Book 3

Telemachus arriving at Pylus, enquires of Nestor concerning Ulysses. Nestor relates to him all that he knows or has heard of the Greecians since their departure from the siege of Troy, but not being able to give him any satisfactory account of Ulysses, refers him to Menelaus. At evening Minerva quits Telemachus, but discovers herself in going. Nestor sacrifices to the Goddess, and the solemnity ended, Telemachus sets forth for Sparta in one of Nestor’s chariots, and accompanied by Nestor’s son, Pisistratus.

   The sun, emerging from the lucid waves,
Ascended now the brazen vault with light
For the inhabitants of earth and heav’n,
When in their bark at Pylus they arrived,
City of Neleus. On the shore they found
The people sacrificing; bulls they slew
Black without spot, to Neptune azure-hair’d.
On ranges nine of seats they sat; each range
Received five hundred, and to each they made
Allotment equal of nine sable bulls.
The feast was now begun; these eating sat
The entrails, those stood off’ring to the God
The thighs, his portion, when the Ithacans
Push’d right ashore, and, furling close the sails,
And making fast their moorings, disembark’d.
Forth came Telemachus, by Pallas led,
Whom thus the Goddess azure-eyed address’d.
Telemachus! there is no longer room
For bashful fear, since thou hast cross’d the flood
With purpose to enquire what land conceals
Thy father, and what fate hath follow’d him.
Advance at once to the equestrian Chief
Nestor, within whose bosom lies, perhaps,
Advice well worthy of thy search; entreat
Himself, that he will tell thee only truth,
Who will not lye, for he is passing wise.

   To whom Telemachus discrete replied.
Ah Mentor! how can I advance, how greet
A Chief like him, unpractis’d as I am
In manag’d phrase? Shame bids the youth beware
How he accosts the man of many years.

   But him the Goddess answer’d azure-eyed,
Telemachus! Thou wilt, in part, thyself
Fit speech devise, and heav’n will give the rest;
For thou wast neither born, nor hast been train’d
To manhood, under unpropitious Pow’rs.

   So saying, Minerva led him thence, whom he
With nimble steps attending, soon arrived
Among the multitude. There Nestor sat,
And Nestor’s sons, while, busily the feast
Tending, his num’rous followers roasted, some,
The viands, some, transfix’d them with the spits.
They seeing guests arrived, together all
Advanced, and, grasping courteously their hands,
Invited them to sit; but first, the son
Of Nestor, young Pisistratus, approach’d,
Who, fast’ning on the hands of both, beside
The banquet placed them, where the beach was spread
With fleeces, and where Thrasymedes sat
His brother, and the hoary Chief his Sire.
To each a portion of the inner parts
He gave, then fill’d a golden cup with wine,
Which, tasted first, he to the daughter bore
Of Jove the Thund’rer, and her thus bespake.

   Oh guest! the King of Ocean now adore!
For ye have chanced on Neptune’s festival;
And, when thou hast, thyself, libation made
Duly, and pray’r, deliver to thy friend
The gen’rous juice, that he may also make
Libation; for he, doubtless, seeks, in prayer
The Immortals, of whose favour all have need.
But, since he younger is, and with myself
Coeval, first I give the cup to thee.

   He ceas’d, and to her hand consign’d the cup,
Which Pallas gladly from a youth received
So just and wise, who to herself had first
The golden cup presented, and in pray’r
Fervent the Sov’reign of the Seas adored.

   Hear, earth-encircler Neptune! O vouchsafe
To us thy suppliants the desired effect
Of this our voyage; glory, first, bestow
On Nestor and his offspring both, then grant
To all the Pylians such a gracious boon
As shall requite their noble off’ring well.
Grant also to Telemachus and me
To voyage hence, possess’d of what we sought
When hither in our sable bark we came.

   So Pallas pray’d, and her own pray’r herself
Accomplish’d. To Telemachus she gave
The splendid goblet next, and in his turn
Like pray’r Ulysses’ son also preferr’d.
And now (the banquet from the spits withdrawn)
They next distributed sufficient share
To each, and all were sumptuously regaled.
At length, (both hunger satisfied and thirst)
Thus Nestor, the Gerenian Chief, began.

   Now with more seemliness we may enquire,
After repast, what guests we have received.
Our guests! who are ye? Whence have ye the waves
Plough’d hither? Come ye to transact concerns
Commercial, or

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.