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There stood his mansion of the rural sort, For so reported the first man I view'd,
But thou, whom years have taught to understand, 310
A friend I seek, a wise one and a brave: And martial son, Ulysses gave command. Say, lives he yet, or moulders in the grave? Enter the house, and of the bristly swine
Time was (my fortunes then were at the best) Select the largest to the powers divine.
When at my house I lodged this foreign guest; Alone, and unattended, let me try
He said, from Ithaca's fair isle he came, If yet I share the old man's memory:
And old Laërtes was his father's name. If those dim eyes can yet Ulysses know, 250 To him, whatever to a guest is owed (Their light and dearest object long ago ;) I paid, and hospitable gifts bestow'd: Now changed with time, with absence and with woe. To him seven talents of pure ore I told, 320 Then to his train he gives his spear and shield; Twelve cloaks, twelve vests, twelve tunics stiff The house they enter; and he seeks the field,
with gold; Thro' rows of shade, with various fruitage crown'd, A bowl, that rich with polish'd silver flames, The labour'd scenes of richest verdure round. And, skill'd in female works, four lovely dames. Nor aged Dolius, nor his sons were there,
At this the father, with a father's fears : Nor servants, absent on another care :
(His venerable eyes bedimm'd with tears :) To search the woods for sets of flowery thorn, This is the land; but ah! thy gifts are lost, Their orchard bounds to strengthen and adorn. 260 For godless men, and rude, possess the coast : But all alone the hoary king he found;
Sunk is the glory of this once famed shore ! His habit coarse, but warmly wrapp'd around; Thy ancient friend, oh stranger, is no more! His head, that bow'd with many a pensive care, Full recompense thy bounty else had borne; 330 Fenced with a double cap of goatskin hair : For every good man yields a just return: His buskins old, in former service torn,
So civil rights demand; and who begins But well repair'd ; and gloves against the thorn. The track of friendship, not pursuing, sins. In this array the kingly gardener stcod,
But tell me, stranger, be the truth confess'd, And clear'd a plant, encumber'd with its wood. What years have circled since thou saw'st that guest ? Beneath a neighbouring tree, the chief divine That hapless guest, alas! for ever gone! Gazed o'er his sire, retracing every line, 270 Wretch that he was! and that I am! my son! The ruins of himself! now worn away
If ever man to misery was born, With age, yet still majestic in decay!
'Twas his to suffer, and 'tis mine to mourn! Sudden his eyes released their watery store ; Far from his friends, and from his native reign, 340 The much-enduring man could bear no more. He lies a prey to monsters of the main; Doubtful he stood, if instant to embrace
Or savage beasts his mangled relics tear, His aged limbs, to kiss his reverend face,
Or screaming vultures scatter through the air: With eager transport to declare the whole, Nor could his mother funeral unguents shed; And pour at once the torrent of his soul
Nor wail'd his father o'er the untimely dead : Not so: his judgment takes the winding way Nor his sad consort, on the mournful bier, Of question distant, and of soft essay: 280 Seald his cold eyes, or dropp'd a tender tear? More gentle methods on weak age employs : But, tell me who thou art? and what thy race? And moves the sorrows to enhance the joys. Thy town, thy parents, and thy native place? Then, to his sire, with beating heart he moves, Or, if a merchant in pursuit of gain,
350 And with a tender pleasantry reproves :
What port received thy vessel from the main ? Who digging round the plant still hangs his head, Or comest thou single, or attend thy train ? Nor aught remits the work, while thus he said; Then thus the son: From Alybas I came,
Great is thy skill, oh father! great thy toil, My palace there : Eperitus my name. Thy careful hand is stamp'd on all the soil ; Not vulgar born; from Aphidas, the king The squadron'd vineyards well thy art declare, of Polyphemon's royal line, I spring. The olive green, blue fig, and pendant pear; 290 Some adverse dæmon from Sicania bore And not one empty spot escapes thy care.
