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05-27-2007, 01:26 AM
Book XV

Pallas sends home Telemachus from Lacedaemon with the
presents given him by Menelaus. Telemachus landed, goes
first to Eumaeus.

Now Pallas Athene went to the wide land of Lacedaemon, to
put the noble son of the great-hearted Odysseus in mind of
his return, and to make him hasten his coming. And she
found Telemachus, and the glorious son of Nestor, couched
at the vestibule of the house of famous Menelaus. The son
of Nestor truly was overcome with soft sleep, but sweet
sleep gat not hold of Telemachus, but, through the night
divine, careful thoughts for his father kept him wakeful.
And grey-eyed Athene stood nigh him and spake to him,

'Telemachus, it is no longer meet that thou shouldest
wander far from thy home, leaving thy substance behind
thee, and men in thy house so wanton, lest they divide and
utterly devour all thy wealth, and thou shalt have gone on
a vain journey. But come, rouse with all haste Menelaus, of
the loud war-cry, to send thee on thy way, that thou mayest
even yet find thy noble mother in her home. For even now
her father and her brethren bid her wed Eurymachus, for he
outdoes all the wooers in his presents, and hath been
greatly increasing his gifts of wooing. So shall she take
no treasure from thy house despite thy will. Thou knowest
of what sort is the heart of a woman within her; all her
desire is to increase the house of the man who takes her to
wife, but of her former children and of her own dear lord
she has no more memory once he is dead, and she asks
concerning him no more. Go then, and thyself place all thy
substance in the care of the handmaid who seems to thee the
best, till the day when the gods shall show thee a glorious
bride. Now another word will I tell thee, and do thou lay
it up in thine heart. The noblest of the wooers lie in wait
for thee of purpose, in the strait between Ithaca and
rugged Samos, eager to slay thee before thou come to thine
own country. But this, methinks, will never be; yea, sooner
shall the earth close over certain of the wooers that
devour thy livelihood. Nay, keep thy well-wrought ship far
from those isles, and sail by night as well as day, and he
of the immortals who hath thee in his keeping and
protection will send thee a fair breeze in thy wake. But
when thou hast touched the nearest shore of Ithaca, send
thy ship and all thy company forward to the city, but for
thy part seek first the swineherd who keeps thy swine,
loyal and at one with thee. There do thou rest the night,
and bid him go to the city to bear tidings of thy coming to
the wise Penelope, how that she hath got thee safe, and
thou art come up out of Pylos.'

Therewith she departed to high Olympus. But Telemachus woke
the son of Nestor out of sweet sleep, touching him with his
heel, and spake to him, saying:

'Awake, Peisistratus, son of Nestor, bring up thy horses of
solid hoof, and yoke them beneath the car, that we may get
forward on the road.'

Then Peisistratus, son of Nestor, answered him, saying:
'Telemachus, we may in no wise drive through the dark
night, how eager soever to be gone; nay, soon it will be
dawn. Tarry then, till the hero, the son of Atreus,
spear-famed Menelaus, brings gifts, and sets them on the
car, and bespeaks thee kindly, and sends thee on thy way.
For of him a guest is mindful all the days of his life,
even of the host that shows him loving-kindness.'

So spake he, and anon came the golden-throned Dawn. And
Menelaus, of the loud war cry, drew nigh to them, new risen
from his bed, by fair-haired Helen. Now when the dear son
of Odysseus marked him, he made haste and girt his shining
doublet about him, and the hero cast a great mantle over
his mighty shoulders, and went forth at the door, and
Telemachus, dear son of divine Odysseus, came up and spake
to Menelaus, saying:

'Menelaus, son of Atreus, fosterling of Zeus, leader of the
people, even now do thou speed me hence, to mine own dear
country; for even now my heart is fain to come home again.'

