CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

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


THE NINTH BOOK OF HOMER'S ODYSSEYS.

THE ARGUMENT.

ULYSSES here is first made known;
Who tells the stern contention
His powers did against the Cicons try;
And thence to the Lotophagi
Extends his conquest; and from them
Assays the Cyclop Polypheme,
And, by the crafts his wits apply,
He puts him out his only eye.

ANOTHER ARGUMENT.

The strangely fed
Lotophagi.
The Cicons fled.
The Cyclop's eye.


LYSSES thus resolv'd the king's demands:
      "Alcinous, in whom this empire stands,
      You should not of so natural right disherit
      Your princely feast, as take from it the spirit.
      To hear a poet, that in accent brings                            5
      The Gods' breasts down, and breathes them as he sings,
      Is sweet, and sacred; nor can I conceive,
      In any common-weal, what more doth give
      Note of the just and blessed empery,
      Than to see comfort universally                                 10
      Cheer up the people, when in every roof
      She gives observers a most human proof
      Of men's contents. To see a neighbour's feast
      Adorn it through; and thereat hear the breast
      Of the divine Muse; men in order set;                           15
      A wine-page waiting; tables crown'd with meat,
      Set close to guests that are to use it skill'd;
      The cup-boards furnish'd, and the cups still fill'd;
      This shows, to my mind, most humanely fair.
      Nor should you, for me, still the heavenly air,                 20
      That stirr'd my soul so; for I love such tears
      As fall from fit notes, beaten through mine ears
      With repetitions of what heaven hath done,
      And break from hearty apprehension
      Of God and goodness, though they show my ill.                   25
      And therefore doth my mind excite me still,
      To tell my bleeding moan; but much more now,
      To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow
      My tears with such cause may by sighs be driven,
      Though ne'er so much plagued I may seem by heaven.              30
        And now my name; which way shall lead to all
      My miseries after, that their sounds may fall
      Through your ears also, and show (having fled
      So much affliction) first, who rests his head
      In your embraces, when, so far from home,                       35
      I knew not where t' obtain it resting room.
        I am Ulysses Laertiades,
      The fear of all the world for policies,
      For which my facts as high as heaven resound.
      I dwell in Ithaca, earth's most renown'd,                       40
      All over-shadow'd with the shake-leaf hill,
      Tree-famed Neritus; whose near confines fill
      Islands a number, well inhabited,
      That under my observance taste their bread;
      Dulichius, Samos, and the full-of-food                          45
      Zacynthus, likewise graced with store of wood.
      But Ithaca, though in the seas it lie,
      Yet lies she so aloft she casts her eye
      Quite over all the neighbour continent;
      Far northward situate, and, being lent                          50
      But little favour of the morn and sun,
      With barren rocks and cliffs is over-run,
      And yet of hardy youths a nurse of name;
      Nor could I see a soil, where'er I came,
      More sweet and wishful. Yet, from hence was I                   55
      Withheld with horror by the Deity,
      Divine Calypso, in her cavy house,
      Enflamed to make me her sole lord and spouse.
      Circe Ææa too, that knowing dame,
      Whose veins the like affections did enflame,                    60
      Detain'd me likewise. But to neither's love
      Could I be tempted; which doth well approve,
      Nothing so sweet is as our country's earth,
      And joy of those from whom we claim our birth.
      Though roofs far richer we far off possess,                     65
      Yet, from our native, all our more is less.
        To which as I contended, I will tell
      The much-distress-conferring facts that fell
      By Jove's divine prevention, since I set
      From ruin'd Troy my first foot in retreat.                      70
        From Ilion ill winds cast me on the coast
      The Cicons hold, where I employ'd mine host
      For Ismarus, a city built just by
      My place of landing; of which victory
      Made me expugner. I depeopled it,                               75
      Slew all the men, and did their wives remit,
      With much spoil taken; which we did divide,
      That none might need his part. I then applied
      All speed for flight; but my command therein,
      Fools that they were, could no observance win                   80
      Of many soldiers, who, with spoil fed high,
      Would yet fill higher, and excessively
      Fell to their wine, gave slaughter on the shore
      Cloven-footed beeves and sheep in mighty store.
      In mean space, Cicons did to Cicons cry,                        85
      When, of their nearest dwellers, instantly
      Many and better soldiers made strong head,
      That held the continent, and managed
      Their horse with high skill, on which they would fight,
      When fittest cause served, and again alight,                    90
      With soon seen vantage, and on foot contend.
