Chapman, George, trans. (1559?1634). The Odysseys of Homer, vol. 1. 1857.
THE FIFTH BOOK OF HOMER'S ODYSSEYS.
- A SECOND Court on Jove attends;
- Who Hermes to Calypso sends,
- Commanding her to clear the ways
- Ulysses sought; and she obeys.
- When Neptune saw Ulysses free,
- And so in safety plough the sea,
- Enraged, he ruffles up the waves,
- And splits his ship. Leucothea saves
- His person yet, as being a Dame
- Whose Godhead govern'd in the frame
- Of those seas' tempers. But the mean,
- By which she curbs dread Neptune's spleen,
- Is made a jewel, which she takes
- From off her head, and that she makes
- Ulysses on his bosom wear,
- About his neck, she ties it there,
- And, when he is with waves beset,
- Bids wear it as an amulet,
- Commanding him, that not before
- He touch'd upon Phaeacia's shore,
- He should not part with it, but then
- Return it to the sea again,
- And cast it from him. He performs;
- Yet, after this, bides bitter storms,
- And in the rocks sees death engraved,
- But on Phaeacia's shore is saved.
- E. Ulysses builds
- A ship; and gains
- The glassy fields;
- Pays Neptune pains.
URORA rose from high-born Tithon's bed,
That men and Gods might be illustrated,
And then the Deities sat. Imperial Jove,
That makes the horrid murmur beat above,
Took place past all, whose height for ever springs, 5
And from whom flows th' eternal power of things.
Then Pallas, mindful of Ulysses, told
The many cares that in Calypso's hold
He still sustain'd, when he had felt before
So much affliction, and such dangers more. 10
"O Father," said she, "and ye Ever-blest,
Give never king hereafter interest
In any aid of yours, by serving you,
By being gentle, human, just, but grow
Rude, and for ever scornful of your rights, 15
All justice ordering by their appetites,
Since he, that ruled as it in right behoved,
That all his subjects as his children loved,
Finds you so thoughtless of him and his birth.
Thus men begin to say, ye rule in earth, 20
And grudge at what ye let him undergo,
Who yet the least part of his suff'rance know:
Thrall'd in an island, shipwrack'd in his tears,
And, in the fancies that Calypso bears,
Bound from his birthright, all his shipping gone, 25
And of his soldiers not retaining one.
And now his most-lov'd son's life doth inflame
Their slaught'rous envies; since his father's fame
He puts in pursuit, and is gone as far
As sacred Pylos, and the singular 30
Dame-breeding Sparta." This, with this reply,
The Cloud-assembler answer'd: "What words fly
Thine own remembrance, daughter? Hast not thou
The counsel given thyself, that told thee how
Ulysses shall with his return address 35
His Wooers wrongs? And, for the safe access
His son shall make to his innative port,
Do thou direct it, in as curious sort
As thy wit serves thee; it obeys thy powers;
And in their ship return the speedless Wooers." 40
Then turn'd he to his issue Mercury,
And said: "Thou hast made good our ambassy
To th' other Statists, to the Nymph then now,
On whose fair head a tuft of gold doth grow,
Bear our true-spoken counsel, for retreat 45
Of patient Ulysses; who shall get
No aid from us, nor any mortal man,
But in a patch'd-up skiff (built as he can,
And suffering woes enough) the twentieth day
At fruitful Scheria let him breathe his way, 50
With the Phaeacians, that half Deities live,
Who like a God will honour him, and give
His wisdom clothes, and ship, and brass, and gold,
More than for gain of Troy he ever told;
Where, at the whole division of the prey, 55
If he a saver were, or got away
Without a wound, if he should grudge, 'twas well.
But th' end shall crown all; therefore Fate will deal
So well with him, to let him land, and see
His native earth, friends, house, and family." 60
Thus charged he; nor Argicides denied,
But to his feet his fair wing'd shoes he tied,
Ambrosian, golden, that in his command
Put either sea, or the unmeasured land,
With pace as speedy as a puft of wind. 65
Then up his rod went, with which he declined
The eyes of any waker, when he pleased,
And any sleeper, when he wish'd, diseased.
This took; he stoop'd Pieria, and thence
Glid through the air, and Neptune's confluence 70
Kiss'd as he flew, and check'd the waves as light
As any sea-mew in her fishing flight,
Her thick wings sousing in the savory seas.