Our wandering course, and drove us on your shore; On every plant and tree thy cares are shown, Far from the town, an unfrequented bay Nothing neglected, but thyself alone.
Relieved our wearied vessel from the sea. 36C Forgive me, father, if this fault I blame;
Five years have circled since these eyes pursued Age so advanced may some indulgence claim. Ulysses parting through the sable flood; Not for thy sloth I deem thy lord unkind : Prosperous he sail'd, with dexter auguries, Nor speaks thy form a mean or servile mind; And all the wing'd good omens of the skies; I read a monarch in that princely air,
Well hoped we then to meet on this fair shore, The same thy aspect, if the same thy care; Whom Heaven, alas ! decreed to meet no more. Soft sleep, fair garments, and the joys of wine, 300 Quick through the father's heart these accents ran; These are the rights of age, and should be thine. Grief seized at once, and wrapp'd up all the man: Who then thy master, say ? and whose the land Deep from his soul he sigh'd, and sorrowing spread So dress'd and managed by thy skilful hand ? A cloud of ashes on his hoary head.
370 But chief, oh tell me! (what I question most) Trembling with agonies of strong delight Is this the far-famed Ithacensian coast?
Stood the great son, heart-wounded with the sight:
Ile ran, he seized him with a strict embrace, | This arm had aided yours, this hand bestrown With thousand kisses wander'd o'er his face Our floors with death and push'd the slanghter oa; 1, I am he; oh father, rise ! behold
Nor had the sire been separate from the son.
Amazed, Laërtes. Give some certain sign Call'd by the careful old Sicilian dame, (If such thou art) to manifest thee mine.
Who nursed the children, and now tends the sire Lo, here the wound (he cries) received of yore, They see their lord, they gaze, and they admire. 451 The scar indented by the tusky boar,
On chairs and beds in order seated round, When, by thysell, and by Anticlea sent,
"They share the gladsome board; the roofs resound. To old Autolychus's realms I went.
While thus Ulysses to his ancient friend: Yet by another sign thy offspring know;
Forbear your wonder, and the feast attend : The several trees you gave me long ago,
The rites have waited long. The chief commands While, yet a child, these fields I loved to trace, 390 Their loves in vain ; oid Dolius spreads his hands, And trod thy footsteps with unequal pace; Springs to his master with a warm embrace, To every plant in order as we came,
And fastens kisses on his hands and face; Well-pleased, you told its nature and its name, Then thus broke out: Oh long, oh daily mourn'd! Whate'er my childish fancy ask'd, bestow'd ; Beyond our hopes, and to our wish return'd! 461 Twelve pear-trees, bowing with their pendant load, Conducted sure by Heaven! for Heaven alone And ten, that red with blushing apples glow'd; Could work this wonder: welcome to thy own! Full fifty purple figs; and many a row
And joys and happiness attend thy throne ! Of various vines that then began to blow.
Who knows thy bless'd, thy wish'd return? oh say, A future vintage ! when the Hours produce To the chaste queen shall we the news convey? Their latent buds, and Sol exalts the juice. 400 Or hears she, and with blessings loads the day?
Smit with the signs which all his doubts explain, Dismiss that care, for to the royal bride His heart within him melts; his knees sustain Already is it known, (the king replied, Their feeble weight no more: his arms alone And straight resumed his seat;) while round him Support him, round the loved Ulysses thrown;
bows He faints, he sinks, with mighty joys oppress'd: Each faithful youth, and breathes out ardent yows: Ulysses clasps him to his eager breast.
Then all beneath their father take their place, Soon as returning life regains its seat,
Rank'd by their ages, and the banquet grace. And his breath lengthens, and his pulses beat; Now flying Fame the swift report had spread Yes, I believe (he cries) almighty Jove !
Through all the city, of the suitors dead. Heaven rules as yet, and gods there are above. 410 In throngs they rise, and to the palace crowd; "Tis so-the suitors for their wrongs have paid Their sighs are many, and the tumult loud. But what shall guard us, if the town invade? Weeping they bear the mangled heaps of slain, If, while the news through every city flies,
Inhume the natives in their native plain,
The rest in ships are wafted o'er the main.
