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PKEFACE. 



In this translation of the Odyssey I have had the 
following aims : — 

To give to the thought of Homer a more direct and 
simple expression than has hitherto been judged ad- 
missible ; to be at once minutely faithful to the Greek 
original and to keep out of sight the fact that either 
an original or a translator exists ; to present especially 
the objective, unreflective, realistic, and non-literary 
features of the primitive story ; to report in all their 
delicacy the events which Homer reports, to exhibit 
his attitude of mind toward them, and to produce 
again the impression produced by him that things 
did happen just so ; in the wording, to discard origi- 
nality and to make free use of the fortunate phrases 
of preceding translators ; but to employ persistently 
the veracious language, the language of prose, rather 
than the dream language, the language of poetry; 
and still to confess that the story, unlike a bare record 
of fact, is throughout, like poetry, illuminated with an 
underglow of joy ; to mark gently this permeating joy 
by a simple rhythm, a rhythm so unobtrusive and so 
free from systematic arrangement that no one need 



vi PREFACE. 

turn from the matter to mark the movement ; aboVe 
all, to discharge a debt of gratitude to the great 
friend who for twenty-five years has been showing me 
the beauty of himself and of the world ; and finally, 
to make it plain that I cannot attain these aims, and 
to commend them to others as alluring and impos- 
sible. 

Casibridgb, February 21, 1891. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

I. The Council of the Gods and the Summons to 

Telemachus 1 

II. The Assembly at Ithaca and the Departure of 

Telemachus 15 

III. At Pylos 29 

IV. At Lacedaemon 45 

V. The Raft of Odysseus 72 

VI. The Landing in Phaeacia 88 

VII. The Welcome of Alcinous 99 

VIII. The Stay in Phaeacia 110 

IX. The Story told to Alcinous. — The Cyclops . 129 
X. Aeolus, the Laestrygonians, and Circe . . 147 

XI. The Land of the Dead 165 

XII. The Sirens, Scylla, Charybdis, and the Kine of 

the Sun 185 

XIII. From Phaeacia to Ithaca 199 

XIV. The Stay with Eumaeus 213 

XV. Telemachus and Eumaeus 230 

XVI. The Recognition by Telemachus .... 248 
XVII. The Return of Telemachus to Ithaca . . 263 
XVIII. The Fight of Odysseus and Irus . . . 282 
XIX. The Meeting with Penelope and the Recogni- 
tion by Eurycleia 296 

XX. Before the Slapghter 315 

XXI. The Trial of the Bow 328 

XXII. The Slaughter of the Suitors .... 342 

XXIII. The Recognition by Penelope 358 

XXIV. Peace 370 



THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER. 



THE COUNCIL OF THE GODS AND THE SUMMONS TO 
TELEMACHUS. 

Speak to me, Muse, of the adventurous man who 
wandered long after he sacked the sacred citadel of 
Troy. Many the men whose towns he saw, whose 
ways he proved ; and many a pang he bore in his own 
breast at sea while struggling for his life and his men's 
safe return. Yet even so, by all his zeal, he did not 
save his men ; for through their own perversity they 
perished — fools ! who devoured the kine of the ex- 
alted Sun. Wherefore he took away the day of their 
return. Of this, Ο goddess, daughter of Zeus, begin- 
ning where thou wilt, speak to us also. 

Now all the others who were saved from utter ruin 
were at home, safe both from war and sea. Him only, 
longing for his home and wife, the potent nymph Ca- 
lypso, a heavenly goddess, held in her hollow grotto, 
desiring him to be her husband. Nay, when the time 
had come in the revolving years at which the gods 
ordained his going home to Ithaca, even then, among 
his kin, he was not freed from trouble. Yet the gods 
felt compassion, all save Poseidon, who steadily strove 
with godlike Odysseus till he reached his land. 



2 THE ODYSSEY. [1.22-54. 

But Poseidon now was with tlie far-off Ethiopians, 
the remotest of mankind, who form two tribes, one 
at the setting of the Exalted one, one at his rising ; 
awaiting there a sacrifice of bulls and rams. So sit- 
ting at the feast he took his pleasure. The other 
gods, meanwhile, were gathered in the halls of Zeus 
upon Olympus, and thus began the father of men and 
gods ; for in his mind he mused of gentle Aegisthus, 
whom Agamemnon's far-famed son, Orestes, slew. 
Mindful of him, he thus addressed the immortals : 

" Lo, how men blame the gods ! From us, they 
say, spring troubles. But through their own perver- 
sity, and more than is their due, they meet with sor- 
row ; even as now Aegisthus, pressing beyond his due, 
married the lawful wife of the son of Atreus and slew 
her husband on his coming home. Yet he well knew 
his own impending ruin ; for we ourselves forewarned 
him, dispatching Hermes, our clear-sighted Speedy- 
comer, and told him not to slay the man nor woo the 
wife. ' For because of the son of Atreus shall come 
vengeance from Orestes when he is grown and longs 
for his own land.' This Hermes said, but did not 
turn the purpose of Aegisthus by his kindness. And 
now Aegisthus makes atonement for it alio" 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Our father, son of Kronos, most high above all 
rulers, that man assuredly lies in befitting ruin. So 
perish all who do such deeds ! Yet is my heart dis- 
tressed for wise Odysseus, hapless man, who, long cut 
off from friends, is meeting hardship upon a sea-girt 
island, the navel of the sea. Woody the island is, 
and there a goddess dwells, daughter of wizard Atlas 
who knows the depths of every sea and through his 
power holds the tall pillars which keep earth and sky 



1.55-87.] THE ODYSSEY. 3 

asunder. It is his daughter who detains this hapless, 
sorrowing man, ever with tender and insistent words 
enticing to forgetfulness of Ithaca. And stiU Odys- 
seus, through longing but to see the smoke spring 
from his land, desires to die. Nevertheless, your heart 
turns not, Olympian one. Did not Odysseus seek your 
favor beside the Argive ships and offer sacrifice upon 
the plain of Troy? Why then are you so wroth 
against him, Zeus ? " 

Then answered her cloud-gathering Zeus, and said : 
" My child, what word has passed the barrier of your 
teeth? How could I possibly forget princely Odys- 
seus, who is beyond all mortal men in wisdom, beyond 
them too in giving honor to the immortal gods, who 
hold the open sky? Nay, but Poseidon, the girder 
of the land, is ceaselessly enraged because Odysseus 
blinded of his eye the Cyclops, god-like Polyphemus, 
who of all Cyclops has the greatest power. A nymph, 
Thoosa, bore him, daughter of Phorcys, lord of the 
barren sea, for she within the hollow caves united 
with Poseidon. And since that day the earth-shaking 
Poseidon does not indeed destroy Odysseus, but ever 
drives him wandering from his land. Come then, let 
us all here plan for his turning home. So shall Posei- 
don lay by his anger, unable, in defiance of us all, to 
strive with the immortal gods alone." 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Our father, son of Kronos, most high above aU 
rulers, if it now please the blessed gods that wise 
Odysseus shall return to his own home, let us send 
Hermes forth — the Guide, the Speedy-comer — into 
the island of Ogygia, straightway to tell the fair- 
haired nymph our steadfast purpose, that hardy Odys- 
seus shall set forth upon his homeward way. I in 



4 TEE ODYSSEY. [1.88-119. 

the mean while go to Ithaca, to rouse his son yet 
more and to put vigor in his breast ; that, summon- 
ing to an assembly the long-haired Achaeans, he may 
denounce the troop of suitors, men who continually 
butcher his thronging flocks and swing-paced, crook- 
horned oxen. And I will send him to Sparta and to 
sandy Pylos, to try to learn of his dear father's com- 
ing, and so to win a good report among mankind." 

Saying this, under her feet she bound her beautiful 
sandals, immortal, made of gold, which carry her over 
the flood and over the boundless land swift as a breath 
of wind. She took her ponderous spear, tipped with 
sharp bronze, thick, long, and strong, with which she 
vanquishes the ranks of men, — of heroes, even, — 
when this daughter of a mighty sire is roused against 
them. Then she went dashing down the ridges of 
Olympus and in the land of Ithaca stood at Odysseus' 
gate, on the threshold of his court. Holding in 
hand a brazen spear, she seemed the stranger Mentes, 
the Taphian leader. Here then she found the haughty 
suitors. They were amusing themselves with games 
of draughts before the palace door, seated on hides of 
oxen which they themselves had slain. Their pages 
and busy squires were near ; some mixing wine and 
water in the bowls, others with porous sponges wash- 
ing and laying tables, while others still carved them 
abundant meat. 

By far the first to see Athene was princely Telema- 
chus. For he was sitting with the suitors, sad at heart, 
picturing in mind his noble father, — how he might 
come from somewhere, make a scattering of the suitors, 
take to himself his honors, and be master of his own. 
Thus thinking while he sat among the suitors, Athene 
met his eye. Straight to the door he went, being at 



I. 120-151.] THE ODYSSEY. 5 

heart ashamed to have a stranger stand so long before 
his gate. So drawing near and grasping her right 
hand, he took her brazen spear, and speaking in winged 
words he said : " Hail, stranger, here with us you 
shall be welcome ; and by and by when you have tasted 
food, you shall make known your needs." 

Saying this, he led the way, and Pallas Athene fol= 
lowed. When they were come within the lofty hall, 
he carried the spear to a tall pillar and set it in a 
well-worn rack, where also stood many a spear of hardy 
Odysseus. Athene herself he led to a chair and seated, 
spreading a linen cloth below. Good was the chair 
and richly wrought ; upon its lower part there was a 
rest for feet. Beside it, for himself, he set a sumptu- 
ous seat apart from all the suitors, for fear the stran- 
ger, meeting rude men and worried by their din, 
might lose his taste for food ; and then that he might 
ask him, too, about his absent father. Now water for 
the hands a servant brought in a beautiful pitcher 
made of gold, and poured it out over a silver basin 
for their washing, and spread a polished table by their 
side. And the grave housekeeper brought bread and 
placed before them, setting out food of many a kind, 
freely giving of her store. The carver, too, took plat- 
ters of meat, and placed before them, meat of all 
kinds, and set their golden goblets ready; while a 
page, pouring wine, passed to and fro between them. 

And now the haughty suitors entered. These soon 
took seats in order, on couches and on chairs. Pages 
poured water on their hands, maids heaped them bread 
in baskets, and young men brimmed the bowls with 
drink; and on the food spread out before them 
they laid hands. So after they had stayed desire for 
drink and food, then in their thoughts they turned to 



6 THE ODYSSEY. [1.152-185. 

other things, the song and dance ; for these attend a 
feast. A page jjut a beautiful harp into the hands of 
Phemius, who sang perforce among the suitors ; and 
touching the harp, he raised his voice and sang a beau- 
tiful song. Then said Telemachus to clear-eyed Athene, 
his head bent close, that others might not hear : 

" Good stranger, will you feel offense at what I say ? 
These things are all their care, — the harp and song, 
— an easy care when, making no amends, they eat the 
substance of a man whose white bones now are rotting 
in the rain, if lying on the land, or in the sea the 
waters roll them round. Yet were they once to see 
him coming home to Ithaca, they all would pray rather 
for speed of foot than stores of gold and clothing. 
But he, instead, by some hard fate is gone, and naught 
remains to us of comfort — no, not if any man on 
earth shall say he still will come. Passed is his day of 
coming. But now declare me this and plainly tell, who 
are you ? Of what people ? Where is your town and 
kindred? On what ship did you come? And how 
did sailors bring you to Ithaca ? Whom did they call 
themselves ? For I am sure you did not come on foot. 
And teU me truly this, that I may know full weU if 
for the first time now you visit here, or are you my 
father's friend? For many foreigners once sought 
our home ; because Odysseus also was a rover among 
men." 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Well, I will very plainly tell you all : Mentes I call 
myself, the son of wise Anchialus, and I am lord of the 
oar-loving Taphians. Even now I put in here, with 
ship and crew, when sailing over the wine-dark sea to 
men of a strange speech, to Temese, for bronze. I 
carry glittering iron. Here my ship lies, just off the 



I. 186-220.] THE ODYSSEY. 7 

fields outside the toΛvn, within the bay of Reithron 
under woody Nei'on. Hereditary friends we count 
ourselves from early days, as you may learn if you 
will go and ask old lord Laertes, who, people say, 
comes to the town no more, but far out in the coun- 
try suffers hardship, an aged woman his attendant, 
who supplies him food and drink whenever weariness 
weighs down his knees, as he creeps about his slope of 
garden ground. Even now I came, for I was told 
your father was at home. But, as I see, the gods de- 
lay his journey ; for surely nowhere yet on earth has 
royal Odysseus died ; living, he lingers somewhere still 
on the wide sea, upon some sea-girt island, and cruel 
men constrain him — some savage folk, who hold him 
there against his will. Nay, I will prophesy such 
things as the immortals bring to mind, things which 
I think will happen ; although I am no prophet and 
have no skill in birds. Not long shall he be absent 
from his own dear land, though iron fetters bind him. 
Some means he will devise to come away ; for many a 
shift has he. But now, declare me this and plainly 
tell, if you indeed — so tall — are the true son of 
Odysseus. In head and beautiful eyes you surely are 
much like him. So often we were tooether before he 

ο 

embarked for Troy, where others too, the bravest of 
the Argives, went in their hollow ships. But since 
that day I have not seen Odysseus, nor he me." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Yes, 
stranger, I will plainly tell you all. My mother says 
I am his child ; I myself do not know ; for no one 
ever yet knew his own parentage. Yet would I were 
the son of some blest man on whom old age had come 
amongst his own possessions. But now, the man born 
most ill-fated of all human kind — of him they say I 
come, since this you ask me." 



8 THE ODYSSEY. [1.221-252. 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
*' Surely the gods meant that your house should not 
lack future fame, when to such son as you Penelope 
gave birth. Nevertheless declare me this and truly 
tell, what is the feast ? What company is this ? 
And what is your part here ? Some drinking bout or 
wedding? It surely is no festival at common cost. 
So rude they seem, and wanton, feasting about the 
hall. A man of sense must be indignant who comes 
and sees such outrage." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : "• Stran- 
ger, — since now you ask of this and question me, — 
in former days this house bade fair to be wealthy 
and esteemed, so long as he was here ; but the hard- 
purposed gods then changed their minds and shut him 
from our knowledge more than all men beside. For 
were he dead, I should not feel such grief, if he had 
fallen among comrades in the Trojan land, or in the 
arms of friends when the skein of war was wound. 
Then would the whole Achaean host have made his 
grave, and for his son in after days a great name had 
been gained. Now, silently the robber winds have 
swept him off. Gone is he, past all sight and hear- 
ing, and sighs and sorrows he has left to me. Yet 
now I do not grieve and mourn for him alone ; be- 
cause the gods have brought me other sore distress. 
For all the nobles who bear sway among the islands, 
— Doulichion, Same, and woody Zacynthos, — and 
they who have the power in rocky Ithaca, all woo my 
mother and despoil my home. She neither declines 
the hated suit nor has she power to end it; while 
they with feasting impoverish my home and soon 
will bring me also to destruction." 

Stirred into anger, Pallas Athene spoke : " Alas ! 



1.253-288.] THE ODYSSEY. 9 

in very truth you greatly need absent Odysseus, to lay 
hands on the shameless suitors. What if he came 
even now and here before his house stood at the outer 
gate, with helmet, shield, and his two spears, — even 
such as when I saw him first at my own home, drink- 
ing and making merry, on his return from Ephyra, 
from Ilus, son of Mermerus. For thither on his swift 
ship went Odysseus, seeking a deadly drug in which 
to dip his brazen arrows. And Ilus did not give it, 
for he feared the immortal gods; my father, however, 
gave it, for he held him strangely dear. If as he 
was that day Odysseus now might meet the suitors, 
they all would find quick turns of fate and bitter rites 
of marriage. Still, in the gods' lap it lies to say if 
he shall come and wreak revenge within his halls; 
but yours it is to plan to thrust the suitors from your 
door. Give me your ear and heed my words. To- 
morrow, summoning to an assembly the Achaean 
lords, announce your will to all and call the gods to 
witness ! Bid the suitors all disperse, each to his 
own. And for your mother, if her heart inclines to 
marriage, let her return to her strong father's hall. 
They there shall make the wedding and provide the 
many gifts which should accompany a well-loved 
child. Then for yourself I offer sound advice, if 
you will hearken. Man the best ship you have 
with twenty oarsmen, and go and gather tidings of 
your long-absent father. Perhaps some man may tell 
you, or you may catch a rumor sent from Zeus, 
which oftenest carries tidings. First go to Pylos, and 
question royal Nestor. Then on to Sparta, to light- 
haired Menelaus ; for he came last of all the mailed 
Achaeans. And if you hear your father is alive 
and coming home, then, worn as you are, you might 



10 THE ODYSSEY. [1.289-320. 

endure for one year more. But if you hear tliat he 
is dead, — no longer with the living — you shall at 
once return to your own native land, and pile his 
mound and pay the funeral rites, full many, as are 
due, and you shall give your mother to a husband. 
Moreover, after you have ended this and finished all, 
within your mind and heart consider next how you 
may slay the suitors in your halls, whether by strata- 
gem or open force. You must not hold to childish 
ways, because you are no longer now the child you 
were. Have you not heard what fame royal Orestes 
gained with all mankind, because he slew the slayer, 
wily Aegisthus, who bad slain his famous father ? 
You too, my friend, — for certainly I find you fair 
and tall, — be strong, that men hereafter born may 
speak your praise. Now I will go to my swift ship 
and to my comrades, who greatly chafe at waiting. 
Rely upon yourself. Heed what I say." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Stran- 
ger, in this you speak with kindness, exen as a father 
to a son. Never shall I forget it. But tarry now, 
though eager for your journey. Bathe, and refresh 
your soul ; then glad at heart turn to your ship, bear- 
ing a gift of value, very beautiful, to be to you a keep- 
sake from myself, even such a thing as dear friends 
give to friends." 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
"Do not detain me longer now, when I am anx- 
ious for my journey. And any gift your heart may 
bid you give, give when I come again, for me to carry 
home. Choose one exceeding beautiful; it shall be 
matched in the exchange." 

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed away, even 
as a bird — a sea-hawk — takes its flight. Into his 



1.321-352.] THE ODYSSEY. 11 

heart she had brought strength and courage, turning 
his thoughts upon his father more even than before. 
As he marked this in his mind, an awe came on his 
heart ; he knew a god was with him. Straightway he 
sought the suitors, godlike himself. 

To them the famous bard was singing, while they 
in silence sat and listened. He sang of the return of 
the Achaeans, the sad return, which Pallas Athene had 
appointed them on leaving Troy. 

Now from her upper chamber, there heard this won- 
drous song the daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope, 
and she descended the long stairway from her room, 
yet not alone ; two damsels followed her. And when 
the royal lady reached the suitors, she stood beside a 
column of the strong-built roof, holding before her 
face her delicate wimple, the while a faithful damsel 
stood upon either hand. Then bursting into tears, 
she said to the noble bard : 

" Phemius, many another tale you know to charm 
mankind, exploits of men and gods, which bards make 
famous. Sit and sing one of these. The rest drink 
wine in silence. But cease this song, this song of 
woe, which harrows evermore the soul within my 
breast ; because on me has fallen grief that cannot 
be forgotten. So dear a face I miss, ever remember- 
ing one whose fame is wide through Hellas and mid- 
Argos." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " My 
mother, why forbid the honored bard to cheer us in 
whatever way his mind is moved ? The bards are not 
to blame, but rather Zeus, who gives to toiling men 
even as he wills to each. And for the bard, there is 
no ground for censure if he sings the Danaans' cruel 
doom. The song which men most heartily applaud is 



12 THE ODYSSEY. [1.353-385. 

that which comes the newest to their ears. Then let 
your heart and soul submit to listen ; for not Odys- 
seus only lost the day of his return at Troy, but many 
another perished also. Nay, seek your chamber and 
attend to matters of your own, — the loom, the distaff, 
— and bid the women ply their tasks. Words are for 
men, for all, especially for me ; for power within this 
house rests here." 

Amazed, she turned to her own room again, for the 
wdse saying of her son she laid to heart. And coming 
to the uj)per chamber with her maids, she there be- 
wailed Odysseus, her dear husband, till on her lids 
clear-eyed Athene caused a sweet sleep to fall. 

But the suitors broke into uproar up and down the 
dusky hall. Each prayed to lie beside her. But thus 
discreet Telemachus began to speak : " You suitors of 
my mother, overweening in your pride, let us enjoy 
our feast and have no brawling now. For a pleasant 
thing it is to hear a bard like this, one who is like the 
gods in voice. But in the morning let us all take 
seats in the assembly, where I may unreservedly an- 
nounce my will that you shall quit my halls. Seek 
other tables and eat what is your own, changing from 
house to house ! Or if it seems to you more profitable 
and better to ruin the living of one man without 
amends, go wasting on ! But I will call upon the 
gods that live forever and pray that Zeus may grant 
deeds of requital. Then beyond all amends, here in 
this house you shall yourselves be ruined." 

He spoke, and all with teeth set in their lips mar- 
veled because Telemachus had spoken boldly. Then 
said Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son : " Telemachus, surely 
the gods themselves are training you to be a man of 
lofty tongue and a bold speaker. But may the son 



1.386-417.] THE ODYSSEY. 13 

of Kronos never make you king in sea-girt Itbaca, 
although it is by birth your heritage ! " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus: "Anti- 
noiis, will you feel offense at what I say? This I 
would gladly take, if Zeus would grant it. Do you 
suppose the kingship is the worst fate in the world ? 
Why, it is no bad thing to be a king ! Soon the house 
of a king grows rich and he himself is honored more. 
Still, as to kings of the Achaeans, here in sea-girt 
Ithaca are many others young and old, some one of 
whom may take the place, since royal Odysseus now is 
dead. But I myself will be the lord of our own house 
and of the slaves which royal Odysseus won for me." 

Then answered him Eurymachus, the son of Poly- 
bus: "Telemachus, in the gods' lap it lies to say 
which one of the Achaeans shall be king in sea-girt 
Ithaca. Your substance may you keep and of your 
house be lord ; may the man never come who, heedless 
of your will, shall strip you of that substance while 
men shall dwell in Ithaca. But, good sir, I would ask 
about this stranger — whence the man comes, and of 
what land he calls himself. Where are his kinsmen 
and his native fields ? Does he bring tidings of your 
father's coming, or is he come with hope of his own 
gains? How hastily he went! Not waiting to be 
known ! And yet he seemed no low-born fellow by 
the face." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Eury- 
machus, as for my father's coming, that is at an end. 
Tidings I trust no longer, let them come whence 
they may. Nor do I care for divinations, such as my 
mother seeks, summoning a diviner to the hall. This 
stranger is my father's friend, a man of Taphos ; 
Mentes he calls himself, the son of wise Anchialus, 
and he is lord of the oar-loving Taphians." 



14 THE ODYSSEY. [1. 418-^t44. 

So spoke Telemachus, but in his mind he knew the 
immortal goddess. Meanwhile the suitors to dancing 
and the gladsome song turned merrily, and waited 
for the evening to come on. And on their merriment 
dark evening came. So then, desiring rest, they each 
departed homeward. 

But Telemachus himself, where on the beautiful 
court his chamber was built high upon commanding 
ground, went to his bed with many doubts in mind. 
And walking by his side, with blazing torch, went 
faitliful Eurycleia, daughter of Ops, Peisenor's son, 
whom once Laertes purchased with his substance when 
she was but a girl, and paid the price of twenty oxen. 
Her equally with his faithful wife he honored at the 
palace, but he never sought her bed, avoiding a wife's 
anger. Now she it was who bore the blazing torch be- 
side Telemachus ; for she of all the handmaids loved 
him most and was his nurse when little. He opened 
the doors of the strong chamber, sat down upon the 
bed, pulled his soft tunic off, and laid it in the wise 
old woman's hands. Folding and smoothing out the 
tunic, she hung it on a peg beside the well-bored bed- 
stead, then left the chamber, and by its silver ring 
pulled to the door, drawing the bolt home by its strap. 
So there Telemachus, all the night long, wrapped in 
a fleece of wool, pondered in mind the course Athene 
counseled. 



π. 



THE ASSEMBLY AT ITHACA AND THE DEPARTURE 
OF TELEMACHUS. 

Soon as the early, rosy-fingered dawn appeared, the 
dear son of Odysseus rose from bed, put on his clothes, 
slung his sharp sword about his shoulder, under his 
shining feet bound his fair sandals, and came forth 
from his chamber in bearing like a god. Straightway 
he bade the clear-voiced heralds summon to an as- 
sembly the long-haired Achaeans. Those summoned, 
and these gathered very quickly. So when they were 
assembled and all had come together, he went himself 
to the assembly, holding in hand a brazen spear, — 
yet not alone, two swift dogs followed after, — and 
marvelous was the grace Athene cast about him, that 
all the people gazed as he drew near. He sat down 
in his father's seat ; the elders made him way. 

The first to speak was lord Aegyptius, a man 
bowed down with age, who knew a thousand things. 
His dear son Antiphus, a spearman, had gone with 
god-like Odysseus in the hollow ships to Ilios, famed 
for horses. The savage Cyclops killed him in the 
deep cave and on him made a supper last of all. Three 
other sons there were ; one joined the suitors, — Eu- 
rynomus — and two still kept their father's farm. 
Yet not because of these did he forget to mourn and 
miss that other. With tears for him, he thus ad- 
dressed the assembly, saying : 



16 THE ODYSSEY. [11.25-55. 

" Hearken now, men of Ithaca, to wliat I say. 
Never has our assembly once been held, no single ses- 
sion, since royal Odysseus went away in hollow ships. 
Who is it calls us now, in such a fashion ? Who has 
such urgent need ? Young or old is he ? Has he 
heard tidings of the army's coming, which he would 
plainly tell to us so soon as he has learned ? Or has 
he other public matter to announce and argue ? At 
any rate, good seems the man to me — a blessed man. 
May Zeus accomplish all the good his mind intends ! " 

As thus he spoke, the dear son of Odysseus rejoiced 
at what was said and kept his seat no longer. He 
burned to speak. He rose up in the midst of the as- 
sembly, and in Ms hand a herald placed the sceptre, — 
a herald named Peisenor, discreet of understanding. 
Then turning first to the old man, he thus addressed 
him : 

" Sire, not far off is he, as you full soon shall know, 
who called the people hither; for it is I especially 
whom grief befalls. No tidings of the army's com- 
ing have I heard, which I would plainly tell to you 
so soon as I have learned ; nor have I other public 
matter to announce and argue. Rather it is my pri- 
vate need, ill falling on my house in twofold wise. 
For first I lost my noble father, who was formerly 
your king, — kind father as e'er was — and now there 
comes a thing more grievous still, which soon will ut- 
terly destroy my home and quite cut off my substance. 
Suitors beset my mother sorely against her will, sons 
of tbe very men who are the leaders here. They 
shrink from going to the house of Icarius, her father, 
to let him count the bride-gifts of his daughter and 
give her then to whom he will, whoever meets his 
favor ; but haunting this house of ours day after day, 



11.56-87.] THE ODYSSEY. 17 

killing our oxen, sheep, and fatted goats, they hold 
high revel, drinking sparkling wine with little heed. 
Much goes to waste, for there is no man here fit like 
Odysseus to keep damage from our doors. We are 
not fit ourselves to guard the house ; attempting it, 
we should be pitiful, unskilled in conflict. Guard it 
I would, if only strength were mine. For deeds are 
done not to be longer borne, and with no decency my 
house is plundered. Shame you should feel your- 
selves, and some respect as well for neighbors living 
near you, and awe before the anger of the gods, lest 
haply they may turn upon you, vexed with your evil 
courses. Nay, I entreat you by Olympian Zeus, and 
by that Justice which dissolves and gathers men's 
assemblies, forbear, my friends ! Leave me to pine in 
bitter grief alone, unless indeed my father, good Odys- 
seus, ever in malice wronged the mailed Achaeans, 
and in return for that you now with malice do me 
wrong, urging these people on. Better for me it were 
you should yourselves devour my stores and herds. If 
you devoured them, perhaps some day there might be 
payment made ; for we would constantly pursue you 
through the town, demanding back our substance till 
all should be restored. Now, woes incurable you lay 
upon my heart." 

In wrath he spoke, and dashed the sceptre to the 
ground, letting his tears burst forth, and pity fell on 
all the people. So all the rest were silent ; no man 
dared to make Telemachus a bitter answer. Antinoiis 
alone made answer, saying : 

" Telemachus, of the lofty tongue and the unbridled 
temper, what do you mean by putting us to shame ? 
On us you would be glad to fasten guilt. I tell you 
the Achaean suitors are not at all to blame ; your 



18 THE ODYSSEY. [11.88-119. 

mother is to blame, whose craft exceeds all women's. 
The third year is gone by, and fast the fourth is going 
since she began to mock the hearts in our Achaean 
breasts. To all she offers hopes, has promises for 
each, and sends us messages, but her mind has a dif- 
ferent purpose. Here is the last pretext she cun= 
ningly de\ased. Within the hall she set up a great 
loom and went to weaving ; fine was the web and very 
large ; and then to us said she : ' Young men who are 
iny suitors, though royal Odysseus now is dead, for- 
bear to urge my marriage till I complete this robe, — 
its threads must not be wasted, — a shroud for lord 
Laertes, against the time when the fell doom of death 
that lays men low shall overtake him. Achaean wives 
about the land, I fear, might give me blame if he 
should lie without a shroud, he who had great posses- 
sions.' Such were her words, and our high hearts 
assented. Then in the daytime would she weave 
at the great web, but in the night unravel, after her 
torch was set. Thus for three years she hid her craft 
and cheated the Achaeans. But when the fourth 
year came, as time rolled on, then at the last one of 
her maids, who knew full well, confessed, and we dis- 
covered her unraveling the splendid web ; so then she 
finished it, against her will, perforce. Therefore to 
you the suitors make this answer, that you yourself 
may understand in your own heart, and that the 
Achaeans all may understand. Send forth your mo- 
ther! Bid her to marry whomever her father wills 
and him who pleases her ! Or will she weary longer 
yet the sons of the Achaeans, mindful at heart of what 
Athene largely gave her, skill in fair works, a noble 
mind, and such a craft as we have never known in 
those of old, those who were long ago fair-haired 



11.120-151.] THE ODYSSEY. 19 

Achaean women, — Tyro, Alcmene, and crowned My- 
cene, — no one of whom had judgment like Penelope ; 
and yet, in truth, in this she judged not wisely. For 
just so long shall men devour your life and substance 
as she retains the mind the gods put in her breast at 
present. Great fame she brings herself, but brings 
on you the loss of large possessions ; for we will never 
go to our estates, nor elsewhere either, till she shall 
marry an Achaean — whom she will." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Anti= 
nous, against her will I cannot drive from home the one 
who bore me and who brought me up. My father is 
away, — alive or dead, — and hard it were to pay the 
heavy charges to Icarius which I needs must, if of 
my will alone I send my mother forth. For from her 
father's hand I shall meet ills, and Heaven will send 
me more, when my mother calls upon the dread Aven- 
gers as she forsakes the house; blame too will fall 
upon me from mankind. Therefore that word I never 
will pronounce ; and if your hearts chafe at your foot- 
ing here, then quit my halls ! Seek other tables and 
eat what is your own, changing from house to house ! 
Or if it seems to you more profitable and better to 
ruin the living of one man without amends, go wast- 
ing on ! But I will call upon the gods that live for- 
ever and pray that Zeus may grant deeds of requital. 
Then beyond all amends, here in this house you 
shall yourselves be ruined ! " 

So spoke Telemachus, and answering him far-seeing 
Zeus sent forth a pair of eagles, flying from a moun= 
tain peak on high. These for a time moved on along 
the wind, close by each other and with outstretched 
wings ; but as they reached the middle of the many- 
voiced assembly, wheeling about they briskly flapped 



20 THE ODYSSEY. [II. 152-184. 

their wings, glared at the heads of all, and death was 
in their eyes. Then with their claws tearing each 
other's cheek and neck, they darted to the right, across 
the town and houses. Men marveled at the birds, as 
they beheld, and pondered in their hearts what they 
might mean. And to the rest spoke old lord Halither= 
ses, the son of Mastor ; for he surpassed all people 
of his time in understanding birds and telling words 
of fate. He with good will addressed them thus, 
and said : 

*' Hearken now, men of Ithaca, to what I say ; and 
to the suitors especially I speak, for over them rolls a 
great wave of woe. Odysseus will not long be parted 
from his friends, but even now is near, sowing the 
seeds of death and doom for all men here. Ay, and 
on many others too shall sorrow fall, on many of us 
who live in far-seen Ithaca ! But long ere that, let us 
consider how to check these men, or rather, let them 
check themselves ; that shall be soon their gain. And 
not as inexpert I prophesy, but with sure knowledge. 
For this I say : all has come true which I declared 
that day the Argive host took ship for Ilios, and with 
them also wise Odysseus went. I said that after suf- 
fering much, and losing all his men, unknown to all, 
in the twentieth year he should come home ; and now 
it all comes true." 

Then answered him Eurymachus, the son of Poly- 
bus : " Well, well, old man, go home and play the 
prophet to your children, or else they may have trouble 
in the days to come ! About these matters I can pro- 
phesy much better than yourseK. Plenty of birds flit 
in the sunshine, but not all are fateful. As for Odys- 
seus, he died far away ; and would that you had per- 
ished with him ! You would not then be prating so 



II. 185-217.] THE ODYSSEY. 21 

of reading signs, nor would yon, when Telemachus is 
wroth, thus press him on, looking for him to send your 
house some gift. But this I tell you, and it shall be 
done ; if you, who know all that an old man knows, 
delude this youth with talk and urge him on to anger, 
it shall be in the first place all the worse for him, and 
he shall accomplish nothing by aid of people here, 
while on yourself, old man, we will inflict a fine which 
it will grieve you to the soul to pay. Bitter indeed 
shall be your sorrow. And to Telemachus, here be- 
fore all, I give this warning. Let him instruct his 
mother to go to her father's house. They there shall 
make the wedding and arrange the many gifts which 
should accompany a well-loved child ; for not, I think, 
till then will the sons of the Achaeans quit their rough 
courtship. No fear have we of any man, not even of 
Telemachus, so full of talk. Nothing we care for au- 
guries which you, old man, idly declare, making your- 
self the more detested. So now again, his substance 
shall be miserably devoured, and no return be made, 
so long as she delays the Achaeans with her marriage. 
Moreover, waiting here day after day, as rivals for 
her charms, we will not seek out other women whom 
it might well become a man to marry." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Euryma- 
chus and all you other lordly suitors, this will I urge 
no longer ; I have no more to say ; for now the gods 
and all the Achaeans understand. But give me a 
swift ship with twenty comrades, to help me make a 
journey up and down the sea ; for I will go to Sparta 
and to sandy Pylos, to learn about the coming home 
of my long-absent father. Perhaps some man may tell 
me, or I may catch a rumor sent from Zeus, which 
oftenest carries tidings. If I shall hear my father is 



22 THE ODYSSEY. [11.218-249. 

alive and coming home, worn as I am, I might endure 
for one year more. But if I hear that he is dead, — 
no longer with the living, — I will at once return to 
my own native land, and pile his mound and pay the 
funeral rites, full many, as are due, and I will give my 
mother to a husband." 

So saying, he sat down ; and up rose Mentor, who 
was the friend of gallant Odysseus. On going with 
the ships, Odysseus gave him charge of all his house, 
that they should heed their elder and he keep all 
things secure. He with good will addressed them thus, 
and said : 

" Hearken now, men of Ithaca, to what I say. 
Never again let sceptred king in all sincerity be 
kind and gentle, nor let him in his mind heed right- 
eousness. Let him instead ever bo stern, and work 
unrighteous deeds ; since none remembers princely 
Odysseus among the people whom he ruled, kind 
father though he was. Yet I make no complaint 
against the haughty suitors for doing deeds of vio- 
lence in insolence of heart ; for they at hazard of their 
heads thus violently devour the household of Odys- 
seus, saying he comes no more. But with the rest of 
the people I am wroth, because you all sit still, and, 
uttering not a word, you do not stop the suitors, — 
they so few and you so many." 

Then answered him Evenor's son, Leiocritus : " In- 
fernal Mentor, crazy -witted, what do you mean by 
urging these to stop us ? Hard would it be, for many 
more than we, to fight with us on question of our food ! 
Indeed, should Ithacan Odysseus come himself upon 
us lordly suitors feasting in his house, and be resolved 
at heart to drive us from the hall, his wife would have 
no joy, however great her longing, over his coming ; 



11.250-283.] THE ODYSSEY. 23 

but here he should meet shameful death, fighting with 
more than he. You spoke unwisely ! Come, people, 
then, turn to your own affairs ! For this youth here, 
Mentor shall speed his voyage, and Halitherses too, 
for they are from of old his father's friends ; but I 
suspect he still will sit about, gather his news in 
Ithaca, and never make the voyage." 

He spoke, and hastily dissolved the assembly. So 
they dispersed, each to his house ; but the suitors 
sought the house of princely Odysseus. 

Telemachus, however, walked alone along the shore, 
and, washing his hands in the foaming water, prayer• 
to Athene : " Hear me, thou god who camest yester- 
day here to our home, and badst me go on ship- 
board over the misty sea to ask about the coming 
home of my long-absent father. All thy commands 
the Achaeans hinder, the suitors most of all in wicked 
insolence." 

So spoke he in his prayer, and near him came 
Athene, likened to Mentor in her form and voice, and 
speaking in winged words she said : 

" Telemachus, henceforth you shall not be a base 
man nor a foolish, if in you stirs the brave soul of 
your father, and you like him can give effect to deed 
and word. Then shall this voyage not be vain and 
ineffective. But if you are no son of him and of Pe- 
nelope, then am I hopeless of your gaining what you 
seek. Few sons are like their fathers ; most are worse, / 
few better than the father. Yet because you henceforth ' 
will not be base nor foolish, nor has the wisdom of 
Odysseus wholly failed you, therefore there is a hope 
you will one day accomplish all. Disregard, then, the 
thoughts and plans of the mad suitors, for they are in 
no way wise or upright men. Nothing they know of 



24 THE ODYSSEY. [II. 284^16. 

death and the dark doom which now is near, so that 
they all shall perish in a day. But for yourself, the 
journey you desire shall not be long delayed. So 
truly am I your father's friend, I will provide you a 
swift ship and be myself your comrade. But go you 
to the palace, mix with the suitors, and prepare the 
stores, securing all in vessels, — wine in jars, and bar- 
ley-meal, men's marrow, in tight skins, — while I about 
the town will soon collect a willing crew. The ships 
are many in sea-girt Ithaca, ships new and old. Of 
these I will select the best, and quickly making ready 
we will sail the open sea." 

So spoke Athene, daughter of Zeus. No longer then 
lingered Telemachus when he heard the goddess speak. 
He hastened to the house, though with a heavy heart, 
and at the palace found the haughty suitors flaying 
goats and singeing swine within the court. Antinotis 
laughingly came forward to Telemachus, and holding 
him by the hand he spoke, and thus addressed him : 

" Telemachus, of the lofty tongue and the unbridled 
temper, do not again grow sore in heart at what we do 
or say ! No, eat and drink just as you used to do. 
All you have asked of course the Achaeans will pro- 
vide, — the ship and the picked crew, — to help you 
quickly find your way to hallowed Pylos, seeking for 
tidings of your noble father." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Anti- 
nous, it is not possible to sit at table quietly with you 
rude men and calmly take my ease. Was it not quite 
enough that in the days gone by you suitors wasted 
much good property of mine, while I was still a help- 
less child ? But now that I am grown and hear and 
understand what people say, the spirit swells within 
me, and I will try to bring upon your heads an evil 



11.317-348.] THE ODYSSEY. 25 

doom whether I go to P} los or remain here in this 
land. But go I will — not vain shall be the voyage 
of which I speak — a passenger with others, since I 
can have command of neither ship nor crew. And 
this was what a while ago you judged was best." 

He spoke, and from the hand of Antinoiis quietly 
drew his own. Meanwhile, the suitors in the house 
were busy at their meal. They mocked him, jeering 
at him in their talk, and a rude youth would say : 

" Really, Telemachus is plotting for our ruin ! He 
will bring champions from sandy Pylos ; or even from 
Sparta, so deeply is he stirred ; or else he means to go 
to Ephyra, that fruitful land, and fetch thence deadly 
drugs to drop into our wine-bowl and so destroy us 
aU." 

Then would another rude youth answer thus : " If 
he goes off upon a hollow ship and wanders far from 
friends, who knows but he too may be lost just as 
Odysseus was ! And that would make us more ado ; 
for all his goods we then must share, and to his mother 
give the house, for her to keep — her and the man who 
marries her." 

So ran their talk. Meanwhile Telemachus passed 
down the house into his father's large and high-roofed 
chamber, where in a pile lay gold and bronze, cloth- 
ing in chests, and stores of fragrant oil. Great jars 
of old delicious wine were standing there, holding 
within pure liquor fit for gods, in order ranged along 
the wall, in case Odysseus, after all his woes, ever 
came home again. Shut were the folding-doors, close- 
fitting, double ; and here both night and day a house- 
wife stayed, who in her watchful wisdom guarded all 
— Eurycleia, daughter of Ops, Peisenor's son. To 
her now spoke Telemachus, calling her to the room : 



26 THE ODYSSEY. [II. 349-3S0. 

" Good nurse, come draw me wine in jars, sweet 
wine that is the choicest next to the wine you keep, 
thinking that ill-starred man will one day come — 
high-born Odysseus — safe from death and doom. Fill 
twelve and fit them all with covers. Then pour me 
barley into well-sewn sacks. Let there be twenty 
measures of ground barley-meal. None but yourself 
must know. Get all together, and I to-night will 
fetch them, so soon as my mother goes to her cham- 
ber seeking rest ; for I am going to Sparta and to 
sandy Pylos, to try to learn of my dear father's 
coming." 

As he said this, his dear nurse Eurycleia cried aloud 
and sorrowfully said in winged words : '' Ah, my dear 
child, how came such notions in your mind ? Where 
will you go through the wide world, our only one, our 
darling! High-born Odysseus is already dead, far 
from his home in some strange land. And now these 
men, the instant you are gone, will plot against you 
harm, that you by stealth may be cut off, and they 
thus share with one another all things here. No, stay 
you here at ease among your own I You have no 
need to suffer hardship, roaming over barren seas." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Cour- 
age, good nurse ! for not without God's warrant is my 
purpose. But swear to speak no word of this to my 
dear mother until the eleventh or twelfth day comes, 
or until she shall miss me and hear that I am gone, 
that so she may not stain her beautiful face with 
tears." 

Thus did he speak, and the old woman swore by the 
gods a solemn oath. Then after she had sworn and 
ended all that oath, she straightway drew him wine 
in jars, and poured him barley into well-sewn sacks. 



11.381^11.] THE ODYSSEY. 27 

Telemachus, meanwhile, passed to the house and joined 
the suitors. 

Now a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed 
Athene. In likeness of Telemachus, she went through- 
out the town, and, approaching one and another man, 
gave them the word, bidding them meet by the swift 
ship at eventide. Noemon next, the gallant son of 
Phronius, she begged for a swift ship ; and this he 
freely promised. 

Now the sun sank and all the ways grew dark. 
And now she drew the swift ship to the sea and put 
in all the gear that well-benched vessels carry ; she 
moored her by the harbor's mouth ; the good crew 
gathered round about, and the goddess gave them 
zeal. 

Then a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed 
Athene. She hastened to the house of princely Odys- 
seus, there on the suitors poured sweet sleep, confused 
them as they drank, and made the cups fall from their 
hands. They hurried off to rest throughout the town, 
and did not longer tarry, for sleep fell on their eyelids. 
Then to Telemachus spoke clear-eyed Athene, calling 
him forth before the stately hall, likened to Mentor 
in her form and voice : 

" Telemachus, already your mailed comrades sit at 
the oar and wait your starting. Come, let us go, and 
not lose time upon the wslj.'^ 

Saying this, Pallas Athene led the way in haste, 
and he walked after in the footsteps of the goddess. 
But when they came to the ship and to the sea, they 
found upon the shore their long-haired comrades, to 
whom thus spoke revered Telemachus : 

" Come, friends, and let us fetch the stores ; all are 
collected at the hall. My mother knows of nothing, 



28 THE ODYSSEY. [11.412^34. 

nor do the handmaids either. One alone had my 
orders." 

So saying, he led the way, the others followed after ; 
and bringing all the stores into their well-benched ship 
they stowed them there, even as the dear son of Odys- 
seus ordered. Then came Telemachus aboard ; but 
Athene led the way, and at the vessel's stern she sat 
her down, while close at hand Telemachus was seated. 
The others loosed the cables, and coming aboard them- 
selves took places at the pins. A favorable wind 
clear-eyed Athene sent, a brisk west wind that sang 
along the wine-dark sea. And now Telemachus, in- 
spiriting his men, bade them lay hold upon the tac- 
kling, and they hearkened to his call. Raising the pine- 
wood mast, they set it in the hollow socket, binding it 
firm with forestays, and tightened the white sail with 
twisted oxhide thongs. The wind swelled out the 
belly of the sail, and round the stem loudly the rip- 
pling water roared as the ship started. Onward she 
sped, forcing a passage through the waves. Making 
the tackling fast throughout the swift black ship, the 
men brought bowls brimming with wine, and to the 
gods, that never die and never have been born, they 
poured it forth — chiefest of all to her, the clear-eyed 
child of Zeus. So through the night and early dawn 
did the ship cleave her way. 



ΠΙ. 

AT PYLOS. 

And now the sun, leaving the beauteous bay, rose 
to the brazen sky, to shine for the immortals and for 
mortal men upon the fruitful fields ; and the two drew 
near to Pylos, the stately citadel of Neleus. The 
townsfolk here were offering a sacrifice uj^on the shore, 
slaying black bulls to the dark-haired Earth-shaker. 
Nine groups there were, five hundred men in each, 
and nine bulls were presented for each group. When 
the inward parts were tasted and the thighs were 
burning to the god, the two ran swiftly in, hauled 
up and furled their trim ship's sail, brought her to 
anchor, and came forth themselves. So from the ship 
came forth Telemachus, but Athene led the way, and 
thus began the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 

" Telemachus, no shyness now ! For to accomplish 
this you crossed the sea, to make inquiry for your 
father and to learn where he lies buried and what 
fate he met. Go then straight forward to the horse- 
man Nestor, and let us know what is the wisdom hid- 
den in his breast. Beg him yourself to tell the very 
truth. Falsehood he will not speak ; truly upright 
is he." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Mentor, 
how can I go ? How importune him ? In subtleties 
of speech I am not practised. Shyness is fitting in a 
youth when questioning his elders." 



80 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 25-55. 

Then said to bim the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Telemachus, some promptings you will find in your 
own breast, and Heaven will send still more ; for, cer- 
tainly, not un befriended of the gods have you been 
born and bred." 

Saying this, Pallas Athene led the way in haste, and 
he walked after in the footsteps of the goddess. So 
they approached the gathering of the men of Pylos 
and the group where Nestor sat among his sons. 
Round him his people, making the banquet ready, 
were roasting meats and putting pieces on the spits. 
But as they saw the strangers, all the men crowded 
near, gave hands in welcome, and asked them to sit 
down ; and Nestor's son Peisistratus, approaching first, 
took each one by the hand and placed them at the 
feast on some soft fleeces laid upon the sands, beside 
his brother Thrasymedes and his father. He gave 
them portions of the inward parts, poured out some 
wine into a golden cup, and, offering welcome, said to 
Pallas Athene, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus : 

" Here, stranger, make a prayer to lord Poseidon. 
It is his feast you find at this your coming. Then, 
after you have poured and prayed as is befitting, give 
this man too the cup of honeyed wine for him to pour ; 
for I suppose he also prays to the immortals. All 
men have need of gods. But he is the younger, young 
as I myself; so I will give you first the golden 
chalice." 

Saying this, he placed the cup of sweet wine in her 
hand. And Athene was pleased to find the man so 
wise and courteous, pleased that he gave her first the 
golden chalice. Forthwith she prayed a fervent prayer 
to lord Poseidon : 

" Hearken, Poseidon, thou girder of the land, and 



III. 56-86.] THE ODYSSEY. 31 

count it not too much to give thy suppliants these 
blessings. First upon Nestor and his sons bestow all 
honor ; then to the rest grant gracious recompense, to 
all the men of Pylos, for their splendid sacrifice ; and 
grant still farther that Telemachus and I may sail 
away having accomplished that for which we came 
upon our swift black ship." 

Thus did she pray, and was herself fulfilling all. To 
Telemachus she passed the goodly double cup, and in 
like manner also prayed the dear son of Odysseus. 
But when the rest had roasted the outer flesh and 
drawn it off, dividing the portions, they held a glori- 
ous feast. And after they had stayed desire for drink 
and food, then thus began the Gerenian horseman 
Nestor : 

" Now, then, it is more suitable to prove our guests 
and ask them who they are, since they are refreshed 
with food. Strangers, who are you ? Where do you 
come from, sailing the watery ways ? Are you upon 
some business ? Or do you rove at random, as the 
pirates roam the seas, risking their lives and bringing 
ill to strangers ? " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus, plucking 
up courage ; for Athene herself put courage in his 
heart to ask about his absent father and to win a good 
report among mankind : 

" Ο Nestor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Achae- 
ans, you ask me whence we are, and I will tell you. 
We are of Ithaca, under Mount Nei'on. Our busi- 
ness is our own, no public thing, as I will show. I 
come afar to seek some tidings of my father, royal 
hardy Odysseus, who once, they say, fought side by 
side with you and sacked the Trojan town. For as to 
all the others who were in the war at Troy we have 



82 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 87-119. 

already learned where each man met his mournful 
death ; but this man's death the son of Kronos left 
unlinown. No one can surely say where he has died ; 
whether he was borne down on land by foes, or on the 
sea among the waves of Amphitrite. Therefore I 
now come hither to your knees to ask if you will tell 
me of my father's mournful death, in case you saw it 
for yourself with your own eyes, or from some other 
heard the story of his wanderings ; for to exceeding 
grief his mother bore him. Use no mild word nor 
yield to pity from regard for me, but tell me fully all 
you chanced to see. I do entreat you, if ever my 
father, good Odysseus, in word or deed kept covenant 
with you there in the Trojan land where you Achae- 
ans suffered, be mindful of it now ; tell me the very 
truth." 

Then answered him the Gerenian horseman Nestor : 
" Ah, friend, you make me call to mind the pains we 
bore when in that land, untamed in spirit as we sons 
of the Achaeans were — all we endured on shipboard 
on the misty sea, coasting for plunder where Achilles 
led ; and all our fightings round the stronghold of 
King Priam, where so many of our bravest perished. 
There warlike Ajax lies, and there Achilles. There 
too Patroclus, the peer of gods in wisdom. There my 
own son, so strong and gallant, Antilochus, exceeding 
swift of foot, a famous fighter. And many other woes 
we had, added to these. What mortal man could 
count them ? Nay, should you tarry five or six years 
here to ask what woes the great Achaeans suffered, 
you would return to your own land, wearied ere I 
could tell. 

" For nine years long we plotted their destruction, 
busy with craft of every kind ; yet still the son of 



III. 120-152.] THE ODYSSEY. 38 

Kronos hardly brought us through. With one man 
then none sought to vie in wisdom ; for far beyond 
us all in craft of every kind was royal Odysseus, your 
father, — if you are indeed his child. I am amazed 
to see. And yet, how fitting are your words ! One 
would not say a youth could speak so fitly. There, 
all that while, royal Odysseus and I never once dis- 
agreed in the assembly or the council ; but with one 
heart, with will and steadfast purpose, we planned how 
all might best be ordered for the Argives. 

" Yet after we overthrew the lofty town of Priam, 
when we went away in ships and God dispersed the 
Achaeans, ah, then Zeus purposed in his mind a sad 
voyage for the Argives ! For nowise prudent and up- 
right were all. So, many a one came to an evil end, 
through the fell wrath of the dread father's clear-eyed 
child, who caused a strife betwixt the sons of Atreus. 
For these two summoned to an assembly all the 
Achaeans, in haste, not in due order, at the setting 
sun ; and hea\^ with wine the young Achaeans came. 
Then each declared the reason why he called the host 
together. Now Menelaus exhorted all the Achae- 
ans to turn their thoughts toward going home on the 
broad ocean-ridges ; but this pleased Agamemnon not 
at all. He wished to stay the host and offer sacred 
hecatombs, that so he might appease the dread wrath 
of Athene, — ah, fool ! who did not know she might 
not be persuaded ; for a purpose is not lightly changed 
in gods who live forever. Thus stood the brothers ex- 
changing bitter words, while up sprang other mailed 
Achaeans in wild din and both the plans found favor. 
That night we rested, nursing in our breasts hard 
thoughts of one another. Zeus was preparing us the 
ill that comes from wrong. At dawn we dragged our 



34 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 153-184. 

ships into the sacred sea, and put therein our goods 
and the low-girdled women. Half of the host held 
back, remaining with the son of Atreus, Agamemnon, 
the shepherd of the people ; w^hile we, the other half, 
embarked and sailed. Swiftly our ships ran on ; God 
smoothed the billowy deep. Arrived at Tenedos, we 
offered sacrifices to the gods, as homeward bound ; but 
Zeus had not yet willed our coming home, — cruel ! to 
waken bitter strife a second time. Part turned their 
curved ships back and sailed away after Odysseus, keen 
and crafty, again to proffer aid to Agamemnon, son of 
Atreus. I, with the company of ships which followed 
me, pressed onward, for I knew some power intended 
ill. On pressed the warlike son of Tydeus, too, inspirit- 
ing his men. Later upon our track came light-haired 
Menelaus, who overtook us while at Lesbos w^ debated 
on the long sea voyage, doubtful if we should sail 
above steep Chios, by way of the island Psyria, with 
Chios on our left, or under Chios and past windy 
Mimas. We therefore begged of God to show some 
sign ; and he made plain our way, bidding us cut the 
centre of the sea straight for Eubcea, if we would 
soonest flee from danger. The whistling wind began 
to blow, and swiftly along the swarming water sped 
our ships, and touched at night Geraestus, where on 
Poseidon's altar we laid many thighs of bulls, thank- 
ful that we had compassed the wide sea. It was the 
fourth day when the crews of Diomed the horseman, 
son of Tydeus, moored their trim ships at Argos. I 
still held on toward Pylos, nor did the breeze once fail 
after the god first sent it forth to blow. 

" And thus it was I came, dear child, bringing no 
tidings ; nothing I know about the rest of the Achae- 
an s, w^hich were saved and which were lost. But all 



III. 185-217.] THE ODYSSEY. 35 

that I have learned while sitting here at home, this, 
as is proper, you shall know ; I will hide nothing from 
you. Safely, they say, returned the sj^earmen of the 
Myrmidons, whom the proud son of fierce Achilles 
led ; safely, too, Philoctetes, the gallant son of Poias ; 
and back to Crete Idomeneus brought all his men, -— 
all who escaped the war, the sea took not a man» 
About the son of Atreus you yourselves have heard, 
though you live far away ; how he returned, and how 
Aegisthus plotted his mournful death. And yet a 
fearful reckoning Aegisthus paid ! When a man 
dies, how good it is to leave a son ! That son took 
vengeance on the slayer, wily Aegisthus, who had 
slain his famous father. You too, my friend, — for 
certainly I find you fair and tall, — be strong, that 
men hereafter born may speak your praise." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Ο Nes- 
tor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Achaeans, 
stoutly that son took vengeance, and the Achaeans 
yhall S23read his fame afar, that future times may 
know. Oh, that to me as well the gods would give 
the power to pay the suitors for their grievous wrongs, 
for they with insult work me abominations ! But no 
such boon the gods bestowed on me and on my father. 
Now, therefore, all must simply be endured." 

Then answered him the Gerenian horseman Nestor : 
" Friend, — since you turn my thoughts that way by 
your own words, — they say that many suitors of your 
mother, heedless of you, work evil in your halls. 
Pray tell me, do you willingly submit, or are the peo- 
ple of your land adverse to you, led by some voice 
of God ? Who knows but yet Odysseus may return 
and recompense their crimes, either alone, or all the 
Achaeans with him ? Ah, might clear-eyed Athene 



550 THE ODYSSEY. [111.218-247. 

be pleased to be your friend as formerly she aided 
great Odysseus, there in the Trojan land where we 
Achaeans suffered ! For I never knew the gods to 
show such open friendship as Pallas Athene showed 
in standing by Odysseus. If now to you she would 
be such a friend and heartily give aid, it might be 
some of these men here would cease to think of mar- 
riage." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Nay, 
sire, not soon, I think, will words like these come 
true. Too great is what you say ; I am astonished. 
Hope what I might, such things could never be, not 
if the gods should will them." 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
"Telemachus, what word has passed the barrier of 
your teeth ? Easily may a god, who will, bring a man 
safe from far. But I myself would gladly meet a 
multitude of woes, if thus I might go home and see 
my day of coming, and not return and fall beside 
my hearth as Agamemnon fell, under the plottings of 
his own wife and Aegisthus. Yet death, the common 
lot, gods have no power to turn even from one they 
love, when the fell doom of death that lays men low 
once overtakes him." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Mentor, 
let us talk of this no more, sad as we are. For him no 
real return can ever be ; long time ago the immortals 
fixed his death and his dark doom. At present I 
would trace a different story and question Nestor, 
since beyond all men else he knows the right and wise. 
Three generations of mankind they say that he has 
ruled, and as I now behold him he seems like an im- 
mortal. Ο Nestor, son of Neleus, relate to me the 
truth ! How did the son of Atreus die, wide-ruling 



III. 248-278.] THE ODYSSEY. 37 

Ajxamemnon ? And where was Menelaus ? What was 
the deadly plot wily Aegisthus laid to kill a man much 
braver than himself ? Was Menelaus absent from 
Achaean Argos, traveling to men afar, that so Aegis- 
thus, taking courage, did the murder ? " 

Then answered him the Gerenian horseman Nestor : 
" Well, I will tell you all the truth, my child. In- 
deed, you yourself guess how it had fallen out if the 
son of Atreus, light-haired Menelaus, had found Ae- 
gisthus living in the palace when he returned from 
Troy. Then over dead Aegisthus, men had heaped 
no mound of earth, but dogs and birds had feasted on 
him where he lay upon the plain outside the town, 
and no Achaean woman had made lament for him ; 
for monstrous was the deed he wrought. At Troy we 
tarried, bringing to fulfillment many toils, while he, at 
ease, hidden in grazing Argos, strove hard to win the 
wife of Agamemnon by his words. At first, indeed, 
she scorned ill-doing, this royal Clytaemnestra, being 
of upright mind. Moreover, a bard was with her 
whom the son of Atreus strictly charged, on setting 
forth for Troy, to guard his wife. But when at last 
the doom of gods constrained her to her ruin, then did 
Aegisthus take the bard to a lone island and leave 
him there the prey and prize of birds, while her, as 
willing as himself, he led to his own home. And 
many a thigh-piece did he burn upon the sacred altars 
of the gods, and many an offering render, woven stuffs 
and gold, at having achieved such monstrous deed as 
in his heart he had not hoped. 

" Now as we came from Troy, the son of Atreus and 
myself set sail together full of loving thoughts ; but 
when we were approaching sacred Sunion, a cape of 
Athens, Phoebus Apollo smote the helmsman of Me- 



38 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 279-312. 

nelaus and slew him with his geutle arrows while he 
held the rudder of the running ship within his hands. 
Phrontis it was, Onetor's son, one who surpassed all 
humankind in piloting a ship when winds were wild. 
So Menelaus tarried, though eager for his journey, to 
bury his companion and to pay the funeral rites. But 
when he also, sailing in his hollow ships over the wine- 
dark sea, reached in his course the steep height of 
Maleia, from that point on far-seeing Zeus gave him 
a grievous way. He poured forth blasts of whistling 
winds and swollen waves as huge as mountains. Di- 
viding the ships, he brought a part to Crete, where 
the Cydonians dwelt around the streams of lardanus. 
Here is a cliff, smooth and steep toward the water, at 
the border land of Gortyn, on the misty sea, where 
the south wind drives in the heavy waves on the west- 
ern point toward Phaestus, and this small rock holds 
back the heavy waves. Some came in here, and the 
men themselves hardly escaped destruction ; their 
ships the waves crushed on the ledges. But the five 
other dark-bowed ships wind and wave bore to Egypt. 
So Menelaus gathered there much substance and 
much gold, coasting about on ship-board to men of 
alien speech ; and all this time at home Aegisthus 
foully plotted. Seven years he reigned in rich My- 
cene when he had slain the son of Atreus. The peo- 
ple were held down. But in the eighth ill came ; for 
royal Orestes came from Athens and slew the slayer, 
wily Aegisthus, who had slain his famous father. 
The slaughter done, he held a funeral banquet for the 
Argives, over his hateful mother and spiritless Aegis- 
thus, and on that self -same day came Menelaus, good 
at the war-cry, bringing a store of treasure, all the 
freight his ships could bear. 



III. 313-343.] THE ODYSSEY. 89 

"You too, dear friend, wander not long and far 
from home, leaving your wealth behind and persons 
in your house so insolent as these ; for they may swal- 
low all your wealth, sharing with one another, while 
you are gone a fruitless journey. And yet, I say, go 
visit Menelaus. Indeed, I bid you go ; for he is lately 
come from foreign lands and from those nations 
whence one could not really hope to come, when once 
the storms had swept him off into so vast a sea, — a 
sea from which birds travel not within a year, so vast 
it is and fearful. Go then at once with your own 
ship and crew, or if you like by land ; chariot and 
horses are ready for you, and ready too my sons to 
be your guides to sacred Lacedaemon, where lives 
light-haired Menelaus. Beg him yourself to tell the 
very truth. Falsehood he will not speak ; truly up- 
right is he." 

As he thus spoke the sun went down and darkness 
came, and the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, said to 
them: 

"Sire, certainly these words of yours are fitly 
spoken. But come, cut up the tongues and mix the 
wine, that after we have poured libations to Poseidon 
and the rest of the immortals we seek our rest, since 
it is time for that. For now the day has turned to 
dusk, and surely it is not well to tarry long at the 
gods' feast ; rather to rise and go." 

So spoke the daughter of Zeus ; and they hearkened 
to her saying. Pages poured water on their hands ; 
young men brimmed bowls Avith drink and served to 
all, with a first pious portion for the cup ; they them- 
selves threw the tongues into the flame and, rising, 
poured libations. So after they had poured and drunk 
as their hearts would, then would Athene and princely 



40 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 3M-376. 

Telemachus set off together for their hollow ship. 
But Nestor checked them and rebuked them, say- 
ing : 

*' Zeus and the other immortal gods forbid that you 
should leave my house and turn to a swift ship ! As 
if I were a man quite without clothes and poor, a man 
who had not robes and rugs enough at home for him- 
self and friends to sleep in comfort! But in my 
house are goodly robes and rugs. And never, surely, 
shall the son of that Odysseus lie on ship's deck while 
I am living, or while within my halls children remain 
to entertain such guests as visit house of mine." 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Well have you said in this, kind sir, and good it 
were Telemachus should heed, for it is far more seemly 
so. Nay, he shall now attend you and sleep within 
your haUs. But as for me, I go to the black ship to 
cheer my men and tell their duties, for I am the only 
man of years among them all ; the others, younger 
men, follow me out of friendship, and all are of the 
age of bold Telemachus. There would I lay me down 
by the black hollow ship to-night ; but in the morn- 
ing I will go to the bold Cauconians where there are 
debts now due me, not recent ones nor small. As for 
Telemachus who stays with you, send him upon his 
way by chariot with your son, and give him horses 
that have swiftest speed and best endurance." 

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed away, in like- 
ness of an osprey. Awe fell on all who saw. The 
old man marveled as he gazed, grasped by the hand 
Telemachus, and said as he addressed him : 

" Dear friend, you will not prove, I trust, a base 
man, lacking spirit, if when so young the gods be- 
come your guides. This is none else of those who 



III. 377-409.] THE ODYSSEY. 41 

have their dwelling on Olympus than the daughter of 
Zeus, the Plunderer, Tritogeneia, who honored your 
good father too amongst the Argives. Ah, queen, be 
gracious and vouchsafe me fair renown, — me and my 
children and my honored wife, — and I will give to 
thee a glossy heifer, broad of brow, unbroken, one no 
man ever brought beneath the yoke. Her I will give, 
tipping her horns with gold." 

So spoke he in his prayer, and Pallas Athene heard. 
Then the Gerenian horseman Nestor led sons and sons- 
in-law to his fair palace. And they on reaching the 
far-famed palace of the king, took seats in order 
on couches and on chairs ; and the old man mixed at 
their coming a vessel of sweet wine, which, now eleven 
years old, the housewife opened, loosening the lid. A 
bowl of this the old man mixed, and fervently he 
prayed, pouring libation to Athene, daughter of aegis- 
bearing Zeus. 

Then after they had poured and drunk as their 
hearts would, desiring rest, they each departed home- 
ward ; but in the house itself the Gerenian horseman 
Nestor prepared the bed of Telemachus, the son of 
princely Odysseus, upon a well-bored bedstead beneath 
the echoing portico. By him he placed Peisistratus, 
that sturd}^ spearman, one ever foremost, he who was 
still the bachelor among the sons at home. But Nestor 
slept in the recess of the high hall ; his wife, the Queen, 
making her bed beside him. 

Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, the 
Gerenian horseman Nestor rose from bed, and coming 
forth sat down on the smooth stones which stood be- 
fore his lofty gate, white, glistening as v/ith oil. On 
them in former days Neleus had sat, the peer of gods 
in wisdom ; but long ago he met his doom and went to 



42 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 410-4il. 

the house of Hades, and now Gerenian Nestor sat 
thereon, as warder of the Achaeans, holding the scep- 
tre. Kound him his sons collected in a group, on com- 
ing from their chambers, — Echephron and Stratius, 
Perseus, Aretus, and gallant Thrasymedes, and sixth 
and last came lord Peisistratus. Then they led for- 
ward godlike Telemachus, and set him by their side, 
and thus began the Gerenian horseman Nestor : 

" Hasten, dear children, and fulfill my vow ; that 
first of all the gods I satisfy Athene, who came to me 
in open presence at the gods' high feast. Go one 
among you to the field and have a heifer quickly 
brought, and let the neat-herd drive her up. One go 
to the black ship of bold Telemachns, and bring here 
all his crew. Leave only two behind. Let one again 
summon the smith Laerces hither, to tip with gold the 
heifer's horns. The rest of you stay here together. 
But tell the maids within our famoxis palace to spread 
a feast, to fetch some seats, some logs of wood, and 
some fresh water." 

He spoke ; away went all in breathless haste. And 
now there came the heifer from the field ; there came 
from the swift balanced ship the crew of brave Te- 
lemachus ; there came the smith, with his smith's tools 
in hand, his implements of art, anvil and hammer and 
the shapely tongs, with which he works the gold ; 
there came Athene, too, to meet the sacrifice. Then 
the old horseman Nestor furnished gold, and so that 
other welded it round the heifer's horns, smoothing it 
till the goddess might be pleased to view the offering. 
Now by the horns Stratius and noble Echephron led 
up the heifer ; Aretus brought lustral water in a flow- 
ered basin from the store-room, and in his other hand 
held barley in a basket ; and dauntless Thrasymedes, 



111.442^71.] THE ODYSSEY. 43 

a sharp axe in his hand, stood by to fell the heifer, 
while Perseus held the blood -bowl. Then the old 
horseman Nestor began the opening rites, of washing 
hands and sprinkling meal. And fervently he prayed 
Athene at beginning, casting the forelocks in the fire. 

So after they had prayed and strewn the barley- 
meal, forthwith the son of Nestor, ardent Thrasymedes^ 
drew near and dealt the blow. The axe cut through 
the sinews of the neck and broke the heifer's power, 
A cry went up from the daughters of Nestor, the sons' 
wives, and his own honored wife, Eurydice, the eldest 
of the daughters of Clymenus. The sons then raised 
the beast up from the trodden earth and held her so, 
the while Peisistratus, ever the foremost, cut the throat. 
And after the black blood had flowed and life had left 
the carcase, they straightway laid it open, quickly cut 
out the thighs, all in due order, wrapped them in fat 
in double layers and placed raw flesh thereon. On 
billets of wood the old man burned them, and poured 
upon them sparkling wine, while young men by his 
side held five-pronged forks. So after the thighs 
were burned and the inward parts were tasted, they 
sliced the rest, and stuck it on the forks and roasted 
all, holding the pointed forks in hand. 

Meanwhile to Telemachus fair Polycaste gave a bath, 
she who was youngest daughter of Nestor, son of Ne- 
leus. And after she had bathed him and anointed 
him with oil and put upon him a goodly robe and 
tunic, forth from the bath he came, in bearing like the 
immortals ; and he went and sat by Nestor, the shep- 
herd of the people. 

The others, too, when they had roasted the outer 
flesh and drawn it off, sat down and fell to feasting. 
Men of degree attended them, pouring the wine into 



44 THE ODYSSEY. [III. 472-497. 

their golden cups. So after they had stayed desire 
for drink and food, then thus began the Gerenian 
horseman Nestor : " My sons, go fetch the fuU-maned 
horses for Telemachus and yoke them to the car, that 
he may make his journey." 

So he spoke, and willingly they heeded and obeyed. 
Quickly they harnessed the swift horses to the caro 
The housewife put in bread and wine and dainties, 
such things as heaven-descended princes eat. And 
now Telemachus mounted the goodly chariot, and 
Nestor's son Peisistratus, ever the foremost, mounted 
the chariot too, and took the reins in hand. He 
cracked the whip to start, and not unwillingly the pair 
flew off into the plain, left the steep citadel of Pylos, 
and all day long they shook the yoke Uiey bore be- 
tween them. 

Now the sun sank and all the ways grew dark, and 
the men arrived at Pherae, before the house of Diodes, 
the son of Orsilochus, whose father was Alpheius. 
There for the night they rested ; he gave them enter- 
tainment. 

Then as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
they harnessed the horses, mounted the gay chariot, 
and off they drove from porch and echoing portico. 
Peisistratus cracked the whip to start, and not unwil- 
lingly the pair flew off. So into the plain they came 
Avhere grew the grain ; and through this, by and by, 
they reached their journey's ending. So fast their 
horses sped them. Then the sun sank and all the 
ways grew dark. 



IV. 

AT LACEDAEMON. 

Into the low land now they came of caverned Lace- 
daemon an^ drove to the palace of famous Menelaus. 
They found him holding a wedding feast for all his kin 
in honor of the son and gentle daughter of his house» 
To the son of Achilles, that breaker of men's ranks, 
he gave his daughter ; for long ago, at Troy, he 
pledged himself to give her, and now the gods brought 
round their wedding. Accordingly to-day with horses 
and with chariots he sent her forth to the famed city 
of the Myrmidons, whose king her bridegroom was. 
Then for his son he took to wife Alector's daughter 
out of Sparta, his son being now full grown, strong 
Megapenthes, the child of a slave mother. The gods 
gave Helen no more issue after she in the early time 
had borne her lovely child, Hermione, who had the 
grace of golden Aphrodite. 

Thus at the feast in the great high-roofed house, 
neighbors and kinsmen of famous Menelaus sat and 
made merry. Among them sang the sacred bard and 
touched his lyre ; a pair of dancers went whirling 
down the middle as he began the song. 

Now at the palace gate two youths and their horses 
stopped, princely Telemachus and the proud son of 
Nestor. Great Eteoneus came forth and saw them, 
— he was a busy squire of famous Menelaus, — and 
hastened through the hall to tell the shepherd of the 



46 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 25-55. 

people, and standing close beside him he said in 
winged words : 

" Here are two strangers, heaven-descended Mene- 
laus, and they are like the seed of mighty Zeus. Say, 
shall we unharness their swift horses, or shall we send 
them forth for some one else to entertain ? " 

Then, deeply moved, said light-haired Menelaus : 
" You were no fool, Boethoiis' son, Eteoneus, before 
this time, but now you chatter folly like a child ! Only 
because as guests we often had our food of strangers, 
are we here ; and we must look to Zeus henceforth to 
keep us safe from harm. No ! take the hain3ss from 
the strano'ers' horses and brino^ the men themselves 
within to share our feast." 

He spoke, and Eteoneus hastened along the hall 
and called on other busy squires to follow. They 
took the sweating horses from the yoke, tied them 
securely at the mangers, threw them some corn and 
mixed therewith white barley, then tipped the chariot 
up against the bright face-wall, and brought the men 
into the lordly house. And they, beholding, marveled 
at the dwelling of the heaven-descended king ; for a 
sheen as of the sun or moon played through the high- 
roofed house of famous Menelaus. Now after they 
had satisfied their eyes with gazing, they went to the 
polished baths and bathed. And when the maids had 
bathed them and anointed them with oil, and put 
upon them fleecy coats and tunics, they took their 
seats by Menelaus, son of Atreus. And water for 
the hands a servant brought in a beautiful pitcher 
made of gold, and poured it out over a silver basin 
for their washing, and spread a polished table by 
their side. Then the grave housekeeper brought 
bread and placed before them, setting out food of 



IV. 56-88.] THE ODYSSEY. 47 

many a kind, freely giving of her store. The carver, 
too, took platters of meat and placed before tliem, 
meat of all kinds, and set their golden goblets ready. 
And greeting the pair said light-haired Menelaus : 

" Break bread, and have good cheer ! and by and 
by when you have eaten, we will ask what men you 
are. Surely the parent line sulfers no loss in you ; 
but you are of some line of heaven-descended sceptred 
kings. For common men have no such children." 

So saying, he set before them fat slices of a chine 
of beef, taking up in his hands the roasted flesh 
which had been placed before him as the piece of 
honor ; and on the food spread out before them they 
laid hands. But after they had stayed desire for 
drink and food, Telemachus said to Nestor's son, — 
his head bent close, that others might not hear : 

'' Ο son of Nestor, my heart's delight, notice the 
blaze of bronze throughout the echoing halls, the gold, 
the amber, silver, and ivory ! The court of Olympian 
Zeus within must be like this. What untold wealth 
is here ! I am amazed to see." 

