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Our vessel safe, by making well inclined
A seaman's true companion, a forewind,1
With which she fill'd our sails; when, fitting all
Our arms close by us, I did sadly fall
To grave relation what concern'd in fate
My friends to know, and told them that the



Of our affairs' success, which Circe had
Presaged to me alone, must yet be made
To one nor only two known, but to all;
That, since their lives and deaths were left to

In their elections, they might life elect,
And give what would preserve it fit effect.
I first inform'd them, that we were to fly
The heavenly-singing Sirens' harmony,
And flower-adornèd meadow; and that I
Had charge to hear their song, but fetter'd fast
In bands, unfavour'd, to th' erected mast;
From whence, if I should pray, or use com-

To be enlarged, they should with much more band

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Her wings to waft us, and so urged our keel.
But having reach'd this isle, we could not feel
The least gasp of it, it was stricken dead,
And all the sea in prostrate slumber spread:
The Sirens' devil charm'd all. Up then flew
My friends to work, strook sail, together drew,
And under hatches stow'd them, sat, and plied
Their polish'd oars, and did in curls divide
The white-head waters. My part then came on:
A mighty waxen cake I set upon,
Chopp'd it in fragments with my sword, and

With strong hand every piece, till all were soft.
The great power of the sun, in such a beam 260
As then flew burning from his diadem,
To liquefaction help'd us. Orderly

I stopp'd their ears: and they as fair did ply
My feet and hands with cords, and to the mast
With other halsers3 made me soundly fast.

Then took they seat, and forth our passage strook,

The foamy sea beneath their labour shook. 3 hawsers 2 gentle

1 favorable wind

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And these learn'd numbers made the Sirens' song:

'Come here, thou worthy of a world of praise, That dost so high the Grecian glory raise; Ulysses! stay thy ship, and that song hear That none pass'd ever but it bent his ear, But left him ravish'd and instructed more By us, than any ever heard before. For we know all things whatsoever were In wide Troy labour'd; whatsoever there The Grecians and the Trojans both sustain'd 280 By those high issues that the Gods ordain'd. And whatsoever all the earth can show T'inform a knowledge of desert, we know."

This they gave accent in the sweetest strain That ever open'd an enamour'd vein.2 When my constrain'd heart needs would have mine ear

Yet more delighted, force way forth, and hear. To which end I commanded with all sign Stern looks could make (for not a joint of mine Had power to stir) my friends to rise, and give My limbs free way. They freely strived to drive

When, far from will to

Their ship still on. loose, Eurylochus and Perimedes rose


To wrap me surer, and oppress'd me more With many a halser than had use before. When, rowing on without the reach of sound, My friends unstopp'd their ears, and me unbound,

And that isle quite we quitted.

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Restore thy blush unto Aurora bright; To Thetis give the honour of thy feet. Let Venus have thy graces her resigned;

And thy sweet voice give back unto the spheres:

But yet restore thy fierce and cruel mind To Hyrcan tigers and to ruthless bears. 12 Yield to the marble thy hard heart again; So shalt thou cease to plague and I to pain.


Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,

Brother to Death, in silent darkness born: Relieve my languish, and restore the light; With dark forgetting of my care, return! And let the day be time enough to mourn

The shipwreck of my ill-adventured youth: Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn, Without the torment of the night's untruth.

Cease, dreams, the images of day-desires,

To model forth the passions of the morrow; Never let rising sun approve1 you liars, 11 To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow. Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain; And never wake to feel the day's disdain.

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He sees the face of Right t' appear as manifold

As are the passions of uncertain man;
Who puts it in all colours, all attires,
To serve his ends, and make his courses hold.
He sees, that let deceit work what it can,
Plot and contrive base ways to high desires,
That the all-guiding Providence doth yet 31
All disappoint, and mocks this smoke of wit.

Nor is he mov'd with all the thundercracks

Of tyrants' threats, or with the surly brow
Of Pow'r, that proudly sits on others' crimes;
Charg'd with more crying sins than those he


The storms of sad confusion, that may grow Up in the present for the coming times,

1 as judge

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Dear! why should you command me to my


When now the night doth summon all to sleep?

Methinks this time becometh lovers best!
Night was ordained together friends to keep.
How happy are all other living things,
Which, through the day, disjoined by several

The quiet evening yet together brings,
And each returns unto his Love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why shouldst thou, Night, abuse me only

That every creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us!


Well could I wish it would be ever day;
If, when night comes, you bid me go away!


Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part!

Nay, I have done; you get no more of me! And I am glad, yea, glad, with all my heart, That thus so cleanly I myself can free.

Shake hands for ever! Cancel all our vows!

And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retain!

Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath. When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies;

When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death, And Innocence is closing up his eyes,


Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,

From death to life thou might'st him yet recover!

1 constantly

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