Then Menelaus, of the loud war cry, answered him:
'Telemachus, as for me, I will not hold thee a long time
here, that art eager to return; nay, I think it shame even
in another host, who loves overmuch or hates overmuch.
Measure is best in all things. He does equal wrong who
speeds a guest that would fain abide, and stays one who is
in haste to be gone. Men should lovingly entreat the
present guest and speed the parting. But abide till I bring
fair gifts and set them on the car and thine own eyes
behold them, and I bid the women to prepare the midday meal
in the halls, out of the good store they have within.
Honour and glory it is for us, and gain withal for thee,
that ye should have eaten well ere ye go on your way, over
vast and limitless lands. What and if thou art minded to
pass through Hellas and mid Argos? So shall I too go with
thee, and yoke thee horses and lead thee to the towns of
men, and none shall send us empty away, but will give us
some one thing to take with us, either a tripod of goodly
bronze or a cauldron, or two mules or a golden chalice.'

Then wise Telemachus answered him saying: 'Menelaus, son of
Atreus, fosterling of Zeus, leader of the people, rather
would I return even now to mine own land, for I left none
behind to watch over my goods when I departed. I would not
that I myself should perish on the quest of my godlike
father, nor that any good heir-loom should be lost from my

Now when Menelaus, of the loud war cry, heard this saying,
straightway he bade his wife and maids to prepare the
midday meal in the halls, out of the good store they had by
them. Then Eteoneus, son of Boethous, came nigh him, just
risen from his bed, for he abode not far from him. Him
Menelaus of the loud war cry bade kindle the fire and roast
of the flesh; and he hearkened and obeyed. Then the prince
went down into the fragrant treasure chamber, not alone,
for Helen went with him, and Megapenthes. Now, when they
came to the place where the treasures were stored, then
Atrides took a two-handled cup, and bade his son
Megapenthes to bear a mixing bowl of silver. And Helen
stood by the coffers, wherein were her robes of curious
needlework which she herself had wrought. Then Helen, the
fair lady, lifted one and brought it out, the widest and
most beautifully embroidered of all, and it shone like a
star, and lay far beneath the rest.

Then they went forth through the house till they came to
Telemachus; and Menelaus, of the fair hair, spake to him

'Telemachus, may Zeus the thunderer, and the lord of Here,
in very truth bring about thy return according to the
desire of thy heart. And of the gifts, such as are
treasures stored in my house, I will give thee the
goodliest and greatest of price. I will give thee a mixing
bowl beautifully wrought; it is all of silver and the lips
thereof are finished with gold, the work of Hephaestus; and
the hero Phaedimus the king of the Sidonians, gave it to me
when his house sheltered me, on my coming thither. This cup
I would give to thee.'

Therewith the hero Atrides set the two-handled cup in his
hands. And the strong Megapenthes bare the shining silver
bowl and set it before him. And Helen came up, beautiful
Helen, with the robe in her hands, and spake and hailed

'Lo! I too give thee this gift, dear child, a memorial of
the hands of Helen, against the day of thy desire, even of
thy bridal, for thy bride to wear it. But meanwhile let it
lie by thy dear mother in her chamber. And may joy go with
thee to thy well-builded house, and thine own country.'

With that she put it into his hands, and he took it and was
glad. And the hero Peisistratus took the gifts and laid
them in the chest of the car, and gazed on all and
wondered. Then Menelaus of the fair hair led them to the
house. Then they twain sat them down on chairs and high
seats, and a handmaid bare water for the hands in a goodly
golden ewer, and poured it forth over a silver basin to
wash withal, and drew to their side a polished table. And a
grave dame bare wheaten bread and set it by them, and laid
on the board many dainties, giving freely of such things as
she had by her. And the son of Boethous carved by the board
and divided the messes, and the son of renowned Menelaus
poured forth the wine. So they stretched forth their hands
upon the good cheer set before them. Now when they had put
from them the desire of meat and drink, then did Telemachus
and the glorious son of Nestor yoke the horses and climb
into the inlaid car. And they drave forth from the gateway
and the echoing gallery. After these Menelaus, of the fair
hair, the son of Atreus, went forth bearing in his right
hand a golden cup of honey-hearted wine, that they might
pour a drink-offering ere they departed. And he stood
before the horses and spake his greeting:

'Farewell, knightly youths, and salute in my name Nestor,
the shepherd of the people; for truly he was gentle to me
as a father, while we sons of the Achaeans warred in the
land of Troy.'

And wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'Yea verily, O
fosterling of Zeus, we will tell him all on our coming even
as thou sayest. Would God that when I return to Ithaca I
may find Odysseus in his home and tell him all, so surely
as now I go on my way having met with all loving-kindness
at thy hands, and take with me treasures many and goodly!'

And even as he spake a bird flew forth at his right hand,
an eagle that bare in his claws a great white goose, a tame
fowl from the yard, and men and women followed shouting.
But the bird drew near them and flew off to the right,
across the horses, and they that saw it were glad, and
their hearts were all comforted within them. And
Peisistratus, son of Nestor, first spake among them:

'Consider, Menelaus, fosterling of Zeus, leader of the
people, whether god hath showed forth this sign for us
twain, or for thee thyself.'

So spake he, and the warrior Menelaus pondered thereupon,
how he should take heed to answer, and interpret it aright.

And long-robed Helen took the word and spake, saying: 'Hear
me, and I will prophesy as the immortals put it into my
heart, and as I deem it will be accomplished. Even as
yonder eagle came down from the hill, the place of his
birth and kin, and snatched away the goose that was
fostered in the house, even so shall Odysseus return home
after much trial and long wanderings and take vengeance;
yea, or even now is he at home and sowing the seeds of evil
for all the wooers.'

Then wise Telemachus answered her, saying: 'Now may Zeus
ordain it so, Zeus the thunderer and the lord of Here. Then
would I do thee worship, as to a god, even in my home

He spake and smote the horses with the lash, and they sped
quickly towards the plain, in eager course through the
city. So all day long they swayed the yoke they bore upon
their necks. And the sun sank, and all the ways were
darkened. And they came to Pherae, to the house of Diocles,
son of Orsilochus, the child begotten of Alpheus. There
they rested for the night, and by them he set the
entertainment of strangers.

Now so soon as early Dawn shone forth, the rosy-fingered,
they yoked the horses and mounted the inlaid car. And forth
they drave from the gateway and the echoing gallery. And he
touched the horses with the whip to start them, and the
pair flew onward nothing loth. And soon thereafter they
reached the steep hold of Pylos. Then Telemachus spake unto
the son of Nestor, saying:

'Son of Nestor, in what wise mightest thou make me a
promise and fulfil my bidding? For we claim to be friends
by reason of our fathers' friendship from of old. Moreover
we are equals in age, and this journey shall turn to our
greater love. Take me not hence past my ship, O fosterling
of Zeus, but leave me there, lest that old man keep me in
his house in my despite, out of his eager kindness, for I
must go right quickly home.'

So spake he, and the some of Nestor communed with his own
heart how he might make promise, and duly fulfil the same.
So as he thought thereon, in this wise it seemed to him
best. He turned back his horses toward the swift ship and
the sea-banks, and took forth the fair gifts and set them
in the hinder part of the ship, the raiment and the gold
which Menelaus gave him. And he called to Telemachus and
spake to him winged words:

'Now climb the ship with all haste, and bid all thy company
do likewise, ere I reach home and bring the old man word.
For well I know in my mind and heart that, being so wilful
of heart, he will not let thee go, but he himself will come
hither to bid thee to his house, and methinks that he will
not go back without thee; for very wroth will he be despite
thine excuse.'

Thus he spake, and drave the horses with the flowing manes
back to the town of the Pylians, and came quickly to the
halls. And Telemachus called to his companions and
commanded them, saying:

'Set ye the gear in order, my friends, in the black ship,
and let us climb aboard that we may make way upon our

So spake he, and they gave good heed and hearkened. Then
straightway they embarked and sat upon the benches.