What he was saying light -haired Menelaus over- 
heard, and speaking in winged words he said : " Dear 
children, no ! No mortal man could vie with Zeus ; 
eternal are his halls and his possessions ; but one of 
humankind to vie with me in wealth there may or 
may not be. Through many woes and wanderings I 
brought it in my ships, and I was eight years on the 
way. Cyprus, Phoenicia, Egypt, I wandered over ; I 
came to the Ethiopian^, Sidonians, and Erembians, 
and into Libya, where the lambs are full-horned at 
their birth. Three times a year the flocks bear young. 
No prince or peasant there lacks cheese, meat, or 
sweet milk, but the ewes always give their milk the 



48 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 89-120. 

whole year round. While I was gathering there- 
abouts much wealth and wandering on, a stranger 
slew my brother while off his guard, by stealth, and 
through the craft of his accursed wife. Here too 
I have no joy as lord of my possessions. But from 
your fathers you will have heard that tale, whoever 
they may be ; for great was my affliction, and deso- 
late my house which once stood fair and stored with 
many blessings. Would I were here at home with but 
the third part of my wealth, and they were safe to-day 
who fell on the plain of Troy, far off from grazing 
Argos ! But no ! and for them all I often grieve and 
mourn when sitting in my halls. Now with a sigh I 
ease my heart, then check myself ; soon comes a sur- 
feit of benumbing sorrow. Yet in my grief it is not 
all I so much mourn as one alone, who makes me 
loathe my sleep and food when I remember him ; for 
no Achaean met the contests that Odysseus met and 
won. And still on him it was appointed woe should 
fall, and upon me a ceaseless pain because of him ; 
so long he tarries, whether alive or dead we do not 
know. For him now mourn the old Laertes, steadfast 
Penelope, and Telemachus, whom he left at home a 
new-born child." 

So he spoke, and stirred in Telemachus yearnings 
to mourn his father. Tears from his eyelids dropped 
upon the ground when he heard his father's name, 
and he held with both his hands his purple cloak be- 
fore his eyes. This Menelaus noticed, and hesitated 
in his mind and heart whether to leave him to make 
mention of his father or first to question him and 
prove him through and through. 

While he tlius doubted in his mind and heart, forth 
from her fragrant high-roofed chamber Helen came, 



IV. 121-155.] THE ODYSSEY. 49 

like gOlden-shafted Artemis. For her, Adraste i3laced 
a carveu chair ; Alcippe brought a covering of soft 
wool, and Phylo a silver basket which Alcandra gave, 
the wife of Polybus, who lived at Thebes in Egypt, 
where abundant wealth is in the houses. He gave to 
Menelaus two silver bath-tubs, a pair of kettles, and 
ten talents of gold. And then, besides, his wife gave 
Helen beautiful gifts ; she gave a golden distaff and a 
basket upon rollers, fashioned of silver, and its rim 
finished with gold. This her attendant Phylo now 
brought and set beside her, filled with a fine-spun 
yarn ; across it lay the distaff, charged with dark wool. 
Seated upon her chair, — upon whose lower part there 
was a rest for feet, — she straightway questioned thus 
her husband closely : 

"Do we know, heaven - descended Menelaus, who 
these men here assert themselves to be ? Shall I dis- 
guise my thought or speak it plainly ? My heart bids 
speak. None have I ever seen, I think, so like another 
— no man, no woman ; amazed am I to see ! — as 
this man here is like the son of brave Odysseus, even 
like Telemachus, whom his father left at home a new- 
born child, when you Achaeans, for the sake of worth- 
less me, came under the walls of Troy, eager for val- 
orous fighting." 

Then, answering her, said light-haired Menelaus : 
" Now I too note it, wife, even as you suggest ; such 
were Odysseus' feet and hands, his turn of eye, his 
head, and hair above. And even now, as I began to 
call to mind Odysseus and to tell what grievous toils 
he bore in my behalf, this youth let fall a bitter tear 
from under his brows and held his purple cloak be- 
fore his eyes." 

Then Nestor's son, Peisistratus, made answer : " Ο 



50 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 156-187. 

son of Atreus, beaven-clescended Menelans, leader of 
hosts, this is in truth his son, as you have said ; but he 
is modest and too bashful in his heart to make display 
of talk on his first coming here, before you too, whose 
voice we both enjoy as if it were a god's. The Gerenian 
horseman, Nestor, sent me forth to be his guide ; for 
he desired to see you, hoping that you might give him 
aid by word or deed. Ah, many a grief the son of an 
absent father meets at home, when other helpers are 
not by. So with Telemachus; the one is gone, and 
others there are none throughout the land to ward off 
iU." 

Then, answering him, said light - haired Menelaus : 
" AVhat ! Is there then within my house the son of 
one so dear, one who for me bore many a conflict ! I 
used to say I should rejoice over his coming home far 
more than over that of all the other ArgiΛ^es, if through 
the seas Olympian far-seeing Zeus let our swift ships 
find passage. In Argos I would have granted him a 
city, and would here have built his house, and I would 
have brought him out of Ithaca, — him and his goods, 
his child, and all his people, — clearing its dwellers 
from some single city that lies within my neighbor- 
hood and owns me as its lord. So living here we had 
been much together ; and nothing further could have 
parted then our joyous friendship till death's dark 
cloud closed round. But God himself must have been 
envious of a life like this, and made that hapless man 
alone to fail of coming." 

So he spoke, and stirred in all a yearning after tears. 
Then Argive Helen wej^t, the child of Zeus ; Telema- 
chus too wept, and Menelaus, son of Atreus ; nor yet 
did Nestor's son keep his eyes tearless. For in his 
mind he mused on good Antilochus, whom the illus- 



IV. 188-220.] THE ODYSSEY. 51 

trious son of the bright dawn had slain. Remembering 
whom, he spoke in winged words : 

" Ο son of Atreus, that you were wise beyond the 
wont of men old Nestor used to say, when we would 
mention you at home, talking with one another. And 
now if it is well, give heed to me ; for after a feast 
I do not like to sit and grieve. There is to-mor- 
row. Not that I think it ill to weep for one who 
dies, when he has met his doom. It is the only honor 
sorrowing men can pay, to cut the hair and let the tear 
fall down the cheek. A brother of mine once died, one 
not the meanest of the Argives. You must have 
known him. I never myself looked on his face and 
never knew him ; but Antilochus, they say, was very 
swift of foot, a famous fighter." 

Then answering him said light-haired Menelaus : 
" Friend, you have said just what a man of understand- 
ing might say and even do, were he indeed your elder ; 
for sprung from such a father you too talk with un- 
derstanding. Easily is his offspring known to whom 
the son of Kronos allots a boon in birth and marriage. 
And thus has he blessed Nestor continually, all his 
days, granting him hale old age at home and children 
who are youths of wisdom, mighty with the spear. 
Let us then check the lamentation which arose a while 
ago and turn once more to feasting. Let them pour 
water on our hands. Again, to-morrow, for Telema- 
chus and me there will be tales to tell." 

He spoke, and Asphalion poured water on their 
hands, — he was a busy squire of famous Menelaus, 
- — then on the food spread out before them tbey laid 
hands. 

Now elsewhere Helen turned her thoughts, the child 
of Zeus. Straightway she cast into the wine of which 



52 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 221-251. 

they drank a drug which quenches pain and strife and 
brings forgetfulness of every ill. He who should taste 
it, mingled in the bowl, would not that day let tears 
fall down his cheeks although his mother and his 
father died, although before his door a brother or dear 
son fell by the sword and his own eyes beheld. Such 
cunning drugs had the daughter of Zeus, drugs of a 
healing virtue, which Polydamna gave, the wife of 
Thon, in Egypt, where the fruitful soil yields drugs of 
every kind, some that when mixed are healing, others 
deadly. There every one is a physician, skillful be- 
yond all humankind ; for they are of the race of 
Paeon. So after she had cast the drug into the bowl 
and bidden pour, then once more taking up the word, 
she said ; 

" Heaven-descended son of Atreus, Menelaus, and 
you too, you sons of worthy men, though Zeus to one 
in one way, to another in another, distributes good 
and ill and is almighty, yet for the present sit and 
feast within the hall and cheer yourselves with tales. 
One fitting well the time I will relate. Fully I can- 
not tell, nor even name the many feats of hardy 
Odysseus. But this is the sort of deed that brave 
man did and dared there in the Trojan land where 
you Achaeans suffered. Marring himself with cruel 
blows, casting a wretched garment round his shoul- 
ders, and looking like a slave, he entered the wide- 
wayed city of his foes ; and other than his own true 
self he made himself appear in this disguise, even like 
a beggar, far as he was from such an one at the 
Achaean ships. In such a guise, he entered the Tro- 
jans' town ; they took no notice, one and all ; I alone 
knew him for the man he was and questioned him. 
He shrewdly tried to foil me. But after I had bathed 



i2-285.] THE ODYSSEY. 53 

α and anointed him with oil and given him cloth- 
^, when I had sworn a solemn oath not to make 
.nown Odysseus to the Trojans till he should reach 
the swift ships and the huts of the Achaeans, then he 
described the whole Achaean plot. So, slaying many 
Trojans with his trenchant sword, he went off to the 
Argives and carried back much knowledge. Thereat 
the other Trojan women raised a loud lament. My 
soul was glad ; for my heart already turned toward 
going home again, and I would mourn the blindness 
Aphrodite brought when she lured me thither from 
my native land and bade me leave my daughter, my 
chamber, and my husband, — a man who lacked for 
nothing, either in mind or person." 

Then, answering her, said light-haired Menelaus: 
" Yes, all your tale, my wife, is told right well. I 
have in days gone by tested the wisdom and the will 
of many heroes, and I have traveled over many 
lands ; but never have I beheld a soul so true as 
hardy Odysseus. This also is the sort of deed that 
brave man did and dared within the wooden horse 
where all we Argive chiefs were lying, bearing to the 
Trojans death and doom. Erelong you passed that 
way, — some god must have impelled you who sought 
to bring the Trojans honor ; godlike De'iphobus was 
following after. Thrice walking round our hollow 
ambush, touching it here and there, you called by 
name the Danaan chiefs, feigning the voice of every 
Argive's wife. Now I and the son of Tydeus and 
royal Odysseus, crouched in the middle, heard your 
call, and we two, starting up, were minded to go forth, 
or else to answer straightway from within ; but Odys- 
seus held us back and stayed our madness. Then 
all the other sons of the Achaeans held their peace. 



54 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 2δ 

Anticlus only was determined to make answer to y 
words ; but Odysseus firmly closed his mouth with 
strong hands, and so saved all the Achaeans. A. 
through that time he held him thus, till Pallas Athene 
led you off." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Ο son 
of Atreus, heaven - descended Menelaus, leader of 
hosts, so much the harder is it ; all was of no avail 
against a mournful death, though an iron heart was 
his. Nay, bring us to our beds, that so at last, lulled 
in sweet sleep, we be at ease." 

He spoke, and Argive Helen bade the maids to set 
a bed beneath the portico, to lay upon it beautiful pur- 
ple rugs, spread blankets over these, and then place 
woolen mantles on the outside for a covering. So the 
maids left the hall, with torches in their hands, and 
spread the bed ; and a page led forth the strangers. 
Thus in the porch slept prince Telemachus and the 
illustrious son of Nestor. But the son of Atreus 
slept in the recess of the high hall, and by him long- 
robed Helen lay, a queen of women. 

Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
Menelaus, good at the war-cry, rose from bed, put on 
his clothes, slung his sharp sword about his shoulder, 
under his shining feet bound his fair sandals, and 
came forth from his chamber in bearing like a god. 
Then seating himself beside Telemachus, he thus ad- 
dressed him, saying : 

"What is it that has brought you here, my lord 
Telemachus, to sacred Lacedaemon on the broad 
ocean-ridges ? A public need or private ? Tell me 
the very truth." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Ο son of 
Atreus, heaven-descended Menelaus, leader of hosts. 



IV. 317-350.] THE ODYSSEY. 55 

I came to see if you could tell me tidings of my father. 
My home is swallowed up, my rich estate is wasted ; 
with men of evil hearts my house is filled, men who 
continually butcher my thronging flocks and swing- 
paced, crook-horned oxen, — the suitors of my mother, 
overweening in their pride. Therefore I now come 
hither to your knees to ask if you will tell me of my 
father's mournful death, in case you saw it for your- 
self with your own eyes or from some other heard 
the story of his wanderings ; for to exceeding grief his 
mother bore him. Use no mild word nor yield to 
pity from regard for me, but tell me fully all you 
chanced to see. I do entreat you, if ever my father, 
good Odysseus, in word or deed kept covenant with 
you there in the Trojan land where you Achaeans suf- 
fered, be mindful of it now ; tell me the very truth." 

Then, deeply moved, said light-haired Menelaus: 
" Heavens ! In a very brave man's bed they sought 
to lie, the weaklings ! As when in the den of a strong 
lion a hind has laid asleep her new-born sucking fawns, 
then roams the slopes and grassy hollows seeking 
food, and by and by into his lair the lion comes and 
on both hind and fawns brings ghastly doom ; so shall 
Odysseus bring a ghastly doom on these. Ah, father 
Zeus, Athene, and Apollo! if with the power he 
showed one day in stately Lesbos, when he rose and 
wrestled in a match with Philomeleides, and down he 
threw him heavily, while the Achaeans all rejoiced, — 
if as he was that day Odysseus now might meet the 
suitors, they all would find quick turns of fate and 
bitter rites of marriage. But as to what you ask thus 
urgently, I λυΙΠ not turn to talk of other things, and 
so deceive yon ; but what the unerring old man of the 
sea told me, in not a word will I disguise or hide from 
you. 



56 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 351-381. 

" At the river of Egypt, eager as I was to hasten 
hither, the gods still held me back, because I did not 
make the offerings due ; and the gods wish us ever to 
be mindful of their precepts. Now in the surging sea 
an island lies, — Pharos they call it, — distant as far 
from the Egyptian stream as a hollow ship runs in a 
day when a whistling wind blows after. By it there 
lies a bay with a good anchorage, from which they 
send the trim ships off to sea after supplying them 
with drinking water. Here the gods kept me twenty 
days ; not once came winds that blow along the sea 
and serve for aid to ships on the broad ocean-ridges. 
So all my stores would have been spent and my men's 
courage, had not a certain goddess pitied and pre- 
served me. This was Eidothea, the daughter of 
mighty Proteus, the old man of the sea ; for I deeply 
moved her heart as she met me on my solitary way 
apart from my companions ; for they were ever roam- 
ing round the island, fishing with crooked hooks, and 
hunger pinched their bellies. She, drawing near me, 
spoke and thus she said : 'Are you so very helpless, 
stranger, and unnerved, or do you willingly give way, 
taking a pleasure in your pains ? So long you have 
been pent within the island, unable to discover an es- 
cape, while fainter grows the courage of your com- 
rades.' 

" So she spoke, and answering her said I : ' Then 
let me tell you, whatsoever goddess you may be, that I 
remain here through no will of mine, but I must have 
given offense to the immortals, who hold the open sky. 
Rather tell me, — for gods know all, — which of the 
immortals chains me here and bars my progress ; and 
tell me of my homeward way, how I may pass along 
the swarming sea.' 



IV. 382^13.] THE ODYSSEY. 57 

" So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess an- 
swered : ' \Yell, stranger, I will plainly tell you all. 
There haunts this place a certain old man of the sea, 
unerring and immortal, Proteus of Egypt, who knows 
the depths of every sea, and is Poseidon's minister. 
He is, men say, my father, who begot me. If you 
could only lie in wait and seize on him, he would 
tell you of your course, the stages of your journey, 
and of your homeward way, how you may pass along 
the swarming sea. And he would tell you, heaven- 
descended man, if you desire, all that has happened 
at your home, of good or ill, while you have wandered 
on your long and toilsome way.' 

" So she spoke, and answering her said I : ' Do you 
instruct me how to lie in wait for the old god, lest he 
foreseeing or foreknowing may escape. Hard is a god 
for mortal man to master.' 

" So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess 
answered : ' Well, stranger, I will truly tell you all. 
AYhen now the sun has reached mid-heaven, forth from 
the water comes the unerring old man of the sea at a 
13uff of the west wind and veiled in the dark ripple. 
When he is come, he lays him down under the caverned 
cliffs ; while round him seals, the brood of a fair sea 
nymph, huddle and sleep, on rising from the foaming 
water, and pungent is the scent they breathe of the 
unfathomed sea. There will I bring you at the dawn 
of day and lay you in the line. Meantime do you 
choose carefully for comrades the three best men you 
have among the well-benched ships. And I will tell 
you all the old man's magic arts. First he will count 
the seals and go their round ; and when he has told 
them off by fives and found them all, he will lie down 
among them like a shepherd with his flock. As soon 



58 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 414-446. 

as you see him sleeping, summon all your might and 
main and hold him fast, although he strive and strug- 
gle to escape. He will make trial of you, turning into 
whatsoever moves on earth, to water even, and heaven- 
kindled fire ; yet hold unflinchingly and clasp the 
more. But when at length he questions you in his 
own shape, — in the same shape as when you saw him 
sleeping, — then, hero, cease from violence and set the 
old man free, but ask what god afflicts you, and ask 
about your homeward way, how you may pass along 
the swarming sea.' 

"■ Saying this, she plunged into the surging sea. I to 
the ships which lay along the sands turned me away, 
and as I went my heart grew very dark. But when I 
came to the ship and to the sea and we had made our 
supper and the immortal night drew near, we laid us 
down to sleep upon the beach. Then as the early 
rosy-fingered dawn appeared, along the shore of the 
wide-stretching sea I went with many supplications to 
the gods. I took three comrades with me, men whom 
I trusted most in every undertaking. 

" She, in the mean time, having plunged into the 
sea's broad bosom, brought from the deep four skins 
of seals ; all were fresh-flayed ; and she prepared the 
plot against her father. She had scooped hollows in 
the sands, and sat awaiting us. Near her we drew. 
She made us all lie down in order and threw a skin 
on each. Then might our ambuscade have proved a 
hard one ; for the pestilent stench of the sea-born seals 
oppressed us sorely. And who would make his bed 
beside a monster of the sea ? But she preserved us 
and contrived for us great ease. Under the nose of 
each she set ambrosia, very sweet of smell, and this de- 
stroyed the creature's stench. So all the morning did 



IV. 447-479.] THE ODYSSEY. 59 

we wait with patient hearts. At last the seals came 
trooping from the sea and soon lay down in order on 
the beach. At noon out of the sea came the old man, 
found his fat seals, Avent over all, and told their num- 
ber, telling us first among the creatures, and never in 
his heart suspected there was fraud. At length he too 
lay down. Then with a shout we sprang and threv/ 
our arms about him, and the old man did not forget 
his crafty wiles : for first he turned into a bearded lion, 
then to a di:agon, leopard, and huge boar ; he turned 
into liquid water, into a branching tree ; still we held 
firm, with patient hearts. But when at last the old 
man wearied, skillful though he was in magic arts, in 
open speech he questioned me and said : 

" ' Which of the gods, Ο son of Atreus, aided your 
plot to seize me here against my will, by ambuscade ? 
What would you have ? ' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' You 
know, old man, — why put me off with such a question? 
— how long a time I am confined upon this island, un- 
able to discover an escape, while fainter grows my 
heart within. Eather tell me, — for gods know all, — 
which of the immortals chains me here and bars my 
progress ; and tell me of my homeward way, how I 
may pass along the swarming sea.' 

'' So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he: 'Nay, but to Zeus and to the other gods you 
should have made good offerings on setting forth, if 
you would quickly reach your land, sailing the wine- 
dark sea; for now it is appointed you to see your 
friends no more nor reach your stately house and na= 
tive land till you have gone again to Egypt's waters, 
to its heaven-descended stream, and offered sacred 
hecatombs to the immortal gods who hold the open 



60 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 480-511. 

sky. Then shall the gods grant you the course which 
you desire.' 

" As thus he spoke, ray very soul was crushed 
within me because he bade me cross again the misty 
sea and go to Egypt's river, a long and weary way. 
Yet still I answered thus and said: 'Old man, all 
that you bid me I will do. Only declare me this and 
plainly tell, did all the Achaeans with their ships re- 
turn unharmed, whom Nestor and I left on our set- 
ting forth from Troy? Did any die by grievous death 
at sea or in the arms of friends when the skein of war 
was wound ? ' 

" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he : ' Son of Atreus, why question me of this ? Bet- 
ter it were you should not see nor comprehend my 
knowledge ; for certainly you wall not long be free 
from tears after you learn the truth. Yes, many were 
cut off and many spared. Of leaders, only two among 
the mailed Achaeans died on the journey home, — as 
for the battle, you yourself were there, — and one, still 
living, lingers yet on the wide sea. Ajax was lost, he 
and his long-oared ships. At first Poseidon wrecked 
him on the great rocks of Gyrae, but saved him from 
the sea. And so he might have escaped his doom, 
though hated by Athene, had he not uttered overween- 
ing words, puffed up with pride ; for he said he had 
escaped the great gulf of the sea in spite of gods. 
Poseidon heard his haughty boasting, and straightway, 
grasping the trident in his sturdy hands, he smote the 
rock of Gyrae, splitting it open. One part still held 
its place ; the broken piece fell in the sea. It was 
on this Ajax at first had sat, puffed up w4th pride. 
It bore him down into the boundless surging deep. 
So there he died, drinking the briny water. 



IV. 512-543.] THE ODYSSEY. 61 

" ' Your brother escaped liis doom and came in 
safety, he and his hollow shij)s ; for powerful Here 
saved him. But when he was about to reach the 
steep height of Maleia, a sweeping storm bore him 
once more along the swarming sea, loudly lamenting, 
to the confines of that country where Thyestes dwelt 
in former days, but where now dwelt Thyestes' son, 
Aegisthus. And when at last from this point on his 
course was clear of danger, and the gods changed 
the wind about and home they came, then with rejoi- 
cing did he tread his country's soil, and he kissed 
and clasped that soil ; and from him many hot tears 
fell, for he saw the land with gladness. But from a 
tower a watchman spied him, whom wily Aegisthus 
posted there and promised him for pay two talents 
of gold. He had been keeping guard throughout 
the year, lest unobserved the king might come and 
try the force of arms. He hastened to the house to 
tell the shepherd of the people, and soon Aegisthus 
planned his treacherous craft. Selecting twenty of 
the bravest in the land, he laid an ambush ; and just 
across the hall bade that a feast be spread. Then he 
went to welcome Agamemnon, the shepherd of the 
people, with horses and with chariots, while medita- 
ting crimes. He led him up unheeding to his death 
and slew him at the feast, even as one kills the ox be- 
fore the manger. Not a follower of the son of Atreus 
lived, nor a follower of Aegisthus ; all died within the 
hall.' 

" As thus he spoke, my very soul was crushed 
within me, and sitting on the sands I fell to weeping ; 
my heart no longer cared to live and see the sunshine. 
But when of weeping and of writhing I had had my 
fill, then said the unerring old man of the sea : ' Do 



62 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 544-576. 

not, Ο son of Atreus, long and unceasingly tlius weep, 
because we know there is no remedy. Seek rather 
with all speed to reach your native land ; for either 
you will find Aegisthus still alive, or Orestes will have 
slain him, so forestalling you, and you may join the 
funeral feast.' 

" So he spoke, and the heart and sturdy spirit in 
my breast through all my grief again grew warm ; 
and speaking in winged words I said : ' Of these men 
then I know, but name the third who still alive lin- 
gers on the wide sea ; or be he dead, spite of my grief 
I fain would hear.' 

" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he : 'It is Laertes' son, whose home is Ithaca. I saw 
him on an island, letting the big tears fall, in the 
hall of the nymph Calypso, who holds him there by 
force. No power has he to reach his native land, for 
he has no ships fitted with oars, nor crews to bear him 
over the broad ocean-ridges. As for yourseK, heaven- 
favored Menelaus, it is not destined you shall die and 
meet your doom in grazing Argos ; but to the Ely- 
sian plain and the earth's limits the immortal gods 
shall bring you, where fair-haired Rhadamanthus 
dwells. Here utterly at ease passes the life of men. 
No snow is here, no winter long, no rain, but the loud- 
blowing breezes of the west the Ocean-stream sends 
up to bring men coolness ; for you have Helen and 
are counted son-in-law of Zeus.' 

" Saying this, he plunged into the surging sea. I 
with my gallant comrades turned to our ships, and as 
I went my heart grew very dark. But when we came 
to the ship and to the sea, and we had made our sup- 
per, and the immortal night drew near, we laid us 
down to sleep upon the beach. Then as the early rosy- 



IV. 577-610.] THE ODYSSEY. 63 

fingered dawn appeared, we in the first place launched 
our ships into the sacred sea, put masts and sails in 
the trim ships, the men embarked themselves, took 
places at the pins, and sitting in order smote the 
foaming water with their oars. So back again to 
Egypt's waters, to its heaven-descended stream, I 
brought my ships and made the offerings due. And 
after appeasing the anger of the gods that live for- 
ever, I raised a mound to Agamemnon, that his fame 
might never die. This done, I sailed away ; the gods 
gave wind and brought me swiftly to my native land. 
But come, remain awhile here at my hall until eleven 
or twelve days pass. Then I will send you forth 
with honor, giving you splendid gifts, three horses 
and a polished car. Moreover, I will give a goodly 
chalice, that as you pour libations to the immortal 
gods you may be mindful all your days of me." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Ο son 
of Atreus, keep me no long time here, though I could 
be content to stay a year, and no desire for kindred 
or for home would ever come ; for I find a wonderful 
pleasure in hearing your tales and talk. But already 
friends at hallowed Pylos are uneasy, and you still 
hold me here. As for the gift that you WOuld give, 
pray let it be some keepsake. Horses I will not take 
to Ithaca, but leave them as an honor here for you ; 
for you rule open plains, where lotus is abundant, 
marsh-grass and wheat and corn, and the white broad- 
eared barley. In Ithaca there are no open runs, no 
meadows ; a land for goats, and pleasanter than graz- 
ing country. Not one of the islands is a place to 
drive a horse, none has good meadows, of all that rest 
upon the sea ; Ithaca least of all." 

He spoke, and Menelaus, good at the war-cry, 
smiled, patted him Λ^^th his hand, and said : 



64 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 611-641. 

" Of noble blood you are, dear child, as your words 
show. Yes, I will make the change, for well I can. 
And out of all the gifts stored in my house as trea- 
sures I will give you that which is most beautiful and 
precious : I will give a well-wrought bowl. It is of 
solid silver, its rim finished with gold, the work of 
Hephaestus. Lord Phaedimus, the king of the Si- 
donians, gave it to me, when his house sheltered me 
upon my homeward way. And now to you I gladly 
give it." 

So they conversed together. But banqueters were 
coming to the palace of the noble king. Men drove 
up sheep, and brought the cheering wine, and their 
veiled wives sent bread. Thus they were busied with 
their dinner in the hall. 

Meanwhile before the palace of Odysseus the sui- 
tors were making merry, throwing the discus and the 
hunting spear upon the level pavement, holding riot as 
of old. Here sat Antinoiis and god-like Eurymachus, 
the leaders of the suitors ; for they in manly excel- 
lence were quite the best of all. To them Noemon, 
son of Phronius, now drew near ; and questioning 
Antinoiis thus he spoke : 

" Antinoiis, do we know, or do we not, when Tele- 
machus will come from sandy Pylos ? He took a ship 
of mine and went away, and now I need her for cross- 
ing to broad Elis where I keep my twelve brood mares. 
The hardy mules, their foals, are still unbroken ; one 
I would fetch away and break him in." 

So he spoke. The others were amazed. They did 
not think Telemachus was gone to Pylos, to the land 
of Neleus ; they thought he still was somewhere at the 
farm, among the flocks, or with the swineherd. 

Then said Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son : " Tell me 



IV. 642-672.] THE ODYSSEY. 65 

precisely when he went and what young men were 
with him. Picked men of Ithaca, or did he take his 
hirelings and slaves ? That indeed he might do ! 
And tell me truly this, that I may know it well ; did 
he with violence, against your will, take the black 
ship ? Or did you give it willingly, because he 
begged ? " 

Then answered him Noemon, son of Phronius : " I 
gave it willingly. IVhat could one do when a man 
like him, with troubles on his heart, entreated ? Hard 
would it be to keep from giving. The youths who 
next to us are noblest in the land are his companions. 
I marked their captain as he went on board, and it 
was Mentor or a god exactly like him. Yet this is 
strange. Here I saw noble Mentor yesterday in the 
morning ; and there he was embarking on the ship for 
Pylos." 

So saying, he departed to his father's house. But 
the proud spirits of the two were stirred. They made 
the suitors seat themselves and stop their sports. And 
then Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son, addressed them in dis- 
pleasure. \Yith great passion was his dark soul filled. 
His eyes were like bright fire. 

" Well ! Well ! Here is a monstrous action im- 
pudently brought to pass, this journey of Telemachus. 
We said it should not be ; and here in spite of all of 
us this young boy simply goes, launching a ship and 
picking out the best men of the land. Before we 
think, he will begin to be our bane. But may Zeus 
blast his power before he reaches man's estate ! Come 
then, and give me a swift ship with twenty comrades, 
and I will lie in wait upon his way, and guard the 
strait twixt Ithaca and rugged Samos. So to his grief 
he cruises off to find his father." He spoke, and all 



Q6 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 673-704. 

approved and urged him on. And presently they rose 
and entered the hall of Odysseus. 

But now Penelope, no long time after, learned of 
the plans on which the suitors' hearts were brooding. 
For the page Medon told her, who overheard the plot 
as he stood outside the court, while they within it 
framed their scheme. He hastened through the palace 
with the tidings to Penelope ; and as he crossed her 
threshold Penelope thus spoke : 

" Page, why have the lordly suitors sent you here ? 
Was it to tell the maids of princely Odysseus to put 
by work and lay their table ? Oh that they had not 
wooed or gathered here, or that they here to-day 
might eat their last and latest meal ! You troop about 
and squander all our living, even all the estate of 
wise Telemachus. To your fathers of old you gave 
no heed when you w^ere children, nor heard what sort 
of man Odysseus was among your elders, how he did 
no wrong by deed or word to any in the land. And 
that is the common way with high-born kings ; one 
man they hate and love another. But he wrought no 
iniquity to any man. Yet what your disposition is, 
and what your shameful deeds, is plain to see. There 
is no gratitude for good deeds done." 

Then Medon spoke, a man of understanding : " Ah, 
Queen, I would that were our greatest ill ; but 
weightier matters yet, a sorer evil, the suitors now 
propose — which may the son of Kronos hinder! 
They have resolved to slay Telemachus with the keen 
sword, as he sails home. He went away for tidings 
of his father, to hallowed Pylos and to sacred Lace- 
daemon." 

As he thus spoke, her knees grew feeble and her 
very soul. Long time a speechless stupor held her ; 



IV. 705-736.] THE ODYSSEY. 67 

her two eyes filled with tears, her full voice stayed. 
But at the last she answered thus and said : " Page, 
why is my child gone ? AYhat need had he to mount 
the coursing ships, which serve men for sea-horses and 
cross the mighty flood? AYas it to leave no name 
among men here ? " 

Then answered Medon, that man of understanding : 
" I do not know whether a god impelled him, or if his 
own heart stirred within to go to Pylos, to gather 
tidings of his father's coming or there to learn what 
fate he met." 

So saying, he departed along the hall of Odysseus. 
But upon her heart-eating anguish fell. No longer 
had she power to sit upon a chair, though many were 
in the room, but down she sank upon the floor of her 
rich chamber, pitifully moaning. Round about, her 
maids were sobbing — all her household, young and 
old. And with repeated ci-ies, Penelope thus spoke : 

*' Listen, dear maids ! Surely the Olympian gSLve 
me exceeding sorrow, beyond all women born and 
bred my mates. For I in former days lost my good 
husband, a man of lion heart, for every excellence 
honored among the Danaans — good man ! his fame 
is wide throuoh Hellas and mid-Aro-os. Moreover 
now my darling son the winds have snatched away, 
silently, from my halls ; I heard not of his going. 
Hard-hearted maids I No one of you took thought to 
rouse me from my bed, though well your own hearts 
knew when he embarked on the black hollow ship. 
Ah, had I learned that he w^as purposing this jour- 
ney, surely he would have stayed, however eager for 
the journey, or else he should have left me dead 
within the hall. But now let some one haste and call 
old Dolius, the slave my father gave when I came here, 



68 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 737-767. 

who tends my orchard trees ; that he may quickly go, 
seat himself by Laertes and, telling all, learn if Laer- 
tes can devise a way to come before the people and 
cry out against the men who seek to crush his race 
and that of great Odysseus." 

Then answered her the good nurse Eurycleia : 
" Dear lady, slay me with the ruthless sword or leave 
me in the hall ; I will not hide my story. I knew of 
all. I gave him what he wanted, bread and sweet 
wine. But he exacted from me a solemn oath to 
speak no word to you until twelve days were past, 
or until you should miss him and hear that he was 
gone, that so you might not stain your beautiful face 
with tears. Now therefore bathe, and putting on 
fresh garments, go to your upper chamber with your 
maids, and offer prayer to Athene, daughter of aegis- 
bearing Zeus ; for thus she may preserve him safe 
from death. Yex not an old man, vexed already. 
Surely I cannot think the Arceisian line is wholly 
hateful to the blessed gods. Nay, one shall still sur- 
vive to hold the high-roofed house and the fat fields 
around." 

She spoke, and lulled the other's cries and stayed 
her eyes from tears. Penelope bathed, and putting 
on fresh garments went to her upper chamber with 
her maids, took barley in a basket, and thus she 
prayed Athene : 

" Hear me, thou child of segis-bearing Zeus, un- 
wearied one I If ever wise Odysseus when at home 
burned the fat thighs of ox or sheep to thee, thereof 
be mindful now ; preserve me my dear son. Guard 
him against the cruel suitors' wrongs." 

Thus having said, she raised the cry, and the god- 
dess heard her prayer. But the suitors broke into 



IV. 7G8-801.] THE ODYSSEY. by 

uproar up and down the dusky hall, and a rude youth 
would say : " Ha, ha ! at last the long-wooed queen 
makes ready for our marriage. Little she thinks that 
for her son death is in waiting." So they would say, 
but knew not how things were. 

And now Antinoiis addressed them, saying : " Good 
sirs, bew^are of haughty talk of every kind, or some 
one may report it indoors too. Come, rather, let us 
rise and quietly as we may let us effect the scheme 
which pleased the hearts of all." 

So saying, he chose the twenty fittest men, who 
went to the swift ship and to the shore. They in the 
first place launched the ship into deep water, put 
mast and sail in the black ship, fitted the oars into 
their leathern slings, all in due order, and up aloft 
spread the white sail. Stately squires carried their 
armor. Out in the stream they moored the boat, they 
themselves disembarked, took supper there, and waited 
for the evening to come on. 

But in her upper chamber heedful Penelope still 
lay fasting, tasting neither food nor drink, anxious 
whether her gentle son would escape death, or by the 
audacious suitors be borne down ; as doubts a lion in 
a crowd of men, in terror as they draw the crafty cir- 
cle round him. To iier in such anxiety sweet slumber 
came, and lying back she slept and every joint re- 
laxed. 

Now a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed 
Athene. She shaped a phantom fashioned in a wo- 
man's form, even like Iphthime, daughter of brave 
Icarius, her whom Eumelus married, that had his 
home at Pherae. And this she sent to the house of 
princely Odysseus, that it might make Penelope, 
mourning and sighing now, cease from her griefs and 



70 THE ODYSSEY. [IV. 802-834. 

tearful cries. It came into tlie chamber past the bolt- 
strap, stood by her head and thus addressed her : 

"Are you asleep, Penelope, dear troubled heart? 
No, never shall the gods that live at ease leave you 
to weep and pine ; for still your son is destined to re= 
turn, since in the gods' sight he is no trangressor." 

Then answered heedful Penelope, very sweetly slum- 
bering at the gates of dreams : " Why, sister, have you 
come ? You never before were with me, because your 
home is very far away. And you bid me cease from 
grief and all the pangs that vex my mind and heart, 
me who in former days lost my good husband, a man 
of lion heart, for every excellence honored among the 
Danaans — good man I his fame is wide through Hel- 
las and mid-Argos. Moreover now my darling son is 
gone on a hollow ship, a mere boy too, but little 
skilled in cares and counsels. Therefore for him I 
mourn even more than for that other. For him I 
tremble, and I fear that he may meet with ill, either 
from those within the land where he is gone, or on 
the sea. For many evil-minded men now plot against 
him and seek to cut him off before he gains his native 
land." 

And answering her, said the dim phantom : " Take 
heart, and be not in your mind too sore afraid. So 
true a guide goes with him as other men have prayed 
for aid — for powerful is she — Pallas Athene. See- 
ing you grieve, she pities you, and it was she who sent 
me here to tell you so." 

Then heedful Penelope said to her : " If you are a 
god and have obeyed some heavenly bidding, come 
tell me also of that hapless one, if he still lives and 
sees the sunshine ; or is he now already dead and in 
the house of Hades ? " 



IV. 835-847.] THE ODYSSEY. 71 

And answering her, said the dim phantom : " Of 
him I will not speak at length, be he alive or dead. 
To speak vain words is ill." 

So saying, it glided past the door-post's bolt into 
the airy breezes. And out of sleep awoke Icarius' 
daughter, and her very soul was warmed, so clear a 
dream was sent her in the dead of night. 

Meanwhile the suitors, embarking in their ship, sailed 
on their watery journey, purposing in their minds the 
speedy murder of Telemachus. Now in mid-sea there 
is a rocky island, midway from Ithaca to rugged 
Samos — Star Islet called — of no great size. It 
has a harbor, safe for ships, on either side ; and here 
it was the Achaeans waited, watching. 



THE RAFT OF ODYSSEUS. 

Dawn from her coucli by higli Tithonus rose to 
bring light to immortals and to men ; and now the 
gods sat down to council. With them was Zeus, who 
thunders from on high, whose power is over all ; and 
to them Athene, ever mindful of Odysseus, told of his 
many woes ; for she was troubled by his stay at the 
dwelling of the nymph. 

"O Father Zeus, and all you blessed gods that 
live forever, never again let sceptred king in all sin- 
cerity be kind and gentle, nor let him in his mind 
heed righteousness. Let him instead ever be stern 
and work unrighteous deeds ; since none remembers 
princely Odysseus among the people whom he ruled, 
kind father though he was. Upon an island now he 
lies, deeply distressed, at the hall of the nymph Ca- 
lypso, who holds him there by force. No power has 
he to reach his native land, for he has no ships fitted 
with oars, nor crews to bear him over the broad ocean- 
ridges. Now, too, men seek to slay his darling son, 
as he sails home. He went away for tidings of his 
father, to hallowed Pylos and to sacred Lacedaemon." 

Then answering, said cloud-gathering Zeus ; " My 
child, what word has passed the barrier of your teeth ? 
For was it not yourself proposed the plan to have 
Odysseus crush these men by his return ? As for 
Telemachus, aid him upon his way with wisdom, — 



V. 2δ-ο6.] THE ODYSSEY. 73 

as you can, — that he may come unharmed to his own 
native land, and the suitors in their ship may be turned 
back again." 

He spoke, and said to Hermes, his dear son : 
" Hermes, since you in all things are my messenger, 
tell to the fair-haired nymph our steadfast purpose, 
that hardy Odysseus shall go forth upon his homeward 
way, not with gods' guidance nor with that of mortal 
man ; but by himself, beset with sorrows, on a strong- 
built raft, he shall in twenty days reach fertile Scheria, 
the land of the Phaeacians, who are kinsmen of the 
gods. There shall they greatly honor him, as if he 
were a god, and bring him on his way by ship to his 
own native land, giving him stores of bronze and gold 
and clothing, more than Odysseus would have won from 
Troy itself, had he returned unharmed with his due 
share of spoil. Thus, then, it is his lot to see his 
friends and reach his high-roofed house and native 
land." 

So he spoke, and the guide, the Speedy-comer, did 
not disobey ; forthwith under his feet he bound his 
beautiful sandals, immortal, made of gold, which carry 
him over the flood and over the boundless land swift 
as a breath of wind. He took the wand with which 
he charms to sleep the eyes of whom he will, while 
again whom he will he wakens out of slumber. With 
this in hand, the powerful Speedy-comer began his 
flight. On coming to Pieria, out of the upper air 
he dropped down on the deep and skimmed along the 
water like a bird, a gull, which down the fearful hol- 
lows of the barren sea, snatching at fish, dips its thick 
plumage in the spray. In such wise, through the mul- 
titude of waves, moved Hermes. But when he neared 
the distant island, there turning landward from the 



74 THE ODYSSEY. [V. o7-S9. 

dark blue sea, he walked until he came to a great 
grotto where dwelt the fair-haired nymph. He found 
she was within. Upon the hearth a great fire blazed, 
and far along the island the fragrance of cleft cedar 
and of sandal-wood sent perfume as they burned. In- 
doors, and singing with sweet voice, she tended her loom 
and wove with golden shuttle. Around the grotto, 
trees grew luxuriantly, alder and poplar and sweet- 
scented cypress, where long-Λvinged birds had nests, — 
owls, hawks, and sea-crows ready-tongued, that ply 
their business in the waters. Here too was trained 
over the hollow grotto a thrifty vine, luxuriant with 
clusters ; and four springs in a row were running with 
clear water, making their way from one another here 
and there. On every side soft meadows of violet 
and parsley bloomed. Here, therefore, even an im- 
mortal who should come might gaze at what he saw, 
and in his heart be glad. Here stood and gazed the 
guide, the Speedy-comer. Then after he had gazed to 
his heart's fill on all, straightway he entered the wide- 
mouthed grotto, and at a glance Calypso, the heavenly 
goddess, failed not to know it was he ; for not un- 
known to one another are immortal gods, although 
they have their dwellings far apart. But brave Odys- 
seus he did not find within ; for he sat weeping on the 
shore, where, as of old, with tears and groans and 
griefs racking his heart, he watched the barren 
sea and poured forth tears. And now Calypso, the 
heavenly goddess, questioned Hermes, seating him on 
a handsome, shining chair : 

" Pray, Hermes of the golden wand, why are you 
come, honored and welcome though you are ? You 
were not often with me hitherto. Speak what you 
have in mind ; my heart bids me to do it, if I can do 



V. 90-124.] THE ODYSSEY. 75 

it and it is a thing that can be done. But follow me 
first, and let me give you entertainment." 

So saying, the goddess laid a table, loading it with 
ambrosia and mixing ruddy nectar ; and so the guide, 
the Speedy-comer, drank and ate. But when he had 
eaten dinner and stayed his heart with food, then thus 
he answered her and said : 

" Goddess, you question me, a god, about my com- 
ing hither, and I will truly tell my story as you bid. 
Zeus ordered me to come, against my will. AYho of 
his own accord would cross such stretches of salt sea ? 
Interminable ! And no city of men at hand to make 
an offering to the gods and bring them chosen heca- 
tombs. Nevertheless the will of aegis-bearing Zeus 
no god may cross or set at naught. He says a man 
is with you, the most unfortunate of all who fought 
for Priam's town nine years and in the tenth de- 
stroyed the city and departed home. They on their 
homeward way offended Athene, who raised ill winds 
against them and a heavy sea. Thus all the rest of 
his good comrades perished, but wind and water 
brought him here. This is the man whom Zeus now 
bids you send away, and quickly too, for it is not 
ordained that he shall perish far from friends ; it is 
his lot to see his friends once more and reach his high- 
roofed house and native land." 

As he said this. Calypso, the heavenly goddess, 
shuddered, and speaking in winged words she said: 
" Hard are you gods and envious beyond all, to grudge 
the goddesses their meeting men in open wedlock, when 
one makes the man she loves her husband. So when 
rosy-fingered Dawn had chosen Orion, you gods that 
live at ease grudged him to her, till in Ortygia chaste 
gold-throned Artemis attacked and slew him with her 



76 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 125-159. 

gentle arrows. When, too, fair-haired Demeter, fol- 
lowing her heart, lay with lasion in the thrice- 
ploughed field, not long was Zeus unmindful ; for he 
slew him, hurling his gleaming bolt. So now again, 
you gods grudge me the mortal tarrying here. Yet 
it was I who saved him, as he rode astride his keel 
alone, when Zeus with a gleaming bolt smote his swift 
ship and wrecked it in the middle of the wine-dark 
sea. There all the rest of his good comrades perished, 
but wind and water brought him here. I loved and 
cherished him, and often said that I would make him 
an immortal, young forever. But since the will of 
aegis-bearing Zeus no god may cross or set at naught, 
let him depart, if Zeus commands and bids it, over 
the barren sea ! Only I will not aid him on his way, 
for I have no ships fitted with oars, nor crews to bear 
him over the broad ocean-ridges ; but I will freely 
give him counsel and not hide how he may come 
unharmed to his own native land." 

Then said to her the guide, the Speedy-comer : 
" Even so, then, let him go ! Beware the wrath of 
Zeus ! Let not his anger by and by grow hot against 
you!" 

So saying, the powerful Speedy-comer went his way, 
while the potent nymph hastened to brave Odysseus, 
obedient to the words of Zeus. She found him sitting 
on the shore, and from his eyes the tears were never 
dried ; his sweet life ebbed away in longings for his 
home, because the nymph pleased him no more. And 
yet by night he always lay, though by constraint, 
within the hollow grotto, unwilling by her willing 
side ; but in the daytime, sitting on the rocks ai^d 
sands, with tears and groans and griefs racking his 
heart, he watched the barren sea and poured forth 
tears. Now drawing near, the heavenly goddess said : 



V. 160-191.] THE ODYSSEY. 11 

" Unhappy man, sorrow no longer here, nor let 
your days be wasted, for I at last will freely let you 
go. Come, then, hew the long timbers and fashion 
with your axe a broad-beamed raft ; build a high bul- 
wark round, and let it bear you over the misty sea. 
I will supply you bread, water, and the ruddy wine 
you like, to keep off hunger ; I will provide you 
clothing and will send a wind to follow, that you 
may come unharmed to your own native land, — if 
the gods will, who hold the open sky, for they are 
mightier than I to purpose or fulfill." 

As she said this, long-tried royal Odysseus shud- 
dered, and speaking in winged words he said : 

" Some other purpose, goddess, you surely have in 
this than aid upon my way, when you thus bid me 
cross on a raft that great gulf of the sea — terrible, 
toilsome — which trim ships cannot cross, although 
they speed so fast, glad in the breeze of Zeus. But I 
will never, notwithstanding what you say, set foot 
upon a raft till you consent, goddess, to swear a sol- 
emn oath that you are not meaning now to plot me 
further woe." 

He spoke ; Calypso, the heavenly goddess, smiled, 
caressed him with her hand and spoke thus, saying : 

^' You are a cunning rogue, never inclined to folly ! 
How could you think of uttering such words ! Hear 
this, then. Earth, and the broad Heaven above, and 
thou down-flowing water of Styx ! — which is the 
strongest and most dreaded oath among the blessed 
gods, — I am not meaning now to plot you further 
woe. Nay, that I have in mind, and that I here pro- 
pose, which I would seek for my own good were such 
need laid on me. Indeed, my thoughts are upright ; 
no iron heart is in my breast, but one of pity." 



78 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 192-224. 

So saying, the heavenly goddess led the way in 
haste, and he walked after in the footsteps of the god- 
dess. And now to the hollow grotto came the god- 
dess and the man, and he sat down upon the chair 
whence Hermes had arisen. The nymph then set be- 
fore him all food to eat and drink which men are 
wont to use, and took her seat over against princely 
Odysseus, while maids set forth for her ambrosia and 
nectar ; then on the food spread out before them they 
laid hands. So after they were satisfied with food 
and drink, then thus began Calypso, the heavenly 
goddess : 

" High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, do 
you so wish to go at once home to your native land ? 
Farewell, then, even so ! But if at heart you knew 
how many woes you must endure before you reach 
that native land, you would remain with me, become 
the guardian of my home, and be immortal, spite of 
your wish to see your wife, whom you are always 
longing for day after day. Yet not inferior to her I 
count myself, either in form or stature. Surely it is 
not likely that mortal women rival the immortals in 
form and beauty." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Pow- 
erful goddess, do riot be wroth at what I say. Full 
well I know that heedful Penelope, compared with you, 
is poor to look upon in height and beauty ; for she is 
human, but you are an immortal, young forever. Yet 
even so, I wish — yes, every day I long — to travel 
home and see my day of coming. And if again one 
of the gods shall wreck me on the wine-dark sea, I 
will be patient still, bearing within my breast a heart 
well-tried with trouble ; for in times past much have I 
borne and much have toiled, in waves and war ; to 
that, let this be added." 



V. 225-259.] THE ODYSSEY. i>) 

As he thus spoke, the sun went down and darkness 
came ; and so the two, hid in the hollow grotto, joyed 
in their love, abiding by each other. 

Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
quickly Odysseus dressed in coat and tunic ; and the 
nymph dressed herself in a long silvery robe, finespun 
and graceful, she bound a beautiful golden gird! 
round her waist, and put a veil upon her head. Then 
she prepared to send forth brave Odysseus. She gave 
him a great axe, which fitted well his hands ; it was an 
axe of bronze, sharp on both sides, and had a beauti- 
ful olive haadle, strongly fastened ; she gave him too 
a polished adze. And now she led the way to the 
farther shore of the island where the trees grew tall, 
alder and poplar and sky-stretching pine, long-sea- 
soned, very dry, that would float lightly. When she 
had shown him where the trees grew tall, homeward 
Calypso went, the heavenly goddess, while he began to 
cut the logs. The work was quickly done. Twenty in 
all he felled, and trimmed them with the axe, smoothed 
them with skill, and leveled them to the line. Mean- 
while, Calypso, the heavenly goddess, brought him au- 
gers, and so he bored each piece and fitted all, and 
then with pins and crossbeams fastened the whole to- 
gether. As when a man skillful in carpentry lays out 
the floor of a broad freight-ship, of such a size Odys- 
seus built his broad-beamed raft. He raised a bul- 
wark, set with many ribs, and finished with long tim- 
bers on the top. He made a mast and sail-yard fitted 
to it ; he made a rudder, too, with which to steer. 
And then he caulked the raft from end to end with 
willow withes, to guard against the water, and much 
material he used. Meanwhile, Calypso, the heavenly 
goddess, brought him cloth to make the sail, and well 



80 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 260^291. 

did he contrive this too. Braces and halyards and 
sheet-ropes he set up in her and then with levers 
heaved her down into the sacred sea. 

The fourth day came, and he had finished all. So 
on the fifth divine Calypso sent him from the island, 
putting upon him fragrant clothes and giving him a 
bath. A skin the goddess gave him, filled with dark 
wine, a second large one full of water, and some pro- 
vision in a sack. She put upon the raft whatever dain- 
ties pleased him and sent along his course a fair and 
gentle breeze. Joyfully to the breeze royal Odysseus 
spread his sail, and with his rudder skillfully he steered 
from where he sat. No sleep fell on his eyelids as he 
gazed upon the Pleiads, on Bootes which sets late, and 
on the Bear which men call Wagon too, which turns 
around one spot, watching Orion, and alone does not 
dip in the Ocean-stream. For Calypso, the heavenly 
goddess, bade him to cross the sea wath the Bear upon 
his left ; so seventeen days he sailed across the sea. 
On the eighteenth there came in sight the dim heights 
of Phaeacia, where nearest him it lay ; it seemed a 
shield laid on the misty sea. 

But now the mighty Earth-shaker, coming from 
Ethiopia, spied him afar from the mountains of the 
Solymi ; for Odysseus came in sight as he sailed along 
the sea. And Poseidon grew more wroth in spirit, 
and shaking his head he muttered to his heart : 

" Aha ! so then the gods have changed their pur- 
poses about Odysseus, while I was with the Ethiopians ! 
And here he is close to the land of the Phaeacians, 
where he is destined to escape from the great coil of 
evil that surrounds him. Yet still I hope to plunge 
him into sufficient trouble." 

So saying, he gathered clouds and stirred the deep, 



V. 292-325.] THE ODYSSEY. 81 

gTasj)ing the trident in his hands ; he started tempests 
of wind from every side, and covered with his clouds 
both land and sea ; night broke from heaven ; forth 
rushed together Eurus and Notus, hard-blowing Ze- 
phjrus, and sky-born Boreas, rolling up heavy waves. 
Then did Odysseus' knees grow feeble, and his very 
soul, and in dismay he said to his stout heart : 

" Ah, woe is me ! AVhat will become of me at last ? 
I fear that all the goddess told was true, when she de- 
clared that on the sea, before I reached my native land, 
I should be filled with sorrow. Now all is come to pass. 
Ah, with what clouds Zeus overcasts the open sky I 
He stirred the deep, and tempests of wind hurry from 
every side. Swift death is sure. Thrice, four times 
happy Danaans who in the time gone by fell on the 
plain of Troy to please the sons of Atreus ! Would I 
had died there too, and met my doom the day a multi- 
tude of Trojans hurled at me brazen spears over the 
body of the son of Peleus ! Then had I found a burial, 
and the Achaeans had borne my name afar. Now I 
must be cut off by an inglorious death." 

As thus he spoke, a great wave broke on high and 
madly plunging whirled his raft around ; far from the 
raft he fell and sent the rudder flying from his hand. 
The mast snapped in the middle under the fearful 
tempest of opposing Vvinds that struck, and far in the 
sea canvas and sail-yard fell. The water held him 
long submerged ; he could not rise at once after the 
crash of the great wave, for the clothing which divine 
Calypso gave him weighed him down. At length, 
however, he came up, spitting from out his mouth the 
bitter brine which plentifully trickled from his head. 
Yet even then, spent as he was, he did not forget his 
raft, but pushing on amongst the wa\"es laid hold of 



82 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 326-356. 

her, and in her middle got a seat and so escaped 
death's ending. But her the great wave drove along 
its current, up and down. As when in autumn Boreas 
drives thistleheads along the plain, and close they 
cling together, so the winds drove her up and down 
the deep. One moment Notus tossed her on for Bo- 
reas to drive ; the next would Eurus give her up for 
Zephyrus to chase. 

But the daughter of Cadmus saw him, fair-ankled 
Ino, that goddess pale who formerly was mortal and 
of human speech, but now in the water's depths shares 
the gods' honors. She pitied Odysseus, cast away 
and meeting sorrow, and like a petrel on the wing she 
rose from the sea's trough, and lighting on his strong- 
built raft spoke to him thus : 

" Unhappy man, why is it earth-shaking Poseidon 
is so furiously enraged that he makes many ills spring 
up around you ? Destroy you shall he not, however 
wroth he be ! Only do this, — you seem to me not 
to lack understanding. Strip off these clothes, and 
leave your raft for winds to carry, then strike out 
with your arms and seek a landing on the Phaeacian 
coast, where fate allows you safety. Here, spread 
this wimple underneath your breast. It is immortal ; 
have no fear of suffering or death. But when your 
hands shall touch the shore, untie and fling the wim- 
ple into the wine-dark sea, well off the shore, and so 
depart." 

Saying this, the goddess gave the wimple, and she 
herself plunged back into the surging sea, in likeness 
of a petrel. The dark wave closed around. Then 
hesitated long-tried royal Odysseus, and in dismay he 
said to his stout heart : 

" Ah me ! I fear that here again an immortal plots 



V. 357-391.] THE ODYSSEY. 83 

me harm in bidding me leave my raft. I will not yet 
obey ; for in the distance I saw land, where it was said 
my safety lies. This I will do, for best it seems : so 
long as the beams hold in the fastenings, here I will 
stay and bide wdiat I must bear ; but when the surge 
batters my raft to pieces, then I will swim. There is 
no better plan." 

While he thus doubted in his mind and heart, earth- 
shaking Poseidon raised a great wave, gloomy and 
grievous, and with bending crest, and launched it on 
him. And as a gusty wind tosses a heap of grain 
when it is dry, and some it scatters one way, some an- 
other, so were the long beams scattered. But Odys- 
seus mounting a beam, as if he rode a steed, stripped 
off the clothing which divine Calypso gave, spread 
quickly the w^imple underneath his breast, and plunged 
down headlong in the sea, with {lands outstretched, 
ready to swim. The great Earth-shaker spied him, 
and shaking his head he muttered to his heart : 

*' Thus, after meeting many ills, be tossed about the 
sea until you join a jDeople who are favorites of Zeus ; 
but e\^en then, I trust, you will not laugh at danger." 

Saying this, he lashed his full-maned horses and 
came to Aegae, where his lordly dwelling stands. 

And now Athene, daughter of Zeus, formed a new 
plan. She barred the pathway of the other winds, 
bade them to cease and all be laid to rest ; but she 
roused bustling Boreas and before it broke the waves, 
that safely among the oar-loving Phaeacians might 
come high-born Odysseus, freed from death and doom. 

Then two nights and two days on the resistless 
waves he drifted ; many a time his heart faced death. 
But when the fair-haired dawn brought the third day, 
then the wind ceased ; there came a breathless calm ; 



84 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 392-424. 

and close at hand he spied the coast, as he cast a keen 
glance forward, upborne on a great wave. As when 
the precious life is watched by children in a father, 
who lies in sickness, suffering great pain and slowly 
wasting, — for a hostile power assails him, — and 
then the one thus prized the gods set free from dan- 
ger ; so precious in Odysseus' eyes appeared the land 
and trees. Onward he swam, impatient for his feet 
to touch the ground. But when he was as far away 
as one can call, he heard a pounding of the ocean 
on the ledges ; for the great waves roared as on the 
barren land they madly dashed, and all was whirled 
in spray. There was no harbor here to hold a ship, 
no open roadstead ; only projecting bluffs, ledges, 
and reefs. At this Odysseus' knees grew feeble, and 
his very soul, and in dismay he said to his stout 
heart : 

" Alas ! when Zeus now lets me see unlooked-for 
land, and forcing my way along the gulf I finally 
reach its end, no landing anywhere appears out of the 
foaming sea. Outside are jagged reefs ; around thun- 
der the surging waves, and smooth and steep rises the 
rocky shore. To the edge the sea is deep, and possi- 
ble it is not to get a footing with botli feet and so es- 
cape disaster. If I should try to land, great sweep- 
mg- weaves mio^ht dash me on the solid rock ; useless 
would the attempt be ! But if I swim still farther, 
hoping to find a sloping shore and harbors off the sea, 
I fear a sweeping storm may bear me yet again along 
the swarming sea, loudly lamenting ; or God may send 
upon me a monster of the deep, — and many such 
great Amphitrite breeds, — for I know how angry is 
the great Land-shaker." 

While he thus doubted in his mind and heart, a 



V. 425-456.] THE ODYSSEY. 85 

huge wave bore liim onward toward the rugged shore. 
There would his skin have been, stri2)ped off and his 
bones broken, had not the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, 
given him counsel. Struggling, he grasped the rock 
with both his hands and clung there, groaning, till 
the great wave passed. That one he thus escaped, 
but the back-flowing water struck him again, still 
struggling, and swept him out to sea. And just as, 
when a polyp is torn from out its bed, about its suck- 
ers clustering pebbles cling, so on the rocks pieces of 
skin Λvere strij^ped from his strong hands. The great 
wave covered him. Then miserably, before his time, 
Odysseus would have died, if clear-eyed Athene had 
not given him ready thought. Rising beyond the 
waves which thundered on the coast, he swam along 
outside, eying the land, in hopes to find a sloping 
shore and harbors off the sea. But when, as he swam, 
he reached the mouth of a fair-flowing river, there 
the ground seemed most fit, for it was clear of stones 
and sheltered from the breeze. He felt the river 
flowing forth, and in his heart he prayed : 

" Hearken, Ο lord, whoe'er thou art ! Thee, long 
desired, I find, when flying from the sea and from 
Poseidon's threats. Respected even of immortal gods 
is he who comes a fugitive, as I here now come to thy 
current and thy knees through weary toil. Show 
pity, lord I I call myself thy suppliant." 

He spoke, and the god straightway stayed the 
stream and checked the waves, before him made a 
calm, and brought him safely into the riΛ^er's mouth. 
Both knees hung loose, and both his sturdy arms, for 
by the sea his spirit had been broken. His body was 
all swollen, and water gushed in streams out of his 
mouth and nostrils. So, breathless and speechless, in 



86 THE ODYSSEY. [V. 457-488. 

a swoon he lay and dire fatigue o'ercame him. But 
when he gained his breath, and in his breast the spirit 
rallied, then he unbound the wimple of the goddess 
and dropped it in the river running out to sea ; and 
back a great wave bore it down the stream, and Ino 
soon received it in her friendly hands. But he, re- 
treating from the river, lay down among the rushes 
and kissed the bounteous earth, and in dismay he said 
to his stout heart : 

" Ah me ! What shall I do ? What will become 
of me even now ? If by the stream I watch through- 
out the weary night, may not the bitter frost and the 
fresh dew together after this swoon end my exhausted 
life ? The breeze from off a river blows cool toward 
early morning. But if I climb the hill-side up to the 
dusky wood and sleep in the thick bushes, — suppos-* 
ing that the chill and weariness depart and pleasant 
sleep come on, — I am afraid I may become the wild 
beasts' prey and prize." 

Yet on reflecting thus, this seemed the better way : 
he hastened therefore to the wood. This he found 
near the water, with open space around. He crept 
under a pair of shrubs sprung from a single spot ; the 
one was wild, the other common, olive. These no 
force of wind with its chill breath could pierce, no 
sunbeams smite, nor rain pass through, they grew so 
thickly intertwined with one another. Under them 
crept Odysseus, and quickly with his hands he scraped 
a bed together, an ample one, for a thick fall of leaves 
was there, enough to shelter two or three men in 
winter-time, however severe the weather. This long- 
tried royal Odysseus saw with joy, and lay down in 
the midst, heaping the fallen leaves above. As a man 
hides a brand in a dark bed of ashes, at some out- 



V. 489-493.] THE ODYSSEY. 87 

lying farm wliere neighbors are not near, hoarding a 
seed of fire to save his seeking elsewhere, even so did 
Odysseus hide himself in leaves ; and on his eyes 
Athene poured a sleep, quickly to ease him from the 
fatigue of toil, letting his evelids close. 



VI. 

THE LANDING IN PHAEACIA. 

Thus long-tried royal Odysseus slumbered here, 
heavy with sleep and toil; but Athene went to the 
land and town of the Phaeacians. This people once 
in ancient times lived in the open Highlands, near that 
rude folk the Cyclops, who often plundered them, be- 
ing in strength more powerful than they. Moving 
them thence, godlike Nausithoiis, their leader, estab- 
lished them at Scheria, far from toiling men. He ran 
a wall around the town, built houses there, made tem- 
ples for the gods, and laid out farms ; but Nausithoiis 
had met his doom and gone to the house of Hades, and 
Alcinoiis now was reigning, trained in wisdom by the 
gods. To this man's dwelling came the goddess, clear- 
eyed Athene, planning a safe return for brave Odys- 
seus. She hastened to a chamber, richly wrought, in 
which a maid was sleeping, of form and beauty like 
the immortals, Nausicaa, daughter of generous Alci- 
noiis. Near by two damsels, dowered with beauty by 
the Graces, slept by the threshold, one on either hand. 
The shining doors were shut ; but Athene, like a 
breath of air, moved to the maid's couch, stood by her 
head, and thus addressed her, — taking the likeness 
of the daughter of Dymas, the famous seaman, a 
maiden just Nausicaa s age, dear to her heart. Taking 
her guise, thus spoke clear-eyed Athene : 

"Nausicaa, how did your mother bear a child so 



VI. 26-56.] THE ODYSSEY. 89 

heedless ? Your gay clotlies lie uncared for, thougli 
the wedding time is near, when you must wear fine 
clothes yourself and furnish them to those that may 
attend you. From things like these a good repute 
arises, and father and honored mother are made glad. 
Then let us go a-washing at the dawn of day, and I 
will go to help, that you may soon be ready; for 
really not much longer will you be a maid. Already 
you have for suitors the chief ones of the land 
throughout Phaeacia, where you too were born. Come, 
then, beg your good father early in the morning to 
harness the mules and cart, so as to carry the men's 
clothes, gowns, and bright-hued rugs. Yes, and for 
you yourself it is more decent so than setting forth 
on foot ; the pools are far from the town." 

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed away, off to 
Olympus, where they say the dwelling of the gods 
stands fast forever. Never with winds is it disturbed, 
nor by the rain made wet, nor does the snow come 
near; but everywhere the upper air spreads cloudless, 
and a bright radiance plaj^s OA^er all ; and there the 
blessed gods are happy all their days. Thither now 
came the clear-eyed one, when she had spoken with 
the maid. 

Soon bright-throned morning came, and waked fair- 
robed Nausicaa. She marveled at the dream, and 
hastened through the house to tell it to her parents, 
her dear father and her mother. She found them 
still in-doors : her mother sat by the hearth among 
the waiting-women, spinning sea-purple yarn ; she met 
her father at the door, just going forth to join the 
famous princes at the council, to which the high 
Phaeacians summoned him. So standing close beside 
him, she said to her dear father : 



90 THE ODYSSEY. [VI. 57-80. 

"Papa dear, could you not have the wagon har- 
nessed for me, — the high one, with good wheels, — 
to take my nice clothes to the river to be washed, 
which now are lying dirty ? Surely for jou yourself it 
is but proper, when you are with the first men holding 
councils, that you should wear clean clothing. Five 
good sons too are here at home, — two married, and 
three merry young men still, — and they are always 
wanting to go to the dance wearing fresh clothes. 
And this is all a trouble on my mind." 

Such were her words, for she was shy of naming the 
glad marriage to her father ; but he understood it all, 
and answered thus : 

" I do not grudge the nudes, my child, nor anything 
beside. Go ! Quickly shall the servants harness the 
wagon for you, the high one, with good wheels, fitted 
with rack above." 

Saying this, he called to the servants, who gave 
heed. Out in the court they made the easy mule-cart 
ready ; they brought the mules, and yoked them to the 
wagon. The maid took from her room her pretty 
clothing, and stowed it in the polished wagon ; her 
mother put in a chest food the maid liked, of every 
kind, put dainties in, and poured some wine into a 
goat-skin bottle, — the maid, meanwhile, had got into 
the wagon, — and gave her in a golden flask some 
liquid oil, that she might bathe and anoint herself, 
she and the waiting-women. Nausicaa took the whip 
and the bright reins, and cracked the whip to start. 
There was a clatter of the mules, and steadily they 
pulled, drawing the clothing and the maid, — yet not 
alone ; beside her went the waiting- women too. 

When now they came to the fair riΛ^er's current, 
where the pools were always full, — for in abundance 



VI. 87-119.] THE ODYSSEY. ^1 

clear water bubbles from beneath to cleanse tbe foul- 
est stains, — they turned the mules loose from the 
wagon, and let them stray along the eddying stream, 
to croj^ the honeyed pasturage. Then from the wagon 
they took the clothing in their arms, carried it into 
the dark water, and stamped it in the pits with rivalry 
in speed. And after they had washed and cleansed 
it of all stains, they spread it carefully along the shore, 
just where the waves washed up the pebbles on the 
beach. Then bathing and anointing with the oil, 
they presently took dinner on the river bank and 
waited for the clothes to dry in the sunshine. And 
when they were refreshed with food, the maids and 
she, they then began to play at ball, throwing their 
wimples off. White-armed Nausicaa led their sport ; 
and as the huntress Artemis goes down a mountain, 
down long Taygetus or Erymanthus, exulting in the 
boars and the swift deer, while round her sport the 
woodland nymphs, daughters of segis-bearing Zeus, 
and glad is Leto's heart, for all the rest her child 
o'ertops by head and brow, and easily marked is she, 
though all are fair ; so did this virgin pure excel her 
women. 

But when Nausicaa thought to turn toward home 
once more, to yoke the mules and fold up the clean 
clothes, then a new plan the goddess formed, clear- 
eyed Athene ; for she would have Odj^sseus wake and 
see the bright-eyed maid, who might to the Phaeacian 
city show the way. Just then the princess tossed the 
ball to one of her women, and missing her it fell in 
the deep eddy. Thereat they screamed aloud. Royal 
Odysseus woke, and sitting up debated in his mind 
and heart : 

" Alas ! To what men's land am I come now ? 



92 THE ODYSSEY. [VI. 120-149. 

Lawless and savage are they, with no regard for 
right, or are they kind to strangers and reverent 
toward the gods ? It was as if there came to me the 
delicate voice of maids — nymphs, it may be, who 
haunt the craggy peaks of hills, the springs of streams 
and grassy marshes ; or am I now, perhaps, near men 
of human speech ? Suppose I make a trial for myself, 
and see." 

So saying, royal Odysseus crept from the thicket, 
but with his strong hand broke a spray of leaves 
from the close wood, to be a covering round his body 
for his nakedness. He set off like a lion that is bred 
among the hills and trusts its strength; onward it 
goes, beaten with rain and wind; its two eyes glare ; 
and now in search of oxen or of sheep it moves, or 
tracking the wild deer; its belly bids it make trial 
of the flocks, even by entering the guarded folds ; so 
was Odysseus about to meet those fair-haired maids, 
all naked though he was, for need constrained him. 
To them he seemed a loathsome sight, befouled with 
brine. They hurried off, one here, one there, over 
the stretching sands. Only the daughter of Alcinoiis 
stayed, for in her breast Athene had put courage and 
from her limbs took fear. Steadfast she stood to 
meet him. And now Odysseus doubted whether to 
make his suit by clasping the knees of the bright-eyed 
maid, or where he stood, aloof, in winning words to 
make that suit, and try if she would show the town 
and give him clothing. Reflecting thus, it seemed the 
better way to make his suit in winning words, aloof ; 
for fear if he should clasp her knees, the maid might 
be offended. Forthwith he spoke, a winning and 
shrewd speech : 

" I am your suppliant, princess. Are you some god 



VI. 150-182.] THE ODYSSEY. 93 

or mortal? If one of the gods who hold the open 
sky, to Artemis, daughter of mighty Zeus, in beauty, 
height, and bearing I find you likest. But if you are a 
mortal, living on the earth, most happy are your father 
and your honored mother, most happy your brothers 
also. Surely their hearts ever grow warm with plea- 
sure over you, when watching such a blossom moving 
in the dance. And then exceeding happy he, beyond 
all others, who shall with gifts prevail and lead you 
home. For I never before saw such a being with these 
eyes — no man, no woman. I am amazed to see. At 
Delos once, by Apollo's altar, something like you I 
noticed, a young palm-shoot springing up ; for thither 
too I came, and a great troop was with me, upon a 
journey where I was to meet with bitter trials. And 
just as when I looked on that I marveled long within, 
since never before sprang such a stalk from earth ; so, 
lady, I admire and marvel now at you, and greatly 
fear to touch your knees. Yet grievous woe is on 
me. Yesterday, after twenty days, I escaped from 
the wine-dark sea, and all that time the waves and 
boisterous winds bore me away from the island of 
Ogygia. Now some god cast me here, that probably 
here also I may meet with trouble ; for I do not 
think trouble will cease, but much the gods will first 
accomplish. Then, princess, have compassion, for it 
is you to whom through many grievous toils I first am 
come ; none else I know of all who own this city and 
this land. Show me the town, and give me a rag to 
throw around me, if you had perhaps on coming hei*e 
some wrapper for your linen. And may the gods 
grant all that in your thoughts you long for : husband 
and home and true accord may they bestoΛv ; for a 
better and higher gift than this there cannot be, when 



94 THE ODYSSEY. [VI. 183-215. 

with accordant aims man and wife have a home. Great 
grief it is to foes and joy to friends ; but they them- 
selves best know its meaning." 

Then answered him white-armed Nausicaa : " Stran- 
ger, because you do not seem a common, senseless per- 
son, — and Olympian Zeus himself distributes fortune 
to mankind and gives to high and low even as he wills 
to each ; and this he gave to you, and you must bear 
it therefore, — now you have reached our city and 
our land, you shall not lack for clothes nor anything 
besides which it is fit a hard-pressed suppliant should 
find. I will point out the town and tell its people's 
name. The Phaeacians own this city and this land, 
and I am the daughter of generous Alcinoiis, on 
whom the might and power of the Phaeacians rests." 

She spoke, and called her fair-haired waiting-wo- 
men : " My women, stay ! Why do you run because 
you saw a man ? You surely do not 'think him evil- 
minded. The man is not alive, and never will be born, 
who can come and offer harm to the Phaeacian land : 
for we are very dear to the immortals ; and then we live 
apart, far on the surging sea, no other tribe of men 
has dealings with us. But this poor man has come 
here having lost his way, and we should give him aid ; 
for in the charge of Zeus all strangers and beggars 
stand, and a small gift is welcome. Then give, my 
women, to the stranger food and drink, and bathe 
him in the river where there is shelter from the 
breeze." 

She spoke ; the others stopped and called to one 
another, and down they brought Odysseus to the 
place of shelter, even as Nausicaa, daughter of gene- 
rous Alcinoiis, had ordered. They placed a robe and 
tunic there for clothing, they gave him in the golden 



VI. 215-246.] THE ODYSSEY. 95 

flask the liquid oil, and bade him bathe in the stream's 
currents. Then to the waiting - women said royal 
Odysseus : 

'' Women, stand here aside, while by myself I wash 
the salt from off my back and with the oil anoint me •, 
for it is long since ointment touched my skin. But 
before you I will not bathe ; for I am ashamed to bare 
myself among you fair-haired maids." 

So he spoke ; the women went away, and told it to 
the maid. And now with water from the stream royal 
Odysseus washed his skin clean of the salt which 
clung about his back and his broad shoulders, and 
wiped from his head the foam brought by the barren 
sea ; and when he had thoroughly bathed and oiled 
himself and had put on the clothing which the chaste 
maiden gave, Athene, the daughter of Zeus, made 
him taller than before and stouter to behold, and she 
made the curling locks to fall around his head as on 
the hyacinth flower. As when a man lays gold on 
silver, — some skillful man whom Hephaestus and Pal- 
las Athene have trained in every art, and he fash- 
ions graceful work ; so did she cast a grace ujDon 
his head and shoulders. He walked apart along the 
shore, and there sat down, beaming with grace and 
beauty. The maid observed ; then to her fair-haired 
waiting- women said : 

" Hearken, my white-armed women, while I speak. 
Not without purpose on the part of all the gods that 
hold Olympus is this man's meeting with the godlike 
Phaeacians. A while ago, lie really seemed to me ill- 
looking, but now he is like the gods who hold the 
open sky. Ah, might a man like this be called my 
husband, having his home here, and content to stay ! 
But give, my women, to the stranger food and drink." 