Like her, he pass'd a world of wilderness;
But when the far-off isle he touch'd, he went 75
Up from the blue sea to the continent,
And reach'd the ample cavern of the Queen,
Whom he within found, without seldom seen.
A sun-like fire upon the hearth did flame,
The matter precious, and divine the frame, 80
Of cedar cleft and incense was the pile,
That breathed an odour round about the isle.
Herself was seated in an inner room,
Whom sweetly sing he heard, and at her loom,
About a curious web, whose yarn she threw 85
In with a golden shittle. A grove grew
In endless spring about her cavern round,
With odorous cypress, pines, and poplars, crown'd,
Where hawks, sea-owls, and long-tongued bittours bred;
And other birds their shady pinions spread; 90
All fowls maritimal; none roosted there,
But those whose labours in the waters were.
A vine did all the hollow cave embrace,
Still green, yet still ripe bunches gave it grace.
Four fountains, one against another, pour'd 95
Their silver streams; and meadows all enflower'd
With sweet balm-gentle, and blue violets hid,
That deck'd the soft breasts of each fragrant mead.
Should any one, though he immortal were,
Arrive and see the sacred objects there, 100
He would admire them, and be over-joy'd;
And so stood Hermes' ravish'd powers employed.
But having all admired, he enter'd on
The ample cave, nor could be seen unknown
Of great Calypso (for all Deities are 105
Prompt in each other's knowledge, though so far
Sever'd in dwellings) but he could not see
Ulysses there within; without was he
Set sad ashore, where 'twas his use to view
Th' unquiet sea, sigh'd, wept, and empty drew 110
His heart of comfort. Placed here in her throne,
That beams cast up to admiration,
Divine Calypso question'd Hermes thus:
"For what cause, dear, and much-esteem'd by us,
Thou golden-rod-adorned Mercury, 115
Arriv'st thou here? Thou hast not used t' apply
Thy passage this way. Say, whatever be
Thy heart's desire, my mind commands it thee,
If in my means it lie, or power of fact.
But first, what hospitable rights exact, 120
Come yet more near, and take." This said, she set
A table forth, and furnish'd it with meat,
Such as the Gods taste; and serv'd in with it
Vermilion nectar. When with banquet fit
He had confirm'd his spirits, he thus express'd 125
His cause of coming: "Thou hast made request,
Goddess of Goddesses, to understand
My cause of touch here; which thou shalt command,
And know with truth: Jove caused my course to thee
Against my will, for who would willingly 130
Lackey along so vast a lake of brine,
Near to no city that the Powers divine
Receives with solemn rites and hecatombs?
But Jove's will ever all law overcomes,
No other God can cross or make it void; 135
And he affirms, that one the most annoy'd
With woes and toils of all those men that fought
For Priam's city, and to end hath brought
Nine years in the contention, is with thee.
For in the tenth year, when roy victory 140
Was won to give the Greeks the spoil of Troy,
Return they did profess, but not enjoy,
Since Pallas they incens'd, and she the waves
By all the winds' power, that blew ope their graves.
And there they rested. Only this poor one 145
This coast both winds and waves have cast upon;
Whom now forthwith he wills thee to dismiss,
Affirming that th' unaltered Destinies
Not only have decreed he shall not die
Apart his friends, but of necessity 150
Enjoy their sights before those fatal hours,
His country earth reach, and erected towers."
This struck a love-check'd horror through her powers,
When, naming him, she this reply did give:
"Insatiate are ye Gods, past all that live, 155
In all things you affect; which still converts
Your powers to envies. It afflicts your hearts,
That any Goddess should, as you obtain
The use of earthly dames, enjoy the men,
And most in open marriage. So ye far'd, 160
When the delicious-finger'd Morning shar'd
Orion's bed; you easy-living States
Could never satisfy your emulous hates,
Till in Ortygia the precise-liv'd Dame,
Gold-throned Diana, on him rudely came, 165
And with her swift shafts slew him. And such pains,
When rich-hair'd Ceres pleas'd to give the reins
To her affections, and the grace did yield
Of love and bed amidst a three-cropp'd field,
To her Iasion, he paid angry Jove, 170
Who lost no long time notice of their love,
But with a glowing lightning was his death.
