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



MINERVA in a vision stands
Before Nausicaa; and commands
She to the flood her weeds should bear,
For now her nuptial day was near.
Nausicaa her charge obeys,
And then with other virgins plays.
Their sports make wak’d Ulysses rise,
Walk to them, and beseech supplies
Of food and clothes. His naked sight
Puts th’ other maids, afraid, to flight;
Nausicaa only boldly stays,
And gladly his desire obeys.
He, furnished with her favours shown,
Attends her and the rest to town.


…. Here olive leaves
T’ hide shame began.
The maid receives
The naked man.

HE much-sustaining, patient, heavenly man,

Whom Toil and Sleep had worn so weak and wan, Thus won his rest. In mean space Pallas went To the Phaeacian city, and descent That first did broad Hyperia’s lands divide, 5 Near the vast Cyclops, men of monstrous pride, That prey’d on those Hyperians, since they were Of greater power; and therefore longer there Divine Nausithous dwelt not, but arose, And did for Scheria all his powers dispose, 10 Far from ingenious art-inventing men; But there did he erect a city then, First drew a wall round, then he houses builds, And then a temple to the Gods, the fields Lastly dividing. But he, stoop’d by Fate, 15 Div’d to th’ infernals; and Alcinous sate In his command, a man the Gods did teach Commanding counsels. His house held the reach Of grey Minerva’s project, to provide That great-soul’d Ithacus might be supplied 20 With all things fitting his return. She went Up to the chamber, where the fair descent Of great Alcinous slept; a maid, whose parts In wit and beauty wore divine deserts. Well deck’d her chamber was; of which the door 25 Did seem to lighten, such a gloss it bore Betwixt the posts, and now flew ope to find The Goddess entry. Like a puft of wind She reach’d the virgin bed; near which there lay Two maids, to whom the Graces did convey 30 Figure and manners. But above the head Of bright Nausicaa did Pallas tread The subtle air, and put the person on Of Dymas’ daughter, from comparison Exempt in business naval. Like his seed 35 Minerva look’d now; whom one year did breed With bright Nausicaa, and who had gain’d Grace in her love, yet on her thus complain’d: “Nausicaa! Why bred thy mother one So negligent in rites so stood upon 40 By other virgins? Thy fair garments lie Neglected by thee, yet thy nuptials nigh; When rich in all attire both thou shouldst be, And garments give to others honouring thee, That lead thee to the temple. Thy good name 45 Grows amongst men for these things; they inflame Father and reverend mother with delight. Come, when the Day takes any wink from Night, Let’s to the river, and repurify Thy wedding garments. My society 50 Shall freely serve thee for thy speedier aid, Because thou shalt no more stand on the maid. The best of all Phaeacia woo thy grace, Where thou wert bred, and owest thyself a race. Up, and stir up to thee thy honour’d sire, 55 To give thee mules and coach, thee and thy tire, Veils, girdles, mantles, early to the flood, To bear in state. It suits thy high-born blood, And far more fits thee, than to foot so far, For far from town thou knowst the bath-founts are.” 60 This said, away blue-eyed Minerva went Up to Olympus, the firm continent That bears in endless being the Deified kind, That’s neither soused with showers, nor shook with wind, Nor chill’d with snow, but where Serenity flies 65 Exempt from clouds, and ever-beamy skies Circle the glittering hill, and all their days Give the delights of blessed Deity praise. And hither Pallas flew, and left the maid, When she had all that might excite her said. 70 Straight rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise Fair-veil’d Nausicaa, whose dream her praise To admiration took; who no time spent To give the rapture of her vision vent To her lov’d parents, whom she found within. 75 Her mother set at fire, who had to spin A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shin’d; Her maids about her. But she chanced to find Her father going abroad, to council call’d By his grave Senate. And to him exhaled 80 Her smother’d bosom was: “Lov’d sire,” said she, “Will you not now command a coach for me, Stately and complete, fit for me to bear To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear Before repurified? Yourself it fits 85 To wear fair weeds, as every man that sits In place of council. And five sons you have, Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave In every day’s shift, that they may go dance; For these three last with these things must advance 90 Their states in marriage, and who else but I, Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?” This general cause she show’d, and would not name Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame. He understood her yet, and thus