whom Telemachus, discrete, replied.
Piræus! wait; for I not yet foresee
The upshot. Should these haughty ones effect
My death, clandestine, under my own roof,
And parcel my inheritance by lot,
I rather wish those treasures thine, than theirs.
But should I with success plan for them all
A bloody death, then, wing’d with joy, thyself
Bring home those presents to thy joyful friend.

   So saying, he led the anxious stranger thence
Into the royal mansion, where arrived,
Each cast his mantle on a couch or throne,
And plung’d his feet into a polish’d bath.
There wash’d and lubricated with smooth oils,
From the attendant maidens each received
Tunic and shaggy mantle. Thus attired,
Forth from the baths they stepp’d, and sat again.
A maiden, next, with golden ewer charged,
And silver bowl, pour’d water on their hands,
And spread the polish’d table, which with food
Of all kinds, remnants of the last regale,
The mistress of the household charge supplied.
Meantime, beside a column of the dome
His mother, on a couch reclining, twirl’d
Her slender threads. They to the furnish’d board
Stretch’d forth their hands, and, hunger now and thirst
Both satisfied, Penelope began.

   Telemachus! I will ascend again,
And will repose me on my woeful bed;
For such it hath been, and with tears of mine
Ceaseless bedew’d, e’er since Ulysses went
With Atreus’ sons to Troy. For not a word
Thou would’st vouchsafe me till our haughty guests
Had occupied the house again, of all
That thou hast heard (if aught indeed thou hast)
Of thy long-absent father’s wish’d return.

   Her answer’d then Telemachus discrete.
Mother, at thy request I will with truth
Relate the whole. At Pylus shore arrived
We Nestor found, Chief of the Pylian race.
Receiving me in his august abode,
He entertain’d me with such welcome kind
As a glad father shews to his own son
Long-lost and newly found; so Nestor me,
And his illustrious offspring, entertain’d,
But yet assured me that he nought had heard
From mortal lips of my magnanimous sire,
Whether alive or dead; with his own steeds
He sent me, and with splendid chariot thence
To spear-famed Menelaus, Atreus’ son.
There saw I Helen, by the Gods’ decree
Auth’ress of trouble both to Greece and Troy.
The Hero Menelaus then enquired
What cause had urged me to the pleasant vale
Of Lacedæmon; plainly I rehearsed
The occasion, and the Hero thus replied.

   Ye Gods! they are ambitious of the bed
Of a brave man, however base themselves.
But, as it chances when the hart hath laid
Her fawns new-yean’d and sucklings yet, to rest
In some resistless lion’s den, she roams,
Meantime, the hills, and in the grassy vales
Feeds heedless, but the lion to his lair
Returning soon, both her and hers destroys,
So shall thy father, brave Ulysses, them.
Jove! Pallas! and Apollo! oh that such
As erst in well-built Lesbos, where he strove
With Philomelides, whom wrestling, flat
He threw, when all Achaia’s sons rejoiced,
Ulysses, now, might mingle with his foes!
Short life and bitter nuptials should be theirs,
But thy enquiries neither indirect
Will I evade, nor give thee false reply,
But all that from the Ancient of the Deep
I have received will utter, hiding nought.
The God declared that he had seen thy sire
In a lone island, sorrowing, and detain’d
An inmate in the grotto of the nymph
Calypso, wanting also means by which
To reach the country of his birth again,
For neither gallant barks nor friends had he
To speed his passage o’er the boundless waves.

   So Menelaus spake, the spear-renown’d.
My errand thus accomplish’d, I return’d—
And by the Gods with gales propitious blest,
Was wafted swiftly to my native shore.

   He spake, and tumult in his mother’s heart
So speaking, raised. Consolatory, next,
The godlike Theoclymenus began.

   Consort revered of Laertiades!
Little the Spartan knew, but list to me,
For I will plainly prophesy and sure.
Be Jove of all in heav’n my witness first,
Then this thy hospitable board, and, last,
The household Gods of the illustrious Chief
Ulysses, at whose hearth I have arrived,
That, even now, within his native isle
Ulysses somewhere sits, or creeps obscure,
Witness of these enormities, and seeds
Sowing of dire destruction for his foes;
So sure an augury, while on the deck
Reclining of the gallant bark, I saw,
And with loud voice proclaim’d it to thy son.


  By PanEris using Melati.

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