BOOK THIRTEEN ODYSSEUS LEAVES PHAEACIA AND REACHES ITHACA. [Odysseus ends his story; the Phaeacians collect gifts and store them on a ship;. Book II. Telemachus. Sets Sail. When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more the true son of Odysseus sprang from bed and dressed, over his. And Alcinous again answered him, and said: “Odysseus, since thou hast come to my  high-roofed house with floor of brass, thou shalt not, methinks, be driven.
- THE ODYSSEY BOOK 13, TRANSLATED BY A. T. MURRAY
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And to each man of you that in my halls are ever wont to drink the flaming wine of the elders, and to listen to the minstrel, I speak, and give this charge. Raiment for the stranger lies already stored in the polished chest, with gold curiously wrought and all the other gifts which the counsellors of the Phaeacians brought hither. But, come now, let us give him a great tripod and a cauldron, each man of us, and we in turn will gather the cost from among the people, and repay ourselves.
It were hard for one man to give freely, without requital. They then went, each man to his house, to take their rest; but as soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, they hastened to the ship and brought the bronze, that gives strength to men.
THE ODYSSEY BOOK 13, TRANSLATED BY A. T. MURRAY
And the strong and mighty Alcinous went himself throughout the ship, and carefully stowed the gifts beneath the benches, that they might not hinder any of the crew at their rowing, when they busily plied the oars. Then they went to the house of Alcinous, and prepared a feast. Then, when they had burned the thigh-pieces, they feasted a glorious feast, and made merry, and among them the divine minstrel Demodocus, held in honor by the people, sang to the lyre.
But Odysseus would ever turn his head toward the blazing sun, eager to see it set, for verily he was eager to return home. And as a man longs for supper, for whom all day long a yoke of wine-dark oxen has drawn the jointed plough through fallow land, and gladly for him does the light of the sun sink, that he may busy him with his supper, and his knees grow weary as he goes; even so gladly for Odysseus did the light of the sun sink. For now all that my heart desired has been brought to pass: a convoy, and gifts of friendship.
May the gods of heaven bless them to me, and on my return may I find in my home my peerless wife with those I love unscathed; and may you again, remaining here, make glad your wedded wives and children; and may the gods grant you prosperity of every sort, and may no evil come upon your people. As for me, I go my way, but do thou in this house have joy of thy children and thy people and Alcinous the king.
And with him the mighty Alcinous sent forth a herald to lead him to the swift ship and the shore of the sea. And Arete sent with him slave women, one bearing a newly washed cloak and a tunic, and another again she bade follow to bear the strong chest, and yet another bore bread and red wine. But when they had come down to the ship and to the sea, straightway the lordly youths that were his escort took these things, and stowed them in the hollow ship, even all the food and drink.
Then for Odysseus they spread a rug and a linen sheet on the deck of the hollow ship at the stern, that he might sleep soundly; and he too went aboard, and laid him down in silence. Then they sat down on the benches, each in order, and loosed the hawser from the pierced stone. And as soon as they leaned back, and tossed the brine with their oarblades, sweet sleep fell upon his eyelids, an unawakening sleep, most sweet, and most like to death. And as on a plain four yoked stallions spring forward all together beneath the strokes of the lash, and leaping on high swiftly accomplish their way, even so the stern of that ship leapt on high, and in her wake the dark wave of the loud-sounding sea foamed mightily, and she sped safely and surely on her way; not even the circling hawk, the swiftest of winged things, could have kept pace with her.
Thus she sped on swiftly and clove the waves of the sea, bearing a man the peer of the gods in counsel, one who in time past had suffered many griefs at heart in passing through wars of men and the grievous waves; but now he slept in peace, forgetful of all that he had suffered. There is in the land of Ithaca a certain harbor of Phorcys, the old man of the sea, and at its mouth two projecting headlands sheer to seaward, but sloping down on the side toward the harbor.
These keep back the great waves raised by heavy winds without, but within the benched ships lie unmoored when they have reached the point of anchorage. At the head of the harbor is a long-leafed olive tree, and near it a pleasant, shadowy cave sacred to the nymphs that are called Naiads. Therein are mixing bowls and jars of stone, and there too the bees store honey.
And in the cave are long looms of stone, at which the nymphs weave webs of purple dye, a wonder to behold; and therein are also ever-flowing springs. Two doors there are to the cave, one toward the North Wind, by which men go down, but that toward the South Wind is sacred, nor do men enter thereby; it is the way of the immortals.