And now your envies labour underneath
A mortal's choice of mine; whose life I took
To liberal safety, when his ship Jove strook, 175
With red-hot flashes, piece-meal in the seas,
And all his friends and soldiers succourless
Perish'd but he. Him, cast upon this coast
With blasts and billows, I, in life given lost,
Preserv'd alone, lov'd, nourish'd, and did vow 180
To make him deathless, and yet never grow
Crooked, or worn with age, his whole life long.
But since no reason may be made so strong
To strive with Jove's will, or to make it vain,
No not if all the other Gods should strain 185
Their powers against it, let his will be law,
So he afford him fit means to withdraw,
As he commands him, to the raging main.
But means from me he never shall obtain,
For my means yield nor men, nor ship, nor oars, 190
To set him off from my so envied shores.
But if my counsel and good will can aid
His safe pass home, my best shall be assay'd."
"Vouchsafe it so," said heaven's ambassador,
"And deign it quickly. By all means abhor 195
T' incense Jove's wrath against thee, that with grace
He may hereafter all thy wish embrace."
Thus took the Argus-killing God his wings.
And since the reverend Nymph these awful things
Receiv'd from Jove, she to Ulysses went; 200
Whom she ashore found, drown'd in discontent,
His eyes kept never dry he did so mourn,
And waste his dear age for his wish'd return;
Which still without the cause he used to do,
Because he could not please the Goddess so. 205
At night yet, forc'd, together took their rest,
The willing Goddess and th' unwilling Guest;
But he all day in rocks, and on the shore,
The vex'd sea view'd, and did his fate deplore.
Him, now, the Goddess coming near bespake: 210
"Unhappy man, no more discomfort take
For my constraint of thee, nor waste thine age,
I now will passing freely disengage
Thy irksome stay here. Come then, fell thee wood,
And build a ship, to save thee from the flood. 215
I'll furnish thee with fresh wave, bread, and wine
Ruddy and sweet, that will the piner pine,
Put garments on thee, give thee winds foreright,
That every way thy home-bent appetite
May safe attain to it; if so it please 220
At all parts all the heaven-housed Deities,
That more in power are, more in skill, than I,
And more can judge what fits humanity."
He stood amaz'd at this strange change in her,
And said: "O Goddess! Thy intents prefer 225
Some other project than my parting hence,
Commanding things of too high consequence
For my performance, that myself should build
A ship of power, my home-assays to shield
Against the great sea of such dread to pass; 230
Which not the best built ship that ever was
Will pass exulting, when such winds, as Jove
Can thunder up, their trims and tacklings prove.
But could I build one, I would ne'er aboard,
Thy will opposed, nor, won, without thy word, 235
Given in the great oath of the Gods to me,
Not to beguile me in the least degree."
The Goddess smiled, held hard his hand, and said:
"O y' are a shrewd one, and so habited
In taking heed thou know'st not what it is 240
To be unwary, nor use words amiss.
How hast thou charm'd me, were I ne'er so sly!
Let earth know then, and heaven, so broad, so high,
And th' under-sunk waves of th' infernal stream,
(Which is an oath, as terribly supreme, 245
As any God swears) that I had no thought
But stood with what I spake, nor would have wrought,
Nor counsell'd, any act against thy good;
But over diligently weigh'd, and stood
On those points in persuading thee, that I 250
Would use myself in such extremity.
For my mind simple is, and innocent,
Not given by cruel sleights to circumvent,
Nor bear I in my breast a heart of steel,
But with the sufferer willing suff'rance feel." 255
This said, the Grace of Goddesses led home,
He track'd her steps; and, to the cavern come,
In that rich throne, whence Mercury arose,
He sat. The Nymph herself did then appose,
For food and beverage, to him all best meat 260
And drink, that mortals used to taste and eat.
Then sat she opposite, and for her feast
Was nectar and ambrosia address'd
By handmaids to her. Both, what was prepar'd,
Did freely fall to. Having fitly far'd, 265
The Nymph Calypso this discourse began:
"Jove-bred Ulysses! Many-witted man!
Still is thy home so wish'd? So soon, away?
Be still of cheer, for all the worst I say.
But, if thy soul knew what a sum of woes, 270
For thee to cast up, thy stern Fates impose,
Ere to thy country earth thy hopes attain,
Undoubtedly thy choice would here remain,
Keep house with me, and be a liver ever.
