Mercury bears to Calypso a command from Jupiter that she dismiss Ulysses. She, after some remonstrances, promises obedience, and furnishes him with instruments and materials, with which he constructs a raft. He quits Calypso's island; is persecuted by Neptune with dreadful tempests, but by the assistance of a sea nymph, after having lost his raft, is enabled to swim to Phæacia.
Aurora from beside her glorious mate
Tithonus now arose, light to dispense
Through earth and heav'n, when the assembled Gods
In council sat, o'er whom high-thund'ring Jove
Presided, mightiest of the Pow'rs above.
Amid them, Pallas on the num'rous woes
Descanted of Ulysses, whom she saw
With grief, still prison'd in Calypso's isle.
Jove, Father, hear me, and ye other Pow'rs
Who live for ever, hear! Be never King
Henceforth to gracious acts inclined, humane,
Or righteous, but let ev'ry sceptred hand
Rule merciless, and deal in wrong alone,
Since none of all his people whom he sway'd
With such paternal gentleness and love
Remembers, now, divine Ulysses more.
He, in yon distant isle a suff'rer lies
Of hopeless sorrow, through constraint the guest
Still of the nymph Calypso, without means
Or pow'r to reach his native shores again,
Alike of gallant barks and friends depriv'd,
Who might conduct him o'er the spacious Deep.
Nor is this all, but enemies combine
To slay his son ere yet he can return
From Pylus, whither he hath gone to learn
There, or in Sparta, tidings of his Sire.
To whom the cloud-assembler God replied.
What word hath pass'd thy lips, daughter belov'd?
Hast thou not purpos'd that arriving soon
At home, Ulysses shall destroy his foes?
Guide thou, Telemachus, (for well thou canst)
That he may reach secure his native coast,
And that the suitors baffled may return.
He ceas'd, and thus to Hermes spake, his son.
Hermes! (for thou art herald of our will
At all times) to yon bright-hair'd nymph convey
Our fix'd resolve, that brave Ulysses thence
Depart, uncompanied by God or man.
Borne on a corded raft, and suff'ring woe
Extreme, he on the twentieth day shall reach,
Not sooner, Scherie the deep-soil'd, possess'd
By the Phæacians, kinsmen of the Gods.
They, as a God shall reverence the Chief,
And in a bark of theirs shall send him thence
To his own home, much treasure, brass and gold
And raiment giving him, to an amount
Surpassing all that, had he safe return'd,
He should by lot have shared of Ilium's spoil.
Thus Fate appoints Ulysses to regain
His country, his own palace, and his friends.
He ended, nor the Argicide refused,
Messenger of the skies; his sandals fair,
Ambrosial, golden, to his feet he bound,
Which o'er the moist wave, rapid as the wind,
Bear him, and o'er th' illimitable earth,
Then took his rod with which, at will, all eyes
He closes soft, or opes them wide again.
So arm'd, forth flew the valiant Argicide.
Alighting on Pieria, down he stoop'd
To Ocean, and the billows lightly skimm'd
In form a sew-mew, such as in the bays
Tremendous of the barren Deep her food
Seeking, dips oft in brine her ample wing.
In such disguise o'er many a wave he rode,
But reaching, now, that isle remote, forsook
The azure Deep, and at the spacious grot,
Where dwelt the amber-tressed nymph arrived,
Found her within. A fire on all the hearth
Blazed sprightly, and, afar-diffused, the scent
Of smooth-split cedar and of cypress-wood
Odorous, burning, cheer'd the happy isle.
She, busied at the loom, and plying fast
Her golden shuttle, with melodious voice
Sat chaunting there; a grove on either side,
Alder and poplar, and the redolent branch
Wide-spread of Cypress, skirted dark the cave.
There many a bird of broadest pinion built
Secure her nest, the owl, the kite, and daw
Long-tongued, frequenter of the sandy shores.
A garden-vine luxuriant on all sides
Mantled the spacious cavern, cluster-hung
Profuse; four fountains of serenest lymph
Their sinuous course pursuing side by side,
Stray'd all around, and ev'ry where appear'd
Meadows of softest verdure, purpled o'er
With violets; it was a scene to fill
A God from heav'n with wonder and delight.
Hermes, Heav'n's messenger, admiring stood
That sight, and having all survey'd, at length
Enter'd the grotto; nor the lovely nymph
Him knew not soon as seen, for not unknown
Each to the other the Immortals are,
How far soever sep'rate their abodes.