Frequent and full, assembled to debate :
Thus having said, they traced the garden o'er, Down his wan cheek the trickling torrent ran, And stooping enter'd at the lowly door.
As mixing words with sighs he thus began : The swains and young 'Telemachus they found, Great deeds, oh friends! this wondrous man has The victim portion'd, and the goblet crown'd.
wrought, The hoary king, his old Sicilian maid
And mighty blessings to his country brought! Perfumed and wash'd, and gorgeously array'd. With ships he parted, and a numerous train, Pallas attending gives his frame to shine
Those, and their ships, he buried in the main. With awful port, and majesty divine;
Now he returns, and first essays his hand His gazing son admires the godlike grace
In the best blood of all his native land. And air celestial dawning o'er his face. 430 Haste then, and ere to neighbouring Pyle he flies, What god, he cried, my father's form improves ? Or sacred Elis, to procure supplies; How high he treads, and how enlarged he moves! Arise (or ye for ever fall) arise!
Oh! would to all the deathless powers on high, Shame to this age, and all that shall succeed, Pallas and Jove, and him who rules the sky ! If unrevenged your sons and brothers bleed. (Replied the king elated with his praise)
Prove that we live, by vengeance on his head, 500 My strength were still, as once in better days Or sink at once forgotten with the dead. When the bold Cephalens the leaguer formid, Ilere ceased he: but indignant tears let fall And proud Nericus trembled as I storm'd.
Spoke when he ceased : dumb sorrow touch'd them all. vere I now, not absent from your deed When from the palace to the wondering throng
he last sun beheld the suitors bleed, 440 | Sage Medon came, and Phemius came along,
Restless and early sleep's soft bands they broke ;) Stood in the way, and at a glance beheld
Hear me, ye peers and elders of the land, With backward step he hastens to the bower, 570
Trembling with warmth, the hoary heroes stand, In vain old Mentor's form the god belied; And brazen panoply invests the band. 'Twas Heaven that struck, and Heaven was on his The opening gates at once their war display: side.
Fierce they rush forth: Ulysses leads the way. A sudden horror all the assembly shook,
That moment joins them with celestial aid, 580 When, slowly rising, Halitherses spoke :
In Mentor's form, the Jove descended maid: (Reverend and wise, whose comprehensive view The suffering hero felt his patient breast At once the present and the future knew :) Swell with new joy, and thus his son address'd: Me too, ye fathers, hear! from you proceed 520 Behold, Telemachus! (nor fear the sight,) The ills ye mourn; your own the guilty deed. The brave embattled, the grim front of fight! Ye gave your sons, your lawless sons, the rein; The valiant with the valiant must contend: Oft warn’d by Mentor and myself in vain;) Shame not the line whence glorious you descend. An absent hero's bed they sought to soil,
Wide o'er the world their martial fame was spread; An absent hero's wealth they made their spoil; Regard thyself, the living and the dead. Immoderate riot, and intemperate lust!
Thy eyes, great father! on this battle cast, 590 The offence was great, the punishment was just. Shall learn from me Penelope was chaste. Weigh then my counsels in an equal scale,
So spoke Telemachus! the gallant boy Nor rush to ruin. Justice will prevail.
Good old Laërtes heard with panting joy;
Strive for fair virtue, and contest for fame!
Son of Arcesius, reverend warrior, hear!
Jove and Jove's daughter first implore in prayer, 600 They meet: Eupithes heads the frantic train. Then, whirling high, discharge thy lance in air. Fierce for his son, he breathes his threats in air; She said, infusing courage with the word. Fate hears them not, and Death attends him there. Jove and Jove's daughter then the chief implored
This pass'd on earth ; while in the realms above And, whirling high, dismiss'd the lance in air, Minerva thus to cloud-compelling Jove: 541 Full at Eupithes drove the deathful spear : May I presume to search thy secret soul ?
