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man made reply : * Thou doest ill to ask such
things, for thou wilt weep to hear them. Two
only of the chiefs perished in returning ; as for
the others, thou knowest what befell. The ship
of the Lesser Ajax was smitten ; yet might he
have escaped, though Athene hated him, for
by the help of Poseidon he reached the rocks.
But there he spake, in the blindness of his
heart, high words of pride, saying that in de-
spite of the gods he had escaped the devouring
sea. Then did Poseidon smite with his trident
the rock whereon he sat, and the one part fell
into the sea, carrying Ajax with it ; so he per-
ished, drinking the brine. Thy brother indeed
escaped from the fates of the sea, for Hera
saved him ; but the storm-wind carried him
to the land where ^Egisthus, son of Thyestes,
dwelt. But when Agamemnon set foot upon
his native land, he kissed it, weeping hot tears,
so glad was he to see it again. But the watch-
man spied him from his tower, even the watch-
man whom the crafty yEgisthus had hired with
two talents of gold. For the space of two years


had he watched, lest Agamemnon should pass
by him unawares. So now he went to the
house of /Egisthus, bearing the news. And
yEgisthus contrived a crafty treason. He set
an ambush in the hall, twenty of the bravest of
the place, and in the further side of the hall he
bade them make ready a feast ; then he went
with chariots and horses to bid Agamemnon
to the feast ; to his house he brought him,
knowing nothing of his doom. And after the

o o

feast he slew him, as one slayeth an ox at the
stall. Not one of the company of Agamemnon
was left, and of the company of /Egisthus not
one.' Then I wept sore, caring nothing to live
any more. But the old man said : ' Weep not,
son of Atreus, for there is no help in tears.
Rather make haste to return, for either thou
shalt find /Egisthus yet alive, or haply Orestes
may have slain him, and thou shalt come in
time for his funeral feast.' So he spake, and
my heart was comforted within me, and I said :
' Their fate I know ; but there is yet another
of whom I would fain hear. Is he yet alive,
wandering on the deep, or is he dead ? Speak,


though it grieve me to hear.' Straightway the
old man answered : ' It is the son of Laertes of
whom thou speakest. Him I saw in an island,
even in the dwelling of Calypso ; and he was
shedding great tears, because the nymph keeps
him there perforce, so that he may not come
to his own country, for he hath neither ship
nor comrades. But thou, Menelalis, wilt not
die as other men. The gods will take thee to
the Elysian plain, that is at the world's end.
No snow is there, nor storm, nor any rain, but
the ocean ever sendeth forth the west wind to
breathe cool on men. Thus shall it be with
thee, because thou hast Helen to wife, and so
art as the son of Zeus.' So spake Proteus, and
plunged into the sea. The next day we went
back to the river ^Egyptus, the stream that is
fed from heaven, and offered sacrifice to the
gods. And when I had appeased their anger,
I made a great barrow to Agamemnon, my
brother, that his name might not be forgot-
ten among men. And when these things had
been duly performed, I set sail, and came back
to my own country, for the gods gave me a fair


wind. But do thou tarry now in my halls.
And when thou art minded to go, I will give
thee a chariot and three horses with it, and a
goodly cup also, from which thou mayest pour
libations to the gods ; but do thou remember
me all the days of thy life."

To him Telemachus made reply : " Keep
me not long, son of Atreus, for my company
wait for me in Pylos, though indeed I would


be content to stay with thee for a w r hole year,
nor would any longing for my home come over
me. And let any gift thou givest me be a
thing for me to treasure. But I will take no
horses to Ithaca. Rather let them stay here
and grace thy home, for thou art lord of a wide
plain where there is wheat and rye and barley.
But in Ithaca there is no meadow land. It is
a pasture land of goats, yet verily it is more
pleasant to my eyes than if it were a fit feeding-
place for horses."

Then said Menelaiis : " Thou speakest well,
as becometh the son of thy father. Come, now,
I will change the gifts. Of all the treasures in
my house, I will give thee the goodliest, espec-


ially a bowl which the King of the Sidonians
gave me. Of silver it is, and the lips are
finished with gold."

Now it had been made known meanwhile to
the suitors in Ithaca that Telemachus was gone
upon this journey seeking his father, and the
thing displeased them much. And after that
they had held counsel about the matter, it
seemed best that they should lay an ambush
against him which should slay him as he came
back to his home. So Antinolis took twenty
men and departed, purposing to lie in wait in
the strait between Ithaca and Samos.