Thus was he busy hereat and praying and making
burnt-offering to Athene, by the stern of the ship, when
there drew nigh him one from a far country, that had slain
his man and was fleeing from out of Argos. He was a
soothsayer, and by his lineage he came of Melampus, who of
old time abode in Pylos, mother of flocks, a rich man and
one that had an exceeding goodly house among the Pylians,
but afterward he had come to the land of strangers, fleeing
from his country and from Neleus, the great-hearted, the
proudest of living men, who kept all his goods for a full
year by force. All that time Melampus lay bound with hard
bonds in the halls of Phylacus, suffering strong pains for
the sake of the daughter of Neleus, and for the dread
blindness of soul which the goddess, the Erinnys of the
dolorous stroke, had laid on him. Howsoever he escaped his
fate, and drave away the lowing kine from Phylace to Pylos,
and avenged the foul deed upon godlike Neleus, and brought
the maiden home to his own brother to wife. As for him, he
went to a country of other men, to Argos, the pastureland
of horses; for there truly it was ordained that he should
dwell, bearing rule over many of the Argives. There he
wedded a wife, and builded him a lofty house, and begat
Antiphates and Mantius, two mighty sons. Now Antiphates
begat Oicles the great-hearted, and Oicles Amphiaraus, the
rouser of the host, whom Zeus, lord of the aegis, and
Apollo loved with all manner of love. Yet he reached not
the threshold of old age, but died in Thebes by reason of a
woman's gifts. And the sons born to him were Alcmaeon and
Amphilochus. But Mantius begat Polypheides and Cleitus; but
it came to pass that the golden-throned Dawn snatched away
Cleitus for his very beauty's sake, that he might dwell
with the Immortals.

And Apollo made the high-souled Polypheides a seer, far the
chief of human kind, Amphiaraus being now dead. He removed
his dwelling to Hypheresia, being angered with his father,
and here he abode and prophesied to all men.

This man's son it was, Theoclymenus by name, that now drew
nigh and stood by Telemachus. And he found him pouring a
drink-offering and praying by the swift black ship, and
uttering his voice he spake to him winged words:

'Friend, since I find thee making burnt-offering in this
place, I pray thee, by thine offerings and by the god, and
thereafter by thine own head, and in the name of the men of
thy company answer my question truly and hide it not. Who
art thou of the sons of men and whence? Where is thy city,
where are they that begat thee?'

And wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'Yea now,
stranger, I will plainly tell thee all. Of Ithaca am I by
lineage, and my father is Odysseus, if ever such an one
there was, but now hath he perished by an evil fate.
Wherefore I have taken my company and a black ship, and
have gone forth to hear word of my father that has been
long afar.'

Then godlike Theoclymenus spake to him again: 'Even so I
too have fled from my country, for the manslaying of one of
mine own kin. And many brethren and kinsmen of the slain
are in Argos, the pastureland of horses, and rule mightily
over the Achaeans. Wherefore now am I an exile to shun
death and black fate at their hands, for it is my doom yet
to wander among men. Now set me on board ship, since I
supplicate thee in my flight, lest they slay me utterly;
for methinks they follow hard after me.'

And wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'Surely I will
not drive thee away from our good ship, if thou art fain to
come. Follow thou with us then, and in Ithaca thou shalt be
welcome to such things as we have.'

Therewith he took from him his spear of bronze, and laid it
along the deck of the curved ship, and himself too climbed
the seafaring ship. Then he sat him down in the stern and
made Theoclymenus to sit beside him; and his company loosed
the hawsers. Then Telemachus called unto his company, and
bade them lay hands on the tackling, and speedily they
hearkened to his call. So they raised the mast of pine
tree, and set it in the hole of the cross plank and made it
fast with forestays, and hauled up the white sails with
twisted ropes of ox-hide. And grey-eyed Athene sent them a
favouring breeze, rushing violently through the clear sky
that the ship might speedily finish her course over the
salt water of the sea. So they passed by Crouni and
Chalcis, a land of fair streams.

And the sun set and all the ways were darkened. And the
vessel drew nigh to Pheae, being sped before the breeze of
Zeus, and then passed goodly Elis where the Epeans bear
rule. From thence he drave on again to the Pointed Isles,
pondering whether he should escape death or be cut off.