replied: 95 “Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside, I either will deny thee, or defer, Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular, Fitting at all parts. Go, my servants shall Serve thy desires, and thy command in all.” 100 The servants then commanded soon obey’d, Fetch’d coach, and mules join’d in it. Then the Maid Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid All up in coach; in which her mother plac’d A maund of victuals, varied well in taste, 105 And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill’d Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill’d Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse, Both for her daughter’s, and her handmaid’s, use, To soften their bright bodies, when they rose 110 Cleans’d from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes Th’ observed Maid, takes both the scourge and reins, And to her side her handmaid straight attains. Nor these alone, but other virgins, grac’d The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy plac’d, 115 Nausicaa scourg’d to make the coach-mules run, That neigh’d, and pac’d their usual speed, and soon Both maids and weeds brought to the river side, Where baths for all the year their use supplied, Whose waters were so pure they would not stain, 120 But still ran fair forth, and did more remain Apt to purge stains, for that purg’d stain within, Which by the water’s pure store was not seen. These, here arriv’d, the mules uncoach’d, and drave Up to the gulfy river’s shore, that gave 125 Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took Their clothes, and steep’d them in the sable brook; Then put them into springs, and trod them clean With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then, Who should have soonest and most cleanly done. 130 When having throughly cleans’d, they spread them on The flood’s shore, all in order. And then, where The waves the pebbles wash’d, and ground was clear, They bath’d themselves, and all with glittering oil Smooth’d their white skins; refreshing then their toil 135 With pleasant dinner, by the river’s side; Yet still watch’d when the sun their clothes had dried. Till which time, having dined, Nausicaa With other virgins did at stool-ball play, Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by. 140 Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory, The liking stroke struck, singing first a song, As custom order’d, and amidst the throng Made such a show, and so past all was seen, As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving, Queen, 145 Along the mountains gliding, either over Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover, Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar’s chace, Or swift-hoved hart, and with her Jove’s fair race, The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see 150 How far Diana had priority, Though all were fair, for fairness yet of all, As both by head and forehead being more tall, Latona triumph’d, since the dullest sight Might eas’ly judge whom her pains brought to light; 155 Nausicaa so, whom never husband tamed, Above them all in all the beauties flamed. But when they now made homewards, and array’d, Ordering their weeds disorder’d as they play’d, Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought 160 What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought, That he might see this lovely-sighted maid, Whom she intended should become his aid, Bring him to town, and his return advance. Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance: 165 The queen now, for the upstroke, struck the ball Quite wide off th’ other maids, and made it fall Amidst the whirlpools. At which out shriek’d all, And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake; Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make 170 That sudden outcry, and in mind thus striv’d: “On what a people am I now arriv’d? At civil hospitable men, that fear The Gods? Or dwell injurious mortals here? Unjust, and churlish? Like the female cry 175 Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods, In herby marshes, or in leafy woods? Or are they high-spoke men I now am near? I’ll prove, and see.” With this, the wary peer 180 Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough Broke with his broad hand, which he did bestow In covert of his nakedness, and then Put hasty head out. Look how from his den A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued 185 With drops of trees, and weather-beaten hued, Bold of his strength, goes on, and in his eye A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart, His belly charging him, and he must part 190 Stakes with the herdsman in his beast’s attempt, Even where from rape their strengths are most exempt; So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need, Even