and the Spirit of Pelinor
Homer (fl. 850 B.C.). The Odyssey. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14
1. ‘NOW when we had gone down to the ship and to the sea, first of all we drew the ship unto the fair salt water and placed the mast and sails in the black ship, and took those sheep and put them therein, and ourselves too climbed on board, sorrowing, and shedding big tears. And in the wake of our dark-prowed ship she sent a favouring wind that filled the sails, a kindly escort,—even Circe of the braided tresses, a dread goddess of human speech. And we set in order all the gear throughout the ship and sat us down; and the wind and the helmsman guided our barque. And all day long her sails were stretched in her seafaring; and the sun sank and all the ways were darkened.
1 “αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ᾽ ἐπὶ νῆα κατήλθομεν ἠδὲ θάλασσαν,
2 νῆα μὲν ἂρ πάμπρωτον ἐρύσσαμεν εἰς ἅλα δῖαν,
3 ἐν δ᾽ ἱστὸν τιθέμεσθα καὶ ἱστία νηὶ μελαίνῃ,
4 ἐν δὲ τὰ μῆλα λαβόντες ἐβήσαμεν, ἂν δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
5 βαίνομεν ἀχνύμενοι θαλερὸν κατὰ δάκρυ χέοντες.
6 ἡμῖν δ᾽ αὖ κατόπισθε νεὸς κυανοπρῴροιο
7 ἴκμενον οὖρον ἵει πλησίστιον, ἐσθλὸν ἑταῖρον,
8 Κίρκη εὐπλόκαμος, δεινὴ θεὸς αὐδήεσσα.
9 ἡμεῖς δ᾽ ὅπλα ἕκαστα πονησάμενοι κατὰ νῆα
10 ἥμεθα: τὴν δ᾽ ἄνεμός τε κυβερνήτης τ᾽ ἴθυνε.
11 τῆς δὲ πανημερίης τέταθ᾽ ἱστία ποντοπορούσης:
12 δύσετό τ᾽ ἠέλιος σκιόωντό τε πᾶσαι ἀγυιαί.
2. ‘She came to the limits of the world, to the deep-flowing Oceanus. There is the land and the city of the Cimmerians, shrouded in mist and cloud, and never does the shining sun look down on them with his rays, neither when he climbs up the starry heavens, nor when again he turns earthward from the firmament, but deadly night is outspread over miserable mortals. Thither we came and ran the ship ashore and took out the sheep; but for our part we held on our way along the stream of Oceanus, till we came to the place which Circe had declared to us.
13 “ἡ δ᾽ ἐς πείραθ᾽ ἵκανε βαθυρρόου Ὠκεανοῖο.
14 ἔνθα δὲ Κιμμερίων ἀνδρῶν δῆμός τε πόλις τε,
15 ἠέρι καὶ νεφέλῃ κεκαλυμμένοι: οὐδέ ποτ᾽ αὐτοὺς
16 ἠέλιος φαέθων καταδέρκεται ἀκτίνεσσιν,
17 οὔθ᾽ ὁπότ᾽ ἂν στείχῃσι πρὸς οὐρανὸν ἀστερόεντα,
18 οὔθ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἂν ἂψ ἐπὶ γαῖαν ἀπ᾽ οὐρανόθεν προτράπηται,
19 ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ νὺξ ὀλοὴ τέταται δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσι.
20 νῆα μὲν ἔνθ᾽ ἐλθόντες ἐκέλσαμεν, ἐκ δὲ τὰ μῆλα
21 εἱλόμεθ᾽: αὐτοὶ δ᾽ αὖτε παρὰ ῥόον Ὠκεανοῖο
22 ᾔομεν, ὄφρ᾽ ἐς χῶρον ἀφικόμεθ᾽, ὃν φράσε Κίρκη.
3. ‘There Perimedes and Eurylochus held the victims, but I drew my sharp sword from my thigh, and dug a pit, as it were a cubit in length and breadth, and about it poured a drink-offering to all the dead, first with mead and thereafter with sweet wine, and for the third time with water. And I sprinkled white meal thereon, and entreated with many prayers the strengthless heads of the dead, and promised that on my return to Ithaca I would offer in my halls a barren heifer, the best I had, and fill the pyre with treasure, and apart unto Teiresias alone sacrifice a black ram without spot, the fairest of my flock. But when I had besought the tribes of the dead with vows and prayers, I took the sheep and cut their throats over the trench, and the dark blood flowed forth, and lo, the spirits of the dead that be departed gathered them from out of Erebus. Brides and youths unwed, and old men of many and evil days, and tender maidens with grief yet fresh at heart; and many there were, wounded with bronze-shod spears, men slain in fight with their bloody mail about them. And these many ghosts flocked together from every side about the trench with a wondrous cry, and pale fear gat hold of me. Then did I speak to my company and command them to flay the sheep that lay slain by the pitiless sword, and to consume them with fire, and to make prayer to the gods, to mighty Hades and to dread Persephone, and myself I drew the sharp sword from my thigh and sat there, suffering not the strengthless heads of the dead to draw nigh to the blood, ere I had word of Teiresias.
23 “ἔνθ᾽ ἱερήια μὲν Περιμήδης Εὐρύλοχός τε
24 ἔσχον: ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἄορ ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηροῦ
25 βόθρον ὄρυξ᾽ ὅσσον τε πυγούσιον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα,
26 ἀμφ᾽ αὐτῷ δὲ χοὴν χεόμην πᾶσιν νεκύεσσι,
27 πρῶτα μελικρήτῳ, μετέπειτα δὲ ἡδέι οἴνῳ,
28 τὸ τρίτον αὖθ᾽ ὕδατι: ἐπὶ δ᾽ ἄλφιτα λευκὰ πάλυνον.
29 πολλὰ δὲ γουνούμην νεκύων ἀμενηνὰ κάρηνα,
30 ἐλθὼν εἰς Ἰθάκην στεῖραν βοῦν, ἥ τις ἀρίστη,
31 ῥέξειν ἐν μεγάροισι πυρήν τ᾽ ἐμπλησέμεν ἐσθλῶν,
32 Τειρεσίῃ δ᾽ ἀπάνευθεν ὄιν ἱερευσέμεν οἴῳ
33 παμμέλαν᾽, ὃς μήλοισι μεταπρέπει ἡμετέροισι.
34 τοὺς δ᾽ ἐπεὶ εὐχωλῇσι λιτῇσί τε, ἔθνεα νεκρῶν,
35 ἐλλισάμην, τὰ δὲ μῆλα λαβὼν ἀπεδειροτόμησα
36 ἐς βόθρον, ῥέε δ᾽ αἷμα κελαινεφές: αἱ δ᾽ ἀγέροντο
37 ψυχαὶ ὑπὲξ Ἐρέβευς νεκύων κατατεθνηώτων.
38 νύμφαι τ᾽ ἠίθεοί τε πολύτλητοί τε γέροντες
39 παρθενικαί τ᾽ ἀταλαὶ νεοπενθέα θυμὸν ἔχουσαι,
40 πολλοὶ δ᾽ οὐτάμενοι χαλκήρεσιν ἐγχείῃσιν,
41 ἄνδρες ἀρηίφατοι βεβροτωμένα τεύχε᾽ ἔχοντες:
42 οἳ πολλοὶ περὶ βόθρον ἐφοίτων ἄλλοθεν ἄλλος
43 θεσπεσίῃ ἰαχῇ: ἐμὲ δὲ χλωρὸν δέος ᾕρει.
44 δὴ τότ᾽ ἔπειθ᾽ ἑτάροισιν ἐποτρύνας ἐκέλευσα
45 μῆλα, τὰ δὴ κατέκειτ᾽ ἐσφαγμένα νηλέι χαλκῷ,
46 δείραντας κατακῆαι, ἐπεύξασθαι δὲ θεοῖσιν,
47 ἰφθίμῳ τ᾽ Ἀΐδῃ καὶ ἐπαινῇ Περσεφονείῃ:
48 αὐτὸς δὲ ξίφος ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηροῦ
49 ἥμην, οὐδ᾽ εἴων νεκύων ἀμενηνὰ κάρηνα
50 αἵματος ἆσσον ἴμεν, πρὶν Τειρεσίαο πυθέσθαι.
4. ‘And first came the soul of Elpenor, my companion, that had not yet been buried beneath the wide-wayed earth; for we left the corpse behind us in the hall of Circe, unwept and unburied, seeing that another task was instant on us. At the sight of him I wept and had compassion on him, and uttering my voice spake to him winged words: “Elpenor, how hast thou come beneath the darkness and the shadow? Thou hast come fleeter on foot than I in my black ship.”
51 “πρώτη δὲ ψυχὴ Ἐλπήνορος ἦλθεν ἑταίρου:
52 οὐ γάρ πω ἐτέθαπτο ὑπὸ χθονὸς εὐρυοδείης:
53 σῶμα γὰρ ἐν Κίρκης μεγάρῳ κατελείπομεν ἡμεῖς
54 ἄκλαυτον καὶ ἄθαπτον, ἐπεὶ πόνος ἄλλος ἔπειγε.
55 τὸν μὲν ἐγὼ δάκρυσα ἰδὼν ἐλέησά τε θυμῷ,
56 καί μιν φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδων:
57 “Ἐλπῆνορ, πῶς ἦλθες ὑπὸ ζόφον ἠερόεντα;
58 ἔφθης πεζὸς ἰὼν ἢ ἐγὼ σὺν νηὶ μελαίνῃ.
5. ‘So spake I, and with a moan he answered me, saying: “Son of Laertes, of the seed of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, an evil doom of some god was my bane and wine out of measure. When I laid me down on the house-top of Circe I minded me not to descend again by the way of the tall ladder, but fell right down from the roof, and my neck was broken off from the bones of the spine, and my spirit went down to the house of Hades. And now I pray thee in the name of those whom we left, who are no more with us, thy wife, and thy sire who cherished thee when as yet thou wert a little one, and Telemachus, whom thou didst leave in thy halls alone; forasmuch as I know that on thy way hence from out the dwelling of Hades, thou wilt stay thy well-wrought ship at the isle Aeaean, even then, my lord, I charge thee to think on me. Leave me not unwept and unburied as thou goest hence, nor turn thy back upon me, lest haply I bring on thee the anger of the gods. Nay, burn me there with mine armour, all that is mine, and pile me a barrow on the shore of the grey sea, the grave of a luckless man, that even men unborn may hear my story. Fulfil me this and plant upon the barrow mine oar, wherewith I rowed in the days of my life, while yet I was among my fellows.”
59 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ οἰμώξας ἠμείβετο μύθῳ:
60 ‘διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
61 ἆσέ με δαίμονος αἶσα κακὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος οἶνος.
62 Κίρκης δ᾽ ἐν μεγάρῳ καταλέγμενος οὐκ ἐνόησα
63 ἄψορρον καταβῆναι ἰὼν ἐς κλίμακα μακρήν,
64 ἀλλὰ καταντικρὺ τέγεος πέσον: ἐκ δέ μοι αὐχὴν
65 ἀστραγάλων ἐάγη, ψυχὴ δ᾽ Ἄϊδόσδε κατῆλθε.
66 νῦν δέ σε τῶν ὄπιθεν γουνάζομαι, οὐ παρεόντων,
67 πρός τ᾽ ἀλόχου καὶ πατρός, ὅ σ᾽ ἔτρεφε τυτθὸν ἐόντα,
68 Τηλεμάχου θ᾽, ὃν μοῦνον ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἔλειπες:
69 οἶδα γὰρ ὡς ἐνθένδε κιὼν δόμου ἐξ Ἀίδαο
70 νῆσον ἐς Αἰαίην σχήσεις ἐυεργέα νῆα:
71 ἔνθα σ᾽ ἔπειτα, ἄναξ, κέλομαι μνήσασθαι ἐμεῖο.
72 μή μ᾽ ἄκλαυτον ἄθαπτον ἰὼν ὄπιθεν καταλείπειν
73 νοσφισθείς, μή τοί τι θεῶν μήνιμα γένωμαι,
74 ἀλλά με κακκῆαι σὺν τεύχεσιν, ἅσσα μοι ἔστιν,
75 σῆμά τέ μοι χεῦαι πολιῆς ἐπὶ θινὶ θαλάσσης,
76 ἀνδρὸς δυστήνοιο καὶ ἐσσομένοισι πυθέσθαι.
77 ταῦτά τέ μοι τελέσαι πῆξαί τ᾽ ἐπὶ τύμβῳ ἐρετμόν,
78 τῷ καὶ ζωὸς ἔρεσσον ἐὼν μετ᾽ ἐμοῖς ἑτάροισιν.’
6. ‘Even so he spake, and I answered him saying: “All this, luckless man, will I perform for thee and do.”
79 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
80 ‘ταῦτά τοι, ὦ δύστηνε, τελευτήσω τε καὶ ἔρξω.’
7. ‘Even so we twain were sitting holding sad discourse, I on the one side, stretching forth my sword over the blood, while on the other side the ghost of my friend told all his tale.
81 “νῶι μὲν ὣς ἐπέεσσιν ἀμειβομένω στυγεροῖσιν
82 ἥμεθ᾽, ἐγὼ μὲν ἄνευθεν ἐφ᾽ αἵματι φάσγανον ἴσχων,
83 εἴδωλον δ᾽ ἑτέρωθεν ἑταίρου πόλλ᾽ ἀγόρευεν:
8. ‘Anon came up the soul of my mother dead, Anticleia, the daughter of Autolycus the great hearted, whom I left alive when I departed for sacred Ilios. At the sight of her I wept, and was moved with compassion, yet even so, for all my sore grief, I suffered her not to draw nigh to the blood, ere I had word of Teiresias.