      Their concourse swift was, and had never end;
      As thick and sudden 'twas, as flowers and leaves
      Dark spring discovers, when she light receives.
      And then began the bitter Fate of Jove                          95
      To alter us unhappy, which even strove
      To give us suff'rance. At our fleet we made
      Enforced stand; and there did they invade
      Our thrust-up forces; darts encounter'd darts,
      With blows on both sides; either making parts                  100
      Good upon either, while the morning shone,
      And sacred day her bright increase held on,
      Though much out-match'd in number; but as soon
      As Phoebus westward fell, the Cicons won
      Much hand of us; six proved soldiers fell,                     105
      Of every ship, the rest they did compell
      To seek of Flight escape from Death and Fate.
        Thence sad in heart we sail'd; and yet our state
      Was something cheer'd, that (being o'er-match'd so much
      In violent number) our retreat was such                        110
      As saved so many. Our dear loss the less,
      That they survived, so like for like success.
      Yet left we not the coast, before we call'd
      Home to our country earth the souls exhal'd
      Of all the friends the Cicons overcame.                        115
      Thrice call'd we on them by their several name,
      And then took leave. Then from the angry North
      Cloud-gathering Jove a dreadful storm call'd forth
      Against our navy, cover'd shore and all
      With gloomy vapours. Night did headlong fall                   120
      From frowning heaven. And then hurl'd here and there
      Was all our navy; the rude winds did tear
      In three, in four parts, all their sails; and down
      Driven under hatches were we, prest to drown.
      Up rush'd we yet again, and with tough hand                    125
      (Two days, two nights, entoil'd) we gat near land,
      Labours and sorrows eating up our minds.
      The third clear day yet, to more friendly winds
      We masts advanced, we white sails spread, and sate.
      Forewinds and guides again did iterate                         130
      Our ease and home-hopes; which we clear had reach'd,
      Had not, by chance, a sudden north-wind fetch'd,
      With an extreme sea, quite about again
      Our whole endeavours, and our course constrain
      To giddy round, and with our bow'd sails greet                 135
      Dreadful Maleia, calling back our fleet
      As far forth as Cythera. Nine days more
      Adverse winds toss'd me; and the tenth, the shore,
      Where dwelt the blossom-fed Lotophagi,
      I fetch'd, fresh water took in, instantly                      140
      Fell to our food aship-board, and then sent
      Two of my choice men to the continent
      (Adding a third, a herald) to discover
      What sort of people were the rulers over
      The land next to us. Where, the first they met,                145
      Were the Lotophagi, that made them eat
      Their country diet, and no ill intent
      Hid in their hearts to them; and yet th' event
      To ill converted it, for, having eat
      Their dainty viands, they did quite forget                     150
      (As all men else that did but taste their feast)
      Both countrymen and country, nor address'd
      Any return t' inform what sort of men
      Made fix'd abode there, but would needs maintain
      Abode themselves there, and eat that food ever.                155
      I made out after, and was feign to sever
      Th' enchanted knot by forcing their retreat,
      That strived, and wept, and would not leave their meat
      For heaven itself. But, dragging them to fleet,
      I wrapt in sure bands both their hands and feet,               160
      And cast them under hatches, and away
      Commanded all the rest without least stay,
      Lest they should taste the lote too, and forget
      With such strange raptures their despised retreat.
        All then aboard, we beat the sea with oars,                  165
      And still with sad hearts sail'd by out-way shores,
      Till th' out-law'd Cyclops' land we fetch'd; a race
      Of proud-lived loiterers, that never sow;
      Nor put a plant in earth, nor use a plow,
      But trust in God for all things; and their earth,              170
      Unsown, unplow'd, gives every offspring birth
      That other lands have; wheat, and barley, vines
      That bear in goodly grapes delicious wines;
      And Jove sends showers for all. No counsels there,
      Nor counsellors, nor laws; but all men bear                    175
      Their heads aloft on mountains, and those steep,
      And on their tops too; and their houses keep
      In vaulty caves, their households govern'd all
      By each man's law, imposed in several,
      Nor wife, nor child awed, but as he thinks good,               180
      None for another caring. But there stood
      Another little isle, well stored with wood,
      Betwixt this and the entry; neither nigh
      The Cyclops' isle, nor yet far off doth lie.
      Men's want it suffer'd, but the men's supplies                 185
      The goats made with their inarticulate cries.