to the home-fields of the country’s breed Ulysses was to force forth his access, 195 Though merely naked; and his sight did press The eyes of soft-hair’d virgins. Horrid was His rough appearance to them; the hard pass He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight The virgins scatter’d, frighted with this sight, 200 About the prominent windings of the flood. All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood, Pallas had put a boldness in her breast, And in her fair limbs tender fear compress’d. And still she stood him, as resolv’d to know 205 What man he was, or out of what should grow His strange repair to them. And here was he Put to his wisdom; if her virgin knee He should be bold, but kneeling, to embrace; Or keep aloof, and try with words of grace, 210 In humblest suppliance, if he might obtain Some cover for his nakedness, and gain Her grace to show and guide him to the town. The last he best thought, to be worth his own, In weighing both well; to keep still aloof, 215 And give with soft words his desires their proof, Lest, pressing so near as to touch her knee, He might incense her maiden modesty. This fair and fil’d speech then shew’d this was he: “Let me beseech, O queen, this truth of thee, 220 Are you of mortal, or the deified, race? If of the Gods, that th’ ample heavens embrace, I can resemble you to none above So near as to the chaste-born birth of Jove, The beamy Cynthia. Her you full present, 225 In grace of every God-like lineament, Her goodly magnitude, and all th’ address You promise of her very perfectness. If sprung of humans, that inhabit earth, Thrice blest are both the authors of your birth, 230 Thrice blest your brothers, that in your deserts Must, even to rapture, bear delighted hearts, To see, so like the first trim of a tree, Your form adorn a dance. But most blest he, Of all that breathe, that hath the gift t’ engage 235 Your bright neck in the yoke of marriage, And deck his house with your commanding merit. I have not seen a man of so much spirit, Nor man, nor woman, I did ever see, At all parts equal to the parts in thee. 240 T’ enjoy your sight, doth admiration seize My eyes, and apprehensive faculties. Lately in Delos (with a charge of men Arrived, that render’d me most wretched then, Now making me thus naked) I beheld 245 The burthen of a palm, whose issue swell’d About Apollo’s fane, and that put on A grace like thee; for Earth had never none Of all her sylvan issue so adorn’d. Into amaze my very soul was turn’d, 250 To give it observation; as now thee To view, O virgin, a stupidity Past admiration strikes me, join’d with fear To do a suppliant’s due, and press so near, As to embrace thy knees. Nor is it strange, 255 For one of fresh and firmest spirit would change T’ embrace so bright an object. But, for me, A cruel habit of calamity Prepared the strong impression thou hast made; For this last day did fly night’s twentieth shade 260 Since I, at length, escap’d the sable seas; When in the mean time th’ unrelenting prease Of waves and stern storms toss’d me up and down, From th’ isle Ogygia. And now God hath thrown My wrack on this shore, that perhaps I may 265 My miseries vary here; for yet their stay, I fear, Heaven hath not order’d, though, before These late afflictions, it hath lent me store. O queen, deign pity then, since first to you My fate importunes my distress to vow. 270 No other dame, nor man, that this Earth own, And neighbour city, I have seen or known. The town then show me; give my nakedness Some shroud to shelter it, if to these seas Linen or woollen you have brought to cleanse. 275 God give you, in requital, all th’ amends Your heart can wish, a husband, family, And good agreement. Nought beneath the sky More sweet, more worthy is, than firm consent Of man and wife in household government. 280 It joys their wishers well, their enemies wounds, But to themselves the special good redounds.” She answer’d: “Stranger! I discern in thee Nor sloth, nor folly, reigns; and yet I see Th’ art poor and wretched. In which I conclude, 285 That industry nor wisdom make endued Men with those gifts that make them best to th’ eye; Jove only orders man’s felicity. To good and bad his pleasure fashions still The whole proportion of their good and ill. 290 And he perhaps hath form’d this plight in thee, Of which thou must be patient, as he free. But after all thy wand’rings, since thy way, Both to our earth, and near our city, lay, As being expos’d to our cares to relieve, 295 Weeds, and what else a human hand should give To one so suppliant and tamed with woe, Thou shalt not want. Our city I will show, And tell our people’s name: This neighbour town, And all this kingdom, the Phaeacians own. 300 And (since thou seem’dst so fain to know my birth, And mad’st a question, if of heaven or earth,) This earth hath bred me; and my father’s name Alcinous is, that in the power and frame Of this isle’s rule is supereminent.” 