The Odyssey - Homer - ebook
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A classic for the ages, „The Odyssey” recounts Odysseus’ (Ulysses) journey home after the Trojan War. After the end of the war, Ulysses and his companions decide to return home, but in the middle of the path a horrible storm deviates them from the original route. Just one more difficulty, they have to face monsters like Cyclops and Mermaids, always overcoming them with cleverness astuteness. During one of these confrontations, all his companions are murdered and Ulysses has to continue his journey alone, but a generous king and the goddess Athena helps him. He withstands the lure of the Sirens’ song and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal wife, Penelope.

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Liczba stron: 555

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Contents

BOOK I

BOOK II

BOOK III

BOOK IV

BOOK V

BOOK VI

BOOK VII

BOOK VIII

BOOK IX

BOOK X

BOOK XI

BOOK XII

BOOK XIII

BOOK XIV

BOOK XV

BOOK XVI

BOOK XVII

BOOK XVIII

BOOK XIX

BOOK XX

BOOK XXI

BOOK XXII

BOOK XXIII

BOOK XXIV

BOOK I

MINERVA’S DESCENT TO ITHACA

The poem opens within forty eight days of the arrival of Ulysses in his dominions. He had now remained seven years in the Island of Calypso, when the gods assembled in council, proposed the method of his departure from thence and his return to his native country. For this purpose it is concluded to send Mercury to Calypso, and Pallas immediately descends to Ithaca. She holds a conference with Telemachus, in the shape of Mantes, king of Taphians; in which she advises him to take a journey in quest of his father Ulysses, to Pylos and Sparta, where Nestor and Menelaus yet reigned; then, after having visibly displayed her divinity, disappears. The suitors of Penelope make great entertainments, and riot in her palace till night. Phemius sings to them the return of the Grecians, till Penelope puts a stop to the song. Some words arise between the suitors and Telemachus, who summons the council to meet the day following.

The man for wisdom’s various arts renown’d, Long exercised in woes, O Muse! resound; Who, when his arms had wrought the destined fall Of sacred Troy, and razed her heaven-built wall, Wandering from clime to clime, observant stray’d, Their manners noted, and their states survey’d, On stormy seas unnumber’d toils he bore, Safe with his friends to gain his natal shore: Vain toils! their impious folly dared to prey On herds devoted to the god of day; The god vindictive doom’d them never more (Ah, men unbless’d!) to touch that natal shore. Oh, snatch some portion of these acts from fate, Celestial Muse! and to our world relate.

Now at their native realms the Greeks arrived; All who the wars of ten long years survived; And ‘scaped the perils of the gulfy main. Ulysses, sole of all the victor train, An exile from his dear paternal coast, Deplored his absent queen and empire lost. Calypso in her caves constrain’d his stay, With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay; In vain-for now the circling years disclose The day predestined to reward his woes. At length his Ithaca is given by fate, Where yet new labours his arrival wait; At length their rage the hostile powers restrain, All but the ruthless monarch of the main. But now the god, remote, a heavenly guest, In AEthiopia graced the genial feast (A race divided, whom with sloping rays The rising and descending sun surveys); There on the world’s extremest verge revered With hecatombs and prayer in pomp preferr’d, Distant he lay: while in the bright abodes Of high Olympus, Jove convened the gods: The assembly thus the sire supreme address’d, AEgysthus’ fate revolving in his breast, Whom young Orestes to the dreary coast Of Pluto sent, a blood-polluted ghost.

“Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free, Charge all their woes on absolute degree; All to the dooming gods their guilt translate, And follies are miscall’d the crimes of fate. When to his lust AEgysthus gave the rein, Did fate, or we, the adulterous act constrain? Did fate, or we, when great Atrides died, Urge the bold traitor to the regicide? Hermes I sent, while yet his soul remain’d Sincere from royal blood, and faith profaned; To warn the wretch, that young Orestes, grown To manly years, should re-assert the throne. Yet, impotent of mind, and uncontroll’d, He plunged into the gulf which Heaven foretold.”

Here paused the god; and pensive thus replies Minerva, graceful with her azure eyes:

“O thou! from whom the whole creation springs, The source of power on earth derived to kings! His death was equal to the direful deed; So may the man of blood be doomed to bleed! But grief and rage alternate wound my breast For brave Ulysses, still by fate oppress’d. Amidst an isle, around whose rocky shore The forests murmur, and the surges roar, The blameless hero from his wish’d-for home A goddess guards in her enchanted dome; (Atlas her sire, to whose far-piercing eye The wonders of the deep expanded lie; The eternal columns which on earth he rears End in the starry vault, and prop the spheres). By his fair daughter is the chief confined, Who soothes to dear delight his anxious mind; Successless all her soft caresses prove, To banish from his breast his country’s love; To see the smoke from his loved palace rise, While the dear isle in distant prospect lies, With what contentment could he close his eyes! And will Omnipotence neglect to save The suffering virtue of the wise and brave? Must he, whose altars on the Phrygian shore With frequent rites, and pure, avow’d thy power, Be doom’d the worst of human ills to prove, Unbless’d, abandon’d to the wrath of Jove?”

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