      Goats beyond number this small island breeds,
      So tame, that no access disturbs their feeds,
      No hunters, that the tops of mountains scale,
      And rub through woods with toil, seek them at all.             190
      Nor is the soil with flocks fed down, nor plow'd,
      Nor ever in it any seed was sow'd.
      Nor place the neighbour Cyclops their delights
      In brave vermilion-prow-deck'd ships; nor wrights
      Useful, and skilful in such works as need                      195
      Perfection to those traffics that exceed
      Their natural confines, to fly out and see
      Cities of men, and take in mutually
      The prease of others; to themselves they live,
      And to their island that enough would give                     200
      A good inhabitant; and time of year
      Observe to all things art could order there.
      There, close upon the sea, sweet meadows spring,
      That yet of fresh streams want no watering
      To their soft burthens, but of special yield.                  205
      Your vines would be there; and your common field
      But gentle work make for your plow, yet bear
      A lofty harvest when you came to shear;
      For passing fat the soil is. In it lies
      A harbour so opportune, that no ties,                          210
      Halsers, or gables need, nor anchors cast.
      Whom storms put in there are with stay embraced,
      Or to their full wills safe, or winds aspire
      To pilots' uses their more quick desire.
      At entry of the haven, a silver ford                           215
      Is from a rock-impressing fountain pour'd,
      All set with sable poplars. And this port
      Were we arrived at, by the sweet resort
      Of some God guiding us, for 'twas a night
      So ghastly dark all port was past our sight,                   220
      Clouds hid our ships, and would not let the moon
      Afford a beam to us, the whole isle won
      By not an eye of ours. None thought the blore,
      That then was up, shov'd waves against the shore,
      That then to an unmeasured height put on;                      225
      We still at sea esteem'd us, till alone
      Our fleet put in itself. And then were strook
      Our gather'd sails; our rest ashore we took,
      And day expected. When the morn gave fire,
      We rose, and walk'd, and did the isle admire;                  230
      The Nymphs, Jove's daughters, putting up a herd
      Of mountain goats to us, to render cheer'd
      My fellow soldiers. To our fleet we flew,
      Our crooked bows took, long-piled darts, and drew
      Ourselves in three parts out; when, by the grace               235
      That God vouchsafed, we made a gainful chace.
      Twelve ships we had, and every ship had nine
      Fat goats allotted [it], ten only mine.
      Thus all that day, even till the sun was set,
      We sat and feasted, pleasant wine and meat                     240
      Plenteously taking; for we had not spent
      Our ruddy wine aship-board, supplement
      Of large sort each man to his vessel drew,
      When we the sacred city overthrew
      That held the Cicons. Now then saw we near                     245
      The Cyclops' late-praised island, and might hear
      The murmur of their sheep and goats, and see
      Their smokes ascend. The sun then set, and we,
      When night succeeded, took our rest ashore.
      And when the world the morning's favour wore,                  250
      I call'd my friends to council, charging them
      To make stay there, while I took ship and stream,
      With some associates, and explored what men
      The neighbour isle held; if of rude disdain,
      Churlish and tyrannous, or minds bewray'd                      255
      Pious and hospitable. Thus much said,
      I boarded, and commanded to ascend
      My friends and soldiers, to put off, and lend
      Way to our ship. They boarded, sat, and beat
      The old sea forth, till we might see the seat                  260
      The greatest Cyclop held for his abode,
      Which was a deep cave, near the common road
      Of ships that touch'd there, thick with laurels spread,
      Where many sheep and goats lay shadowed;
      And, near to this, a hall of torn-up stone,                    265
      High built with pines, that heaven and earth attone,
      And lofty-fronted oaks; in which kept house
      A man in shape immane, and monsterous,
      Fed all his flocks alone, nor would afford
      Commerce with men, but had a wit abhorr'd,                     270
      His mind his body answering. Nor was he
      Like any man that food could possibly
      Enhance so hugely, but, beheld alone,
      Show'd like a steep hill's top, all overgrown
      With trees and brambles; little thought had I                  275
      Of such vast objects. When, arrived so nigh,
      Some of my loved friends I made stay aboard,
      To guard my ship, and twelve with me I shored,
      The choice of all. I took besides along
      A goat-skin flagon of wine, black and strong,                  280
      That Maro did present, Evantheus' son,
      And priest to Phoebus, who had mansion
      In Thracian Ismarus (the town I took)
      He gave it me, since I (with reverence strook
      Of his grave place, his wife and children's good)              285
      Freed all of violence. Amidst a wood,
      Sacred to Phoebus, stood his house; from whence
      He fetch'd me gifts of varied excellence;
      Seven talents of fine gold; a bowl all framed
      Of massy silver; but his gift most famed                       290
      Was twelve great vessels, fill'd with such rich wine
      As was incorruptible and divine.
