Ulysses with some difficulty, convinces Penelope of his identity, who at length, overcome by force of evidence, receives him to her arms with transport. He entertains her with a recital of his adventures, and in his narration the principal events of the poem are recapitulated. In the morning, Ulysses, Telemachus, the herdsman and the swine-herd depart into the country.
Again ascended, eager to apprize
The Queen of her Ulysses safe return;
Joy braced her knees, with nimbleness of youth
She steppd, and at her ear, her thus bespake.
With thy own eyes thy daily wish fulfilld.
Ulysses is arrived; hath reachd at last
His native home, and all those suitors proud
Hath slaughterd, who his family distressd,
His substance wasted, and contrould his son.
Dear nurse! the Gods have surely taen away
Thy judgment; they transform the wise to fools,
And fools conduct to wisdom, and have marrd
Thy intellect, who wast discrete before.
Why wilt thou mock me, wretched as I am,
With tales extravagant? and why disturb
Those slumbers sweet that seald so fast mine eyes?
For such sweet slumbers have I never known
Since my Ulysses on his voyage saild
To that bad city never to be named.
Down instant to thy place againbegone
For had another of my maidens dared
Disturb my sleep with tidings wild as these,
I had dismissd her down into the house
More roughly; but thine age excuses thee,
I mock thee not, my child; nohe is come
Himself, Ulysses, even as I say,
That stranger, object of the scorn of all.
Telemachus well knew his sire arrived,
But prudently conceald the tidings, so
To insure the more the suitors punishment.
And springing from the bed, wrappd in her arms
The ancient woman shedding tears of joy,
And in wingd accents ardent thus replied.
Hath he indeed arrivd as thou declarst?
How dared he to assail alone that band
Of shameless ones, for ever swarming here?
I nothing saw or knew; but only heard
Groans of the wounded; in thinterior house
We trembling sat, and evry door was fast.
Thus all remaind till by his father sent,
Thy own son calld me forth. Going, I found
Ulysses compassd by the slaughterd dead.
They coverd wide the pavement, heaps on heaps.
It would have cheerd thy heart to have beheld
Thy husband lion-like with crimson stains
Of slaughter and of dust all dappled oer,
Heapd in the portal, at this moment, lie
Their bodies, and he fumigates, meantime,
The house with sulphur and with flames of fire,
And hath, himself, sent me to bid thee down.
Follow me, then, that ye may give your hearts
To gladness, both, for ye have much endured;
But the event, so long your souls desire,
Is come; himself hath to his household Gods
Alive returnd, thee and his son he finds
Unharmd and at your home, nor hath he left
Unpunishd one of all his enemies.
Ah dearest nurse! indulge not to excess
This dangrous triumph. Thou art well apprized
How welcome his appearance here would prove
To all, but chief, to me, and to his son,
Fruit of our love. But these things are not so;
Some God, resentful of their evil deeds,
And of their biting contumely severe,
Hath slain those proud; for whether noble guest
Arrived or base, alike they scoffd at all,
And for their wickedness have therefore died.
But my Ulysses distant far, I know,
From Greece hath perishd, and returns no more.
What word my daughter had escaped thy lips,
Who thus affirmst thy husband, now within
And at his own hearth-side, for ever lost?
Canst thou be thus incredulous? Hear again
I give thee yet proof past dispute, his scar
Imprinted by a wild-boars ivry tusk.
Laving him I remarkd it, and desired,
Myself, to tell thee, but he, ever-wise,
Compressing with both hands my lips, forbad.
Come, follow me. My life shall be the pledge.
If I deceive thee, kill me as thou wilt.
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