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The scene of the Epic is the ancient kingdom of the Kurus which flourished along the upper course of the Ganges; and the historical fact on which the Epic is based is a great war which took place between the Kurus and a neighbouring tribe, the Panchalas, in the thirteenth or fourteenth century before Christ. According to the Epic, Pandu and Dhrita-rashtra, who was born blind, were brothers. Pandu died early, and Dhrita-rashtra became king of the... more...

BOOK I. Incipit Liber Primus The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen, 1That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,In lovinge, how his aventures fellenFro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye,My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye. 5Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyteThise woful vers, that wepen as I wryte!To thee clepe I, thou goddesse of torment,Thou cruel Furie, sorwing ever in peyne;Help me, that am the sorwful instrument 10That helpeth lovers, as I... more...

VENUS AND ADONIS EVEN as the sun with purple-colour'd faceHad ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,Rose-cheek'd Adonis tried him to the chase;Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn; 4Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him.'Thrice fairer than myself,' thus she began,'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare, 8Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,More white and red than... more...

PREFACE. In the beginning, before the heaven and the earth and the sea were created, the great abyss Ginungagap was without form and void, and the spirit of Fimbultyr moved upon the face of the deep, until the ice-cold rivers, the Elivogs, flowing from Niflheim, came in contact with the dazzling flames from Muspelheim. This was before Chaos. And Fimbultyr said: Let the melted drops of vapor quicken into life, and the giant Ymer was born in... more...

The Nemæan Lion.   By Juno's hate urged on, Alcmena's Son,At sixteen years his noble toils begun.Nemæa's dreadful Lion first he sought,The savage slew & to Eurystheus brought,From his huge sides his shaggy spoils he tore,Around him threw, & e'er in triumph wore. 2 The Lernæan Hydra.   On Lerna's pest th' undaunted Hero rushes,With massy club her hundred heads he crushes,In vain. One crush'd, two... more...


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ARGUMENT Hrothgar, king of the Danes, lives happily and peacefully, and bethinks him to build a glorious hall called Hart. But a little after, one Grendel, of the kindred of the evil wights that are come of Cain, hears the merry noise of Hart and cannot abide it; so he enters thereinto by night, and slays and carries off and devours thirty of Hrothgar's thanes. Thereby he makes Hart waste for twelve years, and the tidings of this mishap are... more...

I   Charles the King, our Lord and Sovereign,  Full seven years hath sojourned in Spain,  Conquered the land, and won the western main,  Now no fortress against him doth remain,  No city walls are left for him to gain,  Save Sarraguce, that sits on high mountain.  Marsile its King, who feareth not God's name,  Mahumet's man, he invokes Apollin's aid,  Nor... more...

ARGUMENT In a council of the Gods, Minerva calls their attention to Ulysses, still a wanderer. They resolve to grant him a safe return to Ithaca. Minerva descends to encourage Telemachus, and in the form of Mentes directs him in what manner to proceed. Throughout this book the extravagance and profligacy of the suitors are occasionally suggested. Muse make the man thy theme, for shrewdness famedAnd genius versatile, who far and wideA... more...

Book I THE GODS IN COUNCIL—MINERVA'S VISIT TO ITHACA—THE CHALLENGE FROM TELEMACHUS TO THE SUITORS. Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he... more...