in pursuit of his narrative,

relates his arrival at the island of Æolus,

his departure thence,

and the unhappy occasion of his return thither.

The monarch of the winds dismisses him at last with much asperity.

He next tells of his arrival among the Læstrygonians,

by whom his whole fleet,

together with their crews,

are destroyed,

his own ship and crew excepted.

Thence he is driven to the island of Circe.

By her the half of his people are transformed into swine.

Assisted by Mercury,

he resists her enchantments himself,

and prevails with the Goddess to recover them to their former shape.

In consequence of Circe's instructions,

after having spent a complete year in her palace,

he prepares for a voyage to the infernal regions.

We came to the Æolian isle;

there dwells Æolus,

son of Hippotas,

belov'd By the Immortals,

in an isle afloat.

A brazen wall impregnable on all sides Girds it,

and smooth its rocky coast ascends.

His children,

in his own fair palace born,

Are twelve;

six daughters,

and six blooming sons.

He gave his daughters to his sons to wife;

They with their father hold perpetual feast And with their royal mother,

still supplied   10 With dainties numberless;

the sounding dome Is fill'd with sav'ry odours all the day,

And with their consorts chaste at night they sleep On stateliest couches with rich arras spread.

Their city and their splendid courts we reach'd.

A month complete he,


at his board Regaled me,

and enquiry made minute Of Ilium's fall,

of the Achaian fleet,

And of our voyage thence.

I told him all.

But now,

desirous to embark again,

   20 I ask'd dismission home,

which he approved,

And well provided for my prosp'rous course.

He gave me,

furnish'd by a bullock slay'd In his ninth year,

a bag;

ev'ry rude blast Which from its bottom turns the Deep,

that bag Imprison'd held;

for him Saturnian Jove Hath officed arbiter of all the winds,

To rouse their force or calm them,

at his will.

He gave me them on board my bark,

so bound With silver twine that not a breath escaped,

  30 Then order'd gentle Zephyrus to fill Our sails propitious.

Order vain,


So fatal proved the folly of my friends.

Nine days continual,

night and day we sail'd,

And on the tenth my native land appear'd.

Not far remote my Ithacans I saw Fires kindling on the coast;

but me with toil Worn,

and with watching,

gentle sleep subdued;

For constant I had ruled the helm,

nor giv'n That charge to any,

fearful of delay.

   40 Then,

in close conference combined,

my crew Each other thus bespake --He carries home Silver and gold from Æolus received,

Offspring of Hippotas,

illustrious Chief -- And thus a mariner the rest harangued.

Ye Gods!

what city or what land soe'er Ulysses visits,

how is he belov'd By all,

and honour'd!

many precious spoils He homeward bears from Troy;

but we return,

(We who the self-same voyage have perform'd)   50 With empty hands.

Now also he hath gain'd This pledge of friendship from the King of winds.

But come --be quick --search we the bag,

and learn What stores of gold and silver it contains.

So he,

whose mischievous advice prevailed.

They loos'd the bag;

forth issued all the winds,


caught by tempests o'er the billowy waste,

Weeping they flew,


far from Ithaca.

I then,


in my noble mind Stood doubtful,

whether from my vessel's side   60 Immersed to perish in the flood,

or calm To endure my sorrows,

and content to live.

I calm endured them;

but around my head Winding my mantle,

lay'd me down below,

While adverse blasts bore all my fleet again To the Æolian isle;

then groan'd my people.

We disembark'd and drew fresh water there,

And my companions,

at their galley's sides All seated,

took repast;

short meal we made,


with an herald and a chosen friend,

   70 I sought once more the hall of Æolus.

Him banqueting with all his sons we found,

And with his spouse;

we ent'ring,

on the floor Of his wide portal sat,

whom they amazed Beheld,

and of our coming thus enquired.



by what adverse Pow'r Repuls'd hast thou arrived?

we sent thee hence Well-fitted forth to reach thy native isle,

Thy palace,

or what place soe'er thou would'st.

So they --to whom,


I replied.

  80 My worthless crew have wrong'd me,

nor alone My worthless crew,

but sleep ill-timed,

as much.

Yet heal,

O friends,

my hurt;

the pow'r is yours!

So I their favour woo'd.

Mute sat the sons,

But thus their father answer'd.

Hence --be gone -- Leave this our isle,

thou most obnoxious wretch Of all mankind.

I should,



Receiving here,

and giving conduct hence To one detested by the Gods as thou.

Away --for hated by the Gods thou com'st.

   90 So saying,

he sent me from his palace forth,

Groaning profound;



o'er the Deep We still proceeded sorrowful,

our force Exhausting ceaseless at the toilsome oar,


through our own imprudence,

hopeless now Of other furth'rance to our native isle.

Six days we navigated,

day and night,

The briny flood,

and on the seventh reach'd The city erst by Lamus built sublime,

Proud Læstrygonia,

with the distant gates.

  100 The herdsman,


driving his cattle home,[38] Summons the shepherd with his flocks abroad.

The sleepless there might double wages earn,



the herds,


tending sheep,

For the night-pastures,

and the pastures grazed By day,

close border,


the city-walls.

To that illustrious port we came,

by rocks Uninterrupted flank'd on either side Of tow'ring height,

while prominent the shores And bold,

converging at the haven's mouth   110 Leave narrow pass.

We push'd our galleys in,

Then moor'd them side by side;

for never surge There lifts its head,

or great or small,

but clear We found,

and motionless,

the shelter'd flood.

Myself alone,

staying my bark without,

Secured her well with hawsers to a rock At the land's point,

then climb'd the rugged steep,

And spying stood the country.

Labours none Of men or oxen in the land appear'd,

Nor aught beside saw we,

but from the earth   120 Smoke rising;

therefore of my friends I sent Before me two,

adding an herald third,

To learn what race of men that country fed.


they an even track pursued Made by the waggons bringing timber down From the high mountains to the town below.

Before the town a virgin bearing forth Her ew'r they met,

daughter of him who ruled The Læstrygonian race,


Descending from the gate,

she sought the fount   130 Artacia;

for their custom was to draw From that pure fountain for the city's use.

Approaching they accosted her,

and ask'd What King reign'd there,

and over whom he reign'd.

She gave them soon to know where stood sublime The palace of her Sire;

no sooner they The palace enter'd,

than within they found,

In size resembling an huge mountain-top,

A woman,

whom they shudder'd to behold.

She forth from council summon'd quick her spouse   140 Antiphatas,

who teeming came with thoughts Of carnage,



seized at once A Greecian,


next moment,

he devoured.

With headlong terrour the surviving two Fled to the ships.

Then sent Antiphatas His voice through all the town,

and on all sides,

Hearing that cry,

the Læstrygonians flock'd Numberless,

and in size resembling more The giants than mankind.

They from the rocks Cast down into our fleet enormous stones,

  150 A strong man's burthen each;

dire din arose Of shatter'd galleys and of dying men,

Whom spear'd like fishes to their home they bore,

A loathsome prey.

While them within the port They slaughter'd,


(the faulchion at my side Drawn forth) cut loose the hawser of my ship,

And all my crew enjoin'd with bosoms laid Prone on their oars,

to fly the threaten'd woe.


dreading instant death tugg'd resupine Together,

and the galley from beneath    160 Those beetling[39] rocks into the open sea Shot gladly;

but the rest all perish'd there.

Proceeding thence,

we sigh'd,

and roamed the waves,

Glad that we lived,

but sorrowing for the slain.

We came to the Ææan isle;

there dwelt The awful Circe,

Goddess amber-hair'd,

Deep-skill'd in magic song,

sister by birth Of the all-wise Æætes;

them the Sun,

Bright luminary of the world,

begat On Perse,

daughter of Oceanus.

    170 Our vessel there,


we push'd to land Within a spacious haven,

thither led By some celestial Pow'r.

We disembark'd,

And on the coast two days and nights entire Extended lay,

worn with long toil,

and each The victim of his heart-devouring woes.


with my spear and with my faulchion arm'd,

I left the ship to climb with hasty steps An airy height,


hoping to espie Some works of man,

or hear,


a voice.

  180 Exalted on a rough rock's craggy point I stood,

and on the distant plain,

beheld Smoke which from Circe's palace through the gloom Of trees and thickets rose.

That smoke discern'd,

I ponder'd next if thither I should haste,

Seeking intelligence.

Long time I mused,

But chose at last,

as my discreter course,

To seek the sea-beach and my bark again,


when my crew had eaten,

to dispatch Before me,


who should first enquire.

  190 But,

ere I yet had reach'd my gallant bark,

Some God with pity viewing me alone In that untrodden solitude,

sent forth An antler'd stag,


into my path.

His woodland pastures left,

he sought the stream,

For he was thirsty,

and already parch'd By the sun's heat.

Him issuing from his haunt,

Sheer through the back beneath his middle spine,

I wounded,

and the lance sprang forth beyond.

Moaning he fell,

and in the dust expired.

  200 Then,

treading on his breathless trunk,

I pluck'd My weapon forth,

which leaving there reclined,

I tore away the osiers with my hands And fallows green,

and to a fathom's length Twisting the gather'd twigs into a band,

Bound fast the feet of my enormous prey,


flinging him athwart my neck,

repair'd Toward my sable bark,

propp'd on my lance,

Which now to carry shoulder'd as before Surpass'd my pow'r,

so bulky was the load.

  210 Arriving at the ship,

there I let fall My burthen,

and with pleasant speech and kind,

Man after man addressing,

cheer'd my crew.

My friends!

we suffer much,

but shall not seek The shades,

ere yet our destined hour arrive.

Behold a feast!

and we have wine on board -- Pine not with needless famine!

rise and eat.

I spake;

they readily obey'd,

and each Issuing at my word abroad,

beside The galley stood,


as he lay,

   220 The stag,

for of no common bulk was he.

At length,

their eyes gratified to the full With that glad spectacle,

they laved their hands,

And preparation made of noble cheer.

That day complete,

till set of sun,

we spent Feasting deliciously without restraint,

And quaffing generous wine;

but when the sun Went down,

and darkness overshadow'd all,



on Ocean's bank we lay;

And when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

   230 Look'd rosy forth,

convening all my crew To council,

I arose,

and thus began.

My fellow-voyagers,

however worn With num'rous hardships,


for neither West Know ye,

nor East,

where rises,

or where sets The all-enlight'ning sun.

But let us think,

If thought perchance may profit us,

of which Small hope I see;

for when I lately climb'd Yon craggy rock,

plainly I could discern The land encompass'd by the boundless Deep.

  240 The isle is flat,

and in the midst I saw Dun smoke ascending from an oaken bow'r.

So I,

whom hearing,

they all courage lost,

And at remembrance of Antiphatas The Læstrygonian,

and the Cyclops' deeds,

Ferocious feeder on the flesh of man,

Mourn'd loud and wept,

but tears could nought avail.

Then numb'ring man by man,

I parted them In equal portions,

and assign'd a Chief To either band,

myself to these,

to those   250 Godlike Eurylochus.

This done,

we cast The lots into the helmet,

and at once Forth sprang the lot of bold Eurylochus.

He went,

and with him of my people march'd Twenty and two,

all weeping;

nor ourselves Wept less,

at separation from our friends.

Low in a vale,

but on an open spot,

They found the splendid house of Circe,

built With hewn and polish'd stones;

compass'd she dwelt By lions on all sides and mountain-wolves   260 Tamed by herself with drugs of noxious pow'rs.

Nor were they mischievous,

but as my friends Approach'd,

arising on their hinder feet,

Paw'd them in blandishment,

and wagg'd the tail.


when from feast he rises,

dogs around Their master fawn,

accustom'd to receive The sop conciliatory from his hand,

Around my people,


those talon'd wolves And lions fawn'd.



that troop Of savage monsters horrible beheld.

   270 And now,

before the Goddess' gates arrived,

They heard the voice of Circe singing sweet Within,


busied at the loom,

she wove An ample web immortal,

such a work Transparent,


and of bright design As hands of Goddesses alone produce.

Thus then Polites,

Prince of men,

the friend Highest in my esteem,

the rest bespake.

Ye hear the voice,


of one who weaves An ample web within,

and at her task    280 So sweetly chaunts that all the marble floor Re-echoes;

human be she or divine I doubt,

but let us call,

that we may learn.

He ceas'd;

they call'd;

soon issuing at the sound,

The Goddess open'd wide her splendid gates,

And bade them in;



all complied,

All save Eurylochus,

who fear'd a snare.


introducing them,

conducted each To a bright throne,

then gave them Pramnian wine,

With grated cheese,

pure meal,

and honey new,

  290 But medicated with her pois'nous drugs Their food,

that in oblivion they might lose The wish of home.

She gave them,

and they drank,

-- When,

smiting each with her enchanting wand,

She shut them in her sties.

In head,

in voice,

In body,

and in bristles they became All swine,

yet intellected as before,

And at her hand were dieted alone With acorns,


and the cornel-fruit,

Food grateful ever to the grovelling swine.

  300 Back flew Eurylochus toward the ship,

To tell the woeful tale;

struggling to speak,

Yet speechless,

there he stood,

his heart transfixt With anguish,

and his eyes deluged with tears.

Me boding terrours occupied.

At length,


gazing on him,

all had oft enquired,

He thus rehearsed to us the dreadful change.

Renown'd Ulysses!

as thou bad'st,

we went Through yonder oaks;


bosom'd in a vale,

But built conspicuous on a swelling knoll   310 With polish'd rock,

we found a stately dome.


some Goddess or some woman wove An ample web,

carolling sweet the while.

They call'd aloud;


issuing at the voice,



her splendid portals wide,

And bade them in.

Heedless they enter'd,


But I remain'd,

suspicious of a snare.

Ere long the whole band vanish'd,

none I saw Thenceforth,


seated there,

long time I watch'd.

He ended;

I my studded faulchion huge    320 Athwart my shoulder cast,

and seized my bow,

Then bade him lead me thither by the way Himself had gone;

but with both hands my knees He clasp'd,

and in wing'd accents sad exclaim'd.

My King!

ah lead me not unwilling back,

But leave me here;

for confident I judge That neither thou wilt bring another thence,

Nor come thyself again.

Haste --fly we swift With these,

for we,

at least,

may yet escape.

So he,

to whom this answer I return'd.

   330 Eurylochus!

abiding here,

eat thou And drink thy fill beside the sable bark;

I go;

necessity forbids my stay.

So saying,

I left the galley and the shore.

But ere that awful vale ent'ring,

I reach'd The palace of the sorceress,

a God Met me,

the bearer of the golden wand,


He seem'd a stripling in his prime,

His cheeks cloath'd only with their earliest down,

For youth is then most graceful;

fast he lock'd   340 His hand in mine,

and thus,





wand'ring o'er the hills,

Stranger to all this region,

and alone,

Go'st thou?

Thy people --they within the walls Are shut of Circe,

where as swine close-pent She keeps them.

Comest thou to set them free?

I tell thee,

never wilt thou thence return Thyself,

but wilt be prison'd with the rest.

Yet hearken --I will disappoint her wiles,

And will preserve thee.

Take this precious drug;

  350 Possessing this,

enter the Goddess' house Boldly,

for it shall save thy life from harm.


I reveal to thee the cruel arts Of Circe;

learn them.

She will mix for thee A potion,

and will also drug thy food With noxious herbs;

but she shall not prevail By all her pow'r to change thee;

for the force Superior of this noble plant,

my gift,

Shall baffle her.

Hear still what I advise.

When she shall smite thee with her slender rod,

  360 With faulchion drawn and with death-threat'ning looks Rush on her;

she will bid thee to her bed Affrighted;

then beware.

Decline not thou Her love,

that she may both release thy friends,

And may with kindness entertain thyself.

But force her swear the dreaded oath of heav'n That she will other mischief none devise Against thee,

lest she strip thee of thy might,


quenching all thy virtue,

make thee vile.

So spake the Argicide,

and from the earth   370 That plant extracting,

placed it in my hand,

Then taught me all its pow'rs.

Black was the root,

Milk-white the blossom;

Moly is its name In heav'n;

not easily by mortal man Dug forth,

but all is easy to the Gods.


Hermes through the island-woods repair'd To heav'n,

and I to Circe's dread abode,

In gloomy musings busied as I went.

Within the vestibule arrived,

where dwelt The beauteous Goddess,

staying there my steps,

  380 I call'd aloud;

she heard me,

and at once Issuing,

threw her splendid portals wide,

And bade me in.

I follow'd,


Leading me by the hand to a bright throne With argent studs embellish'd,

and beneath Footstool'd magnificent,

she made me sit.

Then mingling for me in a golden cup My bev'rage,

she infused a drug,

intent On mischief;

but when I had drunk the draught Unchanged,

she smote me with her wand,

and said.

  390 Hence --seek the sty.

There wallow with thy friends.

She spake;

I drawing from beside my thigh My faulchion keen,

with death-denouncing looks Rush'd on her;

she with a shrill scream of fear Ran under my rais'd arm,

seized fast my knees,

And in wing'd accents plaintive thus began.



thy city and thy birth declare.

Amazed I see thee with that potion drench'd,

Yet uninchanted;

never man before Once pass'd it through his lips,

and liv'd the same;

 400 But in thy breast a mind inhabits,

proof Against all charms.

Come then --I know thee well.

Thou art Ulysses artifice-renown'd,

Of whose arrival here in his return From Ilium,

Hermes of the golden wand Was ever wont to tell me.

Sheath again Thy sword,

and let us,

on my bed reclined,

Mutual embrace,

that we may trust thenceforth Each other,

without jealousy or fear.

The Goddess spake,

to whom I thus replied.

  410 O Circe!

canst thou bid me meek become And gentle,

who beneath thy roof detain'st My fellow-voyagers transform'd to swine?


fearing my escape,

invit'st thou me Into thy bed,

with fraudulent pretext Of love,

that there,

enfeebling by thy arts My noble spirit,

thou may'st make me vile?

No --trust me --never will I share thy bed Till first,

O Goddess,

thou consent to swear The dread all-binding oath,

that other harm   420 Against myself thou wilt imagine none.

I spake.

She swearing as I bade,

renounced All evil purpose,

and (her solemn oath Concluded) I ascended,


her bed Magnificent.


four graceful nymphs Attended on the service of the house,

Her menials,

from the fountains sprung and groves,

And from the sacred streams that seek the sea.

Of these,

one cast fine linen on the thrones,



with purple arras rich she spread;

  430 Another placed before the gorgeous seats Bright tables,

and set on baskets of gold.

The third,

an argent beaker fill'd with wine Delicious,

which in golden cups she served;

The fourth brought water,

which she warm'd within An ample vase,

and when the simm'ring flood Sang in the tripod,

led me to a bath,

And laved me with the pleasant stream profuse Pour'd o'er my neck and body,

till my limbs Refresh'd,

all sense of lassitude resign'd.

  440 When she had bathed me,

and with limpid oil Anointed me,

and cloathed me in a vest And mantle,


she led me to a throne Of royal state,

with silver studs emboss'd,

And footstool'd soft beneath;

then came a nymph With golden ewer charged and silver bowl,

Who pour'd pure water on my hands,

and placed The polish'd board before me,

which with food Various,

selected from her present stores,

The cat'ress spread,



bade me eat.

 450 But me it pleas'd not;

with far other thoughts My spirit teem'd,

on vengeance more intent.



as Circe mark'd me on my seat Fast-rooted,


nor with outstretch'd hands Deigning to touch the banquet,

she approach'd,

And in wing'd accents suasive thus began.

Why sits Ulysses like the Dumb,

dark thoughts His only food?

loaths he the touch of meat,

And taste of wine?

Thou fear'st,

as I perceive,

Some other snare,

but idle is that fear,

   460 For I have sworn the inviolable oath.

She ceas'd,

to whom this answer I return'd.

How can I eat?

what virtuous man and just,

O Circe!

could endure the taste of wine Or food,

till he should see his prison'd friends Once more at liberty?

If then thy wish That I should eat and drink be true,

produce My captive people;

let us meet again.

So I;

then Circe,

bearing in her hand Her potent rod,

went forth,

and op'ning wide   470 The door,

drove out my people from the sty,

In bulk resembling brawns of the ninth year.

They stood before me;

she through all the herd Proceeding,

with an unctuous antidote Anointed each,

and at the wholesome touch All shed the swinish bristles by the drug Dread Circe's former magic gift,


Restored at once to manhood,

they appear'd More vig'rous far,

and sightlier than before.

They knew me,

and with grasp affectionate   480 Hung on my hand.

Tears follow'd,

but of joy,

And with loud cries the vaulted palace rang.

Even the awful Goddess felt,




approaching me,


Laertes' noble son,

for wiles renown'd!

Hence to the shore,

and to thy gallant bark;


hale her safe aground,


hiding all Your arms and treasures in the caverns,

come Thyself again,

and hither lead thy friends.

So spake the Goddess,

and my gen'rous mind   490 Persuaded;

thence repairing to the beach,

I sought my ship;


I found my crew Lamenting miserably,

and their cheeks With tears bedewing ceaseless at her side.

As when the calves within some village rear'd Behold,

at eve,

the herd returning home From fruitful meads where they have grazed their fill,

No longer in the stalls contain'd,

they rush With many a frisk abroad,


blaring oft,

With one consent,

all dance their dams around,

  500 So they,

at sight of me,

dissolved in tears Of rapt'rous joy,

and each his spirit felt With like affections warm'd as he had reach'd Just then his country,

and his city seen,

Fair Ithaca,

where he was born and rear'd.

Then in wing'd accents tender thus they spake.

Noble Ulysses!

thy appearance fills Our soul with transports,

such as we should feel Arrived in safety on our native shore.

Speak --say how perish'd our unhappy friends?

  510 So they;

to whom this answer mild I gave.

Hale we our vessel first ashore,

and hide In caverns all our treasures and our arms,


hasting hence,

follow me,

and ere long Ye shall behold your friends,

beneath the roof Of Circe banqueting and drinking wine Abundant,

for no dearth attends them there.

So I;

whom all with readiness obey'd,

All save Eurylochus;

he sought alone To stay the rest,




  520 Ah whither tend we,

miserable men?

Why covet ye this evil,

to go down To Circe's palace?

she will change us all To lions,

wolves or swine,

that we may guard Her palace,

by necessity constrain'd.

So some were pris'ners of the Cyclops erst,


led by rash Ulysses,

our lost friends Intruded needlessly into his cave,

And perish'd by the folly of their Chief.

He spake,

whom hearing,

occupied I stood   530 In self-debate,


my faulchion keen Forth-drawing from beside my sturdy thigh,

To tumble his lopp'd head into the dust,

Although he were my kinsman in the bonds Of close affinity;

but all my friends As with one voice,

thus gently interposed.

Noble Ulysses!

we will leave him here Our vessel's guard,

if such be thy command,

But us lead thou to Circe's dread abode.

So saying,

they left the galley,

and set forth   540 Climbing the coast;

nor would Eurylochus Beside the hollow bark remain,

but join'd His comrades by my dreadful menace awed.

Meantime the Goddess,

busily employ'd,

Bathed and refresh'd my friends with limpid oil,

And clothed them.



found them all Banqueting in the palace;

there they met;

These ask'd,

and those rehearsed the wond'rous tale,


the recital made,

all wept aloud Till the wide dome resounded.

Then approach'd   550 The graceful Goddess,

and address'd me thus.

Laertes' noble son,

for wiles renown'd!

Provoke ye not each other,


to tears.

I am not ignorant,


how dread Have been your woes both on the fishy Deep,

And on the land by force of hostile pow'rs.

But come --Eat now,

and drink ye wine,

that so Your freshen'd spirit may revive,

and ye Courageous grow again,

as when ye left The rugged shores of Ithaca,

your home.

   560 For now,

through recollection,

day by day,

Of all your pains and toils,

ye are become Spiritless,


and the taste forget Of pleasure,

such have been your num'rous woes.

She spake,

whose invitation kind prevail'd,

And won us to her will.



we dwelt The year complete,

fed with delicious fare Day after day,

and quaffing gen'rous wine.

But when (the year fulfill'd) the circling hours Their course resumed,

and the successive months   570 With all their tedious days were spent,

my friends,

Summoning me abroad,

thus greeted me.


recollect thy country,

if indeed The fates ordain thee to revisit safe That country,

and thy own glorious abode.

So they;

whose admonition I receiv'd Well-pleas'd.


all the day,

regaled we sat At Circe's board with sav'ry viands rare,

And quaffing richest wine;

but when,

the sun Declining,

darkness overshadow'd all,

   580 Then,

each within the dusky palace took Custom'd repose,

and to the Goddess' bed Magnificent ascending,

there I urged My earnest suit,

which gracious she receiv'd,

And in wing'd accents earnest thus I spake.

O Circe!

let us prove thy promise true;

Dismiss us hence.

My own desires,

at length,

Tend homeward vehement,

and the desires No less of all my friends,

who with complaints Unheard by thee,

wear my sad heart away.

   590 So I;

to whom the Goddess in return.

Laertes' noble son,

Ulysses famed For deepest wisdom!

dwell not longer here,

Thou and thy followers,

in my abode Reluctant;

but your next must be a course Far diff'rent;

hence departing,

ye must seek The dreary house of Ades and of dread Persephone there to consult the Seer Theban Tiresias,

prophet blind,

but blest With faculties which death itself hath spared.

  600 To him alone,

of all the dead,

Hell's Queen Gives still to prophesy,

while others flit Mere forms,

the shadows of what once they were.

She spake,

and by her words dash'd from my soul All courage;

weeping on the bed I sat,

Reckless of life and of the light of day.

But when,

with tears and rolling to and fro Satiate,

I felt relief,

thus I replied.

O Circe!

with what guide shall I perform This voyage,

unperform'd by living man?

   610 I spake,

to whom the Goddess quick replied.

Brave Laertiades!

let not the fear To want a guide distress thee.

Once on board,

Your mast erected,

and your canvas white Unfurl'd,

sit thou;

the breathing North shall waft Thy vessel on.

But when ye shall have cross'd The broad expanse of Ocean,

and shall reach The oozy shore,

where grow the poplar groves And fruitless willows wan of Proserpine,

Push thither through the gulphy Deep thy bark,

  620 And,


haste to Pluto's murky abode.


into Acheron runs not alone Dread Pyriphlegethon,

but Cocytus loud,

From Styx derived;

there also stands a rock,

At whose broad base the roaring rivers meet.



as I bid,

thy bark ashore,

O Hero!

scoop the soil,

op'ning a trench Ell-broad on ev'ry side;

then pour around Libation consecrate to all the dead,


milk with honey mixt,

then luscious wine,

  630 Then water,



meal over all.


supplicate the unsubstantial forms Fervently of the dead,

vowing to slay,

(Return'd to Ithaca) in thy own house,

An heifer barren yet,

fairest and best Of all thy herds,

and to enrich the pile With delicacies such as please the shades;


in peculiar,

to Tiresias vow A sable ram,

noblest of all thy flocks.

When thus thou hast propitiated with pray'r   640 All the illustrious nations of the dead,


thou shalt sacrifice to them a ram And sable ewe,

turning the face of each Right toward Erebus,

and look thyself,


askance toward the river's course.

Souls num'rous,


of the departed dead Will thither flock;


strenuous urge thy friends,

Flaying the victims which thy ruthless steel Hath slain,

to burn them,

and to sooth by pray'r Illustrious Pluto and dread Proserpine.

   650 While thus is done,

thou seated at the foss,

Faulchion in hand,

chace thence the airy forms Afar,

nor suffer them to approach the blood,

Till with Tiresias thou have first conferr'd.


glorious Chief!

the Prophet shall himself Appear,

who will instruct thee,

and thy course Delineate,

measuring from place to place Thy whole return athwart the fishy flood.

While thus she spake,

the golden dawn arose,


putting on me my attire,

the nymph    660 Next,

cloath'd herself,

and girding to her waist With an embroider'd zone her snowy robe Graceful,


veil'd her beauteous head.


ranging the wide palace,

I aroused My followers,

standing at the side of each -- Up!

sleep no longer!

let us quick depart,

For thus the Goddess hath,



So I,

whose early summons my brave friends With readiness obey'd.

Yet even thence I brought not all my crew.

There was a youth,

  670 Youngest of all my train,


one Not much in estimation for desert In arms,

nor prompt in understanding more,

Who overcharged with wine,

and covetous Of cooler air,

high on the palace-roof Of Circe slept,

apart from all the rest.

Awaken'd by the clamour of his friends Newly arisen,

he also sprang to rise,

And in his haste,

forgetful where to find The deep-descending stairs,

plunged through the roof.

 680 With neck-bone broken from the vertebræ Outstretch'd he lay;

his spirit sought the shades.


thus to my assembling friends I spake.

Ye think,

I doubt not,

of an homeward course,

But Circe points me to the drear abode Of Proserpine and Pluto,

to consult The spirit of Tiresias,

Theban seer.

I ended,

and the hearts of all alike Felt consternation;

on the earth they sat Disconsolate,

and plucking each his hair,

  690 Yet profit none of all their sorrow found.

But while we sought my galley on the beach With tepid tears bedewing,

as we went,

Our cheeks,

meantime the Goddess to the shore Descending,

bound within the bark a ram And sable ewe,

passing us unperceived.

For who hath eyes that can discern a God Going or coming,

if he shun the view?


[38] It is supposed by Eustathius that the pastures being infested by gad flies and other noxious insects in the day-time,

they drove their sheep a-field in the morning,

which by their wool were defended from them,

and their cattle in the evening,

when the insects had withdrawn.

It is one of the few passages in Homer that must lie at the mercy of conjecture.

[39] The word has the authority of Shakspeare,

and signifies overhanging.



Ulysses relates to Alcinoüs his voyage to the infernal regions,

his conference there with the prophet Tiresias concerning his return to Ithaca,

and gives him an account of the heroes,


and others whom he saw there.

Arriving on the shore,

and launching,


Our bark into the sacred Deep,

we set Our mast and sails,

and stow'd secure on board The ram and ewe,



and with hearts Sad and disconsolate,

embark'd ourselves.

