The rage of thirst and hunger now suppress’d,
The monarch turns him to his royal guest;
And for the promised journey bids prepare
The smooth hair’d horses, and the rapid car.
Observant of his word, tire word scarce spoke,
The sons obey, and join them to the yoke.
Then bread and wine a ready handmaid brings,
And presents, such as suit the state of kings.
The glittering seat Telemachus ascends;
His faithful guide Pisistratus attends;
With hasty hand the ruling reins he drew;
He lash’d the coursers, and the coursers flew.
Beneath the bounding yoke alike they hold
Their equal pace, and smoked along the field.
The towers of Pylos sink, its views decay,
Fields after fields fly back, till close of day;
Then sunk the sun, and darken’d all the way.
To Pherae now, Diocleus’ stately seat
(Of Alpheus’ race), the weary youths retreat.
His house affords the hospitable rite,
And pleased they sleep (the blessing of the night).
But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
With rosy lustre purpled o’er the lawn,
Again they mount, their journey to renew,
And from the sounding portico they flew.
Along the waving fields their way they hold
The fields receding as their chariot roll’d;
Then slowly sunk the ruddy globe of light,
And o’er the shaded landscape rush’d the night.
The conference with Menelaus.
Telemachus with Pisistratus arriving at Sparta, is hospitably received by Menelaus to whom he relates the cause of his coming, and learns from him many particulars of what befell the Greeks since the destruction of Troy. He dwells more at large upon the prophecies of Proteus to him in his return; from which he acquaints Telemachus that Ulysses is detained in the island of Calypso.
In the meantime the suitors consult to destroy Telemachus on the voyage home. Penelope is apprised of this; but comforted in a dream by Pallas, in the shape of her sister Iphthima.
And now proud Sparta with their wheels resounds,
Sparta whose walls a range of hills surrounds;
At the fair dome the rapid labour ends;
Where sate Atrides ’midst his bridal friends,
With double vows invoking Hymen’s power,
To bless his son’s and daughter’s nuptial hour.
That day, to great Achilles son resign’d,
Hermione, the fairest of her kind,
Was sent to crown the long-protracted joy,
Espoused before the final doom of Troy;
With steeds and gilded cars, a gorgeous train
Attend the nymphs to Phthia’s distant reign.
Meanwhile at home, to Megapentha’s bed
The virgin choir Alector’s daughter led.
Brave Megapenthas From a stolen amour
To great Atrides’ age his handmaid bore;
To Helen’s bed the gods alone assign
Hermione, to extend the regal line;
On whom a radiant pomp oh Graces wait,
Resembling Venus in attractive state.