Chapman, George, trans. (1559?–1634).  The Odysseys of Homer, vol. 1.  1857.



TELEMACHUS, and Heaven's wise Dame
That never husband had, now came
To Nestor; who his either guest
Received at the religious feast
He made to Neptune, on his shore;
And there told what was done before
The Trojan turrets, and the state
Of all the Greeks since Ilion's fate.
This book these three of greatest place
Doth serve with many a varied grace.
Which past, Minerva takes her leave.
Whose state when Nestor doth perceive,
With sacrifice he makes it known,
Where many a pleasing rite is shown.
Which done, Telemachus hath gain'd
A chariot of him; who ordain'd
Pisistratus, his son, his guide
To Sparta; and when starry eyed
The ample heaven began to be,
All house-rites to afford them free,
In Pheris, Diocles did please,
His surname Ortilochides.


.... Ulysses son
With Nestor lies,
To Sparta gone;
Thence Pallas flies.

HE sun now left the great and goodly lake,
      And to the firm heaven bright ascent did make,
      To shine as well upon the mortal birth,
      Inhabiting the plow'd life-giving earth,
      As on the ever treaders upon death.                              5
      And now to Pylos, that so garnisheth
      Herself with buildings, old Neleus' town,
      The prince and Goddess come had strange sights shown,
      For, on the marine shore, the people there
      To Neptune, that the azure looks doth wear,                     10
      Beeves that were wholly black gave holy flame.
      Nine seats of state they made to his high name;
      And every seat set with five hundred men,
      And each five hundred was to furnish then
      With nine black oxen every sacred seat.                         15
      These of the entrails only pleas'd to eat,
      And to the God enflam'd the fleshy thighs.
        By this time Pallas with the sparkling eyes,
      And he she led, within the haven bore,
      Struck sail, cast anchor, and trod both the shore,              20
      She first, he after. Then said Pallas: "Now
      No more befits thee the least bashful brow;
      T' embolden which this act is put on thee,
      To seek thy father both at shore and sea,
      And learn in what clime he abides so close,                     25
      Or in the power of what Fate doth repose.
        Come then, go right to Nestor; let us see,
      If in his bosom any counsel be,
      That may inform us. Pray him not to trace
      The common courtship, and to speak in grace                     30
      Of the demander, but to tell the truth;
      Which will delight him, and commend thy youth
      For such prevention; for he loves no lies,
      Nor will report them, being truly wise."
        He answer'd: "Mentor! how, alas! shall I                      35
      Present myself? How greet his gravity?
      My youth by no means that ripe form affords,
      That can digest my mind's instinct in words
      Wise, and beseeming th' ears of one so sage.
      Youth of most hope blush to use words with age."                40
        She said: "Thy mind will some conceit impress,
      And something God will prompt thy towardness;
      For, I suppose, thy birth, and breeding too,
      Were not in spite of what the Gods could do."
        This said, she swiftly went before, and he                    45
      Her steps made guides, and follow'd instantly.
      When soon they reach'd the Pylian throngs and seats,
      Where Nestor with his sons sat; and the meats,
      That for the feast serv'd, round about them were
      Adherents dressing, all their sacred cheer,                     50
      Being roast and boil'd meats. When the Pylians saw
      These strangers come, in thrust did all men draw
      About their entry, took their hands, and pray'd
      They both would sit; their entry first assay'd
      By Nestor's son, Pisistratus. In grace                          55
      Of whose repair, he gave them honour'd place
      Betwixt his sire and brother Thrasymed,
      Who sat at feast on soft fells that were spread
      Along the sea sands, kerv'd, and reach'd to them
      Parts of the inwards, and did make a stream                     60
      Of spritely wine into a golden bowl;
      Which to Minerva with a gentle soul
      He gave, and thus spake: "Ere you eat, fair guest,
      Invoke the Seas' King, of whose sacred feast
      Your travel hither makes ye partners now;                       65
      When, sacrificing as becomes, bestow
      This bowl of sweet wine on your friend, that he
      May likewise use these rites of piety;
      For I suppose his youth doth prayers use,
      Since all men need the Gods. But you I choose                   70
      First in this cup's disposure, since his years
      Seem short of yours, who more like me appears."