      He kept it as his jewel, which none knew
      But he himself, his wife, and he that drew.
      It was so strong, that never any fill'd                        295
      A cup, where that was but by drops instill'd,
      And drunk it off, but 'twas before allay'd
      With twenty parts in water; yet so sway'd
      The spirit of that little, that the whole
      A sacred odour breath'd about the bowl.                        300
      Had you the odour smelt and scent it cast,
      It would have vex'd you to forbear the taste.
      But then, the taste gain'd too, the spirit it wrought
      To dare things high set up an end my thought.
        Of this a huge great flagon full I bore,                     305
      And, in a good large knapsack, victuals store;
      And long'd to see this heap of fortitude,
      That so illiterate was and upland rude
      That laws divine nor human he had learn'd.
      With speed we reach'd the cavern; nor discern'd                310
      His presence there, his flocks he fed at field.
        Ent'ring his den, each thing beheld did yield
      Our admiration; shelves with cheeses heap'd;
      Sheds stuff'd with lambs and goats, distinctly kept,
      Distinct the biggest, the more mean distinct,                  315
      Distinct the youngest. And in their precinct,
      Proper and placeful, stood the troughs and pails,
      In which he milk'd; and what was given at meals,
      Set up a creaming; in the evening still
      All scouring bright as dew upon the hill.                      320
        Then were my fellows instant to convey
      Kids, cheeses, lambs, aship-board, and away
      Sail the salt billow. I thought best not so,
      But better otherwise; and first would know,
      What guest-gifts he would spare me. Little knew                325
      My friends on whom they would have prey'd. His view
      Prov'd after, that his inwards were too rough
      For such bold usage. We were bold enough
      In what I suffer'd; which was there to stay,
      Make fire and feed there, though bear none away.               330
      There sat we, till we saw him feeding come,
      And on his neck a burthen lugging home,
      Most highly huge, of sere-wood, which the pile
      That fed his fire supplied all supper-while.
      Down by his den he threw it, and up rose                       335
      A tumult with the fall. Afraid, we close
      Withdrew ourselves, while he into a cave
      Of huge receipt his high-fed cattle drave,
      All that he milk'd; the males he left without
      His lofty roofs, that all bestrow'd about                      340
      With rams and buck-goats were. And then a rock
      He lift aloft, that damm'd up to his flock
      The door they enter'd; 'twas so hard to wield,
      That two and twenty waggons, all four-wheel'd,
      (Could they be loaded, and have teams that were                345
      Proportion'd to them) could not stir it there.
      Thus making sure, he kneel'd and milk'd his ewes,
      And braying goats, with all a milker's dues;
      Then let in all their young. Then quick did dress
      His half milk up for cheese, and in a press                    350
      Of wicker press'd it; put in bowls the rest,
      To drink and eat, and serve his supping feast.
        All works dispatch'd thus, he began his fire;
      Which blown, he saw us, and did thus inquire:
        'Ho! guests! What are ye? Whence sail ye these seas?         355
      Traffic, or rove ye, and like thieves oppress
      Poor strange adventurers, exposing so
      Your souls to danger, and your lives to woe?'
        This utter'd he, when fear from our hearts took
      The very life, to be so thunder-strook                         360
      With such a voice, and such a monster see;
      But thus I answer'd: 'Erring Grecians, we
      From Troy were turning homewards, but by force
      Of adverse winds, in far diverted course,
      Such unknown ways took, and on rude seas toss'd,               365
      As Jove decreed, are cast upon this coast.
      Of Agamemnon, famous Atreus' son,
      We boast ourselves the soldiers; who hath won
      Renown that reacheth heaven, to overthrow
      So great a city, and to ruin so                                370
      So many nations. Yet at thy knees lie
      Our prostrate bosoms, forced with prayers to try
      If any hospitable right, or boon
      Of other nature, such as have been won
      By laws of other houses, thou wilt give.                       375
      Reverence the Gods, thou great'st of all that live.