Which, methinks, should thy house and thee dissever, 275
Though for thy wife there thou art set on fire,
And all thy days are spent in her desire;
And though it be no boast in me to say
In form and mind I match her every way.
Nor can it fit a mortal dame's compare, 280
T' affect those terms with us that deathless are."
The great-in-counsels made her this reply:
"Renown'd, and to be reverenced, Deity!
Let it not move thee, that so much I vow
My comforts to my wife; though well I know 285
All cause myself why wise Penelope
In wit is far inferior to thee,
In feature, stature, all the parts of show,
She being a mortal, an immortal thou,
Old ever growing, and yet never old. 290
Yet her desire shall all my days see told,
Adding the sight of my returning day,
And natural home. If any God shall lay
His hand upon me as I pass the seas,
I'll bear the worst of what his hand shall please, 295
As having given me such a mind as shall
The more still rise the more his hand lets fall.
In wars and waves my sufferings were not small.
I now have suffer'd much, as much before,
Hereafter let as much result, and more." 300
This said, the sun set, and earth shadows gave;
When these two (in an in-room of the cave,
Left to themselves) left love no rites undone.
The early Morn up, up he rose, put on
His in and out weed. She herself enchaces 305
Amidst a white robe, full of all the Graces,
Ample, and pleated thick like fishy scales;
A golden girdle then her waist impales;
Her head a veil decks; and abroad they come.
And now began Ulysses to go home. 310
A great axe first she gave, that two ways cut,
In which a fair well-polish'd helm was put,
That from an olive bough receiv'd his frame.
A plainer then. Then led she, till they came
To lofty woods that did the isle confine. 315
The fir tree, poplar, and heaven-scaling pine,
Had there their offspring. Of which, those that were
Of driest matter, and grew longest there,
He choos'd for lighter sail. This place thus shown,
The Nymph turn'd home. He fell to felling down, 320
And twenty trees he stoop'd in little space,
Plain'd, used his plumb, did all with artful grace.
In mean time did Calypso wimbles bring.
He bor'd, closed, nail'd, and order'd every thing,
And took how much a ship-wright will allow 325
A ship of burden (one that best doth know
What fits his art) so large a keel he cast,
Wrought up her decks, and hatches, side-boards, mast,
With willow watlings arm'd her to resist
The billows outrage, added all she miss'd, 330
Sail-yards, and stern for guide. The Nymph then brought
Linen for sails, which with dispatch he wrought,
Gables, and halsters, tacklings. All the frame
In four days' space to full perfection came.
The fifth day, they dismiss'd him from the shore, 335
Weeds neat, and odorous, gave him, victuals store,
Wine, and strong waters, and a prosp'rous wind,
To which, Ulysses, fit-to-be-divin'd,
His sails expos'd, and hoised. Off he gat;
And cheerful was he. At the stern he sat, 340
And steer'd right artfully. Nor sleep could seize
His eye-lids. He beheld the Pleiades;
The Bear, surnam'd the Wain, that round doth move
About Orion, and keeps still above
The billowy ocean; the slow-setting star 345
Bootes call'd, by some the waggoner.
Calypso warn'd him he his course should steer
Still to his left hand. Seventeen days did clear
The cloudy night's command in his moist way,
And by the eighteenth light he might display 350
The shady hills of the Phaeacian shore,
For which, as to his next abode, he bore.
The country did a pretty figure yield,
And look'd from off the dark seas like a shield.
Imperious Neptune, making his retreat 355
From th' Æthiopian earth, and taking seat
Upon the mountains of the Solymi,
From thence, far off discovering, did descry
Ulysses his fields ploughing. All on fire
The sight straight set his heart, and made desire 360
Of wreak run over, it did boil so high.
When, his head nodding, "O impiety,"
He cried out, "now the Gods' inconstancy
Is most apparent, altering their designs
Since I the Æthiops saw, and here confines 365
To this Ulysses' fate his misery.
The great mark, on which all his hopes rely,
Lies in Phaeacia. But I hope he shall
Feel woe at height, ere that dead calm befall."
This said; he, begging, gather'd clouds from land, 370
Frighted the seas up, snatch'd into his hand
His horrid trident, and aloft did toss,
Of all the winds, all storms he could engross,
All earth took into sea with clouds, grim Night
Fell tumbling headlong from the cope of light, 375
The East and South winds justled in the air,
The violent Zephyr, and North making-fair,
Rolled up the waves before them. And then bent
Ulysses' knees, then all his spirit was spent.