And now,

melodious Circe,

nymph divine,

Sent after us a canvas-stretching breeze,

Pleasant companion of our course,

and we (The decks and benches clear'd) untoiling sat,

While managed gales sped swift the bark along.

  10 All day,

with sails distended,

e'er the Deep She flew,

and when the sun,

at length,


And twilight dim had shadow'd all the ways,

Approach'd the bourn of Ocean's vast profound.

The city,


of the Cimmerians stands With clouds and darkness veil'd,

on whom the sun Deigns not to look with his beam-darting eye,

Or when he climbs the starry arch,

or when Earthward he slopes again his west'ring wheels,[40] But sad night canopies the woeful race.

   20 We haled the bark aground,


landing there The ram and sable ewe,

journey'd beside The Deep,

till we arrived where Circe bade.


Perimedes' son Eurylochus Held fast the destined sacrifice,

while I Scoop'd with my sword the soil,

op'ning a trench Ell-broad on ev'ry side,

then pour'd around Libation consecrate to all the dead,


milk with honey mixt,

then luscious wine,

Then water,



meal over all.

  30 This done,

adoring the unreal forms And shadows of the dead,

I vow'd to slay,

(Return'd to Ithaca) in my own abode,

An heifer barren yet,

fairest and best Of all my herds,

and to enrich the pile With delicacies,

such as please the shades.


in peculiar,

to the Theban seer I vow'd a sable ram,

largest and best Of all my flocks.

When thus I had implored With vows and pray'r,

the nations of the dead,

  40 Piercing the victims next,

I turn'd them both To bleed into the trench;

then swarming came From Erebus the shades of the deceased,


youths unwedded,

seniors long with woe Oppress'd,

and tender girls yet new to grief.

Came also many a warrior by the spear In battle pierced,

with armour gore-distain'd,

And all the multitude around the foss Stalk'd shrieking dreadful;

me pale horror seized.

I next,


my people urged,

   50 Flaying the victims which myself had slain,

To burn them,

and to supplicate in pray'r Illustrious Pluto and dread Proserpine.

Then down I sat,

and with drawn faulchion chased The ghosts,

nor suffer'd them to approach the blood,

Till with Tiresias I should first confer.

The spirit,


of my companion came,


for no burial honours yet Had he received,

but we had left his corse In Circe's palace,



   60 Ourselves by pressure urged of other cares.

Touch'd with compassion seeing him,

I wept,

And in wing'd accents brief him thus bespake.


how cam'st thou into the realms Of darkness?

Hast thou,

though on foot,

so far Outstripp'd my speed,

who in my bark arrived?

So I,

to whom with tears he thus replied.

Laertes' noble son,

for wiles renown'd!

Fool'd by some dæmon and the intemp'rate bowl,

I perish'd in the house of Circe;

there    70 The deep-descending steps heedless I miss'd,

And fell precipitated from the roof.

With neck-bone broken from the vertebræ Outstretch'd I lay;

my spirit sought the shades.

But now,

by those whom thou hast left at home,

By thy Penelope,

and by thy fire,

The gentle nourisher of thy infant growth,

And by thy only son Telemachus I make my suit to thee.



I know That from the house of Pluto safe return'd,

  80 Thou shalt ere long thy gallant vessel moor At the Ææan isle.


there arrived Remember me.

Leave me not undeplored Nor uninhumed,


for my sake,

the Gods In vengeance visit thee;

but with my arms (What arms soe'er I left) burn me,

and raise A kind memorial of me on the coast,

Heap'd high with earth;

that an unhappy man May yet enjoy an unforgotten name.

Thus do at my request,

and on my hill    90 Funereal,

plant the oar with which I row'd,

While yet I lived a mariner of thine.

He spake,

to whom thus answer I return'd.

Poor youth!

I will perform thy whole desire.

Thus we,

there sitting,

doleful converse held,

With outstretch'd faulchion,


guarding the blood,

And my companion's shadowy semblance sad Meantime discoursing me on various themes.

The soul of my departed mother,


Of Anticleia came,

daughter of brave    100 Autolycus;


when I sought the shores Of Ilium,

I had living left at home.

Seeing her,

with compassion touch'd,

I wept,

Yet even her,

(although it pain'd my soul) Forbad,


to approach the blood,

Till with Tiresias I should first confer.

Then came the spirit of the Theban seer Himself,

his golden sceptre in his hand,

Who knew me,



thus began.


hapless Chief!

leaving the cheerful day,

  110 Arriv'st thou to behold the dead,

and this Unpleasant land?


from the trench awhile Receding,

turn thy faulchion keen away,

That I may drink the blood,

and tell thee truth.

He spake;

I thence receding,

deep infix'd My sword bright-studded in the sheath again.

The noble prophet then,


drank The blood,



address'd me thus.

Thou seek'st a pleasant voyage home again,

Renown'd Ulysses!

but a God will make    120 That voyage difficult;


as I judge,

Thou wilt not pass by Neptune unperceiv'd,

Whose anger follows thee,

for that thou hast Deprived his son Cyclops of his eye.

At length,


after num'rous woes Endur'd,

thou may'st attain thy native isle,

If thy own appetite thou wilt controul And theirs who follow thee,

what time thy bark Well-built,

shall at Thrinacia's shore arrive,[41] Escaped from perils of the gloomy Deep.

   130 There shall ye find grazing the flocks and herds Of the all-seeing and all-hearing Sun,


if attentive to thy safe return,

Thou leave unharm'd,

though after num'rous woes,

Ye may at length arrive in Ithaca.

But if thou violate them,

I denounce Destruction on thy ship and all thy band,

And though thyself escape,

late shalt thou reach Thy home and hard-bested,[42] in a strange bark,

All thy companions lost;

trouble beside    140 Awaits thee there,

for thou shalt find within Proud suitors of thy noble wife,

who waste Thy substance,

and with promis'd spousal gifts Ceaseless solicit her to wed;

yet well Shalt thou avenge all their injurious deeds.

That once perform'd,

and ev'ry suitor slain Either by stratagem,

or face to face,

In thy own palace,


as thou go'st,

A shapely oar,


till thou hast found A people who the sea know not,

nor eat    150 Food salted;

they trim galley crimson prow'd Have ne'er beheld,

nor yet smooth-shaven oar,

With which the vessel wing'd scuds o'er the waves.

Well thou shalt know them;

this shall be the sign -- When thou shalt meet a trav'ler,

who shall name The oar on thy broad shoulder borne,

a van,[43] There,

deep infixing it within the soil,

Worship the King of Ocean with a bull,

A ram,

and a lascivious boar,

then seek Thy home again,

and sacrifice at home    160 An hecatomb to the Immortal Gods,

Adoring each duly,

and in his course.

So shalt thou die in peace a gentle death,

Remote from Ocean;

it shall find thee late,

In soft serenity of age,

the Chief Of a blest people.

--I have told thee truth.

He spake,

to whom I answer thus return'd.



I doubt not,

hast reveal'd The ordinance of heav'n.

But tell me,


And truly.

I behold my mother's shade;

   170 Silent she sits beside the blood,

nor word Nor even look vouchsafes to her own son.

How shall she learn,


that I am her's?

So I,

to whom Tiresias quick replied.

The course is easy.

Learn it,

taught by me.

What shade soe'er,

by leave of thee obtain'd,

Shall taste the blood,

that shade will tell thee truth;

The rest,


will all retire.

When thus the spirit of the royal Seer Had his prophetic mind reveal'd,

again    180 He enter'd Pluto's gates;

but I unmoved Still waited till my mother's shade approach'd;

She drank the blood,

then knew me,

and in words Wing'd with affection,


thus began.

My son!

how hast thou enter'd,

still alive,

This darksome region?

Difficult it is For living man to view the realms of death.

Broad rivers roll,

and awful floods between,

But chief,

the Ocean,

which to pass on foot,

Or without ship,

impossible is found.

   190 Hast thou,

long wand'ring in thy voyage home From Ilium,

with thy ship and crew arrived,

Ithaca and thy consort yet unseen?

She spake,

to whom this answer I return'd.

My mother!

me necessity constrain'd To Pluto's dwelling,

anxious to consult Theban Tiresias;

for I have not yet Approach'd Achaia,

nor have touch'd the shore Of Ithaca,

but suff'ring ceaseless woe Have roam'd,

since first in Agamemnon's train   200 I went to combat with the sons of Troy.

But speak,

my mother,

and the truth alone;

What stroke of fate slew -thee-?

Fell'st thou a prey To some slow malady?

or by the shafts Of gentle Dian suddenly subdued?

Speak to me also of my ancient Sire,

And of Telemachus,

whom I left at home;

Possess I still unalienate and safe My property,

or hath some happier Chief Admittance free into my fortunes gain'd,

   210 No hope subsisting more of my return?

The mind and purpose of my wedded wife Declare thou also.

Dwells she with our son Faithful to my domestic interests,

Or is she wedded to some Chief of Greece?

I ceas'd,

when thus the venerable shade.

Not so;

she faithful still and patient dwells Thy roof beneath;

but all her days and nights Devoting sad to anguish and to tears.

Thy fortunes still are thine;

Telemachus    220 Cultivates,


thy land,

and sits At many a noble banquet,

such as well Beseems the splendour of his princely state,

For all invite him;

at his farm retired Thy father dwells,

nor to the city comes,

For aught;

nor bed,

nor furniture of bed,

Furr'd cloaks or splendid arras he enjoys,


with his servile hinds all winter sleeps In ashes and in dust at the hearth-side,

Coarsely attired;


when summer comes,

  230 Or genial autumn,

on the fallen leaves In any nook,

not curious where,

he finds There,

stretch'd forlorn,

nourishing grief,

he weeps Thy lot,

enfeebled now by num'rous years.

So perish'd I;

such fate I also found;


neither the right-aiming arch'ress struck,


with her gentle shafts,

nor me Distemper slew,

my limbs by slow degrees But sure,

bereaving of their little life,

  240 But long regret,

tender solicitude,

And recollection of thy kindness past,


my Ulysses!

fatal proved to me.

She said;


ardent wish'd to clasp the shade Of my departed mother;

thrice I sprang Toward her,

by desire impetuous urged,

And thrice she flitted from between my arms,

Light as a passing shadow or a dream.


pierced by keener grief,

in accents wing'd With filial earnestness I thus replied.

   250 My mother,

why elud'st thou my attempt To clasp thee,

that ev'n here,

in Pluto's realm,

We might to full satiety indulge Our grief,

enfolded in each other's arms?

Hath Proserpine,


only dispatch'd A shadow to me,

to augment my woe?



thus the venerable form.



thou most afflicted of mankind!

On thee,

Jove's daughter,


obtrudes No airy semblance vain;

but such the state   260 And nature is of mortals once deceased.

For they nor muscle have,

nor flesh,

nor bone;

All those (the spirit from the body once Divorced) the violence of fire consumes,


like a dream,

the soul flies swift away.

But haste thou back to light,


taught thyself These sacred truths,

hereafter teach thy spouse.

Thus mutual we conferr'd.


thither came,

Encouraged forth by royal Proserpine,

Shades female num'rous,

all who consorts,


  270 Or daughters were of mighty Chiefs renown'd.

About the sable blood frequent they swarm'd.

But I,

consid'ring sat,

how I might each Interrogate,

and thus resolv'd.

My sword Forth drawing from beside my sturdy thigh,

Firm I prohibited the ghosts to drink The blood together;

they successive came;

Each told her own distress;

I question'd all.



the high-born Tyro I beheld;

She claim'd Salmoneus as her sire,

and wife   280 Was once of Cretheus,

son of Æolus.

Enamour'd of Enipeus,

stream divine,

Loveliest of all that water earth,

beside His limpid current she was wont to stray,

When Ocean's God,

(Enipeus' form assumed) Within the eddy-whirling river's mouth Embraced her;


while the o'er-arching flood,

Uplifted mountainous,

conceal'd the God And his fair human bride,

her virgin zone He loos'd,

and o'er her eyes sweet sleep diffused.

 290 His am'rous purpose satisfied,

he grasp'd Her hand,


and thus he said.

Rejoice in this my love,

and when the year Shall tend to consummation of its course,

Thou shalt produce illustrious twins,

for love Immortal never is unfruitful love.

Rear them with all a mother's care;


Hence to thy home.

Be silent.

Name it not.

For I am Neptune,

Shaker of the shores.

So saying,

he plunged into the billowy Deep.

  300 She pregnant grown,

Pelias and Neleus bore,


valiant ministers of mighty Jove.

In wide-spread Iäolchus Pelias dwelt,

Of num'rous flocks possess'd;

but his abode Amid the sands of Pylus Neleus chose.

To Cretheus wedded next,

the lovely nymph Yet other sons,

Æson and Pheres bore,

And Amythaon of equestrian fame.



the daughter of Asopus saw,


she gloried to have known    310 Th' embrace of Jove himself,

to whom she brought A double progeny,

Amphion named And Zethus;

they the seven-gated Thebes Founded and girded with strong tow'rs,


Though puissant Heroes both,

in spacious Thebes Unfenced by tow'rs,

they could not dwell secure.



wife of Amphitryon I saw;

she in the arms of sov'reign Jove The lion-hearted Hercules conceiv'd,



bore to Creon brave in fight    320 His daughter Megara,

by the noble son Unconquer'd of Amphitryon espoused.

The beauteous Epicaste[44] saw I then,

Mother of Oedipus,

who guilt incurr'd Prodigious,



To her own son;

his father first he slew,

Then wedded her,

which soon the Gods divulged.


under vengeance of offended heav'n,

In pleasant Thebes dwelt miserable,

King Of the Cadmean race;

she to the gates    330 Of Ades brazen-barr'd despairing went,

Self-strangled by a cord fasten'd aloft To her own palace-roof,

and woes bequeath'd (Such as the Fury sisters execute Innumerable) to her guilty son.

There also saw I Chloris,

loveliest fair,

Whom Neleus woo'd and won with spousal gifts Inestimable,

by her beauty charm'd She youngest daughter was of Iasus' son,


in old time a sov'reign prince    340 In Minuëian Orchomenus,

And King of Pylus.

Three illustrious sons She bore to Neleus,



And Periclymenus the wide-renown'd,



produced a wonder of the earth,


by ev'ry neighbour prince around In marriage sought;

but Neleus her on none Deign'd to bestow,

save only on the Chief Who should from Phylace drive off the beeves (Broad-fronted,

and with jealous care secured)   350 Of valiant Iphicles.

One undertook That task alone,

a prophet high in fame,


but the Fates fast bound him there In rig'rous bonds by rustic hands imposed.

At length (the year,

with all its months and days Concluded,

and the new-born year begun) Illustrious Iphicles releas'd the seer,

Grateful for all the oracles resolved,[45] Till then obscure.

So stood the will of Jove.



wife of Tyndarus I saw,

   360 Who bore to Tyndarus a noble pair,

Castor the bold,

and Pollux cestus-famed.

They pris'ners in the fertile womb of earth,

Though living,


and even there from Jove High priv'lege gain;

alternate they revive And die,

and dignity partake divine.

The comfort of Aloëus,


I view'd,


she th' embrace profess'd Of Neptune to have shared,

to whom she bore Two sons;

short-lived they were,

but godlike both,

 370 Otus and Ephialtes far-renown'd.

Orion sole except,

all-bounteous Earth Ne'er nourish'd forms for beauty or for size To be admired as theirs;

in his ninth year Each measur'd,


nine cubits,

and the height Was found nine ells of each.

Against the Gods Themselves they threaten'd war,

and to excite The din of battle in the realms above.

To the Olympian summit they essay'd To heave up Ossa,

and to Ossa's crown    380 Branch-waving Pelion;

so to climb the heav'ns.

Nor had they failed,

maturer grown in might,

To accomplish that emprize,

but them the son[46] Of radiant-hair'd Latona and of Jove Slew both,

ere yet the down of blooming youth Thick-sprung,

their cheeks or chins had tufted o'er.

Phædra I also there,

and Procris saw,

And Ariadne for her beauty praised,

Whose sire was all-wise Minos.

Theseus her From Crete toward the fruitful region bore   390 Of sacred Athens,

but enjoy'd not there,



she perish'd by Diana's shafts In Dia,

Bacchus witnessing her crime.[47] Mæra and Clymene I saw beside,

And odious Eriphyle,

who received The price in gold of her own husband's life.

But all the wives of Heroes whom I saw,

And all their daughters can I not relate;



would fail;

and even now the hour Calls me to rest either on board my bark,

  400 Or here;


I in yourselves confide,

And in the Gods to shape my conduct home.

He ceased;

the whole assembly silent sat,

Charm'd into ecstacy by his discourse Throughout the twilight hall,


at the last,

Areta iv'ry arm'd them thus bespake.


how appears he in your eyes This stranger,

graceful as he is in port,

In stature noble,

and in mind discrete?

My guest he is,

but ye all share with me    410 That honour;

him dismiss not,


hence With haste,

nor from such indigence withhold Supplies gratuitous;

for ye are rich,

And by kind heav'n with rare possessions blest.

The Hero,


Echeneus spake,

a Chief Now ancient,

eldest of Phæacia's sons.

Your prudent Queen,

my friends,

speaks not beside Her proper scope,

but as beseems her well.

Her voice obey;

yet the effect of all Must on Alcinoüs himself depend.

    420 To whom Alcinoüs,


the King,


I ratify the word.

So shall be done,

As surely as myself shall live supreme O'er all Phæacia's maritime domain.

Then let the guest,

though anxious to depart,

Wait till the morrow,

that I may complete The whole donation.

His safe conduct home Shall be the gen'ral care,

but mine in Chief,

To whom dominion o'er the rest belongs.

Him answer'd,


Ulysses ever-wise.

   430 Alcinoüs!


exalted high o'er all Phæacia's sons!

should ye solicit,


My stay throughout the year,

preparing still My conduct home,

and with illustrious gifts Enriching me the while,

ev'n that request Should please me well;

the wealthier I return'd,

The happier my condition;

welcome more And more respectable I should appear In ev'ry eye to Ithaca restored.

To whom Alcinoüs answer thus return'd.

   440 Ulysses!

viewing thee,

no fears we feel Lest thou,

at length,

some false pretender prove,

Or subtle hypocrite,

of whom no few Disseminated o'er its face the earth Sustains,

adepts in fiction,

and who frame Fables,

where fables could be least surmised.

Thy phrase well turn'd,

and thy ingenuous mind Proclaim -thee- diff'rent far,

who hast in strains Musical as a poet's voice,

the woes Rehears'd of all thy Greecians,

and thy own.

  450 But say,

and tell me true.

Beheld'st thou there None of thy followers to the walls of Troy Slain in that warfare?


the night is long -- A night of utmost length;

nor yet the hour Invites to sleep.

Tell me thy wond'rous deeds,

For I could watch till sacred dawn,

could'st thou So long endure to tell me of thy toils.

Then thus Ulysses,




high exalted over all Phæacia's sons!

the time suffices yet    460 For converse both and sleep,

and if thou wish To hear still more,

I shall not spare to unfold More pitiable woes than these,

sustain'd By my companions,

in the end destroy'd;


saved from perils of disast'rous war At Ilium,

perish'd yet in their return,

Victims of a pernicious woman's crime.[48] Now,

when chaste Proserpine had wide dispers'd Those female shades,

the spirit sore distress'd Of Agamemnon,

Atreus' son,


   470 Encircled by a throng,

he came;

by all Who with himself beneath Ægisthus' roof Their fate fulfill'd,

perishing by the sword.

He drank the blood,

and knew me;

shrill he wail'd And querulous;

tears trickling bathed his cheeks,

And with spread palms,

through ardour of desire He sought to enfold me fast,

but vigour none,

Or force,

as erst,

his agile limbs inform'd.



wept at the sight,

and him,

In accents wing'd by friendship,

thus address'd.

  480 Ah glorious son of Atreus,

King of men!

What hand inflicted the all-numbing stroke Of death on thee?


didst thou perish sunk By howling tempests irresistible Which Neptune raised,

or on dry land by force Of hostile multitudes,

while cutting off Beeves from the herd,

or driving flocks away,

Or fighting for Achaia's daughters,

shut Within some city's bulwarks close besieged?

I ceased,

when Agamemnon thus replied.

   490 Ulysses,

noble Chief,

Laertes' son For wisdom famed!

I neither perish'd sunk By howling tempests irresistible Which Neptune raised,

nor on dry land received From hostile multitudes the fatal blow,

But me Ægisthus slew;

my woeful death Confed'rate with my own pernicious wife He plotted,

with a show of love sincere Bidding me to his board,

where as the ox Is slaughter'd at his crib,

he slaughter'd -me-.

  500 Such was my dreadful death;

carnage ensued Continual of my friends slain all around,

Num'rous as boars bright-tusk'd at nuptial feast,

Or feast convivial of some wealthy Chief.

Thou hast already witness'd many a field With warriors overspread,

slain one by one,

But that dire scene had most thy pity moved,

For we,

with brimming beakers at our side,

And underneath full tables bleeding lay.

Blood floated all the pavement.

Then the cries   510 Of Priam's daughter sounded in my ears Most pitiable of all.

Cassandra's cries,

Whom Clytemnestra close beside me slew.

Expiring as I lay,

I yet essay'd To grasp my faulchion,

but the trayt'ress quick Withdrew herself,

nor would vouchsafe to close My languid eyes,

or prop my drooping chin Ev'n in the moment when I sought the shades.

So that the thing breathes not,

ruthless and fell As woman once resolv'd on such a deed    520 Detestable,

as my base wife contrived,

The murther of the husband of her youth.

I thought to have return'd welcome to all,

To my own children and domestic train;

But she,

past measure profligate,

hath poured Shame on herself,

on women yet unborn,

And even on the virtuous of her sex.

He ceas'd,

to whom,


answer I return'd.


how severely hath the thund'rer plagued The house of Atreus even from the first,

   530 By female counsels!

we for Helen's sake Have num'rous died,

and Clytemnestra framed,

While thou wast far remote,

this snare for thee!

So I,

to whom Atrides thus replied.



be not pliant overmuch To woman;

trust her not with all thy mind,

But half disclose to her,

and half conceal.


from thy consort's hand no bloody death,

My friend,

hast thou to fear;

for passing wise Icarius' daughter is,

far other thoughts,

  540 Intelligent,

and other plans,

to frame.


going to the wars we left a bride New-wedded,

and thy boy hung at her breast,


man himself,

consorts ere now with men A prosp'rous youth;

his father,

safe restored To his own Ithaca,

shall see him soon,

And -he- shall clasp his father in his arms As nature bids;

but me,

my cruel one Indulged not with the dear delight to gaze On my Orestes,

for she slew me first.

   550 But listen;

treasure what I now impart.[49] Steer secret to thy native isle;

avoid Notice;

for woman merits trust no more.

Now tell me truth.

Hear ye in whose abode My son resides?

dwells he in Pylus,


Or in Orchomenos,

or else beneath My brother's roof in Sparta's wide domain?

For my Orestes is not yet a shade.

So he,

to whom I answer thus return'd.


ask not me.

Whether he live,

   560 Or have already died,

I nothing know;

Mere words are vanity,

and better spared.

Thus we discoursing mutual stood,

and tears Shedding disconsolate.

The shade,


Came of Achilles,

Peleus' mighty son;

Patroclus also,

and Antilochus Appear'd,

with Ajax,

for proportion just And stature tall,

(Pelides sole except) Distinguish'd above all Achaia's sons.

The soul of swift Æacides at once    570 Knew me,

and in wing'd accents thus began.

Brave Laertiades,

for wiles renown'd!

What mightier enterprise than all the past Hath made thee here a guest?

rash as thou art!

How hast thou dared to penetrate the gloom Of Ades,

dwelling of the shadowy dead,

Semblances only of what once they were?

He spake,

to whom I,


thus replied.

O Peleus' son!


bravest far Of all Achaia's race!

I here arrived    580 Seeking Tiresias,

from his lips to learn,


how I might safe regain the coast Of craggy Ithaca;

for tempest-toss'd Perpetual,

I have neither yet approach'd Achaia's shore,

or landed on my own.

But as for thee,


never man Hath known felicity like thine,

or shall,

Whom living we all honour'd as a God,

And who maintain'st,

here resident,

supreme Controul among the dead;

indulge not then,

  590 Achilles,

causeless grief that thou hast died.

I ceased,

and answer thus instant received.

Renown'd Ulysses!

think not death a theme Of consolation;

I had rather live The servile hind for hire,

and eat the bread Of some man scantily himself sustain'd,

Than sov'reign empire hold o'er all the shades.

But come --speak to me of my noble boy;

Proceeds he,

as he promis'd,

brave in arms,

Or shuns he war?

Say also,

hast thou heard   600 Of royal Peleus?

shares he still respect Among his num'rous Myrmidons,

or scorn In Hellas and in Phthia,

for that age Predominates in his enfeebled limbs?

For help is none in me;

the glorious sun No longer sees me such,

as when in aid Of the Achaians I o'erspread the field Of spacious Troy with all their bravest slain.

Oh might I,

vigorous as then,

repair[50] For one short moment to my father's house,

  610 They all should tremble;

I would shew an arm,

Such as should daunt the fiercest who presumes To injure -him-,

or to despise his age.

Achilles spake,

to whom I thus replied.

Of noble Peleus have I nothing heard;

But I will tell thee,

as thou bidd'st,

the truth Unfeign'd of Neoptolemus thy son;

For him,


on board my hollow bark From Scyros to Achaia's host convey'd.

Oft as in council under Ilium's walls    620 We met,

he ever foremost was in speech,

Nor spake erroneous;

Nestor and myself Except,

no Greecian could with him compare.



as we with battle hemm'd around Troy's bulwarks,

from among the mingled crowd Thy son sprang foremost into martial act,

Inferior in heroic worth to none.

Beneath him num'rous fell the sons of Troy In dreadful fight,

nor have I pow'r to name Distinctly all,

who by his glorious arm    630 Exerted in the cause of Greece,


Yet will I name Eurypylus,

the son Of Telephus,

an Hero whom his sword Of life bereaved,

and all around him strew'd The plain with his Cetean warriors,

won To Ilium's side by bribes to women giv'n.[51] Save noble Memnon only,

I beheld No Chief at Ilium beautiful as he.


when we within the horse of wood Framed by Epeüs sat,

an ambush chos'n    640 Of all the bravest Greeks,

and I in trust Was placed to open or to keep fast-closed The hollow fraud;


ev'ry Chieftain there And Senator of Greece wiped from his cheeks The tears,

and tremors felt in ev'ry limb;

But never saw I changed to terror's hue -His- ruddy cheek,

no tears wiped -he- away,

But oft he press'd me to go forth,

his suit With pray'rs enforcing,

griping hard his hilt And his brass-burthen'd spear,

and dire revenge   650 Denouncing,


on the race of Troy.

At length,

when we had sack'd the lofty town Of Priam,

laden with abundant spoils He safe embark'd,

neither by spear or shaft Aught hurt,

or in close fight by faulchion's edge,

As oft in war befalls,

where wounds are dealt Promiscuous at the will of fiery Mars.

So I;

then striding large,

the spirit thence Withdrew of swift Æacides,

along The hoary mead pacing,[52] with joy elate   660 That I had blazon'd bright his son's renown.

The other souls of men by death dismiss'd Stood mournful by,

sad uttering each his woes;

The soul alone I saw standing remote Of Telamonian Ajax,

still incensed That in our public contest for the arms Worn by Achilles,

and by Thetis thrown Into dispute,

my claim had strongest proved,

Troy and Minerva judges of the cause.

Disastrous victory!

which I could wish    670 Not to have won,

since for that armour's sake The earth hath cover'd Ajax,

in his form And martial deeds superior far to all The Greecians,

Peleus' matchless son except.


seeking to appease him,

thus began.

O Ajax,

son of glorious Telamon!

Canst thou remember,

even after death,

Thy wrath against me,

kindled for the sake Of those pernicious arms?

arms which the Gods Ordain'd of such dire consequence to Greece,

  680 Which caused thy death,

our bulwark!

Thee we mourn With grief perpetual,

nor the death lament Of Peleus' son,


more than thine.

Yet none is blameable;

Jove evermore With bitt'rest hate pursued Achaia's host,

And he ordain'd thy death.



That thou may'st hear the words with which I seek To sooth thee;

let thy long displeasure cease!

Quell all resentment in thy gen'rous breast!

I spake;

nought answer'd he,

but sullen join'd   690 His fellow-ghosts;


angry as he was,

I had prevail'd even on him to speak,

Or had,

at least,

accosted him again,

But that my bosom teem'd with strong desire Urgent,

to see yet others of the dead.

There saw I Minos,

offspring famed of Jove;

His golden sceptre in his hand,

he sat Judge of the dead;


pleading each in turn,

His cause,

some stood,

some sat,

filling the house Whose spacious folding-gates are never closed.

  700 Orion next,

huge ghost,

engaged my view,

Droves urging o'er the grassy mead,

of beasts Which he had slain,


on the wild hills,

With strong club arm'd of ever-during brass.

There also Tityus on the ground I saw Extended,

offspring of the glorious earth;

Nine acres he o'erspread,


at his side Station'd,

two vultures on his liver prey'd,

Scooping his entrails;

nor sufficed his hands To fray them thence;

for he had sought to force   710 Latona,

illustrious concubine of Jove,

What time the Goddess journey'd o'er the rocks Of Pytho into pleasant Panopeus.


suff'ring grievous torments,

I beheld Tantalus;

in a pool he stood,

his chin Wash'd by the wave;

thirst-parch'd he seem'd,

but found Nought to assuage his thirst;

for when he bow'd His hoary head,

ardent to quaff,

the flood Vanish'd absorb'd,


at his feet,

adust The soil appear'd,



by the Gods.

  720 Tall trees,


with inflected heads Stoop'd to him,


apples bright,

The luscious fig,

and unctuous olive smooth;

Which when with sudden grasp he would have seized,

Winds hurl'd them high into the dusky clouds.



the hard-task'd Sisyphus I saw,

Thrusting before him,


a vast rock.[53] With hands and feet struggling,

he shoved the stone Up to a hill-top;

but the steep well-nigh Vanquish'd,

by some great force repulsed,[54] the mass  730 Rush'd again,


down to the plain.


stretch'd prone,

severe he toiled,

the sweat Bathed all his weary limbs,

and his head reek'd.

