Ulysses, pursuing his narrative, relates his return from the shades to Circes island, the precautions given him by that Goddess, his escape from the Sirens, and from Scylla and Charybdis; his arrival in Sicily, where his companions, having slain and eaten the oxen of the Sun, are afterward shipwrecked and lost; and concludes the whole with an account of his arrival, alone, on the mast of his vessel, at the island of Calypso.
Of the Oceanus, we plowd again
The spacious Deep, and reachd th Ææan isle,
Where, daughter of the dawn, Aurora takes
Her choral sports, and whence the sun ascends.
We, there arriving, thrust our bark aground
On the smooth beach, then landed, and on shore
Reposed, expectant of the sacred dawn.
But soon as day-springs daughter rosy-palmd
Lookd forth again, sending my friends before,
I bade them bring Elpenors body down
From the abode of Circe to the beach.
Then, on the utmost headland of the coast
We timber felld, and, sorrowing oer the dead,
His funral rites waterd with tears profuse.
The dead consumed, and with the dead his arms,
We heapd his tomb, and the sepulchral post
Erecting, fixd his shapely oar aloft.
From Ades knew not Circe, but attired
In haste, ere long arrived, with whom appeard
Her female train with plenteous viands charged,
And bright wine rosy-red. Amidst us all
Standing, the beauteous Goddess thus began.
Alive! while others of the human race
Die only once, appointed twice to die!
Cometake ye food; drink wine; and on the shore
All day regale, for ye shall hence again
At day-spring oer the Deep; but I will mark
Myself your future course, nor uninformd
Leave you in aught, lest, through some dire mistake,
By sea or land new misries ye incur.
We glad accepted; thus we feasting sat
Till set of sun, and quaffing richest wine;
But when the sun went down and darkness fell,
My crew beside the hawsers slept, while me
The Goddess by the hand leading apart,
First bade me sit, then, seated opposite,
Enquired, minute, of all that I had seen,
And I, from first to last, recounted all.
Then, thus the awful Goddess in return.
Mark well my words, of which the Gods will sure
Themselves remind thee in the needful hour.
First shalt thou reach the Sirens; they the hearts
Enchant of all who on their coast arrive.
The wretch, who unforewarnd approaching, hears
The Sirens voice, his wife and little- ones
Neer fly to gratulate his glad return,
But him the Sirens sitting in the meads
Charm with mellifluous song, while all around
The bones accumulated lie of men
Now putrid, and the skins mouldring away.
But, pass them thou, and, lest thy people hear
Those warblings, ere thou yet approach, fill all
Their ears with wax moulded between thy palms;
But as for theethou hear them if thou wilt.
Yet let thy people bind thee to the mast
Erect, encompassing thy feet and arms
With cordage well-secured to the mast-foot,
So shalt thou, rapturd, hear the Sirens song.
But if thou supplicate to be released,
Or give such order, then, with added cords
Let thy companions bind thee still the more.
When thus thy people shall have safely passd
The Sirens by, think not from me to learn
What course thou next shalt steer; two will occur;
Delibrate chuse; I shall describe them both.
Here vaulted rocks impend, dashd by the waves
Immense of Amphitrite azure-eyed;
The blessed Gods those rocks, Erratic, call.
Birds cannot pass them safe; no, not the doves
Which his ambrosia bear to Father Jove,
But even of those doves the slippry rock
Proves fatal still to one, for which the God
Supplies another, lest the number fail.
No ship, what ship soever there arrives,
Escapes them, but both mariners and planks
Whelmd under billows of the Deep, or, caught
By fiery tempests, sudden disappear.
Those rocks the billow-cleaving bark alone
The Argo, furtherd by the vows of all,
Passd safely, sailing from Æætas isle;
Nor she had passd, but surely dashd had been
On those huge rocks, but that, propitious still
To Jason, Juno sped her safe along.
These rocks are two; one lifts his summit sharp
High as the spacious heavns, wrapt in dun clouds
Perpetual, which nor autumn sees dispersd
Nor summer, for the sun shines never there;
No mortal man might climb it or descend,
Though twice ten hands and twice ten feet he ownd,
For it is levigated as by art.
Down scoopd to Erebus, a cavern drear
Yawns in the centre of its western side;
Pass it, renownd Ulysses! but aloof
So far, that a keen arrow smartly sent
Forth from thy bark should fail to reach the cave.
There Scylla dwells, and thence her howl is heard
Tremendous; shrill her voice is as the note
Of hound new-whelpd, but hideous her aspect,
Such as no mortal man, nor evn
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