84 “ἦλθε δ᾽ ἐπὶ ψυχὴ μητρὸς κατατεθνηυίης,
85 Αὐτολύκου θυγάτηρ μεγαλήτορος Ἀντίκλεια,
86 τὴν ζωὴν κατέλειπον ἰὼν εἰς Ἴλιον ἱρήν.
87 τὴν μὲν ἐγὼ δάκρυσα ἰδὼν ἐλέησά τε θυμῷ:
88 ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς εἴων προτέρην, πυκινόν περ ἀχεύων,
89 αἵματος ἆσσον ἴμεν, πρὶν Τειρεσίαο πυθέσθαι.
9. ‘Anon came the soul of Theban Teiresias, with a golden sceptre in his hand, and he knew me and spake unto me: “Son of Laertes, of the seed of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, what seekest thou now, wretched man, wherefore hast thou left the sunlight and come hither to behold the dead and a land desolate of joy? Nay, hold off from the ditch and draw back thy sharp sword, that I may drink of the blood and tell thee sooth.”
90 “ἦλθε δ᾽ ἐπὶ ψυχὴ Θηβαίου Τειρεσίαο
91 χρύσεον σκῆπτρον ἔχων, ἐμὲ δ᾽ ἔγνω καὶ προσέειπεν:
92 ‘διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
93 τίπτ᾽ αὖτ᾽, ὦ δύστηνε, λιπὼν φάος ἠελίοιο
94 ἤλυθες, ὄφρα ἴδῃ νέκυας καὶ ἀτερπέα χῶρον;
95 ἀλλ᾽ ἀποχάζεο βόθρου, ἄπισχε δὲ φάσγανον ὀξύ,
96 αἵματος ὄφρα πίω καί τοι νημερτέα εἴπω.’
97 “ὣς φάτ᾽, ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἀναχασσάμενος ξίφος ἀργυρόηλον
98 κουλεῷ ἐγκατέπηξ᾽. ὁ δ᾽ ἐπεὶ πίεν αἷμα κελαινόν,
99 καὶ τότε δή μ᾽ ἐπέεσσι προσηύδα μάντις ἀμύμων:
10. ‘So spake and I put up my silver-studded sword into the sheath, and when he had drunk the dark blood, even then did the noble seer speak unto me saying: “Thou art asking of thy sweet returning, great Odysseus, but that will the god make hard for thee; for methinks thou shalt not pass unheeded by the Shaker of the Earth, who hath laid up wrath in his heart against thee, for rage at the blinding of his dear son. Yet even so, through many troubles, ye may come home, if thou wilt restrain thy spirit and the spirit of thy men so soon as thou shalt bring thy well-wrought ship nigh to the isle Thrinacia, fleeing the sea of violet blue, when ye find the herds of Helios grazing and his brave flocks, of Helios who overseeth all and overheareth all things. If thou doest these no hurt, being heedful of thy return, so may ye yet reach Ithaca, albeit in evil case. But if thou hurtest them, I foreshow ruin for thy ship and for thy men, and even though thou shalt thyself escape, late shalt thou return in evil plight, with the loss of all thy company, on board the ship of strangers, and thou shalt find sorrows in thy house, even proud men that devour thy living, while they woo thy godlike wife and offer the gifts of wooing. Yet I tell thee, on thy coming thou shalt avenge their violence. But when thou hast slain the wooers in thy halls, whether by guile, or openly with the edge of the sword, thereafter go thy way, taking with thee a shapen oar, till thou shalt come to such men as know not the sea, neither eat meat savoured with salt; yea, nor have they knowledge of ships of purple cheek, nor shapen oars which serve for wings to ships. And I will give thee a most manifest token, which cannot escape thee. In the day when another wayfarer shall meet thee and say that thou hast a winnowing fan on thy stout shoulder, even then make fast thy shapen oar in the earth and do goodly sacrifice to the lord Poseidon, even with a ram and a bull and a boar, the mate of swine, and depart for home and offer holy hecatombs to the deathless gods that keep the wide heaven, to each in order due. And from the sea shall thine own death come, the gentlest death that may be, which shall end thee foredone with smooth old age, and the folk shall dwell happily around thee. This that I say is sooth.”
100 “‘νόστον δίζηαι μελιηδέα, φαίδιμ᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ:
101 τὸν δέ τοι ἀργαλέον θήσει θεός: οὐ γὰρ ὀίω
102 λήσειν ἐννοσίγαιον, ὅ τοι κότον ἔνθετο θυμῷ
103 χωόμενος ὅτι οἱ υἱὸν φίλον ἐξαλάωσας.
104 ἀλλ᾽ ἔτι μέν κε καὶ ὣς κακά περ πάσχοντες ἵκοισθε,
105 αἴ κ᾽ ἐθέλῃς σὸν θυμὸν ἐρυκακέειν καὶ ἑταίρων,
106 ὁππότε κε πρῶτον πελάσῃς ἐυεργέα νῆα
107 Θρινακίῃ νήσῳ, προφυγὼν ἰοειδέα πόντον,
108 βοσκομένας δ᾽ εὕρητε βόας καὶ ἴφια μῆλα
109 Ἠελίου, ὃς πάντ᾽ ἐφορᾷ καὶ πάντ᾽ ἐπακούει.
110 τὰς εἰ μέν κ᾽ ἀσινέας ἐάᾳς νόστου τε μέδηαι,
111 καί κεν ἔτ᾽ εἰς Ἰθάκην κακά περ πάσχοντες ἵκοισθε:
112 εἰ δέ κε σίνηαι, τότε τοι τεκμαίρομ᾽ ὄλεθρον,
113 νηί τε καὶ ἑτάροις. αὐτὸς δ᾽ εἴ πέρ κεν ἀλύξῃς,
114 ὀψὲ κακῶς νεῖαι, ὀλέσας ἄπο πάντας ἑταίρους,
115 νηὸς ἐπ᾽ ἀλλοτρίης: δήεις δ᾽ ἐν πήματα οἴκῳ,
116 ἄνδρας ὑπερφιάλους, οἵ τοι βίοτον κατέδουσι
117 μνώμενοι ἀντιθέην ἄλοχον καὶ ἕδνα διδόντες.
118 ἀλλ᾽ ἦ τοι κείνων γε βίας ἀποτίσεαι ἐλθών:
119 αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν μνηστῆρας ἐνὶ μεγάροισι τεοῖσι
120 κτείνῃς ἠὲ δόλῳ ἢ ἀμφαδὸν ὀξέι χαλκῷ,
121 ἔρχεσθαι δὴ ἔπειτα λαβὼν ἐυῆρες ἐρετμόν,
122 εἰς ὅ κε τοὺς ἀφίκηαι οἳ οὐκ ἴσασι θάλασσαν
123 ἀνέρες, οὐδέ θ᾽ ἅλεσσι μεμιγμένον εἶδαρ ἔδουσιν:
124 οὐδ᾽ ἄρα τοί γ᾽ ἴσασι νέας φοινικοπαρῄους
125 οὐδ᾽ ἐυήρε᾽ ἐρετμά, τά τε πτερὰ νηυσὶ πέλονται.
126 σῆμα δέ τοι ἐρέω μάλ᾽ ἀριφραδές, οὐδέ σε λήσει:
127 ὁππότε κεν δή τοι συμβλήμενος ἄλλος ὁδίτης
128 φήῃ ἀθηρηλοιγὸν ἔχειν ἀνὰ φαιδίμῳ ὤμῳ,
129 καὶ τότε δὴ γαίῃ πήξας ἐυῆρες ἐρετμόν,
130 ῥέξας ἱερὰ καλὰ Ποσειδάωνι ἄνακτι,
131 ἀρνειὸν ταῦρόν τε συῶν τ᾽ ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον,
132 οἴκαδ᾽ ἀποστείχειν ἔρδειν θ᾽ ἱερᾶς ἑκατόμβας
133 ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι, τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσι,
134 πᾶσι μάλ᾽ ἑξείης. θάνατος δέ τοι ἐξ ἁλὸς αὐτῷ
135 ἀβληχρὸς μάλα τοῖος ἐλεύσεται, ὅς κέ σε πέφνῃ
136 γήραι ὕπο λιπαρῷ ἀρημένον: ἀμφὶ δὲ λαοὶ
137 ὄλβιοι ἔσσονται. τὰ δέ τοι νημερτέα εἴρω.’
11. ‘So spake he, and I answered him, saying: “Teiresias, all these threads, methinks, the gods themselves have spun. But come, declare me this and plainly tell me all. I see here the spirit of my mother dead; lo, she sits in silence near the blood, nor deigns to look her son in the face nor speak to him! Tell me, prince, how may she know me again that I am he?”
138 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
139 “Τειρεσίη, τὰ μὲν ἄρ που ἐπέκλωσαν θεοὶ αὐτοί.
140 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον:
141 μητρὸς τήνδ᾽ ὁρόω ψυχὴν κατατεθνηυίης:
142 ἡ δ᾽ ἀκέουσ᾽ ἧσται σχεδὸν αἵματος, οὐδ᾽ ἑὸν υἱὸν
143 ἔτλη ἐσάντα ἰδεῖν οὐδὲ προτιμυθήσασθαι.
144 εἰπέ, ἄναξ, πῶς κέν με ἀναγνοίη τὸν ἐόντα;”
12. ‘So spake I, and anon he answered me, and said: “I will tell thee an easy saying, and will put it in thy heart. Whomsoever of the dead that be departed thou shalt suffer to draw nigh to the blood, he shall tell thee sooth; but if thou shalt grudge any, that one shall go to his own place again.”
145 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπεν:
146 “ῥηΐδιόν τοι ἔπος ἐρέω καὶ ἐπὶ φρεσὶ θήσω.
147 ὅν τινα μέν κεν ἐᾷς νεκύων κατατεθνηώτων
148 αἵματος ἆσσον ἴμεν, ὁ δέ τοι νημερτὲς ἐνίψει:
149 ᾧ δέ κ᾽ ἐπιφθονέῃς, ὁ δέ τοι πάλιν εἶσιν ὀπίσσω.’
Therewith the spirit of the prince Teiresias went back within the house of Hades, when he had told all his oracles. But I abode there steadfastly, till my mother drew nigh and drank the dark blood; and at once she knew me, and bewailing herself spake to me winged words:
150 “ὣς φαμένη ψυχὴ μὲν ἔβη δόμον Ἄϊδος εἴσω
151 Τειρεσίαο ἄνακτος, ἐπεὶ κατὰ θέσφατ᾽ ἔλεξεν:
152 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν αὐτοῦ μένον ἔμπεδον, ὄφρ᾽ ἐπὶ μήτηρ
153 ἤλυθε καὶ πίεν αἷμα κελαινεφές: αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἔγνω,
154 καί μ᾽ ὀλοφυρομένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα:
13. ‘“Dear child, how didst thou come beneath the darkness and the shadow, thou that art a living man? Grievous is the sight of these things to the living, for between us and you are great rivers and dreadful streams; first, Oceanus, which can no wise be crossed on foot, but only if one have a well-wrought ship. Art thou but now come hither with thy ship and thy company in thy long wanderings from Troy? and hast thou not yet reached Ithaca, nor seen thy wife in thy halls?”
155 “‘τέκνον ἐμόν, πῶς ἦλθες ὑπὸ ζόφον ἠερόεντα
156 ζωὸς ἐών; χαλεπὸν δὲ τάδε ζωοῖσιν ὁρᾶσθαι.
157 μέσσῳ γὰρ μεγάλοι ποταμοὶ καὶ δεινὰ ῥέεθρα,
158 Ὠκεανὸς μὲν πρῶτα, τὸν οὔ πως ἔστι περῆσαι
159 πεζὸν ἐόντ᾽, ἢν μή τις ἔχῃ ἐυεργέα νῆα.
160 ἦ νῦν δὴ Τροίηθεν ἀλώμενος ἐνθάδ᾽ ἱκάνεις
161 νηί τε καὶ ἑτάροισι πολὺν χρόνον; οὐδέ πω ἦλθες
162 εἰς Ἰθάκην, οὐδ᾽ εἶδες ἐνὶ μεγάροισι γυναῖκα;”
14. ‘Even so she spake, and I answered her, and said: “O my mother, necessity was on me to come down to the house of Hades to seek to the spirit of Theban Teiresias. For not yet have I drawn near to the Achaean shore, nor yet have I set foot on mine own country, but have been wandering evermore in affliction, from the day that first I went with goodly Agamemnon to Ilios of the fair steeds, to do battle with the Trojans. But come, declare me this and plainly tell it all. What doom overcame thee of death that lays men at their length? Was it a slow disease, or did Artemis the archer slay thee with the visitation of her gentle shafts? And tell me of my father and my son, that I left behind me; doth my honour yet abide with them, or hath another already taken it, while they say that I shall come home no more? And tell me of my wedded wife, of her counsel and her purpose, doth she abide with her son and keep all secure, or hath she already wedded the best of the Achaeans?
163 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
164 ‘μῆτερ ἐμή, χρειώ με κατήγαγεν εἰς Ἀίδαο
165 ψυχῇ χρησόμενον Θηβαίου Τειρεσίαο:
166 οὐ γάρ πω σχεδὸν ἦλθον Ἀχαιΐδος, οὐδέ πω ἁμῆς
167 γῆς ἐπέβην, ἀλλ᾽ αἰὲν ἔχων ἀλάλημαι ὀιζύν,
168 ἐξ οὗ τὰ πρώτισθ᾽ ἑπόμην Ἀγαμέμνονι δίῳ
169 Ἴλιον εἰς ἐύπωλον, ἵνα Τρώεσσι μαχοίμην.
