Sunday, November 14, 2010

Telemachus' Father's Eucharis


  1. "Ulysses! (with a sigh she thus began;)
    O sprung from gods! in wisdom more than man!
    Is then thy home the passion of thy heart?
    Thus wilt thou leave me, are we thus to part?
    Farewell! and ever joyful mayst thou be,
    Nor break the transport with one thought of me.
    But ah, Ulysses! wert thou given to know
    What Fate yet dooms these still to undergo,
    Thy heart might settle in this scene of ease.
    And e'en these slighted charms might learn to please.
    A willing goddess, and immortal life.
    Might banish from thy mind an absent wife.
    Am I inferior to a mortal dame?
    Less soft my feature less august my frame?
    Or shall the daughters of mankind compare
    Their earth born beauties with the heavenly fair?"

    "Alas! for this (the prudent man replies)
    Against Ulysses shall thy anger rise?
    Loved and adored, O goddess as thou art,
    Forgive the weakness of a human heart.
    Though well I see thy graces far above
    The dear, though mortal, object of my love,
    Of youth eternal well the difference know,
    And the short date of fading charms below;
    Yet every day, while absent thus I roam,
    I languish to return and die at home.
    Whate'er the gods shall destine me to bear;
    In the black ocean or the watery war,
    'Tis mine to master with a constant mind;
    Inured to perils, to the worst resign'd,
    By seas, by wars, so many dangers run;
    Still I can suffer; their high will he done!"

    Thus while he spoke, the beamy sun descends,
    And rising night her friendly shade extends,
    To the close grot the lonely pair remove,
    And slept delighted with the gifts of love.
    When rose morning call'd them from their rest,
    Ulysses robed him in the cloak and vest.
    The nymph's fair head a veil transparent graced,
    Her swelling loins a radiant zone embraced
    With flowers of gold; an under robe, unbound,
    In snowy waves flow'd glittering on the ground.
    Forth issuing thus, she gave him first to wield
    A weighty axe with truest temper steeled,
    And double-edged; the handle smooth and plain,
    Wrought of the clouded olive's easy grain;
    And next, a wedge to drive with sweepy sway
    Then to the neighboring forest led the way.
    On the lone island's utmost verge there stood
    Of poplars, pine, and firs, a lofty wood,
    Whose leafless summits to the skies aspire,
    Scorch'd by the sun, or seared by heavenly fire
    (Already dried). These pointing out to view,
    The nymph just show'd him, and with tears withdrew.

  2. -Alexander Pope translation of Homer's "Odessey"