      We suppliants are; and hospitable Jove
      Pours wreak on all whom prayers want power to move,
      And with their plagues together will provide
      That humble guests shall have their wants supplied.'           380
        He cruelly answer'd: 'O thou fool,' said he,
      'To come so far, and to importune me
      With any God's fear, or observed love!
      We Cyclops care not for your goat-fed Jove,
      Nor other Bless'd ones; we are better far.                     385
      To Jove himself dare I bid open war,
      To thee, and all thy fellows, if I please.
      But tell me, where's the ship, that by the seas
      Hath brought thee hither? If far off, or near,
      Inform me quickly.' These his temptings were;                  390
      But I too much knew not to know his mind,
      And craft with craft paid, telling him the wind
      (Thrust up from sea by Him that shakes the shore)
      Had dash'd our ships against his rocks, and tore
      Her ribs in pieces close upon his coast,                       395
      And we from high wrack saved, the rest were lost.'
        He answer'd nothing, but rush'd in, and took
      Two of my fellows up from earth, and strook
      Their brains against it. Like two whelps they flew
      About his shoulders, and did all embrue                        400
      The blushing earth. No mountain lion tore
      Two lambs so sternly, lapp'd up all their gore
      Gush'd from their torn-up bodies, limb by limb
      (Trembling with life yet) ravish'd into him.
      Both flesh and marrow-stuffed bones he eat,                    405
      And even th' uncleansed entrails made his meat.
      We, weeping, cast our hands to heaven, to view
      A sight so horrid. Desperation flew,
      With all our after lives, to instant death,
      In our believed destruction. But when breath                   410
      The fury of his appetite had got,
      Because the gulf his belly reach'd his throat,
      Man's flesh, and goat's milk, laying layer on layer,
      Till near choked up was all the pass for air,
      Along his den, amongst his cattle, down                        415
      He rush'd, and streak'd him. When my mind was grown
      Desperate to step in, draw my sword, and part
      His bosom where the strings about the heart
      Circle the liver, and add strength of hand.
      But that rash thought, more stay'd, did countermand,           420
      For there we all had perish'd, since it past
      Our powers to lift aside a log so vast,
      As barr'd all outscape; and so sigh'd away
      The thought all night, expecting active day.
      Which come, he first of all his fire enflames,                 425
      Then milks his goats and ewes, then to their dams
      Lets in their young, and, wondrous orderly,
      With manly haste dispatch'd his houswifery.
      Then to his breakfast, to which other two
      Of my poor friends went; which eat, out then go                430
      His herds and fat flocks, lightly putting by
      The churlish bar, and closed it instantly;
      For both those works with ease as much he did,
      As you would ope and shut your quiver lid.
        With storms of whistlings then his flock he drave            435
      Up to the mountains; and occasion gave
      For me to use my wits, which to their height
      I strived to screw up, that a vengeance might
      By some means fall from thence, and Pallas now
      Afford a full ear to my neediest vow.                          440
      This then my thoughts preferr'd: A huge club lay
      Close by his milk-house, which was now in way
      To dry and season, being an olive-tree
      Which late he fell'd, and, being green, must be
      Made lighter for his manage. 'Twas so vast,                    445
      That we resembled it to some fit mast,
      To serve a ship of burthen that was driven
      With twenty oars, and had a bigness given
      To bear a huge sea. Full so thick, so tall,
      We judg'd this club; which I, in part, hew'd small,            450
      And cut a fathom off. The piece I gave
      Amongst my soldiers, to take down, and shave;
      Which done, I sharpen'd it at top, and then,
      Harden'd in fire, I hid it in the den
      Within a nasty dunghill reeking there,                         455
      Thick, and so moist it issued everywhere.
      Then made I lots cast by my friends to try
      Whose fortune served to dare the bored out eye
      Of that man-eater; and the lot did fall
      On four I wish'd to make my aid of all,                        460
      And I the fifth made, chosen like the rest.
        Then came the even, and he came from the feast
      Of his fat cattle, drave in all, nor kept
      One male abroad; if, or his memory slept
      By God's direct will, or of purpose was                        465
      His driving in of all then, doth surpass
      My comprehension. But he closed again
      The mighty bar, milk'd, and did still maintain
      All other observation as before.
      His work all done, two of my soldiers more                     470
      At once he snatch'd up, and to supper went.