Nor was this counsel unknown to Penelope,
for the herald Medon had heard it, and he
told her how that Telemachus had gone seek-
ing news of his father, and how the suitors pur-
posed to slay him as he returned. And she
called her women, old and young, and rebuked
them, saying: "Wicked that ye were, that knew
that he was about to 0:0, and did not rouse me


from my bed. Surely I had kept him, eager
though he was, from his journey, or he had left
me dead behind him ! '


.... . .,,

1 m

5 .


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Then said Eurycleia: " Slay me, if them wilt,
but I will hide nothing from thee. I knew his
purpose, and I furnished him with such things
as he needed. But he made me swear that I
would not tell thee till the eleventh or the
twelfth day was come. But go with thy maid-
ens and make thy prayer to Athene that she will
save him from death ; and indeed I think that
this house is not altogether hated by the gods."

Then Penelope, having duly prepared her-
self, went with her maidens to the upper
chamber, and prayed aloud to Athene that
she would save her son. And the suitors
heard her praying, and said, " Surely the
Queen prays, thinking of her marriage, nor
knows that death is near to her son."

Then she lay down to sleep, and had neither
eaten nor drunk. And while she slept Athene
sent her a dream in the likeness of her sister
Iphthime, who was the wife of Eumelus, son of
Alcestis. And the vision stood over her head
and spake : " Sleepest thou, Penelope ? The
gods would not have thee grieve, for thy son
shall surely return."


And Penelope said : " How earnest thou
here, my sister ? For thy dwelling is far away.
And how can I cease to weep when my hus-
band is lost ? And now my son is gone, and
I am sore afraid for him, lest his enemies slay

But the vision answered : " Fear not at all ;
for there is a mighty helper with him, even
Athene, who hath bid me tell thee these

Then Penelope said : " If thou art a god-
dess, tell me this. Is my husband yet alive ? '

But the vision answered, " That I cannot


say, whether he be alive or dead." And so
saying, it vanished into air.

And Penelope woke from her sleep, and her
heart was comforted.


* '



AGAIN the gods sate in council on high
Olympus, and Athene spake among them,
saying: " Now let no king be minded to do
righteously, for see how there is no man that
remembereth Ulysses, who was as a father to
his people. And he lieth far off, fast bound
in Calypso's isle, and hath no ship to take him
to his own country. Also the suitors are set
upon slaying his son, who is gone to Pylos
and to Lacedasmon, that he may get tidings of
his father."

To her Zeus made answer : " What is this
that thou sayest ? Didst not thou thyself plan
this device that the vengeance of Ulysses
might be wrought upon the suitors ? As for
Telemachus, do thou guide him by thy art, as
well thou mayest, so that he may come to his
own land unharmed, and the suitors may have
their labour in vain."


Also he said to Hermes : " Hermes, go to
the nymph Calypso, and tell her my sure pur-
pose that Ulysses shall now come back to his

So Hermes put on his golden sandals, and
took his wand in his hand, and came to the
island of Ogygia, and to the cave where Ca-
lypso dwelt. A fair place it was. In the cave
was burning a fire of sweet-smelling: wood, and

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Calypso sat at her loom, and sang with a lovely
voice. And round about the cave was a grove
of alders and poplars and cypresses, wherein
many birds, falcons and owls and sea-crows,
were wont to roost ; and all about the mouth
of the cave was a vine with purple clusters of
grapes ; and there were four fountains which
streamed four ways through meadows of pars-
ley and violet. Very fair was the place, so
that even a god might marvel at it, and Hermes
stood and marvelled. Then went he into the
cave, and Calypso knew him when she saw
him face to face, for the gods know each other,
even though their dwellings be far apart. But
Ulysses was not there, for he sat, as was his


wont, on the seashore, weeping and groaning,
because he might not see wife and home and

Then Calypso said to Hermes : " Wherefore
hast thou come hither, Hermes of the golden
wand ? Welcome thou art, but thou hast not
been used to visit me of old time? Tell me
all thy thought, that I may fulfil it if I may,
but first follow me, that I may set food before

So she spread a table with ambrosia, and set
it by him, and mixed the ruddy nectar for him,
and the messenger ate and drank. So, when
he had comforted his soul with food, he spake,
saying :

