High in his hands he rear'd the golden bowl [
Ev'n then to drain it lengthened out his breath ;
Ckaa^d to the deep, the bitter draught of death :
For fate who foar'd amidst a feastful band ?
And fate to numbers, by a single hand ?
Ffill through his throat Ulysses' weapon passM,
And pierc'd the neck.
He falls, and breathes his
7h^ tumbling goblet the wide floor overflows,
A stream of gqre burst spouting from bis nose;
. Grim in convulsive agonies he sprawls :
Before him spum'd the loaded table falls,
And spreads the pavements with a mingled flood
Of floating meats, and wine, and human blood.
Amaz'd, confounded, as they saw him fall,
Vprose the throngs tumultuous round the hall ;
CVer all the dome they cast a haggard rye.
Each look'd fur arms : in vain ; no arms were nigh :
" Aim'st thon at princes?" (all amaz'd thc^said)
*' Thy last of games unhappy hast thou play'd ;
Thy erring shaft has made our bravest bleed,
And death, unlucky guest, attends thy deed.
Vultures shall tear thee."— Thus iuceos'd they
"While each tochsince ascribM the wondrous stroke,
BlhKi as they were ; for death ev*n now invades
Hisdestin'd prey, and wraps them all in shades.
Then, grimly frowning with a dreadful look.
That withered all their hearts, Ulysses spoke :
** I)ogs, ye have had your day ! ye fear'd no
Ulysses vengeful from the Trojan ^horc ; fo^re
Whtk, to your lust and spoil a guardtess prey,
Pur aoose, ^vtf wQAlth, our hcljijess handmaids by : [
Not so content, with bolder frenzy fir'd,
Ev'n to our bed presumptuous you aspir'd :
Laws or divine or human faii'd to move,
Or shame of men, or dread of gods above :
Heedless alike of infamy or praise.
Or fame's eternal voice in future days :
The hour of vengeance, wretches, now is come.
Impending fate is yours, and instant doom."
Thus dreadful hew ConfusM thrf suitors stood,
From their pale cheeks re««jdes the flying blood :
Trembling they sought tlieir guilty heads to hide,
AJone the bold Eurymachus reply'd :
" If, as thy words impart," (he thus began)
Ulysses lives, and thou the mighty man.
Great are thy wrongs, and much hast thou suf^
In thyspoilM palace, and exhausted land;
The cause and author of those guilty deeds,
Lo ! at thy feet unjust Antinous bleeds.
Not love, but wild ambition was his guide ;
To slay thy son, thy kingdoms to divide,
These were his aims ; but juster Jove deny'd.
Since cold in death th' offender lies: oh, spare
Thy suppliant people, and receive their prayer !
Brass, gold and treasures, shall the spoil defray.
Two hundred oxen every prince shall pay :
The waste of years refunded in a day.
Till then thy wrath is just" — Ulysses burn'd
With high disdain, and sternly thus returnM :
** All, all the treasures thatenrich'd our throne
Before your rapines, join'd with all your own,
If oflcr'd, vainly should for mercy call ;
Tis you that offer, and I scorn them aH.;
Your blood is my demand, your lives the prize,
' Till pale as yonder wretch each suitor lies.
Hence with those coward terms; or fight or fly z
This choice is left you, to resist or die ;
And die I tnist ye shall."— He sternly spoke r
With guilty fears the pale assembly shook.
Alone Eurymachus exhorts the train :
" Ybn archer, comrades, will not shoot in vain ;
But from the threshold shall his darts be sped,
(Whoe'er he be) till every prince He dead >
Be mindful of yourselves, draw forth your swords.
And to his shafts obtend these ample boarils
(So need compels). Then all united strive
ITie bold invader from his post to drive;
The city rou^M shall to our rescue haste.
And this mad archer soon have shot his last*'
Swift as he spoke, he drew his traitor sword.
And like a lion rush*d against his lord :
The wary chief the rushing foe repressed,
Who met the point, and forcM it in his breast t
His falling hand deserts the lifted sword,
And prone he falls extended o'er the board !
Before him wide, in mix'd effusion, roll
Th' iwitasted viands, and the jovial bowl.
