With imprecations thus he fill’d the air,
And angry Neptune heard the unrighteous prayer,
A larger rock then heaving from the plain,
He whirl’d it round: it sung across the main;
It fell, and brush’d the stern: the billows roar,
Shake at the weight, and refluent beat the shore.
With all our force we kept aloof to sea,
And gain’d the island where our vessels lay.
Our sight the whole collected navy cheer’d.
Who, waiting long, by turns had hoped and fear’d.
There disembarking on the green sea side,
We land our cattle, and the spoil divide;
Of these due shares to every sailor fall;
The master ram was voted mine by all;
And him (the guardian of Ulysses’ fate)
With pious mind to heaven I consecrate.
But the great god, whose thunder rends the skies,
Averse, beholds the smoking sacrifice;
And sees me wandering still from coast to coast,
And all my vessels, all my people, lost!
While thoughtless we indulge the genial rite,
As plenteous cates and flowing bowls invite;
Till evening Phoebus roll’d away the light;
Stretch’d on the shore in careless ease we rest,
Till ruddy morning purpled o’er the east;
Then from their anchors all our ships unbind,
And mount the decks, and call the willing wind.
Now, ranged in order on our banks we sweep.
With hasty strokes the hoarse-resounding deep;
Blind to the future, pensive with our fears,
Glad for the living, for the dead in tears.”
Adventures with Aeolus, the Laestrygons, and Circe.
Ulysses arrives at the island of AEolus, who gives him prosperous winds, and incloses the adverse ones in a bag, which his companions untying, they are driven back again and rejected. Then they sail to the Laestrygons, where they lose eleven ships, and, with only one remaining, proceed to the island of Circe. Eurylochus is sent first with some companions, all which, except Eurylochus, are transformed into swine. Ulysses then undertakes the adventure, and, by the help of Mercury, who gives him the herb Moly, overcomes the enchantress, and procures the restoration of his men. After a year’s stay with her, he prepares, at her instigation, for his voyage to the infernal shades.
“At length we reach’d AEolias’s
Where great Hippotades the sceptre bore,
A floating isle! high-raised by toil divine,
Strong walls of brass the rocky coast confine.
Six blooming youths, in private grandeur bred,
And six fair daughters, graced the royal bed;
These sons their sisters wed, and all remain
Their parents’ pride, and pleasure of their reign.
All day they feast, all day the bowls flow round,
And joy and music through the isle resound;
At night each pair on splendid carpets lay,