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D











Ex Libris
C. K. OGDEN



THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.



THE

ODYSSEY OF HOMER



DONE INTO ENGLISH VERSE

BY

WILLIAM MORRIS,

AUTHOR OF THE EARTHLY PARADISE.



IN TWO VOL UMES.
VOL. I.



LONDON:
REEVES & TURNER, 190 STRAND.

MDCCCLXXXVII.



SRLF
URL

PA



V. /

CONTENTS.



BOOK I.

PAGF

The Gods ordain the Return of Odysseus : Pallas goes to Ithaca and
in the Likeness of Mentes heartens up Telemachus, and bids him
call a Meeting of Men to lay his Grievance against the Wooers,
and then to take Ship to Pylos and Sparta seeking Tidings of his
Father ........... i

BOOK II.

The Meeting of Folk in Ithaca : the masterful and proud words of
the Wooers. Zeus sends a Token. Telemachus takes ship for
Pylos ... ....... 17

BOOK III.

Telemachus sails to Pylos, and there sees Nestor, who tells him of
Agamemnon and Menelaus, and sends him on to Sparta in the
company of Pisi stratus his Son . . -33

I5OOK IV.

Telemachus comet h with Pisistratus, Son of Nestor, to Menelaus af
Sparta, and hath some tidings of his Father. The Wooers
waylay Telemachus 1 return. Penelope hath a Dream sent for
her solace by Athene . . 5 1

BOOK V.

A Council of the Gods. Hermes sent to Calypso to bid her further
the Return of Odysseus. Odysseus sails away on a Raft. He is
wrecked in the sea hard on Phceacia and swims ashore there 82



vi CONTENTS.

BOOK VI.

PAGE

Odysseus is awakened by Nausicad, the Daughter of Alcinoiis, King
of the Phczacians, and by her is brought to the City and the Palace
of her Father . . . . . . . . .too

BOOK VII.

Odysseus comes to the Phceacian City and the House of Alcinoiis,
where he is received as a Suppliant and Guest^ and Alcinoiis

promises to further him on his way home on the morrow . 112

*

BOOK VIII.

Alcinoiis bringeth Odysseus to the Assembly, and biddeth men play
before Odysseus till the time is come for his departure : Demodocus
the Minstrel telleth the Tale of Hephtzstus and the Love of Ares
and Aphrodite : great gifts are given to Odysseus : he weepeth at
the Song of Demodocus concerning the Wooden Horse: Alcinoiis
perceiveth it and pray eth him to tell his Story . . . .125

BOOK IX.

Odysseus telleth of his Wayfarings : how he fought with the Cicones :
how he came to the Land of the Lotus-eaters : how he came unto
the Land of the Cyclops and of his dealings with Polyphemus
there . . . . . . . . . . .147

BOOK X.

Odysseus comeih to ^olus, who giveth him a fair wind, whereby he
is borne close to Ithaca, but by the folly of his Folk is driven back
thence to ALolus again : thence he cometh to the Lcesttygons, and
by them loseth the more part of his ships and men : sailing thence
they come to ALcea, where dwelt Circe, whose sorcery is told of,
and how Odysseus dwelt with her a whole year$ when she bade
him go visit the Land of the Dead before he set out for home again 168



CONTENTS. vii

BOOK XI.

PA(,P:

Odysstus fareth beyond the Ocean-stream and cometh to the Realm
and House of Hades, and there hath counsel of Tiresias the
Theban : there also he seeth the Ghost of Elpenor, but late dead,
and the Ghost of his Mother, and of many men and -women of
renown . . .......190

BOOK XII.

Odysseus cometh back to scea again, and Circe giveth him counsel
concerning his Road: he passeth by the Sirens and heareth their
Song: he cometh by Scylla and Charybdis, and losdh to Scylla
six of his men. Thence they come to the Island of the Sun, and
despite of warnings his fellows slay and eat of the Kine of the
Sun. Wherefore is the ship wrecked in mid-sea, and all the
shipmen perish save Odysseus, who barely saves himself from
Charybdis, whence he is carried to the Isle of Ogygia, and
cherished there by Calypso as is aforesaid . . .214



THE

ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

BOOK I.