Pull through his liver passM the mortal ground.
With dying rage his forehead beats the ground.
He spurn'd the seat with fury as he fell.
And the fierce soul to darkness divM, and Hell.
Next bold Amphiiiomus his arm extends
To force the pass ; the godlike man defends.
Thy spear, Teleinachus ! prevents th' attack.
The brazen weapon driving through his back.
Thence through his breast its bloody passage tore ;
Flat falls he thundering on the marble floor,
And his crushM forehead marks the stone with goi
He left his javelin in the dead, for fear
The long incumbrance of the weighty sp^«r
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To the Aeroe foe advantage might a0brd.
To rush betweeo and use the sborten'd 9word.
With tpeedy ardour to his sire he flies,
Aud, '* Ann, great father ! arm," (in haste hecries.)
** li) ! hence I run for other arms to wield.
For missile javelins, and for helm and shield ;
Fast by our side let either faithful swain
In arms attend us, and their part susUin."
" Haste and return," (Ulysses made reply).
*' While yet th' auxilia; shafts this hand supply ;
Lest thus alone, encountered by an host,
Driv'n from the gate, th' important pass be lost**
With speed Telemachus obejrs, and flies
Where pird on heaps the royal armour Wet ;
Four brazen helmets, eight refulgent spears.
And four broad bucklers, to his sire he bears ;
At once in brasen panoply they shone,
At once each servant brac'd his armour on ;
Around their king a faithful guard they stand,
While yet each shaft flew dcathful from his hand :
Chief after chief expired at every wound,
And tweird the bleeding mountain on the ground.
Soon as bis store of flyiog fates was spent.
Against the wall he set the bow unbent :
And now his shoulders bear the massy shield.
And now his hands two beamy javelins wield :
He frowns beneath his nodding plume, that play*d
Cer the hign crest, and cast a dreadful shade.
There stood a window near, whence looking 4own
From o*er the porch appeared the subject town.
A double strength of valves secur'd the place,
A high and narrow, but the only pass :
the cautious king, with all -preventing care,
To guard that outlet, plac*d Eumxus. there :
When Agelaiis thus : ** Has none the sense
To moimt yon window, and alarm from thence
The neighbour town ? The town shall force the
And this bold archer soon shall shoot no more."
Melanthius then : " lliat outlet to the gate
8o> near adjoins, that one may guard the strait.
But other methods of defence remain,
Myself with arms can furnish all tlie train ;
l^^oree from the royal magazine I bring,
And their own daits shall pierce the prince and
He said; and, mounting up the lofty stairs.
Twelve shields, twelve lances, and twelve helmets
All arm, and sudden round the hall appears [bears:
A blase of bucklers, and a wood of spears.
Tlie hero stands oppressed with mighty woe.
On evenr side he sees the labour grow :
*' Oh curst event ! and, oh ! unlook'd for aid 1
Melanthius, or the women hare betray'd— ^
Oh, my dear son !" — ^the father with a sigh !
Then ccas'd ; the filial virtue made reply :
** Falsehood is folly, and ^is just to own
The hn\t committed ;' this was mine alooe;
My haste neglected yonder door to bar,
Aiid hence the villain has supply'd their war.
Kun,* good Euma^us, then, and (what before
I thoughtless err*d in) well securo that dpor:
Learn, if by female fraud this deed was done.
Or (as my thought misgives) by Dolius' son."
While yet they spoke, in quest of arm? again
To the high chamber stole the faitbles9 swain.
Not unobaerv'd. Emnseus watchful ey*d.
And tkkus addressed Ulysses near his side :
«« The misqreant we suspected takes that way j
Him, if ^hitf ftnB be pqwerf^l| shaU 1 slay }
Or drive him hither, to receive the meed
From thy own hand, of this detested deed >"
" Not so" (reply'd IJIysses) " leave him there.
For us sufficient is another care :
Within the stnicture of this palace wall
To keep enclos'd his masters till they fall.
Go you, and seize the felon : backward bind
His arms and logs, and fix a plank behind ;
On this his body by strong cords extend
And on a column near the roof supsend :
So studyM' tortures his rile days shall end.*'
The ready swains obey'd with joyful hasten
Behind the felon uoperceivM they passed.