In which despair, he thus spake: "Woe is me! 380
What was I born to, man of misery!
Fear tells me now, that, all the Goddess said,
Truth's self will author, that Fate would he paid
Grief's whole sum due from me, at sea, before
I reach'd the dear touch of my country's shore. 385
With what clouds Jove heaven's heighten'd forehead binds!
How tyrannize the wraths of all the winds!
How all the tops he bottoms with the deeps,
And in the bottoms all the tops he steeps!
Thus dreadful is the presence of our death. 390
Thrice four times blest were they that sunk beneath
Their fates at Troy, and did to nought contend
But to renown Atrides with their end!
I would to God, my hour of death and fate
That day had held the power to terminate, 395
When showers of darts my life bore undepress'd
About divine Æacides deceased!
Then had I been allotted to have died,
By all the Greeks with funerals glorified,
(Whence death, encouraging good life, had grown) 400
Where now I die, by no man mourn'd nor known."
This spoke, a huge wave took him by the head,
And hurl'd him o'er board; ship and all it laid
Inverted quite amidst the waves, but he
Far off from her sprawl'd, strow'd about the sea, 405
His stern still holding broken off, his mast
Burst in the midst, so horrible a blast
Of mix'd winds struck it. Sails and sail-yards fell
Amongst the billows; and himself did dwell
A long time under water, nor could get 410
In haste his head out, wave with wave so met
In his depression; and his garments too,
Given by Calypso, gave him much to do,
Hind'ring his swimming; yet he left not so
His drenched vessel, for the overthrow 415
Of her nor him, but gat at length again,
Wrestling with Neptune, hold of her; and then
Sat in her bulk, insulting over death,
Which, with the salt stream press'd to stop his breath,
He 'scap'd, and gave the sea again to give 420
To other men. His ship so striv'd to live,
Floating at randon, cuff'd from wave to wave.
As you have seen the North wind when he drave
In autumn heaps of thorn-fed Grasshoppers
Hither and thither, one heap this way bears, 425
Another that, and makes them often meet
In his confus'd gales; so Ulysses' fleet
The winds hurl'd up and down; now Boreas
Toss'd it to Notus, Notus gave it pass
To Eurus, Eurus Zephyr made it pursue 430
The horrid tennis. This sport call'd the view
Of Cadmus' daughter, with the narrow heel,
Ino Leucothea, that first did feel
A mortal dame's desires, and had a tongue,
But now had th' honour to be nam'd among 435
The marine Godheads. She with pity saw
Ulysses justled thus from flaw to flaw,
And, like a cormorant in form and flight,
Rose from a whirl-pool, on the ship did light,
And thus bespake him: "Why is Neptune thus 440
In thy pursuit extremely furious,
Oppressing thee with such a world of ill,
Even to thy death? He must not serve his will,
Though 'tis his study. Let me then advise
As my thoughts serve; thou shalt not be unwise 445
To leave thy weeds and ship to the commands
Of these rude winds, and work out with thy hands
Pass to Phaeacia, where thy austere Fate
Is to pursue thee with no more such hate.
Take here this tablet, with this riband strung, 450
And see it still about thy bosom hung;
By whose eternal virtue never fear
To suffer thus again, nor perish here.
But when thou touchest with thy hand the shore,
Then take it from thy neck, nor wear it more, 455
But cast it far off from the continent,
And then thy person far ashore present."
Thus gave she him the tablet; and again,
Turn'd to a cormorant, dived, past sight, the main.
Patient Ulysses sigh'd at this, and stuck 460
In the conceit of such fair-spoken luck,
And said: "Alas! I must suspect even this,
Lest any other of the Deities
Add sleight to Neptune's force, to counsel me
To leave my vessel, and so far off see 465
The shore I aim at. Not with thoughts too clear
Will I obey her, but to me appear
These counsels best: As long as I perceive
My ship not quite dissolv'd, I will not leave
The help she may afford me, but abide, 470
And suffer all woes till the worst be tried.
When she is split, I'll swim. No miracle can,
Past near and clear means, move a knowing man."
While this discourse employ'd him, Neptune raised
A huge, a high, and horrid sea, that seized 475
Him and his ship, and toss'd them through the lake.