ARGUMENT.

THE GODS ORDAIN THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS : PALLAS GOES TO ITHACA
AND IN THE LIKENESS OF MENTES HEARTENS UP TELEMACHUS, AND
BIDS HIM CALL A MEETING OF MEN TO LAY HIS GRIEVANCE AGAINST
THE WOOERS, AND THEN TO TAKE SHIP TO PYLOS AND SPARTA
SEEKING TIDINGS OF HIS FATHER.

TELL me, O Muse, of the Shifty, the man who wandered afar,
After the Holy Burg, Troy-town, he had wasted with war ;
He saw the towns of menfolk, and the mind of men did he learn ;
As he warded his life in the world, and his fellow-farers' return,
Many a grief of heart on the deep-sea flood he bore,
Nor yet might he save his fellows, for all that he longed for it sore.
They died of their own souls' folly, for witless as they were
They ate up the beasts of the Sun, the Rider of the Air,
And he took away from them all their dear returning day ;
O Goddess, O daughter of Zeus, from whencesoever ye may, 10

Gather the tale, and tell it, yea even to us at the last !

Now all the other heroes, who forth from the warfare passed
And fled from sheer destruction and 'scaped each man his bane,



2 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

Saved from the sea and the battle, at home they sat full fain ;

But him alone, Odysseus, sore yearning after the strife

To get him back to his homestead, sore yearning for his wife,

Did the noble nymph Calypso, the Godhead's glory hoard

In the hollow rocky places ; for she longed for him for lord,

Yea and e'en when the circling seasons had brought the year to hand,

Wherein the Gods had doomed it that he should reach his land, 20

E'en Ithaca his homestead, not even then was he,

Though amidst his kin and his people, of heavy trouble free.

Know now, that of all the God-folk there was none but pitied him,

Save that Poseidon only was with ceaseless wrath abrim

Against the God-like Hero from his house and his home shut out

But he to the ^Ethiopians e'en now was gone about,

The far-dwellers outmost of menfolk ; and these are sundered atwain,

Some dwell where the High-rider setteth, and some where he riseth again.

There then of bulls and of rams would he gather an hundred-fold,

And he sat him adown rejoicing and noble feast did hold. 30

But the rest in the hall were gathered of Zeus the Olympian lord.

So the Father of Gods and of men amidst them took up the word,

For mindful in heart was he of ^Egistheus the noble one,

He that was slain of Orestes far-famed, Agamemnon's son.

Thus then to the deathless he spake, these things remembering still.

" Out on it ! how do the menfolk to the Gods lay all their ill,

And say that of us it cometh ; when they themselves indeed

Gain griefs from their own souls' folly beyond the fateful meed.

E'en as of late ^Egistheus must wed Atrides' wife

In Doom's despite, and must slay him returning home from the strife. 40

Though his end therefrom he wotted, and thereof we warned him plain,

Sending him Hermes withal, the keen-eyed Argus-bane,



BOOK I. 3

Bidding him slay not the man, nor woo the wife to his bed.
' For vengeance shall come from Orestes for the son of Atreus dead
When the child is waxen a man and longeth his land to win : '
So spake Hermes, but nought prevailed with ^Egistheus herein,
Despite of his goodly counsel. But now for all hath he paid."

Therewith the Grey-eyed, the Goddess, Athene answered and said,

" O Father, O Son of Cronos, O Highest of all that is high I

In a doom and a death most fitting indeed that man doth lie, 50

And e'en so may all men perish such deeds as this who earn !

But lo for the wise Odysseus as now my heart doth burn.

