controvert,

of Jove supreme.

He saith,

that here thou hold'st the most distrest Of all those warriors who nine years assail'd The city of Priam,


(that city sack'd) Departed in the tenth;


going thence,

Offended Pallas,

who with adverse winds Opposed their voyage,

and with boist'rous waves.

Then perish'd all his gallant friends,

but him Billows and storms drove hither;

Jove commands   130 That thou dismiss him hence without delay,

For fate ordains him not to perish here From all his friends remote,

but he is doom'd To see them yet again,

and to arrive At his own palace in his native land.

He said;

divine Calypso at the sound Shudder'd,

and in wing'd accents thus replied.

Ye are unjust,

ye Gods,

and envious past All others,

grudging if a Goddess take A mortal man openly to her arms!

    140 So,

when the rosy-finger'd Morning chose Orion,

though ye live yourselves at ease,

Yet ye all envied her,

until the chaste Diana from her golden throne dispatch'd A silent shaft,

which slew him in Ortygia.


when the golden-tressed Ceres,

urged By passion,

took Iäsion to her arms In a thrice-labour'd fallow,

not untaught Was Jove that secret long,


hearing it,


slew him with his candent bolt.

  150 So also,

O ye Gods,

ye envy me The mortal man,

my comfort.

Him I saved Myself,

while solitary on his keel He rode,

for with his sulph'rous arrow Jove Had cleft his bark amid the sable Deep.

Then perish'd all his gallant friends,

but him Billows and storms drove hither,

whom I lov'd Sincere,

and fondly destin'd to a life Immortal,

unobnoxious to decay.

But since no Deity may the designs    160 Elude or controvert of Jove supreme,

Hence with him o'er the barren Deep,

if such The Sov'reign's will,

and such his stern command.

But undismiss'd he goes by me,

who ships Myself well-oar'd and mariners have none To send with him athwart the spacious flood;

Yet freely,


my best advice I will afford him,


escaping all Danger,

he may regain his native shore.

Then Hermes thus,

the messenger of heav'n.

  170 Act as thou say'st,

fearing the frown of Jove,


if provoked,

he spare not even thee.

So saying,

the dauntless Argicide withdrew,

And she (Jove's mandate heard) all-graceful went,

Seeking the brave Ulysses;

on the shore She found him seated;

tears succeeding tears Delug'd his eyes,


hopeless of return,

Life's precious hours to eating cares he gave Continual,

with the nymph now charm'd no more.


cold as she was am'rous,

still he pass'd   180 His nights beside her in the hollow grot,


and day by day the rocks among Which lined the shore heart-broken sat,

and oft While wistfully he eyed the barren Deep,





and wept again.


drawing near,

thus spake the nymph divine.


weep not here,

nor life consume In anguish;


thou hast my glad consent.

Arise to labour;

hewing down the trunks Of lofty trees,

fashion them with the ax    190 To a broad raft,

which closely floor'd above,

Shall hence convey thee o'er the gloomy Deep.



and the red grape's cheering juice Myself will put on board,

which shall preserve Thy life from famine;

I will also give New raiment for thy limbs,

and will dispatch Winds after thee to waft thee home unharm'd,

If such the pleasure of the Gods who dwell In yonder boundless heav'n,

superior far To me,

in knowledge and in skill to judge.

  200 She ceas'd;

but horror at that sound the heart Chill'd of Ulysses,

and in accents wing'd With wonder,

thus the noble Chief replied.


other thoughts than of my safe return Employ thee,



who bid'st me pass The perilous gulph of Ocean on a raft,

That wild expanse terrible,

which even ships Pass not,

though form'd to cleave their way with ease,

And joyful in propitious winds from Jove.

No --let me never,

in despight of thee,

   210 Embark on board a raft,

nor till thou swear,

O Goddess!

the inviolable oath,

That future mischief thou intend'st me none.

He said;


beauteous Goddess,



while she spake,

stroaking his cheek,


Thou dost asperse me rudely,

and excuse Of ignorance hast none,

far better taught;

What words were these?

How could'st thou thus reply?

Now hear me Earth,

and the wide Heav'n above!



ye waters of the Stygian stream   220 Under the earth (by which the blessed Gods Swear trembling,

and revere the awful oath!) That future mischief I intend thee none.


my designs concerning thee are such As,

in an exigence resembling thine,


most sure,

should for myself conceive.

I have a mind more equal,

not of steel My heart is form'd,

but much to pity inclined.

So saying,

the lovely Goddess with swift pace Led on,

whose footsteps he as swift pursued.

  230 Within the vaulted cavern they arrived,

The Goddess and the man;

on the same throne Ulysses sat,

whence Hermes had aris'n,

And viands of all kinds,

such as sustain The life of mortal man,

Calypso placed Before him,

both for bev'rage and for food.

She opposite to the illustrious Chief Reposed,

by her attendant maidens served With nectar and ambrosia.

They their hands Stretch'd forth together to the ready feast,

  240 And when nor hunger more nor thirst remain'd Unsated,

thus the beauteous nymph began.

Laertes' noble son,

for wisdom famed And artifice!

oh canst thou thus resolve To seek,


thy native shores?

I pardon thee.


but could'st thou guess The woes which fate ordains thee to endure Ere yet thou reach thy country,

well-content Here to inhabit,

thou would'st keep my grot And be immortal,

howsoe'er thy wife    250 Engage thy ev'ry wish day after day.

Yet can I not in stature or in form Myself suspect inferior aught to her,

Since competition cannot be between Mere mortal beauties,

and a form divine.

To whom Ulysses,



Awful Divinity!

be not incensed.

I know that my Penelope in form And stature altogether yields to thee,

For she is mortal,

and immortal thou,

   260 From age exempt;

yet not the less I wish My home,

and languish daily to return.

But should some God amid the sable Deep Dash me again into a wreck,

my soul Shall bear -that- also;


by practice taught,

I have learned patience,

having much endured By tempest and in battle both.

Come then This evil also!

I am well prepared.

He ended,

and the sun sinking,

resign'd The earth to darkness.

Then in a recess    270 Interior of the cavern,

side by side Reposed,

they took their amorous delight.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy forth,

Ulysses then in haste Put on his vest and mantle,


the nymph Her snowy vesture of transparent woof,



to her waist she bound Her golden zone,

and veil'd her beauteous head,



plann'd the noble Chief's return.

She gave him,

fitted to the grasp,

an ax    280 Of iron,



with haft Of olive-wood,

inserted firm,

and wrought With curious art.


placing in his hand A polish'd adze,

she led,


the way To her isles' utmost verge,

where tallest trees But dry long since and sapless stood,

which best Might serve his purposes,

as buoyant most,

The alder,


and cloud-piercing fir.

To that tall grove she led and left him there,

Seeking her grot again.

Then slept not He,

  290 But,

swinging with both hands the ax,

his task Soon finish'd;

trees full twenty to the ground He cast,



with his adze he smooth'd,

The knotted surface chipping by a line.

Meantime the lovely Goddess to his aid Sharp augres brought,

with which he bored the beams,


side by side placing them,

fitted each To other,

and with long cramps join'd them all.

Broad as an artist,

skill'd in naval works,

The bottom of a ship of burthen spreads,

   300 Such breadth Ulysses to his raft assign'd.

He deck'd her over with long planks,

upborne On massy beams;

He made the mast,

to which He added suitable the yard;

--he framed Rudder and helm to regulate her course,

With wicker-work he border'd all her length For safety,

and much ballast stow'd within.


Calypso brought him for a sail Fittest materials,

which he also shaped,

And to his sail due furniture annex'd    310 Of cordage strong,


and ropes aloft,

Then heav'd her down with levers to the Deep.

He finish'd all his work on the fourth day,

And on the fifth,


nymph divine,

Dismiss'd him from her isle,

but laved him first,

And cloath'd him in sweet-scented garments new.

Two skins the Goddess also placed on board,

One charg'd with crimson wine,

and ampler one With water,

nor a bag with food replete Forgot,


grateful to the taste,

  320 Nor yet,

her latest gift,

a gentle gale And manageable,

which Ulysses spread,


all his canvas to receive.

Beside the helm he sat,

steering expert,

Nor sleep fell ever on his eyes that watch'd Intent the Pleiads,

tardy in decline Bootes,

and the Bear,

call'd else the Wain,


in his polar prison circling,

looks Direct toward Orion,

and alone Of these sinks never to the briny Deep.

   330 That star the lovely Goddess bade him hold Continual on his left through all his course.

Ten days and sev'n,



cleav'd The brine,

and on the eighteenth day,

at length,

The shadowy mountains of Phæacia's land Descried,

where nearest to his course it lay Like a broad buckler on the waves afloat.

But Neptune,

now returning from the land Of Ethiopia,

mark'd him on his raft Skimming the billows,

from the mountain-tops   340 Of distant Solyma.[21] With tenfold wrath Inflamed that sight he view'd,

his brows he shook,

And thus within himself,



So then --new counsels in the skies,

it seems,

Propitious to Ulysses,

have prevail'd Since Æthiopia hath been my abode.

He sees Phæacia nigh,

where he must leap The bound'ry of his woes;

but ere that hour Arrive,

I will ensure him many a groan.

So saying,

he grasp'd his trident,

gather'd dense  350 The clouds and troubled ocean;

ev'ry storm From ev'ry point he summon'd,

earth and sea Darkening,

and the night fell black from heav'n.

The East,

the South,

the heavy-blowing West,

And the cold North-wind clear,

assail'd at once His raft,

and heaved on high the billowy flood.

All hope,

all courage,

in that moment,


The Hero thus within himself complain'd.

Wretch that I am,

what destiny at last Attends me!

much I fear the Goddess' words   360 All true,

which threaten'd me with num'rous ills On the wide sea,

ere I should reach my home.

Behold them all fulfill'd!

with what a storm Jove hangs the heav'ns,

and agitates the Deep!

The winds combined beat on me.

Now I sink!

Thrice blest,

and more than thrice,

Achaia's sons At Ilium slain for the Atridæ' sake!


would to heav'n that,


I had felt That day the stroke of fate,

when me the dead Achilles guarding,

with a thousand spears   370 Troy's furious host assail'd!

Funereal rites I then had shared,

and praise from ev'ry Greek,

Whom now the most inglorious death awaits.

While thus he spake,

a billow on his head Bursting impetuous,

whirl'd the raft around,


dashing from his grasp the helm,

himself Plunged far remote.

Then came a sudden gust Of mingling winds,

that in the middle snapp'd His mast,


hurried o'er the waves afar,

Both sail and sail-yard fell into the flood.

  380 Long time submerged he lay,

nor could with ease The violence of that dread shock surmount,

Or rise to air again,

so burthensome His drench'd apparel proved;


at the last,

He rose,



sputter'd from his lips The brine that trickled copious from his brows.


harass'd as he was,

resign'd he yet His raft,

but buffetting the waves aside With desp'rate efforts,

seized it,

and again Fast seated on the middle deck,


   390 Then roll'd the raft at random in the flood,

Wallowing unwieldy,

toss'd from wave to wave.

As when in autumn,

Boreas o'er the plain Conglomerated thorns before him drives,



to each other close adhere,

So her the winds drove wild about the Deep.

By turns the South consign'd her to be sport For the rude North-wind,


by turns,

the East Yielded her to the worrying West a prey.

But Cadmus' beauteous daughter (Ino once,

  400 Now named Leucothea) saw him;

mortal erst Was she,

and trod the earth,[22] but nymph become Of Ocean since,

in honours shares divine.

She mark'd his anguish,


while toss'd he roam'd,

Pitied Ulysses;

from the flood,

in form A cormorant,

she flew,

and on the raft Close-corded perching,

thus the Chief address'd.



how hast thou incensed So terribly the Shaker of the shores,

That he pursues thee with such num'rous ills?

  410 Sink thee he cannot,

wish it as he may.

Thus do (for I account thee not unwise) Thy garments putting off,

let drive thy raft As the winds will,



strive to reach Phæacia,

where thy doom is to escape.

Take this.

This ribbon bind beneath thy breast,

Celestial texture.

Thenceforth ev'ry fear Of death dismiss,


laying once thy hands On the firm continent,

unbind the zone,

Which thou shalt cast far distant from the shore   420 Into the Deep,

turning thy face away.

So saying,

the Goddess gave into his hand The wond'rous zone,


cormorant in form,

Plunging herself into the waves again Headlong,

was hidden by the closing flood.

But still Ulysses sat perplex'd,

and thus The toil-enduring Hero reason'd sad.


I tremble lest some God design T' ensnare me yet,

bidding me quit the raft.

But let me well beware how I obey    430 Too soon that precept,

for I saw the land Of my foretold deliv'rance far remote.



will I do,

for such appears My wiser course.

So long as yet the planks Mutual adhere,

continuing on board My raft,

I will endure whatever woes,

But when the waves shall shatter it,

I will swim,

My sole resource then left.

While thus he mused,

Neptune a billow of enormous bulk Hollow'd into an overwhelming arch    440 On high up-heaving,

smote him.

As the wind Tempestuous,

falling on some stubble-heap,

The arid straws dissipates ev'ry way,

So flew the timbers.


a single beam Bestriding,

oar'd it onward with his feet,

As he had urged an horse.

His raiment,


Gift of Calypso,

putting off,

he bound His girdle on,

and prone into the sea With wide-spread palms prepar'd for swimming,


Shore-shaker Neptune noted him;

he shook    450 His awful brows,

and in his heart he said,


suff'ring many mis'ries roam the flood,

Till thou shalt mingle with a race of men Heav'n's special favourites;

yet even there Fear not that thou shalt feel thy sorrows light.

He said,

and scourging his bright steeds,

arrived At Ægæ,

where his glorious palace stands.

But other thoughts Minerva's mind employ'd Jove's daughter;

ev'ry wind binding beside,

She lull'd them,

and enjoin'd them all to sleep,

  460 But roused swift Boreas,

and the billows broke Before Ulysses,


deliver'd safe From a dire death,

the noble Chief might mix With maritime Phæacia's sons renown'd.

Two nights he wander'd,

and two days,

the flood Tempestuous,

death expecting ev'ry hour;

But when Aurora,


had brought The third day to a close,

then ceas'd the wind,

And breathless came a calm;


nigh at hand The shore beheld,

darting acute his sight   470 Toward it,

from a billow's tow'ring top.

Precious as to his children seems the life Of some fond father through disease long time And pain stretch'd languid on his couch,

the prey Of some vindictive Pow'r,

but now,

at last,

By gracious heav'n to ease and health restored,

So grateful to Ulysses' sight appear'd Forests and hills.

