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Chapman, George, trans. (1559?–1634).  The Odysseys of Homer, vol. 1.  1857.



TELEMACHUS to court doth call
The Wooers, and commands them all
To leave his house; and, taking then
From wise Minerva ship and men,
And all things fit for him beside,
That Euryclea could provide
For sea-rites, till he found his sire,
He hoists sail; when Heaven stoops his fire.


The old Maid’s store
The voyage cheers.
The ship leaves shore,
Minerva steers.

OW when with rosy fingers, th’ early born

And thrown through all the air, appear’d the Morn, Ulysses’ lov’d son from his bed appear’d, His weeds put on, and did about him gird His sword that thwart his shoulders hung, and tied 5 To his fair feet fair shoes, and all parts plied For speedy readiness; who, when he trod The open earth, to men show’d like a God. The heralds then he straight charg’d to consort The curl’d-head Greeks, with loud calls, to a Court. 10 They summon’d; th’ other came in utmost haste. Who all assembled, and in one heap plac’d, He likewise came to council, and did bear In his fair hand his iron-headed spear. Nor came alone, nor with men troops prepar’d, 15 But two fleet dogs made both his train and guard. Pallas supplied with her high wisdom’s grace, That all men’s wants supplies, State’s painted face. His ent’ring presence all men did admire; Who took seat in the high throne of his sire, 20 To which the grave peers gave him reverend way. Amongst whom, an Egyptian heroe (Crooked with age, and full of skill) begun The speech to all; who had a loved son That with divine Ulysses did ascend 25 His hollow fleet to Troy; to serve which end, He kept fair horse, and was a man at arms, And in the cruel Cyclops’ stern alarms His life lost by him in his hollow cave, Whose entrails open’d his abhorred grave, 30 And made of him, of all Ulysses’ train, His latest supper, being latest slain; His name was Antiphus. And this old man, This crooked grown, this wise Egyptian, Had three sons more; of which one riotous 35 A wooer was, and call’d Eurynomus; The other two took both his own wish’d course. Yet both the best fates weigh’d not down the worse, But left the old man mindful still of moan; Who, weeping, thus bespake the session; 40 “Hear, Ithacensians, all I fitly say: Since our divine Ulysses’ parting day Never was council call’d, nor session, And now by whom is this thus undergone? Whom did necessity so much compell, 45 Of young or old? Hath any one heard tell Of any coming army, that he thus now May openly take boldness to avow, First having heard it? Or will any here Some motion for the public good prefer? 50 Some worth of note there is in this command; And, methinks, it must be some good man’s hand That’s put to it, that either hath direct Means to assist, or, for his good affect, Hopes to be happy in the proof he makes; 55 And that Jove grant, whate’er he undertakes.” Telemachus (rejoicing much to hear The good hope and opinion men did bear Of his young actions) no longer sat, But long’d t’ approve what this man pointed at, 60 And make his first proof in a cause so good; And in the council’s chief place up he stood; When straight Pisenor (herald to his sire, And learn’d in counsels) felt his heart on fire To hear him speak, and put into his hand 65 The sceptre that his father did command; Then, to the old Egyptian turn’d, he spoke: “Father, not far he is that undertook To call this Council; whom you soon shall know. Myself, whose wrongs my griefs will make me show, 70 Am he that author’d this assembly here. Nor have I heard of any army near, Of which, being first told, I might iterate, Nor for the public good can aught relate, Only mine own affairs all this procure, 75 That in my house a double ill endure; One, having lost a father so renown’d, Whose kind rule once with your command was crown’d; The other is, what much more doth augment His weighty loss, the ruin imminent 80 Of all my house by it, my goods all spent. And of all this the wooers, that are sons To our chief peers, are the confusions, Importuning my mother’s marriage Against her will; nor dares their blood’s bold rage 85 Go to Icarius’, her father’s, court, That, his will ask’d in kind and comely sort, He may endow his daughter with a dower, And, she consenting, at his pleasure’s power Dispose her to a man, that, thus behav’d, 90 May have fit grace, and see her honour sav’d; But these, in none but my house, all their lives Resolve to spend; slaught’ring my sheep and beeves, And with my fattest goats lay feast on feast, My generous wine consuming as they list. 95 A world of things they spoil, here wanting one, That, like Ulysses, quickly could set gone These peace-plagues from his house, that spoil like war; Whom my powers are unfit to urge so far, Myself immartial. But, had I the power, 100 My will should serve me to exempt this hour From out my life-time. For, past patience, Base deeds are done here, that exceed defence Of any honour. Falling is my house, Which you should shame to see so ruinous. 