Ulysses, in pursuit of his narrative, relates his arrival at the island of Æolus, his departure thence, and the unhappy occasion of his return thither. The monarch of the winds dismisses him at last with much asperity. He next tells of his arrival among the Læstrygonians, by whom his whole fleet, together with their crews, are destroyed, his own ship and crew excepted. Thence he is driven to the island of Circe. By her the half of his people are transformed into swine. Assisted by Mercury, he resists her enchantments himself, and prevails with the Goddess to recover them to their former shape. In consequence of Circes instructions, after having spent a complete year in her palace, he prepares for a voyage to the infernal regions.
Æolus, son of Hippotas, belovd
By the Immortals, in an isle afloat.
A brazen wall impregnable on all sides
Girds it, and smooth its rocky coast ascends.
His children, in his own fair palace born,
Are twelve; six daughters, and six blooming sons.
He gave his daughters to his sons to wife;
They with their father hold perpetual feast
And with their royal mother, still supplied
With dainties numberless; the sounding dome
Is filld with savry odours all the day,
And with their consorts chaste at night they sleep
On stateliest couches with rich arras spread.
Their city and their splendid courts we reachd.
A month complete he, friendly, at his board
Regaled me, and enquiry made minute
Of Iliums fall, of the Achaian fleet,
And of our voyage thence. I told him all.
But now, desirous to embark again,
I askd dismission home, which he approved,
And well provided for my prosprous course.
He gave me, furnishd by a bullock slayd
In his ninth year, a bag; evry rude blast
Which from its bottom turns the Deep, that bag
Imprisond held; for him Saturnian Jove
Hath officed arbiter of all the winds,
To rouse their force or calm them, at his will.
He gave me them on board my bark, so bound
With silver twine that not a breath escaped,
Then orderd gentle Zephyrus to fill
Our sails propitious. Order vain, alas!
So fatal proved the folly of my friends.
Nine days continual, night and day we saild,
And on the tenth my native land appeard.
Not far remote my Ithacans I saw
Fires kindling on the coast; but me with toil
Worn, and with watching, gentle sleep subdued;
For constant I had ruled the helm, nor givn
That charge to any, fearful of delay.
Then, in close conference combined, my crew
Each other thus bespakeHe carries home
Silver and gold from Æolus received,
Offspring of Hippotas, illustrious Chief
And thus a mariner the rest harangued.
Ye Gods! what city or what land soeer
Ulysses visits, how is he belovd
By all, and honourd! many precious spoils
He homeward bears from Troy; but we return,
(We who the self-same voyage have performd)
With empty hands. Now also he hath gaind
This pledge of friendship from the King of winds.
But comebe quicksearch we the bag, and learn
What stores of gold and silver it contains.
So he, whose mischievous advice prevailed.
They loosd the bag; forth issued all the winds,
And, caught by tempests oer the billowy waste,
Weeping they flew, far, far from Ithaca.
I then, awaking, in my noble mind
Stood doubtful, whether from my vessels side
Immersed to perish in the flood, or calm
To endure my sorrows, and content to live.
I calm endured them; but around my head
Winding my mantle, layd me down below,
While adverse blasts bore all my fleet again
To the Æolian isle; then groand my people.
We disembarkd and drew fresh water there,
And my companions, at their galleys sides
All seated, took repast; short meal we made,
When, with an herald and a chosen friend,
I sought once more the hall of Æolus.
Him banqueting with all his sons we found,
And with his spouse; we entring, on the floor
Of his wide portal sat, whom they amazed
Beheld, and of our coming thus enquired.
Returnd? Ulysses! by what adverse Powr
Repulsd hast thou arrived? we sent thee hence
Well-fitted forth to reach thy native isle,
Thy palace, or what place soeer thou wouldst.
So theyto whom, heart-broken, I replied.
My worthless crew have wrongd me, nor alone
My worthless crew, but sleep ill-timed, as much.
Yet heal, O friends, my hurt; the powr is yours!
So I their favour wood. Mute sat the sons,
But thus their father answerd. Hencebe gone
Leave this our isle, thou most obnoxious wretch
Of all mankind. I should, my self, transgress,
Receiving here, and giving conduct hence
To one detested by the Gods as thou.
Awayfor hated by the Gods thou comst.
So saying, he sent me from his palace forth,
Groaning profound; thence, therefore, oer the Deep
We still proceeded sorrowful, our force
Exhausting ceaseless at the toilsome oar,
And, through our own imprudence, hopeless now
Of other furthrance to our native isle.
Six days we navigated, day and night,
The briny flood, and on the seventh reachd
The city erst by Lamus built sublime,
Proud Læstrygonia, with the distant gates.
The herdsman, there, driving his cattle home,
Summons the shepherd with his flocks abroad.
The sleepless there might double wages earn,
Attending, now, the herds, now, tending sheep,
For the night-pastures, and the pastures grazed
By day, close border, both, the city-walls.
To that illustrious port we came, by rocks
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