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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 17

Translated by S. Butcher and A. Lang

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The Original Greek New Testament
Page 2

 So he spake, and Telemachus passed out through the steading, stepping forth at a quick pace, and was sowing the seeds of evil for the wooers. Now when he was come to the fair-lying house, he set his spear against the tall pillar and leaned it there, and himself went in and crossed the threshold of stone.

 And the nurse Eurycleia saw him far before the rest, as she was strewing skin coverlets upon the carven chairs, and straightway she drew near him, weeping, and all the other maidens of Odysseus, of the hardy heart, were gathered about him, and kissed him lovingly on the head and shoulders. Now wise Penelope came forth from her chamber, like Artemis or golden Aphrodite, and cast her arms about her dear son, and fell a weeping, and kissed his face and both his beautiful eyes, and 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, secretly and without my will, to seek tidings of thy dear father. Come now, tell me, what sight thou didst get of him?'

 And wise Telemachus answered her, saying: 'Mother mine, wake not wailing in my soul, nor stir the heart within the breast of me, that have but now fled from utter death. Nay, but wash thee in water, and take to thee fresh raiment, and go aloft to thine upper chamber with the women thy handmaids, and vow to all the gods an acceptable sacrifice of hecatombs, if haply Zeus may grant that deeds of requital be made. But I will go to the assembly-place to bid a stranger to our house, one that accompanied me as I came hither from Pylos. I sent him forward with my godlike company, and commanded Piraeus to lead him home, and to take heed to treat him lovingly and with worship till I should come.'

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