Page images

Then (ev'ry god invok'd, who rules the sky)
Plunge the sharp weapon in his monftrous eye;
His eye, that midft his frowning forehead fhone,
Like fome broad buckler, or the blazing fun.
Thus we reveng'd our dear companions loft:
But fly, ye Trojans, fly this dreadful coaft.
For know, a hundred horrid Cyclops more
Range on thefe hills, and dwell along the shore,
As huge as Polypheme, the giant swain,
Who milk, like him, in caves the woolly train.
Now thrice the moon, fair empress of the night,
Has fill'd her growing horns with borrow'd light,
Since in thefe woods I pafs'd the hours away,
In dens of beafts, and favages of prey,

Saw on the rocks the Cyclops ranging round,
Heard their loud footfteps thund'ring on the ground,
With each big bellowing voice, and trembled at the




Here every ftony fruit I pluck for food,

Herbs, cornels, roots, and berries of the wood.
While round I gaze, your fleet I first explore,
The first that touch'd on this detefted shore;
To 'fcape thefe favages, I flew with joy
To meet your navy, though it fail'd from Troy. 885
If I but fhun the cruel hands of thefe ;


Do you deftroy me by what death you please.

Scarce had he faid; when lo! th' enormous fwain, Huge Polyphemus, 'midft his fleecy train,

A bulk prodigious! from the mountain's brow
Defcends terrific to the fhore below:

890 A mon

A monster grim, tremendous, vast, and high;
His front deform'd, and quench'd his blazing eye!
His huge hand held a pine, tail, large, and strong,
To guide his footsteps as he towr'd along.
His flock attends, the only joy he knows;
His pipe around his neck, the folace of his woes.
Soon as the giant reach'd the deeper flood,


With many a groan he cleans'd the gather'd blood
From his bor'd eye-ball in the briny main,
And, bellowing, grinds his teeth in agonizing pain. 900
Then stalks enormous through the midmost tides;
And scarce the topmaft furges reach his fides.

Aboard, the well-deferving Greek we took,
And, pale with fear, the dreadful coaft forfook;
Cut every cord with eager speed away,
Bend to the ftroke, and fweep the foamy fea.
The giant heard; and, turning to the found,
At first purfu'd us through the vaft profound;
Stretch'd his huge hand to reach the fleet in vain;
Nor could he ford the deep Ionian main.
With that, the furious monster roar'd so loud,
That Ocean fhook in ev'ry distant flood;
Trembled all Italy from fhore to fhore;
And Ætna's winding caves rebellow to the roar.
Rous'd at the peal, the fierce Cyclopean train 915
Rush'd from their woods and mountains to the main;
Around the port the ghaftly brethren stand,
A dire affembly! covering all the strand.
In each grim forehead blaz'd the fingle eye;
In vain enrag'd the monftrous race we spy,
A hoft of giants tow'ring in the sky.




So on fome mountain tow'rs the lofty grove
Of beauteous Dian, or imperial Jove;
Th' aërial pines in pointed fpires from far,
Or fpreading oaks, majestic nod in air.
Headlong we fly with horror, where the gales
And speeding winds direct the flutt'ring fails.
But Helenus forbids to plough the waves
Where Scylla roars, and fierce Charybdis raves.
As death stands dreadful 'midst the dangerous road, 930
With backward course we plough the foamy flood;
When, from Pelorus' point a northern breeze
Swells every fail, and wafts us o'er the feas;
First, where Pantagia's mouth appear'd in view,
Flank'd by a range of rocks, the navy flew:
Then, fhooting by the fam'd Megarean bay,
And lowly Tapfus cut the wat'ry way.
These coafts by Achaemenides were shown,
Who follow'd, late, Läertes' wand'ring son:
Familiar with the track he paft before,
He names the lands, and points out ev'ry shore.
An ifle, once call'd Ortygia, fronts the fides
Of rough Plemmyrium, and Sicanian tides.
Hither, 'tis faid, Alpheus, from his fource
In Elis' realms, direct his watry course:
Beneath the main he takes his fecret way,
And mounts with Arethufa's ftreams to day :
Now a Sicilian flood his courfe he keeps,
And rolls with blended waters to the deeps.
Admonish'd, I adore the guardian gods,
Then pass the bounds of rich Helorus' floods.






Next our fleet gallies by Pachynus glide,
Whofe rocks projecting ftretch into the tide.
The Camarinian marsh I now furvey,
By fate forbidden to be drain'd away.
Then the Geloan fields with Gela came
In view, who borrow'd from the flood their name.
With her huge wall proud Agragas fucceeds;
A realm, of old renown'd for generous steeds.
From thee, Selinus, fwift before the wind
We flew, and left thy finking palms behind;
By Lilybaeum's fides our courfe purfu'd,
Whofe rocks infidious hide beneath the flood:
And reach (thofe dangerous fhelves and shallows paft)
The fatal port of Drepanum at last.
Wretch as I was, on this detested coast,
The chief fupport of all my woes, I lost;
My dear, dear father-fav'd, but fav'd in vain
From all the tempefts of the raging main.
Nor did the royal fage this blow foretell;
Nor did the direful Harpy-queen of hell,
Among her frightful prodigies, forefhow
This laft fad ftroke, this unexpected woe.
Here all my labours, all my toils were o'er,
And hence heav'n led me to your friendly fhore. 975
Thus, while the room was hush'd, the prince relates
The wondrous feries of his various fates;
His long, long wand'rings, and unnumber'd woes:
Then ceas'd; and fought the bleflings of repofe.


End of the Third Book.




« PreviousContinue »