As round the room ia quest of arms he goe$
(The half-shut door concealed his lurking foes) :
One hand sustained a helm, and one the shield
Which old Laertes wont in youth to wield,
Cdver'd with dust, with dryness (jhapt and worn.
The brass corroded, and the leather torn :
Thus laden, o'er the threshold as he 8tepp*d,
Fierce on the villain from each side they leap'd^
Back by the hair the trembling dastard drew.
And down reluctant on the pavement threw.
Active and pleased the zealons swains fulfil
At every point their master's rigid will :
First, fast behind, his hands and feet they bound.
Then straightened cords involved his body round :
So drawn aloft, athwart the column ty*d.
The howling felon swung from side to side.
Eumseus scofling then with keen disdain :
" There pass thy pleasing night, O gentle swain !
On that soft pillow, from that envy'd height
First may*st thou see the springing dawn of light ;
So timely rise, when morning streaks the east.
To drive thy victims to the suitors* feast".
This said, they left him, tortur*d as he lajr,
Secur'd the door, and hasty st/ode away :
Each, breathing death, resumed his daogerons pof^
Near great Ulysses ; four against an host
When, lo ! descending to our hero*s aid
Jove's daughter Pallas, war's triumphant maid :
Jn Mentor's friendly form she join*d his side ;
Ulysses saw, and thu« with transport cry*d :
" Come, ever welcome, and thy succour lend :
Oh, every sacred name in one ! my friend .'
Early we lov*d, and long our lores have grown :
- Whate'er through life's whole series I have done
Or good, or grateful, now to mind recall.
And, aiding this one hour, repay it all."
Thus he ; but pleasing hopes his bosom warm
Of Pallas latent in the friendly form.
The adverse hoet the phantom warrior ey'd.
And first, loud threatening, Agelaiis cry'd :
" Mentor, beware ! nor let that tongue persuafl*
Thy frantic arm to lend Ulysses aid ;
Our force successful shall our threat make good.
And with the sire and son's commix thy bl(K)d.
What hop'st thou here ? Thee first the sword shall
Then lop thy whole posterity away ; [slay.
Far hence thy banish'd consort shall we send ;
With his, thy forfeit lands and treasures blend ;
Thus, and thus only, shalt thou join thy friend."
His barbarous insult ev'n the goddess fires.
Who thus the warrior to revenge inspires ;
*' Art thou Ulysses J where then shall we find
The patient body and the constant mind ?
That courage, once the Trojans' daily dread.
Known nine long years, and felt by heroes dead ?
And where that conduct, which reveng'd the Inst
Of Priam*8 i^ce, and lajd prond Troy in do^t }
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HOMER'S ODYSSEY. BOOK XXIL
IfUiis, vheo Helen w«8 the cause, were done;
What for thy country uow, thy queen, thy foa ?
Rite ihea ia comhat, at my side attend ;
Obierve what vij^ur gratitude can lend,
And foes how w^, opposM against a friend !"
She s|^e ; but, willing longer to survey
The sire aa4 son's great acts, withheld the day ;
By farther toils decreed the brave to try.
And level ppis'd the wings of victory :
Then with a chaoge of form eludes their sight,
f erchM like a swallow on a rafter's height,
And onperceiv'd enjc^s the rising fight.
OamastQ^s son, bold Agelaii^, leads
The g^iilty war ; Eurynomus succeeds ;
With those, Pisander, great Polyc'tor's ion.
Sage Poly bus, »Qd stern Amphimedoo,
With Dexnoptolemus : these six survive ;
The best of all, the shafU had left alive.
Amidst the carnage desperate as they stand.
Thus A^Iaiis roused the lagging band.
"^The hour is aQme,when yon fierce man no more
With bleadinff princes shall bcstrow the floor.
Lo ! Mentorleaves him 4ith an empty boast;
The four remain, but four against aa host
left each at once discharge the deadly dart.
One sure of six shall reach Ulysses' heart :
The rest must perish, their great leader slain ;
Thus staall one stro1|i^ the glory lost regain.**
Theia all at once their mingled lances threw.
