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The immortals to a contest with the bow. Gifts that may well beseem his liberal hests. Therefore was mighty Eurytus cut off. Twelve honored princes in our land bear sway, Apollo, angry to be challenged, slew
The thirteenth prince am I. Let each one The hero. I can hurl a spear beyond
bring Where others send an arrow. All my fear A well-bleached cloak, a tunic, and beside Is for my feet, so weakened have I been Of precious gold a talent. Let them all Among the stormy waves with want of food Be brought at once, that, having seen them At sea, and thus my limbs have lost their here, strength."
Our guest may with a cheerful heart partake He ended here, and all the assembly sat The evening meal. And let Euryalus, In silence; King Alcinoüs only spake:
Who spake but now so unbecomingly, “Stranger, since thou dost speak without Appease him both with words and with a gift.” offense,
He spake; they all approved, and each one And but to assert the prowess of thine arm,
sent Indignant that amid the public games His herald with a charge to bring the gifts, This man should rail at thee, and since thy wish And thus Euryalus addressed the king: Is only that all others who can speak
“O King Alcinoüs, mightiest of our race, Becomingly may not in time to come
I will obey thee, and will seek to appease Dispraise that prowess, now, then, heed my Our guest. This sword of brass will I bestow, words,
With hilt of silver, and an ivory sheath And speak of them within thy palace halls New wrought, which he may deem a gift of To other heroes when thou banquetest
price.” Beside thy wife and children, and dost think He spake, and gave the silver-studded sword Of things that we excel in-arts which Jove Into his hand, and spake these wingéd words: Gives us, transmitted from our ancestors. 305 “Stranger and father, hail! If any word In boxing and in wrestling small renown
That hath been uttered gave offense, may Have we, but we are swift of foot; we guide
storms Our galleys bravely o'er the deep.”
Sweep it away forever. May the gods
And this long absence from thy friends shall Alcinoüs called his sons Laodamas
end!” And Halius forth, and bade them dance alone, Ulysses, the sagacious, thus replied: For none of all the others equaled them. “Hail also, friend! and may the gods confer Then taking a fair purple ball, the work On thee all happiness, and may the time Of skillful Polybus, and, bending back, Never arrive when thou shalt miss the sword One flung it toward the shadowy clouds on high; Placed in my hands with reconciling words!" The other springing upward easily
He spake, and slung the silver-studded Grasped it before he touched the ground again. sword And when they thus had tossed the ball awhile, Upon his shoulders. Now the sun went down, They danced upon the nourishing earth, and oft And the rich presents were already brought. Changed places with each other, while the The noble heralds came and carried them youths
Into the palace of Alcinoüs, where That stood within the circle filled the air His blameless sons received and ranged them With their applauses; mighty was the din. Then great Ulysses to Alcinoüs said:
In fair array before the queenly dame “O King Alcinoüs! mightiest of the race Their mother. Meantime had the mighty king For whom thou hast engaged that they excel Alcinoüs to his palace led the way, All others in the dance, what thou hast said Where they who followed took the lofty seats, Is amply proved. I look and am amazed." And thus Alcinoüs to Aretè said:
316 Well pleased Alcinoüs the mighty heard, “Bring now a coffer hither, fairly shaped, And thus to his seafaring people spake: The best we have, and lay a well-bleached "Leaders and chiefs of the Phæacians, hear! cloak Wise seems the stranger. Haste we to bestow And tunic in it; set upon the fire
A brazen caldron for our guest, to warm
He spake; Aretè bade her maidens haste To place an ample tripod on the fire. Forthwith upon the blazing fire they set A laver with three feet, and in it poured Water, and heaped fresh fuel on the flames. The flames crept up the vessel's swelling sides, And warmed the water. Meantime from her
Around it, lest, upon thy voyage home,
Ulysses, the sagacious, heard, and straight
He saw Gladly the steaming laver, for not oft 551 Had he been cared for thus, since he had left The dwelling of the nymph with amber hair, Calypso, though attended while with her 554 As if he were a god. Now when the maids Had seen him bathed, and had anointed him With oil, and put his sumptuous mantle on, And tunic, forth he issued from the bath, And came to those who sat before their wine. Nausicaä, goddess-like in beauty, stood Beside a pillar of that noble roof, And looking on Ulysses as he passed, Admired, and said to him in wingéd words:
“Stranger, farewell, and in thy native land Remember thou hast owed thy life to me.” 565
Aretè brought a beautiful chest, in which
“Look to the lid thyself, and cast a cord 541
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
EXPLANATORY NOTES 1. Some translators of the Odyssey use the Greek names throughout: Odysseus, Zeus, Hera, Pallas Athena, Poseidon, Artemis, Hephaestus; but Bryant in his translation prefers to use the Latin names: Ulysses, Jupiter or Jove, Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Diana, Vulcan. He gives as his reason for doing so the fact that Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and other early writers used these forms and made them familiar to English readers.
