ページの画像
PDF
ePub

.

mander was at length to be restored to his dominions.
But he was shipwrecked in Ogygia, a supposed island of
the Mediterranean, and for want of a ship to convey him
away, was detained in the island seven years. This is-
land was the abode of Calypso, one of the Oceanides
children of ocean. She was a daughter of Atlas, one of
the Titans, or giants who rebelled against Jupiter. Ca-
lypso loved Ulysses, and was grieved at his departure,
which was effected by the decree of Jove, or Jupiter, who
sent Mercury with the celestial message. In the fifth
book of the Odyssey the passage may be found.

CALYPSO.
"The god who mounts the winged winds
Fast to his feet the golden pinions binds,
That high through fields of air his flight sustain
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the boundless main.
He grasps the wand that causes sleep to fly,
Or in soft slumbers seals the wakeful eye :
Then shoots from heav'n to high Pieria's steep,
And stoops incuinbent on the rolling deep.
So wat’ry fowl, that seek their fishy food,
With wings expanded o'er the foaming flood,
Now sailing smooth the level surface sweep,
Now dip their pinions in the briny deep.
Thus o'er the world of waters Hermes fiew,
"Till now the distant island rose in view :
Then swift ascending from the azure wave,
He took the path that winded to the cave.

Large was the grot in which the nymph he found,
(The fair hair'd nymph with ev'ry beauty crown'd)
· She sat and sung; the rocks resound her lays :

The cave was brighten'd with a rising blaze :
Cedar and frankincense, an od'rous pile,
Flam'd on the hearth, and wide perfum'd the isle ;
While she with work and song the time divides,
And thro' the loom the golden shuttle guides.
Without the grot, a various sylvan scene
Appear'd around, and groves of living green;

Poplars and alders ever quiv’ring play'd,
And nodding cypress form'd a fragrant shade;
On whose high branches, waving with the storm,
The birds of broadest wing their mansion form,
The chough, the sea-mew, the loquacious crow,
And scream aloft, and skim the deeps below.

Depending vines the shelving cavern screen,
With purple clusters blushing thro' the green.
Four limpid fountains from the clefts distil,
And ev'ry fountain pours a sev'ral rill,
In mazy windings wandering down the hill;
Where blooming meads with vivid greens were crown'd,
And glowing violets threw odours round.
A scene, where if a God should cast his sight,
A God might gaze and wonder with delight !
Joy touch'd the messenger of heav'n; he stay'd
Entranc'd, and all the blissful haunt survey'd.
Him ent'ring in the cave, Calypso knew;
For pow'rs celestial to each other's view .
Stand still confest, though distant far they lie
To habitants of earth, or sea, or sky.

But sad Ulysses, by himself apart,
Pourd the big sorrows of his swelling heart; i
All on the lonely shore he sat to weep,
And roli'd his eyes around the restless deep;
Toward his lov'd coast he roll'd his eyes in vain,
?Till dimm’d with rising grief, they stream'd again.

Now graceful seated on her shining throne,
To Hermes thus the nymph divine begun.

God of the golden wand! on what behest
Arriv'st thou here, an unexpected guest?
Loy'd as thou art, thy free injunctions lay;
'Tis mine, with joy and duty to obey,
Till now a stranger, in a happy hour
Approach and taste the daintios of my bow'r.

Thus having spoke, the nymph the table spread,
(Ambrosial cates, with Nectar rosy-red)
Hermes the hospitable rite partook,
Divine refection! then recruited, spoke.

[ocr errors]

What mov'd this journey from my native sky,
A Goddess asks, nor can a God deny:
Hear then the truth. By mighty Jove's command, .
Unwilling, have I trod this.pleasing land :
For who, self-mov’d, with weary wing would sweep
Such length of ocean and unmeasur'd deep:
A world of waters ! far from all the ways
Were men frequent, or sacred altars blaze ?
But to Jove's will submission we must pay;
What pow'r so great, to dare to disobey ?
A man, he says, a man resides with thee,
Of all his kind most worn with misery:.
The Greeks (whose arms for nine long years employ'd
Their force on Ilion, in the tenth destroy'd)
At length embarking in a luckless hour,
With conquest proud, incens'd Minerva's pow'r :. .
Hence on the guilty race her vengeance hurl'd
With storms pursued them through the liquid world.
There all his vessels sunk beneath the wave!
There all his dear companions found a grave!
Sav'd from the jaws of death by heaven's decree,
* The tempest drove him to these shores and thee.
Him, Jove now orders to his native lands
Straight to dismiss; so Destiny commands:
Impatient Fate his near return attends,
And calls him to his country, and his friends.