      Thus gave he her the cup of pleasant wine;
      And since a wise and just man did design
      The golden bowl first to her free receit,                       75
      Even to the Goddess it did add delight,
      Who thus invok'd: "Hear thou, whose vast embrace
      Enspheres the whole earth, nor disdain thy grace
      To us that ask it in performing this:
      To Nestor first, and these fair sons of his,                    80
      Vouchsafe all honour; and, next them, bestow
      On all these Pylians, that have offer'd now
      This most renowned hecatomb to thee,
      Remuneration fit for them, and free;
      And lastly deign Telemachus and me,                             85
      The work perform'd for whose effect we came,
      Our safe return, both with our ship and fame."
      Thus prayed she; and herself herself obey'd,
      In th' end performing all for which she pray'd.
      And now, to pray, and do as she had done,                       90
      She gave the fair round bowl t' Ulysses' son.
        The meat then dress'd, and drawn, and serv'd t' each guest,
      They celebrated a most sumptuous feast.
      When appetite to wine and food allay'd,
      Horse-taming Nestor then began, and said:                       95
        "Now life's desire is serv'd, as far as fare,
      Time fits me to enquire what guests these are.
      Fair guests, what are ye? And for what coast tries
      Your ship the moist deeps? For fit merchandise,
      Or rudely coast ye, like our men of prise,                     100
      The rough seas tempting, desperately erring,
      The ill of others in their good conferring?"
       The wise prince now his boldness did begin,
      For Pallas' self had harden'd him within,
      By this device of travel to explore                            105
      His absent father; which two girlonds wore;
      His good by manage of his spirits; and then
      To gain him high grace in th' accounts of men.
        "O Nestor! still in whom Neleus lives!
      And all the glory of the Greeks survives,                      110
      You ask from whence we are, and I relate:
      From Ithaca (whose seat is situate
      Where Neius, the renowned mountain, rears
      His haughty forehead, and the honour bears
      To be our sea-mark) we assay'd the waves.                      115
      The business, I must tell, our own good craves,
      And not the public. I am come t' enquire,
      If, in the fame that best men doth inspire
      Of my most-suffering father, I may hear
      Some truth of his estate now, who did bear                     120
      The name, being join'd in fight with you alone,
      To even with earth the height of Ilion.
      Of all men else, that any name did bear,
      And fought for Troy, the several ends we hear;
      But his death Jove keeps from the world unknown,               125
      The certain fame thereof being told by none;
      If on the continent by enemies slain,
      Or with the waves eat of the ravenous main.
      For his love 'tis that to your knees I sue,
      That you would please, out of your own clear view,             130
      T' assure his sad end; or say, if your ear
      Hath heard of the unhappy wanderer,
      To too much sorrow whom his mother bore.
      You then by all your bounties I implore,
      (If ever to you deed or word hath stood,                       135
      By my good father promis'd, rendered good
      Amongst the Trojans, where ye both have tried
      The Grecian suff'rance) that in nought applied
      To my respect or pity you will glose,
      But uncloth'd truth to my desires disclose."                   140
        "O my much-lov'd," said he, "since you renew
      Remembrance of the miseries that grew
      Upon our still-in-strength-opposing Greece
      Amongst Troy's people, I must touch a piece
      Of all our woes there, either in the men                       145
      Achilles brought by sea and led to gain
      About the country, or in us that fought
      About the city, where to death were brought
      All our chief men, as many as were there.
      There Mars-like Ajax lies; Achilles there;                     150
      There the in-counsel-like-the-Gods, his friend;
      There my dear son Antilochus took end,
      Past measure swift of foot, and staid in fight.