Here they rowed in, knowing the place of old; and the ship ran full half her length on the shore in her swift course, at such pace was she driven by the arms of the rowers. Then they stepped forth from the benched ship upon the land, and first they lifted Odysseus out of the hollow ship, with the linen sheet and bright rug as they were, and laid him down on the sand, still overpowered by sleep.
And they lifted out the goods which the lordly Phaeacians had given him, as he set out for home, through the favour of great-hearted Athena. These they set all together by the trunk of the olive tree, out of the path, lest haply some wayfarer, before Odysseus awoke, might come upon them and spoil them. Then they themselves returned home again.
For I but now declared that Odysseus should suffer many woes ere he reached his home, though I did not wholly rob him of his return when once thou hadst promised it and confirmed it with thy nod; yet in his sleep these men have borne him in a swift ship over the sea and set him down in Ithaca, and have given him gifts past telling, stores of bronze and gold and woven raiment, more than Odysseus would ever have won for himself from Troy, if he had returned unscathed with his due share of the spoil.
The gods do thee no dishonor; hard indeed would it be to assail with dishonor our eldest and best. But as for men, if any one, yielding to his might and strength, fails to do thee honor in aught, thou mayest ever take vengeance, even thereafter.
Do as thou wilt, and as is thy good pleasure. But now I am minded to smite the fair ship of the Phaeacians, as she comes back from his convoy on the misty deep, that hereafter they may desist and cease from giving convoy to men, and to fling a great mountain about their city.
When all the people are looking forth from the city upon her as she speeds on her way, then do thou turn her to stone hard by the land—a stone in the shape of a swift ship, that all men may marvel; and do thou fling a great mountain about their city.
The Odyssey by Homer - Book 12 Summary & Analysis
And she drew close to shore, the seafaring ship, speeding swiftly on her way. Then near her came the Earth-shaker and turned her to stone, and rooted her fast beneath by a blow of the flat of his hand, and then he was gone. But they spoke winged words to one another, the Phaeacians of the long oars, men famed for their ships. Lo, she was in plain sight. He was wont to say that Poseidon was wroth with us because we give safe convoy to all men.
He said that some day, as a beautiful ship of the Phaeacians was returning from a convoy over the misty deep, Poseidon would smite her, and would fling a great mountain about our town. So that old man spoke, and lo, now all this is being brought to pass. But now come, as I bid let us all obey. Cease ye to give convoy to mortals, when anyone comes to our city, and let us sacrifice to Poseidon twelve choice bulls, if haply he may take pity, and not fling a lofty mountain about our town.
Thus they were praying to the lord Poseidon, the leaders and counsellors of the land of the Phaeacians, as they stood about the altar, but Odysseus awoke out of his sleep in his native land. Yet he knew it not after his long absence, for about him the goddess had shed a mist, even Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus, that she might render him unknown, and tell him all things, so that his wife might not know him, nor his townsfolk, nor his friends, until the wooers had paid the full price of all their transgressions.
Therefore all things seemed strange to their lord, the long paths, the bays offering safe anchorage, the sheer cliffs, and the luxuriant trees. Are they cruel, and wild, and unjust, or do they love strangers and fear the gods in their thoughts?
Whither shall I bear all this wealth, or whither shall I myself go wandering on? Would that I had remained there among the Phaeacians, and had then come to some other of the mighty kings, who would have entertained me and sent me on my homeward way.
But now I know not where to bestow this wealth; yet here will I not leave it, lest haply it become the spoil of others to my cost. Out upon them; not wholly wise, it seems, nor just were the leaders and counsellors of the Phaeacians who have brought me to a strange land.
Verily they said that they would bring me to clear-seen Ithaca, but they have not made good their word. May Zeus, the suppliant's god, requite them, who watches over all men, and punishes him that sins. But come, I will number the goods, and go over them, lest to my cost these men have carried off aught with them in the hollow ship. Then, mournfully longing for his native land, he paced by the shore of the loud-sounding sea, uttering many a moan.
And Athena drew near him in the form of a young man, a herdsman of sheep, one most delicate, as are the sons of princes. In a double fold about her shoulders she wore a well-wrought cloak, and beneath her shining feet she had sandals, and in her hands a spear.
HOMER, ODYSSEY 13
Nay, save this treasure, and save me; for to thee do I pray, as to a god, and am come to thy dear knees. And tell me this also truly, that I may know full well. What land, what people is this? What men dwell here?
Homer: The Odyssey
Is it some clear-seen island, or a shore of the deep-soiled mainland that lies resting on the sea? Surely it is no wise so nameless, but full many know it, both all those who dwell toward the dawn and the sun, and all those that are behind toward the murky darkness.