105 Reverence the censures that all good men give, That dwell about you; and for fear to live Exposed to heaven’s wrath (that doth ever pay Pains for joys forfeit) even by Jove I pray, Or Themis, both which powers have to restrain, 110 Or gather, councils, that ye will abstain From further spoil, and let me only waste In that most wretched grief I have embrac’d For my lost father. And though I am free From meriting your outrage, yet, if he, 115 Good man, hath ever with a hostile heart Done ill to any Greek, on me convert Your like hostility, and vengeance take Of his ill on my life, and all these make Join in that justice; but, to see abused 120 Those goods that do none ill but being ill used, Exceeds all right. Yet better ’tis for me, My whole possessions and my rents to see Consum’d by you, than lose my life and all; For on your rapine a revenge may fall, 125 While I live; and so long I may complain About the city, till my goods again, Oft ask’d, may be with all amends repaid. But in the mean space your misrule hath laid Griefs on my bosom, that can only speak, 130 And are denied the instant power of wreak.” This said, his sceptre ‘gainst the ground he threw, And tears still’d from him; which mov’d all the crew, The court struck silent, not a man did dare To give a word that might offend his ear. 135 Antinous only in this sort replied: “High spoken, and of spirit unpacified, How have you sham’d us in this speech of yours! Will you brand us for an offence not ours? Your mother, first in craft, is first in cause. 140 Three years are past, and near the fourth now draws, Since first she mock’d the peers Achaian. All she made hope, and promis’d every man, Sent for us ever, left love’s show in nought, But in her heart conceal’d another thought. 145 Besides, as curious in her craft, her loom She with a web charg’d, hard to overcome, And thus bespake us: ‘Youths, that seek my bed, Since my divine spouse rests amongst the dead, Hold on your suits but till I end, at most, 150 This funeral weed, lest what is done be lost. Besides, I purpose, that when th’ austere fate Of bitter death shall take into his state Laertes the heroe, it shall deck His royal corse, since I should suffer check 155 In ill report of every common dame, If one so rich should show in death his shame.’ This speech she used; and this did soon persuade Our gentle minds. But this a work she made So hugely long, undoing still in night, 160 By torches, all she did by day’s broad light, That three years her deceit div’d past our view, And made us think that all she feign’d was true. But when the fourth year came, and those sly hours That still surprise at length dames’ craftiest powers, 165 One of her women, that knew all, disclos’d The secret to us, that she still unloosed Her whole day’s fair affair in depth of night. And then no further she could force her sleight, But, of necessity, her work gave end. 170 And thus, by me, doth every other friend, Professing love to her, reply to thee; That even thyself, and all Greeks else, may see, That we offend not in our stay, but she. To free thy house then, send her to her sire, 175 Commanding that her choice be left entire To his election, and one settled will. Nor let her vex with her illusions still Her friends that woo her, standing on her wit, Because wise Pallas hath given wills to it 180 So full of art, and made her understand All works in fair skill of a lady’s hand. But (for her working mind) we read of none Of all the old world, in which Greece hath shown Her rarest pieces, that could equal her: 185 Tyro, Alcmena, and Mycena, were To hold comparison in no degree, For solid brain, with wise Penelope. And yet, in her delays of us, she shows No prophet’s skill with all the wit she owes; 190 For all this time thy goods and victuals go To utter ruin; and shall ever so, While thus the Gods her glorious mind dispose. Glory herself may gain, but thou shalt lose Thy longings even for necessary food, 195 For we will never go where lies our good, Nor any other where, till this delay She puts on all, she quits with th’ endless stay Of some one of us, that to all the rest May give free farewell with his nuptial feast.” 