Yet found he not within the mighty Chief
Ulysses; he sat weeping on the shore,
Forlorn, for there his custom was with groans
Of sad regret t' afflict his breaking heart.
Looking continual o'er the barren Deep.
Then thus Calypso, nymph divine, the God
Question'd, from her resplendent throne august.
Hermes! possessor of the potent rod!
Who, though by me much reverenc'd and belov'd,
So seldom com'st, say, wherefore comest now?
Speak thy desire; I grant it, if thou ask
Things possible, and possible to me.
Stay not, but ent'ring farther, at my board
Due rites of hospitality receive.
So saying, the Goddess with ambrosial food
Her table cover'd, and with rosy juice
Nectareous charged the cup. Then ate and drank
The argicide and herald of the skies,
And in his soul with that repast divine
Refresh'd, his message to the nymph declared.
Questionest thou, O Goddess, me a God?
I tell thee truth, since such is thy demand.
Not willing, but by Jove constrain'd, I come.
For who would, voluntary, such a breadth
Enormous measure of the salt expanse,
Where city none is seen in which the Gods
Are served with chosen hecatombs and pray'r?
But no divinity may the designs
Elude, or controvert, of Jove supreme.
He saith, that here thou hold'st the most distrest
Of all those warriors who nine years assail'd
The city of Priam, and, (that city sack'd)
Departed in the tenth; but, going thence,
Offended Pallas, who with adverse winds
Opposed their voyage, and with boist'rous waves.
Then perish'd all his gallant friends, but him
Billows and storms drove hither; Jove commands
That thou dismiss him hence without delay,
For fate ordains him not to perish here
From all his friends remote, but he is doom'd
To see them yet again, and to arrive
At his own palace in his native land.
He said; divine Calypso at the sound
Shudder'd, and in wing'd accents thus replied.
Ye are unjust, ye Gods, and envious past
All others, grudging if a Goddess take
A mortal man openly to her arms!
So, when the rosy-finger'd Morning chose
Orion, though ye live yourselves at ease,
Yet ye all envied her, until the chaste
Diana from her golden throne dispatch'd
A silent shaft, which slew him in Ortygia.
So, when the golden-tressed Ceres, urged
By passion, took Iäsion to her arms
In a thrice-labour'd fallow, not untaught
Was Jove that secret long, and, hearing it,
Indignant, slew him with his candent bolt.
So also, O ye Gods, ye envy me
The mortal man, my comfort. Him I saved
Myself, while solitary on his keel
He rode, for with his sulph'rous arrow Jove
Had cleft his bark amid the sable Deep.
Then perish'd all his gallant friends, but him
Billows and storms drove hither, whom I lov'd
Sincere, and fondly destin'd to a life
Immortal, unobnoxious to decay.
But since no Deity may the designs
Elude or controvert of Jove supreme,
Hence with him o'er the barren Deep, if such
The Sov'reign's will, and such his stern command.
But undismiss'd he goes by me, who ships
Myself well-oar'd and mariners have none
To send with him athwart the spacious flood;
Yet freely, readily, my best advice
I will afford him, that, escaping all
Danger, he may regain his native shore.
Then Hermes thus, the messenger of heav'n.
Act as thou say'st, fearing the frown of Jove,
Lest, if provoked, he spare not even thee.
So saying, the dauntless Argicide withdrew,
And she (Jove's mandate heard) all-graceful went,
Seeking the brave Ulysses; on the shore
She found him seated; tears succeeding tears
Delug'd his eyes, while, hopeless of return,
Life's precious hours to eating cares he gave
Continual, with the nymph now charm'd no more.
Yet, cold as she was am'rous, still he pass'd
His nights beside her in the hollow grot,
Constrain'd, and day by day the rocks among
Which lined the shore heart-broken sat, and oft
While wistfully he eyed the barren Deep,
Wept, groaned, desponded, sigh'd, and wept again.
Then, drawing near, thus spake the nymph divine.
Unhappy! weep not here, nor life consume
In anguish; go; thou hast my glad consent.
Arise to labour; hewing down the trunks
Of lofty trees, fashion them with the ax
To a broad raft, which closely floor'd above,
Shall hence convey thee o'er the gloomy Deep.