The brass-cheek'd helmet opens to the wound; Oh Power supreme, oh Ruler of the whole ! He falls, earth thunders, and his arms resound. Say, hast thou doom'd to this divided state
Before the father and the conquering son Or peaceful amity, or stern debate ?
Heaps rush on heaps, they fight, they drop, they run. Declare thy purpose, for thy will is fate.
Now by the sword, and now the javelin fall 610 Is not thy thought my own ? (the god replies The rebel race, and death had swallow'd all; Who rolls the thunder o'er the vaulted skies ;) But from on high the blue-eyed virgin cried; Hath not long since thy knowing soul decreed, Her awful voice detain'd the headlong tide: . The chief's return should make the guilty bleed ? 550 Forbear, ye nations, your mad hands forbear 'Tis done, and at thy will the Fates succeed. From mutual slaughter: Peace descends to spare. Yet hear the issue: since Ulysses' hand
Fear shook the nations: at the voice divine
But Jove's red arm the burning thunder aims;
Descended from the gods ! Ulysses, cease ;
So Pallas spoke: the mandate from above The rage of hunger and of thirst repress'd: The king obey'd. The virgin-seed of Jove, To watch the foe a trusty spy he sent:
In Mentor's form, confirm'd the full accord, 630 A son of Dolius on the message went,
| And willing nations knew their lawful lord. 30
END OF THE ODYSSEY.
painting the manners. This Homer has done in cha POSTSCRIPT.
racterising the suitors, and describing their way of
life; which is properly a branch of comedy, whose BY MR. POPE.
particular business it is to represent the manners &
men,' I CANNOT dismiss this work without a few observa
We must first observe, it is the sublime of which cions on the character and style of it. Whoever reads Longinus is writing: that, and not the nature of the Odyssey with an eye to the Iliad, expecting to Homer's poem, is his subject. After having highly find it of the same character or of the same sort of extolled the sublimity and fire of the Iliad, he justly spirit, will be grievously deceived, and err against the observes the Odyssey to have less of those qualities, first principles of criticism, which is, to consider the and to turn more on the side of moral, and reflections nature of the piece, and the intent of its author. The on human life. Nor is it his business here to de Odyssey is a moral and political work, instructive to termine, whether the elevated spirit of the one, or all degrees of men, and filled with images, examples, the just moral of the other, be the greater excellence and precepts of civil and domestic life. Homer is
in itself. here a person,
Secondly, the fire and fury of which he is speakQui didicit, patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis. ing, cannot well be meant of the general spirit and Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes: inspiration which is to run through a whole epic poes, Qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non, but of that particular warmth and impetuosity necesPlenius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.
sary in some parts, to image or represent actions or The Odyssey is the reverse of the Iliad, in moral, passions, of haste, tumult and violence. It is on de subject, manner, and style; to which it has no sort casion of citing some such particular passages in of relation, but as the story happens to follow in Homer, that Longinus breaks into this reflection; order of time, and as some of the same persons are which seems to determine his meaning chiefly to tha actors in it. Yet from this incidental connexion sense. many have been misled to regard it as a contination Upon the whole, he affirms the Odyssey to have or second part, and thence to expect a purity of cha- less sublimity and fire than the Iliad, but he does not racter inconsistent with its nature.
say it wants the sublime or wants fire. He affirms t It is no wonder that the common reader should fall to be a narrative, but not that the narration is defec. into this mistake, when so great a critic as Longinus tive. He affirms it to abound in fictions, not that seems not wholly free from it; although what he has those fictions are ill invented, or ill executed. He said has been generally understood to import a severer affirms it to be nice and particular in painting the censure of the Odyssey than it really does, if we con- manners, but not that those manners are ill painted. sider the occasion on which it is introduced, and the Ir Homer has fully in these points accomplished his circumstances to which it is confined.