" Thou questionest of my coming, and I will
tell thee the truth. It is by no wish of mine
own that I come, for who would of his free
will pass over a sea so wide, wherein is no city
of men that do sacrifice to the o;ods ? Zeus bade


me come, and none may go against the com-
mands of Zeus. He saith that thou hast \vith
thee a man more wretched than all his fellows,
as many as fought against Troy for nine years


and in the tenth year departed homeward. All
the rest of his company were lost, but him the
waves carried thither. Now, therefore, send
him home with what speed thou mayest ; for it
is not fated that he should die away from his
friends. Rather shall he see again the high
roof of his home and his native country."

It vexed Calypso much to hear this, for she
would fain have kept Ulysses with her always,
and she said :

" Ye gods are always jealous when a goddess
loves a mortal man. And as for Ulysses, did
not I save him when Zeus had smitten his ship
with a thunderbolt, and all his comrades had
perished ? And now let him go if it pleases
Zeus. Only I cannot send him, for I have,
neither ship nor rowers. Yet will I willingly
teach him how he may safely return."

And Hermes said, " Do this thing speedily,
lest Zeus be wroth with thee."

So he departed. And Calypso went seeking
Ulysses, and found him on the shore of the sea,
looking out over the waters, as was his wont,
and weeping, for he was weary of his life, so


much did he desire to see Ithaca again. She
stood by him and said : -

" Weary not for thy native country, nor waste
thyself with tears. If thou wilt go, I will speed
thee on thy way. Take, therefore, thine axe
and cut thee beams, and join them together,
and make a deck upon them, and I will give
thee bread and water and wine, and clothe thee
also, so that thou mayest return safe to thy
native country, for the gods will have it so."

" Nay," said Ulysses, " what is this that thou
sayest ? Shall I pass in a raft over the dread-
ful sea, over which even ships go not without
harm ? I will not go against thy will ; but thou
must swear the great oath of the gods that thou
plannest no evil against me."

Then Calypso smiled and said : " These are
strange words. By the Styx I swear that I
plan no harm against thee, but only such good
as I would ask myself, did I need it ; for indeed
my heart is not of iron, but rather full of com-

Then they two went to the cave and sat
down to meat, and she set before him food


such as mortal men eat, but she herself ate
ambrosia and drank nectar, as the gods are
wont. And afterwards she said :

" Why art thou so eager for thy home ?
Surely if thou knewest all the trouble that
awaits thee, thou wouldst not go, but wouldst
rather dwell with me. And though thou desir-
est all the day long to see thy wife, surely I am
not less fair than she."

" Be not angry," Ulysses made reply. " The
wise Penelope cannot, indeed, be compared to
thee, for she is a mortal woman and thou art a
goddess. Yet is rny home dear to me, and I
would fain see it again. Yea, and if some god
should wreck me on the deep, yet would I
endure it with patient heart. Already have I
suffered much, and toiled much in perils of war
and perils of the sea. And as to what is yet to
come, let it be added to the tale of what hath

The next day Calypso gave him an axe with
a handle of olive wood, and an adze, and took
him to the end of the island, where there were
great trees, long ago sapless and dry, alder and


poplar and pine. Of these he felled twenty,
and lopped them and worked them by the line.
Then the goddess brought him a gimlet, and he
.made holes in the logs and joined them with
pegs. And he made decks and side planking
also; also a mast and a yard, and a rudder
wherewith to turn the raft. And he fenced it
about with a bulwark of osier against the waves.


The sails, indeed, Calypso wove, and Ulysses
fitted them with braces and halyards and sheets.
Last of all he pushed the raft down to the sea
with levers.

On the fourth day all was finished, and on
the fifth day he departed. And Calypso gave
him goodly garments, and a skin of wine, and a
skin of water, and rich provender in a wallet of
leather. She sent also a fair wind blowing be-
hind, and Ulysses set his sails and proceeded
joyfully on his way; nor did he sleep, but
watched the stars, the Pleiades and Bootes, and
the Bear, which men also call the Wain, which
turneth ever in one place, watching Orion.
For Calypso had said to him, " Keep the Bear
ever on thy left as thou passest over the sea."