170 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον:
171 τίς νύ σε κὴρ ἐδάμασσε τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο;
172 ἦ δολιχὴ νοῦσος, ἦ Ἄρτεμις ἰοχέαιρα
173 οἷς ἀγανοῖς βελέεσσιν ἐποιχομένη κατέπεφνεν;
174 εἰπὲ δέ μοι πατρός τε καὶ υἱέος, ὃν κατέλειπον,
175 ἢ ἔτι πὰρ κείνοισιν ἐμὸν γέρας, ἦέ τις ἤδη
176 ἀνδρῶν ἄλλος ἔχει, ἐμὲ δ᾽ οὐκέτι φασὶ νέεσθαι.
177 εἰπὲ δέ μοι μνηστῆς ἀλόχου βουλήν τε νόον τε,
178 ἠὲ μένει παρὰ παιδὶ καὶ ἔμπεδα πάντα φυλάσσει
179 ἦ ἤδη μιν ἔγημεν Ἀχαιῶν ὅς τις ἄριστος.’
15. ‘Even so I spake, and anon my lady mother answered me: “Yea verily, she abideth with steadfast spirit in thy halls; and wearily for her the nights wane always and the days in shedding of tears. But the fair honour that is thine no man hath yet taken; but Telemachus sits at peace on his demesne, and feasts at equal banquets whereof it is meet that a judge partake, for all men bid him to their house. And thy father abides there in the field, and goes not down to the town, nor lies he on bedding or rugs or shining blankets, but all the winter he sleeps, where sleep the thralls in the house, in the ashes by the fire, and is clad in sorry raiment. But when the summer comes and the rich harvest-tide, his beds of fallen leaves are strewn lowly all about the knoll of his vineyard plot. There he lies sorrowing and nurses his mighty grief, for long desire of thy return, and old age withal comes heavy upon him. Yea and even so did I too perish and meet my doom. It was not the archer goddess of the keen sight, who slew me in my halls with the visitation of her gentle shafts, nor did any sickness come upon me, such as chiefly with a sad wasting draws the spirit from the limbs; nay it was my sore longing for thee, and for thy counsels, great Odysseus, and for thy loving kindness, that reft me of sweet life.”
180 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ἡ δ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμείβετο πότνια μήτηρ:
181 ‘καὶ λίην κείνη γε μένει τετληότι θυμῷ
182 σοῖσιν ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν: ὀιζυραὶ δέ οἱ αἰεὶ
183 φθίνουσιν νύκτες τε καὶ ἤματα δάκρυ χεούσῃ.
184 σὸν δ᾽ οὔ πώ τις ἔχει καλὸν γέρας, ἀλλὰ ἕκηλος
185 Τηλέμαχος τεμένεα νέμεται καὶ δαῖτας ἐίσας
186 δαίνυται, ἃς ἐπέοικε δικασπόλον ἄνδρ᾽ ἀλεγύνειν:
187 πάντες γὰρ καλέουσι. πατὴρ δὲ σὸς αὐτόθι μίμνει
188 ἀγρῷ, οὐδὲ πόλινδε κατέρχεται. οὐδέ οἱ εὐναὶ
189 δέμνια καὶ χλαῖναι καὶ ῥήγεα σιγαλόεντα,
190 ἀλλ᾽ ὅ γε χεῖμα μὲν εὕδει ὅθι δμῶες ἐνὶ οἴκῳ,
191 ἐν κόνι ἄγχι πυρός, κακὰ δὲ χροῒ εἵματα εἷται:
192 αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν ἔλθῃσι θέρος τεθαλυῖά τ᾽ ὀπώρη,
193 πάντῃ οἱ κατὰ γουνὸν ἀλωῆς οἰνοπέδοιο
194 φύλλων κεκλιμένων χθαμαλαὶ βεβλήαται εὐναί.
195 ἔνθ᾽ ὅ γε κεῖτ᾽ ἀχέων, μέγα δὲ φρεσὶ πένθος ἀέξει
196 σὸν νόστον ποθέων, χαλεπὸν δ᾽ ἐπὶ γῆρας ἱκάνει.
197 οὕτω γὰρ καὶ ἐγὼν ὀλόμην καὶ πότμον ἐπέσπον:
198 οὔτ᾽ ἐμέ γ᾽ ἐν μεγάροισιν ἐύσκοπος ἰοχέαιρα
199 οἷς ἀγανοῖς βελέεσσιν ἐποιχομένη κατέπεφνεν,
200 οὔτε τις οὖν μοι νοῦσος ἐπήλυθεν, ἥ τε μάλιστα
201 τηκεδόνι στυγερῇ μελέων ἐξείλετο θυμόν:
202 ἀλλά με σός τε πόθος σά τε μήδεα, φαίδιμ᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
203 σή τ᾽ ἀγανοφροσύνη μελιηδέα θυμὸν ἀπηύρα.’
16. So spake she, and I mused in my heart and would fain have embraced the spirit of my mother dead. Thrice I sprang towards her, and was minded to embrace her; thrice she flitted from my hands as a shadow or even as a dream, and sharp grief arose ever in my heart. And uttering my voice I spake to her winged words:
204 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ γ᾽ ἔθελον φρεσὶ μερμηρίξας
205 μητρὸς ἐμῆς ψυχὴν ἑλέειν κατατεθνηυίης.
206 τρὶς μὲν ἐφωρμήθην, ἑλέειν τέ με θυμὸς ἀνώγει,
207 τρὶς δέ μοι ἐκ χειρῶν σκιῇ εἴκελον ἢ καὶ ὀνείρῳ
208 ἔπτατ᾽. ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ἄχος ὀξὺ γενέσκετο κηρόθι μᾶλλον,
209 καί μιν φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδων:
17. ‘“Mother mine, wherefore dost thou not abide me who am eager to clasp thee, that even in Hades we twain may cast our arms each about the other, and have our fill of chill lament? Is this but a phantom that the high goddess Persephone hath sent me, to the end that I may groan for more exceeding sorrow?”
210 “‘μῆτερ ἐμή, τί νύ μ᾽ οὐ μίμνεις ἑλέειν μεμαῶτα,
18. ‘So spake I, and my lady mother answered me anon: “Ah me, my child, of all men most ill-fated, Persephone, the daughter of Zeus, doth in no wise deceive thee, but this is the way it is with mortals when they die. For the sinews no more bind together the flesh and the bones, but the great force of burning fire abolishes these, so soon as the life hath left the white bones, and the spirit like a dream flies forth and hovers near. But haste with all thine heart toward the sunlight, and mark all this, that even hereafter thou mayest tell it to thy wife.”
215 “ , :
216 ‘ , , ,
218 , :
19. ‘Thus we twain held discourse together; and lo, the women came up, for the high goddess Persephone sent them forth, all they that had been the wives and daughters of mighty men. And they gathered and flocked about the black blood, and I took counsel how I might question them each one. And this was the counsel that showed best in my sight. I drew my long hanger from my stalwart thigh, and suffered them not all at one time to drink of the dark blood. So they drew nigh one by one, and each declared her lineage, and I made question of all.
225 “ ,
234 : .
20. ‘Then verily did I first see Tyro, sprung of a noble sire, who said that she was the child of noble Salmoneus, and declared herself the wife of Cretheus, son of Aeolus. She loved a river, the divine Enipeus, far the fairest of the floods that run upon the earth, and she would resort to the fair streams of Enipeus. And it came to pass that the girdler of the world, the Earth-shaker, put on the shape of the god, and lay by the lady at the mouths of the whirling stream. Then the dark wave stood around them like a hill-side bowed, and hid the god and the mortal woman. And he undid her maiden girdle, and shed a slumber over her. Now when the god had done the work of love, he clasped her hand and spake and hailed her:
235 “ ,
241 τῷ δ᾽ ἄρα εἰσάμενος γαιήοχος ἐννοσίγαιος
242 ἐν προχοῇς ποταμοῦ παρελέξατο δινήεντος:
243 πορφύρεον δ᾽ ἄρα κῦμα περιστάθη, οὔρεϊ ἶσον,
244 κυρτωθέν, κρύψεν δὲ θεὸν θνητήν τε γυναῖκα.
245 λῦσε δὲ παρθενίην ζώνην, κατὰ δ᾽ ὕπνον ἔχευεν.
246 αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ᾽ ἐτέλεσσε θεὸς φιλοτήσια ἔργα,
247 ἔν τ᾽ ἄρα οἱ φῦ χειρί, ἔπος τ᾽ ἔφατ᾽ ἔκ τ᾽ ὀνόμαζε:
21. ‘“Woman, be glad in our love, and when the year comes round thou shalt give birth to glorious children,—for not weak are the embraces of the gods,—and do thou keep and cherish them. And now go home and hold thy peace, and tell it not: but behold, I am Poseidon, shaker of the earth.”
248 “‘χαῖρε, γύναι, φιλότητι: περιπλομένου δ᾽ ἐνιαυτοῦ
249 τέξεις ἀγλαὰ τέκνα, ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἀποφώλιοι εὐναὶ
250 ἀθανάτων: σὺ δὲ τοὺς κομέειν ἀτιταλλέμεναί τε.
251 νῦν δ᾽ ἔρχευ πρὸς δῶμα, καὶ ἴσχεο μηδ᾽ ὀνομήνῃς:
252 αὐτὰρ ἐγώ τοί εἰμι Ποσειδάων ἐνοσίχθων.’
22. ‘Therewith he plunged beneath the heaving deep. And she conceived and bare Pelias and Neleus, who both grew to be mighty men, servants of Zeus. Pelias dwelt in wide Iolcos, and was rich in flocks; and that other abode in sandy Pylos. And the queen of women bare yet other sons to Cretheus, even Aeson and Pheres and Amythaon, whose joy was in chariots.
253 “ὣς εἰπὼν ὑπὸ πόντον ἐδύσετο κυμαίνοντα.
254 ἡ δ᾽ ὑποκυσαμένη Πελίην τέκε καὶ Νηλῆα,
255 τὼ κρατερὼ θεράποντε Διὸς μεγάλοιο γενέσθην
256 ἀμφοτέρω: Πελίης μὲν ἐν εὐρυχόρῳ Ἰαωλκῷ
257 ναῖε πολύρρηνος, ὁ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐν Πύλῳ ἠμαθόεντι.
258 τοὺς δ᾽ ἑτέρους Κρηθῆι τέκεν βασίλεια γυναικῶν,
259 Αἴσονά τ᾽ ἠδὲ Φέρητ᾽ Ἀμυθάονά θ᾽ ἱππιοχάρμην.
23. ‘And after her I saw Antiope, daughter of Asopus, and her boast was that she had slept even in the arms of Zeus, and she bare two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who founded first the place of sevengated Thebes, and they made of it a fenced city, for they might not dwell in spacious Thebes unfenced, for all their valiancy.
260 “τὴν δὲ μετ᾽ Ἀντιόπην ἴδον, Ἀσωποῖο θύγατρα,
261 ἣ δὴ καὶ Διὸς εὔχετ᾽ ἐν ἀγκοίνῃσιν ἰαῦσαι,
262 καί ῥ᾽ ἔτεκεν δύο παῖδ᾽, Ἀμφίονά τε Ζῆθόν τε,
263 οἳ πρῶτοι Θήβης ἕδος ἔκτισαν ἑπταπύλοιο,
264 πύργωσάν τ᾽, ἐπεὶ οὐ μὲν ἀπύργωτόν γ᾽ ἐδύναντο
265 ναιέμεν εὐρύχορον Θήβην, κρατερώ περ ἐόντε.
24. ‘Next to her I saw Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon, who lay in the arms of mighty Zeus, and bare Heracles of the lion-heart, steadfast in the fight. And I saw Megara, daughter of Creon, haughty of heart, whom the strong and tireless son of Amphitryon had to wife.
266 “τὴν δὲ μετ᾽ Ἀλκμήνην ἴδον, Ἀμφιτρύωνος ἄκοιτιν,
267 ἥ ῥ᾽ Ἡρακλῆα θρασυμέμνονα θυμολέοντα
268 γείνατ᾽ ἐν ἀγκοίνῃσι Διὸς μεγάλοιο μιγεῖσα:
269 καὶ Μεγάρην, Κρείοντος ὑπερθύμοιο θύγατρα,
270 τὴν ἔχεν Ἀμφιτρύωνος υἱὸς μένος αἰὲν ἀτειρής.
25. ‘And I saw the mother of Oedipodes, fair Epicaste, who wrought a dread deed unwittingly, being wedded to her own son, and he that had slain his own father wedded her, and straightway the gods made these things known to men. Yet he abode in pain in pleasant Thebes, ruling the Cadmaeans, by reason of the deadly counsels of the gods. But she went down to the house of Hades, the mighty warder; yea, she tied a noose from the high beam aloft, being fast holden in sorrow; while for him she left pains behind full many, even all that the Avengers of a mother bring to pass.
271 “μητέρα τ᾽ Οἰδιπόδαο ἴδον, καλὴν Ἐπικάστην,
272 ἣ μέγα ἔργον ἔρεξεν ἀιδρείῃσι νόοιο
273 γημαμένη ᾧ υἷι: ὁ δ᾽ ὃν πατέρ᾽ ἐξεναρίξας
274 γῆμεν: ἄφαρ δ᾽ ἀνάπυστα θεοὶ θέσαν ἀνθρώποισιν.