Impatient with his feet To press the shore,

he swam;

but when within Such distance as a shout may fly,

he came,

  480 The thunder of the sea against the rocks Then smote his ear;

for hoarse the billows roar'd On the firm land,

belch'd horrible abroad,

And the salt spray dimm'd all things to his view.

For neither port for ships nor shelt'ring cove Was there,

but the rude coast a headland bluff Presented,

rocks and craggy masses huge.


hope and strength exhausted both,

deep-groan'd The Chief,

and in his noble heart complain'd.


though Jove hath given me to behold,

  490 Unhoped,

the land again,

and I have pass'd,

Furrowing my way,

these num'rous waves,

there seems No egress from the hoary flood for me.

Sharp stones hem in the waters;

wild the surge Raves ev'ry where;

and smooth the rocks arise;

Deep also is the shore,

on which my feet No standing gain,

or chance of safe escape.

What if some billow catch me from the Deep Emerging,

and against the pointed rocks Dash me conflicting with its force in vain?

  500 But should I,


trace the coast in search Of sloping beach,

haven or shelter'd creek,

I fear lest,


I be snatch'd again By stormy gusts into the fishy Deep,

Or lest some monster of the flood receive Command to seize me,

of the many such By the illustrious Amphitrite bred;

For that the mighty Shaker of the shores Hates me implacable,

too well I know.

While such discourse within himself he held,

  510 A huge wave heav'd him on the rugged coast,

Where flay'd his flesh had been,

and all his bones Broken together,

but for the infused Good counsel of Minerva azure-eyed.

With both hands suddenly he seized the rock,



clench'd it till the billow pass'd.

So baffled he that wave;

but yet again The refluent flood rush'd on him,

and with force Resistless dash'd him far into the sea.

As pebbles to the hollow polypus     520 Extracted from his stony bed,


So he,

the rough rocks clasping,

stripp'd his hands Raw,

and the billows now whelm'd him again.

Then had the hapless Hero premature Perish'd,

but for sagacity inspired By Pallas azure-eyed.

Forth from the waves Emerging,

where the surf burst on the rocks,

He coasted (looking landward as he swam) The shore,

with hope of port or level beach.

But when,

still swimming,

to the mouth he came   530 Of a smooth-sliding river,

there he deem'd Safest th' ascent,

for it was undeform'd By rocks,

and shelter'd close from ev'ry wind.

He felt the current,

and thus,



O hear,

whate'er thy name,


who rul'st This river!

at whose mouth,

from all the threats Of Neptune


with rapture I arrive.

Even the Immortal Gods the wand'rer's pray'r Respect,

and such am I,

who reach,

at length,

Thy stream,

and clasp thy knees,

after long toil.

 540 I am thy suppliant.

Oh King!

pity me.

He said;

the river God at once repress'd His current,

and it ceas'd;

smooth he prepared The way before Ulysses,

and the land Vouchsafed him easy at his channel's mouth.


once again he bent for ease his limbs Both arms and knees,

in conflict with the floods Exhausted;

swoln his body was all o'er,

And from his mouth and nostrils stream'd the brine.

Breathless and speechless,

and of life well nigh   550 Bereft he lay,

through dreadful toil immense.

But when,


his dissipated pow'rs He recollected,

loosing from beneath His breast the zone divine,

he cast it far Into the brackish stream,

and a huge wave Returning bore it downward to the sea,

Where Ino caught it.


the river's brink Abandoning,

among the rushes prone He lay,

kiss'd oft the soil,

and sighing,


Ah me!

what suff'rings must I now sustain,

  560 What doom,

at last,

awaits me?

If I watch This woeful night,


at the river's side,

What hope but that the frost and copious dews,

Weak as I am,

my remnant small of life Shall quite extinguish,

and the chilly air Breath'd from the river at the dawn of day?

But if,

ascending this declivity I gain the woods,

and in some thicket sleep,

(If sleep indeed can find me overtoil'd And cold-benumb'd) then I have cause to fear   570 Lest I be torn by wild beasts,

and devour'd.

Long time he mused,


at the last,

his course Bent to the woods,

which not remote he saw From the sea-brink,

conspicuous on a hill.


between two neighbour shrubs he crept,

Both olives,

this the fruitful,

that the wild;

A covert,

which nor rough winds blowing moist Could penetrate,

nor could the noon-day sun Smite through it,

or unceasing show'rs pervade,

So thick a roof the ample branches form'd   580 Close interwoven;

under these the Chief Retiring,

with industrious hands a bed Collected broad of leaves,

which there he found Abundant strew'd,

such store as had sufficed Two travellers or three for cov'ring warm,

Though winter's roughest blasts had rag'd the while.

That bed with joy the suff'ring Chief renown'd Contemplated,

and occupying soon The middle space,

hillock'd it high with leaves.

As when some swain hath hidden deep his torch   590 Beneath the embers,

at the verge extreme Of all his farm,


having neighbours none,

He saves a seed or two of future flame Alive,

doom'd else to fetch it from afar,

So with dry leaves Ulysses overspread His body,

on whose eyes Minerva pour'd The balm of sleep copious,

that he might taste Repose again,

after long toil severe.


[21] The Solymi were the ancient inhabitants of Pisidia in Asia-Minor.

[22] The Translator finding himself free to chuse between ἀυδηέσσα and ἠδηέσσα,

has preferred the latter.



Minerva designing an interview between the daughter of Alcinoüs and Ulysses,

admonishes her in a dream to carry down her clothes to the river,

that she may wash them,

and make them ready for her approaching nuptials.

That task performed,

the Princess and her train amuse themselves with play;

by accident they awake Ulysses;

he comes forth from the wood,

and applies himself with much address to Nausicaa,

who compassionating his distressed condition,

and being much affected by the dignity of his appearance,

interests himself in his favour,

and conducts him to the city.

There then the noble suff'rer lay,

by sleep Oppress'd and labour;


Pallas sought The populous city of Phæacia's sons.


in old time,

in Hypereia dwelt The spacious,

neighbours of a giant race The haughty Cyclops,


endued with pow'r Superior,

troubled them with frequent wrongs.

Godlike Nausithoüs then arose,

who thence To Scheria led them,

from all nations versed In arts of cultivated life,


   10 With bulwarks strong their city he enclosed,

Built houses for them,

temples to the Gods,

And gave to each a portion of the soil.

But he,

already by decree of fate Had journey'd to the shades,

and in his stead Alcinoüs,

by the Gods instructed,


To his abode Minerva azure-eyed Repair'd,

neglecting nought which might advance Magnanimous Ulysses' safe return.

She sought the sumptuous chamber where,

in form   20 And feature perfect as the Gods,

the young Nausicaa,

daughter of the King,


Fast by the pillars of the portal lay Two damsels,

one on either side,

adorn'd By all the Graces,

and the doors were shut.

Soft as a breathing air,

she stole toward The royal virgin's couch,

and at her head Standing,

address'd her.

Daughter she appear'd Of Dymas,

famed for maritime exploits,

Her friend and her coeval;

so disguised    30 Cærulean-eyed Minerva thus began.


wherefore hath thy mother borne A child so negligent?

Thy garments share,

Thy most magnificent,

no thought of thine.

Yet thou must marry soon,

and must provide Robes for thyself,

and for thy nuptial train.

Thy fame,

on these concerns,

and honour stand;

These managed well,

thy parents shall rejoice.

The dawn appearing,

let us to the place Of washing,

where thy work-mate I will be    40 For speedier riddance of thy task,

since soon The days of thy virginity shall end;

For thou art woo'd already by the prime Of all Phæacia,

country of thy birth.

Come then --solicit at the dawn of day Thy royal father,

that he send thee forth With mules and carriage for conveyance hence Of thy best robes,

thy mantles and thy zones.


more commodiously thou shalt perform The journey,

for the cisterns lie remote.

   50 So saying,


Goddess azure-eyed,

Rose to Olympus,

the reputed seat Eternal of the Gods,

which never storms Disturb,

rains drench,

or snow invades,

but calm The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day.

There the inhabitants divine rejoice For ever,

(and her admonition giv'n) Cærulean-eyed Minerva thither flew.

Now came Aurora bright-enthroned,

whose rays Awaken'd fair Nausicaa;

she her dream    60 Remember'd wond'ring,

and her parents sought Anxious to tell them.

Them she found within.

Beside the hearth her royal mother sat,

Spinning soft fleeces with sea-purple dyed Among her menial maidens,

but she met Her father,

whom the Nobles of the land Had summon'd,

issuing abroad to join The illustrious Chiefs in council.

At his side She stood,

and thus her filial suit preferr'd.

Sir![23] wilt thou lend me of the royal wains   70 A sumpter-carriage?

for I wish to bear My costly cloaths but sullied and unfit For use,

at present,

to the river side.

It is but seemly that thou should'st repair Thyself to consultation with the Chiefs Of all Phæacia,

clad in pure attire;

And my own brothers five,

who dwell at home,

Two wedded,

and the rest of age to wed,

Are all desirous,

when they dance,

to wear Raiment new bleach'd;

all which is my concern.

  80 So spake Nausicaa;

for she dared not name Her own glad nuptials to her father's ear,


conscious yet of all her drift,


I grudge thee neither mules,

my child,

nor aught That thou canst ask beside.


and my train Shall furnish thee a sumpter-carriage forth High-built,


and of capacious size.

So saying,

he issued his command,

whom quick His grooms obey'd.

They in the court prepared The sumpter-carriage,

and adjoin'd the mules.

  90 And now the virgin from her chamber,

charged With raiment,


which on the car she placed,

And in the carriage-chest,


the Queen,

Her mother,

viands of all kinds disposed,

And fill'd a skin with wine.

Nausicaa rose Into her seat;


ere she went,

received A golden cruse of oil from the Queen's hand For unction of herself,

and of her maids.


seizing scourge and reins,

she lash'd the mules.

They trampled loud the soil,

straining to draw   100 Herself with all her vesture;

nor alone She went,

but follow'd by her virgin train.

At the delightful rivulet arrived Where those perennial cisterns were prepared With purest crystal of the fountain fed Profuse,

sufficient for the deepest stains,

Loosing the mules,

they drove them forth to browze On the sweet herb beside the dimpled flood.

The carriage,



they bore in hand The garments down to the unsullied wave,

   110 And thrust them heap'd into the pools,

their task Dispatching brisk,

and with an emulous haste.

When they had all purified,

and no spot Could now be seen,

or blemish more,

they spread The raiment orderly along the beach Where dashing tides had cleansed the pebbles most,

And laving,


and smoothing o'er with oil Their limbs,

all seated on the river's bank,

They took repast,

leaving the garments,

stretch'd In noon-day fervour of the sun,

to dry.

   120 Their hunger satisfied,

at once arose The mistress and her train,

and putting off Their head-attire,

play'd wanton with the ball,

The princess singing to her maids the while.

Such as shaft-arm'd Diana roams the hills,

Täygetus sky-capt,

or Erymanth,

The wild boar chasing,

or fleet-footed hind,

All joy;

the rural nymphs,

daughters of Jove,

Sport with her,

and Latona's heart exults;

She high her graceful head above the rest   130 And features lifts divine,

though all be fair,

With ease distinguishable from them all;


all her train,


virgin pure,


But when the hour of her departure thence Approach'd (the mules now yoked again,

and all Her elegant apparel folded neat) Minerva azure-eyed mused how to wake Ulysses,

that he might behold the fair Virgin,

his destin'd guide into the town.

The Princess,


casting the ball toward   140 A maiden of her train,

erroneous threw And plunged it deep into the dimpling stream.

All shrieked;

Ulysses at the sound awoke,



meditated thus the cause.

Ah me!

what mortal race inhabit here?

Rude are they,

contumacious and unjust?

Or hospitable,

and who fear the Gods?

So shrill the cry and feminine of nymphs Fills all the air around,

such as frequent The hills,

clear fountains,

and herbaceous meads.

 150 Is this a neighbourhood of men endued With voice articulate?

But what avails To ask;

I will myself go forth and see.

So saying,

divine Ulysses from beneath His thicket crept,

and from the leafy wood A spreading branch pluck'd forcibly,

design'd A decent skreen effectual,

held before.

So forth he went,

as goes the lion forth,

The mountain-lion,

conscious of his strength,

Whom winds have vex'd and rains;

fire fills his eyes,

 160 And whether herds or flocks,

or woodland deer He find,

he rends them,


adust for blood,

Abstains not even from the guarded fold,

Such sure to seem in virgin eyes,

the Chief,

All naked as he was,

left his retreat,


by necessity constrain'd.

Him foul with sea foam horror-struck they view'd,

And o'er the jutting shores fled all dispersed.

Nausicaa alone fled not;

for her Pallas courageous made,

and from her limbs,

  170 By pow'r divine,

all tremour took away.

Firm she expected him;

he doubtful stood,

Or to implore the lovely maid,

her knees Embracing,

or aloof standing,

to ask In gentle terms discrete the gift of cloaths,

And guidance to the city where she dwelt.

Him so deliberating,


at length,

This counsel pleas'd;

in suppliant terms aloof To sue to her,

lest if he clasp'd her knees,

The virgin should that bolder course resent.

  180 Then gentle,


and well-advised he spake.

Oh Queen!

thy earnest suppliant I approach.

Art thou some Goddess,

or of mortal race?

For if some Goddess,

and from heaven arrived,



daughter of mighty Jove I deem thee most,

for such as hers appear Thy form,

thy stature,

and thy air divine.

But if,

of mortal race,

thou dwell below,

Thrice happy then,

thy parents I account,

And happy thrice thy brethren.


the joy   190 Which always for thy sake,

their bosoms fill,

When thee they view,

all lovely as thou art,

Ent'ring majestic on the graceful dance.

But him beyond all others blest I deem,

The youth,


wealthier than his rich compeers,

Shall win and lead thee to his honour'd home.

For never with these eyes a mortal form Beheld I comparable aught to thine,

In man or woman.

Wonder-wrapt I gaze.

Such erst,

in Delos,

I beheld a palm    200 Beside the altar of Apollo,


And growing still;

(for thither too I sail'd,

And num'rous were my followers in a voyage Ordain'd my ruin) and as then I view'd That palm long time amazed,

for never grew So strait a shaft,

so lovely from the ground,



thee with wonder I behold,

Charm'd into fixt astonishment,

by awe Alone forbidden to embrace thy knees,

For I am one on whom much woe hath fall'n.

