’For six days my company feasted on the best of the cattle. On the seventh day the winds ceased to blow. Then we went to the ship and set up the mast and the sails and fared out again on the deep.’
’But, having left that island, no other land appeared, and only sky and sea were to be seen. A cloud stayed always above our ship and beneath that cloud the sea was darkened. The West Wind came in a rush, and the mast broke, and, in breaking, struck off the head of the pilot, and he fell straight down into the sea. A thunderbolt struck the ship and the men were swept from the deck. Never a man of my company did I see again.’
’The West Wind ceased to blow but the South Wind came and it drove the ship back on its course. It rushed towards the terrible rocks of Scylla and Charybdis. All night long I was borne on, and, at the rising of the sun? I found myself near Charybdis. My ship was sucked down. But I caught the branches of the fig tree that grew out of the rock and hung to it like a bat. There I stayed until the timbers of my ship were cast up again by Charybdis. I dropped down on them. Sitting on the boards I rowed with my hands and passed the rock of Scylla without the monster seeing me.’
’Then for nine days I was borne along by the waves, and on the tenth day I came to Ogygia where the nymph Calypso dwells. She took me to her dwelling and treated me kindly. But why tell the remainder of my toils? To thee, O King, and to thy noble wife I told how I came from Calypso’s Island, and I am not one to repeat a plain-told tale.’
Odysseus finished, and the company in the hall sat silent, like men enchanted. Then King Alcinous spoke and said, ’Never, as far as we Phaeacians are concerned, wilt thou, Odysseus, be driven from thy homeward way. To-morrow we will give thee a ship and an escort, and we will land thee in Ithaka, thine own country.’ The Princes, Captains and Councillors, marvelling that they had met the renowned Odysseus, went each to his own home. When the dawn had come, each carried down to the ship on which Odysseus was to sail, gifts for him.
When the sun was near its setting they all came back to the King’s hall to take farewell of him. The King poured out a great bowl of wine as an offering to the gods. Then Odysseus rose up and placed in the Queen’s hands a two-handled cup, and he said, ’Farewell to thee, O Queen! Mayst thou long rejoice in thy house and thy children, and in thy husband, Alcinous, the renowned King.’
He passed over the threshold of the King’s house, and he went down to the ship. He went aboard and lay down on the deck on a sheet and rug that had been spread for him. Straightway the mariners took to their oars, and hoisted their sails, and the ship sped on like a strong sea-bird. Odysseus slept. And lightly the ship sped on, bearing that man who had suffered so much sorrow of heart in passing through wars of men and through troublous seas—the ship sped on, and he slept, and was forgetful of all he had passed through.