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



NAUSICAA arrives at town;
And then Ulysses. He makes known
His suit to Arete; who view
Takes of his vesture, which she knew,
And asks him from whose hands it came.
He tells, with all the hapless frame
Of his affairs in all the while
Since he forsook Calypso's isle.


.... The honour'd minds,
And welcome things,
Ulysses finds
In Scheria's kings.

HUS pray'd the wise and God-observing man.
      The Maid, by free force of her palfreys, wan
      Access to town, and the renowned court
      Reach'd of her father; where, within the port,
      She stay'd her coach, and round about her came                   5
      Her brothers, made as of immortal frame,
      Who yet disdain'd not, for her love, mean deeds,
      But took from coach her mules, brought in her weeds.
      And she ascends her chamber; where purvey'd
      A quick fire was by her old chamber-maid,                       10
      Eurymedusa, th' Aperaean born,
      And brought by sea from Apera t' adorn
      The court of great Alcinous, because
      He gave to all the blest Phaeacians laws,
      And, like a heaven-born power in speech, acquired               15
      The people's ears. To one then so admired,
      Eurymedusa was esteem'd no worse
      Than worth the gift, yet now, grown old, was nurse
      To ivory-arm'd Nausicaa, gave heat
      To all her fires, and dress'd her privy meat.                   20
        Then rose Ulysses, and made way to town;
      Which ere he reach'd, a mighty mist was thrown
      By Pallas round about him, in her care,
      Lest, in the sway of envies popular,
      Some proud Phaeacian might foul language pass,                  25
      Justle him up, and ask him what he was.
        Ent'ring the lovely town yet, through the cloud
      Pallas appear'd, and like a young wench show'd
      Bearing a pitcher, stood before him so
      As if objected purposely to know                                30
      What there he needed; whom he question'd thus:
        "Know you not, daughter, where Alcinous,
      That rules this town, dwells? I, a poor distress'd
      Mere stranger here, know none I may request
      To make this court known to me." She replied:                   35
        "Strange father, I will see you satisfied
      In that request. My father dwells just by
      The house you seek for; but go silently,
      Nor ask, nor speak to any other, I
      Shall be enough to show your way. The men                       40
      That here inhabit do not entertain
      With ready kindness strangers, of what worth
      Or state soever, nor have taken forth
      Lessons of civil usage or respect
      To men beyond them. They, upon their powers                     45
      Of swift ships building, top the wat'ry towers,
      And Jove hath given them ships, for sail so wrought,
      They cut a feather, and command a thought."
        This said, she usher'd him, and after he
      Trod in the swift steps of the Deity.                           50
      The free-sail'd seamen could not get a sight
      Of our Ulysses yet, though he forthright
      Both by their houses and their persons past,
      Pallas about him such a darkness cast
      By her divine power, and her reverend care,                     55
      She would not give the town-born cause to stare.
        He wonder'd, as he past, to see the ports;
      The shipping in them; and for all resorts
      The goodly market-steads; and aisles beside
      For the heroes; walls so large and wide;                        60
      Rampires so high, and of such strength withal,
      It would with wonder any eye appall.
        At last they reach'd the court, and Pallas said:
      "Now, honour'd stranger, I will see obey'd
      Your will, to show our ruler's house; 'tis here;                65
      Where you shall find kings celebrating cheer.
      Enter amongst them, nor admit a fear.
      'More bold a man is, he prevails the more,
      Though man nor place he ever saw before.'
        You first shall find the queen in court, whose name           70
      Is Arete, of parents born the same
      That was the king her spouse; their pedigree
      I can report. The great Earth-shaker, he
      Of Periboea (that her sex out-shone,
      And youngest daughter was t' Eurymedon,                         75
      Who of th' unmeasur'd-minded giants sway'd
      Th' imperial sceptre, and the pride allay'd
      Of men so impious with cold death, and died
      Himself soon after) got the magnified
      In mind, Nausithous; whom the kingdom's state                   80
      First held in supreme rule. Nausithous gat
      Rhexenor, and Alcinous, now king.