275 ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν ἐν Θήβῃ πολυηράτῳ ἄλγεα πάσχων
276 Καδμείων ἤνασσε θεῶν ὀλοὰς διὰ βουλάς:
277 ἡ δ᾽ ἔβη εἰς Ἀίδαο πυλάρταο κρατεροῖο,
278 ἁψαμένη βρόχον αἰπὺν ἀφ᾽ ὑψηλοῖο μελάθρου,
279 ᾧ ἄχεϊ σχομένη: τῷ δ᾽ ἄλγεα κάλλιπ᾽ ὀπίσσω
280 πολλὰ μάλ᾽, ὅσσα τε μητρὸς Ἐρινύες ἐκτελέουσιν.
26. ‘And I saw lovely Chloris, whom Neleus wedded on a time for her beauty, and brought gifts of wooing past number. She was the youngest daughter of Amphion, son of Iasus, who once ruled mightily in Minyan Orchomenus. And she was queen of Pylos, and bare glorious children to her lord, Nestor and Chromius, and princely Periclymenus, and stately Pero too, the wonder of all men. All that dwelt around were her wooers; but Neleus would not give her, save to him who should drive off from Phylace the kine of mighty Iphicles, with shambling gait and broad of brow, hard cattle to drive. And none but the noble seer took in hand to drive them; but a grievous fate from the gods fettered him, even hard bonds and the herdsmen of the wild. But when at length the months and days were being fulfilled, as the year returned upon his course, and the seasons came round, then did mighty Iphicles set him free, when he had spoken out all the oracles; and herein was the counsel of Zeus being accomplished.
281 “καὶ Χλῶριν εἶδον περικαλλέα, τήν ποτε Νηλεὺς
282 γῆμεν ἑὸν διὰ κάλλος, ἐπεὶ πόρε μυρία ἕδνα,
283 ὁπλοτάτην κούρην Ἀμφίονος Ἰασίδαο,
284 ὅς ποτ᾽ ἐν Ὀρχομενῷ Μινυείῳ ἶφι ἄνασσεν:
285 ἡ δὲ Πύλου βασίλευε, τέκεν δέ οἱ ἀγλαὰ τέκνα,
286 Νέστορά τε Χρόνιον τε Περικλύμενόν τ᾽ ἀγέρωχον.
287 τοῖσι δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἰφθίμην Πηρὼ τέκε, θαῦμα βροτοῖσι,
288 τὴν πάντες μνώοντο περικτίται: οὐδ᾽ ἄρα Νηλεὺς
289 τῷ ἐδίδου ὃς μὴ ἕλικας βόας εὐρυμετώπους
290 ἐκ Φυλάκης ἐλάσειε βίης Ἰφικληείης
291 ἀργαλέας: τὰς δ᾽ οἶος ὑπέσχετο μάντις ἀμύμων
292 ἐξελάαν: χαλεπὴ δὲ θεοῦ κατὰ μοῖρα πέδησε,
293 δεσμοί τ᾽ ἀργαλέοι καὶ βουκόλοι ἀγροιῶται.
294 ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ μῆνές τε καὶ ἡμέραι ἐξετελεῦντο
295 ἂψ περιτελλομένου ἔτεος καὶ ἐπήλυθον ὧραι,
296 καὶ τότε δή μιν ἔλυσε βίη Ἰφικληείη,
297 θέσφατα πάντ᾽ εἰπόντα: Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή.
27. ‘And I saw Lede, the famous bed-fellow of Tyndareus, who bare to Tyndareus two sons, hardy of heart, Castor tamer of steeds, and Polydeuces the boxer. These twain yet live, but the quickening earth is over them; and even in the nether world they have honour at the hand of Zeus. And they possess their life in turn, living one day and dying the next, and they have gotten worship even as the gods.
298 “καὶ Λήδην εἶδον, τὴν Τυνδαρέου παράκοιτιν,
299 ἥ ῥ᾽ ὑπὸ Τυνδαρέῳ κρατερόφρονε γείνατο παῖδε,
300 Κάστορά θ᾽ ἱππόδαμον καὶ πὺξ ἀγαθὸν Πολυδεύκεα,
301 τοὺς ἄμφω ζωοὺς κατέχει φυσίζοος αἶα:
302 οἳ καὶ νέρθεν γῆς τιμὴν πρὸς Ζηνὸς ἔχοντες
303 ἄλλοτε μὲν ζώουσ᾽ ἑτερήμεροι, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε
304 τεθνᾶσιν: τιμὴν δὲ λελόγχασιν ἶσα θεοῖσι.
28. ‘And after her I beheld Iphimedeia, bed-fellow of Aloeus, who said that she had lain with Poseidon, and she bare children twain, but short of life were they, godlike Otus and far-famed Ephialtes. Now these were the tallest men that earth, the graingiver, ever reared, and far the goodliest after the renowned Orion. At nine seasons old they were of breadth nine cubits, and nine fathoms in height. They it was who threatened to raise even against the immortals in Olympus the din of stormy war. They strove to pile Ossa on Olympus, and on Ossa Pelion with the trembling forest leaves, that there might be a pathway to the sky. Yea, and they would have accomplished it, had they reached the full measure of manhood. But the son of Zeus, whom Leto of the fair locks bare, destroyed the twain, ere the down had bloomed beneath their temples, and darkened their chins with the blossom of youth.
305 “τὴν δὲ μετ᾽ Ἰφιμέδειαν, Ἀλωῆος παράκοιτιν
306 εἴσιδον, ἣ δὴ φάσκε Ποσειδάωνι μιγῆναι,
307 καί ῥ᾽ ἔτεκεν δύο παῖδε, μινυνθαδίω δ᾽ ἐγενέσθην,
308 Ὦτόν τ᾽ ἀντίθεον τηλεκλειτόν τ᾽ Ἐφιάλτην,
309 οὓς δὴ μηκίστους θρέψε ζείδωρος ἄρουρα
310 καὶ πολὺ καλλίστους μετά γε κλυτὸν Ὠρίωνα:
311 ἐννέωροι γὰρ τοί γε καὶ ἐννεαπήχεες ἦσαν
312 εὖρος, ἀτὰρ μῆκός γε γενέσθην ἐννεόργυιοι.
313 οἵ ῥα καὶ ἀθανάτοισιν ἀπειλήτην ἐν Ὀλύμπῳ
314 φυλόπιδα στήσειν πολυάικος πολέμοιο.
315 σσαν ἐπ᾽ Οὐλύμπῳ μέμασαν θέμεν, αὐτὰρ ἐπ᾽ Ὄσσῃ
316 Πήλιον εἰνοσίφυλλον, ἵν᾽ οὐρανὸς ἀμβατὸς εἴη.
317 καί νύ κεν ἐξετέλεσσαν, εἰ ἥβης μέτρον ἵκοντο:
318 ἀλλ᾽ ὄλεσεν Διὸς υἱός, ὃν ἠύκομος τέκε Λητώ,
319 ἀμφοτέρω, πρίν σφωιν ὑπὸ κροτάφοισιν ἰούλους
320 ἀνθῆσαι πυκάσαι τε γένυς ἐυανθέι λάχνῃ.
29. ‘And Phaedra and Procris I saw, and fair Ariadne, the daughter of wizard Minos, whom Theseus on a time was bearing from Crete to the hill of sacred Athens, yet had he no joy of her; for Artemis slew her ere that in sea-girt Dia, by reason of the witness of Dionysus.
321 “Φαίδρην τε Πρόκριν τε ἴδον καλήν τ᾽ Ἀριάδνην,
322 κούρην Μίνωος ὀλοόφρονος, ἥν ποτε Θησεὺς
323 ἐκ Κρήτης ἐς γουνὸν Ἀθηνάων ἱεράων
324 ἦγε μέν, οὐδ᾽ ἀπόνητο: πάρος δέ μιν Ἄρτεμις ἔκτα
325 Δίῃ ἐν ἀμφιρύτῃ Διονύσου μαρτυρίῃσιν.
30. ‘And Maera and Clymene I saw, and hateful Eriphyle, who took fine gold for the price of her dear lord’s life. But I cannot tell or name all the wives and daughters of the heroes that I saw; ere that, the immortal night would wane. Nay, it is even now time to sleep, whether I go to the swift ship to my company or abide here: and for my convoy you and the gods will care.’
326 “Μαῖράν τε Κλυμένην τε ἴδον στυγερήν τ᾽ Ἐριφύλην,
327 ἣ χρυσὸν φίλου ἀνδρὸς ἐδέξατο τιμήεντα.
328 πάσας δ᾽ οὐκ ἂν ἐγὼ μυθήσομαι οὐδ᾽ ὀνομήνω,
329 ὅσσας ἡρώων ἀλόχους ἴδον ἠδὲ θύγατρας:
330 πρὶν γάρ κεν καὶ νὺξ φθῖτ᾽ ἄμβροτος. ἀλλὰ καὶ ὥρη
331 εὕδειν, ἢ ἐπὶ νῆα θοὴν ἐλθόντ᾽ ἐς ἑταίρους
332 ἢ αὐτοῦ: πομπὴ δὲ θεοῖς ὑμῖν τε μελήσει.”
31. So spake he, and dead silence fell on all, and they were spellbound throughout the shadowy halls. Then Arete of the white arms first spake among them:
333 ‘ὣς ἔφαθ᾽, οἱ δ᾽ ἄρα πάντες ἀκὴν ἐγένοντο σιωπῇ,
334 κηληθμῷ δ᾽ ἔσχοντο κατὰ μέγαρα σκιόεντα.
335 τοῖσιν δ᾽ Ἀρήτη λευκώλενος ἤρχετο μύθων.
‘Phaeacians, what think you of this man for comeliness and stature, and within for wisdom of heart? Moreover he is my guest, though every one of you hath his share in this honour. Wherefore haste not to send him hence, and stint not these your gifts for one that stands in such sore need of them; for ye have much treasure stored in your halls by the grace of the gods.’
336 “Φαίηκες, πῶς ὔμμιν ἀνὴρ ὅδε φαίνεται εἶναι
337 εἶδός τε μέγεθός τε ἰδὲ φρένας ἔνδον ἐίσας;
338 ξεῖνος δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ ἐμός ἐστιν, ἕκαστος δ᾽ ἔμμορε τιμῆς:
339 τῷ μὴ ἐπειγόμενοι ἀποπέμπετε, μηδὲ τὰ δῶρα
340 οὕτω χρηίζοντι κολούετε: πολλὰ γὰρ ὑμῖν
341 κτήματ᾽ ἐνὶ μεγάροισι θεῶν ἰότητι κέονται.”
32. Then too spake among them the old man, lord Echeneus, that was an elder among the Phaeacians: ‘Friends, behold, the speech of our wise queen is not wide of the mark, nor far from our deeming, so hearken ye thereto. But on Alcinous here both word and work depend.’
342 τοῖσι δὲ καὶ μετέειπε γέρων ἥρως Ἐχένηος,
343 ὃς δὴ Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν προγενέστερος ἦεν:
344 “ὦ φίλοι, οὐ μὰν ἧμιν ἀπὸ σκοποῦ οὐδ᾽ ἀπὸ δόξης
345 μυθεῖται βασίλεια περίφρων: ἀλλὰ πίθεσθε.
346 Ἀλκινόου δ᾽ ἐκ τοῦδ᾽ ἔχεται ἔργον τε ἔπος τε.”
33. Then Alcinous made answer, and spake unto him: ‘Yea, the word that she hath spoken shall hold, if indeed I am yet to live and bear rule among the Phaeacians, masters of the oar. Howbeit let the stranger, for all his craving to return, nevertheless endure to abide until the morrow, till I make up the full measure of the gift; and men shall care for his convoy, all men, but I in chief, for mine is the lordship in the land.’
347 τὸν δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ Ἀλκίνοος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε:
348 “τοῦτο μὲν οὕτω δὴ ἔσται ἔπος, αἴ κεν ἐγώ γε
349 ζωὸς Φαιήκεσσι φιληρέτμοισιν ἀνάσσω:
350 ξεῖνος δὲ τλήτω μάλα περ νόστοιο χατίζων
351 ἔμπης οὖν ἐπιμεῖναι ἐς αὔριον, εἰς ὅ κε πᾶσαν
352 δωτίνην τελέσω: πομπὴ δ᾽ ἄνδρεσσι μελήσει
353 πᾶσι, μάλιστα δ᾽ ἐμοί: τοῦ γὰρ κράτος ἔστ᾽ ἐνὶ δήμῳ.”
34. And Odysseus of many counsels answered him, saying: My lord Alcinous, most notable of all the people, if ye bade me tarry here even for a year, and would speed my convoy and give me splendid gifts, even that I would choose; and better would it be for me to come with a fuller hand to mine own dear country, so should I get more love and worship in the eyes of all men, whoso should see me after I was returned to Ithaca.’
354 τὸν δ᾽ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς:
355 “Ἀλκίνοε κρεῖον, πάντων ἀριδείκετε λαῶν,
356 εἴ με καὶ εἰς ἐνιαυτὸν ἀνώγοιτ᾽ αὐτόθι μίμνειν,
357 πομπὴν δ᾽ ὀτρύνοιτε καὶ ἀγλαὰ δῶρα διδοῖτε,
358 καὶ κε τὸ βουλοίμην, καί κεν πολὺ κέρδιον εἴη,
359 πλειοτέρῃ σὺν χειρὶ φίλην ἐς πατρίδ᾽ ἱκέσθαι:
360 καί κ᾽ αἰδοιότερος καὶ φίλτερος ἀνδράσιν εἴην
361 πᾶσιν, ὅσοι μ᾽ Ἰθάκηνδε ἰδοίατο νοστήσαντα.”