  210 Yesterday I escaped (the twentieth day Of my distress by sea) the dreary Deep;


all those days,

the waves and rapid storms Bore me along,

impetuous from the isle Ogygia;

till at length the will of heav'n Cast me,

that I might also here sustain Affliction on your shore;

for rest,

I think,

Is not for me.

No. The Immortal Gods Have much to accomplish ere that day arrive.


oh Queen,

pity me!

who after long    220 Calamities endured,

of all who live Thee first approach,

nor mortal know beside Of the inhabitants of all the land.

Shew me your city;

give me,

although coarse,

Some cov'ring (if coarse cov'ring -thou- canst give) And may the Gods thy largest wishes grant,




for of all the gifts Of heav'n,

more precious none I deem,

than peace

'Twixt wedded pair,

and union undissolved;

Envy torments their enemies,

but joy    230 Fills ev'ry virtuous breast,

and most their own.

To whom Nausicaa the fair replied.



neither base by birth thou seem'st,

Nor unintelligent,

(but Jove,

the King Olympian,

gives to good and bad alike Prosperity according to his will,

And grief to thee,

which thou must patient bear,) Now,


at our land and city arrived,

Nor garment thou shalt want,

nor aught beside Due to a suppliant guest like thee forlorn.

  240 I will both show thee where our city stands,

And who dwell here.

Phæacia's sons possess This land;

but I am daughter of their King The brave Alcinoüs,

on whose sway depends For strength and wealth the whole Phæacian race.

She said,

and to her beauteous maidens gave Instant commandment --My attendants,


Why flee ye thus,

and whither,

from the sight Of a mere mortal?

Seems he in your eyes Some enemy of ours?

The heart beats not,

   250 Nor shall it beat hereafter,

which shall come An enemy to the Phæacian shores,

So dear to the immortal Gods are we.


amid the billowy Deep,

we hold Our dwelling,

utmost of all human-kind,

And free from mixture with a foreign race.

This man,

a miserable wand'rer comes,

Whom we are bound to cherish,

for the poor And stranger are from Jove,

and trivial gifts To such are welcome.

Bring ye therefore food   260 And wine,

my maidens,

for the guest's regale,

And lave him where the stream is shelter'd most.

She spake;

they stood,

and by each other's words Encouraged,

placed Ulysses where the bank O'erhung the stream,

as fair Nausicaa bade,

Daughter of King Alcinoüs the renown'd.

Apparel also at his side they spread,

Mantle and vest,



the limpid oil Presenting to him in the golden cruse,

Exhorted him to bathe in the clear stream.

  270 Ulysses then the maidens thus bespake.

Ye maidens,

stand apart,

that I may cleanse,


my shoulders from the briny surf,

And give them oil which they have wanted long.

But in your presence I bathe not,

ashamed To show myself uncloath'd to female eyes.

He said;

they went,

and to Nausicaa told His answer;

then the Hero in the stream His shoulders laved,

and loins incrusted rough With the salt spray,

and with his hands the scum   280 Of the wild ocean from his locks express'd.

Thus wash'd all over,

and refresh'd with oil,

He put the garments on,

Nausicaa's gift.

Then Pallas,

progeny of Jove,

his form Dilated more,

and from his head diffused His curling locks like hyacinthine flowers.

As when some artist,

by Minerva made And Vulcan wise to execute all tasks Ingenious,

binding with a golden verge Bright silver,

finishes a graceful work,

   290 Such grace the Goddess o'er his ample chest Copious diffused,

and o'er his manly brows.


on the beach he sat,

with grace And dignity illumed,


viewing him,

The virgin Princess,

with amazement mark'd His beauty,

and her damsels thus bespake.

My white-arm'd maidens,

listen to my voice!

Not hated,


by all above,

this man Among Phæacia's godlike sons arrives.

At first I deem'd him of plebeian sort    300 Dishonourable,

but he now assumes A near resemblance to the Gods above.


would to heaven it were my lot to call Husband,

some native of our land like him Accomplish'd,

and content to inhabit here!

Give him,

my maidens,


and give him wine.

She ended;

they obedient to her will,

Both wine and food,



and glad,

Before Ulysses;

he rapacious ate,

Toil-suff'ring Chief,

and drank,

for he had lived  310 From taste of aliment long time estranged.

On other thoughts meantime intent,

her charge Of folded vestments neat the Princess placed Within the royal wain,

then yoked the mules,

And to her seat herself ascending,

call'd Ulysses to depart,

and thus she spake.



seek the city.

I will lead Thy steps toward my royal Father's house,

Where all Phæacia's Nobles thou shalt see.

But thou (for I account thee not unwise)    320 This course pursue.

While through the fields we pass,

And labours of the rural hind,

so long With my attendants follow fast the mules And sumpter-carriage.

I will be thy guide.


once the summit gain'd,

on which is built Our city with proud bulwarks fenced around,

And laved on both sides by its pleasant port Of narrow entrance,

where our gallant barks Line all the road,

each station'd in her place,

And where,

adjoining close the splendid fane   330 Of Neptune,

stands the forum with huge stones From quarries thither drawn,

constructed strong,

In which the rigging of their barks they keep,

Sail-cloth and cordage,

and make smooth their oars;

(For bow and quiver the Phæacian race Heed not,

but masts and oars,

and ships well-poised,

With which exulting they divide the flood) Then,


I would shun their bitter taunts Disgustful,

lest they mock me as I pass;

For of the meaner people some are coarse    340 In the extreme,

and it may chance that one,

The basest there seeing us shall exclaim -- What handsome stranger of athletic form Attends the Princess?

Where had she the chance To find him?

We shall see them wedded soon.

Either she hath received some vagrant guest From distant lands,

(for no land neighbours ours) Or by her pray'rs incessant won,

some God Hath left the heav'ns to be for ever hers.

'Tis well if she have found,

by her own search,

  350 An husband for herself,

since she accounts The Nobles of Phæacia,

who her hand Solicit num'rous,

worthy to be scorn'd -- Thus will they speak,


I should blame A virgin guilty of such conduct much,


who reckless of her parents' will,

Should so familiar with a man consort,

Ere celebration of her spousal rites.

But mark me,


following my advice,

Thou shalt the sooner at my father's hands   360 Obtain safe conduct and conveyance home.

Sacred to Pallas a delightful grove Of poplars skirts the road,

which we shall reach Ere long;

within that grove a fountain flows,

And meads encircle it;

my father's farm Is there,

and his luxuriant garden plot;

A shout might reach it from the city-walls.

There wait,

till in the town arrived,

we gain My father's palace,

and when reason bids Suppose us there,

then ent'ring thou the town,

  370 Ask where Alcinoüs dwells,

my valiant Sire.

Well known is his abode,

so that with ease A child might lead thee to it,

for in nought The other houses of our land the house Resemble,

in which dwells the Hero,

King Alcinoüs.

Once within the court received Pause not,


with swift pace advancing,

seek My mother;

she beside a column sits In the hearth's blaze,

twirling her fleecy threads Tinged with sea-purple,



  380 With all her maidens orderly behind.

There also stands my father's throne,

on which Seated,

he drinks and banquets like a God.

Pass that;

then suppliant clasp my mother's knees,

So shalt thou quickly win a glad return To thy own home,

however far remote.

Her favour,


and her kind aid secured,

Thenceforth thou may'st expect thy friends to see,

Thy dwelling,

and thy native soil again.

So saying,

she with her splendid scourge the mules  390 Lash'd onward.

They (the stream soon left behind) With even footsteps graceful smote the ground;

But so she ruled them,

managing with art The scourge,

as not to leave afar,

although Following on foot,

Ulysses and her train.

The sun had now declined,

when in that grove Renown'd,

to Pallas sacred,

they arrived,

In which Ulysses sat,

and fervent thus Sued to the daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd.

Daughter invincible of Jove supreme!

   400 Oh,

hear me!

Hear me now,

because when erst The mighty Shaker of the shores incensed Toss'd me from wave to wave,

thou heard'st me not.

Grant me,

among Phæacia's sons,

to find Benevolence and pity of my woes!

He spake,

whose pray'r well-pleas'd the Goddess heard,


rev'rencing the brother of her sire,[24] Appear'd not to Ulysses yet,

whom he Pursued with fury to his native shores.


[23] In the Original,

she calls him,


a more natural stile of address and more endearing.

But ancient as this appellative is,

it is also so familiar in modern use,

that the Translator feared to hazard it.

[24] Neptune.



Nausicaa returns from the river,

whom Ulysses follows.

He halts,

by her direction,

at a small distance from the palace,

which at a convenient time he enters.

He is well received by Alcinoüs and his Queen;

and having related to them the manner of his being cast on the shore of Scheria,

and received from Alcinoüs the promise of safe conduct home,

retires to rest.

Such pray'r Ulysses,

toil-worn Chief renown'd,

To Pallas made,

meantime the virgin,

drawn By her stout mules,

Phæacia's city reach'd,


at her father's house arrived,

the car Stay'd in the vestibule;

her brothers five,

All godlike youths,

assembling quick around,

Released the mules,

and bore the raiment in.


to her own chamber she return'd,


soon as she arrived,

an antient dame Eurymedusa,

by peculiar charge     10 Attendant on that service,

kindled fire.

Sea-rovers her had from Epirus brought Long since,

and to Alcinoüs she had fall'n By public gift,

for that he ruled,



and as oft as he harangued The multitude,

was rev'renced as a God.

She waited on the fair Nausicaa,

she Her fuel kindled,

and her food prepared.

And now Ulysses from his seat arose To seek the city,

around whom,

his guard    20 Benevolent,


cast a cloud,



some Phæacian should presume T' insult the Chief,

and question whence he came.

But ere he enter'd yet the pleasant town,

Minerva azure-eyed met him,

in form A blooming maid,

bearing her pitcher forth.

She stood before him,

and the noble Chief Ulysses,

of the Goddess thus enquired.


wilt thou direct me to the house Of brave Alcinoüs,

whom this land obeys?

   30 For I have here arrived,

after long toil,

And from a country far remote,

a guest To all who in Phæacia dwell,


To whom the Goddess of the azure-eyes.

The mansion of thy search,

stranger revered!

Myself will shew thee;

for not distant dwells Alcinoüs from my father's own abode: But hush!

be silent --I will lead the way;

Mark no man;

question no man;

for the sight Of strangers is unusual here,

and cold    40 The welcome by this people shown to such.


trusting in swift ships,

by the free grant Of Neptune traverse his wide waters,

borne As if on wings,

or with the speed of thought.

So spake the Goddess,

and with nimble pace Led on,

whose footsteps he,

as quick,


But still the seaman-throng through whom he pass'd Perceiv'd him not;


Goddess dread,

That sight forbidding them,

whose eyes she dimm'd With darkness shed miraculous around    50 Her fav'rite Chief.



mark'd Their port,

their ships,

their forum,

the resort Of Heroes,

and their battlements sublime Fenced with sharp stakes around,

a glorious show!

But when the King's august abode he reach'd,

Minerva azure-eyed,


thus began.

My father!

thou behold'st the house to which Thou bad'st me lead thee.

Thou shalt find our Chiefs And high-born Princes banqueting within.

But enter fearing nought,

for boldest men    60 Speed ever best,

come whencesoe'er they may.

First thou shalt find the Queen,

known by her name Areta;

lineal in descent from those Who gave Alcinoüs birth,

her royal spouse.

Neptune begat Nausithoüs,

at the first,

On Peribæa,

loveliest of her sex,

Latest-born daughter of Eurymedon,

Heroic King of the proud giant race,


losing all his impious people,

shared The same dread fate himself.

Her Neptune lov'd,

  70 To whom she bore a son,

the mighty prince Nausithoüs,

in his day King of the land.

Nausithoüs himself two sons begat,

Rhexenor and Alcinoüs.

Phoebus slew Rhexenor at his home,

a bridegroom yet,


father of no son,

one daughter left,


wedded to Alcinoüs now,

And whom the Sov'reign in such honour holds,

As woman none enjoys of all on earth Existing,

subjects of an husband's pow'r.

   80 Like veneration she from all receives Unfeign'd,

from her own children,

from himself Alcinoüs,

and from all Phæacia's race,


gazing on her as she were divine,

Shout when she moves in progress through the town.

For she no wisdom wants,

but sits,


Arbitress of such contests as arise Between her fav'rites,

and decides aright.

Her count'nance once and her kind aid secured,

Thou may'st thenceforth expect thy friends to see,

 90 Thy dwelling,

and thy native soil again.

So Pallas spake,

Goddess cærulean-eyed,

And o'er the untillable and barren Deep Departing,

Scheria left,

land of delight,

Whence reaching Marathon,

and Athens next,

She pass'd into Erectheus' fair abode.



toward the palace moved Of King Alcinoüs,

but immers'd in thought Stood,


and paused,

ere with his foot he press'd The brazen threshold;

for a light he saw    100 As of the sun or moon illuming clear The palace of Phæacia's mighty King.

Walls plated bright with brass,

on either side Stretch'd from the portal to th' interior house,

With azure cornice crown'd;

the doors were gold Which shut the palace fast;

silver the posts Rear'd on a brazen threshold,

and above,

The lintels,


architraved with gold.


in gold and silver,

lined the approach On either side,

by art celestial framed    110 Of Vulcan,

guardians of Alcinoüs' gate For ever,

unobnoxious to decay.

Sheer from the threshold to the inner house Fixt thrones the walls,

through all their length,


With mantles overspread of subtlest warp Transparent,

work of many a female hand.

On these the princes of Phæacia sat,

Holding perpetual feasts,

while golden youths On all the sumptuous altars stood,

their hands With burning torches charged,


night by night,

 120 Shed radiance over all the festive throng.

Full fifty female menials serv'd the King In household offices;

the rapid mills These turning,

pulverize the mellow'd grain,


seated orderly,

the purple fleece Wind off,

or ply the loom,

restless as leaves Of lofty poplars fluttering in the breeze;

Bright as with oil the new-wrought texture shone.[25] Far as Phæacian mariners all else Surpass,

the swift ship urging through the floods,

 130 So far in tissue-work the women pass All others,

by Minerva's self endow'd With richest fancy and superior skill.

Without the court,

and to the gates adjoin'd A spacious garden lay,

fenced all around Secure,

four acres measuring complete.

There grew luxuriant many a lofty tree,



the apple blushing bright,

The honied fig,

and unctuous olive smooth.