96 THE ODYSSEY. [VI. 247-278. 

She spoke, and very willingly tliey heeded and 
obeyed, and set beside Odysseus food and drink. 
Then long-tried royal Odysseus eagerly drank and ate, 
for he had lono^ been fastino-. 

And now to other matters white-armed Nausicaa 
turned her thoughts. She folded the clothes and laid 
them in the beautiful wagon, she yoked the stout- 
hoofed mules, mounted herseK, and calling to Odys- 
seus thus she spoke and said : 

"^ Arise now, stranger, and hasten to the town, that 
I may set you on the road to my wise father's house, 
where you shall see, I promise you, the best of all 
Phaeacia. Only do this, — you seem to me not to lack 
understanding : while we are passing through the fields 
and farms, here with my women, behind the mules 
and cart, walk rapidly along, and I will lead the way. 
But as we near the toΛyn, — round which is a lofty 
rampart, a beautiful harbor on each side and a narroΛV 
road between, — there curved ships line the way ; for 
every man has his own mooring-place. Beyond is the 
assembly near the beautiful grounds of Poseidon, 
constructed out of blocks of stone deeply imbedded. 
Further along, they make the black ships' tackling, ca- 
bles and canvas, and shape out the oars ; for the Phae- 
acians do not care for bow and qui\^er, only for masts 
and oars of ships and the trim ships themselves, with 
which it is their joy to cross the foaming sea. Now 
the rude talk of such as these I would avoid, that no 
one afterwards may give me blame. For very for- 
ward persons are about the place, and some coarse 
man might say, if he should meet us : ' AYhat tall and 
handsome stranger is following Nausicaa? Where 
did she find him? A husband he will be, her very 
own. Some castaway, perhaps, she rescued from his 



VI. 279-312.] THE ODYSSEY. 97 

vessel, some foreigner ; for we have no neighbors here. 
Or at her prayer some long-entreated god has come 
straight down from heaven, and he will keep her his 
forever. So much the better, if she has gone herself 
and found a husband elsewhere ! The people of our 
own land here, Phaeacians, she disdains, though she 
has many high-born suitors.' So they will talk, and 
for me it would prove a scandal. I should myself cen- 
sure a girl who acted so, who, heedless of friends, 
while father and mother were alive, mingled with men 
before her public wedding. And, stranger, listen now 
to what I say, that you may soon obtain assistance 
and safe conduct from my father. Near our road 
you will see a stately grove of poplar trees, belonging 
to Athene ; in it a fovmtain flows, and round it is a 
meadow. That is my father's park, his fruitful vine- 
yard, as far from the town as one can call. There 
sit and wait a while, until we come to the town and 
reach my father's palace. But when you think we 
have already reached the palace, enter the city of the 
Phaeacians, and ask for the palace of my father, gene- 
rous Alcinoiis. Easily is it known ; a child, though 
young, could show the way ; for the Phaeacians do not 
build their houses like the dwelling of Alcinoiis their 
prince. But when his house and court recei\'e you, 
pass quickly through the hall until you find my mother. 
She sits in the firelight by the hearth, spinning sea- 
purple yarn, a marvel to behold, and resting against a 
pillar. Her handmaids sit behind her. Here too 
my father's seat rests on the selfsame pillar, and here 
he sits and sips his wine like an immortal. Passing 
him by, stretch out your hands to our mother's knees, 
if you would see the day of your return in gladness 
and with speed, although you come from far. If 



98 THE ODYSSEY. [VI. 313-331. 

she regards you kindly in her heart, then there is 
hope that you may see your friends and reach your 
stately house and native land." 

Saying this, with her bright whip she struck the 
mules, and fast they left the river's streams ; and well 
they trotted, well they plied their feet, and skillfully 
she reined them that those on foot might follow, — 
the waiting-women and Odysseus, — and moderately 
she used the lash. The sun was setting when they 
reached the famous grove, Athene's sacred ground, 
where royal Odysseus sat him down. And thereupon 
he prayed to the daughter of mighty Zeus : 

'' Hearken, thou child of aegis-bearing Zeus, un- 
wearied one I Oh hear me now, although before thou 
didst not hear me, when I was wrecked, what time the 
great Land-shaker wrecked me. Grant that I come 
among the Phaeacians welcomed and pitied by them." 

So sj^oke he in his prayer, and Pallas Athene heard, 
but did not yet appear to him in open presence ; for 
she regarded still her father's brother, who stoutly 
strove with godlike Odysseus until he reached his 
land. 



ΥΙΙ. 

THE WELCOME OF ALCINOUS. 

Here, then, long-tried royal Odysseus made his 
prayer; but to the town the strong mules bore the maid. 
And when she reached her father's famous palace, she 
stopped before the door-way, and round her stood her 
brothers, men like immortals, who from the cart un- 
yoked the mules and carried the clothing in. The 
maid went to her chamber, w^here a fire was kindled 
for her by an old Apeirean woman, the chamber-ser- 
vant Eurymedousa, whom long ago curved shij^s 
brought from Apeira ; her they had chosen from the 
rest to be the gift of honor for Alcinous, because he 
was the lord of all Phaeacians, and people listened to 
his voice as if he were a god. She was the nurse of 
white-armed Nausicaa at the palace, and she it was 
who kindled her the fire and in her room prepared 
her supper. 

And now Odysseus rose to go to the city ; but 
Athene kindly drew thick clouds around Odysseus, 
for fear some bold Phaeacian meeting- him mio-ht 
trouble him with talk and ask him who he was. And 
just as he was entering the pleasant town, the goddess, 
clear-eyed Athene, came to meet him, disguised as a 
young girl wdio bore a water-jar. She paused as she 
drew near, and royal Odj^sseus asked : 

" My child, could you not guide me to the house of 
one Alcinous, who is ruler of this people ? For I am 



100 THE ODYSSEY. [VII. 25-57. 

a toil-worn stranger come from far, out of a distant 
land. Therefore I know not one among the men who 
own this city and this land." 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Yes, good old stranger, Τ will show the house for 
which you ask, for it stands near my gentle father's. 
But follow in silence ; I will lead the way. Cast 
not a glance at any man and ask no questions ; 
for our people do not well endure a stranger, nor 
courteously receive a man who comes from elsewhere. 
Yet they themselves trust in swift ships and traverse 
the great deep, for the Earth-shaker permits them. 
Swift are their ships as wing or thought." 

Saying this, Pallas Athene led the way in haste, 
and he walked after in the footstejis of the goddess. 
So the Phaeacians, famed for shipping, did not ob- 
serve him walking through the town among them, 
because Athene, the fair-haired powerful goddess, did 
not allow it, but in the kindness of her heart drew a 
marvelous mist around him. And now Odysseus ad- 
mired the harbors, the trim ships, the meeting-places 
of the lords themselves, and the long walls that were 
so high, fitted with palisades, a marvel to behold. 
Then as they neared the famous palace of the king, 
the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, thus began : 

" Here, good old stranger, is the house you bade me 
show. You will see heaven-descended kings sitting at 
table here. But enter, and have no misgivings in your 
heart; for the courageous man in all affairs better at- 
tains his end, come he from where he may. First you 
shall find the Queen within the hall. Arete is her 
name ; sprung from the self-same ancestry as King 
Alcinoiis. In early days earth-shaking Poseidon begot 
Nausithoiis by Periboea, the chief of womankind in 



VII. 58-89.] THE ODYSSEY. 101 

beauty and youngest daughter of that bold Euryme- 
don who once was king of the presumptuous giants ; 
but he brought ruin on his impious tribe and on him- 
self. Poseidon lay with Periboea and had by her a 
son, resolute Nausithoiis, who was king of the Phaea- 
cians. Nausithoiis begot Rhexenor and Alcinoiis ; but 
before Rhexenor had a son, Apollo of the silver bow 
smote him within his hall, soon after he was wed, and 
he left behind an only child, Arete. Alcinoiis took 
Arete for his wife, and he has honored her as no one 
else on earth is honored among the women who to-day 
keep houses for their husbands. Thus has she had a 
heartfelt honor, and she has it still, from her own 
children, from Alcinoiis himself, and from the people 
also, who gaze on her as on a god and greet her wdth 
welcomes when she walks about the town. For of 
sound judgment, woman as she is, she has no lack ; 
and those whom she regards, though men. find troubles 
clear away. If she regards you kindly in her heart, 
then there is hope that you may see your friends and 
reach your high-roofed house and native land." 

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed awa}^, over 
the barren sea. She turned from pleasant Scheria, 
and came to Marathon and wide-wayed Athens and 
entered there the strong house of Erechtheus. Mean- 
while Odysseus neared the lordly palace of Alcinoiis, 
and his heart was deeply stirred so that he paused be- 
fore he crossed the brazen threshold ; for a sheen as 
of the sun or moon played through the high-roofed 
house of generous Alcinoiis. On either hand ran 
walls of bronze from threshold to recess, and round 
about the ceiling was a cornice of dark metal. Doors 
made of gold closed in the solid building. The door- 
posts were of silver and stood on a bronze threshold, 



102 THE ODYSSEY. [VII. 90-124. 

silver the lintel overhead, and gold the handle. On 
the two sides Λvere gold and silver dogs ; these had 
Hephaestus wrought with subtle eraft to guard the 
house of generous Alcinoiis, creatures immortal, young 
forever. AVithin were seats planted against the wall 
on this side and on that, from threshold to recess, in 
long array ; and over these were strewn light fine- 
spun robes, the work of wOmen. Here the Phaeacian 
leaders used to sit, drinking and eating, holding con- 
stant cheer. And golden youths on massive pedestals 
stood and held flaming torches in their hands to light 
by night the palace for the feasters. 

In the King's house are fifty serving maids, some 
grinding at the mill the yellow corn, some plying 
looms or twisting yarn, who as they sit are like the 
leaves of a tall poplar ; and from the close-spun linen 
drops the liquid oil. And as Phaeacian men are 
skilled beyond all others in speeding a swift ship 
along the sea, so are their women practiced at the 
loom ; for Athene has gi\^en them in large measure 
skill in fair works and noble minds. 

Without the court and close beside its gate is a 
large garden, covering four acres ; around it runs a 
hedge on either side. Here grow tall thrifty trees — 
pears, pomegranates, apples with shining fruit, sweet 
figs and thrifty olives. On them fruit never fails ; it 
is not gone in winter or in summer, but lasts through- 
out the year; for constantly the west wind's breath 
brings some to bud and mellows others. Pear ripens 
upon pear, apple on apple, cluster on cluster, fig on 
fig. Here too the teeming vineyard has been planted, 
one part of which, the drying place, lying on level 
ground, is heating in the sun ; elsewhere men gather 
grapes ; and elsewhere still they tread them. In 



VII. 125-155.] THE ODYSSEY. 103 

front, the grapes are green and slied their flower, 
but a second row are now just turning dark. And 
here trim garden-beds, along the outer line, spring up 
in every kind and all the year are gay. Near by, two 
fountains rise, one scattering its streams throughout 
the garden, one bounding by another course beneath 
the court-yard gate toward the high house ; from this 
the townsfolk draw their water. Such at the palace 
of Alcinoiis were the gods' splendid gifts. 

Here long-tried royal Odysseus stood and gazed. 
Then after he had gazed to his heart's fill on all, he 
quickly crossed the threshold and came Avithin the 
house. He found the Phaeacian captains and coun- 
cilors pouring libations from their cups to the clear- 
sighted Speedy-comer, to whom they always offer a last 
cup when they prepare for bed. Along the hall went 
long-tried royal Odysseus, still clothed in the thick 
cloud which Athene drew around him, until he came 
to AvetQ and to King Alcinoiis. About Arete's knees 
Odysseus threw his arms, and then the marvelous 
cloud retreated from him. Seeing the man, the peo- 
ple of the house were hushed and marveled as they 
gazed, and thus Odysseus made his supplication : 

" Arete, daughter of divine Rhexenor, to your hus- 
band I am come, and to your knees, through many 
toils, and to these feasters too. The gods bestow upon 
them the blessing of long life, and to his children may 
each one leave the wealth within his hall and every 
honor men have given. But quicklj^ grant me aid to 
reach my native land ; for long cut off from friends I 
have been meeting hardship." 

When he had spoken thus, he sat dow^n on the 
hearth among the ashes by the fire, while all were 
hushed to silence. At last the old lord Echeneiis 



104 THE ODYSSEY. [VII. 156-187. 

spoke, the oldest man of the Phaeacian race, preemi- 
nent in speech and full of knowledge of the past. 
He with good will addressed them thus, and said : 

" Alcinoiis, this is not quite honorable to you ; it is 
unseemly that a stranger should be sitting on the 
hearth among the ashes. Awaiting w^ords of yours, 
these men hold back. Come then, raise up the stran- 
ger, seat him on a silver-studded chair, and bid the 
pages mix more wine, that we may also pour to Zeus, 
the Thunderer, who waits on worthy sup^iliants. And 
let the housekeeper give supper to the stranger from 
what she has in store." 

Now when revered Alcinoiis heard his word, he 
took by the hand Odysseus, keen and crafty, raised 
him from the hearth and placed him on a shining 
chair, making his son arise, manly Laodamas, who sat 
beside his father, for liis father loved him best. And 
Λvater for the hands a servant brought in a beautiful 
pitcher made of gold, and poured it out over a silver 
basin for their washing, and spread a polished table 
by their side. And the grave housekeeper brought 
bread and placed before them, setting out food of 
many a kind, freely giλ^ng of her store. So long- 
tried royal Odysseus drank and ate. And now to 
the page revered Alcinous said : 

" Pontonous, mix a bowl and pass the wine to all 
within the hall, that we may also pour to Zeus, the 
Thunderer, who waits on worthy suppliants." 

He sj^oke ; Pontonoiis stirred the cheering wine and 
served to all, with a first pious portion for the cup. 
So after they had poured and drunk as their hearts 
would, then thus Alcinous addressed them, saying : 

" Hearken, Phaeacian captains and councilors, and 
let me tell you what the heart within me bids. After 



VII. 188-220.] THE ODYSSEY. 105 

the feast is over, go to your homes and rest ; and 
in the morning we will call more elders hither, and 
entertain the stranger at the hall, and make fit offer- 
ing to the gods. Then afterwards we will take 
thought about his going, so that the stranger, free 
from toil and trouble, may by our guidance reach his 
land in gladness and ^vith speed, although he comes 
from far. So shall he, meanwhile, meet no ill or harm 
till he set foot in his ΟΛνη land ; there, in the days to 
come, he shall receive whatever fate and the stern 
spinners wove in his birth-thread when his mother 
bore him. But if he be some deathless one come 
down from heaven, then do the gods herein deal with 
us strangely ; for heretofore the gods have always 
shown themselves without disguise, and when we offer 
splendid hecatombs they sit beside us at the feast, even 
like ourselves. And if a man, walking alone, meet 
them upon his way, they do not hide ; for we are of 
their kin, as are the Cyclops and the wild tribes of 
Giants." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Al- 
cinoiis, other thoughts of me be yours ! I am not like 
the deathless ones who hold the open sky, either in 
form or bearing, but on the contrary I am like men 
that die ; and whomsoever you have known bearing 
most grief among mankind, his sorrows I could equal. 
Yes, even more distresses still I might relate which 
first and last I bore at the gods' bidding. But 
let me now, though sick at heart, take supper ; for 
nothing is more brutal than an angry belly. Perforce 
it bids a man attend, sadly though he be worn, 
though grief be on his mind. Even so, I too have 
grief upon ni}^ mind, and yet this evermore calls me 
to eat and drink ; all I have borne it makes me quite 



106 THE ODYSSEY. [VII. 221-253, 

forget, and bids me take m}^ fill. But do you hasten 
at the dawn of day to laud unhappy me in my own 
country, much as I still must bear ; and let life pass 
when once I have beheld my goods, my slaves, and 
my great high-roofed house." 

He spoke, and all approved and bade send forth the 
stranger, for rightly had he spoken. Then after they 
had poured and drunk as their hearts would, desiring 
rest, they each departed homeward. So in the hall 
was royal Odysseus left behind ; Arete, too, and god- 
like Alcinoiis sat beside him, while servants cleared 
away the dishes of the meal. Then thus began white- 
armed Arete ; for when she saw Odysseus she knew 
his robe and tunic to be the beautiful clothing which 
she herself had made — she and her waiting-women ; 
and speaking in winged words, she said : 

" Stranger, I will myself first ask you this : Who 
are you ? Of what people ? Who gave this clothing 
to you ? Did you not say you came to us when lost 
upon the sea ? " 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Hard 
it were. Queen, fully to tell my woes, because the gods 
of heaven have given me many ; still, Avhat you ask 
and seek to know I will declare. Ogygia is an island 
lying far out at sea, where the daughter of Atlas 
dwells, crafty Calypso, a fair-haired, powerful god- 
dess. Her no one visits, neither god nor mortal man ; 
but hapless me some heavenly power brought to her 
hearth, and all alone, for Zeus with a gleaming bolt 
smote my swift ship and wrecked it in the middle 
of the wine-dark sea. There all the rest of my good 
comrades perished, but I myself caught in my arms 
the keel of my curved ship and drifted for nine days. 
Upon the tenth, in the dark night, gods, brought me 



VII. 254-287.] THE ODYSSEY. 107 

to tlie island of Ogygia, where dwells Calypso, the 
fair-haired, powerful goddess. Receiving me, she 
loved and cherished me, and often said that she would 
make me an immortal, young forever ; but she never 
beguiled the heart within my breast. Here for seven 
years I lingered, and often with my tears bedewed the 
immortal robes Calypso gave. But when the eighth 
revolving year was come, she bade me, even urged 
me, to depart, whether through message sent from 
Zeus or that her own mind changed. Upon a strong- 
built raft she sent me forth, giving abundant food, 
bread and sweet wine ; she clad me in immortal robes 
and sent along my course a fair and gentle breeze. 
For seventeen days I sailed across the sea ; on the 
eighteenth there came in sight the dim heights of 
your coast, and I was glad at heart — ill-fated I, 
who yet must meet the sore distress which earth- 
shaking Poseidon brought upon me. For he awoke 
the winds and barred my progress, stirred marvelously 
the waters, and the waves did not suffer me, spite of 
my many groans, to ride my raft. This soon the 
tempest shattered, but I by swimming forced my way 
through the flood, till at your coast the wind and water 
brought me in. Here, as I tried to land, the waves 
upon the shore might well have overcome me, casting 
me on great rocks and on forbidding ground ; but I 
turned back and swam until I reached a stream where 
the ground seemed most fit, so clear of stones and 
sheltered from the breeze. Gathering my strength, 
I staggered out, and the immortal night drew near. 
Off to a distance from the heaven-descended stream 
I walked, and fell asleep among the bushes, heaping 
the leaves around ; and here God poured upon me a 
slumber without end. For lying among the leaves and 



108 THE ODYSSEY. [VII. 288-320. 

sad at heart, I slept all night till morning, then till 
noon ; the sun was going down as the sweet slumber 
left me. And now upon the shore I saw your daugh- 
ter's maids, playing a game, and she among them 
seemed a goddess. To her I made entreaty, and she 
did not lack sound judgment, such as you could not 
hope that a young person meeting you w^ould show ; 
for usually the young are giddy. She gave me bread 
enough and sparkling wine, she bathed me in the 
river and gave to me these clothes. Thus, though in 
trouble, I have told you all the truth." 

Then ansAvered him Alcinoiis and said : " Stranger, 
in this my child behaved not rightly, in that she did 
not bring you hither with her maids. Yet it was she 
from whom you first sought aid." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Sire, 
do not for this reproach the blameless girl. For she 
instructed me to follow with the maids ; but I would 
not, for fear and very shame, lest possibly your heart 
might be offended at the sight. Suspicious creatures 
are we sons of men on earth." 

Then answered him Alcinoiis and said : " Stranger, 
the heart within my breast is not one lightly troubled. 
Better, good sense in all things. Ο father Zeus, 
Athene, and Apollo, that such a man as you, so like 
in mind to me, might take my child, be called my 
son-in-law, and here abide! For I would give you 
house and goods if you would like to stay. Against 
your wish, shall no Phaeacian hold you. That, father 
Zeus forbid ! Nay, I will fix your setting forth, and 
you may rest secure ; to-morrow shall it be. And you 
shall be lying all the time wrapt in a sleep, wdiile they 
are speeding you along calm seas until you reach 
your land and home or anywhere you please, though 



VII. 321-347.] THE ODYSSEY. 109 

that were far beyond Euboea, which is called the far- 
thest shore by those among our people who once saw 
it when they carried light-haired Rhadamanthus to 
visit Tityus, the son of Gaia. So far they went, with- 
out fatigue performing all, and on the self-same day 
finished the journey home. But you yourself shall 
judge how excellent my ships and j^oung men are in 
tossing up the water with the oar." 

He spoke, and glad was long-tried royal Odysseus, 
who, making his prayer, uttered these words and 
said : 

" Ο father Zeus, all that Alcinoiis has said may he 
fulfill. Then on the fruitful earth his name shall 
never die, and I shall reach my home." 

So they conversed together. Meantime white- 
armed Arete bade her maids to set a bed beneath the 
portico, to lay upon it beautiful purple rugs, spread 
blankets over these, and then place woolen mantles 
on the outside for a covering. So the maids left the 
hall, with torches in their hands. And after they had 
spread the comfortable bed with busy speed, they 
summoned Odysseus, drawing near and saying : " Up, 
stranger, come to sleep. Your bed is ready." So did 
they speak, and to him rest seemed delightful. Thus 
long-tried royal Odysseus lay down to sleep upon 
the well-bored bedstead beneath the echoing portico. 
But Alcinoiis slept in the recess of his high hall ; his 
wife, the queen, making her bed beside him. 



νιπ. 

THE STAY IN PHAEACIA. 

Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, re- 
vered Alcinoiis rose from bed, and up rose also high- 
born Odysseus, spoiler of cities. And now revered 
Alcinoiis led the way to the assembly - place of the 
Phaeacians, which lay beside the ships. When they 
were come, they took their seats on polished stones, 
set side by side ; while Pallas Athene went through- 
out the town in likeness of the page of wise Alcinoiis, 
planning a safe return for brave Odysseus ; and ap- 
proaching one and another man, she gave the word : 

" Come hither, Phaeacian captains and councilors, 
come, hasten to the assembly to hear about the stran- 
ger who came but lately to the house of wise Alci- 
noiis, when cast away at sea. In form he is like the 
immortals." 

With words like these she stirred in each a zeal and 
a desire, and speedily the assembly-place and all its 
seats were filled with those who came. Then many 
marveled when they saw the wise son of Laertes ; for 
Athene cast a wondrous grace about his head and 
shoulders, and made him taller than before and 
stouter to behold, that so he might find favor in all 
Phaeacian eyes as one of power and worth, and that 
he might win too the many games in which the Phaea^ 
cians tried Odysseus. So when they were assembled 
and all had come together, Alcinoiis thus addressed 
them, saying : 



VIII. 26-59.] THE ODYSSEY. Ill 

" Hearken, Phaeacian captains and councilors, and 
let me tell you what the heart within ine bids. This 
stranger — who he is I do not know — came hither as 
a wanderer from peoples east or west. He begs us 
for assistance and prays it be assured. Then let us, 
even as heretofore, furnish assistance promptly ; for 
never has a stranger reached my halls and tarried 
long distressed for lack of aid. Come, let us launch 
into the sacred sea a black ship, freshly fitted, and 
let the two and fifty youths be chosen from the land 
who have at former times been found the best. Then 
after lashing carefully the oars upon the pins, all dis- 
embark and take a hasty meal, coming for this to me ; 
I will make good provision for you all. These are 
my orders to the youths. But for the rest of you, you 
sceptred kings, come to my goodly palace, that there 
within my hall we entertain the stranger; let none 
refuse ; and call the sacred bard, Demodocus, for 
surely God has granted him exceeding skill in song, 
to cheer us in whatever way his soul is moved to 
sing." 

So saying, he led the way, the sceptred princes 
followed, and a page went to seek the sacred bard, 
while two and fifty picked young men departed, as he 
ordered, to the shore of the barren sea. On coming 
to the ship and to the sea, they launched the black 
ship into deep water, put mast and sail in the black 
ship, fitted the oars into their leathern slings, all in 
due order, and up aloft spread the white sail. Out 
in the stream they moored her, then took their way 
to the great house of wise Alcinoiis. Filled were the 
porticoes, the courts, and rooms with those already 
come ; many were there, both young and old. In their 
behalf Alcinoiis sacrificed twelve sheep, eight white- 



112 THE ODYSSEY. [\Ul. 60-90. 

toothed swine, two swing-paced oxen ; tliese the men 
flayed and served, and made a merry feast. 

Meanwhile the page drew near, leading the honored 
bard. The muse had greatly loved him, and had given 
him good and ill : she took away his eyesight, but gave 
delightful song. Pontonoiis placed for him among the 
feasters a silver-studded chair, backed by a lofty pil- 
lar, and hung the tuneful lyre upon its peg above his 
head, and the page showed him how to reach it with 
his hands. By him he set a tray and a good table, 
and placed thereon a cup of wine to drink as need 
should bid. So on the food spread out before them 
they laid hands. Now after they had stayed desire 
for drink and food, the muse impelled the bard to 
sing men's glorious deeds, a lay whose fame was then 
as wide as is the sky. He sang the strife of Odysseus 
with Pelian Achilles, — how they once quarreled at 
the gods' high feast with furious words, and Aga- 
memnon, king of men, rejoiced in spirit when the 
bravest of the Achaeans quarreled ; for Phoebus 
Apollo had by oracle declared it so should be, at hal- 
lowed Pytho, when Agamemnon crossed its stony 
threshold to ask for a response. Then was the day 
the tide of woe began to roll on Trojans and on Dana- 
ans, according to the will of mighty Zeus. 

So sang the famous bard. Meanwhile Odysseus 
clutched his great purple cloak in his stout hands and 
drew it round his head, hiding his beautiful face ; for 
he felt shame before the Phaeacians as from beneath 
his brow he dropped the tears. But when the sacred 
bard paused in the song, Od^^sseus dried his tears, 
took from his head the cloak, and seizing his double 
cup poured offerings to the gods. Then as the other 
would begin again, cheered on to sing by the Phaea- 



VIII. 91-124.] THE ODYSSEY. 113 

cian chiefs, — for they enjoyed the story, — again 
would Odysseus, covering his head, break into sobs. 
And thus he hid from all the rest the tears he shed ; 
only Alcinoiis marked him and took heed, for he sat 
near and heard his deep-drawn sighs ; and to the 
Phaeacians, who delight in oars, he straightway said : 

" Hearken, Phaeacian captains and councilors ! 
Now have we satisfied desire for the impartial feast 
and for the lyre, which is the fellow of the stately 
feast. Let us then come away and try all kinds of 
games, so that the stranger, going home, may tell his 
friends how greatly we surpass all other men in box- 
ing, wrestling, leaping, speed of foot." 

So saying, he led the way, the others followed after. 
The page hung on its peg the tuneful lyre, then took 
by the hand Demodocus and led him from the hall, 
guiding his steps along the selfsame road by which 
the rest of the Phaeacian chiefs went forth to view 
the games. Thus to the assembly-place they came, 
a great troop following after, thousands in number ; 
and many a gallant youth stood waiting there. Forth 
stood Acroneus, Ocyalus and Elatreus, Nauteus and 
Prymneus, Anchialus and Eretmeus, Ponteus and 
Proreus, Thoon, Anabasineiis and Amjihialus the son 
of Polyneiis, son of the carpenter. Forth also stood 
a youth like murderous Ares, Euryalus, the son of 
Naubolus, who was the first in beauty and in stature 
of all Phaeacians after brave Laodamas. Forth stood 
three sons of good Alcinoiis, — Laodamas, Halius, and 
matchless Clytoneus. At first they tried each other 
in the foot-race. Straight from a mark their track 
was measured ; and all flew swiftly off together, rais- 
ing the dust along the plain. Best in the race was 
gallant Clytoneiis ; and by such space as at the plough 



114 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 125-155. 

the mule-course runs, so far lie shot ahead and reached 
the crowd; the rest were left behind. Next in the 
hardy wrestling-match they had a trial, and here Eu- 
ryalus surpassed all champions. At leaping Amphi- 
alus was foremost of them all, while at the discus the 
leader was Elatreus. In boxing it was Laodamas, the 
good son of Alcinoiis. So when all hearts were glad- 
dened by the games, up spoke Laodamas, son of Al- 
cinoiis : 

" Come, friends, and let us ask the stranger if he 
knows games and has some skill in any. In build, at 
all events, he is no common man, • — in thighs, and 
calves, and arms above, strong neck, and massive 
chest. Fit years he does not lack, only he has been 
broken down by many hardships ; for nothing, I be- 
lieve, is worse than sea^life for weakening a man, how- 
ever strong he be." 

Then answered him Euryalus, and said : " Lao- 
damas, what you have said is rightly spoken. Go, 
challenge him yourself, and give the message." 

Now when the good son of Alcinoiis heard his 
words, he went and stood before them all and thus 
addressed Odysseus : 

" Come, good old stranger, do jon also try the 
games, if you have skill in any. Games jow. should 
know. There is no greater glory for a man in all his 
life than what he wins with his own feet and hands. 
Come then, and try ! Drive trouble from your heart ! 
Your journey hence shall not be long delayed. Al- 
ready the ship is launched, the sailors ready." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Lao- 
damas, why mock me with this challenge ? Sorrow is 
on my heart far more than games ; for in times past 
much have I borne and much have toiled, and now I 



VIII. 156-187.] THE ODYSSEY. 115 

sit in your assembly longing for my home and suppli- 
cate your king and all this people." 

Then answered back Euryalus, and mocked him to 
his face : " No indeed, stranger, you do not look like 
one expert in games, much as these count with men ; 
rather like one busied with ships of many oars, cap- 
tain of seamen who are traders, one whose mind is on 
his cargo, watching freights and greedy gains. You 
are not like an athlete." 

But looking sternly on him wise Odysseus said ; 
" Stranger, your words are rude. You seem a reckless 
person. So true it is that not to all alike the gods 
grant grace, in stature, wisdom, and the power of 
speech. For one man is in look inferior, but God 
crowns his words with beauty, and men behold him 
and rejoice ; with sure effect he speaks and a sweet 
modesty ; he shines where men are gathered, and as 
he walks the town men gaze as on some god. And 
one again in look is like the immortals, but his is not 
the crowning grace of words. So you, in look, are 
excellent, — better God could not fashion, — but you 
are weak in judgment. You stirred the very soul 
within my breast by talking so unmannerly. No ! I 
am not unskilled in games, as you declare ; I was 
among the best, I think, while I could trust my vigor- 
ous age and these my arms. Now I am overwhelmed 
with pain and trouble ; for much have I endured, 
cleaving my way through wars of men and through 
the boisterous seas. Still even so, all woe-worn as I 
am, I will attempt the games, because your words 
were galling ; you provoked me, talking thus." 

He spoke, and with his cloak still on he sprang 
and seized a discus larger than the rest and thick, 
heavier by not a little than those which the Phaea- 



116 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 188-221. 

cians were using for themselves. This with a twist 
he sent from his stout hand. The stone hummed as 
it went ; down to the ground crouched the Phaeacian 
oarsmen, notable men at sea, at the stone's cast. Past 
all the marks it flew, swift speeding from his hand. 
Athene marked the distances, taking a human form, 
and thus she spoke and cried aloud : 

" A blind man, stranger, could pick you out that 
mark by feeling merely, because it is not huddled 
in the crowd, but lies ahead of all. Have a good 
heart, this bout at least ; for no Phaeacian will reach 
that or overpass it." 

She spoke, and glad was long-tried royal Odysseus, 
pleased that he saw a true friend in the ring. And 
now with lighter heart he called to the Phaeacians : 

" Come up to that, young men ! Soon I wiU send 
another as far, I think, or farther. And if there is 
one among jou all whose heart and spirit bids, come, 
let him try me — for you vexed me very sore — in 
boxing, wrestling, or the foot-race even ; it matters 
not to me ; let any Phaeacian try, except Laodamas. 
He is my host, and who would quarrel with his 
entertainer ? Witless the man must be, and alto- 
gether wortliless, who challenges his host to games 
when in a foreign land ; he hinders his own welfare. 
None of the rest I either dread or scorn, but I wiU 
gladly know you all and prove you face to face. Not 
at all weak am I in any games men practice. I un- 
derstand full well handling the polished bow, and I 
should be the first to strike my man by sending an 
arrow in the throng of foes, however many comrades 
stood around and shot at their men too. None except 
Philoctetes excelled me with the bow at Troy, when 
we Achaeans tried the bow. All others I declare I 



VIII. 222-255.] THE ODYSSEY. 117 

far surpass, all that are liviDg now and eating bread on 
earth. The men of former days I will not seek to 
rival — Hercules, and Eurytus of Oeehalia, — for 
these would rival with the bow immortals even. 
^Vherefore great Eurytus died all too soon ; no old 
age came upon him in his home, because in wrath 
Apollo slew him ; for Eurytus had challenged him to 
try the bow. I send the spear farther than other men 
an arrow. Only I fear that in the foot-race some 
Phaeacian may outstrip me ; for rudely battered have 
I been on many waters, because I had no ease at sea 
for any length of time ; therefore my joints are weak- 
ened." 

So he spoke, and all were hushed to silence ; only 
Alcinoiis answering said : " Stranger, without dis- 
courtesy to us is all you say ; you merely seek to show 
the prowess that is yours, indignant that the man be- 
side you in the ring insulted you, though surely no man 
would dispraise your prowess who knew within his 
heart what it was fit to say. But listen now to words 
of mine, that you may have tales to tell to other 
heroes when, feasting in your hall with wife and 
children, you recollect our prowess and the feats Zeus 
has vouchsafed us from our fathers' days till now. 
ΛΥβ are not faultless boxers, no, nor wrestlers ; but 
in the foot-race we run swiftly, and in our shij^s ex- 
cel. Dear to us ever is the feast, the harp, the dance, 
changes of clothes, warm baths, and bed. Come then, 
Phaeacian dancers, the best among you make us sport, 
that so the stranger on returning home may tell his 
friends how we surpass all other men in sailing, run- 
ning, in the dance and song. Go, one of you, forth- 
with, and fetch Demodocus the tuneful lyre that lies 
within our haU." 



118 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 256-287. 

So spoke godlike Alcinoiis, and a page sprang to 
fetcli from the king's house the hollow lyre. Then 
rose the appointed umpires, nine in all, whose public 
work it was to order all things at the ring ; they 
smoothed the dancing-ground and cleared a fair wide 
ring. Meanwhile the page drew near and brought 
his tuneful lyre to Demodocus, who thereupon stepped 
to the centre, and round him stood young men in the 
first bloom of years, skillful at dancing. They struck 
the splendid dance-ground with their feet ; Odysseus 
watched their twinkling feet, and was astonished. 

And now the bard, touching his lyre, began a beau- 
tiful song about the loves of Ares and crowned Aphro- 
dite : how at the first they lay together in the palace 
of Hephaestus, privily ; and many a gift he gave, and 
wronged the bed of lord Hephaestus. Soon to He- 
phaestus came the tell-tale Sun, who had observed 
their meeting. And when Hephaestus heard the gall- 
ing tale, he hastened to his smithy meditating evil in 
his heart, there set upon its block the mighty anvil 
and forged him fetters none might break or loose, fet- 
ters to hold securely. So after he had wrought his 
snare, in anger against Ares, hastening to the cham- 
ber where his own dear bed was set, around its posts 
on every side he dropped his toils ; and many too 
hung drooping from the rafter, like delicate spider- 
webs which nobody could see, not even the blessed 
gods, so shrewdly were they fashioned. Then after 
he had spread the snare all round the bed, he made 
a show of going off to Lemnos, that stately citadel 
which in his sight is far the dearest of all spots on 
earth. Now Ares of the golden rein had kept no 
careless watch, and so espied craftsman Hephaestus 
setting forth. He hastened to the house of famed 



VIII. 288-320.] THE ODYSSEY. 119 

Hephaestus, keen for the love of fair-crowned Cythe- 
rea. She, just come home from visiting her sire, the 
powerful son of Kronos, was sitting clown. He came 
within the door, and holding her by the hand he spoke 
and thus addressed her ; 

" Come, dear, to bed, and let us take our pleasure ; 
for Hephaestus is no longer here at home, but gone 
at last to Lemnos, to the harsh-tongued Sintians." 

He spoke, and pleasant it seemed to her to lie be- 
side him. So the pair went and laid them down in 
bed, and all about them dropped the toils fashioned 
by shrewd Hephaestus ; it was not in their power to 
move or raise a limb. This they saw only then when 
there was no escape. But on them came the famous 
strong-armed god, who had turned back before he 
reached the land of Lemnos ; for in his stead the Sun 
kept watch and told him all. He hastened to the 
house, with heavy heart, stood at the porch, wild rage 
upon him, and raised a fearful cry, calling to all the 
gods : 

" Ο Father Zeus, and all you other blessed gods 
that live forever, come see a siglit for laughter, deeds 
not to be endured ! For I being lame, this Aphrodite, 
daughter of Zeus, ever dishonors me and gives her 
love to deadly Ares, since he is handsome and is sound 
of limb, while I was born a cripple. Yet nobody is 
to blame for that but my two parents, — would they 
had never given me birth ! But you shall see where lie 
the loving pair who stole into my bed. I smart to see 
them ! And yet I think they will not lie much longer 
thus, however great their love. Shortly they will not 
wish to sleep together ; but stiU my snare and mesh 
shall hold them, till her father pays me back the many 
wedding gifts I gave to get the shameless girl, — 
seeing his child was fair, though not true-hearted." 



120 THE. ODYSSEY. [YIII. 321-351. 

He spoke, and tlie gods gathered at the brazen 
threshold of his house. Poseidon came, who girds the 
land, the fortune-bringer Hermes came, and the far- 
working king Apollo. The goddesses for shame all 
stayed at home. So at the portal stood the gods, the 
givers of good things, and uncontrollable laughter 
broke from the blessed gods as they beheld the arts 
of shrewd Hephaestus ; and glancing at his neighbor 
one would say : 

*' AYrong-doing brings no gain. Slow catches swift ; 
as here Hephaestus, who is slow, caught Ares, who is 
swiftest of the gods that hold Olymjous, — catching 
him by his craft, though lame himself. Now Ares 
owes the adulterer's fine." 

So they conversed together. And now to Hermes 
spoke the king, the son of Zeus, Apollo : " Ο Hermes, 
son of Zeus, guide, giver of good things, would you 
not like, though loaded down with heavy bonds, to lie 
in bed by golden Aphrodite ? " 

Then answered him the guide, the Speedy-comer : 
" Would it might be, far-shooting king Apollo, 
though thrice as many bonds, bonds numberless, 
should hold me fast, and all you gods and goddesses 
shoidd come and see, would I might lie by golden 
Aphrodite I " 

He spoke, and laughter rose among the immortal 
gods. But Poseidon did not laugh ; he earnestly en- 
treated Hephaestus, the great craftsman, to loosen 
Ares. And speaking in winged WOrds he said : 

" Loose him, and I engage, as you desire, that he 
shall pay all dues before the immortal gods." 

Then said to him the famous strong-armed god : 
" Poseidon, girder of the land, ask not for this. From 
triflers, even pledges in the hand are trifles. How 



VIII. 352-384.] THE ODYSSEY. 121 

could I hold you bound before the immortal gods, if 
Ares should evade both debt and bond and flee ? " 

Then said to him the earth-shaker, Poseidon : 
" Hephaestus, even if Ares does evade the debt and 
flee, still I myself will pay." 

Then answered him the famous strong-armed god : 
" I cannot and I must not say you nay." 

So saying, mighty Hephaestus raised the net, and 
the pair loosed from out the net, so very strong, 
sprang up forthwith. He went to Thrace ; but she, 
the laughter-loving Aphrodite, came to Cyprus, into 
the town of Paphos, where is her grove and fragrant 
shrine. There did the Graces bathe her and anoint 
her with imperishable oil, such as bedews the gods 
that live forever, and they arrayed her in a dainty 
robe, a marvel to behold. 

So sang the famous bard. Odysseus joyed in heart 
to hear, as did the others also, the Phaeacian oarsmen, 
notable men at sea. 

And now Alcinoiis called on Halius and Laodamas 
to dance alone, for with them none could vie. So tak- 
ing in their hands a goodly purple ball, which skill- 
ful Polybus had made them, one, bending backward, 
flung it toward the dusky clouds ; the other, leaping 
upward from the earth, easily caught the ball before 
his feet touched ground again. Then after they had 
tried the ball straight in the air, they danced upon the 
bounteous earth with tossings to and fro. Other 
young men beat time for them, standing around the 
ring, and a loud sound of stamping rose. Then to 
Alcinoiis said royal Odysseus : 

"Mighty Alcinoiis, renowned of all, you boasted 
that your dancers were the best, and now it is proved 
true. I am amazed to see." 



122 THE QDYSSEY. [VIII. 335-417. 

He spoke ; revered Alcinoiis was glad, and to the 
Phaeacians, who delight in oars, he straightway said : 
" Hearken, Phaeacian captains and councilors ! This 
stranger truly seems a man of understanding. Come 
then, and let us give such guest-gift as is meet. 
Twelve honored kings bear sway throughout the land 
and are its rulers, and a thirteenth am I. Let each 
present him a spotless robe and tunic and a talent 
of precious gold. And let us speedily fetch all 
together, so that the stranger, having these in hand, 
may come to supper glad at heart. Let too Euryalus 
give satisfaction to the man, by word and gift, for his 
speech was unbecoming." 

He spoke, and all approved and gave their orders, 
and for the bringing of the gifts each man sent forth 
his page. But Euryalus made answer to the king and 
said : " Mighty Alcinoiis, renowned of all, I will in- 
deed give satisfaction to the stranger, as you bid ; for 
I will give this brazen blade. Its hilt is silver, and a 
sheath of fresh-cut ivory incloses it. Of great worth 
he will find it." 

So saying, he put into Odysseus' hands the silver- 
studded sword, and speaking in winged words he said : 
" Hail, good old stranger ! If any word was uttered 
that was harsh, straight let the sweej)ing winds bear 
it away. But the gods grant that you may see your 
wife and reach your land ; for long cut off from 
friends you have been meeting hardship." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " You 
too, my friend, all hail ! May the gods grant you for- 
tune, and may you never miss the sword you give, 
making amends besides in what you say." 

He spoke, and round his shoulders slung the silver- 
studded sword. As the sun set, the noble gifts were 



VIII. 418-Φ49.] THE ODYSSEY. 123 

there ; stately pages bore them to the palace of Alci- 
noiis, where the sons of good Alcinoiis, receiving 
them, laid the fair gifts before their honored mother. 
But for the princes revered Alcinoiis led the way, and 
entering the house they sat them down on the high 
seats. Then to Arete spoke revered Alcinoiis : 

" Bring hither, wife, a serviceable chest, the best 
you have, and lay therein a spotless robe and tunic. 
Then heat upon the fire a caldron for the stranger 
and warm some water, that, having bathed and seen 
all gifts put safely by which the gentle Phaeacians 
brought him, he may enjoy the feast and hear the sing- 
er's song. Moreover I will give him my goodly 
golden chalice, that as he pours libations at his hall to 
Zeus and to the other gods he may be mindful all his 
days of me." 

He spoke, and Arete told the maids to set a great 
kettle on the fire as quickly as they could. They set 
the kettle which supplied the bath upon the blazing 
fire, they poured in water, put the wood beneath, and 
lighted. Around the belly of the kettle crept the 
flame, and so the water warmed. Meanwhile Arete 
brought the stranger a goodly chest from out the 
chamber ; she put therein the beautiful gifts, — the 
clothing and the gold which the Phaeacians gave, — 
and she herself put in a robe and goodly tunic, and 
speaking in winged words she said : 

" Look to the lid yourself and quickly tie the cord, 
lest some one rob you on the way, when sailing by 
and by, on the black ship, you rest in pleasant sleep." 

When long-tried royal Odysseus heard these words, 
he straiglitway fitted on the lid and quickly tied the 
cunning knot which potent Circe once had taught 
him. Thereafter the housewife called him to come to 



124 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 450-481. 

the bath and bathe ; and he was pleased to see the 
steaming water, for he was not used to care like this 
since he had left fair-haired Calypso's home ; but 
there he had as constant care as if he were a god. 
Now when the maids had bathed him and anointed 
him with oil and put upon him a goodly coat and 
tunic, forth from the bath he came and went to join 
the drinkers ; and Nausicaa, with beauty given her 
of the gods, stood by a column of the strong-built 
roof and marveled at Odysseus as she looked into 
his eyes, and speaking in winged words she said : 

" Stranger, farewell ! When you are once again 
in your own land, remember me, and how before all 
others it is to me you owe the saving of your life." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Nau- 
sicaa, daughter of generous Alcinoiis, Zeus grant it 
so — he the loud thunderer, husband of Here — that 
I go home and see my day of coming. Then would I 
there too, as to any god, give thanks to you forever, 
all my days ; for, maiden, it was you who gave me 
life." 

He spoke, and took his seat by king Alcinoiis. 
Men were already serving food and mixing wine. 
The page drew near, leading the honored bard, Demo- 
docus, beloved of all, and seated him among the feast- 
ers, backed by a lofty pillar. Then to the page said 
wise Odysseus, cutting a slice of chine, whereof still 
more was left, from out a white-toothed boar, the rich 
fat on its sides : 

" Page, set before Demodocus this piece of meat, 
that he may eat and I may do him homage, sad though 
I be myself ; for at the hands of all on earth bards 
meet respect and honor, because the muse has taught 
them song and loves the race of bards." 



VIII. 482-511.] THE ODYSSEY. 125 

He spoke, and the page bore tlie food and put it 
in the hands of lord Demodocus. He took it and was 
glad, and on the food spread out before them they laid 
hands. But after they had stayed desire for drink 
and food, then to Demodocus said wise Odysseus : 

*' Demodocus, I praise you beyond all mortal men, 
whether your teacher was the muse, the child of 
Zeus, or was Apollo. With perfect truth you sing 
the lot of the Achaeans, all that they did and bore, 
the whole Achaean struggle, as if yourself were there, 
or you had heard the tale from one who was. Pass 
on then now, and sing the building of the wooden 
horse, made by Epeius with Athene's aid, which royal 
Odysseus once conveyed into the citadel, — a thing of 
craft, filled full of men, who by its means sacked Ilios. 
And if you now relate the tale in its due order, forth- 
with 1 will declare to all mankind how bounteously 
God gave to you a wondrous power of song." 

So he spoke. Thereat the other, stirred by the 
god, began and showed his skill in song : starting the 
story where some Argives boarding the well-benched 
ships were setting sail and spreading fire through 
the camp ; while others still, under renowned Odys- 
seus, lay in the assembly of the Trojans all hidden 
in the horse ; for the Trojans themselves had dragged 
it to their citadel. So there it stood, while long and 
uncertainly the people argued, seated around it. 
Three plans were finding favor : either to split the 
hollow trunk with ruthless axe ; or else to drag it to 
the height and hurl it down the rocks ; or still to 
spare the monstrous image, as a propitiation of the 
gods. And thus at last it was to end ; for it was 
fated they should perish so soon as their city should 
inclose the enormous wooden horse, where all the Ar- 



126 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 512-545. 

give chiefs were lying, bearing to the Trojans death 
and doom. He sang how they o'erthrew the town, 
these sons of the Achaeans, issuing from the horse, 
leaving their hollow ambush. Each for himself, he 
sang, pillaged the stately city ; but Odysseus went 
like Ares to the palace of Deiphobus with godlike 
Menelaus ; and there, he said, braving the fiercest 
fight, at last he won the day through resolute Athene. 

So sang the famous bard. Odysseus melted into 
tears, and all below his eyes his cheeks were wet. 
And as a w^oman wails and clings to her dear husband, 
who falls for town and people, seeking to shield his 
home and children from the ruthless day ; seeing him 
dying, gasping, she flings herself on him Λvith a pier- 
cing cry ; while men behind, smiting her with their 
spears on back and shoulder, force her along to bond- 
age to suffer toil and trouble ; with pain most pitiful 
her cheeks are thin ; so pitifully fell the tears beneath 
Odysseus' brows. And yet he hid from all the rest 
the tears he shed ; only Alcinoiis marked him and 
took heed, for he sat near and heard his deep-draΛvn 
sighs ; and to the Phaeacians, who delight in oars, he 
straightway said : 

" Hearken, Phaeacian captains and councilors, and 
let Demodoeus hush now the tuneful lyre, because not 
to the pleasure of us all he sings to-day ; for since we 
supped and since the sacred bard began, this stranger 
has not ceased from bitter sighs. Surely some grief 
hovers about his heart. Let then the bard cease sing- 
ing, that all alike be merry, stranger and entertainers, 
for that is better far ; since for the worthy stranger's 
sake all things are ready now, escort and friendly 
gifts, which we grant heartily. Even as a brother is 
the stranger and the suppliant treated by any man 
v/ho feels a touch of wisdom. 



VIII. 04G-579.] THE ODYSSEY. 127 

'' And do not you, then, longer cautiously conceal 
what I will ask ; plain speech is better. Tell me the 
name by which at home your father and mother called 
you, — they and the other folk, your townsmen and 
your neighbors ; for none of all mankind can lack a 
name, be he of low degree or high, when once he has 
been born ; since in the very hour of birth parents give 
names to all. And tell me of your land, your home, 
and city, that thither our ships may bear you with a 
discerning aim ; for on Phaeacian ships there are no 
pilots, nor are there rudders such as other vessels 
carry, but the ships understand the will and mind of 
man. They know the cities and rich lands of every 
nation, and swiftly they cross the sea-gulf, shrouded 
in mist and cloud. On them there is no fear of being- 
harmed or lost. Still, this is what I heard Nausi- 
thoiis, my father, tell : he said Poseidon was displeased 
because we were safe guides for all mankind ; and he 
averred the god one day would wreck a stanch ship of 
the Phaeacians, returning home from pilotage upon 
the misty sea, and so would throw a lofty mound 
about our city. That was the old man's tale, and this 
God may fulfill, or else it may go unfulfilled, as pleases 
him. But now declare me this and plainly tell where 
you have wandered and what countries you have seen. 
About the men and stately towns, too, let me hear, — 
what ones were fierce and savage, with no regard for 
right, what ones were kind to strangers and reverent 
toward the gods. And tell me why you weep and 
grieve within your breast on hearing of the lot of 
Argive Danaans and of Ilios. This the gods wrought ; 
they spun the thread of death for some, that others 
in the time to come might have a song. Had you 
some relative who fell at Ilios ? One who was dear ? 



128 THE ODYSSEY. [VIII. 580-585. 

some daughter's husband or wife's father ? — they 
who stand closest to us after our flesh and blood. Or 
was it perhaps some friend who pleased you well, a 
gallant comrade ? For a friend with an understand- 
ing heart is worth no less than a brother." 



IX. 

THE STORY TOLD TO ALCINOUS. — THE CYCLOPS. 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : 
" Mighty Alcinoiis, renowned of all, surely it is a 
pleasant thing to hear a bard like this, one who is 
even like the gods in voice. For more complete de- 
light I think there cannot be than when good cheer 
possesses a whole people, and feasting through the 
houses they listen to a bard, seated in proper order, 
while beside them stand the tables supplied with bread 
and meat, and dipping wine from out the mixer the 
pourer bears it round and fills the cups. That is a 
sight most pleasing. Nevertheless your heart inclines 
to learn my grievous woes, and thus to make me weep 
and sorrow more. What shall I tell you first, then, 
and what last ? For many are the woes the gods of 
heaven have given me. First, I will tell my name, that 
you, like all, may know it ; and I accordingly, seeking 
deliverance from my day of doom, may be your guest- 
friend, though my home is far away. I am Odysseus, • 
son of Laertes, who for all craft am noted among men, 
and my renown reaches to heaven. I live in Ithaca, a 
land far seen ; for on it is the lofty height of Neriton, 
covered with waving woods. Around lie many is- 
lands, very close to one another, — Dovdichion, Same, 
and woody Zacynthus. Ithaca itself lies low along 
the sea, far to the west, — the others stretching east- 
ward, toward the dawn, — a rugged land, and yet a 



130 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 27-59. 

kindly nurse. A sweeter spot than my own land I 
shall not see. Calypso, a heavenly goddess, sought to 
keep me by her side within her hollow grotto, desir- 
ing me to be her husband ; so too Aeaean Circe, full 
of craft, detained me in her palace, desiring me to be 
her husband ; but they never beguiled the heart within 
my breast. Nothing more sweet than home and pa- 
rents can there be, however rich one's dwelling far in 
a foreign land, cut off from parents. But let me tell 
you of the grievous journey home which Zeus ordained 
me on my setting forth from Troy. 

" The wind took me from Ilios and bore me to the 
Ciconians, to Ismarus. There I destroyed the town 
and slew its men ; but from the town we took the wo- 
men and great stores of treasure, and parted all, that 
none might go lacking his proper share. This done, 
I warned our men swiftly to fly ; but they, in utter 
folly, did not heed. Much wine was drunk, and they 
slaughtered on the shore a multitude of sheep and 
swing-paced, crook-horned oxen. Meanwhile, escaped 
Ciconians began to call for aid on those Ciconians 
who were their neighbors and more numerous and 
brave than they, — a people dwelling inland, skillful 
at fighting in chariot or on foot, as need might be. 
Accordingly at dawn they gathered, thick as leaves 
and flowers appear in spring. And now an evil fate 
from Zeus beset our luckless men, causing us many 
sorrows ; for setting the battle in array by the swift 
ships, all fought and hurled their brazen spears at one 
another. While it was morning and the day grew 
stronger, we steadily kept them off and held our 
ground, though they were more than we ; but as the 
sun declined, toward stalling-time, then the Ciconians 
turned our men and routed the iVchaeans. Six of the 



IX. 60-93.] THE ODYSSEY. 131 

crew of every ship fell in their harness there ; the rest 
fled death and doom. 

" Thence we sailed on with aching hearts, glad to 
be clear of death, though missing our dear comrades ; 
yet the curved ships did not pass on till we had called 
three times to each poor comrade who died upon the 
plain, cut off by the Ciconians. But now cloud-gath- 
ering Zeus sent the north wind against our ships in a 
fierce tempest, and covered with his clouds both land 
and sea ; night broke from heaven. The ships drove 
headlong onward, their sails torn into tatters by the 
fury of the wind. These sails we lowered, in ter- 
ror for our lives, and rowed the ships themselves 
hurriedly toward the land. There for two nights and 
days continuously we lay, gnawing our hearts because 
of toil and trouble. But when the fair-haired dawn 
brought the third day, we set our masts, and hoisting 
the white sails we sat us down, while wind and helms- 
men kept us steady. And now I should have come 
unharmed to my own native land, but that the swell 
and current, in doubling Maleia, and the north wind 
turned me aside and drove me past Cythera. 

" Thence for nine days I drifted before the deadly 
winds along the swarming sea ; but on the tenth we 
touched the land of Lotus-eaters, men who make food 
of flowers. So here we went ashore and drew us 
water, and soon by the swift ships my men prepared 
their dinner. Then after we had tasted food and 
drink, I sent some sailors forth to go and learn what 
men who live by bread dwelt in the land, — selecting 
two, and joining with them a herald as a third. Thesfe 
straightway went and mingled with the Lotus-eaters, 
and yet the Lotus-eaters had no thought of harm 
against our men ; indeed, they gave them lotus to 



132 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 94-128. 

taste ; but whosoever of them ate the lotus' honeyed 
fruit wished to bring tidings back no more and never 
to leave the place, but with the Lotus-eaters there de- 
sired to stay, to feed on lotus and forget his going 
home. These men I brought back weeping to the 
ships by very force, and dragging them under the 
benches of our hollow ships I bound them fast, and 
bade my other trusty men to hasten and embark on 
the swift ships, that none of them might eat the lotus 
and forget his going home. Quickly they came 
aboard, took places at the pins, and sitting in order 
smote the foaming water with their oars. 

" Thence we sailed on with aching hearts, and came 
to the land of the Cyclops, a rude and lawless folk, 
who, trusting to the immortal gods, plant with their 
hands no plant, nor ever plough, but all things spring 
unsown and without ploughing, — wheat, barley, and 
grape-vines with wine in their heavy clusters, for rain 
from Zeus makes the grape grow. Among this peo- 
ple no assemblies meet ; they have no stable laws. 
They live on the tops of lofty hills in hollow caves ; 
each gives the law to his own wife and children, and 
for each other they have little care. 

"Now a rough island stretches along outside the 
harbor, not close to the Cyclops' coast nor yet far out, 
covered with trees. On it innumerable wild goats 
breed ; no tread of man disturbs them ; none comes 
here to follow hounds, to toil through woods and 
climb the crests of hills. The island is not held for 
flocks or tillage, but all unsown, untilled, it evermore 
is bare of men and feeds the bleating goats. Among 
the Cyclops are no red-cheeked ships, nor are there 
shipwrights who might build the well-benched ships to 
do them service, sailing to foreign cities ; as usually 



IX. 129-162.] THE ODYSSEY. 133 

men cross the sea in ships to one another. AVith 
ships they might have worked the well-placed island ; 
for it is not at all a worthless spot, but would bear all 
things duly. For here are meadows on the banks 
of the gray sea, moist, with soft soil ; here vines could 
never die ; here is smooth ploughing-land ; a very 
heavy crop, and always well in season, might be 
reaped, for the under soil is rich. Here is a quiet 
harbor, never needing moorings, — throwing out an- 
chor-stones or fastening cables, — but merely to run 
in and wait awhile till sailor hearts are ready and the 
winds are blowing. Just at the harbor's head a spring 
of sparkling water flows from beneath a cave ; around 
it poplars grow. Here we sailed in, some god our 
guide, through murky night ; there was no light to 
see, for round the ships was a dense fog. No moon 
looked out from heaven ; it was shut in with clouds. 
So no one saw the island, and the long waves rolling 
upon the shore we did not see until we beached our 
well-benched ships. After the ships were beached, 
we lowered all our sails and forth we went ourselves 
upon the shore ; where falling fast asleep we awaited 
sacred dawn. 

"• But when the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
in wonder at the island we made a circuit round 
it, and nymphs, daughters of segis-bearing Zeus, 
started the mountain goats, to give my men a meal. 
Forthwith we took our bending bows and our long 
hunting spears from out the ships, and parted in 
three bands began to shoot ; and soon God granted 
ample game. Twelve ships were in my train ; to 
each there fell nine goats, while ten they set apart for 
me alone. Then all throughout the day till setting sun 
we sat and feasted on abundant meat and pleasant 



134 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 163-194. 

wine. For the ruddy wine of Gur ships was not yet 
spent ; some still was left, because our crews took a 
large store in jars the day we seized the sacred citadel 
of the Ciconians. And now we looked across to the 
land of the neighboring Cyclops, and marked the 
smoke, the sounds of men, the bleat of sheep and 
goats ; but when the sun went down and darkness 
came, we laid us down to sleep upon the beach. Then 
as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, holding a 
council, I said to all my men : 

" ' The rest of you, my trusty crews, stay for the 
present here ; but I myself, with my own ship and 
my own crew, go to discover who these men may be, 
— if they are fierce and savage, with no regard for 
right, or kind to strangers and reverent toward the 
gods.' 

" When I had spoken thus, I went on board my 
ship, and called my crew to come on board and loose 
the cables. Quickly they came, took places at the 
pins, and sitting in order smote the foaming water 
with their oars. But as we reached the neighboring 
shore, there at the outer point, close to the sea, we 
saw a cave, high, overhung with laurel. Here many 
flocks of sheep and goats were nightly housed. 
Around was built a j^ard with a high wall of deep-em- 
bedded stone, tall pines, and crested oaks. Here a 
man-monster slept, who shepherded his flock alone 
and far apart ; with others he did not mingle, but 
quite aloof followed his lawless ways. Thus had he 
grown to be a marvelous monster ; not like a man who 
lives by bread, but rather like a woody peak of the 
high hills, seen single, clear of others. 

" Now to my other trusty men I gave command to 
stay there by the ship and guard the ship ; but I my- 



IX. 195-227.] THE ODYSSEY. 135 

self chose the twelve best among my men and sallied 
forth. I had a goat-skin bottle of the dark sweet 
wine given me by Maron, son of Evanthes, priest of 
Apollo, who watches over Ismarus. He gave me this 
because we guarded him and his son and wife, through 
holy fear ; for he dwelt within the shady grove of 
Phoebus Apollo. He brought me splendid gifts : of 
fine-wrought gold he gave me seven talents, gave me 
a mixino-bowl of solid silver, and afterwards filled 
me twelve jars with wine, sweet and unmixed, a drink 
for gods. None knew that wine among the slaves and 
hand-maids of his house, none but himself, his own 
dear wife, and one sole house-dame. Whenever they 
drank the honeyed ruddy wine, he filled a cup and 
poured it into twenty parts of water, and still from the 
bowd came a sweet odor of a surprising strength ; then 
to refrain had been no easy matter. I filled a large 
skin full of this and took it with me, and also took 
provision in a sack ; for my stout heart suspected I 
soon should meet a man arrayed in mighty power, a 
savage, ignorant of rights and laws. 

" Quickly we reached the cave, but did not find 
him there; for he was tending his fat flock afield. 
Entering the cave, we looked around. Here crates 
were standing, loaded down with cheese, and here 
pens thronged with lambs and kids. In separate pens 
each sort was folded : by themselves the older, by 
themselves the later born, and by themselves the 
younglings. Swimming with whey were all the ves- 
sels, the well-wrought pails and bowls in which he 
milked. Here at the very first my men entreated me 
to take some cheeses and depart ; then quickly to 
drive the kids and lambs to our swift ship out of the 
pens, and sail away over the briny water. But I re- 



136 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 228-259. 

fused, — far better had I yielded, — hoping that I 
might see him and he might offer gifts. But he was 
to prove, when seen, no pleasure to my men. 

" Kindling a fire here, we made burnt offering and 
we ourselves took of the cheese and ate ; and so we 
sat and waited in the cave until he came from pasture. 
He brought a ponderous burden of dry wood to use 
at supper time, and tossing it down inside the cave 
raised a great din. We hurried off in terror to a 
corner of the cave. But into the wide-mouthed cave 
he drove his sturdy flock, all that be milked ; the 
males, both rams and goats, he left outside in the high 
yard. And now he set in place the huge door-stone, 
lifting it high in air, a ponderous thing ; no two and 
twenty carts, stanch and four-wheeled, could start it 
from the ground ; such was the rugged rock he set 
against the door. Then sitting down, he milked the 
ewes and bleating goats, all in due order, and under- 
neath put each one's young. Straightway he curdled 
half of the white milk, and gathering it in wicker 
baskets, set it by ; half he left standing in the pails, 
ready for him to take and drink, and for his supper 
also. So after he had busily performed his tasks, he 
kindled a fire, noticed us, and asked : 

" ' Ha, strangers, who are you ? Where do you 
come from, sailing the watery ways ? Are you upon 
some business ? Or do you rove at random, as the 
pirates roam the seas, risking their lives and bringing 
ill to strangers ? ' 

" As he thus spoke, our very souls were crushed 
within us, dismayed by the heavy voice and by the 
monster's self ; nevertheless I answered thus and 
said: 

" ' ΛΥβ are from Troy, Achaeans, driven by shifting 



IX. 260-289.] THE ODYSSEY, 137 

winds out of our course across the great gulf of tlie 
sea ; homeward we fared, but through strange ways 
and wanderings are come hither ; so Zeus was pleased 
to purpose. Subjects of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, 
we boast ourselves to be, whose fame is now the widest 
under heaven ; so great a town he sacked, so many- 
men he slew. But chancing here, we come before 
your knees to ask that you will offer hospitality, and 
in other ways as well will give the gift which is the 
stranger's due. Ο mighty one, respect the gods. We 
are your suppliants, and Zeus is the avenger of the 
suppliant and the stranger ; he is the stranger's friend 
and waits on worthy strangers.' 

" So I spoke, and from a ruthless heart he straight- 
way answered : ' You are simple, stranger, or come 
from far away, to bid me dread the gods or shrink be- 
fore them. The Cyclops pay no heed to aegis-bearing 
Zeus, nor to the blessed gods ; because we are much 
stronger than themselves. To shun the wrath of Zeus, 
I would not spare you or your comrades, did my heart 
not bid. But tell me where you left your stanch ship 
at your coming. At the far shore, or near ? Let me 
but know.' 

"He thought to tempt me, but he could not cheat 
a knowing man like me ; and I again replied with 
words of guile : ' The Earth-shaker, Poseidon, wrecked 
my ship and cast her on the rocks at the land's end, 
drifting her on a headland ; the wind blew from the 
sea ; and I with these men here escaped impending 
ruin.' 

" So I spoke, and from a ruthless heart he answered 
nothing, but starting up laid hands on my compan- 
ions. He seized on two and dashed them to the 
ground as if they had been dogs. Their brains ran 



138 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 290-322. 

out upon the floor, and wet the earth. Tearing them 
limb from limb, he made his supper, and ate as does 
a mountain lion, leaving nothing, entrails, or flesh, or 
marrow bones. We in our tears held up our hands 
to Zeus, at sight of his reckless deeds ; helplessness 
held our hearts. But when the Cyclops had filled his 
monstrous maw by eating human flesh and pouring 
down pure milk, he laid himself in the cave full length 
among his flock. And I then formed the plan within 
my daring heart of closing on him, drawing my sharp 
sword from my thigh, and stabbing him in the breast 
where the midriff holds the liver, feeling the place out 
with my hand. Yet second thoughts restrained me, 
for there we too had met with utter ruin ; for we 
could never with our hands have pushed from the 
lofty door the enormous stone which he had set against 
it. Thus then with sighs we awaited sacred dawn. 

" But when the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
he kindled a fire, milked his goodly flock, all in due 
order, and underneath put each one's young. Then 
after he had busily performed his tasks, seizing once 
more two men, he made his morning meal. And 
when the meal was ended, he drove from the cave his 
sturdy flock, and easily moved the huge door-stone ; 
but afterwards he put it back as one might put the lid 
upon a quiver. Then to the hills, with many a call, 
he turned his sturdy flock, while I was left behind 
brooding on e\'u and thinking how I might obtain re- 
venge, would but Athene grant my prayer. And to 
my mind this seemed the wisest way. There lay be- 
side the pen a great club of the Cyclops, an olive stick 
still green, which he had cut to be his staff when 
dried. Inspecting it, we giiessed its size, and thought 
it like the mast of a black ship of twenty oars, — 



IX. 323-353.] THE ODYSSEY. 139 

some broad-built mercbantman wbicb sails the great 
gulf of the sea ; so huge it looked in length and thick- 
ness. I went and cut away a fathom's length of this, 
laid it before my men, and bade them shape it down ; 
they made it smooth ; I then stood by to point the tip 
and, laying hold, I charred it briskly in the blazing 
fire. The piece I now put carefully away, hiding it in 
the dung which lay about the cave in great abun- 
dance ; and then I bade my comrades fix by lot who 
the bold men should be to help me raise the stake and 
grind it in his eye, when pleasant sleep should come. 
Those drew the lot whom I myself would fain have 
chosen ; four were they, for a fifth I counted in myself. 
He came toward evening, shepherding the fleecy flock, 
and forthwith drove his sturdy flock, into the wide- 
mouthed cave, all with much care ; he did not leave a 
sheep in the high yard outside, either through some 
suspicion, or God bade him so to do. Again he set in 
place the huge door-stone, lifting it high in air, and, 
sitting down, he milked the ewes and bleating goats, 
all in due order, and underneath put each one's young. 
Then after he had busily performed his tasks, he 
seized once more two men and made his supper. And 
now it was that drawing near the Cyclops I thus 
spoke, holding within my hands an ivy bowl filled 
with dark wine : 

" ' Here, Cyclops, drink some wine after your meal 
of human flesh, and see what sort of liquor our ship 
held. I brought it as an offering, thinking that you 
might pity me and send me home. But you are mad 
past bearing. Reckless! How should a stranger 
come to you again from any people, when you have 
done this wicked deed ? ' 

" So I spoke ; he took the cup and drank it off, and 



140 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 354-384. 

mightily pleased he was with the taste of the sweet 
liquor, and thus he asked me for it yet again : 

" ' Give me some more, kind sir, and straightway 
tell your name, that I may give a stranger's gift with 
which you shall be pleased. Ah yes, the Cyclops' 
fruitful fields bear wine in their heavy clusters, for 
rain from Zeus makes the grape grow; but this is 
a bit of ambrosia and nectar.' 

" So he spoke, and I again offered the sparkling 
wine. Three times I brought and gave ; three times 
he drank it in his folly. Then as the wine began to 
dull the Cyclops' senses, in winning words I said to 
him : 

" ' Cyclops, you asked my noble name, and I will 
tell it ; but do you give the stranger's gift, just as you 
promised. My name is Noman. Noman I am called 
by mother, father, and by all my comrades.' 

" So I spoke, and from a ruthless heart he straight- 
way answered : ' Noman I eat up last, after his com- 
rades ; all the rest first ; and that shall be the stran- 
ger's gift for you.' 

" He spoke, and sinking back fell flat ; and there he 
lay, lolling his thick neck over, till sleep, that conquers 
all, took hold upon him. Out of his throat poured 
wine and scraps of human flesh ; heavy with wine, he 
spewed it forth. And now it was I drove the stake 
under a heap of ashes, to bring it to a heat, and wdth 
my words emboldened all my men, that none might 
flinch through fear. Then when the olive stake, green 
though it was, was ready to take fire, and through and 
through was all aglow, I snatched it from the fire, 
while my men stood around and Heaven inspired us 
with great courage. Seizing the olive stake, sharp at 
the tip, they plunged it in his eye, and I, perched up 



IX. 385^16.] THE ODYSSEY. 141 

above, whirled it around. As when a man bores ship- 
beams with a drill, and those below keep it in motion 
with a strap held by the ends, and steadily it runs ; 
even so we seized the fire-pointed stake and whirled it 
in his eye. Blood bubbled round the heated thing. 
The vapor singed off all the lids around the eye, 
and even the brows, as the ball burned and its roots 
crackled in the flame. As when a smith dips a great 
axe or adze into cold water, hissing loud, to temper it, 
— for that is strength to steel, — so hissed his eye about 
the olive stake. A hideous roar he raised ; the rock 
resounded ; we hurried off in terror. He wrenched the 
stake from out his eye, all dabbled with the blood, and 
flung it from his hands in frenzy. Then he called 
loudly on the Cyclops who dwelt about him in the 
caves, along the windy heights. They heard his cry, 
and ran from every side, and standing by the cave 
they asked what ailed him : 

" ' lYhat has come on you, Polyphemus, that you 
scream so in the immortal night, and keep us thus 
from sleeping ? Is a man driving off your flocks in 
spite of you ? Is a man murdering you by craft or 
force ? ' 

" Then in his turn from out the cave big Polyphe- 
mus answered : ' Friends, Noman is murdering me by 
craft. Force there is none.' 

" But answering him in winged words they said : 
' If no man harms you then when you are left alone, 
illness which comes from mighty Zeus you cannot fly. 
But make your prayer to your father, lord Poseidon.' 

'' This said, they went 'their way, and in my heart 
I laughed, — my name, that clever notion, so deceived 
them. But now the Cyclops, groaning and in agonies 
of anguish, by groping with his hands took the stone 



142 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 417-448. 

off the door, yet sat himself inside the door with hands 
outstretched, to catch whoever ventured forth among 
the sheep ; for he probably hoped in his heart that I 
should be so silly. But I was planning how it all 
might best be ordered that I might win escape from 
death both for my men and me. So many a plot and 
scheme I framed, as for my life ; great danger was at 
hand. Then to my mind this seemed the wisest way : 
some rams there were of a good breed, thick in the 
fleece, handsome and large, which bore a dark blue 
wool. These I quietly bound together with the twisted 
willow withes on which the giant Cyclops slept, — 
the brute, — taking three sheep together. One, in 
the middle, carried the man ; the other two walked by 
the sides, keeping my comrades safe. Thus three 
sheep bore each man. Then for myself, — there was 
a ram, by far the best of all the flock, whose back I 
grasped, and curled beneath his shaggy belly there 
I lay, and with my hands twisted in that enormous 
fleece I steadily held on, with patient heart. Thus 
then with sighs we awaited sacred dawn. 

" Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, the 
rams hastened to pasture, but the ewes bleated un- 
milked about the pens, for their udders were well- 
nigh bursting. Their master, racked with grievous 
pains, felt over the backs of all the sheep as they 
stood up, but foolishly did not notice how under the 
breasts of the woolly sheep men had been fastened. 
Last of the flock, the ram walked to the door, cramped 
by his fleece and me the crafty plotter ; and feeling 
him over, big Polyphemus said : 

" ' What, my pet ram ! Why do you move across 
the cave hindmost of all the flock? Till now you 
never lagged behind, but with your long strides you 



IX. 449-479.] THE ODYSSEY. 143 

were always first to crop the tender blooms of grass ; 
you were the first to reach the running streams, and 
first to wish to turn to the stall at night : yet here you 
are the last. Ah, but you miss your master's eye, 
which a villain has put out, — he and his vile compan- 
ions, — blunting my wits with wine. Noman it was, 
— not, I assure him, safe from destruction yet. If 
only you could sympathize and get the power of speech 
to say where he is skulking from my rage, then should 
that brain of his be knocked about the cave and dashed 
upon the ground. So might my heart recover from 
the ills which miserable Noman brought upon me.' 

" So saying, from his hand he let the ram go forth ; 
and after we were come a little distance from the cave 
and from the yard, first from beneath the ram I freed 
myself and then set free my comrades. So at quick 
pace we drove away those long-legged sheep, heavy 
with fat, many times turning round, until we reached 
the ship. A welcome sight we seemed to our dear 
friends, as men escaped from death. Yet for the 
others they began to weep and wail ; but this I did 
not suffer ; by my frowns I checked their tears. In- 
stead, I bade them straightway toss the many fleecy 
sheep into the ship, and sail away over the briny 
water. Quickly they came, took places at the pins, 
and sitting in order smote the foaming water with 
their oars. But when I was as far away as one can 
call, I shouted to the Cyclops in derision : 

" ' Cyclops, no weakling's comrades you were des- 
tined to devour in the deep cave, with brutal might. 
But it was also destined your bad deeds should find 
you out, audacious wTctch, who did not hesitate to eat 
the guests within your house ! For this did Zeus 
chastise you, Zeus and the other gods.' 