35. And Alcinous answered him, saying: ‘Odysseus, in no wise do we deem thee, we that look on thee, to be a knave or a cheat, even as the dark earth rears many such broadcast, fashioning lies whence none can even see his way therein. But beauty crowns thy words, and wisdom is within thee; and thy tale, as when a minstrel sings, thou hast told with skill, the weary woes of all the Argives and of thine own self. But come, declare me this and plainly tell it all. Didst thou see any of thy godlike company who went up at the same time with thee to Ilios and there met their doom? Behold, the night is of great length, unspeakable, and the time for sleep in the hall is not yet; tell me therefore of those wondrous deeds. I could abide even till the bright dawn, so long as thou couldst endure to rehearse me these woes of thine in the hall.’
362 τὸν δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ Ἀλκίνοος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε:
363 “ὦ Ὀδυσεῦ, τὸ μὲν οὔ τί σ᾽ ἐίσκομεν εἰσορόωντες,
364 ἠπεροπῆά τ᾽ ἔμεν καὶ ἐπίκλοπον, οἷά τε πολλοὺς
365 βόσκει γαῖα μέλαινα πολυσπερέας ἀνθρώπους,
366 ψεύδεά τ᾽ ἀρτύνοντας ὅθεν κέ τις οὐδὲ ἴδοιτο:
367 σοὶ δ᾽ ἔπι μὲν μορφὴ ἐπέων, ἔνι δὲ φρένες ἐσθλαί.
368 μῦθον δ᾽ ὡς ὅτ᾽ ἀοιδὸς ἐπισταμένως κατέλεξας,
369 πάντων τ᾽ Ἀργείων σέο τ᾽ αὐτοῦ κήδεα λυγρά.
370 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον,
371 εἴ τινας ἀντιθέων ἑτάρων ἴδες, οἵ τοι ἅμ᾽ αὐτῷ
372 Ἴλιον εἰς ἅμ᾽ ἕποντο καὶ αὐτοῦ πότμον ἐπέσπον.
373 νὺξ δ᾽ ἥδε μάλα μακρή, ἀθέσφατος: οὐδέ πω ὥρη
374 εὕδειν ἐν μεγάρῳ, σὺ δέ μοι λέγε θέσκελα ἔργα.
375 καί κεν ἐς ἠῶ δῖαν ἀνασχοίμην, ὅτε μοι σὺ
376 τλαίης ἐν μεγάρῳ τὰ σὰ κήδεα μυθήσασθαι.”
36. And Odysseus of many counsels answered him, saying: ‘My lord Alcinous, most notable of all the people, there is a time for many words and there is a time for sleep. But if thou art eager still to listen, I would not for my part grudge to tell thee of other things more pitiful still, even the woes of my comrades, those that perished afterward, for they had escaped with their lives from the dread warcry of the Trojans, but perished in returning by the will of an evil woman.
377 τὸν δ᾽ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς:
378 “Ἀλκίνοε κρεῖον, πάντων ἀριδείκετε λαῶν,
379 ὥρη μὲν πολέων μύθων, ὥρη δὲ καὶ ὕπνου:
380 εἰ δ᾽ ἔτ᾽ ἀκουέμεναί γε λιλαίεαι, οὐκ ἂν ἐγώ γε
381 τούτων σοι φθονέοιμι καὶ οἰκτρότερ᾽ ἄλλ᾽ ἀγορεύειν,
382 κήδε᾽ ἐμῶν ἑτάρων, οἳ δὴ μετόπισθεν ὄλοντο,
383 οἳ Τρώων μὲν ὑπεξέφυγον στονόεσσαν ἀυτήν,
384 ἐν νόστῳ δ᾽ ἀπόλοντο κακῆς ἰότητι γυναικός.
37. ‘Now when holy Persephone had scattered this way and that the spirits of the women folk, thereafter came the soul of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, sorrowing; and round him others were gathered, the ghosts of them who had died with him in the house of Aegisthus and met their doom.
385 “αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ ψυχὰς μὲν ἀπεσκέδασ᾽ ἄλλυδις ἄλλῃ
386 ἁγνὴ Περσεφόνεια γυναικῶν θηλυτεράων,
387 ἦλθε δ᾽ ἐπὶ ψυχὴ Ἀγαμέμνονος Ἀτρεΐδαο
388 ἀχνυμένη: περὶ δ᾽ ἄλλαι ἀγηγέραθ᾽, ὅσσοι ἅμ᾽ αὐτῷ
389 οἴκῳ ἐν Αἰγίσθοιο θάνον καὶ πότμον ἐπέσπον.
|And he knew me straightway when he had drunk the dark blood, yea, and he wept aloud, and shed big tears as he stretched forth his hands in his longing to reach me.||
390 ἔγνω δ᾽ αἶψ᾽ ἔμ᾽ ἐκεῖνος, ἐπεὶ πίεν αἷμα κελαινόν:
391 κλαῖε δ᾽ ὅ γε λιγέως, θαλερὸν κατὰ δάκρυον εἴβων,
392 πιτνὰς εἰς ἐμὲ χεῖρας, ὀρέξασθαι μενεαίνων:
|But it might not be, for he had now no steadfast strength nor power at all in moving, such as was aforetime in his supple limbs.||
393 ἀλλ᾽ οὐ γάρ οἱ ἔτ᾽ ἦν ἲς ἔμπεδος οὐδέ τι κῖκυς,
394 οἵη περ πάρος ἔσκεν ἐνὶ γναμπτοῖσι μέλεσσι.
38. ‘At the sight of him I wept and was moved with compassion, and uttering my voice, spake to him winged words: “Most renowned son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, say what doom overcame thee of death that lays men at their length? Did Poseidon smite thee in thy ships, raising the dolorous blast of contrary winds, or did unfriendly men do thee hurt upon the land, whilst thou wert cutting off their oxen and fair flocks of sheep, or fighting to win a city and the women thereof?”
395 “τὸν μὲν ἐγὼ δάκρυσα ἰδὼν ἐλέησά τε θυμῷ,
396 καί μιν φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδων:
397 ‘Ἀτρεΐδη κύδιστε, ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγάμεμνον,
398 τίς νύ σε κὴρ ἐδάμασσε τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο;
399 ἦε σέ γ᾽ ἐν νήεσσι Ποσειδάων ἐδάμασσεν
400 ὄρσας ἀργαλέων ἀνέμων ἀμέγαρτον ἀυτμήν;
401 ἦέ σ᾽ ἀνάρσιοι ἄνδρες ἐδηλήσαντ᾽ ἐπὶ χέρσου
402 βοῦς περιταμνόμενον ἠδ᾽ οἰῶν πώεα καλά,
403 ἠὲ περὶ πτόλιος μαχεούμενον ἠδὲ γυναικῶν;
39. ‘So spake I, and straightway he answered, and said unto me: “Son of Laertes, of the seed of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, it was not Poseidon that smote me in my ships, and raised the dolorous blast of contrary winds, nor did unfriendly men do me hurt upon the land, but Aegisthus it was that wrought me death and doom and slew me, with the aid of my accursed wife, as one slays an ox at the stall, after he had bidden me to his house, and entertained me at a feast. Even so I died by a death most pitiful, and round me my company likewise were slain without ceasing, like swine with glittering tusks which are slaughtered in the house of a rich and mighty man, whether at a wedding banquet or a joint-feast or a rich clan-drinking. Ere now hast thou been at the slaying of many a man, killed in single fight or in strong battle, yet thou wouldst have sorrowed the most at this sight, how we lay in the hall round the mixing-bowl and the laden boards, and the floor all ran with blood. And most pitiful of all that I heard was the voice of the daughter of Priam, of Cassandra, whom hard by me the crafty Clytemnestra slew. Then I strove to raise my hands as I was dying upon the sword, but to earth they fell. And that shameless one turned her back upon me, and had not the heart to draw down my eyelids with her fingers nor to close my mouth. So surely is there nought more terrible and shameless than a woman who imagines such evil in her heart, even as she too planned a foul deed, fashioning death for her wedded lord. Verily I had thought to come home most welcome to my children and my thralls; but she, out of the depth of her evil knowledge, hath shed shame on herself and on all womankind, which shall be for ever, even on the upright.”
404 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπε:
405 ‘διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
406 οὔτ᾽ ἐμέ γ᾽ ἐν νήεσσι Ποσειδάων ἐδάμασσεν
407 ὄρσας ἀργαλέων ἀνέμων ἀμέγαρτον ἀυτμήν,
408 οὔτε μ᾽ ἀνάρσιοι ἄνδρες ἐδηλήσαντ᾽ ἐπὶ χέρσου,
409 ἀλλά μοι Αἴγισθος τεύξας θάνατόν τε μόρον τε
410 ἔκτα σὺν οὐλομένῃ ἀλόχῳ, οἶκόνδε καλέσσας,
411 δειπνίσσας, ὥς τίς τε κατέκτανε βοῦν ἐπὶ φάτνῃ.
412 ὣς θάνον οἰκτίστῳ θανάτῳ: περὶ δ᾽ ἄλλοι ἑταῖροι
413 νωλεμέως κτείνοντο σύες ὣς ἀργιόδοντες,
414 οἵ ῥά τ᾽ ἐν ἀφνειοῦ ἀνδρὸς μέγα δυναμένοιο
415 ἢ γάμῳ ἢ ἐράνῳ ἢ εἰλαπίνῃ τεθαλυίῃ.
416 ἤδη μὲν πολέων φόνῳ ἀνδρῶν ἀντεβόλησας,
417 μουνὰξ κτεινομένων καὶ ἐνὶ κρατερῇ ὑσμίνῃ:
418 ἀλλά κε κεῖνα μάλιστα ἰδὼν ὀλοφύραο θυμῷ,
419 ὡς ἀμφὶ κρητῆρα τραπέζας τε πληθούσας
420 κείμεθ᾽ ἐνὶ μεγάρῳ, δάπεδον δ᾽ ἅπαν αἵματι θῦεν.
421 οἰκτροτάτην δ᾽ ἤκουσα ὄπα Πριάμοιο θυγατρός,
422 Κασσάνδρης, τὴν κτεῖνε Κλυταιμνήστρη δολόμητις
423 ἀμφ᾽ ἐμοί, αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ ποτὶ γαίῃ χεῖρας ἀείρων
424 βάλλον ἀποθνήσκων περὶ φασγάνῳ: ἡ δὲ κυνῶπις
425 νοσφίσατ᾽, οὐδέ μοι ἔτλη ἰόντι περ εἰς Ἀίδαο
426 χερσὶ κατ᾽ ὀφθαλμοὺς ἑλέειν σύν τε στόμ᾽ ἐρεῖσαι.
427 ὣς οὐκ αἰνότερον καὶ κύντερον ἄλλο γυναικός,
428 ἥ τις δὴ τοιαῦτα μετὰ φρεσὶν ἔργα βάληται:
429 οἷον δὴ καὶ κείνη ἐμήσατο ἔργον ἀεικές,
430 κουριδίῳ τεύξασα πόσει φόνον. ἦ τοι ἔφην γε
431 ἀσπάσιος παίδεσσιν ἰδὲ δμώεσσιν ἐμοῖσιν
432 οἴκαδ᾽ ἐλεύσεσθαι: ἡ δ᾽ ἔξοχα λυγρὰ ἰδυῖα
433 οἷ τε κατ᾽ αἶσχος ἔχευε καὶ ἐσσομένῃσιν ὀπίσσω
434 θηλυτέρῃσι γυναιξί, καὶ ἥ κ᾽ ἐυεργὸς ἔῃσιν.’
40. ‘Even so he spake, but I answered him, saying: “Lo now, in very sooth, hath Zeus of the far-borne voice wreaked wondrous hatred on the seed of Atreus through the counsels of woman from of old. For Helen’s sake so many of us perished, and now Clytemnestra hath practised treason against thee, while yet thou wast afar off.”
435 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
436 ‘ὢ πόποι, ἦ μάλα δὴ γόνον Ἀτρέος εὐρύοπα Ζεὺς
437 ἐκπάγλως ἤχθηρε γυναικείας διὰ βουλὰς
438 ἐξ ἀρχῆς: Ἑλένης μὲν ἀπωλόμεθ᾽ εἵνεκα πολλοί,
439 σοὶ δὲ Κλυταιμνήστρη δόλον ἤρτυε τηλόθ᾽ ἐόντι.’
41. ‘Even so I spake, and anon he answered me, saying: “Wherefore do thou too, never henceforth be soft even to thy wife, neither show her all the counsel that thou knowest, but a part declare and let part be hid. Yet shalt not thou, Odysseus, find death at the hand of thy wife, for she is very discreet and prudent in all her ways, the wise Penelope, daughter of Icarius. Verily we left her a bride new wed when we went to the war, and a child was at her breast, who now, methinks, sits in the ranks of men, happy in his lot, for his dear father shall behold him on his coming, and he shall embrace his sire as is meet. But as for my wife, she suffered me not so much as to have my fill of gazing on my son; ere that she slew me, even her lord. And yet another thing will I tell thee, and do thou ponder it in thy heart. Put thy ship to land in secret, and not openly, on the shore of thy dear country; for there is no more faith in woman. But come, declare me this and plainly tell it all, if haply ye hear of my son as yet living, either, it may be, in Orchomenus or in sandy Pylos, or perchance with Menelaus in wide Sparta, for goodly Orestes hath not yet perished on the earth.”