own design, and done all that the nature of his poem "The Odyssey (says he) is an instance how natural demanded or allowed, it still remained perfect in its it is to a great genius, when it begins to grow old and kind, and as much a master-piece as the Iliad. decline, to delight itself in narrations and fables. For The amount of the passage is this : that in his own that Homer composed the Odyssey after the Iliad, particular taste, and with respect to the sublime, Lozi many proofs may be given,' &c. 'From hence, in my ginus preferred the Iliad: and because the Odyssey judgment, it proceeds, that as the Iliad was written was less active and lofty, he judged it the work of the while his spirit was in its greatest vigour, the whole old age of Homer. structure of that work is dramatic and full of action; If this opinion be true, it will only prove, that whereas the greater part of the Odyssey is employed Homer's age might determine him in the choice of in narration, which is the taste of old age : so that in his subject, not that it affected him in the executina this latter piece we may compare him to the setting of it; and that which would be a very wrong instance sun, which has still the same greatness, but not the to prove the decay of his imagination, is a very good same ardour or force. He speaks not in the same one to evince the strength of his judgment. For had strain; we see no more that sublime of the Iliad, he (as Madam Dacier observes) composed the Odyswhich marches on with a constant pace, without sey in his youth, and the Iliad in his age, both mask ever being stopped or retarded: there appears no in reason have been exactly the same as they not more that hurry, and that strong tide of motions and stand. To blame Homer for his choice of such a passions, pouring one after another : there is no more subject, as did not admit the same incidents and the Che same fury, or the same volubility of diction, so same pomp of style as his former, is to take offence suitable to action, and all along drawing in such in- at too much variety, and to imagine, that when a man numerable images of nature. But Homer, like the has written one good thing, he must ever after only ocean, is always great, even when he ebbs and re- copy himself. tires; even when he is lowest, and loses himself most The Battle of Constantine, and the School of in narrations and incredible fictions: as instances of Athens, are both pieces of Raphael : shall we censure this, we cannot forget the descriptions of tempests, the School of Athens as faulty, because it has not the the adventures of Ulysses with the Cyclops, and fury and fire of the other? or shall we say that Ramany others. But though all this be age, it is the age phael was grown grave and oid, becanse he chose to of Homer.— And it may be said for the credit of represent the manners of old men and philosophers! these fictions, that they are beautiful dreams, or if There is all the silence, tranquillity, and composure you will, the dreams of Jupiter himself. I spoke of in the one, and all the warmth, hurry, and tumult in the Odyssey, only to show that the greatest poets, the other, which the subject of either required: both when their genius wants strength and warmth for the of them had been imperfect, if they had not been as
thetie, for the most part employ themselves in they are. And let the painter or poet be young of
eld, who designs or performs in this manner, it proves ferent, that one must have been spoiled in the endea. him to have made the piece at a time of life when he vour to match the other. was master not only of his art, but of his discretion. Longinus, who saw this poem was 'partly of the
Aristotle makes no such distinction between the nature of comedy,' ought not, for that very reason, to two poems: he constantly cites them with equal have considered it with a view to the Iliad. How praise, and draws the rules and examples of epic little any such resemblance was the intention of writing equally from both. But it is rather to the Homer, may appear from hence, that, although the Odyssey that Horace gives the preference, in the character of Ulysses was there already drawn, yet Epistle to Loilius, and in the Art of Poetry. It is here he purposely turns to another side of it, and remarkable how opposite his opinion is to that of shows him not in that full light of glory, but in the Longinus : and that the particulars he chooses to shade of common life, with a mixture of such qualiextol, are those very fictions, and pictures of the ties as are requisite for all the lowest accidents of it, manners, which the other seems least to approve. struggling with misfortunes, and on a level with the Those fables and manners are of the very essence of meanest of mankind. As for the other persons, none the work : but even without that regard, the fables of them are above what we call the higher comedy: themselves have both more invention and more in- Calypso, though a goddess, is a character of intrigue; struction, and the manners more moral and exemplar The suitors yet more approaching to it; the Phæacians than those of the Iliad.