      A number more that ills felt infinite;
      Of which to reckon all, what mortal man,                       155
      If five or six years you should stay here, can
      Serve such enquiry? You would back again,
      Affected with unsufferable pain,
      Before you heard it. Nine years sieged we them,
      With all the depth and sleight of stratagem                    160
      That could be thought. Ill knit to ill past end.
      Yet still they toil'd us; nor would yet Jove send
      Rest to our labours, nor will scarcely yet.
      But no man lived, that would in public set
      His wisdom by Ulysses' policy,                                 165
      As thought his equal; so excessively
      He stood superior all ways. If you be
      His son indeed, mine eyes even ravish me
      To admiration. And in all consent
      Your speech puts on his speech's ornament.                     170
      Nor would one say, that one so young could use,
      Unless his son, a rhetoric so profuse.
      And while we lived together, he and I
      Never in speech maintain'd diversity;
      Nor set in counsel but, by one soul led,                       175
      With spirit and prudent counsel furnished
      The Greeks at all hours, that, with fairest course,
      What best became them, they might put in force.
      But when Troy's high towers we had levell'd thus,
      We put to sea, and God divided us.                             180
      And then did Jove our sad retreat devise;
      For all the Greeks were neither just nor wise,
      And therefore many felt so sharp a fate,
      Sent from Minerva's most pernicious hate;
      Whose mighty Father can do fearful things.                     185
      By whose help she betwixt the brother kings
      Let fall contention; who in council met
      In vain, and timeless, when the sun was set,
      And all the Greeks call'd, that came charged with wine.
      Yet then the kings would utter their design,                   190
      And why they summon'd. Menelaus, he
      Put all in mind of home, and cried, To sea.
      But Agamemnon stood on contraries,
      Whose will was, they should stay and sacrifice
      Whole hecatombs to Pallas, to forego                           195
      Her high wrath to them. Fool! that did not know
      She would not so be won; for not with ease
      Th' Eternal Gods are turn'd from what they please.
      So they, divided, on foul language stood.
      The Greeks in huge rout rose, their wine-heat blood            200
      Two ways affecting. And, that night's sleep too,
      We turn'd to studying either other's woe;
      When Jove besides made ready woes enow.
      Morn came, we launch'd, and in our ships did stow
      Our goods, and fair-girt women. Half our men                   205
      The people's guide, Atrides, did contain,
      And half, being now aboard, put forth to sea.
      A most free gale gave all ships prosperous way.
      God settled then the huge whale-bearing lake,
      And Tenedos we reach'd; where, for time's sake,                210
      We did divine rites to the Gods. But Jove,
      Inexorable still, bore yet no love
      To our return, but did again excite
      A second sad contention, that turn'd quite
      A great part of us back to sea again;                          215
      Which were th' abundant-in-all-counsels man,
      Your matchless father, who, to gratify
      The great Atrides, back to him did fly.
      But I fled all, with all that follow'd me,
      Because I knew God studied misery,                             220
      To hurl amongst us. With me likewise fled
      Martial Tydides. I the men he led
      Gat to go with him. Winds our fleet did bring
      To Lesbos, where the yellow-headed king,
      Though late, yet found us, as we put to choice                 225
      A tedious voyage; if we sail should hoise
      Above rough Chius, left on our left hand,
      To th' isle of Psyria, or that rugged land
      Sail under, and for windy Mimas steer.
      We ask'd of God that some ostent might clear                   230
      Our cloudy business, who gave us sign,
      And charge, that all should, in a middle line,
      The sea cut for Euboea, that with speed
      Our long-sustain'd infortune might be freed.
      Then did a whistling wind begin to rise,                       235
      And swiftly flew we through the fishy skies,
      Till to Geraestus we in night were brought;
      Where, through the broad sea since we safe had wrought,
      At Neptune's altars many solid thighs
      Of slaughter'd bulls we burn'd for sacrifice.                  240
        The fourth day came, when Tydeus' son did greet
      The haven of Argos with his complete fleet.