2. The Odyssey was composed originally in the Greek language, but many translations, both verse and prose, have been made into the modern languages. Among the best-known translations in English are those of Bryant, Palmer, Butcher and Lang, Morris, Pope, and Chapman.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS 1. Find a passage that shows the treatment of strangers in Homeric times. Read lines 347 to 364, Book VI; what is your opinion of gossips two thousand years ago? Find a passage that gives reasons for the high regard in which Areté is held by the Phæacians. Try to make a sketch of the hall and garden of Alcinoüs from Homer's description. How do
you answer the question implied in lines 316 to 318, Book VII? What is your opinion of Euryalus? How do the sports described in Book VIII compare with the events in a modern athletic meet?
2. In his translation Bryant tried to preserve some of the qualities of the original poem; one of these is the double adjective, such as, brighteyed, lusty-limbed. Find others that you think are striking. Another characteristic of the Odyssey is the use of appositives; find examples that you think interesting.
3. You will find it interesting to compare some particular passage in as many different translations as you may have access to (see list under Explanatory Notes, above.) Choose a passage of your own selection or use one of the following: description of Olympus, Book VI, lines 53 to 62; the wish of Ulysses for Nausicaä, Book VI, lines 227 to 234; Nausicaä's reason for thinking war cannot come to the Phæacians, Book VI, lines 256 to 259; “The bold man ever is the better man,” Book VII, line 58; greeting to the guests, Book VII, lines 181 to 185; Homeric athletes, Book VIII, lines 182 to 185; ideas of hospitality, Book VIII, lines 260 to 265.
4. In his wanderings Ulysses had twelve adventures. If each one of twelve pupils pre
pares himself to tell one of these adventures to the class, all the members will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the whole story of the Odyssey. Select one of the following: the Ciconians, Book IX, lines 49 to 76; the Lotus-eaters, Book IX, lines 102 to 129; the Cyclops, Book IX, lines 130 to 670; Aeolus, Book X, lines 1 to 99; the Laestrigonians, Book X, lines 100 to 160; Circe, Book X, lines 161 to 692; visit of Ulysses to the land of the Dead, Book XI; the Sirens, Book XII, lines 185 to 240; Scylla and Charybdis, Book XII, lines 241 to 311; the Oxen of the Sun, Book XII, lines 312 to 517; Calypso, Book XII, lines 518 to 556 and Book VII, lines 289 to 357; among the Phæacians, Book VI to line 150 of Book XIII.
Books XIV to XXIV describe the return of Ulysses to his home in Ithaca, how he makes
himself known to his son Telemachus, to his wife Penelope, and to his father Laertes. One of the most interesting incidents of the poem is the story of how the dog Argus recognizes his former master, Ulysses, Book XVII, lines 855 to 398. The poem ends with the slaying of the suitors and the reëstablishment of Ulysses as king of Ithaca.
5. Show how the adventure with the Cyclops and the curse of Neptune form the plot of the story. Which adventure resulted in the loss of all the ships except that of Ulysses? In which adventure was Ulysses's ship lost? How do you account for seven out of the ten years of Ulysses's wanderings? Where did he spend one year of his wanderings?
Class Reading. Select a unit of the narrative that particularly appeals to you and be prepared to read it in class.
PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES
Erymanthus (ěr'l-măn’thůs) Olympian (0-lym'py-an) Achilles (å-kil'ēz)
Olympus (0-lim'půs) Acroneus (å-kron'ūs)
Pallas (păl'ăs) Agamemnon (åg'å-měm'non) Eurymedon (ll-rịm'e-don) Peleus (pē'lūs) Alcinoüs (ăl-sin'o-us)
Eurymedusa (ll-rim'ě-dū’så) Peribæa (per-1-bē'å) Amphialus (ăm-fika-lis) Eurytus (ll-ri'tůs)
Phæacia (fè-ā'sha) Anabasineüs (ăn-å-bäs'1-nē'ús) Hades (hā'dēz)
Phæacian (fé-ā'shăn) Anchialus (ăn-ki’a-lbs) Halius (hā'li-ūs)
Philoctetes (f¥l-ok-tē'tēz) Apollo (å-pol'o)
Phæbus (fē'bús) Arete (å-rē'tē)
Hypereia (hī-pė-rē'å) Polybus (pol'y-bůs) Argus (är gůs)
Polyneius (põl-I-nē'ús) Athens (ath'énz)
Ponteus (pon-tē'ús) Atlas (at'lăs)
Pontonoüs (pon-to-nö'ús) Calypso (kå-lịp'so)
Proreus (pro'rūs) Circé (sûr'sē)
Laodamas (lå-od'á-mås) Protonoüs (pro-to-no'ús) Clytonian (kli-tö'ny-án) Latona (lå-to'na)
Prymneus (prym-nē'ús) Cyclops (sī’klõps)
Marathon (măr'å-thon) Pythia (pith'l-a) Delos (dē'los)
Rhadamanthus (rad-i-măn’thus) Demodocus (de-mod'ö-kús) Minerva (my-nûr'vå)
Rhexenor (rès-ē'nor) Diana, Dian (di-ằn'å, di’ăn) Naubolus (nô’bi-lis)
Scheria (skē'rl-8) Dymas (di'măs)
Nausicaä (nô-sik'á-á) Taygetus (tâ-tj'e-tůs) Echeneus (e-kē'nūs)
Nausithoüs (nô-sith'ö-ės) Tecton (těk'ton) Elatreus (e-lăt'rūs)
Thoön (thô^^n) Epirote (e-pi'röt)
Tityus (tỉt'Y-us) Epirus (e-pi'růs)
Ulysses (ů-lis'ēz) Erectheus (e-rek'thūs)
Echalian (ē-kā'li-ăn) Vulcan (vůl'kån) Eretmeus (ě-ret'mūs)
The similarity between the ballad plot The word "ballad” usually suggests a and the plot of the short story is apparent. short story in verse, just as an epic may A single incident is related, from a single be thought of as a verse-novel. This is a point of view. Nothing is told that is not very incomplete definition, however, as necessary to give this effect. Indeed, the there are many short narrative poems very things that one would expect to be which we do not call ballads. Sometimes told in detail are left to the imagination. the name is applied to a sentimental song, We are not told why the King wished to and it is true that a ballad is always a song. send his men on such a mission; or what look
the word in a dictionary we was the truth about the grudge which led find that it comes from an old French word the King's counselor to choose Sir Patrick meaning “to dance.” At one time, there- for a journey that meant death; or what fore, the ballad seems to have been a song Sir Patrick did, or the cause of the wreck. for a dancing chorus. Story, song, dance- The main incidents seem to be suppressed. here are three ingredients that appear to Rather, they stand out more significantly be mixed up in that form of composition because they are merely suggested by the which is called a ballad.