are of the same cast; the Cyclope, Melanthius, and In some points (and those the most essential to the Irus, descend even to droll characters; and the scenes epic poem) the Odyssey is confessed to excel the that appear throughout are generally of the comic Iliad; and principally in the great end of it, the moral kind; banquets, revels, sports, loves, and the pursuit The conduct, turn, and disposition of the fable is also of a woman. what the critics allow to be the better model for epic From the nature of the poem, we shall form an idea writers to follow; accordingly we find much more of of the style. The diction is to follow the images, the cast of this poem than of the other in the Æneid, and to take its colour from the complexion of the and (what next to that is perhaps the greatest exam- thoughts. Accordingly the Odyssey is not always ple) in the Telemachus. In the manners it is no way clothed in the majesty of verse proper to tragedy, but inferior: Longinus is so far from finding any defect in sometimes descends into the plainer narrative, and these, that he rather taxes Homer with painting them sometimes even to that familiar dialogue essential to too minutely. As to the narrations, although they are comedy. However, where it cannot support a submore numerous as the occasions are more frequent, limity, it always preserves a dignity, or at least a yet they carry no more the marks of old age, and are propriety. neither more prolix, nor more circumstantial, than the There is a real beauty in an easy, pure, perspicuous conversations and dialogues of the Iliad. Not to description, even of a low action. There are numemention the length of those of Phænix in the ninth rous instances of this both in Homer and Virgil : and book, and of Nestor in the eleventh (which may be perhaps those natural passages are not the least thought in compliance to their characters, those of pleasing of their works. It is often the same in hisGlaucus in the sixth, of Æneas in the twentieth, and tory, where the representations of common, or even some others, must be allowed to exceed any in the domestic things, in clear, plain, and natural words, whole Odyssey. And that the propriety of style, and are frequently found to make the liveliest impression the numbers, in the narrations of each are equal, will on the reader. appear to any who compare them.
The question is, how far a poet, in pursuing the To form a right judgment, whether the genius of description or image of an action, can attach himself Homer had suffered any decay; we must consider, in to little circumstances which contribute to form a full, both his poems, such parts as are of a similar nature, and yet not a confused, idea of a thing. and will bear comparison. And it is certain we shall Epithets are of vast service to this effect, and the find in each the same vivacity and fecundity of in- right use of these is often the only expedient to render vention, the same life and strength of imagining and the narration poetical. colouring, the particular descriptions as highly painted, The great point of judgment is to distinguish when the figures as bold, the metaphors as animated, and to speak simply, and when figuratively: but whenthe numbers as harmonious, and as various. ever the poet is obliged by the nature of his subject
The Odyssey is a perpetual source of poetry: the to descend to the lower manner of writing, an elevated stream is not the less full for being gentle ; though it style would be affected, and therefore ridiculous; and is true when we speak only with regard to the sub- the more he was forced upon figures and letters to lime) that a river, foaming and thundering in cata- avoid that lowness, the more the image would be racts from rocks and precipices, is what more strikes, broken, and consequently obscure. amazes, and fills the mind, than the same body of One may add, that the use of the grand style on water, flowing afterwards through peaceful vales and little subjects, is not only ludicrous, but a sort of agreeable scenes of pasturage.
transgression against the rules of proportion and The Odyssey (as I have before said) ought to be mechanics : it is using a vast force to lift a feather considered according to its own nature and design, I believe, now I am upon this head, it will be found not with an eye to the Iliad. To censure Homer, a just observation, than the low actions of life cannot because it is unlike what it was never meant to re- be put into a figurative style, without being ridicu semble, is as if a gardener, who had purposely culti-lous; but things natural can. Metaphors raise the vated two beautiful trees of contrary natures, as a latter into dignity, as we see in the Georgics; but specimen of his skill in the several kinds, should be throw the former into ridicule, as in the Lutrin. I blamed for not bringing them into pairs: when in think this may very well be accounted for: laughter oot, stem, leaf, and flower, each was so entirely dif-Simplies censure; inanimate and irrational beings are