Bread, water, and the red grape's cheering juice
Myself will put on board, which shall preserve
Thy life from famine; I will also give
New raiment for thy limbs, and will dispatch
Winds after thee to waft thee home unharm'd,
If such the pleasure of the Gods who dwell
In yonder boundless heav'n, superior far
To me, in knowledge and in skill to judge.
She ceas'd; but horror at that sound the heart
Chill'd of Ulysses, and in accents wing'd
With wonder, thus the noble Chief replied.
Ah! other thoughts than of my safe return
Employ thee, Goddess, now, who bid'st me pass
The perilous gulph of Ocean on a raft,
That wild expanse terrible, which even ships
Pass not, though form'd to cleave their way with ease,
And joyful in propitious winds from Jove.
No--let me never, in despight of thee,
Embark on board a raft, nor till thou swear,
O Goddess! the inviolable oath,
That future mischief thou intend'st me none.
He said; Calypso, beauteous Goddess, smiled,
And, while she spake, stroaking his cheek, replied.
Thou dost asperse me rudely, and excuse
Of ignorance hast none, far better taught;
What words were these? How could'st thou thus reply?
Now hear me Earth, and the wide Heav'n above!
Hear, too, ye waters of the Stygian stream
Under the earth (by which the blessed Gods
Swear trembling, and revere the awful oath!)
That future mischief I intend thee none.
No, my designs concerning thee are such
As, in an exigence resembling thine,
Myself, most sure, should for myself conceive.
I have a mind more equal, not of steel
My heart is form'd, but much to pity inclined.
So saying, the lovely Goddess with swift pace
Led on, whose footsteps he as swift pursued.
Within the vaulted cavern they arrived,
The Goddess and the man; on the same throne
Ulysses sat, whence Hermes had aris'n,
And viands of all kinds, such as sustain
The life of mortal man, Calypso placed
Before him, both for bev'rage and for food.
She opposite to the illustrious Chief
Reposed, by her attendant maidens served
With nectar and ambrosia. They their hands
Stretch'd forth together to the ready feast,
And when nor hunger more nor thirst remain'd
Unsated, thus the beauteous nymph began.
Laertes' noble son, for wisdom famed
And artifice! oh canst thou thus resolve
To seek, incontinent, thy native shores?
I pardon thee. Farewell! but could'st thou guess
The woes which fate ordains thee to endure
Ere yet thou reach thy country, well-content
Here to inhabit, thou would'st keep my grot
And be immortal, howsoe'er thy wife
Engage thy ev'ry wish day after day.
Yet can I not in stature or in form
Myself suspect inferior aught to her,
Since competition cannot be between
Mere mortal beauties, and a form divine.
To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied.
Awful Divinity! be not incensed.
I know that my Penelope in form
And stature altogether yields to thee,
For she is mortal, and immortal thou,
From age exempt; yet not the less I wish
My home, and languish daily to return.
But should some God amid the sable Deep
Dash me again into a wreck, my soul
Shall bear _that_ also; for, by practice taught,
I have learned patience, having much endured
By tempest and in battle both. Come then
This evil also! I am well prepared.
He ended, and the sun sinking, resign'd
The earth to darkness. Then in a recess
Interior of the cavern, side by side
Reposed, they took their amorous delight.
But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
Look'd rosy forth, Ulysses then in haste
Put on his vest and mantle, and, the nymph
Her snowy vesture of transparent woof,
Graceful, redundant; to her waist she bound
Her golden zone, and veil'd her beauteous head,
Then, musing, plann'd the noble Chief's return.
She gave him, fitted to the grasp, an ax
Of iron, pond'rous, double-edg'd, with haft
Of olive-wood, inserted firm, and wrought
With curious art. Then, placing in his hand
A polish'd adze, she led, herself, the way
To her isles' utmost verge, where tallest trees
But dry long since and sapless stood, which best
Might serve his purposes, as buoyant most,
The alder, poplar, and cloud-piercing fir.
To that tall grove she led and left him there,
Seeking her grot again. Then slept not He,
But, swinging with both hands the ax, his task
Soon finish'd; trees full twenty to the ground
He cast, which, dext'rous, with his adze he smooth'd,
The knotted surface chipping by a line.
Meantime the lovely Goddess to his aid
Sharp augres brought, with which he bored the beams,
Then, side by side placing them, fitted each
To other, and with long cramps join'd them all.