Luckless, aloof from his folk, long-lasting woe bears he

In an isle of the circling Ocean, and the navel of the Sea,

In an isle by trees grown over : in that house a Goddess dwells

Daughter of Atlas the baleful, who knoweth all ocean wells

Whereso they be, and moreover he holdeth in his hand

The long-wrought pillars that sunder the heavens from the earthly land.

There the hapless man in sorrow this Atlas' Daughter hoards

And his heart for ever wooeth with soft and wheedling words 60

That of Ithaca nought he may mind him ; but Odysseus longeth to see,

If it were but the smoke a-leaping from the land where he would be ;

And now he yearneth for death. Nor yet doth thy dear heart

Heed aught of this, Olympian. But Odysseus for his part

Wrought he not holy deeds, and gifts to give thee joy

By the side of the ships of the Argives before wide-spreading Troy ?

Then why doth thine anger O Zeus so sore against him drift ? "

But to her made answer Zeus, the Lord that driveth the lift :
" O thou my child ! what a word from the wall of thy teeth hath sped !
How should I ever forget Odysseus' goodlihead ? 70

Whose mind overgoes all mortals, and hallowed gifts hath he given



4 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

To the deathless folk of the Gods, the lords of the wide-spread heaven.

But Poseidon Girdler of Earth his anger will not slake

Because of the eye bereft, and the blinded Cyclops' sake,

Polyphemus great as a god, whose might is far before

All others of the Cyclops : but him Thoosa bore

Daughter of Phorcys, the lord of the untilled salt-sea plain;

For with Poseidon she lay in the hollow rocks of the main.

Now therefore the Shaker of Earth, though the man he will not slay,

From the father-land of his folk still driveth him ever to stray. 80

But come ! let us compass his ways, and bring his returning about,

So that at last Poseidon may let his wrath die out :

For nought is his might so mighty that one 'gainst all may strive,

E'en he alone contending with the Gods for ever alive."

Therewith the Grey-eyed, the Goddess, Athene took up the word.

" O Father, O Son of Cronos, O highest of every lord,

If the happy Gods of the heavens indeed of this are fain,

Of the wise Odysseus coming to his very home again,

Then speed we the Slayer of Argus, e'en Hermes the Flitter, to go

Unto the isle Ogygia, our steadfast will to show 90

To the fair-haired nymph Calypso as swiftly as he may :

E'en return for Odysseus the patient, and he straight to go on his way.

But for me unto Ithaca now shall I wend me, that I the more

May stir up the son to be keen, and his heart with stoutness store,

That he the long-haired Achaeans may call to a meeting day

To bid the Wooers forbear, even the men who slaughter and slay

His huddled sheep and his oxen, the shambling knock-kneed band;

And to Sparta will I send him and to Pylos of the sand,

To seek of his father's home-coming if tidings he may hear,

So that fair fame among folk and full goodly heTnay bear." 100



BOOK I. 5

She spake, and under her feet the lovely shoes she tied,
Deathless and golden they are ; over the wet sea wide
And the boundless earth they waft her as the breath of the winds that pass.
Then she took the mighty spear, headed and sharp with brass,
Heavy and great and stubborn, wherewith the ranks of men
The Zeus-born Maiden quelleth, and angry is she then.
Down she glanced from the heights of Olympus, and stayed her in the land
And the isle of the Ithacan people : by Odysseus' door did she stand,
On the threshold of the forecourt, in her palm a brazen spear, 109

And the likeness of Mentes the stranger, the Taphian Chief did she bear.
There she found the high-souled Wooers, and there at the tables they played,
Before the doors of the homestead, and game and glee they made
As they sat on the hides of the oxen which they themselves had slain ;
And there with them were the heralds and the lads of service fain,
Who blent the wine with the water and bowls for the Wooers poured ;
And some with hole-pierced sponges made clean each feasting board,
And plenteous flesh were they shearing as the boards for the feast they laid.

