Book XIV

Meeting of Ulysses and Eumaeus

Hospitable reception by Eumaeus of Ulysses in the disguise of a beggar⁠—His feigned accouut of himself⁠—His promise that Ulysses shall return⁠—Supper in the lodge of Eumaeus⁠—Stratagem of Ulysses to procure a cloak for the night.

Then from the haven up the rugged path
Ulysses went among the woody heights.
He sought the spot where Pallas bade him meet
The noble swineherd, who of all that served
The great Ulysses chiefly had in charge
To bring the day’s supplies. He found him there
Seated beneath the portico, before
His airy lodge, that might be seen from far,
Well built and spacious, standing by itself.
Eumaeus, while his lord was far away,
Had built it, though not bidden by the queen
Nor old Laertes, with the stones he drew
From quarries thither. Round it he had set
A hedge of thorns, encircling these with stakes
Close set and many, cloven from the heart
Of oak. Within that circuit he had made
Twelve sties, beside each other, for the swine
To lie in. Fifty wallowed in each sty,
All females; there they littered. But the males
Were fewer, and were kept without; and these
The suitor train made fewer every day,
Feeding upon them, for Eumaeus sent
Always the best of all his fatling herd.
These numbered twice nine score. Beside them slept
Four mastiffs, which the master swineherd fed,
Savage as wolves. Eumaeus to his feet
Was fitting sandals, which he carved and shaped
From a stained ox-hide, while the other hinds
Were gone on different errands⁠—three to drive
The herds of swine⁠—a fourth was sent to take
A fatling to the city, that the crew
Of arrogant suitors, having offered him
In sacrifice, might feast upon his flesh.

The loud-mouthed dogs that saw Ulysses come
Ran toward him, fiercely baying. He sat down
At once, through caution, letting fall his staff
Upon the ground, and would have suffered there
Unseemly harm, within his own domain,
But then the swineherd, following with quick steps,
Rushed through the vestibule, and dropped the hide.
He chid the dogs and, pelting them with stones,
Drave them asunder, and addressed the king:⁠—

“O aged man, the mastiffs of the lodge
Had almost torn thee, and thou wouldst have cast
Bitter reproach upon me. Other griefs
And miseries the gods have made my lot.
Here sorrowfully sitting I lament
A godlike master, and for others tend
His fading swine; while, haply hungering
For bread, he wanders among alien men
In other kingdoms, if indeed he lives
And looks upon the sun. But follow me,
And come into the house, that there, refreshed
With food and wine, old man, thou mayst declare
Whence thou dost come and what thou hast endured.”

So the good swineherd spake, and led the way
Into the lodge, and bade his guest sit down,
And laid thick rushes for his seat, and spread
On these a wild goat’s shaggy hide to make
A soft and ample couch. Rejoiced to meet
So kind a welcome, thus Ulysses spake:⁠—

“May Jupiter and all the deathless gods
Bestow on thee, my host, in recompense
Of this kind welcome, all thy heart’s desire!”

And then, Eumaeus, thou didst answer thus:
“My guest, it were not right to treat with scorn
A stranger, though he were of humbler sort
Than thou, for strangers and the poor are sent
By Jove; our gifts are small, though gladly given,
As it must ever be with those who serve
Young masters, whom they fear. The gods themselves
Prevent, no doubt, the safe return of him
Who loved me much, and would ere this have given
What a kind lord is wont to give his hind⁠—
A house, a croft, the wife whom he has wooed,
Rewarding faithful services which God
Hath prospered, as he here hath prospered mine.
Thus would my master, had he here grown old,
Have recompensed my toils; but he is dead.
O that the house of Helen, for whose sake
So many fell, had perished utterly!
For he went forth at Agamemnon’s call,
Honoring the summons, and on Ilium’s coast,
Famed for its coursers, fought the sons of Troy.”