Broad as an artist, skill'd in naval works,
The bottom of a ship of burthen spreads,
Such breadth Ulysses to his raft assign'd.
He deck'd her over with long planks, upborne
On massy beams; He made the mast, to which
He added suitable the yard;--he framed
Rudder and helm to regulate her course,
With wicker-work he border'd all her length
For safety, and much ballast stow'd within.
Meantime, Calypso brought him for a sail
Fittest materials, which he also shaped,
And to his sail due furniture annex'd
Of cordage strong, foot-ropes, and ropes aloft,
Then heav'd her down with levers to the Deep.
He finish'd all his work on the fourth day,
And on the fifth, Calypso, nymph divine,
Dismiss'd him from her isle, but laved him first,
And cloath'd him in sweet-scented garments new.
Two skins the Goddess also placed on board,
One charg'd with crimson wine, and ampler one
With water, nor a bag with food replete
Forgot, nutritious, grateful to the taste,
Nor yet, her latest gift, a gentle gale
And manageable, which Ulysses spread,
Exulting, all his canvas to receive.
Beside the helm he sat, steering expert,
Nor sleep fell ever on his eyes that watch'd
Intent the Pleiads, tardy in decline
Bootes, and the Bear, call'd else the Wain,
Which, in his polar prison circling, looks
Direct toward Orion, and alone
Of these sinks never to the briny Deep.
That star the lovely Goddess bade him hold
Continual on his left through all his course.
Ten days and sev'n, he, navigating, cleav'd
The brine, and on the eighteenth day, at length,
The shadowy mountains of Phæacia's land
Descried, where nearest to his course it lay
Like a broad buckler on the waves afloat.
But Neptune, now returning from the land
Of Ethiopia, mark'd him on his raft
Skimming the billows, from the mountain-tops
Of distant Solyma. With tenfold wrath
Inflamed that sight he view'd, his brows he shook,
And thus within himself, indignant, spake.
So then--new counsels in the skies, it seems,
Propitious to Ulysses, have prevail'd
Since Æthiopia hath been my abode.
He sees Phæacia nigh, where he must leap
The bound'ry of his woes; but ere that hour
Arrive, I will ensure him many a groan.
So saying, he grasp'd his trident, gather'd dense
The clouds and troubled ocean; ev'ry storm
From ev'ry point he summon'd, earth and sea
Darkening, and the night fell black from heav'n.
The East, the South, the heavy-blowing West,
And the cold North-wind clear, assail'd at once
His raft, and heaved on high the billowy flood.
All hope, all courage, in that moment, lost,
The Hero thus within himself complain'd.
Wretch that I am, what destiny at last
Attends me! much I fear the Goddess' words
All true, which threaten'd me with num'rous ills
On the wide sea, ere I should reach my home.
Behold them all fulfill'd! with what a storm
Jove hangs the heav'ns, and agitates the Deep!
The winds combined beat on me. Now I sink!
Thrice blest, and more than thrice, Achaia's sons
At Ilium slain for the Atridæ' sake!
Ah, would to heav'n that, dying, I had felt
That day the stroke of fate, when me the dead
Achilles guarding, with a thousand spears
Troy's furious host assail'd! Funereal rites
I then had shared, and praise from ev'ry Greek,
Whom now the most inglorious death awaits.
While thus he spake, a billow on his head
Bursting impetuous, whirl'd the raft around,
And, dashing from his grasp the helm, himself
Plunged far remote. Then came a sudden gust
Of mingling winds, that in the middle snapp'd
His mast, and, hurried o'er the waves afar,
Both sail and sail-yard fell into the flood.
Long time submerged he lay, nor could with ease
The violence of that dread shock surmount,
Or rise to air again, so burthensome
His drench'd apparel proved; but, at the last,
He rose, and, rising, sputter'd from his lips
The brine that trickled copious from his brows.
Nor, harass'd as he was, resign'd he yet
His raft, but buffetting the waves aside
With desp'rate efforts, seized it, and again
Fast seated on the middle deck, escaped.
Then roll'd the raft at random in the flood,
Wallowing unwieldy, toss'd from wave to wave.
As when in autumn, Boreas o'er the plain
Conglomerated thorns before him drives,
They, tangled, to each other close adhere,
So her the winds drove wild about the Deep.