      But I for Pylos straight steer'd on my course,
      Nor ever left the wind his foreright force,
      Since God fore-sent it first. And thus I came,                 245
      Dear son, to Pylos, uninform'd by fame,
      Nor know one saved by Fate, or overcome.
      Whom I have heard of since, set here at home,
      As fits, thou shalt be taught, nought left unshown.
        The expert spear-men, every Myrmidon,                        250
      Led by the brave heir of the mighty-soul'd
      Unpeer'd Achilles, safe of home got hold;
      Safe Philoctetes, Poean's famous seed;
      And safe Idomenaeus his men led
      To his home, Crete, who fled the armed field,                  255
      Of whom yet none the sea from him withheld.
        Atrides, you have both heard, though ye be
      His far-off dwellers, what an end had he,
      Done by Ægisthus to a bitter death;
      Who miserably paid for forced breath,                          260
      Atrides leaving a good son, that dyed,
      In blood of that deceitful parricide,
      His wreakful sword. And thou my friend, as he
      For this hath his fame, the like spirit in thee
      Assume at all parts. Fair and great, I see,                    265
      Thou art in all hope, make it good to th' end,
      That after-times as much may thee commend."
        He answer'd: "O thou greatest grace of Greece,
      Orestes made that wreak his master-piece,
      And him the Greeks will give a master-praise,                  270
      Verse finding him to last all after-days.
      And would to God the Gods would favour me
      With his performance, that my injury,
      Done by my mother's Wooers, being so foul,
      I might revenge upon their every soul;                         275
      Who, pressing me with contumelies, dare
      Such things as past the power of utt'rance are.
      But Heaven's great Powers have graced my destiny
      With no such honour. Both my sire and I
      Are born to suffer everlastingly."                             280
        "Because you name those Wooers, friend," said he,
      "Report says, many such, in spite of thee,
      Wooing thy mother, in thy house commit
      The ills thou nam'st. But say: Proceedeth it
      From will in thee to bear so foul a foil?                      285
      Or from thy subjects' hate, that wish thy spoil,
      And will not aid thee, since their spirits rely,
      Against thy rule, on some grave augury?
      What know they, but at length thy father may
      Come, and with violence their violence pay;                    290
      Or he alone, or all the Greeks with him?
      But if Minerva now did so esteem
      Thee, as thy father in times past; whom, past
      All measure, she with glorious favours grac't
      Amongst the Trojans, where we suffered so;                     295
      (O! I did never see, in such clear show,
      The Gods so grace a man, as she to him,
      To all our eyes, appear'd in all her trim)
      If so, I say, she would be pleased to love,
      And that her mind's care thou so much couldst move,            300
      As did thy father, every man of these
      Would lose in death their seeking marriages."
        "O father," answer'd he, "you make amaze
      Seize me throughout. Beyond the height of phrase
      You raise expression; but 'twill never be,                     305
      That I shall move in any Deity
      So blest an honour. Not by any means,
      If Hope should prompt me, or blind Confidence,
      (The God of Fools) or every Deity
      Should will it; for 'tis past my destiny."                     310
        The burning-eyed Dame answer'd: "What a speech
      Hath past the teeth-guard Nature gave to teach
      Fit question of thy words before they fly!
      God easily can (when to a mortal eye
      He's furthest off) a mortal satisfy;                           315
      And does the more still. For thy cared-for sire,
      I rather wish, that I might home retire,
      After my sufferance of a world of woes,
      Far off, and then my glad eyes might disclose
      The day of my return, then straight retire,                    320
      And perish standing by my household fire;
      As Agamemnon did, that lost his life
      By false Ægisthus, and his falser wife.
        For Death to come at length, 'tis due to all;
      Nor can the Gods themselves, when Fate shall call              325
      Their most loved man, extend his vital breath
      Beyond the fix'd bounds of abhorred Death."