The might of Hercules I,



His semblance;

for himself their banquet shares With the Immortal Gods,

and in his arms Enfolds neat-footed Hebe,

daughter fair Of Jove,

and of his golden-sandal'd spouse.

Around him,

clamorous as birds,

the dead Swarm'd turbulent;


gloomy-brow'd as night,

  740 With uncased bow and arrow on the string Peer'd terrible from side to side,

as one Ever in act to shoot;

a dreadful belt He bore athwart his bosom,

thong'd with gold.


broider'd shone many a stupendous form,


wild boars,

lions with fire-flashing eyes,

Fierce combats,




The artist,

author of that belt,

none such Before,


or after.

Me his eye No sooner mark'd,

than knowing me,

in words   750 By sorrow quick suggested,

he began.

Laertes' noble son,

for wiles renown'd!


hapless Hero!

thou art,



Thou also,

with some arduous labour,

such As in the realms of day I once endured.

Son was I of Saturnian Jove,

yet woes Immense sustain'd,

subjected to a King Inferior far to me,

whose harsh commands Enjoin'd me many a terrible exploit.

He even bade me on a time lead hence    760 The dog,

that task believing above all Impracticable;

yet from Ades him I dragg'd reluctant into light,

by aid Of Hermes,

and of Pallas azure-eyed.

So saying,

he penetrated deep again The abode of Pluto;

but I still unmoved There stood expecting,


other shades To see of Heroes in old time deceased.

And now,

more ancient worthies still,

and whom I wish'd,

I had beheld,

Pirithoüs    770 And Theseus,

glorious progeny of Gods,

But nations,


numberless of the dead Came shrieking hideous;

me pale horror seized,

Lest awful Proserpine should thither send The Gorgon-head from Ades,

sight abhorr'd!



hasting to the vessel,

bade My crew embark,

and cast the hawsers loose.


quick embarking,

on the benches sat.

Down the Oceanus[55] the current bore My galley,


at the first,

her way   780 With oars,


wafted by propitious gales.


[40] Milton.

[41] The shore of Scilly commonly called Trinacria,

but -Euphonicè- by Homer,


[42] The expression is used by Milton,

and signifies --Beset with many difficulties.

[43] Mistaking the oar for a corn-van.

A sure indication of his ignorance of maritime concerns.

[44] By the Tragedians called --Jocasta.

[45] Iphicles had been informed by the Oracles that he should have no children till instructed by a prophet how to obtain them;

a service which Melampus had the good fortune to render him.

[46] Apollo.

[47] Bacchus accused her to Diana of having lain with Theseus in his temple,

and the Goddess punished her with death.

[48] Probably meaning Helen.

[49] This is surely one of the most natural strokes to be found in any Poet.


for a moment,

by the virtues of Penelope,

he mentioned her with respect;

but recollecting himself suddenly,

involves even her in his general ill opinion of the sex,

begotten in him by the crimes of Clytemnestra.

[50] Another most beautiful stroke of nature.

Ere yet Ulysses has had opportunity to answer,

the very thought that Peleus may possibly be insulted,

fires him,

and he takes the whole for granted.

Thus is the impetuous character of Achilles sustained to the last moment!

[51] Γυναίων εινεκα δώρων --Priam is said to have influenced by gifts the wife and mother of Eurypylus,

to persuade him to the assistance of Troy,

he being himself unwilling to engage.

The passage through defect of history has long been dark,

and commentators have adapted different senses to it,

all conjectural.

The Ceteans are said to have been a people of Mysia,

of which Eurypylus was King.

[52] Κατ' ασφοδελον λειμωνα --Asphodel was planted on the graves and around the tombs of the deceased,

and hence the supposition that the Stygian plain was clothed with asphodel.

F. [53] Βασαζοντα must have this sense interpreted by what follows.

To attempt to make the English numbers expressive as the Greek is a labour like that of Sisyphus.

The Translator has done what he could.

[54] It is now,


impossible to ascertain with precision what Homer meant by the word κραταιίς,

which he uses only here,

and in the next book,

where it is the name of Scylla's dam.

--Αναιδης --is also of very doubtful explication.

[55] The two first lines of the following book seem to ascertain the true meaning of the conclusion of this,

and to prove sufficiently that by Ὠκεανὸς here Homer could not possibly intend any other than a river.

In those lines he tells us in the plainest terms that -the ship left the stream of the river Oceanus,

and arrived in the open sea-.

Diodorus Siculus informs us that Ὠκεανὸς had been a name anciently given to the Nile.

See Clarke.




pursuing his narrative,

relates his return from the shades to Circe's island,

the precautions given him by that Goddess,

his escape from the Sirens,

and from Scylla and Charybdis;

his arrival in Sicily,

where his companions,

having slain and eaten the oxen of the Sun,

are afterward shipwrecked and lost;

and concludes the whole with an account of his arrival,


on the mast of his vessel,

at the island of Calypso.

And now,

borne seaward from the river-stream Of the Oceanus,

we plow'd again The spacious Deep,

and reach'd th' Ææan isle,


daughter of the dawn,

Aurora takes Her choral sports,

and whence the sun ascends.


there arriving,

thrust our bark aground On the smooth beach,

then landed,

and on shore Reposed,

expectant of the sacred dawn.

But soon as day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd Look'd forth again,

sending my friends before,

  10 I bade them bring Elpenor's body down From the abode of Circe to the beach.


on the utmost headland of the coast We timber fell'd,


sorrowing o'er the dead,

His fun'ral rites water'd with tears profuse.

The dead consumed,

and with the dead his arms,

We heap'd his tomb,

and the sepulchral post Erecting,

fix'd his shapely oar aloft.



we perform'd;

nor our return From Ades knew not Circe,

but attired    20 In haste,

ere long arrived,

with whom appear'd Her female train with plenteous viands charged,

And bright wine rosy-red.

Amidst us all Standing,

the beauteous Goddess thus began.

Ah miserable!

who have sought the shades Alive!

while others of the human race Die only once,

appointed twice to die!

Come --take ye food;

drink wine;

and on the shore All day regale,

for ye shall hence again At day-spring o'er the Deep;

but I will mark   30 Myself your future course,

nor uninform'd Leave you in aught,


through some dire mistake,

By sea or land new mis'ries ye incur.

The Goddess spake,

whose invitation kind We glad accepted;

thus we feasting sat Till set of sun,

and quaffing richest wine;

But when the sun went down and darkness fell,

My crew beside the hawsers slept,

while me The Goddess by the hand leading apart,

First bade me sit,


seated opposite,

   40 Enquired,


of all that I had seen,

And I,

from first to last,

recounted all.


thus the awful Goddess in return.

Thus far thy toils are finish'd.

Now attend!

Mark well my words,

of which the Gods will sure Themselves remind thee in the needful hour.

First shalt thou reach the Sirens;

they the hearts Enchant of all who on their coast arrive.

The wretch,

who unforewarn'd approaching,

hears The Sirens' voice,

his wife and little-ones   50 Ne'er fly to gratulate his glad return,

But him the Sirens sitting in the meads Charm with mellifluous song,

while all around The bones accumulated lie of men Now putrid,

and the skins mould'ring away.


pass them thou,


lest thy people hear Those warblings,

ere thou yet approach,

fill all Their ears with wax moulded between thy palms;

But as for thee --thou hear them if thou wilt.

Yet let thy people bind thee to the mast    60 Erect,

encompassing thy feet and arms With cordage well-secured to the mast-foot,

So shalt thou,


hear the Sirens' song.

But if thou supplicate to be released,

Or give such order,


with added cords Let thy companions bind thee still the more.

When thus thy people shall have safely pass'd The Sirens by,

think not from me to learn What course thou next shalt steer;

two will occur;

Delib'rate chuse;

I shall describe them both.

  70 Here vaulted rocks impend,

dash'd by the waves Immense of Amphitrite azure-eyed;

The blessed Gods those rocks,



Birds cannot pass them safe;


not the doves Which his ambrosia bear to Father Jove,

But even of those doves the slipp'ry rock Proves fatal still to one,

for which the God Supplies another,

lest the number fail.

No ship,

what ship soever there arrives,

Escapes them,

but both mariners and planks   80 Whelm'd under billows of the Deep,


caught By fiery tempests,

sudden disappear.

Those rocks the billow-cleaving bark alone The Argo,

further'd by the vows of all,

Pass'd safely,

sailing from Ææta's isle;

Nor she had pass'd,

but surely dash'd had been On those huge rocks,

but that,

propitious still To Jason,

Juno sped her safe along.

These rocks are two;

one lifts his summit sharp High as the spacious heav'ns,

wrapt in dun clouds   90 Perpetual,

which nor autumn sees dispers'd Nor summer,

for the sun shines never there;

No mortal man might climb it or descend,

Though twice ten hands and twice ten feet he own'd,

For it is levigated as by art.

Down scoop'd to Erebus,

a cavern drear Yawns in the centre of its western side;

Pass it,

renown'd Ulysses!

but aloof So far,

that a keen arrow smartly sent Forth from thy bark should fail to reach the cave.

 100 There Scylla dwells,

and thence her howl is heard Tremendous;

shrill her voice is as the note Of hound new-whelp'd,

but hideous her aspect,

Such as no mortal man,

nor ev'n a God Encount'ring her,

should with delight survey.

Her feet are twelve,

all fore-feet;

six her necks Of hideous length,

each clubb'd into a head Terrific,

and each head with fangs is arm'd In triple row,

thick planted,

stored with death.

Plunged to her middle in the hollow den    110 She lurks,

protruding from the black abyss Her heads,

with which the rav'ning monster dives In quest of dolphins,


or of prey More bulky,

such as in the roaring gulphs Of Amphitrite without end abounds.

It is no seaman's boast that e'er he slipp'd Her cavern by,


In ev'ry mouth She bears upcaught a mariner away.

The other rock,


thou shalt find Humbler,

a bow-shot only from the first;

   120 On this a wild fig grows broad-leav'd,

and here Charybdis dire ingulphs the sable flood.

Each day she thrice disgorges,

and each day Thrice swallows it.


well forewarn'd,

beware What time she swallows,

that thou come not nigh,

For not himself,


could snatch thee thence.

Close passing Scylla's rock,

shoot swift thy bark Beyond it,

since the loss of six alone Is better far than shipwreck made of all.

So Circe spake,

to whom I thus replied.

  130 Tell me,

O Goddess,


and tell me true!



from fell Charybdis I escape,

May I not also save from Scylla's force My people;

should the monster threaten them?

I said,

and quick the Goddess in return.


can exploits and toils of war Still please thee?

yield'st not to the Gods themselves?

She is no mortal,

but a deathless pest,




Defence is vain;

flight is thy sole resource.

  140 For should'st thou linger putting on thy arms Beside the rock,


lest darting forth Her num'rous heads,

she seize with ev'ry mouth A Greecian,

and with others,

even thee.

Pass therefore swift,

and passing,

loud invoke Cratais,

mother of this plague of man,

Who will forbid her to assail thee more.



shalt reach Thrinacia;


the beeves And fatted flocks graze num'rous of the Sun;

Sev'n herds;

as many flocks of snowy fleece;

  150 Fifty in each;

they breed not,

neither die,

Nor are they kept by less than Goddesses,

Lampetia fair,

and Phäethusa,

both By nymph Neæra to Hyperion borne.


soon as she had train'd them to an age Proportion'd to that charge,

their mother sent Into Thrinacia,

there to dwell and keep Inviolate their father's flocks and herds.


anxious for a safe return,

thou spare Those herds and flocks,

though after much endured,

 160 Ye may at last your Ithaca regain;

But should'st thou violate them,

I foretell Destruction of thy ship and of thy crew,

And though thyself escape,

thou shalt return Late,

in ill plight,

and all thy friends destroy'd.

She ended,

and the golden morning dawn'd.



her graceful steps she turn'd Back through the isle,


at the beach arrived,

I summon'd all my followers to ascend The bark again,

and cast the hawsers loose.

  170 They,

at my voice,


fill'd in ranks The seats,

and rowing,

thresh'd the hoary flood.

And now,

melodious Circe,

nymph divine,

Sent after us a canvas-stretching breeze,

Pleasant companion of our course,

and we (The decks and benches clear'd) untoiling sat,

While managed gales sped swift the bark along.


with dejected heart,

thus I began.

Oh friends!

(for it is needful that not one Or two alone the admonition hear     180 Of Circe,

beauteous prophetess divine) To all I speak,

that whether we escape Or perish,

all may be,

at least,


She bids us,


avoid the dang'rous song Of the sweet Sirens and their flow'ry meads.

Me only she permits those strains to hear;

But ye shall bind me with coercion strong Of cordage well-secured to the mast-foot,

And by no struggles to be loos'd of mine.

But should I supplicate to be released    190 Or give such order,


with added cords Be it your part to bind me still the more.

Thus with distinct precaution I prepared My people;

rapid in her course,


My gallant bark approach'd the Sirens' isle,

For brisk and favourable blew the wind.

Then fell the wind suddenly,

and serene A breathless calm ensued,

while all around The billows slumber'd,

lull'd by pow'r divine.

Up-sprang my people,

and the folded sails   200 Bestowing in the hold,

sat to their oars,

Which with their polish'd blades whiten'd the Deep.



with edge of steel sev'ring minute A waxen cake,

chafed it and moulded it Between my palms;

ere long the ductile mass Grew warm,

obedient to that ceaseless force,

And to Hyperion's all-pervading beams.

With that soft liniment I fill'd the ears Of my companions,

man by man,

and they My feet and arms with strong coercion bound   210 Of cordage to the mast-foot well secured.

Then down they sat,



thresh'd the brine.

But when with rapid course we had arrived Within such distance as a voice may reach,

Not unperceived by them the gliding bark Approach'd,



harmonious they began.


Chief by ev'ry tongue extoll'd,

Achaia's boast,

oh hither steer thy bark!

Here stay thy course,

and listen to our lay!

These shores none passes in his sable ship   220 Till,


the warblings of our voice he hear,


happier hence and wiser he departs.

All that the Greeks endured,

and all the ills Inflicted by the Gods on Troy,

we know,

Know all that passes on the boundless earth.

So they with voices sweet their music poured Melodious on my ear,

winning with ease My heart's desire to listen,

and by signs I bade my people,


set me free.

But they incumbent row'd,

and from their seats   230 Eurylochus and Perimedes sprang With added cords to bind me still the more.

This danger past,

and when the Sirens' voice,

Now left remote,

had lost its pow'r to charm,


my companions freeing from the wax Their ears,

deliver'd me from my restraint.

The island left afar,

soon I discern'd Huge waves,

and smoke,

and horrid thund'rings heard.

All sat aghast;

forth flew at once the oars From ev'ry hand,

and with a clash the waves   240 Smote all together;


the galley stood,

By billow-sweeping oars no longer urged,

And I,

throughout the bark,

man after man Encouraged all,

addressing thus my crew.

We meet not,


my friends,

our first distress.

This evil is not greater than we found When the huge Cyclops in his hollow den Imprison'd us,

yet even thence we


My intrepidity and fertile thought Opening the way;

and we shall recollect    250 These dangers also,

in due time,

with joy.


then --pursue my counsel.

Ye your seats Still occupying,

smite the furrow'd flood With well-timed strokes,

that by the will of Jove We may escape,


this death,


To thee the pilot thus I speak,

(my words Mark thou,

for at thy touch the rudder moves) This smoke,

and these tumultuous waves avoid;

Steer wide of both;

yet with an eye intent On yonder rock,

lest unaware thou hold    260 Too near a course,

and plunge us into harm.

So I;

with whose advice all,



But Scylla I as yet named not,

(that woe Without a cure) lest,


my crew Should all renounce their oars,

and crowd below.

Just then,

forgetful of the strict command Of Circe not to arm,

I cloath'd me all In radiant armour,

grasp'd two quiv'ring spears,

And to the deck ascended at the prow,

Expecting earliest notice there,

what time   270 The rock-bred Scylla should annoy my friends.

But I discern'd her not,

nor could,

although To weariness of sight the dusky rock I vigilant explored.


many a groan Heaving,

we navigated sad the streight,

For here stood Scylla,

while Charybdis there With hoarse throat deep absorb'd the briny flood.

Oft as she vomited the deluge forth,

Like water cauldron'd o'er a furious fire The whirling Deep all murmur'd,

and the spray   280 On both those rocky summits fell in show'rs.

But when she suck'd the salt wave down again,


all the pool appear'd wheeling about Within,

the rock rebellow'd,

and the sea Drawn off into that gulph disclosed to view The oozy bottom.

Us pale horror seized.


dreading death,

with fast-set eyes we watch'd Charybdis;


Scylla from the bark Caught six away,

the bravest of my friends.

With eyes,

that moment,

on my ship and crew   290 Retorted,

I beheld the legs and arms Of those whom she uplifted in the air;

On me they call'd,

my name,

the last,

last time Pronouncing then,

in agony of heart.

As when from some bold point among the rocks The angler,

with his taper rod in hand,

Casts forth his bait to snare the smaller fry,

He swings away remote his guarded line,[56] Then jerks his gasping prey forth from the Deep,

So Scylla them raised gasping to the rock,

  300 And at her cavern's mouth devour'd them loud- Shrieking,

and stretching forth to me their arms In sign of hopeless mis'ry.

Ne'er beheld These eyes in all the seas that I have roam'd,

A sight so piteous,

nor in all my toils.

From Scylla and Charybdis dire escaped,

We reach'd the noble island of the Sun Ere long,

where bright Hyperion's beauteous herds Broad-fronted grazed,

and his well-batten'd flocks.


in the bark and on the sea,

the voice    310 Of oxen bellowing in hovels heard,

And of loud-bleating sheep;

then dropp'd the word Into my memory of the sightless Seer,

Theban Tiresias,

and the caution strict Of Circe,

my Ææan monitress,

Who with such force had caution'd me to avoid The island of the Sun,

joy of mankind.

Thus then to my companions,


I spake.

Hear ye,

my friends!

although long time distress'd,

The words prophetic of the Theban seer    320 And of Ææan Circe,

whose advice Was oft repeated to me to avoid This island of the Sun,

joy of mankind.


said the Goddess,

dread your heaviest woes,

Pass the isle,


scudding swift away.

I ceased;

they me with consternation heard,

And harshly thus Eurylochus replied.


ruthless Chief!

no toils impair Thy strength,

of senseless iron thou art form'd,

Who thy companions weary and o'erwatch'd    330 Forbidd'st to disembark on this fair isle,

Where now,

at last,

we might with ease regale.



command'st us,

leaving it afar,

To roam all night the Ocean's dreary waste;

But winds to ships injurious spring by night,

And how shall we escape a dreadful death If,


a sudden gust from South arise Or stormy West,

that dash in pieces oft The vessel,

even in the Gods' despight?

Prepare we rather now,

as night enjoins,

   340 Our evening fare beside the sable bark,

In which at peep of day we may again Launch forth secure into the boundless flood.

He ceas'd,

whom all applauded.

Then I knew That sorrow by the will of adverse heav'n Approach'd,

and in wing'd accents thus replied.

I suffer force,


and yield O'er-ruled by numbers.



swear ye all A solemn oath,

that should we find an herd Or num'rous flock,

none here shall either sheep   350 Or bullock slay,

by appetite profane Seduced,

but shall the viands eat content Which from immortal Circe we received.

I spake;

they readily a solemn oath Sware all,

and when their oath was fully sworn,

Within a creek where a fresh fountain rose They moor'd the bark,



began Brisk preparation of their evening cheer.

But when nor hunger now nor thirst remain'd Unsated,



their friends   360 By Scylla seized and at her cave devour'd,

They mourn'd,

nor ceased to mourn them,

till they slept.

The night's third portion come,

when now the stars Had travers'd the mid-sky,

cloud-gath'rer Jove Call'd forth a vehement wind with tempest charged,

Menacing earth and sea with pitchy clouds Tremendous,

and the night fell dark from heav'n.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the day,

Look'd rosy forth,

we haled,

drawn inland more,

Our bark into a grot,

where nymphs were wont   370 Graceful to tread the dance,

or to repose.

Convening there my friends,

I thus began.

My friends!

food fails us not,

but bread is yet And wine on board.

Abstain we from the herds,

Lest harm ensue;

for ye behold the flocks And herds of a most potent God,

the Sun!

Whose eye and watchful ear none may elude.

So saying,

I sway'd the gen'rous minds of all.

A month complete the South wind ceaseless blew,

Nor other wind blew next,

save East and South,

  380 Yet they,

while neither food nor rosy wine Fail'd them,

the herds harm'd not,

through fear to die.


our provisions failing,

they employed Whole days in search of food,

snaring with hooks Birds,


of what kind soe'er they might.

By famine urged.

I solitary roam'd Meantime the isle,

seeking by pray'r to move Some God to shew us a deliv'rance thence.


roving thus the isle,

I had at length Left all my crew remote,

laving my hands    390 Where shelter warm I found from the rude blast,

I supplicated ev'ry Pow'r above;

But they my pray'rs answer'd with slumbers soft Shed o'er my eyes,

and with pernicious art Eurylochus,

the while,

my friends harangued.

My friends!

afflicted as ye are,

yet hear A fellow-suff'rer.


however caused,

Abhorrence moves in miserable man,

But death by famine is a fate of all Most to be fear'd.

Come --let us hither drive   400 And sacrifice to the Immortal Pow'rs The best of all the oxen of the Sun,

Resolving thus --that soon as we shall reach Our native Ithaca,

we will erect To bright Hyperion an illustrious fane,

Which with magnificent and num'rous gifts We will enrich.

But should he chuse to sink Our vessel,

for his stately beeves incensed,

And should,

with him,

all heav'n conspire our death,

I rather had with open mouth,

at once,

   410 Meeting the billows,


than by slow And pining waste here in this desert isle.

So spake Eurylochus,

whom all approved.


driving all the fattest of the herd Few paces only,

(for the sacred beeves Grazed rarely distant from the bark) they stood Compassing them around,


grasping each Green foliage newly pluck'd from saplings tall,

(For barley none in all our bark remain'd) Worshipp'd the Gods in pray'r.

Pray'r made,

they slew And flay'd them,

and the thighs with double fat   421 Investing,

spread them o'er with slices crude.

No wine had they with which to consecrate The blazing rites,

but with libation poor Of water hallow'd the interior parts.


when the thighs were burnt,

and each had shared His portion of the maw,

and when the rest All-slash'd and scored hung roasting at the fire,


in that moment,

suddenly my eyes Forsaking,

to the shore I bent my way.

   430 But ere the station of our bark I reach'd,

The sav'ry steam greeted me.

At the scent I wept aloud,

and to the Gods exclaim'd.

Oh Jupiter,

and all ye Pow'rs above!

With cruel sleep and fatal ye have lull'd My cares to rest,

such horrible offence Meantime my rash companions have devised.


flew long-stoled Lampetia to the Sun At once with tidings of his slaughter'd beeves,

And he,


the Immortals thus address'd.

  440 Jove,

and ye everlasting Pow'rs divine!

Avenge me instant on the crew profane Of Laertiades;

Ulysses' friends Have dared to slay my beeves,

which I with joy Beheld,

both when I climb'd the starry heav'ns,

And when to earth I sloped my "westring wheels,"

But if they yield me not amercement due And honourable for my loss,

to Hell I will descend and give the ghosts my beams.


thus the cloud-assembler God replied.

  450 Sun!

shine thou still on the Immortal Pow'rs,

And on the teeming earth,

frail man's abode.

My candent bolts can in a moment reach And split their flying bark in the mid-sea.

These things Calypso told me,



By herald Hermes,

as she oft affirm'd.

But when,

descending to the shore,

I reach'd At length my bark,

with aspect stern and tone I reprimanded them,

yet no redress Could frame,

or remedy --the beeves were dead.

  460 Soon follow'd signs portentous sent from heav'n.

The skins all crept,

and on the spits the flesh Both roast and raw bellow'd,

as with the voice Of living beeves.

Thus my devoted friends Driving the fattest oxen of the Sun,

Feasted six days entire;

but when the sev'nth By mandate of Saturnian Jove appeared,

The storm then ceased to rage,

and we,

again Embarking,

launch'd our galley,

rear'd the mast,

And gave our unfurl'd canvas to the wind.

  470 The island left afar,

and other land Appearing none,

but sky alone and sea,

Right o'er the hollow bark Saturnian Jove Hung a cærulean cloud,

dark'ning the Deep.

Not long my vessel ran,


blowing wild,

Now came shrill Zephyrus;

a stormy gust Snapp'd sheer the shrouds on both sides;

backward fell The mast,

and with loose tackle strew'd the hold;

Striking the pilot in the stern,

it crush'd His scull together;

he a diver's plunge    480 Made downward,

and his noble spirit fled.


Jove thund'ring,

hurl'd into the ship His bolts;


smitten by the fires of Jove,

Quaked all her length;

with sulphur fill'd she reek'd,

And o'er her sides headlong my people plunged Like sea-mews,

interdicted by that stroke Of wrath divine to hope their country more.

But I,

the vessel still paced to and fro,


fever'd by the boist'rous waves,

her sides Forsook the keel now left to float alone.

  490 Snapp'd where it join'd the keel the mast had fall'n,

But fell encircled with a leathern brace,

Which it retain'd;

binding with this the mast And keel together,

on them both I sat,

Borne helpless onward by the dreadful gale.

And now the West subsided,

and the South Arose instead,

with mis'ry charged for me,

That I might measure back my course again To dire Charybdis.

All night long I drove,

And when the sun arose,

at Scylla's rock    500 Once more,

and at Charybdis' gulph arrived.

It was the time when she absorb'd profound The briny flood,

but by a wave upborne I seized the branches fast of the wild-fig.[57] To which,


I clung;

yet where to fix My foot secure found not,

or where to ascend,

For distant lay the roots,

and distant shot The largest arms erect into the air,

O'ershadowing all Charybdis;

therefore hard I clench'd the boughs,

till she disgorg'd again   510 Both keel and mast.

Not undesired by me They came,

though late;

for at what hour the judge,

After decision made of num'rous strifes[58] Between young candidates for honour,

leaves The forum for refreshment' sake at home,

Then was it that the mast and keel emerged.

Deliver'd to a voluntary fall,

Fast by those beams I dash'd into the flood,

And seated on them both,

with oary palms Impell'd them;

nor the Sire of Gods and men   520 Permitted Scylla to discern me more,

Else had I perish'd by her fangs at last.

Nine days I floated thence,


on the tenth Dark night,

the Gods convey'd me to the isle Ogygia,

habitation of divine Calypso,

by whose hospitable aid And assiduity,

my strength revived.

But wherefore this?

ye have already learn'd That hist'ry,

thou and thy illustrious spouse;

I told it yesterday,

and hate a tale    530 Once amply told,



traced again.


[56] They passed the line through a pipe of horn,

to secure it against the fishes' bite.

[57] See line 120.

[58] He had therefore held by the fig-tree from sunrise till afternoon.




having finished his narrative,

and received additional presents from the Phæacians,


he is conveyed in his sleep to Ithaca,

and in his sleep is landed on that island.

The ship that carried him is in her return transformed by Neptune to a rock.

Minerva meets him on the shore,

enables him to recollect his country,


till enlightened by her,

he believed to be a country strange to him,

and they concert together the means of destroying the suitors.

The Goddess then repairs to Sparta to call thence Telemachus,

and Ulysses,

by her aid disguised like a beggar,

proceeds towards the cottage of Eumæus.

He ceas'd;

the whole assembly silent sat,

Charm'd into ecstacy with his discourse Throughout the twilight hall.


thus the King.


since beneath my brazen dome Sublime thou hast arrived,

like woes,

I trust,

Thou shalt not in thy voyage hence sustain By tempests tost,

though much to woe inured.

To you,

who daily in my presence quaff Your princely meed of gen'rous wine and hear The sacred bard,

my pleasure,

thus I speak.

  10 The robes,

wrought gold,

and all the other gifts To this our guest,

by the Phæacian Chiefs Brought hither in the sumptuous coffer lie.

But come --present ye to the stranger,


An ample tripod also,

with a vase Of smaller size,

for which we will be paid By public impost;

for the charge of all Excessive were by one alone defray'd.

So spake Alcinoüs,

and his counsel pleased;


all retiring,

sought repose at home.

  20 But when Aurora,

daughter of the dawn,

Look'd rosy forth,

each hasted to the bark With his illustrious present,

which the might Of King Alcinoüs,

who himself her sides Ascended,

safe beneath the seats bestowed,

Lest it should harm or hinder,

while he toil'd In rowing,

some Phæacian of the crew.

The palace of Alcinoüs seeking next,


they prepared a new regale.

For them,

in sacrifice,

the sacred might[59]   30 Of King Alcinoüs slew an ox to Jove Saturnian,

cloud-girt governor of all.

The thighs with fire prepared,

all glad partook The noble feast;


the bard divine Sang,

sweet Demodocus,

the people's joy.

But oft Ulysses to the radiant sun Turn'd wistful eyes,

anxious for his decline,

Nor longer,


patient of dull delay.

As when some hungry swain whose sable beeves Have through the fallow dragg'd his pond'rous plow  40 All day,

the setting sun views with delight For supper' sake,

which with tir'd feet he seeks,

So welcome to Ulysses' eyes appear'd The sun-set of that eve;



His speech to maritime Phæacia's sons,

But to Alcinoüs chiefly,

thus he said.


o'er Phæacia's realm supreme!

Libation made,

dismiss ye me in peace,

And farewell all!

for what I wish'd,

I have,

Conductors hence,

and honourable gifts    50 With which heav'n prosper me!

and may the Gods Vouchsafe to me,

at my return,

to find All safe,

my spotless consort and my friends!

May ye,

whom here I leave,

gladden your wives And see your children blest,

and may the pow'rs Immortal with all good enrich you all,

And from calamity preserve the land!