Seventeen days he sailed ; and on the eigh-
teenth day appeared the shadowy hills of the
island of the Phaeacians, where it was nearest
to him ; and the island showed, as a shield
misfht show, through the mist of the sea.

o o

But now Poseidon, coming back from feast-
ing with the Ethiopians, spied him as he sailed,
and it angered him to the heart. He shook


his head, and spake to himself, saying : "Verily,
the gods must have changed their purpose con-
cerning Ulysses while I was absent among the
Ethiopians ; and now he is nigh to the island
of the Phaeacians, which if he reach, it is or-
dained that he shall escape from his woes. Yet
even now I will send him far enough on a way
of trouble."

Thereupon he gathered the clouds, and
troubled the waters of the deep, holding his tri-
dent in his hand. And he raised a storm of
all the winds that blow, and covered the land
and the sea with clouds.

Sore troubled was Ulysses, and said to him-
self: "It was truth that Calypso spake when
she said how that I should suffer many


troubles returning to my home. Would that I
had died that day when many a spear was cast
by the men of Troy over the dead Achilles.
Then would the Greeks have buried me ; but
now shall I perish miserably."

And as he spake a great wave struck the
raft and tossed him far away, so that he
dropped the rudder from his hand. Nor for
a long time could he rise, so deep was he sunk,
and so heavy was the goodly clothing which
Calypso had given him. Yet at the last he
rose, and spat the salt water out of his mouth,
and, so brave was he, sprang at the raft, and
caught it, and sat thereon, and was borne
hither and thither by the waves. But Ino saw
him and pitied him a woman she had been,
and was now a goddess of the sea and rose
from the deep like to a sea-gull upon the wing,
and sat upon the raft, and spake, saying :

" Luckless mortal, why doth Poseidon hate
thee so ? He shall not slay thee, though he
fain would do it. Put off these garments, and
swim to the land of Phasacia, putting this veil
under thy breast. And when thou art come


to the land, loose it from thee, and cast it
into the sea; but when thou castest it, look

Then the goddess gave him the veil, and
dived again into the deep as a sea-gull diveth,
and the waves closed over her. Then Ulysses
pondered the matter, saying to himself : " Woe
is me ! can it be that another of the 2fods is


contriving a snare for me, bidding me leave
my raft ? Verily, I will not yet obey her coun-
sel, for the land, when I saw it, seemed a long
way off. I am resolved what to do; so long
as the raft will hold together, so Ions: will I


abide on it ; but when the waves shall break
it asunder, then will I swim, for nothing better
may be done."

But while he thought thus within himself,
Poseidon sent another great wave against the

o o

raft. As a stormy wind scattereth a heap of
husks, so did the wave scatter the timbers of
the raft. But Ulysses sat astride on a beam,
as a man sitteth astride of a horse ; and he
stripped off from him the goodly garments
which Calypso had given him, and put the veil


under his breast, and so leapt into the sea,
stretching out his hands to swim.

And Poseidon, when he saw him, shook his
head, and communed with his soul, saying:
" Even so, after all that thou hast suffered, go
wandering over the deep, till thou come to the
land. Thou wilt not say that thou hast not
had trouble enough."

But Athene, binding up the other winds,
roused the swift north wind that so Ulysses
might escape from death.

So for two days and two nights he swam. But
on the third day there was a calm, and he saw
the land from the top of a great wave, for the
waves were yet high, close at hand. Dear as
a father to his children, rising up from griev-
ous sickness, so dear was the land to Ulysses.
But when he came near he heard the waves
breaking along the shore, for there was no har-
bour there, but only cliffs and rugged rocks.

Then at last the knees of Ulysses were
loosened with fear, and his heart was melted
within him, and in heaviness of spirit he spake
to himself: "Woe is me! for now, when be-


yond all hope, Zeus hath given me the sight
of land, there is no place where I may win to
shore from out of the sea. For the crags are
sharp, and the waves roar about them, and the
smooth rock riseth sheer from the sea, and
the water is deep, so that I may gain no foot-
hold. If I should seek to land, then a great
wave may dash me on the rocks. And if I
swim along the shore, if haply I may find some
harbour, I fear lest the winds may catch me
again and bear me out into the deep; or it
may be that some god may send a monster of
the sea against me ; and verily there are many
such in the sea-pastures, and I know that
Poseidon is very wroth against me."