      Rhexenor (whose seed did no male fruit spring,
      And whom the silver-bow-grac'd Phoebus slew
      Young in the court) his shed blood did renew                    85
      In only Arete, who now is spouse
      To him that rules the kingdom in this house,
      And is her uncle king Alcinous,
      Who honours her past equal. She may boast
      More honour of him than the honour'd most                       90
      Of any wife in earth can of her lord,
      How many more soever, realms afford,
      That keep house under husbands. Yet no more
      Her husband honours her, than her blest store
      Of gracious children. All the city cast                         95
      Eyes on her as a Goddess, and give taste
      Of their affections to her in their prayers,
      Still as she decks the streets; for, all affairs
      Wrapt in contention, she dissolves to men.
      Whom she affects, she wants no mind to deign                   100
      Goodness enough. If her heart stand inclin'd
      To your dispatch, hope all you wish to find,
      Your friends, your longing family, and all
      That can within your most affections fall."
        This said, away the grey-eyed Goddess flew                   105
      Along th' untamed sea, left the lovely hue
      Scheria presented, out flew Marathon,
      And ample-streeted Athens lighted on;
      Where to the house, that casts so thick a shade,
      Of Erectheus she ingression made.                              110
        Ulysses to the lofty-builded court
      Of king Alcinous made bold resort;
      Yet in his heart cast many a thought, before
      The brazen pavement of the rich court bore
      His enter'd person. Like heaven's two main lights,             115
      The rooms illustrated both days and nights.
      On every side stood firm a wall of brass,
      Even from the threshold to the inmost pass,
      Which bore a roof up that all sapphire was.
      The brazen thresholds both sides did enfold                    120
      Silver pilasters, hung with gates of gold;
      Whose portal was of silver; over which
      A golden cornice did the front enrich.
      On each side, dogs, of gold and silver framed,
      The house's guard stood; which the Deity lamed                 125
      With knowing inwards had inspired, and made
      That death nor age should their estates invade.
        Along the wall stood every way a throne,
      From th' entry to the lobby, every one
      Cast over with a rich-wrought cloth of state.                  130
      Beneath which the Phaeacian princes sate
      At wine and food, and feasted all the year.
      Youths forged of gold, at every table there,
      Stood holding flaming torches, that, in night,
      Gave through the house each honour'd guest his light.          135
        And, to encounter feast with housewifery,
      In one room fifty women did apply
      Their several tasks. Some apple-colour'd corn
      Ground in fair querns, and some did spindles turn,
      Some work in looms; no hand least rest receives,               140
      But all had motion, apt as aspen leaves.
      And from the weeds they wove, so fast they laid,
      And so thick thrust together thread by thread,
      That th' oil, of which the wool had drunk his fill,
      Did with his moisture in light dews distill.                   145
        As much as the Phaeacian men excell'd
      All other countrymen in art to build
      A swift-sail'd ship; so much the women there,
      For work of webs, past other women were.
      Past mean, by Pallas' means, they understood                   150
      The grace of good works; and had wits as good.
        Without the hall, and close upon the gate,
      A goodly orchard-ground was situate,
      Of near ten acres; about which was led
      A lofty quickset. In it flourished                             155
      High and broad fruit trees, that pomegranates bore,
      Sweet figs, pears, olives; and a number more
      Most useful plants did there produce their store,
      Whose fruits the hardest winter could not kill,
      Nor hottest summer wither. There was still                     160
      Fruit in his proper season all the year.
      Sweet Zephyr breathed upon them blasts that were
      Of varied tempers. These he made to bear
      Ripe fruits, these blossoms. Pear grew after pear,
      Apple succeeded apple, grape the grape,                        165
      Fig after fig came; time made never rape
      Of any dainty there. A spritely vine
      Spread here his root, whose fruit a hot sunshine
      Made ripe betimes; here grew another green.
      Here some were gathering, here some pressing seen.             170
      A large-allotted several each fruit had;
      And all th' adorn'd grounds their appearance made
      In flower and fruit, at which the king did aim
      To the precisest order he could claim.
        Two fountains graced the garden; of which, one               175
      Pour'd out a winding stream that over-run
      The grounds for their use chiefly, th' other went
      Close by the lofty palace gate, and lent
      The city his sweet benefit. And thus
      The Gods the court deck'd of Alcinous.                         180
        Patient Ulysses stood a while at gaze,
      But, having all observed, made instant pace
      Into the court; where all the peers he found,
      And captains of Phaeacia, with cups crown'd,
      Offering to sharp-eyed Hermes, to whom last                    185
      They used to sacrifice, when sleep had cast
      His inclination through their thoughts. But these
      Ulysses past, and forth went; nor their eyes
      Took note of him, for Pallas stopp'd the light
      With mists about him, that, unstay'd, he might                 190
      First to Alcinous, and Arete,
      Present his person; and, of both them, she,
      By Pallas counsel, was to have the grace
      Of foremost greeting. Therefore his embrace
      He cast about her knee. And then off flew                      195
      The heavenly air that hid him. When his view,
      With silence and with admiration strook
      The court quite through; but thus he silence broke:
        "Divine Rhexenor's offspring, Arete,
      To thy most honour'd husband, and to thee,                     200
      A man whom many labours have distress'd
      Is come for comfort, and to every guest.