200 The wise young prince replied: “Antinous! I may by no means turn out of my house Her that hath brought me forth and nourish’d me. Besides, if quick or dead my father be In any region, yet abides in doubt; 205 And ’twill go hard, my means being so run out, To tender to Icarius again, If he again my mother must maintain In her retreat, the dower she brought with her. And then a double ill it will confer, 210 Both from my father and from God on me, When, thrust out of her house, on her bent knee, My mother shall the horrid Furies raise With imprecations, and all men dispraise My part in her exposure. Never then 215 Will I perform this counsel. If your spleen Swell at my courses, once more I command Your absence from my house; some other’s hand Charge with your banquets; on your own goods eat, And either other mutually intreat, 220 At either of your houses, with your feast. But if ye still esteem more sweet and best Another’s spoil, so you still wreakless live, Gnaw, vermin-like, things sacred, no laws give To your devouring; it remains that I 225 Invoke each Ever-living Deity, And vow, if Jove shall deign in any date Power of like pains for pleasure so past rate, From thenceforth look, where ye have revelled so Unwreak’d, your ruins all shall undergo.” 230 Thus spake Telemachus; t’ assure whose threat, Far-seeing Jove upon their pinions set Two eagles from the high brows of a hill, That, mounted on the winds, together still Their strokes extended; but arriving now 235 Amidst the Council, over every brow Shook their thick wings and, threat’ning death’s cold fears, Their necks and cheeks tore with their eager seres; Then, on the court’s right-hand away they flew, Above both court and city. With whose view, 240 And study what events they might foretell, The Council into admiration fell. The old heroe, Halitherses, then, The son of Nestor, that of all old men, His peers in that court, only could foresee 245 By flight of fowls man’s fixed destiny, ‘Twixt them and their amaze, this interpos’d: “Hear, Ithacensians, all your doubts disclos’d. The Wooers most are touch’d in this ostent, To whom are dangers great and imminent; 250 For now not long more shall Ulysses bear Lack of his most lov’d, but fills some place near, Addressing to these Wooers fate and death. And many more this mischief menaceth Of us inhabiting this famous isle. 255 Let us consult yet, in this long forewhile, How to ourselves we may prevent this ill. Let these men rest secure, and revel still; Though they might find it safer, if with us They would in time prevent what threats them thus; 260 Since not without sure trial I foretell These coming storms, but know their issue well. For to Ulysses all things have event, As I foretold him, when for Ilion went The whole Greek fleet together, and with them 265 Th’ abundant-in-all-counsels took the stream. I told him, that, when much ill he had passed, And all his men were lost, he should at last, The twentieth year, turn home, to all unknown; All which effects are to perfection grown.” 270 Eurymachus, the son of Polybus, Opposed this man’s presage, and answer’d thus: “Hence, great in years, go, prophesy at home, Thy children teach to shun their ills to come. In these superior far to thee am I. 275 A world of fowls beneath the sun-beams fly That are not fit t’ inform a prophecy. Besides, Ulysses perish’d long ago; And would thy fates to thee had destin’d so, Since so thy so much prophecy had spar’d 280 Thy wronging of our rights, which, for reward Expected home with thee, hath summon’d us Within the anger of Telemachus. But this I will presage, which shall be true: If any spark of anger chance t’ ensue 285 Thy much old art in these deep auguries, In this young man incensed by thy lies, Even to himself his anger shall confer The greater anguish, and thine own ends err From all their objects; and, besides, thine age 290 Shall feel a pain, to make thee curse presage With worthy cause, for it shall touch thee near. But I will soon give end to all our fear, Preventing whatsoever chance can fall, In my suit to the young prince for us all, 295 To send his mother to her father’s house, That he may sort her out a worthy spouse, And such a dower bestow, as may befit One lov’d, to leave her friends and follow it. Before which course be, I believe that none 300 Of all the Greeks will cease th’ ambition Of such a match. For, chance what can to us, We no man fear, no not Telemachus, Though ne’er so greatly spoken. Nor care we For any threats of austere prophecy, 305 Which thou, old dotard, vaunt’st of so in vain. And thus shalt thou in much more hate remain; For still the