As when the violent winds together take
Heaps of dry chaff, and hurl them every way;
So his long wood-stack Neptune strook astray.
Then did Ulysses mount on rib, perforce, 480
Like to a rider of a running horse,
To stay himself a time, while he might shift
His drenched weeds, that were Calypso's gift.
When putting straight Leucothea's amulet
About his neck, he all his forces set 485
To swim, and cast him prostrate to the seas.
When powerful Neptune saw the ruthless prease
Of perils siege him thus, he mov'd his head,
And this betwixt him and his heart he said:
"So, now feel ills enow, and struggle so, 490
Till to your Jove-lov'd islanders you row.
But my mind says, you will not so avoid
This last task too, but be with suff'rance cloy'd."
This said, his rich-man'd horse he mov'd, and reach'd
His house at Ægas. But Minerva fetch'd 495
The winds from sea, and all their ways but one
Barr'd to their passage; the bleak North alone
She set to blow, the rest she charg'd to keep
Their rages in, and bind themselves in sleep.
But Boreas still flew high to break the seas, 500
Till Jove-bred Ithacus the more with ease
The navigation-skill'd Phaeacian states
Might make his refuge, Death and angry Fates
At length escaping. Two nights, yet, and days
He spent in wrestling with the sable seas; 505
In which space, often did his heart propose
Death to his eyes. But when Aurora rose,
And threw the third light from her orient hair,
The winds grew calm, and clear was all the air,
Not one breath stirring. Then he might descry, 510
Rais'd by the high seas, clear, the land was nigh.
And then, look how to good sons that esteem
Their father's life dear, (after pains extreme,
Felt in some sickness, that hath held him long
Down to his bed, and with affections strong 515
Wasted his body, made his life his load,
As being inflicted by some angry God)
When on their prayers they see descend at length
Health from the heavens, clad all in spirit and strength,
The sight is precious; so, since here should end 520
Ulysses' toils, which therein should extend
Health to his country, held to him his sire,
And on which long for him disease did tire,
And then, besides, for his own sake to see
The shores, the woods so near, such joy had he, 525
As those good sons for their recover'd sire.
Then labour'd feet and all parts to aspire
To that wish'd continent; which when as near
He came, as Clamour might inform an ear,
He heard a sound beat from the sea-bred rocks, 530
Against which gave a huge sea horrid shocks,
That belch'd upon the firm land weeds and foam,
With which were all things hid there, where no room
Of fit capacity was for any port,
Nor from the sea for any man's resort, 535
The shores, the rocks, the cliffs, so prominent were.
"O," said Ulysses then, "now Jupiter
Hath given me sight of an unhoped for shore,
Though I have wrought these seas so long, so sore.
Of rest yet no place shows the slend'rest prints, 540
The rugged shore so bristled is with flints,
Against which every way the waves so flock,
And all the shore shows as one eminent rock,
So near which 'tis so deep, that not a sand
Is there for any tired foot to stand, 545
Nor fly his death-fast following miseries,
Lest, if he land, upon him fore-right flies
A churlish wave, to crush him 'gainst a cliff,
Worse than vain rend'ring all his landing strife.
And should I swim to seek a haven elsewhere, 550
Or land less way-beat, I may justly fear
I shall be taken with a gale again,
And cast a huge way off into the main;
And there the great Earth-shaker (having seen
My so near landing, and again his spleen 555
Forcing me to him) will some whale send out,
(Of which a horrid number here about,
His Amphitrite breeds) to swallow me.
I well have prov'd, with what malignity
He treads my steps. While this discourse he held, 560
A curs'd surge 'gainst a cutting rock impell'd
His naked body, which it gash'd and tore,
And had his bones broke, if but one sea more
Had cast him on it. But She prompted him,
That never fail'd, and bade him no more swim 565
Still off and on, but boldly force the shore,
And hug the rock that him so rudely tore;
Which he with both hands sigh'd and clasp'd, till past
The billow's rage was; when 'scap'd, back so fast
The rock repuls'd it, that it reft his hold, 570
Sucking him from it, and far back he rolled.
