Puslapio vaizdai

Violet sea,

At sunset nearing

The Happy Islands.

These things, Ulysses,
The wise bards also
Behold and sing.

But oh, what labour 1
O prince, what pain!

They too can see
Tiresias; but the Gods,

Who give them vision,
Added this law:

That they should bear too

His groping blindness,
His dark foreboding,

His scorn'd white hairs;

Bear Hera's anger

Through a life lengthen'd

To seven ages.

They see the Centaurs

On Pelion; then they feel,

They too, the maddening wine

Swell their large veins to bursting; in wild pain They feel the biting spears

Of the grim Lapithæ, and Theseus, drive,

Drive crashing through their bones; they feel High on a jutting rock in the red stream Alcmena's dreadful son

Ply his bow;-such a price

The Gods exact for song:

To become what we sing.

They see the Indian

On his mountain lake;-but squalls

Make their skiff reel, and worms
In the unkind spring have gnawn

Their melon-harvest to the heart.-They see
The Scythian; but long frosts

Parch them in winter-time on the bare stepp, Till they too fade like grass; they crawl Like shadows forth in spring.

They see the merchants

On the Oxus stream;-but care

Must visit first them too, and make them pale.
Whether, through whirling sand,

A cloud of desert robber-horse have burst
Upon their caravan; or greedy kings,

In the wall'd cities the way passes through,
Crush'd them with tolls; or fever-airs,

On some great river's marge,

Mown them down, far from home.

They see the Heroes

Near harbour;-but they share

Their lives, and former violent toil in Thebes,

Seven-gated Thebes, or Troy;

Or where the echoing oars

Of Argo first

Startled the unknown sea.

The old Silenus

Came, lolling in the sunshine,

From the dewy forest-coverts,
This way, at noon.

Sitting by me, while his Fauns
Down at the water-side
Sprinkled and smoothed
His drooping garland,

He told me these things.

But I, Ulysses,

Sitting on the warm steps,

Looking over the valley,

All day long, have seen,

Without pain, without labour,
'Sometimes a wild-hair'd Mænad-
Sometimes a Faun with torches-
And sometimes, for a moment,
Passing through the dark stems
Flowing-robed, the beloved,

The desired, the divine,
Beloved Iacchus.

Ah, cool night-wind, tremulous stars!

Ah, glimmering water,

Fitful earth-murmur,

Dreaming woods!

Ah, golden-hair'd, strangely smiling Goddess, And thou, proved, much enduring,

Wave-toss'd Wanderer!

Who can stand still?

Ye fade, ye swim, ye waver before me-
The cup again !

Faster, faster,

O Circe, Goddess,

Let the wild, thronging train,

The bright procession

Of eddying forms,

Sweep through my soul!



The Chorus.

WELL hath he done who hath seized happiness!
For little do the all-containing hours,

Though opulent, freely give.
Who, weighing that life well
Fortune presents unpray'd,

Declines her ministry, and carves his own;

And, justice not infringed,

Makes his own welfare his unswerved-from law.

He does well too, who keeps that clue the mild
Birth-Goddess and the austere Fates first gave.
For from the day when these
Bring him, a weeping child,
First to the light, and mark

A country for him, kinsfolk, and a home,
Unguided he remains,

Till the Fates come again, this time with death.

In little companies,

And, our own place once left,

Ignorant where to stand, or whom to avoid,
By city and household group'd, we live; and many


Our order heaven-ordain'd

Must every day endure:

Voyages, exiles, hates, dissensions, wars.

Besides what waste he makes,
The all-hated, order-breaking,
Without friend, city, or home,
Death, who dissevers all.

Him then I praise, who dares

To self-selected good

Prefer obedience to the primal law,

Which consecrates the ties of blood; for these,


Are to the Gods a care;

That touches but himself.

For every day man may be link'd and loosed
With strangers; but the bond

Original, deep-inwound,

Of blood, can he not bind,
Nor, if Fate binds, not bear.

But hush! Hæmon, whom Antigone,
Robbing herself of life in burying,
Against Creon's law, Polynices,
Robs of a loved bride-pale, imploring,
Waiting her passage,

Forth from the palace hitherward comes.


No, no, old men, Creon I curse not!
I weep, Thebans,

One than Creon crueller far!
For he, he, at least, by slaying her,
August laws doth mightily vindicate;
But thou, too-bold, headstrong, pitiless!

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