Gods shall bear their ill expense, Nor ever be dispos’d by competence, Till with her nuptials she dismiss our suits, 310 Our whole lives’ days shall sow hopes for such fruits. Her virtues we contend to, nor will go To any other, be she never so Worthy of us, and all the worth we owe.” He answer’d him: “Eurymachus, and all 315 Ye generous Wooers, now, in general, I see your brave resolves, and will no more Make speech of these points, and, much less, implore. It is enough, that all the Grecians here, And all the Gods besides, just witness bear, 320 What friendly premonitions have been spent On your forbearance, and their vain event. Yet, with my other friends, let love prevail To fit me with a vessel free of sail, And twenty men, that may divide to me 325 My ready passage through the yielding sea. For Sparta, and Amathoan Pylos‘ shore, I now am bound, in purpose to explore My long-lack’d father, and to try if fame Or Jove, most author of man’s honour’d name, 330 With his return and life may glad mine ear, Though toil’d in that proof I sustain a year. If dead I hear him, nor of more state, here Retir’d to my lov’d country, I will rear A sepulchre to him, and celebrate 335 Such royal parent-rites, as fits his state; And then my mother to a spouse dispose.” This said, he sat; and to the rest arose Mentor, that was Ulysses’ chosen friend, To whom, when he set forth, he did commend 340 His complete family, and whom he will’d To see the mind of his old sire fulfill’d, All things conserving safe, till his retreat. Who, tender of his charge, and seeing to set In slight care of their king his subjects there, 345 Suffering his son so much contempt to bear, Thus gravely, and with zeal, to him began: “No more let any sceptre-bearing man, Benevolent, or mild, or human be, Nor in his mind form acts of piety, 350 But ever feed on blood, and facts unjust Commit, even to the full swing of his lust, Since of divine Ulysses no man now, Of all his subjects, any thought doth show. All whom he govern’d, and became to them, 355 Rather than one that wore a diadem, A most indulgent father. But, for all That can touch me, within no envy fall These insolent Wooers, that in violent kind Commit things foul by th’ ill wit of the mind, 360 And with the hazard of their heads devour Ulysses’ house, since his returning hour They hold past hope. But it affects me much, Ye dull plebeians, that all this doth touch Your free states nothing; who, struck dumb, afford 365 These Wooers not so much wreak as a word, Though few, and you with only number might Extinguish to them the profaned light.” Evenor’s son, Leocritus, replied: “Mentor! the railer, made a fool with pride, 370 What language giv’st thou that would quiet us With putting us in storm, exciting thus The rout against us? Who, though more than we, Should find it is no easy victory To drive men, habited in feast, from feasts, 375 No not if Ithacus himself such guests Should come and find so furnishing his Court, And hope to force them from so sweet a fort. His wife should little joy in his arrive, Though much she wants him; for, where she alive 380 Would her’s enjoy, there death should claim his rights. ‘He must be conquer’d that with many fights.’ Thou speak’st unfit things. To their labours then Disperse these people; and let these two men, Mentor and Halitherses, that so boast 385 From the beginning to have govern’d most In friendship of the father, to the son Confirm the course he now affects to run. But my mind says, that, if he would but use A little patience, he should here hear news 390 Of all things that his wish would understand, But no good hope for of the course in hand.” This said, the Council rose; when every peer And all the people in dispersion were To houses of their own; the Wooers yet 395 Made to Ulysses’ house their old retreat. Telemachus, apart from all the prease, Prepar’d to shore, and, in the aged seas His fair hands wash’d, did thus to Pallas pray: “Hear me, O Goddess, that but yesterday 400 Didst deign access to me at home, and lay Grave charge on me to take ship, and inquire Along the dark seas for mine absent sire! Which all the Greeks oppose; amongst whom most Those that are proud still at another’s cost, 405 Past measure, and the civil rights of men, My mother’s Wooers, my repulse maintain.” Thus spake he praying; when close to him came Pallas, resembling Mentor both in frame Of voice and person, and advised him thus: 410 “Those Wooers well might know, Telemachus, Thou wilt not ever weak and childish be, If to thee be instill’d the faculty Of mind and body that thy father grac’d; And if, like him, there