But on the eighth night Perseus dreamed a dream. He saw standing beside him Athene as he had seen her seven long years before, and she stood and called him by name, and said, “Perseus, you have played the man, and see, you have your reward. Now give me the sword and the sandals, and the hat of darkness, that I may give them back to those to whom they belong. But the Gorgon’s head you shall keep a while, for you will need it in your land of Hellas.”
And Perseus rose to give her the sword, and the cap, and the sandals, but he woke and his dream vanished away. Yet it was not altogether a dream, for the goat-skin with the head was in its place, but the sword and the cap and the sandals were gone, and Perseus never saw them more.
HOW PERSEUS CAME HOME AGAIN
When a year was ended, Perseus rowed away in a noble galley, and in it he put Andromeda and all her dowry of jewels and rich shawls and spices from the East, and great was the weeping when they rowed away.
And when Perseus reached the land, of Hellas he left his galley on the beach, and went up as of old. He embraced his mother and Dictys, and they wept over each other, for it was seven years and more since they had parted.
Then Perseus went out and up to the hall of Polydectes, and underneath the goat-skin he bore the Gorgon’s head.
When he came to the hall, Polydectes sat at the table, and all his nobles on either side, feasting on fish and goats’ flesh, and drinking blood-red wine.
Perseus stood upon the threshold and called to the King by name. But none of the guests knew the stranger, for he was changed by his long journey. He had gone out a boy, and he was come home a hero.
But Polydectes the Wicked, knew him, and scornfully he called, “Ah, foundling! have you found it more easy to promise than to fulfil?”
“Those whom the gods help fulfil their promises,” said Perseus, as he drew back the goat-skin and held aloft the Gorgon’s head, saying, “Behold!”
Pale grew Polydectes and his guests as they looked upon that dreadful face. They tried to rise from their seats, but from their seats they never rose, but stiffened, each man where he sat, into a ring of cold gray stones.
Then Perseus turned and left them, and went down to his galley in the bay. He gave the kingdom to good Dictys, and sailed away with his mother and his bride. And Perseus rowed westward till he came to his old home, and there he found that his grandfather had fled.
The heart of Perseus yearned after his grandfather, and he said, “Surely he will love me now that I am come home with honor. I will go and find him and bring him back, and we will reign together in peace.”
So Perseus sailed away, and at last he came to the land where his grandfather dwelt, and all the people were in the fields, and there was feasting and all kinds of games.