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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 256

That done, their sorrows and their sighs renew.
Meanwhile to Juno, in the realms above,
(His wife and sister,) spoke almighty Jove.
"At last thy will prevails: great Peleus' son
Rises in arms: such grace thy Greeks have won.
Say (for I know not), is their race divine,
And thou the mother of that martial line?"
"What words are these? (the imperial dame replies,
[pg 341]Illustration: TRIPOD.
TRIPOD.
So they. Meanwhile the silver-footed dame
Reach'd the Vulcanian dome, eternal frame!
High-eminent amid the works divine,
Where heaven's far-beaming brazen mansions shine.
There the lame architect the goddess found,
Obscure in smoke, his forges flaming round,
While bathed in sweat from fire to fire he flew;
And puffing loud, the roaring billows blew.
That day no common task his labour claim'd:
Full twenty tripods for his hall he framed,
That placed on living wheels of massy gold,
(Wondrous to tell,) instinct with spirit roll'd
From place to place, around the bless'd abodes
Self-moved, obedient to the beck of gods:
For their fair handles now, o'erwrought with flowers,
In moulds prepared, the glowing ore he pours.
Just as responsive to his thought the frame
Stood prompt to move, the azure goddess came:
Charis, his spouse, a grace divinely fair,
(With purple fillets round her braided hair,)
Observed her entering; her soft hand she press'd,
And, smiling, thus the watery queen address'd:
"What, goddess! this unusual favour draws?
All hail, and welcome! whatsoe'er the cause;
[pg 342]
Till now a stranger, in a happy hour
Approach, and taste the dainties of the bower."

Illustration: <strong><a href=THETIS AND EURYNOME RECEIVING THE INFANT VULCAN." title="THETIS AND EURYNOME RECEIVING THE INFANT VULCAN." />
THETIS AND EURYNOME RECEIVING THE INFANT VULCAN.
High on a throne, with stars of silver graced,
And various artifice, the queen she placed;
A footstool at her feet: then calling, said,
"Vulcan, draw near, 'tis Thetis asks your aid."
"Thetis (replied the god) our powers may claim,
An ever-dear, an ever-honour'd name!
When my proud mother hurl'd me from the sky,
(My awkward form, it seems, displeased her eye,)
She, and Eurynome, my griefs redress'd,
And soft received me on their silver breast.
Even then these arts employ'd my infant thought:
Chains, bracelets, pendants, all their toys, I wrought.
Nine years kept secret in the dark abode,
Secure I lay, conceal'd from man and god:
Deep in a cavern'd rock my days were led;
The rushing ocean murmur'd o'er my head.
Now, since her presence glads our mansion, say,
For such desert what service can I pay?
Vouchsafe, O Thetis! at our board to share
The genial rites, and hospitable fare;
While I the labours of the forge forego,
And bid the roaring bellows cease to blow."
Then from his anvil the lame artist rose;
Wide with distorted legs oblique he goes,

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