He ended,

they unanimous,

his speech Applauded loud,

and bade dismiss the guest Who had so wisely spoken and so well.

   60 Then thus Alcinoüs to his herald spake.


charging high the beaker,

bear To ev'ry guest beneath our roof the wine,


pray'r preferr'd to the eternal Sire,

We may dismiss our inmate to his home.


bore Pontonoüs to ev'ry guest The brimming cup;


where they sat,

perform'd Libation due;

but the illustrious Chief Ulysses,

from his seat arising,

placed A massy goblet in Areta's hand,

    70 To whom in accents wing'd,


he said.


O Queen,

a long farewell,

till age Arrive,

and death,

the appointed lot of all!

I go;

but be this people,

and the King Alcinoüs,

and thy progeny,

thy joy Yet many a year beneath this glorious roof!

So saying,

the Hero through the palace-gate Issued,


by Alcinoüs' command,

The royal herald to his vessel led.

Three maidens also of Areta's train    80 His steps attended;


the robe well-bleach'd And tunic bore;

the corded coffer,


And food the third,

with wine of crimson hue.

Arriving where the galley rode,

each gave Her charge to some brave mariner on board,

And all was safely stow'd.

Meantime were spread Linen and arras on the deck astern,

For his secure repose.

And now the Chief Himself embarking,

silent lay'd him down.


ev'ry rower to his bench repair'd;

   90 They drew the loosen'd cable from its hold In the drill'd rock,



at once With lusty strokes upturn'd the flashing waves.

-His- eye-lids,



falling as a dew,

Closed fast,

death's simular,

in sight the same.


as four harness'd stallions o'er the plain Shooting together at the scourge's stroke,

Toss high their manes,

and rapid scour along,

So mounted she the waves,

while dark the flood Roll'd after her of the resounding Deep.

   100 Steady she ran and safe,

passing in speed The falcon,

swiftest of the fowls of heav'n;

With such rapidity she cut the waves,

An hero bearing like the Gods above In wisdom,

one familiar long with woe In fight sustain'd,

and on the perilous flood,

Though sleeping now serenely,

and resign'd To sweet oblivion of all sorrow past.

The brightest star of heav'n,

precursor chief Of day-spring,

now arose,

when at the isle   110 (Her voyage soon perform'd) the bark arrived.

There is a port sacred in Ithaca To Phorcys,

hoary ancient of the Deep,

Form'd by converging shores,

prominent both And both abrupt,

which from the spacious bay Exclude all boist'rous winds;

within it,

ships (The port once gain'd) uncabled ride secure.

An olive,

at the haven's head,

expands Her branches wide,

near to a pleasant cave Umbrageous,

to the nymphs devoted named    120 The Naiads.

In that cave beakers of stone And jars are seen;

bees lodge their honey there;

And there,

on slender spindles of the rock The nymphs of rivers weave their wond'rous robes.

Perennial springs water it,

and it shows A twofold entrance;

ingress one affords To mortal man,

which Northward looks direct,

But holier is the Southern far;

by that No mortal enters,

but the Gods alone.

Familiar with that port before,

they push'd   130 The vessel in;



plow'd the sands With half her keel,

such rowers urged her on.

Descending from the well-bench'd bark ashore,

They lifted forth Ulysses first,

with all His splendid couch complete,


lay'd him down Still wrapt in balmy slumber on the sands.

His treasures,


by the Phæacian Chiefs At his departure given him as the meed Due to his wisdom,

at the olive's foot They heap'd,

without the road,


while he slept  140 Some passing traveller should rifle them.

Then homeward thence they sped.

Nor Ocean's God His threats forgot denounced against divine Ulysses,

but with Jove thus first advised.

Eternal Sire!

I shall no longer share Respect and reverence among the Gods,



Phæacia's mortal race have ceas'd To honour me,

though from myself derived.

It was my purpose,

that by many an ill Harass'd,

Ulysses should have reach'd his home,

  150 Although to intercept him,

whose return Thyself had promis'd,

ne'er was my intent.

But him fast-sleeping swiftly o'er the waves They have conducted,

and have set him down In Ithaca,

with countless gifts enrich'd,

With brass,

and tissued raiment,

and with gold;

Much treasure!

more than he had home convey'd Even had he arrived with all his share Allotted to him of the spoils of Troy.

To whom the cloud-assembler God replied.

  160 What hast thou spoken,

Shaker of the shores,

Wide-ruling Neptune?

Fear not;

thee the Gods Will ne'er despise;

dangerous were the deed To cast dishonour on a God by birth More ancient,

and more potent far than they.

But if,

profanely rash,

a mortal man Should dare to slight thee,

to avenge the wrong Some future day is ever in thy pow'r.

Accomplish all thy pleasure,

thou art free.

Him answer'd,


the Shaker of the shores.

  170 Jove cloud-enthroned!

that pleasure I would soon Perform,

as thou hast said,

but that I watch Thy mind continual,

fearful to offend.

My purpose is,

now to destroy amid The dreary Deep yon fair Phæacian bark,

Return'd from safe conveyance of her freight;

So shall they waft such wand'rers home no more,

And she shall hide their city,

to a rock Transform'd of mountainous o'ershadowing size.



Jove answer'd,

gath'rer of the clouds.

 180 Perform it,

O my brother,

and the deed Thus done,

shall best be done --What time the people Shall from the city her approach descry,

Fix her to stone transform'd,

but still in shape A gallant bark,

near to the coast,

that all May wonder,

seeing her transform'd to stone Of size to hide their city from the view.

These words once heard,

the Shaker of the shores Instant to Scheria,

maritime abode Of the Phæacians,



he watch'd.

  190 And now the flying bark full near approach'd,

When Neptune,

meeting her,

with out-spread palm Depress'd her at a stroke,

and she became Deep-rooted stone.

Then Neptune went his way.

Phæacia's ship-ennobled sons meantime Conferring stood,

and thus,

in accents wing'd,

Th' amazed spectator to his fellow spake.


who hath sudden check'd the vessel's course Homeward?

this moment she was all in view.

Thus they,

unconscious of the cause,

to whom   200 Alcinoüs,

instructing them,


Ye Gods!

a prophecy now strikes my mind With force,

my father's.

He was wont to say -- Neptune resents it,

that we safe conduct Natives of ev'ry region to their home.

He also spake,


of a day When a Phæacian gallant bark,

return'd After conveyance of a stranger hence,

Should perish in the dreary Deep,

and changed To a huge mountain,

cover all the town.

   210 So spake my father,

all whose words we see This day fulfill'd.



act we all Unanimous;

henceforth no longer bear The stranger home,

when such shall here arrive;

And we will sacrifice,

without delay,

Twelve chosen bulls to Neptune,



He will commiserate us,

and forbear To hide our town behind a mountain's height.

He spake,



the bulls prepared.

Thus all Phæacia's Senators and Chiefs    220 His altar compassing,

in pray'r adored The Ocean's God.


Ulysses woke,

Unconscious where;

stretch'd on his native soil He lay,

and knew it not,

long-time exiled.

For Pallas,

progeny of Jove,

a cloud Drew dense around him,


ere yet agnized By others,

he might wisdom learn from her,

Neither to citizens,

nor yet to friends Reveal'd,

nor even to his own espoused,



he should avenge complete his wrongs  230 Domestic from those suitors proud sustained.

All objects,


in the Hero's eyes Seem'd alien,

foot-paths long,

commodious ports,

Heav'n-climbing rocks,

and trees of amplest growth.


fixt he stood,

his native soil Contemplating,

till with expanded palms Both thighs he smote,



thus began.

Ah me!

what mortal race inhabits here?

Rude are they,

contumacious and unjust,

Or hospitable,

and who fear the Gods?

   240 Where now shall I secrete these num'rous stores?

Where wander I,


I would that still Phæacians own'd them,

and I had arrived In the dominions of some other King Magnanimous,

who would have entertain'd And sent me to my native home secure!


neither know I where to place my wealth,

Nor can I leave it here,

lest it become Another's prey.


Phæacia's Chiefs Not altogether wise I deem or just,

   250 Who have misplaced me in another land,

Promis'd to bear me to the pleasant shores Of Ithaca,

but have not so perform'd.


guardian of the suppliant's rights,

who all Transgressors marks,

and punishes all wrong,

Avenge me on the treach'rous race!

--but hold -- I will revise my stores,

so shall I know If they have left me here of aught despoiled.

So saying,

he number'd carefully the gold,

The vases,

tripods bright,

and tissued robes,

  260 But nothing miss'd of all.

Then he bewail'd His native isle,

with pensive steps and slow Pacing the border of the billowy flood,


but while he wept,

Pallas approach'd,

In form a shepherd stripling,

girlish fair In feature,

such as are the sons of Kings;

A sumptuous mantle o'er his shoulders hung Twice-folded,

sandals his nice feet upbore,

And a smooth javelin glitter'd in his hand.


joyful at the sight,

his steps    270 Turn'd brisk toward her,

whom he thus address'd.

Sweet youth!

since thee,

of all mankind,

I first Encounter in this land unknown,

all hail!

Come not with purposes of harm to me!

These save,

and save me also.

I prefer To thee,

as to some God,

my pray'r,

and clasp Thy knees a suppliant.


and tell me true,

What land?

what people?

who inhabit here?

Is this some isle delightful,

or a shore Of fruitful main-land sloping to the sea?

  280 Then Pallas,


Goddess cærulean-eyed.


thou sure art simple,

or hast dwelt Far distant hence,

if of this land thou ask.

It is not,

trust me,

of so little note,

But known to many,

both to those who dwell Toward the sun-rise,

and to others placed Behind it,

distant in the dusky West.

Rugged it is,

not yielding level course To the swift steed,

and yet no barren spot,

However small,

but rich in wheat and wine;

  290 Nor wants it rain or fertilising dew,

But pasture green to goats and beeves affords,

Trees of all kinds,

and fountains never dry.

Ithaca therefore,


is a name Known ev'n at Troy,

a city,

by report,

At no small distance from Achaia's shore.

The Goddess ceased;


toil-enduring Chief Ulysses,

happy in his native land,

(So taught by Pallas,

progeny of Jove) In accents wing'd her answ'ring,

utter'd prompt   300 Not truth,

but figments to truth opposite,

For guile,

in him,

stood never at a pause.

O'er yonder flood,

even in spacious Crete[60] I heard of Ithaca,

where now,

it seems,

I have,


with these my stores arrived;

Not richer stores than,

flying thence,

I left To my own children;

for from Crete I fled For slaughter of Orsilochus the swift,

Son of Idomeneus,

whom none in speed Could equal throughout all that spacious isle.

  310 His purpose was to plunder me of all My Trojan spoils,

which to obtain,

much woe I had in battle and by storms endured,

For that I would not gratify his Sire,

Fighting beside him in the fields of Troy,

But led a diff'rent band.

Him from the field Returning homeward,

with my brazen spear I smote,

in ambush waiting his return At the road-side,

with a confed'rate friend.

Unwonted darkness over all the heav'ns    320 That night prevailed,

nor any eye of man Observed us,



I slew the youth.

No sooner,


with my sharp spear of life I had bereft him,

than I sought a ship Mann'd by renown'd Phæacians,

whom with gifts Part of my spoils,

and by requests,

I won.

I bade them land me on the Pylian shore,

Or in fair Elis by th' Epeans ruled,

But they,


were by violent winds Driv'n devious thence,

for fraud they purposed none.

 330 Thus through constraint we here arrived by night,

And with much difficulty push'd the ship Into safe harbour,

nor was mention made Of food by any,

though all needed food,


disembark'd in haste,

on shore we lay.



slept profound,

and they my goods Forth heaving from the bark,

beside me placed The treasures on the sea-beach where I slept,



to the populous coast Steer'd of Sidonia,

and me left forlorn.

   340 He ceased;

then smiled Minerva azure-eyed And stroaked his cheek,

in form a woman now,



in all elegant arts Accomplish'd,

and with accents wing'd replied.

Who passes thee in artifice well-framed And in imposture various,

need shall find Of all his policy,

although a God.

Canst thou not cease,

inventive as thou art And subtle,

from the wiles which thou hast lov'd Since thou wast infant,

and from tricks of speech  350 Delusive,

even in thy native land?

But come,

dismiss we these ingenious shifts From our discourse,

in which we both excel;

For thou of all men in expedients most Abound'st and eloquence,

and I,

throughout All heav'n have praise for wisdom and for art.

And know'st thou not thine Athenæan aid,


Jove's daughter,

who in all thy toils Assist thee and defend?

I gave thee pow'r T' engage the hearts of all Phæacia's sons,

  360 And here arrive ev'n now,

counsels to frame Discrete with thee,

and to conceal the stores Giv'n to thee by the rich Phæacian Chiefs On my suggestion,

at thy going thence.

I will inform thee also what distress And hardship under thy own palace-roof Thou must endure;


since constraint enjoins,

Bear patiently,

and neither man apprize Nor woman that thou hast arrived forlorn And vagabond,

but silent undergo     370 What wrongs soever from the hands of men.

To whom Ulysses,



O Goddess!

thou art able to elude,

Wherever met,

the keenest eye of man,

For thou all shapes assum'st;

yet this I know Certainly,

that I ever found thee kind,

Long as Achaia's Heroes fought at Troy;

But when (the lofty tow'rs of Priam laid In dust) we re-embark'd,

and by the will Of heav'n Achaia's fleet was scatter'd wide,

  380 Thenceforth,

O daughter wise of Jove,

I thee Saw not,

nor thy appearance in my ship Once mark'd,

to rid me of my num'rous woes,

But always bearing in my breast a heart With anguish riv'n,

I roam'd,

till by the Gods Relieved at length,

and till with gracious words Thyself didst in Phæacia's opulent land Confirm my courage,

and becam'st my guide.

But I adjure thee in thy father's name -- O tell me truly,

(for I cannot hope    390 That I have reach'd fair Ithaca;

I tread Some other soil,

and thou affirm'st it mine To mock me merely,

and deceive) oh say -- Am I in Ithaca?

in truth,

at home?

Thus then Minerva the cærulean-eyed.

Such caution in thy breast always prevails Distrustful;

but I know thee eloquent,

With wisdom and with ready thought endued,

And cannot leave thee,


thus distress'd For what man,

save Ulysses,

new-return'd    400 After long wand'rings,

would not pant to see At once his home,

his children,

and his wife?

But thou preferr'st neither to know nor ask Concerning them,

till some experience first Thou make of her whose wasted youth is spent In barren solitude,

and who in tears Ceaseless her nights and woeful days consumes.

I ne'er was ignorant,

but well foreknew That not till after loss of all thy friends Thou should'st return;

but loth I was to oppose   410 Neptune,

my father's brother,

sore incensed For his son's sake deprived of sight by thee.


I will give thee proof --come now --survey These marks of Ithaca,

and be convinced.

This is the port of Phorcys,

sea-born sage;


the huge olive at the haven's head;

Fast by it,

thou behold'st the pleasant cove Umbrageous,

to the nymphs devoted named The Naiads;

this the broad-arch'd cavern is Where thou wast wont to offer to the nymphs   420 Many a whole hecatomb;

and yonder stands The mountain Neritus with forests cloath'd.

So saying,

the Goddess scatter'd from before His eyes all darkness,

and he knew the land.

Then felt Ulysses,

Hero toil-inured,

Transport unutterable,

seeing plain Once more his native isle.

He kiss'd the glebe,

And with uplifted hands the nymphs ador'd.



Jove's own daughters!

I despair'd To see you more,

whom yet with happy vows   430 I now can hail again.


as of old,

We will hereafter at your shrines present,

If Jove-born Pallas,

huntress of the spoils,

Grant life to me,

and manhood to my son.

Then Pallas,

blue-eyed progeny of Jove.

Take courage;

trouble not thy mind with thoughts Now needless.

Haste --delay not --far within This hallow'd cave's recess place we at once Thy precious stores,

that they may thine remain,

Then muse together on thy wisest course.

   440 So saying,

the Goddess enter'd deep the cave Caliginous,

and its secret nooks explored From side to side;


Ulysses brought All his stores into it,

the gold,

the brass,

And robes magnificent,

his gifts received From the Phæacians;

safe he lodg'd them all,

And Pallas,

daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd,

Closed fast,


the cavern with a stone.


on the consecrated olive's root Both seated,

they in consultation plann'd   450 The deaths of those injurious suitors proud,

And Pallas,

blue-eyed Goddess,

thus began.

Laertes' noble son,


think By what means likeliest thou shalt assail Those shameless suitors,

who have now controuled Three years thy family,

thy matchless wife With language amorous and with spousal gifts Urging importunate;

but she,

with tears Watching thy wish'd return,

hope gives to all By messages of promise sent to each,

   460 Framing far other purposes the while.

Then answer thus Ulysses wise return'd.


Agamemnon's miserable fate Had surely met me in my own abode,

But for thy gracious warning,

pow'r divine!

Come then --Devise the means;

teach me,


The way to vengeance,

and my soul inspire With daring fortitude,

as when we loos'd Her radiant frontlet from the brows of Troy.

Would'st thou with equal zeal,

O Pallas!

aid   470 Thy servant here,

I would encounter thrice An hundred enemies,

let me but perceive Thy dread divinity my prompt ally.

Him answer'd then Pallas cærulean-eyed.

And such I will be;

not unmark'd by me,

(Let once our time of enterprize arrive) Shalt thou assail them.


as I judge,

Of those proud suitors who devour thy wealth Shall leave their brains,


on thy palace floor.

But come.


I will disguise thee so   480 That none shall know thee!

I will parch the skin On thy fair body;

I will cause thee shed Thy wavy locks;

I will enfold thee round In such a kirtle as the eyes of all Shall loath to look on;

and I will deform With blurring rheums thy eyes,

so vivid erst;

So shall the suitors deem thee,

and thy wife,

And thy own son whom thou didst leave at home,

Some sordid wretch obscure.

But seek thou first Thy swine-herd's mansion;



intends   490 Thy good,

and loves,


thy son And thy Penelope;

thou shalt find the swain Tending his herd;

they feed beneath the rock Corax,

at side of Arethusa's fount,

On acorns dieted,

nutritious food To them,

and drinking of the limpid stream.

There waiting,

question him of thy concerns,

While I from Sparta praised for women fair Call home thy son Telemachus,

a guest With Menelaus now,

whom to consult    500 In spacious Lacedæmon he is gone,

Anxious to learn if yet his father lives.

To whom Ulysses,



And why,


all-knowing as thou art,

Him left'st thou ignorant?

was it that he,

He also,

wand'ring wide the barren Deep,

Might suffer woe,

while these devour his wealth?

Him answer'd then Pallas cærulean-eyed.

Grieve thou not much for him.

I sent him forth Myself,

that there arrived,

he might acquire   510 Honour and fame.

No suff'rings finds he there,

But in Atrides' palace safe resides,

Enjoying all abundance.


in truth,

The suitors watch close ambush'd on the Deep,

Intent to slay him ere he reach his home,

But shall not as I judge,

till of themselves The earth hide some who make thee,


a prey.

So saying,

the Goddess touch'd him with a wand.

At once o'er all his agile limbs she parch'd The polish'd skin;

she wither'd to the root   520 His wavy locks;

and cloath'd him with the hide Deform'd of wrinkled age;

she charged with rheums His eyes before so vivid,

and a cloak And kirtle gave him,



and foul,

And smutch'd with smoak;


casting over all An huge old deer-skin bald,

with a long staff She furnish'd him,

and with a wallet patch'd On all sides,

dangling by a twisted thong.

Thus all their plan adjusted,

diff'rent ways They took,

and she,

seeking Ulysses' son,

  530 To Lacedæmon's spacious realm repair'd.


[59] Ἱερον μενος Αλκινοοιο.

[60] Homer dates all the fictions of Ulysses from Crete,

as if he meant to pass a similar censure on the Cretans to that quoted by St. Paul --κρητες αει ψευσαι.



Ulysses arriving at the house of Eumæus,

is hospitably entertained,

and spends the night there.

Leaving the haven-side,

he turn'd his steps Into a rugged path,

which over hills Mantled with trees led him to the abode By Pallas mention'd of his noble friend[61] The swine-herd,

who of all Ulysses' train Watch'd with most diligence his rural stores.

Him sitting in the vestibule he found Of his own airy lodge commodious,

built Amidst a level lawn.

That structure neat Eumæus,

in the absence of his Lord,

   10 Had raised,


with stones from quarries hewn,

Unaided by Laertes or the Queen.

With tangled thorns he fenced it safe around,

And with contiguous stakes riv'n from the trunks Of solid oak black-grain'd hemm'd it without.

Twelve penns he made within,

all side by side,

Lairs for his swine,

and fast-immured in each Lay fifty pregnant females on the floor.

The males all slept without,

less num'rous far,

Thinn'd by the princely wooers at their feasts   20 Continual,

for to them he ever sent The fattest of his saginated charge.

Three hundred,


and sixty brawns remained.

Four mastiffs in adjoining kennels lay,

Resembling wild-beasts nourish'd at the board Of the illustrious steward of the styes.

Himself sat fitting sandals to his feet,

Carved from a stain'd ox-hide.

Four hinds he kept,

Now busied here and there;

three in the penns Were occupied;


the fourth had sought   30 The city,


for the suitors' use,

With no good will,

but by constraint,

he drove A boar,


sacrificing to the Gods,

Th' imperious guests might on his flesh regale.

Soon as those clamorous watch-dogs the approach Saw of Ulysses,

baying loud,

they ran Toward him;


as ever,



and let his staff fall from his hand.

Yet foul indignity he had endured Ev'n there,

at his own farm,

but that the swain,

  40 Following his dogs in haste,

sprang through the porch To his assistance,

letting fall the hide.

With chiding voice and vollied stones he soon Drove them apart,

and thus his Lord bespake.

Old man!

one moment more,

and these my dogs Had,

past doubt,

worried thee,

who should'st have proved,

So slain,

a source of obloquy to me.

But other pangs the Gods,

and other woes To me have giv'n,

who here lamenting sit My godlike master,

and his fatted swine    50 Nourish for others' use,

while he,


A wand'rer in some foreign city,

seeks Fit sustenance,

and none obtains,

if still Indeed he live,

and view the light of day.


old friend!

follow me into the house,

That thou,

at least,

with plenteous food refresh'd,

And cheer'd with wine sufficient,

may'st disclose Both who thou art,

and all that thou hast borne.

So saying,

the gen'rous swine-herd introduced Ulysses,

and thick bundles spread of twigs   60 Beneath him,

cover'd with the shaggy skin Of a wild goat,

of which he made his couch Easy and large;

the Hero,

so received,


and thus his gratitude express'd.

Jove grant thee and the Gods above,

my host,

For such beneficence thy chief desire!

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

My guest!

I should offend,

treating with scorn The stranger,

though a poorer should arrive Than ev'n thyself;

for all the poor that are,

  70 And all the strangers are the care of Jove.


and with good will,

is all that lies Within my scope;

no man can much expect From servants living in continual fear Under young masters;

for the Gods,

no doubt,

Have intercepted my own Lord's return,

From whom great kindness I had,



With such a recompense as servants gain From gen'rous masters,

house and competence,

And lovely wife from many a wooer won,

   80 Whose industry should have requited well His goodness,

with such blessing from the Gods As now attends me in my present charge.

Much had I,



had my Lord Grown old at home;

but he hath died --I would That the whole house of Helen,

one and all,

Might perish too,

for she hath many slain Who,

like my master,

went glory to win For Agamemnon in the fields of Troy.

So saying,

he girdled,


his tunic close,

  90 And,


sought the styes;

thence bringing two Of the imprison'd herd,

he slaughter'd both,

Singed them,

and slash'd and spitted them,

and placed The whole well-roasted banquet,

spits and all,

Reeking before Ulysses;


with flour He sprinkled them,

and filling with rich wine His ivy goblet,

to his master sat Opposite,

whom inviting thus he said.



my guest!

such as a servant may I set before thee,

neither large of growth   100 Nor fat;

the fatted --those the suitors eat,

Fearless of heav'n,

and pitiless of man.

Yet deeds unjust as theirs the blessed Gods Love not;

they honour equity and right.

Even an hostile band when they invade A foreign shore,

which by consent of Jove They plunder,

and with laden ships depart,

Even they with terrours quake of wrath divine.

But these are wiser;

these must sure have learn'd From some true oracle my master's death,

   110 Who neither deign with decency to woo,

Nor yet to seek their homes,

but boldly waste His substance,



and sparing nought.

Jove ne'er hath giv'n us yet the night or day When with a single victim,

or with two They would content them,

and his empty jars Witness how fast the squand'rers use his wine.

Time was,

when he was rich indeed;

such wealth No Hero own'd on yonder continent,

Nor yet in Ithaca;

no twenty Chiefs    120 Could match with all their treasures his alone;

I tell thee their amount.

Twelve herds of his The mainland graze;[62] as many flocks of sheep;

As many droves of swine;

and hirelings there And servants of his own seed for his use,

As many num'rous flocks of goats;

his goats,

(Not fewer than eleven num'rous flocks) Here also graze the margin of his fields Under the eye of servants well-approved,

And ev'ry servant,

ev'ry day,

brings home   130 The goat,

of all his flock largest and best.

But as for me,

I have these swine in charge,

Of which,

selected with exactest care From all the herd,

I send the prime to them.

He ceas'd,

meantime Ulysses ate and drank Voracious,



the death Of those proud suitors.

His repast,

at length,


and his appetite sufficed,

Eumæus gave him,

charged with wine,

the cup From which he drank himself;



received   140 The boon,

and in wing'd accents thus began.

My friend,

and who was he,

wealthy and brave As thou describ'st the Chief,

who purchased thee?

Thou say'st he perish'd for the glory-sake Of Agamemnon.

Name him;



May have beheld the Hero.

None can say But Jove and the inhabitants of heav'n That I ne'er saw him,

and may not impart News of him;

I have roam'd through many a clime.

To whom the noble swine-herd thus replied.

  150 Alas,

old man!

no trav'ler's tale of him Will gain his consort's credence,

or his son's;

For wand'rers,

wanting entertainment,

forge Falsehoods for bread,

and wilfully deceive.

No wand'rer lands in Ithaca,

but he seeks With feign'd intelligence my mistress' ear;

She welcomes all,

and while she questions each Minutely,

from her lids lets fall the tear Affectionate,

as well beseems a wife Whose mate hath perish'd in a distant land.

  160 Thou could'st thyself,

no doubt,

my hoary friend!

(Would any furnish thee with decent vest And mantle) fabricate a tale with ease;

Yet sure it is that dogs and fowls,

long since,

His skin have stript,

or fishes of the Deep Have eaten him,

and on some distant shore Whelm'd in deep sands his mould'ring bones are laid.

So hath he perish'd;


to all his friends,

But chiefly to myself,

sorrow of heart;

For such another Lord,

gentle as he,

   170 Wherever sought,

I have no hope to find,

Though I should wander even to the house Of my own father.

Neither yearns my heart So feelingly (though that desiring too) To see once more my parents and my home,

As to behold Ulysses yet again.

Ah stranger;

absent as he is,

his name Fills me with rev'rence,

for he lov'd me much,

Cared for me much,


though we meet no more,

Holds still an elder brother's part in me.

  180 Him answer'd,


the Hero toil-inured.

My friend!

since his return,

in thy account,

Is an event impossible,

and thy mind Always incredulous that hope rejects,

I shall not slightly speak,

but with an oath -- Ulysses comes again;

and I demand No more,

than that the boon such news deserves,

Be giv'n me soon as he shall reach his home.

Then give me vest and mantle fit to wear,


ere that hour,

much as I need them both,

  190 I neither ask,

nor will accept from thee.

For him whom poverty can force aside From truth --I hate him as the gates of hell.

Be Jove,

of all in heav'n,

my witness first,


this thy hospitable board,



The household Gods of the illustrious Chief Himself,


to whose gates I go,

That all my words shall surely be fulfill'd.

In this same year Ulysses shall arrive,


this month closed,

another month succeed,

  200 He shall return,

and punish all who dare Insult his consort and his noble son.

To whom Eumæus,

thou didst thus reply.

Old friend!

that boon thou wilt ne'er earn from me;

Ulysses comes no more.

But thou thy wine Drink quietly,

and let us find,

at length,

Some other theme;

recall not this again To my remembrance,

for my soul is grieved Oft as reminded of my honour'd Lord.

Let the oath rest,

and let Ulysses come    210 Ev'n as myself,

and as Penelope,

And as his ancient father,

and his son Godlike Telemachus,

all wish he may.

Ay --there I feel again --nor cease to mourn His son Telemachus;


when the Gods Had giv'n him growth like a young plant,

and I Well hoped that nought inferior he should prove In person or in mind to his own sire,

Hath lost,

through influence human or divine,

I know not how,

his sober intellect,

   220 And after tidings of his sire is gone To far-famed Pylus;

his return,


In ambush hidden the proud suitors wait,

That the whole house may perish of renown'd Arcesias,

named in Ithaca no more.

But whether he have fallen or


let him Rest also,

whom Saturnian Jove protect!

But come,

my ancient guest!

now let me learn Thy own afflictions;

answer me in truth.


and whence art thou?

in what city born?

  230 Where dwell thy parents;

in what kind of ship Cam'st thou?

the mariners,

why brought they thee To Ithaca?

and of what land are they?


that on foot thou found'st us not,

is sure.

Him answer'd,




I will with truth resolve thee;

and if here Within thy cottage sitting,

we had wine And food for many a day,

and business none But to regale at ease while others toiled,

I could exhaust the year complete,

my woes   240 Rehearsing,


at last,

rehearse entire My sorrows by the will of heav'n sustained.

I boast me sprung from ancestry renown'd In spacious Crete;

son of a wealthy sire,

Who other sons train'd num'rous in his house,

Born of his wedded wife;

but he begat Me on his purchased concubine,

whom yet Dear as his other sons in wedlock born Castor Hylacides esteem'd and lov'd,

For him I boast my father.

Him in Crete,

   250 While yet he liv'd,

all reverenc'd as a God,

So rich,

so prosp'rous,

and so blest was he With sons of highest praise.