He spake, and girt his tunic round his loins,
And hastened to the sties in which the herds
Of swine were lying. Thence he took out two
And slaughtered them, and singed them, sliced the flesh,
And fixed it upon spits, and, when the whole
Was roasted, brought and placed it reeking hot,
Still on the spits and sprinkled with white meal,
Before Ulysses. Then he mingled wine
Of delicate flavors in a wooden bowl,
And opposite Ulysses sat him down,
And thus with kindly words bespake his guest:⁠—

“Feast, stranger, on these porkers. We who serve
May feed on them; it is the suitor train
That banquet on the fatted swine⁠—the men
Who neither fear heaven’s anger nor are moved
By pity. The great gods are never pleased
With violent deeds; they honor equity
And justice. Even those who land as foes
And spoilers upon foreign shores, and bear
Away much plunder by the will of Jove,
Returning homeward with their laden barques,
Feel, brooding heavily upon their minds,
The fear of vengeance. But these suitors know⁠—
For haply they have heard some god declare⁠—
That he, the king, is dead; they neither make
Their suit with decency, nor will withdraw
To their own homes, but at their ease devour
His substance with large waste, and never spare.
Of all the days and nights which Jupiter
Gives to mankind is none when they require
A single victim only, or but two,
For sacrifice, and lavishly they drain
His wine-jars. Once large revenues were his.
No hero on the dark-soiled continent
Nor in the isle of Ithaca possessed
Such wealth as he, nor even twenty men
Together. Hear me while I give the amount.
Twelve herds of kine that on the mainland graze
Are his, as many flocks of sheep, of swine
As many droves; as many flocks of goats
Are tended there by strangers, and by hinds,
His servants. Here moreover, in the fields
Beyond us, graze eleven numerous flocks
Of goats, attended by his trusty men,
Each one of whom brings daily home a goat,
The finest of the fatlings. I meantime
Am keeper of these swine, and from the drove
I choose and to the palace send the best.”

So spake the swineherd, while Ulysses ate
The flesh with eager appetite, and drank
The wine in silence, meditating woe
To all the suitors. When the meal was o’er,
And he was strengthened by the food, his host
Filled up with wine the cup from which he drank.
And gave it to Ulysses, who, well pleased,
Received it, and with winged words replied:⁠—

“What rich and mighty chief was he, my friend,
Of whom thou speakest, and who purchased thee?
Thou sayest that he died to swell the fame
Of Agamemnon. Tell his name, for I
Perchance know somewhat of him. Jupiter
And the great gods know whether I have seen
The man, and have some tidings for thy ear;
For I have wandered over many lands.”

And then again the noble swineherd spake:
“O aged man, no wanderer who should bring
News of Ulysses e’er would win his wife
And son to heed the tale. For roving men,
In need of hospitality, are prone
To falsehood, and will never speak the truth.
The vagabond who comes to Ithaca
Goes straightway to my mistress with his lies.
Kindly she welcomes him, and cherishes
And questions him, while tears abundantly
Fall from her lids⁠—such tears as women shed
Whose lords have perished in a distant land.
Thou too, old man, perchance, couldst readily
Frame a like fable, if someone would give
A change of raiment for thy news⁠—a cloak
And tunic. But the dogs and fowls of air
Have doubtless fed upon the frame from which
The life has passed, and torn from off his bones
The skin, or fishes of the deep have preyed
Upon it, and his bones upon the shore
Lie whelmed in sand. So is he lost to us,
And sorrow is the lot of all his friends,
Mine most of all; for nowhere shall I find
So kind a master, though I were to come
Into my father’s and my mother’s house,
Where I was born and reared. Nor do I pine
So much to look on them with my own eyes,
And in my place of birth, as I lament
Ulysses lost. Though he be far away,
Yet must I ever speak, O stranger guest,
His name with reverence, for exceedingly
He loved me and most kindly cared for me;
And though he is to be with us no more,
I hold him as an elder brother still.”

Ulysses, the great sufferer, thus replied:
“Since then, my friend, thou dost not say nor think
That he will come again, nor wilt believe
My words, I now repeat, but with an oath,
Ulysses will return. Let this reward
Be given for my good news: the very hour
When he once more is in his house, bestow
On me a comely change of raiment⁠—cloak
And tunic⁠—nor will I accept the gift,
Though great my need, until he comes again.
For as the gates of hell do I detest
The man who, tempted by his poverty,
Deceives with lying words. Now Jupiter
Bear witness, and this hospitable board
And hearth of good Ulysses where I sit,
That all which I foretell will come to pass.
This very year Ulysses will return.
He, when this month goes out, and as the next
Is entering, will be here in his domain,
To be avenged on those, whoe’er they be,
That dare insult his wife and noble son.”