      To all whom heaven vouchsafe delightsome lives,
      And after to your issue that survives
      A good resignment of the goods ye leave,                       205
      With all the honour that yourselves receive
      Amongst your people. Only this of me
      Is the ambition; that I may but see
      (By your vouchsaf'd means, and betimes vouchsaf'd)
      My country earth; since I have long been left                  210
      To labours, and to errors, barr'd from end,
      And far from benefit of any friend."
        He said no more, but left them dumb with that,
      Went to the hearth, and in the ashes sat,
      Aside the fire. At last their silence brake,                   215
      And Echineus, th' old heroe, spake;
      A man that all Phaeacians pass'd in years,
      And in persuasive eloquence all the peers,
      Knew much, and used it well; and thus spake he:
        "Alcinous! It shews not decently,                            220
      Nor doth your honour what you see admit,
      That this your guest should thus abjectly sit,
      His chair the earth, the hearth his cushion,
      Ashes as if apposed for food. A throne,
      Adorn'd with due rites, stands you more in hand                225
      To see his person placed in, and command
      That instantly your heralds fill in wine,
      That to the God that doth in lightnings shine
      We may do sacrifice; for he is there,
      Where these his reverend suppliants appear.                    230
      Let what you have within be brought abroad,
      To sup the stranger. All these would have show'd
      This fit respect to him, but that they stay
      For your precedence, that should grace the way."
        When this had added to the well-inclined                     235
      And sacred order of Alcinous' mind,
      Then of the great-in-wit the hand he seiz'd,
      And from the ashes his fair person raised,
      Advanced him to a well-adorned throne,
      And from his seat raised his most loved son,                   240
      Laodamas, that next himself was set,
      To give him place. The handmaid then did get
      An ewer of gold, with water fill'd, which placed
      Upon a caldron, all with silver graced,
      She pour'd out on their hands. And then was spread             245
      A table, which the butler set with bread,
      As others served with other food the board,
      In all the choice the present could afford.
      Ulysses meat and wine took; and then thus
      The king the herald call'd: "Pontonous!                        250
      Serve wine through all the house, that all may pay
      Rites to the Lightner, who is still in way
      With humble suppliants, and them pursues
      With all benign and hospitable dues."
        Pontonous gave act to all he will'd,                         255
      And honey-sweetness-giving-minds wine fill'd,
      Disposing it in cups for all to drink.
      All having drunk what either's heart could think
      Fit for due sacrifice, Alcinous said:
      "Hear me, ye dukes that the Phaeacians lead,                   260
      And you our counsellors, that I may now
      Discharge the charge my mind suggests to you,
      For this our guest: Feast past, and this night's sleep,
      Next morn, our senate summon'd, we will keep
      Justs, sacred to the Gods, and this our guest                  265
      Receive in solemn court with fitting feast;
      Then think of his return, that, under hand
      Of our deduction, his natural land
      (Without more toil or care, and with delight,
      And that soon given him, how far hence dissite                 270
      Soever it can be) he may ascend;
      And in the mean time without wrong attend,
      Or other want, fit means to that ascent.
      What, after, austere Fates shall make th' event
      Of his life's thread, now spinning, and began                  275
      When his pain'd mother freed his root of man,
      He must endure in all kinds. If some God
      Perhaps abides with us in his abode,
      And other things will think upon than we,
      The Gods' wills stand, who ever yet were free                  280
      Of their appearance to us, when to them
      We offer'd hecatombs of fit esteem,
      And would at feast sit with us, even where we
      Order'd our session. They would likewise be
      Encount'rers of us, when in way alone                          285
      About his fit affairs went any one.