And thicsty all of one maA's blood they flew ;
In vaiia ! Minerva tum*d them with her breath,
And scatterM short, or wide, the points of death ;
With deaden'd sound, one on the threshold falls.
One stnkes the gate, one rings against the walls :
The storm passed innocent The godlike man
Kow loftier trod, and dreadfol thus began : [throw
'' 'TisQOw (brave fiaenda) our turn, 9t once to
(So sp€«d tbem Heaven) our javelins at the foe.
That inipious race to all their past misdeeds
Would add onr bkod. Injustice still proceed^.*'
He npoke : at once their fiery lances flew :
Great Demoptolemus Ulysses slew ;
Euryades received the prince's dart ;
The goatherd's q.uiver'd in Visander's heart ;
Fierce Elatua by thine, Eun^aeus, falls ;
Their faU in thunder echoes round the walls.
The rest retreat ; the victors now advance.
Each from the dead resumes his bloody lance.
Again the foe discharge the steely shower i
Again made frustxa^te by the virgin power.
S>ffie, tam'd by Pallas, on the threshold fall ;
Some wound the fpiU, some ring against the wall ;
Some weak, or ponderous with Uie brazen head,
Drop harmless on the pavement sounding dead.
Then bold Amphimedon his javelin cast ;
Thy band, Teiemacbus, it lightly raz'd :
And from Ctesippus* arm the spear elanc'd
On good Eumaus* shield and r-huulder glanced :
Not lessened of their force (so slight the wound)
Kach sung along, and drqpp*d upon the groupd*
Fate doom'd the next, Eurydamus, to b^
Thy death, ennobled by Ulysses' spear.
By the boh! son Amphimedon was slain :
And Polyhus renowned, the faithful swain.
Picrc'd through th« bre«9t the rude Ct^ippus bl#d,
And thus PMilfitius gloried o'er the dead, [doin ;
*' There end thy pompoas vaunts and high djbh
Ob ! sharp in sc^al, voluble, and vain !
Haw wtak is martal pride ! To Heaven alone
W eveQt 9f dcl^QMi ^ 94¥ i»te&are knosico ;
Seoffer, behold what gratitude we bear ;
The victim's heel is answer'd with this spear.^
Ul3rsses brandbh'd high his vengeful steel.
And Damastorides that instant feU ;
Fast by, Leo^tus expiring lay.
The prince's javelin tore its bloody
Through all his bowels : down he tumbles prone.
His batter'd front and brains besmear the stune. •
Now Pallas shines confessM ! aloft she spreads
The arm of vengeance o'er their guilty heads;
The dreadful seeis blazes in their eye ;
Amaz'd they see, they tremble, and they fly :
Confos'd, distracted, through the rooms they fling;
like oxen madileu'd by the breeze's sting,
When sultry days, and long, succeed the gentle
Not half so keen fierce vultures of the chase
Stoop from the mountains on the feather'd race.
When, the wide field extended snares beset.
With conscious dread they shun the quivering net:
No help, no flight : but, wounded every way^
Headlong they drop : the fowlers seize the prey.
On all sides thus they double wound on wound.
In prostrate heaps the wretches beat the ground.
Unmanly shrieks precede each dying groan.
And a rod deluge floats the reeking stone.
Leiodes first before the victor falls ;
The wretched augur thus fbr mercy calls ;
" Oh gracious hear ! nor let thy suppliant bleed :
Still undishonour^d, or by word or deed.
Thy house, ^ fbr me, remains; by me repress'd
Full oft was check'd th' injustice of the r«st :
Averse they heard me when I counseird well.
Their hearts were hardened, and they justly f^If,
Oh 1 spare an augur's consecrated bead,
Nor add the blameless to the guilty dead !"
" Priest as thou art ! for that detested band
Thy lying prophecies deceived the land:
Agabf^t Ulysses have thy vows been made.
For them, thy daily orisons were paid :
Yet more, ev'n to oi|r bed thy pride aspires t
One comtaion crime one common fate requires.''
Thus speaking, from the ground the sword he tooK
Which Agelaiis' dying hand fbrsook ;
Full through his neck the weighty falchion spel ;
Along the pavement roll'd the muttering head.