Now Odysseus and the goodly swineherd were supping in the
hut, and the other men sat at meat with them. So when they
had put from them the desire of meat and drink, Odysseus
spake among them, to prove the swineherd, whether he would
still entertain him diligently, and bid him abide there in
the steading or send him forward to the city:

'Listen now, Eumaeus, and all the others of the company. In
the morning I would fain be gone to the town to go a
begging, that I be not ruinous to thyself and thy fellows.
Now advise me well, and lend me a good guide by the way to
lead me thither; and through the city will I wander alone
as needs I must, if perchance one may give me a cup of
water and a morsel of bread. Moreover I would go to the
house of divine Odysseus and bear tidings to the wise
Penelope, and consort with the wanton wooers, if haply they
might grant me a meal out of the boundless store that they
have by them. Lightly might I do good service among them,
even all that they would. For lo! I will tell thee and do
thou mark and listen. By the favour of Hermes, the
messenger, who gives grace and glory to all men's work, no
mortal may vie with me in the business of a serving-man, in
piling well a fire, in cleaving dry faggots, and in carving
and roasting flesh and in pouring of wine, those offices
wherein meaner men serve their betters.'

Then didst thou speak to him in heaviness of heart,
swineherd Eumaeus: 'Ah! wherefore, stranger, hath such a
thought arisen in thine heart? Surely thou art set on
perishing utterly there, if thou wouldest indeed go into
the throng of the wooers, whose outrage and violence
reacheth even to the iron heaven! Not such as thou are
their servants; they that minister to them are young and
gaily clad in mantles and in doublets, and their heads are
anointed with oil and they are fair of face, and the
polished boards are laden with bread and flesh and wine.
Nay, abide here, for none is vexed by thy presence, neither
I nor any of my fellows that are with me. But when the dear
son of Odysseus comes, he himself will give thee a mantle
and a doublet for raiment, and will send thee whithersoever
thy heart and spirit bid thee go.'

Then the steadfast goodly Odysseus answered him: 'Oh, that
thou mayst so surely be dear to father Zeus as thou art to
me, in that thou didst make me to cease from wandering and
dread woe! For there is no other thing more mischievous to
men than roaming; yet for their cursed belly's need men
endure sore distress, to whom come wandering and
tribulation and pain. But behold now, since thou stayest me
here, and biddest me wait his coming, tell me of the mother
of divine Odysseus, and of the father whom at his departure
he left behind him on the threshold of old age; are they,
it may be, yet alive beneath the sunlight, or already dead
and within the house of Hades?'

Then spake to him the swineherd, a master of men: 'Yea now,
stranger, I will plainly tell thee all. Laertes yet lives,
and prays evermore to Zeus that his life may waste from out
his limbs within his halls. For he has wondrous sorrow for
his son that is far away, and for the wedded lady his wise
wife, whose death afflicted him in chief and brought him to
old age before his day. Now she died of very grief for her
son renowned, by an evil death, so may no man perish who
dwells here and is a friend to me in word and deed! So long
as she was on earth, though in much sorrow, I was glad to
ask and enquire concerning her, for that she herself had
reared me along with long-robed Ctimene, her noble
daughter, the youngest of her children. With her I was
reared, and she honoured me little less than her own. But
when we both came to the time of our desire, to the flower
of age, thereupon they sent her to Same, and got a great
bride-price; but my lady clad me in a mantle and a doublet,
raiment very fair, and gave me sandals for my feet and sent
me forth to the field, and right dear at heart she held me.
But of these things now at last am I lacking; yet the
blessed gods prosper the work of mine own hands, whereat I
abide. Of this my substance I have eaten and drunken and
given to reverend strangers. But from my lady I may hear
naught pleasant, neither word nor deed, for evil hath
fallen on her house, a plague of froward men; yet thralls
have a great desire to speak before their mistress and find
out all eat and drink, and moreover to carry off somewhat
with them to the field, such things as ever comfort the
heart of a thrall.'

And Odysseus of many counsels answered him saying: "Ah,
Eumaeus, how far then didst thou wander from thine own
country and thy parents while as yet thou wast but a child!
But come, declare me this and plainly tell it all. Was a
wide-wayed town of men taken and sacked, wherein dwelt thy
father and thy lady mother, or did unfriendly men find thee
lonely, tending sheep or cattle, and shipped thee thence,
and sold thee into the house of thy master here, who paid
for thee a goodly price?'

