Now go we forth for honourable proof
Of our address in games of ev’ry kind,
That this our guest may to his friends report,
At home arriv’d, that none like us have learn’d
To leap, to box, to wrestle, and to run.
So saying, he led them forth, whose steps the guests
All follow’d, and the herald hanging high
The sprightly lyre, took by his hand the bard
Demodocus, whom he the self-same way
Conducted forth, by which the Chiefs had gone
Themselves, for that great spectacle prepared.
They sought the forum; countless swarm’d the throng
Behind them as they went, and many a youth
Strong and courageous to the strife arose.
Upstood Acroneus and Ocyalus,
Elatreus, Nauteus, Prymneus, after whom
Anchialus with Anabeesineus
Arose, Eretmeus, Ponteus, Proreus bold,
Amphialus and Thöon. Then arose,
In aspect dread as homicidal Mars,
Euryalus, and for his graceful form
(After Laodamas) distinguish’d most
Of all Phæacia’s sons, Naubolides.
Three also from Alcinoüs sprung, arose,
Laodamas, his eldest; Halius, next,
His second-born; and godlike Clytoneus.
Of these, some started for the runner’s prize.
They gave the race its limits. All at once
Along the dusty champaign swift they flew.
But Clytoneus, illustrious youth, outstripp’d
All competition; far as mules surpass
Slow oxen furrowing the fallow ground,
So far before all others he arrived
Victorious, where the throng’d spectators stood.
Some tried the wrestler’s toil severe, in which
Euryalus superior proved to all.
In the long leap Amphialus prevail’d;
Elatreus most successful hurled the quoit,
And at the cestus, last, the noble son
Of Scheria’s King, Laodamas excell’d.
When thus with contemplation of the games
All had been gratified, Alcinoüs’ son
Laodamas, arising, then address’d.
Friends! ask we now the stranger, if he boast
Proficiency in aught. His figure seems
Not ill; in thighs, and in his legs, and arms he shews
Much strength, and in his brawny neck; nor youth
Hath left him yet, though batter’d he appears
With num’rous troubles, and misfortune- flaw’d.
Nor know I hardships in the world so sure
To break the strongest down, as those by sea.
Then answer thus Euryalus return’d.
Thou hast well said, Laodamas; thyself
Approaching, speak to him, and call him forth.
Which when Alcinoüs’ noble offspring heard,
Advancing from his seat, amid them all
He stood, and to Ulysses thus began.
Stand forth, oh guest, thou also; prove thy skill
(If any such thou hast) in games like ours,
Which, likeliest, thou hast learn’d; for greater praise
Hath no man, while he lives, than that he know
His feet to exercise and hands aright.
Come then; make trial; scatter wide thy cares,
We will not hold thee long; the ship is launch’d
Already, and the crew stand all prepared.
To whom replied the wily Chief renown’d.
Wherefore, as in derision, have ye call’d
Me forth, Laodamas, to these exploits?
No games have I, but many a grief, at heart,
And with far other struggles worn, here sit
Desirous only of conveyance home,
For which both King and people I implore.

   Then him Euryalus aloud reproach’d.
I well believ’d it, friend! in thee the guise
I see not of a man expert in feats
Athletic, of which various are perform’d
In ev’ry land; thou rather seem’st with ships
Familiar; one, accustom’d to controul
Some crew of trading mariners; well-learn’d
In stowage, pilotage, and wealth acquired
By rapine, but of no gymnastic pow’rs.
To whom Ulysses, frowning dark, replied.
Thou hast ill spoken, sir, and like a man
Regardless whom he wrongs. Therefore the Gods
Give not endowments graceful in each kind,
Of body, mind, and utt’rance, all to one.
This man in figure less excels, yet Jove
Crowns him with eloquence; his hearers charm’d
Behold him, while with modest confidence
He bears the prize of fluent speech from all,
And in the streets is gazed on as a God!
Another, in his form the Pow’rs above
Resembles, but no grace around his words
Twines itself elegant. So, thou in form
Hast excellence to boast; a God, employ’d
To make a master-piece in human shape,
Could but produce proportions such as thine;
Yet hast thou an untutor’d intellect.
Thou much hast moved me; thy unhandsome phrase
Hath roused my wrath; I am not, as thou say’st,
A novice in these sports, but took the lead
In all, while youth and strength were on my side.
But I am now in bands of sorrow held,
And of misfortune, having much endured
In war, and buffeting the boist’rous waves.
Yet, though with mis’ry worn, I will essay
My strength among you; for thy words had teeth
Whose bite hath pinch’d and pain’d me to the proof.
He said; and mantled as he was, a quoit
Upstarting, seized, in bulk and weight all those
Transcending far, by the Phæacians used.
Swiftly he swung, and from his vig’rous hand
Sent it. Loud sang the stone, and as it flew
The maritime Phæacians low inclined
Their heads beneath it; over all the marks,
And far beyond them, sped the flying rock.
Minerva, in a human form, the cast
Prodigious measur’d, and aloud exclaim’d.
Stranger! the blind himself might with his hands
Feel out the ’vantage here. Thy quoit disdains
Fellowship with a crowd, borne far beyond.
Fear not a losing game; Phæacian none
Will reach thy measure, much less overcast.
She ceased; Ulysses, hardy Chief, rejoiced
That in the circus he had found a judge
So favorable, and with brisker tone,
As less in wrath, the multitude address’d.
Young men, reach this, and I will quickly heave
Another such, or yet a heavier

  By PanEris using Melati.

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