The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy.

V

We came to the Island where AEolus, the Lord of the Winds, he who can give mariners a good or a bad wind, has his dwelling.  With his six sons and his six daughters AEolus lives on a floating island that has all around it a wall of bronze.  And when we came to his island, the Lord of the Winds treated us kindly and kept us at his dwelling for a month.  Now when the time came for us to leave, AEolus did not try to hold us on the island.  And to me, when I was going down to the ships, he gave a bag made from the hide of an ox, and in that bag were all the winds that blow.  He made the mouth of the bag fast with a silver thong, so that no wind that might drive us from our course could escape.  Then he sent the West Wind to blow on our sails that we might reach our own land as quickly as a ship might go.’

’For nine days we sailed with the West Wind driving us, and on the tenth day we came in sight of Ithaka, our own land.  We saw its coast and the beacon fires upon the coast and the people tending the fires.  Then I thought that the curse of the Cyclops was vain and could bring no harm to us.  Sleep that I had kept from me for long I let weigh me down, and I no longer kept watch.’

’Then even as I slept, the misfortune that I had watched against fell upon me.  For now my men spoke together and said, “There is our native land, and we come back to it after ten years’ struggles and toils, with empty hands.  Different it is with our lord, Odysseus.  He brings gold and silver from Priam’s treasure-chamber in Troy.  And AEolus too has given him a treasure in an ox-hide bag.  But let us take something out of that bag while he sleeps."’

’So they spoke, and they unloosed the mouth of the bag, and behold! all the winds that were tied in it burst out.  Then the winds drove our ship towards the high seas and away from our land.  What became of the other ships I know not.  I awoke and I found that we were being driven here and there by the winds.  I did not know whether I should spring into the sea and so end all my troubles, or whether I should endure this terrible misfortune.  I muffled my head in my cloak and lay on the deck of my ship.’

’The winds brought us back again to the floating Island.  We landed and I went to the dwelling of the Lord of the Winds.  I sat by the pillars of his threshold and he came out and spoke to me.  “How now, Odysseus?” said he.  “How is it thou hast returned so soon?  Did I not give thee a fair wind to take thee to thine own country, and did I not tie up all the winds that might be contrary to thee?"’

’"My evil companions,” I said, “have been my bane.  They have undone all the good that thou didst for me, O King of the Winds.  They opened the bag and let all the winds fly out.  And now help me, O Lord AEolus, once again."’

’But AEolus said to me, “Far be it from me to help such a man as thou—­a man surely accursed by the gods.  Go from my Island, for nothing will I do for thee.”  Then I went from his dwelling and took my way down to the ship.’

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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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