305 Thus, passing him, she to the virgins went, And said: “Give stay both to your feet and fright. Why thus disperse ye for a man’s mere sight? Esteem you him a Cyclop, that long since Made use to prey upon our citizens? 310 This man no moist man is, (nor wat’rish thing, That’s ever flitting, ever ravishing All it can compass; and, like it, doth range In rape of women, never stay’d in change) This man is truly manly, wise, and stay’d, 315 In soul more rich the more to sense decay’d, Who nor will do, nor suffer to be done, Acts lewd and abject; nor can such a one Greet the Phaeacians with a mind envious, Dear to the Gods they are, and he is pious. 320 Besides, divided from the world we are, The out-part of it, billows circular The sea revolving round about our shore; Nor is there any man that enters more Than our own countrymen, with what is brought 325 From other countries. This man, minding nought But his relief, a poor unhappy wretch, Wrack’d here, and hath no other land to fetch, Him now we must provide for. From Jove come All strangers, and the needy of a home, 330 Who any gift, though ne’er so small it be, Esteem as great, and take it gratefully. And therefore, virgins, give the stranger food, And wine; and see ye bathe him in the flood, Near to some shore to shelter most inclin’d. 335 ‘To cold bath bathers hurtful is the wind,’ Not only rugged making th’ outward skin, But by his thin powers pierceth parts within. This said, their flight in a return they set, And did Ulysses with all grace entreat, 340 Show’d him a shore, wind-proof, and full of shade, By him a shirt and utter mantle laid, A golden jug of liquid oil did add, Bad wash, and all things as Nausicaa bad. Divine Ulysses would not use their aid; 345 But thus bespake them: “Every lovely maid, Let me entreat to stand a little by, That I, alone, the fresh flood may apply To cleanse my bosom of the sea-wrought brine, And then use oil, which long time did not shine 350 On my poor shoulders. I’ll not wash in sight Of fair-hair’d maidens. I should blush outright, To bathe all bare by such a virgin light.” They moved, and mused a man had so much grace, And told their mistress what a man he was. 355 He cleans’d his broad soil’d shoulders, back, and head, Yet never tam’d, but now had foam and weed Knit in the fair curls. Which dissolv’d, and he Slick’d all with sweet oil, the sweet charity The untouch’d virgin show’d in his attire 360 He cloth’d him with. Then Pallas put a fire, More than before, into his sparkling eyes, His late soil set off with his soon fresh guise. His locks, cleans’d, curl’d the more, and match’d, in power To please an eye, the hyacinthian flower. 365 And as a workman, that can well combine Silver and gold, and make both strive to shine, As being by Vulcan, and Minerva too, Taught how far either may be urg’d to go In strife of eminence, when work sets forth 370 A worthy soul to bodies of such worth, No thought reproving th’ act, in any place, Nor Art no debt to Nature’s liveliest grace; So Pallas wrought in him a grace as great From head to shoulders, and ashore did seat 375 His goodly presence. To which such a guise He show’d in going, that it ravish’d eyes. All which continued, as he sat apart, Nausicaa’s eye struck wonder through her heart, Who thus bespake her consorts: “Hear me, you 380 Fair-wristed virgins! This rare man, I know, Treads not our country earth, against the will Of some God, throned on the Olympian hill. He show’d to me, till now, not worth the note, But now he looks as he had godhead got. 385 I would to heaven my husband were no worse, And would be call’d no better, but the course Of other husbands pleas’d to dwell out here. Observe and serve him with our utmost cheer.” She said; they heard, and did. He drunk and eat 390 Like to a harpy, having touch’d no meat A long before time. But Nausicaa now Thought of the more grace she did lately vow, Had horse to chariot join’d, and up she rose, Up cheer’d her guest, and said: “Guest, now dispose 395 Yourself for town, that I may let you see My father’s court, where all the peers will be Of our Phaeacian state. At all parts, then, Observe to whom and what place y’ are t’ attain; Though I need usher you with no advice, 400 Since I suppose you absolutely wise. While we the fields pass, and men’s labours there, So long, in these maids’ guides, directly bear Upon my chariot (I must go before For cause that after comes, to which this more 405 Be my induction) you shall then soon end Your way to town, whose towers you see ascend To such a steepness. On whose either side A fair port stands, to which is nothing wide An enterer’s passage; on whose both hands ride 410 Ships in fair harbours; which