Those fruits,

nor winter's cold nor summer's heat  140 Fear ever,

fail not,

wither not,

but hang Perennial,

whose unceasing zephyr breathes Gently on all,

enlarging these,

and those Maturing genial;

in an endless course Pears after pears to full dimensions swell,

Figs follow figs,

grapes clust'ring grow again Where clusters grew,

and (ev'ry apple stript) The boughs soon tempt the gath'rer as before.

There too,


and of fruit profuse,

His vineyard grows;




  150 In the sun's beams;

the arid level glows;

In part they gather,

and in part they tread The wine-press,


before the eye,

the grapes Here put their blossom forth,


gather fast Their blackness.

On the garden's verge extreme Flow'rs of all hues smile all the year,

arranged With neatest art judicious,

and amid The lovely scene two fountains welling forth,

One visits,

into ev'ry part diffus'd,

The garden-ground,

the other soft beneath   160 The threshold steals into the palace-court,

Whence ev'ry citizen his vase supplies.

Such were the ample blessings on the house Of King Alcinoüs by the Gods bestow'd.

Ulysses wond'ring stood,

and when,

at length,

Silent he had the whole fair scene admired,

With rapid step enter'd the royal gate.

The Chiefs he found and Senators within Libation pouring to the vigilant spy Mercurius,

whom with wine they worshipp'd last   170 Of all the Gods,

and at the hour of rest.


toil-worn Hero,

through the house Pass'd undelaying,

by Minerva thick With darkness circumfus'd,

till he arrived Where King Alcinoüs and Areta sat.

Around Areta's knees his arms he cast,


in that moment,

broken clear away The cloud all went,

shed on him from above.

Dumb sat the guests,

seeing the unknown Chief,

And wond'ring gazed.

He thus his suit preferr'd.

  180 Areta,

daughter of the Godlike Prince Rhexenor!

suppliant at thy knees I fall,

Thy royal spouse imploring,

and thyself,

(After ten thousand toils) and these your guests,

To whom heav'n grant felicity,

and to leave Their treasures to their babes,

with all the rights And honours,

by the people's suffrage,


But oh vouchsafe me,

who have wanted long And ardent wish'd my home,

without delay Safe conduct to my native shores again!

   190 Such suit he made,

and in the ashes sat At the hearth-side;

they mute long time remain'd,


at the last,

the antient Hero spake Echeneus,

eldest of Phæacia's sons,

With eloquence beyond the rest endow'd,

Rich in traditionary lore,

and wise In all,

who thus,



Not honourable to thyself,

O King!

Is such a sight,

a stranger on the ground At the hearth-side seated,

and in the dust.

  200 Meantime,

thy guests,

expecting thy command,

Move not;

thou therefore raising by his hand The stranger,

lead him to a throne,

and bid The heralds mingle wine,

that we may pour To thunder-bearing Jove,

the suppliant's friend.

Then let the cat'ress for thy guest produce Supply,

a supper from the last regale.

Soon as those words Alcinoüs heard,

the King,

Upraising by his hand the prudent Chief Ulysses from the hearth,

he made him sit,

  210 On a bright throne,

displacing for his sake Laodamas his son,

the virtuous youth Who sat beside him,

and whom most he lov'd.

And now,

a maiden charg'd with golden ew'r And with an argent laver,



Pure water on his hands,

supply'd him,


With a resplendent table,

which the chaste Directress of the stores furnish'd with bread And dainties,

remnants of the last regale.

Then ate the Hero toil-inured,

and drank,

  220 And to his herald thus Alcinoüs spake.


mingling wine,

bear it around To ev'ry guest in turn,

that we may pour To thunder-bearer Jove,

the stranger's friend,

And guardian of the suppliant's sacred rights.

He said;


as he bade,

the wine Mingled delicious,

and the cups dispensed With distribution regular to all.

When each had made libation,

and had drunk Sufficient,


Alcinoüs thus began.

   230 Phæacian Chiefs and Senators,

I speak The dictates of my mind,

therefore attend!

Ye all have feasted --To your homes and sleep.

We will assemble at the dawn of day More senior Chiefs,

that we may entertain The stranger here,

and to the Gods perform Due sacrifice;

the convoy that he asks Shall next engage our thoughts,

that free from pain And from vexation,

by our friendly aid He may revisit,

joyful and with speed,

   240 His native shore,

however far remote.

No inconvenience let him feel or harm,

Ere his arrival;



thenceforth He must endure whatever lot the Fates Spun for him in the moment of his birth.

But should he prove some Deity from heav'n Descended,

then the Immortals have in view Designs not yet apparent;

for the Gods Have ever from of old reveal'd themselves At our solemnities,

have on our seats    250 Sat with us evident,

and shared the feast;

And even if a single traveller Of the Phæacians meet them,

all reserve They lay aside;

for with the Gods we boast As near affinity as do themselves The Cyclops,

or the Giant race profane.[26] To whom Ulysses,




think not so.

Resemblance none In figure or in lineaments I bear To the immortal tenants of the skies,

   260 But to the sons of earth;

if ye have known A man afflicted with a weight of woe Peculiar,

let me be with him compared;

Woes even passing his could I relate,

And all inflicted on me by the Gods.

But let me eat,

comfortless as I am,


for no call is loud As that of hunger in the ears of man;



it constrains His notice,

more than all his woes beside.

  270 So,

I much sorrow feel,

yet not the less Hear I the blatant appetite demand Due sustenance,

and with a voice that drowns E'en all my suff'rings,

till itself be fill'd.

But expedite ye at the dawn of day My safe return into my native land,

After much mis'ry;

and let life itself Forsake me,

may I but once more behold All that is mine,

in my own lofty abode.

He spake,

whom all applauded,

and advised,

  280 Unanimous,

the guest's conveyance home,

Who had so fitly spoken.


at length,

All had libation made,

and were sufficed,

Departing to his house,

each sought repose.

But still Ulysses in the hall remain'd,


godlike King,

Alcinoüs at his side Sat,

and Areta;

the attendants clear'd Meantime the board,

and thus the Queen white-arm'd,

(Marking the vest and mantle,

which he wore And which her maidens and herself had made)   290 In accents wing'd with eager haste began.


the first enquiry shall be mine;

Who art,

and whence?

From whom receiv'dst thou these?

Saidst not --I came a wand'rer o'er the Deep?

To whom Ulysses,



Oh Queen!

the task were difficult to unfold In all its length the story of my woes,

For I have num'rous from the Gods receiv'd;

But I will answer thee as best I may.

There is a certain isle,


placed    300 Far distant in the Deep;

there dwells,

by man Alike unvisited,

and by the Gods,


beauteous nymph,

but deeply skill'd In artifice,

and terrible in pow'r,

Daughter of Atlas.

Me alone my fate Her miserable inmate made,

when Jove Had riv'n asunder with his candent bolt My bark in the mid-sea.

There perish'd all The valiant partners of my toils,

and I My vessel's keel embracing day and night    310 With folded arms,

nine days was borne along.

But on the tenth dark night,

as pleas'd the Gods,

They drove me to Ogygia,

where resides Calypso,

beauteous nymph,

dreadful in pow'r;

She rescued,


fed me,

and her wish Was to confer on me immortal life,

Exempt for ever from the sap of age.

But me her offer'd boon sway'd not.

Sev'n years I there abode continual,

with my tears Bedewing ceaseless my ambrosial robes,

   320 Calypso's gift divine;

but when,

at length,

(Sev'n years elaps'd) the circling eighth arrived,

She then,


my quick departure thence Advised,

by Jove's own mandate overaw'd,

Which even her had influenced to a change.

On a well-corded raft she sent me forth With num'rous presents;

bread she put and wine On board,

and cloath'd me in immortal robes;

She sent before me also a fair wind Fresh-blowing,

but not dang'rous.

Sev'nteen days   330 I sail'd the flood continual,

and descried,

On the eighteenth,

your shadowy mountains tall When my exulting heart sprang at the sight,

All wretched as I was,

and still ordain'd To strive with difficulties many and hard From adverse Neptune;

he the stormy winds Exciting opposite,

my wat'ry way Impeded,

and the waves heav'd to a bulk Immeasurable,

such as robb'd me soon Deep-groaning,

of the raft,

my only hope;

  340 For her the tempest scatter'd,

and myself This ocean measur'd swimming,

till the winds And mighty waters cast me on your shore.

Me there emerging,

the huge waves had dash'd Full on the land,


incommodious most,

The shore presented only roughest rocks,


leaving it,

I swam the Deep again,

Till now,

at last,

a river's gentle stream Receiv'd me,

by no rocks deform'd,

and where No violent winds the shelter'd bank annoy'd.

  350 I flung myself on shore,



Needing repose;

ambrosial night came on,

When from the Jove-descended stream withdrawn,

I in a thicket lay'd me down on leaves Which I had heap'd together,

and the Gods O'erwhelm'd my eye-lids with a flood of sleep.

There under wither'd leaves,


I slept All the long night,

the morning and the noon,

But balmy sleep,

at the decline of day,

Broke from me;


your daughter's train I heard  360 Sporting,

with whom she also sported,

fair And graceful as the Gods.

To her I kneel'd.


following the dictates of a mind Ingenuous,

pass'd in her behaviour all Which even ye could from an age like hers Have hoped;

for youth is ever indiscrete.

She gave me plenteous food,

with richest wine Refresh'd my spirit,

taught me where to bathe,

And cloath'd me as thou seest;


though a prey To many sorrows,

I have told thee truth.

   370 To whom Alcinoüs answer thus return'd.

My daughter's conduct,

I perceive,

hath been In this erroneous,

that she led thee not Hither,

at once,

with her attendant train,

For thy first suit was to herself alone.

Thus then Ulysses,

wary Chief,


Blame not,

O Hero,

for so slight a cause Thy faultless child;

she bade me follow them,

But I refused,

by fear and awe restrain'd,

Lest thou should'st feel displeasure at that sight  380 Thyself;

for we are all,

in ev'ry clime,


and to worst constructions prone.

So spake Ulysses,

to whom thus the King.

I bear not,


in my breast an heart Causeless irascible;

for at all times A temp'rate equanimity is best.

And oh,

I would to heav'n,


being such As now thou art,

and of one mind with me,

Thou would'st accept my daughter,

would'st become My son-in-law,

and dwell contented here!

   390 House would I give thee,

and possessions too,

Were such thy choice;


if thou chuse it not,

No man in all Phæacia shall by force Detain thee.

Jupiter himself forbid!

For proof,

I will appoint thee convoy hence To-morrow;

and while thou by sleep subdued Shalt on thy bed repose,

they with their oars Shall brush the placid flood,

till thou arrive At home,

or at what place soe'er thou would'st,

Though far more distant than Eubœa lies,

   400 Remotest isle from us,

by the report Of ours,

who saw it when they thither bore Golden-hair'd Rhadamanthus o'er the Deep,

To visit earth-born Tityus.

To that isle They went;

they reach'd it,

and they brought him thence Back to Phæacia,

in one day,

with ease.

Thou also shalt be taught what ships I boast Unmatch'd in swiftness,

and how far my crews Excel,

upturning with their oars the brine.

He ceas'd;

Ulysses toil-inur'd his words   410 Exulting heard,



thus replied.

Eternal Father!

may the King perform His whole kind promise!

grant him in all lands A never-dying name,

and grant to me To visit safe my native shores again!

Thus they conferr'd;

and now Areta bade Her fair attendants dress a fleecy couch Under the portico,

with purple rugs Resplendent,

and with arras spread beneath,

And over all with cloaks of shaggy pile.

   420 Forth went the maidens,

bearing each a torch,


as she bade,

prepared in haste a couch Of depth commodious,



gave Ulysses welcome summons to repose.


thy couch is spread.

Hence to thy rest.

So they --Thrice grateful to his soul the thought Seem'd of repose.

There slept Ulysses,


On his carv'd couch,

beneath the portico,

But in the inner-house Alcinoüs found His place of rest,

and hers with royal state   430 Prepared,

the Queen his consort,

at his side.


[25] Καιροσέων δ' οθονεων ἀπολείβεται ὑγρον ἔλαιον.

Pope has given no translation of this line in the text of his work,

but has translated it in a note.

It is variously interpreted by commentators;

the sense which is here given of it is that recommended by Eustathius.

[26] The Scholiast explains the passage thus --We resemble the Gods in righteousness as much as the Cyclops and Giants resembled each other in impiety.

But in this sense of it there is something intricate and contrary to Homer's manner.

We have seen that they derived themselves from Neptune,

which sufficiently justifies the above interpretation.



The Phæacians consult on the subject of Ulysses.

Preparation is made for his departure.

Antinoüs entertains them at his table.

Games follow the entertainment.

Demodocus the bard sings,

first the loves of Mars and Venus,

then the introduction of the wooden horse into Troy.


much affected by his song,

is questioned by Alcinoüs,


and who he is,

and what is the cause of his sorrow.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Blush'd in the East,

then from his bed arose The sacred might of the Phæacian King.

Then uprose also,

city-waster Chief,


whom the King Alcinoüs Led forth to council at the ships convened.


side by side,

on polish'd stones they sat Frequent;


Minerva in the form Of King Alcinoüs' herald ranged the town,

With purpose to accelerate the return    10 Of brave Ulysses to his native home,

And thus to ev'ry Chief the Goddess spake.

Phæacian Chiefs and Senators,


Haste all to council on the stranger held,

Who hath of late beneath Alcinoüs' roof Our King arrived,

a wand'rer o'er the Deep,


in his form,

majestic as a God.

So saying,

she roused the people,

and at once The seats of all the senate-court were fill'd With fast-assembling throngs,

no few of whom   20 Had mark'd Ulysses with admiring eyes.


Pallas o'er his head and shoulders broad Diffusing grace celestial,

his whole form Dilated,

and to the statelier height advanced,

That worthier of all rev'rence he might seem To the Phæacians,

and might many a feat Atchieve,

with which they should assay his force.



the assembly now was full,


them addressing,

thus began.

Phæacian Chiefs and Senators!

I speak    30 The dictates of my mind,

therefore attend.

This guest,

unknown to me,



found My palace,

either from the East arrived,

Or from some nation on our western side.

Safe conduct home he asks,

and our consent Here wishes ratified,

whose quick return Be it our part,

as usual,

to promote;

For at no time the stranger,

from what coast Soe'er,

who hath resorted to our doors,

Hath long complain'd of his detention here.

  40 Haste --draw ye down into the sacred Deep A vessel of prime speed,


from among The people,

fifty and two youths select,

Approved the best;


lashing fast the oars,

Leave her,

that at my palace ye may make Short feast,

for which myself will all provide.