By turns the South consign'd her to be sport
For the rude North-wind, and, by turns, the East
Yielded her to the worrying West a prey.
But Cadmus' beauteous daughter (Ino once,
Now named Leucothea) saw him; mortal erst
Was she, and trod the earth, but nymph become
Of Ocean since, in honours shares divine.
She mark'd his anguish, and, while toss'd he roam'd,
Pitied Ulysses; from the flood, in form
A cormorant, she flew, and on the raft
Close-corded perching, thus the Chief address'd.
Alas! unhappy! how hast thou incensed
So terribly the Shaker of the shores,
That he pursues thee with such num'rous ills?
Sink thee he cannot, wish it as he may.
Thus do (for I account thee not unwise)
Thy garments putting off, let drive thy raft
As the winds will, then, swimming, strive to reach
Phæacia, where thy doom is to escape.
Take this. This ribbon bind beneath thy breast,
Celestial texture. Thenceforth ev'ry fear
Of death dismiss, and, laying once thy hands
On the firm continent, unbind the zone,
Which thou shalt cast far distant from the shore
Into the Deep, turning thy face away.
So saying, the Goddess gave into his hand
The wond'rous zone, and, cormorant in form,
Plunging herself into the waves again
Headlong, was hidden by the closing flood.
But still Ulysses sat perplex'd, and thus
The toil-enduring Hero reason'd sad.
Alas! I tremble lest some God design
T' ensnare me yet, bidding me quit the raft.
But let me well beware how I obey
Too soon that precept, for I saw the land
Of my foretold deliv'rance far remote.
Thus, therefore, will I do, for such appears
My wiser course. So long as yet the planks
Mutual adhere, continuing on board
My raft, I will endure whatever woes,
But when the waves shall shatter it, I will swim,
My sole resource then left. While thus he mused,
Neptune a billow of enormous bulk
Hollow'd into an overwhelming arch
On high up-heaving, smote him. As the wind
Tempestuous, falling on some stubble-heap,
The arid straws dissipates ev'ry way,
So flew the timbers. He, a single beam
Bestriding, oar'd it onward with his feet,
As he had urged an horse. His raiment, then,
Gift of Calypso, putting off, he bound
His girdle on, and prone into the sea
With wide-spread palms prepar'd for swimming, fell.
Shore-shaker Neptune noted him; he shook
His awful brows, and in his heart he said,
Thus, suff'ring many mis'ries roam the flood,
Till thou shalt mingle with a race of men
Heav'n's special favourites; yet even there
Fear not that thou shalt feel thy sorrows light.
He said, and scourging his bright steeds, arrived
At Ægæ, where his glorious palace stands.
But other thoughts Minerva's mind employ'd
Jove's daughter; ev'ry wind binding beside,
She lull'd them, and enjoin'd them all to sleep,
But roused swift Boreas, and the billows broke
Before Ulysses, that, deliver'd safe
From a dire death, the noble Chief might mix
With maritime Phæacia's sons renown'd.
Two nights he wander'd, and two days, the flood
Tempestuous, death expecting ev'ry hour;
But when Aurora, radiant-hair'd, had brought
The third day to a close, then ceas'd the wind,
And breathless came a calm; he, nigh at hand
The shore beheld, darting acute his sight
Toward it, from a billow's tow'ring top.
Precious as to his children seems the life
Of some fond father through disease long time
And pain stretch'd languid on his couch, the prey
Of some vindictive Pow'r, but now, at last,
By gracious heav'n to ease and health restored,
So grateful to Ulysses' sight appear'd
Forests and hills. Impatient with his feet
To press the shore, he swam; but when within
Such distance as a shout may fly, he came,
The thunder of the sea against the rocks
Then smote his ear; for hoarse the billows roar'd
On the firm land, belch'd horrible abroad,
And the salt spray dimm'd all things to his view.
For neither port for ships nor shelt'ring cove
Was there, but the rude coast a headland bluff
Presented, rocks and craggy masses huge.
Then, hope and strength exhausted both, deep-groan'd
The Chief, and in his noble heart complain'd.
Alas! though Jove hath given me to behold,
Unhoped, the land again, and I have pass'd,
Furrowing my way, these num'rous waves, there seems
No egress from the hoary flood for me.
Sharp stones hem in the waters; wild the surge
Raves ev'ry where; and smooth the rocks arise;
Deep also is the shore, on which my feet
No standing gain, or chance of safe escape.
