The Odyssey: Book 06 Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


So here Ulysses slept overcome by sleep and toil but MinervaA
went off to the country and city of the Phaecians a people who usedB
to live in the fair town of Hypereia near the lawless Cyclopes NowC
the Cyclopes were stronger than they and plundered them so their kingD
Nausithous moved them thence and settled them in Scheria far from allE
other people He surrounded the city with a wall built houses andF
temples and divided the lands among his people but he was dead andF
gone to the house of Hades and King Alcinous whose counsels wereG
inspired of heaven was now reigning To his house then didH
Minerva hie in furtherance of the return of UlyssesI
She went straight to the beautifully decorated bedroom in whichJ
there slept a girl who was as lovely as a goddess NausicaaD
daughter to King Alcinous Two maid servants were sleeping near herG
both very pretty one on either side of the doorway which wasK
closed with well made folding doors Minerva took the form of theA
famous sea captain Dymas's daughter who was a bosom friend ofL
Nausicaa and just her own age then coming up to the girl's bedsideM
like a breath of wind she hovered over her head and saidN
Nausicaa what can your mother have been about to have such a lazyO
daughter Here are your clothes all lying in disorder yet you areP
going to be married almost immediately and should not only be wellQ
dressed yourself but should find good clothes for those who attendR
you This is the way to get yourself a good name and to make yourS
father and mother proud of you Suppose then that we make tomorrow aA
washing day and start at daybreak I will come and help you so thatT
you may have everything ready as soon as possible for all the bestU
young men among your own people are courting you and you are notV
going to remain a maid much longer Ask your father therefore toW
have a waggon and mules ready for us at daybreak to take the rugsX
robes and girdles and you can ride too which will be muchY
pleasanter for you than walking for the washing cisterns are some wayZ
from the townA2
When she had said this Minerva went away to Olympus which theyZ
say is the everlasting home of the gods Here no wind beats roughlyO
and neither rain nor snow can fall but it abides in everlastingD
sunshine and in a great peacefulness of light wherein the blessedU
gods are illumined for ever and ever This was the place to whichJ
the goddess went when she had given instructions to the girlB2
By and by morning came and woke Nausicaa who began wonderingD
about her dream she therefore went to the other end of the house toW
tell her father and mother all about it and found them in their ownC2
room Her mother was sitting by the fireside spinning her purpleD2
yarn with her maids around her and she happened to catch her fatherG
just as he was going out to attend a meeting of the town councilD2
which the Phaeacian aldermen had convened She stopped him and saidN
Papa dear could you manage to let me have a good big waggon IE2
want to take all our dirty clothes to the river and wash them You areP
the chief man here so it is only right that you should have a cleanF2
shirt when you attend meetings of the council Moreover you have fiveG2
sons at home two of them married while the other three areP
good looking bachelors you know they always like to have cleanF2
linen when they go to a dance and I have been thinking about allE
She did not say a word about her own wedding for she did not likeD
to but her father knew and said You shall have the mules myE2
love and whatever else you have a mind for Be off with you andF
the men shall get you a good strong waggon with a body to it that willI2
hold all your clothesJ2
On this he gave his orders to the servants who got the waggonF2
out harnessed the mules and put them to while the girl broughtK2
the clothes down from the linen room and placed them on the waggonF2
Her mother prepared her a basket of provisions with all sorts ofL
good things and a goat skin full of wine the girl now got into theA
waggon and her mother gave her also a golden cruse of oil that sheO
and her women might anoint themselves Then she took the whip andF
reins and lashed the mules on whereon they set off and their hoofsL2
clattered on the road They pulled without flagging and carried notV
only Nausicaa and her wash of clothes but the maids also who wereG
with herG
When they reached the water side they went to theA
washing cisterns through which there ran at all times enough pureM2
water to wash any quantity of linen no matter how dirty Here theyZ
unharnessed the mules and turned them out to feed on the sweet juicyO
herbage that grew by the water side They took the clothes out ofL
the waggon put them in the water and vied with one another inF2
treading them in the pits to get the dirt out After they had washedN2
them and got them quite clean they laid them out by the sea sideM
where the waves had raised a high beach of shingle and set aboutO2
washing themselves and anointing themselves with olive oil ThenF2
they got their dinner by the side of the stream and waited for theA
sun to finish drying the clothes When they had done dinner they threwW
off the veils that covered their heads and began to play at ballE
while Nausicaa sang for them As the huntress Diana goes forth uponF2
the mountains of Taygetus or Erymanthus to hunt wild boars or deerP2
and the wood nymphs daughters of Aegis bearing Jove take their sportQ2
along with her then is Leto proud at seeing her daughter stand a fullR2
head taller than the others and eclipse the loveliest amid a wholeS2
bevy of beauties even so did the girl outshine her handmaidsO
When it was time for them to start home and they were folding theA
clothes and putting them into the waggon Minerva began to considerG
how Ulysses should wake up and see the handsome girl who was toW
