Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Odysseus Reveals Himself to His Father (from Odyssey XXIV)
By George Chapman (1559?–1634)
 
  ALL this haste made not his staid faith so free
To trust his words; who said: ‘If you are he,
Approve it by some sign.’ ‘This scar then see,’
Replied Ulysses, ‘given me by the boar
Slain in Parnassus; I being sent before        5
By yours and by my honour’d mother’s will,
To see your sire Autolycus fulfil
The gifts he vow’d at giving of my name.
I ’ll tell you, too, the trees, in goodly frame
Of this fair orchard, that I ask’d of you        10
Being yet a child, and follow’d for your show,
And name of every tree. You gave me then
Of fig-trees forty, apple bearers ten,
Pear-trees thirteen, and fifty ranks of vine;
Each one of which a season did confine        15
For his best eating. Not a grape did grow
That grew not there, and had his heavy brow
When Jove’s fair daughters, the all-ripening Hours,
Gave timely date to it.’ This charged the powers
Both of his knees and heart with such impression        20
Of sudden comfort, that it gave possession
Of all to trance; the signs were all so true;
And did the love that gave them so renew.
He cast his arms about his son and sunk,
The circle slipping to his feet; so shrunk        25
Were all his age’s forces with the fire
Of his young love rekindled. The old sire
The son took up quite lifeless. But his breath
Again respiring, and his soul from death
His body’s powers recovering, out he cried,        30
And said: ‘O Jupiter! I now have tried
That still there live in heaven remembering Gods
Of men that serve them; though the periods
They set on their appearances are long
In best men’s sufferings, yet as sure as strong        35
They are in comforts; be their strange delays
Extended never so from days to days.
Yet see the short joys or the soon-fix’d fears
Of helps withheld by them so many years:
For if the wooers now have paid the pain        40
Due to their impious pleasures, now again
Extreme fear takes me, lest we straight shall see
The Ithacensians here in mutiny;
Their messengers dispatch’d to win to friend
The Cephallenian cities.’        45
 
 
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