440 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπε:
441 ‘τῷ νῦν μή ποτε καὶ σὺ γυναικί περ ἤπιος εἶναι:
442 μή οἱ μῦθον ἅπαντα πιφαυσκέμεν, ὅν κ᾽ ἐὺ εἰδῇς,
443 ἀλλὰ τὸ μὲν φάσθαι, τὸ δὲ καὶ κεκρυμμένον εἶναι.
444 ἀλλ᾽ οὐ σοί γ᾽, Ὀδυσεῦ, φόνος ἔσσεται ἔκ γε γυναικός:
445 λίην γὰρ πινυτή τε καὶ εὖ φρεσὶ μήδεα οἶδε
446 κούρη Ἰκαρίοιο, περίφρων Πηνελόπεια.
447 ἦ μέν μιν νύμφην γε νέην κατελείπομεν ἡμεῖς
448 ἐρχόμενοι πόλεμόνδε: πάϊς δέ οἱ ἦν ἐπὶ μαζῷ
449 νήπιος, ὅς που νῦν γε μετ᾽ ἀνδρῶν ἵζει ἀριθμῷ,
450 ὄλβιος: ἦ γὰρ τόν γε πατὴρ φίλος ὄψεται ἐλθών,
451 καὶ κεῖνος πατέρα προσπτύξεται, ἣ θέμις ἐστίν.
452 ἡ δ᾽ ἐμὴ οὐδέ περ υἷος ἐνιπλησθῆναι ἄκοιτις
453 ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἔασε: πάρος δέ με πέφνε καὶ αὐτόν.
454 ἄλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
455 κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
456 νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.
457 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον,
458 εἴ που ἔτι ζώοντος ἀκούετε παιδὸς ἐμοῖο,
459 ἤ που ἐν Ὀρχομενῷ ἢ ἐν Πύλῳ ἠμαθόεντι,
460 ἤ που πὰρ Μενελάῳ ἐνὶ Σπάρτῃ εὐρείῃ:
461 οὐ γάρ πω τέθνηκεν ἐπὶ χθονὶ δῖος Ὀρέστης.’
42. ‘Even so he spake, but I answered him, saying: “Son of Atreus, wherefore dost thou ask me straitly of these things? Nay I know not at all, whether he be alive or dead; it is ill to speak words light as wind.”
462 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
463 ‘Ἀτρεΐδη, τί με ταῦτα διείρεαι; οὐδέ τι οἶδα,
464 ζώει ὅ γ᾽ ἦ τέθνηκε: κακὸν δ᾽ ἀνεμώλια βάζειν.’
43. ‘Thus we twain stood sorrowing, holding sad discourse, while the big tears fell fast: and therewithal came the soul of Achilles, son of Peleus, and of Patroclus and of noble Antilochus and of Aias, who in face and form was goodliest of all the Danaans, after the noble son of Peleus. And the spirit of the son of Aeacus, fleet of foot, knew me again, and making lament spake to me winged words:
465 “νῶι μὲν ὣς ἐπέεσσιν ἀμειβομένω στυγεροῖσιν
466 ἕσταμεν ἀχνύμενοι θαλερὸν κατὰ δάκρυ χέοντες:
467 ἦλθε δ᾽ ἐπὶ ψυχὴ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
468 καὶ Πατροκλῆος καὶ ἀμύμονος Ἀντιλόχοιο
469 Αἴαντός θ᾽, ὃς ἄριστος ἔην εἶδός τε δέμας τε
470 τῶν ἄλλων Δαναῶν μετ᾽ ἀμύμονα Πηλεΐωνα.
471 ἔγνω δὲ ψυχή με ποδώκεος Αἰακίδαο
472 καί ῥ᾽ ὀλοφυρομένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα:
44. ‘“Son of Laertes, of the seed of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, man overbold, what new deed and hardier than this wilt thou devise in thy heart?
473 “ ‘διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
474 σχέτλιε, τίπτ᾽ ἔτι μεῖζον ἐνὶ φρεσὶ μήσεαι ἔργον;
|How do you dare come down to the house of Hades, where dwell the senseless dead, the phantoms of men outworn?”||
475 πῶς ἔτλης Ἄϊδόσδε κατελθέμεν, ἔνθα τε νεκροὶ
476 ἀφραδέες ναίουσι, βροτῶν εἴδωλα καμόντων;”
45. ”So he spake, but I answered him: “Achilles, son of Peleus, mightiest far of the Achaeans, I am come hither to seek to Teiresias, if he may tell me any counsel, how I may come to rugged Ithaca.
477 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
478 ‘ὦ Ἀχιλεῦ Πηλῆος υἱέ, μέγα φέρτατ᾽ Ἀχαιῶν,
479 ἦλθον Τειρεσίαο κατὰ χρέος, εἴ τινα βουλὴν
480 εἴποι, ὅπως Ἰθάκην ἐς παιπαλόεσσαν ἱκοίμην:
46. For not yet have I come nigh the Achaean land, nor set foot on mine own soil, but am still in evil case; while as for thee, Achilles, none other than thou wast heretofore the most blessed of men, nor shall any be hereafter.
481 οὐ γάρ πω σχεδὸν ἦλθον Ἀχαιΐδος, οὐδέ πω ἁμῆς
482 γῆς ἐπέβην, ἀλλ᾽ αἰὲν ἔχω κακά. σεῖο δ᾽, Ἀχιλλεῦ,
483 οὔ τις ἀνὴρ προπάροιθε μακάρτατος οὔτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὀπίσσω.
|For of old, in the days of thy life, we Argives gave thee one honour with the gods,||
484 πρὶν μὲν γάρ σε ζωὸν ἐτίομεν ἶσα θεοῖσιν 485 Ἀργεῖοι,
|and now thou art a great prince here among the dead. Wherefore let not thy death be any grief to thee, Achilles.”||
νῦν αὖτε μέγα κρατέεις νεκύεσσιν
486 ἐνθάδ᾽ ἐών: τῷ μή τι θανὼν ἀκαχίζευ, Ἀχιλλεῦ.’
|47. ‘Even so I spake, and he straightway answered me, and said: “Nay, speak not comfortably to me of death, oh great Odysseus. Rather would I live on ground as the hireling of another, with a landless man who had no great livelihood, than bear sway among all the dead that be departed.||
487 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπε:
488 ‘μὴ δή μοι θάνατόν γε παραύδα, φαίδιμ᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ.
489 βουλοίμην κ᾽ ἐπάρουρος ἐὼν θητευέμεν ἄλλῳ,
490 ἀνδρὶ παρ᾽ ἀκλήρῳ, ᾧ μὴ βίοτος πολὺς εἴη,
491 ἢ πᾶσιν νεκύεσσι καταφθιμένοισιν ἀνάσσειν.
But come, tell me tidings of that lordly son of mine-did he follow to the war to be a leader or not? And tell me of noble Peleus, if thou hast heard aught,—is he yet held in worship among the Myrmidons, or do they dishonour him from Hellas to Phthia, for that old age binds him hand and foot? For I am no longer his champion under the sun, so mighty a man as once I was, when in wide Troy I slew the best of the host, and succoured the Argives. Ah! could I but come for an hour to my father’s house as then I was, so would I make my might and hands invincible, to be hateful to many an one of those who do him despite and keep him from his honour.”
492 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τοῦ παιδὸς ἀγαυοῦ μῦθον ἐνίσπες,
493 ἢ ἕπετ᾽ ἐς πόλεμον πρόμος ἔμμεναι, ἦε καὶ οὐκί.
494 εἰπὲ δέ μοι Πηλῆος ἀμύμονος, εἴ τι πέπυσσαι,
495 ἢ ἔτ᾽ ἔχει τιμὴν πολέσιν μετὰ Μυρμιδόνεσσιν,
496 ἦ μιν ἀτιμάζουσιν ἀν᾽ Ἑλλάδα τε Φθίην τε,
497 οὕνεκά μιν κατὰ γῆρας ἔχει χεῖράς τε πόδας τε.
498 οὐ γὰρ ἐγὼν ἐπαρωγὸς ὑπ᾽ αὐγὰς ἠελίοιο,
499 τοῖος ἐών, οἷός ποτ᾽ ἐνὶ Τροίῃ εὐρείῃ
500 πέφνον λαὸν ἄριστον, ἀμύνων Ἀργείοισιν:
501 εἰ τοιόσδ᾽ ἔλθοιμι μίνυνθά περ ἐς πατέρος δῶ:
502 τῷ κέ τεῳ στύξαιμι μένος καὶ χεῖρας ἀάπτους,
503 οἳ κεῖνον βιόωνται ἐέργουσίν τ᾽ ἀπὸ τιμῆς.’
48. ‘Even so he spake, but I answered him, saying: “As for noble Peleus, verily I have heard nought of him; but concerning thy dear son Neoptolemus, I will tell thee all the truth, according to thy word. It was I that led him up out of Scyros in my good hollow ship, in the wake of the goodly-greaved Achaeans. Now oft as we took counsel around Troy town, he was ever the first to speak, and no word missed the mark; the godlike Nestor and I alone surpassed him. But whensoever we Achaeans did battle on the plain of Troy, he never tarried behind in the throng or the press of men, but ran out far before us all, yielding to none in that might of his. And many men he slew in warfare dread; but I could not tell of all or name their names, even all the host he slew in succouring the Argives; but, ah, how he smote with the sword that son of Telephus, the hero Eurypylus, and many Ceteians of his company were slain around him, by reason of a woman’s bribe. He truly was the comeliest man that ever I saw, next to goodly Memnon. And again when we, the best of the Argives, were about to go down into the horse which Epeus wrought, and the charge of all was laid on me, both to open the door of our good ambush and to shut the same, then did the other princes and counsellors of the Danaans wipe away the tears, and the limbs of each one trembled beneath him, but never once did I see thy son’s fair face wax pale, nor did he wipe the tears from his cheeks: but he besought me often to let him go forth from the horse, and kept handling his sword-hilt, and his heavy bronze-shod spear, and he was set on mischief against the Trojans. But after we had sacked the steep city of Priam, he embarked unscathed with his share of the spoil, and with a noble prize; he was not smitten with the sharp spear, and got no wound in close fight: and many such chances there be in war, for Ares rageth confusedly.”
504 “ὣς ἔφατ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον:
505 ‘ἦ τοι μὲν Πηλῆος ἀμύμονος οὔ τι πέπυσμαι,
506 αὐτάρ τοι παιδός γε Νεοπτολέμοιο φίλοιο
507 πᾶσαν ἀληθείην μυθήσομαι, ὥς με κελεύεις:
508 αὐτὸς γάρ μιν ἐγὼ κοίλης ἐπὶ νηὸς ἐίσης
509 ἤγαγον ἐκ Σκύρου μετ᾽ ἐυκνήμιδας Ἀχαιούς.
510 ἦ τοι ὅτ᾽ ἀμφὶ πόλιν Τροίην φραζοίμεθα βουλάς,
511 αἰεὶ πρῶτος ἔβαζε καὶ οὐχ ἡμάρτανε μύθων:
512 Νέστωρ ἀντίθεος καὶ ἐγὼ νικάσκομεν οἴω.
513 αὐτὰρ ὅτ᾽ ἐν πεδίῳ Τρώων μαρναίμεθα χαλκῷ,
514 οὔ ποτ᾽ ἐνὶ πληθυῖ μένεν ἀνδρῶν οὐδ᾽ ἐν ὁμίλῳ,
515 ἀλλὰ πολὺ προθέεσκε τὸ ὃν μένος οὐδενὶ εἴκων,
516 πολλοὺς δ᾽ ἄνδρας ἔπεφνεν ἐν αἰνῇ δηιοτῆτι.
517 πάντας δ᾽ οὐκ ἂν ἐγὼ μυθήσομαι οὐδ᾽ ὀνομήνω,
518 ὅσσον λαὸν ἔπεφνεν ἀμύνων Ἀργείοισιν,
519 ἀλλ᾽ οἷον τὸν Τηλεφίδην κατενήρατο χαλκῷ,
520 ἥρω᾽ Εὐρύπυλον, πολλοὶ δ᾽ ἀμφ᾽ αὐτὸν ἑταῖροι
521 Κήτειοι κτείνοντο γυναίων εἵνεκα δώρων.
522 κεῖνον δὴ κάλλιστον ἴδον μετὰ Μέμνονα δῖον.
523 αὐτὰρ ὅτ᾽ εἰς ἵππον κατεβαίνομεν, ὃν κάμ᾽ Ἐπειός,
524 Ἀργείων οἱ ἄριστοι, ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ἐπὶ πάντα τέταλτο,
525 ἠμὲν ἀνακλῖναι πυκινὸν λόχον ἠδ᾽ ἐπιθεῖναι,
526 ἔνθ᾽ ἄλλοι Δαναῶν ἡγήτορες ἠδὲ μέδοντες
527 δάκρυά τ᾽ ὠμόργνυντο τρέμον θ᾽ ὑπὸ γυῖα ἑκάστου:
528 κεῖνον δ᾽ οὔ ποτε πάμπαν ἐγὼν ἴδον ὀφθαλμοῖσιν
529 οὔτ᾽ ὠχρήσαντα χρόα κάλλιμον οὔτε παρειῶν
530 δάκρυ ὀμορξάμενον: ὁ δέ γε μάλα πόλλ᾽ ἱκέτευεν
531 ἱππόθεν ἐξέμεναι, ξίφεος δ᾽ ἐπεμαίετο κώπην
532 καὶ δόρυ χαλκοβαρές, κακὰ δὲ Τρώεσσι μενοίνα.
