And in the carriage-chest, meantime, the Queen,
Her mother, viands of all kinds disposed,
And filld a skin with wine. Nausicaa rose
Into her seat; but, ere she went, received
A golden cruse of oil from the Queens hand
For unction of herself, and of her maids.
Then, seizing scourge and reins, she lashd the mules.
They trampled loud the soil, straining to draw
Herself with all her vesture; nor alone
She went, but followd by her virgin train.
At the delightful rivulet arrived
Where those perennial cisterns were prepared
With purest crystal of the fountain fed
Profuse, sufficient for the deepest stains,
Loosing the mules, they drove them forth to browze
On the sweet herb beside the dimpled flood.
The carriage, next, lightning, they bore in hand
The garments down to the unsullied wave,
And thrust them heapd into the pools, their task
Dispatching brisk, and with an emulous haste.
When they had all purified, and no spot
Could now be seen, or blemish more, they spread
The raiment orderly along the beach
Where dashing tides had cleansed the pebbles most,
And laving, next, and smoothing oer with oil
Their limbs, all seated on the rivers bank,
They took repast, leaving the garments, stretchd
In noon-day fervour of the sun, to dry.
Their hunger satisfied, at once arose
The mistress and her train, and putting off
Their head-attire, playd wanton with the ball,
The princess singing to her maids the while.
Such as shaft-armd Diana roams the hills,
Täygetus sky-capt, or Erymanth,
The wild boar chasing, or fleet-footed hind,
All joy; the rural nymphs, daughters of Jove,
Sport with her, and Latonas heart exults;
She high her graceful head above the rest
And features lifts divine, though all be fair,
With ease distinguishable from them all;
So, all her train, she, virgin pure, surpassd.
Approachd (the mules now yoked again, and all
Her elegant apparel folded neat)
Minerva azure-eyed mused how to wake
Ulysses, that he might behold the fair
Virgin, his destind guide into the town.
The Princess, then, casting the ball toward
A maiden of her train, erroneous threw
And plunged it deep into the dimpling stream.
All shrieked; Ulysses at the sound awoke,
And, sitting, meditated thus the cause.
Rude are they, contumacious and unjust?
Or hospitable, and who fear the Gods?
So shrill the cry and feminine of nymphs
Fills all the air around, such as frequent
The hills, clear fountains, and herbaceous meads.
Is this a neighbourhood of men endued
With voice articulate? But what avails
To ask; I will myself go forth and see.
His thicket crept, and from the leafy wood
A spreading branch pluckd forcibly, designd
A decent skreen effectual, held before.
So forth he went, as goes the lion forth,
The mountain-lion, conscious of his strength,
Whom winds have vexd and rains; fire fills his eyes,
And whether herds or flocks, or woodland deer
He find, he rends them, and, adust for blood,
Abstains not even from the guarded fold,
Such sure to seem in virgin eyes, the Chief,
All naked as he was, left his retreat,
Reluctant, by necessity constraind.
Him foul with sea foam horror-struck they viewd,
And oer the jutting shores fled all dispersed.
Nausicaa alone fled not; for her
Pallas courageous made, and from her limbs,
By powr divine, all tremour took away.
Firm she expected him; he doubtful stood,
Or to implore the lovely maid, her knees
Embracing, or aloof standing, to ask
In gentle terms discrete the gift of cloaths,
And guidance to the city where she dwelt.
Him so deliberating, most, at length,
This counsel pleasd; in suppliant terms aloof
To sue to her, lest if he claspd her knees,
The virgin should that bolder course resent.
Then gentle, thus, and well-advised he spake.
Art thou some Goddess, or of mortal race?
For if some Goddess, and from heaven arrived,
Diana, then, daughter of mighty Jove
I deem thee most, for such as hers appear
Thy form, thy stature, and thy air divine.
But if, of mortal race, thou dwell below,
Thrice happy then, thy parents I account,
And happy thrice thy brethren. Ah! the joy
Which always for thy sake, their bosoms fill,
When thee they view, all lovely as thou art,
Entring majestic on the graceful dance.
But him beyond all others blest I deem,
The youth, who, wealthier than his rich compeers,
Shall win and lead thee to his honourd home.
For never with these eyes a mortal form
Beheld I comparable aught to thine,
In man or woman. Wonder-wrapt I gaze.
Such erst, in Delos, I beheld a palm
Beside the altar of Apollo, tall,
And growing still; (for thither too I saild,
And numrous were my followers in a voyage
Ordaind my ruin) and as then I viewd
That palm long time amazed, for never grew
So strait a shaft, so lovely from the ground,
So, Princess! thee with wonder I behold,
Charmd into fixt astonishment, by awe
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