But Telemachus the godlike he first beheld the maid ;

For he sat among the Wooers, his dear heart sore downcast,

And his mind beheld his father might he but come at last 120

And send those Wooers scattering about the homestead fair,

And gain his goods and his glory and be lord and master there.

Thus as he sat and pondered, on the Maid he set his eyes

And wended him straight to the fore-doors, and wrath in his soul did arise

That a guest in the door should be standing so long : so he drew anear

And took therewith her right-hand, and took the brazen spear,

And fell to speech moreover and set these words on the wing :

" Greeting, O guest, and welcome ! thou shalt tell us of the thing

Thou needest, e'en as it is, when thou hast tasted of meat"



6 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

He led her on as he spake, and Pallas followed his feet; 130

But against a long-wrought pillar he set the spear that he bore

Within the well-sleeked spear-rack, wherein were many more

Of the spears of that Odysseus who bore so many an ill.

Then to a chair he brought her fair wrought with crafty skill,

And spread the linen thereunder, and the stool beneath her feet ;

And by her apart from the Wooers he set his painted seat,

For fear that the guest should be troubled by all the din and cry,

And should loathe his meat amid men so masterful and high ;

And withal of his father's straying he would ask if aught might be told.

Now a maid brought in the water in a ewer fair- wrought of gold, 140
And over the silver bowl for the washing of hands she poured,
And therewithal beside them set out the polished board.
Then a goodwife set before them the baken bread of wheat,
And of suchlike as was handy gave forth things good to eat.
Till the server upbore the trenchers of divers flesh and good,
And served it forth, and beside them the golden beakers stood ;
And to and fro went the herald and amidst them poured the wine.

Then in came the masterful Wooers, and in an ordered line
They sat them adown in the hall on noble bench and chair,
And over their hands the heralds poured forth the water fair. 150

In wicker maunds the handmaids fair wheaten bread piled up,
And the serving-lads were crowning with drink each bowl and cup.
So they stretched out their hands to the board and the meat that before

[them lay.

But when of meat and of drink they had worn the longing away,
The care of other matters in the Wooers' hearts had place ;
Yea even the song and the dance, the banquet's -glory and grace.
So in the hand of Phemius a harp the herald set,



BOOK I. 7

Perforce he sang to the Wooers, and was their minstrel yet.

So his hands with the harp were dealing and he smote the song awake.

Now therewithal to the Grey-eyed a word Telemachus spake, 160

Holding his head to her head that the others might not hear :

"Dear guest, for the word that I speak what anger wilt thou bear?

Such men of such things have heed, the harp and the singing sweet,

Since the life and the goods of another all unavenged they eat,

Whose white bones somewhere are wasting in the mainland rain may be,

Or the billows roll them around and around in the salt of the sea,

And yet if they knew him returning to this Ithacan land on a day

Full surely each of these wooers for the speedy foot would pray

Rather than increase of gold and the gain of goodly weed.

He is dead by an evil doom, and for us is no cherishing rede; 170

Nay, not though perchance some man of the earth-dwelling folk should say

That he yet shall come again stark dead is his home-coming day.

But come now, tell me of this and speak to me closely herein,

From whence thou art of menfolk, and what is thy city and kin ?

In what manner of keel didst thou come ? What like did the seafarers fare

Who hither to Ithaca brought thee, and what gave they out that they were ?

Since afoot and aland, meseemeth, thou earnest to us not.

Tell all in truth and in deed, for clearly would I wot

If thou be a new-come guest, or the homestead's wonted friend ;

For many indeed were the strangers that would to usward wend ; 1 80

Since forsooth he would be dealing with many a manner of men."

But the Grey-eyed, the goddess Athene, thus spake and answered again :

" Yea of all shall I do thee to wit as clear as it may be done.

For know that I am Mentes, the wise Anchialus' son,

And lord am I of the Taphians, the lovers of the oar.

So with ship and with fellow-farers as now am I come to shore.