What if some billow catch me from the Deep
Emerging, and against the pointed rocks
Dash me conflicting with its force in vain?
But should I, swimming, trace the coast in search
Of sloping beach, haven or shelter'd creek,
I fear lest, groaning, I be snatch'd again
By stormy gusts into the fishy Deep,
Or lest some monster of the flood receive
Command to seize me, of the many such
By the illustrious Amphitrite bred;
For that the mighty Shaker of the shores
Hates me implacable, too well I know.
While such discourse within himself he held,
A huge wave heav'd him on the rugged coast,
Where flay'd his flesh had been, and all his bones
Broken together, but for the infused
Good counsel of Minerva azure-eyed.
With both hands suddenly he seized the rock,
And, groaning, clench'd it till the billow pass'd.
So baffled he that wave; but yet again
The refluent flood rush'd on him, and with force
Resistless dash'd him far into the sea.
As pebbles to the hollow polypus
Extracted from his stony bed, adhere,
So he, the rough rocks clasping, stripp'd his hands
Raw, and the billows now whelm'd him again.
Then had the hapless Hero premature
Perish'd, but for sagacity inspired
By Pallas azure-eyed. Forth from the waves
Emerging, where the surf burst on the rocks,
He coasted (looking landward as he swam)
The shore, with hope of port or level beach.
But when, still swimming, to the mouth he came
Of a smooth-sliding river, there he deem'd
Safest th' ascent, for it was undeform'd
By rocks, and shelter'd close from ev'ry wind.
He felt the current, and thus, ardent, pray'd.
O hear, whate'er thy name, Sov'reign, who rul'st
This river! at whose mouth, from all the threats
Of Neptune 'scap'd, with rapture I arrive.
Even the Immortal Gods the wand'rer's pray'r
Respect, and such am I, who reach, at length,
Thy stream, and clasp thy knees, after long toil.
I am thy suppliant. Oh King! pity me.
He said; the river God at once repress'd
His current, and it ceas'd; smooth he prepared
The way before Ulysses, and the land
Vouchsafed him easy at his channel's mouth.
There, once again he bent for ease his limbs
Both arms and knees, in conflict with the floods
Exhausted; swoln his body was all o'er,
And from his mouth and nostrils stream'd the brine.
Breathless and speechless, and of life well nigh
Bereft he lay, through dreadful toil immense.
But when, revived, his dissipated pow'rs
He recollected, loosing from beneath
His breast the zone divine, he cast it far
Into the brackish stream, and a huge wave
Returning bore it downward to the sea,
Where Ino caught it. Then, the river's brink
Abandoning, among the rushes prone
He lay, kiss'd oft the soil, and sighing, said,
Ah me! what suff'rings must I now sustain,
What doom, at last, awaits me? If I watch
This woeful night, here, at the river's side,
What hope but that the frost and copious dews,
Weak as I am, my remnant small of life
Shall quite extinguish, and the chilly air
Breath'd from the river at the dawn of day?
But if, ascending this declivity
I gain the woods, and in some thicket sleep,
(If sleep indeed can find me overtoil'd
And cold-benumb'd) then I have cause to fear
Lest I be torn by wild beasts, and devour'd.
Long time he mused, but, at the last, his course
Bent to the woods, which not remote he saw
From the sea-brink, conspicuous on a hill.
Arrived, between two neighbour shrubs he crept,
Both olives, this the fruitful, that the wild;
A covert, which nor rough winds blowing moist
Could penetrate, nor could the noon-day sun
Smite through it, or unceasing show'rs pervade,
So thick a roof the ample branches form'd
Close interwoven; under these the Chief
Retiring, with industrious hands a bed
Collected broad of leaves, which there he found
Abundant strew'd, such store as had sufficed
Two travellers or three for cov'ring warm,
Though winter's roughest blasts had rag'd the while.
That bed with joy the suff'ring Chief renown'd
Contemplated, and occupying soon
The middle space, hillock'd it high with leaves.
As when some swain hath hidden deep his torch
Beneath the embers, at the verge extreme
Of all his farm, where, having neighbours none,
He saves a seed or two of future flame
Alive, doom'd else to fetch it from afar,
So with dry leaves Ulysses overspread
His body, on whose eyes Minerva pour'd
The balm of sleep copious, that he might taste
Repose again, after long toil severe.