It is a rugged isle, not fit for driving horses, yet it is not utterly poor, though it be but narrow. Therein grows corn beyond measure, and the wine-grape as well, and the rain never fails it, nor the rich dew.
It is a good land for pasturing goats and kine; there are trees of every sort, and in it also pools for watering that fail not the year through. Therefore, stranger, the name of Ithaca has reached even to the land of Troy which, they say, is far from this land of Achaea. And I left as much more with my children, when I fled the land, after I had slain the dear son of Idomeneus, Orsilochus, swift of foot, who in broad Crete surpassed in fleetness all men that live by toil.
Now he would have robbed me of all that booty of Troy, for which I had borne grief of heart, passing through wars of men and the grievous waves, for that I would not shew favour to his father, and serve as his squire in the land of the Trojans, but commanded other men of my own. So I smote him with my bronze-tipped spear as he came home from the field, lying in wait for him with one of my men by the roadside.
A dark night covered the heavens, and no man was ware of us, but unseen I took away his life. Now when I had slain him with the sharp bronze, I went straightway to a ship, and made prayer to the lordly Phoenicians, giving them booty to satisfy their hearts.
I bade them take me aboard and land me at Pylos, or at goodly Elis, where the Epeans hold sway. Yet verily the force of the wind thrust them away from thence, sore against their will, nor did they purpose to play me false; but driven wandering from thence we came hither by night. Then upon me came sweet sleep in my weariness, but they took my goods out of the hollow ship and set them where I myself lay on the sands.
And they went on board, and departed for the well-peopled land of Sidon; but I was left here, my heart sore troubled. Bold man, crafty in counsel, insatiate in deceit, not even in thine own land, it seems, wast thou to cease from guile and deceitful tales, which thou lovest from the bottom of thine heart. But come, let us no longer talk of this, being both well versed in craft, since thou art far the best of all men in counsel and in speech, and I among all the gods am famed for wisdom and craft.
Yet thou didst not know Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus, even me, who ever stand by thy side, and guard thee in all toils. Aye, and I made thee beloved by all the Phaeacians. And now am I come hither to weave a plan with thee, and to hide all the treasure, which the lordly Phaeacians gave thee by my counsel and will, when thou didst set out for home; and to tell thee all the measure of woe it is thy fate to fulfil in thy well-built house.
But do thou be strong, for bear it thou must, and tell no man of them all nor any woman that thou hast come back from thy wanderings, but in silence endure thy many griefs, and submit to the violence of men.
But this I know well, that of old thou wast kindly toward me, so long as we sons of the Achaeans were warring in the land of Troy. But after we had sacked the lofty city of Priam, and had gone away in our ships, and a god had scattered the Achaeans, never since then have I seen thee, daughter of Zeus, nor marked thee coming on board my ship, that thou mightest ward off sorrow from me.
Nay, I ever wandered on, bearing in my breast a stricken heart, till the gods delivered me from evil, even until in the rich land of the Phaeacians thou didst cheer me with thy words, and thyself lead me to their city. But now I beseech thee by thy father—for I think not that I am come to clear-seen Ithaca; nay, it is some other land over which I roam, and thou, methinks, dost speak thus in mockery to beguile my mind—tell me whether in very truth I am come to my dear native land. Eagerly would another man on his return from wanderings have hastened to behold in his halls his children and his wife; but thou art not yet minded to know or learn of aught, till thou hast furthermore proved thy wife, who abides as of old in her halls, and ever sorrowfully for her the nights and days wane, as she weeps.
But as for me, I never doubted of this, but in my heart knew it well, that thou wouldest come home after losing all thy comrades. Yet, thou must know, I was not minded to strive against Poseidon, my father's brother, who laid up wrath in his heart against thee, angered that thou didst blind his dear son. But come, I will shew thee the land of Ithaca, that thou mayest be sure. This is the harbor of Phorcys, the old man of the sea, and here at the head of the harbor is the long-leafed olive tree, and near it is the pleasant, shadowy cave, sacred to the nymphs that are called Naiads.
This, thou must know, is the vaulted cave in which thou wast wont to offer to the nymphs many hecatombs that bring fulfillment; and yonder is Mount Neriton, clothed with its forests. Glad then was the much-enduring, goodly Odysseus, rejoicing in his own land, and he kissed the earth, the giver of grain. Aye, and gifts too will I give, as aforetime, if the daughter of Zeus, she that drives the spoil, shall graciously grant me to live, and shall bring to manhood my dear son.
But let us now forthwith set thy goods in the innermost recess of the wondrous cave, where they may abide for thee in safety, and let us ourselves take thought how all may be far the best.