The Odyssey eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 428 pages of information about The Odyssey.

Then Piraeus, spearsman renowned, answered him saying:  ’Telemachus, why, even if thou shouldest tarry here long, yet will I entertain this man, and he shall have no lack of stranger’s cheer.’

Therewith he went on board, and bade his men themselves to mount and loose the hawsers.  And quickly they embarked and sat upon the benches.  And Telemachus bound his goodly sandals beneath his feet, and seized a mighty spear, shod with sharp bronze, from the deck of the ship and his men loosed the hawsers.  So they thrust off and sailed to the city, as Telemachus bade them, the dear son of divine Odysseus.  But swiftly his feet bore him on his forward way, till he came to the court, where were his swine out of number; and among them the good swineherd slept, a man loyal to his lords.

Book XVI

  Telemachus sends Eumaeus to the city to tell his mother of
  his return.  And how, in the meantime, Odysseus discovers
  himself to his son.

Now these twain, Odysseus and the goodly swineherd, within the hut had kindled a fire, and were making ready breakfast at the dawn, and had sent forth the herdsmen with the droves of swine.  And round Telemachus the hounds, that love to bark, fawned and barked not, as he drew nigh.  And goodly Odysseus took note of the fawning of the dogs, and the noise of footsteps fell upon his ears.  Then straight he spake to Eumaeus winged words: 

’Eumaeus, verily some friend or some other of thy familiars will soon be here, for the dogs do not bark but fawn around, and I catch the sound of footsteps.’

While the word was yet on his lips, his own dear son stood at the entering in of the gate.  Then the swineherd sprang up in amazement, and out of his hands fell the vessels wherewith he was busied in mingling the dark wine.  And he came over against his master and kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes and both his hands, and he let a great tear fall.  And even as a loving father welcomes his son that has come in the tenth year from a far country, his only son and well-beloved, for whose sake he has had great sorrow and travail, even so did the goodly swineherd fall upon the neck of godlike Telemachus, and kiss him all over as one escaped from death, and he wept aloud and spake to him winged words: 

’Thou art come, Telemachus, a sweet light in the dark; methought I should see thee never again, after thou hadst gone in thy ship to Pylos.  Nay now enter, dear child, that my heart may be glad at the sight of thee in mine house, who hast newly come from afar.  For thou dost not often visit the field and the herdsmen, but abidest in the town; so it seems has thy good pleasure been, to look on the ruinous throng of the wooers.’

Then wise Telemachus answered him, saying:  ’So be it, father, as thou sayest; and for thy sake am I come hither to see thee with mine eyes, and to hear from thy lips whether my mother yet abides in the halls or another has already wedded her, and the couch of Odysseus, perchance, lies in lack of bedding and deep in foul spider-webs.’

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The Odyssey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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