once past, you win The goodly market-place (that circles in A fane to Neptune, built of curious stone, And passing ample) where munition, Gables, and masts, men make, and polish’d oars; 415 For the Phaeacians are not conquerors By bows nor quivers; oars, masts, ships they are With which they plough the sea, and wage their war. And now the cause comes why I lead the way, Not taking you to coach: The men, that sway 420 In work of those tools that so fit our state, Are rude mechanicals, that rare and late Work in the market-place; and those are they Whose bitter tongues I shun, who straight would say, (For these vile vulgars are extremely proud, 425 And foully-languag’d) ‘What is he, allowed To coach it with Nausicaa, so large set, And fairly fashion’d? Where were these two met? He shall be sure her husband. She hath been Gadding in some place, and, of foreign men 430 Fitting her fancy, kindly brought him home In her own ship. He must, of force, be come From some far region; we have no such man. It may be, praying hard, when her heart ran On some wish’d husband, out of heaven some God 435 Dropp’d in her lap; and there lies she at road Her complete life time. But, in sooth, if she, Ranging abroad, a husband, such as he Whom now we saw, laid hand on, she was wise, For none of all our nobles are of prize 440 Enough for her; he must beyond sea come, That wins her high mind, and will have her home. Of our peers many have importuned her, Yet she will none.’ Thus these folks will confer Behind my back; or, meeting, to my face 445 The foul-mouth rout dare put home this disgrace. And this would be reproaches to my fame, For, even myself just anger would inflame, If any other virgin I should see, Her parents living, keep the company 450 Of any man to any end of love, Till open nuptials should her act approve. And therefore hear me, guest, and take such way, That you yourself may compass, in your stay, Your quick deduction by my father’s grace, 455 And means to reach the root of all your race. We shall, not far out of our way to town, A never-fell’d grove find, that poplars crown, To Pallas sacred, where a fountain flows, And round about the grove a meadow grows, 460 In which my father holds a manor house, Deck’d all with orchards, green, and odorous, As far from town as one may hear a shout. There stay, and rest your foot-pains, till full out We reach the city; where, when you may guess 465 We are arriv’d, and enter our access Within my father’s court, then put you on For our Phaeacian state, where, to be shown My father’s house, desire. Each infant there Can bring you to it; and yourself will clear 470 Distinguish it from others, for no shows The city buildings make compar’d with those That king Alcinous’ seat doth celebrate. In whose roofs, and the court (where men of state, And suitors sit and stay) when you shall hide, 475 Straight pass it, ent’ring further, where abide My mother, with her withdrawn housewiferies, Who still sits in the fire-shine, and applies Her rock, all purple, and of pompous show, Her chair plac’d ‘gainst a pillar, all a-row 480 Her maids behind her set; and to her here My father’s dining throne looks, seated where He pours his choice of wine in, like a God. This view once past, for th’ end of your abode, Address suit to my mother, that her mean 485 May make the day of your redition seen, And you may frolic straight, though far away You are in distance from your wished stay. For, if she once be won to wish you well, Your hope may instantly your passport seal, 490 And thenceforth sure abide to see your friends, Fair house, and all to which your heart contends.” This said, she used her shining scourge, and lash’d Her mules, that soon the shore left where she wash’d, And, knowing well the way, their pace was fleet, 495 And thick they gather’d up their nimble feet. Which yet she temper’d so, and used her scourge With so much skill, as not to over-urge The foot behind, and make them straggle so From close society. Firm together go 500 Ulysses and her maids. And now the sun Sunk to the waters, when they all had won The never-fell’d, and sound-exciting, wood, Sacred to Pallas; where the god-like good Ulysses rested, and to Pallas pray’d: 505 “Hear me, of goat-kept Jove th’ unconquer’d Maid! Now throughly hear me, since, in all the time Of all my wrack, my prayers could never climb Thy far-off ears; when noiseful Neptune toss’d Upon his watry bristles my emboss’d 510 And rock-torn body. Hear yet now, and deign I may of the Phaeacian state obtain Pity, and grace.” Thus pray’d he, and she heard, By no means yet, exposed to sight, appear’d, For fear t’ offend her uncle, the supreme 515 Of all the Sea-Gods, whose wrath still extreme Stood to Ulysses, and would never cease, Till with his country shore he crown’d his peace. FINIS LIBRI SEXTI HOM. ODYSS.