      Then dared I words to him, and did present
      A bowl of wine, with these words: 'Cyclop! take
      A bowl of wine, from my hand, that may make
      Way for the man's flesh thou hast eat, and show                475
      What drink our ship held; which in sacred vow
      I offer to thee to take ruth on me
      In my dismission home. Thy rages be
      Now no more sufferable. How shall men,
      Mad and inhuman that thou art, again                           480
      Greet thy abode, and get thy actions grace,
      If thus thou ragest, and eat'st up their race.'
        He took, and drunk, and vehemently joy'd
      To taste the sweet cup; and again employ'd
      My flagon's powers, entreating more, and said:                 485
      'Good guest, again afford my taste thy aid,
      And let me know thy name, and quickly now,
      That in thy recompense I may bestow
      A hospitable gift on thy desert,
      And such a one as shall rejoice thy heart.                     490
      For to the Cyclops too the gentle earth
      Bears generous wine, and Jove augments her birth,
      In store of such, with showers; but this rich wine
      Fell from the river, that is mere divine,
      Of nectar and ambrosia.' This again                            495
      I gave him, and again; nor could the fool abstain,
      But drunk as often. When the noble juice
      Had wrought upon his spirit, I then gave use
      To fairer language, saying: 'Cyclop! now,
      As thou demand'st, I'll tell thee my name, do thou             500
      Make good thy hospitable gift to me.
      My name is No-Man; No-Man each degree
      Of friends, as well as parents, call my name.'
      He answer'd, as his cruel soul became:
      'No-Man! I'll eat thee last of all thy friends;                505
      And this is that in which so much amends
      I vow'd to thy deservings, thus shall be
      My hospitable gift made good to thee.'
      This said, he upwards fell, but then bent round
      His fleshy neck; and Sleep, with all crowns crown'd,           510
      Subdued the savage. From his throat brake out
      My wine, with man's flesh gobbets, like a spout,
      When, loaded with his cups, he lay and snored;
      And then took I the club's end up, and gored
      The burning coal-heap, that the point might heat;              515
      Confirm'd my fellow's minds, lest Fear should let
      Their vow'd assay, and make them fly my aid.
      Straight was the olive-lever, I had laid
      Amidst the huge fire to get hardening, hot,
      And glow'd extremely, though 'twas green; which got            520
      From forth the cinders, close about me stood
      My hardy friends; but that which did the good
      Was God's good inspiration, that gave
      A spirit beyond the spirit they used to have;
      Who took the olive spar, made keen before,                     525
      And plunged it in his eye, and up I bore,
      Bent to the top close, and help'd pour it in,
      With all my forces. And as you have seen
      A ship-wright bore a naval beam, he oft
      Thrusts at the auger's froofe, works still aloft,              530
      And at the shank help others, with a cord
      Wound round about to make it sooner bored,
      All plying the round still; so into his eye
      The fiery stake we labour'd to imply.
      Out gush'd the blood that scalded, his eye-ball                535
      Thrust out a flaming vapour, that scorch'd all
      His brows and eye-lids, his eye-strings did crack,
      As in the sharp and burning rafter brake.
      And as a smith to harden any tool,
      Broad axe, or mattock, in his trough doth cool                 540
      The red-hot substance, that so fervent is
      It makes the cold wave straight to seethe and hiss;
      So sod and hiss'd his eye about the stake.
      He roar'd withal, and all his cavern brake
      In claps like thunder. We did frighted fly,                    545
      Dispers'd in corners. He from forth his eye
      The fixed stake pluck'd; after which the blood
      Flow'd freshly forth; and, mad, he hurl'd the wood
      About his hovel. Out he then did cry
      For other Cyclops, that in caverns by                          550
      Upon a windy promontory dwell'd;
      Who, hearing how impetuously he yell'd,
      Rush'd every way about him, and inquired,
      What ill afflicted him, that he exspired

      Such horrid clamours, and in sacred Night                      555
      To break their sleeps so? Ask'd him, if his fright
      Came from some mortal that his flocks had driven?
      Or if by craft, or might, his death were given?
      He answer'd from his den: 'By craft, nor might,
      No-Man hath given me death.' They then said right,             560
      If no man hurt thee, and thyself alone,
      That which is done to thee by Jove is done;
      And what great Jove inflicts no man can fly.
      Pray to thy Father yet, a Deity,
      And prove, from him if thou canst help acquire.'               565
        Thus spake they, leaving him; when all on fire
      My heart with joy was, that so well my wit
      And name deceived him; whom now pain did split,
      And groaning up and down he groping tried
      To find the stone, which found, he put aside;                  570
      But in the door sat, feeling if he could
      (As his sheep issued) on some man lay hold;
      Esteeming me a fool, that could devise
      No stratagem to 'scape his gross surprise.