be in thee enchac’d 415 Virtue to give words works, and works their end. This voyage, that to them thou didst commend, Shall not so quickly, as they idly ween, Be vain, or giv’n up, for their opposite spleen. But, if Ulysses nor Penelope 420 Were thy true parents, I then hope in thee Of no more urging thy attempt in hand; For few, that rightly bred on both sides stand, Are like their parents, many that are worse, And most few better. Those then that the nurse 425 Or mother call true born yet are not so, Like worthy sires much less are like to grow. But thou show’st now that in thee fades not quite Thy father’s wisdom; and that future light Shall therefore show thee far from being unwise, 430 Or touch’d with stain of bastard cowardice. Hope therefore says, that thou wilt to the end Pursue the brave act thou didst erst intend. But for the foolish Wooers, they bewray They neither counsel have nor soul, since they 435 Are neither wise nor just, and so must needs Rest ignorant how black above their heads Fate hovers holding Death, that one sole day Will make enough to make them all away. For thee, the way thou wishest shall no more 440 Fly thee a step; I, that have been before Thy father’s friend, thine likewise now will be, Provide thy ship myself, and follow thee. Go thou then home, and sooth each Wooer’s vein, But under hand fit all things for the main; 445 Wine in as strong and sweet casks as you can, And meal, the very marrow of a man, Which put in good sure leather sacks, and see That with sweet food sweet vessels still agree. I from the people straight will press for you 450 Free voluntaries; and, for ships, enow Sea-circled Ithaca contains, both new And old-built; all which I’ll exactly view, And choose what one soever most doth please; Which rigg’d, we’ll straight launch, and assay the seas.” 455 This spake Jove’s daughter, Pallas; whose voice heard, No more Telemachus her charge deferr’d, But hasted home, and, sad at heart, did see Amidst his hall th’ insulting Wooers flea Goats, and roast swine. ‘Mongst whom, Antinous 460 Careless, discovering in Telemachus His grudge to see them, laugh’d, met, took his hand, And said: “High-spoken, with the mind so mann’d! Come, do as we do, put not up your spirits With these low trifles, nor our loving merits 465 In gall of any hateful purpose steep, But eat egregiously, and drink as deep. The things thou think’st on, all at full shall be By th’ Achives thought on, and perform’d to thee; Ship, and choice oars, that in a trice will land 470 Thy hasty fleet on heavenly Pylos’ sand, And at the fame of thy illustrous sire.” He answer’d: “Men, whom pride did so inspire, Are not fit consorts for an humble guest; Nor are constrain’d men merry at their feast. 475 Is’t not enough, that all this time ye have Op’d in your entrails my chief goods a grave, And, while I was a child, made me partake? My now more growth more grown my mind doth make, And, hearing speak more judging men than you, 480 Perceive how much I was misgovern’d now. I now will try if I can bring ye home An ill Fate to consort you; if it come From Pylos, or amongst the people here. But thither I resolve, and know that there 485 I shall not touch in vain. Nor will I stay, Though in a merchant’s ship I steer my way; Which shows in your sights best; since me ye know Incapable of ship, or men to row.” This said, his hand he coyly snatch’d away 490 From forth Antinous’ hand. The rest the day Spent through the house with banquets; some with jests, And some with railings, dignifying their feasts. To whom a jest-proud youth the wit began: “Telemachus will kill us every man. 495 From Sparta, to the very Pylian sand, He will raise aids to his impetuous hand. O he affects it strangely! Or he means To search Ephyra’s fat shores, and from thence Bring deathful poisons, which amongst our bowls 500 Will make a general shipwrack of our souls.” Another said: “Alas, who knows but he Once gone, and erring like his sire at sea, May perish like him, far from aid of friends, And so he makes us work? For all the ends 505 Left of his goods here we shall share, the house Left to his mother and her chosen spouse.” Thus they; while he a room ascended, high And large, built by his father, where did lie Gold and brass heap’d up, and in coffers were 510 Rich robes, great store of odorous oils, and there Stood tuns of sweet old wines along the wall, Neat and divine drink, kept to cheer withall Ulysses’ old heart, if he turn’d again From labours fatal to him to sustain. 