And then, Eumaeus, thou didst answer thus:
“Old man, I shall not give thee that reward,
For never will Ulysses come again
To his own palace. Drink thy wine in peace,
And let us give our thoughts to other things.
Remind me not of this again; my heart
Grows heavy in my bosom when I hear
My honored master named. But leave the oath
Unsworn, and may Ulysses come, as we
Earnestly wish⁠—I and Penelope,
And old Laertes, and the godlike youth
Telemachus. And then, again, I bear
Perpetual sorrow for Telemachus,
My master’s son, to whom the gods had given
A generous growth like that of some young plant,
And who, I hoped, would prove no less in worth
Than his own father, and of eminent gifts
In form and mind. Some god, perchance some man,
Hath caused that mind to lose its equal poise,
And he is gone to Pylos the divine
For tidings of his father. Meanwhile here
The arrogant suitors plan to lie in wait
For him as he returns, that utterly
The stock of great Arcesius from our isle
May perish, and its name be heard no more.
Speak we no more of him, be it his fate
To fall or flee; but O, may Saturn’s son
Protect him with his arm! And now, old man,
Relate, I pray, thy fortunes; tell me true,
That I may know who thou mayst be, and whence
Thou earnest, where thy city lies, and who
Thy parents were, what galley landed thee
Upon our coast, and how the manners
Brought thee to Ithaca, and of what race
They claim to be; for I may well suppose
Thou hast not come to Ithaca on foot.”

Ulysses, the sagacious, answered him:
“I will tell all and truly. Yet if here
Were store of food, and wine for many days,
And we might feast at ease within thy lodge
While other labored, I should hardly end
In a whole year the history of the woes
Which I have borne, and of the many toils
Which it hath pleased the gods to lay on me.

“It is my boast that I am of the race
Who dwell in spacious Crete, a rich man’s son,
Within whose palace many other sons
Were born and reared, the offspring of his wife;
But me a purchased mother whom he made
His concubine brought forth to him. And yet
Castor Hylacides, from whom I sprang,
Held me in equal favor with the rest;
And he himself was honored like a god
Among the Cretan people, for his wealth
And for his prosperous life and gallant sons.
But fate and death o’ertook and bore him down
To Pluto’s realm, and his magnanimous sons
Divided his large riches, casting lots.
Small was the portion they assigned to me;
They gave a dwelling, but my valor won
A bride, the daughter of a wealthy house⁠—
For I was not an idler, nor in war
A coward; but all that is with the past.
And thou, who seest the stubble now, mayst guess
What was the harvest, ere calamities
Had come so thick upon me. Once did Mars
And Pallas lend me courage, and the power
To break through ranks of armed men. Whene’er
I formed an ambush of the bravest chiefs,
And planned destruction to the enemy,
My noble spirit never set the fear
Of death before me; I was ever first
To spring upon the foes, and with my spear
To smite them as they turned their steps to flee.
Such was I once in war; to till the fields
I never liked, nor yet the household cares
By which illustrious sons are reared. I loved
Ships well appointed, combats, polished spears
And arrows. Things that others hold in dread
Were my delight; some god inclined to them
My mind⁠—so true it is that different men
Rejoice in different labors. Ere the sons
Of Greece embarked for Troy, I served in war
Nine times as leader against foreign foes,
With troops and galleys under me, and then
I prospered; from the mass of spoil I chose
The things that pleased me, and obtained by lot
Still other treasures. Thus my household grew
In riches, and I was revered and great
Among the Cretans. When all-seeing Jove
Decreed the unhappy voyage to the coast
Of Troy, they made the great Idomeneus
And me commanders of the fleet. No power
Had we⁠—the public clamor was so fierce⁠—
To put the charge aside. Nine years we warred⁠—
We sons of Greece⁠—and in the tenth laid waste
The city of Priam, and embarked for home.
Our fleets were scattered by the gods. For me
Did all-disposing Jupiter ordain
A wretched lot. But one short month I dwelt
Happy among my children, with the wife
Wedded to me in youth, and my large wealth.
And then I planned a voyage to the coast
Of Egypt, with a gallant fleet, and men
Of godlike valor. I equipped nine ships,
And quickly came the people to embark.
Six days on shore my comrades banqueted,
And many a victim for the sacrifice
And for the feast I gave; the seventh we sailed
From Crete’s broad isle before a favoring wind
That blew from the clear north, and easily
We floated on as down a stream. No ship
Was harmed upon its way; in health and ease
We sat, the wind and helmsmen guiding us,
And came upon the fifth day to the land
Of Egypt, watered by its noble streams.
I bade my comrades keep beside our ships
Upon the strand, and watch them well. I placed
Sentries upon the Heights. Yet confident
In their own strength, and rashly giving way
To greed, my comrades ravaged the fair fields
Of the Egyptians, slew them, and bore off 325 Their wives and little ones. The rumor reached
The city soon; the people heard the alarm
And came together. With the early morn
All the great plain was thronged with horse and foot,
And gleamed with brass; while Jove, the Thunderer, sent
A deadly fear into our ranks, where none
Dared face the foe. On every side was death.
The Egyptians hewed down many with the sword,
And some they led away alive to toil
For them in slavery. To my mind there came
A thought, inspired by Jove; yet I could wish
That I had met my fate, and perished there
In Egypt, such have been my sorrows since.
I took the well-wrought helmet from my head,
And from my shoulders dropped the shield, and flung
The javelin from my hand, and went to meet
The monarch in his chariot, clasped his knees
And kissed them. He was moved to pity me,
And spared me. In his car he seated me,
And bore me weeping home. Though many rushed
At me with ashen spears, to thrust me through⁠—
For furious was their anger⁠—he forbade.
He feared the wrath of Jove, the stranger’s friend
And foe of wrong. Seven years I dwelt among
The Egyptians, and I gathered in their land
Large wealth, for all were liberal of their gifts.
But with the eighth revolving year there came
A shrewd Phoenician, deep in guile, whose craft
Had wrought much wrong to many. With smooth words
This man persuaded me to go with him
Into Phoenicia, where his dwelling lay
And his possessions. With him I abode
For one whole year; and when its months and days
Were ended, and another year began,
He put me in a ship to cross the sea
To Lybia. He had framed a treacherous plot,
By making half the vessel’s cargo mine,
To lure me thither, and to sell me there
For a large price. I went on board constrained,
But with misgivings. Under a clear sky,
With favoring breezes from the north, we ran
O’er the mid sea, beyond the isle of Crete.
When we had left the isle, and saw no land
But only sky and sea, Saturnius bade
A black cloud gather o’er our roomy ship.
The sea grew dark below. On high the God
Thundered again and yet again, and sent
A bolt into our ship, which, as it felt
The lightning, reeled and shuddered, and was filled
With sulphur-smoke. The seamen from the deck
Fell headlong, and were tossed upon the waves
Like seamews round our galley, which the God
Forbade them to regain. But Jupiter
Gave to my hands, bewildered as I was,
Our dark-prowed galley’s mast, unbroken yet,
That by its aid I might escape. I wound
My arms around it, and the raging winds
Swept me along. Nine days they bore me on,
And on the tenth dark night a mighty surge
Drifted me, as it rolled, upon the coast
Of the Thesprotians. There the hero-king
Of the Thesprotians freely sheltered me
And fed me; for his well-beloved son
Had found me overcome with cold and toil,
And took me by the hand and raised me up,
And led me to his father’s house, and gave
Seemly attire, a tunic and a cloak.