Then spake to him the swineherd, a master of men: Stranger,
since thou askest and questionest me hereof, give heed now
in silence and make merry, and abide here drinking wine.
Lo, the nights now are of length untold. Time is there to
sleep, and time to listen and be glad; thou needest not
turn to bed before the hour; even too much sleep is
vexation of spirit. But for the rest, let him whose heart
and mind bid him, go forth and slumber, and at the dawning
of the day let him break his fast, and follow our master's
swine. But let us twain drink and feast within the
steading, and each in his neighbour's sorrows take delight,
recalling them, for even the memory of griefs is a joy to a
man who hath been sore tried and wandered far. Wherefore I
will tell thee that whereof thou askest and dost question

'There is a certain isle called Syria, if haply thou hast
heard tell of it, over above Ortygia, and there are the
turning-places of the sun. It is not very great in compass,
though a goodly isle, rich in herds, rich in flocks, with
plenty of corn and wine. Dearth never enters the land, and
no hateful sickness falls on wretched mortals. But when the
tribes of men grow old in that city, then comes Apollo of
the silver bow, with Artemis, and slays them with the
visitation of his gentle shafts. In that isle are two
cities, and the whole land is divided between them, and my
father was king over the twain, Ctesius son of Ormenus, a
man like to the Immortals.

'Thither came the Phoenicians, mariners renowned, greedy
merchant men, with countless gauds in a black ship. Now in
my father's house was a Phoenician woman, tall and fair and
skilled in bright handiwork; this woman the Phoenicians
with their sleights beguiled. First as she was washing
clothes, one of them lay with her in love by the hollow
ship, for love beguiles the minds of womankind, even of the
upright. Then he asked her who she was and whence she came,
and straightway she showed him the lofty home of my father,

'"From out of Sidon I avow that I come, land rich in
bronze, and I am the daughter of Arybas, the deeply
wealthy. But Taphians, who were sea-robbers, laid hands on
me and snatched me away as I came in from the fields, and
brought me hither and sold me into the house of my master,
who paid for me a goodly price."

'Then the man who had lain with her privily, answered:
"Say, wouldst thou now return home with us, that thou mayst
look again on the lofty house of thy father and mother and
on their faces? For truly they yet live, and have a name
for wealth."

'Then the woman answered him and spake, saying: "Even this
may well be, if ye sailors will pledge me an oath to bring
me home in safety."

'So spake she, and they all swore thereto as she bade them.
Now when they had sworn and done that oath, again the woman
spake among them and answered, saying:

'"Hold your peace now, and let none of your fellows speak
to me and greet me, if they meet me in the street, or even
at the well, lest one go and tell it to the old man at
home, and he suspect somewhat and bind me in hard bonds and
devise death for all of you. But keep ye the matter in
mind, and speed the purchase of your homeward freight. And
when your ship is freighted with stores, let a message come
quickly to me at the house; for I will likewise bring gold,
all that comes under my hand. Yea and there is another
thing that I would gladly give for my fare. I am nurse to
the child of my lord in the halls, a most cunning little
boy, that runs out and abroad with me. Him would I bring on
board ship, and he should fetch you a great price,
wheresoever ye take him for sale among men of strange

'Therewith she went her way to the fair halls. But they
abode among us a whole year, and got together much wealth
in their hollow ship. And when their hollow ship was now
laden to depart, they sent a messenger to tell the tidings
to the woman. There came a man versed in craft to my
father's house, with a golden chain strung here and there
with amber beads. Now the maidens in the hall and my lady
mother were handling the chain and gazing on it, and
offering him their price; but he had signed silently to the
woman, and therewithal gat him away to the hollow ship.
Then she took me by the hand and led me forth from the
house. And at the vestibule of the house she found the cups
and the tables of the guests that had been feasting, who
were in waiting on my father. They had gone forth to the
session and the place of parley of the people. And she
straightway hid three goblets in her bosom, and bare them
away, and I followed in my innocence. Then the sun sank and
all the ways were darkened and we went quickly and came to
the good haven, where was the swift ship of the
Phoenicians. So they climbed on board and took us up with
them, and sailed over the wet ways, and Zeus sent us a
favouring wind. For six days we sailed by day and night
continually; but when Zeus, son of Cronos, added the
seventh day thereto, then Artemis, the archer, smote the
woman that she fell, as a sea-swallow falls, with a plunge
into the hold. And they cast her forth to be the prey of
seals and fishes, but I was left stricken at heart. And
wind and water bare them and brought them to Ithaca, where
Laertes bought me with his possessions. And thus it chanced
that mine eyes beheld this land.'