And as the polypus that (forc'd from home
Amidst the soft sea, and near rough land come
For shelter 'gainst the storms that beat on her
At open sea, as she abroad doth err) 575
A deal of gravel, and sharp little stones,
Needfully gathers in her hollow bones;
So he forc'd hither by the sharper ill,
Shunning the smoother, where he best hop'd, still
The worst succeeded; for the cruel friend, 580
To which he cling'd for succour, off did rend
From his broad hands the soaken flesh so sore,
That off he fell, and could sustain no more.
Quite under water fell he; and, past fate,
Hapless Ulysses there had lost the state 585
He held in life, if, still the grey-eyed Maid
His wisdom prompting, he had not assay'd
Another course, and ceas'd t' attempt that shore,
Swimming, and casting round his eye t' explore
Some other shelter. Then the mouth he found 590
Of fair Callicoe's flood, whose shores were crown'd
With most apt succours; rocks so smooth they seem'd
Polish'd of purpose; land that quite redeem'd
With breathless coverts th' others' blasted shores.
The flood he knew, and thus in heart implores: 595
"King of this river, hear! Whatever name
Makes thee invok'd, to thee I humbly frame
My flight from Neptune's furies. Reverend is
To all the ever-living Deities
What erring man soever seeks their aid. 600
To thy both flood and knees a man dismay'd
With varied suff'rance sues. Yield then some rest
To him that is thy suppliant profess'd."
This, though but spoke in thought, the Godhead heard,
Her current straight stay'd, and her thick waves clear'd 605
Before him, smooth'd her waters, and, just where
He pray'd half-drown'd, entirely saved him there.
Then forth he came, his both knees falt'ring, both
His strong hands hanging down, and all with froth
His cheeks and nosthrils flowing, voice and breath 610
Spent to all use, and down he sunk to death.
The sea had soak'd his heart through; all his veins
His toils had rack'd t' a labouring woman's pains.
Dead weary was he. But when breath did find
A pass reciprocal, and in his mind 615
His spirit was recollected, up he rose,
And from his neck did th' amulet unloose,
That Ino gave him; which he hurl'd from him
To sea. It sounding fell, and back did swim
With th' ebbing waters, till it straight arriv'd 620
Where Ino's fair hand it again receiv'd.
Then kiss'd he th' humble earth; and on he goes,
Till bulrushes show'd place for his repose,
Where laid, he sigh'd, and thus said to his soul:
"O me, what strange perplexities control 625
The whole skill of thy powers in this event!
What feel I? If till care-nurse night be spent
I watch amidst the flood, the sea's chill breath,
And vegetant dews, I fear will be my death,
So low brought with my labours. Towards day 630
A passing sharp air ever breathes at sea.
If I the pitch of this next mountain scale,
And shady wood, and in some thicket fall
Into the hands of Sleep, though there the cold
May well be check'd, and healthful slumbers hold 635
Her sweet hand on my powers, all care allay'd,
Yet there will beasts devour me. Best appaid
Doth that course make me yet; for there, some strife,
Strength, and my spirit, may make me make for life;
Which, though impair'd, may yet be fresh applied, 640
Where peril possible of escape is tried.
But he that fights with heaven, or with the sea,
To indiscretion adds impiety."
Thus to the woods he hasted; which he found
Not far from sea, but on far-seeing ground, 645
Where two twin underwoods he enter'd on,
With olive-trees and oil-trees overgrown;
Through which the moist force of the loud-voiced wind
Did never beat, nor ever Phoebus shin'd,
Nor shower beat through, they grew so one in one, 650
And had, by turns, their power t' exclude the sun.
Here enter'd our Ulysses; and a bed
Of leaves huge, and of huge abundance, spread
With all his speed. Large he made it, for there
For two or three men ample coverings were, 655
Such as might shield them from the winter's worst,
Though steel it breath'd, and blew as it would burst.
Patient Ulysses joy'd, that ever day
Show'd such a shelter. In the midst he lay,
Store of leaves heaping high on every side. 660
And as in some out-field a man doth hide
A kindled brand, to keep the seed of fire,
No neighbour dwelling near, and his desire
Serv'd with self store, he else would ask of none,
But of his fore-spent sparks rakes th' ashes on; 665
So this out-place Ulysses thus receives,
And thus nak'd virtue's seed lies hid in leaves.
Yet Pallas made him sleep as soon as men
Whom delicacies all their flatteries deign,
And all that all his labours could comprise 670
Quickly concluded in his closed eyes.
FINIS LIBRI QUINTI HOM. ODYSS.