possessor of the potent rod!
Who, though by me much reverenc’d and belov’d,
So seldom com’st, say, wherefore comest now?
Speak thy desire; I grant it, if thou ask
Things possible, and possible to me.
Stay not, but ent’ring farther, at my board
Due rites of hospitality receive.

   So saying, the Goddess with ambrosial food
Her table cover’d, and with rosy juice
Nectareous charged the cup. Then ate and drank
The argicide and herald of the skies,
And in his soul with that repast divine
Refresh’d, his message to the nymph declared.

   Questionest thou, O Goddess, me a God?
I tell thee truth, since such is thy demand.
Not willing, but by Jove constrain’d, I come.
For who would, voluntary, such a breadth
Enormous measure of the salt expanse,
Where city none is seen in which the Gods
Are served with chosen hecatombs and pray’r?
But no divinity may the designs
Elude, or controvert, of Jove supreme.
He saith, that here thou hold’st the most distrest
Of all those warriors who nine years assail’d
The city of Priam, and, (that city sack’d)
Departed in the tenth; but, going thence,
Offended Pallas, who with adverse winds
Opposed their voyage, and with boist’rous waves.
Then perish’d all his gallant friends, but him
Billows and storms drove hither; Jove commands
That thou dismiss him hence without delay,
For fate ordains him not to perish here
From all his friends remote, but he is doom’d
To see them yet again, and to arrive
At his own palace in his native land.

   He said; divine Calypso at the sound
Shudder’d, and in wing’d accents thus replied.

   Ye are unjust, ye Gods, and envious past
All others, grudging if a Goddess take
A mortal man openly to her arms!
So, when the rosy-finger’d Morning chose
Orion, though ye live yourselves at ease,
Yet ye all envied her, until the chaste
Diana from her golden throne dispatch’d
A silent shaft, which slew him in Ortygia.
So, when the golden-tressed Ceres, urged
By passion, took Iäsion to her arms
In a thrice-labour’d fallow, not untaught
Was Jove that secret long, and, hearing it,
Indignant, slew him with his candent bolt.
So also, O ye Gods, ye envy me
The mortal man, my comfort. Him I saved
Myself, while solitary on his keel
He rode, for with his sulph’rous arrow Jove
Had cleft his bark amid the sable Deep.
Then perish’d all his gallant friends, but him
Billows and storms drove hither, whom I lov’d
Sincere, and fondly destin’d to a life
Immortal, unobnoxious to decay.
But since no Deity may the designs
Elude or controvert of Jove supreme,
Hence with him o’er the barren Deep, if such
The Sov’reign’s will, and such his stern command.
But undismiss’d he goes by me, who ships
Myself well-oar’d and mariners have none
To send with him athwart the spacious flood;
Yet freely, readily, my best advice
I will afford him, that, escaping all
Danger, he may regain his native shore.

   Then Hermes thus, the messenger of heav’n.
Act as thou say’st, fearing the frown of Jove,
Lest, if provoked, he spare not even thee.

   So saying, the dauntless Argicide withdrew,
And she (Jove’s mandate heard) all-graceful went,
Seeking the brave Ulysses; on the shore
She found him seated; tears succeeding tears
Delug’d his eyes, while, hopeless of return,
Life’s precious hours to eating cares he gave
Continual, with the nymph now charm’d no more.
Yet, cold as she was am’rous, still he pass’d
His nights beside her in the hollow grot,
Constrain’d, and day by day the rocks among
Which lined the shore heart-broken sat, and oft
While wistfully he eyed the barren Deep,
Wept, groaned, desponded, sigh’d, and wept again.
Then, drawing near, thus spake the nymph divine.

   Unhappy! weep not here, nor life consume
In anguish; go; thou hast my glad consent.
Arise to labour; hewing down the trunks
Of lofty trees, fashion them with the ax
To a broad raft, which closely floor’d above,
Shall hence convey thee o’er the gloomy Deep.
Bread, water, and the red grape’s cheering juice
Myself will put on board, which shall preserve
Thy life from famine; I will also give
New raiment for thy limbs, and will dispatch
Winds after thee to waft thee home unharm’d,
If such the pleasure of the Gods who dwell
In youder boundless heav’n, superior far
To me, in knowledge and in skill to judge.

   She ceas’d; but horror at that sound the heart
Chill’d of Ulysses, and in accents wing’d
With wonder, thus the noble Chief replied.


  By PanEris using Melati.

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