But death,

the doom Of all,

him bore to Pluto's drear abode,

And his illustrious sons among themselves Portion'd his goods by lot;

to me,


They gave a dwelling,

and but little more,


for my virtuous qualities,

I won A wealthy bride,

for I was neither vain Nor base,

forlorn as thou perceiv'st me now.

  260 But thou canst guess,

I judge,

viewing the straw What once was in the ear.


I have borne Much tribulation;

heap'd and heavy woes.

Courage and phalanx-breaking might had I From Mars and Pallas;

at what time I drew,

(Planning some dread exploit) an ambush forth Of our most valiant Chiefs,

no boding fears Of death seized -me-,

but foremost far of all I sprang to fight,

and pierced the flying foe.

Such was I once in arms.

But household toils   270 Sustain'd for children's sake,

and carking cares T' enrich a family,

were not for me.

My pleasures were the gallant bark,

the din Of battle,

the smooth spear and glitt'ring shaft,

Objects of dread to others,

but which me The Gods disposed to love and to enjoy.

Thus diff'rent minds are diff'rently amused;

For ere Achaia's fleet had sailed to Troy,

Nine times was I commander of an host Embark'd against a foreign foe,

and found   280 In all those enterprizes great success.

From the whole booty,


what pleased me most Chusing,

and sharing also much by lot I rapidly grew rich,

and had thenceforth Among the Cretans rev'rence and respect.

But when loud-thund'ring Jove that voyage dire Ordain'd,

which loos'd the knees of many a Greek,


to Idomeneus and me they gave The charge of all their fleet,

which how to avoid We found not,

so importunate the cry    290 Of the whole host impell'd us to the task.

There fought we nine long years,

and in the tenth (Priam's proud city pillag'd) steer'd again Our galleys homeward,

which the Gods dispersed.

Then was it that deep-planning Jove devised For me much evil.

One short month,

no more,

I gave to joys domestic,

in my wife Happy,

and in my babes,

and in my wealth,

When the desire seiz'd me with sev'ral ships Well-rigg'd,

and furnish'd all with gallant crews,

 300 To sail for Ægypt;

nine I fitted forth,

To which stout mariners assembled fast.

Six days the chosen partners of my voyage Feasted,

to whom I num'rous victims gave For sacrifice,

and for their own regale.

Embarking on the sev'nth from spacious Crete,

Before a clear breeze prosp'rous from the North We glided easily along,

as down A river's stream;

nor one of all my ships Damage incurr'd,

but healthy and at ease    310 We sat,

while gales well-managed urged us on.

The fifth day thence,

smooth-flowing Nile we reach'd,

And safe I moor'd in the Ægyptian stream.


charging all my mariners to keep Strict watch for preservation of the ships,

I order'd spies into the hill-tops;

but they Under the impulse of a spirit rash And hot for quarrel,

the well-cultur'd fields Pillaged of the Ægyptians,

captive led Their wives and little ones,

and slew the men.

  320 Soon was the city alarm'd,

and at the cry Down came the citizens,

by dawn of day,

With horse and foot,

and with the gleam of arms Filling the plain.

Then Jove with panic dread Struck all my people;

none found courage more To stand,

for mischiefs swarm'd on ev'ry side.


num'rous by the glittering spear we fell Slaughter'd,

while others they conducted thence Alive to servitude.

But Jove himself My bosom with this thought inspired,

(I would   330 That,


I had first fulfill'd my fate In Ægypt,

for new woes were yet to come!) Loosing my brazen casque,

and slipping off My buckler,

there I left them on the field,

Then cast my spear away,

and seeking,


The chariot of the sov'reign,

clasp'd his knees,

And kiss'd them.


by my submission moved,

Deliver'd me,

and to his chariot-seat Raising,

convey'd me weeping to his home.

With many an ashen spear his warriors sought   340 To slay me,

(for they now grew fiery wroth) But he,

through fear of hospitable Jove,

Chief punisher of wrong,

saved me alive.

Sev'n years I there abode,

and much amass'd Among the Ægyptians,

gifted by them all;


in the eighth revolving year,

arrived A shrewd Phœnician,

in all fraud adept,


and who had num'rous harm'd before,

By whom I also was cajoled,

and lured T' attend him to Phœnicia,

where his house   350 And his possessions lay;

there I abode A year complete his inmate;

but (the days And months accomplish'd of the rolling year,

And the new seasons ent'ring on their course) To Lybia then,

on board his bark,

by wiles He won me with him,

partner of the freight Profess'd,

but destin'd secretly to sale,

That he might profit largely by my price.

Not unsuspicious,

yet constrain'd to go,

With this man I embark'd.

A cloudless gale   360 Propitious blowing from the North,

our ship Ran right before it through the middle sea,

In the offing over Crete;

but adverse Jove Destruction plann'd for them and death the while.


Crete now left afar,

and other land Appearing none,

but sky alone and sea,

Right o'er the hollow bark Saturnian Jove A cloud cærulean hung,

dark'ning the Deep.


thund'ring oft,

he hurl'd into the bark His bolts;

she smitten by the fires of Jove,

  370 Quaked all her length;

with sulphur fill'd she reek'd,


o'er her sides precipitated,

plunged Like gulls the crew,

forbidden by that stroke Of wrath divine to hope their country more.

But Jove himself,

when I had cast away All hope of life,

conducted to my arms The strong tall mast,

that I might yet escape.

Around that beam I clung,

driving before The stormy blast.

Nine days complete I drove,


on the tenth dark night,

the rolling flood   380 Immense convey'd me to Thesprotia's shore.

There me the Hero Phidon,

gen'rous King Of the Thesprotians,

freely entertained;

For his own son discov'ring me with toil Exhausted and with cold,

raised me,

and thence Led me humanely to his father's house,

Who cherish'd me,

and gave me fresh attire.

There heard I of Ulysses,

whom himself Had entertain'd,

he said,

on his return To his own land;

he shew'd me also gold,

   390 Brass,

and bright steel elab'rate,

whatsoe'er Ulysses had amass'd,

a store to feed A less illustrious family than his To the tenth generation,

so immense His treasures in the royal palace lay.


he said,

was to Dodona gone,


from the tow'ring oaks of Jove to ask Counsel divine,

if openly to land (After long absence) in his opulent realm Of Ithaca,

be best,

or in disguise.

   400 To me the monarch swore,

in his own hall Pouring libation,

that the ship was launch'd,

And the crew ready for his conduct home.

But me he first dismiss'd,


as it chanced,

A ship lay there of the Thesprotians,

bound To green Dulichium's isle.

He bade the crew Bear me to King Acastus with all speed;

But them far other thoughts pleased more,

and thoughts Of harm to me,

that I might yet be plunged In deeper gulphs of woe than I had known.

  410 For,

when the billow-cleaving bark had left The land remote,



a plot Against my liberty,

they stripp'd my vest And mantle,

and this tatter'd raiment foul Gave me instead,

which thy own eyes behold.

At even-tide reaching the cultur'd coast Of Ithaca,

they left me bound on board With tackle of the bark,

and quitting ship Themselves,

made hasty supper on the shore.

But me,


the Gods easily loos'd    420 By their own pow'r,


with wrapper vile Around my brows,

sliding into the sea At the ship's stern,

I lay'd me on the flood.

With both hands oaring thence my course,

I swam Till past all ken of theirs;

then landing where Thick covert of luxuriant trees I mark'd,

Close couchant down I lay;

they mutt'ring loud,

Paced to and fro,

but deeming farther search Unprofitable,

soon embark'd again.

Thus baffling all their search with ease,

the Gods  430 Conceal'd and led me thence to the abode Of a wise man,

dooming me still to live.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply,


my most compassionable guest!

Thou hast much moved me by this tale minute Of thy sad wand'rings and thy num'rous woes.


speaking of Ulysses,

thou hast pass'd All credence;

I at least can give thee none.


noble as thou art,

should'st thou invent Palpable falsehoods?

as for the return    440 Of my regretted Lord,

myself I know That had he not been hated by the Gods Unanimous,

he had in battle died At Troy,

or (that long doubtful war,

at last,

Concluded,) in his people's arms at home.

Then universal Greece had raised his tomb,

And he had even for his son atchiev'd Immortal glory;

but alas!

by beaks Of harpies torn,

unseemly sight,

he lies.

Here is my home the while;

I never seek    450 The city,

unless summon'd by discrete Penelope to listen to the news Brought by some stranger,

whencesoe'er arrived.



alike inquisitive,


Both who regret the absence of our King,

And who rejoice gratuitous to gorge His property;

but as for me,

no joy Find I in list'ning after such reports,

Since an Ætolian cozen'd me,

who found (After long wand'ring over various lands    460 A fugitive for blood) my lone retreat.

Him warm I welcom'd,

and with open arms Receiv'd,

who bold affirm'd that he had seen My master with Idomeneus at Crete His ships refitting shatter'd by a storm,

And that in summer with his godlike band He would return,

bringing great riches home,

Or else in autumn.

And thou ancient guest Forlorn!

since thee the Gods have hither led,

Seek not to gratify me with untruths    470 And to deceive me,

since for no such cause I shall respect or love thee,

but alone By pity influenced,

and the fear of Jove.

To whom Ulysses,



Thou hast,

in truth,

a most incredulous mind,

Whom even with an oath I have not moved,

Or aught persuaded.

Come then --let us make In terms express a cov'nant,

and the Gods Who hold Olympus,

witness to us both!

If thy own Lord at this thy house arrive,

  480 Thou shalt dismiss me decently attired In vest and mantle,

that I may repair Hence to Dulichium,

whither I would go.


if thy Lord come not,


gath'ring all Thy servants,

headlong hurl me from a rock,

That other mendicants may fear to lie.

To whom the generous swine-herd in return.



doubtless I should high renown Obtain for virtue among men,

both now And in all future times,


having first   490 Invited thee,

and at my board regaled,



should slay thee;

then my pray'rs would mount,

Past question,

swiftly to Saturnian Jove.

But the hour calls to supper,


ere long,

The partners of my toils will come prepared To spread the board with no unsav'ry cheer.

Thus they conferr'd.

And now the swains arrived,

Driving their charge,

which fast they soon enclosed Within their customary penns,

and loud The hubbub was of swine prison'd within.

   500 Then call'd the master to his rustic train.

Bring ye the best,

that we may set him forth Before my friend from foreign climes arrived,

With whom ourselves will also feast,

who find The bright-tusk'd multitude a painful charge,

While others,

at no cost of theirs,

consume Day after day,

the profit of our toils.

So saying,

his wood for fuel he prepared,

And dragging thither a well-fatted brawn Of the fifth year his servants held him fast   510 At the hearth-side.

Nor failed the master swain T' adore the Gods,

(for wise and good was he) But consecration of the victim,


Himself performing,

cast into the fire The forehead bristles of the tusky boar,

Then pray'd to all above,



at length,

Ulysses might regain his native home.

Then lifting an huge shive that lay beside The fire,

he smote the boar,

and dead he fell,


piercing him,

and scorching close his hair,

 520 They carv'd him quickly,

and Eumæus spread Thin slices crude taken from ev'ry limb O'er all his fat,

then other slices cast,

Sprinkling them first with meal,

into the fire.

The rest they slash'd and scored,

and roasted well,

And placed it,

heap'd together,

on the board.

Then rose the good Eumæus to his task Of distribution,

for he understood The hospitable entertainer's part.

Sev'n-fold partition of the banquet made,

  530 He gave,

with previous pray'r,

to Maia's son[63] And to the nymphs one portion of the whole,

Then served his present guests,

honouring first Ulysses with the boar's perpetual chine;

By that distinction just his master's heart He gratified,

and thus the Hero spake.


be thou as belov'd of Jove As thou art dear to me,


though attired So coarsely,

thou hast served with such respect!

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

  540 Eat,

noble stranger!

and refreshment take Such as thou may'st;

God[64] gives,

and God denies At his own will,

for He is Lord of all.

He said,

and to the everlasting Gods The firstlings sacrificed of all,

then made Libation,

and the cup placed in the hands Of city-spoiler Laertiades Sitting beside his own allotted share.


Mesaulius bread dispensed to all,


in the absence of his Lord,

himself   550 Eumæus had from Taphian traders bought With his own proper goods,

at no expence Either to old Laertes or the Queen.

And now,

all stretch'd their hands toward the feast Reeking before them,

and when hunger none Felt more or thirst,

Mesaulius clear'd the board.


fed to full satiety,

in haste Each sought his couch.

Black came a moonless night,

And Jove all night descended fast in show'rs,

With howlings of the ever wat'ry West.

   560 Ulysses,

at that sound,

for trial sake Of his good host,

if putting off his cloak He would accommodate him,

or require That service for him at some other hand,

Addressing thus the family,


Hear now,


and ye other swains His fellow-lab'rers!

I shall somewhat boast,

By wine befool'd,

which forces ev'n the wise To carol loud,

to titter and to dance,

And words to utter,


better suppress'd.

  570 But since I have begun,

I shall proceed,

Prating my fill.

Ah might those days return With all the youth and strength that I enjoy'd,

When in close ambush,


at Troy we lay!



and myself Their chosen coadjutor,

led the band.

Approaching to the city's lofty wall Through the thick bushes and the reeds that gird The bulwarks,

down we lay flat in the marsh,

Under our arms,

then Boreas blowing loud,

  580 A rueful night came on,

frosty and charged With snow that blanch'd us thick as morning rime,

And ev'ry shield with ice was crystall'd o'er.

The rest with cloaks and vests well cover'd,

slept Beneath their bucklers;

I alone my cloak,


had left behind,

no thought Conceiving of a season so severe;

Shield and belt,


and nought else had I.

The night,

at last,

nigh spent,

and all the stars Declining in their course,

with elbow thrust   590 Against Ulysses' side I roused the Chief,

And thus address'd him ever prompt to hear.

Laertes' noble son,

for wiles renown'd!

I freeze to death.

Help me,

or I am lost.

No cloak have I;

some evil dæmon,


Beguil'd me of all prudence,

that I came Thus sparely clad;

I shall,

I must expire.

So I;


ready as he was in arms And counsel both,

the remedy at once Devised,

and thus,


answer'd me.

  600 Hush!

lest perchance some other hear --He said,

And leaning on his elbow,

spake aloud.

My friends!

all hear --a monitory dream Hath reach'd me,

for we lie far from the ships.



one of you,

with my request To Agamemnon,

Atreus' son,

our Chief,

That he would reinforce us from the camp.

He spake,

and at the word,

Andræmon's son Thoas arose,


casting off his cloak,

Ran thence toward the ships,

and folded warm   610 Within it,

there lay I till dawn appear'd.

Oh for the vigour of such youth again!


some good peasant here,

either for love Or for respect,

would cloak a man like me,



thus sordid in attire ye scorn.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

My ancient guest!

I cannot but approve Thy narrative,

nor hast thou utter'd aught Unseemly,

or that needs excuse.

No want Of raiment,


or of aught beside   620 Needful to solace penury like thine,

Shall harm thee here;


at the peep of dawn Gird thy own tatters to thy loins again;

For -we- have no great store of cloaks to boast,

Or change of vests,

but singly one for each.

But when Ulysses' son shall once arrive,

He will himself with vest and mantle both Cloath thee,

and send thee whither most thou would'st.

So saying,

he rose,

and nearer made his couch To the hearth-side,

spreading it thick with skins  630 Of sheep and goats;

then lay the Hero down,

O'er whom a shaggy mantle large he threw,

Which oft-times served him with a change,

when rough The winter's blast and terrible arose.

So was Ulysses bedded,

and the youths Slept all beside him;

but the master-swain Chose not his place of rest so far remote From his rude charge,

but to the outer court With his nocturnal furniture,


Gladd'ning Ulysses' heart that one so true   640 In his own absence kept his rural stores.

Athwart his sturdy shoulders,


he flung His faulchion keen,

then wrapp'd him in a cloak Thick-woven,


he lifted,


The skin of a well-thriven goat,

in bulk Surpassing others,

and his javelin took Sharp-pointed,

with which dogs he drove and men.

Thus arm'd,

he sought his wonted couch beneath A hollow rock where the herd slept,

secure From the sharp current of the Northern blast.



[61] Δῖος ὑφορβος.

--The swineherd's was therefore in those days,

and in that country,

an occupation honourable as well as useful.

Barnes deems the epithet δῖος significant of his noble birth.

Vide Clarke in loco.

[62] It may be proper to suggest that Ulysses was lord of part of the continent opposite to Ithaca --viz.

--of the peninsula Nericus or Leuca,

which afterward became an island,

and is now called Santa Maura.

F. [63] Mercury.

[64] Θεος --without a relative,

and consequently signifying GOD in the abstract,

is not unfrequently found in Homer,

though fearing to give offence to serious minds unacquainted with the original,

I have not always given it that force in the translation.

But here,

the sentiment is such as fixes the sense intended by the author with a precision that leaves no option.

It is observable too,

that δυναται γαρ απαντα --is an ascription of power such as the poet never makes to his Jupiter.




admonished by Minerva,

takes leave of Menelaus,

but ere he sails,

is accosted by Theoclymenos,

a prophet of Argos,

whom at his earnest request he takes on board.

In the meantime Eumæus relates to Ulysses the means by which he came to Ithaca.

Telemachus arriving there,

gives orders for the return of his bark to the city,

and repairs himself to Eumæus.

Meantime to Lacedæmon's spacious vale Minerva went,

that she might summon thence Ulysses' glorious son to his own home.


she found Telemachus reposed And Nestor's son beneath the vestibule Of Menelaus,

mighty Chief;

she saw Pisistratus in bands of gentle sleep Fast-bound,

but not Telemachus;

his mind No rest enjoy'd,

by filial cares disturb'd Amid the silent night,


drawing near    10 To his couch side,

the Goddess thus began.

Thou canst no longer prudently remain A wand'rer here,


thy home Abandon'd,

and those haughty suitors left Within thy walls;

fear lest,

partition made Of thy possessions,

they devour the whole,

And in the end thy voyage bootless prove.

Delay not;

from brave Menelaus ask Dismission hence,

that thou may'st find at home Thy spotless mother,

whom her brethren urge   20 And her own father even now to wed Eurymachus,

in gifts and in amount Of proffer'd dow'r superior to them all.

Some treasure,


shall haply from thy house Be taken,

such as thou wilt grudge to spare.

For well thou know'st how woman is disposed;

Her whole anxiety is to encrease His substance whom she weds;

no care hath she Of her first children,

or remembers more The buried husband of her virgin choice.

   30 Returning then,

to her of all thy train Whom thou shalt most approve,

the charge commit Of thy concerns domestic,

till the Gods Themselves shall guide thee to a noble wife.

Hear also this,

and mark it.

In the frith Samos the rude,

and Ithaca between,

The chief of all her suitors thy return In vigilant ambush wait,

with strong desire To slay thee,

ere thou reach thy native shore,

But shall not,

as I judge,

till the earth hide   40 Many a lewd reveller at thy expence.


steer thy galley from those isles afar,

And voyage make by night;

some guardian God Shall save thee,

and shall send thee prosp'rous gales.


soon as thou attain'st the nearest shore Of Ithaca,

dispatching to the town Thy bark with all thy people,

seek at once The swine-herd;

for Eumæus is thy friend.

There sleep,

and send him forth into the town With tidings to Penelope,

that safe    50 Thou art restored from Pylus home again.

She said,

and sought th' Olympian heights sublime.


with his heel shaking him,

he awoke The son of Nestor,

whom he thus address'd.


Nestor's son,


lead forth The steeds,

and yoke them.

We must now depart.

To whom the son of Nestor thus replied.


what haste soe'er we feel,

We can by no means prudently attempt To drive by night,

and soon it will be dawn.

  60 Stay,


till the Hero,

Atreus' son,

Spear-practis'd Menelaus shall his gifts Place in the chariot,

and with kind farewell Dismiss thee;

for the guest in mem'ry holds Through life,

the host who treats him as a friend.

Scarce had he spoken,

when the golden dawn Appearing,


from the side Of beauteous Helen ris'n,

their bed approach'd,

Whose coming when Telemachus perceived,

Cloathing himself hastily in his vest    70 Magnificent,

and o'er his shoulders broad Casting his graceful mantle,

at the door He met the Hero,

whom he thus address'd.



Chief renown'd!

Dismiss me hence to Ithaca again,

My native isle,

for I desire to go.

Him answer'd Menelaus famed in arms.


I will not long delay Thy wish'd return.

I disapprove alike The host whose assiduity extreme     80 Distresses,

and whose negligence offends;

The middle course is best;

alike we err,

Him thrusting forth whose wish is to remain,

And hind'ring the impatient to depart.

This only is true kindness --To regale The present guest,

and speed him when he would.

Yet stay,

till thou shalt see my splendid gifts Placed in thy chariot,

and till I command My women from our present stores to spread The table with a plentiful repast.

   90 For both the honour of the guest demands,

And his convenience also,

that he eat Sufficient,

ent'ring on a length of road.

But if through Hellas thou wilt take thy way And traverse Argos,

I will,


myself Attend thee;

thou shalt journey with my steeds Beneath thy yoke,

and I will be thy guide To many a city,

whence we shall not go Ungratified,

but shall in each receive Some gift at least,


or charger bright,

  100 Or golden chalice,

or a pair of mules.

To whom Telemachus,





Chief renown'd!

I would at once depart,

(for guardian none Of my possessions have I left behind) Lest,

while I seek my father,

I be lost Myself,

or lose what I should grudge to spare.

Which when the valiant Menelaus heard,

He bade his spouse and maidens spread the board At once with remnants of the last regale.

  110 Then Eteoneus came,

Boetheus' son Newly aris'n,

for nigh at hand he dwelt,

Whom Menelaus bade kindle the fire By which to dress their food,

and he obey'd.

He next,

himself his fragrant chamber sought,

Not sole,

but by his spouse and by his son Attended,


There arrived Where all his treasures lay,



Took forth,


a goblet,

then consign'd To his son's hand an argent beaker bright.

  120 Meantime,

beside her coffers Helen stood Where lay her variegated robes,

fair works Of her own hand.

Producing one,

in size And in magnificence the chief,

a star For splendour,

and the lowest placed of all,

Loveliest of her sex,

she bore it thence.


all proceeding through the house,

they sought Telemachus again,

whom reaching,

thus The Hero of the golden locks began.

May Jove the Thunderer,

dread Juno's mate,

  130 Grant thee,


such voyage home As thy own heart desires!

accept from all My stores selected as the richest far And noblest gift for finish'd beauty --This.

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,


on my return,

Beneath his roof I lodg'd.

I make it thine.

  140 So saying,

the Hero,

Atreus' son,

the cup Placed in his hands,

and Megapenthes set Before him,


the argent beaker bright;

But lovely Helen drawing nigh,

the robe Presented to him,

whom she thus address'd.

I also give thee,

oh my son,

a gift,

Which seeing,

thou shalt think on her whose hands Wrought it;

a present on thy nuptial day For thy fair spouse;


repose it safe In thy own mother's keeping.



  150 Prosp'rous and happy be thy voyage home!

She ceas'd,

and gave it to him,

who the gift Accepted glad,

and in the chariot-chest Pisistratus the Hero all disposed,

Admiring them the while.




The Hero Menelaus to his hall Each on his couch or on his throne reposed.

A maiden,


with golden ewer charged And silver bowl,

pour'd water on their hands,

And spread the polish'd table,

which with food   160 Various,

selected from her present stores,

The mistress of the household charge supplied.

Boetheus' son stood carver,

and to each His portion gave,

while Megapenthes,

son Of glorious Menelaus,

serv'd the cup.


all with outstretch'd hands the feast assail'd,

And when nor hunger more nor thirst of wine They felt,

Telemachus and Nestor's son Yoked the swift steeds,


taking each his seat In the resplendent chariot,

drove at once   170 Right through the sounding portico abroad.

But Menelaus,

Hero amber-hair'd,

A golden cup bearing with richest wine Replete in his right hand,

follow'd them forth,

That not without libation first perform'd They might depart;

he stood before the steeds,

And drinking first,



them bespake.

Health to you both,

young friends!

and from my lips Like greeting bear to Nestor,

royal Chief,

For he was ever as a father kind     180 To me,

while the Achaians warr'd at Troy.

To whom Telemachus discrete replied.

And doubtless,

so we will;

at our return We will report to him,

illustrious Prince!

Thy ev'ry word.

And oh,

I would to heav'n That reaching Ithaca,

I might at home Ulysses hail as sure,

as I shall hence Depart,

with all benevolence by thee Treated,

and rich in many a noble gift.

While thus he spake,

on his right hand appear'd  190 An eagle;

in his talons pounced he bore A white-plumed goose domestic,

newly ta'en From the house-court.

Ran females all and males Clamorous after him;

but he the steeds Approaching on the right,

sprang into air.

That sight rejoicing and with hearts reviv'd They view'd,

and thus Pisistratus his speech Amid them all to Menelaus turn'd.




illustrious Chief!

If us,

this omen,

or thyself regard.

   200 While warlike Menelaus musing stood What answer fit to frame,

Helen meantime,

His spouse long-stoled preventing him,


Hear me;

for I will answer as the Gods Teach me,

and as I think shall come to pass.

As he,

descending from his place of birth The mountains,

caught our pamper'd goose away,

So shall Ulysses,

after many woes And wand'rings to his home restored,

avenge His wrongs,

or even now is at his home    210 For all those suitors sowing seeds of woe.

To whom Telemachus,



Oh grant it Jove,

Juno's high-thund'ring mate!

So will I,

there arrived,

with vow and pray'r Thee worship,

as thou wert,



He said,

and lash'd the coursers;

fiery they And fleet,

sprang through the city to the plain.

All day the yoke on either side they shook,

Journeying swift;

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

  220 When they to Pheræ came,

and in the house Of good Diocles slept,

their lib'ral host,

Whose sire Orsilochus from Alpheus sprang.

But when Aurora,

daughter of the Dawn,

Look'd rosy from the East,

yoking their steeds,

They in the sumptuous chariot sat again.

Forth through the vestibule they drove,

and through The sounding portico,

when Nestor's son Plied brisk the scourge,

and willing flew the steeds.

Thus whirl'd along,

soon they approach'd the gates  230 Of Pylus,

when Telemachus,

his speech Turning to his companion,

thus began.


son of Nestor!

shall I win from thee Not promise only,

but performance kind Of my request?

we are not bound alone To friendship by the friendship of our sires,

But by equality of years,

and this Our journey shall unite us still the more.

Bear me not,

I intreat thee,

noble friend!

Beyond the ship,

but drop me at her side,

  240 Lest ancient Nestor,

though against my will,

Detain me in his palace through desire To feast me,

for I dread the least delay.

He spake;

then mused Pisistratus how best He might effect the wishes of his friend,

And thus at length resolved;

turning his steeds With sudden deviation to the shore He sought the bark,

and placing in the stern Both gold and raiment,

the illustrious gifts Of Menelaus,


in accents wing'd    250 With ardour,

urged Telemachus away.



summon thy crew on board,

Ere my arrival notice give of thine To the old King;

for vehement I know His temper,

neither will he let thee hence,


hasting hither,

will himself enforce Thy longer stay,

that thou may'st not depart Ungifted;

nought will fire his anger more.

So saying,

he to the Pylian city urged His steeds bright-maned,

and at the palace-gate   260 Arrived of Nestor speedily;

meantime Telemachus exhorted thus his crew.

My gallant friends!

set all your tackle,

climb The sable bark,

for I would now return.

He spake;

they heard him gladly,

and at once All fill'd the benches.

While his voyage he Thus expedited,

and beside the stern To Pallas sacrifice perform'd and pray'd,

A stranger,

born remote,

who had escaped From Argos,

fugitive for blood,

a seer    270 And of Melampus' progeny,



in old time,

in Pylus dwelt,

Mother of flocks,

alike for wealth renown'd And the magnificence of his abode.


flying from the far-famed Pylian King,

The mighty Neleus[65],

migrated at length Into another land,

whose wealth,

the while,

Neleus by force possess'd a year complete.


Melampus in the house endured Of Phylacus imprisonment and woe,

   280 And burn'd with wrath for Neleus' daughter sake By fell Erynnis kindled in his heart.


'scaping death,

he drove the lowing beeves From Phylace to Pylus,

well avenged His num'rous injuries at Neleus' hands Sustain'd,

and gave into his brother's arms King Neleus' daughter fair,

the promis'd bride.

To Argos steed-renown'd he journey'd next,

There destin'd to inhabit and to rule Multitudes of Achaians.

In that land    290 He married,

built a palace,

and became Father of two brave sons,

Antiphates And Mantius;

to Antiphates was born The brave Oïcleus;

from Oïcleus sprang Amphiaraüs,

demagogue renown'd,

Whom with all tenderness,

and as a friend Alike the Thund'rer and Apollo prized;

Yet reach'd he not the bounds of hoary age.

But by his mercenary consort's arts[66] Persuaded,

met his destiny at Thebes.

   300 He

'gat Alcmæon and Amphilocus.

Mantius was also father of two sons,

Clytus and Polyphides.

Clytus pass'd From earth to heav'n,

and dwells among the Gods,

Stol'n by Aurora for his beauty's sake.

But (brave Amphiaraüs once deceased) Phœbus exalted Polyphides far Above all others in the prophet's part.


anger'd by his father,

roam'd away To Hyperesia,

where he dwelt renown'd    310 Throughout all lands the oracle of all.

His son,

named Theoclymenus,

was he Who now approach'd;

he found Telemachus Libation off'ring in his bark,

and pray'r,

And in wing'd accents ardent him address'd.



since sacrificing in this place I find thee,

by these sacred rites and those Whom thou ador'st,

and by thy own dear life,

And by the lives of these thy mariners I beg true answer;

hide not what I ask.

   320 Who art thou?


where born?

and sprung from whom?

To whom Telemachus,



I will inform thee,


and will solve Thy questions with much truth.

I am by birth Ithacan,

and Ulysses was my sire.

But he hath perish'd by a woeful death,

And I,

believing it,

with these have plow'd The ocean hither,

int'rested to learn A father's fate long absent from his home.