144 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 480-511. 

" So I spoke, and lie was angered in his heart the 
more ; and tearing off the top of a high hill, he flung 
it at us. It fell before the dark-bowed ship a little 
space, but failed to reach the rudder's tip. The sea 
surged underneath the stone as it came down, and 
swiftly toward the land the wash of water swept us, 
like a flood-tide from the deep, and forced us back to 
shore. I seized a setting-pole and shoved the vessel 
off ; then inspiriting my men, I bade them fall to their 
oars that we might flee from danger, — with my head 
making signs, — and bending f orw^ard, on they rowed. 
When we had traversed twice the distance on the sea, 
again to the Cyclops would I call ; but my men, gath- 
ering round, sought with soft words to stay me, each 
in his separate wise : 

" ' Ο reckless man, why seek to vex this savage, 
who even now, hurling his missile in the deep, drove 
the ship back to shore ? We verily thought that we 
were lost. And had he heard a man make but a 
sound or speak, he would have crushed our heads and 
our ships' beams, by hurling jagged granite stone ; for 
he can throw so far.' 

" So they spoke, but did not move my daring spirit ; 
again I called aloud out of an angry heart : ' Cyclops, 
if ever mortal man asks you the story of the ugly 
blinding of your eye, say that Odysseus made you 
blind, the spoiler of cities, Laertes' son, whose home 
is Ithaca.' 

" So I spoke, and with a groan he answered : ' Ah, 
surely now the ancient oracles are come upon me ! 
Here once a prophet lived, a prophet brave and tall, 
Telemus, son of Eurymus, who by his prophecies ob- 
tained renown and in prophetic works grew old among 
the Cyclops. He told me it should come to pass in 



IX. 512-542.] THE ODYSSEY. 145 

af tertime that I should lose my sight by means of one 
Odysseus ; but I was always watching for the coming 
of some tall and comely person, arrayed in mighty 
power ; and now a little miserable feeble creature 
blinded me of my eye, overcoming me with wine. 
Nevertheless, come here, Odysseus, and let me give 
the stranger's gift, and beg the famous Land-shaker 
to aid you on your way. His son am I ; he calls him- 
self my father. He, if he will, shall heal me ; none 
else can, whether among the blessed gods or mortal 
men.' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Ah, 
would I might as surely strip you of life and being 
and send you to the house of Hades, as it is sure the 
Earth-shaker will never heal your eye ! ' 

" So I spoke, whereat he prayed to lord Poseidon, 
stretching his hands forth toward the starry sky : 
' Hear me, thou girder of the land, dark-haired Posei- 
don ! If I am truly thine, and thou art called my 
father, vouchsafe no coming home to this Odysse.us, 
spoiler of cities, Laertes' son, whose home is Ithaca. 
Yet if it be his lot to see his friends once more, and 
reach his stately house and native land, late let him 
come, in evil plight, with loss of all his crew, on the 
vessel of a stranger, and may he at his home find trou- 
ble.' 

" So spoke he in his prayer, and the dark-haired 
god gave ear. Then once more picking up a stone 
much larger than before, the Cyclops swung and sent 
it, putting forth stupendous power. It fell behind the 
dark-bowed ship a little space, but failed to reach the 
rudder's tip. The sea surged underneath the stone as 
it came down, but the wave swept us forward and 
forced us to the shore. 



146 THE ODYSSEY. [IX. 543-566. 

" Now when we reached the island where our other 
well-benched ships waited together, while their crews 
sat round them sorrowing, watching continually for 
us, as we ran in we beached our ship among the sands, 
and forth we went ourselves upon the shore. Then 
taking the Cyclops' sheep out of the hollow ship, we 
parted all, that none might go lacking his proper 
share. The ram my mailed companions gave to me 
alone, a mark of special honor in the division of the 
flock ; and on the shore I offered him to Zeus of the 
dark cloud, the son of Kronos, who is the lord of all, 
burning the thighs. He did not heed the sacrifice. 
Instead, he purposed that my well-benched ships 
should all be lost, and all my trusty comrades. But 
all throughout that day till setting sun we sat and 
feasted on abundant meat and pleasant wine ; and 
when the sun went down and darkness came, we laid 
us down to sleep upon the beach. Then as the early 
rosy-fingered dawn appeared, inspiriting my men, I 
bade them come on board and loose the cables. 
Quickly they came, took places at the pins, and sit- 
ting in order smote the foaming water with their oars. 

" Thence we sailed on, with aching hearts, glad to 
be clear of death, though missing our dear comrades." 



AEOLUS, THE LAESTRYGONIANS, AND CIRCE. 

" Soon we drew near the island of Aeolia, where 
Aeolus, the son of Hippotas, dear to immortal gods, 
dwelt on a floating island. All round it is a wall of 
bronze, not to be broken through, and smooth and 
steep rises the rocky shore. Within the house of 
Aeolus, twelve children have been born, six daughters 
and six sturdy sons, and here he gave his daughters to 
his sons to be their wives. Here too with their loved 
father and honored mother they hold continual feast- 
ing; before them countless viands lie. By day the 
steaming house resounds even to its court ; by night 
they sleep by their chaste wives under the coverlets on 
well-bored bedsteads. Their city it was we reached, 
their goodly dwelling. For a full month he made me 
welcome, and he questioned me of all, of Ilios, the Ar- 
give ships, and the return of the Achaeans. So I re- 
lated all the tale in its due order. And when I fur- 
thermore asked him about my journey and entreated 
him for aid, he did not say me nay, but made provi- 
sion for my going. He gave me a sack, — flaying 
therefor a nine-year ox, — and in it bound the courses 
of the blustering winds ; for the son of Kronos made 
him steward of the winds, to stay or rouse which one 
he would. Upon my hollow ship he tied the sack with 
a bright cord of silver, that not a breath might stir, 
however little. Then for my aid he sent the west 



Ϊ48 THE ODYSSEY. [Χ. 25-57. 

wind forth, to blow and bear along my ships and men. 
But it was not to be ; by our folly we were lost. 

" Nine days we sailed, as well by night as day. 
Upon the tenth our native fields appeared, so close at 
hand that we could see men tending fires. Then sweet 
sleep overcame me, wearied as I was ; for I had all 
the time managed the vessel's sheet and jdelded it to 
no one else among the crew, that so we might the 
sooner reach our native land. Meanwhile my men 
began to talk with one another, and to tell how I was 
bringing gold and silver home as gifts from Aeolus, 
the generous son of Hippotas ; and glancing at his 
neighbor one would say : 

" ' Lo, how this man is welcomed and esteemed by 
all mankind, come to whose town and land he may ! 
He brings a store of goodly treasure out of the spoils 
of Troy, while we, who toiled along the selfsame road, 
come home vnth empty hands. Now Aeolus gives him 
friendly gifts. Come, then, and let us quickly see 
what there is here, and how much gold and silver the 
sack holds.' 

" Such was their talk, and the ill counsel of the 
crew prevailed ; they loosed the sack, and out rushed 
all the winds. Straightway a sweej)ing storm bore off 
to sea my weeping comrades, far from their native 
land. And I, awaking, hesitated in my gallant heart 
whether to cast myself out of the ship into the sea and 
perish there, or saying nothing to endure and bide 
among the living. I forced myself to stay ; covering 
my head, I laid me down, the while the ships were 
driven by the cruel storm of wind back to the island 
of Aeolia, my comrades sighing sore. 

" So here we went ashore and drew us water, and 
soon by the swift ships my men prepared a meal. 



χ. 58-87.] THE ODYSSEY. 149 

Then after we had tasted food and drink, taking a 
herald and a comrade with me, I turned me toward 
the lordly house of Aeolus. I found him at the feast, 
beside his wife and children. We entered the hall 
and on the threshold by the doorposts sat us down ; 
and they all marveled in their hearts and questioned : 

" ' How came you here, Odysseus ? What hostile 
power assailed you ? With care we sent you forth, 
to let you reach your land and home or anywhere you 
pleased.' 

" So they spoke, and with an aching heart I an- 
swered : ' A wicked crew betrayed me — they and a 
cruel sleep. Bub heal my woes, my friends, for you 
have power.' 

" So I spoke, addressing them in humble words. 
Then all the rest were silent, but the father answered 
thus : ' Out of the island instantly, vilest of all that 
live ! I may not aid or send upon his way a man 
detested by the blessed gods. Begone ! for you are 
here because detested by the immortals.' 

" Therewith he turned me loud lamenting from his 
door. Thence we sailed on, with aching hearts. AVorn 
was the spirit of my men under the heavy rowing, 
caused by our folly too ; aid on our way appeared no 
more. 

" Six days we sailed, as well by night as day, and 
on the seventh came to the steep citadel of Lamos, 
Telepylus in Laestrygonia, where one shepherd lead- 
ing home his flock calls to another, and the other an- 
swers as he leads his own flock forth. Here a man 
who never slept might earn a double wage : this, herd- 
ing kine ; that, tending silvery sheep ; so close are the 
outgoings of the night and day. Now when we 
reached the splendid harbor, — round which the rock 



150 THE ODYSSEY. . [X. 88-121. 

runs steep, continuous all the way, and the projecting 
cliffs, facing each other, stretch forward at the mouth, 
and narrow is the entrance, — into the basin all the 
rest steered their curved ships, and so the ships lay in 
the hollow harbor close-anchored, side by side ; for no 
wave swelled within it, large or small, but a clear calm 
was all around. I alone posted my black ship with- 
out the harbor, there at the point, lashing my cables 
to the rock. Then climbing up, I took my stand on a 
rugged point of outlook. From it no work of man or 
beast was to be seen, only we saw some smoke ascend- 
ing from the ground. So I sent sailors forth to go 
and learn what men who live by bread dwelt in the 
land, — selecting two, and joining with them a herald 
as a third. Leaving the ship, they took a beaten 
road where carts brought timber from the lofty hills 
down to the town below. Before the town they met a 
maiden drawing water, the stately daughter of the 
Laestrygonian Antiphates. She had come down to 
the clear-flowing fountain of Artacia, from which they 
used to fetch the water for the town. So my men, 
drawing near, addressed her and inquired who was the 
king of the folk here and whom he ruled ; whereat she 
pointed to her father's high-roofed house. But when 
they entered the lordly hall, they found a woman there 
huge as a mountain peak ; at her they were aghast. 
Forthwith she called from the assembly noble Anti- 
phates, her husband, who sought to bring upon my 
men a miserable end. Straight seizing one, he made 
his meal of him ; and the two others, dashing off, came 
flying to the ships. Thereat he raised a cry through- 
out the town, and hearing it, the mighty Laestrygo- 
nian s gathered from here and there, seeming not men 
but giants. Then from the rocks they hurled down 



χ. 122-155.] THE ODYSSEY. 151 

ponderous stones ; and soon among the ships arose a 
dreadful din of dying men and crashing ships. As 
men spear fish, they gathered in their loathsome meal. 
But while they slaughtered these in the deep harbor, 
I drew my sharp sword from my thigh and cut the 
cables of my dark-bowed ship ; and quickly inspiriting 
my men, I bade them fall to their oars, that we might 
flee from danger. They all tossed up the water, in 
terror for their lives, and cheerily to sea, away from 
the beetling cliff, my ship sped on ; but all the other 
ships went down together there. 

" Thence we sailed on with aching hearts, glad to 
be clear of death, though missing our dear comrades. 
And now we reached the island of Aeaea, where fair- 
haired Circe dwelt, a mighty goddess, human of speech. 
She was own sister of the sorcerer Aeetes ; both were 
the children of the beaming Sun and of a mother 
Perse, the daughter of Oceanus. Here we bore land- 
ward with our ship and ran in silence into a sheltering 
harbor, God our guide. Landing, we lay two days 
and nights, gnawing our hearts because of toil and 
trouble ; but when the fair-haired dawn brought the 
third day, I took my spear and my sharp sword, and 
from the ship walked briskly up to a place of distant 
view, hoping to see some work of man or catch some 
voice. So climbing up, I took my stand on a rugged 
point of outlook, and smoke appeared rising from 
open ground at Circe's dwelling, through some oak 
thickets and a wood. Then for a time I doubted in 
my mind and heart whether to go and search the mat- 
ter while I saw the flaring smoke. Reflecting thus, 
it seemed the better way first to return to the swift 
ship and to the shore ; there give my men their din- 
ner, and send them forth to search. 



152 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 156-189. 

'* But on my way, as I drew near to the curved 
sliip, some god took pity on me all forlorn, and sent a 
high-liorned deer into my very path. From feeding 
in the wood he came to the stream to drink, for the 
sun's power oppressed him. As he stepped out, I 
struck him in the spine midway along the back ; the 
bronze spear pierced him through ; down in the dust 
he fell with a moan, and his life flew away. Setting 
my foot upon him, I drew from the wound the brazen 
spear and laid it on the ground ; then I plucked twigs 
and osiers, and wove a rope a fathom long, twisted 
from end to end, with which I bound together the mon- 
strous creature's legs. So with him upon my back I 
walked to the black ship leaning upon my spear, be- 
cause it was not possible to hold him with my hand 
upon my shoulder ; for the beast was very large. Be- 
fore the ship I threw him down and then with cheer- 
ing words aroused my men, standing by each in turn : 

" ' AVe shall not, friends, however sad, go to the 
halls of Hades until our destined day. But while 
there still is food and drink in the swift ship, let us 
attend to eating and not waste away with hunger.' 

" So I spoke, and my words they quickly heeded. 
Throwing their coverings off upon the shore beside 
the barren sea, they gazed upon the deer ; for the beast 
was very large. Then after they had satisfied their 
eyes with gazing, they washed their hands and made 
a glorious feast. Thus all throughout the day till set- 
ting sun we sat and feasted on abundant meat and 
pleasant wine ; and when the sun went down and 
darkness came, we laid us down to sleep upon the 
beach. Then as the early rosy-fingered dawn ap- 
peared, holding a council, I said to all my men : 

" ' My suffering comrades, hearken to my words : 



χ. 190-222.] THE ODYSSEY. 153 

for since, my friends, we do not know the place of 
dusk or dawn, the place at which the beaming sun 
goes under ground nor where he rises, let us at once 
consider if a wise course is left. I do not think there 
is ; for I saw, on climbing to a rugged outlook, an is- 
land which the boundless deep encircles like a crown. 
Low in the sea it lies ; midway across, I saw a smoke 
through some oak thickets and a wood.' 

" As I thus spoke, their very souls were crushed 
within them, remembering the deeds of Laestrygonian 
Antiphates and the cruelty of the daring Cyclops, the 
devourer of men. They cried aloud and let the big 
tears fall ; but no good came to them from their la- 
menting. 

" Now the whole body of my mailed companions I 
told off in two bands, and to each band assigned a 
leader : the one I led, godlike Eurylochus the other. 
Straightway we shook the lots in a bronze helmet, 
and the lot of bold Eurylochus leapt out the first. 
So he departed, two and twenty comrades following, 
all in tears ; and us they left in sorrow too behind. 
AYithin the glades they found the house of Circe, built 
of smooth stone upon commanding ground. All round 
about were mountain wolves and lions, which Circe 
had charmed by giving them evil drugs. These crea- 
tures did not spring upon my men, but stood erect, 
wagging their long tails, fawning. As hounds fawn 
round their master when he comes from meat, because 
he always brings them dainties that they like, so round 
these men the strong-clawed wolves and lions fawned. 
Still my men trembled at the sight of the strange 
beasts. They stood before the door of the fair-haired 
goddess, and in the house heard Circe singing with 
sweet voice, while tending her great imperishable loom 



154 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 223-252. 

and weaving webs, fine, beautiful, and lustrous as are 
the works of gods. Polites was the first to speak, one 
ever foremost, and one to me the nearest and the dear- 
est of my comrades : 

" ' Ah, friends, somebody in the house is tending a 
great loom and singing sweetly ; all the pavement 
rings. It is a god or woman. Then let us quickly 
call.' 

"He spoke, the others lifted up their voice and 
called; and suddenly coming forth, she opened the 
shining doors and bade them in. The rest all fol- 
lowed, heedless. Only Eurylochus remained behind, 
suspicious of a snare. She led them in and seated 
them on couches and on chairs, and made a potion for 
them, — cheese, barley, and yellow honey, stirred into 
Pramnian wine, — but mingled with the food perni- 
cious drugs, to make them quite forget their native 
land. Now after she had given the cup and they had 
drunk it off, straight with a wand she smote them and 
penned them up in sties ; and they took on the heads 
of swine, the voice, the bristles, and even the shape, yet 
was their reason as sound as heretofore. Thus, weep- 
ing, they were penned ; and Circe flung them acorns, 
chestnuts, and cornel-fruit to eat, such things as swine 
that wallow in the mire are wont to eat. 

" Eurylochus, meanwhile, came to the swift black 
ship to bring me tidings of my men and tell their bit- 
ter fate. Strive as he might, he could not speak a 
word, so stricken was he to the soul with great dis- 
tress ; his eyes were filled with tears, his heart felt 
anguish. But when we all in great amazement ques- 
tioned him, then he described the loss of all his men : 

" ' We went, as you commanded, noble Odysseus, 
through the thicket and found within the glades a 



χ 253-282.] THE ODYSSEY. 155 

beautiful house, built of smooth stone upon command- 
ing ground. There somebody was tending a great 
loom and singing loud, some god or woman. The 
others lifted up their voice and called ; and suddenly 
coming forth, she opened the shining doors and bade 
them in. The rest all followed, heedless ; but I re- 
mained behind, suspicious of a snare. They vanished, 
one and all ; not one appeared again, though long I 
sat and watched.' 

"So he spoke ; I slung my silver-studded sword 
about my shoulders, — large it was and made of 
bronze, — and my bow with it, and bade him lead me 
back the selfsame way. But he, clasping my knees 
with both his hands, entreated me, and sorrowfidly 
said in winged words : 

" ' Ο heaven-descended man, bring me not there 
against my will, but leave me here ; for well I know 
you never will return, nor will you bring another of 
your comrades. Rather, with these now here, let us 
speed on ; for we might even yet escape the evil day.' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Eurylo- 
chus, remain then here yourself, eating and drinking 
by the black hollow ship ; but I will go, for strong 
necessity is laid on me.' 

" Saying this, I passed up from the ship and from 
the sea. But when, in walking up the solemn glades, 
I was about to reach the great house of the sorceress 
Circe, there I was met, as I approached the house, by 
Hermes of the golden wand, in likeness of a youth, the 
first down on his lip, — a time of life most winning. 
He held my hand and spoke, and thus addressed me : 

" ' Where are you going, hapless man, along the 
bills alone, ignorant of the land ? Your comrades 
yonder, at the house of Circe, are penned like swine 



156 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 283-316. 

and kept in fast-closed sties. You come to free them ? 
Nay, I am sure you will return no more, but there, 
like all the rest, you too will stay. Still, I can keep 
you clear of harm and give you safety. Here, take 
this potent herb and go to Circe's house ; this shall 
protect your life against the e\dl day. And I will tell 
you all the magic arts of Circe : she will prepare 
for you a potion and cast drugs into your food ; but 
even so, she cannot charm you, because the potent 
herb which I shall give will not permit it. And let 
me tell you more : when Circe turns against you her 
long wand, then draw the sharp sword from your 
thigh and spring upon Circe as if you meant to slay 
her; she then will cower and bid you to her bed. 
And do not you refuse the goddess' bed, that so she 
may release your men and care for you. But bid her 
swear the blessed ones' great oath that she is not 
meaning now to plot you a new woe, nor when she 
lias you stripped to leave you feeble and unmanned.' 

" As he thus spoke, the Speedy-comer gave the 
herb, drawing it from the ground, and pointed out its 
nature. Black at the root it is, like milk its blossom, 
and the gods call it moly. Hard is it for a mortal 
man to dig ; with gods all things may be. 

" Hermes departed now to high Olympus, along the 
woody island. I made my way to Circe's house, and 
as I went my heart grew very dark. But I stood at 
the gate of the fair-haired goddess, stood there and 
called, and the goddess heard my voice. Suddenly 
coming forth, she opened the shining doors and bade 
me in ; I followed her with aching heart. She led me 
in and placed me on a silver-studded chair, beautiful, 
richly wrought, — upon its lower part there was a rest 
for feet, — and she prepared a potion in a golden cup, 



χ. 317-347.] THE ODYSSEY. 157 

for me to drink, but put therein a drug, with wicked 
purpose in her heart. Now after she had given the 
drink and I had drunk it off, and yet it had not 
charmed me, smiting me with her wand, she spoke 
these words and cried : ' Off to the sty, and lie there 
with your fellows ! ' 

" She spoke ; I drew the sharp blade from my thigh 
and sprang upon Circe as if I meant to slay her. 
With a loud cry, she cowered and clasped my knees, 
and sorrowfully said in winged words : 

" ' Who are you ? Of what people ? Where is 
your town and kindred ? I marvel much that drink- 
ing of these drugs you were not charmed. None, no 
man else, ever withstood these drugs who tasted them, 
so soon as they had passed the barrier of his teeth ; 
but in your breast there is a mind which cannot be 
beguiled. Surely you are adventurous Odysseus, who 
the god of the golden wand, the Speedy-comer, always 
declared would come upon his way from Troy, — he 
and his swift black ship. Nay, then, put up your 
blade within its sheath, and let us now approach our 
bed, that there we two may join in love and learn to 
trust each other.' 

" So she spoke, and answering her said I : ' Circe, 
why ask me to be gentle toward you when you have 
turned my comrades into swine within your halls, and 
here detain me and with treacherous purpose invite 
me to your chamber and to approach your bed, that 
you, when I am stripped, may leave me feeble and un- 
manned ? But I will never willingly approach your 
bed till you consent, goddess, to swear a solemn oath 
that you are not meaning now to plot me a new woe/ 

" So I spoke, and she then took the oath which I 
required. So after she had sworn and ended all that 
oath, then I approached the beauteous bed of Circe. 



158 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 348-381. 

" Meanwhile attendants plied their work about the 
halls, — four maids, who were the serving-women of 
the palace. They are the children of the springs and 
groves and of the sacred streams that run into the 
sea. One threw upon the chairs beautiful cloths ; 
purple she spread above, linen below. The next 
placed silver tables by the chairs and set forth golden 
baskets. A third stirred in a bowl the cheering wine, 
— sweet wine iu silver — and filled the golden cups. 
A fourth brought water and kindled a large fire under 
a great kettle, and let the water warm. T^en when 
the water in the glittering copper boiled, she seated 
me in the bath and bathed me from the kettle about 
the head and shoulders, tempering the water well, till 
from my joints she drew the sore fatigue. And after 
she had bathed me and anointed me with oil and put 
upon me a goodly coat and tunic, she led me in and 
placed me on a silver-studded chair, beautiful, richly 
wrought, — upon its lower part there was a rest ior 
feet, — and water for the hands a servant brought me 
in a beautiful pitcher made of gold, and poured it 
out over a silver basin for my washing, and spread a 
polished table by my side. Then the grave house- 
keeper brought bread and placed before me, setting 
out food of many a kind, freely giving of her store, 
and bade me eat. But that pleased not my heart ; I 
sat with other thoughts ; my heart foreboded evil. 

" When Circe marked me sitting thus, not laying 
hands upon my food but cherishing sore sorrow, ap- 
proaching me she said in winged words : ' Why do 
you sit, Odysseus, thus, like one struck dumb, gnawing 
your heart, and touch no food nor drink? Do you 
suspect some further guile ? You have no cause for 
fear, for even now I swore to you a solemn oath.' 



χ. 382-415.] THE ODYSSEY. 159 

" So she spoke, and answering her said I : ' Ah, 
Circe, what upright man could bring himself to taste 
of food or drink before he had released his friends 
and seen them with his eyes ? But if you in sincerity 
will bid me drink and eat, then set them free ; that I 
with my own eyes may see my trusty comrades.' 

" So I spoke, and from the hall went Circe, wand 
in hand. She opened the sty doors, and forth she 
drove what seemed like nine-year swine. A while 
they stood before her, and, passing along the line, 
Circe anointed each one with a counter-charm. So 
from their members fell the hair which at the first the 
accursed drug which potent Circe gave had made to 
grow; and once more they were men, men younger 
than before, much fairer too and taller to behold. 
They knew me, and each grasped my hand, and from 
them all passionate sobs burst forth, and all the house 
gave a sad echo. The goddess pitied us, even she, 
and standing by my side the heavenly goddess said : 

" ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, go 
now to your swift ship and to the shore, and first of 
all draw up your ship upon the land, and store within 
the caves your goods and all your gear, and then come 
back yourself and bring your trusty comrades.' 

" So she spoke, and my high heart assented. I 
went to the swift ship and to the shore, and found by 
the swift ship my trusty comrades in bitter lamentation, 
letting the big tears fall. As the stalled calves skip 
round a drove of cows returning to the barn-yard 
when satisfied with grazing ; with one accord they all 
bound forth, the folds no longer hold them, but with 
continual bleat they frisk about their mothers ; so did 
these men, when they caught sight of me, press weep- 
ing round. To them it seemed as if they had already 



160 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 416-448. 

reached their land, their very town of rugged Ithaca 
where they were bred and born ; and through their 
sobs they said in winged words : 

" ' Now you have come, Ο heaven-descended man, 
we are as glad as if we were approaching Ithaca, our 
native land. But tell about the loss of all our other 
comrades.' 

" So they spoke ; I in soft words made answer : 
* Let us now first of all draw up our ship upon the 
land and store within the caves our goods and all our 
gear ; then hasten all of you to follow me, and see 
your comrades in the magic house of Circe drinking 
and eating, holding constant cheer.' 

" So I spoke, and my words they quickly heeded. 
Eurylochus alone tried to hold back my comrades, 
and speaking in winged words he said : ' Poor fools, 
where are we going ? Why are you so in love with 
misery that you will go to Circe's haU and let her turn 
us all to swine and wolves and lions, that we may then 
keep watch at her great house, perforce ? Such deeds 
the Cyclops did when to his lair our comrades came, 
and with them went this reckless man, Odysseus; 
for through his foUy those men also perished.' 

" As he thus spoke, I hesitated in my heart whether 
to draw my keen-edged blade from my stout thigh 
and by a blow bring down his head into the dust, near 
as he was by tie of marriage ; but with soft words my 
comrades stayed me, each in his separate wise : 

" ' High-born Odysseus, we will leave him, if you 
please, here by the ship to guard the ship ; but lead 
us to the magic house of Circe.' 

"Saying this, they passed up from the ship and 
from the sea. Yet did Eurylochus not tarry by the 
hollow ship ; he followed, for he feared my stern re- 
buke. 



χ. 449-482.] THE ODYSSEY. 161 

" But in the mean while to my other comrades at 
the palace Circe had given a pleasant bath, anointed 
them with oil, and put upon them fleecy coats and tu- 
nics; merrily feasting in her halls we found them all. 
When the men saw and recognized each other, they 
wept aloud and the house rang around ; and standing 
by my side the heavenly goddess said : 

" ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, let 
not this swelling grief rise farther now. I myself 
know what hardships you have borne upon the swarm- 
ing sea and how fierce men harassed you on the land. 
Come, then, eat food, drink wine, until you find once 
more that spirit in the breast which once was yours 
when you first left your native land of rugged Ithaca. 
Now, worn and spiritless, your thoughts still dwell 
upon your weary wandering. This many a day your 
heart has not been glad, for sorely have you suffered.' 

" So she spoke, and our high hearts assented. Here, 
then, day after day, for a full year, we sat and feasted 
on abundant meat and pleasant wine. But when the 
year was gone and the round of the seasons rolled, 
as the months waned and the long days were done, 
then calling me aside my trusty comrades said : 

" ' Ah, sir, consider now your native land, if you are 
destined ever to be saved and reach your stately house 
and native land.' 

" So they spoke, and my high heart assented. Yet 
all throughout that day till setting sun we sat and 
feasted on abundant meat and pleasant wine ; and when 
the sun went down and darkness came, my men lay 
down to sleep throughout the dusky halls. But I, on 
coming to the beauteous bed of Circe, made supplica- 
tion to her by her knees, and to my voice the goddess 
hearkened ; and speaking in winged words, I said : 



162 THE ODYSSEY. [X. 483-515. 

" ' Circe, fulfill the promise made to send me home ; 
for now m}^ spirit stirs, with that of all my men, who 
vex my heart with their complaints when you are gone 
away.' 

" So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess an- 
swered : ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, 
stay no longer at my home against your will. But you 
must first perform a different journey, and go to the 
halls of Hades and of dread Persephone, there to con- 
sult the spirit of Teiresias of Thebes•, — the prophet 
blind, whose mind is steadfast still. To him, though 
dead, Persephone has granted reason, to him alone 
sound understanding ; the rest are flitting shadows.' 

" As she thus spoke, my very soul was crushed 
within me, and sitting on the bed I fell to weeping ; 
my heart no longer cared to live and see the sunshine. 
But when of weeping and of writhing I had had my 
fill, then thus I answered her and said : ' But, Circe, 
who will be my pilot on this journey ? None by black 
ship has ever reached the land of Hades.' 

" So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess an- 
swered : * High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, 
let not the lack of pilot for your ship disturb you, but 
set the mast, spread the white sail aloft, and sit you 
down ; the breath of Boreas shall bear her onward. 
When you have crossed by ship the Ocean-stream to 
where the shore is rough and the grove of Persephone 
stands, — tall poplars and seed-shedding willows, — 
there beach your ship by the deep eddies of the Ocean- 
stream, but go yourself to the mouldering house of 
Hades. There is a spot where into Acheron run 
Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus, a stream which is an off- 
shoot of the waters of the Styx ; a rock here forms 
the meeting-point of the two roaring rivers. To this 



χ. 516-548.] THE ODYSSEY. 163 

spot then, hero, draw nigh, even as I bid ; and dig a 
pit, about a cubit either way, and round its edges pour 
an offering to all the dead, — first honey-mixture, 
next sweet wine, and thirdly water, and over all strew 
the white barley-meal. Make many supplications also 
to the strengthless dead, vowing when you return to 
Ithaca to take the barren cow that is your best and 
offer it in your hall, heaping the pyre with treasure ; 
and to Teiresias separately to sacrifice a sheep, for him 
alone, one wholly black, the yqvj choicest of your 
flock. So when with vows you have implored the il- 
lustrious peoples of the dead, offer a ram and a black 
ewe, bending their heads toward Erebus, but turn 
yourself away, facing the river's stream ; to you shall 
gather many spirits of those now dead and gone. 
Then forthwith call your men, and bid them take the 
sheep now lying there slain by the ruthless sword, and 
flay and burn them, and call upon the gods, — on 
powerful Hades and on dread Persephone, — while 
you yourself, drawing your sharp sword from your 
thigh, sit still and do not let the strengthless dead 
approach the blood till you have made inquiry of 
Teiresias. Thither the seer will quickly come, Ο chief 
of men, and he will tell your course, the stages of your 
journey, and of your homeward way, how you may 
pass along the swarming sea.' 

" Even as she spoke, the gold-throned morning 
came. On me she put a coat and tunic for my rai- 
ment ; and the nymph dressed herself in a long silvery 
robe, fine spun and graceful ; she bound a beautiful 
golden girdle round her waist, and put a veil upon her 
head. Then through the house I passed and roused 
my men with cheering words, standing by each in turn : 

" ' Sleep no more now, nor drowse in pleasant slum- 



164 THE ODYSSEY, [X. 549-574. 

ber, but let us go, for potent Circe has at last made 
known to me the way.' 

" So I spoke, and their high hearts assented. Yet 
even from there I did not bring away my men in 
safety. There was a certain Elpenor, the youngest of 
them all, a man not very stanch in fight nor sound of 
understanding, who, parted from his mates, lay down to 
sleep upon the magic house of Circe, seeking for cool- 
ness when overcome with wine. As his companions 
stirred, hearing the noise and tumult, he suddenly 
sprang up and quite forgot how to come down again 
by the long ladder, but he f eU headlong from the roof ; 
his neck was broken in its socket, and his soul went 
down to the house of Hades. 

" When my men mustered there, I said to them : 
' You think, perhaps, that you are going home to your 
own native land ; but Circe has marked out for us a 
different journey, even to the halls of Hades and of 
dread Persephone, there to consult the spirit of Teire- 
sias of Thebes.' 

" As I thus spoke, their very souls were crushed 
within them, and sitting down where each one was 
they moaned and tore their hair ; but no good came to 
them from their lamenting. 

" Now while we walked to the swift ship and to the 
shore, in sadness, letting the big tears fall, Circe went 
on before, and there by the black ship tied a black 
ewe and ram, passing us lightly by. When a god does 
not will, what man can spy him moving to and fro ? " 



XI. 

THE LAND OF THE DEAD. 

" Now when we came down to the ship and to the 
sea, we in the first place launched our ship into the 
sacred sea, put mast and sail in the black ship, then 
took the sheep and drove them in, and we ourselves 
embarked in sadness, letting the big tears fall. And 
for our aid behind our dark-bowed ship came a fair 
wind to fill our sail, a welcome comrade, sent us by 
fair -haired Circe, the mighty goddess, human of 
speech. So when we had done our work at the sev- 
eral ropes about the ship we sat us down, while wind 
and helmsman liept her steady ; and all day long the 
sail of the running ship was stretched. Then the sun 
sank, and all the ways grew dark. 

" And now she reached earth's limits, the deep 
stream of the Ocean, where the Cimmerian people's 
land and city lie, wrapt in a fog and cloud. Never 
on them does the shining sun look down with his 
beams, as he goes up the starry sky or as again toward 
earth he turns back from the sky, but deadly night 
is spread abroad over these hapless men. On coming 
here, we beached our ship and set the sheep ashore, 
then walked along the Ocean-stream until we reached 
the spot foretold by Circe. 

" Here Perimedes and Eurylochus held fast the vic- 
tims, while drawing my sharp blade from my thigh, I 
dug a pit, about a cubit either way, and round its 



166 THE ODYSSEY. [XL 26-59. 

edges poured an offering to all tlie dead, — first honey- 
mixture, next sweet wine, and thirdly water, and over 
all I strewed white barley-meal ; and I made many 
supplications to the strengthless dead, vowing when 
I returned to Ithaca to take the barren cow that was 
my best and offer it in my hall, heaping the pyre with 
treasure ; and to Teiresias separately to sacrifice a 
sheep, for him alone, one wholly black, the choicest of 
my flock. So when with prayers and vows I had im- 
plored the peoples of the dead, I took the sheep and 
cut their throats over the pit, and forth the dark blood 
ran. Then gathered there spirits from out of Erebus 
of those now dead and gone, — brides, and unwedded 
youths, and worn old men, delicate maids with hearts 
but new to sorrow, and many pierced with brazen 
spears, men slain in fight, wearing their blood-stained 
armor. In crowds around the pit they flocked from 
every side, with awful wail. Pale terror seized me. 
Nevertheless, inspiriting my men, I bade them take 
the sheep now lying there slain by the ruthless sword, 
and flay and burn them, and caU upon the gods, — on 
powerful Hades and on dread Persephone, — while I 
myself, drawing my sharp sword from my thigh, sat 
still and did not let the strengthless dead approach 
the blood till I had made inquiry of Teiresias. 

" First came the spirit of my man, Elpenor. He 
had not yet been buried under the broad earth ; for 
we left his body at the haU of Circe, unwept, unbur- 
ied, since other tasks were urgent. I wept to see him 
and pitied him from my heart, and speaking in winged 
words I said : 

" ' Elpenor, how came you in this murky gloom ? 
Faster you came on foot than I in my black ship.' 

" So I spoke, and with a groan he answered : 



XI. 60-91.] THE ODYSSEY. 167 

' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, Heaven's 
cruel doom destroyed me, and excess of wine. After 
I went to sleep on Circe's house, I did not notice 
how to go down again by the long ladder, but I fell 
headlong from the roof ; my neck was broken in its 
socket, and my soul came down to the house of Hades. 
Now I entreat you by those left behind, not present 
here, by your wife, and by the father who cared for 
you when little, and by Telemachus whom you left 
at home alone, — for I know, as you go hence out of 
the house of Hades, you will touch with your stanch 
ship the island of Aeaea, — there then, my master, I 
charge you, think of me. Do not, in going, leave me 
behind, unwept, unburied, deserting me, lest I be- 
come a cause of anger to the gods against you ; but 
burn me in the armor that was mine, and on the shore 
of the foaming sea erect the mound of an unhappy 
man, that future times may know. Do this for me, 
and fix upon my grave the oar with which in life I 
rowed among my comrades.' 

"So he spoke, and answering him said I : * Un- 
happy man, this will I carry out and do for you.' 

" In such sad words talking with one another, there 
we sat, — I on the one side, holding my blade over 
the blood, while the spectre of my comrade, on the 
other, told of his many woes. 

" Now came the spirit of my dead mother, Anticleia, 
daughter of brave Autolycus, whom I had left alive 
on setting forth for sacred Ilios. I wept to see her 
and pitied her from my heart ; but even so, I did not 
let her — deeply though it grieved me — approach 
the blood till I had made inquiry of Teiresias. 

" Now came the spirit of Teiresias of Thebes, hold- 
ing his golden sceptre. He knew me, and said to 



168 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 92-123. 

me : ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, why 
now, unhappy man, leaving the sunshine, have you 
come here to see the dead and this forbidding place ? 
Nay, draw back from the pit and turn your sharp 
blade from the blood, that I may drink and speak 
what will not fail.' 

" So he spoke, and drawing back I thrust my silver- 
studded sword into its sheath. And after he had 
drunk of the dark blood, then thus the blameless seer 
addressed me : 

" ' You are looking for a joyous journey home, glo- 
rious Odysseus, but a god will make it hard ; for I do 
not think you will elude the Land-shaker, who bears 
a grudge against you in his heart, angry because you 
blinded his dear son. Yet even so, by meeting hard- 
ship you may still reach home, if you will curb the 
passions of yourself and crew when once you bring 
your stanch ship to the Thrinacian island, safe from 
the dark blue sea, and find the pasturing kine and 
sturdy sheep of the Sun, who all things oversees, all 
overhears. If you leave these unharmed and heed 
your homeward way, you still may come to Ithaca, 
though you shall meet with hardship. But if you 
harm them, then I predict the loss of ship and crew ; 
and even if you yourseK escape, late shall you come, 
in evil plight, with loss of all your crew, on the vessel 
of a stranger. At home you shall find trouble, — 
bold men devouring your living, wooing your match- 
less wife, and offering bridal gifts. Nevertheless, on 
your return, you surely shall avenge their crimes. 
But after you have slain the suitors in your halls, 
whether by stratagem or by the sharp sword boldly, 
then journey on, bearing a shapely oar, until you reach 
the men who know no sea and do not eat food mixed 



XI. 124-156.] THE ODYSSEY. 169 

with salt. These therefore have no knowledge of the 
red-cheeked ships, nor of the shapely oars which are 
the wings of ships. And I will give a sign easy to be 
observed, which shall not fail you : when another trav- 
eler, meeting you, shall say you have a winnowing fan 
on your white shoulder, there fix in the ground your 
shapely oar, and make fit offerings to lord Poseidon — 
a ram, a bull, and the sow's mate, a boar, — and turn- 
ing homeward offer sacred hecatombs to the immortal 
gods who hold the open sky, all in the order due. 
Upon yourself death from the sea shall very gently 
come and cut you off bowed down with hale old age. 
Kound you shall be a prosperous people. I speak 
what shall not fail.' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Teire- 
sias, these are the threads of destiny the gods them- 
selves have spun. Nevertheless, declare me this, and 
plainly tell : I see the spirit of my dead mother here ; 
silent she sits beside the blood and has not, although 
I am her son, deigned to look in my face or speak to 
me. Tell me, my master, how may she know that it 
is I?' 

" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he : ' A simple saying I will tell and fix it in your 
mind : whomever among those dead and gone you let 
approach the blood, he shall declare the truth. But 
whomsoever you refuse, he shall go back again.' 

"So saying, into the house of Hades passed the 
spirit of the great Teiresias, after telling heaven's de- 
crees ; but I still held my place until my mother came 
and drank of the dark blood. She knew me instantly, 
and sorrowfully said in winged words : 

" ' My child, how came you in this murky gloom, 
while still alive ? Awful to the living are these sights. 



170 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 157-lGO. 

Great rivers are between, and fearful floods, — 'might- 
iest of all the Ocean-stream, not to be crossed on foot, 
but only on a strong-built sbip. Are you but now 
come here, upon your way from Troy, wandering a 
long time with your ship and crew ? Have you not 
been in Ithaca, nor seen your wife at home ? ' 

" So she spoke, and answering her said I : ' My mo- 
ther, need brought me to the house of Hades, here to 
consult the spirit of Teiresias of Thebes. I have not 
yet been near Achaea nor once set foot upon my land, 
but have been always wandering and meeting sorrow 
since the first day I followed royal Agamemnon to 
Ilios, famed for horses, to fight the Trojans there. 
But now declare me this and plainly tell : what doom 
of death that lays men low o'erwhelmed you ? Some 
long disease? Or did the huntress Artemis attack 
and slay you with her gentle arrows ? And tell me 
of my father and the son I left ; still in their keeping 
are my honors ? Or does at last an alien hold them, 
while people say that I shall come no more ? Tell 
me, moreover, of my wedded wife, her purposes and 
thoughts. Is she abiding by her child and keeping all 
in safety? Or was she finally married by some chief 
of the Achaeans ? ' 

" So I spoke, and straight my honored mother an- 
swered : * Indeed she stays with patient heart within 
your hall, and wearily the nights and days are wasted 
with her tears. Nobody yet holds your fair honors ; 
in peace Telemachus farms your estate, and sits at 
equal feasts where it befits the lawgiver to be a guest ; 
for all give him a welcome. Your father stays among 
the fields, and comes to the town no more. Bed has 
he none, bedstead, nor robes, nor bright-hued rugs ; 
but through the winter he sleeps in the house where 



XI. 191-224.] THE ODYSSEY. 171 

servants sleep, in the dust beside the fire, and wears 
upon his body sorry clothes. Then when the sum- 
mer comes and fruitful autumn, wherever he may be 
about his slope of vineyard-ground a bed is piled of 
leaves fallen on the earth. There lies he in distress, 
woe waxing strong within, longing for your return ; 
and hard old age comes on. Even so I also died and 
met my doom : not that at home the sure-eyed hun- 
tress attacked and slew me with her gentle arrows ; 
nor did a sickness come, which oftentimes by sad de- 
cay steals from the limbs the life ; but longing for you 
— your wise ways, glorious Odysseus, and your ten- 
derness, — took joyous life away.' 

" As she thus spoke, I yearned, though my mind 
hesitated, to clasp the spirit of my mother, e\^en though 
dead. Three times the impulse came ; my heart urged 
me to clasp her. Three times out of my arms like a 
shadow or a dream she flitted, and the sharp pain 
about my heart grew only more; and speaking in 
winged words, I said : 

" ' My mother, why not stay for me who long to clasp 
you, so that in the very house of Hades, throwing our 
arms round one another, we two may take our fill of 
piercing grief ? Or is it a phantom high Persephone 
has sent, to make me weep and sorrow more ? ' 

'* So I spoke, and straight my honored mother an- 
swered : ' Ah, my own child, beyond all men ill-fated ! 
In no wise is Persephone, daughter of Zeus, beguiling 
you, but this is the way with mortals when they die : 
the sinews then no longer hold the flesh and bones to- 
gether ; for these the strong force of the blazing fire 
destroys, when once the life leaves the white bones, 
and like a dream the spirit flies away. Nay now, 
press quickly on into the light, and of all this take 
heed, to tell your wife hereafter.' 



172 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 225-259. 

" So we held converse there ; but now the women 
came — for high Persephone had sent them, — who 
were great men's wives and daughters. Eound the 
dark blood in throngs they gathered, and I consid- 
ered how to question each. Then to my mind this 
seemed the wisest way : I drew my keen-edged blade 
from my stout thigh and did not let them all at once 
drink the dark blood, but one by one they came, and 
each declared her lineage, and I questioned all. 

" There I saw Tyro first, of noble ancestry, who 
told of being sprung from gentle Salmoneus ; told 
how she was the wife of Cretheus, son of Aeolus. 
She loved a river-god, divine Enipeus, who flows the 
fairest of all streams on earth. So she would walk 
by the fair currents of Enipeus, and in his guise the 
Laud-shaker, who girds the land, lay with her at the 
outpouring of the eddying stream. The upheaving 
water compassed them, high as a hill and arching, 
and hid the god and mortal woman. He loosed the 
maiden's girdle and cast on her a sleep. Then when 
the god had done the deeds of love, he held her hand 
and spoke and thus addressed her : 

" ' Be happy, lady, in my love ! In the revolving 
year you shall bear noble children ; for the embraces 
of immortals are not barren. Rear them yourself, 
and cherish them. And now go home. Hold fast, 
and speak it not : I am Poseidon, the shaker of the 
earth.' 

" Saying this, he plunged into the surging sea. She 
then, conceiving, bore Pelias and Neleus, who both 
became strong ministers of mighty Zeus. Pelias 
dwelt in the open country of lolcus, rich in flocks ; 
the other at sandy Pylos. And sons to Cretheus also 
this queen of women bore, — Aeson, and Pheres, and 
Amythaon the charioteer. 



XI. 260-291.] THE ODYSSEY. 173 

" And after her I saw Antiope, Asopus' daughter, 
who boasted she had been embraced by Zeus himself. 
And so she bore two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who 
first laid the foundations of seven-gated Thebes, and 
fortified it ; because unfortified, they could not dwell 
in open Thebes, for all their power. 

" And after her I saw Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon, 
her who bore dauntless Hercules, the lion-hearted, 
yielding to the embrace of mighty Zeus ; and Megara, 
harsh Creon's daughter, whom the tireless son of Am- 
phitryon took to wife. 

" The mother of Oedipus I saw, fair Epicaste, who 
did a monstrous deed through ignorance of heart, in 
marrying her son. He, having slain his father, mar- 
ried her ; and soon the gods made the thing known 
to men. In pain at pleasant Thebes he governed the 
Cadmeians, through the gods' destroying purpose ; and 
she went down to Hades, the strong gaoler, fastening 
a fatal noose to the high rafter, abandoned to her 
grief. To him she left the many woes which the 
Avengers of a mother bring. 

"Beautiful Chloris too I saw, whom Neleus once 
married for her beauty after making countless gifts, 
the youngest daughter of that Amphion, son of lasus, 
who once held powerful sway at Minyan Orchomenus. 
She was the queen of Pylos, and bore Neleus famous 
children, Nestor and Chromius and Periclymenus the 
headstrong. And beside these she bore that stately 
Pero, the marvel of mankind, whom aU her neighbors 
wooed. But to none would Neleus give her save to 
him who should drive from Phylace the crook-horned, 
broad-browed kine of haughty Iphiclus, and danger- 
ous kine were they. A blameless seer alone would 
undertake to drive them; but cruel doom of God 



174 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 292-325. 

prevented, harsh bonds and clownish herdsmen. Yet 
after days and months were spent, as the year rolled 
and other seasons came, then haughty Iphiclus re- 
leased him on his telling all the oracles. The will of 
Zeus was done. 

" Leda_I_sa2:,-Ae-^i4fe of Tyndareus, who bore to 
Tyndareus two stalwart sons : Castor, the horseman, 
and Polydeuces, good at boxing. These in a kind of 
life the nourishing earth now holds ; and even beneath 
the ground they have from Zeus the boon that to-day 
they be alive, to-morrow dead ; and they are allotted 
honors like the gods. 

" Iphimed e ia I saw^ wifo ^ Aloeus, who said that 
she had lain beside Poseidon. She bore two chil- 
dren, but short-lived they proved, — Otus, the god- 
like, and the far-famed Ephialtes, — whom the fruitful 
earth made grow to be the tallest and most beauti- 
ful of men, after renowned Orion ; for at nine years 
they were nine cubits broad, and in height they 
reached nine fathoms. Therefore they even threat- 
ened the immortals with raising on Olympus the din 
of furious war. Ossa they strove to set upon Olym- 
pus, and upon Ossa leafy Pelion, that so the heavens 
might be scaled. And this they would have done, 
had they but reached the period of their vigor ; but 
the son of Zeus whom fair-haired Leto bore destroyed 
them both before below their temples the downy hair 
had sprung and covered their chins with the fresh 
beard. 

^^ Phaed ra and Proorio, to o , I oaw, and beautiful 
Ariadne, daughter of wizard Minos, whom Theseus 
tried to bring from Crete to the slopes of sacred 
Athens. But he gained naught thereby ; before she 
came, Artemis slew her in sea-girt Dia, prompted by 
the report of Dionysus. 



XL 326-359.] THE ODYSSEY. 175 

"^jagjca -and Clyjaenel saw, and odious Eriphyle 
who took a bribe of gold aslne price of lier own hus- 
band. But all I cannot tell, nor even name the many- 
heroes' wives and daughters whom I saw ; ere that, the 
immortal night would wear away. Already it is time 
to sleep, at the swift ship among the crew or here. 
My journey hence rests with the gods and you." 

As thus he ended, all were hushed to silence, held 
by the spell throughout the dusky hall. White-armed 
Arete was the first to speak : *' Phaeacians, how seems 
to you this man in beauty, height, and balanced mind 
within ? My guest indeed he is, but each one shares 
the honor. Be not in haste then to dismiss him, nor 
stint your gifts to one so much in need. By favor of 
the gods great wealth is in your houses." 

Then also spoke the old lord Echeneiis, who was 
the oldest of Phaeacian men : " My friends, not wide 
of the mark, nor of her reputation, speaks the wise 
queen ; therefore give heed. Yet word and work 
rest with Alcinoiis here." 

Then answered him Alcinoiis and said : " Even as 
she speaks that word shall be, if I be now the living 
lord of oar-loving Phaeacians ! But let our guest, 
however much he longs for home, consent to stay at 
all events until to-morrow, till I shall make our gift 
complete. To send him hence shall be the charge of 
all, especially of me ; for power within this land rests 
here." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : 
" Mighty Alcinoiis, renowned of all, if you should bid 
me stay a year and then should send me forth, giving 
me splendid gifts, that is what I would choose ; for 
much more to my profit would it be with fuller hands 
to reach my native land. Then should I be regarded 



176 THE ODYSSEY. [XL 360-393. 

more and welcomed more by all who saw me coming 
home to Ithaca." 

Then answered him Alcinoiis and said : " Odysseus, 
we judge you by your looks to be no cheat or thief ; 
though many are the men the dark earth breeds, and 
scatters far and wide, who fashion falsehoods out of 
what no man can see. But you have a grace of word 
and a noble mind within, and you told your tale as 
skilKuUy as if you were a bard, relating all the Ar- 
gives' and your own sore troubles. But now declare 
me this and plainly tell : did you see any of the god- 
like comrades who went with you to Ilios and there 
met doom ? The night is very long ; yes, vastly long. 
The hour for sleeping at the hall is not yet come. 
Tell me the wondrous story. I could be well content 
till sacred dawn, if you were willing in the hall to tell 
us of your woes." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Lord 
Alcinoiis, renowned of all, there is a time for stories 
and a time for sleep ; yet if you wish to listen longer, 
I would not shrink from telling tales more pitiful than 
these, the woes of my companions who died in after- 
time, men who escaped the grievous war-cry of the 
Trojans to die on their return through a wicked wo- 
man's will. 

" When, then, chaste Persephone had scattered here 
and there those spirits of tender women, there came 
the spirit of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, sorrowing. 
Around thronged other spirits of men who by his side 
had died in the house of Aegisthus and there had met 
their doom. He knew me as soon as he had drunk 
of the dark blood ; and then he cried aloud and let 
the big tears fall, and stretched his hands forth ea- 
gerly to grasp me. But no, there was no strength or 



XL 394-425. J THE ODYSSEY. 177 

vigor left, such as was once within his supple limbs. 
I wept to see him, and pitied him from my heart, and 
speaking in winged words I said : 

" ' Great son of Atreus, Agamemnon, lord of men, 
what doom of death that lays men low o'erwhelmed 
you ? Was it on shipboard that Poseidon smote you, 
raising unwelcome blasts of cruel wind? Or did 
fierce men destroy you on the land, while you were 
cutting οίϊ their kine or their fair flocks of sheep, or 
while you fought to win their town and carry off their 
women 



9' 



" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he \ ' No, high-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, 
on shipboard Poseidon did not smite me, raising un- 
welcome blasts of cruel wind, nor did fierce men de- 
stroy me on the land ; it was Aegisthus, plotting 
death and doom, who slew me, aided by my accursed 
wife, when he had bidden me home and had me at the 
feast, even as one kills the ox before the manger. So 
thus I died a lamentable death, and all my men, with 
no escape, were slain around me ; like white-toothed 
swine at some rich, powerful man's wedding, or ban- 
quet, or gay festival. You have yourself been pres- 
ent at the death of many men, — men slain in single 
combat and in the press of war ; yet here you would 
have felt your heart most touched with pity, to see 
how round the mixing-bowl and by the loaded tables 
we lay about the hall, and all the pavement ran with 
blood. Saddest of all, I heard the cry of Priam's 
daughter, Cassandra, whom crafty Clytaemnestra 
slew beside me ; and I, on the ground, lifted my 
hands and clutched my sword in dying. But she, the 
brutal woman, turned away and did not deign, though 
I was going to the house of Hades, to draw with her 



178 THE ODYSSEY. [XL 426-461. 

hand my eyelids down and press my lips together. 
Ah, what can be more horrible and brutish than a wo- 
man when she admits into her thoughts such deeds as 
these ! And what a shameless deed she plotted to 
bring about the murder of the husband of her youth ! 
I used to think how glad my coming home would be, 
even to my children and my slaves ; but she, intent on 
such extremity of crime, brought shame upon herself 
and all of womankind who shall be born hereafter, 
even on well-doers too.' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Alas ! 
The house of Atreus far - seeing Zeus has sorely 
plagued with women's arts, from the beginning : for 
Helen's sake how many of us died ; and Clytaemnes- 
tra devised a plot while you were far away.' 

" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he : ' Never be you, then, gentle to your wife, nor 
speak out all you really mean ; but tell a part and let 
a part be hid. And yet on you, Odysseus, no violent 
death shall ever fall from your wife's hand ; for truly 
wise and of an understanding heart is the daughter 
of Icarius, heedful Penelope. As a young bride we 
left her, on going to the war. A child was at her 
breast, an infant then, who now perhaps sits in the 
ranks of men, and happy too ; for his dear father, com- 
ing home, will see him, and he will meet his father 
with embrace, as children should. But my wife did 
not let me feast my eyes upon my son; before he 
came, she slew me. Nay, this I will say farther ; mark 
it well. By stealth, not openly, bring in your ship to 
shore, for there is no more faith in woman. But now 
declare me this and plainly tell if you hear my son is 
living still — at Orchomenus, perhaps, or sandy Pylos, 
or at the home of Menelaus in broad Sparta; for 
surely nowhere on the earth has royal Orestes died.' 



XL 462^92.] THE ODYSSEY. 179 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : Ό son 
of Atreus, why question me of this ? Whether he be 
alive or dead I do not know. To speak vain words is 

iu; 

" In such sad words talking with one another 
mournfully we stood, letting the big tears fall. And 
now there came the spirit of Achilles, son of Peleus, 
and of Patroclus too, of gallant Antilochus, and of 
Ajax who was first in beauty and in stature of all the 
Danaans after the gallant son of Peleus. But the 
spirit of swift-footed Aeacides knew me, and sorrow- 
fully said in winged words : 

" ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, rash 
as you are, what will you undertake more desperate 
than this ! How dared you come down hither to the 
house of Hades, where dwell the senseless dead, spec- 
tres of toil-worn men ? ' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Achilles, 
son of Peleus, foremost of the Achaeans, I came for 
consultation with Teiresias, hoping that he might give 
advice for reaching rugged Ithaca. I have not yet 
been near Achaeanor once set foot upon my land, but 
have had constant trouble ; while as for you, Achilles, 
no man was in the past more fortunate, nor in the fu- 
ture shall be ; for formerly, during your life, we Ar- 
gives gave you equal honor with the gocls, and now 
you are a mighty lord among the dead, when here. 
Then do not grieve at having died, Achilles.' 

" So I spoke, and straightway answering me said 
he : ' Mock not at death, glorious Odysseus. Better 
to be the hireling of a stranger, and serve a man of 
mean estate whose living is but small, than be the 
ruler over all these dead and gone- No, tell me tales 
of my proud son, whether or not he followed to the 



180 THE ODYSSEY. [XL 493-527 

war to be a leader ; tell what you know of gallant Pe- 
leus, whether he still has honor in the cities of the 
Myrmidons ; or do they slight him now in Hellas and 
in Phthia, because old age has touched his hands and 
feet ? I am myself no longer in the sunlight to defend 
him, nor like what I once was when on the Trojan 
plain I routed a brave troop in succoring the Argives. 
If once like that I could but come, even for a little 
space, into my father's house, frightful should be my 
might and my resistless hands to any who are trou- 
bling him and keeping him from honor.' 

" So he spoke, and answering him said I : ' Indeed, 
of gallant Peleus I know nothing. But about your 
dear son Neoptolemus, I wiU tell you all the truth, as 
you desire ; for it was I, in my trim hoUow ship, who 
brought him from Scyros to the mailed Achaeans. 
And when encamped at Troy we held a council, he 
always was the first to speak, and no word missed its 
mark ; godlike Nestor and I alone surpassed him. 
Moreover, on the Trojan plain, when we Achaeans 
battled, he never tarried in the tlu-ong nor at the ral- 
lying-place, but pressed before us aU, yielding to none 
in courage. Many a man he slew in mortal combat. 
Fully I cannot tell, nor even name the host he slew in 
fighting for the Argives ; but how he vanquished with 
his sword the son of Telephus, Eurypylus the hero I 
Many of that Ceteian band fell with their leader, de- 
stroyed by woman's bribes. So goodly a man as he I 
never saw, save kingly Memnon. 

" ' Then when we entered the horse Epeius made, 
— we chieftains of the Argives, — and it lay all with 
me to shut or open our close ambush, other captains 
and councilors of the Danaans would wipe away a 
tear, and their limbs shook beneath them ; but watch- 



XI. 528-563.] THE ODYSSEY. 181 

ing him, at no time did I see his fair skin pale, nor 
from his cheeks did he wipe tears away. Often he 
begged to leave the horse ; he fingered his sword-hilt 
and his bronze-tipped spear, longing to vex the Tro- 
jans. Yet after we overthrew the lofty town of Priam, 
he took his share of spoil and an honorable prize, and 
went on board unharmed, not hit by brazen point nor 
wounded in close combat, as for the most part happens 
in war ; hap-hazard Ares rages.' 

" So I spoke, and the spirit of swift-footed Aeacides 
departed with long strides across the field of asphodel, 
pleased that I said his son was famous. 

" But the other spirits of those dead and gone stood 
sadly there ; each asked for what he loved. Only the 
spirit of Ajax, son of Telamon, held aloof, still angry at 
the victory I gained in the contest at the ships for the 
armor of Achilles. The goddess mother of Achilles 
offered the prize, and the sons of the Trojans were the 
judges, — they and Pallas Athene. Would I had 
never won in such a strife, since thus the earth closed 
round the head of Ajax, who in beauty and achieve- 
ment surpassed all other Danaans save the gallant son 
of Peleus. To him I spoke in gentle words and said : 

" ' Ajax, son of gallant Telamon, will you not, even 
in death, forget your wrath about the accursed armor ? 
To plague the Argives the gods gave it, since such a 
tower as you were lost thereby. For you as for 
Achilles, son of Peleus, do we Achaeans mourn un- 
ceasingly. None was to blame but Zeus, who, fiercely 
hating all the host of Danaan spearmen, brought upon 
you this doom. Nay, king, draw near, that you may 
listen to our voice and hear our words. Abate your 
pride and haughty spirit.' 

" I spoke ; he did not answer, but he went his way 



182 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 564-596. 

after the other spirits o£ those dead and gone, on into 
Erebus. Yet then, despite his wrath, he should have 
spoken, or I had spoken to him, but that the heart 
within my breast wished to see other spirits of the 
dead. 

" There I saw Minos, the illustrious son of Zeus, a 
golden sceptre in his hand, administering justice to the 
dead from where he sat, while all around men called 
for judgment from the king, sitting and standing in 
the wide-doored hall of Hades. 

" Next I marked huge Orion drive through the field 
of asphodel the game that in his life he slew among 
the lonely hills. He held a club of solid bronze that 
never can be broken. 

"And Tityus I saw, the son of far-famed Gaia, 
stretched on the plain ; across nine roods he stretched. 
Two vultures sat beside him, one upon either hand, 
and tore his liver, piercing the caul within. Yet with 
his hands he did not keep them off ; for he did violence 
to Leto, the honored wife of Zeus, as she was going to 
Pytho through pleasant Panopeus. 

" Tantalus, too, I saw in grievous torment and stand- 
ing in a pool. It touched his chin. He strained for 
thirst, but could not take and drink ; for as the old man 
bent, eager to drink, the water always was absorbed 
and disappeared, and at his feet the dark earth showed. 
God made it dry. Then leafy-crested trees drooped 
down their fruit, — pears, pomegranates, apples with 
shining fruit, sweet figs, and thrifty olives. But when 
the old man stretched his hand to take, a breeze would 
toss them toward the dusky clouds. 

"And Sisyphus I saw in bitter pains, forcing a 
monstrous stone along with both his hands. Tugging 
with hand and foot, he pushed the stone upward along 



XL 597-629.] THE ODYSSEY. 183 

a hill. But when he thought to heave it on clean to 
the summit, a mighty power would turn it back ; and 
so once more down to the ground the wicked stone 
would tumble. Again he strained to push it back ; 
sweat ran down from his limbs, and from his head a 
dust cloud rose. 

" And next I marked the might of Hercules, — his 
phantom form ; for he himself is with the immortal 
gods reveling at their feasts, wed to fair-ankled Hebe, 
child of great Zeus and golden-sandaled Here. 
Around him rose a clamor of the dead, like that of 
birds^ fleeing all ways in terror ; while he, like gloomy 
night, with his bare bow and arrow on the string, 
glared fearfully, as if forever shooting. Terrible was 
the baldric round about his breast, a golden belt 
where marvelous devices had been wrought, bears and 
wild boars and fierce-eyed lions, struggles and fights, 
murders and blood-sheddings. Let the artificer de- 
sign no more who once achieved that sword-belt by 
his art. Soon as he saw, he knew me, and sorrow- 
fully said in winged words : 

" * High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, so 
you, poor man, work out a cruel task such as I once 
endured when in the sunlight. I was the son of Kro- 
nian Zeus, yet I had pains unnumbered ; for to one 
very far beneath me I was bound, and he imposed 
hard labors. He even sent me here to carry off the 
dog, for nothing he supposed could be a harder labor. 
I brought the dog up hence, and dragged him forth 
from Hades. Hermes was my guide, he and clear- 
eyed Athene.' 

" So saying, back he went into the house of Hades, 
while I still held my place, hoping there yet might 
come some other heroes who died long ago. And 



184 THE ODYSSEY. [XI. 630-640. 

more of the men of old I might have seen, as I de- 
sired, — Theseus and Peirithoiis, famous children of 
the gods ; but ere they came, myriads of the people of 
the dead gathered with awful cry. Pale terror seized 
me ; I thought perhaps the Gorgon head of some fell 
monster high Persephone might send out of the house 
of Hades. So, turning to my ship, I called my crew 
to come on board and loose the cables. Quickly they 
came, took places at the pins, and down the Ocean- 
stream the flowing current bore us, with oarage first 
and then a pleasant breeze." 



XII. 

THE SIRENS, SCYLLA, CHARYBDIS, AND THE KINE OF 

THE SUN. 

" After our ship Lad left the current of the Ocean- 
stream and come into the waters of the open sea and 
to the island of Aeaea, where is the dwelling of the 
early dawn, its dancing-ground and place of rising, as 
we ran in we beached our ship among the sands, and 
forth we went ourselves upon the shore ; where, falling 
fast asleep, we awaited sacred dawn. 

" But when the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
I sent men forward to the house of Circe to fetch the 
body of the dead Elpenor. Then hastily cutting logs, 
where the coast stood out most boldly we buried him, 
in sadness, letting the big tears fall. After the dead 
was burned and the armor of the dead man, we raised 
a mound, and dragged a stone upon it, and fixed on 
the mound's highest point his shapely oar, 

" With all this we were busied ; nevertheless, our 
coming from the house of Hades was not concealed 
from Circe, but quickly she" arrayed herself and came 
to meet us. Her maids bore bread and stores of meat 
and ruddy sparkling wine ; and standing in the midst 
of all, the heavenly goddess said : 

" ' Madmen ! who have gone down alive into the 
house of Hades, thus twice to meet with death while 
others die but once, come, eat this food and drink this 
wine here for to-day, and when to-morrow comes you 



186 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 25-59. 

shall set sail. I will myself point out the way and 
fully show you all ; lest by unhappy lack of skill you 
be distressed on sea or land and suffer harm.' 

" So she spoke, and our high hearts assented. Thus 
all throughout the day till setting sun we sat and 
feasted on abundant meat and pleasant wine; and 
when the sun had set and darkness came, my men lay 
down to sleep by the ship's cables ; but leading me by 
the hand apart from my good comrades, the goddess 
bade me sit, herself reclined beside me, and asked me 
for my story. So I related all the tale in its due 
order. Then thus spoke potent Circe : 

" ' All this is ended now ; but listen to what I say, 
and God himself shall help you to remember. First 
you win meet the Sirens, who cast a sj)ell on every 
man who goes their way. Whoso draws near unwarned 
and hears the Sirens' voices, by him no wife nor little 
child shall ever stand, glad at his coming home ; for 
the Sirens cast a spell of penetrating song, sitting 
within a meadow. Near by is a great heap of rotting 
human bones ; fragments of skin are shriveling on 
them. Therefore sail on, and stop your comrades' 
ears with sweet wax kneaded soft, that none of the 
rest may hear. If you yourself will listen, see that 
they bind you hand and foot on the swift ship, up- 
right upon the mast-block, — round it let the rope 
be wound, — that so with pleasure you may hear the 
Sirens' song. But if you should entreat your men 
and bid them set you free, let them with still more 
fetters bind you fast. 

" ' After your men have brought the ship past 
these, what is to be your course I will not fully say ; 
do you yourself ponder it in your heart. I will de- 
scribe both ways. Along one route stand beetling 



XII. 60-94.] THE ODYSSEY. 187 

cliffs, and on them roar the mighty waves of dark- 
eyed Amphitrite ; the blessed gods call them the 
Wanderers. This way not even winged things can 
pass, — no, not the gentle doves which bear ambrosia 
to father Zeus ; but one of them the smooth rock al- 
ways draws away, though the father puts another in 
to fill the number. No shij) of man ever escapes 
when once come hither, but in one common ruin 
planks of ships and sailors' bodies are swept by the 
sea-waves and storms of deadly flame. The only 
coursing ship that ever passed this way was Argo, 
famed of all, when voyaging from Aeetes ; and her 
the waves would soon have dashed on the great rocks, 
but Here brought her through from love of Jason. 

" ' By the other way there are two crags, one reach- 
ing up to the broad heavens with its sharp peak. 
Clouds gather about it darkly and never float away ; 
light strikes its peak neither in heat nor harvest. No 
mortal man could clamber up or down it, though 
twenty hands and feet were his ; for the rock is 
smooth, as it were polished. About the middle of the 
crag is a dim cave, facing the west and Erebus, the 
very way where you must steer your rounded ship, 
glorious Odysseus ; and from that rounded ship no 
lusty youth could with a bow-shot reach the hollow 
cave. Here Scylla dwells and utters hideous cries ; 
her voice like that of a young dog, and she herself an 
evil monster. None can behold her and be glad, be 
it a god who meets her. Twelve feet she has, and all 
misshapen ; six necks, exceeding long ; on each a 
frightful head ; in these three rows of teeth, stout and 
close-set, fraught with dark death. As far as the 
waist she is drawn down within the hollow cave ; but 
she holds forth her heads outside the awful chasm 



188 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 95-127. 

and fishes there, spying around the crag for dolphins, 
dogfish, or whatever larger creature she may catch, 
such things as voiceful Amphitrite breeds by thou- 
sands. Never could sailors boast of passing her in 
safety ; for with each head she takes a man, snatch- 
ing him from the dark-bowed ship. 

" ' The second crag is lower, you will see, Odysseus, 
and close beside the first ; you well might shoot across. 
On it a fig-tree stands, tall and in leafy bloom, under- 
neath which divine Charybdis sucks the dark water 
down. For thrice a day she sends it up, and thrice 
she sucks it down, — a fearful sight ! May you not 
happen to be there when it goes down, for nobody 
could save you then from ill, not even the Earth- 
shaker. But swiftly turn your course toward Scylla's 
crag, and speed the ship along ; for surely it is better 
to miss six comrades from your ship than all together.' 

" So she spoke, and answering her, said I : ' Yet, 
goddess, tell me this in very truth : might I not possi- 
bly escape from fell Charybdis, and then beat off that 
other when she assails my crew ? ' 

" So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess 
answered : ' Foolhardy man ! Still bent on war and 
struggle ! Will you not yield even to immortal gods ? 
This is no mortal being, but an immortal woe, — dire, 
hard, and fierce, and not to be fought down. Courage 
is nothing ; flight is best. For if you arm and lin- 
ger by the rock, I fear that, issuing forth once more, 
she may attack you with her many heads and carry off 
as many men. Therefore with zeal speed on ; and 
call on Force, the mother of this Scylla, who bore her 
for a bane to humankind ; she will restrain her from 
a second onset. 

" ' Next, you will reach the island of Thrinacia. 



XII. 128-159.] THE ODYSSEY. 189 

where in great numbers feed the kine and the sturdy 
flocks of the Sun, — seven droA^es of kine and just as 
many beautiful flocks of sheep, fifty in each. Of them, 
no young are born, nor do they ever die. Goddesses 
are their shepherds, nymphs of fair hair, Phaethousa 
and Lampetia, whom to the exalted Sun divine Neaera 
bore. These their potent mother bore and reared, 
and sent them to the island of Thrinacia to dwell 
afar and keep their father's flocks and crook-horned 
kine. If you leave these unharmed and heed your 
homeward way, you still may come to Ithaca, though 
you shall meet with hardship. But if you harm them, 
then I predict the loss of ship and crew ; and even 
if you yourself escape, late shall you come, in evil 
plight, with loss of all your crew.' 

"Even as she spoke, the gold-throned morning 
came, and up the island the heavenly goddess went 
her way ; I turned me toward my ship, and called my 
crew to come on board and loose the cables. Quickly 
they came, took places at the pins, and sitting in or- 
der smote the foaming water with their oars. And 
for our aid behind our dark-bowed ship came a fair 
wind to fill our sail, a welcome comrade, sent us by 
fair -haired Circe, the mighty goddess, human of 
speech. When we had done our work at the several 
ropes about the ship, we sat us down, while wind and 
helmsman kept her steady. 

" Now to my men, with aching heart, I said : ' My 
friends, it is not right for only one or two to know 
the oracles which Circe told, that heavenly goddess. 
Therefore I speak, that, knowing all, we so may die, 
or fleeing death and doom, we may escape. She 
warns us first against the marvelous Sirens, and bids 
us flee their voice and flowery meadow. Only myself 



190 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 160-191. 

she bade to hear their song ; but bind me with galling 
cords, to hold me firm, upright upon the mast-block, 
— round it let the rope be wound. And if I should 
entreat you, and bid you set me free, thereat with 
still more fetters bind me fast.' 

" Thus I, relating aU my tale, talked with my com- 
rades. Meanwhile our stanch ship swiftly neared the 
Sirens' island ; a fair wind swept her on. On a sud- 
den the wind ceased ; there came a breathless calm ; 
Heaven hushed the waves. My comrades, rising, 
furled the sail, stowed it on board the hollow ship, 
then sitting at their oars whitened the water with the 
polished blades. But I with my sharp sword cut a 
great cake of wax into small bits, which I then 
kneaded in my sturdy hands. Soon the wax warmed, 
forced by the powerful pressure and by the rays of 
the exalted Sun, the lord of all. Then one by one 
I stopped the ears of all my crew ; and on the deck 
they bound me hand and foot, upright upon the mast- 
block, round which they wound the rope ; and sit- 
ting down they smote the foaming water with their 
oars. But when we were as far away as one can call 
and driving swiftly onward, our speeding ship, as it 
drew near, did not escape the Sirens, and thus they 
lifted up their penetrating voice : 

" ' Come hither, come, Odysseus, whom all praise, 
great glory of the Achaeans ! Bring in your ship, 
and listen to our song. For none has ever passed us 
in a black-hulled ship till from our lips he heard ec- 
static song, then went his way rejoicing and with 
larger knowledge. For we know all that on the plain 
of Troy Argives and Trojans suffered at the gods' 
behest ; we know whatever happens on the bounteous 
earth.' 



XII. 192-223.J THE ODYSSEY. 191 

" So spoke they, sending forth their glorious song, 
and my heart longed to listen. Knitting my brows, 
I signed my men to set me free ; but bending for- 
ward, on they rowed. And straightway Perimedes 
and Eurylochus arose and laid upon me still more 
cords and drew them tighter. Then, after passing by, 
when we could hear no more the Sirens' voice nor any 
singing, quickly my trusty crew removed the wax with 
which I stopped their ears, and set me free from bon- 
dage. 

" Soon after we left the island, I obser\"ed a smoke, 
I saw high waves and heard a plunging sound. From 
the hands of my frightened men down fell the oars, 
and splashed against the current. There the ship 
stayed, for they worked the tapering oars no more. 
Along the ship I passed, inspiriting my men v\^ith 
cheering words, standing by each in turn : 

" ' Friends, hitherto we have not been untried in 
danger. Here is no greater danger than when the 
Cyclops penned us Λνΐΐΐι brutal might in the deep cave. 
Yet out of that, through energy of mine, through will 
and wisdom, we escaped. These dangers, too, I think 
some day we shall remember. Come then, and what 
I say let us all follow. You with your oars strike 
the deep breakers of the sea, while sitting at the pins, 
and see if Zeus will set us free from present death 
and let us go in safety. And, helmsman, these are 
my commands for you; lay them to heart, for you 
control the rudders of our hollow ship : keep the ship 
off that smoke and surf and hug the crags, or else, be- 
fore you know it, she may veer off that way, and you 
will bring us into danger.' 