“There heard I of Ulysses. Pheidon told
How he received him as a guest and friend,
When on his homeward voyage. Then he showed
The wealth Ulysses gathered, brass and gold,
And steel divinely wrought. That store might serve
To feed, until ten generations pass,
Another household. But the chief himself,
So Pheidon said, was at Dodona then;
For he had gone to hear from the tall oak
Of Jupiter the counsel of the God,
Whether to land in opulent Ithaca,
After long years of absence, openly
Or in disguise. The monarch took an oath
In his own palace, pouring to the gods
Their wine, that even then the ship was launched,
And the crew ready to attend him home.
But me he first dismissed. There was a ship
Of the Thesprotians just about to make
A voyage to Dulichium, rich in fields
Of wheat. He bade them take me faithfully
To King Acastus; but another thought
Found favor with the crew, a wicked scheme
To plunge me deeper in calamity.
And when our ship had sailed away from land,
They hastened to prepare me for a life
Of slavery. They took my garments off,
Mantle and cloak, and clothed me in a vest
And cloak, the very rags which thou dost see.
The evening brought them to the pleasant fields
Of Ithaca. They bound me in the ship
With a strong cord, and disembarked, and took
A hasty meal upon the ocean-side;
Easily did the gods unbind my limbs.
I wrapped a tattered cloth about my head,
And, slipping from the polished rudder, brought
My bosom to the sea, and spread my hands,
And swam away. I soon had left the crew
At distance; then I turned and climbed the shore,
Where it was dark with forest, and lay close
Within its shelter, while they wandered round
And grumbled, but they ventured not to pass
Into the island farther on their search.
They turned, and went on board their roomy barque.
Thus mightily the gods delivered me,
And they have brought me to a wise man’s lodge,
And now I see it is my lot to live.”