515 The doors of plank were, their close exquisite, Kept with a double key, and day and night A woman lock’d within; and that was she Who all trust had for her sufficiency, Old Euryclea, one of Opis’ race, 520 Son to Pisenor, and in passing grace With grey Minerva; her the prince did call, And said: “Nurse! Draw me the most sweet of all The wine thou keep’st; next that which for my sire Thy care reserves, in hope he shall retire. 525 Twelve vessels fill me forth, and stop them well. Then into well-sew’d sacks of fine ground meal Pour twenty measures. Nor, to any one But thee thyself, let this design be known. All this see got together; I it all 530 In night will fetch off, when my mother shall Ascend her high room, and for sleep prepare. Sparta and Pylos I must see, in care To find my father.” Out Euryclea cried, And ask’d with tears: “Why is your mind applied, 535 Dear son, to this course? Whither will you go? So far off leave us, and beloved so, So only? And the sole hope of your race? Royal Ulysses, far from the embrace Of his kind country, in a land unknown 540 Is dead; and, you from your lov’d country gone, The Wooers will with some deceit assay To your destruction, making then their prey Of all your goods. Where, in your own y’are strong, Make sure abode. It fits not you so young 545 To suffer so much by the aged seas, And err in such a wayless wilderness.” “Be cheer’d, lov’d nurse,” said he, “for, not without The will of God, go my attempts about. Swear therefore, not to wound my mother’s ears 550 With word of this, before from heaven appears Th’ eleventh or twelfth light, or herself shall please To ask of me, or hears me put to seas, Lest her fair body with her woe be wore.” To this the great oath of the Gods she swore; 555 Which having sworn, and of it every due Perform’d to full, to vessels wine she drew, And into well-sew’d sacks pour’d foody meal. In mean time he, with cunning to conceal All thought of this from others, himself bore 560 In broad house, with the Wooers, as before. Then grey-eyed Pallas other thoughts did own, And like Telemachus trod through the town, Commanding all his men in th’ even to be Aboard his ship. Again then question’d she 565 Noemon, famed for aged Phronius’ son, About his ship; who all things to be done Assured her freely should. The sun then set, And sable shadows slid through every street, When forth they launch’d, and soon aboard did bring 570 All arms, and choice of every needful thing That fits a well-rigg’d ship. The Goddess then Stood in the port’s extreme part, where her men, Nobly appointed, thick about her came, Whose every breast she did with spirit enflame. 575 Yet still fresh projects laid the grey-eyed Dame. Straight to the house she hasted, and sweet sleep Pour’d on each Wooer; which so laid in steep Their drowsy temples, that each brow did nod, As all were drinking, and each hand his load, 580 The cup, let fall. All start up, and to bed, Nor more would watch, when sleep so surfeited Their leaden eye-lids. Then did Pallas call Telemachus, in body, voice, and all, Resembling Mentor, from his native nest, 585 And said, that all his arm’d men were addrest To use their oars, and all expected now He should the spirit of a soldier show. “Come then,” said she, “no more let us defer Our honour’d action.” Then she took on her 590 A ravish’d spirit, and led as she did leap; And he her most haste took out step by step. Arrived at sea and ship, they found ashore The soldiers that their fashion’d-long hair wore; To whom the prince said: “Come, my friends, let’s bring 595 Our voyage’s provision; every thing Is heap’d together in our court; and none, No not my mother, nor her maids, but one Knows our intention.” This express’d, he led, The soldiers close together followed; 600 And all together brought aboard their store. Aboard the prince went; Pallas still before Sat at the stern, he close to her, the men Up hasted after. He and Pallas then Put from the shore. His soldiers then he bad 605 See all their arms fit; which they heard, and had. A beechen mast, then, in the hollow base They put, and hoisted, fix’d it in his place With cables; and with well-wreath’d halsers hoise Their white sails, which grey Pallas now employs 610 With full and fore-gales through the dark deep main. The purple waves, so swift cut, roar’d again Against the ship sides, that now ran and plow’d The rugged seas up. Then the men bestow’d Their arms about the ship, and sacrifice 615 With crown’d wine-cups to th’ endless Deities They offer’d up. Of all yet throned above, They most observed the grey-eyed seed of Jove; Who, from the evening till the morning rose, And all day long, their voyage did dispose. 620 FINIS LIBRI SECUNDI HOM. ODYSS.