Then answer'd godlike Theoclymenus.

   330 I also am a wand'rer,

having slain A man of my own tribe;

brethren and friends Num'rous had he in Argos steed-renown'd,

And pow'rful are the Achaians dwelling there.

From them,

through terrour of impending death,

I fly,

a banish'd man henceforth for ever.

Ah save a suppliant fugitive!

lest death O'ertake me,

for I doubt not their pursuit.

Whom thus Telemachus answer'd discrete.

I shall not,

be assured,

since thou desir'st   340 To join me,

chace thee from my bark away.

Follow me,


and with us partake,

In Ithaca,

what best the land affords.

So saying,

he at the stranger's hand received His spear,

which on the deck he lay'd,

then climb'd Himself the bark,


seated in the stern,

At his own side placed Theoclymenus.

They cast the hawsers loose;

then with loud voice Telemachus exhorted all to hand The tackle,

whom the sailors prompt obey'd.

  350 The tall mast heaving,

in its socket deep They lodg'd it,

and its cordage braced secure,


straining at the halyards,

hoised the sail.

Fair wind,

and blowing fresh through æther pure Minerva sent them,

that the bark might run Her nimblest course through all the briny way.

Now sank the sun,

and dusky ev'ning dimm'd The waves,


driven by propitious Jove,

His bark stood right for Pheræ;

thence she stretch'd To sacred Elis where the Epeans rule,

   360 And through the sharp Echinades he next Steer'd her,

uncertain whether fate ordain'd His life or death,

surprizal or escape.

Meantime Ulysses and the swine-herd ate Their cottage-mess,

and the assistant swains Theirs also;

and when hunger now and thirst Had ceased in all,

Ulysses thus began,

Proving the swine-herd,

whether friendly still,

And anxious for his good,

he would intreat His stay,

or thence hasten him to the town.

  370 Eumæus,

and all ye his servants,


It is my purpose,

lest I wear thee out,

Thee and thy friends,

to seek at early dawn The city,

there to beg --But give me first Needful instructions,

and a trusty guide Who may conduct me thither;

there my task Must be to roam the streets;

some hand humane Perchance shall give me a small pittance there,

A little bread,

and a few drops to drink.

Ulysses' palace I shall also seek,

   380 And to discrete Penelope report My tidings;

neither shall I fail to mix With those imperious suitors,


themselves Full-fed,

may spare perhaps some boon to me.

Me shall they find,

in whatsoe'er they wish Their ready servitor,

for (understand And mark me well) the herald of the skies,


from whom all actions of mankind Their grace receive and polish,

is my friend,

So that in menial offices I fear     390 No rival,

whether I be called to heap The hearth with fuel,

or dry wood to cleave,

To roast,

to carve,

or to distribute wine,

As oft the poor are wont who serve the great.

To whom,


at those words displeased,

Thou didst reply.


how could such a thought Possess thee,


surely thy resolve Is altogether fixt to perish there,

If thou indeed hast purposed with that throng To mix,

whose riot and outrageous acts    400 Of violence echo through the vault of heav'n.


such as thou,

serve -them-;

their servitors Are youths well-cloak'd,


sleek their heads,

And smug their countenances;

such alone Are their attendants,

and the polish'd boards Groan overcharg'd with bread,

with flesh,

with wine.

Rest here content;

for neither me nor these Thou weariest aught,

and when Ulysses' son Shall come,

he will with vest and mantle fair Cloath thee,

and send thee whither most thou would'st.

 410 To whom Ulysses,


I wish thee,

O Eumæus!

dear to Jove As thou art dear to me,

for this reprieve Vouchsafed me kind,

from wand'ring and from woe!

No worse condition is of mortal man Than his who wanders;

for the poor man,

driv'n By woe and by misfortune homeless forth,

A thousand mis'ries,

day by day,


Since thou detain'st me,


and bidd'st me wait His coming,

tell me if the father still    420 Of famed Ulysses live,


going hence,

He left so nearly on the verge of life?

And lives his mother?

or have both deceased Already,

and descended to the shades?

To whom the master swine-herd thus replied.

I will inform thee,

and with strictest truth,

Of all that thou hast ask'd.

Laertes lives,

But supplication off'ring to the Gods Ceaseless,

to free him from a weary life,

So deeply his long-absent son he mourns,

   430 And the dear consort of his early youth,

Whose death is his chief sorrow,

and hath brought Old age on him,

or ere its date arrived.

She died of sorrow for her glorious son,

And died deplorably;[67] may never friend Of mine,

or benefactor die as she!

While yet she liv'd,

dejected as she was,

I found it yet some solace to converse With her,

who rear'd me in my childish days,

Together with her lovely youngest-born    440 The Princess Ctimena;

for side by side We grew,

and I,

scarce honour'd less than she.

But soon as our delightful prime we both Attain'd,

to Samos her they sent,

a bride,

And were requited with rich dow'r;

but me Cloath'd handsomely with tunic and with vest,

And with fair sandals furnish'd,

to the field She order'd forth,

yet loved me still the more.

I miss her kindness now;

but gracious heav'n Prospers the work on which I here attend;

  450 Hence have I food,

and hence I drink,

and hence Refresh,


a worthy guest like thee.

But kindness none experience I,

or can,

From fair Penelope (my mistress now) In word or action,

so is the house curs'd With that lewd throng.

Glad would the servants be Might they approach their mistress,

and receive Advice from her;

glad too to eat and drink,

And somewhat bear each to his rural home,

For perquisites are ev'ry servant's joy.

   460 Then answer thus,

Ulysses wise return'd.


good swain,


how remote From friends and country wast thou forced to roam Ev'n in thy infancy!

But tell me true.

The city where thy parents dwelt,

did foes Pillage it?

or did else some hostile band Surprizing thee alone,

on herd or flock Attendant,

bear thee with them o'er the Deep,

And sell thee at this Hero's house,

who pay'd Doubtless for -thee- no sordid price or small?

  470 To whom the master swine-herd in reply.


since thou art curious to be told My story,

silent listen,

and thy wine At leisure quaff.

The nights are longest now,

And such as time for sleep afford,

and time For pleasant conf'rence;

neither were it good That thou should'st to thy couch before thy hour,

Since even sleep is hurtful,

in excess.

Whoever here is weary,

and desires Early repose,

let him depart to rest,

   480 And,

at the peep of day,

when he hath fed Sufficiently,

drive forth my master's herd;

But we with wine and a well-furnish'd board Supplied,

will solace mutually derive From recollection of our sufferings past;

For who hath much endured,

and wander'd far,

Finds the recital ev'n of sorrow sweet.

Now hear thy question satisfied;


There is an island (thou hast heard,


Of such an isle) named Syria;[68] it is placed   490 Above Ortigia,

and a dial owns[69] True to the tropic changes of the year.

No great extent she boasts,

yet is she rich In cattle and in flocks,

in wheat and wine.

No famine knows that people,

or disease Noisome,

of all that elsewhere seize the race Of miserable man;

but when old age Steals on the citizens,


arm'd With silver bow and bright Diana come,

Whose gentle shafts dismiss them soon to rest.

  500 Two cities share between them all the isle,

And both were subject to my father's sway Ctesius Ormenides,

a godlike Chief.

It chanced that from Phœnicia,

famed for skill In arts marine,

a vessel thither came By sharpers mann'd,

and laden deep with toys.


in my father's family abode A fair Phœnician,



and skill'd In works of elegance,

whom they beguiled.

While she wash'd linen on the beach,

beside   510 The ship,

a certain mariner of those Seduced her;

for all women,

ev'n the wise And sober,

feeble prove by love assail'd.

Who was she,

he enquired,

and whence?

nor she Scrupled to tell at once her father's home.

I am of Sidon,[70] famous for her works In brass and steel;

daughter of Arybas,

Who rolls in affluence;

Taphian pirates thence Stole me returning from the field,

from whom This Chief procured me at no little cost.

  520 Then answer thus her paramour return'd.

Wilt thou not hence to Sidon in our ship,

That thou may'st once more visit the abode Of thy own wealthy parents,

and themselves?

For still they live,

and still are wealthy deem'd.

To whom the woman.

Even that might be,

Would ye,

ye seamen,

by a solemn oath Assure me of a safe conveyance home.

Then sware the mariners as she required,


when their oath was ended,

thus again   530 The woman of Phœnicia them bespake.



no man,


of you all Accost me,

though he meet me on the road,

Or at yon fountain;

lest some tattler run With tidings home to my old master's ear,


with suspicion touch'd,

may -me- confine In cruel bonds,

and death contrive for -you-.

But be ye close;

purchase your stores in haste;

And when your vessel shall be freighted full,

Quick send me notice,

for I mean to bring   540 What gold soever opportune I find,

And will my passage cheerfully defray With still another moveable.

I nurse The good man's son,

an urchin shrewd,

of age To scamper at my side;

him will I bring,

Whom at some foreign market ye shall prove Saleable at what price soe'er ye will.

So saying,

she to my father's house return'd.


there abiding the whole year,

their ship With purchased goods freighted of ev'ry kind,

  550 And when,

her lading now complete,

she lay For sea prepared,

their messenger arrived To summon down the woman to the shore.

A mariner of theirs,

subtle and shrewd,


ent'ring at my father's gate,

produced A splendid collar,

gold with amber strung.

My mother (then at home) with all her maids Handling and gazing on it with delight,

Proposed to purchase it,

and he the nod Significant,

gave unobserv'd,

the while,

   560 To the Phœnician woman,

and return'd.


thus informed,

leading me by the hand Went forth,

and finding in the vestibule The cups and tables which my father's guests Had used,

(but they were to the forum gone For converse with their friends assembled there) Convey'd three cups into her bosom-folds,

And bore them off,

whom I a thoughtless child Accompanied,

at the decline of day,

When dusky evening had embrown'd the shore.

  570 We,

stepping nimbly on,

soon reach'd the port Renown'd,

where that Phœnician vessel lay.

They shipp'd us both,

and all embarking cleav'd Their liquid road,

by favourable gales,

Jove's gift,


Six days we day and night Continual sailed,

but when Saturnian Jove Now bade the sev'nth bright morn illume the skies,


shaft-arm'd Dian struck the woman dead.

At once she pitch'd headlong into the bilge Like a sea-coot,

whence heaving her again,

  580 The seamen gave her to be fishes' food,

And I survived to mourn her.

But the winds And rolling billows them bore to the coast Of Ithaca,

where with his proper goods Laertes bought me.

By such means it chanced That e'er I saw the isle in which I dwell.

To whom Ulysses,

glorious Chief,



thou hast moved me much,

thy woes Enumerating thus at large.

But Jove Hath neighbour'd all thy evil with this good,

  590 That after num'rous sorrows thou hast reach'd The house of a kind master,

at whose hands Thy sustenance is sure,

and here thou lead'st A tranquil life;

but I have late arrived,

City after city of the world explored.

Thus mutual they conferr'd,

nor leisure found Save for short sleep,

by morning soon surprized.

Meantime the comrades of Telemachus Approaching land,

cast loose the sail,

and lower'd Alert the mast,

then oar'd the vessel in.

  600 The anchors heav'd aground,[71] and hawsers tied Secure,


forth-issuing on the shore,

Breakfast prepared,

and charged their cups with wine.

When neither hunger now,

nor thirst remained Unsatisfied,

Telemachus began.

Push ye the sable bark without delay Home to the city.

I will to the field Among my shepherds,


(my rural works Survey'd,) at eve will to the town return.

To-morrow will I set before you wine    610 And plenteous viands,

wages of your toil.

To whom the godlike Theoclymenus.

Whither must I,

my son?


of the Chiefs Of rugged Ithaca,

shall harbour me?

Shall I to thine and to thy mother's house?

Then thus Telemachus,



I would invite thee to proceed at once To our abode,

since nought should fail thee there Of kind reception,

but it were a course Now not adviseable;

for I must myself,

   620 Be absent,

neither would my mother's eyes Behold thee,

so unfrequent she appears Before the suitors,

shunning whom,

she sits Weaving continual at the palace-top.

But I will name to thee another Chief Whom thou may'st seek,


the son Renown'd of prudent Polybus,

whom all The people here reverence as a God.

Far noblest of them all is he,

and seeks More ardent than his rivals far,

to wed    630 My mother,

and to fill my father's throne.


He who dwells above,

Jove only knows If some disastrous day be not ordain'd For them,

or ere those nuptials shall arrive.

While thus he spake,

at his right hand appear'd,

Messenger of Apollo,

on full wing,

A falcon;

in his pounces clench'd he bore A dove,

which rending,

down he pour'd her plumes Between the galley and Telemachus.


calling him apart,

the prophet lock'd   640 His hand in his,

and thus explain'd the sign.

Not undirected by the Gods his flight On our right hand,


this hawk Hath wing'd propitious;

soon as I perceived I knew him ominous --In all the isle No family of a more royal note Than yours is found,

and yours shall still prevail.

Whom thus Telemachus answer'd discrete.

Grant heav'n,

my guest!

that this good word of thine Fail not,

and soon thou shalt such bounty share   650 And friendship at my hands,


at first sight,

Whoe'er shall meet thee shall pronounce thee blest.


to Piræus thus,

his friend approved.


son of Clytius!

(for of all My followers to the shore of Pylus,

none More prompt than thou hath my desires perform'd) Now also to thy own abode conduct This stranger,

whom with hospitable care Cherish and honour till myself arrive.

To whom Piræus answer'd,


  660 Telemachus!

however long thy stay,

Punctual I will attend him,

and no want Of hospitality shall he find with me.

So saying,

he climb'd the ship,

then bade the crew Embarking also,

cast the hawsers loose,

And each,


to his bench repair'd.

Meantime Telemachus his sandals bound,

And lifted from the deck his glitt'ring spear.


as Telemachus had bidden them,

Son of divine Ulysses,

casting loose    670 The hawsers,

forth they push'd into the Deep And sought the city,

while with nimble pace Proceeding thence,

Telemachus attain'd The cottage soon where good Eumæus slept,

The swine-herd,

faithful to his num'rous charge.


[65] Iphyclus the son of Phylacus had seized and detained cattle belonging to Neleus;

Neleus ordered his nephew Melampus to recover them,

and as security for his obedience seized on a considerable part of his possessions.

Melampus attempted the service,


and was cast into prison;

but at length escaping,

accomplished his errand,

vanquished Neleus in battle,

and carried off his daughter Pero,

whom Neleus had promised to the brother of Melampus,

but had afterward refused her.

[66] His wife Eryphyle,

bribed by Polynices,

persuaded him,

though aware that death awaited him at that city,

to go to Thebes,

where he fell accordingly.

[67] She is said to have hanged herself.

[68] Not improbably the isthmus of Syracuse,

an island,


or peninsula at that period,

or at least imagined to be such by Homer.

The birth of Diana gave fame to Ortygia.

F. [69] Ὅθι τροπαὶ ἠελίοιο --The Translator has rendered the passage according to that interpretation of it to which several of the best expositors incline.

Nothing can be so absurd as to suppose that Homer,

so correct in his geography,

could mean to place a Mediterranean island under the Tropic.

[70] A principal city of Phœnicia.

[71] The anchors were lodged on the shore,

not plunged as ours.



Telemachus dispatches Eumæus to the city to inform Penelope of his safe return from Pylus;

during his absence,

Ulysses makes himself known to his son.

The suitors,

having watched for Telemachus in vain,

arrive again at Ithaca.

It was the hour of dawn,

when in the cot Kindling fresh fire,

Ulysses and his friend Noble Eumæus dress'd their morning fare,

And sent the herdsmen with the swine abroad.

Seeing Telemachus,

the watchful dogs Bark'd not,

but fawn'd around him.

At that sight,

And at the sound of feet which now approach'd,

Ulysses in wing'd accents thus remark'd.



either friend of thine Is nigh at hand,

or one whom well thou know'st;

  10 Thy dogs bark not,

but fawn on his approach Obsequious,

and the sound of feet I hear.

Scarce had he ceased,

when his own son himself Stood in the vestibule.

Upsprang at once Eumæus wonder-struck,

and from his hand Let fall the cups with which he was employ'd Mingling rich wine;

to his young Lord he ran,

His forehead kiss'd,

kiss'd his bright-beaming eyes And both his hands,

weeping profuse the while,

As when a father folds in his embrace    20 Arrived from foreign lands in the tenth year His darling son,

the offspring of his age,

His only one,

for whom he long hath mourn'd,

So kiss'd the noble peasant o'er and o'er Godlike Telemachus,

as from death escaped,

And in wing'd accents plaintive thus began.

Light of my eyes,

thou com'st;

it is thyself,

Sweetest Telemachus!

I had no hope To see thee more,

once told that o'er the Deep Thou hadst departed for the Pylian coast.

   30 Enter,

my precious son;

that I may sooth My soul with sight of thee from far arrived,

For seldom thou thy feeders and thy farm Visitest,

in the city custom'd much To make abode,

that thou may'st witness there The manners of those hungry suitors proud.

To whom Telemachus,



It will be so.

There is great need,

my friend!

But here,

for thy sake,

have I now arrived,

That I may look on thee,

and from thy lips   40 Learn if my mother still reside at home,

Or have become spouse of some other Chief,

Leaving untenanted Ulysses' bed To be by noisome spiders webb'd around.

To whom the master swine-herd in return.

Not so,


patient still as ever,

dwells Beneath thy roof,

but all her cheerless days Despairing wastes,

and all her nights in tears.

So saying,

Eumæus at his hand received His brazen lance,

and o'er the step of stone   50 Enter'd Telemachus,

to whom his sire Relinquish'd,

soon as he appear'd,

his seat,

But him Telemachus forbidding,

said -- Guest,

keep thy seat;

our cottage will afford Some other,

which Eumæus will provide.

He ceased,

and he,

returning at the word,

Reposed again;

then good Eumæus spread Green twigs beneath,


cover'd with a fleece,

Supplied Ulysses' offspring with a seat.



disposed his dishes on the board   60 With relicts charged of yesterday;

with bread,


he heap'd the baskets;

with rich wine His ivy cup replenish'd;

and a seat Took opposite to his illustrious Lord Ulysses.

They toward the plenteous feast Stretch'd forth their hands,

(and hunger now and thirst Both satisfied) Telemachus,

his speech Addressing to their gen'rous host,


Whence is this guest,

my father?

How convey'd Came he to Ithaca?

What country boast    70 The mariners with whom he here arrived?


that on foot he found us not,

is sure.

To whom Eumæus,

thou didst thus reply.

I will with truth answer thee,

O my son!

He boasts him sprung from ancestry renown'd In spacious Crete,

and hath the cities seen Of various lands,

by fate ordain'd to roam.

Ev'n now,

from a Thesprotian ship escaped,

He reach'd my cottage --but he is thy own;

I yield him to thee;

treat him as thou wilt;

  80 He is thy suppliant,

and depends on thee.

Then thus,




Thy words,


pain my very soul.

For what security can I afford To any in my house?

myself am young,

Nor yet of strength sufficient to repel An offer'd insult,

and my mother's mind In doubtful balance hangs,


still with me An inmate,

she shall manage my concerns,

Attentive only to her absent Lord     90 And her own good report,

or shall espouse The noblest of her wooers,

and the best Entitled by the splendour of his gifts.

But I will give him,

since I find him lodg'd A guest beneath thy roof,

tunic and cloak,

Sword double-edged,

and sandals for his feet,

With convoy to the country of his choice.


if it please thee,

keep him here thy guest,

And I will send him raiment,

with supplies Of all sorts,

lest he burthen thee and thine.

  100 But where the suitors come,

there shall not he With my consent,

nor stand exposed to pride And petulance like theirs,

lest by some sneer They wound him,

and through him,

wound also me;

For little is it that the boldest can Against so many;

numbers will prevail.

Him answer'd then Ulysses toil-inured.

Oh amiable and good!

since even I Am free to answer thee,

I will avow My heart within me torn by what I hear    110 Of those injurious suitors,

who the house Infest of one noble as thou appear'st.

But say --submittest thou to their controul Willingly,

or because the people,

sway'd By some response oracular,

incline Against thee?

Thou hast brothers,

it may chance,

Slow to assist thee --for a brother's aid Is of importance in whatever cause.

For oh that I had youth as I have will,

Or that renown'd Ulysses were my sire,

   120 Or that himself might wander home again.

Whereof hope yet remains!

then might I lose My head,

that moment,

by an alien's hand,

If I would fail,

ent'ring Ulysses' gate,

To be the bane and mischief of them all.

But if alone to multitudes opposed I should perchance be foiled;

nobler it were With my own people,

under my own roof To perish,

than to witness evermore Their unexampled deeds,

guests shoved aside,

  130 Maidens dragg'd forcibly from room to room,

Casks emptied of their rich contents,

and them Indulging glutt'nous appetite day by day Enormous,

without measure,

without end.

To whom,





thy questions shall from me receive True answer.

Enmity or hatred none Subsists the people and myself between,

Nor have I brothers to accuse,

whose aid Is of importance in whatever cause,

   140 For Jove hath from of old with single heirs Our house supplied;

Arcesias none begat Except Laertes,

and Laertes none Except Ulysses,

and Ulysses me Left here his only one,

and unenjoy'd.

Thence comes it that our palace swarms with foes;

For all the rulers of the neighbour isles,



and the forest-crown'd Zacynthus,

others also rulers here In craggy Ithaca,

my mother seek     150 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 destroy me also soon,

As I expect,

but heav'n disposes all.



my father!

bear with speed News to Penelope that I am safe,

And have arrived from Pylus;

I will wait Till thou return;

and well beware that none Hear thee beside,

for I have many foes.

To whom Eumæus,

thou didst thus reply.

It is enough.

I understand.

Thou speak'st To one intelligent.

But say beside,

Shall I not also,

as I go,

inform Distress'd Laertes?

who while yet he mourn'd Ulysses only,

could o'ersee the works,

And dieted among his menials oft As hunger prompted him,

but now,

they say,

Since thy departure to the Pylian shore,

   170 He neither eats as he was wont,

nor drinks,

Nor oversees his hinds,

but sighing sits And weeping,

wasted even to the bone.

Him then Telemachus answer'd discrete.

Hard though it be,

yet to his tears and sighs Him leave we now.

We cannot what we would.


were the ordering of all events Referr'd to our own choice,

our first desire Should be to see my father's glad return.

But once thy tidings told,

wander not thou   180 In quest of Him,

but hither speed again.

Rather request my mother that she send Her household's governess without delay Privately to him;

she shall best inform The ancient King that I have safe arrived.

He said,

and urged him forth,

who binding on His sandals,

to the city bent his way.

Nor went Eumæus from his home unmark'd By Pallas,

who in semblance of a fair Damsel,

accomplish'd in domestic arts,

   190 Approaching to the cottage' entrance,

stood Opposite,

by Ulysses plain discern'd,

But to his son invisible;

for the Gods Appear not manifest alike to all.

The mastiffs saw her also,

and with tone Querulous hid themselves,

yet bark'd they not.

She beckon'd him abroad.

Ulysses saw The sign,


issuing through the outer court,

Approach'd her,

whom the Goddess thus bespake.

Laertes' progeny,

for wiles renown'd!

   200 Disclose thyself to thy own son,


death Concerting and destruction to your foes,

Ye may the royal city seek,

nor long Shall ye my presence there desire in vain,

For I am ardent to begin the fight.

Minerva spake,

and with her rod of gold Touch'd him;

his mantle,


and vest she made Pure as new-blanch'd;



his form,

She gave dimensions ampler to his limbs;

Swarthy again his manly hue became,

   210 Round his full face,

and black his bushy chin.

The change perform'd,

Minerva disappear'd,

And the illustrious Hero turn'd again Into the cottage;

wonder at that sight Seiz'd on Telemachus;

askance he look'd,


not unsuspicious of a God,

And in wing'd accents eager thus began.

Thou art no longer,

whom I lately saw,

Nor are thy cloaths,

nor is thy port the same.

Thou art a God,

I know,

and dwell'st in heav'n.

  220 Oh,

smile on us,

that we may yield thee rites Acceptable,

and present thee golden gifts Elaborate;

ah spare us,

Pow'r divine!

To whom Ulysses,

Hero toil-inured.

I am no God.

Why deem'st thou me divine?

I am thy father,

for whose sake thou lead'st A life of woe,

by violence oppress'd.

So saying,

he kiss'd his son,

while from his cheeks Tears trickled,

tears till then,

perforce restrained.


(for he believed him not    230 His father yet) thus,


spake again.

My father,

said'st thou?


Thou art not He,

But some Divinity beguiles my soul With mock'ries to afflict me still the more;

For never mortal man could so have wrought By his own pow'r;

some interposing God Alone could render thee both young and old,

For old thou wast of late,

and foully clad,

But wear'st the semblance,


of those in heav'n!

To whom Ulysses,



   240 Telemachus!

it is not well,

my son!

That thou should'st greet thy father with a face Of wild astonishment,

and stand aghast.


save myself,

none comes,

be sure.

Such as thou seest,

after ten thousand woes Which I have borne,

I visit once again My native country in the twentieth year.

This wonder Athenæan Pallas wrought,

She cloath'd me even with what form she would,

For so she can.

Now poor I seem and old,

   250 Now young again,

and clad in fresh attire.

The Gods who dwell in yonder heav'n,

with ease Dignify or debase a mortal man.

So saying,

he sat.

Then threw Telemachus His arms around his father's neck,

and wept.

Desire intense of lamentation seized On both;

soft murmurs utt'ring,

each indulged His grief,

more frequent wailing than the bird,


or hook-nail'd vulture) from whose nest Some swain hath stol'n her yet unfeather'd young.

 260 So from their eyelids they big drops distill'd Of tend'rest grief,

nor had the setting sun Cessation of their weeping seen,

had not Telemachus his father thus address'd.

What ship convey'd thee to thy native shore,

My father!

and what country boast the crew?


that on foot thou not arriv'dst,

is sure.

Then thus divine Ulysses toil-inured.

My son!

I will explicit all relate.

Conducted by Phæacia's maritime sons    270 I came,

a race accustom'd to convey Strangers who visit them across the Deep.


o'er the billows in a rapid bark Borne sleeping,

on the shores of Ithaca They lay'd;

rich gifts they gave me also,


Gold in full bags,

and beautiful attire,


warn'd from heav'n,

I have in caves conceal'd.

By Pallas prompted,

hither I repair'd That we might plan the slaughter of our foes,

Whose numbers tell me now,

that I may know   280 How pow'rful,


and who they are,

And consultation with my dauntless heart May hold,

if we be able to contend Ourselves with all,

or must have aid beside.


answer thus his son,



My father!

thy renown hath ever rung In thy son's ears,

and by report thy force In arms,

and wisdom I have oft been told.

But terribly thou speak'st;

amazement-fixt I hear;

can two a multitude oppose,

   290 And valiant warriors all?

for neither ten Are they,

nor twenty,

but more num'rous far.



their numbers.

Fifty youths and two Came from Dulichium;

they are chosen men,

And six attendants follow in their train;

From Samos twenty youths and four arrive,

Zacynthus also of Achaia's sons Sends twenty more,

and our own island adds,


her twelve chief rulers;



Is there the herald,

and the bard divine,

  300 With other two,

intendants of the board.

Should we within the palace,

we alone,

Assail them all,

I fear lest thy revenge Unpleasant to thyself and deadly prove,

Frustrating thy return.

But recollect -- Think,

if thou canst,

on whose confed'rate arm Strenuous on our behalf we may rely.

To him replied his patient father bold.

I will inform thee.


Weigh well my words.

Will Pallas and the everlasting Sire    310 Alone suffice?

or need we other aids?

Then answer thus Telemachus return'd.

Good friends indeed are they whom thou hast named,

Though throned above the clouds;

for their controul Is universal both in earth and heav'n.

To whom Ulysses,

toil-worn Chief renown'd.

Not long will they from battle stand aloof,

When once,

within my palace,

in the strength Of Mars,

to sharp decision we shall urge The suitors.

But thyself at early dawn    320 Our mansion seek,

that thou may'st mingle there With that imperious throng;

me in due time Eumæus to the city shall conduct,

In form a miserable beggar old.

But should they with dishonourable scorn Insult me,

thou unmov'd my wrongs endure,

And should they even drag me by the feet Abroad,

or smite me with the spear,

thy wrath Refraining,

gently counsel them to cease From such extravagance;

but well I know    330 That cease they will not,

for their hour is come.

And mark me well;

treasure what now I say Deep in thy soul.

When Pallas shall,


Suggest the measure,


shaking my brows,

I will admonish thee;


at the sign,

Remove what arms soever in the hall Remain,

and in the upper palace safe Dispose them;

should the suitors,

missing them,

Perchance interrogate thee,

then reply Gently --I have removed them from the smoke;

  340 For they appear no more the arms which erst Ulysses,

going hence to Ilium,


But smirch'd and sullied by the breath of fire.

This weightier reason (thou shalt also say) Jove taught me;


intoxicate with wine,

Ye should assault each other in your brawls,

Shaming both feast and courtship;

for the view Itself of arms incites to their abuse.

Yet leave two faulchions for ourselves alone,

Two spears,

two bucklers,

which with sudden force  350 Impetuous we will seize,

and Jove all-wise Their valour shall,

and Pallas,

steal away.

This word store also in remembrance deep -- If mine in truth thou art,

and of my blood,


of Ulysses to his home returned Let none hear news from thee,


not my sire Laertes,

nor Eumæus,

nor of all The menials any,

or ev'n Penelope,

That thou and I,


may search the drift Of our domestic women,

and may prove    360 Our serving-men,

who honours and reveres And who contemns us both,

but chiefly thee So gracious and so worthy to be loved.

Him then thus answer'd his illustrious son.

Trust me,

my father!

thou shalt soon be taught That I am not of drowsy mind obtuse.