While he pondered these things in his heart
a great wave bare him to the rocks. Then
had his skin been stripped from him and all
his bones broken, but that Athene put a
thought into his heart. For he rushed in
towards the shore, and clutched the rock with
both his hands, and clung thereto till the wave
had passed. But as it ebbed back, it caught
him, and carried him again into the deep.


Even as a cuttle-fish is draped from out its


hole in the rock, so was he dragged by the
water, and the skin was stripped from his hand
against the rocks. Then had Ulysses perished,
even against the ordinance of fate, had not
Athene put a counsel in his heart. He swam
outside the breakers, and so along the shore,
looking for a place where the waves might be
broken, or there should be a harbour. At last
he came to where a river ran into the sea.
Free was the place of rocks, and sheltered
from the wind, and Ulysses felt the stream of
the river as he ran. Then he prayed to the
river-god :

" Hear me, O King, whosoever thou art. I
am come to thee a suppliant, fleeing from the
wrath of Poseidon. Save me, O King."

Thereupon the river stayed his stream, and
made the water smooth before Ulysses, so that
at last he won his way to the land. His knees
were bent under him, and his hands dropped
at his side, and the salt water ran out his
mouth and nostrils. Breathless was he, and
speechless ; but when he came to himself, he


loosed the veil from under his breast, and cast
it into the salt stream of the river, and the
stream bare it to the sea, and Ino came up
and caught it in her hands.

Then he lay down on the rushes by the
bank of the river and kissed the earth, think-
ing within himself : " What now shall I do ?
for if I sleep here by the river, I fear that the
dew and the frost may slay me ; for indeed in
the morning-time the wind from the river


blows cold. And if I go up to the wood, to
lay me down to sleep in the thicket, I fear that
some evil beast may devour me."

But it seemed better to go to the wood. So
he went. Now this was close to the river, and
he found two bushes, of wild olive one, and of
fruitful olive the other. So thickly grown
together were they that the winds blew not
through them, nor did the sun pierce them,
nor yet the rain. Thereunder crept Ulysses,
and found great store of leaves, shelter enough
for two or three, even in winter time, when
the rain is heavy. Then did Ulysses rejoice,
laying himself in the midst, and covering him-


self with leaves. Thus, even as a man who
dwells apart from others cherishes his fire,
hiding it under the ashes, so Ulysses cherished
his life under the leaves. And Athene sent
down upon his eyelids deep sleep, that might
ease him of his toil.




MEANWHILE Athene went to the city of
Phaeacians, to the palace of Alcinous, their
King. There she betook her to the chamber
where slept Nausicaa, daughter of the King,
a maiden fair as are the gods. The goddess
stood above the maiden, in the semblance of
the daughter of Dymas (now Dymas was a
famous rover of the sea), a girl that was of like
age with her, and had found favour in her

Athene spake, saying : " Why hath thy
mother so careless a child, Nausicaa ? Lo !
thy raiment lieth unwashed, and yet the day
of thy marriage is at hand, when thou must
have fair clothing for thyself, and to give to
them that shall lead thee to thy bridegroom's
house ; for thus doth a bride w r in good repute.
Do thou therefore arise with the day, and go


to wash the raiment, and I will go with thee.
Ask thy father betimes in the morning to give
thee mules and a wagon to carry the raiment
and the robes. Also it is more becoming for
thee to ride than to go on foot, for the laun-
dries are far from the city."

And when the morning was come, Nausicaa
awoke, marvelling at the dream, and went
seeking her parents. Her mother she found
busy with her maidens at the loom, spinning
yarn dyed with purple of the sea, and her
father she met as he was going to the council
with the chiefs of the land. Then she said :
" Give me, father, the wagon with the mules,
that I may take the garments to the river to
wash them. Thou shouldest always have
clean robes when thou goest to the council ;
and there are my five brothers also, who
love to have newly washed garments at the

But of her own marriage she said nothing.
And her father, knowing her thoughts, said :
" I grudge thee not, dear child, the mules or
aught else. The men shall harness for thee a


wagon with strong wheels and fitted also with
a frame."

Then he called to the men, and they made
ready the wagon, and harnessed the mules ;
and the maiden brought the raiment out of her
chamber, and put it in the wagon. Also her
mother filled a basket with all manner of food,
and poured wine in a goat-skin bottle. Olive
oil also she gave her, that Nausicaa and her

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