Phemius alone the hand of vengeance spar'd,
Phemius the sweet, the Heaven-instructed bard.
Beside the gate the reverend minstrel stands ;
The lyre, now silent, trembling in his hands ^
Dubious to supplicate the chief, or fly
To Jove's inviolable altar nigh.
Where oft Laertes holy vows bad paid.
And oft Ulysses smoking victims laid.
Bis honour'd harp with care he first set down.
Between the laver and the silver throne ;
I Tlien prostrate stretch'd before the dreadfel man»
Persuasive, thus with accetit soft began :
" O king ! to mercy be thy soul inclln'd.
And spare the poet*s ever gentle kind ;
A deed like this thy future fame would wrOQg;
For dear to gods and men is sacred song.
Self-taught I sing ; by Heaven, and Heaven alofift^
The genuine seeds of poesy are sown ;
And (what the gods bestow) the lofty lay.
The gods aloue, and godlike woi:th, we pay*
Save then the poet, and ihy$e^ revrzrd.^
'Tis thii^ to merit, ^line is to record.
That here 1. sung, was force, aad not desire j
This hand reluptaot tauch*d tlve w^rbUp^^wire^
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And let thy son attest, Yior sordid pay,
Nor serrile flattery, stain*d the moral lay.**
The* moving words Telemachut attends,
His. sire approaches, and the bard defends.
" Oh ! mix not, father, with these impious dead
The man divine ; forbear that sacred he«d }
Medoo, the herald, too our arms may spare,
Medpn, who made my infancy his care ;
If yet he breathes, permit thy son to give
Thus much to gratitude, and bid him live."
Beneath a table, trembling with dismay,
Couph'd close to earth, unhappy Medon lay,
Wr^f>p'd in a new-slain ox*s ample hide :
8«|ft at the word he cast his screep aside,
Sprung to the priooe, embncM his knee with tean,
And thus with grateftU ^noiee ii diinj si 'd hit e«a :
** O prince ! O friend ! 1o * here thy Medon
Ah ! stop the hero's unresisted hands, [stands ;
Incensed too justly by that impibus brood
Whose guilty glories now are set in blood.**
To whom Ulysses with a pleasing eye :
*' Be bold, on friendship and my son rely ;
Lire an example for the world to read,
H6w much more sails the good than evil deed :
Thou, #ith the Heaven-taught bard, in peace resort
From blood and carnage to yoo open court :
Me other work requires" — ^With timoroos awe
From the dire scene th* exempted two withdraw,
Scarce sure of life, look round, and trembling
To the bright altars of protector Jove.**
Meanwhile Ulysses searched the dome, to find
If yet there live of all th' offending kind.
Not one ! complete the bloody tale he found,
All steep'd in blood, all gasping on the ground*
So when, by hollow shores, the fisher train
Sweep with their arching nets the hoary main,
And scarce the meshy toils the eopious draught
All naked of their element and bare, [contain.
The fishes pant and gasp in thinner air !
Wide o'er the sands are spread the stiflfening prey.
Till the warm Sun exhales their soul away.
And now the king commands his son to call
Old Euryclea to the deathful hall :
The vm observant not a moment stays :
The aged governess witli vpecd obeys :
The sounding portals inhtant they display ;
ThiB matron moves, the prince directs the way.
On heaps of death the stem tflysses stood,
All bhick with dubt, and covered thick with blood.
So the grim lion from the slaughter comes,
Dreadful he glares, and terribly he foams,
His breast with marks of carnage painted o*er,
His jaws ail dropping with the bull's black gore.
Soon as her eyes the welcome object met.
The guilty fallen, the mighty deed complete j
A Vream of joy her fc-eble voice assayed :
The hero checked hor, and composedly said —
" Wofnan, experienced as thou art, control
Indecent joy, and feast thy secret soul.
T* insult the dead, is cruel and unjust ;
Fate and their crime have sunk them to the dust
Kor heeded these the censure of mankind ; .
The good and bad were equal in their mind.
Justly the price of worthlessness they paid.
And eabh now wails an unlamented shade.
But thou, sincere, O Euryclea ! say
What maids 'dishonour us, and what obey }
Then she : " In these thy kingly walls i
(My son) full fifty of the handmaid train.
