Minerva designing an interview between the daughter of Alcinoüs and Ulysses, admonishes her in a dream to carry down her clothes to the river, that she may wash them, and make them ready for her approaching nuptials. That task performed, the Princess and her train amuse themselves with play; by accident they awake Ulysses; he comes forth from the wood, and applies himself with much address to Nausicaa, who compassionating his distressed condition, and being much affected by the dignity of his appearance, interests himself in his favour, and conducts him to the city.
Oppressd and labour; meantime, Pallas sought
The populous city of Phæacias sons.
They, in old time, in Hypereia dwelt
The spacious, neighbours of a giant race
The haughty Cyclops, who, endued with powr
Superior, troubled them with frequent wrongs,
Godlike Nausithoüs then arose, who thence
To Scheria led them, from all nations versed
In arts of cultivated life, remote;
With bulwarks strong their city he enclosed,
Built houses for them, temples to the Gods,
And gave to each a portion of the soil.
But he, already by decree of fate
Had journeyd to the shades, and in his stead
Alcinoüs, by the Gods instructed, reignd.
To his abode Minerva azure-eyed
Repaird, neglecting nought which might advance
Magnanimous Ulysses safe return.
She sought the sumptuous chamber where, in form
And feature perfect as the Gods, the young
Nausicaa, daughter of the King, reposed.
Fast by the pillars of the portal lay
Two damsels, one on either side, adornd
By all the Graces, and the doors were shut.
Soft as a breathing air, she stole toward
The royal virgins couch, and at her head
Standing, addressd her. Daughter she appeard
Of Dymas, famed for maritime exploits,
Her friend and her coeval; so disguised
Cærulean-eyed Minerva thus began.
A child so negligent? Thy garments share,
Thy most magnificent, no thought of thine.
Yet thou must marry soon, and must provide
Robes for thyself, and for thy nuptial train.
Thy fame, on these concerns, and honour stand;
These managed well, thy parents shall rejoice.
The dawn appearing, let us to the place
Of washing, where thy work-mate I will be
For speedier riddance of thy task, since soon
The days of thy virginity shall end;
For thou art wood already by the prime
Of all Phæacia, country of thy birth.
Come thensolicit at the dawn of day
Thy royal father, that he send thee forth
With mules and carriage for conveyance hence
Of thy best robes, thy mantles and thy zones.
Thus, more commodiously thou shalt perform
The journey, for the cisterns lie remote.
Rose to Olympus, the reputed seat
Eternal of the Gods, which never storms
Disturb, rains drench, or snow invades, but calm
The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day.
There the inhabitants divine rejoice
For ever, (and her admonition givn)
Cærulean-eyed Minerva thither flew.
Awakend fair Nausicaa; she her dream
Rememberd wondring, and her parents sought
Anxious to tell them. Them she found within.
Beside the hearth her royal mother sat,
Spinning soft fleeces with sea-purple dyed
Among her menial maidens, but she met
Her father, whom the Nobles of the land
Had summond, issuing abroad to join
The illustrious Chiefs in council. At his side
She stood, and thus her filial suit preferrd.
A sumpter-carriage? for I wish to bear
My costly cloaths but sullied and unfit
For use, at present, to the river side.
It is but seemly that thou shouldst repair
Thyself to consultation with the Chiefs
Of all Phæacia, clad in pure attire;
And my own brothers five, who dwell at home,
Two wedded, and the rest of age to wed,
Are all desirous, when they dance, to wear
Raiment new bleachd; all which is my concern.
Her own glad nuptials to her fathers ear,
Who, conscious yet of all her drift, replied.
That thou canst ask beside. Go, and my train
Shall furnish thee a sumpter-carriage forth
High-built, strong-wheeld, and of capacious size.
His grooms obeyd. They in the court prepared
The sumpter- carriage, and adjoind the mules.
And now the virgin from her chamber, charged
With raiment, came,
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