8 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

But to men of alien speech I sail o'er the wine-dark sea
To Temesa seeking for brass, and bright iron I bear with me.
My ship afar from the city by field and acre rides
In the haven-stead of Reithron, neath the woody Neion's sides. 190
And surely each of each we are house-friends from of old.
Go now to the elder, Laertes, and e'en thus shalt thou be told
By the warrior ancient of days, who now no more doth go
To the city, but out in the acres wears through his weary woe,
And he with an hoary handmaid, who whiles before him lays
The meat and the drink for his solace, when toil on his body weighs,
As to and fro he creepeth where his fat land wine doth bear.
Now hither I came ; for they told me that thy father now was here
Amid his folk ; but it seemeth that the Gods his coming let.
Yet hath not Odysseus the godlike from the earth departed yet ; 200
Alive he is and hoarded, meseems, amidst of the deep,
In an isle by the sea begirdled ; hard men his body keep,
Fierce men, and him unwilling belike they hoard apart.
But somewhat will I foretell thee as the thing falls into my heart
How the end is doomed by the Deathless, and whitherward all shall go.
Though nought of a seer I be, nor the wisdom of fowl do I know.
For long now he shall not be lacking from the land of his fathers of old j
Yea e'en were he shackled with iron it should not his coming withhold ;
Somehow return shall he win him ; he is wise in many a gin.
But come and tell me of one thing, and clear be thy telling herein : 210
Thou fair, well waxen lad, art thou Odysseus' seed ?
For full like is thy head unto his and thine eyes are his indeed.
And often we twain together in speech and deed were blent,
Before unto Troy he fared in the days when the others went,
The blossom of the Argives, in the hollow ships of the sea.
But thenceforward nought have I seen him, nor ye hath he looked upon

[me.'



BOOK I. 9

But Telemachus the heedful to speaking thus befell :
" O guest, exceeding clearly the story will I tell ;
My mother saith I am his ; but myself I know it not,
For no man of his father, meseemeth, can indeed and throughly wot.
But for me, O would that I were the child of some happy one, 221
Whom amidst his home and his havings old age should over-run :
Yet now since hereof thou askest, they say that I had my birth
From that most hapless man of all men that dwell on the earth."

Thereto the Grey-eyed, the goddess, Athene, answered again :

" No nameless line hereafter did the Gods for thee ordain,

When Penelope thy mother thus bore thee as thou art.

But what is this cheer and assembly, what therein is thy part ?

Is it a gild or a wedding ? No meeted meal can it be ;

For men that with pride are swollen, men masterful here I see 230

Throughout the homestead revelling ; hereto if a wise man came

Wroth would he be amongst them beholding many a shame."

But Telemachus the heedful thereto the answer gave :

" O guest, since hereof thou askest, and full answer thou wouldst have,

Time was when this house that thou seest was on a goodly road

Towards riches and great honour, while that man with his folk abode.

Now the Gods have otherwise willed it, and evil things they plan,

For more unseen have they made him than any son of man.

Yea I had known of him dead with no such grief and pain,

If he mid his battle-fellows mid the folk of Troy had been slain, 240

Or lay dead in the hands of his folk when the spindle of war he had wound,

For then would the host together, the Achaeans, have heaped his mound,

And great renown had he gotten for his son in the coming day ;

But now the Wights of the Whirlwind have snatched him fameless away.

He is gone unseen and unheard of, and hath left me lamenting and moan.



io THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

Nor withal amidst my sorrow must I wail for him alone.

For look you, in these our islands, as many as lord it o'er

Dulichium or Samos, or Zacynthus' woody shore,

Or in Ithaca the rocky the rule o'er the people bear,

All these are wooing my mother and our house they waste and wear. 250

And she the loathly wedding doth not utterly gainsay

Nor bring it to any ending, while my house they are eating away ;

And me at last will they come to and rend me utterly."