      Nor let them cloak themselves in any care
      To do us comfort, we as near them are,
      As are the Cyclops, or the impious race
      Of earthy giants, that would heaven outface."                  290
        Ulysses answer'd; "Let some other doubt
      Employ your thoughts than what your words give out,
      Which intimate a kind of doubt that I
      Should shadow in this shape a Deity.
      I bear no such least semblance, or in wit,                     295
      Virtue, or person. What may well befit
      One of those mortals, whom you chiefly know
      Bears up and down the burthen of the woe
      Appropriate to poor man, give that to me;
      Of whose moans I sit in the most degree,                       300
      And might say more, sustaining griefs that all
      The Gods consent to; no one 'twixt their fall
      And my unpitied shoulders letting down
      The least diversion. Be the grace then shown,
      To let me taste your free-given food in peace.                 305
      'Through greatest grief the belly must have ease.
      Worse than an envious belly nothing is.'
      It will command his strict necessities,
      Of men most grieved in body or in mind,
      That are in health, and will not give their kind               310
      A desperate wound. When most with cause I grieve,
      It bids me still, Eat, man, and drink, and live;
      And this makes all forgot. Whatever ill
      I ever bear it ever bids me fill.
      But this ease is but forc'd, and will not last,                315
      Till what the mind likes be as well embrac'd;
      And therefore let me wish you would partake
      In your late purpose; when the morn shall make
      Her next appearance, deign me but the grace,
      Unhappy man, that I may once embrace                           320
      My country earth. Though I be still thrust at
      By ancient ills, yet make me but see that,
      And then let life go, when withal I see
      My high-roof'd large house, lands, and family."
        This all approved; and each will'd every one,                325
      Since he hath said so fairly, set him gone.
        Feast past and sacrifice, to sleep all vow
      Their eyes at either's house. Ulysses now
      Was left here with Alcinous, and his queen,
      The all-loved Arete. The handmaids then                        330
      The vessel of the banquet took away.
      When Arete set eye on his array;
      Knew both his out and under weed, which she
      Made with her maids; and mused by what means he
      Obtain'd their wearing; which she made request                 335
      To know, and wings gave to these speeches: "Guest!
      First let me ask, what, and from whence you are?
      And then, who grac'd you with the weeds you wear?
      Said you not lately, you had err'd at seas,
      And thence arrived here?" Laertides                            340
      To this thus answer'd: "'Tis a pain, O queen,
      Still to be opening wounds wrought deep and green,
      Of which the Gods have opened store in me;
      Yet your will must be served. Far hence, at sea,
      There lies an isle, that bears Ogygia's name,                  345
      Where Atlas' daughter, the ingenious dame,
      Fair-hair'd Calypso lives; a Goddess grave,
      And with whom men nor Gods society have;
      Yet I, past man unhappy, lived alone,
      By Heaven's wrath forced, her house companion.                 350
      For Jove had with a fervent lightning cleft
      My ship in twain, and far at black sea left
      Me and my soldiers; all whose lives I lost.
      I in mine arms the keel took, and was tost
      Nine days together up from wave to wave.                       355
      The tenth grim night, the angry Deities drave
      Me and my wrack on th' isle, in which doth dwell
      Dreadful Calypso; who exactly well
      Received and nourish'd me, and promise made
      To make me deathless, nor should age invade                    360
      My powers with his deserts through all my days.
      All moved not me, and therefore, on her stays,
      Seven years she made me lie; and there spent I
      The long time, steeping in the misery
      Of ceaseless tears the garments I did wear,                    365
      From her fair hand. The eighth revolved year
      (Or by her changed mind, or by charge of Jove)
      She gave provok'd way to my wish'd remove,
      And in a many-jointed ship, with wine
      Dainty in savour, bread, and weeds divine,                     370
      Sign'd, with a harmless and sweet wind, my pass.
      Then seventeen days at sea I homeward was,
      And by the eighteenth the dark hills appear'd
      That your earth thrusts up. Much my heart was cheer'd,
      Unhappy man, for that was but a beam,                          375
      To show I yet had agonies extreme
      To put in suff'rance, which th' Earth-shaker sent,
      Crossing my way with tempests violent,
      Unmeasured seas up-lifting, nor would give
      The billows leave to let my vessel live                        380
      The least time quiet, that even sigh'd to bear
      Their bitter outrage, which, at last, did tear
      Her sides in pieces, set on by the winds.
