Her charge to some brave mariner on board,
And all was safely stowd. Meantime were spread
Linen and arras on the deck astern,
For his secure repose. And now the Chief
Himself embarking, silent layd him down.
Then, evry rower to his bench repaird;
They drew the loosend cable from its hold
In the drilld rock, and, resupine, at once
With lusty strokes upturnd the flashing waves.
His eye-lids, soon, sleep, falling as a dew,
Closed fast, deaths simular, in sight the same.
She, as four harnessd stallions oer the plain
Shooting together at the scourges stroke,
Toss high their manes, and rapid scour along,
So mounted she the waves, while dark the flood
Rolld after her of the resounding Deep.
Steady she ran and safe, passing in speed
The falcon, swiftest of the fowls of heavn;
With such rapidity she cut the waves,
An hero bearing like the Gods above
In wisdom, one familiar long with woe
In fight sustaind, and on the perilous flood,
Though sleeping now serenely, and resignd
To sweet oblivion of all sorrow past.
The brightest star of heavn, precursor chief
Of day-spring, now arose, when at the isle
(Her voyage soon performd) the bark arrived.
To Phorcys, hoary ancient of the Deep,
Formd by converging shores, prominent both
And both abrupt, which from the spacious bay
Exclude all boistrous winds; within it, ships
(The port once gaind) uncabled ride secure.
An olive, at the havens head, expands
Her branches wide, near to a pleasant cave
Umbrageous, to the nymphs devoted named
The Naiads. In that cave beakers of stone
And jars are seen; bees lodge their honey there;
And there, on slender spindles of the rock
The nymphs of rivers weave their wondrous robes.
Perennial springs water it, and it shows
A twofold entrance; ingress one affords
To mortal man, which Northward looks direct,
But holier is the Southern far; by that
No mortal enters, but the Gods alone.
Familiar with that port before, they pushd
The vessel in; she, rapid, plowd the sands
With half her keel, such rowers urged her on.
Descending from the well-benchd bark ashore,
They lifted forth Ulysses first, with all
His splendid couch complete, then, layd him down
Still wrapt in balmy slumber on the sands.
His treasures, next, by the Phæacian Chiefs
At his departure given him as the meed
Due to his wisdom, at the olives foot
They heapd, without the road, lest, while he slept
Some passing traveller should rifle them.
Then homeward thence they sped. Nor Oceans God
His threats forgot denounced against divine
Ulysses, but with Jove thus first advised.
Respect and reverence among the Gods,
Since, now, Phæacias mortal race have ceasd
To honour me, though from myself derived
It was my purpose, that by many an ill
Harassd, Ulysses should have reachd his home,
Although to intercept him, whose return
Thyself had promisd, neer was my intent.
But him fast-sleeping swiftly oer the waves
They have conducted, and have set him down
In Ithaca, with countless gifts enrichd,
With brass, and tissued raiment, and with gold;
Much treasure! more than he had home conveyd
Even had he arrived with all his share
Allotted to him of the spoils of Troy.
What hast thou spoken, Shaker of the shores,
Wide-ruling Neptune? Fear not; thee the Gods
Will neer despise; dangerous were the deed
To cast dishonour on a God by birth
More ancient, and more potent far than they.
But if, profanely rash, a mortal man
Should dare to slight thee, to avenge the wrong
Some future day is ever in thy powr.
Accomplish all thy pleasure, thou art free.
Jove cloud-enthroned! that pleasure I would soon
Perform, as thou hast said, but that I watch
Thy mind continual, fearful to offend.
My purpose is, now to destroy amid
The dreary Deep yon fair Phæacian bark,
Returnd from safe conveyance of her freight;
So shall they waft such wandrers home no more,
And she shall hide their city, to a rock
Transformd of mountainous oershadowing size.
Perform it, O my brother, and the deed
Thus done, shall best be doneWhat time the people
Shall from the city her approach descry,
Fix her to stone transformd, but still in shape
A gallant bark, near to the coast, that all
May wonder, seeing her transformd to stone
Of size to hide their city from the view.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|