" So I spoke, and my words they quickly heeded. 
But Scjdla I did not name, — that hopeless horror, — 



192 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 224-259. 

for fear through fright my men might cease to row, 
and huddle all together in the hold. I disregarded 
too the hard behest of Circe, when she had said I must 
by no means arm. Putting on my glittering armor and 
taking in my hands my two long spears, I went upon 
the ship's fore-deck, for thence I looked for the first 
sight of Scylla of the rock, who brought my men dis- 
aster. Nowhere could I descry her ; I tired my eyes 
with searching up and down the dusky cliff. 

" So up the strait we sailed in sadness ; for here lay 
Scylla, and there divine Charybdis fearfuUy sucked 
the salt sea-water down. Whenever she belched it 
forth, like a kettle in fierce flame all would foam 
swirling up, and overhead spray fell upon the tops of 
both the crags. But when she gulped the salt sea- 
water down, then all within seemed in a whirl ; the 
rock around roared fearfully, and down below the bot- 
tom showed, dark with the sand. Pale terror seized 
my men ; on her we looked and feared to die. 

" And now it was that ScyUa snatched from the 
hollow ship six of my comrades who were best in skill 
and strength. Turning my eyes toward my swift ship 
to seek my men, I saw their feet and hands already 
in the air as they were carried up. They screamed 
aloud and called my name for the last time, in agony 
of heart. As when a fisher, on a jutting rock, with 
long rod throws a bait to lure the little fishes, casting 
into the deep the horn of stall-fed ox ; then, catching 
a fish, flings it ashore writhing ; even so were these 
drawn writhing up the rocks. There at her door she 
ate them, loudly shrieking and stretching forth their 
hands in mortal pangs toward me. That was the 
saddest sight my eyes have ever seen, in all my toils, 
searching the ocean pathways. 



XII 260-293.] THE ODYSSEY. "^ 

" Now after we had passed the rocks of dire Cha- 
rybdis and of Scylla, straight we drew near the pleas- 
ant island of the god. Here were the goodly broad- 
browed kine and the many sturdy flocks of the exalted 
Sun. While still at sea, on the black ship, I heard 
the lowing of stalled cattle and the bleat of sheep ; 
and on my mind fell words of the blind prophet, 
Teiresias of Thebes, and of Aeaean Circe, who very 
strictly charged me to shun the island of the Sun, the 
cheerer of mankind. So to• my men with aching heart 
I said : 

" * My suffering comrades, hearken to my words, 
that I may tell you of the warnings of Teiresias, and 
of Aeaean Circe, who very strictly charged me to 
shun the island of the Sun, the cheerer of mankind ; 
for there our deadliest danger lay, she said. Then 
past the island speed the black ship on her way.' 

"As I spoke thus, their very souls were crushed 
within them, and instantly Eurylochus, with surly 
words, made answer : ' Headstrong are you, Odysseus ; 
more than man's is your mettle, and your limbs never 
tire ; and yet you must be made of nothing else than 
iron not to allow your comrades, worn with fatigue 
and sleep, to land, though on this sea-girt island we 
might make once more a savory supper. Instead, 
just as we are, night falling fast, you bid us journey 
on and wander from the island over the misty deep. 
But in the night rough winds arise, fatal to vessels ; 
and how could any one escape from utter ruin if by 
some chance a sudden storm of wind should come, the 
south wind or the blustering west, which wreck ships 
oftentimes, heedless of sovereign gods? No, let us 
now obey the dark night's bidding, let us prepare 
our supper and rest by the black ship; to-morrow 
morning we will embark and sail the open sea.' 



4 THE ODYSSEY. [ΧΠ. 294-326. 

" So spoke Eurylochus, tlie rest assented, and then 
I knew some god intended ill ; and speaking in winged 
words I said : 

" ' Eurylochus, plainly you force me, since I am 
only one. But come, all swear me now a solemn oath 
that if we find a herd of cattle or great flock of sheep, 
none in mad willfulness will slay a cow or sheep ; but 
be content, and eat the food immortal Circe gave.' 

" So I spoke, and they then took the oath which I 
required. And after they had sworn and ended all 
their oath, we moored our stanch ship in the rounded 
harbor, near a fresh stream, and my companions left 
the ship and busily got supper. But after they had 
stayed desire for drink and food, then calling to re- 
membrance their dear comrades, they wept for those 
whom Scylla ate, those whom she snatched from out 
the hollow ship ; and as they wept, on them there came 
a pleasant sleep. Now when it was the third watch of 
the night and the stars crossed the zenith, cloud-gather- 
ing Zeus sent forth a furious wind in a fierce tempest, 
and covered with his clouds both land and sea ; night 
broke from heaven. And when the early rosy-fingered 
dawn appeared, we beached our ship, hauling her up 
into a hollow cave where there were pretty dancing- 
grounds and haunts for nymphs. Then holding a 
council, I said to all my men : 

" ' Friends, there is food and drink enough on the 
swift ship ; let us then spare the kine, for fear we 
come to harm, for these are the herds and sturdy 
flocks of a dread god, the Sun, who all things over- 
sees, all overhears.' 

" So I spoke, and their high hearts assented. But 
all that month incessant south winds blew ; there 
came no wind except from east and south. So long as 



XII. 327-359.] THE ODYSSEY. 195 

they had bread and ruddy wine, they spared the kine, 
because they loved their lives. But when the vessel's 
stores were now all spent, and roaming perforce they 
sought for game, — for fish, for fowl, for what might 
come to hand, caught by their crooked hooks, — and 
hunger pinched their bellies, then I departed by my- 
self far up the island, to beg the gods to show my 
homeward way. And when by a walk across the is- 
land I had escaped my crew, I washed my hands 
where there was shelter from the breeze, and offered 
prayer to all the gods that hold Olympus. But they 
poured down sweet sleep upon my eyelids, while Eury- 
lochus began his evil counsel to my crew : 

" ' My suffering comrades, hearken to my words. 
Hateful is every form of death to wretched mortals ; 
and yet to die by hunger, and so to meet one's doom, 
is the most pitiful of all. Come then, and let us drive 
away the best of the Sun's kine, and sacrifice them to 
the immortals who hold the open sky. And if we 
ever come to Ithaca, our native land, we will at once 
build a rich temple to the exalted Sun, and put therein 
many fair offerings. If then the Sun, wroth for his 
high-horned kine, seeks to destroy our ship, and other 
gods consent, for my part I would rather, open-mouthed 
in the sea, give up my life at once than slowly let it 
wear away here in this desert island.' 

" So spoke Eurylochus ; the rest assented. Forth- 
with they drove away the best of the Sun's kine out 
of the field close by ; for not far from the dark-bowed 
ship the kine were grazing, crook-horned and beauti- 
ful and broad of brow. Round them they stood and 
prayed the gods, stripping the tender leaves from off 
a lofty oak ; for they had no white barley on the well- 
benched ship. Then after prayer, when they had cut 



196 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 360-390. 

the throats and flayed the kine, they cut away the 
thighs, wrapped them in fat in double layers, and 
placed raw flesh thereon. They had no wine to pour 
upon the blazing victims, but using water for libation 
they roasted all the entrails. So after the thighs were 
burned and the inward parts were tasted, they sliced 
the rest and stuck it on the spits. 

" And now the pleasant sleep fled from my eyelids ; 
I hastened to the swift ship and the shore. But on 
my way, as I drew near to the curved ship, around 
me came the savory smeU of fat. I groaned and 
called aloud to the immortal gods : 

" Ό father Zeus, and all you other blessed gods 
that live forever, verily to my ruin you laid me in 
ruthless sleep, while my men left behind plotted a 
monstrous deed.' 

" Soon to the exalted Sun came long-robed Lampe- 
tia, bearing him word that we had slain his kine ; and 
straightway with an angry heart he thus invoked the 
immortals : 

" ' Ο father Zeus, and all you other blessed gods 
that live forever, avenge me on the comrades of Laer- 
tes' son, Odysseus, who insolently slew the kine in 
which I joy as I go forth into the starry sky, or as 
again toward earth I turn back from the sky. But 
if they do not make me fit atonement for the kine, I 
will go down to Hades and shine among the dead.' 

" Then answered him cloud-gathering Zeus, and 
said : ' Ο Sun, do you shine on among the immortals 
and on the fruitful fields of mortal men. Soon I will 
smite their swift ship with a gleaming bolt, and cleave 
it in pieces in the middle of the wine-dark sea.' 

" All this I heard from fair-haired Calypso, who 
said she heard it from the Guide-god Hermes. 



XII. 391-425.] THE ODYSSEY. 197 

" Now when I came to the ship and to the sea, I 
chid my meu, confronting each in turn. But no help 
could we find ; the kine were dead already. Soon too 
the gods made j>rodigies appear : the skins would 
crawl; the spitted flesh, both roast and raw, would 
moan ; and sounds came forth like those of kine. 

" For six days afterwards my trusty comrades 
feasted, for they had driven away the best of the Sun's 
kine ; but when Zeus, the son of Kronos, brought the 
seventh day round, then the wind ceased to blow a 
gale, and we in haste embarking put forth on the open 
sea, setting our mast and hoisting the white sail. 

" Yet when we had left the island and no other land 
appeared, but only sky and sea, the son of Kronos set 
a dark cloud over the hollow ship and the deep 
gloomed below. The ship ran on for no long time ; 
for soon a shrill west wind arose, blowing a heavy 
gale. The storm of wind snapped both the forestays 
of the mast. Back the mast fell, and all its gear lay 
scattered in the hold. At the ship's stern it struck 
the helmsman on the head and crushed his skull, all 
in an instant ; like a diver from the deck he dropped, 
and from his frame the strong life fled. Zeus at the 
same time thundered, hurling his bolt against the ship. 
She quivered in every part, struck by the bolt of Zeus, 
and filled with sulphur smoke. Out of the ship my 
comrades fell and then like sea-fowl were borne by 
the side of the black ship along the waves ; God cut 
them off from coming home. 

*' I myself paced the ship until the surge tore her 
ribs off the keel, which the waves then carried along 
dismantled. The mast broke at the keel ; but to it 
clung the backstay, made of ox-hide. With this I 
bound the two together, keel and mast, and getting a 
seat on these, I drifted before the deadly winds. 



198 THE ODYSSEY. [XII. 426-453. 

" And now the west wind ceased to blow a gale ; but 
soon the south wind came and brought me anguish 
that I must measure back my way to fell Charybdis. 
All night I drifted on, and with the sunrise I came to 
Scylla's crag and dire Charybdis. She at that moment 
sucked the salt sea-water down ; and when to the tall 
fig-tree I was upward borne, I clutched and clung as a 
bat clings. Yet could I nowhere set my feet firmly 
down or climb the tree ; for its roots were far away 
and out of reach its branches, and these were long 
and large, and overspread Charybdis. But steadily 
I clung, until she should disgorge my mast and keel ; 
and as I hoped they came, though it was late. But at 
the hour one rises from the assembly for his supper, 
after deciding many quarrels of contentious men, then 
was it that the timbers came to light from out Cha- 
rybdis. I let go feet and hands, and down I dropped 
by the long timbers, and getting a seat on these rowed 
onward with my hands. But the father of men and 
gods gave me no further sight of Scylla, or else I 
should not have escaped from utter ruin. 

" Thence for nine days I drifted ; on the tenth, at 
night, gods brought me to the island of Ogygia, where 
dwells Calypso, a fair-haired powerful goddess, hu- 
man of speech. She welcomed me and gave me care. 
Why tell the tale ? It was but yesterday I told it in 
the hall to you and your good wife ; and it is irk- 
some to tell a plain-told tale a second time." 



XIII. 

FROM PHAEACIA TO ITHACA. 

As he thus ended, all were hushed to silence, held 
by the spell throughout the dusky hall. At length, 
Alcinoiis answering said ; " Odysseus, having crossed 
the brazen threshold of my high-roofed house, you 
shall be aided home with no more wanderings, be 
sure, long as you now have suffered. And this I say 
with earnestness to evervbody here, to you who in my 
hall drink of the elders' sparkling wine and listen to 
the bard : you knov/ that in a polished chest lie gar- 
ments for the stranger, with rich- wrought gold and 
all the other gifts which the Phaeacian councilors have 
brought him hither. But let us also, each man here, 
give a caldron and large tripod ; then gathering the 
cost among the people, we will repay ourselves. For 
one to give outright were hard indeed." 

So said Alcinoiis, and his saying pleased them ; 
and now desiring rest, they each departed homeward. 
But when the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, they 
hastened to the ship and brought the gladdening 
bronze. Revered Alcinoiis, going himself aboard the 
vessel, stowed it all carefully beneath the benches, so 
that it might not incommode the crew upon the pas- 
sage while they labored at the oars. Then to Alci- 
noiis' house they went and turned to feasting. 

In their behalf revered Alcinoiis offered an ox to 
Zeus of the dark cloud, the son of Kronos, who is the 



200 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. 26-58. 

lord of all ; and having burned the thighs, they held 
a glorious feast and made them merry. Among them 
sang the sacred bard, Demodocus, beloved of all. 
Nevertheless Odysseus would often turn his face to- 
ward the still shining sun, eager to see its setting, be- 
cause he was impatient to be gone. As a man longs 
for supper whose pair of tawny oxen all day long have 
dragged the jointed plough through the fresh field ; 
gladly for him the sunlight sinks and sends him home 
to supper ; stiff are his knees for walking ; so gladly 
for Odysseus sank the sun. Straightway he turned 
to the oar-loving Phaeacians, and speaking to Alcinotis 
especially he said : 

" Mighty Alcinoiis, renowned of all, pour a libation 
and send me safely forth. Fare you all well ! All 
that my heart desired is reaa}'" — escort and friendly 
gifts — and may the gods of heaven make them a 
blessing ! My true wife may I find on coming home, 
and dear ones safe! And you who stay, may you 
make glad your wedded wives and children ! The 
gods bestow all happiness, and may no ill be found 
among you I " 

He spoke, and all approved and bade send forth the 
stranger, for rightly had he spoken. Then said re- 
vered Alcinoiis to the page : " Ponton oiis, mix a bowl 
and pass the wine to all within the hall, that with a 
prayer to father Zeus we may send forth the stranger 
to his native land." 

He spoke ; Pontonoiis stirred the cheering wine and 
served to all in turn ; then to the blessed gods who 
hold the open sky they poured libations where they 
sat. But royal Odysseus rose, placed in Arete's 
hand the double cup, and speaking in winged words 
he said : 



XIII. 59-92.] THE ODYSSEY. 201 

" Fare you well, queen, for all the years until old 
age and death, which visit all, shall come. I go my 
way ; may you within this home enjoy your children, 
people, and Alcinoiis the king ! " 

So saying, royal Odysseus crossed the threshold. 
With him revered Alcinoiis sent a page, to show the 
way to the swift ship and to the shore. Arete too 
sent damsels after : one with the spotless robe and 
tunic, one to accompany the close-packed chest, and 
one bore bread and ruddy wine. 

Now wlien they came to the ship and to the sea, 
straight the tall seamen took the stores and laid them 
by within the hollow ship, even all the food and drink. 
Then for Odysseus they spread a rug and linen sheet 
on the lioUow vessel's deck, so that he might sleep 
soundly, there at the 'stern ; and he himself embarked 
and laid him down in silence. The other men took 
places at the pins, each one in order, and loosed the 
cable from the perforated stone. But now when bend- 
ing to their work they tossed the water with their oars, 
upon Odysseus' lids deep slumber fell, sound and most 
pleasant, very like to death. And as upon a plain 
four harnessed stallions spring forward all together 
at the crack of whiji, and lifting high their feet speed 
swiftly on their way ; even so the ship's stern lifted, 
while in her wake followed a huge upheaving wave of 
the resounding sea. Safely and steadily she ran ; no 
circling hawk, swiftest of winged things, could keep 
beside her. Running thus rapidly she cut the ocean 
waves, bearing a man of godlike wisdom, a man who 
had before met many griefs of heart, cleaving his 
way through wars of men and through the boisterous 
seas, yet here slept undisturbed, heedless of all he 
suffered. 



202 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. 93-127. 

As that most briUiant star arose wliicli comes the 
surest herald of the light of early dawn, the sea-borne 
ship drew near the island. 

Now in the land of Ithaca there is a certain harbor 
sacred to Phorcys, the old man of the sea. Here two 
projecting jagged cliffs slope inward toward the harbor 
and break the heavy waves raised by wild winds with- 
out. Inside, without a cable ride the well-benched 
ships when once they reach the roadstead. Just at the 
harbor's head a leafy olive stands, and near it a pleas- 
ant darksome cave sacred to nymj^hs, called Naiads. 
Within the cave are bowls and jars of stone, and here 
bees hive their honey. Long looms of stone are here, 
where nymphs w^ave purple robes, a marvel to behold. 
Here are ever-flowing springs. The cave has double 
doors : one to the north, accessible to men ; one to the 
south, for gods. By this, men do not pass ; it is the 
immortals' entrance. 

Here they rowed in, knowing the place of old. The 
ship ran up the shore full half her length, by rea- 
son of her speed ; so was she driven by her rowers' 
arms. The men then left the timbered ship and came 
ashore, and straightway took Odysseus from the hol- 
low ship — him and his linen sheet and bright-hued 
rug — and set him on the sands, still sunk in sleep. 
They also brought the treasure out which the Phaeacian 
chiefs gave him at his departure, prompted by kind 
Athene, and laid it all together by the olive trunk a 
little off the road ; for fear, before Odysseus woke, 
some passer-by might come and harm it. Then they 
departed homeward. Nevertheless the Earth-shaker 
did not forget the threats with which at first he threat- 
ened great Odysseus, but thus he asked the purposes 
of Zeus : 



ΧΠΙ. 128-158.] THE ODYSSEY. 203 

" Ο father Zeus, no more shall I be honored among 
immortal gods if mortal men, the people of Phaeacia, 
honor me not, though men of my own kin. For I had 
meant that through much hardship Odysseus should 
return ; I never tried to cut him off from coming al- 
together, because you gave him once a promise and 
confirmed it with a nod. Yet these Phaeacians have 
borne him through the sea on their swift ship asleep, 
and set him down in Ithaca, and given him glorious 
gifts — such stores of bronze and gold and woven stuffs 
as Odysseus never would have won from Troy itself, 
had he returned unharmed with his due share of 
spoil." 

Then answered him cloud-gathering Zeus and said : 
" For shame, wide-ruling Land-shaker ! What are you 
saying ? The gods do not refuse you honor. Hard 
would it be to cast dishonor on our oldest and our 
best. And as to men, if any, led by pride and power, 
dishonors you, vengeance is j^ours and shall be ever. 
Do what you will, even all your heart's desire ! " 

Then earth - shaking Poseidon answered : " Soon 
would I do, dark-clouded one, all that you say, but 
that I ever dread and would avoid your wrath. Even 
now this shapely ship of the Phaeacians, returning 
home from pilotage upon the misty sea, I would de- 
stroy, — that they henceforth may hold aloof and cease 
to give men aid, — and I would throw a lofty mound 
about their city." 

Then answered him cloud-gathering Zeus and said : 
" Friend, this appears to me the better way. When 
all the people of the town look off and see her sailing, 
then turn her into stone close to the shore, — yet like 
a swift ship still, — that all the folk may marvel, 
and throw a lofty mound about their city." 



204 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. lo9-191. 

On hearing this, earth-sliaking Poseidon hastened 
to Scheria, where the Phaeacians live, and waited 
there. Then as the sea-borne ship drew near, run- 
ning full swiftly, the Earth-shaker drew near her too, 
turned her to stone and rooted her to the bottom, 
forcing her under with his outspread hand, and Λvent 
aAvay ; but in winged words to one another talked the 
Phaeacian oarsmen, notable men at sea. And glan- 
cing at his neighbor a Phaeacian man would say : 

" Hah I Who stopped the swift ship on the sea as 
she was running in ? In full sight too she was." 
, So they would say, but knew not how things were. 
And now Alcinoiis addressed them thus : " Ah, surely 
then the ancient oracles are come to pass, told by my 
father, who said Poseidon was displeased because we 
were safe guides for all mankind ; and he averred the 
god one day would wreck a shapely ship of the Phaea- 
cians, returning home from pilotage upon the misty 
sea, and so would throw a lofty mound about our city. 
That was the old man's tale, and now it all comes 
true. However, what I say let us all follow: stop 
piloting the men who come from time to time here to 
our city ; and to Poseidon let us offer twelve choice 
bulls, that he may have compassion and so not throw 
a lofty mound about our city." 

He spoke, and all the people feared and brought 
the bulls. And then to lord Poseidon, standing 
around his altar, the captains and councilors of the 
Phaeacians offered prayer. 

Meanwhile within his native land royal Odysseus 
woke from sleep, and did not know the land from 
which he had been gone so long ; for a goddess spread 
a cloud around, even Pallas Athene, daughter of Zeus, 
that she might render him unknown and herself tell 



XIII. 192-225.] THE ODYSSEY. 205 

him all, and that his wife, his townsfolk, and his 
friends might never know him until the suitors paid 
the price of all their lawless deeds. Thus to its mas- 
ter all the land looked strange, — the footpaths 
stretching far away, the sheltered coves, steep rocks, 
and spreading trees. Rising, he stood and gazed 
upon his land, then groaned and smote his thighs 
with outspread hands, saying in anguish : 

" Alas ! To what men's land am I come now ? 
Lawless and savage are they, with no regard for right, 
or are they kind to strangers and reverent toward the 
gods ? ΛVhere shall I leave my many goods, and 
whither shall I turn ? AYould these had staid with 
the Phaeacians where they were, and I myself had 
found some other powerful prince who might have 
entertained me and sent me on my way ! Now, where 
to store my goods I do not know ; yet here I must 
not leave them, to fall a prey to strangers. Not at 
all wise and just were the Phaeacian captains and 
councilors in bringing me to this strange shore. 
They promised they would carry me to far-seen Ithaca, 
but that they did not do. May Zeus, the god of sup- 
pliants, reward them ! For over all men watches 
Zeus, chastising those who sin. However, let me 
count my goods, and see that the Phaeacians took 
none away upon their hollow ship." 

So saying, he counted the beautiful tripods, the 
caldrons, gold, and goodly woven stuffs, and none 
was lacking. Then sighing for his native land he 
paced the shore of the resounding sea in sadness. 
Near him Athene drew, in form of a young shepherd, 
yet delicate as are the sons of kings. Doubled about 
her shoulders she wore a fine-wrought mantle ; under 
her shining feet her sandals, and in her hand a spear. 



206 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. 226-260. 

To see lier made Odysseus glad. He went to meet 
her, and speaking in winged words he said : 

'' Friend, since you are the first I find within this 
land, I bid you welcome, and hope you come with no 
ill-will. Nay, save these goods and save me too ! I 
supplicate you as a god, and I aj^proach your knees. 
And tell me truly this, that I may know full well, 
what land is this ? AYhat peojDle ? What sort of 
men dwell here ? Is it a far-seen island, or a tongue 
of fertile mainland that stretches out to sea ? " 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" You are simple, stranger, or come from far away, to 
ask about this land. It is not quite so nameless. 
Many men know it well, men dwelling toward the east 
and rising sun, and those behind us also toward the 
darksome west. It is a rugged land, not fit for driv- 
ing horses, yet not so very poor though lacking plains. 
Grain grows abundantly and wine as well ; the show- 
ers are frequent and the dews refreshing ; here is good 
pasturage for goats and cattle ; trees of all kinds are 
here, and never - failing springs. So, stranger, the 
name of Ithaca has gone as far as Troy, which is, they 
say, a long way from Achaea." 

She spoke, and glad was long-tried royal Odysseus, 
fiUed with delight over his native land through what 
was said by Pallas Athene, daughter of segis-bearing 
Zeus ; and speaking in winged words he said, — yet 
uttered not the truth, but turned his words awry, ever 
revolving in his breast some gainful purpose : 

" In lowland Crete, I heard of Ithaca far off be- 
yond the sea, and now I reach it — I and these 
goods of mine. I left an equal portion to my children 
and fled away from home ; for I had killed the dear 
son of Idomeneus, Orsilochus, the runner, who on the 



XIII. 261-292.] THE ODYSSEY. 207 

plains of Crete beat all us toiling men in speed of 
foot. The cause was this : he sought to cut me off 
from all the Trojan spoil to gain which I bore grief 
of heart, cleaving my way through wars of men and 
through the boisterous seas ; and all because I did 
not, as he wished, serve with his father in the land of 
Troy, but led my separate men. AYith a brazen spear 
I struck him as he was coming from his farm and I 
was lying with a comrade near the road. A very dark 
night screened the sky ; no man observed us ; secretly 
I took his life. So after I had slain him with my 
brazen pointed spear, I straightway sought a ship, 
asked aid of the proud Phoenicians, and gave them 
from my booty what they wished. I bade them take 
me on their ship and set me down at Pylos, or else at 
sacred Elis wdiere the Epeians rule. But stress of 
wind turned them aside, though much against their 
will ; they meant no wrong ; and missing our course, 
here we arrived last night. With much ado we rowed 
into the port, and gave no thought to supper, hungry 
although we w^re, but simply disembarking from the 
ship, we all lay down. Then, weary as I w^as, sweet 
sleep came on me ; and the Phoenicians, taking my 
treasure from the hollow ship, laid it upon the sands 
where I was lying, and they embarked and sailed away 
to stately Sidon. So I was left behind with aching 
heart." 

As he thus spoke, the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, 
smiled and patted him with her hand. Her form 
gTcw like a woman's, — one fair and tall and skilled 
in dainty WOik, — and speaking in winged words she 
said : 

" Prudent and wily must one be to overreach you 
in craft of any kind, even though it be a god who 



208 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. 293-326. 

strives to match you. Bold, sliifty, and insatiate of 
wiles, will you not now within your land cease from 
the false misleading tales which from the bottom of 
your heart you love ? But let us talk no longer thus, 
both being versed in wiles ; for you are far the best 
of men in plots and tales, and I of all the gods am 
famed for craft and wiles. And yet you did not 
know me, Pallas Athene, daughter of Zeus, me who 
am ever near to guard you in all toil, me who have 
made you welcome to all Phaeacian folk ! Now I am 
come to frame with you a scheme to hide the treasure 
which the Phaeacian chiefs, through my advice and 
prompting, gave you at your departure ; and I will 
tell you too what griefs you must endure within your 
stately house. Bear them, because you must. Do not 
report to man or woman of them all that you are 
come froQi wandering ; but silently receive all pains 
and bear men's buffets." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Hard 
is it, goddess, for a man, however wise he be, to know 
when you are near, because you take all forms. I 
very well remember how kind to me you were when 
all we young Achaean s were in the war at Troy. But 
since we overthrew the lofty town of Priam, since we 
went away in ships and God dispersed the Achaeans, I 
never once have seen you, daughter of Zeus, nor known 
you to draw near my ship protecting me from harm. 
Yet bearing ever in my breast a stricken heart, I wan- 
dered till the gods delivered me from ill, when in the 
rich land of the Phaeacians you cheered me by your 
words and led me to the city. Now I entreat you 
by your father's name, for I cannot think that I am 
come to far-seen Ithaca» No, I have strayed to some 
strange shore, and you in mockery, I think, have told 



XIII. 327-360.] THE ODYSSEY. 209 

this tale to cheat me. Bat tell me, have I really 
reached my own dear land ? " 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Such thoughts as these are ever in your breast ; 
therefore I cannot leave you even in misfortune, be- 
cause you are discreet, wary, and steadfast. For any 
other man on coming back from wanderings would 
eagerly have hastened home to see his wife and chil- 
dren ; but you have no desire to know or hear of them 
till you have proved your wife, who as of old sits in 
your hall and wearily the nights and days are Avasted 
with her tears. But I for my part never doubted. I 
knew within my heart that you would come, though 
with the loss of all your men. But I did not Avish to 
quarrel with Poseidon, my father's brother, who bore 
a grudge against you in his heart, angry because you 
blinded his dear son. Come then, and let me point 
you out the parts of Ithaca, that so you may believe. 
Here is the port of Phorcys, the old man of the sea ; 
here at the harbor's head the leafy olive ; and near 
at hand the pleasant darksome cave, sacred to nymphs 
called Naiads ; here is the arching cavern too, where 
oftentimes you made due sacrifices to the nymphs ; 
and this is the wood-clad hill of Neriton." 

The goddess, speaking thus, scattered the cloud, and 
plain the land appeared. Then glad Avas long-tried 
royal Odysseus, and he exulted in his land and kissed 
the bounteous earth, and straightway pra-yed the 
nymphs with outstretched hands : 

" Ο Naiad Nymphs, daughters of Zeus, I said I 
should not see you any more, yet now with loving 
prayers I give you greeting. Gifts will we also give, 
even as of old, if the daughter of Zeus, the Plunderer, 
graciously grants me life and prospers my dear son." 



210 THE ODYSSEY. [XIIL 361-393. 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Be of good courage ! Let not these things vex your 
mind I But in a corner of the monstrous cave let us 
lay by the goods, instantly, now, here to remain in 
safety ; then let us plan how all may turn out well." 

So saying, the goddess entered the darksome cave, 
and searched about the cave for hiding-places. Odys- 
seus too brought hither all he had, gold and enduring 
bronze and fair-wrought raiment, things given by the 
Phaeacians. All these were laid away with care, and 
at the entrance a stone was set by Pallas Athene, 
daughter of iegis-bearing Zeus. Then sitting down at 
the foot of the sacred olive, they planned the death of 
the audacious suitors; and thus began the goddess, 
clear-eyed Athene : 

" High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, con- 
sider how to lay hands on the shameless suitors, who 
for three years have held dominion in your hall, wooing 
your matchless wife and offering bridal gifts ; while 
she, continually mourning at heart over your coming, 
gives hopes to all, has promises for each, and sends 
each messages ; but her mind has a different purpose." 

Then \vise Odysseus answered her and said : " Cer- 
tainly here at home I too had met the evil fate of Aga- 
memnon, the son of Atreus, had you not, goddess, duly 
told me all. Come then, and frame a plot for me to 
win revenge. And do you stand beside me, inspiring 
hardy courage, e\^en so as when we tore the shining 
crown from Troy. If you would stand as stoutly by 
me, clear-eyed one, then I would face three hundred 
men, mated with you, dread goddess, with you for my 
strong aid." 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" I surely will be with you ; you shall never be forgot 



XIII. 394-428.] THE ODYSSEY. 211 

when we begin the work. Some too, I think, shall 
spatter with their blood and brains the spacious floor, 
some of these suitors who devour your living. But let 
me make you strange to all men's view. I will shrivel 
the fair flesh on your supple limbs, pluck from your 
head the yellow locks, and clothe you in such rags 
that they who see shall loathe the wearer. And I 
will blear your eyes, so beautiful before, that you may 
seem repulsive to all the suitors here, and even to 
your wife and the son you left at home. But first 
seek out the swineherd, the keeper of your swine ; for 
he is loyal, loving your son and steadfast Penelope. 
You will find him sitting by his swine. They feed 
along the Raven Crag by the spring of Arethusa, 
eating the pleasant acorns and drinking the shaded 
water, a food which breeds abundant fat in swine. 
There Avait, and sitting by his side question hin 
fully; while I go on to Sparta, the land of lovel• 
women, to summon thence Telemachus, your soi 
Odysseus. He went to spacious Lacedaemon to vie 
Menelaus, hoping to learn if you were still alive." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her aixl z?'A : 
" Why, knowing all, did you yourself not tell him ? 
Must he too meet with sorrow, roaming the barren 
sea, while others eat his substance ? " 

Then answered him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Nay, let him not too much oppress your heart. I 
was myself his guide, and helped him win a noble name 
by going thither. He meets no hardship there, but 
sits at ease within the palace of the son of Atreus, 
with plenty all around. Young men, indeed, now lie 
in wait on their black ship and seek to cut him off 
before he gains his native land. Yet this I think 
shall never be ; rather the earth shall cover some of 
the suitors who devour your living." 



212 THE ODYSSEY. [XIII. 429-440. 

So having said, Athene touched him with her wand, 
shriveled the fair flesh on his supple limbs, plucked 
from his head the yellow locks, and made the skin of 
all his limbs the skin of an old man. Likewise she 
bleared his eyes, so beautiful before, and gave him for 
his clothing a wretched frock and tunic, tattered and 
foul and grimed with filthy smoke. Then over all she 
threw a swift deer's ample hide, stripped of its hair ; 
and gave him a staff and miserable wallet, full of holes, 
which hung upon a cord. 

So having formed their plans, they parted ; and 
thereupon the goddess went to sacred Lacedaemon, 
seeking Odysseus' son. 



XIV. 

THE STAY WITH EUI^IAEUS. 

But from the harbor, up the rocky path, along the 
woody country on the hills, Odysseus went to where 
Athene bade him seek the noble swineherd, who 
guarded his estate more carefully than any man royal 
Odysseus owned. 

He found him sitting in his porch, by which was 
built a high-walled yard upon commanding ground, 
a handsome yard and large, with space around. 
With his own hands the swineherd built it for the 
swine after his lord was gone, without assistance 
from the queen or old Laertes, constructing it with 
blocks of stone and coping it with thorn. Outside 
the yard he drove down stakes the whole way round, 
stout and close-set, of split black oak. Inside the 
yard he made twelve sties alongside one another, 
as bedding places for the swine ; and fifty swine that 
wallow in the mire were penned in each, all of them 
sows for breeding ; the boars, much fewer, lay out- 
side. On these the gallant suitors feasted and kept 
their number small; for daily the swineherd sent 
aw^ay the best fat hog he had. Three hundred and 
sixty they were now. Hard by, four dogs, like wild 
beasts, always lay, dogs which the swineherd bred, 
the overseer. He was himself now fitting sandals 
to his feet, cutting therefor a well-tanned hide. The 
other men were gone their several ways : three with 



214 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 26-56. 

tlie swine to pasture ; a fourth sent to the town to 
take to the audacious suitors, as was ordered, a hog 
to slay and sate their souls with meat. 

But now the ever-barking dogs suddenly spied Odys- 
seus, and baying rushed upon him ; whereat Odys- 
seus calmly sat down and from his hand let fall his 
staff. Yet here at his own farm he would have come 
to cruel grief, had not the swineherd, springing swiftly 
after, dashed from the door and from his hand let fall 
the leather. Scolding the dogs, he drove them off this 
way and that wdth showers of stones, and thus ad- 
dressed his master : 

" Old man, my dogs had nearly torn you to pieces 
here all of a sudden, and so you would have brought 
reproach on me. Ah well ! The gods have given 
me other griefs and sorrows ; for over my matchless 
master I sit and sigh and groan, and tend fat hogs for 
other men to eat ; while he, perhaps longing for food, 
wanders about the lands and towns of men of alien 
speech, — if he still lives and sees the sunshine. But 
follow me, old man, into the lodge ; so that you too, 
when satisfied with food and drink, may tell where 
you are come from and what troubles you have borne." 

So saying, to the lodge the noble swineherd led the 
way, and bringing Odysseus in made him a seat. Be- 
neath, he laid thick brushwood, and on the top he 
spread a shaggy wild goat's great soft skin, his usual 
bed. Odysseus was pleased that he received him so, 
and spoke and thus addressed him : 

" Stranger, may Zeus and the other deathless gods 
grant all you most desire for treating me so kindly ! " 

And, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Stranger, it is not right for me to slight a 
stranger, not even one in poorer plight than you ; for 



XIV. 57-88.] THE ODYSSEY. 215 

in the charge of Zeus all strangers and beggars stand, 
and our small gift is welcome. But so it is with ser- 
vants, continually afraid when new men are their mas- 
ters ! Surely the gods kept him from coming who 
would have loved me well and given me for my own 
the things a generous master always allows his man — > 
a house, a plot of ground, and a fair wife — at least 
when one has labored long, and God has made his 
work to prosj^er, as he makes prosper all the work I 
undertake. So would my master have well rewarded 
me, had he but grown old here. But he is gone ! 
AVould all the tribe of Helen had gone too, down 
on their knees I for she has made the knees of many 
men grow weak. Yes, he too went for Agamemnon's 
honor to Ilios, famed for horses, to fight the Trojans 
there." 

So saying, he hurriedly girt his tunic with his belt, 
and went to the sties where droves of pigs were 
penned. Selecting two, he brought them in and 
killed them both, singed them and sliced them and 
stuck them on the spits, and roasting carried all the 
meat to offer to Odysseus, hot on the spits themselves. 
He sprinkled it with white barley. Then in an ivy 
bowl he mixed some honeyed wine, and taking a seat 
over against Odysseus thus cheerily began : 

" Now, stranger, eat what servants have, this young 
pig's flesh. The fatted hogs are eaten by the suitors, 
who heed not in their hearts the wrath of Hea\^en, nor 
even pity. Yet reckless deeds the blessed gods love 
not ; they honor justice and men's upright deeds. 
AVhy, evil-minded cruel men who land on a foreign 
shore, and Zeus allows them plunder so that they sail 
back home with %vell-filled ships, — even on the hearts 
of such falls a great fear of heavenly wrath. But these 



216 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 89-120. 

men know o£ something, having heard the utterance 
of some god about his mournful end, and therefore 
they are minded to woo so laΛvlessly, never depart- 
ing to their homes, but at their ease wasting this 
wealth with recklessness and sparing naught. For 
every day and night sent us by Zeus, they slay their 
victims, no mere one or two ; and wane they also waste 
with reckless draughts. Odysseus' means were vast. 
No noble has so much on the dark mainland or in 
Ithaca itself. No twenty men together have such 
revenues as he. I will reckon up the sum. Twelve 
herds upon the mainland ; as many flocks of sheep ; 
as many droves of swine ; as many roving bands of 
goats ; all shepherded by foreigners and herdsmen of 
his own. Then here in Ithaca graze roving bands of 
goats, eleven in all, along the farther shore, and trusty 
herdsmen Avatch them. Of these the herdsman e\^ery 
day drives up the fatted goat that seems the best. My 
task it is to guard and keep these swine, and picking 
carefully the best to send it to the suitors." 

So spoke the swineherd, while his companion hun- 
grily ate his meat and drank with eagerness his wine 
in silence, sowing the seeds of evil for the suitors. 
But after he had dined and stayed his heart with 
food, Eumaeus, filling for his guest the cup from 
which he drank, gave it brimful of wine. Odysseus 
took it and was glad at heart, and speaking in winged 
words he said : 

"My friend, who was the man that bought you 
with his wealth and was so very rich and powerful as 
you say ? You said he died for Agamemnon's honor. 
Tell me. I may have known some such as he. Zeus 
and the other deathless gods must know if I have seen 
him and can give you news ; but I have traveled far." 



XIV. 121-153.] THE ODYSSEY. 217 

Then said to him the swineherd, the overseer : 
" Old man, no traveler coming here to tell of him 
could win his wife or son to trust the story. Lightly 
do vagrants seeking hospitality tell lies, and never 
care to speak the truth. So when a vagabond reaches 
the land of Ithaca, he comes and chatters cheating 
stories to my queen. And she receives him well and, 
giving entertainment, questions him closely, while 
from her weeping eyelids trickle tears ; for that is 
the way with wives when husbands die afar. You 
too, old man, would soon be patching up a story if 
somebody would give you clothes, a coat and tunic. 
But probably already dogs and swift birds have 
plucked the flesh from off his bones and life has left 
him ; or fishes devoured him in the deep, and on the 
land his bones are lying wrapped in a heap of sand. 
So he died, far away, and for his friends sorrow is left 
behind — for all of them, and most of all for me ; for 
never another such kind master shall I find, go where 
I may, not even if I return to my father's and mo- 
ther's house, where I was born and where my parents 
reared me. Yet nowadays for them I do not greatly 
grieve, much as I wish to see them and to be in my 
own land ; but longing possesses me for lost Odysseus. 
Why, stranger, though he is not here I speak his 
name with awe ; for he was very kind and loved me 
from his heart, and worshipful I call him even when 
he is away." 

Then long-tried royal Odysseus answered thus : 
" Friend, though you wholly contradict and say he will 
not come, and ever unbelieving is your heart, yet I 
declare, not with mere words but with an oath, Odys- 
seus will return. Give me the fee for welcome news 
when he arrives at home. Then clothe me in a coat 



218 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 154-187. 

and tunic, goodly garments. Before tliat time, how- 
ever great my need, I will take nothing ; for hateful 
as the gates of hell is he who pressed by poverty tells 
cheating tales. First then of all the gods be witness 
Zeus, and let this hospitable table and the hearth of 
good Odysseus whereto I come be witness : all this 
shall be accomplished exactly as I say. This very 
year Odysseus comes. As this moon wanes and as the 
next appears, he shall return and punish all who 
wrong his wife and gallant son." 

And, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Old man, I never then shall give that fee for 
welcome news, nor will Odysseus reach his home. 
Nay, drink in peace. Let us turn to other thoughts, 
and do not bring such matters to remembrance. Ah, 
my heart aches within when one recalls my honored 
master ! As for the oath, why let it be ; yet may 
Odysseus come, as I desire ! — I and Penelope, Laertes 
the old man, and prince Telemachus. But now I 
have unceasing grief about Odysseus' child, Telema- 
chus ; whom when the gods had made to grow like a 
young sapling, and I would often say that he would 
stand in men's esteem no whit behind his father, glo- 
rious in form and beauty, some god or man upset the 
balanced mind within, and off he went for tidings of 
his father to hallowed Pylos. And now the lordly suit- 
ors watch for his coming home, hoping to have the race 
of prince Arceisius blotted from Ithaca and left with- 
out a name. However, let us leave him too, whether 
lie falls or flies, or whether the son of Kronos holds 
over him his arm. But come, old man, relate to me 
your troubles ; and tell me truly this, that I may 
know fuU well: Who are you? Of what people? 
Where is your town and kindred ? On what ship 



XIV. 188-223.] THE ODYSSEY. 219 

did you come ? And how did sailors bring you to 
Ithaca ? Whom did they call themselves ? For I am 
sure you did not come on foot." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said: 
" Well, I will very plainly tell you this. But had we 
in the lodge food and sweet wine for long, and should 
we feast in quiet, letting others do our work, then 
might I easily not finish in a year the tale of all the 
toils I bore by the gods' bidding. 

" Of a family in lowland Crete I boast that I was 
born, a rich man's son. There were many sons be- 
side, born and brought up within that hall, sons of a 
lawful wife. Me a bought mother bore, a concubine ; 
yet he gave me equal honor with his true-begotten 
sons, this Castor, son of Hylax, whose child I say I 
am. Among the Cretans he was at this time honored 
throughout the land as if he were a god, because of his 
prosperity, his wealth, and famous sons ; but death's 
doom bore him to the house of Hades, and his dis- 
dainful sons divided up his living, casting lots. Me 
they assigned a very meagre share, besides my dwell- 
ing. Nevertheless, I took to wife the daughter of 
a wealthy house, winning her by my merit ; because 
I was no weakling and not afraid of war. Now all 
is gone. Yet still, when you see stubble I think you 
know the grain ; hardships innumerable have pressed 
me sore. In those days Ares and Athene gave me 
courage, and strength to break the line ; and when I 
picked our bravest for an ambush, sowing the seeds of 
evil for our foes, my swelling heart cast not a look on 
death ; but charging ever foremost, I would catch upon 
my spear whatever foeman showed less speed than I. 
Such was I once in war ; labor I never liked, nor 
household thrift, which breeds good children. But 



220 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 224-258. 

ships equipped with oars were ever my delight, battles 
and polished javelins and arrows — appalling things, 
which are to others hateful. Whatever God put in 
my heart I liked ; for different men delight in differ- 
ent deeds. Before the young Achaeans went to Troy, 
nine times I led forth men and sea-bound ships to 
plunder foreign tribes ; and much I gained. Out of 
the spoil I picked what pleased me and then obtained 
much afterwards by lot. Thus rapidly my household 
grew, and I became a man of weight and honor with 
the Cretans. But when far-seeing Zeus ordained the 
unhapp3^ journey which made the knees of many men 
grow weak, they called on me and famed Idomeneus 
to lead the ships to Ilios. We had no power to say 
them nay; the people's voice was stern. There for 
nine years we young Achaeans battled, and in the 
tenth, destroying the town of Priam, turned home- 
wards with our ships. But God dispersed the 
Achaeans ; especially for hapless me wise Zeus in- 
tended ill. Only a month I stayed at home, glad in 
my children, in my wedded wife and in my goods ; 
and then my heart impelled me to make a voyage to 
Egypt with gallant comrades and with ships well 
fitted out. Nine ships I fitted, and my force was 
gathered soon. 

"For six days afterwards my trusty comrades 
feasted, and I pro\dded many victims to offer to the 
gods and make my men a feast. Embarking on the 
seventh, we sailed from lowland Crete, the north wind 
fresh and fair, and moved off easily as if down stream. 
No ship met harm ; but safe and sound we sat, v/hile 
wind and helmsmen kept us steady. In five days we 
arrived at Egypt's flowing stream, and in the Egyptian 
river I anchored my curved ships. Then to my 



XIV. 259-291.] THE ODYSSEY. 221 

trusty men I gave command to stay there by the ships 
and guard the ships, while I sent scouts to points of 
observation ; but giving way to lawlessness and fol- 
lowing their own bent, they presently began to pillage 
the fair fields of the Egyptians, carrying off wives and 
infant children and slaughtering the men. Soon the 
din reached the city. The people there, hearing the 
shouts, came forth at early dawn, and all the plain 
was filled with footmen and with horsemen and with 
the gleam of bronze. Then Zeus, the thunderer, 
brought on my men a cruel panic, and none dared 
stand and face the foe. Danger encountered us on 
every side. So the Egyptians slew many of our men 
with the sharp sword, and carried others off alive to 
work for them in bondage. But Zeus himself put in 
my heart this plan. Would I had rather died, and met 
my doom there by the stream of Egypt ! For since 
that day sorrow has held me fast. Straightway I took 
the well-made helmet from my head and shield from 
off my shoulders, and flinging away my spear, I ran 
to meet the horses of the king. I clasped and kissed 
his knees ; he spared and pitied me, and seating me 
in his chariot bore me weeping home. A multitude 
with spears rushed after, intent on killing me, for they 
were much enraged. He held them back, dreading 
the wrath of Zeus, the stranger's friend, who ever 
visits evil deeds with his displeasure. Here I stayed 
seven years, and I amassed much wealth among the 
Egyptians ; for they all gave me gifts. But when 
the eighth revolving year was come, a certain Phoeni- 
cian came, full of deceiving arts, a greedy knave, one 
who had wrought much harm to men already. He 
now prevailed upon me by his wiles, and took me with 
him till we reached Phoenicia, where was his home 



222 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 29ii-323. 

and substance. Here at his house I stayed through- 
out the year. But after days and months were spent, 
as the year rolled and other seasons came, he set me 
on a sea-bound ship sailing for Libya, falsely profess- 
ing I should share his gains ; but purposing to sell me 
there and reap a large reward. I followed him on 
board, suspecting him, but helpless. And now the 
ship sped on, with north wind fresh and fair, through 
the mid sea past Crete, Zeus purposing our ruin. 

" For when we had left Crete and no other land ap- 
peared, but only sky and sea, the son of Kronos set a 
dark cloud over the hollow ship, and the deep gloomed 
below. Zeus at the same time thundered, hurling his 
bolt against the ship. She quivered in every part, 
struck by the bolt of Zeus, and filled with sulphur 
smoke. Out of the ship my comrades fell, and then 
like sea-fowl were borne by the side of the black ship 
along the waves ; God cut them off from coming home. 
But helping me, whose heart was filled with anguish, 
Zeus put the long mast of the dark-bowed ship into 
my hands, so that I might once more escape from 
death. To this I clung and drifted before the deadly 
winds. Nine days I drifted ; on the tenth, in the dark 
night, the vast and rolling waters cast me on the coast 
of the Thesprotians. Here the king of the Thespro- 
tians, lord Pheidon, entertained me, and freely too ; 
it was his son who found me, overcome with cold and 
toil, and took me home, with his own hand supporting 
me until we reached his father's palace. He gave 
me also a coat and tunic for my clothing. 

" Here, then, I heard about Odysseus ; for Pheidon 
said he had him as his guest and friend upon his 
homeward voyage. He showed me all the treasure 
that Odysseus had obtained, the bronze and gold and 



XIV. 324-357.] THE ODYSSEY. 223 

well-wrought iron ; and really it would support man 
after man ten generations long, so large a stock was 
stored in the king's palace. Odysseus himself, he 
said, was gone at that time to Dodona, to learn from 
the sacred lofty oak the will of Zeus, and how he might 
return, whether openly or by stealth, to the rich land 
of Ithaca, when now so long awa}^ Moreover, in my 
presence, as he offered a libation in his house, he 
swore the ship was launched and sailors waiting to 
brine: him home to his own native land. But he sent 
me off before, for a ship of the Thesprotians happened 
to be starting for the Doulichian grain-fields. He 
bade her men conduct me carefully to king Acastus ; 
but in their hearts a wicked scheme found favor, to 
bring me yet once more into the depths of woe. For 
when the sea-bound ship was far from shore, they 
planned a life of slavery for me. They stripped me 
of my clothes, my coat and tunic, and gave in- 
stead the wretched frock and the tunic full of holes 
which you yourself now see. Toward night they 
reached the fields of far-seen Ithaca. Here with a 
twisted rope they bound me fast upon the well- 
benched ship, and disembarking they hastily took sup- 
per on the shore. Meanwhile the gods themselves 
lightly untied my cords ; and I, wrapping my frock 
about my head and sliding down the slippery rudder, 
brought my breast into the sea, where swimming hard 
I oared my way with my two hands, and very soon 
was out of the water, clear of them. Climbing the 
bank where there were thickets of leafy trees, I laid 
me down and hid. With loud cries ran the others 
here and there ; but as there seemed no profit in any 
further search, they entered their hollow ship once 
more. So the gods with ease concealed me and 



224 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 358-389. 

brought me to this farm of a sagacious man ; because 
it was my lot to live still longer." 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Alas, poor stranger ! You have deeply stirred 
my heart by telling me this tale of all jowc woes and 
wanderings. Yet here I think you err : you never can 
persuade me with talk about Odysseus. Why should 
a man like you tell lies for nothing ? I understand 
about my master's coming ; he has been hated utterly 
by all the gods, who did not let him die among the 
Trojans nor in the arms of friends when the skein 
of war was wound. Then would the whole Achaean 
host have made his grave, and for his son in after days 
a great name had been gained. Now, silently the 
robber winds have swept him off. I, meanwhile, 
dwell apart among the swine. To the town I never 
go, unless sometimes heedful Penelope commands my 
going, when any tidings come. Ah, then the people ' 
sit around and closely question, some grieving for 
their long-gone master, some glad to eat his substance 
and make him no amends. But as for me, I have no 
mind to search and question since an Aetolian fellow 
cheated me with his tale. He killed a man, and wan- 
dering far and wide came to my farmstead here, and 
I received him kindly. He told me how in Crete he 
saw Odysseus with Idomeneus, mending the ships 
which storms had shattered. He said he would be 
here by summer or by harvest, bringing a store of 
wealth and all his gallant crew. You too, old woe- 
worn man, now Heaven has brought you here, do not 
by lying tales attempt to please or win me ; since out 
of no such cause I show respect and kindness, but out 
of reverence for Zeus the stranger's friend, and pity 
for yourself." 



XIV. 390-421.] THE ODYSSEY. 225 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : 
" Surely in jovl there is a heart so unbelieving that 
by an oath I did not move it nor win you to be- 
lieve. But let us make a covenant now, and for us 
both hereafter our witnesses shall be the gods who 
hold Olympus: if ever to this house your master 
comes, clothe me in coat and tunic and send me to 
Doulichion, where I desire to be. But if your mas- 
ter does not come, as I declare he will, send out your 
men and throw me down the lofty cliff, that other 
beggars may beware of telling lying tales." 

Then answering said the noble swineherd : " Stran- 
ger, fine fame and fortune would be mine among 
mankind, both now and evermore, if after I had 
brought you to the lodge and given you welcome I 
turned about and slew you and took away your life ! 
With a clear heart thereafter I should pray to Zeus, 
the son of Kronos ! Well, it is supper-time ; and 
may my comrades soon be here to get at the lodge a 
savory supper ! " 

So they conversed together. Presently came the 
swine and those who kept them. They shut them up 
to sleep in their accustomed sties, and a prodigious 
noise arose from the penned swine. Then to his com- 
rades called the noble swineherd : — 

"Fetch me the best hog hither, to slaughter for 
the stranger who comes from far away. We too 
will have some cheer, who for a long time now 
have plagued ourselves over the white-toothed swine. 
Others devour our labor and make us no amends." 

So saying, with the ruthless axe he cleft some wood. 
The others brought a boar, well fatted, five years old, 
and stood him on the hearth ; and now the swineherd, 
being of upright heart, did not forget the immortal 



226 THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 422-453. 

gods. At the beginning lie cast into tlie fire hairs 
from the head of the white-toothed boar, and prayed 
to all the gods that wise Odysseus might return to his 
own home. Next raising high a billet of oak, saved 
when he split the wood, he dealt a blow and the boar's 
life departed. The others cut the throat and singed 
the boar, and quickly laid him open. The swineherd 
then put the raw meat, selected from each joint, into 
rich fat. Some parts of this, sprinkled with barley 
meal, they cast into the fire ; the rest they sliced and 
stuck on spits, roasted with care, drew it all off, and 
tossed it all together on the trenchers. And now the 
swineherd rose to carve, — for well he knew his duties, 
— and as he carved divided all in seven messes. The 
first mess for the Nymphs and Hermes, Maia's son, he 
set aside with prayer, passing the rest to each. Odys- 
seus he honored with the whole length of the chine, 
cut from the white-toothed boar, and so rejoiced his 
master's heart. Addressing him, said wise Odysseus : 

" Eumaeus, may you be as dear to father Zeus as 
now to me, for honoring with kindness such as I." 

And, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Good stranger, eat ; enjoy what lies before 
you ! God gives and God withholds, as is his plea- 
sure. His power is over all." 

He spoke and burned the consecrated pieces to the 
ever-living gods ; then pouring sparkling wine, he put 
the cup into the hands of city-sacking Odysseus, and 
took his seat by his own portion. Mesaulius passed 
them bread, a man the swineherd had acquired after 
his lord was gone, without assistance from the queen 
or lord Laertes ; with his own means he bought him 
of the Taphians. So on the food spread out before 
them they laid hands. Then after they had stayed 



XIV. 454-483.] THE ODYSSEY. ''2.21 

desire for drink and food, Mesaulius took away the 
bread; and so to sleep, sated with bread and meat, 
they hastened. 

And now the night came on, moonless and foul. 
Zeus rained all night ; and strong the west wind blew, 
a wet wind always. To his companions spoke Odys- 
seus, making trial of the swineherd to see if he would 
pull his own coat off and offer him, or order one of 
the men to give a coat, through love of him. 

" Hearken, Eumaeus, and all you other men, and I 
will boast a bit and tell a story ; for crazy wine so 
bids, which sets a man, even if wise, to singing loud 
and laughing lightly, and makes him dance and brings 
out stories really better left untold. But since I have 
begun to croak, I '11 not be silent. Would I were in 
my prime, my vigor firm, as in the days when we went 
under Troy and set an ambush. Odysseus was our 
captain, and Atreides Menelaus, and with them I was 
third ; for so they ordered. Now when we reached 
the city and the lofty wall, in the thick bushes by the 
citadel, among some reeds and marsh-grass, curled up 
beneath our armor, we laid us down to sleep. An 
ugly night came on, although the north wind fell, 
and bleak it was. From overhead came snow, like 
hoar-frost, cold ; and ice formed on the edges of 
our shields. Then all the other men had coats and 
tunics, and slept in comfort with their shields snug 
round their shoulders. But I at starting foolishly left 
my coat with my companions, because I did not think 
I should be cold at all ; so off I came with nothing 
but my shield and colored doublet. But when it was 
the third watch of the night and the stars crossed the 
zenith, I spoke to Odysseus who was near, nudging 
him with my elbow, and readily he listened : 



228/ THE ODYSSEY. [XIV. 484-517. 



" ' High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, I shall 
not be among the living long. This cold is killing 
me, because I have no coat. Some god beguiled me 
into wearing nothing but my tunic. Now there is no 
escape.' 

" So said I, and he at once had an idea in mind, — 
so ready was he both to plan and fight, — and speaking 
in an undertone he said : ' Keep quiet for the present, 
lest some other Achaean hear.' 

" Then raising his head and resting on his elbow, 
thus he spoke: ' Hark, friends ! A dream from heaven 
came to me in my sleep. Yes, we have come a long- 
way from the ships. Would there were some one here 
to tell Atreides Agamemnon, the shej)herd of the peo- 
ple, to send us more men hither from the fleet.' 

" As he thus spoke, up Thoas sprung, Andraemon's 
son, who, quickly casting off his purple coat, went run- 
ning to the ships. I, in his garment, lay comfortably 
down till gold-throned morning dawned. 

" So would I now w^ere in my prime, my vigor firm ; 
then one of the swineherds of the farm might give a 
coat, through kindness and resjDcct for a deserving man. 
Now they despise me for the sorry clothes I wear." 

Then, swineherd Eum.aeus, you answered him and 
said : " Old man, the boastings you have uttered are 
not ill. You have not spoken an improper or a silly 
word. Therefore you shall not lack for clothes nor 
anything besides which it is fit a hard-pressed sup- 
pliant should find, — at least for now ; to-morrow you 
shall wrap yourself in your own rags. There are not 
many coats and extra tunics here to wear, but sim- 
ply one apiece. But when Odysseus' son returns, he 
wiU give a coat and tunic for your clothing and send 
you where your heart and soul may bid you go." 



XIV. 518-533.] THE ODYSSEY. 229 

So saying, he rose and placed a bed beside the 
fire, and threw upon it skins of sheep and goats. On 
this Odysseus laid him down, and over him Eumaeus 
threw a great shaggy coat which lay at hand as extra 
clothing, to put on when there came a bitter storm. 

So here Odysseus slept, and by his side the young 
men slept, but not the swineherd. A bed here pleased 
him not, thus parted from his swine, but he prepared 
to venture forth. Glad was Odysseus that Eumaeus 
took such care of his estate while he was gone. And 
first Eumaeus slung a sharp-edged sword about his 
sturdy shoidders, put on his storm-proof shaggy coat, 
picked up the fleece of a large full-grown goat, took a 
sharp spear to keep off dogs and men, and went away 
to rest where lay the white-toothed swine under a hol- 
low rock, sheltered from Boreas. 



XV. 

TELEMACHUS AND EUMAEUS. 

Now to spacious Lacedaemon went Pallas Athene 
to seek the noble son of resolute Odysseus, wishing to 
call his home to mind and bid him hasten. She found 
Telemachus and the worthy son of Nestor lying within 
the porch of famous Menelaus. The son of Nestor 
was still wrapped in gentle sleep ; but to Telemachus 
came no welcome sleep, for through the immortal 
night thoughts in his heart about his father kept him 
awake. So clear-eyed Athene, drawing near, addressed 
him thus : 

" Telemachus, it is not well to wander longer far 
from home, leaving your wealth behind and persons 
in your house so insolent as these ; for they may swal- 
low all your wealth, sharing with one another, while 
you are gone a fruitless journey. Nay, with all haste 
urge Menelaus, good at the war-cry, to send you forth, 
that you may find your blameless mother still at 
home. Already her father and her brothers press 
her to wed Eurymachus ; for he excels all suitors 
in his gifts and overtops their dowry. But let her 
not against your will take treasure from your home. 
You know a woman's way : she strives to enrich his 
house who marries her, while of her former children 
and the husband of her youth when he is dead she 
thinks not, and she talks of him no more. Go then 
and put your household in the charge of her among 



XV. 25-57.] THE ODYSSEY. 231 

tlie rnaid^ who seems the best, until the gods grant 
you an honored wife. And let me tell you more ; lay 
it to heart ; by a deliberate plan the leaders of the 
suitors now guard the strait twixt Ithaca and rugged 
Samos, and seek to cut you off before you gain your 
native land. Yet this I think shall never be ; rather 
the earth shall cover some of the suitors who devour 
your living. Still, keep your stanch ship off the islands 
and sail both night and day ; and one of the immor- 
tals who guards and keeps you safe shall send a favor- 
ing breeze. When then you reach the nearest shore 
of Ithaca, send forward to the city your ship and all 
her crew, and go yourself before all else straight to 
the swineherd, who is the keeper of 3^our swine and 
ever loyal. There rest a night, but send the swine- 
herd to the city to bear the news to heedful Penelope 
how you are safe and how you have returned from 
Pylos." 

So saying, Athene passed away to high Olympus. 
But from sweet sleep Telemachus waked Nestor's son, 
touching him with his heel, and thus addressed him : 
" Wake, Nestor's son, Peisistratus ! Bring out the 
strong-hoofed horses and yoke them to the car, that 
we may make our journey." 

Then Nestor's son, Peisistratus, made answer : 
" Telemachus, we cannot, eager for the journey though 
we are, drive in the dusky night. It will be morning 
soon. Wait then awhile until the royal son of Atreus, 
the spearman Menelaus, brings his gifts, places them 
in the chariot, and sends us forth with cheering 
words upon our way. For a guest remembers all his 
days the hospitable man who showed him kindness." 

He spoke, and soon the gold-throned morning came ; 
and Menelaus, good at the war-cry, now drew near, 



232 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 58-91. 

just risen from bed by fair-haired Helen. When the 
son of Odysseus spied him, in haste he girt his glossy 
tunic round his body, and threw a great cloak round 
his sturdy shoulders. So forth he went and drawing 
near thus spoke Telemachus, the son of princely 
Odysseus : 

" Ο son of Atreus, heaven-descended Menelaus, 
leader of hosts, now at last let me go to my own native 
land ; for my heart longs for home." 

Then answered Menelaus, good at the war-cry: 
*' Telemachus, I will not keep you longer if you desire 
to go. I blame a host if over-kind, or over-rude. 
Better, good sense in all things. It is an equal fault 
to thrust away the guest who does not care to go, and 
to detain the impatient. Best make the stranger wel- 
come while he stays, and speed him when he wishes. 
But wait until I bring you gifts and place them in 
your chariot, beautiful gifts, as you yourself shall see. 
And let me bid the maids jirepare a meal here in the 
hall from our abundant stores. It brings dignity and 
honor and benefit besides to feast before joii travel 
along the boundless earth. Then if you choose to 
make a tour through Hellas and mid-Argos, so far I 
wiU attend you ; for I will yoke my horses and guide 
you through the towns. No one will send us empty 
off, but each will give some single thing to bear away, 
a brazen tripod, caldron, pair of mules or golden 
goblet.*' 

Then again answered him discreet Telemachus : 
" Ο son of Atreus, heaven-descended Menelaus, leader 
of hosts, at present I had rather go to m}^ own home, 
for I left behind at starting no guardian of my goods ; 
so while I seek my godlike father, I may myself be 
lost, or else may lose out of my house some valued 
treasure." 



XV. 92-124.] THE ODYSSEY. 233 

IVhen Menelaus, good at the war-cry, heard his 
words, he straightway bade his wife and maids pre- 
pare a meal there in the hall from his abundant 
stores. And now the son of Boethotis, Eteoneus, en- 
tered, just risen from his bed ; for he lived not far 
away. Menelaus, good at the war-cry, told him to 
light the fire and roast the meat ; and when he heard, 
he did not disobey. Menelaus himself, meanwhile, 
went down to a fragrant chamber ; yet not alone, 
for Helen went and Megapenthes. And when they 
came where lay his treasure, the son of Atreus took 
a double cup and ordered Megapenthes to bring a 
silver bowl, while Helen lingered by the chests where 
were the embroidered robes which she herself had 
wrought. Out of these robes the royal lady, Helen, 
drew forth one to bear away, one handsomest in work 
and largest, which sparkled like a star ; it lay be- 
neath the others. Then forth they hastened through 
the palace till they found Telemachus, whom light- 
haired Menelaus thus addressed : 

" Telemachus, as your heart hopes, may Zeus, the 
thunderer, husband of Here, grant you a safe return I 
And out of all the gifts stored in my house as treas- 
ures, I will give you that which is most beautiful and 
precious : I will give a well- wrought bowl. It is of 
solid silver, its rim finished with gold, the work of 
Hephaestus. Lord Phaedimus, the king of the Si- 
donians, gave it to me, when his house sheltered me 
upon my homeward way. And now to you I gladly 
give it." 

So saying, the lordly son of Atreus put in his hands 
the double cup. Then the bright silver bowl strong 
Megapenthes brought and set before him, while at his 
side stood fair-cheeked Helen, holding the robe, and 
thus she spoke and said : 



234 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 125-155. 

" I too, dear child, will give a gift, this keepsake 
from the hands of Helen against the wished-for wed- 
ding time, for your wife then to wear. Meanwhile, 
in your good mother's charge lay it away at home : 
and may you with rejoicing reach your stately house 
and native land." 

So saying, she laid it in his hands; he took it 
and was glad. Then lord Peisistratus put in the 
chariot box the gifts as he received them, viewing 
them all with wonder. Light-haired Menelaus led 
them to the house, where they took seats on benches 
and on chairs. Now water for the hands a servant 
brought in a beautiful pitcher, made of gold, and 
poured it out over a silver basin for their washing, and 
spread a polished table by their side. And the grave 
housekeeper brought bread and placed before them, 
setting out food of many a kind, freely giving of her 
store. The son of Boethous, too, carved meat and 
passed them portions, and the son of famous Mene- 
laus poured their wine : and on the food spread out 
before them they laid hands. Then after they had 
stayed desire for drink and food, Telemachus and 
Nestor's gallant son harnessed the horses, mounted 
the gay chariot, and off they drove from porch and 
echoing portico. After them came the son of Atreus, 
light-haired Menelaus, in his right hand a golden cup 
of cheering wine, for them to pour at starting. He 
stopped before the horses and pledging them he said : 

" A health to you, young men ! And say the same 
to Nestor, the shepherd of the people ; for he was kind 
to me as any father those days we young Achaeans 
were in the war at Troy." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Even 
as you say, Ο heaven - descended prince, when we 



XV. 156-184.] THE ODYSSEY. 235 

arrive we will report all these your words. And 
would that coming home to Ithaca, I there might find 
Odysseus in my home, and so might say how after 
meeting every kindness here with you I went my way 
and carried many precious treasures with me ! " 

On his right, as he was speaking, flew an eagle, 
bearing in his claws a large white goose, a tame fowl 
from the yard. People ran shouting after, men and 
women. But as the bird drew near, he darted to the 
right before the horses. All saw it and were glad, 
and in their breasts their hearts grew warm. And 
thus began Peisistratus, the son of Nestor : 

" Think, heaven - descended Menelaus, leader of 
hosts ! Is it we to whom God shows this sign, or is it 
you?" 

He spoke and valiant Menelaus pondered, doubting 
what he should think and rightly answer. But long- 
robed Helen, taking up the word, spoke thus : 
" Hearken and I will prophesy such things as the im- 
mortals bring to mind, things which I think will hap- 
pen. As the eagle caught the goose, — she, fattened 
in the house ; he, coming from the hills where he was 
born and bred, — so shall Odysseus, through many 
woes and wanderings, come home and take revenge. 
Even now, perhaps, he is at home, sowing the seeds of 
ill for aU the suitors." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Zeus 
grant it so, he the loud thunderer, husband of Here ! 
Then would I there too, as to any god, give thanks to 
you." 

He spoke and laid the lash upon the horses, and 
very quickly they started toward the plain, hastening 
through the city ; and all day long they shook the 
yoke they bore between them. 



236 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 185-214. 

Now the sun sank and all the ways grew dark; 
and the men arrived at Pherae, before the house of 
Diodes, the son of Orsilochus, whose father was Al- 
pheius. There for the night they rested ; he gave them 
entertainment. Then as the early rosy-fingered dawn 
appeared, they harnessed the horses, mounted the gay 
chariot, and off they drove from porch and echoing 
portico. Telemachus cracked the whij) to start, and 
not unwillingly the pair flew off, and by and by they 
came to the steep citadel of Pylos. Then said Tele- 
machus to Nestor's son : 

" Ο son of Nestor, could you give and perform the 
promise I shall ask ? Friends from of old we call 
ourselves, because of our fathers' friendship. Besides, 
we are alike in years, and this our journey will make 
the tie more close. Do not then, heaven-descended 
prince, take me beyond my ship, but leave me there ; 
for fear old Nestor, eager for kindness, detain me at 
his house against my will, when I should hasten on." 

So he spoke, and the son of Nestor doubted within 
his heart if he could rightly give and perform the 
promise. Yet on reflecting thus, it seemed the better 
way. He turned his horses toward the swift ship 
and shore, took out and set by the ship's stern the 
goodly gifts, — the clothing and the gold which Mene- 
laus gave, — and hastening Telemachus, spoke thus in 
winged words : 

" Quickly embark and summon all your crew be- 
fore I reach my home and tell old Nestor ; for in my 
mind and heart full well I know how stern his temper 
is. He will not let you go ; he will himself come here 
and call you. 1 tell you, too, go back he will not 
empty-handed ; for he will be very angry, notwith- 
standing what you say." 



XV. 215-245.] THE ODYSSEY. 237 

So saying, he drove his full-maned horses to the 
town of Pylos, and quickly reached the palace. But 
Telemachus, inspiriting his crew, called to them thus : 
" Put all the gear in order, friends, on the black ship ; 
and come aboard yourselves and let us make our 
journey." 

So he spoke, and willingly they heeded and obeyed ; 
quickly they came on board and took their places at 
the pins. 

With these things he was busied, and now by the 
ship's stern was making j)rayers and offerings to 
Athene, when up there came a wanderer, exiled from 
Argos through having killed a man. He was a seer, 
and of the lineage of Melampus. In former times Me- 
lampus lived at Pylos, the mother-land of flocks, and 
had a very wealthy home among the Pylians. Then 
he went to a land of strangers and departed from his 
country, flying from high-souled Neleus, lordliest of 
living men, who for a full year held by force his 
great possessions. He meanwhile in the halls of 
Phylacus was kept in bitter bondage and suffered 
great distress, because of the daughter of Neleus and 
the delusion deep which the divine sharp-scourging 
fury brought his mind. But he escaped his doom 
and drove the bellowing oxen from Phylace to Pylos ; 
and punishing matchless Neleus for his disgraceful 
deed, he brought the maiden home to be his brother's 
wife. So he came to a land of strangers, grazing 
Argos, where afterwards he was to live, sovereign of" 
many Argives. And here he took a wife and built a 
high-roofed house, and he begot two sturdy sons, An- 
tiphates and Mantius. Antiphates again begot brave 
Oicles, and Oicles Amphiaraiis, the summoner of 
hosts, whom Zeus the aegis-bearer and A polio tenderly 



238 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 246-277. 

loved, and showed him every favor ; and yet he did 
not reach the threshold of old age, but died at Thebes, 
destroyed by woman's bribes. To him were born two 
sons, Alcmaeon and Amphilochus. Now Mantius 
begot Cleitus and Polypheides ; but gold - throned 
dawn took Cleitus, by reason of his beauty, to dwell 
with the immortals. Of eager Polypheides Apollo 
made a seer, the best among mankind when Amphia- 
raiis died. Quarrelling with his father, he withdrew 
to Hyperesia ; and there he dwelt and prophesied for 
all men. 

It was his son drew near, named Theoclymenus, 
and stood before Telemachus. He found him making 
offerings and prayers beside the swift black ship : and 
speaking in winged words he said : 

" Friend, since I find you offering burnt-offerings 
here, by these offerings and the god I will entreat 
you, and by your own life too, and that of those who 
follow: tell truly all I ask. Hold nothing back. 
Who are you ? Of what people ? Where is your 
town and kindred ? " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Well, 
stranger, I will plainly tell you all. By birth I am of 
Ithaca. My father is Odysseus — if ever such there 
were ! But long ago he died, a mournful death ; so 
I, with men and a black ship, am come to gather 
news of my long-absent father." 

Then answered godlike Theoclymenus : " Like you, 
I too am far from home, because I killed a kinsman. 
He has many relatives and friends in grazing Argos, 
and with the Achaeans their influence is large. To 
shun the death and the dark doom which they would 
deal, I flee ; for I must be a wanderer now from tribe 
to tribe. Set me upon your ship, a fugitive and sup- 



XV. 278-307.] THE ODYSSEY. 239 

pliant. Let them not kill me ; for I know they will 
pursue." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : "I shall 
not thrust you forth from the trim ship against your 
will. Nay, follow ! In our land you shall receive 
what we can give." 

So saying he took the brazen spear from Theocly- 
menus and laid it on the deck of the curved ship. Te- 
lemachus himself came on the sea-bound ship and sat 
him in the stern, while by his side sat Theoclymenus. 
The others loosed the cables. And now Telemachus, 
inspiriting his men, bade them lay hold upon the tac- 
kling, and they busily obeyed. Raising the pine-wood 
mast, they set it in the hollow socket, binding it firm 
with forestays, and tightened the white sail with 
twisted ox-hide thongs. And a favorable wind clear- 
eyed Athene sent, which swept with violence along the 
sky, so that the scudding ship might swiftly make her 
way through the salt ocean water. Thus on they ran, 
past Crouni and the pleasant streams of Chalcis. The 
sun was setting and the ways were growing dark as 
the ship drew near to Pheae, driven by the breeze of 
Zeus ; then on past sacred Elis where the Epeians rule. 
From here Telemachus steered for the Pointed Isles, 
uncertain if he should escape from death or fall a 
prey. 

Meanwhile at the lodge Odysseus and the noble 
swineherd were eating supper, and with them supped 
the others. And after they had stayed desire for 
drink and food, thus spoke Odysseus, — making trial 
of the swineherd, to see if he would longer give him 
a hearty welcome and urge his staying at the farm, or 
if he would send him straightway to the town : 

" Hearken, Eumaeus and all you other men ! I 



240 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 308-342. 

want to go to-morrow to beg about tlie town, for fear I 
burden you and these your men. Only direct me 
well, and give me a trusty guide to show the way. . 
Once in the city, I must wander by myself, and 
hope some man λυΙΙΙ give a cup and crust. And if I 
come to the house of princely Odysseus, there I will 
tell my tale to heedful Penelope and join the auda- 
cious suitors, who might perhaps give me a meal; 
since they have great abundance. Soon I could serve 
them well in all they want. For let me tell you this, 
and do you mark and listen : by favor of the Guide- 
god, Hermes, who lends the grace and dignity to all 
the deeds of men, in servants' work I have no equal, 
— in laying a fire well, splitting dry wood, carving 
and roasting meat, and pouring wine, — indeed, in all 
the ways that poor men serve their betters." 

