The duteous dame received the purple vest;
The purple vest with decent care disposed,
The silver ring she pull’d, the door reclosed,
The bolt, obedient to the silken cord,
To the strong staple’s inmost depth restored,
Secured the valves. There, wrapped in silent shade,
Pensive, the rules the goddess gave he weigh’d;
Stretch’d on the downy fleece, no rest he knows,
And in his raptured soul the vision glows.
The council of Ithaca.
Telemachus in the assembly of the lords of Ithaca complains of the injustice done him by the suitors, and insists upon their departure from his palace; appealing to the princes, and exciting the people to declare against them. The suitors endeavour to justify their stay, at least till he shall send the queen to the court of Icarius her father; which he refuses. There appears a prodigy of two eagles in the sky, which an augur expounds to the ruin of the suitors. Telemachus the demands a vessel to carry him to Pylos and Sparta, there to inquire of his father’s fortunes. Pallas, in the shape of Mentor (an ancient friend of Ulysses), helps him to a ship, assists him in preparing necessaries for the voyage, and embarks with him that night; which concludes the second day from the opening of the poem. The scene continues in the palace of Ulysses, in Ithaca.
Now reddening from the dawn, the morning ray
Glow’d in the front of heaven, and gave the day
The youthful hero, with returning light,
Rose anxious from the inquietudes of night.
A royal robe he wore with graceful pride,
A two-edged falchion threaten’d by his side,
Embroider’d sandals glitter’d as he trod,
And forth he moved, majestic as a god.
Then by his heralds, restless of delay,
To council calls the peers: the peers obey.
Soon as in solemn form the assembly sate,
From his high dome himself descends in state.
Bright in his hand a ponderous javelin shined;
Two dogs, a faithful guard, attend behind;
Pallas with grace divine his form improves,
And gazing crowds admire him as he moves,
His father’s throne he fill’d; while distant
The hoary peers, and aged wisdom bow’d.
’Twas silence all. At last AEgyptius spoke;
AEgyptius, by his age and sorrow broke;
A length of days his soul with prudence crown’d,
A length of days had bent him to the ground.
His eldest hope in arms to Ilion came,
By great Ulysses taught the path to fame;
But (hapless youth) the hideous Cyclops tore
His quivering limbs, and quaff’d his spouting gore.
Three sons remain’d; to climb with haughty fires
The royal bed, Eurynomus aspires;
The rest with duteous love his griefs assuage,
And ease the sire of half the cares of age.
Yet still his Antiphus he loves, he mourns,
And, as he stood, he spoke and wept by turns,