        "Mentor!" said he, "let's dwell no more on this,
      Although in us the sorrow pious is.
      No such return, as we wish, Fates bequeath                     330
      My erring father; whom a present death
      The Deathless have decreed. I'll now use speech
      That tends to other purpose; and beseech
      Instruction of grave Nestor, since he flows
      Past shore in all experience, and knows                        335
      The sleights and wisdoms, to whose heights aspire
      Others, as well as my commended sire,
      Whom Fame reports to have commanded three
      Ages of men, and doth in sight to me
      Show like th' Immortals. 'Nestor! the renown                   340
      Of old Neleius, make the clear truth known,
      How the most great in empire, Atreus son,
      Sustain'd the act of his destruction.
      Where then was Menelaus? How was it
      That false Ægisthus, being so far unfit                       345
      A match for him, could his death so enforce?
      Was he not then in Argos? or his course
      With men so left, to let a coward breathe
      Spirit enough to dare his brother's death?"
        "I'll tell thee truth in all, fair son," said he:            350
      "Right well was this event conceiv'd by thee.
      If Menelaus in his brother's house
      Had found the idle liver with his spouse,
      Arriv'd from Troy, he had not liv'd, nor dead
      Had the digg'd heap pour'd on his lustful head,                355
      But fowls and dogs had torn him in the fields,
      Far off of Argos; not a dame it yields
      Had given him any tear, so foul his fact
      Show'd even to women. Us Troy's wars had rack'd
      To every sinew's sufferance, while he                          360
      In Argos' uplands liv'd, from those works free,
      And Agamemnon's wife with force of word
      Flatter'd and soften'd, who, at first, abhorr'd
      A fact so infamous. The heav'nly dame
      A good mind had, but was in blood too blame.                   365
      There was a poet, to whose care the king
      His queen committed, and in every thing,
      When he from Troy went, charg'd him to apply
      Himself in all guard to her dignity.
      But when strong Fate so wrapt-in her effects,                  370
      That she resolv'd to leave her fit respects,
      Into a desert isle her guardian led,
      There left, the rapine of the vultures fed.
      Then brought he willing home his will's won prize,
      On sacred altars offer'd many thighs,                          375
      Hung in the God's fanes many ornaments,
      Garments and gold, that he the vast events
      Of such a labour to his wish had brought,
      As neither fell into his hope nor thought.
        At last, from Troy sail'd Sparta's king and I,               380
      Both holding her untouch'd. And, that his eye
      Might see no worse of her, when both were blown
      To sacred Sunium, of Minerva's town
      The goodly promontory, with his shafts severe
      Augur Apollo slew him that did steer                           385
      Atrides' ship, as he the stern did guide,
      And She the full speed of her sail applied.
      He was a man that nations of men
      Excell'd in safe guide of a vessel, when
      A tempest rush'd in on the ruffled seas;                       390
      His name was Phrontis Onetorides.
      And thus was Menelaus held from home,
      Whose way he thirsted so to overcome,
      To give his friend the earth, being his pursuit,
      And all his exsequies to execute.                              395
      But sailing still the wine-hued seas, to reach
      Some shore for fit performance, he did fetch
      The steep mount of the Malians, and there,
      With open voice, offended Jupiter
      Proclaim'd the voyage, his repugnant mind,                     400
      And pour'd the puffs out of a shrieking wind,
      That nourish'd billows heighten'd like to hills;
      And with the fleet's division fulfils
      His hate proclaim'd; upon a part of Crete
      Casting the navy, where the sea-waves meet                     405
      Rough Jardanus, and where the Cydons live.
        There is a rock, on which the sea doth drive,
      Bare, and all broken, on the confines set
      Of Gortys, that the dark seas likewise fret;
      And hither sent the South a horrid drift                       410
      Of waves against the top, that was the left
      Of that torn cliff as far as Phaestus' strand.
      A little stone the great sea's rage did stand.
