at random roam the Deep
Like pirates, who with mischief charged and woe
To foreign States, oft hazard life themselves?

   Him answer’d, bolder now, but still discrete,
Telemachus. For Pallas had his heart
With manly courage arm’d, that he might ask
From Nestor tidings of his absent Sire,
And win, himself, distinction and renown.

   Oh Nestor, Neleus’ son, glory of Greece!
Thou askest whence we are. I tell thee whence.
From Ithaca, by the umbrageous woods
Of Neritus o’erhung, by private need,
Not public, urged, we come. My errand is
To seek intelligence of the renown’d
Ulysses; of my noble father, prais’d
For dauntless courage, whom report proclaims
Conqueror, with thine aid, of sacred Troy.
We have already learn’d where other Chiefs
Who fought at Ilium, died; but Jove conceals
Even the death of my illustrious Sire
In dull obscurity; for none hath heard
Or confident can answer, where he dy’d;
Whether he on the continent hath fall’n
By hostile hands, or by the waves o’erwhelm’d
Of Amphitrite, welters in the Deep.
For this cause, at thy knees suppliant, I beg
That thou would’st tell me his disast’rous end,
If either thou beheld’st that dread event
Thyself, or from some wanderer of the Greeks
Hast heard it: for my father at his birth
Was, sure, predestin’d to no common woes.
Neither through pity, or o’erstrain’d respect
Flatter me, but explicit all relate
Which thou hast witness’d. If my noble Sire
E’er gratified thee by performance just
Of word or deed at Ilium, where ye fell
So num’rous slain in fight, oh, recollect
Now his fidelity, and tell me true.

   Then Nestor thus Gerenian Hero old.
Young friend! since thou remind’st me, speaking thus,
Of all the woes which indefatigable
We sons of the Achaians there sustain’d,
Both those which wand’ring on the Deep we bore
Wherever by Achilles led in quest
Of booty, and the many woes beside
Which under royal Priam’s spacious walls
We suffer’d, know, that there our bravest fell.
There warlike Ajax lies, there Peleus’ son;
There, too, Patroclus, like the Gods themselves
In council, and my son beloved there,
Brave, virtuous, swift of foot, and bold in fight,
Antilochus. Nor are these sorrows all;
What tongue of mortal man could all relate?
Should’st thou, abiding here, five years employ
Or six, enquiring of the woes endured
By the Achaians, ere thou should’st have learn’d
The whole, thou would’st depart, tir’d of the tale.
For we, nine years, stratagems of all kinds
Devised against them, and Saturnian Jove
Scarce crown’d the difficult attempt at last.
There, no competitor in wiles well-plann’d
Ulysses found, so far were all surpass’d
In shrewd invention by thy noble Sire,
If thou indeed art his, as sure thou art,
Whose sight breeds wonder in me, and thy speech
His speech resembles more than might be deem’d
Within the scope of years so green as thine.
There, never in opinion, or in voice
Illustrious Ulysses and myself
Divided were, but, one in heart, contrived
As best we might, the benefit of all.
But after Priam’s lofty city sack’d,
And the departure of the Greeks on board
Their barks, and when the Gods had scatter’d them,
Then Jove imagin’d for the Argive host
A sorrowful return; for neither just
Were all, nor prudent, therefore many found
A fate disast’rous through the vengeful ire
Of Jove-born Pallas, who between the sons
Of Atreus sharp contention interposed.
They both, irregularly, and against
Just order, summoning by night the Greeks
To council, of whom many came with wine
Oppress’d, promulgated the cause for which
They had convened the people. Then it was
That Menelaus bade the general host
Their thoughts bend homeward o’er the sacred Deep,
Which Agamemnon in no sort approved.
His counsel was to slay them yet at Troy,
That so he might assuage the dreadful wrath
Of Pallas, first, by sacrifice and pray’r.
Vain hope! he little thought how ill should speed
That fond attempt, for, once provok’d, the Gods
Are not with ease conciliated again.
Thus stood the brothers, altercation hot
Maintaining, till at length, uprose the Greeks
With deaf’ning clamours, and with diff’ring minds.
We slept the night, but teeming with disgust
Mutual, for Jove great woe prepar’d for all.
At dawn of day we drew our gallies down
Into the sea, and, hasty, put on board
The spoils and female captives. Half the host,
With Agamemnon, son of Atreus, stay’d
Supreme commander, and, embarking, half
Push’d forth. Swift course we made, for Neptune smooth’d
The waves before us of the monstrous Deep.
At Tenedos arriv’d, we there perform’d
Sacrifice to the Gods, ardent to reach
Our native land, but unpropitious Jove,
Not yet designing our arrival there,
Involved us in dissension fierce again.
For all the crews, followers of the King,
Thy noble Sire, to gratify our Chief,
The son of Atreus, chose a diff’rent course,
And steer’d their oary barks again to Troy.
But I, assured that evil from the Gods
Impended, gath’ring all my gallant fleet,
Fled thence in haste, and warlike Diomede
Exhorting his attendants, also fled.
At length, the Hero Menelaus join’d
Our fleets at Lesbos; there he found us held
In deep deliberation on the length
Of way before us, whether we should steer
Above the craggy Chios to the isle
Psyria, that island holding on our left,
Or under Chios by the wind-swept heights
Of Mimas. Then we

  By PanEris using Melati.

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