conduct him to the city of the Phaeacians The girl thereforeS
threw a ball at one of the maids which missed her and fell intoW
deep water On this they all shouted and the noise they made wokeD
Ulysses who sat up in his bed of leaves and began to wonder what itT2
might all beO
Alas said he to himself what kind of people have I comeU2
amongst Are they cruel savage and uncivilized or hospitable andF
humane I seem to hear the voices of young women and they soundV2
like those of the nymphs that haunt mountain tops or springs ofL
rivers and meadows of green grass At any rate I am among a race ofL
men and women Let me try if I cannot manage to get a look at themW2
As he said this he crept from under his bush and broke off aA
bough covered with thick leaves to hide his nakedness He lookedX2
like some lion of the wilderness that stalks about exulting in hisO
strength and defying both wind and rain his eyes glare as he prowlsO
in quest of oxen sheep or deer for he is famished and will dareY2
break even into a well fenced homestead trying to get at the sheepZ2
even such did Ulysses seem to the young women as he drew near to themW2
all naked as he was for he was in great want On seeing one soO
unkempt and so begrimed with salt water the others scampered offA3
along the spits that jutted out into the sea but the daughter ofL
Alcinous stood firm for Minerva put courage into her heart and tookD
away all fear from her She stood right in front of Ulysses and heO
doubted whether he should go up to her throw himself at her feet andF
embrace her knees as a suppliant or stay where he was and entreat herG
to give him some clothes and show him the way to the town In theA
end he deemed it best to entreat her from a distance in case theA
girl should take offence at his coming near enough to clasp her kneesO
so he addressed her in honeyed and persuasive languageB3
O queen he said I implore your aid but tell me are you aA
goddess or are you a mortal woman If you are a goddess and dwell inF2
heaven I can only conjecture that you are Jove's daughter DianaA
for your face and figure resemble none but hers if on the otherG
hand you are a mortal and live on earth thrice happy are yourS
father and mother thrice happy too are your brothers and sistersO
how proud and delighted they must feel when they see so fair a scionF2
as yourself going out to a dance most happy however of all willI2
he be whose wedding gifts have been the richest and who takes youW
to his own home I never yet saw any one so beautiful neither man norS
woman and am lost in admiration as I behold you I can only compareY2
you to a young palm tree which I saw when I was at Delos growingD
near the altar of Apollo for I was there too with much people afterG
me when I was on that journey which has been the source of all myE2
troubles Never yet did such a young plant shoot out of the groundV2
as that was and I admired and wondered at it exactly as I nowF2
admire and wonder at yourself I dare not clasp your knees but I amC3
in great distress yesterday made the twentieth day that I had beenF2
tossing about upon the sea The winds and waves have taken me allE
the way from the Ogygian island and now fate has flung me upon thisO
coast that I may endure still further suffering for I do not thinkD
that I have yet come to the end of it but rather that heaven hasO
still much evil in store for meO
And now O queen have pity upon me for you are the first person IE2
have met and I know no one else in this country Show me the way toW
your town and let me have anything that you may have brought hitherG
to wrap your clothes in May heaven grant you in all things yourS
heart's desire husband house and a happy peaceful home forS
there is nothing better in this world than that man and wife should beO
of one mind in a house It discomfits their enemies makes theA
hearts of their friends glad and they themselves know more about itT2
than any oneF2
To this Nausicaa answered Stranger you appear to be a sensibleD2
well disposed person There is no accounting for luck Jove givesO
prosperity to rich and poor just as he chooses so you must takeD
what he has seen fit to send you and make the best of it NowF2
however that you have come to this our country you shall not wantD3
for clothes nor for anything else that a foreigner in distress mayZ
reasonably look for I will show you the way to the town and willI2
tell you the name of our people we are called Phaeacians and I amC3
daughter to Alcinous in whom the whole power of the state is vestedE3
Then she called her maids and said Stay where you are youW
girls Can you not see a man without running away from him Do youW
take him for a robber or a murderer Neither he nor any one else canF2
come here to do us Phaeacians any harm for we are dear to the godsO
and live apart on a land's end that juts into the sounding sea andF
have nothing to do with any other people This is only some poor manF2
who has lost his way and we must be kind to him for strangers andF
foreigners in distress are under Jove's protection and will take whatF3
they can get and be thankful so girls give the poor fellowO
something to eat and drink and wash him in the stream at some placeO
that is sheltered from the windG3
On this the maids left off running away and began calling oneF2
another back They made Ulysses sit down in the shelter as NausicaaD
had told them and brought him a shirt and cloak They also broughtK2
him the little golden cruse of oil and told him to go wash in theA
stream But Ulysses said Young women please to stand a little onF2
one side that I may wash the brine from my shoulders and anoint myselfH3
with oil for it is long enough since my skin has had a drop of oilI3
upon it I cannot wash as long as you all keep standing there I amC3
ashamed to strip before a number of good looking young womenF2
Then they stood on one side and went to tell the girl while UlyssesO
washed himself in the stream and scrubbed the brine from his backD