      The men here driven 'scap'd hard the ships' sore shocks,
      The ships themselves being wrack'd against the rocks,          415
      Save only five, that blue fore-castles bore,
      Which wind and water cast on Egypt's shore.
      When he (there victling well, and store of gold
      Aboard his ships brought) his wild way did hold,
      And t' other languag'd men was forced to roam.                 420
      Mean space Ægisthus made sad work at home,
      And slew his brother, forcing to his sway
      Atrides' subjects, and did seven years lay
      His yoke upon the rich Mycenian state.
      But in the eighth, to his affrighting fate,                    425
      Divine Orestes home from Athens came,
      And what his royal father felt, the same
      He made the false Ægisthus groan beneath.
      Death evermore is the reward of death.
        Thus having slain him, a sepulchral feast                    430
      He made the Argives for his lustful guest,
      And for his mother whom he did detest.
      The self-same day upon him stole the king
      Good-at-a-martial-shout, and goods did bring,
      As many as his freighted fleet could bear.                     435
      But thou, my son, too long by no means err,
      Thy goods left free from many a spoilful guest,
      Lest they consume some, and divide the rest,
      And thou, perhaps, besides, thy voyage lose.
      To Menelaus yet thy course dispose                             440
      I wish and charge thee; who but late arriv'd
      From such a shore and men, as to have liv'd
      In a return from them he never thought,
      And whom black whirlwinds violently brought
      Within a sea so vast, that in a year                           445
      Not any fowl could pass it anywhere,
      So huge and horrid was it. But go thou
      With ship and men (or, if thou pleasest now
      To pass by land, there shall be brought for thee
      Both horse and chariot, and thy guides shall be                450
      My sons themselves) to Sparta the divine,
      And to the king whose locks like amber shine.
      Intreat the truth of him, nor loves he lies,
      Wisdom in truth is, and he's passing wise."
        This said, the Sun went down, and up rose Night,             455
      When Pallas spake: "O father, all good right
      Bear thy directions. But divide we now
      The sacrifices' tongues, mix wines, and vow
      To Neptune, and the other Ever-Blest,
      That, having sacrific'd, we may to rest.                       460
      The fit hour runs now, light dives out of date,
      At sacred feasts we must not sit too late."
        She said; they heard; the herald water gave;
      The youths crown'd cups with wine, and let all have
      Their equal shares, beginning from the cup                     465
      Their parting banquet. All the tongues cut up,
      The fire they gave them, sacrific'd, and rose,
      Wine, and divine rites used, to each dispose;
      Minerva and Telemachus desir'd
      They might to ship be, with his leave, retir'd.                470
        He, mov'd with that, provok'd thus their abodes:
      "Now Jove forbid, and all the long-liv'd Gods,
      Your leaving me, to sleep aboard a ship;
      As I had drunk of poor Penia's whip,
      Even to my nakedness, and had nor sheet                        475
      Nor covering in my house; that warm nor sweet
      A guest, nor I myself, had means to sleep;
      Where I, both weeds and wealthy coverings keep
      For all my guests. Nor shall Fame ever say,
      The dear son of the man Ulysses lay                            480
      All night a-ship-board here while my days shine,
      Or in my court whiles any son of mine
      Enjoys survival, who shall guests receive,
      Whomever my house hath a nook to leave."
        "My much-lov'd father," said Minerva, "well                  485
      All this becomes thee. But persuade to dwell
      This night with thee thy son Telemachus,
      For more convenient is the course for us,
      That he may follow to thy house and rest,
      And I may board our black-sail, that address'd                 490
      At all parts I may make our men, and cheer
      All with my presence, since of all men there
      I boast myself the senior, th' others are
      Youths, that attend in free and friendly care
      Great-soul'd Telemachus, and are his peers                     495
      In fresh similitude of form and years.