Then deeply moved said you, swineherd Eumaeus ; 
" Why, stranger, how came such a notion in your 
mind ? You certainly must long to die that very in- 
stant when you consent to plunge into the throng of 
suitors, whose arrogance and outrage reach to the 
iron heavens. Their servants are not such as you ; 
but younger men, well dressed in coats and tunics, 
ever with glossy heads and handsome faces, are they 
who do them service. Their polished tables are laden 
with bread and meat and wine. No, stay with us ! 
Nobody is disturbed that you are here, not I myself, 
uor any one of these my men. And when Odysseus' 
son returns, he will give a coat and tunic for your 
clothing and send you where your heart and soul may 
bid you go." 

Then answered him long -tried royal Odysseus: 
" May you, Eumaeus, be as dear to father Zeus as now 
to me, for having stopped m,y wandering and saved 



XV. a43-376.] THE ODYSSEY. 241 

me bitter woe. Nothing is harder for a man than 
restless roaming. 'T is for the cursed belly's sake that 
men meet cruel ills when wandering, misfortune, and 
distresses come. Yet while you keep me here, bidding 
me wait your master, pray tell me of the mother of 
princely Odysseus, and of his father, whom when he 
went away he left behind on the threshold of old age. 
Are they still living in the sunshine, or are they now 
already dead and in the house of Hades ? " 

Then said to him the swineherd, the overseer : 
" AVell, stranger, I will plainly tell you all. Laertes 
is still living, but ever prays to Zeus to let life leave 
his limbs here at his home ; for he mourns exceedingly 
his absent son and the early-wedded trusty wife whose 
death distressed him sorely and brought him into pre- 
mature old age. In sorrow for her famous son, she 
pined away — a piteous death ! May none die so who 
dwells with me, who is my friend and does me kind- 
ness. While she still lived, much as she suffered, 
pleasant it was to ask for her and make inquiries ; for 
it was she who brought me up with long-robed Cti- 
mene, her stately daughter, the youngest child she 
bore. With her I was brought up and I was honored 
little less. Then when we reached together the longed- 
for days of youth, they sent Ctimene to Same and 
obtained large wedding gifts, while me my lady dressed 
in coat and tunic, goodly garments, and giving san- 
dals for my feet she sent me to the farm ; yet in her 
heart she loved me more and more. Now all that love 
I lack, though the good gods bless all I undertake. 
By work I get my meat and drink, and give to the 
deserving, but from the queen I cannot win one cheer- 
ing word or deed ; trouble has fallen on the house 
through overbearing men. Yet servants long to speak 



242 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 377-408. 

with their mistress face to face, from her to learn of 
all, with her to eat and drink, and then take some- 
thing also to the fields. Such things make servants' 
hearts grow warm." 

Then answering said wise Odysseus : " Swineherd 
Eumaeus, certainly when you were small you must 
have wandered far from home and kindred. Tell me 
about it ; tell me plainly too. Was the wide-wayed 
city of your people sacked, the city where your father 
and honored mother dwelt ? Or when you were alone 
among your sheep and cattle, did foemen take you on 
their ships and bring you across the sea to the palace 
of a man who paid a proper price ? " 

Then said to him the swineherd, the overseer : 
" Stranger, since now you ask of this and question 
me, quietly listen ; take your ease, and sit and drink 
your wine. These nights are vastly long. There is time 
enough to sleep, and time to cheer ourselves with hear- 
ing stories. You must not go to bed till bed-time ; too 
much sleeping harms. As for the others here, if any- 
body's heart and liking bids, let him go off and sleep ; 
then early in the morning after eating, let him attend 
his master's swine. But let us drink and feast within 
the lodge and please ourselves with telling one an- 
other tales of piteous ill ; for afterwards a man finds 
pleasure in his pains, when he has suffered long and 
wandered long. So I will tell you what you ask and 
seek to know. 

" There is an island, Syria it is called, — you may 
have heard its name, — above Ortygia, where the sun's 
course turns ; not very thickly settled, good however, 
with excellent flocks and herds and full of corn and 
wine. Into this land dearth never comes, nor any foul 
disease attacks unhappy men ; but when the families 



XV. 409-441.] THE ODYSSEY. 243 

tbrougliout the town grow old, Apollo and Artemis 
come with silver bow and slay them with their gentle 
arrows. Here are two towns and all the land is 
shared between them. Over them both my father 
rnled, Ctesius, son of Ormenus, a man like the im- 
mortals. 

" Thither Phoenicians came, notable men at sea, but 
greedy knaves, with countless trinkets in their black- 
hulled ship. Now in my father's house lived a Phoe- 
nician woman, handsome and tall and skilled in 
dainty work ; and her the wily Phoenicians led astray. 
In the first days, when she was washing clothes beside 
the hollow ship, a man seduced her by love and kind- 
ness ; for these things turn the heads of womankind, 
even the upright too. Then he asked her who she 
was and whence she came ; whereat she pointed 
straightway to my father's high-roofed house. 

" * I boast of being born in Sidon, rich in bronze, 
and am the daughter of Arybas, a man of abounding 
wealth. But Taphian pirates seized me as I wandered 
through the fields, and brought me here across the 
sea to the palace of a man who paid a proper price.' 

" Then said the man who secretly seduced her : ' Re- 
turn then hoQie again with us, to see your father's and 
your mother's high-roofed house, and see them too ; 
for they are living still and still accounted rich.' 

" Then answered him the woman thus and said ; 
' It may be, if you sailors pledge yourselves by oath 
to take me home unharmed.' 

" So she spoke, and they all took the oath which she 
required. Then after they had sworn and ended all 
their oath, once more the woman answered them and 
said : ' Be quiet for the present ! Let none among 
your crew utter a word to me, in meetings on the street 



244 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 442-476. 

or at tlie well, or some one coming to the old king's 
house may tell ; and he, if he understands, will bind 
me in bitter bonds and plot your ruin. So bear in 
mind my words, and press the purchase of your cargo ; 
then when the ship is filled with freight, let a messen- 
ger come quickly to the palace, and I will bring what- 
ever gold I find at hand. Another kind of passage- 
money I would gladly give. At home I tend a child, 
— so bright a boy ! — who runs beside me out of 
doors. Him I might bring on board, and he would 
fetch a mighty sum from any foreign folk you visit.' 

" So saying, she departed to the stately palace. And 
they continued with us all the year, and by their trad- 
ing gathered in their hollow ship large stores. But 
when the hollow ship was freighted to set sail, they 
sent a messenger to tell the woman. This crafty man 
came to my father's house, bringing a golden necklace 
strung with amber beads. The maids about the 
house and my good mother kept fingering the chain, 
and eying it, and offering a price. The man mean- 
while signed to the woman silently, and having given 
his sign departed to the hoUoAV ship. The woman, 
then, taking me by the hand, led me off out of doors. 
In the fore part of the house she found some cups 
and tables, where people had been feasting who waited 
on my father. They were now gone to a public 
gathering and debate. Quickly she hid three gobletb 
in her breast and bore them off. I innocently fol- 
lowed. The sun was setting^ and the roads were o^row- 
ing dark ; but we walked swiftly on and came to the 
well-known harbor where the Phoenicians' sea-bound 
ship was lying. Embarking there, the men set sail 
upon their watery way, making us too embark. Zeus 
sent us wind. Six days we sailed, as well by night as 



XV. 477-508.] THE ODYSSEY. 245 

day ; but when Zeus, the son of Kronos, brought the 
seventh day round, the huntress Artemis struck down 
the woman, and, like a sea-coot, in the hold she 
dropped. They threw her overboard, a prey to seals 
and fishes, and I was left behind with aching heart. 
But wind and water bore us thence and brought us 
here to Ithaca, and here Laertes bought me with his 
substance. This is the way I came to see this land." 

Then thus replied high-born Odysseus : " Eumaeus, 
you have deeply stirred the heart within my breast, 
telling these tales of all the troubles you have borne. 
Yet side by side with evil Zeus surely gave you good, 
since at the end of all your toils you reached the 
house of a kind man who furnishes you food and 
drink in plenty. A comfortable life you lead ; but I 
come here a wanderer through many cities." 

So they conversed together, then lay and slept a 
little while, not long ; for soon came bright-throned 
dawn. 

Meantime, approaching shore, the comrades of Te- 
lemachus slackened their sail, hastily lowered the 
mast, and with their oars rowed the vessel to her 
moorings. Here they cast anchor and made fast the 
cables ; and going forth themselves upon the shore, 
prepared their dinner and mixed the sparkling wine. 
Then after they had stayed desire for food and drink, 
discreet Telemachus thus began : 

" Sail the black-hulled ship, my men, straight to the 
town ; I go to the fields and herdsmen. At evening, 
after looking at the farm, I too will come to town. 
To-morrow I will make you payment for your voyage 
by a bounteous feast of meat and pleasant wine." 

Then up spoke godlike Theoclymenus : " Where 
shall I go, my child? To whose house come, of all 



246 THE ODYSSEY. [XV. 509-53δ. 

the men who rule in rocky Ithaca? Or shall I go 
directly to your mother's house and yours ? " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " At any 
other time I would bid you come to us, because we 
have no lack of means of welcome. But for your- 
self it would be somewhat dreary how. I shall be 
gone, and my mother will not see you ; for she is 
not often seen in the same room with the suitors, but 
in an upper chamber far away she tends her loom. 
But I will name another man to whom you well might 
go : Eurymachus, the illustrious son of skillful Poly- 
bus, whom nowadays the men of Ithaca look upon as 
a god ; for he is certainly the chief man here. He 
much desires to wed my mother and obtain the hon- 
ors of Odysseus. Nevertheless, Olympian Zeus, who 
dwells in the clear sky, knows whether before the 
wedding he wiU set a day of ill." 

Even as he spoke, upon his right there flew a bird, 
a hawk, Apollo's speedy messenger. With his claws 
he tore the dove he held and scattered down its fea- 
thers to the ground, midway between the ship and 
Telemachus himself. Then Theocly menus, calling 
Telemachus aside from his companions, held fast his 
hand and spoke and thus addressed him : 

" Telemachus, not without God's warrant flew this 
bird upon our right. I knew him at a glance to be 
a bird of omen. There is no house in Ithaca more 
kingly than your own ; and you shall always be the 
rulers here." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Ah 
stranger, would these words of yours might be ful- 
filled ! Soon should you know my kindness and many 
a gift from me, and every man you met would call 
you blessed." 



XV. o39-5o7.] THE ODYSSEY, 247 

Then turning to Peiraeus, his good comrade : " Pei- 
raeus, son of Clytius, you always do my bidding best 
of all the men who followed me to Pylos ; so take 
this stranger to your home and treat him kindly, and 
show him honor till the time that I shall come." 

Then answered him Peiraeus, the famous spearman : 
" Telemachus, though you stay long, I still will enter- 
tain him ; no lack of welcome shall there be." 

So saying, Peiraeus went aboard the ship and called 
the crew to come on board and loose the cables. 
Quickly they came and took their places at the pins. 
Telemachus bound to his feet his beautiful sandals 
and took his ponderous spear, tipped with sharp 
bronze, from the ship's deck. The sailors loosed the 
cables and thrusting off the ship sailed to the town, 
as they were ordered by Telemachus, the son of 
princely Odysseus. But him, meanwhile, his feet 
bore swiftly onward until he reached the court where 
were the countless swine with whom the trusty swine- 
herd lodged, still faithful to his master. 



XVI. 

THE RECOGNITION BY TELEMACHUS. 

Meanwhile at the lodge Odysseus and the noble 
swineherd prepared their breakfast in the early dawn, 
before the lighted fire, having already sent the herds- 
men with the droves of swine forth to the fields. 
As Telemachus drew near, the dogs that love to bark 
began to wag their tails, but did not bark. Royal 
Odysseus noticed the dogs wagging their tails, and the 
sound of footsteps reached him ; and straightway to 
Eumaeus he spoke these winged words : 

" Eumaeus, certainly a friend is coming, at least a 
man you know ; for the dogs here do not bark, but 
wag their tails, and I hear the tramp of feet." 

The words were hardly uttered when his own son 
stood in the doorway. In surprise up sprang the 
swineherd, and from his hands the vessels fell with 
which he had been busied, mixing sparkling wine. 
He went to meet his master, and kissed his face, each 
of his beautiful eyes, and both his hands, letting the 
big tears fall. And as a loving father greets the son 
who comes from foreign lands, ten years away, his 
only child, now grown a man, for whom he long has 
sorrowed ; even so the noble swineherd took princely 
Telemachus in his arms and kissed him o'er and o'er, 
as one escaped from death, and sobbing said to him 
in winged words : 

" So you are here, Telemachus, my own sweet light ! 



Χνΐ.23^6.] THE ODYSSEY. 249 

I said I should not see you any more after you went 
away by ship to Pylos. Come in then, child, and let 
me cheer my heart with looking at you, just come from 
far away. You do not often visit the farm and herds- 
men. You tarry in the town ; for nowadays you want 
to watch the wasteful throng of suitors." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " So be 
it, father ! 'T is for ^^our sake I am here, to see you 
with my eyes, and hear you tell if my mother still is 
staying at the hall, or if at last some stranger won 
her, and so Odysseus' bed, empty of occupants, stands 
covered with foul cobwebs." 

Then answered him the swineherd, the overseer; 
" Indeed she stays with patient heart within your 
hall, and wearily the nights and days are wasted with 
her tears." 

So saying, Eumaeus took Telemachus' brazen spear, 
and Telemachus went in and over the stone threshold. 
As he drew near, his father, Odysseus, yielded him 
his seat ; but Telemachus on his part checked him, 
saying : 

" Be seated, stranger. Elsewhere we shall find a 
seat at this our farm. Here is a man will give one." 

He spoke, and his father turned and sat once more ; 
but the swineherd threw green brushwood down and 
on its top a fleece, on which the dear son of Odysseus 
took his seat. And now the swineherd brought plat- 
ters of roasted meat, which those who ate the day 
before had left. Bustling about he heaped bread in 
the baskets, and in an ivy bowl mixed honeyed wine, 
then took a seat himself over against princely Odys- 
seus, and on the food spread out before them they 
laid hands. So after they had stayed desire for drink 
and food, to the noble swineherd said Telemachus : 



250 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 57-89. 

" Father, whence came this stranger ? How did 
his sailors bring him to Ithaca? Whom did they 
call themselves ? For I am sure he did not come on 
foot." 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Well, I will tell you all the truth, my child. 
He calls himself by birth of lowland Crete, but says 
he has come to many cities in his wanderings ; so 
Heaven ordained his lot. Lately he ran away from 
a ship of the Thesprotians and came to my farm here. 
I place him in your charge. Do what you will. He 
calls himself your suppliant." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Eu- 
maeus, truly these are bitter words which you have 
said. How can I take a stranger home ? I am 
myself but young and cannot trust my arm to right 
me with the man who wrongs me first. Moreover my 
mother's feeling wavers, whether to bide beside me 
here and keep the house, and thus revere her hus- 
band's bed and heed the public voice, or finally to 
follow some chief of the Achaeans who woos her in 
the hall with largest gifts. However, since the stranger 
has reached your lodging here, I will clothe him in 
a coat and tunic, goodly garments, give him a two- 
edged sword and sandals for his feet, and I will send 
him where his heart and soul may bid him go. Or, 
if you like, serve him yourself and keep him at the 
farm ; and I will send him clothing and all his food to 
eat, so that he may not burden you and yours. Yon- 
der among the suitors I would not have him go ; for 
they are full of wanton pride. So they might mock 
him, — a cruel grief to me. Hard is it even for a 
powerful man to act against a crowd ; because to- 
gether they are far too strong." 



XVI. 90-125.] THE ODYSSEY. 251 

Then said to him long - tried royal Odysseus: 
" Friend, — for surely I too have a right to answer, 
— my heart is sore at hearing what you say, that suit- 
ors work abomination at the palace against a man 
like you. But tell me, do you willingly submit, or 
are the people of your land adverse to you, led by 
some voice of God ? Or have you any cause to blame 
your brothers, on whom a man relies for aid when 
bitter strifes arise ? Would that, to match my spirit, 
I were young as you, and were the son of good 
Odysseus, or even Odysseus' self, come from his wan- 
derings, as there still is room for hope ; then quickly 
should my foe strike off my head, or I would prove 
the bane of all these suitors when I should cross the 
hall of Laertes' son Odysseus. And should they by 
their number crush me, all single and alone, far 
rather would I die, cut down within my hall, than 
constantly behold disgraceful deeds, strangers abused, 
and damsels dragged to shame through the fair pal- 
ace, wine running waste, men eating up my bread, all 
idly, uselessly, to win what cannot be ! " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Well, 
stranger, I will plainly tell you all. My people as a 
whole bear me no grudge or hate ; nor yet can I blame 
brothers, on whom a man relies for aid when bitter 
strifes arise ; for the son of Kronos made our race 
run in a single line. Arceisius begot a single son 
Laertes ; and he, the single son Odysseus ; Odysseus left 
me here at home, the single son of his begetting, and 
of me had no joy. But bands of evil-minded men 
now fill my house ; for all the nobles who bear sway 
among the islands — Doulichion, Same, and woody 
Zacynthus — and they who have the power in rocky 
Ithaca, all woo my mother and despoil my home. 



252 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 126-159. 

She neither declines the hated suit nor has she power 
to end it, while they with feasting impoverish my 
home and soon will bring me also to destruction. 
However, in the lap of the gods these matters lie. 
But, father, quickly go and say to steadfast Penelope 
that I am safe and have returned from Pylos. I will 
stay here ; do you come hither too ; and tell your tid- 
ings to her only. Let none of the rest of the Achae- 
ans hear ; for many are they that plot against me." 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " I see, I understand ; you speak to one who 
knows. But now declare me this and plainly say, shall 
I go tell Laertes on my way, wretched Laertes, who for 
a time, though grieving greatly for Odysseus, still 
oversaw his fields and with his men at home would 
drink and eat as appetite inclined ; but from the day 
you went by ship to Pylos did never eat nor drink the 
same, they say, nor oversaw his fields, but full of 
moans and sighs sits sorrowing, while the flesh wastes 
upon his bones." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " 'T is 
hard, but though it grieves us, we will let him be ; if 
all that men desire were in their power, the first thing 
we should choose would be the coming of my father. 
No, give your message and return, and do not wander 
through the fields to find Laertes. But tell my mother 
to send forthwith her housemaid thither, yet privately ; 
for to the old man she might bear the news." 

So saying, he dispatched the swineherd, who took 
his sandals, bound them to his feet, and went to town. 
Yet not unnoticed by Athene swineherd Eumaeus left 
the farm ; but she herself drew near in likeness of 
a woman, one fair and tall and skilled in dainty 
work. By the lodge door she stood, visible to Odys- 



XVI. 160-191.] THE ODYSSEY. ' 253 

seus. Telemachus did not glance her way nor notice 
her ; for not to every one do gods appear. Odysseus 
saw her, and the dogs ; yet the dogs did not bark, but 
whining skink away across the place. With her brows 
she made a sign ; royal Odysseus understood, came 
forth from the hall past the great courtyard wall, and 
stood before her, and Athene said : 

" High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, tell 
now your story to your son. Hide it no longer. Then 
ha\dng planned the suitors' death and doom, go for- 
ward both of you into the famous city. And I my- 
self will not be far away, for I am eager for the com- 
bat." 

She spoke and with a golden wand Athene touched 
Odysseus. And first she laid a spotless robe and tunic 
on his body, and then increased his bulk and bloom. 
Again he grew dark-hued ; his cheeks were rounded, 
and dark the beard became about his chin. This 
done, she went away ; and now Odysseus entered the 
lodge. His son was awe-struck and reverently turned 
his eyes aside, fearing it was a god. Then speaking 
in winged words he said : 

" Stranger, you seem a different person now and a 
while ago. Your clothes are different and your flesh 
is not the same. You surely are one of the gods who 
hold the open sky. Nay, then, be gracious ! So will 
we give you grateful offerings and fine-wrought gifts 
of gold. Have mercy on us ! '' 

Then long-tried royal Odysseus answered : "I am 
no god. Why liken me to the immortals ? I am 
your father, him for whom you sighed and suffered 
long, enduring outrage at the hands of men." 

So saying, he kissed his son and down his cheeks 
upon the ground let fall a tear, which always hitherto 



254 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 192-224. 

he sternly had suppressed. But Telemachus — for he 
did not yet believe it was his father, — finding his 
words once more made answer thus : 

" No, you are not Odysseus, not my father ! Some 
god beguiles me, to make me weep and sorrow more. 
No mortal man by his own wit could work such won- 
ders, unless a god came to his aid and by his will made 
him with ease a young man or an old. For lately you 
were old and meanly clad ; now you are like the gods 
who hold the open sky." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Te- 
lemachus, it is not right when here your father stands, 
to marvel overmuch and to be so amazed. Be sure no 
other Odysseus ever will appear ; but as you see me, 
it is I, I who have suffered long and wandered long, 
and now in the twentieth year come to my native 
land. This is the work of the Plunderer, Athene, 
who makes me what she will, — for she has power, 
— now like a beggar, now again a youth in fair attire. 
■^^ Easily can the gods who hold the open sky give glory 
to a mortal man or give him shame." 

So saying, he sat down ; whereat Telemachus, 
throwing his arms round his good father, began to 
sob and pour forth tears, and in them both arose a 
longing of lament. Loud were their cries and more 
unceasing than those of birds, ospreys or crook-clawed 
vultures, when farmers take away their young before 
the wings are grown : so pitifully fell the tears be- 
neath their brows. And daylight had gone doAvn 
upon their weeping, had not Telemachus suddenly 
addressed his father thus : 

" Why, father, by what ship did sailors bring you 
to Ithaca ? Whom did they call themselves ? For I 
am sure you did not come on foot." 



XVI. 225-259.] THE ODYSSEY. 255 

Then said to him long-tried royal Odysseus : " AYell, 
I will tell you, child, the very truth. The Phaeacians 
brought me here, notable men at sea, who pilot others 
too who come their way. They brought me across the 
sea on a swift ship asleep, landed me here in Ithaca 
and gave me glorious gifts, much bronze and gold 
and woven stuff ; which treasures by the gods' com- 
mand are laid away in caves. Here I now am by 
bidding of Athene, that we may plan together the 
slaughter of our foes. Come tell me then the num- 
ber of the suitors, that I may know how many and 
what sort of men they are ; and so, weighing the 
matter in my gallant heart, I may decide if we can 
meet them quite alone, without allies, or whether we 
shall seek the aid of others." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Verily, 
father, I have ever heard your great renown, what a 
warrior you are in arm and what a sage in council. 
But now you speak of something far too vast ; I am 
astonished. Two could not fight a troop of valiant 
men. The suitors number no mere ten, nor twice ten 
either ; many more. You shall soon learn their num- 
ber. From Doulichion, two and fifty chosen youths 
and six attendants ; four and twenty men from Same ; 
from Zacynthus twenty young Achaeans ; twelve out 
of Ithaca itself, all men of mark, with whom are also 
the page Medon and the sacred bard, besides two fol- 
lowers skilled in table service. If we confront all 
these within the hall, bitter and grievous may the 
vengeance be, gained by your coming. So if you pos- 
sibly can think of aid, consider who will aid us now 
whole-heartedly . ' ' 

Then said to him long-tried royal Odysseus : "Nay, 
let me speak, and do you mark and listen. Consider 



256 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 260-294. 

if Athene, joined with father Zeus, suffice for us, or 
shall I seek for other aid ? " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Excel- 
lent helpers are the two you name, who sit among the 
*<^ clouds on high. All else they govern, all mankind 
and the immortal gods." 

Then said to him long-tried royal Odysseus : " Not 
long will they be absent from the mighty fray when 
in my hall betwixt the suitors and ourselves the tug 
of war is tried. But go at early morning straightway 
home, and join the audacious suitors. Thereafter 
the swineherd shall bring me to the city, like an old 
and wretched beggar. And if they treat me rudely 
in my home, let the faithful heart within your breast 
endure what I must bear ; yes, though they drag me 
through the palace by the heels and out of door, or 
hurl their missiles at me, see and be patient still. Bid 
them, however, cease their folly, and with gentle 
words dissuade. They will not heed you, for their 
day of doom draws near. But this I will say farther ; 
mark it well. When wise Athene puts it in my mind, 
then I will nod my head, and you take note. And all the 
fighting gear that lies about the hall do you collect and 
lay in a corner of the lofty chamber, carefully, every 
piece. Then with soft words beguile the suitors when 
they, because they miss it, question you : ' I put it by 
out of the smoke, for it looks no longer like the ar- 
mor which Odysseus left behind when he went away 
to Troy; it is all tarnished, where the scent of fire 
has come nigh. Besides, the son of Kronos brought 
this graver fear to mind. You might when full of 
wine begin a quarrel and give each other wounds, 
making a scandal of the feast and of your wooing. 
Steel itself draws men on.' Yet privily reserve two 



XVI. 295-330. J THE ODYSSEY. 257 

swords, two spears, two leathern shields, for us to 
seize — to rush and seize. And thereuj^on shall Pal- 
las Athene and all- wise Zeus confound the suitors. 
Nay, this I will say farther ; mark it well. If you 
are truly mine, my very blood, then that Odysseus 
now is here let no man know ; let not Laertes learn 
it, let not the swineherd, let none of the household, 
nor Penelope herself. But you and I alone will test 
the temper of the women. And we might also try 
the serving-men, and see who honors and respects us 
in his heart, and who neglects and scorns a man like 
you." 

Then answered him his noble son and said : " My 
father, you shall know my heart, believe me, by and 
by. No laggard thoughts are mine ; and yet I think 
your plan will prove for neither of us gain, and so I 
say : Consider ! Long will you vainly go, trying the 
different men among the farms ; while undisturbed 
within the hall these waste your wealth with reckless- 
ness and do not spare. But I advise your finding out 
the women, and learning who dishonor you and who 
are guiltless. As to the men about the place, I would 
not prove them. Let that at any rate be thought of 
later, when you are really sure of signs from aegis- 
bearing Zeus." 

So they conversed together. But in the mean while 
on to Ithaca ran the stanch ship which brought Te- 
lemachus and all his crew from Pylos. When they 
had entered the deep harbor, they hauled the black- 
hulled ship ashore, and stately squires carried their 
armor and straightway bore the goodly gifts to Cly- 
tius' house. And now they sent a page to the palace 
of Odysseus, to tell the news to heedful Penelope, — 
bow Telemachus was at the farm, but had ordered that 



258 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 331-360• 

the sliij) sail to the city — lest the stately queen should 
be alarmed and shed a tender tear. So the two met, 
the herald and the noble swineherd, while on the seK- 
same errand, bearing tidings to the queen. And when 
they reached the palace of the noble king, the page 
said to Penelope in hearing of her maids : " Ο queen, 
your son has come from Pylos." But the swineherd 
stood beside Penelope and so reported all that her 
dear son had bade him say. Then when he had de- 
livered all his charge, he departed to his swine, and 
left the court and hall. 

But the suitors grew dismayed and downcast in 
their hearts, and came forth from the hall past the 
great courtyard wall and there before the gate sat 
down to council ; and first Eurymachus, the son of 
Polybus, addressed them : 

" Friends, here is a monstrous action impudently 
brought to pass, this journey of Telemachus. We 
said it should not be. Come, then, and let us launch 
the best black ship we have, and get together fisher- 
men for rowers, quickly to carry tidings to our friends, 
and bid them sail for home with all the speed they 
may." 

The words were hardly uttered when Amphinomus, 
turning in his place, sighted the ship in the deep har- 
bor, some of her crew furling the sail and some with 
oars in hand. Then lightly laughing, thus he called 
to his companions : 

" No need to send a message now, for here they are. 
Some god has told the story ; or else they saw the ves- 
sel pass and could not catch her." 

He spoke, and all arose and hastened to the shore. 
Swiftly the black-hulled ship was hauled ashore, and 
stately squires carried their armor. The men them- 



XVI. 361-393.] THE ODYSSEY. 259 

selves went in a body to the assembly and suffered no 
one, either young or old, to join them there ; and thus 
Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son, addressed them : 

" Strange, how the gods help this man out of dan- ^ 
ger ! By day our sentries sat upon the windy heights, 
posted in close succession ; and after sunset, we did 
not pass the night ashore, but sailed our swift ship on 
the sea, awaiting sacred dawn, lying in wait to seize 
and slay Telemachus. Meantime some god has brought 
him home. Then let us here contrive a miserable 
ending for Telemachus, not letting him escape ; for 
while he lives, nothing, be sure, will prosper. He 
is himself shrewd in his thoughts and plans, and peo- 
ple here proffer us no more aid. Come then, be- 
fore he gathers the Achaeans in a council. Back- 
ward he will not be, I know. He will be full of 
Avrath, and rising he will tell to all how we contrived 
his instant death but could not catch him. And 
when men hear our evil deeds, they will not praise 
them ; but they may cause us trouble and drive us 
from our country, and we may have to go away into 
the land of strangers. Let us be quick, then, and 
seize him in the fields far from the city, or on the 
road at least ; and let us take possession of his sub- 
stance and his wealth, sharing all suitably among our- 
selves ; the house, however, we might let his mother 
keep, or him who marries her. If this plan does not 
please you, and you will let him live to hold his 
father's fortune, then let us not devour his store of 
pleasant things by gathering here ; but from his own 
abode let each man make his wooing, and press his 
suit with gifts. So may Penelope marry the man who 
gives her most and comes with fate to favor." 

As he thus spoke, the rest were hushed to silence. 



260 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 394-424. 

But Amphinomus addressed them now and said — 
Amphinomus, the illustrious son of noble Nisus and 
grandson of Aretias, who from Doulichion, rich in 
wheat and grass, had led a band of suitors, and more 
than all the rest found favor with Penelope through 
what he said, because his heart was upright — he with 
good will addressed them thus and said : 

" Nay, friends, I would not like to kill Telemachus. 
It is a fearful thing to kill a king. Let us at least 
first ask the gods for counsel ; and if the oracles of 
mighty Zeus approve, I will myself share in the kill- 
ing and urge the others too ; but if the gods turn from 
us, I warn you to forbear." 

So said Amphinomus, and his saying pleased them. 
Soon they arose and entered the hall of Odysseus, and 
went and took their seats on polished chairs. 

Heedful Penelope, meanwhile, had planned anew to 
show herself among the suitors, overweening in their 
pride. Within the palace she learned of the intended 
murder of her son, for the page Medon told her, who 
overheard the plot ; so to the hall she went with her 
attendant women. And when the royal lady reached 
the suitors, she stood beside a column of the strong- 
built roof, holding before her face her delicate wim- 
ple ; and she rebuked Antinotis and spoke to him and 
said: 

" Antinoiis, full of all insolence and wicked guile, 
in Ithaca they say you are the foremost person of your 
years in judgment and in speech. But such you never 
were. Madman ! Why do you seek the death and 
ruin of Telemachus, and pay no heed to suppliants, 
though Zeus be witness for them ? 'T is impious plot- 
ting crimes against one's fellow men. Do you not 
know your father once took refuge here, in terror of 



XVI. 425-459.] THE ODYSSEY. 261 

the people ? For they were very angry because he 
joined with Taphian pirates and troubled the Thespro- 
tians, men who were our allies. So the people would 
destroy him, — would snatch his life away, and swal- 
low all his large and pleasant living ; but Odysseus 
held them back and stayed their madness. Yet you 
insultingly devour his house ; you woo his wife, mur- 
der his child, and make me wholly wretched. For- 
bear, I charge you, and bid the rest forbear ! " 

Then answered her Eurymachus, the son of Poly- 
bus : " Daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope ; be of 
good courage ! Let not these things vex your mind ! 
The man is not alive, and never will be born, who 
shall lay hands upon your son, Telemachus, so long as 
I have life and sight on earth. For this I tell you, 
and it shall be done : soon the dark blood of such a 
man shall flow around my spear. Many a time the 
spoiler of towns, Odysseus, has set me on his knee, 
put roasted meat into my hands and given me ruddy 
wine. Therefore I hold Telemachus dearest of all 
mankind. I bid him have no fear of death, at least 
not from the suitors. Death from the gods can no 
man shun." 

So he spoke, cheering her, yet was himself plotting 
the murder. But she, going to her bright upper cham- 
ber, bewailed Odysseus, her dear husband, till on her 
lids clear-eyed Athene caused a sweet sleep to fall. ^ 

At evening the noble swineherd joined Odysseus 
and his son. Busily they prepared their supper, hav- 
ing killed a yearling pig. And Athene, drawing 
near, touched with her wand Laertes' son, Odysseus, 
and made him old once more and clad him in mean 
clothes; for fear the swineherd looking in his face 
might know, and go and tell the tale to steadfast 
Penelope, not holding fast the secret in his heart. 



262 THE ODYSSEY. [XVI. 460-481. 

Now Telemaclius first addressed tlie swineherd, say- 
ing : " So you are come, noble Eumaeus. What news 
then in the town ? Are the haughty suitors at home 
again after their ambuscade, or are they watching still 
for me to pass ? " 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " I had no mind to search and question while 
stumbling through the town. My inclination bade 
me to tell my message with all speed and hasten home. 
There overtook me, though, an eager newsman of 
your crew, a page, who told his story to your mother 
first. Moreover, this I know, because I saw it : I was 
already on the road above the town, where stands the 
hill of Hermes, when I saw a swift ship entering our 
harbor. A crowd of men were on her. Heavy she 
was with shields and double-pointed spears. 'T was 
they, I thought, and yet I do not know." 

As he thus spoke, revered Telemachus smiled, and 
glancing at his father shunned the swineherd's eye. 

Now ceasing from their labor of laying out the 
meal, they fell to feasting. There was no lack of ap- 
petite for the impartial feast. And after they had 
stayed desire for drink and food, they turned toward 
bed and took the gift of sleep. 



χνπ. 

THE RETURN OF TELEMACHUS TO ITHACA. 

Soon as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
Telemachus, the son of princely Odysseus, bound to 
his feet his goodly sandals, took the ponderous spear 
which fitted well his hand, and setting off to town, 
addressed his swineherd thus : 

" Father, I go to the city to let my mother see me ; 
for I know she will not cease from gloomy grief and 
crying until she sees my very self. This charge I lay 
on you : bring the poor stranger to the city, to beg his 
living there ; and whosoever will shall give a cup and 
crust. I cannot put up all ; my heart is full of trou- 
ble. And if the stranger chafes at this, so much the 
worse for him. I like to speak the truth." 

But wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Friend, 
I do not care to tarry here. Better a beggar should 
beg his living in the town than in the fields ; and he 
who will may give ; for I am now too old to stay about 
a farm and answer all the orders of an overseer. Go 
then your way ; this man shall be my guide, even 
as you bid, when I have warmed me at the fire and 
when the sunshine comes. The clothes I wear are 
miserably bad, and the early frost may harm me ; the 
town is far, they say." 

He spoke, and through the farm-stead passed Tele- 
machus, mo\dng with rapid stride and somng seeds 
of evil for the suitors. And when he reached his 



264 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 27-62. 

stately dwelling, he took his spear and set it up by a 
tall pillar, while he himself went farther in and over 
the stone threshold. 

His nurse was first to see him, Eurycleia, now busy 
spreading fleeces on the carven chairs. With a 
burst of tears she came straight forward ; and other 
maids of hardy Odysseus gathered round and fondly 
kissed his face and neck. Then from her chamber 
came heedful Penelope, like Artemis or golden Aphro- 
dite. Round her dear son, weeping, she threw her 
arms, and kissed his face and both his beauteous eyes, 
and sobbing said to him in winged words : 

" So you are come, Telemachus, my own sweet 
light ! I said I should not see you any more after 
you went away by ship to Pylos, so secretly, with no 
consent of mine, to hear about your father. Come 
then and tell me all you chanced to see." 

But wise Telemachus made answer : " My mother, 
do not stir my tears nor move my heart within, for I 
am only now escaped from utter ruin. But bathe, and 
putting on fresh garments, go to your upper chamber 
with your maids, and vow to pay full hecatombs to all 
the gods if Zeus some day will grant us deeds of ven- 
geance. But I will go to the market-place to call a 
stranger who joined me on my journey here from 
Pylos. I sent him forward with my gallant crew and 
bade Peiraeus take him home and entertain him well 
and give him honor till the time that I should come." 

Such were his words ; unwinged, they rested with 
her. Bathing, and putting on fresh garments, she 
vowed to all the gods to pay full hecatombs if Zeus 
some day would grant her deeds of vengeance. 

Presently through the hall forth went Telemachus, 
his spear in hand, two swift dogs following after ; and 



XVII. 63-95.] THE ODYSSEY. 265 

marvelous was the grace Athene cast about him, that 
all the people gazed as he drew near. And round him 
flocked the haughty suitors, kind in their talk but in 
their hearts brooding on evil. He turned aside from 
the great company of these and off where Mentor 
sat with Antiphus and Halitherses, who were of old 
his father's friends, he went and sat him down ; and 
much they questioned. Peiraeus, the famous spear- 
man, now drew near, leading the stranger through the 
city to the market-place. Not long then from his 
guest delayed Telemachus, but came to meet him; 
though Peiraeus was the first to speak and say : 

" Telemachus, quickly send women to my house, 
and let me send to you what Menelaus gave." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Peiraeus, 
as yet we do not know how matters here will be. 
Suppose the haughty suitors at the palace should slay 
me privily and share my father's goods, I had rather 
you yourself should keep and enjoy the gifts than 
any one of these. But if I sow for these men death 
and doom, when I am merry merrily fetch all here." 

So saying, he led the way-worn stranger home. 
And entering the stately buildings, they threw their 
coats upon the couches and the chairs, and went to the 
polished baths and bathed. And when the maids had 
bathed them and anointed them with oil, and put 
upon them fleecy coats and tunics, out of the baths 
they came and sat upon the couches. And water for 
the hands a servant brought in a beautiful pitcher 
made of gold, and poured it out over a silver basin 
for their washing, and spread a polished table by 
their side. Then the grave housekeeper brought 
bread and placed before them, setting out food of 
many a kind, freely giving of her store. The mother 



266 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 96-133. 

of Telemaclius sat on the farther side, by a cokimn of 
the hall, resting upon a couch, spinning fine threads 
of yarn. So on the food spread out before them they 
laid hands. And after they had stayed desire for 
drink and food, then thus began heedful Penelope : 

" Telemachus, I go to my upper chamber and lay 
me on my bed, — which has become for me a bed of 
sorrows, ever watered with my tears since Odysseus 
went away to Ilios with the Atreidae, — because you 
did not deign before the haughty suitors entered, 
plainly to tell what tidings you have heard about your 
father's coming." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Nay, 
mother, I will tell you all the truth. We went to 
Pylos, to Nestor, the shepherd of the people. And 
he, receiving me within his lofty palace, gave me such 
hearty welcome as a father gives his child when lately 
come from far, after long time away ; so heartily he 
entertained me, he and his noble sons. Of hardy 
Odysseus, he said he had not heard from any man on 
earth, if he were alive or dead. But with horses and 
a strong-built chariot he sent me to the son of Atreus, 
to the spearman Menelaus. There I saw Argive 
Helen, her in behalf of whom Argives and Trojans 
bore so much at the gods' bidding. And Menelaus, 
good at the war-cry, soon asked me on what errand I 
came to royal Lacedaemon. I told him all the truth. 
And then he answered thus and said to me : ' Hea- 
vens! In a very brave man's bed they sought to lie, 
the weaklings ! As when in the den of a strong lion 
a hind has laid asleep her new-born sucking fawns, 
then roams the slopes and grassy hollows seeking food, 
and by and by into his lair the lion comes and on both 
hind and fawns brings ghastly doom ; so shall Odys- 



XVII. 131-163.] THE ODYSSEY. 267 

seus bring a ghastly doom on these. Ah father Zeus, 
Athene, and Apollo ! if with the power he showed one 
day in stately Lesbos, when he rose and wrestled in a 
match with Philomeleides, and down he threw him 
heavily while the Achaeans all rejoiced, — if as he 
was that day Odysseus now might meet the suitors, 
they all would find quick turns of fate and bitter 
rites of marriage. But as to what you ask thus 
urgently, I wiU not turn to talk of other things and 
so deceive you ; but what the unerring old man of 
the sea told me, in not a word will I disguise or hide 
from you. He said he saw Odysseus on an island, in 
great distress, at the hall of the nymph Calypso, who 
holds him there by force. No power has he to reach 
his native land, for he has no ships fitted with oars, 
nor crews to bear him over the broad ocean-ridges.' 
So said the son of Atreus, the spearman Menelaus. 
And this accomplished, back I sailed ; the gods gave 
breezes and brought me swiftly to my native land." 

So he spoke, and stirred the heart within her breast. 
But god-like Theoclymenus addressed them thus ; " Ο 
honored wife of Laertes' son Odysseus, certainly Me- 
nelaus did not know the truth. Listen instead to 
words of mine ; for I will plainly prophesy and not 
conceal. First then of all the gods be witness Zeus, 
and let this hospitable table and the hearth of good 
Odysseus whereto I come be witness ; Odysseus is al- 
ready within his native land, — biding his time or 
moving, — and, understanding all these wicked deeds, 
is sowing seeds of ill for all the suitors. As proof, 
while on the well-benched ship I marked a bird of 
omen, and I announced it to Telemachus." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Ah stranger, 
would these words of yours might be fulfilled ! Soon 



268 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 164-196. 

should you know my kindness and many a gift from 
me, and every man you met woukl call you blessed." 

So they conversed together. Meanwhile before the 
palace of Odysseus the suitors were making merry, 
throwing the discus and the hunting-spear upon the 
level pavement, holding riot as of old. But now when 
it was dinner-time, and from the fields around the 
flocks returned, — the shepherds leading who were 
wont to lead, — then Medon spoke ; a man most loved 
of all the pages, one who was ever present at their 
feasts : 

" Now, lads, since all your hearts are cheered vrith 
sports, come to the house and let us lay the table. 
One's dinner at the proper time is no bad thing." 

He spoke, and up they sprang and went to heed his 
words. And entering the stately buildings, they threw 
their coats upon the couches and chairs, and they be- 
gan to kill great sheep and fatted goats, to kill sleek 
pigs and the heifer of the herd, and so to make their 
meal. 

Meanwhile at the farm Odysseus and the noble 
swineherd were making ready to depart to town. And 
thus began the swineherd, the overseer : " Stranger, 
so you desire to go to town to-day, just as my master 
ordered, though I myself would rather leave you as a 
watchman for the farm ; but of him I stand in fear 
and awe, lest he hereafter chide me. Hard is a mas- 
ter's censure. Come then and let us go. The day is 
passing. It will be colder by and by toward night." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " I 
see, I understand ; you speak to one who knows. Let 
us go on, and all the way be you my guide. But give 
me a stick, if you have one cut, to lean upon ; for 
you said the road was very rough." 



XVII. 197-229.] THE ODYSSEY. 269 

He spoke, and round his shoulders slung his misera- 
ble wallet, full of holes, which hung upon a cord. 
Eumaeus gave the staff desired, and so the two set 
forth ; but dogs and herdsmen stayed behind to keep 
the farm. On to the town Eumaeus led his lord, like 
an old and wretched beggar, leaning upon a staff. 
Upon his back were miserable clothes. 

Now as they walked along the rugged road, near- 
ing the city, they reached a stone-built fountain, run- 
ning clear, from which the towns -folk draw their 
water, a fountain made by Ithacus, by Neritus and 
Polyctor. There was a grove of stream-fed poplars, 
encircling it, and from the rock above ran the cool 
water, while at the top was built an altar to the 
nymphs, where all who passed made offerings. Here 
the son of Dolius, Melantheus, met them, driving the 
goats that were the best of all the flock, to make the 
suitors' dinner. Two herdsmen followed after. See- 
ing Eumaeus and Odysseus, he broke into abuse ; and 
speaking to them, used rude and indecent words, which 
stirred Odysseus' blood : 

" Now sure enough the vile man leads the vile ! 
As ever, god brings like and like together ! Where 
are you carrying that glutton, you good-for-nothing 
swineherd, that nasty beggar to make mischief at 
our feasts ? A man to stand and rub his back on 
many doors and tease for scraps of food, but not for 
swords and caldrons. If you would let me have him 
for a watchman at my farm, to be a stable-cleaner 
and fetch fodder to the kids, he might by drinking 
whey grow a big thigh. But no ! For he has learned 
bad ways and will not turn to work. He will prefer 
to beg about the town, teasing for stuff to feed his 
greedy maw. But this I tell you, and it shall be 



270 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 230-259. 

done : if he comes near the house of princely Odys- 
seus, many a footstool from men's hands flying around 
his head his ribs shall rub, as he is knocked about the 
house." 

He spoke, and as he passed recklessly kicked Odys- 
seus on the hip, but did not force him from the 
pathway. Fixed he stood. Odysseus doubted whether 
to spring and with his cudgel take his life, or to lift 
him in the air and dash his head upon the ground. 
But he was patient, and by thought restrained him- 
self. And now the swineherd, looking him in the 
face, rebuked the man and stretching forth his hands 
prayed thus aloud : 

" Nymphs of the fountain, daughters of Zeus, if ever 
Odysseus burned on thy altars thighs of lambs and 
kids, and wrapped them in rich fat, grant this my 
prayer ! May he return and Heaven be his guide ! 
Then would he scatter all the smartness you now reck- 
lessly assume, roaming continually around the town, 
while careless herdsmen let the flock decay." 

Then answered him Melanthius the goatherd : " So, 
so! How the cur talks, as if he knew some magic 
arts ! Some day I '11 take hiib on a black and well- 
benched ship far off from Ithaca, and get me a great 
fortune. Oh that Apollo of the silver bow would 
smite Telemachus at home to-day, or let him fall be- 
fore the suitors, as certainly as for Odysseus, far in 
foreign lands, the day of coming home is lost ! " 

So saying, he left them slowly plodding on, and off 
he went and soon he came to the king's palace. He en- 
tered at once and took his seat among the suitors over 
against Eurymachus, for he liked him best of all. 
Then those who served passed him a portion of the 
meat, while the grave housekeeper brought bread and 



XVII. 260-292.] THE ODYSSEY. 271 

set before him, for him to eat. Meantime Odysseus 
and the noble swineherd halted as they drew near, 
while round them came notes of the hollow lyre; 
for Phemius lifted up his voice to sing before the 
suitors. And taking the swineherd by the hand, 
Odysseus said : 

" Surely, Eumaeus, this is the goodly palace of Odys- 
seus, easy to notice even among many. Building joins 
building here. The court is built with wall and cor- 
nice, and a double gate protects. No man may scorn 
it. I notice too that a great company are banqueting 
within ; for the savory steam mounts up, and in the 
house resounds the lyre, made by the gods the fellow 
of the feast." 

And, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " You notice quickly, dull of thought in no- 
thing. Come then and let us plan what we must do. 
You enter the stately buildings first and mingle with 
the suitors, while I stay here behind ; or if you like, 
wait you, and I will go. But do not linger long, or 
somebody may spy you at the door and throw a stone 
or strike you. Take care, I say ! " 

Then long-tried royal Odysseus answered : " I see, 
I understand ; you speak to one who knows. But go 
you on before, I will stay here behind : for I am not 
unused to blows and missiles. Stanch is my soul ; 
for many dangers have I borne from waves and war. 
To those let this be added. Yet I cannot disregard a 
gnawing belly, the j)est which brings so many ills to 
men. To ease it, timbered ships are fitted and carry 
woe to foemen over barren seas." 

So they conversed together. But a dog lying near 
lifted his head and ears. Argos it was, the dog of 
hardy Odysseus, whom long ago he reared but ncA^er 



272 THE ODYSSEY. [XYII. 293-327. 

used. Before the dog was grown, Odysseus went to 
sacred Ilios. In the times past young men would take 
him on the chase, for wild goats, deer, and hares ; but 
now he lay neglected, his master gone away, upon the 
pile of dung which had been dropped before the door 
by mules and oxen, and which lay there in a heap for 
slaves to carry off and dung the broad lands of Odys- 
seus. Here lay the dog, this Argos, full of fleas. Yet 
even now, seeing Odysseus near, he wagged his tail 
and dropped both ears, but toward his master he had 
not strength to move. Odysseus turned aside and 
wiped away a tear, swiftly concealing from Eumaeus 
what he did ; then straightway thus he questioned : 

" Eumaeus, it is strange this dog lies on the dung- 
hill. His form is good ; but I am not sure if he has 
speed of foot to match his beauty, or if he is merely 
what the table-dogs become which masters keep for 
show." 

And, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him anrl 
said : " Aye truly, that is the dog of one who died 
afar. If he were as good in form and action as when 
Odysseus left him and went away to Troy, you would 
be much surprised to see his speed and strength. For 
nothing could escape him in the forest-depths, no crea- 
ture that he started ; he was keen upon the scent. 
Now he has come to ill. In a strange land his master 
perished, and the slack women give him no more care ; 
for slaves, when masters lose control, will not attend to 
duties. Ah, half the value of a man far-seeing Zeus 
destroys when the slave's lot befalls him ! " 

So saying, he entered the stately house and went 
straight down the hall among the lordly suitors. But 
upon Argos fell the doom of darksome death when he 
beheld Odysseus, twenty years away. 



XVII. 328-357.] THE ODYSSEY. 273 

By far the first to see the swineherd as he walked 
along the hall was princely Telemachus, and he quick- 
ly gave a nod to call him to his side. Glancing 
around, Eumaeus took a stool which stood at hand, 
where the carver sat at feasts within the hall when 
carving for the suitors the many joints of meat ; car- 
rying the stool to the table of Telemachus, he placed 
it on the farther side and there sat down. And then 
a page took up a dish of meat and passed it, and from 
the basket gave him also bread. 

Close following after, Odysseus entered the palace, 
like an old and wretched beggar leaning upon a stafP. 
Upon his back were miserable clothes. He sat down 
on the ash-wood threshold just within the door, lean- 
ing against the cypress post which long ago the car- 
penter had smoothed with skill and leveled to the line. 
But to the swineherd said Telemachus, calling him to 
his side and taking a whole loaf from the goodly bas- 
ket and also all the meat his hands stretched wide 
would hold : 

" Take this and give the stranger, and bid him move 
about and beg of all the suitors. Shyness is no good 
comrade for a needy man." 

He spoke, and the swineherd went as soon as he 
heard the order, and standing by Odysseus said in 
winged words : " Stranger, Telemachus gives this, and 
bids you move about and beg of all the suitors. 
Shyness, he says, is no good comrade for a beggar 
man." 

Then answering him, said wise Odysseus : " Ο Zeus 
above, may Telemachus be blessed among mankind, 
and may he get whatever in his heart he longs for ! " 

He spoke, and took the food with both his hands 
and laid it down before his feet on his mean wallet, 



274 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 358-388. 

and so ate, the while within the hall the bard was 
singing. But when the meal was ended and the sa- 
cred bard had ceased, the suitors raised an uproar in 
the hall. And now Athene, drawing near Laertes' 
son, Odysseus, urged him to gather crusts among 
the suitors, and learn who were the righteous ones 
and who the lawless ; though not even thus would she 
preserve a man of them from ruin. So off he went 
to beg of all from left to right, stretching his hand 
around as if he had been long a beggar. They pitied 
him and gave, and wondering at the man asked one 
another who he was and whence he came ; and Me- 
lanthius, the goatherd, said : 

" Hear from me, suitors of the illustrious queen, 
something about the stranger. I saw him a while ago ; 
and certainly it was the swineherd brought him hither. 
The man himself I do not really know, nor of what 
tribe he boasts himself to be." 

When he had spoken, Antinoiis rebuked the swine- 
herd thus : " Infamous swineherd, why bring this man 
to town ? Have we not here already plenty of vaga- 
bonds and nasty beggars to make mischief at our 
feasts ? Do you not mind that men devour the living 
of their lord by gathering here? And do you ask 
this fellow too to come ? " 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and 
said : " Antinoiis, you speak but ill, noble although 
you are. Who ever goes and calls a stranger from 
abroad ? Unless indeed the stranger is a master of 
some craft, a prophet, healer of disease, or builder, 
or else a wondrous bard who pleases by his song ; for 
these are welcomed by mankind the wide world 
through. A beggar, who would ask to be a torment 
to himseK ? But you are always harsh — more than 



XVII. 389-420.] THE ODYSSEY. 275 

the other suitors, — to the servants of Odysseus, es- 
pecially to me. And yet I do not care, so long as heed- 
ful Penelope is living in the palace, Penelope and 
prince Telemachus." 

Then said discreet Telemachus : " Hush ! Do not 
make him a long answer. It is Antinous' way ever to 
tease with ugly talk. He stirs up others too." 

He spoke, and to Antinoiis in winged words he said : 
" Antinous, finely you care for me, as a father for his 
son, bidding me drive this stranger forth by a com- 
pulsive word ! God let that never be ! Take of the 
food and give him. I do not grudge it ; indeed I 
bid you give. Be not disquieted about my mother or 
any servant of the house of great Odysseus. But in 
your breast there is no thought of giving. Far better 
you like to eat than give to others." 

Then answering said Antinoiis : " Telemachus, of 
the lofty tongue and the unbridled temper, what do 
you mean ? If every suitor gave as much as I, for 
three months' space at least the house would miss him." 

So saying, he seized his stool and drew it out from 
under the table where it lay. On it he used to set 
his dainty feet while feasting. Now all the rest 
had given food and filled with bread and meat the 
beggar's wallet. A moment and Odysseus would go 
back to the threshold to taste the Achaeans' bounty. 
Before Antinoiis he paused, and said : 

" Give me some food, kind sir ! You do not seem 
the poorest of the Achaeans ; rather, the chief ; for 
you are like a king. So you shall give me bread 
more generously than others, and I will sing your 
praise the wide world through. For once I lived in 
luxury among my mates, in a rich house, and often 
gave to wanderers, careless who they might be or 



276 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 421-452. 

with what needs they came. Servants I had in plenty, 
and everything besides by which men liΛ^e at ease 
and are rej)uted rich. But Zeus, the son of Kronos, 
brought me low. His vnU. it was. He sent me with 
a roving band of plunderers to Egypt, a long voyage, 
to my ruin. In Egypt's stream I anchored my curved 
ships ; then to my trusty men I gave command to stay 
there by the ships and guard the ships, while I sent 
scouts to points of observation. But giving way to 
lawlessness and following their own bent, they pres- 
ently began to pillage the fair fields of the Egyp- 
tians, carrying off wives and infant children and 
slaughtering the men. Soon the din reached the 
city. The people there, hearing the shouts, came 
forth at early dawn, and all the plain was filled with 
footmen and with horsemen and with the gleam of 
bronze. Then Zeus, the Thunderer, brought on my 
men a cruel panic, and none dared stand and face 
the foe. Danger encountered us on every side. So 
the Egyptians slew many of our men with the sharp 
sword, and carried others off alive to work for them 
in bondage. They gave me to a friend who chanced 
to meet them upon his way to Cyprus, to Dmetor son 
of lasus, who ruled with power in Cyprus. Thence 
I am now come hither, sore distressed." 

Then answered him Antinoiis and said: "What 
god has brought to us this pest, this mar-feast here ? 
Stand off there in the middle, back from my table, or 
you shall find a bitter Egypt and a bitter Cyprus 
too, brazen and shameless beggar that you are ! You 
go to all in turn, and they give lavishly. No scruple 
or compunction do they feel at being generous with 
others' goods, while there remains abundance for 
themselves." 



XVII. 453-485.] THE ODYSSEY. 211 

Then stepping back said wise Odysseus : " Indeed ! 
In you then wisdom does not go with beauty. From 
your own house you would not give a suppliant salt, 
if sitting at another's table you will not take and give 
me bread. Yet here there is abundance." 

As he thus sjDoke, Antinoiis was angered in his 
heart the more, and looking sternly on him said in 
winged words : " Now you shall never leave the hall in 
peace, I think, now you have taunted me." 

So saying, he seized his footstool, flung it and struck 
Odysseus on the back of the right shoulder, near the 
sj^ine. Firm as a rock he stood ; the missile of Anti- 
noiis did not mov^e him. Silent he shook his head, 
brooding on evil. Then once more walking toward 
the threshold, down he sat, laid off his well-filled 
wallet, and thus addressed the suitors : 

" Hearken, you suitors of the illustrious queen, and 
let me tell you what the heart within me bids. One 
feels no smart or indignation in his mind if struck 
while fighting for his own possessions, his oxen, say, 
or white-wooled sheep ; but Antinoiis gave this blow 
because of my poor belly, that wretched part which 
brings to men so many ills. If then for beggars there 
be gods and furies, may death's doom seize Antinoiis 
before his marriage." 

Then said Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son : " Stranger, 
sit still and eat, or go off elsewhere ; or for such talk 
as this young men will drag you through the house 
by hand and foot, and strip off aU your sldn." 

At these his words all were exceeding wroth, and 
a rude youth would say : " Antinoiis, 't was not well 
done to assault the wretched wanderer. A doomed 
man you, if he should be a god come down from 
heaven. And gods in guise of strangers from afar 



278 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 486-518. 

in every form do roam our cities, marking tlie sin 
and righteousness of men." 

So said the suitors ; Antinoiis did not heed their 
words. But Telemachus nursed in his heart great in- 
dignation at the blow, yet let no tear fall from his 
eyelids to the ground. Silent he shook his head, 
brooding on evil. 

When heedful Penelope heard how in the hall a 
man was struck, she said to her maids : " May the 
archer-god Apollo strike you even so I " lYhereat 
Eurynome the housekeeper made answer : " If only 
prayers of ours might be fulfilled, no one of them 
should see another bright-throned dawn." 

And heedful Penelope replied : " Nurse, hateful are 
they all; their ways are evil; but Antinoiis is like 
dark doom itself. Into the house stra^^s some poor 
stranger, and begs for bread, as need compels ; then 
while all others gave and filled his wallet, Antinoiis 
struck him with a footstool on the back of the right 
shoulder." 

So talked Penelope with her maids as she sat within 
a chamber, while royal Odysseus was busied with his 
meal. Then calling the noble swineherd, thus she 
spoke : " Go, noble Eumaeus, go bid the stranger 
come to me. I wish to greet him and to ask if he 
has heard of hardy Odysseus or with his own eyes 
seen him. He looks a traveled man." 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered her and 
said: "Would, queen, the Achaeans would be still! 
AVhat he can tell would charm your very soul. Three 
nights I had him ; for three days I kept him at the 
lodge ; he came to me at once on escaping from his 
vessel. Yet all that time he never ended telling me 
his troubles. And just as when men gaze upon a 



XVII. 519-551.] THE ODYSSEY. 279 

bard who has been taught by gods to sing them mov- 
ing lays, and they long to listen endlessly so long as 
the bard will sing ; even so he held me spell-bound as 
he sat within my room. He calls Odysseus his ances- 
tral friend, and says his home is Crete, where the race 
of Minos dwell. Thence he is now come hither, sore 
distressed and onward driven ever. He declares he 
has heard that Odysseus is near at hand, in the rich 
land of the Thesprotians, a living man, and that he 
brings a mass of treasure home." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Go call him 
hither, to tell his story here before my face. Let men 
make merry, sitting before the door, or here within 
the house. Their hearts are gay. Untouched at home 
their goods are lying, their bread and their sweet wine. 
On these their servants feed. But haunting this 
house of ours day after day, killing our oxen, sheep, 
and fatted goats, these suitors hold high revel, drink- 
ing sparkling wine wdth little heed. Much goes to 
waste ; for there is no man here fit, like Odysseus, to 
keep damage from our doors. But if Odysseus should 
return, home to his native land, soon with his son's 
help he would punish these men's crimes." 

As she spoke thus, Telemachus sneezed loudly, and 
all the hall gave a great echo. Penelope laughed, 
and to Eumaeus straightway said in winged words : 
" Pray go and call the stranger before me, as I bade. 
Do you not notice how my son sneezed at my words ? 
Therefore no partial death shall strike the suitors. 
On all it falls ; none shall escape from death and 
doom. Nay, this I will say farther ; mark it well : if 
I shall find that all the stranger tells is true, I will 
clothe him in a coat and tunic, goodly garments." 

She spoke, and the swineherd went as soon as he 



280 THE ODYSSEY. [XVII. 552-584. 

heard the order, and standing near the stranger said 
in winged words : " Here, good old stranger, heedful 
Penelope is calling, the mother of Telemachus. Her 
heart inclines her to ask for tidings of her husband, 
so full of grief is she. And if she finds that all you 
tell is true, she will clothe you in a coat and tunic, 
things that you greatly need. Moreover, you shall 
beg your bread about the land and fill your belly. 
Whoever will shall give." 

Then said to him long-tried royal Odysseus : " Eu- 
maeus, I would straightway tell my whole true story 
to the daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope ; for well 
I know about Odysseus. We have borne the self- 
same sorrows. But I have fears about this crowd of 
cruel suitors, whose arrogance and outrage reaches 
the iron heavens ; for even now when, as I walked 
along the hall doing no harm, this person struck and 
hurt me, neither Telemachus nor others interfered. 
Bid then Penelope, however eager, wait in the hall 
till sunset; then let her ask about her husband's 
coming, after giving me a seat beside the fire ; for 
the clothes I wear are poor. That, you yourself well 
know; because it was of you I first sought aid." 

He spoke, and the swineherd went as soon as he 
heard the order. But as he crossed the threshold, 
thus spoke Penelope : " Are you not bringing him, 
Eumaeus ? What does the wanderer mean ? Is he 
afraid of some bad man, or simply shy at being in 
the palace ? To be a homeless man and shy is bad." 

Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered her and 
said : '' Rightly he speaks, as any man must think, if 
he would shun the ^dolence of these audacious men. 
He bids you wait till sunset. And it is better too for 
you, my queen, to speak to the stranger privately and 
listen to his tale." 



XVII. 585-606.] THE ODYSSEY. 281 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Not without 
wisdom thinks the stranger thus, whoever he may be ; 
for mortal men have never yet so wantonly wTought 
outrage." 

She spoke, and the noble swineherd entered the 
throng of suitors, when he had told her all; and 
straightway to Telemachus he spoke these winged 
words, — his head bent close, that others might not 
hear : 

" My dear, I go to guard the swine and matters 
there, your livelihood and mine ; do you mind all 
things here. Above all else, keep yourself safe and 
see that nothing happens. Many of the Achaeans 
are forming wicked plans, whom Zeus confound before 
harm falls on us I " 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " So be 
it, father ! Go when you have supped ; and in the 
morning come and bring us goodly victims. To me 
and the immortal gods leave all things here." 

He spoke, and once more down Eumaeus sat upon 
a polished bench. Then, after having satisfied desire 
for food and drink, he departed to his swine, leaving 
the courts and hall crowded with feasters, who with 
dance and song were making merry ; for evening now 
drew near. 



XVIII. 

THE FIGHT OF ODYSSEUS AND IRUS. 

There came into the hall a common beggar, who 
used to beg about the town of Ithaca, and everywhere 
was noted for his greedy belly, eating and drinking 
without end. He had no strength nor sinew, but in 
bulk was large to see. Arnaeus was his name, the name 
his honored mother gave at his birth ; but Irus all the 
young men called him, because he used to run on 
errands at anybody's bidding. Coming in now, he 
tried to drive Odysseus from the house, and jeeringly 
he spoke these winged words : 

" Get up, old man, and leave the door-way, or you 
wiU soon be dragged off by the leg. Do you not see 
how everybody gives the wink and bids me drag you 
forth ? I still hold back. Up, then ! Or soon our 
quarrel comes to blows." 

But looking sternly on him wise Odysseus said: 
" Sir, I am doing you no harm by deed or word, nor 
do I grudge it when men take and give you much. 
This door will hold us both. Surely you should not 
grudge the goods of others. You seem a wanderer, 
like myself ; but the gods may grant us fortune. Yet 
do not challenge me too far with show of fists, or you 
may rouse my rage ; and old as I am, I still might 
stain your breast and lips with blood. Then I should 
have more peace to-morrow than to-day ; for a second 
time, I think, you would not seek the hall of Laertes' 
son, Odysseus." 



XVIII. 25-57.] THE ODYSSEY. 283 

Then angrily replied the beggar Irus : " Pshaw ! 
How glibly the glutton talks, like an old oven-woman ! 
But I will do him an ugly turn, knocking him right 
and left, and scattering all the teeth out of his jaws 
upon the ground, as if he were a pig spoiling the corn. 
Gird yourself then, that all these men may watch our 
fighting. Yet how could you defend yourself against 
a younger man ? " 

Thus on the well-worn threshold before the lofty 
door they fiercely wrangled. Revered Antinoiis ob- 
served them, and gaily laughing he thus addressed the 
suitors : 

" Friends, nothing so good as this has ever hap- 
pened. What sport God sends this house ! The 
stranger here and Irus are goading one another on 
to blows. Let us quickly set them on ! " 

He spoke, and laughing all sprang up and flocked 
around the tattered beggars, and Antinoiis, Eupei- 
thes' son, called out : " Hearken, you haughty suitors, 
while I speak. Here are goat-paunches lying by the 
fire, set there for supper, full of fat and blood. 
Whichever wins and proves the better man, let him 
step forth and take what one of these he will ; and 
that man shall hereafter always attend our feasts and 
we will allow no other beggar to come here asking 
alms." 

So said Antinoiis, and his saying pleased them. But 
in his subtlety said wise Odysseus : " It is not fair, 
my friends, a younger man should fight an old one, 
one broken too by trouble. Yet a reckless belly 
forces me to bear his blows. Come then, all swear a 
solemn oath that nobody helping Irus will strike with 
heavy hand an unfair blow, and put me down before 
the man perforce." 



284 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 58-83. 

He spoke, and ail then took the oath which he 
required. And after they had sworn and ended all 
their oath, once more revered Telemachus spoke out 
among them : " Stranger, if heart and daring spirit 
tempt you to meet the man, be not afraid of any of 
the Achaeans ; for he shall fight the crowd who strikes 
at you. I am the host. The princes too assent, An- 
tinoiis and Eurymachus, both honest-minded men." 

He spoke, and all ap23roved. Meanwhile Odysseus 
gathered his rags around his waist and showed his 
thighs, so fair and large, and his broad shoulders 
came in sight, his breast and sinewy arms. Athene, 
drawing nigh, filled out the limbs of the shepherd of 
the people, that all the suitors greatly wondered. 
And glancing at his neighbor one would say : 

" Irus will soon be no more Irus, but catch a plague 
of his own bringing ; so big a thigh the old man shows 
under his rags." 

So they spoke, and Irus' heart was sorely shaken ; 
nevertheless, the serving-men girt him and led him 
out, forcing him on in spite of fears. The muscles 
quivered on his limbs. But Antinoiis rebuked him 
and spoke to him and said : 

" Better you were not living, loud-mouthed bully, 
and never had been born, if you quake and are so 
mightily afraid at meeting this old man, one broken 
by the trouble he has had. Nay, this I tell you and 
it shall be done : if he shall win and prove the better 
man, I will toss you into a black ship and send you 
to the mainland, off to king Echetus, the bane of all 
mankind ; and lie will cut your nose and ears off with 
his ruthless sword, and tearing out your bowels give 
them raw to dogs to eat." 

So he spoke, and a trembling greater still fell on 



XVIll. 89-117.] THE ODYSSEY. 285 

the limbs of Irus. But into the ring they led him, 
and both men raised their fists. Then long-tried 
royal Odysseus doubted whether to strike him so that 
life might leave him as he fell, or to strike lightly 
and but stretch him on the ground. Reflecting thus, 
it seemed the better way lightly to strike, for fear the 
Achaeans might discover it was he. So when they 
raised their fists, Irus struck the right shoulder of 
Odysseus ; but he struck Irus on the neck below the 
ear and crushed the bones within. Forthwith from 
out his mouth the red blood ran, and down in the 
dust he fell with a moan, gnashing his teeth and 
kicking on the ground. The lordly suitors raised 
their hands and almost died with laughter. But 
Odysseus caught Irus by the foot and dragged him 
through the door-way, until he reached the courtyard 
and the opening of the porch. Against the courtyard 
wall he set him up aslant, then thrust a staff into his 
hand, and speaking in winged words he said : 

" Sit there awhile, and scare off dogs and swine ; and 
do not try to be the lord of strangers and of beggars, 
while pitiful yourself, or haply some worse fate may 
fall on you." 

He spoke, and round his shoulder slung his mis- 
erable wallet, full of holes, which hung upon a cord, 
then once more walking to the threshold he sat down ; 
meanwhile the others pressed indoors with merry 
laughter and thus accosted him : 

" Stranger, may Zeus and the other immortal gods 
grant all you wish for most, even all your heart's 
desire, for stopping this insatiate fellow's begging 
through the land. Soon we will take him to the main- 
land, off to king Echetus, the bane of all mankind." 

So they spoke, and royal Odysseus was happy in 



286 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 118-150. 

the omen. Antinous too set a great paunch before 
him, full of fat and blood, and Amphinomus took 
two loaves out of the basket and offered them, and 
pledged him in a golden cup and said : " Hail, aged 
stranger ! May happiness be yours in time to come, 
though you are tried by many troubles now ! " 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " In- 
deed, Amphinomus, you seem a man of understand- 
ing. Such was your father too ; for I have heard 
a good report of Nisus of Doulichion, how he was 
brave and rich. They say you are his son. You 
appear kind. So I will speak and do you mark and 
listen. Earth breeds no creature frailer than a man, 
of all that breathe and move upon the earth ! For 
he says he never more will meet with trouble, so 
long as the gods give vigor and make his knees 
be strong. Then when the blessed gods send sorrow, 
this too he bears with patient heart, although against 
his will. Ever the mood of man while on the earth 
is as the day \vhich the father of men and gods be- 
stows. Once among men I too was counted prosper- 
ous ; but many wrongs I wrought, led on by pride and 
sense of power, confident in my father's and my 
brothers' aid. Wherefore let none in any wise be 
reckless, but calmly take whatever gifts the gods pro- 
vide. Yet I behold you suitors working wrong, wast- 
ing the wealth and worrying the wife of one who, 
I can tell you, will not be absent long from friends 
and native land ; for he is very near. May then some 
heavenly power conduct you to your homes ! And 
may you not encounter him whenever he returns to 
his own native land ! Surely not bloodless will the 
parting be between the suitors and himself when un- 
derneath this roof he comes once more." 



XVIIL 151-182.] THE ODYSSEY. 287 

He spoke, and pouring a libation drank the honeyed 
wine, then back in the hands of the guardian of the 
people placed the cup. Amphinomus walked down 
the hall heavy at heart, shaking his head ; his soul 
foreboded ill. Yet even so he did not escape his 
doom ; for Athene bound him fast, beneath the hand 
and spear of Telemachus to be perforce laid low. So 
back he turned and took the seat from which he first 
arose. 

And now the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, put in the 
mind of Icarius' daughter, heedful Penelope^ to show 
herself among the suitors ; that she might thus open 
the suitors' hearts most largely, and so become more 
highly prized by husband and by son than heretofore. 
Idly she laughed and thus she spoke and said : 

" Eurynome, my heart is longing as it never longed 
before to show myself among the Suitors, hateful 
although they be. I would say to my son a word that 
may be useful ; tell him to mingle not at all with the 
audacious suitors, for they speak kindly but have evil 
thoughts behind." 

And in her turn Eurynome, the housewife, an- 
swered : " Truly, my child, in all this you speak 
rightly. Go then and tell this saying to your son and 
do not hide it ; only first wash your body and anoint 
your cheeks. Go not with such a tear-stained face. 
To grieve incessantly makes matters worse. And 
now your son is what you often prayed the immortals 
you might see him, a bearded man already." 

Then said to her heedful Penelope : " Eurynome, 
urge me not, out of kindness, to wash my body and 
anoint me with the oil. All charm of mine the gods 
who hold Olympus took away when he departed in 
the hollow ships. But tell Autonoe and Hippodameia 



288 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 183-214. 

to come hither, to attend me in the hall. Among the 
men I will not go alone, for very shame." 

So she spoke, and through the hall forth the old 
woman went to give the message to the maids and bid 
them come with speed. 

Then a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed 
Athene. She poured sweet slumber on the daughter 
of Icarius ; and lying back she slept and every joint 
relaxed, there on her couch. Meanwhile the heavenly 
goddess gave her immortal gifts, to make the Achae- 
ans marvel. And first she bathed her lovely cheeks 
with an immortal bloom, like that with which crowned 
Cytherea anoints herself when going to the gladsome 
dance among the Graces. She made her also taller 
and larger to behold, and made her whiter than the 
new-cut ivory. So having done, the heavenly goddess 
went her way ; and out of the hall the white-armed 
damsels came, entering the room with noise. Sweet 
slumber left Penelope. She drew her hands across 
her cheeks and thus she spoke : 

" Ah, utterly wretched as I am, soft slumber wrapt 
me round. Would that chaste Artemis would send 
a death so soft, — instantly, now, — that, sad at heart 
no more, I might not waste my days mourning the 
many-sided worth of him, my husband, the best of all 
Achaeans ! " 

So saying, down she went from her bright upper 
chamber, yet not alone ; two damsels followed her. 
And when the royal lady reached the suitors, she 
stood beside a column of the strong-built roof, hold- 
ing before her face her delicate wimple, the while 
a faithful damsel stood upon either hand. The suit- 
ors' knees grew weak ; with love their hearts were 
tranced. Each prayed to lie beside her. But she 
addressed Tele maclius, her own dear son : 



XVIII. 215-249.] THE ODYSSEY. 289 

" Telemaclius, your mind and judgment are no 
longer sound. While still a boy you managed more 
discreetly. But now when you are grown and come 
to man's estate, and any stranger would call jovl the 
son of a man of worth, if he observed your height 
and beauty, — now mind and judgment are not trusty 
any more. For only see what happened in the hall : 
you let this stranger be maltreated there. And what 
will be thought if a stranger, seated within our house, 
should meet with harm through brutal handling ? 
Shame and disgrace would come on you from all 
men." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " Mother, 
I do not blame you for your anger. Yet in my heart 
I know and fully understand the right and wrong. 
Before, I was a child, and I am not always able now to 
see what wise ways are ; for the suitors disconcert me, 
coming on every side with wicked plans, while I have 
none to help. However, the quarrel of Irus and the 
stranger turned out in no wise to the suitors' mind. 
In strength the stranger proved the better man. Ah 
father Zeus, Athene, and Apollo, would that the suit- 
ors in our halls might beaten hang their heads, — 
some in the yard, some in the house, — and so their 
limbs be loosed, as that same Irus at the courtyard 
gate now sits and hangs his head, like a man drunk, 
and cannot stand straight on his feet nor go off home, 
wherever that may be, because his limbs are loose." 

