The Poem of Ulysses, or The Odyssey

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The Poem of Ulysses, or The Odyssey  (1897) 
by H. P. Lovecraft

The earliest verse by Lovecraft which survives in the 'second edition' of this poem, dated 8 November 1897 in the Preface, and which Lovecraft began composing at the age of six. See pages 21–22 in A Dreamer and a Visionary: H. P. Lovecraft in His Time by S. T. Joshi (2001).

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


The nighte was darke! O readers, Hark!

And see Ulysses’ fleet!

From trumpets sound back homeward bound

He hopes his spouse to greet.

Long he hath fought, put Troy to naught

And leveled down it’s walls.

But Neptune’s wrath obstructs his path

And into snares he falls.

After a storme that did much harme

He comes upon an isle

Where men do roam, forgetting home,

And lotos doth beguile.

From these mean snares his men he tears

And puts them on the ships.

No leave he grants, and lotos plants

Must no more touch their lips.

And now he comes to Cyclops homes

Foul giants all are they.

Each hath 1 eye, and hard they ply

Great Vulcan to obey.

A cyclop’s cave the wandrers brave

And find much milk & cheese

But as they eat, foul death they meet

For them doth Cyclops seize.

Each livelong day the Cyclops prey

Is two most noble Greeks

Ulysses brave he plans to save

And quick escape he seeks.

By crafty ruse he can confuse

The stupid giant’s mind

Puts out his eye with dreadful cry

And leaves the wrench behind.

Now next he finds the king of winds

Great Aeolus’s home

The windy king to him doth bring

Wind bags to help him roam.

He now remains in fair domains

In Circes palace grand.

His men do change in fashion strange

To beasts at her command.

But Mercury did set him free

From witcheries like this

Unhappy he his men to see

Engaged in swinish bliss.

He drew his sword and spake harsh word

To Circe standing there

“My men set free”, in wrath quoth he

“Thy damage quick repair”!!!

Then all the herd at her brief word

Become like men once more

Her magic beat, she gives all treat

Within her palace door.

And now Ulysses starts in bliss

The Syrens for to pass

No sound his crew’s sharp ears imbues

For they are stop-ped fast.

Now Scylla’s necks menace his decks

Charybdis threats his ships

Six men are lost—O! dreadful cost

But he through danger slips.

At last from waves no ship he saves

But on Calypsos isle

He drifts ashore and more & more

He tarries for a while.

At Jove’s command he’s sent to land

To seek his patient wife,

But his raft breaks, and now he takes

His life from Neptune’s strife.

He quickly lands on Scheria’s strands

And goes unto the king.

He tells his tale, all hold wassail;

An ancient bard doth sing.

Now does he roam unto his home

Where suitors woo his spouse

In beggar’s rags himself he drags

Unknown into his house

His arrows flew at that vile crew

Who sought to win his bride

Now all are killed and he is filled

With great & happy pride.

His swineherd first, then his old nurse

Do recognize him well

Then does he see Penelope

With whom in peace he’ll dwell.

Until black death doth stop his breath

And take him from the earth;

He’ll ne’er roam far from Ithaca,

The island of his birth—