Then thou, Eumaeus, thus didst make reply:
“Unhappy stranger, thou hast deeply moved
My heart in telling all that thou hast borne,
And all thy wanderings. Yet are some things wrong.
Thou hast not spoken of Ulysses well.
Why should a man like thee invent such tales,
So purposeless? Of one thing I am sure
Concerning his return⁠—the gods all hate
My master, since they neither caused his death
In the great war of Troy, nor, when the war
Was over, suffered him to die at home,
And in the arms of those who loved him most;
For then would all the Greeks have reared to him
A monument, and mighty would have been
The heritage of glory for his son;
But now ingloriously the harpy brood
Have torn him. I, apart among my swine,
Go never to the town, unless, perchance,
The sage Penelope requires me there,
When someone comes with tidings from abroad.
Then those who sorrow for their absent lord,
And those who waste his substance, both inquire
News of the king. For me, it suits me not
Ever to ask for tidings, since the day
When an Aetolian with a flattering tale
Deceived me. He had slain a man, and came
Wandering in many lands to my abode,
And kindly I received him. He had seen,
He said, my master with Idomeneus,
Among the Cretans, putting in repair
His galleys, shattered by a furious storm,
And in the summer time he would be here,
Or in the autumn, bringing ample wealth,
And his brave comrades with him. Seek not then,
O aged sufferer, whom some deity
Has guided hither, to amuse my grief
With fictions that may bring back pleasant thoughts,
Since not for them I minister to thee
And love thee, but through reverence for Jove⁠—
The stranger’s friend⁠—and pity for thyself.”

Ulysses, the sagacious, spake again:
“Within thy bosom thou dost bear a heart
Of slow belief, since not the oath I take
Persuades or even moves thee. Make we now
A covenant, and let the gods who dwell
Upon Olympus be our witnesses,
That when thy master comes to this abode
Thou wilt bestow a tunic and a cloak,
And wilt despatch me clothed in seemly garb
Hence to Dulichium, whither I would go.
But if he come not as I have foretold,
Then charge thy servants that they cast me down
From a tall rock, that never beggar more
May think to cozen thee with lying tales.”

The noble swineherd answered him and said:
“Great would my honor be, and I should gain
Great praise for worth among the sons of men,
If, having welcomed thee into my lodge
And spread the board for thee, I took thy life;
Then boldly might I pray to Saturn’s son.
But see, the supper hour is come, and soon
Will my companions be within, and they
Will make a liberal banquet ready here.”

Thus did the twain confer. Now came the swine,
And those who tended them. They penned the herd
In their enclosure, and a din of cries
Rose as they entered. Then the swineherd called
To his companions: “Bring the best of all,
And we will make an offering for the sake
Of one who comes from far and is my guest.
And we will also feast, for we have toiled
Long time in tendance of this white-toothed herd,
And others waste, unpunished, what we rear.”

So spake he, and began to cleave the wood
With the sharp steel; the others chose and brought
A fatted brawn, and placed him on the hearth.
Nor was the swineherd careless of the rites
Due to the gods⁠—such was his piety.
From off the white-toothed victim first he sheared
The bristles of the forehead, casting them
Into the flames, and prayed to all the gods
For wise Ulysses and his safe return.
Next, with a fragment of the oaken trunk
Which he had just then cleft, he smote the boar,
And the life left it. Then they cut its throat,
And, having singed it, quickly hewed the parts
Asunder, while the swineherd took and laid,
On the rich fat, raw portions from the limbs
For sacrifice, and other parts he cast,
Sprinkled with flour of meal, into the flames;
The rest they duly sliced and fixed on spits,
And roasted carefully, and drew it back,
And heaped it on the board. And now arose
The swineherd to divide the whole, for well
He knew the duty of a host. He made
Seven parts; and one he offered to the Nymphs,
To Hermes, son of Maia, one, and both
With prayer; the rest he set before the guests,
But, honoring Ulysses, gave to him
The white-toothed victim’s ample chine. The king,
The wise Ulysses, was well pleased, and said:⁠—

“Eumaeus, be thou ever dear to Jove
As to myself, since with thy benefits
Thou freely honorest such a one as I.”

And thou, Eumaeus, madest answer thus:
“Eat, venerable stranger, and enjoy
What is before us. At his pleasure God
Gives or withholds; his power is over all.”