      I yet through-swum the waves that your shore binds,
      Till wind and water threw me up to it;                         385
      When, coming forth, a ruthless billow smit
      Against huge rocks, and an accessless shore,
      My mangl'd body. Back again I bore,
      And swum till I was fall'n upon a flood,
      Whose shores, methought, on good advantage stood               390
      For my receipt, rock-free, and fenc'd from wind;
      And this I put for, gathering up my mind.
      Then the divine night came, and treading earth,
      Close by the flood that had from Jove her birth,
      Within a thicket I reposed; when round                         395
      I ruffled up fall'n leaves in heap; and found,
      Let fall from heaven, a sleep interminate.
      And here my heart, long time excruciate,
      Amongst the leaves I rested all that night,
      Even till the morning and meridian light.                      400
      The sun declining then, delightsome sleep
      No longer laid my temples in his steep,
      But forth I went, and on the shore might see
      Your daughter's maids play. Like a Deity
      She shined above them; and I pray'd to her,                    405
      And she in disposition did prefer
      Noblesse, and wisdom, no more low than might
      Become the goodness of a Goddess' height.
      Nor would you therefore hope, supposed distrest
      As I was then, and old, to find the least                      410
      Of any grace from her, being younger far.
      'With young folks Wisdom makes her commerce rare.'
      Yet she in all abundance did bestow
      Both wine, that makes the blood in humans grow,
      And food, and bath'd me in the flood, and gave                 415
      The weeds to me which now ye see me have.
      This through my griefs I tell you, and 'tis true."
        Alcinous answer'd: "Guest! my daughter knew
      Least of what most you give her; nor became
      The course she took, to let with every dame                    420
      Your person lackey; nor hath with them brought
      Yourself home too; which first you had besought."
        "O blame her not," said he, "heroical lord,
      Nor let me hear against her worth a word.
      She faultless is, and wish'd I would have gone                 425
      With all her women home, but I alone
      Would venture my receipt here, having fear
      And reverend awe of accidents that were
      Of likely issue; both your wrath to move,
      And to enflame the common people's love                        430
      Of speaking ill, to which they soon give place.
      'We men are all a most suspicious race.'"
        "My guest," said he, "I use not to be stirr'd
      To wrath too rashly; and where are preferr'd
      To men's conceits things that may both ways fail,              435
      The noblest ever should the most prevail.
      Would Jove our Father, Pallas, and the Sun,
      That, were you still as now, and could but run
      One fate with me, you would my daughter wed,
      And be my son-in-law, still vow'd to lead                      440
      Your rest of life here! I a house would give,
      And household goods, so freely you would live,
      Confined with us. But 'gainst your will shall none
      Contain you here, since that were violence done
      To Jove our father. For your passage home,                     445
      That you may well know we can overcome
      So great a voyage, thus it shall succeed:
      To-morrow shall our men take all their heed,
      While you securely sleep, to see the seas
      In calmest temper, and, if that will please,                   450
      Show you your country and your house ere night,
      Though far beyond Euboea be that sight.
      And this Euboea, as our subjects say
      That have been there and seen, is far away,
      Farthest from us of all the parts they know;                   455
      And made the trial when they help'd to row
      The gold-lock'd Rhadamanth, to give him view
      Of earth-born Tityus; whom their speeds did show
      In that far-off Euboea, the same day
      They set from hence; and home made good their way              460
      With ease again, and him they did convey.
      Which I report to you, to let you see
      How swift my ships are, and how matchlessly
      My young Phaeacians with their oars prevail,
      To beat the sea through, and assist a sail."                   465
        This cheer'd Ulysses, who in private pray'd:
      "I would to Jove our Father, what he said,
      He could perform at all parts; he should then
      Be glorified for ever, and I gain
      My natural country." This discourse they had;                  470
      When fair-arm'd Arete her handmaids bad
      A bed make in the portico, and ply
      With clothes, the covering tapestry,
      The blankets purple; well-napp'd waistcoats too,
      To wear for more warmth. What these had to do,                 475
      They torches took and did. The bed purvey'd,
      They moved Ulysses for his rest, and said:
        "Come guest, your bed is fit, now frame to rest."
      Motion of sleep was gracious to their guest;
      Which now he took profoundly, being laid                       480
      Within a loop-hole tower, where was convey'd
      The sounding portico. The king took rest
      In a retired part of the house; where drest
      The queen her self a bed, and trundlebed,
      And by her lord reposed her reverend head.                     485




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