So they conversed together. But now Eurymachus 
addressed Penelope : " Daughter of Icarius, heedful 
Penelope, if all Achaeans in lasian Argos could be- 
hold you, more suitors would be feasting in your hails 
to-morrow ; for you excel all womankind in beauty, 
height, and balanced mind within." 



290 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 250-283. 

Then answered him heedful Penelope : " Euryma- 
chus, all excellence of mine in face or form the im- 
mortals took away the day the Argive host took ship 
for Ilios, and with them went my lord Odysseus. If he 
would come and tend this life of mine, greater would 
be my fame and fairer then. Now I am in distress, 
such woes God thrusts upon me. Ah, when he went 
and left his native land, holding my hand, — my right 
hand, by the wrist, — he said : ' Wife, I do not think 
the mailed Achaeans will all come back from Troy 
safe and unharmed ; for they say the Trojans are good 
fighters, — hurlers of spears, drawers of bows, and 
riders on swift horses, — such men as soon decide the 
struggle of uncertain war. Therefore I do not know 
if God will bring me back, or if I shall be captured 
there in Troy. On you must rest the care of all 
things here. Be mindful of my father and my mother 
here at home, as you are now, and even more when I 
am gone. And when you see our son a bearded man, 
then marry whom you will, and leave the house now 
yours.' Such were his words, and all now nears its 
end. The night will come when a detested marriage 
falls on doomed me, whom Zeus has stripped of for- 
tune. One bitter vexation, too, touches my heart and 
soul: this never was the way with suitors hereto- 
fore ; they who will woo a lady of rank, a rich man's 
daughter, rivaling one another, bring oxen and sturdy 
sheep, to feast the maiden's friends, and give rich 
gifts besides. They do not, making no amends, de- 
vour another's substance." 

She spoke, and glad was long-tried royal Odysseus 
to see her winning gifts and charming the suitors' 
hearts with pleasing words, while her mind had a dif- 
ferent purpose. 



XVIIL 284-31G.] THE ODYSSEY. 291 

Then said Antinous, Eiipeithes' son : " Daughter 
of Icarius, heedful Penelope, if any Achaean cares to 
bring gifts hither, accept them ; for it is not gracious 
to refuse a gift. But we will never go to our estates, 
nor elsewhere either, till you are married to the best 
Achaean here." 

So said Antinoiis, and his saying pleased them ; 
and for the bringing of the gifts each man sent forth 
his page. The page of Antinous brought a fair large 
robe of many colors ; on it were golden brooches, 
twelve in all, mounted with twisted clasps. To Eury- 
machus his page presently brought a chain, wrought 
curiously in gold and set with amber, bright as 
the sun. His servants brought Eury damns a pair of 
earrings, each brilliant with three drops ; from them 
great beauty sparkled. Out of the house of lord 
Peisander, son of Polyctor, his servant brought a 
necldace, a jewel exceeding fair. And other servants 
brought still other fitting gifts from the Achaeans. 

Then went the royal lady to her upper chamber, 
her damsels carrying the goodly gifts. Meanwhile 
the suitors to dancing and the gladsome song turned 
merrily, and waited for the evening to come on. And 
on their merriment dark evening came. Straightway 
they set three braziers in the hall, to give them light, 
and piled upon them sapless logs, — long seasoned, 
very dry, and freshly split, — with which they mingled 
brands. By turns the maids of hardy Odysseus fed 
the fire ; and he, the high-born wise Odysseus, thus 
addressed them : 

" You damsels of Odysseus, a master long away, go 
to the room where your honored mistress stays. 
There twirl your spindles by her side and furnish her 
good cheer, as you sit within her hall, and card witli 



292 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 317-346. 

your hands tlie wool. I will supply the light for all 
these here. Yes, if they wish to stay till bright- 
throned dawn, they will not weary me ; I am prac- 
ticed to endure." 

At these his words the damsels laughed and glanced 
at one another, and Melantho rudely reviled Odysseus, 
— Melantho the fair-faced girl, daughter of Dolius, 
whom Penelope had reared and treated as her child, 
granting her every whim. But for all this, she enter- 
tained no sorrow for Penelope, but loved Eurymachus 
and was his paramour. She now reviled Odysseus in 
these abusive words : 

" \\^hy, silly stranger, you are certainly some crack- 
brained person, unwilling to go to the coppersmith's 
to sleep, or to the common lodge ; but here you prate 
continually, braving these many lords and unabashed 
at heart. Surely the wine has touched your wits ; or 
else it is your constant way to chatter idly. Are you 
beside yourself because you beat that scapegrace Irus ? 
A better man than Irus may by and by arise, to box 
your pate with doughty blows and pack you out of 
doors all dabbled with your blood." 

But looking sternly on her, wise Odysseus said: 
"You cur, I go, and at once tell Telemachus what 
words you use ; and he shall tear you limb from limb 
upon the spot." 

So saying, by his words he frightened off the 
women. They hurried along the hall. The knees of 
each grew weak with terror, for they thought he spoke 
in earnest. He, meanwhile, keeping up the fire, stood 
by the blazing braziers observing all the men. But 
other thoughts his heart debated, thoughts not to fail 
of issue. 

Yet Athene allowed the haughty suitors not alto- 



XVIII. 347-377.] THE ODYSSEY. 293 

gether yet to cease from biting scorn. She wished 
more pain to pierce the heart of Laertes' son, Odys- 
seus. Co Eurymachus the son of Polybus began to 
speak, and jeering Odysseus raised a laugh among his 
mates : " Hearken, you suitors of the illustrious queen, 
and let me tell you what the heart within me bids. 
Not without guidance of a god this fellow comes to 
the household of Odysseus. At any rate, a torchlight 
seems to rise from his very head ; for hair upon it 
there is none, no not the least." 

With that he called to the spoiler of towns, Odys- 
seus : " Stranger, if I would take you, would you like 
to work for hire on the outskirts of my farm, — there 
will be pay enough, — gathering stones for walls and 
setting out tall trees? There for a year I would 
provide you food, furnish you clothing and put san- 
dals on your feet. Still, now that you have learned 
bad ways you will not care to work, but will prefer to 
beg about the town, so long as you can find where- 
with to stuff your greedy maw." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Eu- 
rymachus, I wish that we might have a match at 
work, in spring-time when the days are long, upon the 
grass ; and I would take a well-curved scythe and j^ou 
another like it to test our power of work, fasting 
right up till dark, with grass still plenty. Or if again 
the match were driving oxen, — choice, tawny, large 
ones, both well fed with grass, equal in years and 
pulling well together, tireless in strength, — and here 
were a field four acres large, whose soil would take 
the plow ; then you should see if I could cut a straight 
and even furrow. Or, once more, if the son of Kro- 
nos by some means stirred up war, this very day, and 
I had a shield and pair of spears and a brazen helmet 



294 THE ODYSSEY. [XVIII. 378-409. 

fitted to my brow, then would you see me join the 
foremost in the fight, and you would no longer jest 
and talk about my belly. No, you are very proud and 
your temper is disdainful ; no doubt you seem a great 
man and a mighty, because you mix with few and 
they of little worth. But should Odysseus come and 
reach his native land, soon would these doors, how- 
ever wide, prove all too narrow, as you hurried through 
the porch." 

As he spoke thus, Eurymachus grew angrier still 
at heart, and looking sternly on Odysseus, he spoke 
these winged words : " Wretch, I shall do you mis- 
chief soon for prating so, braving these many lords 
and unabashed at heart. Surely the w"ine has touched 
your wits ; or else it is your constant way to chatter 
idly. Are you beside yourself because you beat that 
scapegrace Irus ? " 

So saying, he seized a footstool : Odysseus crouched 
by the knees of Amphinomus of Doulichion, fearing 
Eurymachus, who hit the right hand of the wine- 
pourer. Down went his beaker clattering to the 
ground, and he himself fell moaning in the dust. But 
the suitors broke into uproar up and down the dusky 
hall, and glancing at his neighbor one would say : 

" Would that the vagabond had perished elsewhere 
before he came in here ! He would not then have 
caused this din. Here we are brawling over beggars. 
No more delight in jolly feasts ; now worse things have 
their way ! " 

Then said to them revered Telemachus : " Sirs, you 
are mad, and do not hide that you have drunk and 
eaten. Some god excites you. But now that you have 
feasted well, go home to bed as quickly as you please. 
Yet I drive none away." 



XVIII. 410-428.] THE ODYSSEY. 295 

He spoke, and aU with teeth set in their lips mar- 
veled because Telemachiis had spoken boldly. And 
then Amphinomus, the illustrious son of noble Nisus, 
and grandson of Aretias, addressed them saying: 
" Friends, in answering what is fairly said, none should 
be angry and retort with sj^iteful words. Let none 
abuse the stranger nor any of the servants in great 
Odysseus' hall. Come then and let the wine-pourer 
give pious portions to our cups, that after a libation 
we each go home to bed. And let us leave the stran- 
ger here within Odysseus' hall, to be cared for by Te- 
lemachus ; for to his house he came." 

He spoke, and to them all his words were pleas- 
ing. So a bowl was brewed by the lord Moulius, a 
Doulichian page and follower of Amphinomus. To 
all in turn he served ; and they, with a libation to the 
blessed gods, drank of the honeyed wine. Then after 
they had poured and drunk as their hearts would, de- 
siring rest, they each departed homeward. 



τ 



XIX. 

THE MEETING WITH PENELOPE AND THE RECOGNI- 
TION BY EURYCLEIA. 

So in the hall was royal Odysseus left behind, plot- 
ting to slay the suitors with Athene's aid, and straight- 
way to Telemachus he spoke these winged words : 

" Telemachus, this fighting gear must all be laid 
away, and with soft words you must beguile the suit- 
ors when they because they miss it question you : ' I 
put it by out of the smoke, for it looks no longer like 
the armor which Odysseus left behind when he went 
away to Troy ; it is all tarnished, where the scent of 
fire has come nigh. Besides, this graver fear some 
god put in my mind. You might when full of wine 
begin a quarrel and give each other wounds, making 
a scandal of the feast and of your wooing. Steel it- 
self draws men on.' " 

He spoke, and Telemachus heeded his dear father, 
and calling aside nurse Eurycleia, said : " Nurse, go 
and keep the women in their rooms while I place in 
the chamber my father's goodly armor, which as it 
lies uncared for round the house smoke stains, while 
he is gone. I have been foolish. Now I will place 
it where no scent of fire shall come nio^h." 

Then said to him his dear nurse Eurycleia : " Ah ! 
Would, my child, you might incline to heedful ways, 
and mind the house and guard its treasures ! But 
who shall go and bear the light ? You will not let 
the women stir who might have lighted you." 



XIX. 26-58.] THE ODYSSEY. 297 

Then answered lier discreet Telemachus : " This 
stranger here ; for I will allow no idle man to touch 
my bread, come he from whence he may." 

Such were his words ; unwinged, they rested with 
her. She locked the doors of the stately hall. And 
now arose Odysseus and his gallant son and bore away 
the helmets, bulging shields and pointed spears. Be- 
fore them Pallas Athene, holding a golden lamp, 
made beauteous light. Thereat Telemachus said to 
his father quickly : 

" Father, my eyes behold a mighty marvel. The 
palace walls and the fair interspaces, the pine-wood 
beams and the uprising pillars are all aglow as from 
a blazing fire. Surely a god is in this house, even 
such as they who hold the open sky." 

But wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Hush, 
check your thoughts and ask no question. It is in- 
deed an indication of the gods that hold Olympus. 
Go you to rest. I will continue here, to try these 
damsels and your mother more ; and she shall weep 
and question me of all." 

So he spoke, and through the hall forth went Te- 
lemachus with blazing torch, to rest within that cham- 
ber where he always lay when pleasant sleep drew 
near. Here then he laid him down, awaiting sacred 
dawn ; while in the hall royal Odysseus staid behind, 
plotting to slay the suitors with Athene's aid. 

Now from her room came heedful Penelope, like 
\A.r temis or^golden Aphro dite. . Beside the fire where 
she was wont to sit, they placed a chair fashioned 
with spiral work of ivory and silver ; which Icmalins, 
the carpenter, had made long time ago, setting upon 
the lower part a rest for feet, fixed to the chair itself. 
Over the whole a large fleece had been thrown. Here 



298 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 59-90. 

heedful Penelope now sat down. Soon came the 
white - armed damsels from their hall, and cleared 
away the abundant food, the tables, and the cups from 
which the proud lords had been drinking. The em- 
bers from the braziers they threw upon the floor, and 
in the braziers piled fresh heaps of wood to furnish 
light and warmth. Then thus Melantho once more 
chid Odysseus : 

" Stranger, are you still here, to plague us all night 
long, prowling about the house, watching the women ? 
Be off, vile thing, and be content with eating, or you 
will soon be hit with a brand and go." 

But looking sternly on her, wise Odysseus said : 
" Woman, why rail at me with such an angry heart ? 
Is it that I am foul and wear mean clothes and beg 
about the land? I^ecessity constrains me. This is 
what beggars and what homeless people are. Yet 
once I lived in luxury among my mates, in a rich 
house, and often gave to wanderers, careless who they 
might be or with what need they came. Servants I 
had in plenty and everything besides by which men 
live at ease and are reputed rich. But Zeus, the son of 
Kronos, brought me low. His will it was. And you 
too, woman, some day yet may lose those charms in 
which you now excel the other maids. Your mistress 
may become provoked to anger with you. Odysseus 
may return ; there still is room for hope. But if he is 
dead, as you suppose, and to return no more, yet by 
Apollo's grace he has a worthy son, Telemachus, 
whose eye no woman in the hall escapes in her mis- 
deeds ; because he is no longer now the child he 
was." 

Heedful Penelope heard what he was saying, and 
she rebuked her maid and spoke to her and said ; 



XIX. 91-122.] THE ODYSSEY. 299 

" Not in the least, you bold and shameless creature, 
have you escaped my eye in doing guilty deeds. Your 
head shall answer for them. Full well you knew — 
you heard it from myself — that I intended to ask 
tidings of this stranger here in my hall about my hus- 
band; for I am sore distressed." 

She spoke, and to the house-keeper Eurynome she 
said : " Eurynome, pray bring a bench and a fleece 
on it, and let the stranger sit and tell his tale, and 
listen too to me ; I wish to question him." 

She spoke ; the other with all speed brought her a 
polished bench and placed it there, and on it laid a 
fleece. Then long-tried royal Odysseus sat him down, 
and thus began heedful Penelope : 

" Stranger, I will myself first ask you this : who 
are you? Of what people? Where is your town and 
kindred?" 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Lady, 
no man upon the boundless earth may speak dispraise 
of you, because your fame is wide as is the sky. 
Such is the glory of a blameless king who reverences 
God and rules a people numerous and mighty, up- 
holding justice. For him the dark-soiled earth pro- 
duces wheat and barley, trees bend low with fruit, 
the flock has constant issue, and the sea yields 
fish, under his righteous sway. Because of him his 
people prosper. Question me, then, of all things else 
while I am here ; but do not ask my lineage and 
home, nor fill my heart with still more pains by recol- 
lection. I am a man of sorrows ; yet must I not in 
a strange house sit down to weep and wail. To 
grieve incessantly makes matters worse. One of 
these maids, or you yourself, might take it ill, and say 
my flood of tears came with a weight of wine." 



300 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 123-156. 

Then answered him lieedful Penelope : " Stranger, 
all excellence of mine in face or form the immortals 
took away the day the Argive host took ship for Ilios, 
and with them went my lord Odysseus. If he would 
come and tend this life of mine, greater would be my 
fame and fairer then. Now I am in distress, such 
woes God thrusts upon me. For all the nobles who 
bear sway among the islands — Doulichion, Same, 
and woody Zacynthus — and they who here in far- 
seen Ithaca dwell round about, sue for unwilling me 
and waste my house. Wherefore I pay no heed to 
strangers or to suppliants, nor even to heralds who ply 
a public trade ; but, longing for Odysseus, I waste my 
heart away. These men urge on my marriage : I 
wind my skein of guile. First, Heaven inspired my 
mind to set up a great loom within the hall and weave 
a robe, fine and exceeding large ; and to the men 
said I, ' Young men who are my suitors, though royal 
Odysseus now is dead, forbear to urge my marriage 
till I complete this robe, — its threads must not be 
wasted, — a shroud for lord Laertes, against the time 
when the fell doom of death that lays men low shall 
overtake him. Achaean wives about the land I fear 
might give me blame if he should lie without a 
shroud, he who had great possessions.' Such were 
my words, and their high hearts assented. Then in 
the daytime would I weave at the great web, but in 
the night unravel, after my torch was set. Thus for 
three years I hid my craft and cheated the Achaeans. 
But when the fourth year came, as time rolled on, 
when the months waned and the long days were done, 
then through the means of maids — the thankless 
creatures, — they came and caught me and up- 
braided me ; so then I finished it, against my will, 



XIX. 157-187.] THE ODYSSEY. 301 

perforce. Now I can neither shun the match nor find 
a fresh device. My parents too press me to marry, 
and my sou chafes at the men who swallow up his 
living ; noting* it now, for now he is a man and fully 
able to heed his house, and Zeus vouchsafes him honor. 
Yet what of this ! Tell me the lineage of which you 
come. You are not born of immemorial oak or 
rock." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Ο 
honored wife of Laertes' son, Odysseus, will you not 
cease to question of my lineage ? lYell, I will tell 
the tale, though you deliver me to sorrows more than 
I now bear. But so it ever is when one is absent 
from his land as long as I, wandering from town to 
town, he meets with hardship! Still, I will tell you 
what you ask and seek to know. 

" There is a country, Crete, in the midst of the 
wine-dark sea, a fair land and a rich, begirt with water. 
The people there are many, innumerable indeed, and 
they have ninety cities. Their speech is mixed ; one 
language joins another. Here are Achaeans, here 
brave native Cretans, here Cydonians, crested Do- 
rians, and noble Pelasgians. Of all their towns the 
capital is Cnosus, where Minos became king when 
nine years old — Minos, the friend of mighty Zeus 
and father of my father, bold Deucalion. Deucalion 
begot me and the prince Idomeneus. Idomeneus, how- 
ever, went in beaked ships to Ilios, in train of the 
Atreidae. My own proud name is Aethon,and I am 
the younger born ; he was the older and the better 
man. Here was it that I saw Odysseus and gave him 
entertainment ; for into Crete a strong wind bore 
him, and while he steered toward Troy it forced him 
past Maleia. He anchored at Amnisus, where is 



302 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 188-219. 

Elithyia's cave, in a harbor hard to win, and he 
scarcely cleared the storm. Straightway he came to 
town, inquiring for Idomeneus ; for he said he was his 
friend, beloved and honored. But it was now the tenth 
dawn, or the eleventh, since Idomeneus had gone with 
the beaked ships to Ilios. And so it happened it was 
I who brought him to the palace, where I entertained 
him well and gave him generous welcome from the 
abundance of my house. To him and all the men 
who followed I furnished barley-meal and sparkling 
wine from out the public store, with oxen enough for 
sacrifice to fill their heart's desire. Here for twelve 
days the noble Achaeans tarried; the strong wind 
Boreas constrained them and even near the shore let 
them not lie at anchor. Some baffling power aroused 
it. But on the thirteenth day the wind went down, 
and so they put to sea." 

He made the many falsehoods of his tale seem like 
the truth. So as she listened, drops ran down ; she 
melted into tears. And as the snow melts on the 
lofty mountains, when Eurus melts what Zephyrus 
has scattered, and at its melting flowing rivers fill; 
so did her fair cheeks melt with flowing tears, as she 
bewailed the husband who was seated by her side. 
Odysseus in his heart pitied his sobbing wife ; but his 
eyes stood fixed as horn or iron, motionless in their 
sockets. Through craft he checked his tears. But 
when she had had her fill of tears and sighs, finding 
her words once more she said to him : 

" Now, stranger, I shall put you to the test, I think, 
and see if at your hall you really entertained my hus- 
band and his gallant comrades, as you say. Tell me 
what sort of clothes he wore ; what the man him- 
self was like, and the comrades who were with him." 



XIX. 220-252.] THE ODYSSEY. 303 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Ο 
lady, it is hard, with so long a time between, to tell 
you that ; for twenty years are gone since he set forth 
and left my land. Still, I will tell you how my mind 
makes him appear. A cloak of purple wool Odysseus 
wore, made with a double fold. A brooch of gold 
upon it was fashioned with twin buckles, the front 
part ornamented. In his forepaws a dog held down a 
spotted fawn and clutched it as it writhed. This all 
admired and marveled how, though things of gold, 
the dog would clutch and choke the fawn, and how 
the fawn that struggled to escape would twitch its 
feet. His tunic too I noticed, sheeny across the flesh, 
just like the skin stripped down from a dried onion ; so 
smooth it was, and glistering like the sun. And truly 
many a woman gazed on the man with Avonder. But 
this I will say farther ; mark it well. I do not know 
if Odysseus wore this dress at home, or if a comrade 
gave it when he entered the swift ship, or yet perhaps 
some host. Odysseus was beloved by many men ; 
few of the Achaeans equally. I gave him gifts my- 
self, — a sword of bronze, a beautiful purple doublet 
and a bordered tunic ; and I sent him off with honor 
on his well-benched ship. A herald a little older than 
himself attended him. I will describe what manner 
of man this herald was : bent in the shoulders, 
swarthy, curly-haired, and named Eurybates. Odys- 
seus honored him beyond his other comrades, because 
he had a mind that suited well his own." 

So he spoke, and stirred still more her yearning 
after tears, as she recognized the tokens which Odys- 
seus exactly told. But when she had had her fill of 
tears and sighs, finding her words once more she said 
to him : 



304 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 253-284. 

" From this time forth, stranger, you who before 
were pitied shall in my halls be one beloved and hon- 
ored. For I it was who gave the clothes which you 
describe. I folded them in the chamber and fixed the 
glittering brooch to be his pride. But I shall never- 
more receive him homeward returning to his native 
land. Wherefore through evil fate Odysseus went by 
hollow ship to see accursed Ilios, name never to be 
named." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Ο 
honored wife of Laertes' son Odysseus, mar your 
fair face no more, nor waste your heart with sorrow- 
ing for your husband. And yet I do not blame you ; 
for any woman weeps to lose the husband of her 
youth, whose children she has borne, whose love she 
tasted, though he were other than Odysseus, who they 
say is like the gods. Still, cease your grief and mark 
my word ; for I will speak unerringly and nothing 
will I hide of what I lately heard about the coming 
of Odysseus, — how he is near, in the rich country of 
the Thesprotians, a living man, and bringing with him 
much good treasure which he has begged throughout 
the land. His trusty crew and hollow ship he lost on 
the wine-dark sea, when coming from the island of 
Thrinacia ; for Zeus and the Sun were angry with 
him, because his crew killed the Sun's kine. So they 
all perished in the surging sea ; but he on his ship's 
keel was cast by a wave ashore on the coast of the 
Phaeacians, who are kinsmen of the gods. They 
honored him exceedingly, as if he were a god, and gave 
him many gifts and themselves wished to bring him 
home unharmed. And here in Ithaca Odysseus would 
have been long time ago, only it seemed a thing of 
greater profit to gather wealth by roaming far and 



XIX. 285-317.] THE ODYSSEY. 305 

wide, — so many gainful ways, beyond all mortal men, 
Odysseus understands ; no living man can match him. 
This is the story which the king of the Thesprotians, 
Pheidon, told me. Moreover in my presence, as he 
offered a libation in his house, he swore the ship was 
launched and sailors waiting to bring him home to his 
own native land. But he sent me off before, for a 
ship of the Thesprotians happened to be starting for 
the Doulichian grainfields. He showed me all the trea- 
sure that Odysseus had obtained ; and really it would 
support man after man ten generations long, so large 
a stock was stored in the king's palace. Odysseus 
himseK, he said, was gone at that time to Dodona, to 
learn from the sacred lofty oak the will of Zeus, and 
how he might return, wdiether openly or by stealth, to 
his dear native land wdien now so long away. So he 
is safe, and soon will come, and now is near at hand, 
and parted from friends and native land he will not 
tarry long. Lo, I will add an oath. First then of 
all the gods be witness Zeus, highest of gods and 
noblest, and let the hearth of good Odysseus whereto 
I come be witness ; all this shall be accomplished ex- 
actly as I say. This very year Odysseus comes, as 
this moon wanes and as the next appears." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Ah, stranger, 
would these words of yours might be fulfilled ! Soon 
should you know my kindness and many a gift from 
me, and every man you met would call you blessed. 
But yet the thought is in my heart how it will really 
be. Odysseus will return no more, nor you get con- 
voy hence ; for there are no more masters in the 
house, able, as once Odysseus was — if ever he was 
here, — to speed the worthy stranger forth or kindly to 
receive. Still, wash the stranger's feet, my women, and 



306 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 318-353. 

prepare his bed, bedstead and robes and brigbt-bued 
rugs, tbat well and warmly he may spend the time till 
gold-throned dawn ; and early in the morning bathe 
and anoint him well, so that indoors beside Telema- 
chus he may await his meal, seated within the hall. 
And woe to him who persecutes or frets the man. 
Henceforth he shall get nothing here, though he be 
sorely vexed. For how could you think me, stranger, 
better than other women in will and careful wisdom, if 
you should sit at table in my hall unkempt and meanly 
clad? Men are short-lived. And if a man is harsh 
and thinks harsh thoughts, on him all call down curses 
while he lives, and when he dies revile him ; but he 
who is gentle and thinks gentle thoughts, his praises 
strangers carry far and wide to all mankind, and many 
speak him well." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Ο 
honored wife of Laertes' son Odysseus, hateful to 
me are robes and bright-hued rugs, since first I left 
the snowy hills of Crete on board the long-oared ship. 
Here I would rest just as I used to lie through sleep- 
less nights ; for many a night I spent on a rough bed, 
awaiting sacred bright-throned dawn. Baths for the 
feet give me no pleasure, and foot of mine shall not be 
touched by any of these maids who serve the palace, 
— unless indeed there be some aged woman, sober- 
minded, one who has borne as many sorrows as myself. 
It would not trouble me that such a one should touch 
my feet." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Dear stran- 
ger, — and none discreet as you among the traveling 
strangers has been more welcome at my house, so 
suitably discreet is all you say, — I have an aged 
woman of an understanding heart, who gently nursed 



XIX. 354-389.] THE ODYSSEY. 307 

and tended that unfortunate and took liim in her arms 
the day his mother bore him. She, feeble as she is, 
shall wash your feet. Come, rise up, heedful Eury- 
cleia, and wash a man old as your master ! Perhaps 
Odysseus is already such as he, in feet and hands ; 
for soon in times of trouble men grow old." 

As she spoke thus, the old woman hid her face in her 
hands and shed hot tears and uttered wailing words : 

" Alas for you, my child ! Powerless am I. Zeus 
surely hated you beyond all humankind, godfearing 
though you were. For no man ever burned to Zeus, 
the Thunderer, fat thighs so good or such choice heca- 
tombs as you have offered when you prayed to reach 
a hale old age and rear your gallant son. And yet 
from you alone he utterly cut off the day of coming 
home. Even so perhaps women reviled him too at 
foreign tables, when he reached some lordly house, just 
as these brutes are all reviling you. To shun their 
insults and their many taunts, you do not let them 
wash you ; and I, not loath, am bidden to it by the 
daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope. So I will 
wash your feet, both for Penelope's own sake and for 
your own, because my heart within is stirred by sor- 
row. Yet mark the words I say ! Many a way-worn 
stranger has come hither ; but one so like Odysseus I 
declare I never saw, as you are like him, form, and 
voice and feet." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Yes, 
woman, so says every one who sees us two, that we 
are like each other, even as you shrewdly say." 

As he spoke thus, the old woman took the glittering 
basin which she used for washing feet and poured in 
much cold water, afterwards adding warm. Now 
Odysseus was sitting by the hearth, but soon turned 



808 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 390-420. 

toward the darkness ; for suddenly into his mind there 
came the thought that in touching him she might de- 
tect the scar and thus the facts be known. So she 
drew near him and began to wash her master ; and 
presently she found the scar which a boar inflicted 
long ago with his white tusk, when to Parnassus came 
Odysseus to see Autolycus and his sons. Good Au- 
tolycus was the father of the mother of Odysseus, 
and was famous among men for thievery and oaths» 
Hermes, the god, had given him skill, because to him 
Autolycus had burned well-pleasing thighs of lambs 
and kids ; so Hermes gladly served him. Now Au- 
tolycus, visiting the fertile land of Ithaca, found there 
his daughter's son, a child new-born ; and after supper 
Eurycleia laid the child upon his knees, and speaking 
thus she said : 

" Autolycus, choose now a name to give your child's 
own child. He has been wished for long." 

Then answered her Autolycus and said : " My son- 
in-law and daughter, give him the name I say. Since 
I come hither odious to many men and women on the 
bounteous earth, therefore Odysseus be his name. 
And I, when he is grown and visits the great palace 
of his mother's kin upon Parnassus, where my posses- 
sions lie, will give thereof to him and send him home 
rejoicing." 

On this account Od3^sseus came to get the glorious 
gifts. And Autolycus and his sons gave him a wel- 
come with friendly hands and courteous words ; and 
Amphithea, his mother's mother, took Odysseus in her 
arms and kissed his face and both his beauteous eyes. 
Then Autolycus bade his famous sons to lay the dinner 
ready, and they hearkened to his call. They quickly 
brought an ox, hye years old, and flayed and dressed 



XIX. 421-455.] THE ODYSSEY. 309 

it, laid it asunder, sliced it with skill, stuck it on spits, 
and roasting it with care served out the jDortions. 
Thus all throughout the day till setting sun they held 
their feast. There was no lack of appetite for the im- 
partial feast. But when the sun had set and darkness 
came, they laid them down and took the gift of sleep. 
IVhen now the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, 
they started on the hunt ; the dogs went forth, the men 
themselves, — the sons of Autolycus, — and with them 
went royal Odysseus too. They climbed the steep 
and wood-clad mountain of Parnassus and soon they 
reached its windy ridges. Just then the sun began to 
touch the fields as he ascended from the calm and 
brimming stream of Ocean. And now to a glen the 
prickers came. Before them, following the tracks, 
the hounds ran on, the sons of Autolycus hastening 
after. With the sons went royal Odysseus, close on 
the hounds, wielding his outstretched spear. In a 
dense thicket here a huge boar lay. It was a spot no 
force of wind with its chill breath could pierce, no sun- 
beams smite, nor rain pass through, so dense it was, 
and a thick fall of leaves was in it. Here round the 
boar there came the tramp of men and dogs, as the 
prickers pushed along. Facing them from his lair, 
with bristling back, fire flashing in his eyes, the boar 
stood close at bay. Odysseus first sprang forward, 
raising the long spear in his sinewy hand, eager to 
give the blow ; but the boar was quick and struck him 
on the knee, and by a side-thrust of his tusk tore the 
flesh deep, but reached no bone. And now Odysseus, 
by a downward blow, struck the right shoulder of the 
boar ; clean through it the bright sj^ear-point passed. 
Down in the dust he fell with a moan, and his life 
flew away. Then the good sons of Autolycus looked 



310 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 456^87. 

to tlie boar ; and the wound of gallant princely Odys- 
seus they bound up skillfully, and with a spell 
stanched the black blood, and soon they reached their 
father's house. So Autolycus and his sons when they 
had fully healed Odysseus and given him glorious 
gifts, — pleasing by kindness him who pleased them 
too, — sent him with speed to Ithaca, where his father 
and honored mother rejoiced at his return and ques- 
tioned much how he had got the scar. He told them 
how, while he was hunting, a boar inflicted it with his 
white tusk when he had gone to Parnassus with Au- 
tolycus' sons. 

This was the scar the woman felt with her flat 
hand. She knew it by the touch and dropped the 
foot. The leg fell in the basin ; the copper rang, and 
tilting sidewise let all the water run upon the ground. 
Then joy and grief together seized her breast ; her 
two eyes filled with tears, her full voice stayed ; and 
laying her hand upon Odysseus' chin she said : 

" You really are Odysseus, my dear child, and I never 
knew you till I handled my master o'er and o'er ! " 

She spoke and cast her eyes upon Penelope, mean- 
ing to let her know her lord was there. But Pene- 
lope could not catch the glance nor understand, be- 
cause Athene drew away her notice ; and Odysseus, 
feeling for Eurycleia's throat, clutched it with his 
right hand, then drew her closer toward him with his 
left and said : 

" Why, mother, will you kill me ? It was yourself 
who nursed me at the breast ; and now through many 
hardships I come in the twentieth year to my own na- 
tive land. Though you have found me out and a god 
inspired your heart, be silent, lest some other person 
in the hall may know. Or else, — I tell you, and it 



XIX. 488-520.] THE ODYSSEY. 311 

shall be done, — if God by me subdues the lordly 
suitors, I will not spare even you, nurse though you 
are, when I shall slay the other serving-women in my 
halls." 

Then answered heedful Eurycleia : " My child, 
what word has passed the barrier of your teeth ? You 
know how steadfast, how inflexible my spirit is. I 
shall hold fast like stubborn rock or iron. And this I 
will say farther : mark it well. If God by you sub- 
dues the lordly suitors, then I will name the women 
of the hall and tell you who dishonor you and who are 
guiltless." 

But wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Mother, 
why talk of them ? You have no need. I will myself 
observe them well and find out each. Be quiet with 
your story ! Leave the matter to the gods ! " 

So he spoke, and through the hall forth went the 
aged woman to fetch water for his feet ; for all the 
first was spilled. Now when she had washed him and 
anointed him with oil, again Odysseus drew his bench 
closer beside the fire, to warm himself, — but with his 
tatters hid the scar, — and thus began heedful Pene- 
lope : 

" Stranger, there is but little more that I will ask ; 
because the season of sweet rest will soon be here, 
for those to whom kind sleep will come when they 
are sad. But upon me God sends incessant sorrow. 
Day after day my joys are tears and sighs, as I watch 
my household tasks and watch my women. Then 
when night comes and slumber visits all, I lie in bed, 
and crowding on my heavy heart sharp cares sting 
me to weeping. As when Pandareos' daughter, the 
russet nightingale, sings sweetly at the coming in of 
spring, perched in the thick-leaved trees, and to and 



312 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 521-553. 

fro pours out her thrilling voice, in lamentation for 
her dear child, Itylus, whom with the sword she 
one day blindly slew, her son by royal Zethus ; so 
does my doubtful heart toss to and fro whether to 
bide beside my son and keep all here in safety, — my 
goods, my maids, and my great high-roofed house, — 
and thus revere my husband's bed and heed the public 
voice, or finally to follow some chief of the Achae- 
ans who wooes me in my hall with countless gifts. 
My son, while but a child and slack of understanding, 
did not permit my marrying and departing from my 
husband's home ; but now that he is grown and come 
to man's estate, he prays me to go home again and 
leave the hall, so troubled is he for that substance 
which the Achaeans waste. But come, interpret now 
and hear this dream of mine. I have twenty geese 
about the place who pick up corn out of the water, 
and I amuse myself with watching them. But from 
the mountain came a great hook-beaked eagle and 
broke the necks of all and killed my geese. In heaps 
they lay, scattered about the buildings, while he was 
borne aloft into the sacred sky. So I began to weep 
and wail, — still in my dream, — and fair-haired 
Achaean damsels gathered round and found me sadly 
sobbing that the eagle killed my geese. Then down 
again he came, lit on a jutting rafter, and with a hu- 
man voice he checked my tears and said : ' Courage, 
Ο daughter of renowned Icarius ! This is no dream, 
but true reality, which yet shall come to pass. The 
geese are suitors ; and I, the eagle, was at the first a 
bird, but now, this second time, am come your husband 
to bring a ghastly doom on all the suitors.' At these 
his words sweet slumber left me, and opening my eyes 
I saw the geese about the buildings devouring corn be- 
side the trough just as they used to do." 



XIX. 554-587.] THE ODYSSEY. 313 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said: 
*' Lady, the dream cannot be understood by wrest- 
ing it to other meanings ; Odysseus surely has him- 
self revealed what yet shall be. The suitors' over- 
throw is plain : on all it falls ; none shall escape from 
death and doom." 

But heedful Penelope said to him once more : 
" Stranger, in truth dreams do arise perplexed and 
hard to tell, dreams which come not, in men's experi- 
ence, to their full issue. Two gates there are for un- 
substantial dreams, one made of horn and one of 
ivory. The dreams that pass through the carved 
ivory delude and bring us tales that turn to naught ; 
those that come forth through polished horn accomplish 
real things, whenever seen. Yet through this gate 
came not I think my own strange dream. Ah, welcome, 
were it so, to me and to my child ! But this I will say 
farther ; mark it well. This is the fatal dawn which 
parts me from Odysseus' home ; for now I shall pro- 
pose a contest with the axes which when at home he 
used to set in line, like trestles, twelve in all ; then he 
would stand a great way off and send an arrow 
through. This contest I shall now propose to all the 
suitors. And whoever with his hands shall lightliest 
bend the bow and shoot through all twelve axes, him 
I wiU follow and forsake this home, this bridal home, 
so very beautiful and full of wealth, a place I think I 
ever shall remember even in my dreams." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Ο 
honored wife of Laertes' son, Odysseus, delay no 
longer this contest at the haU ; for wise Odysseus wiU 
be here before the suitors, handling the polished bow, 
can stretch the string and shoot an arrow through the 
iron." 



314 THE ODYSSEY. [XIX. 588-604. 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Stranger, if 
you were willing to sit beside me here and entertain 
me, no sleep should ever fall upon my eyes. And yet 
one cannot be forever without sleep ; for to each thing 
the immortals fix a season, to be ordained for men 
upon the fruitful earth. So I will go to my upper 
chamber and lay me on my bed, which has become 
for me a bed of sorrows, ever watered with my tears 
since Odysseus went away to see accursed Ilios, — 
name never to be named. There I must lie. Do you 
lie in the hall. Make a bed upon the floor, or the 
maids shall bring you bedding." 

So saying, she went to her bright upper chamber, 
yet not alone ; beside her went her waiting- women 
too. And coming to the chamber with the maids, she 
there bewailed Odysseus, her dear husband, till on 
her lids clear-eyed Athene caused a sweet sleep to fall. 



XX. 

BEFORE THE SLAUGHTER. 

Royal Odysseus made his bed within the porch. 
Upon the floor he spread an untanned hide, and on it 
many fleeces of the sheep which the Achaeans had 
been slaying ; and when he had laid him down, Eury- 
nome threw over him a cloak. So, meditating in his 
heart how he might harm the suitors, here lay Odys- 
seus sleepless. Forth from the hall came women who 
had long been paramours of the suitors, now making 
jests and merriment among themselves. The heart of 
Odysseus stirred within, and in his mind and heart he 
doubted much whether to hasten after and deal out 
death to each, or to allow to the audacious suitors one 
last and latest night. "Within him growled his spirit. 
Even as a dog walks round her tender young, growl- 
ing at any man she does not know and resolute to fight 
him ; so within growled his spirit, wroth at these evil 
deeds. But he smote upon his breast and thus re- 
proved his heart : 

" Bear up, my heart I A thing more hideous than 
this you once endured with patience, that day the 
Cyclops, unrestrained in fur^^, devoured your sturdy 
comrades. Then you bore up till crafty planning 
brought from the cave you who had thought to die." 

So he spoke, chiding the very spirit in his breast ; 
and therefore in obedience his heart held firm and 
steadfast, yet he himself kept tossing to and fro. As 



316 THE ODYSSEY. [XX. i5-G0. 

when a man near a great glowing fire turns to and 
fro a sausage, full of fat and blood, anxious to haΛ^e 
it quickly roast ; so to and fro Odysseus tossed, and 
23ondered how to lay hands upon the shameless suit- 
ors, — he being alone, and they so many. Near him 
Athene drew, descending out of heaven. In a wo- 
man's form she stood beside his head, and thus ad- 
dressed him : 

" Why wakeful still, unhappiest of men ? This is 
your home, and in this home your wife and child, even 
such a son as others pray for." 

But wise Odysseus answered her and said : *' In all 
this, goddess, you speak rightly; and yet my heart 
within is pondering how to lay hands upon the shame- 
less suitors, — I being alone, while they are always 
here together. A graver fear besides I ponder in my 
mind ; suppose I slay them, by the aid of Zeus and 
you, where shall I flee then ? Tell me this, I pray." 

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene : 
" Ο doubter ! Men trust weaker friends, friends who 
are mortal and not wise as I. I am a god and will 
protect you to the end, through all your toils. And 
let me tell you plainly : should fifty troops of mortal 
men stand round about us, eager in the fight to slay, 
you still might drive away from them their oxen 
and sturdy sheep. Nay ! Nay I Let slumber come I 
Evil it is to watch and wake aU the night long. You 
shall come forth from peril yet." 

So spoke she, and poured sleep upon his eyelids ; 
and then the heavenly goddess departed to Olympus. 
But as the slumber seized him, freeing his heart from 
care, easing his members, his faithful wife awoke, and 
sitting up in her soft bed began to weep. When she 
had satisfied her heart with weeping, the royal lady 
prayed, and first to Artemis : 



XX. 61-95.] THE ODYSSEY. 

" Ο honored goddess Artemis, daughter of Zeus 
strike now I pray an arrow in my breast and tak 
away my life this very instant ; or let a sweeping 
storm bear me its windy way and cast me in the 
streams of restless Ocean ! As when storms seized 
Pandareos' daughters, whose parents gods had slain 
and they were left at home as orphans, then goddess 
Aphrodite brought them cheese, sweet honey and 
pleasant wine ; Here endowed them, beyond all other 
women, with beauty and understanding ; chaste Arte- 
mis gave stature ; Athene taught them skill in honor- 
able work. But while heavenly Aphrodite went to 
high Olympus, to win the maids the final boon of 
happy marriage, — a boon from Zeus, the Thunderer, 
who understands all well, all fortunes good or ill of 
mortal men, — the Harpies swept away the maids and 
gave them over to be servants to the dread Avengers. 
Even so may those who have their dwellings on Olym- 
pus blot out me, or else may I receive a shaft from 
fair-haired Artemis, that I may go to my dread grave 
seeing Odysseus still, and never gladden heart of 
meaner husband ! Yet ills like these are bearable if, 
with a burdened heart, one weeps by day and then by 
night has sleep. For such an one forgets all good 
and ill when once the eyelids close. But as for me. 
Heaven sends me cruel dreams. Again to-night there 
lay beside me one like him, such as he was when he 
departed with the army. My heart was glad. I said 
it was no dream, but truth at last." 

While she was speaking gold - throned morning 
came. And as she wept, royal Odysseus heard her 
voice and mused awhile. In his heart she seemed to 
know him and to stand beside his head. Gathering 
up the cloak and fleece in which he slept, he laid 



THE ODYSSEY. [XX. 96-124. 

liem in the hall upon a chair, carried the ox-hide out 
ti doors and spread it down, and with uplifted hands 
prayed thus to Zeus : 

" Ο father Zeus, if of good will ye gods have led 
me over field and flood to my own land, — though 
ill ye brought me also, — let some one now awake 
speak a good word indoors, and another sign from 
Zeus be given outside the house ! " 

So spoke he in his prayer, and wise Zeus heard him 
and straightway thundered out of bright Olympus, 
out of the clouds above. Royal Odysseus was made 
glad. Moreover a woman grinding corn sent forth 
an ominous cry out of the house hard by, where stood 
the mills of the shepherd of the people. Twelve 
women in all worked here, preparing barley-meal and 
corn, men's marrow. The rest were sleeping, having 
ground their wheat ; one only had not ended, for she 
was very v/eak. She, stopping at last her mill, ut- 
tered these words, an omen for her master : 

" Ο father Zeus, who rulest over gods and men, loud 
hast thou thundered from the starry sky, and no 
cloud anywhere. Surely in this thou givest man a 
sign. Then bring to pass for miserable me the words 
I speak. May the suitors to-day for the last and 
latest time hold their glad feast within Odysseus' hall ! 
They who Avith galling labor made my knees grow 
weak, while I prepared them meal, may they now feast 
their last! " 

She spoke, and royal Odysseus was gladdened by 
her cry and by the thunder of Zeus. He said that 
woe was come upon the guilty. 

And now the other handmaids of the goodly palace 
of Odysseus came together and kindled on the hearth 
a steady fire. Telemachus also, a mortal like a god, 



XX. 125-156.] THE ODYSSEY. 319 

rose from his bed, put on his clothes, slung his sharp 
sword about his shoulder, under his shining feet bound 
his fair sandals, then took his ponderous spear, tipped 
with sharp bronze, and went and stood upon the 
threshold, saying to Eurycleia : 

" Good nurse, have you provided for the stranger 
in the house comfort in bed and food ? Or does he 
lie neglected ? That is my mother's way, wise though 
she is. Blindly she honors one of the meaner sort, 
and sends the better man away unhonored." 

Then heedful Eurycleia answered: "Now do not 
blame a blameless person, child ! He sat and drank 
his wine as long as he inclined, and he said he wanted 
no more bread ; she asked him that. And as soon as 
he began to think of rest and sleep, she bade her dam- 
sels spread his bed. Then he, like a man quite mean 
and miserable, refused to sleep upon a bed and under 
blankets, but on an undressed hide and fleecy sheep- 
skins lay down within the porch. We put a cloak 
upon him." 

So she spoke ; and through the hall forth went Te- 
lemachus, his spear in hand, two swift dogs following 
after. He hastened to the assembly to join the mailed 
Achaeans. But noble Eurycleia, daughter of Ops, 
Peisenor's son, called to the women : 

" Come, stir about and sweep the house and sprin- 
kle it, and beat the purple coverings on the shapely 
chairs. And others, take your sponges and wipe off 
all the tables, and clean the mixing-bowls and well- 
wrought double cups. And others still, go to the well 
for water, and fetch it quickly here. It is not long 
the suitors will be absent from the hall. They mil 
be here right early. To-day is for them all a holi- 
day." 



320 THE ODYSSEY. [XX. 157-190. 

She spoke, and very willingly they heeded and 
obeyed. Twenty went to the dark well ; the others 
plied their tasks with skill about the house. Soon 
came the Achaeans' laboring men, who neatly and 
skillfully split logs of wood ; there came the women 
also, returning from the well. After them came the 
swineherd, driving three fat hogs, the best of all his 
herds. He let them feed about the pleasant yard, 
and said to Odysseus kindly : 

" Stranger, do the Achaeans look after you any 
better, or do they still insult you in the hall, as at the 
first?" 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Eu- 
maeus, may the gods requite the wrongs which these 
in their abominable pride work in a house not theirs ! 
They have no touch of shame." 

So they conversed together. Melanthius now drew 
near, the goatherd, driving the goats that were the 
best of all his flock, to make the suitors' dinner. Two 
shepherds followed after. He tied his goats under the 
echoing portico and said to Odysseus rudely : 

" Stranger, will you still be a nuisance in the house 
and beg of people? Will you not quit our doors? 
We never shall quite settle things, I think, until you 
taste my fists. Beyond all decency you keep on beg- 
ging. Surely there are Achaean feasts elsewhere." 

He spoke, but not a word did wise Odysseus an- 
swer. Silent he shook his head, brooding on evil. 

A third now joined them, Philoetius, ever foremost, 
and brought the suitors a barren cow and fatted goats. 
The ferrymen brought them over, they who bring peo- 
ple too, whenever anybody comes their way. He tied 
the cattle carefully under the echoing portico and 
drawing near the swineherd asked : 



XX. 191-223.] THE ODYSSEY. 321 

" Who is this stranger, swineherd, lately come, and 
staying at the hall ? Out of what tribe does he pro- 
fess to be ? AYliere are his kinsmen and his native 
fields ? Poor man ! He seems in bearino- like a 
lordly king. The gods may well send homeless people 
troubles when even for kings they weave a web of 
grief." 

He spoke, and turning to Odysseus gave his right 
hand in welcome, and speaking in winged words he 
said : " Hail, good old stranger ! May happiness be 
yours in time to come ! Now you are bound by many 
ills. Ο father Zeus, none of the gods is cruder than 
thou ! Thou carest not that men, when thou hast 
given them birth, be plunged in misery and sharp dis- 
tress. A sweat came over me in looking at the man ; 
my eyes were filled with tears for memory of Odys- 
seus ; for he also, I suppose, in just such tatters, is a 
wanderer among men, — if he indeed yet lives and sees 
the sunshine. But if he is already dead and in the 
house of Hades, then woe is me for good Odysseus, who 
gave me charge of cattle when I was but a boy in the 
land of the Cephallenians. And now the herds have 
grown enormously. No breed of broad-browed cattle 
ever bladed better. But strangers bid me drive these 
now for them to eat. For the son of the house they 
do not care, nor do they tremble at the wrath of 
gods ; but they are bent on parting out their long- 
gone master's goods. And as for me, around one 
point my heart within keeps turning : 't is very bad 
while the son lives to go to the land of strangers, cattle 
and all, to foreigners ; worse still to stay with stran- 
gers' herds and sit about and suffer. Certainly long 
ago I would have fled and found some other mighty 
king, — life here cannot be borne, — but still I think 



322 THE ODYSSEY. [XX. 224-252. 

of that unfortunate, how he may come from some- 
where, and make a scattering of the suitors up and 
down the house." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said: 
"Herdsman, because you do not seem a common, 
senseless person, but I perceive wisdom is in your 
heart, I will speak out and swear a solemn oath on 
what I say : so first of all the gods be witness Zeus, 
and let this hospitable table and the hearth of good 
Odysseus whereto I come be witness ; while you are 
here Odysseus shall return, and you with your own 
eyes shall see him, if• you will, slaying the suitors who 
now lord it here." 

Then answered him the herdsman of the cattle: 
" Ah stranger, may the son of Kronos fulfill these 
words of yours I Then shall you know what might is 
mine and how my hands obey." 

So also did Eumaeus pray to all the gods that wise 
Odysseus might return to his own home. So they con- 
versed together. 

Now for Telemachus the suitors had been plotting 
death and doom. But toward them, on the left, a 
bird came flying, a soaring eagle, clutching a timid 
dove ; whereat Amphinomus called to them thus and 
said: 

" Ah friends, this plan of ours will not run well, 
this murder of Telemachus. Let us rather turn to 
feasting." 

So said Amphinomus, and his saying pleased them. 
Entering the house of princely Odysseus, they threw 
their coats upon the couches and the chairs, and they 
began to kill great sheep and fatted goats, to kill 
sleek pigs and the heifer of the herd. They roasted 
the inward parts and passed them round, and mixed 



XX. 253-283.] THE ODYSSEY. 323 

wine in the mixers. The swineherd passed the cups ; 
Philoetius, ever foremost, handed them bread in goodly 
baskets ; Melantheus poured the wine. So on the food 
spread out before them they laid hands. 

And now Telemachus, with crafty purj)ose, seated 
Odysseus within the stately hall by the stone thresh- 
old, providing him a common bench and little table. 
He gave him portions of the inward parts and, pour- 
ing him wine into a golden cup, he thus addressed 
him : 

" Sit here among the men and sip your wine, and I 
will keep you from the taunts and blows of all the 
suitors. This is no public house. It is Odysseus' 
own, acquired for me. Therefore you suitors check 
your taste for insult and abuse, or else there may be 
strife and quarrel here." 

He spoke, and all with teeth set in their lips mar- 
veled because Telemachus had spoken boldly. Then 
said Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son : " Harsh as it is, Achae- 
ans, let us take the bidding of Telemachus. He 
speaks with lofty threatening. Zeus, son of Kronos, 
hindered, or long ago we in the hall had stopped him, 
shrill talker though he be." 

So said Antinoiis ; Telemachus did not heed his 
words. For pages came, leading along the town a 
hecatomb of cattle sacred to the gods. Long-haired 
Achaeans, too, assembled in the shady grove of the 
archer-king Apollo. 

But when the rest had roasted the outer flesh and 
drawn it off, dividing up the portions they held a fa- 
mous feast. And those who served set for Odysseus 
a portion quite as large as that they took themselves ; 
for this was the bidding of Telemachus, the son of 
princely Odysseus. 



324 THE ODYSSEY. [XX. 284-316. 

Yet Athene alloj¥ei._the_ haughty suitors„.not alto- 
getner yet tojcease_ from. Htingv^ scorn. She wished 
more pain to pierce the heart of'ljaertes' son, Odys- 
seus. There was among the suitors a man of lawless 
life; Ctesippus was his name; he lived in Same. 
Proud of vast wealth, he wooed the wife of Odysseus, 
long away. He it was now who thus addressed the 
audacious suitors : 

"Hearken, you haughty suitors, while I speak. 
This stranger here awhile ago received a portion, and, 
as was proper, one as large as ours ; for it is neither 
honorable nor fitting to worry strangers who may 
reach this palace of Telemachus. Come then and let 
me also give a hospitable gift, and he shall have 
wherewith to give a present to the bath-keeper or to 
some servant of the house of great Odysseus." 

So saying, he flung with his strong hand an ox-hoof 
which lay near, taking it from the basket. Odysseus 
with a quick turning of the head avoided it, and in 
his heart smiled grimly. It struck the massive wall. 
But Telemachus rebuked Ctesippus thus : 

" Surely, Ctesippus, that was lucky for your life. 
You missed our guest. He shunned your missile. 
Else I had run you through the middle with my 
pointed spear, and in the place of wedding-feast your 
father had been busied with a funeral here. Let no 
man in this house henceforth show rudeness ; for I 
now mark and understand each deed, good deeds as 
well as bad. Before, I was a child. And even yet 
we bear what nevertheless we see, — sheep slain, wine 
drunk, bread wasted, — for hard it is for one to cope 
with many. Nay then, do me no more deliberate 
wrong. But if you seek to slay me with the sword, 
that I would choose : and better far were death than 



XX. 317-350.] THE ODYSSEY. 325 

constantly behold disgraceful deeds, strangers abused, 
and damsels dragged to sbame through the fair pal- 
ace." 

So he spoke and all were hushed to silence ; but by 
and by said Agelaiis, son of Damastor : " Friends, in 
answering what is fairly said, none should be angry 
and retort with spiteful words. Let none abuse the 
stranger nor any of the servants in great Odysseus' 
hall. But to Telemachus and his mother 1 would say 
one friendly word ; perhaps it may find favor in the 
mind of each. So long as your hearts hoped wise 
Odysseus would return to his own home, it was no 
harm to wait and hold the suitors at the palace. That 
was the better way, if but Odysseus had returned and 
reached his home once more. Now it is plain that 
he will never come. Go then, sit down beside your 
mother and plainly tell her this, to marry the man who 
is the best and offers most. So shall you keep in 
peace all that your father left, to eat and drink your 
fill, and she shall guide the household of another." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Nay, 
Agelaiis, by Zeus I swear and by the sufferings of 
my father, who far away from Ithaca is dead or lost, 
it is not I delay my mother's marriage ; indeed I urge 
her to marry whom she will, I will give countless gifts. 
But I hesitate to drive her forth, against her will, by 
a compulsive word. God let that never be ! " 

So spoke Telemachus, but Pallas Athene woke 
uncontrollable laughter in the suitors. She turned 
their wits awry. Now they would laugh as if with 
others' faces, and blood-bedabbled was the flesh they 
ate. Their eyes were filled with tears, their heart 
felt anguish; and godlike Theoclymenus addressed 
them thus : 



326 THE ODYSSEY. [XX. 351-383, 

*' Ah wretched men, what woe befalls you ? Night 
shrouds your heads, your faces, and lower still, your 
knees. Wild cries are kindled ; cheeks are wet with 
tears ; walls and the fair mid-spaces drip with blood. 
The porch is full, the court is full, of shapes that 
haste to Erebus, down into darkness. The sun is 
blotted from the heavens ; a foul fog covers all." 

He spoke, and all burst into merry laughter ; and 
thus began Eurymachus, the son of Poly bus : "A 
crazy stranger this, new come from foreign lands! 
Quick then, young men, and guide him out of doors, 
off to the market, since he finds it here like night ! " 

Then godlike Theocly menus made answer : " Eury- 
machus, I do not ask a guide ; I have my eyes and 
ears, and my two feet, and in my breast a steadfast 
mind of no mean sort. By their aid I go forth, for 
I perceive an evil approaching you which none shall 
shun or flee, — nay, not a man among these suitors 
who in the house of great Odysseus work wantonly 
abominations to mankind." 

So saying, forth he went out of the stately palace 
and found Peiraeus, who received him kindly. Then 
all the suitors, glancing at one another, began to tease 
Telemachus by laughing at his guests, and a rude 
youth would say : 

" Telemachus, no man is more unfortunate in guests 
than you. For instance, what a filthy vagabond is 
this you keep, one always wanting bread and wine, 
incapable of work or deeds of strength, simply a cum- 
berer of the ground! And now this other fellow 
stands up and plays the prophet. But if you would 
heed me, the better w^ay were this ; to toss your guests 
into a ship of many oars and pack them off to Sicily, 
where they would fetch their price." 



XX. 384-394.] THE ODYSSEY. 327 

So said the suitors ; Telemachus did not heed tlieir 
words. Silent he \\^atched his father, waiting ever till 
he should lay hands on the shameless suitors. 

Now having set her goodly seat just opposite the 
door, the daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope, at- 
tended to the talk of all within the hall. With 
laughter they prepared their dinner, — a pleasant meal, 
such as they liked, — and many a beast was slaugh- 
tered. But how could feast be more unwelcome than 
the supper which a goddess and a valiant man were 
soon to set before them ? For from the first they had 
wrought deeds of shame. 



XXI. 

THE TKIAL OF THE BOW. 

And now the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, put in the 
mind of Icarius' daughter, heedful Penelope, to offer 
to the suitors in the hall the bow and the gray steel, 
as means of sport and harbingers of death. She 
mounted the long stairway of her house, holding a 
crooked key in her firm hand, — a goodly key of 
bronze, having an ivory handle, — and hastened with 
her damsels to a far-off room where her lord's treasure 
lay, bronze, gold, and well- wrought steel. Here also 
lay his curved bow and the quiver for his arrows, — 
and many grievous shafts were in it still, — gifts which 
a friend had given Odysseus when he met him once in 
Lacedaemon, — Iphitus, son of Eurytus, a man like 
the immortals. At Messene the two met, in the house 
of wise Orsilochus. Odysseus had come hither to 
claim a debt which the whole district owed him ; for 
upon ships of many oars Messenians carried off from 
Ithaca three hundred sheep together with their herds- 
men. In the long quest for these, Odysseus took the 
journey when he was but a youth ; for his father and 
the other elders sent him forth. Iphitus, on the other 
hand, was seeking horses ; for twelve mares had been 
lost, which had as foals twelve hardy mules. These 
afterwards became the death and doom of Iphitus 
when he met the stalwart son of Zeus, the hero Her- 
cules, who well knew deeds of daring ; for Hercules 



XXI. 26-60.] THE ODYSSEY. 329 

slew Ipliitus in his own house, altliougli his guest, and 
recklessly did not regard the anger of the gods nor yet 
the proffered table, but slew the man and kept at his 
own hall the strong-hoofed mares. It was when seek- 
ing these that Iphitus had met Odysseus and given 
the bow which in old days great Eurytus was wont to 
bear, and which on dying in his lofty hall he left his 
son. To Iphitus, Odysseus gave a sharp-edged sword 
and a stout spear, as the beginning of a loving friend- 
ship. They never sat, however, at one another's table ; 
ere that coidd be, the son of Zeus slew godlike Iphitus, 
the son of Eurytus, who gave the bow. Royal Odys- 
seus when going off to war in the black ships would 
never take this bow. It always stood in its own place 
at home, as a memorial of his honored friend. In his 
own land he bore it. 

Now when the royal lady reached this room and 
stood on the oaken threshold, — which long ago the car- 
penter had smoothed with skiU and leveled to the line, 
fitting the posts thereto and setting the shining doors, 
■ — then quickly from its ring she loosed the strap, 
thrust in the key, and with a careful aim shot back 
the door-bolts. As a bull roars when feeding in the 
field, so roared the goodly door touched by the key, 
and open flew before her. She stepped to a raised 
dais where stood some chests in which lay fragrant 
garments. Thence reaching up, she took from its peg 
the bow in the glittering case which held it. And 
now she sat her down and laid the case upon her lap 
and loudly weeping drew her lord's bow forth. But 
when she had had her fill of tears and sighs, she has- 
tened to the hall to meet the lordly suitors, bearing in 
hand the curved bow and the quiver for the arrows, 
and many grievous shafts were in it still. Beside her, 



330 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 61-95. 

damsels bore a box in whicli lay many a piece of steel 
and bronze, implements of her lord's for games like 
tbese. And when the royal lady reached the suitors, 
she stood beside a column of the strong-built roof, 
holding before her face her delicate wimple, the while 
a faithful damsel stood upon either hand. And 
straightway slie addressed the suitors, speaking thus : 

" Hearken, you haughty suitors who beset this house, 
eating and drinking ever, now my husband is long 
gone ; no word of excuse can you suggest except your 
wish to marry me and win me for your wife. Well 
then, my suitors, — since before you stands your prize, 
— I offer you the mighty bow of prince Odysseus ; 
and whoever with his hands shall lightliest bend the 
bow and shoot through all twelve axes, him I will fol- 
low and forsake this home, this bridal home, so very 
beautiful and full of wealth, a place I think I ever 
shall remember, even in my dreams." 

So saying, she bade Eumaeus, the noble swine- 
herd, deliver to the suitors the bow and the gray 
steel. With tears Eumaeus took the arms and laid 
them down before them. Near by, the neatherd also 
wept to see his master's bow. But Antinoiis rebuked 
them, and spoke to them and said : 

" You stupid boors, who only mind the passing 
minute, wretched pair, what do you mean by shedding 
tears, troubling this lady's heart, when already her heart 
is prostrated with grief at losing her dear husband ? 
Sit down and eat in silence, or else go forth and weep, 
but leave the bow behind, a dread ordeal for the suit- 
ors ; for I am sure this polished bow will not be bent 
with ease. There is not a man of all now here so 
powerful as Odysseus. I saw him once myself and 
well recall him, though I was then a child." 



XXI. 96-127.] THE ODYSSEY. 331 

He spoke, but in his breast his heart was hoping to 
draw the string and send an arrow through the steel ; 
yet he was to be the first to taste the shaft of good 
Odysseus, whom he now wronged though seated in his 
hall, while to like outrage he encouraged all his com- 
rades. To these now spoke revered Telemachus : 

" Ha ! Zeus the son of Kronos has made me play 
the fool ! My mother, — and wise she is, — says she 
will follow some strange man and quit this house ; 
and I but laugh and in my silly soul am glad. Come 
then, you suitors, since before you stands your prize, 
a lady whose like cannot be found throughout Achaean 
land, in sacred Pylos, Argos, or Mycenae, in Ithaca 
itself, or the dark mainland, as you yourselves well 
know, — what needs my mother praise ? — come then, 
delay not with excuse nor longer hesitate to bend the 
bow, but let us learn what is to be. I too might try 
the bow. And if I stretch it and send an arrow 
through the steel, then with no shame to me my 
honored mother may forsake this house and follow 
some one else, leaving me here behind ; for I shall 
then be able to wield my father's arms." 

He spoke, and flung his red cloak from his shoul- 
ders, rising full height, and put away the sharp sword 
also from his shoulder. First then he set the axes, 
marking one long furrow for them all, aligned by cord. 
The earth on the two sides he stamped down flat. 
Surprise filled all beholders to see how properly he 
set them, though he had never seen the game before. 
Then he went and stood upon the threshold and began 
to try the bow. Three times he made it tremble as 
he sought to make it bend. Three times he slacked 
his strain, still hoping in his heart to draw the string 
and send an arrow through the steel. And now he 



332 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 128-158. 

might have drawn it by force of a fourth tug, had 
not Odysseus shook his head and stayed the eager 
boy. So to the suitors once more spoke revered Te- 
lemachus : 

" Fie ! Shall I ever be a coward and a weakling, 
or am I still but young and cannot trust my arm to 
right me with the man who wrongs me first? But 
come, you who are stronger men than I, come try the 
bow and end the contest." 

So saying, he laid by the bow and stood it on the 
ground, leaning it on the firm-set polished door. The 
swift shaft, too, he likewise leaned against the bow's 
fair knob, and once more took the seat from which he 
first arose. Then said to them Antinoiis, Eupeithes' 
son: 

" Rise up in order all, from left to right, beginning 
where the cupbearer begins to pour the wine." 

So said Antinoiis, and his saying pleased them. 
Then first arose Leiodes, son of Oenops, who was 
their soothsayer and had his place beside the goodly 
mixer, farthest along the hall. To him alone their 
lawlessness was hateful ; he abhorred the suitor crowd. 
He it was now who first took up the bow and the swift 
shaft ; and going to the threshold, he stood and tried 
the bow. He could not bend it. Tugging the string 
wearied his hands, his soft, unhorny hands ; and to 
the suitors thus he spoke : 

"No, friends, I cannot bend it. Let some other 
take the bow. Ah, many chiefs this bow shall rob 
of life and breath! Yet better far to die than live 
and still to fail in that for which we constantly are 
gathered, waiting expectantly from day to day ! Now 
each man hopes and purposes at heart to win Pene- 
lope, Odysseus' wife. But when he shall have tried 



XXI. 159-187.] THE ODYSSEY. 333 

the bow and seen his failure, then to some other fair- 
robed woman of Achaea let each go, and offer her his 
suit and woo her with his gifts. So may Penelope 
marry the man who gives her most and comes with 
fate to favor ! " 

When he had spoken, he laid by the bow, leaning 
it on the firm-set polished door. The swift shaft, too, 
he likewise leaned against the bow's fair knob, and 
once more took the seat from which he first arose. 
But Antinoiis rebuked him, and spoke to him, and 
said: 

"Leiodes, what words have passed the barrier of 
your teeth ? Strange words and harsh ! Vexatious 
words to hear ! As if this bow must rob our chiefs 
of life and breath because you cannot bend it ! Why, 
your good mother did not bear you for a brandisher 
of bows and arrows. But others among the lordly 
suitors will bend it by and by." 

So saying, he gave an order to Melanthius, the goat- 
herd : " Hasten, Melantheus, and light a fire in the 
hall and set a long bench near, with fleeces on it ; then 
bring me the large cake of fat which lies inside the 
door, that after we have warmed the bow and greased 
it well, we young men try the bow and end the con- 
test." 

He spoke, and straightway Melanthius kindled a 
steady fire, and set a bench beside it with a fleece 
thereon, and brought out the large cake of fat which 
lay inside the door, and so the young men warmed the 
bow and made their trial. But yet they could not bend 
it ; they fell far short of power. Antinoiis, however, 
still held back, and prince Eurymachus, who were 
the suitors' leaders ; for they in manly excellence were 
quite the best of all. 



334 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 188-220. 

Meanwhile out of the house at the same moment 
came two men, princely Odysseus' herdsmen of the 
oxen and the swine ; and after them came royal Odys- 
seus also from the house. And when they were out- 
side the gate, beyond the yard, speaking in gentle 
words Odysseus said : 

" Neatherd, and you too, swineherd, may I tell a 
certain tale, or shall I hide it still ? My heart bids 
speak. How ready would you be to aid Odysseus if 
he should come from somewhere, thus, on a sudden, 
and a god should bring him home? Would you sup- 
port the suitors or Odysseus ? Speak freely, as your 
heart and spirit bid you speak." 

Then said to him the herdsman of the cattle : 
" Ο father Zeus, grant this my prayer ! May he re- 
turn and Heaven be his guide ! Then shall you know 
what might is mine and how my hands obey." 

So prayed Eumaeus too to all the gods, that wise 
Odysseus might return to his own home. So when he 
knew with certainty the heart of each, finding his 
words once more Odysseus said : 

" Lo, it is I, through many grievous toils now in 
the twentieth year come to my native land ! And 
yet I know that of my servants none but you desires 
my coming. From all the rest I have not heard 
one prayer that I return. To you then I will truly 
tell what shall hereafter be. If God by me subdues 
the lordly suitors, I will obtain you wives and give 
you wealth and homes established near my own ; 
and henceforth in my eyes you shall be friends and 
brethren of Telemachus. Come then and I will show 
you too a very trusty, sign, — that you may know me 
certainly and be assured in heart, -=- the scar the boar 
dealt long ago with his white tusk, when I once jour- 
neyed to Parnassus with Autolycus' sons." 



XXI. 221-250.] THE ODYSSEY. 335 

So saying, he drew aside his rags from the great 
scar. And when the two beheld and understood it 
all, their tears burst forth ; they threw their arms 
round wise Odysseus and passionately kissed his face 
and neck. So likewise did Odysseus kiss their heads 
and hands. And daylight had gone down upon their 
weeping had not Odysseus stayed their tears and 
said: 

" Have done with grief and wailing, or some- 
body in coming from the hall may see, and tell the 
tale indoors. Nay, go in one by one, not all together. 
I will go first, you after. And let this be agreed : 
the rest within, the lordly suitors, will not allow me 
to receive the bow and quiver. But, noble Eumaeus, 
bring the bow along the room and lay it in my hands. 
Then tell the women to lock the hall's close-fitting 
doors ; and if from their inner room they hear a 
moaning or a strife within our walls, let no one ven- 
ture forth, but stay in silence at her work. And, 
noble Philoetius, in your care I put the court-yard 
gates. Bolt with the bar and quickly lash the fasten- 

ing." 

So saying, Odysseus made his way into the stately 
house, and went and took the seat from which he first 
arose. And soon the serving-men of princely Odys- 
seus entered too. 

Now Eurymachus held the bow and turned it up 
and down, trying to heat it at the glowing fire. But 
still, with all his pains, he could not bend it ; his proud 
soul groaned aloud. Then bitterly he spoke ; these 
were the words he said : 

" Ah ! here is woe for me and woe for all ! Not 
that I so much mourn missing the marriage, though 
vexed I am at that. Still, there are enough more 



336 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 251-284. 

women of Acliaea, both here in sea-girt Ithaca and in 
the other cities. But if in strength we fall so short 
of princely Odysseus that we cannot bend his bow — 
oh, the disgrace for future times to know ! " 

Then said Antinoiis, Eupeithes' son : " Not so, 
Eurymachus, and you yourself know better. To-day 
throughout the land is the archer -god's high feast. 
Who then could bend a bow ? Nay, quietly lay it by ; 
and for the axes, what if we leave them standing ? 
Nobody, I am sure, will carry one away and trespass 
on the house of Laertes' son, Odysseus. Come then, 
and let the wine-pourer give pious portions to our 
cups, that after a libation we may lay aside curved 
bows. To-morrow morning tell Melanthius, the goat- 
herd, to drive us here the choicest goats of all his 
flock ; and we will set the thighs before the archer- 
god, Apollo, then try the bow and end the contest." 

So said Antinoiis, and his saying pleased them. 
Pages poured water on their hands ; young men 
brimmed bowls with drink and served to all, with a 
first pious portion for the cups. And after they had 
poured and drunk as their hearts would, then in his 
subtlety said wise Odysseus : 

" Hearken, you suitors of the illustrious queen, and 
let me tell you what the heart within me bids. I beg 
a special favor of Eurymachus, and great Antinoiis 
too ; for his advice was wise, that you now drop the 
bow and leave the matter with the gods, and in the 
morning God shall grant the power to whom he may. 
But give me now the polished bow, and let me in your 
presence prove my skill and power and see if I have 
yet such vigor left as once there was within my sup- 
ple limbs, or whether wanderings and neglect have 
ruined all." 



XXI. 285-317.] THE ODYSSEY. 337 

At these his words all were exceeding wroth, fear- 
ing that he might bend the polished bow. But Anti- 
noiis rebuked him, and spoke to him and said : " You 
scurvy stranger, with not a whit of sense, are you not 
satisfied to eat in peace with us, your betters, unstinted 
in your food and hearing all we say ? Nobody else, 
stranger or beggar, hears our talk. 'T is wine that 
goads you, honeyed wine, a thing that has brought 
others trouble, when taken greedily and drunk without 
due measure. Wine crazed the Centaur, famed Eu- 
rytion, at the house of bold Peirithoiis, on his visit to 
the Lapithae. And when his wits were crazed with 
wine, he madly wrought foul outrage on the household 
of Peirithoiis. So indignation seized the heroes. 
Through the porch and out of doors they rushed, 
dragging Eurytion forth, shorn by the pitiless sword 
of ears and nose. Crazed in his wits, he went his way, 
bearing in his bewildered heart the burden of his 
guilt. And hence arose a feud between the Centaurs 
and mankind ; but the beginning of the woe he him- 
self caused by wine. Even so I prophesy great harm 
to you, if you shall bend the bow. No kindness will 
you meet from any in our land, but we will send you 
by black ship straight to king Echetus, the bane of 
all mankind, out of whose hands you never shall come 
clear. Be quiet, then, and take your drink ! Do not 
presume to vie with younger men ! " 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Antinoiis, it 
is neither honorable nor fitting to worry strangers 
who may reach this palace of Telemachus. Do you 
suppose the stranger, if he bends the great bow of 
Odysseus, confident in his skill and strength of arm, 
will lead me home and take me for his wife ? He in 
his inmost soul imagines no such thing. Let none of 



338 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 318-353. 

you sit at the table disturbed by such a thought ; for 
that could never, never, be ! " 

Then answered her Eurymachus, the son of Poly- 
bus : " Daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope, we do 
not think the man will marry you. Of course that 
could not be. And yet we dread the talk of men and 
women, and fear that one of the baser sort of the 
Achaeans say : ' Men far inferior sue for a good man's 
wife, and cannot bend his polished bow. But some- 
body else, — a wandering beggar, — came, and easily 
bent the bow and sent an arrow through the steel.' 
This they will say, to us a shame indeed." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope ; " Eurymachus, 
men cannot be in honor in the land and rudely Tob 
the household of their prince. Why then count this 
a shame? The stranger is right tall, and well-knit 
too, and calls himself the son of a good father» Give 
him the polished bow, and let us see. For this I 
tell you, and it shall be done : if he shall bend it and 
Apollo grants his prayer, I will clothe him in a coat 
and tunic, goodly garments, give him a pointed spear 
to keep off dogs and men, a two-edged sword, and 
sandals for his feet, and I will send him where his 
heart and soiu may bid him go." 

