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the voice of hope revived. He bade make haste
to raise the masts, spread canvas on the spars;
all hands hauled at the sheets, and left or right
shook out the loosened sails, or twirled in place
the horn-tipped yards. Before a favoring wind
the fleet sped on. The line in close array
was led by Palinurus, in whose course
all ships were bid to follow. Soon the car
of dewy Night drew near the turning-point
of her celestial round. The oarsmen all
yielded their limbs to rest, and prone had fallen
on the hard thwarts, in deep, unpillowed slumber.
Then from the high stars on light-moving wings,
the God of Sleep found passage through the dark
and clove the gloom,—to bring upon thy head,
O Palinurus, an ill-boding sleep,
though blameless thou. Upon thy ship the god
in guise of Phorbas stood, thus whispering:
“Look, Palinurus, how the flowing tides
lift on thy fleet unsteered, and changeless winds
behind thee breathe! 'T is now a happy hour
take thy rest. Lay down the weary head.
Steal tired eyes from toiling. I will do
thine office for thee, just a little space.”
But Palinurus, lifting scarce his eyes,
thus answered him: “Have I not known the face
of yonder placid seas and tranquil waves?
Put faith in such a monster? Could I trust —
I, oft by ocean's treacherous calm betrayed —
my lord Aeneas to false winds and skies?”
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