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and despatches Mercury to Calypso's island grotto, with his command for the release of the captive mortal. She obeys, but remonstrates with her lover at his willingness to leave her, whilst he is apparently more desirous to see his home again than his wife. He sets sail, but Neptune, who is still angry with him, wrecks his boat and leaves him clinging to a spar.
A sea-nymph, Ino, comes to his rescue with a charmed scarf, and, after two days' tossing on the ocean, he reaches a rocky island, and, utterly exhausted, falls asleep on a bed of leaves. He is roused by the voices of a bevy of joyous maidens, who, on catching sight of him in no other attire than an olive bough, take flight, except Nausicaa, the daughter of Alcinous, king of the Phæacians, on whose territory he has been cast. She recalls her attendants, reminding them that the stranger and the poor are the messengers of the gods,' and causes him to be supplied with food and raiment. When he re-appears she is charmed with his noble mien and his hyacinthine locks, and tell hers damsels she should like just such a husband. She invites him to her father's court, but he must not accompany her, and Minerva passes him thither in a mist. The king first calls his attention to their galleys,
*For unto us no pilots appertain,
Worsley. Next, the luxurious gardens and orchards attract his admiration, and on entering the palace he finds himself surrounded with wealth and magnificence. The place of honour is ceded to him, and, in reply to a suggestion that he has descended from Olympus, he thus assures his host that he is only a hungry mortal,
'Nothing more shameless is than appetite,
The king is so pleased with his guest that he proposes he shall remain and become his son-in-law, and the queen, Arete, condescends to direct the preparation of his couch. Games are held in honour of the stranger, and at the banquet the blind bard Demodocus, in whom, it is thought, the poet describes himself,
•Whom the muse loved, and gave him good and ill ;
(Worsley), sings the tale of Troy. Ulysses is moved to tears, and the king, marking his emotion, orders the sports to begin. The guest being taunted by Euryalus, one of the competitors, as a skipper, and no athlete, replies,
• Man, thou hast not said well ; a fool thou art ;
Worsley. Then, rising in his wrath, he seizes a heavy quoit and out-hurls them all, challenging the whole assemblage to any contest they will, but none come forward. Alcinous, therefore, commands some youths to perform a ballet, after which two of his sons dance a minuet, and costly gifts are presented to Ulysses. In passing to the banquet again he exchanges courtesies with Nausicaa, and bids her farewell. The bard now sings the legend of the wooden horse, and the restoration of Helen to her rightful lord, when the king, again noticing the agitation of his guest, begs for an explanation, and is proudly told, 'I am Ulysses, son of Laertes.'
The poem proceeds with the narration of his adventures from the time of the departure of the Greeks from Troy. First he and his companions laid waste the town of the Ciconians in Thrace, but were surprised by the natives whilst feasting, and driven back to their ships. After ten days' tempestuous weather they reach the land of the Lotus-eaters,
* And whoso tasted of their flowery meat
Worsley. Bearing away from thence, they come to the island inhabited by the Cyclopes, a race of gigantic monsters having one eye only in the centre of their foreheads. One of them, Polyphemus, a son of Neptune, dwelt alone in a cave near the shore, where Ulysses and his crew awaited him. Disregarding their appeal for hospitality, he at once devoured two of them, bones and all, and two more next morning for his breakfast. Ulysses, however, made him drunk with some wine he had brought with him, and as he slept bored out his single eye with a pointed club. Whilst the monster is roaring with pain, the voyagers effect their escape by clinging to the sheep which he lets out of his den, and, in answer to their parting shout, he hurls a huge rock towards them, but it fails to reach their ships. Again Ulysses shouts, and tells his name, when he is invited to return and be handsomely entertained, but he declines, and Polyphemus, full of rage and grief, implores his progenitor for vengeance.
Next they become the guests of Æolus, the king of the winds, in his brass-bound island, and when they depart he presents Ulysses with an ox-hide, in which all the winds are safely confined, save one to waft him homewards. So for nine days they make straight towards Ithaca, and are sighting its rocks, when, whilst their chief is asleep, his companions out of curiosity open the hide, and the pent-up winds escaping, the vessels are driven back to the abode of Æolus. He sends them away as manifestly under the curse of heaven, and, landing on the shores of the Læstrygonians, they find themselves again among giants, who devour one of the party, hurl rocks at their ships, and spear the crew, as they swim from the wrecks, like fish.
Ulysses, having moored his vessel outside the land-locked harbour, escapes, and pursuing his voyage comes to the island of Ææa, where dwelt the enchantress Circe, daughter of the Sun. Eurylochus is sent with some of the crew to explore, and, on reaching the gorgeous palace, all but the leader accept the invitation of its mistress to enter, partake of her drugged cup, and become swine in form, but retain their human senses. Ulysses, on hearing the strange tale, sets forth to the rescue, and is met by Mercury, who gives him a root of wondrous virtue,
Black, with a milk-white flower, in heavenly tongue called moly,' with which to defy Circe's power. She tries her enchantments upon him in vain, and recognises him as 'the manywiled Ulysses.' He could not, however, resist her proffered love, and, having obtained the deliverance of his companions from her toils, he spent a year in her society.
Starting once more on his voyage, with favouring gales, he tells Alcinous,
• Then to the limitary land came we
Worsley. They had reached the spot where the rivers Acheron and Cocytus unite at the entrance to Hades. Here, as enjoined by Circe, Ulysses sacrificed a black ram and ewe, and poured their blood into a trench ;
'Forthwith from Erebus a phantom crowd
Worsley. Having learnt from the lips of Tiresias the fate awaiting him before reaching home, the shade of his mother Anti
cleia told him she died of grief, and that his father is wearing out a joyless life in bitter anxiety. Anxious to clasp her form, he says,
* Thrice I essayed, with eager hands outspread,
Worsley. As they talked together, he saw the mothers of the mighty men of old—the heroines of Greek romance; and here he would have ended his tale, but the king desired to know whether he met any of the champions who had fought at Troy. Yes, he recognised many of them ; but the only one who revealed anything to him was Achilles. He asked what prompted his visitor to risk the intrusion where the dead live indeed, but without thought or purpose; and when Ulysses attempted to comfort him, by referring to the glory of his earthly career, he mournfully replied,
*Rather would I, in the Sun's warmth divine,
Worsley. He also saw Orion still pursuing the phantoms of his prey, Tantalus seeking in vain to cool his burning tongue, and Sisyphus with his rolling stone; but the pale ghosts were crowding round him in tens of thousands, with their weird cries, and, fleeing back to his ship, he put out again to sea.
On nearing the island where dwelt the Siren sisters, who lure all passing mariners by the fascination of their song, he stopped the ears of his crew with melted wax, and made thein bind him to the mast. He also escaped the dangers of Scylla and Charybdis with the loss of six of his came to the shore where the oxen of the Sun were pastured, and against injuring which he had been warned by Tiresias. He was, however, persuaded by Eurylochus to land and rest there, and, having exhausted their provisions, they slew the choicest of the oxen while Ulysses slept ; whereupon the skins of the animals crawled after their slayers, their carcases uttered fearful groans while roasting, and, when they set sail again, the ship was riven by thunderbolts, and Ulysses