and from his broad shoulders When he had thoroughly washed himselfH3
and had got the brine out of his hair he anointed himself with oilI3
and put on the clothes which the girl had given him Minerva then madeJ3
him look taller and stronger than before she also made the hairY2
grow thick on the top of his head and flow down in curls likeD
hyacinth blossoms she glorified him about the head and shoulders as aA
skilful workman who has studied art of all kinds under Vulcan andF
Minerva enriches a piece of silver plate by gilding it and his workD
is full of beauty Then he went and sat down a little way off upon theA
beach looking quite young and handsome and the girl gazed on himK3
with admiration then she said to her maidsO
Hush my dears for I want to say something I believe the gods whoW
live in heaven have sent this man to the Phaeacians When I firstL3
saw him I thought him plain but now his appearance is like that ofL
the gods who dwell in heaven I should like my future husband to beO
just such another as he is if he would only stay here and not want toW
go away However give him something to eat and drinkD
They did as they were told and set food before Ulysses who ate andF
drank ravenously for it was long since he had had food of any kindG3
Meanwhile Nausicaa bethought her of another matter She got the linenF2
folded and placed in the waggon she then yoked the mules and as sheO
took her seat she called UlyssesO
Stranger said she rise and let us be going back to the townF2
I will introduce you at the house of my excellent father where IE2
can tell you that you will meet all the best people among theA
Phaecians But be sure and do as I bid you for you seem to be aA
sensible person As long as we are going past the fields and farmM3
lands follow briskly behind the waggon along with the maids and IE2
will lead the way myself Presently however we shall come to theA
town where you will find a high wall running all round it and a goodN3
harbour on either side with a narrow entrance into the city and theA
ships will be drawn up by the road side for every one has a placeO
where his own ship can lie You will see the market place with aA
temple of Neptune in the middle of it and paved with large stonesO
bedded in the earth Here people deal in ship's gear of all kindsO
such as cables and sails and here too are the places where oars areP
made for the Phaeacians are not a nation of archers they knowO
nothing about bows and arrows but are a sea faring folk and prideM
themselves on their masts oars and ships with which they travel farP
over the seaO
I am afraid of the gossip and scandal that may be set on footO3
against me later on for the people here are very ill natured andF
some low fellow if he met us might say 'Who is this fine lookingD
stranger that is going about with Nausicaa Where did she End him IE2
suppose she is going to marry him Perhaps he is a vagabond sailorG
whom she has taken from some foreign vessel for we have noO
neighbours or some god has at last come down from heaven in answer toW
her prayers and she is going to live with him all the rest of herG
life It would be a good thing if she would take herself of I for shO
and find a husband somewhere else for she will not look at one of theA
many excellent young Phaeacians who are in with her ' This is the kindG3
of disparaging remark that would be made about me and I could notV
complain for I should myself be scandalized at seeing any otherG
girl do the like and go about with men in spite of everybody whileP3
her father and mother were still alive and without having beenF2
married in the face of all the worldQ3
If therefore you want my father to give you an escort and to helpR3
you home do as I bid you you will see a beautiful grove of poplarsO
by the road side dedicated to Minerva it has a well in it and aA
meadow all round it Here my father has a field of rich garden groundV2
about as far from the town as a man' voice will carry Sit downF2
there and wait for a while till the rest of us can get into the townF2
and reach my father's house Then when you think we must have doneF2
this come into the town and ask the way to the house of my fatherG
Alcinous You will have no difficulty in finding it any child willI2
point it out to you for no one else in the whole town has anythingD
like such a fine house as he has When you have got past the gates andF
through the outer court go right across the inner court till you comeU2
to my mother You will find her sitting by the fire and spinning herG
purple wool by firelight It is a fine sight to see her as she leansO
back against one of the bearing posts with her maids all ranged behindG3
her Close to her seat stands that of my father on which he sitsO
and topes like an immortal god Never mind him but go up to myE2
mother and lay your hands upon her knees if you would get homeS3
quickly If you can gain her over you may hope to see your ownF2
country again no matter how distant it may beO
So saying she lashed the mules with her whip and they left theA
river The mules drew well and their hoofs went up and down upon theA
road She was careful not to go too fast for Ulysses and the maids whoW
were following on foot along with the waggon so she plied her whipT3
with judgement As the sun was going down they came to the sacredE3
grove of Minerva and there Ulysses sat down and prayed to theA
mighty daughter of JoveL
Hear me he cried daughter of Aegis bearing Jove unweariableI2
hear me now for you gave no heed to my prayers when Neptune wasO
wrecking me Now therefore have pity upon me and grant that I mayZ
find friends and be hospitably received by the PhaeciansO
Thus did he pray and Minerva heard his prayer but she would notV
show herself to him openly for she was afraid of her uncle NeptuneF2
who was still furious in his endeavors to prevent Ulysses from getting homeS3



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