533 ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ Πριάμοιο πόλιν διεπέρσαμεν αἰπήν,
534 μοῖραν καὶ γέρας ἐσθλὸν ἔχων ἐπὶ νηὸς ἔβαινεν
535 ἀσκηθής, οὔτ᾽ ἂρ βεβλημένος ὀξέι χαλκῷ
536 οὔτ᾽ αὐτοσχεδίην οὐτασμένος, οἷά τε πολλὰ
537 γίγνεται ἐν πολέμῳ: ἐπιμὶξ δέ τε μαίνεται Ἄρης.’
49. ‘So I spake, and the spirit of the son of Aeacus, fleet of foot, passed with great strides along the meadow of asphodel, rejoicing in that I had told him of his son’s renown.
538 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ψυχὴ δὲ ποδώκεος Αἰακίδαο
539 φοίτα μακρὰ βιβᾶσα κατ᾽ ἀσφοδελὸν λειμῶνα,
540 γηθοσύνη ὅ οἱ υἱὸν ἔφην ἀριδείκετον εἶναι.
50. ‘But lo, other spirits of the dead that be departed stood sorrowing, and each one asked of those that were dear to them. The soul of Aias, son of Telamon, alone stood apart being still angry for the victory wherein I prevailed against him, in the suit by the ships concerning the arms of Achilles, that his lady mother had set for a prize; and the sons of the Trojans made award and Pallas Athene. Would that I had never prevailed and won such a prize! So goodly a head hath the earth closed over, for the sake of those arms, even over Aias, who in beauty and in feats of war was of a mould above all the other Danaans, next to the noble son of Peleus. To him then I spake softly, saying:
541 “αἱ δ᾽ ἄλλαι ψυχαὶ νεκύων κατατεθνηώτων
542 ἕστασαν ἀχνύμεναι, εἴροντο δὲ κήδε᾽ ἑκάστη.
543 οἴη δ᾽ Αἴαντος ψυχὴ Τελαμωνιάδαο
544 νόσφιν ἀφεστήκει, κεχολωμένη εἵνεκα νίκης,
545 τήν μιν ἐγὼ νίκησα δικαζόμενος παρὰ νηυσὶ
546 τεύχεσιν ἀμφ᾽ Ἀχιλῆος: ἔθηκε δὲ πότνια μήτηρ.
547 παῖδες δὲ Τρώων δίκασαν καὶ Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.
548 ὡς δὴ μὴ ὄφελον νικᾶν τοιῷδ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀέθλῳ:
549 τοίην γὰρ κεφαλὴν ἕνεκ᾽ αὐτῶν γαῖα κατέσχεν,
550 Αἴανθ᾽, ὃς πέρι μὲν εἶδος, πέρι δ᾽ ἔργα τέτυκτο
551 τῶν ἄλλων Δαναῶν μετ᾽ ἀμύμονα Πηλεΐωνα.
552 τὸν μὲν ἐγὼν ἐπέεσσι προσηύδων μειλιχίοισιν:
51. ‘“Aias, son of noble Telamon, so art thou not even in death to forget thy wrath against me, by reason of those arms accursed, which the gods set to be the bane of the Argives? What a tower of strength fell in thy fall, and we Achaeans cease not to sorrow for thee, even as for the life of Achilles, son of Peleus! Nay, there is none other to blame, but Zeus, who hath borne wondrous hate to the army of the Danaan spearsmen, and laid on thee thy doom. Nay, come hither, my lord, that thou mayest hear my word and my speech; master thy wrath and thy proud spirit.”
553 “ Αἶαν, παῖ Τελαμῶνος ἀμύμονος, οὐκ ἄρ᾽ ἔμελλες
554 οὐδὲ θανὼν λήσεσθαι ἐμοὶ χόλου εἵνεκα τευχέων
555 οὐλομένων; τὰ δὲ πῆμα θεοὶ θέσαν Ἀργείοισι,
556 τοῖος γάρ σφιν πύργος ἀπώλεο: σεῖο δ᾽ Ἀχαιοὶ
557 ἶσον Ἀχιλλῆος κεφαλῇ Πηληϊάδαο
558 ἀχνύμεθα φθιμένοιο διαμπερές: οὐδέ τις ἄλλος
559 αἴτιος, ἀλλὰ Ζεὺς Δαναῶν στρατὸν αἰχμητάων
560 ἐκπάγλως ἤχθηρε, τεῒν δ᾽ ἐπὶ μοῖραν ἔθηκεν.
561 ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε δεῦρο, ἄναξ, ἵν᾽ ἔπος καὶ μῦθον ἀκούσῃς
562 ἡμέτερον: δάμασον δὲ μένος καὶ ἀγήνορα θυμόν.’
52. ‘So I spake, but he answered me not a word and passed to Erebus after the other spirits of the dead that be departed. Even then, despite his anger, would he have spoken to me or I to him, but my heart within me was minded to see the spirits of those others that were departed.
563 “ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ οὐδὲν ἀμείβετο, βῆ δὲ μετ᾽ ἄλλας
564 ψυχὰς εἰς Ἔρεβος νεκύων κατατεθνηώτων.
565 ἔνθα χ᾽ ὅμως προσέφη κεχολωμένος, ἤ κεν ἐγὼ τόν:
566 ἀλλά μοι ἤθελε θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσι φίλοισι
567 τῶν ἄλλων ψυχὰς ἰδέειν κατατεθνηώτων.
MINOS in JUDGMENT
53. ‘There then I saw Minos, glorious son of Zeus, wielding a golden sceptre, giving sentence from his throne to the dead, while they sat and stood around the prince, asking his dooms through the wide-gated house of Hades.
568 “ἔνθ᾽ ἦ τοι Μίνωα ἴδον, Διὸς ἀγλαὸν υἱόν,
569 χρύσεον σκῆπτρον ἔχοντα, θεμιστεύοντα νέκυσσιν,
570 ἥμενον, οἱ δέ μιν ἀμφὶ δίκας εἴροντο ἄνακτα,
571 ἥμενοι ἑσταότες τε κατ᾽ εὐρυπυλὲς Ἄϊδος δῶ.
54. ‘And after him I marked the mighty Orion driving the wild beasts together over the meadow of asphodel, the very beasts that himself had slain on the lonely hills, with a strong mace all of bronze in his hands, that is ever unbroken.
572 “τὸν δὲ μετ᾽ Ὠρίωνα πελώριον εἰσενόησα
573 θῆρας ὁμοῦ εἰλεῦντα κατ᾽ ἀσφοδελὸν λειμῶνα,
574 τοὺς αὐτὸς κατέπεφνεν ἐν οἰοπόλοισιν ὄρεσσι
575 χερσὶν ἔχων ῥόπαλον παγχάλκεον, αἰὲν ἀαγές.
55. ‘And I saw Tityos, son of renowned Earth, lying on a levelled ground, and he covered nine roods as he lay, and vultures twain beset him one on either side, and gnawed at his liver, piercing even to the caul, but he drave them not away with his hands. For he had dealt violently with Leto, the famous bedfellow of Zeus, as she went up to Pytho through the fair lawns of Panopeus.
576 “καὶ Τιτυὸν εἶδον, Γαίης ἐρικυδέος υἱόν,
577 κείμενον ἐν δαπέδῳ: ὁ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐννέα κεῖτο πέλεθρα,
578 γῦπε δέ μιν ἑκάτερθε παρημένω ἧπαρ ἔκειρον,
579 δέρτρον ἔσω δύνοντες, ὁ δ᾽ οὐκ ἀπαμύνετο χερσί:
580 Λητὼ γὰρ ἕλκησε, Διὸς κυδρὴν παράκοιτιν,
581 Πυθώδ᾽ ἐρχομένην διὰ καλλιχόρου Πανοπῆος.
|Invited to a banquet in Olympus, Tantalus Stole nectar and ambrosia from Zeus' table, and later offered his own sacrificed son to the gods as food - which the gods refused in disgust.|
56. ‘Moreover I beheld Tantalus in grievous torment, standing in a mere and the water came nigh unto his chin. And he stood straining as one athirst, but he might not attain to the water to drink of it. For often as that old man stooped down in his eagerness to drink, so often the water was swallowed up and it vanished away, and the black earth still showed at his feet, for some god parched it evermore. And tall trees flowering shed their fruit overhead, pears and pomegranates and apple trees with bright fruit, and sweet figs and olives in their bloom, whereat when that old man reached out his hands to clutch them, the wind would toss them to the shadowy clouds.
582 “καὶ μὴν Τάνταλον εἰσεῖδον κρατέρ᾽ ἄλγε᾽ ἔχοντα
583 ἑστεῶτ᾽ ἐν λίμνῃ: ἡ δὲ προσέπλαζε γενείῳ:
584 στεῦτο δὲ διψάων, πιέειν δ᾽ οὐκ εἶχεν ἑλέσθαι:
585 ὁσσάκι γὰρ κύψει᾽ ὁ γέρων πιέειν μενεαίνων,
586 τοσσάχ᾽ ὕδωρ ἀπολέσκετ᾽ ἀναβροχέν, ἀμφὶ δὲ ποσσὶ
587 γαῖα μέλαινα φάνεσκε, καταζήνασκε δὲ δαίμων.
588 δένδρεα δ᾽ ὑψιπέτηλα κατὰ κρῆθεν χέε καρπόν,
589 ὄγχναι καὶ ῥοιαὶ καὶ μηλέαι ἀγλαόκαρποι
590 συκέαι τε γλυκεραὶ καὶ ἐλαῖαι τηλεθόωσαι:
591 τῶν ὁπότ᾽ ἰθύσει᾽ ὁ γέρων ἐπὶ χερσὶ μάσασθαι,
592 τὰς δ᾽ ἄνεμος ῥίπτασκε ποτὶ νέφεα σκιόεντα.
|King of Corinth who cheated Zeus and Death (Thanatos), as well as his own wife; and is punished for his hubris in imagining his craftiness to exceed that of Zeus|
57. ‘Yea and I beheld Sisyphus in strong torment, grasping a monstrous stone with both his hands. He was pressing thereat with hands and feet, and trying to roll the stone upward toward the brow of the hill. But oft as he was about to hurl it over the top, the weight would drive him back, so once again to the plain rolled the stone, the shameless thing. And he once more kept heaving and straining, and the sweat the while was pouring down his limbs, and the dust rose upwards from his head.
593 “καὶ μὴν Σίσυφον εἰσεῖδον κρατέρ᾽ ἄλγε᾽ ἔχοντα
594 λᾶαν βαστάζοντα πελώριον ἀμφοτέρῃσιν.
595 ἦ τοι ὁ μὲν σκηριπτόμενος χερσίν τε ποσίν τε
596 λᾶαν ἄνω ὤθεσκε ποτὶ λόφον: ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε μέλλοι
597 ἄκρον ὑπερβαλέειν, τότ᾽ ἀποστρέψασκε κραταιίς:
598 αὖτις ἔπειτα πέδονδε κυλίνδετο λᾶας ἀναιδής.
599 αὐτὰρ ὅ γ᾽ ἂψ ὤσασκε τιταινόμενος, κατὰ δ᾽ ἱδρὼς
600 ἔρρεεν ἐκ μελέων, κονίη δ᾽ ἐκ κρατὸς ὀρώρει.
|58. ‘And after him I descried the mighty Heracles, his phantom, I say; but as for himself he hath joy at the banquet among the deathless gods, and hath to wife Hebe of the fair ankles, child of great Zeus, and of Here of the golden sandals. And all about him there was a clamour of the dead, as it were fowls flying every way in fear, and he like black Night, with bow uncased, and shaft upon the string, fiercely glancing around, like one in the act to shoot.||
601 “τὸν δὲ μετ᾽ εἰσενόησα βίην Ἡρακληείην,
602 εἴδωλον: αὐτὸς δὲ μετ᾽ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι
603 τέρπεται ἐν θαλίῃς καὶ ἔχει καλλίσφυρον Ἥβην,
604 παῖδα Διὸς μεγάλοιο καὶ Ἥρης χρυσοπεδίλου.
605 ἀμφὶ δέ μιν κλαγγὴ νεκύων ἦν οἰωνῶν ὥς,
606 πάντοσ᾽ ἀτυζομένων: ὁ δ᾽ ἐρεμνῇ νυκτὶ ἐοικώς,
607 γυμνὸν τόξον ἔχων καὶ ἐπὶ νευρῆφιν ὀιστόν,
608 δεινὸν παπταίνων, αἰεὶ βαλέοντι ἐοικώς.
And about his breast was an awful belt, a baldric of gold, whereon wondrous things were wrought, bears and wild boars and lions with flashing eyes, and strife and battles and slaughters and murders of men. Nay, now that he hath fashioned this, never another may he fashion, whoso stored in his craft the device of that belt! And anon he knew me when his eyes beheld me, and making lament he spake unto me winged words:’
609 σμερδαλέος δέ οἱ ἀμφὶ περὶ στήθεσσιν ἀορτὴρ
610 χρύσεος ἦν τελαμών, ἵνα θέσκελα ἔργα τέτυκτο,
611 ἄρκτοι τ᾽ ἀγρότεροί τε σύες χαροποί τε λέοντες,
612 ὑσμῖναί τε μάχαι τε φόνοι τ᾽ ἀνδροκτασίαι τε.
