Pisistratus, observe, my friend!
How all the echoing palace with the light
Of beaming brass, of gold and amber shines
Silver and ivory! for radiance such
Th’ interior mansion of Olympian Jove
I deem. What wealth, how various, how immense
Is here! astonish’d I survey the sight!

   But Menelaus, golden-hair’d, his speech
O’erhearing, thus in accents wing’d replied.

   My children! let no mortal man pretend
Comparison with Jove; for Jove’s abode
And all his stores are incorruptible.
But whether mortal man with me may vie
In the display of wealth, or whether not,
This know, that after many toils endured,
And perilous wand’rings wide, in the eighth year
I brought my treasures home. Remote I roved
To Cyprus, to Phœnice, to the shores
Of Ægypt; Æthiopia’s land I reach’d,
Th’ Erembi, the Sidonians, and the coasts
Of Lybia, where the lambs their foreheads shew
At once with horns defended, soon as yean’d.
There, thrice within the year the flocks produce,
Nor master, there, nor shepherd ever feels
A dearth of cheese, of flesh, or of sweet milk
Delicious, drawn from udders never dry.
While, thus, commodities on various coasts
Gath’ring I roam’d, another, by the arts
Of his pernicious spouse aided, of life
Bereav’d my brother privily, and when least
He fear’d to lose it. Therefore little joy
To me results from all that I possess.
Your fathers (be those fathers who they may)
These things have doubtless told you; for immense
Have been my suff’rings, and I have destroy’d
A palace well inhabited and stored
With precious furniture in ev’ry kind;
Such, that I would to heav’n! I own’d at home
Though but the third of it, and that the Greeks
Who perish’d then, beneath the walls of Troy
Far from steed-pastured Argos, still survived.
Yet while, sequester’d here, I frequent mourn
My slaughter’d friends, by turns I sooth my soul
With tears shed for them, and by turns again
I cease; for grief soon satiates free indulged.
But of them all, although I all bewail,
None mourn I so as one, whom calling back
To memory, I both sleep and food abhor.
For, of Achaia’s sons none ever toiled
Strenuous as Ulysses; but his lot
Was woe, and unremitting sorrow mine
For his long absence, who, if still he live,
We know not aught, or be already dead.
Him doubtless, old Laertes mourns, and him
Discrete Penelope, nor less his son
Telemachus, born newly when he sail’d.

   So saying, he kindled in him strong desire
To mourn his father; at his father’s name
Fast fell his tears to ground, and with both hands
He spread his purple cloak before his eyes;
Which Menelaus marking, doubtful sat
If he should leave him leisure for his tears,
Or question him, and tell him all at large.

   While thus he doubted, Helen (as it chanced)
Leaving her fragrant chamber, came, august
As Dian, goddess of the golden bow.
Adrasta, for her use, set forth a throne,
Alcippe with soft arras cover’d it,
And Philo brought her silver basket, gift
Of fair Alcandra, wife of Polybus,
Whose mansion in Ægyptian Thebes is rich
In untold treasure, and who gave, himself,
Ten golden talents, and two silver baths
To Menelaus, with two splendid tripods
Beside the noble gifts which, at the hand
Of his illustrious spouse, Helen receiv’d;
A golden spindle, and a basket wheel’d,
Itself of silver, and its lip of gold.
That basket Philo, her own handmaid, placed
At beauteous Helen’s side, charged to the brim
With slender threads, on which the spindle lay
With wool of purple lustre wrapp’d around.
Approaching, on her foot-stool’d throne she sat,
And, instant, of her royal spouse enquired.

   Know we, my Menelaus, dear to Jove!
These guests of ours, and whence they have arrived?
Erroneous I may speak, yet speak I must;
In man or woman never have I seen
Such likeness to another (wonder- fixt
I gaze) as in this stranger to the son
Of brave Ulysses, whom that Hero left
New-born at home, when (shameless as I was)
For my unworthy sake the Greecians sailed
To Ilium, with fierce rage of battle fir’d.

   Then Menelaus, thus, the golden-hair’d.
I also such resemblance find in him
As thou; such feet, such hands, the cast of eye
Similar, and the head and flowing locks.
And even now, when I Ulysses named,
And his great sufferings mention’d, in my cause,
The bitter tear dropp’d from his lids, while broad
Before his eyes his purple cloak he spread.

   To whom the son of Nestor thus replied.
Atrides! Menelaus! Chief renown’d!
He is in truth his son, as thou hast said,
But he is modest, and would much himself
Condemn, if, at his first arrival here,
He should loquacious seem and bold to thee,
To whom we listen, captived by thy voice,
As if some God had spoken. As for me,
Nestor, my father, the Gerenian Chief
Bade me conduct him hither, for he wish’d
To see thee,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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