Thus I enjoin the crew;

but as for those Of sceptred rank,

I bid them all alike To my own board,

that here we may regale The stranger nobly,

and let none refuse.

   50 Call,



the bard divine,

To share my banquet,

whom the Gods have blest With pow'rs of song delectable,

unmatch'd By any,

when his genius once is fired.

He ceas'd,

and led the way,

whom follow'd all The sceptred senators,

while to the house An herald hasted of the bard divine.


fifty mariners and two,

from all The rest selected,

to the coast repair'd,


from her station on the sea-bank,

launched   60 The galley down into the sacred Deep.

They placed the canvas and the mast on board,

Arranged the oars,

unfurl'd the shining sail,


leaving her in depth of water moor'd,

All sought the palace of Alcinoüs.



the portico,

the court,

the hall Were fill'd with multitudes of young and old,

For whose regale the mighty monarch slew Two beeves,

twelve sheep,

and twice four fatted brawns.

They slay'd them first,

then busily their task   70 Administ'ring,

prepared the joyous feast.

And now the herald came,

leading with care The tuneful bard;

dear to the muse was he,

Who yet appointed him both good and ill;

Took from him sight,

but gave him strains divine.

For him,

Pontonoüs in the midst disposed An argent-studded throne,

thrusting it close To a tall column,

where he hung his lyre Above his head,

and taught him where it hung.

He set before him,


a polish'd board    80 And basket,

and a goblet fill'd with wine For his own use,

and at his own command.


all assail'd at once the ready feast,

And when nor hunger more nor thirst they felt,

Then came the muse,

and roused the bard to sing Exploits of men renown'd;

it was a song,

In that day,

to the highest heav'n extoll'd.

He sang of a dispute kindled between The son of Peleus,

and Laertes'[27] son,

Both seated at a feast held to the Gods.

   90 That contest Agamemnon,

King of men,

Between the noblest of Achaia's host Hearing,


for when in Pytho erst He pass'd the marble threshold to consult The oracle of Apollo,

such dispute The voice divine had to his ear announced;

For then it was that,


the storm of war Came rolling on,

ordain'd long time to afflict Troy and the Greecians,

by the will of Jove.

So sang the bard illustrious;

then his robe   100 Of purple dye with both hands o'er his head Ulysses drew,

behind its ample folds Veiling his face,

through fear to be observed By the Phæacians weeping at the song;

And ever as the bard harmonious ceased,

He wiped his tears,


drawing from his brows The mantle,

pour'd libation to the Gods.

But when the Chiefs (for they delighted heard Those sounds) solicited again the bard,

And he renew'd the strain,

then cov'ring close   110 His count'nance,

as before,

Ulysses wept.


unperceiv'd by all,

the Hero mourn'd,

Save by Alcinoüs;

he alone his tears,

(Beside him seated) mark'd,

and his deep sighs O'erhearing,

the Phæacians thus bespake.

Phæacia's Chiefs and Senators,


We have regaled sufficient,

and the harp Heard to satiety,

companion sweet And seasonable of the festive hour.

Now go we forth for honourable proof    120 Of our address in games of ev'ry kind,

That this our guest may to his friends report,

At home arriv'd,

that none like us have learn'd To leap,

to box,

to wrestle,

and to run.

So saying,

he led them forth,

whose steps the guests All follow'd,

and the herald hanging high The sprightly lyre,

took by his hand the bard Demodocus,

whom he the self-same way Conducted forth,

by which the Chiefs had gone Themselves,

for that great spectacle prepared.

  130 They sought the forum;

countless swarm'd the throng Behind them as they went,

and many a youth Strong and courageous to the strife arose.

Upstood Acroneus and Ocyalus,




after whom Anchialus with Anabeesineus Arose,



Proreus bold,

Amphialus and Thöon.

Then arose,

In aspect dread as homicidal Mars,


and for his graceful form    140 (After Laodamas) distinguish'd most Of all Phæacia's sons,


Three also from Alcinoüs sprung,



his eldest;



His second-born;

and godlike Clytoneus.

Of these,

some started for the runner's prize.

They gave the race its limits.[28] All at once Along the dusty champaign swift they flew.

But Clytoneus,

illustrious youth,

outstripp'd All competition;

far as mules surpass    150 Slow oxen furrowing the fallow ground,

So far before all others he arrived Victorious,

where the throng'd spectators stood.

Some tried the wrestler's toil severe,

in which Euryalus superior proved to all.

In the long leap Amphialus prevail'd;

Elatreus most successful hurled the quoit,

And at the cestus,[29] last,

the noble son Of Scheria's King,

Laodamas excell'd.

When thus with contemplation of the games   160 All had been gratified,

Alcinoüs' son Laodamas,


then address'd.


ask we now the stranger,

if he boast Proficiency in aught.

His figure seems Not ill;

in thighs,

and legs,

and arms he shews Much strength,

and in his brawny neck;

nor youth Hath left him yet,

though batter'd he appears With num'rous troubles,

and misfortune-flaw'd.

Nor know I hardships in the world so sure To break the strongest down,

as those by sea.

  170 Then answer thus Euryalus return'd.

Thou hast well said,


thyself Approaching,

speak to him,

and call him forth.

Which when Alcinoüs' noble offspring heard,

Advancing from his seat,

amid them all He stood,

and to Ulysses thus began.

Stand forth,

oh guest,

thou also;

prove thy skill (If any such thou hast) in games like ours,



thou hast learn'd;

for greater praise Hath no man,

while he lives,

than that he know   180 His feet to exercise and hands aright.

Come then;

make trial;

scatter wide thy cares,

We will not hold thee long;

the ship is launch'd Already,

and the crew stand all prepared.

To whom replied the wily Chief renown'd Wherefore,

as in derision,

have ye call'd Me forth,


to these exploits?

No games have I,

but many a grief,

at heart,

And with far other struggles worn,

here sit Desirous only of conveyance home,

   190 For which both King and people I implore.

Then him Euryalus aloud reproach'd.

I well believ'd it,


in thee the guise I see not of a man expert in feats Athletic,

of which various are perform'd In ev'ry land;

thou rather seem'st with ships Familiar;


accustom'd to controul Some crew of trading mariners;

well-learn'd In stowage,


and wealth acquired By rapine,

but of no gymnastic pow'rs.

   200 To whom Ulysses,

frowning dark,


Thou hast ill spoken,


and like a man Regardless whom he wrongs.

Therefore the Gods Give not endowments graceful in each kind,

Of body,


and utt'rance,

all to one.

This man in figure less excels,

yet Jove Crowns him with eloquence;

his hearers charm'd Behold him,

while with modest confidence He bears the prize of fluent speech from all,

And in the streets is gazed on as a God!

   210 Another,

in his form the Pow'rs above Resembles,

but no grace around his words Twines itself elegant.


thou in form Hast excellence to boast;

a God,

employ'd To make a master-piece in human shape,

Could but produce proportions such as thine;

Yet hast thou an untutor'd intellect.

Thou much hast moved me;

thy unhandsome phrase Hath roused my wrath;

I am not,

as thou say'st,

A novice in these sports,

but took the lead   220 In all,

while youth and strength were on my side.

But I am now in bands of sorrow held,

And of misfortune,

having much endured In war,

and buffeting the boist'rous waves.


though with mis'ry worn,

I will essay My strength among you;

for thy words had teeth Whose bite hath pinch'd and pain'd me to the proof.

He said;

and mantled as he was,

a quoit Upstarting,


in bulk and weight all those Transcending far,

by the Phæacians used.

   230 Swiftly he swung,

and from his vig'rous hand Sent it.

Loud sang the stone,

and as it flew The maritime Phæacians low inclined Their heads beneath it;

over all the marks,

And far beyond them,

sped the flying rock.


in a human form,

the cast Prodigious measur'd,

and aloud exclaim'd.


the blind himself might with his hands Feel out the

'vantage here.

Thy quoit disdains Fellowship with a crowd,

borne far beyond.

  240 Fear not a losing game;

Phæacian none Will reach thy measure,

much less overcast.

She ceased;


hardy Chief,

rejoiced That in the circus he had found a judge So favorable,

and with brisker tone,

As less in wrath,

the multitude address'd.

Young men,

reach this,

and I will quickly heave Another such,

or yet a heavier quoit.


come the man whose courage prompts him forth To box,

to wrestle with me,

or to run;

   250 For ye have chafed me much,

and I decline No strife with any here,

but challenge all Phæacia,

save Laodamas alone.

He is mine host.

Who combats with his friend?

To call to proof of hardiment the man Who entertains him in a foreign land,

Would but evince the challenger a fool,



would cripple his own interest there.

As for the rest,

I none refuse,

scorn none,

But wish for trial of you,

and to match    260 In opposition fair my force with yours.

There is no game athletic in the use Of all mankind,

too difficult for me;

I handle well the polish'd bow,

and first Amid a thousand foes strike whom I mark,

Although a throng of warriors at my side Imbattled,

speed their shafts at the same time.

Of all Achaia's sons who erst at Troy Drew bow,

the sole who bore the prize from me Was Philoctetes;

I resign it else    270 To none now nourish'd with the fruits of earth.

Yet mean I no comparison of myself With men of antient times,

with Hercules,

Or with Oechalian Eurytus,



The Gods themselves in archery defied.



died huge Eurytus,

ere yet Old age he reach'd;


angry to be call'd To proof of archership,

Apollo slew.

But if ye name the spear,

mine flies a length By no man's arrow reach'd;

I fear no foil   280 From the Phæacians,

save in speed alone;

For I have suffer'd hardships,

dash'd and drench'd By many a wave,

nor had I food on board At all times,

therefore I am much unstrung.

He spake;

and silent the Phæacians sat,

Of whom alone Alcinoüs thus replied.



not ungraceful is thy speech,

Who hast but vindicated in our ears Thy question'd prowess,

angry that this youth Reproach'd thee in the presence of us all,

  290 That no man qualified to give his voice In public,

might affront thy courage more;

Now mark me,


that in time to come,

While feasting with thy children and thy spouse,

Thou may'st inform the Heroes of thy land Even of our proficiency in arts By Jove enjoin'd us in our father's days.

We boast not much the boxer's skill,

nor yet The wrestler's;

but light-footed in the race Are we,

and navigators well-inform'd.

   300 Our pleasures are the feast,

the harp,

the dance,

Garments for change;

the tepid bath;

the bed.


ye Phæacians,

beyond others skill'd To tread the circus with harmonious steps,


play before us;

that our guest,

arrived In his own country,

may inform his friends How far in seamanship we all excel,

In running,

in the dance,

and in the song.


bring ye to Demodocus his lyre Clear-toned,

left somewhere in our hall at home.

  310 So spake the godlike King,

at whose command The herald to the palace quick return'd To seek the charming lyre.

Meantime arose Nine arbiters,

appointed to intend The whole arrangement of the public games,

To smooth the circus floor,

and give the ring Its compass,

widening the attentive throng.

Ere long the herald came,

bearing the harp,

With which Demodocus supplied,

advanced Into the middle area,

around whom    320 Stood blooming youths,

all skilful in the dance.

With footsteps justly timed all smote at once The sacred floor;

Ulysses wonder-fixt,

The ceaseless play of twinkling[30] feet admired.


tuning his sweet chords,

Demodocus A jocund strain began,

his theme,

the loves Of Mars and Cytherea chaplet-crown'd;

How first,


they embraced beneath The roof of Vulcan,


by many a gift Seduced,

Mars won,

and with adult'rous lust   330 The bed dishonour'd of the King of fire.

The sun,

a witness of their amorous sport,

Bore swift the tale to Vulcan;


apprized Of that foul deed,

at once his smithy sought,

In secret darkness of his inmost soul Contriving vengeance;

to the stock he heav'd His anvil huge,

on which he forged a snare Of bands indissoluble,

by no art To be untied,

durance for ever firm.

The net prepared,

he bore it,


  340 To his own chamber and his nuptial couch,


stretching them from post to post,

he wrapp'd With those fine meshes all his bed around,

And hung them num'rous from the roof,

diffused Like spiders' filaments,

which not the Gods Themselves could see,

so subtle were the toils.

When thus he had encircled all his bed On ev'ry side,

he feign'd a journey thence To Lemnos,

of all cities that adorn The earth,

the city that he favours most.

  350 Nor kept the God of the resplendent reins Mars,

drowsy watch,

but seeing that the famed Artificer of heav'n had left his home,

Flew to the house of Vulcan,

hot to enjoy The Goddess with the wreath-encircled brows.


newly from her potent Sire return'd The son of Saturn,




seiz'd Her hand,

hung on it,

and thus urg'd his suit.

To bed,

my fair,

and let us love!

for lo!

Thine husband is from home,

to Lemnos gone,

  360 And to the Sintians,

men of barb'rous speech.

He spake,

nor she was loth,

but bedward too Like him inclined;

so then,

to bed they went,

And as they lay'd them down,

down stream'd the net Around them,

labour exquisite of hands By ingenuity divine inform'd.

Small room they found,

so prison'd;

not a limb Could either lift,

or move,

but felt at once Entanglement from which was no escape.

And now the glorious artist,

ere he yet    370 Had reach'd the Lemnian isle,


return'd From his feign'd journey,

for his spy the sun Had told him all.

With aching heart he sought His home,


standing in the vestibule,

Frantic with indignation roar'd to heav'n,

And roar'd again,

summoning all the Gods.

-- Oh Jove!

and all ye Pow'rs for ever blest!


hither look,

that ye may view a sight Ludicrous,

yet too monstrous to be borne,

How Venus always with dishonour loads    380 Her cripple spouse,

doating on fiery Mars!

And wherefore?

for that he is fair in form And sound of foot,

I ricket-boned and weak.

Whose fault is this?

Their fault,

and theirs alone Who gave me being;

ill-employ'd were they Begetting me,


better far unborn.

See where they couch together on my bed Lascivious!


sight hateful to my eyes!

Yet cooler wishes will they feel,

I ween,

To press my bed hereafter;

here to sleep    390 Will little please them,

fondly as they love.

But these my toils and tangles will suffice To hold them here,

till Jove shall yield me back Complete,

the sum of all my nuptial gifts Paid to him for the shameless strumpet's sake His daughter,

as incontinent as fair.

He said,

and in the brazen-floor'd abode Of Jove the Gods assembled.

Neptune came Earth-circling Pow'r;

came Hermes friend of man,


regent of the far-commanding bow,

   400 Apollo also came;

but chaste reserve Bashful kept all the Goddesses at home.