613 μὴ τεχνησάμενος μηδ᾽ ἄλλο τι τεχνήσαιτο,
614 ὃς κεῖνον τελαμῶνα ἑῇ ἐγκάτθετο τέχνῃ.
615 ἔγνω δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ ἔμ᾽ ἐκεῖνος, ἐπεὶ ἴδεν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν,
616 καί μ᾽ ὀλοφυρόμενος ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα:
“Son of Laertes, of the seed of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices: ah! wretched one, dost thou too lead such a life of evil doom, as I endured beneath the rays of the sun? I was the son of Zeus Cronion, yet had I trouble beyond measure, for I was subdued unto a man far worse than I. And he enjoined on me hard adventures, yea and on a time he sent me hither to bring back the hound of hell; for he devised no harder task for me than this. I lifted the hound and brought him forth from out of the house of Hades; and Hermes sped me on my way and the grey-eyed Athene.”
617 “‘διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν᾽ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
618 ἆ δείλ᾽, ἦ τινὰ καὶ σὺ κακὸν μόρον ἡγηλάζεις,
619 ὅν περ ἐγὼν ὀχέεσκον ὑπ᾽ αὐγὰς ἠελίοιο.
620 Ζηνὸς μὲν πάϊς ἦα Κρονίονος, αὐτὰρ ὀιζὺν
621 εἶχον ἀπειρεσίην: μάλα γὰρ πολὺ χείρονι φωτὶ
622 δεδμήμην, ὁ δέ μοι χαλεποὺς ἐπετέλλετ᾽ ἀέθλους.
623 καί ποτέ μ᾽ ἐνθάδ᾽ ἔπεμψε κύν᾽ ἄξοντ᾽: οὐ γὰρ ἔτ᾽ ἄλλον
624 φράζετο τοῦδέ γέ μοι κρατερώτερον εἶναι ἄεθλον:
625 τὸν μὲν ἐγὼν ἀνένεικα καὶ ἤγαγον ἐξ Ἀίδαο:
626 Ἑρμείας δέ μ᾽ ἔπεμψεν ἰδὲ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη.’
59. ‘Therewith he departed again into the house of Hades, but I abode there still, if perchance some one of the hero folk besides might come, who died in old time. Yea and I should have seen the men of old, whom I was fain to look on, Theseus and Peirithous, renowned children of the gods. But ere that might be the myriad tribes of the dead thronged up together with wondrous clamour: and pale fear gat hold of me, lest the high goddess Persephone should send me the head of the Gorgon, that dread monster, from out of Hades.
627 “ὣς εἰπὼν ὁ μὲν αὖτις ἔβη δόμον Ἄϊδος εἴσω,
628 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν αὐτοῦ μένον ἔμπεδον, εἴ τις ἔτ᾽ ἔλθοι
629 ἀνδρῶν ἡρώων, οἳ δὴ τὸ πρόσθεν ὄλοντο.
630 καί νύ κ᾽ ἔτι προτέρους ἴδον ἀνέρας, οὓς ἔθελόν περ,
631 Θησέα Πειρίθοόν τε, θεῶν ἐρικυδέα τέκνα:
632 ἀλλὰ πρὶν ἐπὶ ἔθνε᾽ ἀγείρετο μυρία νεκρῶν
633 ἠχῇ θεσπεσίῃ: ἐμὲ δὲ χλωρὸν δέος ᾕρει,
634 μή μοι Γοργείην κεφαλὴν δεινοῖο πελώρου
635 ἐξ Ἀίδεω πέμψειεν ἀγαυὴ Περσεφόνεια.
60. ‘Straightway then I went to the slip, and bade my men mount the vessel, and loose the hawsers. So speedily they went on board, and sat upon the benches. And the wave of the flood bore the barque down the stream of Oceanus, we rowing first, and afterwards the fair wind was our convoy.
636 “αὐτίκ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽ ἐπὶ νῆα κιὼν ἐκέλευον ἑταίρους
637 αὐτούς τ᾽ ἀμβαίνειν ἀνά τε πρυμνήσια λῦσαι.
638 οἱ δ᾽ αἶψ᾽ εἴσβαινον καὶ ἐπὶ κληῖσι καθῖζον.
639 τὴν δὲ κατ᾽ Ὠκεανὸν ποταμὸν φέρε κῦμα ῥόοιο,
640 πρῶτα μὲν εἰρεσίῃ, μετέπειτα δὲ κάλλιμος οὖρος.
|Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea and Servant of Poseidon, whom Odysseus has tricked into revealing himself, proclaims to Odysseus the fates of some of his comrades. Menelaus (King of Sparta and husband of Helen) is destined to enjoy the Elysian fields|
“So I spoke, and he straightway made answer, and said:  ‘It is the son of Laertes, whose home is in Ithaca. Him I saw in an island, shedding big tears, in the halls of the nymph Calypso, who keeps him there perforce,
ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπεν:
555 ‘‘υἱὸς Λαέρτεω, Ἰθάκῃ ἔνι οἰκία ναίων:
τὸν δ᾽ ἴδον ἐν νήσῳ θαλερὸν κατὰ δάκρυ χέοντα,
νύμφης ἐν μεγάροισι Καλυψοῦς, ἥ μιν ἀνάγκῃ
|and he cannot come to his native land, for he has at hand no ships with oars and no comrades  to send him on his way over the broad back of the sea.||
ὁ δ᾽ οὐ δύναται ἣν πατρίδα γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι:
οὐ γάρ οἱ πάρα νῆες ἐπήρετμοι καὶ ἑταῖροι,
560 οἵ κέν μιν πέμποιεν ἐπ᾽ εὐρέα νῶτα θαλάσσης.
|But for thyself, Menelaus, fostered of Zeus, it is not ordained that thou shouldst die and meet thy fate in horse-pasturing Argos,||
σοι δ᾽ οὐ θέσφατόν ἐστι, διοτρεφὲς ὦ Μενέλαε,
Ἄργει ἐν ἱπποβότῳ θανέειν καὶ πότμον ἐπισπεῖν,
|but to the Elysian plain and the bounds of the earth will the immortals convey thee, where dwells fair-haired Rhadamanthus,  and where life is easiest for men.||
ἀλλά σ᾽ ἐς Ἠλύσιον πεδίον καὶ πείρατα γαίης
ἀθάνατοι πέμψουσιν, ὅθι ξανθὸς Ῥαδάμανθυς,
565 τῇ περ ῥηίστη βιοτὴ πέλει ἀνθρώποισιν:
|No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind that they may give cooling to men; for thou hast Helen to wife, and art in their eyes the husband of the daughter of Zeus.’||
οὐ νιφετός, οὔτ᾽ ἂρ χειμὼν πολὺς οὔτε ποτ᾽ ὄμβρος,
ἀλλ᾽ αἰεὶ Ζεφύροιο λιγὺ πνείοντος ἀήτας
Ὠκεανὸς ἀνίησιν ἀναψύχειν ἀνθρώπους:
οὕνεκ᾽ ἔχεις Ἑλένην καί σφιν γαμβρὸς Διός ἐσσι.
| “So saying he plunged beneath the surging sea, but I went to my ships with my god like comrades, and many things did my heart darkly ponder as I went.||
570 ὣς εἰπὼν ὑπὸ πόντον ἐδύσετο κυμαίνοντα.
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ἐπὶ νῆας ἅμ᾽ ἀντιθέοις ἑτάροισιν
ἤια, πολλὰ δέ μοι κραδίη πόρφυρε κιόντι.
|PINDAR (c. 522 – c. 443 BC) describes The Islands of the Blessed: Olympian Odes 2. 54-85|
|[...] But to attempt a contest and be successful brings release from sadness. Wealth adorned with excellence brings many opportunities, rousing deep wild ambitions;  it is a brilliant star, a man's true light, at least if one has and knows the future,||
50  [...] τὸ δὲ τυχεῖν
πειρώμενον ἀγωνίας παραλύει δυσφρονᾶν.
ὁ μὰν πλοῦτος ἀρεταῖς δεδαιδαλμένος φέρει τῶν τε καὶ τῶν
 καιρόν, βαθεῖαν ὑπέχων μέριμναν ἀγροτέραν,
55 ἀστὴρ ἀρίζηλος, ἐτήτυμον
εἰ δέ νιν ἔχων τις οἶδεν τὸ μέλλον,
Underworld Judgement of the Wicked
|that the reckless souls of those who have died on earth immediately pay the penalty—and for the crimes committed in this realm of Zeus there is a judge below the earth; with hateful  compulsion he passes his sentence.||
ὅτι θανόντων μὲν ἐνθάδ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ ἀπάλαμνοι φρένες
ποινὰς ἔτισαν, τὰ δ᾽ ἐν τᾷδε Διὸς ἀρχᾷ
ἀλιτρὰ κατὰ γᾶς δικάζει τις ἐχθρᾷ
60 λόγον φράσαις ἀνάγκᾳ:
The Islands of the Blessed
|But having the sun always in equal nights and equal days, the good receive a life free from toil, not scraping with the strength of their arms the earth, nor the water of the sea,  for the sake of a poor sustenance.||
ἴσαις δὲ νύκτεσσιν αἰεί,
 ἴσαις δ᾽ ἐν ἁμέραις ἅλιον ἔχοντες, ἀπονέστερον
ἐσλοὶ δέκονται βίοτον, οὐ χθόνα ταράσσοντες ἐν χερὸς ἀκμᾷ
οὐδὲ πόντιον ὕδωρ
65 κεινὰν παρὰ δίαιταν:
|But in the presence of the honored gods, those who gladly kept their oaths enjoy a life without tears, while the others undergo a toil that is unbearable to look at. Those who have persevered three times, on either side, to keep their souls free from all wrongdoing,  follow Zeus' road to the end, to the tower of Kronos,||
ἀλλὰ παρὰ μὲν τιμίοις
 θεῶν, οἵτινες ἔχαιρον εὐορκίαις, ἄδακρυν νέμονται
αἰῶνα: τοὶ δ᾽ ἀπροσόρατον ὀκχέοντι πόνον
ὅσοι δ᾽ ἐτόλμασαν ἐστρὶς
ἑκατέρωθι μείναντες ἀπὸ πάμπαν ἀδίκων ἔχειν
70 ψυχάν, ἔτειλαν Διὸς ὁδὸν παρὰ Κρόνου τύρσιν:
|where ocean breezes blow around the island of the blessed, and flowers of gold are blazing, some from splendid trees on land, while water nurtures others.||
 αὖραι περιπνέοισιν, ἄνθεμα δὲ χρυσοῦ φλέγει,
τὰ μὲν χερσόθεν ἀπ᾽ ἀγλαῶν δενδρέων, ὕδωρ δ᾽ ἄλλα φέρβει,
|With these wreaths and garlands of flowers they entwine their hands  according to the righteous counsels of Rhadamanthys, whom the great father, the husband of Rhea whose throne is above all others, keeps close beside him as his partner. Peleus and Cadmus are counted among them, and Achilles who was brought there by his mother, when she had  persuaded the heart of Zeus with her prayers—||
ὅρμοισι τῶν χέρας ἀναπλέκοντι καὶ στεφάνοις
75 βουλαῖς ἐν ὀρθαῖσι Ῥαδαμάνθυος,
ὃν πατὴρ ἔχει μέγας ἑτοῖμον αὐτῷ πάρεδρον,
 πόσις ὁ πάντων Ῥέας ὑπέρτατον ἐχοίσας θρόνον.
Πηλεύς τε καὶ Κάδμος ἐν τοῖσιν ἀλέγονται:
Ἀχιλλέα τ᾽ ἔνεικ᾽, ἐπεὶ Ζηνὸς ἦτορ
80 λιταῖς ἔπεισε, μάτηρ:
|Achilles, who laid low Hector, the irresistible, unswerving pillar of Troy, and who consigned to death Memnon the Ethiopian, son of the Dawn. I have many swift arrows in the quiver under my arm,  arrows that speak to the initiated. But the masses need interpreters. The man who knows a great deal by nature is truly skillful, while those who have only learned chatter with raucous and indiscriminate tongues in vain like crows against the divine bird of Zeus.||
ὃς Ἕκτορ᾽ ἔσφαλε, Τροίας
ἄμαχον ἀστραβῆ κίονα, Κύκνον τε θανάτῳ πόρεν,
 Ἀοῦς τε παῖδ᾽ Αἰθίοπα. πολλά μοι ὑπ᾽ ἀγκῶνος ὠκέα βέλη
ἔνδον ἐντι φαρέτρας
85 φωνᾶντα συνετοῖσιν: ἐς δὲ τὸ πὰν ἑρμηνέων
χατίζει. σοφὸς ὁ πολλὰ εἰδὼς φυᾷ: μαθόντες δὲ λάβροι
παγγλωσσίᾳ, κόρακες ὥς, ἄκραντα γαρύετον
Διὸς πρὸς ὄρνιχα θεῖον.
|Hesiod, Works and Days 156 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic 8th or 7th cent. B.C.) :|
|(ll. 156-169b) But when earth had covered this generation also, Zeus the son of Kronos made yet another [race of men], the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout the boundless earth. Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, some in the land of Kadmos at seven-gated Thebe when they fought for the flocks of Oidipous , and some, when it had brought them in ships over the great sea gulf to Troy for rich-haired Helene's sake: there death's end enshrouded a part of them. But to the others father Zeus the son of Kronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of earth. And they live untouched by sorrow in the Islands of the Blessed (Nesoi Makarôn) along the shore of deep swirling Okeanos, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, and Kronos rules over them; for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds. And these last equally have honour and glory.|
This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1998