Taught by my care to cnll the ilefoe, er ^^dv^
And servitude with pleasing tasks deceive ;
Of these, twice six pursue their wicked way.
Nor me, nor chaste Penelope obey ;
Kor fits it that Tel<^machus command
(Young as he is) his mother's female band.
Hence to the upper chambers let me fly,
Where slumbers soft now close the royal eye ;
There wake her with the news**— the matron cry'd.
" Not so," (Ulysses more sedate replyM) [deeds :••
" Bring first the crew who wrongfat these guilty
In haste the matfon parts ; the king proceeds :
" Now to dispose the dead, the care remains
To yon, my son, and you, my faithful swains^
Th* ofllnding females to that task we doom.
To wash, toicent, and pttfify the nwn.
ThoK (emry teble denos'd, and every throne.
And all the melancholy labour done)
Drive to yon court, without the palace wall.
There the revenging sword shall smite them all i
So with the snitors let them mix in dust,
Stretched hi a long oblivion of their Inst*'
He said : the lamentable train appear.
Each vents a groan, and drops a tender tear ;
Each heav'd her mournfi^ burthen,' and beneath
The porch, deposed the ghastly heaps of death.
The chief severe, compelling each to move,
Ufg'd the dire task imperious frum above.
With thirsty sponge they rub the tables o'er,
(The swains unite their toil) the walls, the floor,
Wash'd with th* effusive wave, are pnrg*d of gore«
Once more the palace set in fair array.
To the base court the females take their way ;
There compassed close between the dome and'wall,
(Thdr life's last scene) they ti«m^ng wait thei^
Then thus the prince : " To these shall we afford
A ihte so pure as by the martial sword }
To these, the nightly prottitntes to shame.
And base revilers of our liouse and name ?"
Thus speaking, on the circling wall he strung
A ship's tough cable, from a column bung ;
Near the high top he strain'd it strongly round,
Whence no cont^mding foot could reach the ground
Their heads above c«)nnected in a row.
They beat the air with quivering feet below :
Thus, on some tree hung stmggling in the saarej^
The doves or thrushes flap their wmgs in ^r,
Soon fled the soul impure, and left behind
The empty corse to waver with the wind^
Then forth they led Melanthius, and begaq
Their bloody work : they lopp'd away the man.
Morsel for dogs ! then trimm'd with brazen sbeert
The wretch, and shortenM of his nose and ears;
His hands and feet last felt the cruel steel :
He foar'd, and torments gave his soul to Hell— ^
lliey wash, and to IHysses take their way;
So ends the bloody business of the day.
To Euryclea then address'd the king :
** Bring hither fire, and hither sulphur bring.
To purge the palace : then, the queen attend.
And let her with her matron train descend ;
The matron-train, with all the virgin band.
Assemble here to learn their lord's command.*^
Then Euryclea : " Joyful I obey.
But cast those mean dishonest rags away ;
Permit me first the royal robes to bring :
ill suits this garb the shoulders of a king.'' [cries)
•* Brinjr sulphur straight, and fire," (th^ monarch
She hears, and at the worii obedtent flie^
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HOMER'S ODYSSEY. BOOK XXIII.
ffith fire an^ nilpbnr, cure of noxioas fumes,
He purg'd' the ^walU, and blood-polluted rooms.
Afaiu the matron springs with eager pace,
. And spreads her lord's return from place to place.
71i'eyhear, rush forth, and instant round hiio stand
A gazing throng, a torch in every band.
They saw, they knew him, and with fond embrace
Each humbly kissM bis knee, or hand, or face ;
He knows them all ; in all such truth appears,
Sr'n he tDdnlj^es the sweet joy of tears.
ISvtvcLKA awakens Penelope with the news of
Uly9ses*8 return, and the death of the suitors.
Penelope scarcely crediu her ; but supposes
some god has punished them, and descends from
her apartment in doubt. At the first interview
of Ulysses and Penelope, she is quite unsatisfied.
Minerva restores him to the beauty of his youth ;
l)ut the queen continues incredulous, till by
some cixcomstanoes she is coayinced, and foils
into all the transports of passion and tender-