The Gods,

by whose beneficence all live,

Stood in the portal;

infinite arose The laugh of heav'n,

all looking down intent On that shrewd project of the smith divine,


turning to each other,

thus they said.

Bad works speed ill.

The slow o'ertakes the swift.

So Vulcan,

tardy as he is,

by craft Hath outstript Mars,

although the fleetest far   410 Of all who dwell in heav'n,

and the light-heel'd Must pay the adult'rer's forfeit to the lame.

So spake the Pow'rs immortal;

then the King Of radiant shafts thus question'd Mercury.

Jove's son,

heaven's herald,


bounteous God!

Would'st -thou- such stricture close of bands endure For golden Venus lying at thy side?

Whom answer'd thus the messenger of heav'n Archer divine!


and with all my heart;

And be the bands which wind us round about   420 Thrice these innumerable,

and let all The Gods and Goddesses in heav'n look on,

So I may clasp Vulcan's fair spouse the while.

He spake;

then laugh'd the Immortal Pow'rs again.

But not so Neptune;

he with earnest suit The glorious artist urged to the release Of Mars,

and thus in accents wing'd he said.

Loose him;

accept my promise;

he shall pay Full recompense in presence of us all.

Then thus the limping smith far-famed replied.

  430 Earth-circler Neptune,

spare me that request.

Lame suitor,

lame security.[31] What bands Could I devise for thee among the Gods,

Should Mars,

emancipated once,


Leaving both debt and durance,

far behind?

Him answer'd then the Shaker of the shores.

I tell thee,


that if Mars by flight Shun payment,

I will pay,


the fine.

To whom the glorious artist of the skies.

Thou must not,

canst not,

shalt not be refused.

  440 So saying,

the might of Vulcan loos'd the snare,

And they,

detain'd by those coercive bands No longer,

from the couch upstarting,


Mars into Thrace,

and to her Paphian home The Queen of smiles,

where deep in myrtle groves Her incense-breathing altar stands embow'r'd.

Her there,

the Graces laved,

and oils diffused O'er all her form,


such as add Fresh beauty to the Gods for ever young,

And cloath'd her in the loveliest robes of heav'n.

 450 Such was the theme of the illustrious bard.

Ulysses with delight that song,

and all The maritime Phæacian concourse heard.



(for in the dance they pass'd All others) call'd his sons to dance alone,

Halius and Laodamas;

they gave The purple ball into their hands,

the work Exact of Polybus;



Upcast it high toward the dusky clouds,

The other,

springing into air,

with ease    460 Received it,

ere he sank to earth again.

When thus they oft had sported with the ball Thrown upward,


with nimble interchange They pass'd it to each other many a time,

Footing the plain,

while ev'ry youth of all The circus clapp'd his hands,

and from beneath The din of stamping feet fill'd all the air.


turning to Alcinoüs,

thus the wise Ulysses spake: Alcinoüs!

mighty King!

Illustrious above all Phæacia's sons!

   470 Incomparable are ye in the dance,

Ev'n as thou said'st.

Amazement-fixt I stand!

So he,

whom hearing,

the imperial might Exulted of Alcinoüs,

and aloud To his oar-skill'd Phæacians thus he spake.

Phæacian Chiefs and Senators,


Wisdom beyond the common stint I mark In this our guest;

good cause in my account,

For which we should present him with a pledge Of hospitality and love.

The Chiefs    480 Are twelve,


highest in command,

controul The people,

and the thirteenth Chief am I.

Bring each a golden talent,

with a vest Well-bleach'd,

and tunic;

gratified with these,

The stranger to our banquet shall repair Exulting;

bring them all without delay;

And let Euryalus by word and gift Appease him,

for his speech was unadvised.

He ceas'd,

whom all applauded,

and at once Each sent his herald forth to bring the gifts,

  490 When thus Euryalus his Sire address'd.


o'er Phæacia's sons supreme!

I will appease our guest,

as thou command'st.

This sword shall be his own,

the blade all steel.

The hilt of silver,

and the unsullied sheath Of iv'ry recent from the carver's hand,

A gift like this he shall not need despise.

So saying,

his silver-studded sword he gave Into his grasp,



thus began.


honour'd stranger!

and if word of mine   500 Have harm'd thee,

rashly spoken,

let the winds Bear all remembrance of it swift away!

May the Gods give thee to behold again Thy wife,

and to attain thy native shore,

Whence absent long,

thou hast so much endured!

To whom Ulysses,



Hail also thou,

and may the Gods,

my friend,

Grant thee felicity,

and may never want Of this thy sword touch thee in time to come,

By whose kind phrase appeas'd my wrath subsides!

  510 He ended,

and athwart his shoulders threw The weapon bright emboss'd.

Now sank the sun,

And those rich gifts arrived,

which to the house Of King Alcinoüs the heralds bore.

Alcinoüs' sons receiv'd them,

and beside Their royal mother placed the precious charge.

The King then led the way,

at whose abode Arrived,

again they press'd their lofty thrones,

And to Areta thus the monarch spake.


bring a coffer;

bring thy best,

and store  520 A mantle and a sumptuous vest within;

Warm for him,


a brazen bath,

by which Refresh'd,

and viewing in fair order placed The noble gifts by the Phæacian Lords Conferr'd on him,

he may the more enjoy Our banquet,

and the bard's harmonious song.

I give him also this my golden cup Splendid,



while he lives What time he pours libation forth to Jove And all the Gods,

he may remember me.

   530 He ended,

at whose words Areta bade Her maidens with dispatch place o'er the fire A tripod ample-womb'd;

obedient they Advanced a laver to the glowing hearth,

Water infused,

and kindled wood beneath The flames encircling bright the bellied vase,

Warm'd soon the flood within.


the Queen Producing from her chamber-stores a chest All-elegant,

within it placed the gold,

And raiment,

gifts of the Phæacian Chiefs,

  540 With her own gifts,

the mantle and the vest,

And in wing'd accents to Ulysses said.

Now take,


the coffer's lid in charge;

Girdle it quickly with a cord,

lest loss Befall thee on thy way,

while thou perchance Shalt sleep secure on board the sable bark.

Which when Ulysses heard,

Hero renown'd,

Adjusting close the lid,

he cast a cord Around it which with many a mazy knot He tied,

by Circe taught him long before.

  550 And now,

the mistress of the household charge Summon'd him to his bath;

glad he beheld The steaming vase,

uncustom'd to its use E'er since his voyage from the isle of fair Calypso,


while a guest with her,

Ever familiar with it,

as a God.

Laved by attendant damsels,

and with oil Refresh'd,

he put his sumptuous tunic on And mantle,

and proceeding from the bath To the symposium,

join'd the num'rous guests;

  560 But,

as he pass'd,

the Princess all divine Beside the pillars of the portal,

lost In admiration of his graceful form,


and in accents wing'd him thus address'd.



at thy native home arrived Remember me,

thy first deliv'rer here.

To whom Ulysses,




daughter of the noble King Alcinoüs!

So may Jove,

high-thund'ring mate Of Juno,

grant me to behold again    570 My native land,

and my delightful home,


even there,

I will present my vows To thee,

adoring thee as I adore The Gods themselves,


by whom I live!

He said,

and on his throne beside the King Alcinoüs sat.

And now they portion'd out The feast to all,

and charg'd the cups with wine,

And introducing by his hand the bard Phæacia's glory,

at the column's side The herald placed Demodocus again.

   580 Then,

carving forth a portion from the loins Of a huge brawn,

of which uneaten still Large part and delicate remain'd,

thus spake Ulysses --Herald!

bear it to the bard For his regale,

whom I will soon embrace In spite of sorrow;

for respect is due And veneration to the sacred bard From all mankind,

for that the muse inspires Herself his song,

and loves the tuneful tribe.

He ended,

and the herald bore his charge   590 To the old hero who with joy received That meed of honour at the bearer's hand.



at once,

assail'd the ready feast,

And hunger now,

and thirst both satisfied,

Thus to Demodocus Ulysses spake.


I give thee praise above All mortals,

for that either thee the muse Jove's daughter teaches,

or the King,



since thou so record'st the fate,

With such clear method,

of Achaia's host,

  600 Their deeds heroic,

and their num'rous toils,

As thou hadst present been thyself,

or learnt From others present there,

the glorious tale.




that rare invention sing,

The horse of wood,

which by Minerva's aid Epeus framed,

and which Ulysses erst Convey'd into the citadel of Troy With warriors fill'd,

who lay'd all Ilium waste.

These things rehearse regular,

and myself Will,


publish in the ears of all   610 Thy fame,

reporting thee a bard to whom Apollo free imparts celestial song.

He ended;

then Apollo with full force Rush'd on Demodocus,

and he began What time the Greeks,

first firing their own camp Steer'd all their galleys from the shore of Troy.


in the horse conceal'd,

his band Around Ulysses sat;

for Ilium's sons Themselves had drawn it to the citadel.

And there the mischief stood.


strife arose   620 Among the Trojans compassing the horse,

And threefold was the doubt;

whether to cleave The hollow trunk asunder,

or updrawn Aloft,

to cast it headlong from the rocks,

Or to permit the enormous image,

kept Entire,

to stand an off'ring to the Gods,

Which was their destined course;

for Fate had fix'd Their ruin sure,

when once they had received Within their walls that engine huge,

in which Sat all the bravest Greecians with the fate   630 Of Ilium charged,

and slaughter of her sons.

He sang,


from the horse effused,

the Greeks Left their capacious ambush,

and the town Made desolate.

To others,

in his song,

He gave the praise of wasting all beside,

But told how,

fierce as Mars,

Ulysses join'd With godlike Menelaus,

to the house Flew of Deiphobus;

him there engaged In direst fight he sang,

and through the aid Of glorious Pallas,

conqu'ror over all.

   640 So sang the bard illustrious,

at whose song Ulysses melted,

and tear after tear Fell on his cheeks.

As when a woman weeps,

Her husband,

who hath fallen in defence Of his own city and his babes before The gates;



folds him in her arms And,

gazing on him as he pants and dies,

Shrieks at the sight;


the enemy Smiting her shoulders with the spear to toil Command her and to bondage far away,

   650 And her cheek fades with horror at the sound;



from his moist lids let fall,

The frequent tear.

Unnoticed by the rest Those drops,

but not by King Alcinoüs,

fell Who,

seated at his side,

his heavy sighs Remark'd,

and the Phæacians thus bespake.

Phæacian Chiefs and Senators attend!

Now let Demodocus enjoin his harp Silence,

for not alike grateful to all His music sounds;

during our feast,

and since   660 The bard divine began,

continual flow The stranger's sorrows,

by remembrance caused Of some great woe which wraps his soul around.


let the bard suspend his song,

that all (As most befits th' occasion) may rejoice,

Both guest and hosts together;

since we make This voyage,

and these gifts confer,

in proof Of hospitality and unfeign'd love,


with all wise men,

the stranger-guest And suppliant worthy of a brother's place.

  670 And thou conceal not,

artfully reserv'd,

What I shall ask,

far better plain declared Than smother'd close;

who art thou?

speak thy name,

The name by which thy father,


friends And fellow-citizens,

with all who dwell Around thy native city,

in times past Have known thee;

for of all things human none Lives altogether nameless,

whether good Or whether bad,

but ev'ry man receives Ev'n in the moment of his birth,

a name.

   680 Thy country,




the mark At which my ships,


shall aim,

That they may bear thee thither;

for our ships No pilot need or helm,

as ships are wont,

But know,


our purpose;

know beside All cities,

and all fruitful regions well Of all the earth,

and with dark clouds involv'd Plough rapid the rough Deep,

fearless of harm,

(Whate'er betide) and of disast'rous wreck.

Yet thus,

long since,

my father I have heard   690 Nausithoüs speaking;


he would say,

Is angry with us,

for that safe we bear Strangers of ev'ry nation to their home;

And he foretold a time when he would smite In vengeance some Phæacian gallant bark Returning after convoy of her charge,

And fix her in the sable flood,

transform'd Into a mountain,

right before the town.

So spake my hoary Sire,

which let the God At his own pleasure do,

or leave undone.

   700 But tell me truth,

and plainly.

Where have been Thy wand'rings?

in what regions of the earth Hast thou arrived?

what nations hast thou seen,

What cities?


how many hast thou found Harsh,

savage and unjust?

how many,

kind To strangers,

and disposed to fear the Gods?

Say also,

from what secret grief of heart Thy sorrows flow,

oft as thou hear'st the fate Of the Achaians,

or of Ilium sung?

That fate the Gods prepared;

they spin the thread  710 Of man's destruction,

that in after days The bard may make the sad event his theme.

Perish'd thy father or thy brother there?

Or hast thou at the siege of Ilium lost Father-in-law,

or son-in-law?

for such Are next and dearest to us after those Who share our own descent;

or was the dead Thy bosom-friend,

whose heart was as thy own?

For worthy as a brother of our love The constant friend and the discrete I deem.



[27] Agamemnon having inquired at Delphos,

at what time the Trojan war would end,

was answered that the conclusion of it should happen at a time when a dispute should arise between two of his principal commanders.

That dispute occurred at the time here alluded to,

Achilles recommending force as most likely to reduce the city,

and Ulysses stratagem.

[28] Τοισι δ' απο νυσοης τετατο δρομος --This expression is by the commentators generally understood to be significant of the effort which they made at starting,

but it is not improbable that it relates merely to the measurement of the course,


καρπαλιμως επετοντο will be tautologous.

[29] In boxing.

[30] The Translator is indebted to Mr Grey for an epithet more expressive of the original (Μαρμαρυγας) than any other,


in all our language.

See the Ode on the Progress of Poetry.

"To brisk notes in cadence beating,

Glance their -many-twinkling- feet"

[31] The original line has received such a variety of interpretations,

that a Translator seems free to choose.

It has,


a proverbial turn,

which I have endeavoured to preserve,

and have adopted the sense of the words which appears best to accord with what immediately follows.

Vulcan pleads his own inability to enforce the demand,

as a circumstance that made Neptune's promise unacceptable.



Ulysses discovers himself to the Phæacians,

and begins the history of his adventures.

He destroys Ismarus,

city of the Ciconians;

arrives among the Lotophagi;

and afterwards at the land of the Cyclops.

He is imprisoned by Polypheme in his cave,

who devours six of his companions;

intoxicates the monster with wine,

blinds him while he sleeps,

and escapes from him.

Then answer,


Ulysses wise return'd.



illustrious above all Phæacia's sons,

pleasant it is to hear A bard like this,

sweet as the Gods in song.