But this I think not likely to avail Or thee or me;

ponder it yet again;

For tedious were the task,

farm after farm To visit of those servants,

proving each,

  370 And the proud suitors merciless devour Meantime thy substance,

nor abstain from aught.


if thou wilt,

(and I that course myself Advise) who slights thee of the female train,

And who is guiltless;

but I would not try From house to house the men,

far better proved Hereafter,

if in truth by signs from heav'n Inform'd,

thou hast been taught the will of Jove.

Thus they conferr'd.

The gallant bark,


Reach'd Ithaca,

which from the Pylian shore   380 Had brought Telemachus with all his band.

Within the many-fathom'd port arrived His lusty followers haled her far aground,

Then carried thence their arms,

but to the house Of Clytius the illustrious gifts convey'd.

Next to the royal mansion they dispatch'd An herald charg'd with tidings to the Queen,

That her Telemachus had reach'd the cot Of good Eumæus,

and the bark had sent Home to the city;

lest the matchless dame   390 Should still deplore the absence of her son.



the herald and the swine-herd,

each Bearing like message to his mistress,


And at the palace of the godlike Chief Arriving,

compass'd by the female throng Inquisitive,

the herald thus began.

Thy son,

O Queen!

is safe;

ev'n now return'd.


drawing nigh to her,

Eumæus told His message also from her son received,


his commission punctually discharged,

  400 Leaving the palace,

sought his home again.

Grief seized and anguish,

at those tidings,

all The suitors;

issuing forth,

on the outside Of the high wall they sat,

before the gate,

When Polybus' son,



My friends!

his arduous task,

this voyage,

deem'd By us impossible,

in our despight Telemachus hath atchieved.


launch we forth A sable bark,

our best,

which let us man With mariners expert,


rowing forth    410 Swiftly,

shall summon our companions home.

Scarce had he said,

when turning where he sat,

Amphinomus beheld a bark arrived Just then in port;

he saw them furling sail,

And seated with their oars in hand;

he laugh'd Through pleasure at that sight,

and thus he spake.

Our message may be spared.


they arrive.

Either some God inform'd them,

or they saw,


the vessel of Telemachus Too swiftly passing to be reach'd by theirs.

  420 He spake;



hasted to the shore.

Alert they drew the sable bark aground,

And by his servant each his arms dispatch'd To his own home.



to council those Assembling,

neither elder of the land Nor youth allow'd to join them,

and the rest Eupithes' son,


thus bespake.


how the Gods have rescued him!

all day Perch'd on the airy mountain-top,

our spies Successive watch'd;


when the sun declined,

  430 We never slept on shore,

but all night long Till sacred dawn arose,

plow'd the abyss,

Hoping Telemachus,

that we might seize And slay him,

whom some Deity hath led,

In our despight,

safe to his home again.

But frame we yet again means to destroy Telemachus;

ah --let not Him escape!

For end of this our task,

while he survives,

None shall be found,

such prudence he displays And wisdom,

neither are the people now    440 Unanimous our friends as heretofore.


then --prevent him,

ere he call the Greeks To council;

for he will not long delay,

But will be angry,


and will tell Amid them all,

how we in vain devised His death,

a deed which they will scarce applaud,

But will,


punish and drive us forth From our own country to a distant land.

-- Prevent him,



in the field Slay him,

or on the road;

so shall his wealth   450 And his possessions on ourselves devolve Which we will share equally,

but his house Shall be the Queen's,

and his whom she shall wed.


if not so inclined,

ye rather chuse That he should live and occupy entire His patrimony,


no longer,

here Assembled,

let us revel at his cost,

But let us all with spousal gifts produced From our respective treasures,

woo the Queen,

Leaving her in full freedom to espouse    460 Who proffers most,

and whom the fates ordain.

He ceased;

the assembly silent sat and mute.

Then rose Amphinomus amid them all,

Offspring renown'd of Nisus,



Of King Aretias.

He had thither led The suitor train who from the pleasant isle Corn-clad of green Dulichium had arrived,

And by his speech pleased far beyond them all Penelope,

for he was just and wise,

And thus,

well-counselling the rest,


  470 Not I,

my friends!

far be the thought from me To slay Telemachus!

it were a deed Momentous,


to slay a prince.



let us counsel ask of heav'n,

And if Jove's oracle that course approve,

I will encourage you,

and will myself Be active in his death;

but if the Gods Forbid it,


by my advice,


So spake Amphinomus,

whom all approved.

Arising then,

into Ulysses' house    480 They went,

where each his splendid seat resumed.

A novel purpose occupied,



she purposed to appear Before her suitors,

whose design to slay Telemachus she had from Medon learn'd,

The herald,

for his ear had caught the sound.

Toward the hall with her attendant train She moved,

and when,

most graceful of her sex,

Where sat the suitors she arrived,

between The columns standing of the stately dome,

  490 And covering with her white veil's lucid folds Her features,

to Antinoüs thus she spake.




evermore To mischief prone!

the people deem thee wise Past thy compeers,

and in all grace of speech Pre-eminent,

but such wast never thou.


why is it thy dark design To slay Telemachus?

and why with scorn Rejectest thou the suppliant's pray'r,[72] which Jove Himself hath witness'd?

Plots please not the Gods.

 500 Know'st not that thy own father refuge found Here,

when he fled before the people's wrath Whom he had irritated by a wrong Which,

with a band of Taphian robbers joined,

He offer'd to the Thesprots,

our allies?

They would have torn his heart,

and would have laid All his delights and his possessions waste,

But my Ulysses slaked the furious heat Of their revenge,

whom thou requitest now Wasting his goods,

soliciting his wife,

   510 Slaying his son,

and filling me with woe.

But cease,

I charge thee,

and bid cease the rest.

To whom the son of Polybus replied,


--Icarius' daughter wise!

Take courage,

fair Penelope,

and chace These fears unreasonable from thy mind!

The man lives not,

nor shall,

who while I live,

And faculty of sight retain,

shall harm Telemachus,

thy son.

For thus I say,

And thus will I perform;

his blood shall stream   520 A sable current from my lance's point That moment;

for the city-waster Chief Ulysses,


me placing on his knees,

Hath fill'd my infant grasp with sav'ry food,

And giv'n me ruddy wine.



hold Telemachus of all men most my friend,

Nor hath he death to fear from hand of ours.


if the Gods shall doom him,

die he must.

So he encouraged her,

who yet,


Plotted his death.



sought   530 Her stately chamber,


arriving there,

Deplored with tears her long-regretted Lord Till Athenæan Pallas azure-eyed Dews of soft slumber o'er her lids diffused.

And now,

at even-tide,

Eumæus reach'd Ulysses and his son.

A yearling swine Just slain they skilfully for food prepared,

When Pallas,

drawing nigh,

smote with her wand Ulysses,

at the stroke rend'ring him old,

And his apparel sordid as before,

   540 Lest,

knowing him,

the swain at once should seek Penelope,

and let the secret forth.

Then foremost him Telemachus address'd.

Noble Eumæus!

thou art come;

what news Bring'st from the city?

Have the warrior band Of suitors,

hopeless of their ambush,

reach'd The port again,

or wait they still for me?

To whom Eumæus,

thou didst thus reply.

No time for such enquiry,

nor to range,


the streets had I,

but anxious wish'd   550 To make my message known,

and to return.


as it chanced,

a nimble herald sent From thy companions,

met me on the way,

Who reach'd thy mother first.

Yet this I know,

For this I saw.

Passing above the town Where they have piled a way-side hill of stones To Mercury,

I beheld a gallant bark Ent'ring the port;

a bark she was of ours,

The crew were num'rous,

and I mark'd her deep- Laden with shields and spears of double edge.

  560 Theirs I conjectured her,

and could no more.

He spake,

and by Eumæus unperceived,

Telemachus his father eyed and smiled.

Their task accomplish'd,

and the table spread,

They ate,

nor any his due portion miss'd,

And hunger,


and thirst both sated,

all To rest repair'd,

and took the gift of sleep.


[72] Alluding probably to entreaties made to him at some former time by herself and Telemachus,

that he would not harm them.




Telemachus returns to the city,

and relates to his mother the principal passages of his voyage;


conducted by Eumæus,

arrives there also,

and enters among the suitors,

having been known only by his old dog Argus,

who dies at his feet.

The curiosity of Penelope being excited by the account which Eumæus gives her of Ulysses,

she orders him immediately into her presence,

but Ulysses postpones the interview till evening,

when the suitors having left the palace,

there shall be no danger of interruption.

Eumæus returns to his cottage.

Now look'd Aurora from the East abroad,

When the illustrious offspring of divine Ulysses bound his sandals to his feet;

He seiz'd his sturdy spear match'd to his gripe,

And to the city meditating quick Departure now,

the swine-herd thus bespake.


I seek the city,

to convince My mother of my safe return,

whose tears,

I judge,

and lamentation shall not cease Till her own eyes behold me.

But I lay    10 On thee this charge.

Into the city lead,


this hapless guest,

that he may beg Provision there,

a morsel and a drop From such as may,


vouchsafe the boon.

I cannot,

vext and harass'd as I am,

Feed all,

and should the stranger take offence,

The worse for him.

Plain truth is my delight.

To whom Ulysses,



Nor is it my desire to be detained.

Better the mendicant in cities seeks    20 His dole,

vouchsafe it whosoever may,

Than in the villages.

I am not young,

Nor longer of an age that well accords With rural tasks,

nor could I all perform That it might please a master to command.

Go then,

and when I shall have warm'd my limbs Before the hearth,

and when the risen sun Shall somewhat chase the cold,

thy servant's task Shall be to guide me thither,

as thou bidd'st,

For this is a vile garb;

the frosty air    30 Of morning would benumb me thus attired,


as ye say,

the city is remote.

He ended,

and Telemachus in haste Set forth,

his thoughts all teeming as he went With dire revenge.

Soon in the palace-courts Arriving,

he reclined his spear against A column,

and proceeded to the hall.

Him Euryclea,


his nurse,


While on the variegated seats she spread Their fleecy cov'ring;

swift with tearful eyes   40 She flew to him,

and the whole female train Of brave Ulysses swarm'd around his son,

Clasping him,

and his forehead and his neck Kissing affectionate;

then came,


As golden Venus or Diana fair,

Forth from her chamber to her son's embrace,

The chaste Penelope;

with tears she threw Her arms around him,

his bright-beaming eyes And forehead kiss'd,

and with a murmur'd plaint Maternal,

in wing'd accents thus began.

   50 Thou hast return'd,

light of my eyes!

my son!

My lov'd Telemachus!

I had no hope To see thee more when once thou hadst embark'd For Pylus,


and with no consent From me obtain'd,

news seeking of thy sire.

But haste;


Declare what thou hast seen.

To whom Telemachus,



Ah mother!

let my sorrows rest,

nor me From death so lately

'scaped afflict anew,


bathed and habited in fresh attire,

   60 With all the maidens of thy train ascend To thy superior chamber,

there to vow A perfect hecatomb to all the Gods,

When Jove shall have avenged our num'rous wrongs.

I seek the forum,

there to introduce A guest,

my follower from the Pylian shore,

Whom sending forward with my noble band,

I bade Piræus to his own abode Lead him,

and with all kindness entertain The stranger,

till I should myself arrive.

  70 He spake,

nor flew his words useless away.


bathed and habited in fresh attire,

Vow'd a full hecatomb to all the Gods,

Would Jove but recompense her num'rous wrongs.


spear in hand,

went forth her son,

two dogs Fleet-footed following him.

O'er all his form Pallas diffused a dignity divine,

And ev'ry eye gazed on him as he pass'd.

The suitors throng'd him round,

joy on their lips And welcome,

but deep mischief in their hearts.

  80 He,

shunning all that crowd,

chose to himself A seat,

where Mentor sat,

and Antiphus,

And Halytherses,

long his father's friends Sincere,

who of his voyage much enquired.

Then drew Piræus nigh,

leading his guest Toward the forum;

nor Telemachus Stood long aloof,

but greeted his approach,

And was accosted by Piræus thus.


send thy menial women to bring home The precious charge committed to my care,

   90 Thy gifts at Menelaus' hands received.

To whom Telemachus,





for I not yet foresee The upshot.

Should these haughty ones effect My death,


under my own roof,

And parcel my inheritance by lot,

I rather wish those treasures thine,

than theirs.

But should I with success plan for them all A bloody death,


wing'd with joy,

thyself Bring home those presents to thy joyful friend.

  100 So saying,

he led the anxious stranger thence Into the royal mansion,

where arrived,

Each cast his mantle on a couch or throne,

And plung'd his feet into a polish'd bath.

There wash'd and lubricated with smooth oils,

From the attendant maidens each received Tunic and shaggy mantle.

Thus attired,

Forth from the baths they stepp'd,

and sat again.

A maiden,


with golden ewer charged,

And silver bowl,

pour'd water on their hands,

  110 And spread the polish'd table,

which with food Of all kinds,

remnants of the last regale,

The mistress of the household charge supplied.


beside a column of the dome His mother,

on a couch reclining,

twirl'd Her slender threads.

They to the furnish'd board Stretch'd forth their hands,


hunger now and thirst Both satisfied,

Penelope began.


I will ascend again,

And will repose me on my woeful bed;

   120 For such it hath been,

and with tears of mine Ceaseless bedew'd,

e'er since Ulysses went With Atreus' sons to Troy.

For not a word Thou would'st vouchsafe me till our haughty guests Had occupied the house again,

of all That thou hast heard (if aught indeed thou hast) Of thy long-absent father's wish'd return.

Her answer'd then Telemachus discrete.


at thy request I will with truth Relate the whole.

At Pylus shore arrived    130 We Nestor found,

Chief of the Pylian race.

Receiving me in his august abode,

He entertain'd me with such welcome kind As a glad father shews to his own son Long-lost and newly found;

so Nestor me,

And his illustrious offspring,


But yet assured me that he nought had heard From mortal lips of my magnanimous sire,

Whether alive or dead;

with his own steeds He sent me,

and with splendid chariot thence   140 To spear-famed Menelaus,

Atreus' son.

There saw I Helen,

by the Gods' decree Auth'ress of trouble both to Greece and Troy.

The Hero Menelaus then enquired What cause had urged me to the pleasant vale Of Lacedæmon;

plainly I rehearsed The occasion,

and the Hero thus replied.

Ye Gods!

they are ambitious of the bed Of a brave man,

however base themselves.


as it chances when the hart hath laid   150 Her fawns new-yean'd and sucklings yet,

to rest In some resistless lion's den,

she roams,


the hills,

and in the grassy vales Feeds heedless,

but the lion to his lair Returning soon,

both her and hers destroys,

So shall thy father,

brave Ulysses,




and Apollo!

oh that such As erst in well-built Lesbos,

where he strove With Philomelides,

whom wrestling,

flat He threw,

when all Achaia's sons rejoiced,

  160 Ulysses,


might mingle with his foes!

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 Ancient of the Deep[73] I have received will utter,

hiding nought.

The God declared that he had seen thy sire In a lone island,


and detain'd An inmate in the grotto of the nymph Calypso,

wanting also means by which    170 To reach the country of his birth again,

For neither gallant barks nor friends had he To speed his passage o'er the boundless waves.

So Menelaus spake,

the spear-renown'd.

My errand thus accomplish'd,

I return'd -- And by the Gods with gales propitious blest,

Was wafted swiftly to my native shore.

He spake,

and tumult in his mother's heart So speaking,




The godlike Theoclymenus began.

    180 Consort revered of Laertiades!

Little the Spartan knew,

but list to me,

For I will plainly prophesy and sure.

Be Jove of all in heav'n my witness first,

Then this thy hospitable board,



The household Gods of the illustrious Chief Ulysses,

at whose hearth I have arrived,[74] That,

even now,

within his native isle Ulysses somewhere sits,

or creeps obscure,

Witness of these enormities,

and seeds    190 Sowing of dire destruction for his foes;

So sure an augury,

while on the deck Reclining of the gallant bark,

I saw,

And with loud voice proclaim'd it to thy son.

Him answer'd then Penelope discrete.

Grant heav'n,

my guest,

that this good word of thine Fail not!

then shalt thou soon such bounty share And friendship at my hands,

that at first sight Whoe'er shall meet thee shall pronounce thee blest.

Thus they conferr'd.

Meantime the suitors hurl'd  200 The quoit and lance on the smooth area spread Before Ulysses' gate,

the custom'd scene Of their contentions,


and clamours rude.

But when the hour of supper now approach'd,

And from the pastures on all sides the sheep Came with their wonted drivers,

Medon then (For he of all the heralds pleas'd them most,

And waited at the board) them thus address'd.

Enough of play,

young princes!

ent'ring now The house,

prepare we sedulous our feast,

  210 Since in well-timed refreshment harm is none.

He spake,

whose admonition pleas'd.

At once All,


sought the palace;

there arrived,

Each cast his mantle off,

which on his throne Or couch he spread,



to slaughter fell Of many a victim;

sheep and goats and brawns They slew,

all fatted,

and a pastur'd ox,

Hast'ning the banquet;

nor with less dispatch Ulysses and Eumæus now prepared To seek the town,

when thus the swain began.

  220 My guest!

since thy fixt purpose is to seek This day the city as my master bade,

Though I,

in truth,

much rather wish thee here A keeper of our herds,


through respect And rev'rence of his orders,

whose reproof I dread,

for masters seldom gently chide,

I would be gone.


let us depart,

For day already is far-spent,

and soon The air of even-tide will chill thee more.

To whom Ulysses,



   230 It is enough.

I understand.

Thou speak'st To one intelligent.

Let us depart,

And lead,


the way;

but give me,


(If thou have one already hewn) a staff To lean on,

for ye have described the road Rugged,

and ofttimes dang'rous to the foot.

So saying,

his tatter'd wallet o'er his back He cast,

suspended by a leathern twist,

Eumæus gratified him with a staff,

And forth they went,

leaving the cottage kept   240 By dogs and swains.

He city-ward his King Led on,

in form a squalid beggar old,


and in unseemly garb attired.

But when,

slow-travelling the craggy way,

They now approach'd the town,

and had attain'd The marble fountain deep,

which with its streams Pellucid all the citizens supplied,

(Ithacus had that fountain framed of old With Neritus and Polyctor,

over which A grove of water-nourish'd alders hung    250 Circular on all sides,

while cold the rill Ran from the rock,

on whose tall summit stood The altar of the nymphs,

by all who pass'd With sacrifice frequented,


and pray'r) Melantheus,

son of Dolius,

at that fount Met them;

the chosen goats of ev'ry flock,

With two assistants,

from the field he drove,

The suitors' supper.


seeing them both,

In surly accent boorish,

such as fired Ulysses with resentment,

thus began.

   260 Ay --this is well --The villain leads the vile -- Thus evermore the Gods join like to like.

Thou clumsy swine-herd,

whither would'st conduct This morsel-hunting mendicant obscene,

Defiler base of banquets?

many a post Shall he rub smooth that props him while he begs Lean alms,

sole object of his low pursuit,

Who ne'er to sword or tripod yet aspired.

Would'st thou afford him to me for a guard Or sweeper of my stalls,

or to supply    270 My kids with leaves,

he should on bulkier thewes Supported stand,

though nourish'd but with whey.

But no such useful arts hath he acquired,

Nor likes he work,

but rather much to extort From others food for his unsated maw.

But mark my prophecy,

for it is true,

At famed Ulysses' house should he arrive,

His sides shall shatter many a footstool hurl'd Against them by the offended princes there.

He spake,

and drawing nigh,

with his rais'd foot,

 280 Insolent as he was and brutish,

smote Ulysses' haunch,

yet shook not from his path The firm-set Chief,



mused awhile Whether to rush on him,

and with his staff To slay him,

or uplifting him on high,

Downward to dash him headlong;

but his wrath Restraining,

calm he suffer'd the affront.

Him then Eumæus with indignant look Rebuking,

rais'd his hands,

and fervent pray'd.

Nymphs of the fountains,

progeny of Jove!

  290 If e'er Ulysses on your altar burn'd The thighs of fatted lambs or kidlings,

grant This my request.

O let the Hero soon,

Conducted by some Deity,


So shall he quell that arrogance which safe Thou now indulgest,

roaming day by day The city,

while bad shepherds mar the flocks.

To whom the goat-herd answer thus return'd Melantheus.


how rare a speech The subtle cur hath framed!

whom I will send   300 Far hence at a convenient time on board My bark,

and sell him at no little gain.

I would,

that he who bears the silver bow As sure might pierce Telemachus this day In his own house,

or that the suitors might,

As that same wand'rer shall return no more!

He said,

and them left pacing slow along,

But soon,


at his Lord's house arrived;

There ent'ring bold,

he with the suitors sat Opposite to Eurymachus,

for him     310 He valued most.

The sewers his portion placed Of meat before him,

and the maiden,

chief Directress of the household gave him bread.

And now,


with the swain his friend Approach'd,


hearing the harmonious lyre,

Both stood,

for Phemius had begun his song.

He grasp'd the swine-herd's hand,

and thus he said.

This house,


of Ulysses seems Passing magnificent,

and to be known With ease for his among a thousand more.

   320 One pile supports another,

and a wall Crested with battlements surrounds the court;



the folding doors all force of man Defy;

but num'rous guests,

as I perceive,

Now feast within;

witness the sav'ry steam Fast-fuming upward,

and the sounding harp,

Divine associate of the festive board.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

Thou hast well-guess'd;

no wonder,

thou art quick On ev'ry theme;

but let us well forecast    330 This business.

Wilt thou,

ent'ring first,


The splendid mansion,

with the suitors mix,

Me leaving here?

or shall I lead the way While thou remain'st behind?

yet linger not,


seeing thee without,

some servant strike Or drive thee hence.

Consider which were best.

Him answer'd,


the patient Hero bold.

It is enough.

I understand.

Thou speak'st To one intelligent.

Lead thou the way Me leaving here,

for neither stripes nor blows   340 To me are strange.

Much exercised with pain In fight and on the Deep,

I have long since Learn'd patience.



what follow may!


to suppress the appetite,

I deem Impossible;

the stomach is a source Of ills to man,

an avaricious gulph Destructive,

which to satiate,

ships are rigg'd,

Seas travers'd,

and fierce battles waged remote.

Thus they discoursing stood;

Argus the while,

Ulysses' dog,

uplifted where he lay    350 His head and ears erect.

Ulysses him Had bred long since,


but rarely used,



to Ilium.

Him the youths In other days led frequent to the chace Of wild goat,

hart and hare;

but now he lodg'd A poor old cast-off,

of his Lord forlorn,

Where mules and oxen had before the gate Much ordure left,

with which Ulysses' hinds Should,

in due time,

manure his spacious fields.

There lay,

with dog-devouring vermin foul   360 All over,


soon as he perceived Long-lost Ulysses nigh,

down fell his ears Clapp'd close,

and with his tail glad sign he gave Of gratulation,

impotent to rise And to approach his master as of old.


noting him,

wiped off a tear Unmark'd,

and of Eumæus quick enquired.

I can but wonder seeing such a dog Thus lodg'd,


beautiful in form He is,

past doubt,

but whether he hath been   370 As fleet as fair I know not;

rather such Perchance as masters sometimes keep to grace Their tables,

nourish'd more for shew than use.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

He is the dog of one dead far remote.

But had he now such feat-performing strength As when Ulysses left him,

going hence To Ilium,

in one moment thou shouldst mark,


his agility and force.

He never in the sylvan deep recess    380 The wild beast saw that

'scaped him,

and he track'd Their steps infallible;

but he hath now No comfort,

for (the master dead afar) The heedless servants care not for his dog.


missing once their Lord's controul,

Grow wilful,

and refuse their proper tasks;

For whom Jove dooms to servitude,

he takes At once the half of that man's worth away.

He said,


ent'ring at the portal,

join'd The suitors.

Then his destiny released    390 Old Argus,

soon as he had lived to see Ulysses in the twentieth year restored.

Godlike Telemachus,

long ere the rest,

Marking the swine-herd's entrance,

with a nod Summon'd him to approach.

Eumæus cast His eye around,

and seeing vacant there The seat which the dispenser of the feast Was wont to occupy while he supplied The num'rous guests,

planted it right before Telemachus,

and at his table sat,

   400 On which the herald placed for him his share Of meat,

and from the baskets gave him bread.

Soon after -him-,

Ulysses enter'd slow The palace,

like a squalid beggar old,


and in loose tatters foul attired.

Within the portal on the ashen sill He sat,


seeming languid,

lean'd against A cypress pillar by the builder's art Polish'd long since,

and planted at the door.

Then took Telemachus a loaf entire    410 Forth from the elegant basket,

and of flesh A portion large as his two hands contained,


beck'ning close the swine-herd,

charged him thus.

These to the stranger;

whom advise to ask Some dole from ev'ry suitor;

bashful fear Ill suits the mendicant by want oppress'd.

He spake;

Eumæus went,

and where he sat Arriving,

in wing'd accents thus began.


oh stranger,

sends thee these,

And counsels thee to importune for more    420 The suitors,

one by one;

for bashful fear Ill suits the mendicant by want oppress'd.

To whom Ulysses,




King of all,

grant ev'ry good on earth To kind Telemachus,

and the complete Accomplishment of all that he desires!

He said,

and with both hands outspread,

the mess Receiving as he sat,

on his worn bag Disposed it at his feet.

Long as the bard Chaunted,

he ate,

and when he ceas'd to eat,

  430 Then also ceas'd the bard divine to sing.

And now ensued loud clamour in the hall And tumult,

when Minerva,

drawing nigh To Laertiades,

impell'd the Chief Crusts to collect,

or any pittance small At ev'ry suitor's hand,

for trial's sake Of just and unjust;

yet deliv'rance none From evil she design'd for any there.

From left to right[75] his progress he began Petitioning,

with outstretch'd hands,

the throng,

 440 As one familiar with the beggar's art.



gave to him,

but view'd him still With wonder,

and enquiries mutual made Who,

and whence was he?

Then the goat-herd rose Melanthius,

and th' assembly thus address'd.

Hear me,

ye suitors of th' illustrious Queen!

This guest,

of whom ye ask,

I have beheld Elsewhere;

the swine-herd brought him;

but himself I know not,

neither who nor whence he is.

So he;

then thus Antinoüs stern rebuked   450 The swine-herd.


notorious as thou art,

Why hast thou shewn this vagabond the way Into the city?

are we not enough Infested with these troublers of our feasts?

Deem'st it a trifle that such numbers eat At thy Lord's cost,

and hast thou,


led This fellow hither,

found we know not where?

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.


though of high degree,

thou speak'st Not wisely.

What man to another's house    460 Repairs to invite him to a feast,

unless He be of those who by profession serve The public,


healer of disease,

Ingenious artist,

or some bard divine Whose music may exhilarate the guests?


and such only,

are in ev'ry land Call'd to the banquet;

none invites the poor,

Who much consume,

and no requital yield.

But thou of all the suitors roughly treat'st Ulysses' servants most,

and chiefly me;

   470 Yet thee I heed not,

while the virtuous Queen Dwells in this palace,

and her godlike son.

To whom Telemachus,




answer not verbose a man like him.

Antinoüs hath a tongue accustom'd much To tauntings,

and promotes them in the rest.


turning to Antinoüs,

quick he said -- Antinoüs!

as a father for his son Takes thought,

so thou for me,

who bidd'st me chase The stranger harshly hence;

but God forbid![76]   480 Impart to him.

I grudge not,

but myself Exhort thee to it;


in this cause,

Fear thou the Queen,

or in the least regard Whatever menial throughout all the house Of famed Ulysses.


within thy breast Dwells no such thought;

thou lov'st not to impart To others,

but to gratify thyself.

To whom Antinoüs answer thus return'd.

High-soaring and intemp'rate in thy speech How hast thou said,


Would all   490 As much bestow on him,

he should not seek Admittance here again three months to come.

So saying,

he seized the stool which,


He press'd with his nice feet,

and from beneath The table forth advanced it into view.

The rest all gave to him,

with bread and flesh Filling his wallet,

and Ulysses,


Returning to his threshold,

there to taste The bounty of the Greeks,

paused in his way Beside Antinoüs,

whom he thus address'd.

   500 Kind sir!

vouchsafe to me!

for thou appear'st Not least,

but greatest of the Achaians here,

And hast a kingly look.

It might become Thee therefore above others to bestow,

So should I praise thee wheresoe'er I roam.

I also lived the happy owner once Of such a stately mansion,

and have giv'n To num'rous wand'rers (whencesoe'er they came) All that they needed;

I was also served By many,

and enjoy'd all that denotes    510 The envied owner opulent and blest.

But Jove (for so it pleas'd him) hath reduced My all to nothing,

prompting me,

in league With rovers of the Deep,

to sail afar To Ægypt,

for my sure destruction there.

Within th' Ægyptian stream my barks well-oar'd I station'd,


enjoining strict my friends To watch them close-attendant at their side,

Commanded spies into the hill-tops;

but they,

Under the impulse of a spirit rash    520 And hot for quarrel,

the well-cultur'd fields Pillaged of the Ægyptians,

captive led Their wives and little-ones,

and slew the men.

Ere long,

the loud alarm their city reach'd.

Down came the citizens,

by dawn of day,

With horse and foot and with the gleam of arms Filling the plain.

Then Jove with panic dread Struck all my people;

none found courage more To stand,

for mischiefs swarm'd on ev'ry side.


num'rous by the glitt'ring spear we fell   530 Slaughter'd,

while others they conducted thence Alive to servitude;

but me they gave To Dmetor,

King in Cyprus,

Jasus' son;

He entertained me liberally,

and thence This land I reach'd,

but poor and woe-begone.

Then answer thus Antinoüs harsh return'd.

What dæmon introduced this nuisance here,

This troubler of our feast?

stand yonder,

keep Due distance from my table,

or expect To see an Ægypt and a Cyprus worse    540 Than those,

bold mendicant and void of shame!

Thou hauntest each,



each Gives to thee,

because gifts at other's cost Are cheap,


plentifully serv'd themselves,

They squander,


viands not their own.

To whom Ulysses while he slow retired.


how illib'ral with that specious form!

Thou wouldst not grant the poor a grain of salt From thy own board,

who at another's fed So nobly,

canst thou not spare a crust to me.

  550 He spake;

then raged Antinoüs still the more,

And in wing'd accents,


thus replied.