      For their confirmance, I will therefore now
      Sleep in our black bark. But, when light shall show
      Her silver forehead, I intend my way
      Amongst the Caucons, men that are to pay                       500
      A debt to me, nor small, nor new. For this,
      Take you him home; whom in the morn dismiss,
      With chariot and your sons, and give him horse
      Ablest in strength, and of the speediest course."
        This said, away she flew, form'd like the fowl               505
      Men call the ossifrage; when every soul
      Amaze invaded; even th' old man admir'd,
      The youth's hand took, and said: "O most desir'd,
      My hope says thy proof will no coward show,
      Nor one unskill'd in war, when Deities now                     510
      So young attend thee, and become thy guides;
      Nor any of the heaven-housed States besides,
      But Tritogenia's self, the Seed of Jove,
      The great in prey, that did in honour move
      So much about thy father, amongst all                          515
      The Grecian army. Fairest queen, let fall
      On me like favours! Give me good renown!
      Which, as on me, on my lov'd wife let down,
      And all my children. I will burn to thee
      An ox right bred, broad-headed, and yoke-free,                 520
      To no man's hand yet humbled. Him will I,
      His horns in gold hid, give thy Deity."
        Thus pray'd he, and she heard; and home he led
      His sons, and all his heaps of kindered.
      Who ent'ring his court royal, every one                        525
      He marshall'd in his several seat and throne;
      And every one, so kindly come, he gave
      His sweet-wine cup; which none was let to have
      Before his 'leventh year landed him from Troy;
      Which now the butleress had leave t' employ,                   530
      Who therefore pierc'd it, and did give it vent.
      Of this the old duke did a cup present
      To every guest; made his Maid many a prayer
      That wears the shield fring'd with his nurse's hair,
      And gave her sacrifice. With this rich wine                    535
      And food sufficed, sleep all eyes did decline,
      And all for home went; but his court alone
      Telemachus, divine Ulysses' son,
      Must make his lodging, or not please his heart.
        A bed, all chequer'd with elaborate art,                     540
      Within a portico that rung like brass,
      He brought his guest to; and his bedfere was
      Pisistratus, the martial guide of men,
      That liv'd, of all his sons, unwed till then.
      Himself lay in a by-room, far above,                           545
      His bed made by his barren wife, his love.
        The rosy-finger'd Morn no sooner shone,
      But up he rose, took air, and sat upon
      A seat of white and goodly polish'd stone,
      That such a gloss as richest ointments wore,                   550
      Before his high gates; where the counsellor
      That match'd the Gods (his father) used to sit,
      Who now, by fate forc'd, stoop'd as low as it.
      And here sat Nestor, holding in his hand
      A sceptre; and about him round did stand,                      555
      As early up, his sons' troop; Perseus,
      The god-like Thrasymed, and Aretus,
      Echephron, Stratius, the sixth and last
      Pisistratus, and by him (half embrac'd
      Still as they came) divine Telemachus;                         560
      To these spake Nestor, old Gerenius:
        "Haste, loved sons, and do me a desire,
      That, first of all the Gods, I may aspire
      To Pallas' favour, who vouchsafed to me
      At Neptune's feast her sight so openly.                        565
      Let one to field go, and an ox with speed
      Cause hither brought, which let the herdsman lead;
      Another to my dear guest's vessel go,
      And all his soldiers bring, save only two;
      A third the smith that works in gold command                   570
      (Laertius) to attend, and lend his hand,
      To plate the both horns round about with gold;
      The rest remain here close. But first, see told
      The maids within, that they prepare a feast,
      Set seats through all the court, see straight address'd        575
      The purest water, and get fuel fell'd."
        This said, not one but in the service held
      Officious hand. The ox came led from field;
      The soldiers troop'd from ship; the smith he came,
      And those tools brought that serv'd the actual frame           580
      His art conceiv'd, brought anvil, hammers brought,
      Fair tongs, and all, with which the gold was wrought.
      Minerva likewise came, to set the crown
      On that kind sacrifice, and make 't her own.