The world,

in my account,

no sight affords More gratifying than a people blest With cheerfulness and peace,

a palace throng'd With guests in order ranged,

list'ning to sounds Melodious,

and the steaming tables spread With plenteous viands,

while the cups,

with wine   10 From brimming beakers fill'd,

pass brisk around.

No lovelier sight know I.

But thou,

it seems,

Thy thoughts hast turn'd to ask me whence my groans And tears,

that I may sorrow still the more.

What first,

what next,

what last shall I rehearse,

On whom the Gods have show'r'd such various woes?

Learn first my name,

that even in this land Remote I may be known,

and that escaped From all adversity,

I may requite Hereafter,

this your hospitable care    20 At my own home,

however distant hence.

I am Ulysses,

fear'd in all the earth For subtlest wisdom,

and renown'd to heaven,

The offspring of Laertes;

my abode Is sun-burnt Ithaca;

there waving stands The mountain Neritus his num'rous boughs,

And it is neighbour'd close by clust'ring isles All populous;

thence Samos is beheld,


and Zacynthus forest-clad.

Flat on the Deep she lies,

farthest removed   30 Toward the West,


situate apart,

Her sister islands face the rising day;

Rugged she is,

but fruitful nurse of sons Magnanimous;

nor shall these eyes behold,


an object dear and sweet as she.


beauteous Goddess,

in her grot Detain'd me,

wishing me her own espoused;

Ææan Circe also,

skill'd profound In potent arts,

within her palace long Detain'd me,

wishing me her own espoused;

   40 But never could they warp my constant mind.

So much our parents and our native soil Attract us most,

even although our lot Be fair and plenteous in a foreign land.

But come --my painful voyage,

such as Jove Gave me from Ilium,

I will now relate.

From Troy the winds bore me to Ismarus,

City of the Ciconians;

them I slew,

And laid their city waste;

whence bringing forth Much spoil with all their wives,

I portion'd it   50 With equal hand,

and each received a share.


I exhorted to immediate flight My people;

but in vain;

they madly scorn'd My sober counsel,

and much wine they drank,

And sheep and beeves slew num'rous on the shore.


Ciconians to Ciconians call'd,

Their neighbours summoning,

a mightier host And braver,

natives of the continent,


on horses mounted,

to maintain Fierce fight,

or if occasion bade,

on foot.

  60 Num'rous they came as leaves,

or vernal flow'rs At day-spring.


by the decree of Jove,

Misfortune found us.

At the ships we stood Piercing each other with the brazen spear,

And till the morning brighten'd into noon,

Few as we were,

we yet withstood them all;


when the sun verged westward,

then the Greeks Fell back,

and the Ciconian host prevail'd.

Six warlike Greecians from each galley's crew Perish'd in that dread field;

the rest escaped.

  70 Thus,

after loss of many,

we pursued Our course,


difficult as was our flight,

Went not till first we had invoked by name Our friends,

whom the Ciconians had destroy'd.

But cloud-assembler Jove assail'd us soon With a tempestuous North-wind;

earth alike And sea with storms he overhung,

and night Fell fast from heav'n.

Their heads deep-plunging oft Our gallies flew,

and rent,

and rent again Our tatter'd sail-cloth crackled in the wind.

  80 We,

fearing instant death,

within the barks Our canvas lodg'd,


toiling strenuous,

reach'd At length the continent.

Two nights we lay Continual there,

and two long days,

consumed With toil and grief;

but when the beauteous morn Bright-hair'd,

had brought the third day to a close,

(Our masts erected,

and white sails unfurl'd) Again we sat on board;


the winds Well managed by the steersman,

urged us on.

And now,

all danger pass'd,

I had attain'd   90 My native shore,


doubling in my course Malea,

waves and currents and North-winds Constrain'd me devious to Cythera's isle.

Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne Athwart the fishy Deep,

but on the tenth Reach'd the Lotophagi,

a race sustain'd On sweetest fruit alone.

There quitting ship,

We landed and drew water,

and the crews Beside the vessels took their ev'ning cheer.



we had thus our strength renew'd,

  100 I order'd forth my people to inquire (Two I selected from the rest,

with whom I join'd an herald,

third) what race of men Might there inhabit.



mix'd With the Lotophagi;

nor hostile aught Or savage the Lotophagi devised Against our friends,

but offer'd to their taste The lotus;

of which fruit what man soe'er Once tasted,

no desire felt he to come With tidings back,

or seek his country more,

  110 But rather wish'd to feed on lotus still With the Lotophagi,

and to renounce All thoughts of home.



I constrain'd Weeping on board,

and dragging each beneath The benches,

bound him there.


all in haste,

I urged my people to ascend again Their hollow barks,

lest others also,

fed With fruit of lotus,

should forget their home.

They quick embark'd,

and on the benches ranged In order,

thresh'd with oars the foamy flood.

  120 Thence,

o'er the Deep proceeding sad,

we reach'd The land at length,


giant-sized[32] and free From all constraint of law,

the Cyclops dwell.


trusting to the Gods,

plant not,

or plough,

But earth unsow'd,


brings forth for them All fruits,



and the vinous grape Large cluster'd,

nourish'd by the show'rs of Jove.

No councils they convene,

no laws contrive,

But in deep caverns dwell,

found on the heads Of lofty mountains,

judging each supreme    130 His wife and children,

heedless of the rest.

In front of the Cyclopean haven lies A level island,

not adjoining close Their land,

nor yet remote,

woody and rude.


wild goats breed numberless,

by no foot Of man molested;

never huntsman there,

Inured to winter's cold and hunger,

roams The dreary woods,

or mountain-tops sublime;

No fleecy flocks dwell there,

nor plough is known,

But the unseeded and unfurrow'd soil,

   140 Year after year a wilderness by man Untrodden,

food for blatant goats supplies.

For no ships crimson-prow'd the Cyclops own,

Nor naval artizan is there,

whose toil Might furnish them with oary barks,

by which Subsists all distant commerce,

and which bear Man o'er the Deep to cities far remote Who might improve the peopled isle,

that seems Not steril in itself,

but apt to yield,

In their due season,

fruits of ev'ry kind.

  150 For stretch'd beside the hoary ocean lie Green meadows moist,

where vines would never fail;

Light is the land,

and they might yearly reap The tallest crops,

so unctuous is the glebe.

Safe is its haven also,

where no need Of cable is or anchor,

or to lash The hawser fast ashore,

but pushing in His bark,

the mariner might there abide Till rising gales should tempt him forth again.

At bottom of the bay runs a clear stream    160 Issuing from a cove hemm'd all around With poplars;

down into that bay we steer'd Amid the darkness of the night,

some God Conducting us;

for all unseen it lay,

Such gloom involved the fleet,

nor shone the moon From heav'n to light us,

veil'd by pitchy clouds.


none the isle descried,

nor any saw The lofty surge roll'd on the strand,

or ere Our vessels struck the ground;

but when they struck,


low'ring all our sails,

we disembark'd,

  170 And on the sea-beach slept till dawn appear'd.

Soon as Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy forth,

we with admiring eyes The isle survey'd,

roaming it wide around.


the nymphs,

Jove's daughters,

roused the goats Bred on the mountains,

to supply with food The partners of my toils;


bringing forth Bows and long-pointed javelins from the ships,

Divided all into three sep'rate bands We struck them,

and the Gods gave us much prey.

  180 Twelve ships attended me,

and ev'ry ship Nine goats received by lot;

myself alone Selected ten.

All day,

till set of sun,

We eating sat goat's flesh,

and drinking wine Delicious,

without stint;

for dearth was none Of ruddy wine on board,

but much remain'd,

With which my people had their jars supplied What time we sack'd Ciconian Ismarus.

Thence looking forth toward the neighbour-land Where dwell the Cyclops,

rising smoke we saw,

  190 And voices heard,

their own,

and of their flocks.

Now sank the sun,

and (night o'ershadowing all) We slept along the shore;

but when again The rosy-finger'd daughter of the dawn Look'd forth,

my crews convened,

I thus began.

Companions of my course!

here rest ye all,

Save my own crew,

with whom I will explore This people,

whether wild,

they be,


And to contention giv'n,

or well-disposed To strangers,

and a race who fear the Gods.

  200 So speaking,

I embark'd,

and bade embark My followers,



the hawsers loose.


ent'ring at my word,

the benches fill'd Well-ranged,

and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood.

Attaining soon that neighbour-land,

we found At its extremity,

fast by the sea,

A cavern,


and dark-brow'd above With laurels;

in that cavern slumb'ring lay Much cattle,

sheep and goats,

and a broad court Enclosed it,

fenced with stones from quarries hewn,

 210 With spiry firs,

and oaks of ample bough.

Here dwelt a giant vast,

who far remote His flocks fed solitary,

converse none Desiring,



and unjust.


in truth,

he was,

hideous in form,

Resembling less a man by Ceres' gift Sustain'd,

than some aspiring mountain-crag Tufted with wood,

and standing all alone.



my people to abide Fast by the ship which they should closely guard,

 220 I went,

but not without a goat-skin fill'd With sable wine which I had erst received From Maron,

offspring of Evanthes,

priest Of Phœbus guardian god of Ismarus,


through rev'rence of him,

we had saved Himself,

his wife and children;

for he dwelt Amid the grove umbrageous of his God.

He gave me,


noble gifts;

from him Sev'n talents I received of beaten gold,

A beaker,

argent all,

and after these    230 No fewer than twelve jars with wine replete,



drink for Gods;

nor knew One servant,

male or female,

of that wine In all his house;

none knew it,

save himself,

His wife,

and the intendant of his stores.

Oft as they drank that luscious juice,

he slaked A single cup with twenty from the stream,


even then,

the beaker breath'd abroad A scent celestial,

which whoever smelt,

Thenceforth no pleasure found it to abstain.

  240 Charged with an ample goat-skin of this wine I went,

and with a wallet well supplied,

But felt a sudden presage in my soul That,


with terrific force endued,

Some savage would appear,

strange to the laws And privileges of the human race.

Few steps convey'd us to his den,

but him We found not;

he his flocks pastur'd abroad.

His cavern ent'ring,

we with wonder gazed Around on all;

his strainers hung with cheese   250 Distended wide;

with lambs and kids his penns Close-throng'd we saw,

and folded separate The various charge;

the eldest all apart,

Apart the middle-aged,

and the new-yean'd Also apart.

His pails and bowls with whey Swam all,

neat vessels into which he milk'd.

Me then my friends first importuned to take A portion of his cheeses,

then to drive Forth from the sheep-cotes to the rapid bark His kids and lambs,

and plow the brine again.

  260 But me they moved not,

happier had they moved!

I wish'd to see him,

and to gain,


Some pledge of hospitality at his hands,

Whose form was such,

as should not much bespeak When he appear'd,

our confidence or love.


kindling fire,

we offer'd to the Gods,

And of his cheeses eating,

patient sat Till home he trudged from pasture.

Charged he came With dry wood bundled,

an enormous load Fuel by which to sup.

Loud crash'd the thorns   270 Which down he cast before the cavern's mouth,

To whose interior nooks we trembling flew.

At once he drove into his spacious cave His batten'd flock,

all those which gave him milk,

But all the males,

both rams and goats,

he left Abroad,

excluded from the cavern-yard.



a rocky barrier huge To his cave's mouth,

he thrust it home.

That weight Not all the oxen from its place had moved Of twenty and two wains;

with such a rock   280 Immense his den he closed.

Then down he sat,

And as he milk'd his ewes and bleating goats All in their turns,

her yeanling gave to each;



with brisk dispatch,

The half of his new milk,

he thrust the curd Into his wicker sieves,

but stored the rest In pans and bowls --his customary drink.

His labours thus perform'd,

he kindled,


His fuel,

and discerning -us-,


Who are ye,


from what distant shore   290 Roam ye the waters?

traffic ye?

or bound To no one port,


as pirates use,

At large the Deep,

exposing life themselves,

And enemies of all mankind beside?

He ceased;


dash'd with terrour,

heard the growl Of his big voice,

and view'd his form uncouth,

To whom,

though sore appall'd,

I thus replied.

Of Greece are we,


bound from Ilium home,

Have wander'd wide the expanse of ocean,

sport For ev'ry wind,

and driven from our course,

  300 Have here arrived;

so stood the will of Jove.

We boast ourselves of Agamemnon's train,

The son of Atreus,

at this hour the Chief Beyond all others under heav'n renown'd,

So great a city he hath sack'd and slain Such num'rous foes;

but since we reach,

at last,

Thy knees,

we beg such hospitable fare,

Or other gift,

as guests are wont to obtain.

Illustrious lord!

respect the Gods,

and us Thy suitors;

suppliants are the care of Jove   310 The hospitable;

he their wrongs resents And where the stranger sojourns,

there is he.

I ceas'd,

when answer thus he,




either thou art fool,

or hast arrived Indeed from far,

who bidd'st me fear the Gods Lest they be wroth.

The Cyclops little heeds Jove Ægis-arm'd,

or all the Pow'rs of heav'n.

Our race is mightier far;

nor shall myself,

Through fear of Jove's hostility,

abstain From thee or thine,

unless my choice be such.

  320 But tell me now.

Where touch'd thy gallant bark Our country,

on thy first arrival here?

Remote or nigh?

for I would learn the truth.

So spake he,

tempting me;



thus I answer'd,

penetrating his intent.

My vessel,


Shaker of the shores,

At yonder utmost promontory dash'd In pieces,

hurling her against the rocks With winds that blew right thither from the sea,

And I,

with these alone,

escaped alive.

   330 So I,

to whom,


answer none He deign'd,


with his arms extended,

sprang Toward my people,

of whom seizing two At once,

like whelps against his cavern-floor He dash'd them,

and their brains spread on the ground.


piece-meal hewn,

for supper he prepared,


like a mountain-lion,

neither flesh Nor entrails left,

nor yet their marrowy bones.


viewing that tremendous sight,

upraised Our hands to Jove,

all hope and courage lost.

  340 When thus the Cyclops had with human flesh Fill'd his capacious belly,

and had quaff'd Much undiluted milk,

among his flocks Out-stretch'd immense,

he press'd his cavern-floor.



my courage prompted to approach The monster with my sword drawn from the sheath,

And to transfix him where the vitals wrap The liver;

but maturer thoughts forbad.

For so,

we also had incurred a death Tremendous,

wanting pow'r to thrust aside   350 The rocky mass that closed his cavern-mouth By force of hand alone.

Thus many a sigh Heaving,

we watch'd the dawn.