sailor's forebodings, the grief of the ladies, To name some of the ingredients, how- and the tragic simplicity of the closing ever, or all of them, is not to give a defini- lines. Very likely these omissions are tion. In "Sir Patrick Spens,” for example, due to the fact that the story was wellthe short story characteristic comes out known to the audience for whom the very plainly. There is an abrupt begin- ballad was composed, so that it was not ning, which puts you at once into possession felt to be necessary to give details. What of the necessary facts: the king sitting in
the balladist wanted to do was to express his tower, calling for a good sailor to be the horror, the emotion, that those who sent on a dangerous mission; the naming knew all the details felt when they heard of Sir Patrick for this mission by an elderly of the fate of the brave sailor and his men. knight; the commission which the king Contrast this with the modern newspaper sent to Sir Patrick. All this is told in which gives every minute detail of a three stanzas of four lines each. The celebrated murder mystery. Edition after second part of the story, consisting of four edition appears, with pictures, conjectures, stanzas, tells us the character of Sir stories of the lives of the victim and his Patrick: his pride in being selected, suc- associates; no detail is too trivial. The ceeded by his realization that he is really ballad is reticent; it conceals more than being sent into a trap by an enemy; and it reveals; yet it gains tremendous effect by this is immediately followed by the fore-, its very economy. bodings of a superstitious old sailor who
II fears that his master is going to his death. Of the voyage we are told nothing; a The ballad, then, is a tale. It is a single stanza suffices for the wreck for short story told with the utmost economy which we have been prepared by the
And yet, it differs from the previous part of the story; and the ballad short story in several very remarkable ends with three stanzas that tell of the particulars. For one thing, you get no grief of the wives and sweethearts of the impression of the author. It is impersonal. sailors, with a final stanza saying that the If you compare Poe's “Masque of the Red men were fifty fathoms under the sea. Death” with the ballad, you will see the
difference. The horror inspired by the bits of talk, expressions of mood, not a tragedy of Sir Patrick Spens is like that story told in an orderly way or written up of some great catastrophe in actual life: for the newspaper. One member of the the fall of a theater roof upon a happy, group and then another adds his bit. laughing audience; the sudden destruction There are moments of silence between. wrought by a tornado. It is elemental. All are thinking of the horror, and deeply The horror inspired by Poe's story is moved. Then perhaps one, or two, or like that of a tragedy acted on the stage, three, begin to put the thing into words. where setting, lighting effects, speech, and The words fit some simple song that gesture, are all carefully designed to everyone knows. The group begins to produce the effect desired. It is not that sing the song. The ballad is born. one method is bad and the other good. Thus the ballad seems not to be a story It is just that the two things differ. at all but just the expression of the feelings
Another illustration of the impersonal of a whole group of people. It differs character of the ballad is even from the story in that it seems to tell striking. In the stories by 0. Henry, itself. It is not the work of an author for example, you are not conscious of who gives to the events an interpretation taking any part in the action. Your or who carefully chooses details so that a attitude is that of a listener or a spectator. definite impression is built up in the mind You cannot imagine yourself a part of a of the reader. It expresses the reactions group of men and women, all of whom are of a group. It is impersonal. brought into immediate relation to the It is a tale telling itself. action. In the ballad, on the other hand,
III this feeling that the reader or listener is one of such a group is present. The very fact The third characteristic of the ballad that you are not told exactly what hap- is that it is designed to be sung. There pened implies that this was not necessary; is abundant evidence of this. In certain you are already supposed to know these parts of the United States one may still things. You will see it clearly if you will hear some of these ballads sung to airs imagine that you are one of a group of that are themselves very old. This will people who have been powerfully moved not much longer be possible. The ballad by the tragic fate of Sir Patrick. You belongs to a way of life in which autoknew him or some of his men. In this mobiles, telephones, and victrola records group the tragedy is being discussed. were unknown. It cannot breathe the One man says he heard that Sir Patrick same atmosphere with the song from a suspected the hand of an enemy, but that Broadway musical comedy, stamped on he was too brave to draw back even though rubber disks and sent to every hamlet he knew the voyage meant death. An- in the nation. other says that an old sailor observed The ballad is a form of lyric poetry. portents and 'omens that promised a Like other lyrics, it may be read or recited, tragic outcome. A third adds that such but it is best when it is sung. This is omens ought never to be disregarded. true not only of the traditional ballads Others wonder how the wives and sweet- that were handed down for generations hearts of the dead. sailors felt when they by word of mouth before they were ever heard the news, and they speak of the written or printed, but also of ballads unutterable sadness of their waiting at that were written like any other form of home, day after day, for tidings. And at lyric. For example, in one of Shakelast someone speaks of the dead men speare's plays a peddler comes to a country themselves, lying down there fifty fathoms festival with printed ballads to sell. He under the sea, their dead eyes open, their gives a list of these, telling something bodies gently rolling from side to side about the story and naming the airs, or with the motion of the water, or too far music, to which they are to be sung. below the surface ever to move. You see Many of Burns's lyrics are very similar you have, in reality, a succession of broken to the ballads, and in any edition of his