      But I, contending what I could invent                          575
      My friends and me from death so eminent
      To get deliver'd, all my wiles I wove
      (Life being the subject) and did this approve:
      Fat fleecy rams, most fair, and great, lay there,
      That did a burden like a violet bear.                          580
      These, while this learn'd-in-villany did sleep,
      I yoked with osiers cut there, sheep to sheep,
      Three in a rank, and still the mid sheep bore
      A man about his belly, the two more
      March'd on his each side for defence. I then,                  585
      Choosing myself the fairest of the den,
      His fleecy belly under-crept, embrac'd
      His back, and in his rich wool wrapt me fast
      With both my hands, arm'd with as fast a mind.
      And thus each man hung, till the morning shin'd;               590
      Which come, he knew the hour, and let abroad
      His male-flocks first, the females unmilk'd stood
      Bleating and braying, their full bags so sore
      With being unemptied, but their shepherd more
      With being unsighted; which was cause his mind                 595
      Went not a milking. He, to wreak inclin'd,
      The backs felt, as they pass'd, of those male dams,
      Gross fool! believing, we would ride his rams!
      Nor ever knew that any of them bore
      Upon his belly any man before.                                 600
      The last ram came to pass him, with his wool
      And me together loaded to the full,
      For there did I hang; and that ram he stay'd,
      And me withal had in his hands, my head
      Troubled the while, not causelessly, nor least.                605
      This ram he groped, and talk'd to: 'Lazy beast!
      Why last art thou now? Thou hast never used
      To lag thus hindmost, but still first hast bruised
      The tender blossom of a flower, and held
      State in thy steps, both to the flood and field,               610
      First still at fold at even, now last remain?
      Dost thou not wish I had mine eye again,
      Which that abhorr'd man No-Man did put out,
      Assisted by his execrable rout,
      When he had wrought me down with wine? But he                  615
      Must not escape my wreak so cunningly.
      I would to heaven thou knew'st, and could but speak,
      To tell me where he lurks now! I would break
      His brain about my cave, strew'd here and there,
      To ease my heart of those foul ills, that were                 620
      Th' inflictions of a man I prized at nought.'
       Thus let he him abroad; when I, once brought
      A little from his hold, myself first losed,
      And next my friends. Then drave we, and disposed,
      His straight-legg'd fat fleece-bearers over land,              625
      Even till they all were in my ship's command;
      And to our loved friends show'd our pray'd-for sight,
      Escaped from death. But, for our loss outright
      They brake in tears; which with a look I stay'd,
      And bade them take our boot in. They obey'd,                   630
      And up we all went, sat, and used our oars.
      But having left as far the savage shores
      As one might hear a voice, we then might see
      The Cyclop at the haven; when instantly
      I stay'd our oars, and this insultance used:                   635
      'Cyclop! thou shouldst not have so much abused
      Thy monstrous forces, to oppose their least
      Against a man immartial, and a guest,
      And eat his fellows. Thou mightst know there were
      Some ills behind, rude swain, for thee to bear,                640
      That fear'd not to devour thy guests, and break
      All laws of humans. Jove sends therefore wreak,
      And all the Gods, by me.' This blew the more
      His burning fury; when the top he tore
      From off a huge rock, and so right a throw                     645
      Made at our ship, that just before the prow
      It overflew and fell, miss'd mast and all
      Exceeding little; but about the fall
      So fierce a wave it raised, that back it bore
      Our ship so far, it almost touch'd the shore.                  650
      A bead-hook then, a far-extended one,
      I snatch'd up, thrust hard, and so set us gone
      Some little way; and straight commanded all
      To help me with their oars, on pain to fall
      Again on our confusion. But a sign                             655
      I with my head made, and their oars were mine
      In all performance. When we off were set,
      (Then first, twice further) my heart was so great,
      It would again provoke him, but my men
      On all sides rush'd about me, to contain,                      660
      And said: 'Unhappy! why will you provoke
      A man so rude, that with so dead a stroke,
      Given with his rock-dart, made the sea thrust back
      Our ship so far, and near hand forced our wrack?