But when,

at length,


day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd Look'd forth,


kindling fire,

his flocks he milk'd In order,

and her yeanling kid or lamb Thrust under each.

When thus he had perform'd His wonted task,

two seizing,

as before,

He slew them for his next obscene regale.

His dinner ended,

from the cave he drove    360 His fatted flocks abroad,

moving with ease That pond'rous barrier,

and replacing it As he had only closed a quiver's lid.


hissing them along,

he drove his flocks Toward the mountain,

and me left,

the while,

Deep ruminating how I best might take Vengeance,

and by the aid of Pallas win Deathless renown.

This counsel pleas'd me most.

Beside the sheep-cote lay a massy club Hewn by the Cyclops from an olive stock,

   370 Green,

but which dried,

should serve him for a staff.

To us consid'ring it,

that staff appear'd Tall as the mast of a huge trading bark,

Impell'd by twenty rowers o'er the Deep.

Such seem'd its length to us,

and such its bulk.

Part amputating,

(an whole fathom's length) I gave my men that portion,

with command To shave it smooth.

They smooth'd it,

and myself,

Shaping its blunt extremity to a point,

Season'd it in the fire;

then cov'ring close   380 The weapon,

hid it under litter'd straw,

For much lay scatter'd on the cavern-floor.

And now I bade my people cast the lot Who of us all should take the pointed brand,

And grind it in his eye when next he slept.

The lots were cast,

and four were chosen,

those Whom most I wish'd,

and I was chosen fifth.

At even-tide he came,

his fleecy flocks Pasturing homeward,

and compell'd them all Into his cavern,

leaving none abroad,

   390 Either through some surmise,

or so inclined By influence,


of the Gods themselves.

The huge rock pull'd into its place again At the cave's mouth,



milk'd his sheep And goats in order,

and her kid or lamb Thrust under each;


all his work dispatch'd,

Two more he seiz'd,

and to his supper fell.

I then,

approaching to him,

thus address'd The Cyclops,

holding in my hands a cup Of ivy-wood,

well-charg'd with ruddy wine.

  400 Lo,


this is wine.

Take this and drink After thy meal of man's flesh.

Taste and learn What precious liquor our lost vessel bore.

I brought it hither,

purposing to make Libation to thee,

if to pity inclined Thou would'st dismiss us home.



thy rage Is insupportable!

thou cruel one!


thinkest thou,

of all mankind,

henceforth Will visit -thee-,

guilty of such excess?

I ceas'd.

He took and drank,

and hugely pleas'd[33]  410 With that delicious bev'rage,

thus enquir'd.

Give me again,

and spare not.

Tell me,


Thy name,


that I may make Requital,

gratifying also thee With somewhat to thy taste.

We Cyclops own A bounteous soil,

which yields -us- also wine From clusters large,

nourish'd by show'rs from Jove;

But this --this is from above --a stream Of nectar and ambrosia,

all divine!

He ended,

and received a second draught,

  420 Like measure.

Thrice I bore it to his hand,



thrice he drank.

But when the fumes Began to play around the Cyclops' brain,

With show of amity I thus replied.


thou hast my noble name enquired,

Which I will tell thee.

Give me,

in return,

The promised boon,

some hospitable pledge.

My name is Outis,[34] Outis I am call'd At home,


wherever I am known.

So I;

to whom he,


thus replied.

  430 Outis,

when I have eaten all his friends,

Shall be my last regale.

Be that thy boon.

He spake,


downward sway'd,

fell resupine,

With his huge neck aslant.

All-conqu'ring sleep Soon seized him.

From his gullet gush'd the wine With human morsels mingled,

many a blast Sonorous issuing from his glutted maw.


thrusting far the spike of olive-wood Into the embers glowing on the hearth,

I heated it,

and cheer'd my friends,

the while,

  440 Lest any should,

through fear,

shrink from his part.

But when that stake of olive-wood,

though green,

Should soon have flamed,

for it was glowing hot,

I bore it to his side.

Then all my aids Around me gather'd,

and the Gods infused Heroic fortitude into our hearts.


seizing the hot stake rasp'd to a point,

Bored his eye with it,

and myself,

advanced To a superior stand,

twirled it about.

As when a shipwright with his wimble bores   450 Tough oaken timber,

placed on either side Below,

his fellow-artists strain the thong Alternate,

and the restless iron spins,


grasping hard the stake pointed with fire,

We twirl'd it in his eye;

the bubbling blood Boil'd round about the brand;

his pupil sent A scalding vapour forth that sing'd his brow,

And all his eye-roots crackled in the flame.

As when the smith an hatchet or large axe Temp'ring with skill,

plunges the hissing blade   460 Deep in cold water,

(whence the strength of steel) So hiss'd his eye around the olive-wood.

The howling monster with his outcry fill'd The hollow rock,

and I,

with all my aids,

Fled terrified.


plucking forth the spike From his burnt socket,

mad with anguish,

cast The implement all bloody far away.



he sounded forth the name Of ev'ry Cyclops dwelling in the caves Around him,

on the wind-swept mountain-tops;

  470 They,

at his cry flocking from ev'ry part,

Circled his den,

and of his ail enquired.

What grievous hurt hath caused thee,


Thus yelling to alarm the peaceful ear Of night,

and break our slumbers?

Fear'st thou lest Some mortal man drive off thy flocks?

or fear'st Thyself to die by cunning or by force?

Them answer'd,


Polypheme from his cave.



I die!

and Outis gives the blow.

To whom with accents wing'd his friends without.

 480 If no man[35] harm thee,

but thou art alone,

And sickness feel'st,

it is the stroke of Jove,

And thou must bear it;

yet invoke for aid Thy father Neptune,

Sovereign of the floods.

So saying,

they went,

and in my heart I laugh'd That by the fiction only of a name,

Slight stratagem!

I had deceived them all.

Then groan'd the Cyclops wrung with pain and grief,



with stretch'd hands,

removed the rock From his cave's mouth,

which done,

he sat him down  490 Spreading his arms athwart the pass,

to stop Our egress with his flocks abroad;

so dull,

It seems,

he held me,

and so ill-advised.


pondering what means might fittest prove To save from instant death,

(if save I might) My people and myself,

to ev'ry shift Inclined,

and various counsels framed,

as one Who strove for life,

conscious of woe at hand.

To me,

thus meditating,

this appear'd The likeliest course.

The rams well-thriven were,

 500 Thick-fleeced,


with wool of sable hue.



with osier twigs on which The Cyclops,

hideous monster,


I bound,

Three in one leash;

the intermediate rams Bore each a man,

whom the exterior two Preserved,

concealing him on either side.

Thus each was borne by three,

and I,

at last,

The curl'd back seizing of a ram,

(for one I had reserv'd far stateliest of them all) Slipp'd underneath his belly,

and both hands   510 Enfolding fast in his exub'rant fleece,

Clung ceaseless to him as I lay supine.


thus disposed,

waited with many a sigh The sacred dawn;

but when,

at length,



day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd Again appear'd,

the males of all his flocks Rush'd forth to pasture,




The wethers bleated,

by the load distress'd Of udders overcharged.

Their master,

rack'd With pain intolerable,

handled yet    520 The backs of all,


as they stood,


gross of intellect,

suspicion none Conceiv'd of men beneath their bodies bound.

And now (none left beside) the ram approach'd With his own wool burthen'd,

and with myself,

Whom many a fear molested.

Polypheme The giant stroak'd him as he sat,

and said,

My darling ram!

why latest of the flock Com'st thou,

whom never,


my sheep Could leave behind,

but stalking at their head,

  530 Thou first was wont to crop the tender grass,

First to arrive at the clear stream,

and first With ready will to seek my sheep-cote here At evening;


thy practice chang'd,

thou com'st,

Now last of all.

Feel'st thou regret,

my ram!

Of thy poor master's eye,

by a vile wretch Bored out,

who overcame me first with wine,

And by a crew of vagabonds accurs'd,

Followers of Outis,

whose escape from death Shall not be made to-day?


that thy heart   540 Were as my own,

and that distinct as I Thou could'st articulate,

so should'st thou tell,

Where hidden,

he eludes my furious wrath.


dash'd against the floor his spatter'd brain Should fly,

and I should lighter feel my harm From Outis,

wretch base-named and nothing-worth.

So saying,

he left him to pursue the flock.


thus drawn forth,

we had,

at length,

escaped Few paces from the cavern and the court,


quitting my own ram,

I loos'd my friends,

  550 Then,

turning seaward many a thriven ewe Sharp-hoof'd,

we drove them swiftly to the ship.

Thrice welcome to our faithful friends we came From death escaped,

but much they mourn'd the dead.

I suffer'd not their tears,

but silent shook My brows,

by signs commanding them to lift The sheep on board,

and instant plow the main.


quick embarking,

on the benches sat Well ranged,

and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood;

But distant now such length as a loud voice   560 May reach,

I hail'd with taunts the Cyclops' ear.


when thou devouredst in thy cave With brutal force my followers,

thou devour'dst The followers of no timid Chief,

or base,

Vengeance was sure to recompense that deed Atrocious.


who wast not afraid To eat the guest shelter'd beneath thy roof!

Therefore the Gods have well requited thee.

I ended;



raged the more,

And rending from its hold a mountain-top,

  570 Hurl'd it toward us;

at our vessel's stern Down came the mass,

nigh sweeping in its fall The rudder's head.

The ocean at the plunge Of that huge rock,

high on its refluent flood Heav'd,


the ship to land.

I seizing,


our longest pole on board,

Back thrust her from the coast and by a nod In silence given,

bade my companions ply Strenuous their oars,

that so we might escape.

Procumbent,[36] each obey'd,

and when,

the flood   580 Cleaving,

we twice that distance had obtain'd,[37] Again I hail'd the Cyclops;

but my friends Earnest dissuaded me on ev'ry side.


rash Ulysses!

why with taunts provoke The savage more,

who hath this moment hurl'd A weapon,

such as heav'd the ship again To land,

where death seem'd certain to us all?

For had he heard a cry,

or but the voice Of one man speaking,

he had all our heads With some sharp rock,

and all our timbers crush'd  590 Together,

such vast force is in his arm.

So they,

but my courageous heart remain'd Unmoved,

and thus again,


I spake.


should any mortal man inquire To whom thy shameful loss of sight thou ow'st,


to Ulysses,

city-waster Chief,

Laertes' son,

native of Ithaca.

I ceas'd,

and with a groan thus he replied.

Ah me!

an antient oracle I feel Accomplish'd.

Here abode a prophet erst,

   600 A man of noblest form,

and in his art Unrivall'd,

Telemus Eurymedes.


prophesying to the Cyclops-race,

Grew old among us,

and presaged my loss Of sight,

in future,

by Ulysses' hand.

I therefore watch'd for the arrival here,


of some great Chief,

for stature,

bulk And beauty prais'd,

and cloath'd with wond'rous might.

But now --a dwarf,

a thing impalpable,

A shadow,

overcame me first by wine,

   610 Then quench'd my sight.

Come hither,

O my guest!



hospitable cheer Awaits thee,

and my pray'rs I will prefer To glorious Neptune for thy prosp'rous course;

For I am Neptune's offspring,

and the God Is proud to be my Sire;


if he please,

And he alone can heal me;

none beside Of Pow'rs immortal,

or of men below.

He spake,

to whom I answer thus return'd.

I would that of thy life and soul amerced,

  620 I could as sure dismiss thee down to Hell,

As none shall heal thine eye --not even He.

So I;

then pray'd the Cyclops to his Sire With hands uprais'd towards the starry heav'n.


Earth-encircler Neptune,


If I indeed am thine,

and if thou boast Thyself my father,

grant that never more Ulysses,

leveller of hostile tow'rs,

Laertes' son,

of Ithaca the fair,

Behold his native home!

but if his fate    630 Decree him yet to see his friends,

his house,

His native country,

let him deep distress'd Return and late,

all his companions lost,

Indebted for a ship to foreign aid,

And let affliction meet him at his door.

He spake,

and Ocean's sov'reign heard his pray'r.

Then lifting from the shore a stone of size Far more enormous,

o'er his head he whirl'd The rock,

and his immeasurable force Exerting all,

dismiss'd it.

Close behind    640 The ship,

nor distant from the rudder's head,

Down came the mass.

The ocean at the plunge Of such a weight,

high on its refluent flood Tumultuous,

heaved the bark well nigh to land.

But when we reach'd the isle where we had left Our num'rous barks,

and where my people sat Watching with ceaseless sorrow our return,

We thrust our vessel to the sandy shore,

Then disembark'd,

and of the Cyclops' sheep Gave equal share to all.

To me alone    650 My fellow-voyagers the ram consign'd In distribution,

my peculiar meed.



to cloud-girt Saturnian Jove I offer'd on the shore,

burning his thighs In sacrifice;

but Jove my hallow'd rites Reck'd not,

destruction purposing to all My barks,

and all my followers o'er the Deep.


feasting largely,

on the shore we sat Till even-tide,

and quaffing gen'rous wine;

But when day fail'd,

and night o'ershadow'd all,

  660 Then,

on the shore we slept;

and when again Aurora rosy daughter of the Dawn,

Look'd forth,

my people,


I enjoin'd To climb their barks,

and cast the hawsers loose.

They all obedient,

took their seats on board Well-ranged,

and thresh'd with oars the foamy flood.


'scaping narrowly,

we roam'd the Deep With aching hearts and with diminish'd crews.


[32] So the Scholium interprets in this place,

the word ὑπερθιαλος.

[33] Λινως

[34] Clarke,

who has preserved this name in his marginal version,

contends strenuously,

and with great reason,

that Outis ought not to be translated,

and in a passage which he quotes from the -Acta eruditorum-,

we see much fault found with Giphanius and other interpreters of Homer for having translated it.

It is certain that in Homer the word is declined not as ουτις-τινος which signifies no man,

but as ουτις-τιδος making ουτιν in the accusative,

consequently as a proper name.

It is sufficient that the ambiguity was such as to deceive the friends of the Cyclops.

Outis is said by some (perhaps absurdly) to have been a name given to Ulysses on account of his having larger ears than common.

[35] Outis,

as a -name- could only denote him who bore it;

but as a -noun-,

it signifies -no man-,

which accounts sufficiently for the ludicrous mistake of his brethren.

[36] προπεσοντες  -- -- --Olli certamine summo Procumbunt.


[37] The seeming incongruity of this line with line 560,

is reconciled by supposing that Ulysses exerted his voice,

naturally loud,

in an extraordinary manner on this second occasion.

See Clarke.