Then answered Pallas Athene, her anger swelling high :

" Out on it ! Sorely thou needest Odysseus wandering afar

To lay hand on these wasting Wooers as shameless as they are.

Lo now might he come to the house and there by the foredoor stand,

And he with helm and with shield and with two great spears in his hand ;

He even such as I saw him when he came to our house and our hall,

And there he sat at the drink, and was blithe and merry withal. 260

From Ephyra then was he faring, from Ilus that Mermerus' son,

For there in his fleet-faring ship o'er the sea had Odysseus gone,

And he sought for a deadly venom, and the bane of men would he have

For the smearing of brazen arrows, but this nowise Ilus gave,

Since he feared the Gods of heaven and the folk that never die.

But my father gave it him straight, for he loved him utterly.

Ah might he but deal with these Wooers e'en such as I know of his ways ;

Then bitter would be their wedding and speedy the doom of their days.

But whether he come back again, and in his hall built high

Avenge him of all; these things on the knees of the God they lie. 270

But thee, I bid thee consider, and seek till thou find a rede

Whereby from out of thine homestead these Wooers ye may speed.

Come now and hearken to me, and take heed unto my words ;

To-morrow unto the meeting thou shalt call the Achaean lords

And speak out the word before all men with the Gods to witness it,



BOOK I. ii

Bidding the Wooers to scatter and home to their own to flit :

But thy mother, if in her heart for wedlock she doth yearn,

Then home to her father the mighty, to his house let her return.

And men will make her a wedding, and goodly and fair and great

Shall they dight the gifts of the wedding for a well-loved daughter meet.

But a rede will I set in thy heart if thou wilt hearken and heed : 281

Do thou dight thee a twenty-banked ship right good, and therewith speed

To ask tidings of thy father so long away from his home,

If a man of men may tell thee or from Zeus a word may come,

Who most of all to menfolk bears tidings of renown.

And first of the glorious Nestor ask thou in Pylos town ;

Then of tawny Menelaus when to Sparta thou hast come,

For of all brass-clad Achseans was he last to get him home.

Then if of thy father living and returning thou dost hear,

Thou may'st then outwear this wasting for yet another year ; 290

But if thou hear of him dead and no longer living on earth,

Then getting thee back to thy folk-land, the dear land of thy father's birth,

There heap up the howe, and be giving great gifts of the burial bed,

As great and as good as befitteth : but some man thy mother shall wed.

And when thou hast done all this and these things to the end hast wrought,

Then in thy heart and thy soul thou shalt hold and cherish the thought

What wise in thy very homestead these Wooers ye may slay,

Whether by guile it be done or straight out in the face of the day :

For thou of years so waxen childs' play befitteth no more.

Or hast thou not heard of the fame which the great Orestes bore 300

Amid all the folk of mankind, when he slew his father's bane

^Egistheus the guileful of rede who his glorious sire had slain ?

And thou, dear heart, for both great and fair do I look on thee,

Be valiant and gather fair fame of the men who are going to be.

But now to my ship swift-faring must I get me aback at this tide

And unto my fellow-farers, who downcast my coming abide,



12 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER.

But thou, be heedful of all and ponder the words I have said."

But Telemachus the heedful to her the answer sped :
" O guest, with words full friendly hast thou spoken with all goodwill
As a father speaks to a son, and I shall remember it still. 310

But come now, abide yet a little, although thou be pressed to depart,
Until well washen and merry, with all content in thy heart
Thou may'st wend to thy ship in joyance bearing a gift with thee,
Dear-bought, exceeding beauteous, an heirloom given by me,
Such as dear guests beloved will give for guests to take."

But therewithal the Goddess, grey-eyed Athene spake.
" Nay hoard me no longer as now, for I long for the road and the way,
And the gift that thy dear heart biddeth thou shalt give on another day ;
When I come again thou shalt give it, and home shall I bear it indeed
And thou bearing out things goodly shalt have goodly things for thy meed."


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