      Should he again but hear your voice resound,                   665
      And any word reach, thereby would be found
      His dart's direction, which would, in his fall,
      Crush piece-meal us, quite split our ship and all;
      So much dart wields the monster.' Thus urged they
      Impossible things, in fear; but I gave way                     670
      To that wrath which so long I held depress'd,
      By great necessity conquer'd, in my breast:
        'Cyclop! if any ask thee, who imposed
      Th' unsightly blemish that thine eye enclosed,
      Say that Ulysses, old Laertes' son,                            675
      Whose seat is Ithaca, and who hath won
      Surname of city-racer, bored it out.'
        At this, he bray'd so loud, that round about
      He drave affrighted echos through the air,
      And said: 'O beast! I was premonish'd fair,                    680
      By aged prophecy, in one that was
      A great and good man, this should come to pass;
      And how 'tis proved now! Augur Telemus,
      Surnamed Eurymides (that spent with us
      His age in augury, and did exceed                              685
      In all presage of truth) said all this deed
      Should this event take, author'd by the hand
      Of one Ulysses, who I thought was mann'd
      With great and goodly personage, and bore
      A virtue answerable; and this shore                            690
      Should shake with weight of such a conqueror;
      When now a weakling came, a dwarfy thing,
      A thing of nothing; who yet wit did bring,
      That brought supply to all, and with his wine
      Put out the flame where all my light did shine.                695
      Come, land again, Ulysses! that my hand
      May guest-rites give thee, and the great command,
      That Neptune hath at sea, I may convert
      To the deduction where abides thy heart,
      With my solicitings, whose son I am,                           700
      And whose fame boasts to bear my father's name.
      Nor think my hurt offends me, for my sire
      Can soon repose in it the visual fire,
      At his free pleasure; which no power beside
      Can boast, of men, or of the Deified.'                         705
        I answer'd: 'Would to God I could compel
      Both life and soul from thee, and send to hell
      Those spoils of nature! Hardly Neptune then
      Could cure thy hurt, and give thee all again.'
        Then flew fierce vows to Neptune, both his hands             710
      To star-born heaven cast: 'O thou that all lands
      Gird'st in thy ambient circle, and in air
      Shak'st the curl'd tresses of thy sapphire hair,
      If I be thine, or thou mayst justly vaunt
      Thou art my father, hear me now, and grant                     715
      That this Ulysses, old Laertes' son,
      That dwells in Ithaca, and name hath won
      Of city-ruiner, may never reach
      His natural region. Or if to fetch
      That, and the sight of his fair roofs and friends,             720
      Be fatal to him, let him that amends
      For all his miseries, long time and ill,
      Smart for, and fail of; nor that fate fulfill,
      Till all his soldiers quite are cast away
      In others' ships. And when, at last, the day                   725
      Of his sole-landing shall his dwelling show,
      Let Detriment prepare him wrongs enow.'
        Thus pray'd he Neptune; who, his sire, appear'd,
      And all his prayer to every syllable heard.
      But then a rock, in size more amplified                        730
      Than first, he ravish'd to him, and implied
      A dismal strength in it, when, wheel'd about,
      He sent it after us; nor flew it out
      From any blind aim, for a little pass
      Beyond our fore-deck from the fall there was,                  735
      With which the sea our ship gave back upon,
      And shrunk up into billows from the stone,
      Our ship again repelling near as near
      The shore as first. But then our rowers were,
      Being warn'd, more arm'd, and stronglier stemm'd the flood     740
      That bore back on us, till our ship made good
      The other island, where our whole fleet lay,
      In which our friends lay mourning for our stay,
      And every minute look'd when we should land.
      Where, now arrived, we drew up to the sand,                    745
      The Cyclops' sheep dividing, that none there
      Of all our privates might be wrung, and bear
      Too much on power. The ram yet was alone
      By all my friends made all my portion
      Above all others; and I made him then                          750
      A sacrifice for me and all my men
      To cloud-compelling Jove that all commands,
      To whom I burn'd the thighs; but my sad hands
      Received no grace from him, who studied how
      To offer men and fleet to overthrow.                           755
        All day, till sun-set, yet, we sat and eat,
      And liberal store took in of wine and meat.
      The sun then down, and place resign'd to shade,
      We slept. Morn came, my men I raised, and made
      All go aboard, weigh anchor, and away.                         760
      They boarded, sat, and beat the aged sea;
      And forth we made sail, sad for loss before,
      And yet had comfort since we lost no more.

         FINIS LIBRI NONI HOM. ODYSS.


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


 
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