Ey'n to her inmost soul the Goddess shook ;
Then thus her anguish and her passion broke.
Ungracious Gods! with spite and envy curst!
So till your own etherial race the worst!
And is it now my turn, ye mighty powr's!.
Am I the envy of your blisful bow'rs?
A man, an outcast to the storm and wave,
It was my crime to pity, and to save ;
When he who thunders rent his bark in twain,
And sunk his brave companions in the main.
Alone, abandon’d, in mid-ocean tost,
The sport of winds, and driv'n from ev'ry coast,

[ocr errors]

Hither this man of miseries I led,
Received the friendless, and the hungry fed;
Nay promis'd (vainly promis’d!) to bestow
Immortal life, exempt from age and wo.
'Tis past ; and Jove decrees he shall remove ;
Gods as we are, we are but slaves to Jove.
Gothen he may; (he must, if he ordain, aip
Try all those dangers, all those deeps, again)
But never, never shall Calypso send
To toils like these, her husband and her friend.
What ships have I, what sailors to convey,
What oars to cut the long laborious way?
Yet, I'll direct the safest means to go : . .
That last advice is all I can bestow. -,
· To her the pow'r who bears the charming rod
Dismiss the man, nor irritate the God;
Prevent the rage of him who reigns above,
For what so dreadful as the wrath of Jove? .
Thus having said, he cut the cleaving sky,
And ina moment vanish'd from her eye.

The nymph, obedient to divine command, ..
To seek Ulysses, paced along the sand.
Him pensive on the lonely beach she found,
With streaming eyes in briny torrents drown'd,
And inly pining for his native shore;
For now the soft enchantress pleas'd no more :
He sat all desolate, and sigh'd alone,
While echoing sorrows made the mountains groan,
And roll’d his eyes o'er all the restless main,
- 'Till dimmed with rising grief, they stream'd again.

Here, on the musing mood the Goddess prest,
Approaching soft; and thus the chief addrest."
Unhappy man! to wasting woes a prey,
No more in sorrows languish life away:
Free as the winds I give thee now to rove.-
Go fell the timber of yon lofty grove: ,
And form a raft, and build the rising ship,
Sublime to bear thee o’er the gloomy deep.

cond

To'store the vessel let the care be mine,"
With water from the rock, and rosy wine,
And life-sustaining bread, and fair array,
And prosp’rous gales to waft thee on the way.
These if the Gods with my desires comply,
(The Gods, alas ! more mighty far than I,
And better skill'd in dark events to come).
In peace shall land thee at thy native home.

The god who mounts the winged wind.-Mercury, or Hermes, the son of Jupiter and Maia. Mercury was the messenger of the gods. He was the god of merchants, orators, and thieves. The mythology says he robbed

Neptune of his trident, Venus of her girdle,-the Cesitus which made her appear so beautiful-Mars of his sword, and Vulcan of the anvil.

The wand that causes sleep to fly. The Caduceus, a rod entwined with two serpents. It was the emblem

of Mercúry's vigilance, or watchfulness. im Ambrosial cates with Nectar rosy red. Ambrosia was the food, and Nectar the wine of the Gods.

It is related in the Odyssey, that when Ulysses, was in the Mediterranean, he stopped at the island of Circe: his men were in want of food, and they went to the palace of the enchantress to procure it, but she transformed them,

all except one, to hogs. He who escaped returned to · Ulysses and told him the misfortune of his companions.

Mercury appeared to Ulysses and gave him an herb 7 called Moly, which was to serve as a protection to him

against the arts of Circe. Ulysses then went to the goddess, and obtained the restoration of his men. It is related that one of these men named Gryllus refused to be restored to his human shape, preferring the degraded condition of a hog, to that of a man.. .

Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray in France, composed a dialogue between Ulysses and Gryllus. Fenelon did th is for the instruction of a young prince whom he edu

« 前へ次へ »