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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ulysses and Nausicaa
By George Chapman (1559?–1634)
 
From the Translation of Homer’s Odyssey, Book Six

STRAIGHT rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise
Fair-veil’d Nausicaa, whose dream her praise
To admiration took; who no time spent
To give the rapture of her vision vent
To her loved parents, whom she found within.        5
Her mother set at fire, who had to spin
A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shined;
Her maids about her. But she chanced to find
Her father going abroad, to council call’d
By his grave Senate; and to him exhaled        10
Her smother’d bosom was:—“Loved sire,” said she,
“Will you not now command a coach for me,
Stately and complete? fit for me to bear
To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear
Before re-purified? Yourself it fits        15
To wear fair weeds, as every man that sits
In place of council. And five sons you have,
Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave
In every day’s shift, that they may go dance;
For these three last with these things must advance        20
Their states in marriage; and who else but I,
Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?”
  This general cause she shew’d, and would not name
Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame.
He understood her yet, and thus replied:—        25
“Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside,
I either will deny thee, or defer,
Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular,
Fitting at all parts. Go; my servants shall
Serve thy desires, and thy command in all.”        30
  The servants then commanded soon obey’d,
Fetch’d coach, and mules join’d in it. Then the Maid
Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid
All up in coach; in which her mother placed
A maund of victuals, varied well in taste,        35
And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill’d
Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill’d
Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse,
Both for her daughter’s and her handmaid’s use,
To soften their bright bodies, when they rose        40
Cleansed from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes
Th’ observed Maid; takes both the scourge and reins;
And to her side her handmaid straight attains.
Nor these alone, but other virgins, graced
The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy placed,        45
Nausicaa scourged to make the coach-mules run,
That neigh’d, and paced their usual speed, and soon
Both maids and weeds brought to the river-side,
Where baths for all the year their use supplied.
Whose waters were so pure they would not stain,        50
But still ran fair forth; and did more remain
Apt to purge stains, for that purged stain within,
Which by the water’s pure store was not seen.
  These, here arrived, the mules uncoach’d, and drave
Up the gulfy river’s shore, that gave        55
Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took
Their clothes, and steep’d them in the sable brook;
Then put them into springs, and trod them clean
With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then,
Who should have soonest and most cleanly done.        60
When having thoroughly cleansed, they spread them on
The flood’s shore, all in order. And then, where
The waves the pebbles wash’d, and ground was clear,
They bathed themselves, and all with glittering oil
Smooth’d their white skins; refreshing then their toil        65
With pleasant dinner, by the river’s side.
Yet still watch’d when the sun their clothes had dried.
Till which time, having dined, Nausicaa
With other virgins did at stool-ball play,
Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by.        70
Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory,
The liking stroke strook, singing first a song,
As custom order’d, and amidst the throng
Made such a shew, and so past all was seen,
As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving Queen,        75
Along the mountains gliding, either over
Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover,
Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar’s chace,
Or swift-hooved hart, and with her Jove’s fair race,
The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see        80
How far Diana had priority
(Though all were fair) for fairness; yet of all,
(As both by head and forehead being more tall)
Latona triumph’d, since the dullest sight
Might easily judge whom her pains brought to light;        85
Nausicaa so, whom never husband tamed,
Above them all in all the beauties flamed.
But when they now made homewards, and array’d,
Ordering their weeds; disorder’d as they play’d,
Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought        90
What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought,
That he might see this lovely-sighted maid,
Whom she intended should become his aid,
Bring him to town, and his return advance.
Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance:        95
The queen now, for the upstroke, strook the ball
Quite wide off th’ other maids, and made it fall
Amidst the whirlpools. At which outshriek’d all,
And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake;
Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make        100
That sudden outcry, and in mind thus strived:—
“On what a people am I now arrived?
At civil hospitable men, that fear
The gods? or dwell injurious mortals here,
Unjust and churlish? Like the female cry        105
Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high
On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods,
In herby marshes, or in leavy woods?
Or are they high-spoke men I now am near?
I’ll prove and see.” With this the wary peer        110
Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough
Broke with his broad hand; which he did bestow
In covert of his nakedness, and then
Put hasty head out. Look how from his den
A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued        115
With drops of trees, and weatherbeaten-hued,
Bold of his strength goes on, and in his eye
A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey
On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart,
His belly charging him, and he must part        120
Stakes with the herdsman in his beasts’ attempt,
Even where from rape their strengths are most exempt:
So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need,
Even to the home-fields of the country’s breed
Ulysses was to force forth his access,        125
Though merely naked; and his sight did press
The eyes of soft-haired virgins. Horrid was
His rough appearance to them; the hard pass
He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight
The virgins scattered, frighted with this sight,        130
About the prominent windings of the flood.
All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood:
Pallas had put a boldness in her breast,
And in her fair limbs tender fear comprest.
And still she stood him, as resolved to know        135
What man he was; or out of what should grow
His strange repair to them.
 
 
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