        Then th' old knight Nestor gave the smith the gold,          585
      With which he straight did both the horns infold,
      And trimm'd the offering so, the Goddess joy'd.
      About which thus were Nestor's sons employ'd:
      Divine Echephron, and fair Stratius,
      Held both the horns. The water odorous,                        590
      In which they wash'd, what to the rites was vow'd,
      Aretus, in a caldron all bestrow'd
      With herbs and flowers, serv'd in from th' holy room
      Where all were drest, and whence the rites must come.
      And after him a hallow'd virgin came,                          595
      That brought the barley-cake, and blew the flame.
      The axe, with which the ox should both be fell'd
      And cut forth, Thrasymed stood by and held.
      Perseus the vessel held that should retain
      The purple liquor of the offering slain.                       600
        Then wash'd the pious father, then the cake
      (Of barley, salt, and oil, made) took, and brake,
      Ask'd many a boon of Pallas, and the state
      Of all the offering did initiate,
      In three parts cutting off the hair, and cast                  605
      Amidst the flame. All th' invocation past,
      And all the cake broke, manly Thrasymed
      Stood near, and sure, and such a blow he laid
      Aloft the offering, that to earth he sunk,
      His neck-nerves sunder'd, and his spirits shrunk.              610
      Out shriek'd the daughters, daughter-in-laws, and wife
      Of three-aged Nestor, who had eldest life
      Of Clymen's daughters, chaste Eurydice.
      The ox on broad earth then laid laterally
      They held, while duke Pisistratus the throat                   615
      Dissolv'd, and set the sable blood afloat,
      And then the life the bones left. Instantly
      They cut him up; apart flew either thigh,
      That with the fat they dubb'd, with art alone,
      The throat-brisk, and the sweet-bread pricking on.             620
      Then Nestor broil'd them on the coal-turn'd wood,
      Pour'd black wine on; and by him young men stood,
      That spits fine-pointed held, on which, when burn'd
      The solid thighs were, they transfix'd, and turn'd
      The inwards, cut in cantles; which, the meat                   625
      Vow'd to the Gods consum'd, they roast and eat.
        In mean space, Polycaste (call'd the fair,
      Nestor's young'st daughter) bath'd Ulysses' heir;
      Whom having cleans'd, and with rich balms bespread,
      She cast a white shirt quickly o'er his head,                  630
      And then his weeds put on; when forth he went,
      And did the person of a God present,
      Came, and by Nestor took his honour'd seat,
      This pastor of the people. Then, the meat
      Of all the spare parts roasted, off they drew,                 635
      Sat, and fell to. But soon the temperate few
      Rose, and in golden bowls fill'd others wine.
      Till, when the rest felt thirst of feast decline,
      Nestor his sons bad fetch his high-man'd horse,
      And them in chariot join, to run the course                    640
      The prince resolv'd. Obey'd, as soon as heard,
      Was Nestor by his sons, who straight prepar'd
      Both horse and chariot. She that kept the store,
      Both bread and wine, and all such viands more,
      As should the feast of Jove-fed kings compose,                 645
      Purvey'd the voyage. To the rich coach rose
      Ulysses' son, and close to him ascended
      The duke Pisistratus, the reins intended,
      And scourg'd, to force to field, who freely flew;
      And left the town that far her splendour threw,                650
      Both holding yoke, and shook it all the day.
      But now the sun set, dark'ning every way,
      When they to Pheris came; and in the house
      Of Diocles (the son t' Orsilochus,
      Whom flood Alpheus got) slept all that night;                  655
      Who gave them each due hospitable rite.
      But when the rosy-finger'd Morn arose,
      They went to coach, and did their horse inclose,
      Drave forth the fore-court, and the porch that yields
      Each breath a sound, and to the fruitful fields                660
      Rode scourging still their willing flying steeds,
      Who strenuously perform'd their wonted speeds.
      Their journey ending just when sun went down,
      And shadows all ways through the earth were thrown.




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