Take such dismission now as thou deserv'st,


hast thou dared to scoff at me?

So saying,

he seized his stool,

and on the joint Of his right shoulder smote him;

firm as rock He stood,

by no such force to be displaced,

But silent shook his brows,

and dreadful deeds Of vengeance ruminating,

sought again His seat the threshold,

where his bag full-charged  560 He grounded,

and the suitors thus address'd.

Hear now,

ye suitors of the matchless Queen,

My bosom's dictates.

Trivial is the harm,

Scarce felt,


fighting for his own,

his sheep Perchance,

or beeves,

a man receive a blow.

But me Antinoüs struck for that I ask'd Food from him merely to appease the pangs Of hunger,

source of num'rous ills to man.

If then the poor man have a God t' avenge His wrongs,

I pray to him that death may seize   570 Antinoüs,

ere his nuptial hour arrive!

To whom Antinoüs answer thus return'd,

Son of Eupithes.

Either seated there Or going hence,



and be still;

Lest for thy insolence,

by hand or foot We drag thee forth,

and thou be flay'd alive.

He ceased,

whom all indignant heard,

and thus Ev'n his own proud companions censured him.


thou didst not well to smite The wretched vagabond.

O thou art doom'd    580 For ever,

if there be a God in heav'n;[77] For,

in similitude of strangers oft,

The Gods,

who can with ease all shapes assume,

Repair to populous cities,

where they mark The outrageous and the righteous deeds of men.

So they,

for whose reproof he little cared.

But in his heart Telemachus that blow Resented,


yet not a tear He shed,

but silent shook his brows,

and mused Terrible things.



   590 Told of the wand'rer so abused beneath Her roof,

among her maidens thus exclaim'd.

So may Apollo,

glorious archer,

smite Thee also.

Then Eurynome replied,

Oh might our pray'rs prevail,

none of them all Should see bright-charioted Aurora more.

Her answer'd then Penelope discrete.


they are odious all,

for that alike All teem with mischief;

but Antinoüs' looks Remind me ever of the gloom of death.

   600 A stranger hath arrived who,


roams The house,

(for so his penury enjoins) The rest have giv'n him,

and have fill'd his bag With viands,

but Antinoüs hath bruised His shoulder with a foot-stool hurl'd at him.

While thus the Queen conversing with her train In her own chamber sat,

Ulysses made Plenteous repast.


calling to her side Eumæus,

thus she signified her will.


noble friend!

bid now approach    610 Yon stranger.

I would speak with him,

and ask If he has seen Ulysses,

or have heard Tidings,


of the afflicted Chief,

For much a wand'rer by his garb he seems.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

Were those Achaians silent,

thou shouldst hear,

O Queen!

a tale that would console thy heart.

Three nights I housed him,

and within my cot Three days detain'd him,

(for his ship he left A fugitive,

and came direct to me)    620 But half untold his hist'ry still remains.

As when his eye one fixes on a bard From heav'n instructed in such themes as charm The ear of mortals,

ever as he sings The people press,


to hear,


in my cottage,

seated at my side,

That stranger with his tale enchanted me.


he affirms,

hath been his guest Erewhile in Crete,

where Minos' race resides,

And thence he hath arrived,

after great loss,

  630 A suppliant to the very earth abased;

He adds,

that in Thesprotia's neighbour realm He of Ulysses heard,

both that he lives,

And that he comes laden with riches home.

To whom Penelope,




call him.

I would hear,


his tale.


let these,

or in the palace gate Sport jocular,

or here;

their hearts are light,

For their possessions are secure;

-their- wine None drinks,

or eats -their- viands,

save their own,

 640 While my abode,

day after day,

themselves Haunting,

my beeves and sheep and fatted goats Slay for the banquet,

and my casks exhaust Extravagant,

whence endless waste ensues;

For no such friend as was Ulysses once Have I to expel the mischief.

But might he Revisit once his native shores again,


aided by his son,

he should avenge,


the wrongs which now I mourn.

Then sneezed Telemachus with sudden force,

  650 That all the palace rang;

his mother laugh'd,

And in wing'd accents thus the swain bespake.

Haste --bid him hither --hear'st thou not the sneeze Propitious of my son?

oh might it prove A presage of inevitable death To all these revellers!

may none escape!

Now mark me well.

Should the event his tale Confirm,

at my own hands he shall receive Mantle and tunic both for his reward.

She spake;

he went,

and where Ulysses sat   660 Arriving,

in wing'd accents thus began.


my venerable friend!

Calls thee,

the mother of Telemachus.

Oppress'd by num'rous troubles,

she desires To ask thee tidings of her absent Lord.

And should the event verify thy report,

Thy meed shall be (a boon which much thou need'st) Tunic and mantle;

but she gives no more;

Thy sustenance thou must,

as now,

obtain,[78] Begging it at their hands who chuse to give.

  670 Then thus Ulysses,

Hero toil-inured.


readily I can relate Truth,

and truth only,

to the prudent Queen Icarius' daughter;

for of him I know Much,

and have suff'red sorrows like his own.

But dread I feel of this imperious throng Perverse,

whose riot and outrageous acts Of violence echo through the vault of heav'n.


even now,

when for no fault of mine Yon suitor struck me as I pass'd,

and fill'd   680 My flesh with pain,

neither Telemachus Nor any interposed to stay his arm.



let Penelope,

although Impatient,

till the sun descend postpone Her questions;

then she may enquire secure When comes her husband,

and may nearer place My seat to the hearth-side,

for thinly clad Thou know'st I am,

whose aid I first implored.

He ceas'd;

at whose reply Eumæus sought Again the Queen,

but ere he yet had pass'd   690 The threshold,

thus she greeted his return.

Com'st thou alone,


why delays The invited wand'rer?

dreads he other harm?

Or sees he aught that with a bashful awe Fills him?

the bashful poor are poor indeed.

To whom,


thou didst thus reply.

He hath well spoken;

none who would decline The rudeness of this contumelious throng Could answer otherwise;

thee he entreats To wait till sun-set,

and that course,

O Queen,

  700 Thou shalt thyself far more commodious find,

To hold thy conf'rence with the guest,


Then answer thus Penelope return'd.

The stranger,

I perceive,

is not unwise,

Whoe'er he be,

for on the earth are none Proud,


and profligate as these.

So spake the Queen.

Then (all his message told) The good Eumæus to the suitors went Again,

and with his head inclined toward Telemachus,

lest others should his words    710 Witness,

in accents wing'd him thus address'd.

Friend and kind master!

I return to keep My herds,

and to attend my rural charge,

Whence we are both sustain'd.

Keep thou,


All here with vigilance,

but chiefly watch For thy own good,

and save -thyself- from harm;

For num'rous here brood mischief,

whom the Gods Exterminate,

ere yet their plots prevail!

To whom Telemachus,



So be it,


and (thy evening-mess    720 Eaten) depart;

to-morrow come again,

Bringing fair victims hither;

I will keep,

I and the Gods,


all here secure.

He ended;

then resumed once more the swain His polish'd seat,


both with wine and food Now satiate,

to his charge return'd,

the court Leaving and all the palace throng'd with guests;

They (for it now was evening) all alike Turn'd jovial to the song and to the dance.


[73] Proteus.

[74] The hearth was the altar on which the lares or household-gods were worshipped.

[75] That he might begin auspiciously.

Wine was served in the same direction.

F. [76] Here again Θεὸς occurs in the abstract.

[77] Ει δη που τις επουρανιος θεος εσι


and Clarke after him,

understand an aposiopesis here,

as if the speaker meant to say --what if there should be?

or --suppose there should be?

But the sentence seems to fall in better with what follows interpreted as above,

and it is a sense of the passage not unwarranted by the opinion of other commentators.

See Schaufelbergerus.

[78] This seems added by Eumæus to cut off from Ulysses the hope that might otherwise tempt him to use fiction.



The beggar Irus arrives at the palace;

a combat takes place between him and Ulysses,

in which Irus is by one blow vanquished.

Penelope appears to the suitors,

and having reminded them of the presents which she had a right to expect from them,

receives a gift from each.


provoked by a speech of Ulysses,

flings a foot-stool at him,

which knocks down the cup-bearer;

a general tumult is the consequence,

which continues,

till by the advice of Telemachus,

seconded by Amphinomus,

the suitors retire to their respective homes.

Now came a public mendicant,

a man Accustom'd,

seeking alms,

to roam the streets Of Ithaca;

one never sated yet With food or drink;

yet muscle had he none,

Or strength of limb,

though giant-built in show.

Arnæus was the name which at his birth His mother gave him,

but the youthful band Of suitors,

whom as messenger he served,

All named him Irus.



sought To drive Ulysses forth from his own home,

   10 And in rough accents rude him thus rebuked.

Forth from the porch,

old man!

lest by the foot I drag thee quickly forth.

Seest not how all Wink on me,

and by signs give me command To drag thee hence?

nor is it aught but shame That checks me.

Yet arise,

lest soon with fists Thou force me to adjust our diff'rence.

To whom Ulysses,

low'ring dark,




neither word nor deed of mine Wrongs thee,

nor feel I envy at the boon,

   20 However plentiful,

which thou receiv'st.

The sill may hold us both;

thou dost not well To envy others;

thou appear'st like me A vagrant;

plenty is the gift of heav'n.

But urge me not to trial of our fists,

Lest thou provoke me,

and I stain with blood Thy bosom and thy lips,

old as I am.


my attendance should to-morrow prove More tranquil here;

for thou should'st leave,

I judge,

Ulysses' mansion,

never to return.

   30 Then answer'd Irus,

kindling with disdain.


with what volubility of speech The table-hunter prates,

like an old hag Collied with chimney-smutch!

but ah beware!

For I intend thee mischief,

and to dash With both hands ev'ry grinder from thy gums,

As men untooth a pig pilf'ring the corn.

Come --gird thee,

that all here may view the strife -- But how wilt thou oppose one young as I?

Thus on the threshold of the lofty gate    40 They,


chafed each other,

whose dispute The high-born youth Antinoüs mark'd;

he laugh'd Delighted,

and the suitors thus address'd.

Oh friends!

no pastime ever yet occurr'd Pleasant as this which,


the Gods themselves Afford us.

Irus and the stranger brawl As they would box.

Haste --let us urge them on.

He said;

at once loud-laughing all arose;

The ill-clad disputants they round about Encompass'd,

and Antinoüs thus began.

   50 Attend ye noble suitors to my voice.

Two paunches lie of goats here on the fire,

Which fill'd with fat and blood we set apart For supper;

he who conquers,

and in force Superior proves,

shall freely take the paunch Which he prefers,

and shall with us thenceforth Feast always;

neither will we here admit Poor man beside to beg at our repasts.

He spake,

whom all approved;


artful Chief Ulysses thus,


them address'd.

  60 Princes!

unequal is the strife between A young man and an old with mis'ry worn;

But hunger,

always counsellor of ill,

Me moves to fight,

that many a bruise received,

I may be foil'd at last.

Now swear ye all A solemn oath,

that none,

for Irus' sake Shall,


smite me with his fist Clandestine,

forcing me to yield the prize.

He ceas'd,


as he bade,

all present swore A solemn oath;

then thus,

amid them all    70 Standing,

Telemachus majestic spake.


if thy courage and thy manly mind Prompt thee to banish this man hence,

no force Fear thou beside,

for who smites thee,

shall find Yet other foes to cope with;

I am here In the host's office,

and the royal Chiefs Eurymachus and Antinoüs,

alike Discrete,

accord unanimous with me.

He ceas'd,

whom all approved.


with his rags Ulysses braced for decency his loins    80 Around,

but gave to view his brawny thighs Proportion'd fair,

and stripp'd his shoulders broad,

His chest and arms robust;


at his side,

Dilating more the Hero's limbs and more Minerva stood;

the assembly with fixt eyes Astonish'd gazed on him,


looking full On his next friend,

a suitor thus remark'd.

Irus shall be in Irus found no more.

He hath pull'd evil on himself.

What thewes And what a haunch the senior's tatters hid!

  90 So he --meantime in Irus' heart arose Horrible tumult;


his loins by force Girding,

the servants dragg'd him to the fight Pale,

and his flesh all quiv'ring as he came;

Whose terrors thus Antinoüs sharp rebuked.


wherefore liv'st,

and why wast ever born Thou mountain-mass of earth!

if such dismay Shake thee at thought of combat with a man Ancient as he,

and worn with many woes?

But mark,

I threaten not in vain;

should he   100 O'ercome thee,

and in force superior prove,

To Echetus thou go'st;

my sable bark Shall waft thee to Epirus,

where he reigns Enemy of mankind;

of nose and ears He shall despoil thee with his ruthless steel,

And tearing by the roots the parts away[79] That mark thy sex,

shall cast them to the dogs.

He said;

-His- limbs new terrors at that sound Shook under him;

into the middle space They led him,

and each raised his hands on high.

  110 Then doubtful stood Ulysses toil-inured,

Whether to strike him lifeless to the earth At once,

or fell him with a managed blow.

To smite with managed force at length he chose As wisest,


betray'd by his own strength,

He should be known.

With elevated fists Both stood;

him Irus on the shoulder struck,

But he his adversary on the neck Pash'd close beneath his ear;

he split the bones,

And blood in sable streams ran from his mouth.

  120 With many an hideous yell he dropp'd,

his teeth Chatter'd,

and with his heels he drumm'd the ground.

The wooers,

at that sight,

lifting their hands In glad surprize,

laugh'd all their breath away.


through the vestibule,

and right across The court,

Ulysses dragg'd him by the foot Into the portico,

where propping him Against the wall,

and giving him his staff,

In accents wing'd he bade him thus farewell.

There seated now,

dogs drive and swine away,

  130 Nor claim (thyself so base) supreme controul O'er other guests and mendicants,

lest harm Reach thee,


heavier still than this.

So saying,

his tatter'd wallet o'er his back He threw suspended by its leathern twist,

And tow'rd the threshold turning,

sat again,

They laughing ceaseless still,

the palace-door Re-enter'd,

and him,


thus bespake.


and all Jove's assessors in the skies Vouchsafe thee,


whatsoe'er it be,

  140 Thy heart's desire!

who hast our ears reliev'd From that insatiate beggar's irksome tone.

Soon to Epirus he shall go dispatch'd To Echetus the King,

pest of mankind.

So they,

to whose propitious words the Chief Listen'd delighted.

Then Antinoüs placed The paunch before him,

and Amphinomus Two loaves,

selected from the rest;

he fill'd A goblet also,

drank to him,

and said,

My father,


O stranger,

be thy lot   150 Hereafter blest,

though adverse now and hard!

To whom Ulysses,



To me,


endued thou seem'st With much discretion,

who art also son Of such a sire,

whose fair report I know,

Dulichian Nysus,

opulent and good.

Fame speaks thee his,

and thou appear'st a man Judicious;

hear me,


mark me well.

Earth nourishes,

of all that breathe or creep,

No creature weak as man;

for while the Gods   160 Grant him prosperity and health,

no fear Hath he,

or thought,

that he shall ever mourn;

But when the Gods with evils unforeseen Smite him,

he bears them with a grudging mind;

For such as the complexion of his lot By the appointment of the Sire of all,

Such is the colour of the mind of man.



have been familiar in my day With wealth and ease,

but I was then self-will'd,

And many wrong'd,

embolden'd by the thought   170 Of my own father's and my brethren's pow'r.

Let no man,


be unjust,

but each Use modestly what gift soe'er of heav'n.

So do not these.

These ever bent I see On deeds injurious,

the possessions large Consuming,

and dishonouring the wife Of one,

who will not,

as I judge,

remain Long absent from his home,

but is,


Ev'n at the door.



may the Gods Steal hence in time!


meet not his return   180 To his own country!

for they will not part,

(He and the suitors) without blood,

I think,

If once he enter at these gates again!

He ended,


libation pouring,

quaff'd The generous juice,

then in the prince's hand Replaced the cup;



and his head Inclining low,

pass'd from him;

for his heart Forboded ill;


'scaped not even he,

But in the snare of Pallas caught,

his life To the heroic arm and spear resign'd    190 Of brave Telemachus.


at length,

The seat whence he had ris'n,

he sat again.

Minerva then,



Prompted Icarius' daughter to appear Before the suitors;

so to expose the more Their drift iniquitous,

and that herself More bright than ever in her husband's eyes Might shine,

and in her son's.

Much mirth she feign'd,[80] And,

bursting into laughter,

thus began.

I wish,


(who never felt    200 That wish till now) though I detest them all,

To appear before the suitors,

in whose ears I will admonish,

for his good,

my son,

Not to associate with that lawless crew Too much,

who speak him fair,

but foul intend.

Then answer thus Eurynome return'd.

My daughter!

wisely hast thou said and well.


bathe thee and anoint thy face,

then give To thy dear son such counsel as thou wilt Without reserve;

but shew not there thy cheeks   210 Sullied with tears,

for profit none accrues From grief like thine,

that never knows a change.

And he is now bearded,

and hath attained That age which thou wast wont with warmest pray'r To implore the Gods that he might live to see.

Her answer'd then Penelope discrete.

Persuade not me,

though studious of my good,

To bathe,


or to anoint My face with oil;

for all my charms the Gods Inhabitants of Olympus then destroy'd,

   220 When he,


left me.


command Hippodamia and Autonöe That they attend me to the hall,

and wait Beside me there;

for decency forbids That I should enter to the men,


She ceas'd,

and through the house the ancient dame Hasted to summon whom she had enjoin'd.

But Pallas,

Goddess of the azure eyes,



the kindly dew of sleep Around Icarius' daughter;

on her couch    230 Reclining,

soon as she reclin'd,

she dozed,

And yielded to soft slumber all her frame.


that the suitors might admire her more,

The glorious Goddess cloath'd her,

as she lay,

With beauty of the skies;

her lovely face She with ambrosia purified,

with such As Cytherea chaplet-crown'd employs Herself,

when in the eye-ensnaring dance She joins the Graces;

to a statelier height Beneath her touch,

and ampler size she grew,

  240 And fairer than the elephantine bone Fresh from the carver's hand.

These gifts conferr'd Divine,

the awful Deity retired.

And now,

loud-prattling as they came,

arrived Her handmaids;

sleep forsook her at the sound,

She wiped away a tear,

and thus she said.

Me gentle sleep,

sad mourner as I am,

Hath here involved.

O would that by a death As gentle chaste Diana would herself This moment set me free,

that I might waste   250 My life no longer in heart-felt regret Of a lamented husband's various worth And virtue,

for in Greece no Peer had he!

She said,

and through her chambers' stately door Issuing,


neither went she sole,

But with those two fair menials of her train.


most majestic of her sex,

In presence of the num'rous guests,

beneath The portal of the stately dome she stood Between her maidens,

with her lucid veil    260 Mantling her lovely cheeks.


ev'ry knee Trembled,

and ev'ry heart with am'rous heat Dissolv'd,

her charms all coveting alike,

While to Telemachus her son she spake.


thou art no longer wise As once thou wast,

and even when a child.

For thriven as thou art,

and at full size Arrived of man,

so fair proportion'd,


That ev'n a stranger,

looking on thy growth And beauty,

would pronounce thee nobly born,

  270 Yet is thy intellect still immature.

For what is this?

why suffer'st thou a guest To be abused in thy own palace?


Know'st not that if the stranger seated here Endure vexation,

the disgrace is thine?

Her answer'd,


Telemachus discrete.

I blame thee not,

my mother,

that thou feel'st Thine anger moved;

yet want I not a mind Able to mark and to discern between Evil and good,

child as I lately was,

   280 Although I find not promptitude of thought Sufficient always,

overaw'd and check'd By such a multitude,

all bent alike On mischief,

of whom none takes part with me.

But Irus and the stranger have not fought,

Urged by the suitors,

and the stranger prov'd Victorious;

yes --heav'n knows how much I wish That,

(in the palace some,

some in the court) The suitors all sat vanquish'd,

with their heads Depending low,

and with enfeebled limbs,

   290 Even as that same Irus,

while I speak,

With chin on bosom propp'd at the hall-gate Sits drunkard-like,

incapable to stand Erect,

or to regain his proper home.

So they;

and now addressing to the Queen His speech,

Eurymachus thus interposed.

O daughter of Icarius!

could all eyes Throughout Iäsian Argos[81] view thy charms,

Discrete Penelope!

more suitors still Assembling in thy courts would banquet here   300 From morn to eve;

for thou surpassest far In beauty,



all womankind.

To whom replied Penelope discrete.

The Gods,


reduced to nought My virtue,



when the Greeks,

Whom my Ulysses follow'd,

sail'd to Troy.

Could he,


my domestic charge Himself intend,

far better would my fame Be so secured,

and wider far diffused.

But I am wretched now,

such storms the Gods   310 Of woe have sent me.

When he left his home,

Clasping my wrist with his right hand,

he said.

My love!

for I imagine not that all The warrior Greeks shall safe from Troy return,

Since fame reports the Trojans brave in fight,

Skill'd in the spear,

mighty to draw the bow,

And nimble vaulters to the backs of steeds High-mettled,

which to speediest issue bring The dreadful struggle of all-wasting war -- I know not,


whether heav'n intend   320 My safe return,

or I must perish there.

But manage thou at home.


as now,

While I am absent,

or more dearly still My parents,

and what time our son thou seest Mature,

then wed;

wed even whom thou wilt,

And hence to a new home.

--Such were his words,

All which shall full accomplishment ere long Receive.

The day is near,

when hapless I,

Lost to all comfort by the will of Jove,

Must meet the nuptials that my soul abhors.

  330 But this thought now afflicts me,

and my mind Continual haunts.

Such was not heretofore The suitors' custom'd practice;

all who chose To engage in competition for a wife Well-qualitied and well-endow'd,

produced From their own herds and fatted flocks a feast For the bride's friends,

and splendid presents made,

But never ate as ye,

at others' cost.

She ceased;

then brave Ulysses toil-inured Rejoiced that,

soothing them,

she sought to draw   340 From each some gift,

although on other views,

And more important far,

himself intent.

Then thus Antinoüs,

Eupithes' son.

Icarius' daughter wise!

only accept Such gifts as we shall bring,

for gifts demand That grace,

nor can be decently refused;

But to our rural labours,

or elsewhere Depart not we,

till first thy choice be made Of the Achaian,

chief in thy esteem.

Antinoüs spake,

whose answer all approved.

  350 Then each dispatch'd his herald who should bring His master's gift.

Antinoüs' herald,

first A mantle of surpassing beauty brought,



with no fewer clasps adorn'd Than twelve,

all golden,

and to ev'ry clasp Was fitted opposite its eye exact.


to Eurymachus his herald bore A necklace of wrought gold,

with amber rich Bestudded,

ev'ry bead bright as a sun.

Two servants for Eurydamas produced    360 Ear-pendants fashion'd with laborious art,



of brilliant light profuse.

The herald of Polyctor's son,

the prince Pisander,

brought a collar to his Lord,

A sumptuous ornament.

Each Greecian gave,

And each a gift dissimilar from all.


loveliest of her sex,

turning away,

She sought her chamber,

whom her maidens fair Attended,

charged with those illustrious gifts.

Then turn'd,

they all to dance and pleasant song   370 Joyous,

expecting the approach of ev'n.

Ere long the dusky evening came,

and them Found sporting still.


placing in the hall Three hearths that should illumine wide the house,

They compass'd them around with fuel-wood Long-season'd and new-split,

mingling the sticks With torches.

The attendant women watch'd And fed those fires by turns,

to whom,


Their unknown Sov'reign thus his speech address'd.

Ye maidens of the long-regretted Chief    380 Ulysses!

to the inner-courts retire,

And to your virtuous Queen,

that following there Your sev'ral tasks,

spinning and combing wool,

Ye may amuse her;



for these Will furnish light,

and should they chuse to stay Till golden morn appear,

they shall not tire My patience aught,

for I can much endure.

He said;



on each other gazed.

But one,

Melantho with the blooming cheeks,

Rebuked him rudely.

Dolius was her sire,

   390 But by Penelope she had been reared With care maternal,

and in infant years Supplied with many a toy;

yet even she Felt not her mistress' sorrows in her heart,


of Eurymachus enamour'd,

oft His lewd embraces met;


with sharp speech Reproachful,

to Ulysses thus replied.

Why --what a brainsick vagabond art thou!

Who neither wilt to the smith's forge retire For sleep,

nor to the public portico,

   400 But here remaining,

with audacious prate Disturb'st this num'rous company,

restrain'd By no respect or fear;

either thou art With wine intoxicated,



Art always fool,

and therefore babblest now.


art thou drunk with joy that thou hast foiled The beggar Irus?


lest a man Stronger than Irus suddenly arise,

Who on thy temples pelting thee with blows Far heavier than his,

shall drive thee hence   410 With many a bruise,

and foul with thy own blood.

To whom Ulysses,

frowning stern,



Telemachus shall be inform'd This moment of thy eloquent harangue,

That he may hew thee for it,

limb from limb.

So saying,

he scared the women;

back they flew Into the house,

but each with falt'ring knees Through dread,

for they believ'd his threats sincere.


then illumin'd by the triple blaze,

Watch'd close the lights,

busy from hearth to hearth,

 420 But in his soul,


far other thoughts Revolved,


not conceived in vain.

Nor Pallas (that they might exasp'rate more Laertes' son) permitted to abstain From heart-corroding bitterness of speech Those suitors proud,

of whom Eurymachus,

Offspring of Polybus,

while thus he jeer'd Ulysses,

set the others in a roar.

Hear me,

ye suitors of the illustrious Queen!

I shall promulge my thought.

This man,


  430 Not unconducted by the Gods,

hath reach'd Ulysses' mansion,

for to me the light Of yonder torches altogether seems His own,

an emanation from his head,

Which not the smallest growth of hair obscures.

He ended;

and the city-waster Chief Himself accosted next.

Art thou disposed To serve me,


would I afford thee hire,

A labourer at my farm?

thou shalt not want Sufficient wages;

thou may'st there collect   440 Stones for my fences,

and may'st plant my oaks,

For which I would supply thee all the year With food,

and cloaths,

and sandals for thy feet.

But thou hast learn'd less creditable arts,

Nor hast a will to work,

preferring much By beggary from others to extort Wherewith to feed thy never-sated maw.

Then answer,


Ulysses wise return'd.



for were we match'd In work against each other,

thou and I,

   450 Mowing in spring-time,

when the days are long,

I with my well-bent sickle in my hand,

Thou arm'd with one as keen,

for trial sake Of our ability to toil unfed Till night,

grass still sufficing for the proof.

-- Or if,


it were our task to drive Yoked oxen of the noblest breed,



both batten'd to the full with grass,

Their age and aptitude for work the same Not soon to be fatigued,

and were the field   460 In size four acres,

with a glebe through which The share might smoothly slide,

then should'st thou see How strait my furrow should be cut and true.

-- Or should Saturnian Jove this day excite Here,


or elsewhere,

and were I arm'd With two bright spears and with a shield,

and bore A brazen casque well-fitted to my brows,



thou should'st perceive mingling in fight Amid the foremost Chiefs,

nor with the crime Of idle beggary should'st upbraid me more.

  470 But thou art much a railer,

one whose heart Pity moves not,

and seem'st a mighty man And valiant to thyself,

only because Thou herd'st with few,

and those of little worth.

But should Ulysses come,

at his own isle Again arrived,

wide as these portals are,

To thee,

at once,

too narrow they should seem To shoot thee forth with speed enough abroad.

He ceased --then tenfold indignation fired Eurymachus;

he furrow'd deep his brow    480 With frowns,

and in wing'd accents thus replied.


I shall roughly handle thee anon,

Who thus with fluent prate presumptuous dar'st Disturb this num'rous company,

restrain'd By no respect or fear.

Either thou art With wine intoxicated,



Art always fool,

and therefore babblest now;

Or thou art frantic haply with delight That thou hast foil'd yon vagabond obscure.

So saying,

he seized a stool;

but to the knees   490 Ulysses flew of the Dulichian Prince Amphinomus,

and sat,

fearing incensed Eurymachus;

he on his better hand Smote full the cup-bearer;

on the hall-floor Loud rang the fallen beaker,

and himself Lay on his back clamouring in the dust.

Strait through the dusky hall tumult ensued Among the suitors,

of whom thus,

a youth,

With eyes directed to the next,


Would that this rambling stranger had elsewhere  500 Perish'd,

or ever he had here arrived,

Then no such uproar had he caused as this!

This doth the beggar;

he it is for whom We wrangle thus,

and may despair of peace Or pleasure more;

now look for strife alone.

Then in the midst Telemachus upstood Majestic,

and the suitors thus bespake.


ye are mad,

and can no longer eat Or drink in peace;

some dæmon troubles you.

But since ye all have feasted,

to your homes   510 Go now,


at your pleasure,

to your beds;

Soonest were best,

but I thrust no man hence.

He ceased;

they gnawing stood their lips,

aghast With wonder that Telemachus in his speech Such boldness used.

Then rose Amphinomus,

Brave son of Nisus offspring of the King Aretus,

and the assembly thus address'd.

My friends!

let none with contradiction thwart And rude reply words rational and just;

Assault no more the stranger,

nor of all    520 The servants of renown'd Ulysses here Harm any.


Let the cup-bearer fill To all,

that due libation made,

to rest We may repair at home,

leaving the Prince To accommodate beneath his father's roof The stranger,

for he is the Prince's guest.

He ended,

whose advice none disapproved.

The Hero Mulius then,


And herald of Amphinomus,

the cup Filling,

dispensed it,

as he stood,

to all;

  530 They,

pouring forth to the Immortals,

quaff'd The luscious bev'rage,

and when each had made Libation,

and such measure as he would Of wine had drunk,

then all to rest retired.


[79] Tradition says that Echetus,

for a love-affair,

condemned his daughter to lose her eyes,

and to grind iron barley-grains,

while her lover was doomed to suffer what Antinoüs threatens to Irus.

F. [80] This seems the sort of laughter intended by the word Αχρειον.

[81] From Iäsus,

once King of Peloponnesus.