Then answered her discreet Telemachus : " My 
mother, no Achaean has better right than I to give or 
to refuse the bow to any as I will. And out of all 
who rule in rocky Ithaca, or in the islands off to- 
ward grazing Elis, none may oppose my will, even if I 
wished to put the bows into the stranger's hands and 
let him take them once for all away. Then seek your 
chamber and attend to matters of your own, — the 
loom, the distaff, — and bid the women ply their 
tasks. Bows are for men, for all, especially for me ; 
for power within this house rests here." 



XXI. 354-385.] THE ODYSSEY. 339 

Amazed, she turned to her own room again, for the 
wise saying of her son she laid to heart. And com- 
ing to the upper chamber with her maids, she there 
bewailed Odysseus, her dear husband, till on her lids 
clear-eyed Athene caused a sweet sleej^ to fall. 

Meanwhile the noble swineherd, taking the curved 
bow, was bearing it away. But the suitors all broke 
into uproar in the hall, and a rude youth would say : 
" Where are you carrying the curved bow, you miser- 
able swineherd ? Crazy fool ! Soon out among the 
swine, away from men, swift dogs shall eat you, — 
dogs you yourself have bred — will but Apollo and 
the other deatliless gods be gracious ! " 

At these their words the bearer of the bow laid it 
down where he stood, frightened because the crowd 
within the hall cried out upon him. But from the 
other side Telemachus called threateningly aloud : 
" Nay, father ! Carry on the bow ! You cannot well 
heed all. Take care, or I, a nimbler man than you, 
will drive you to the fields with pelting stones. Supe- 
rior in strength I am to you. Ah, would I were as 
much beyond the others in the house, beyond these 
suitors, in my skill and strength of arm ! Then 
would I soon send somebody away in sorrow from my 
house ; for men work evil here." 

He spoke, and all burst into merry laughter and 
laid aside their bitter anger with Telemachus. And 
so the swineherd, bearing the bow along the hall, 
drew near to wise Odysseus and put it in his hands ; 
then calling aside nurse Eurycleia, thus he said : 

" Telemachus bids you, heedful Eurycleia, to lock 
the hall's close-fitting doors ; and if a woman from 
the inner room hears moaning or a strife within our 
walls, let her not venture forth, but stay in silence 
at her work." 



340 THE ODYSSEY. [XXI. 386-417. 

Such were his words ; unwinged, they rested with 
her. She locked the doors of the stately hall. Then 
silently from the house Philoetius stole forth and 
straightway barred the gates of the fenced court. 
Beneath the portico there lay a curved ship's cable, 
made of byblus plant. With this he lashed the gates, 
then passed indoors himself, and went and took the 
seat from which he first arose, eying Odysseus. Now 
Odysseus already held the bow and turned it round 
and round, trying it here and there to see if worms had 
gnawed the horn while its lord was far away. And 
glancing at his neighbor one would say : 

" A sort of fancier and a trickster with the bow this 
fellow is. No doubt at home he has himself a bow 
like that, or means to make one like it. See how 
he turns it in his hands this way and that, ready for 
mischief, — rascal ! " 

Then would another rude youth answer thus : " Oh 
may he always meet with luck as good as when he is 
unable now to bend the bow ! " 

So talked the suitors. Meantime wise Odysseus, 
when he had handled the great bow and scanned it 
closely, — even as one well-skilled to play the lyre and 
sing stretches with ease round its new peg a string, 
securing at each end the twisted sheep-gut ; so with- 
out effort did Odysseus string the mighty bow. Hold- 
ing it now with his right hand, he tried its cord ; and 
clear to the touch it sang, voiced like the swallow. 
Great consternation came upon the suitors. All faces 
then changed color. Zeus thundered loud for signal. 
And glad was long-tried royal Odysseus to think the 
son of crafty Kronos sent an omen. He picked up a 
swift shaft which lay beside him on the table, drawn. 
Within the hollow quiver still remained the rest, which 



XXI. 418^34.] THE ODYSSEY. 341 

the Achaeans soon should prove. Then laying the 
arrow on the arch, he drew the string and arrow 
notches, and forth from the bench on which he sat 
let fly the shaft, with careful aim, and did not miss 
an axe's ring from first to last, but clean through all 
sped on the bronze-tipped arrow ; and to Telemachus 
he said : 

" Telemachus, the guest now sitting in your hall 
brings you no shame. I did not miss my mark, nor 
in the bending of the bow make a long labor. My 
strength is sound as ever, not what the mocking suit- 
ors here despised. But it is time for the Achaeans 
to make supper ready, while it is daylight still ; and 
then for us in other ways to make them sport, — 
with dance and lyre ; for these attend a feast." 

He spoke and frowned the sign. His sharp sword 
then Telemachus girt on, the son of princely Odys- 
seus ; clasped his right hand around his spear, and 
close beside his father's seat he took his stand, armed 
with the gleaming bronze. 



XXII. 

THE SLAUGHTER OF THE SUITORS. 

Then wise Odysseus threw off his rags and sprang 
to the broad threshold, bow in hand and quiver full 
of arrows. Out he poured the swift shafts at his feet, 
and thus addressed the suitors : 

" So the dread ordeal ends ! Now to another mark 
I turn, to hit what no man ever hit before, will but 
Apollo grant my prayer." 

He spoke, and aimed a pointed arrow at Antinoiis. 
The man was in the act to raise his goodly goblet, — 
gold it was and double-eared, — and even now guided it 
in his hands to drink the wine. Death gave his heart 
no care. For who could think that in this company 
of feasters one of the crowd, however strong, could 
bring upon him cruel death and dismal doom ? But 
Odysseus aimed an arrow and hit him in the throat ; 
right through his tender neck the sharp point passed. 
He sank down side wise ; from his hand the goblet fell 
when he was hit, and straightway from his nose ran a 
thick stream of human blood. Roughly he pushed 
his table back, kicking it with his foot, and scattered 
off the food upon the floor. The bread and roasted 
meat \vere thrown away. Into a tumult broke the 
suitors round about the hall when they saw the fallen 
man. They sprang from their seats and, hurrying 
through the hall, peered at the massive walls on every 
side. But nowhere was there shield or ponderous 



XXII. 26-55.] THE ODYSSEY. 343 

spear to seize. Then they assailed Odysseus with in- 
dignant words : 

" Stranger, to your sorrow you turn your bow on 
men ! You never shall take part in games again. 
Swift death awaits you ; for you have killed the leader 
of the noble youths of Ithaca. To pay for this, vul- 
tures shall eat you here ! " > 

So each one spoke ; they thought he had not meant 
to kill the man. They foolishly did not see that for 
them one and all destruction's cords were knotted. 
But looking sternly on them wise Odysseus said : 

" Dogs ! You have been saying all the time I never 
should return out of the land of Troy ; and there- 
fore you destroyed m}^ home, outraged my women- 
servants, and, — I alive, — covertly wooed my wife, 
fearing no gods that hold the open sky, nor that the 
indignation of mankind would fall on you hereafter. 
Now for you one and all destruction's cords are 
knotted ! " 

As he spoke thus, pale fear took hold mi all. Each 
peered about to flee from instant death. Only Eury- 
machus made answer, saying : 

" If you indeed be Ithacan Odysseus, now returned, 
justly have you described what the Achaeans have 
been doing, — full many crimes here at the hall and 
many in the field. But there at last lies he who was 
the cause of all, Antinoiis ; for it was he who set us 
on these deeds, not so much needing and desiring 
marriage, but with this other purpose, — which the 
son of Kronos never granted, — that in the settled 
land of Ithaca he might himself be king, when he 
should treacherously have slain your son. Now he is 
justly slain. But spare your people, and we here- 
after, making you public recompense for all we drank 



344 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 56-88. 

and ate here at the hall, will pay a fine of twenty 
oxen each and give you bronze and gold enough to 
warm your heart. Till this is done, we cannot blame 
your wrath." 

But looking sternly on him, wise Odysseus said: 
" Eurymachus, if you would give me all your father's 
goods, and all your own, and all that you might gather 
elsewhere, I would not stay my hands from slaying 
until the suitors paid the price of all their lawless 
deeds. It lies before you then to fight or flee, if any 
man will save himself from death and doom. But 
some here will not flee, I think, from instant death." 

As he spoke thus, their knees grew feeble and their 
very souls ; but Eurymachus called out a second time : 
" Come, friends, the man will not hold back his ruth- 
less hands ; but having got possession of a polished 
bow and quiver, he will shoot from the smooth thresh- 
old until he kills us all. Let us then turn to fighting. 
Draw swords, and hold the tables up against his 
deadly arrows ! Have at him all together ! Perhaps 
we may dislodge him from the threshold and the door, 
then reach the town and quickly raise the alarm. So 
would the fellow soon have shot his last." 

So saying, he drew his sharp two-edged bronze 
sword and sprang upon Odysseus with a fearful cry. 
But on the instant royal Odysseus shot an arrow and 
hit him in the breast beside the nipple, fixing the 
swift bolt in his liver. Out of his hand his sword 
dropped on the ground, and he himseK, sprawling 
across the table, bent and fell, spilling the food and 
double cup upon the floor. With his brow he beat 
the pavement in his agony of heart, and with his 
kicking shook the chair. Upon his eyes gathered the 
mists of death. 



XXII. 89-117.] THE ODYSSEY. 345 

But Amphinomus assaulted glorious Odysseus, and 
dashing headlong forward drew his sharp sword, hop- 
ing to make Odysseus yield the door. But Telema- 
chus was quick and struck him with his brazen spear 
upon the back, between the shoulders, and drove the 
spear-point through his chest. He fell with a thud and 
struck the ground flat with his forehead. Telemachus 
sprang back and left the long spear sticking in Am- 
phinomus ; for he feared if he should draw the long 
spear out, an Achaean might attack him, rushing on 
him with his sword, and as he stooped might stab 
him. So off he ran and hastily went back to his dear 
father; and standing close beside him, he said in 
winged words : 

"Now, father, I will fetch a shield and pair of 
spears, and a brazen helmet also, fitted to your brow. 
And I will go and arm myself, and give some armor 
to the swineherd and to the neatherd too ; for to be 
armed is better." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Run ! 
Bring the arms while I have arrows to defend me, or 
they wiU drive me from the door when I am left 
alone." 

He spoke, and Telemachus heeded his dear father, 
and hastened to the chamber where the glittering 
armor lay. Out of the store he chose four shields, 
eight spears, and four bronze helmets having horse- 
hair plumes. These he bore off and hastily went back 
to his dear father. Telemachus first girt his body 
with the bronze, then the two servants likewise girt 
themselves in goodly armor, and so all took their 
stand by Odysseus, keen and crafty. 

He, just as long as he had arrows to defend him, 
shot down a suitor in the hall with every aim, and 



346 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 118-147. 

side by side they fell. Then when his arrows failed 
the princely bowman, he leaned the bow against the 
door-post of the stately room, letting it stand beside 
the bright face-wall, and he too slung a fourfold shield 
about his shoulders, put on his sturdy head a shapely 
helmet, horsehair-plumed, — grimly the crest above it 
nodded, — and took in hand two ponderous spears 
pointed with bronze. 

Now in the solid wall there was a postern-door ; and 
level with the upper threshold of the stately hall, an 
opening to a passage, closed with jointed boards. 
Odysseus ordered the noble swineherd to guard this 
postern-door and in its neighborhood to take his 
stand, since this was the only exit. But to the suitors 
said Agelaiis, speaking his words to aU : 

" Friends, could not one of you climb by the 
postern-door and tell our people, and quickly raise 
the alarm ? So would the fellow soon have shot his 
last." 

Then said to him Melanthius the goatherd : " No, 
heaven-descended Agelaiis, that may in no wise be ; for 
the good court-yard door is terribly near at hand, and 
the mouth of the passage-way is narrow. One person 
there, if resolute, could bar the way for all. Yet I 
will fetch you from the chamber arms to wear ; for 
there, I think, and nowhere else, Odysseus stored the 
armor, — he and his gallant son." 

So having said, Melanthius, the goatherd, climbed 
to the chambers of Odysseus through the vent-holes of 
the hall. Out of the store he chose twelve shields, as 
many spears, and just as many brazen helmets having 
horsehair plumes ; then turning back, he brought 
them very quickly and gave them to the suitors. And 
now did Odysseus' knees grow feeble and his very 



XXII. 148-181.] THE ODYSSEY, 347 

soul, when he saw them donning arms and waving in 
their hands long spears. Large seemed his task; 
and straightway to Telemachus he spoke these winged 
words : 

" Surely, Telemachus, a woman of the house aids 
the hard fight against us ; or else it is Melantheus." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " Father, 
the fault is mine ; no other is to blame ; for I it was 
who opened the chamber's tight-shut door and left it 
open. Their watchman was too good. But, noble 
Eumaeus, go and close the chamber-door, and see if 
any woman has a hand in this, or if, — as I suspect, — 
it is the son of Dolius, Melantheus." 

So they conversed together. And now Melanthius, 
the goatherd, went to the room again to fetch more 
goodly armor. The noble swineherd spied him, and 
quickly to Odysseus, standing near, he said : 

" High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, there 
is the knave whom we suspected, just going to the 
chamber. Speak plainly ; shall I kill him if I prove 
the better man, or shall I bring him here to pay for 
all the crimes he plotted in your house ? " 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Here 
in the hall Telemachus and I will hold the lordly suit- 
ors, rage they as they may. You two tie the man's 
feet and hands and drag him within the chamber ; 
there fasten boards upon his back, and lashing a 
twisted roj^e around him hoist him aloft, up the tall 
pillar, and bring him to the beams, that he may keep 
alive there long and suffer grievous torment." 

So he spoke, and willingly they heeded and obeyed. 
They hastened to the chamber, unseen of him within. 
He was engaged in searching after armor in a corner 
of the room, while the pair stood beside the door- 



348 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 182-212. 

posts, one on either hand, and waited. Soon as Melan- 
thius the goatherd crossed the threshold, in one hand 
bearing a goodly helmet and in the other a broad 
old shield beflecked with mould, — the shield of lord 
Laertes, which he carried in his youth, now laid away, 
its strap-seams parted, — then on him sprang the two 
and dragged him by the hair within the door, threw 
him all horror-stricken to the ground, bound hands 
and feet together with a galling cord, which tight 
and fast they tied, as they were ordered by Laertes' 
son, long-tried royal Odysseus ; then they lashed a 
twisted rope around and hoisted him aloft, up the tall 
pillar, and brought him to the beams ; and mocking 
him said you, swineherd Eumaeus : 

" Now then, Melan thins, you shall watch the whole 
night long, stretched out on such a comfortable bed 
as suits you well. The early dawn out of the Ocean- 
stream shall not in golden splendor slip unheeded by, 
when you should drive goats for the suitors at the hall 
to make their meal." 

Thus was he left there, fast in deadly bonds. The 
pair put on their armor, closed the shining door and 
went to join Odysseus, keen and crafty. Here they 
stood, breatliing fury, four of them on the threshold, 
although within the hall were many men of might. 
But near them came Athene, the daughter of Zeus, 
likened to Mentor in her form and voice. To see her 
made Odysseus glad, and thus he spoke : 

" Mentor, save us from ruin ! Remember the good 
comrade who often aided you. You are of my own 
years." 

He said this, though he understood it was Athene, 
the summoner of hosts. But the suitors shouted from 
the other side, down in the hall ; and foremost in 
abuse was Agelaiis, son of Damastor : 



XXII. 213-245.] THE ODYSSEY. 349 

" Mentor, do not let Odysseus lure you by his words 
to fight the suitors and to lend him aid ; for I am 
sure even then we still shall work our wilL And 
after we have slain these men, father and son, you too 
shall die beside them for deeds you thought to do 
within the hall. Here with your head you shall make 
due amends. And when with the sword we have cut 
short your power, whatever goods you have, within 
doors and without, we will confound with the posses- 
sions of Odysseus. We will not let your sons and 
daughters live at home, nor let your true wife linger 
in the town of Ithaca." 

As he spoke thus, Athene grew more wroth in spirit 
and chid Odysseus with these angry words : " Odys- 
seus, you have no longer such firm power and spirit 
as when for the sake of white-armed high-born Helen 
you fought the Trojans nine years long unflinchingly, 
and vanquished many men in mortal combat, and by 
your wisdom Priam's wide-wayed city fell. Why, 
now returned to home and wealth and here confronted 
with the suitors, do you shrink from being brave? 
Nay, nay, good friend, stand by my side, watch what 
I do, and see how, in the presence of the foe, Mentor, 
the son of Alcimus, repays a kindness." 

She spoke, but gave him not quite yet the victory 
in fuU. Still she made trial of the strength and spirit 
both of Odysseus and his valiant son. Up to the 
roof -beam of the smoky hall she darted like a swallow, 
resting there. 

Now the suitors were led by Agelaus, son of Da- 
mastor, by Eurynomus, Amphimedon, and Demopto- 
lemus, by Peisander, son of Polyctor, and wise Poly- 
bus ; for these in manly excellence were quite the best 
of all who still were living, fighting for their lives. 



350 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 246-276. 

The rest the bow and storm of arrows had laid low. 
So to these men said Agelaiis, speaking his words to 
all: 

" Now, friends, at last the man shall hold his ruth- 
less hands ; for Mentor has departed after uttering 
idle boasts, and the men at the front door are left 
alone. So hurl your long spears, but not all together ! 
Now then, six let fly first; and see if Zeus allows 
Odysseus to be hit and us to win an honor. No 
trouble about the rest when he is down ! " 

He said, and all to whom he spoke let fly their 
spears with power. Athene made all vain. One 
struck the doorpost of the stately hall ; one the tight- 
fitting door ; another's ashen shaft, heavy with bronze, 
crashed on the wall. And when the men were safe 
from the suitors' spears, then thus began long-tried 
royal Odysseus : 

" Friends, let me give the word at last to our side 
too. Let fly your spears into the crowd of suitors, 
men who seek to slay and strip us, adding this to 
former wrongs ! " 

He spoke, and all with careful aim let fly their 
pointed spears. Odysseus struck down Demoptole- 
mus ; Telemachus, Euryades ; the swineherd, Elatus ; 
and the herdsman of the cattle, Peisander. All these 
together bit the dust of the broad floor, the other suit- 
ors falling back from hall to deep recess. Odysseus' 
men sprang forward and from the bodies of the dead 
pulled out the spears. 

And now the suitors again let fly their pointed 
spears Avith power. Athene made them for the most 
part vain. One struck the doorpost of the stately 
hall ; one the tight-fitting door ; another's ashen shaft, 
heavy with bronze, crashed on the wall. But Amphi- 



XXII. 277-305.] THE ODYSSEY. 351 

inedon wounded Telemachus on the wrist of the right 
hand, though slightly ; the metal tore the outer skin. 
And Ctesippus with his long spear grazed Eumaeus 
on the shoulder which showed above his shield ; the 
spear flew past and fell upon the ground. 

Once more the men beside Odysseus, keen and 
crafty, let fly their sharp spears on the crowd of suit- 
ors. And now by Odysseus, the spoiler of cities, 
Eurydamas was hit ; by Telemachus, Amphimedon ; 
by the swineherd, Polybus ; and afterwards the herds- 
man of the cattle hit Ctesippus in the breast and 
cried in triumph : 

" Ha, son of Polytherses, ready mocker, never again 
give way to folly and big words ! Leave boasting to 
the gods ; they are stronger far than you. This gift 
offsets the hoof you gave to great Odysseus a little 
while ago, when in his house he played the beggar 
man." 

So spoke the herdsman of the crook-horned kine. 
Then Odysseus wounded Damastor's son with his long- 
spear, when fighting hand to hand. Telemachus 
wounded Evenor's son, Leiocritus, with a spear-thrust 
in the middle of the waist, and drove the point clean 
through. He fell on his face and struck the ground 
flat with his forehead. And now Athene from the 
roof above stretched forth her murderous aegis. 
Their souls were panic-stricken. They scurried 
through the hall like herded cows, on whom the 
glancing gadfly falls and maddens them, in spring- 
time when the days are long. And as the crook- 
clawed hook-beaked vultures, descending from the 
hills, dart at the birds which fly the clouds and skim 
the plain, while the vultures pounce and kill them; 
defense they have not and have no escape, and men 



352 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 306-336. 

are merry at their capture ; so the four chased the 
suitors clown the hall and smote them right and left. 
There went up moans, a dismal sound, as skulls were 
crushed and aU the pavement ran with blood. 

But Leiodes, rushing forward, clasped Odysseus by 
the knees, and spoke imploringly these winged words : 
" I clasp your knees, Odysseus ! Oh, respect and spare 
me ! For I protest I never harmed a woman of the 
house by wicked word or act. No ! and I used to try 
to stop the rest, — the suitors, — when one of them 
would do such deeds. But they were not inclined to 
hold their hands from wrong. So through their own 
perversity they met a dismal doom ; and I, their sooth- 
sayer, although I did no ill, must also fall. There is 
no gratitude for good deeds done ! " 

Then looking sternly on him wise Odysseus said : 
" If you avow yourself their soothsayer, many a time 
you must have prayed within the hall that the issue of 
a glad return might be delayed for me, while my dear 
wife should follow you and bear you children. There- 
fore you shall not now avoid a shameful death." 

So saying, he seized in his sturdy hand a sword 
that lay near by, a sword which Agelaiis had dropped 
upon the ground when he was slain, and drove it 
through the middle of Leiodes' neck. While he yet 
sj)oke, his head rolled in the dust. 

But the bard, the son of Terpes, still had escaped 
dark doom, — Phemius, who sang perforce among the 
suitors. He stood, holding the tuneful lyre in his 
hands, close to the postern-door ; and in his heart he 
doubted whether to hasten from the hall to the mas- 
sive altar of great Zeus, guardian of courts, and take 
his seat where oftentimes Laertes and Odysseus had 
burned the thighs of beeves ; or whether he should 



XXII. 337-369.] THE ODYSSEY. 353 

ruu and clasp Odysseus by the knees. Reflecting 
thus, it seemed the better way to touch the knees of 
Laertes' son, Odysseus. He laid his hollow lyre upon 
the ground, midway between the mixer and the silver- 
studded chair, ran forward to Odysseus, clasped his 
knees, and spoke imploringly these winged words : 

*' I clasp your knees, Odysseus ! Oh, respect and 
spare me ! To you yourself hereafter grief will come, 
if you destroy a bard who sings to gods and men. 
SeK-taught am I ; God planted in my heart all kinds 
of song ; and I had thought to sing to you as to a god. 
Then do not seek to slay me. Telemachus, your own 
dear son, will say how not through will of mine, nor 
seeking gain, I lingered at your palace, singing to the 
suitors at their feasts ; for being more and stronger 
men than I, they brought me here by force." 

AYhat he had said revered Telemachus heard, and 
he quickly called to his father who was standing near : 
" Hold ! For the man is guiltless. Do not stab him 
with the sword ! And let us also spare Medon, the 
page, who here at home used to have charge of me 
while I was still a child, — unless indeed Philoetius or 
the swineherd slew him, or he encountered you as you 
stormed along the hall." 

AYhat he was saying Medon, that man of under- 
standing, heard ; for he lay crouching underneath a 
chair, wrapped in a fresh-flayed ox's hide, seeking to 
shun dark doom. Straightway he rose from underneath 
the chair, quickly cast off the hide, sprang forward to 
Telemachus, clasped his knees, and cried imploringly 
in winged words : 

" Friend, stay your hand ! It is I ! And speak to 
your father, or exidting in his sharp sword he will 
destroy me out of indignation at the suitors, who 



354 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 370-402. 

wasted the possessions in his halls and in their folly 
paid no heed to you." 

But wise Odysseus, smiling, said : " Be of good 
cheer, for he has cleared and saved you ; that in your 
heart you may perceive and may report to others how 
much more safe is doing good than iU, But both of 
you leave the hall and sit outside, out of this blood- 
shed, in the court, — you and the full-voiced bard, — 
till I have accomplished in the house all that I still 
must do." 

Even as he spoke, the pair went forth and left the 
hall, and both sat down by the altar of great Zeus, 
peering about on every side as still expecting death. 
Odysseus too peered round his hall to see if any liv- 
ing man were lurking there, seeking to shun dark 
doom. He found them all laid low in blood and dust, 
and in such numbers as the fish which fishermen draw 
to the shelving shore out of the foaming sea in meshy 
nets ; these all, sick for the salt sea wave, lie heaped 
upon the sands, while the resplendent sun takes life 
away ; so lay the suitors, heaped on one another. And 
now to Telemachus said wise Odysseus : 

*' Telemachus, go call nurse Eurycleia, that I may 
speak to her the thing I have in mind." 

He spoke, and Telemachus heeded his dear father 
and, shaking the door, said to nurse Eurycleia : " Up ! 
aged woman, who have charge of all the damsels in 
our hall ! Come hither ! My father calls and wants 
to speak with you." 

Such were his words ; unwinged, they rested with 
her. Opening the doors of the stately hall, she en- 
tered. Telemachus led the way. And there among 
the bodies of the slain she found Odysseus, dabbled 
with blood and gore, like a lion come from feeding 



XXII. 403-436.] THE ODYSSEY. 355 

on some stall-fed ox ; its wliole breast and its cheeks 
on either side are bloody ; terrible is the beast to see ; 
so dabbled was Odysseus, feet and hands. And when 
she saw the bodies and the quantity of blood, she 
was ready to cry aloud at the sight of the mighty deed. 
But Odysseus held her back and stayed her madness, 
and speaking in winged words he said : 

" Woman, be glad within ; but hush, and make no 
cry. It is not right to glory in the slain. The gods' 
doom and their reckless deeds destroyed them ; for 
they respected nobody on earth, bad man or good, 
who came among them. So through their own per- 
versity they met a dismal doom. But name me now 
the women of the hall, and tell me who dishonor me 
and who are guiltless." 

Then said to him his dear nurse Eurycleia : " Then 
I will tell you, child, the very truth. You have fifty 
women-servants at the hall whom we have tau^iht their 
tasks, to card the wool and bear the servant's lot. 
Out of these women, twelve in all have gone the way 
of shame, paying no heed to me nor even to Pene- 
lope. It is but lately Telemachus has come to man- 
hood, and his mother has never suffered him to rule 
the maids. But let me go above, to the bright upper 
chamber, and tell your wife, whom a god has laid 
asleep." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Do 
not awake her yet ; tell those women to come here 
who in the past behaved unworthily." 

So he spoke, and through the hall forth the old 
woman went, to give the message to the maids and bid 
them come with speed. Meanwhile Odysseus, calling 
to his side Telemachus, the neatherd, and the swine- 
herd, spoke to them thus in winged words : 



356 THE ODYSSEY. [XXII. 437-469• 

"Begin to carry off the dead, and bid the women 
aid you ; then let them clean the goodly chairs and 
tables with water and porous sponges. And when you 
have set in order all the house, lead forth these serv- 
ing-maids out of the stately hall to a spot between the 
round-house and the neat court-yard wall, and smite 
them with your long swords till you take life from all ; 
and so they may forget the love they had among the 
suitors, when they would meet them unobserved." 

He spoke, and the women came, trooping along 
together, in bitter lamentation, letting the big tears 
fall. First they carried out the bodies of the dead 
and laid them by the portico of the fenced court, pilmg 
them there one on another. Odysseus gave the orders 
and hastened on the work, and only because compelled 
the maids bore off the bodies. Then afterwards they 
cleaned the goodly chairs and tables with water and 
porous sponges. Telemachus, the neatherd and the 
swineherd with shovels scraped the pavement of the 
strong-built room, and the maids took up the scrapings 
and threw them out of doors. And when they had 
set in order all the hall, they led the serving-maids 
out of the stately hall to a spot between the round- 
house and the neat court-yard wall, and there they 
shut them in a narrow space whence there was no 
escape. Then thus began discreet Telemachus : 

"By no honorable death would I take away the 
lives of those who poured reproaches on my head and 
on my mother, and lay beside the suitors." 

He spoke, and tied the cable of a dark-bowed ship 
to a great pillar, then lashed it to the round-house, 
stretching it high across, too high for one to touch 
the feet upon the ground. And as the wide-winged 
thrushes or the doves strike on a net set in the bushes \ 



XXII. 470-501.] THE ODYSSEY. 357 

and when they think to go to roost a cruel bed re- 
ceives them ; even so the women held their heads in 
line, and around every neck a noose was laid, that 
they might die most vilely. They twitched their feet 
a little, but not long. 

Then forth they led Melanthius across the porch 
and yard. With ruthless sword they lopped his nose 
and ears, pulled out his bowels to be eaten raw by 
dogs, and in their rage cut off his hands and feet. 

Afterwards washing clean their own hands and their 
feet, they went to meet Odysseus in the house, and aU 
the work was done. But to his dear nurse Eurycleia 
said Odysseus : " Woman, bring sulplr .r, a protection 
against harm, and bring me fire to fumigate the hall. 
And bid Peneloi^e come hither with her women, and 
order all the maids throughout the house to come." 

Then said to him his dear nurse Eurycleia : " Truly, 
my child, in all this you speak rightly. Yet let me 
fetch you clothes, a coat and tunic. And do not, with 
this covering of rags on your broad shoulders, stand in 
the hall. That would be cause for blame." 

But w^ise Odysseus answered her and said ; " First 
let a fire be lighted in the hall." 

At these his words, his dear nurse Eurycleia did not 
disobey, but brought the fire and sulphur. Odysseus 
fumigated all the hall, the buildings and the court. 

And now the old woman passed through the goodly 
palace of Odysseus to take his message to the maids 
and bid them come with speed. Out of their room 
they came, with torches in their hands. They gath- 
ered round Odysseus, hailing him with delight. 
Fondly they kissed his face and neck, and held him 
by the hand. Glad longing fell upon him to weep and 
cry aloud. All these he knew were true. 



xxm. 

THE RECOGNITION BY PENELOPE. 

So the old woman, full of glee, went to the upper 
chamber to tell her mistress her dear lord was in the 
house. Her knees grew strong; her -feet outran 
themselves. By Penelope's head she paused, and 
thus she spoke : 

" Awake, Penelope, dear child, to see with your own 
eyes what you have hoped to see this many a day ! 
Odysseus is here ! He has come home at last, and slain 
the haughty suitors, — the men who vexed his house, 
devoured his substance, and oppressed his son." 

Then heedful Penelope said to her : " Dear nurse, 
the gods have crazed you. They can befool one who 
is very wise, and often they have set the simple in the 
paths of prudence. They have confused you ; you 
were sober-minded heretofore. Why mock me when 
my heart is full of sorrow, telling wild tales like these ? 
And why arouse me from the sleep that sweetly bound 
me and kept my eyelids closed ? I have not slept so 
soundly since Odysseus went away to see accursed 
Ilios, — name never to be named. Nay then, go 
down, back to the hall. If any other of my maids 
had come and told me this and waked me out of 
sleep, I would soon have sent her off in sorry wise 
into the hall once more. This time age serves you 
well." 

Then said to her the good nurse Eurycleia : " Dear 



XXIII. 26-57.] THE ODYSSEY. 359 

child, I do not mock you. In very truth it is Odys- 
seus ; he is come, as I have said. He is the stranger 
whom everybody in the hall has set at naught. Te- 
lemachus knew long ago that he was here, but out of 
prudence hid his knowledge of his father till he 
should have revenge from these bold men for wicked 
deeds." 

So spoke she ; and Penelope was glad, and, spring- 
ing from her bed, fell on the woman's neck, and let 
the tears burst from her eyes ; and, speaking in winged 
words, she said : " Nay, tell me, then, dear nurse, and 
tell me truly ; if he is really come as you declare, how 
was it he laid hands upon the shameless suitors, being 
alone, while they were always here together ? " 

Then answered her the good nurse Eurycleia: "I 
did not see ; I did not ask ; I only heard the groans 
of dying men. In a corner of our protected chamber 
we sat and trembled, — the doors were tightly closed, 
— until your son Telemachus called to me from the 
hall ; for his father bade him call. And there among 
the bodies of the slain I found Odysseus standing. 
All around, covering the trodden floor, they lay, one 
on another. It would have warmed your heart to see 
him, like a lion, dabbled with blood and gore. Now 
all the bodies are collected at the courtyard gate, 
while he is fumigating the fair house by lighting a 
great fire. He sent me here to call you. Follow me, 
then, that you may come to gladness in your true 
hearts together, for sorely have you suffered. Now 
the long hope has been at last fulfilled. He has come 
back alive to his own hearth, and found you still, you 
and his son, within his hall ; and upon those who did 
him wrong, the suitors, on all of them here in his 
home he has obtained revenge." 



360 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIII. 58-91. 

Then heedful Penelope said to her : " Dear nurse, 
be not too boastful yet, nor filled with glee. You 
know how welcome here the sight of him would be to 
all, and most to me and to the son we had. But this 
is no true tale you tell. Nay, rather some immortal 
slew the lordly suitors, in anger at their galling inso- 
lence and wicked deeds ; for they respected nobody 
on earth, bad man or good, who came among them. 
So for their sins they suffered. But Odysseus, far 
from Achaea, lost the hope of coming home ; nay, he 
himself was lost." 

Then answered her the good nurse Eurycleia : " My 
child, what word has passed the barrier of your teeth, 
to say your husband, who is now beside your hearth, 
will never come! Your heart is always doubting. 
Come, then, and let me name another sign most sure, 
— the scar the boar dealt long ago with his white tusk. 
I found it as I washed him, and I would have told you 
then ; but he laid his hand upon my mouth, and in 
his watchful wisdom would not let me speak. But 
follow me. I stake ray very life ; if I deceive you, 
slay me by the vilest death." 

Then heedful Penelope answered her : " Dear nurse, 
't is hard for you to trace the counsels of the everlast- 
ing gods, however wise you are. Nevertheless, let us 
go down to meet my son, and see the suitors who are 
dead, and him who slew them." 

So saying, she went from her chamber to the hall, 
and much her heart debated whether aloof to ques- 
tion her dear husband, or to draw near and kiss his 
face and take his hand. But when she entered, cross- 
ing the stone threshold, she sat down opposite Odys- 
seus, in the firelight, beside the farther wall. He sat 
by a tall pillar, looking down, waiting to hear if his 



XXIII. 92-124] THE ODYSSEY. 361 

stately wife would speak when she should look his 
way. But she sat silent long ; amazement filled her 
heart. Now she would gaze with a long look upon 
his face, and now she would not know him for the 
mean clothes that he wore. But Telemachus rebuked 
her, and spoke to her and said : 

" Mother, hard mother, of ungentle heart, why do 
you hold aloof so from my father, and do not sit beside 
him, plying him with words and questions ? There is 
no other woman of such stubborn spirit to stand off 
from the husband who, after many grievous toils, 
comes in the twentieth year home to his native land. 
Your heart is always harder than a stone ! " 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " My child, 
my sold within is dazed with wonder. I cannot speak 
to him, nor ask a question, nor look him in the face. 
But if this is indeed Odysseus, come at last, we cer- 
tainly shall know each other better than others know ; 
for we have signs which we two understand, — signs 
hidden from the rest." 

As she, long tried, spoke thus, royal Odysseus 
smiled, and said to Telemachus forthwith in winged 
words : " Telemachus, leave your mother in the hall 
to try my truth. She soon will know me better. 
Now, because I am foul and dressed in sorry clothes, 
she holds me in dishonor, and says I am not he. But 
you and I have yet to plan how all may turn out well. 
For whoso kills one man among a tribe, though the 
man leaves few champions behind, becomes an exile, 
quitting kin and country. We have destroyed the 
pillars of the state, the very noblest youths of Ithaca. 
Form, then, a plan, I pray." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus: "Look 
you to that, dear father. Your wisdom is, they say, 



362 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIII. 125-160. 

the best among mankind. No mortal man can rival 
you. Zealously will we follow, and not fail, I think, 
in daring, so far as power is ours." 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Then 
I will tell you what seems best to me. First wash and 
put on tunics, and bid the maids about the house array 
themselves. Then let the sacred bard with tuneful 
lyre lead us in sportive dancing, that men may say, 
hearing us from without, 'It is a wedding,' whether 
such men be passers-by or neighboring folk ; and so 
broad rumor may not reach the town about the suit- 
ors' murder till we are gone to our well-wooded farm. 
There will we plan as the Olympian shall grant us 
wisdom." 

So he spoke, and willingly they heeded and obeyed. 
For first they washed themselves and put on tunics, 
and the women also put on their attire. And then the 
noble bard took up his hollow lyre, and in them stirred 
desire for merry music and the gallant dance ; and 
the great house resounded to the tread of lusty men 
and gay-girt women. And one who heard the dancing 
from Avithout would say, '' Well, well ! some man has 
married the long-courted queen. Hard-hearted ! For 
the husband of her youth she would not guard her 
great house to the end, till he should come." So they 
would say, but knew not how things were. 

Meanwhile within the house Eurynome, the house- 
keeper, bathed resolute Odysseus and anointed him 
with oil, and on him put a goodly robe and tunic. 
Upon his face Athene cast great beauty ; she made 
him taller than before, and stouter to behold, and 
made the curling locks to fall around his head as on 
the hyacinth flower. As when a man lays gold 
on silver, — some skillful man whom Hephaestus and 



XXIII. 161-191.] THE ODYSSEY. . 363 

Pallas Athene have trained in every art, and he fash- 
ions graceful work ; so did she cast a grace upon his 
head and shoulders. Forth from the bath he came, 
in bearing like the immortals, and once more took 
the seat from which he first arose, facing his wife, and 
spoke to her these words : 

"Lady, a heart impenetrable beyond the sex of 
women the dwellers on Olympus gave to you. There 
is no other woman of such stubborn spirit to stand 
off from the husband who, after many grievous toils, 
comes in the twentieth year home to his native land. 
Come, then, good nurse, and make my bed, that I may 
lie alone. For certainly of iron is the heart within 
her breast." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " Nay, sir, I 
am not proud, nor contemptuous of you, nor too much 
dazed with wonder. I very well remember what you 
were when you went upon your long-oared ship away 
from Ithaca. However, Eurycleia, make up his mas- 
sive bed outside that stately chamber which he himself 
once built. Move the massive frame out there, and 
throw the bedding on, — the fleeces, robes, and bright- 
hued rugs." 

She said this in the hope to prove her husband ; 
but Odysseus spoke in anger to his faithful wife : 
" Woman, these are bitter words which you have said ! 
Who set my bed elsewhere ? A hard task that would 
be for one, however skilled, — unless a god should come 
and by his will set it with ease upon some other spot ; 
but among men no living being, even in his prime, 
could lightly shift it ; for a great token is inwrought 
into its curious frame. I built it ; no one else. There 
grew a thick-leaved olive shrub inside the yard, full- 
grown and vigorous, in girth much like a pillar. 



364 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIII. 192-223. 

Round this I formed my chamber, and I worked till 
it was done, building it out of close-set stones, and 
roofing it over well. Framed and tight-fitting doors 
I added to it. Then I lopped the thick-leaved olive's 
crest, cutting the stem high up above the roots, neatly 
and skillfully smoothed with my axe the sides, and to 
the line I kept all true to shape my post, and with an 
auger I bored it all along. Starting with this, I fash- 
ioned me the bed tiU it was finished, and I inlaid it 
well with gold, with silver, and with ivory. On it I 
stretched a thong of ox-hide, gay with purple. This 
is the token I now tell. I do not know whether the 
bed still stands there, wife, or whether somebody has 
set it elsewhere, cutting the olive trunk." 

As he spoke thus, her knees grew feeble and her 
very soul, when she recognized the tokens which Odys- 
seus exactly told. Then bursting into tears, she ran 
straight toward him, threw her arms round Odysseus' 
neck and kissed his face, and said : 

" Odysseus, do not scorn me ! Ever before, you 
were the wisest of mankind. The gods have sent us 
sorrow, and grudged our staying side by side to share 
the joys of youth and reach tlie threshold of old age. 
But do not be angry with me now, nor take it ill 
that then when I first saw you I did not greet you 
thus ; for the heart within my breast was always 
trembling. I feared some man might come and cheat 
me with his tale. Many a man makes wicked schemes 
for gain. Nay, Argive Helen, the daughter of Zeus, 
would not have given herself to love a stranger if she 
had known how warrior sons of the Achaean s would 
bring her home again, back to her native land. And 
yet it was a god prompted her deed of shame. Be- 
fore, she did not cherish in her heart such sin, such 



XXIIl. 224-257.] THE ODYSSEY. 365 

grievous sin, from which began the woe which 
stretched to us. But now, when you have clearly told 
the tokens of our bed, which no one else has seen, but 
only you and I and the single servant, Actoris, whom 
my father gave me on my coming here to keep the 
door of our closed chamber, — you make even my un- 
gentle heart believe." 

So she sj)oke, and stirred still more his yearning 
after tears ; and he began to weep, holding his loved 
and faithful wife. As when the welcome land appears 
to swimmers, whose sturdy shij) Poseidon wrecked at 
sea, confounded by the winds and solid waters ; a few 
escape the foaming sea and swim ashore ; thick salt 
foam crusts their flesh ; they climb the welcome land, 
and are escaped from danger; so welcome to her gaz- 
ing eyes appeared her husband. From round his neck 
she never let her white arms go. And rosy-fingered 
dawn had found them weej)ing, but a different j^lan 
the goddess formed, clear-eyed Athene. She checked 
the long night in its passage, and at the Ocean-stream 
she stayed the gold-throned dawn, and did not suffei 
it to yoke the swift-paced horses which carry light 
to men, Lampus and Phaeton which bear the dawn. 
And now to his wife said wise Odysseus : 

" Ο wife, we have not reached the end of all our 
trials yet. Hereafter comes a task immeasurable, 
long and severe, which I must needs fulfill ; for so 
the spirit of Teiresia-s told me, that day when I de- 
scended to the house of Hades to learn about the 
journey of my comrades and myself. But come, my 
wife, let us to bed, that there at last we may refresh 
ourselves with pleasant sleep." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " The bed shall 
be prepared whenever your heart wills, now that the 



366 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIII. 258-292. 

gods have let you reach your stately house and native 
land. But since you speak of this, and God inspires 
your heart, come, tell that trial. In time to come, I 
know, I shall experience it. To learn about it now, 
makes it no worse." 

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said : " Lady, 
why urge me so insistently to tell ? Well, I will 
speak it out ; I will not hide it. Yet your heart will 
feel no joy ; I have no joy myself ; for Teiresias bade 
me go to many a peopled town, bearing in hand a 
shapely oar, till I should reach the men that know no 
sea and do not eat food mixed with salt. These, 
therefore, have no knowledge of the red-cheeked ships, 
nor of the shapely oars which are the wings of ships. 
And this was the sign, he said, easy to be observed. 
I will not hide it from you. When another traveler, 
meeting me, should say I had a winnowing-fan on my 
white shoulder, there in the ground he bade me fix my 
oar and make fit offerings to lord Poseidon, — a ram, 
a bull, and the sow's mate, a boar, — and, turning 
homeward, to offer sacred hecatombs to the immortal 
gods who hold the open sky, all in the order due. 
And on myself death from the sea shall very gently 
come and cut me off, bowed down with hale old age. 
Round me shall be a prosperous people. All this, he 
said, should be fulfilled." 

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " If gods can 
make old age the better time, then there is hope 
there will be rest from trouble." 

So they conversed together. Meanwhile, Eurynome 
and the nurse prepared their bed with clothing soft, 
under the light of blazing torches. And after they 
had spread the comfortable bed, with busy speed, the 
old woman departed to her room to rest ; while the 



XXIII. 293-324.] THE ODYSSEY. 367 

chamber-servant, Eurynome, with torch in hand, 
walked on before, as they two came to bed. She 
brought them to their chamber, and then she went her 
way. So they came gladly to their old bed's rites. 
And now Telemachus, the neatherd and the swine- 
herd stayed their feet from dancing, and bade the 
women stay, and all betook themselves to rest through- 
out the dusky halls. 

So when the pair had joyed in happy love, they 
joyed in talking too, each one relating : she, the royal 
lady, what she endured at home, watching the waste- 
ful throng of suitors, who, making excuse of her, 
slew many cattle, beeves, and sturdy sheep, and stores 
of wine were drained from out the casks ; he, high- 
born Odysseus, what miseries he brought on other 
men and what he bore himself in anguish, — all he 
told, and she was glad to listen. No sleep fell on her 
eyelids till he had told her all. 

He began with how at first he conquered the Cico- 
nians, and came thereafter to the fruitful land of 
Lotus-eaters ; then what the Cyclops did, and how he 
took revenge for the brave comrades whom the Cy- 
clops ate and never pitied ; then how he came to 
Aeolus, who gave him hearty welcome and sent him 
on his way ; but it was fated that he should not 
reach his dear land yet, for a sweeping storm bore 
him once more along the swarming sea, loudly la- 
menting ; how he came to Telepylus in Laestrygonia, 
where the men destroyed his ships and his mailed 
comrades, all of them ; Odysseus fled in his black 
ship alone. He told of Circe, too, and all her crafty 
guile ; and how on a ship of many oars he came to 
the mouldering house of Hades, there to consult the 
spirit of Teiresias of Thebes, and looked on all his 



368 THE ODYSSEY. [XXill. 325-357. 

comrades, and on the mother who had borne him and 
cared for him when little ; how he had heard the full- 
voiced Sirens' song ; how he came to the Wandering 
Kocks, to dire Charybdis and to Scylla, past whom 
none goes unharmed ; how then his crew slew the 
Sun's kine ; how Zeus with a blazing bolt smote his 
swift ship, — Zeus, thundering from on high, — and 
his good comrades perished, utterly, all, while he 
escaped their evil doom ; how he came to the island of 
Ogygia and to the nymph Calypso, who held him in 
her hollow grotto, wishing him to be her husband, 
cherishing him, and saying she would make him an 
immortal, young forever, but she never beguiled the 
heart within his breast ; then how he came through 
many toils to the Phaeacians, who honored him ex- 
ceedingly, as if he were a god, and brought him on 
his way to his own native land, giving him stores of 
bronze and gold and clothing. This w^as the latest 
tale he told, when pleasant sleep fell on him, easing 
his limbs and from his heart removing care. 

Now a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed 
Athene, when in her mind she judged Odysseus had 
enough of love and sleep. Straightway from out the 
Ocean-stream she roused the gold-throned dawn, to 
bring the light to men. Odysseus was aroused from 
his soft bed, and gave his wife this charge : 

" Wife, we have had in days gone by our fill of 
trials : you, mourning here my grievous journey home ; 
me, Zeus and the other gods bound fast in sorrow, all 
eager as I was, far from my native land. But since 
we now have reached the rest we long desired to- 
gether, do you protect whatever wealth is still within 
my halls. As for the flocks which the audacious 
suitors wasted, I shall myself seize many, and the 



XXIII. 358-372.] THE ODYSSEY. 369 

Achaeans shall give me more besides, until they fill 
my folds. But now I go to the well-wooded farm, to 
visit my good father, who for my sake has been in 
constant grief. On you, my wife, wise as you are, I 
lay this charge. Straight with the sunrise a report 
will go abroad about the suitors whom I slew here in 
the hall. Then go to the upper chamber with your 
waiting-women. There abide. Give not a look to 
any one, nor ask a question." 

He sj)oke, and girt his beautiful arms about his 
shoulders ; and he awoke Telemachus, the neatherd 
and the swineherd, and bade them all take weapons in 
their hands for fighting. They did not disobey, but 
took their brazen harness. They opened the doors ; 
they sallied forth ; Odysseus led the way. Over the 
land it was already light, but Athene, hiding them in 
darkness, led them swiftly from the town. 



XXIV. 

PEACE. 

Meanwhile Cyllenian Hermes summoned hence 
the spirits of the suitors. In his hand he held a 
wand, beautiful, made of gold, with which he charms 
to sleep the eyes of whom he will, while again whom 
he will he wakens out of slumber. With this he 
started them and led them forth ; they followed gib- 
bering after. As in a corner of a monstrous cave 
the bats fly gibbering, when one tumbles from the 
rock out of the cluster as they cling together ; so gib- 
bering, these moved together. Protecting Hermes 
was their guide down the dank pathway. Past the 
Ocean-stream they went, past the White Rock, past 
the portals of the Sun and land of dreams, and 
soon they reached the field of asphodel, where spirits 
dwell, spectres of worn-out men. 

Here they came upon the spirit of Achilles, son of 
Peleus, and of Patroclus too, of gallant Antilochus, 
and of Ajax, who was first in beauty and in stature of 
all the Danaans after the gallant son of Peleus. 
These formed a group around Achilles; to whom 
approached the spirit of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, 
sorrowing. Around thronged other spirits of men 
who by his side had died in the house of Aegisthus 
and there had met their doom. And the spirit of the 
son of Peleus first addressed him : 



XXIV. 24-55.] THE ODYSSEY. 371 

"Ο son of Atreus, tliroughout your life we said 
you were exceeding dear to Zeus, the Thunderer, be- 
yond all other heroes, because you were the lord of 
many mighty men there in the land of Troy where 
we Achaeans suffered ; yet all too early you were 
doomed to meet fell fate, which no one that is born 
avoids. Ah, would that, in the pride of your full 
power, there in the land of Troy you had met death 
and doom ! Then woidd the whole Achaean host have 
made your grave, and for your son in after days a 
great name had been gained. Now you must be cut 
off by an inglorious death." 

Then said to him the spirit of the son of Atreus : 
"Fortunate son of Peleus, godlike Achilles, who died 
at Troy, afar from Argos ! Around you others fell, 
the Trojans' and Achaeans' bravest sons, battling be- 
cause of you ; while in a cloud of dust proud you lay 
proudly, all your horsemanship forgotten. All through 
the day we battled, and never would have stopped our 
fighting had Zeus himself not stopped us with a storm. 
And after we had borne you to the ships from out the 
fight, we laid you on a bier and washed your comely 
body with warm water and with oil. The Danaans 
standing round you shed many burning tears, and 
cut their hair. Out of the sea came forth j^our 
mother, with the immortal sea nymphs, when she 
heard the tale, while over the water ran a wondrous 
wail, and secret trembling fell on all the Achaeans. 
Then all had hastened off and boarded the hollow 
ships, if one had not detained them who was wise in 
ancient lore, Nestor, whose counsel had before been 
proved the best. He with good will addressed them 
thus, and said : ' Hold, Argives ! Do not flee, you 
young Achaeans ! It is his mother coming from the 



872 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 56-83. 

sea with the immortal nymphs to look on her dead 
son.' By these his words the bold Achaeans were with- 
held from flight ; while round you stood the daughters 
of the old man of the sea, lamenting bitterly, and 
with immortal robes they clad your body. Mean- 
time the Muses, nine in all, with sweet responsive 
voices sang your dirge. Then not an Argive could 
you see but was in tears ; the piercing song so deeply 
moved them. For seventeen days, alike by night and 
day, we mortal men and deathless gods continued 
mourning. On the eighteenth we gave you to the 
flames. Many fat sheep we slew beside you, and 
many crook-horned kine. In vesture of the gods you 
burned, with much anointing oil and much sweet 
honey. Many Achaean heroes moved in their armor 
round your blazing pyre, footmen and charioteers, and 
a loud din arose. And when at length Hephaestus' 
flame had made an end of you, at dawn we gathered 
your white bones, Achilles, laid in pure wine and oil. 
Your mother gave the golden urn ; a gift, she said, of 
Dionysus, and handiwork of famed Hephaestus. In 
this your white bones lie, illustrious Achilles, mingled 
with those of dead Patroclus, son of Menoetius, and 
parted from Antilochus, whom you regarded more 
than all your other comrades, excepting dead Patro- 
clus. Over them all the powerful host of Argive spear- 
men built a great stately tomb at a projecting point on 
the broad Hellespont, so that it might be seen far off 
upon the sea by men who now are born or shall be 
born hereafter. Your mother, having besought the 
gods for splendid prizes, offered them in the open lists 
to the bravest of the Achaeans. In former days you 
have been present at the burial of many a hero, when 
at a king's death young men girt themselves and 



XXIV. 89-121.] THE ODYSSEY. 373 

strove for prizes ; but here you would have marveled 
in your heart far more to see the splendid prizes 
offered in your honor by silver-footed Thetis ; for you 
were very dear to all the gods. Thus though you died, 
you did not lose your name ; but ever among mankind, 
Achilles, your glory shall be great. While as for me, 
what gain had I in winding up the war ? On ray 
return Zeus purposed me a miserable end, at the hands 
of Aegisthus and my accursed wife." 

So they conversed 'together. And now the Guide 
approached, the Speedy-comer, leading the spirits of 
the suitors whom Odysseus slew. Amazed, the two 
drew near to see ; and the spirit of Agamemnon, son 
of Atreus, perceived the son of Melaneus, renowned 
Amphimedon ; for Melaneus of Ithaca was once his 
entertainer. Then thus began the spirit of the son 
of Atreus : 

" Amjihimedon, what has happened that you come 
to this dreary land, all of you chosen men and all 
alike in years? One who would pick the best men of 
a town would choose no others. AVas it on shipboard 
that Poseidon smote you, raising ill winds and heavy 
seas ? Or did fierce men destroy you on the land, 
while you were cutting off their kine or their fair 
flocks of sheep, or while you fought to win their town 
and carry off their women ? Tell what I ask ! I 
call myself your friend. Do you not recollect how I, 
with godlike Menelaus, came to your house to urge 
Odysseus to follow us to Ilios on the well-benched 
ships? A whole month long we spent, crossing the 
open sea, and found it hard to win the spoiler of 
towns, Odysseus." 

Then answered him the spirit of Amphimedon : 
" Great son of Atreus, Agamemnon, lord of men, 



374 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 122-154. 

all. that you say, heaven-favored one, I recollect; and 
I in turn will very plainly tell how a cruel end of 
death befell us. We wooed the wife of long gone 
Odysseus. She neither declined the hated suit nor 
did she end it, because she planned for us death and 
dark doom. This was the last pretext she cunningly 
devised : within the hall she set up a great loom and 
went to weaving ; fine was the web and very large ; 
and then to us said she : ' Young men who are my 
suitors, though royal Odysseus now is dead forbear 
to urge my marriage till I complete this robe, — its 
threads must not be wasted, — a shroud for lord 
Laertes, against the time when the fell doom of death 
that lays men low shall overtake him. Achaean wives 
about the land, I fear, might give me blame if he 
should lie without a shroud, he who had great posses- 
sions.' Such were her words, and our high hearts 
assented. Then in the daytime would she weave at 
the great web, but in the night unravel, after her 
torch was set. Thus for three years she hid her craft 
and cheated the Achaeans. But when the fourth 
year came, as time rolled on, when the months waned 
and the long days were done, then at the last one 
of her maids, who knew full well, confessed, and we 
discovered her unraveling the splendid web ; so then 
she finished it, against her will, perforce. When she 
displayed the robe, after weaving the great web 
and washing it, like sun or moon it shone. And 
then some hostile god guided Odysseus, — whence I 
know not, — to the confines of our country, where the 
swineherd has his home. Thither the son of royal 
Odysseus also came, returning by black ship from 
sandy Pylos. And when the two had planned the 
suitors' cruel death, they entered our famous town ; 



XXIV. 155-190.] THE ODYSSEY, 375 

Odysseus later, Telemachus coming on before. The 
swineherd brought Odysseus, who wore a sorry garb, 
like an old and wretched beggar, leaning upon a staff. 
Upon his back were miserable clothes, and none of us 
could know him as he suddenly appeared, not even 
our older men ; but we assailed him with harsh words 
and missiles. A while he bore with patience this 
pelting and abuse in his own house ; but when at last 
the will of aegis-bearing Zeus aroused him, he and 
Telemachus gathered the goodly weapons and put 
them in the store-room, fastening the bolts. Then, 
full of craft, he bade his wife deliver to the suitors 
the bow and the gray steel, to be to us ill-fated men 
means for our sport and harbingers of death. Not one 
of us could draw the string of the strong bow ; we fell 
far short of power. But when the great bow reached 
Odysseus' hands, we shouted all together not to give 
the bow, whatever he might say. Telemachus alone 
urgently bade him take it. Then long-tried royal 
Odysseus took the bow in hand, bent it with ease, and 
sent an arrow through the steel. Advancing to the 
threshold, there he stood and poured out the swift 
arrows, glaring terribly around. He shot down 
prince Antinoiis, and then on others turned his 
grievous shafts, Λ^άth careful aim, and side by side 
they fell. Soon it was seen some god was the men's 
ally ; for straightway rushing down the hall, with all 
their might they smote us right and left. Then went 
up moans, a dismal sound, as skulls were crushed and 
all the pavement ran with blood. Thus we died, 
Agamemnon ; and still uncared-for in Odysseus' halls 
our bodies lie. Our friends at home have had no 
tidings, or they had washed the dark clots from our 
wounds and laid us out with wailing ; for that is the 
dead man's due." 



376 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 191-222. 

Then answered the spirit of the son of Atreus : 
" Fortunate son of Laertes, ready Odysseus ! You 
won a wife full of all worth. How upright was the 
heart of true Penelope, the daughter of Icarius ! 
How faithful to Odysseus, the husband of her youth ! 
Wherefore the story of her worth shall never die ; 
but for all humankind immortal ones shall make a 
gladsome song in praise of steadfast Penelope. Not 
like the daughter of Tyndareus did she contrive vile 
deeds and slay the husband of her youth. Of her a 
loathsome song shall spread among mankind, and 
bring an ill repute on all the sex of women, even on 
well-doers too." 

So they conversed together, where they stood within 
the house of Hades, in the secret places of the earth. 

But Odysseus and his men, after departing from 
the town, soon reached the rich well-ordered farmstead 
of Laertes. This place Laertes had acquired for him- 
self in days gone by, after much patient toil. Here 
was his house; round it on every side there ran a 
shed, in which ate, sat, and slept the slaves who did his 
pleasure. Within, there lived an old Sicilian woman, 
who tended carefully the aged man here at his farm, 
far from the town. Arriving here, Odysseus thus 
addressed his servants and his son : 

" Go you at once into the stately house and slay 
forthwith for dinner the fattest of the swine. But 
I will put my father to the proof, and try if he will 
recognize and know me by the sight, or if he will fail 
to know me who have been absent long." 

So saying, he gave his armor to his men, who then 
went quickly in, while Odysseus approached the fruit- 
ful vineyard, to make his trial there. Dolius he did 
not find, in crossing the long garden, nor any slaves 



XXIV. 223-2o7.J THE ODYSSEY. 377 

or men ; for they were gone to gather stones to make 
a vineyard wall, and Dolius was their leader. His 
father he found alone in the well-ordered vineyard, 
hoeing about a plant. He wore a dirty tunic, patched 
and coarse, and round his shins had bound sewed 
leather leggings, a protection against scratches. Upon 
his hands were gloves, to save him from the thorns, 
and on his head a goatskin cap ; and so he nursed 
his sorrow. 

When long-tried royal Odysseus saw his father, worn 
with old age and in great grief of heart, he stopped 
beneath a lofty pear-tree and shed tears. Then in his 
mind and heart he doubted much whether to kiss his 
father, to clasp him in his arms and tell him all, how 
he had come and found his native land ; or first to 
question him and prove him through and through. 
Reflecting thus, it seemed the better way to try him 
first Avith probing words. With this intent, royal 
Odysseus walked straight toward him. Laertes, with 
his head bent low, was digging round the plant, and 
standing by his side his gallant son addressed him : 

"Old man, j^ou have no lack of skill in tending 
gardens. Of these your care is good. Nothing is 
here — shrub, fig-tree, vine, olive, or pear, or bed of 
earth, — in all the field uncared for. But one thing I 
will say ; be not offended. No proper care is taken 
of yourself ; for you are meeting hard old age, yet you 
are sadly worn and meanly clad. It is not as if for 
idleness your master had cast you by, and nothing 
of the slave shows in your face or form. Rather you 
seem a royal person ; like one who after taking bath 
and food might sleep at ease, as is the due of age. 
Come, then, declare me this and plainly tell whose 
v^slave you are, whose farm you tend. And tell me 



378 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 25S-291. 

truly this, that I may know full well, if this is really 
Ithaca to which we now are come, as the man said just 
now who met me on my way. He was not overwise, 
however ; for he did not deign to talk at length, nor 
yet to hear my talk, when I inquired for my friend, 
and asked if he were living still or if he were already 
dead and in the house of Hades. But let me speak 
of that to you, and do you mark and listen. In my 
own country once I entertained a man who had come 
thither ; and none among the traveling strangers was 
more welcome at my house. He called himself by 
birth a man of Ithaca, and said his father was Laer- 
tes, son of Arceisius. I brought him home and enter- 
tained him well and gave him generous welcome from 
the abundance in my house. Such gifts I also gave 
as are fitting for a guest: of fine -wrought gold I 
gave him seven talents, gave him a flowered bowl of 
solid silver, twelve cloaks of single fold, as many rugs, 
as many goodly mantles, and as many tunics too. 
Further, I ga\^e him women trained to faultless work, 
any four shapely damsels whom he himself might 
choose." 

Then answered him his father, shedding tears : 
" Certainly, stranger, you are in the land for which 
you ask ; but lawless impious men possess it now. 
Yain were the many gifts you gave. Yet had you 
found him living in the land of Ithaca, with fair re- 
turn of gifts he had sent you on your way, and with 
a generous welcome ; for that is just, when one begins 
a kindness. But come, declare me this, and plainly 
tell: how many years are passed since you received 
this guest, this hapless guest, my son, — if really it 
was he, ill-fated man ! — whom, far from friends and 
home, fishes devoured in the deep or else on land he 



ΧΧΙΥ. 292-323.] THE ODYSSEY. 379 

fell a prey to beasts and birds. No mother mourned 
for bim and wrapped him in his shroud, nor father 
either, — we who gave him life ! Nor did his richly= 
dowered wife, steadfast Penelope, wail by her hus- 
band's couch, as the wife should, and close his eyes, 
though that is the dead man's due. Tell me, how- 
ever, truly, and let me know full well : who are you ? 
of what people ? Where is your town and kindred ? 
Where is the swift ship moored which brought you 
hither, you and your gallant comrades ? Or did you 
come a passenger on some strange ship, from which 
they landed you and sailed away ? " 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Well, 
I will very plainly tell you all. I come from Alybas, 
where I have a noble house, and am the son of lord 
Apheidas, the son of Polypemon. My own name is 
Eperitus. God drove me from Sicania and brought 
me here, against my will. Here my ship lies, just oif 
the fields outside the town. As for Odysseus, five 
years ago he went away and left my land. Ill-fated 
man ! And yet the birds were favorable at starting 
and came on his right hand. So I rejoiced and 
sent him forth, and he rejoicing went his way. Our 
hearts then hoped to meet again in friendship, and to 
give each other glorious gifts." 

So he spoke, and on Laertes fell a dark cloud of 
grief. He caught in his hands the powdery dust and 
strewed it on his hoary head with many groans. 
Odysseus' heart was stirred. Up through his nostrils 
shot a tingling pang as he beheld his father. For- 
ward he sprang and clasped and kissed him, saying : 

" Lo, father, I am he for whom you seek, now in the 
twentieth year come to my native land ! Then cease 
this grief and tearful sighing ; for let me tell you, — 



380 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 324-355. 

and the need of haste is great, — I slew the suitors 
in our halls, and so avenged their galling insolence 
and wicked deeds." 

Then in his turn Laertes answered : " If you are 
indeed my son, Odysseus, now returned, tell me some 
trusty sign that so I may believe." 

But wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Ex- 
amine first this scar, which a boar inflicted with his 
gleaming tusk upon Parnassus, whither I had gone. 
You and my honored mother sent me thither, to see 
Autolycus, my mother's father, and to obtain the 
gifts which he, when here, agreed to give. Then come, 
and let me tell the trees in the well-ordered vine- 
yard, which you once gave, when I, being still a child, 
begged you for this and that, as I followed about the 
garden. Among these trees we passed. You named 
them and described them. You gave me thirteen 
pear-trees, ten apples, forty figs. And here you 
marked off fifty rows of vines to give, each one in 
bearing order. Along the rows clusters of all sorts 
hang, whenever the seasons sent by Zeus give them 
their fullness." 

As he spoke thus, Laertes' knees grew feeble and 
his very soul, when he recognized the tokens which 
Odysseus exactly told. Round his dear son he threw 
his arms, and long-tried royal Odysseus drew him 
fainting toward him. But when he gained his breath, 
and in his breast the spirit rallied, finding his words 
once more Laertes said : 

" Ο father Zeus, surely you gods still live on high 
Olympus, if the suitors have indeed paid for their 
wanton sin ! And yet I have great fear at heart that 
all the men of Ithaca may soon attack us here and 
may send tidings through the Cephallenian cities." 



XXIV. 35G-388.] THE ODYSSEY. 381 

But wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Be of 
good courage ! Let not these things vex your mind ! 
But let us hasten to the house which stands beside 
the orchard. Thither I sent Telemachus, the neat- 
herd and the swineherd, that there they straightway 
might prepare our meal." 

So talked the two, and walked to the fair house. 
And when they reached the stately buildings, they 
found Telemachus, the neatherd and the swineherd, 
carving much meat and mixing sparkling wine. Soon 
in his room the Sicilian servant bathed brave Laertes 
and anointed him with oil and round him wrapped a 
goodly cloak. And Athene, drawing nigh, filled out 
the limbs of the shepherd of the people, and made 
him taller than before and larger to behold. Out of 
the bath he came, and his son wondered to see how 
like the immortal gods his bearing was ; and speaking 
in winged words he said : 

" Certainly, father, one of the everlasting gods has 
made your face and figure nobler to behold." 

Then in his turn said wise Laertes : " Ο father 
Zeus, Athene, and Apollo, would I were what I was 
when I took Nericus, the stately citadel on the main 
shore, leading my Cephallenians ; and would that thus 
I yesterday had stood beside you in our hall, my 
armor on my shoulders, beating back the suitors! 
Then had I shook the knees of many in the hall, and 
you had felt your inmost heart grow warm ! " 

So they conversed together. Meanwhile the others, 
after ceasing from their labor of laying out the meal, 
took seats in order on couches and on chairs. They 
all were laying hands upon their food, when in came 
aged Dolius and his sons, tired from their work. Their 
mother, the old Sicilian woman, had gone and called 



382 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 389-419. 

them ; for she provided for them, and diligently 
tended the old man now that old age was on him. 
When the men saw Odysseus and marked him in their 
minds, they stood still in the haU, astonished; but 
Odysseus kindly accosting them, spoke thus : 

" Old man, sit down to dinner and lay aside sur- 
prise ; for eager as we were to take our food, we 
waited long about the hall, ever expecting you." 

He spoke, and Dolius ran, both hands outstretched, 
and seizing Odysseus' hand kissed it upon the wrist, 
and speaking in winged words he said : 

" Dear master, because you have come home to us 
who sorely missed you and never thought to see you 
any more, — but gods themselves have brought you, 
— hail and rejoice ! Gods grant you blessings ! And 
tell me truly this, that I may know it well: does 
heedful Penelope understand that you are here, or 
shall we send her tidings ? " 

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said : " Old 
man, she understands already. Why should you 
think of that ? " 

So he spoke, and Dolius took his seat upon a pol- 
ished bench. Likewise the sons of Dolius, gathering 
round renowned Odysseus, greeted him with their 
words and clasped his hands, and then sat down in 
order by Dolius, their father. Thus were they busied 
with their dinner in the hall. 

Eumor, meanwhile, with tidings, ran swiftly through 
the town, reporting the suitors' awful death and doom ; 
and those who heard gathered from every side, with 
moans and groans, before the palace of Odysseus. 
Out of the house they each brought forth his dead, 
and buried them ; and all that came from other towns 
they gave to fishermen to carry home on their swift 



XXIV. 420-449.] THE ODYSSEY. 383 

ships. Then they went trooping to the assembly, sad 
at heart. And when they were assembled and all had 
come together, Eupeithes rose and thus addressed 
them : for he cherished in his heart a sorrow for his 
son that could not be appeased, — his son Antinoiis, 
the first whom royal Odysseus slew. With tears for 
him, he thus addressed them, saying : 

" Ο friends, this man has wrought a monstrous 
deed on the Achaeans ! For some he carried off in 
ships, — good men and many, — and then he lost his 
hollow ships and lost his people too ; and now he 
has come home and killed the very noblest men of 
Cephallenia. Up then ! Let us set forth, before he 
swiftly goes to Pylos, and sacred Elis where the Epei- 
ans rule, or we shall be disgraced hencefortli forever ; 
for it will be a shame for future times to know, if we 
take no revenge on those who slew our sons and bro- 
thers. Life to my thinking then would be no longer 
sweet. Nay, I would die at once and join the men 
now slain. But forth, ere they escape from us across 
the sea ! " 

Tears in his eyes, he spoke ; pity touched all the 
Achaeans. But Medon now drew near, and with him 
the sacred bard, from the palace of Odysseus ; for 
slumber left them. They stood still in the midst, and 
wonder fell on all, while Medon, a man of understand- 
ing, thus addressed them : 

" Hearken to me now, men of Ithaca ; for not 
without consent of the immortal gods Odysseus 
planned these deeds. I myself saw a deathless god 
stand by Odysseus, in all points like to Mentor. And 
this immortal god appeared before Odysseus, cheering 
him on ; then to the consternation of the suitors he 
stormed along the hall, and side by side they fell." 



384 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 450-482. 

As he spoke thus, pale fear took hold on all. Bat 
to them spoke the old lord Halitherses, the son of 
Mastor ; for he alone looked both before and after. 
He with good will addressed them thus, and said : 

" Hearken now, men of Ithaca, to what I say. By 
your own fault, my friends, these deeds are done ; be- 
cause you paid no heed to me nor yet to Mentor, the 
shepherd of the people, in hindering your sons from 
foolish crime. They wrought a monstrous deed in 
wanton willfulness, when they destroyed the goods and 
wronged the wife of one who was their prince, saying 
that he would come no more. Let then the past be 
ended, and listen to what I say : do not set forth, or 
some may find a self -sought ill." 

He spoke ; but with a mighty cry up started more 
than half, — together in their seats remained the rest, 
— for his counsel had not pleased them. Eupeithes 
they approved, and they straightway ran for weapons. 
Then when they had arrayed themselves in glittering 
bronze, they gathered in a troop outside the spacious 
town. Eupeithes in his folly led them. He thought 
to avenge the murder of his son, yet was himself never 
to come back more, but there would meet his doom. 

Meanwhile Athene said to Zeus, the son of Kronos : 
" Our father, son of Kronos, most high above all 
rulers, speak what I ask : what is your secret pur- 
pose ? Will you still further stir up evil strife and 
the dread din of war, or do you stablish peace betwixt 
the two?" 

Then answered her cloud-gathering Zeus and said : 
" My child, why question me of this ? For was it not 
yourself proposed the plan to have Odysseus crush 
these men by his return? Do as you will; I tell 
you what is wise. Now royal Odysseus has avenged 



XXIV. 483-512.] THE ODYSSEY. ' 385 

liimseK upon the suitors, let a sure league be made 
and he be always king ; while for the death of sons 
and brothers we bring about oblivion. So shall all 
love each other as before, and wealth and peace 
abound." 

With words like these he roused Athene, eager 
enough before, and she went dashing down the ridges 
of Olympus. 

Now when the men had stayed desire for cheering 
food, then thus began long-tried royal Odysseus : '" Let 
some one go and see if our foes are drawing near." 

He spoke ; and out the son of Dolius ran, as he was 
bidden, and went and stood upon the threshold, and 
saw the men all near. Then straight to Odysseus in 
winged words he called : " Here they are, close at 
hand ! Quick, let us arm ! " 

As soon as he spoke, there sprang to arms the 
four men with Odysseus and the six sons of Dolius. 
Laertes too and Dolius put on armor ; gray though 
they were, still warriors at need. Then when they 
had arrayed themselves in glittering bronze, they 
opened the doors and sallied forth, Odysseus leading. 

But Athene now drew near, the daughter of Zeus, 
likened to Mentor in her form and voice ; whom long- 
tried royal Odysseus saw with joy, and to Telema- 
chus his son he straightway said : '' Now shall you 
learn, Telemachus, by taking part yourself while men 
are battling where the best are proved, how not to 
bring disgrace upon your line of sires ; for they from 
ancient times were famed for strength and bravery 
through all the land." 

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : " In this 
my present mood, dear father, you shall see me, if you 
will, bring no disgrace upon the line of which you 
speak." 



386 THE ODYSSEY. [XXIV. 513-544. 

So said he, and Laertes too was glad and said : 
" Oh, what a day for me is this, kind gods ! Right 
glad am I. My son and son's son vie in valor." 

And standing by his side, clear-eyed Athene said : 
" Son of Arceisius, far the dearest of my friends, call 
on the clear-eyed maid and father Zeus ; then swing 
your long spear and straight let it fly." 

AYith words like these Pallas Athene inspired him 
with great power. He prayed to the daughter of 
mighty Zeus ; then swung his long spear and straight 
let it fly, and struck Eupeithes on the helmet's brazen 
cheek. This did not stay the spear ; the point passed 
through. He fell with a thud ; his armor rattled 
round him. On the front ranks Odysseus fell, he and 
his gallant son, and smote them with their swords and 
double-pointed spears. And now they certainly had 
slain them all and cut them off from coming home, 
had not Athene, daughter of aegis - bearing Zeus, 
shouted aloud and held back all the host : 

" Hol(?, men of Ithaca, from cruel combat, and 
without bloodshed straightway part ! " 

As thus Athene spoke, pale fear took hold on all. 
Their weapons all flew from their trembling hands 
and fell upon the ground, as the goddess gave her cry. 
To the town they turned, eager to save their lives. 
Fearfully shouted long - tried royal Odysseus, and 
gathering his might swooped like a soaring eagle. 
Then too the son of Kronos cast his blazing bolt, and 
down it fell by the dread father's clear-eyed child. 
And now to Odysseus said clear-eyed Athene : 

" High-born son of Laertes, ready Odysseus, stay ! 
Cease from the struggle of uncertain war ! Let not 
the son of Kronos, far-seeing Zeus, be moved to 
anger ! " 



XXIV. 545-548.] THE ODYSSEY. 387 

So spoke Athene. Odysseus heeded, and was glad 
at heart. Then for all coming time betwixt the two 
a peace was made by Pallas Athene, daughter of aegis- 
bearing Zeus, likened to Mentor in her form and 
voice. 




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