Then Odysseus, of the seed of Zeus, answered him saying:

'Eumaeus, verily thou hast stirred my heart within me with
the tale of all these things, of all the sorrow of heart
thou hast endured. Yet surely Zeus hath given thee good as
well as evil, since after all these adventures thou hast
come to the house of a kindly man, who is careful to give
thee meat and drink and right well thou livest. But I have
come hither still wandering through the many towns of men.'

Thus they spake one with the other. Then they laid them
down to sleep for no long while, but for a little space,
for soon came the throned Dawn. But on the shore the
company of Telemachus were striking their sails, and took
down the mast quickly and rowed the ship on to anchorage.
And they cast anchors and made fast the hawsers, and
themselves too stept forth upon the strand of the sea, and
made ready the midday meal, and mixed the dark wine. Now
when they had put from them the desire of meat and drink,
wise Telemachus first spake among them:

'Do ye now drive the black ship to the city, while I will
go to the fields and to the herdsmen, and at even I will
return to the city, when I have seen my lands. And in the
morning I will set by you the wages of the voyage, a good
feast of flesh and of sweet wine.'

Then godlike Theoclymenus answered him: 'And whither shall
I go, dear child? To what man's house shall I betake me, of
such as are lords in rocky Ithaca? Shall I get me straight
to thy mother and to thy home?'

Then wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'In other case I
would bid thee go even to our own house; for there is no
lack of cheer for strangers, but now would it be worse for
thyself, forasmuch as I shall be away nor would my mother
see thee. For she comes not often in sight of the wooers in
the house, but abides apart from them in her upper chamber,
and weaves at her web. Yet there is one whom I will tell
thee of, to whom thou mayst go, Eurymachus the glorious son
of wise Polybus, whom now the men of Ithaca look upon, even
as if he were a god. For he is far the best man of them
all, and is most eager to wed my mother and to have the
sovereignty of Odysseus. Howbeit, Olympian Zeus, that
dwells in the clear sky, knows hereof, whether or no he
will fulfill for them the evil day before their marriage.'

Now even as he spake, a bird flew out on the right, a hawk,
the swift messenger of Apollo. In his talons he held a dove
and plucked her, and shed the feathers down to the earth,
midway between the ship and Telemachus himself. Then
Theoclymenus called him apart from his fellows, and clasped
his hand and spake and hailed him:

'Telemachus, surely not without the god's will hath the
bird flown out on the right, for I knew when I saw him that
he was a bird of omen. There is no other house more kingly
than yours in the land of Ithaca; nay, ye have ever the

And wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'Ah, stranger,
would that this word may be accomplished! Soon shouldest
thou be aware of kindness and many a gift at my hands, so
that whoso met with thee would call thee blessed.'

Then he spake to Piraeus, his trusty companion: 'Piraeus,
son of Clytius, thou that at other seasons hearkenest to me
above all my company who went with me to Pylos, even now, I
pray, lead this stranger home with thee, and give heed to
treat him lovingly and with worship in thy house till I

Then Piraeus, spearsman renowned, answered him saying:
'Telemachus, why, even if thou shouldest tarry here long,
yet will I entertain this man, and he shall have no lack of
stranger's cheer.'

Therewith he went on board, and bade his men themselves to
mount and loose the hawsers. And quickly they embarked and
sat upon the benches. And Telemachus bound his goodly
sandals beneath his feet, and seized a mighty spear, shod
with sharp bronze, from the deck of the ship and his men
loosed the hawsers. So they thrust off and sailed to the
city, as Telemachus bade them, the dear son of divine
Odysseus. But swiftly his feet bore him on his forward way,
till he came to the court, where were his swine out of
number; and among them the good swineherd slept, a man
loyal to his lords.