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‘From Ithaca, my native soil, I came To Troy; and Achaemenides my name. Me my poor father with Ulysses sent; (O had I stay'd, with poverty content!) But, fearful for themselves, my countrymen Left me forsaken in the Cyclops' den. The cave, tho' large, was dark; the dismal floor Was pav'd with mangled limbs and putrid gore. Our monstrous host, of more than human size, Erects his head, and stares within the skies; Bellowing his voice, and horrid is his hue. Ye gods, remove this plague from mortal view! The joints of slaughter'd wretches are his food; And for his wine he quaffs the streaming blood. These eyes beheld, when with his spacious hand He seiz'd two captives of our Grecian band; Stretch'd on his back, he dash'd against the stones Their broken bodies, and their crackling bones: With spouting blood the purple pavement swims, While the dire glutton grinds the trembling limbs. ‘Not unreveng'd Ulysses bore their fate, Nor thoughtless of his own unhappy state; For, gorg'd with flesh, a
To reach the mark. Sergesthus takes the place; Mnestheus pursues; and while around they wind, Comes up, not half his galley's length behind; Then, on the deck, amidst his mates appear'd, And thus their drooping courage he cheer'd: “My friends, and Hector's followers heretofore, Exert your vigor; tug the lab'ring oar; Stretch to your strokes, my still unconquer'd crew, Whom from the flaming walls of Troy I drew. In this, our common int'rest, let me find That strength of hand, that courage of the mind, As when you stemm'd the strong Malean flood, And o'er the Syrtes' broken billows row'd. I seek not now the foremost palm to gain; Tho' yeT'mdash;but, ah! that haughty wish is vain! Let those enjoy it whom the gods ordain. But to be last, the lags of all the race!—/L> Redeem yourselves and me from that disgrace.” Now, one and all, they tug amain; they row At the full stretch, and shake the brazen prow. The sea beneath 'em sinks; their lab'ring sides Are swell'd, and sweat runs gutt'ring dow<
“O wretched we, whom not the Grecian pow'r, Nor flames, destroy'd, in Troy's unhappy hour! O wretched we, reserv'd by cruel fate, Beyond the ruins of the sinking state! Now sev'n revolving years are wholly run, Since this improsp'rous voyage we begun; Since, toss'd from shores to shores, from lands to lands, Inhospitable rocks and barren sands, Wand'ring in exile thro' the stormy sea, We search in vain for flying Italy. Now cast by fortune on this kindred land, What should our rest and rising wa
y fleet consume!
Cassandra bids; and I declare her doom.
In sleep I saw her; she supplied my hands
(For this I more than dreamt) with flaming brands:
‘With these,’ said she, ‘these wand'ring ships destroy:
These are your fatal seats, and this your Troy.’
Time calls you now; the precious hour employ:
Slack not the good presage, while Heav'n inspires
Our minds to dare, and gives the ready fires.
See! Neptune's altars minister their brands:
The god is pleas'd; the god supplies our hands.”