hence to Ogygia’s isle,
Who shall inform Calypso, nymph divine,
Of this our fixt resolve, that to his home
Ulysses, toil-enduring Chief, repair.
Myself will hence to Ithaca, meantime
His son to animate, and with new force
Inspire, that (the Achaians all convened
In council,) he may, instant, bid depart
The suitors from his home, who, day by day,
His num’rous flocks and fatted herds consume.
And I will send him thence to Sparta forth,
And into sandy Pylus, there to hear
(If hear he may) some tidings of his Sire,
And to procure himself a glorious name.

   This said, her golden sandals to her feet
She bound, ambrosial, which o’er all the earth
And o’er the moist flood waft her fleet as air,
Then, seizing her strong spear pointed with brass,
In length and bulk, and weight a matchless beam,
With which the Jove-born Goddess levels ranks
Of Heroes, against whom her anger burns,
From the Olympian summit down she flew,
And on the threshold of Ulysses’ hall
In Ithaca, and within his vestibule
Apparent stood; there, grasping her bright spear
Mentes she seem’d, the hospitable Chief
Of Taphos’ isle—she found the haughty throng
The suitors; they before the palace gate
With iv’ry cubes sported, on num’rous hides
Reclined of oxen which themselves had slain.
The heralds and the busy menials there
Minister’d to them; these their mantling cups
With water slaked; with bibulous sponges those
Made clean the tables, set the banquet on,
And portioned out to each his plenteous share.
Long ere the rest Telemachus himself
Mark’d her, for sad amid them all he sat,
Pourtraying in deep thought contemplative
His noble Sire, and questioning if yet
Perchance the Hero might return to chase
From all his palace that imperious herd,
To his own honour lord of his own home.
Amid them musing thus, sudden he saw
The Goddess, and sprang forth, for he abhorr’d
To see a guest’s admittance long delay’d;
Approaching eager, her right hand he seized,
The brazen spear took from her, and in words
With welcome wing’d Minerva thus address’d.

   Stranger, all hail! to share our cordial love
Thou com’st; the banquet finish’d, thou shalt next
Inform me wherefore thou hast here arrived.

   So saying, toward the spacious hall he moved,
Follow’d by Pallas, and, arriving soon
Beneath the lofty roof, placed her bright spear
Within a pillar’s cavity, long time
The armoury where many a spear had stood,
Bright weapons of his own illustrious Sire.
Then, leading her toward a footstool’d throne
Magnificent, which first he overspread
With linen, there he seated her, apart
From that rude throng, and for himself disposed
A throne of various colours at her side,
Lest, stunn’d with clamour of the lawless band,
The new-arrived should loth perchance to eat,
And that more free he might the stranger’s ear
With questions of his absent Sire address,
And now a maiden charg’d with golden ew’r,
And with an argent laver, pouring first
Pure water on their hands, supplied them, next,
With a resplendent table, which the chaste
Directress of the stores furnish’d with bread
And dainties, remnants of the last regale.
Then, in his turn, the sewer with sav’ry meats,
Dish after dish, served them, of various kinds,
And golden cups beside the chargers placed,
Which the attendant herald fill’d with wine.
Ere long, in rush’d the suitors, and the thrones
And couches occupied, on all whose hands
The heralds pour’d pure water; then the maids
Attended them with bread in baskets heap’d,
And eager they assail’d the ready feast.
At length, when neither thirst nor hunger more
They felt unsatisfied, to new delights
Their thoughts they turn’d, to song and sprightly dance,
Enlivening sequel of the banquet’s joys.
An herald, then, to Phemius’ hand consign’d
His beauteous lyre; he through constraint regaled
The suitors with his song, and while the chords
He struck in prelude to his pleasant strains,
Telemachus his head inclining nigh
To Pallas’ ear, lest others should his words
Witness, the blue-eyed Goddess thus bespake.

   My inmate and my friend! far from my lips
Be ev’ry word that might displease thine ear!
The song—the harp,—what can they less than charm
These wantons? who the bread unpurchased eat
Of one whose bones on yonder continent
Lie mould’ring, drench’d by all the show’rs of heaven,
Or roll at random in the billowy deep.
Ah! could they see him once to his own isle
Restored, both gold and raiment they would wish
Far less, and nimbleness of foot instead.
But He, alas! hath by a wretched fate,
Past question perish’d, and what news soe’er
We hear of his return, kindles no hope
In us, convinced that he returns no more.
But answer undissembling; tell me true;
Who art thou? whence? where stands thy city? where
Thy father’s mansion? In what kind of ship
Cam’st thou? Why steer’d the mariners their course
To Ithaca, and of what land are they?
For that on foot thou found’st us not, is sure.
This also tell me, hast thou now arrived

  By PanEris using Melati.

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