He spake, and burned to the eternal gods
The firstlings, and poured out the dark red wine,
And to Ulysses, spoiler of walled towns,
Who sat beside the table, gave the cup.
Meantime to each Mesaulius brought the bread⁠—
A servant whom Eumaeus, while his lord
Was far away, had taken for himself,
Without the order of Penelope
Or old Laertes; from the Taphian tribe
With his own goods he bought him. Now the guests
Put forth their hands and shared the ready feast;
And when their thirst and hunger were appeased
Mesaulius took the bread away, and all,
Satiate with food and wine, lay down to rest.

Then came the darkness on, without a moon;
And Jupiter the whole night long sent down
The rain, and strong the showery west-wind blew.
And now to try the swineherd, if with all
His kindly ministrations to his guest
He yet would spare to him his cloak, or bid
Another do the like, Ulysses spake:⁠—

“Eumaeus, hearken thou, and all the rest,
Thy comrades, while I utter boastful words.
Wine makes me foolish, it can even cause
The wise to sing and laugh a silly laugh
And dance, and often to the lips it brings
Words that were better left unsaid. But since
I have begun to prattle, I will not
Keep back my thought. I would I were as young
And in the same full strength as when I formed
Part of an ambush near the walls of Troy.
The leaders were Ulysses, and the son
Of Atreus, Menelaus, with myself
The third, for they desired it. When we reached
The city and the lofty walls we lay
Couched in a marshy spot among the reeds
And thick-grown shrubs, with all our armor on.
’Twas an inclement night, and the north-wind
Blew bitter chill, the cold snow fell and lay
White like hoar frost; ice gathered on our shields.
The rest had cloaks and tunics, and they slept
At ease, their shoulders covered with their shields.
I only, when I joined the squadron, left
My cloak unwisely, for I had not thought
Of such fierce cold. I went but with my shield
And my embroidered girdle. When the night
Was in its later watches, and the stars
Were turning toward their set, I thus bespake
Ulysses near me, thrusting in his side
My elbow, and he listened readily:⁠—

“ ‘Son of Laertes, nobly born and wise!
Ulysses, I shall not be long among
The living; for I perish with the cold.
I have no cloak; some god misled my thought,
So that I brought one garment and no more,
And now I see there is no help for me.’

“I spake, and instantly his mind conceived
This stratagem⁠—such was his readiness
In council and in battle⁠—and he said
To me in a low voice: ‘Be silent now,
And let no others of the Achaians hear!’
And leaning on his elbow thus he spake:⁠—

“ ‘Hear me, my friends: a dream has come from heaven
Into my sleep. Far from our ships we lie;
And now let someone haste to bear from us
This word to Agamemnon, Atreus’ son,
The shepherd of the people, that he send
More warriors to this ambush from the fleet.’

“He spake, and Thoas instantly arose⁠—
Andraemon’s son⁠—and threw his purple cloak
Aside, and hastened toward the fleet. I took
Gladly the garment he had left, and lay
Till Morning in her golden chariot came.
And now I would that I were young again,
And in the vigor of my prime, for then
Someone among the swineherds in the stalls
Would find, I think, a cloak for me, through love
And reverence of such a man; but now
They hold me in slight favor, dressed in rags.”

And thus, Eumaeus, thou didst make reply:
“O aged man! we see no cause of blame
In thy recital, and of all thy words
Not one is unbecoming or inapt.
Thou shalt not lack for garments, nor aught else
That any suppliant in his poverty
Might hope for at our hands tonight. With morn
Gird thou thy tatters on again; for here
We have not many cloaks, nor many a change
Of raiment⁠—only one for each of us.
But when the son of our Ulysses comes
Again, he will provide thee with a cloak
And tunic, and will send thee where thou wilt.”

He spake and rose, and made his guest a bed
Close to the hearth, and threw on it the skins
Of sheep and goats, and there Ulysses lay,
O’er whom the swineherd spread a thick large cloak,
Which he had often worn for a defence
When a wild winter storm was in the air.

Thus slept Ulysses with the young men near.
A couch within, and distant from his charge,
Pleased not the swineherd, who first armed himself,
And then went forth. Ulysses gladly saw
That while he was in distant lands his goods
Were watched so faithfully. Eumaeus hung
About his sturdy shoulders a sharp sword,
And wrapped a thick cloak round him, tempest-proof,
And took the hide of a huge pampered goat,
And a well-pointed javelin for defence
Both against dogs and men. So went he forth
To take his rest where lay the white-toothed swine,
Herded and slumbering underneath a rock,
Whose hollow fenced themfrom the keen north-wind.