Homer: The Odyssey

15. Book XV (continued)

Thus they spake one with the other. Then they laid them down to sleep for no long while, but for a little space, for soon came the throned Dawn. But on the shore the company of Telemachus were striking their sails, and took down the mast quickly and rowed the ship on to anchorage. And they cast anchors and made fast the hawsers, and themselves too stept forth upon the strand of the sea, and made ready the midday meal, and mixed the dark wine. Now when they had put from them the desire of meat and drink, wise Telemachus first spake among them:

'Do ye now drive the black ship to the city, while I will go to the fields and to the herdsmen, and at even I will return to the city, when I have seen my lands. And in the morning I will set by you the wages of the voyage, a good feast of flesh and of sweet wine.'

Then godlike Theoclymenus answered him: 'And whither shall I go, dear child? To what man's house shall I betake me, of such as are lords in rocky Ithaca? Shall I get me straight to thy mother and to thy home?'

Then wise Telemachus answered him, saying: 'In other case I would bid thee go even to our own house; for there is no lack of cheer for strangers, but now would it be worse for thyself, forasmuch as I shall be away nor would my mother see thee. For she comes not often in sight of the wooers in the house, but abides apart from them in her upper chamber, and weaves at her web. Yet there is one whom I will tell thee of, to whom thou mayst go, Eurymachus the glorious son of wise Polybus, whom now the men of Ithaca look upon, even as if he were a god. For he is far the best man of them all, and is most eager to wed my mother and to have the sovereignty of Odysseus. Howbeit, Olympian Zeus, that dwells in the clear sky, knows hereof, whether or no he will fulfill for them the evil day before their marriage.'

Now even as he spake, a bird flew out on the right, a hawk, the swift messenger of Apollo. In his talons he held a dove and plucked her, and shed the feathers down to the earth, midway between the ship and Telemachus himself. Then Theoclymenus called him apart from his fellows, and clasped his hand and spake and hailed him:

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