Now go we forth for honourable proof
Of our address in games of evry kind,
That this our guest may to his friends report,
At home arrivd, that none like us have learnd
To leap, to box, to wrestle, and to run.
So saying, he led them forth, whose steps the guests
All followd, 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 swarmd 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) distinguishd most
Of all Phæacias 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 runners prize.
They gave the race its limits. All at once
Along the dusty champaign swift they flew.
But Clytoneus, illustrious youth, outstrippd
All competition; far as mules surpass
Slow oxen furrowing the fallow ground,
So far before all others he arrived
Victorious, where the throngd spectators stood.
Some tried the wrestlers toil severe, in which
Euryalus superior proved to all.
In the long leap Amphialus prevaild;
Elatreus most successful hurled the quoit,
And at the cestus, last, the noble son
Of Scherias King, Laodamas excelld.
When thus with contemplation of the games
All had been gratified, Alcinoüs son
Laodamas, arising, then addressd.
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 batterd he appears
With numrous troubles, and misfortune- flawd.
Nor know I hardships in the world so sure
To break the strongest down, as those by sea.
Then answer thus Euryalus returnd.
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 learnd; 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 launchd
Already, and the crew stand all prepared.
To whom replied the wily Chief renownd.
Wherefore, as in derision, have ye calld
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.
I well believd it, friend! in thee the guise
I see not of a man expert in feats
Athletic, of which various are performd
In evry land; thou rather seemst with ships
Familiar; one, accustomd to controul
Some crew of trading mariners; well-learnd
In stowage, pilotage, and wealth acquired
By rapine, but of no gymnastic powrs.
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 uttrance, all to one.
This man in figure less excels, yet Jove
Crowns him with eloquence; his hearers charmd
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 Powrs above
Resembles, but no grace around his words
Twines itself elegant. So, thou in form
Hast excellence to boast; a God, employd
To make a master-piece in human shape,
Could but produce proportions such as thine;
Yet hast thou an untutord intellect.
Thou much hast moved me; thy unhandsome phrase
Hath roused my wrath; I am not, as thou sayst,
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 boistrous waves.
Yet, though with misry worn, I will essay
My strength among you; for thy words had teeth
Whose bite hath pinchd and paind 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 vigrous 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 measurd, and aloud exclaimd.
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 addressd.
Young men, reach this, and I will quickly heave
Another such, or yet a heavier
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