The souls of the suitors conducted to Hades by Mercury⁠—Agamemnon and Achilles in Hades⁠—Their meeting with the souls of the suitors, and narrative of Amphimedon⁠—Meeting and mutual recognition of Ulysses and his father in the orchard at Ithaca⁠—Insurrection of the Ithacans, with Eupeithes, the father of Antinoüs, at their head⁠—The revolt quelled, Eupeithes slain by Laertes and a lasting peace made between Ulysses and his subject.

Cyllenian Hermes summoned forth the souls
Of the slain suitors. In his hand he bore
The beautiful golden wand, with which at will
He shuts the eyes of men, or opens them
From sleep. With this he guided on their way
The ghostly rout; they followed, uttering
A shrilly wail. As when a flock of bats,
Deep in a dismal cavern, fly about
And squeak, if one have fallen from the place
Where, clinging to each other and the rock,
They rested, so that crowd of ghosts went forth
With shrill and plaintive cries. Before them moved
Beneficent Hermes through those dreary ways,
And past the ocean stream they went, and past
Leucadia’s rock, the portals of the Sun,
And people of the land of dreams, until
They reached the fields of asphodel, where dwell
The souls, the bodiless forms of those who die.

And there they found the soul of Peleus’ son,
His friend Patroclus, and the blameless chief
Antilochus, and Ajax, who excelled
In stature and in form all other Greeks
Save the great son of Peleus. These were grouped
Around Achilles. Then approached the ghost
Of Agamemnon, Atreus’ son; he seemed
In sorrow, and around him others stood,
Who in the palace of Aegisthus met
Their fate and died. The son of Peleus took
The word, and spake to Agamemnon thus:⁠—

“Atrides, we had thought that Jove, who wields
The thunder, favored thee, through all thy years,
Beyond all other men⁠—thou didst bear rule
Over so many and such valiant men
Upon the plain of Troy, where we of Greece
Endured such sufferings. Yet all too soon
The cruel doom of death, which no man born
Of woman can escape, has fallen on thee.
O, if amid the honors of thy sway
That doom had overtaken thee, while yet
In Troy’s far realm, then would the assembled Greeks
Have built a tomb to thee! Thou wouldst have left
A heritage of glory to thy son;
Now hast thou died a most unhappy death.”

And then the soul of Agamemnon said:
“Fortunate son of Peleus, godlike chief
Achilles, who didst die upon the field
Of Ilium, far from Argos, while there fell
Around thee many of the bravest sons
Of Troy and Greece, who fought for thee, and thou
Wert lying in thy mighty bulk, amid
Whirlwinds of dust, forgetful evermore
Of horsemanship. All that day long we fought,
Nor stayed our hands till Jove, to part us, sent
A hurricane. When we had borne thee thence
And brought thee to the fleet, upon a bier
We laid thee, pouring o’er thy shapely limbs
Warm water, and anointing them with oil.
Round thee the Achaians stood in tears, hot tears,
And cut their hair away. From ocean’s depth
Thy mother, when she heard the tidings, rose
With her immortal sea-nymphs. Mournfully
Came o’er the waves the sound of their lament.
Trembled the Greeks with fear, and, rushing forth,
Would have sought refuge in their roomy ships,
If Nestor, wise in ancient lore, and known
For counsels ever safe, had not restrained
Their haste, and thus declared his prudent thought:⁠—

“ ‘Stay, Argives, youths of Greece; think not of flight!
It is his mother; from the sea she comes
To her dead son, and brings her deathless nymphs.’

“He spake; his words withheld the valiant Greeks
From flight. And now around thee came and stood
The daughters of the Ancient of the Deep,
Lamenting bitterly. Upon thy corse
They put ambrosial robes. The Muses nine
Bewailed thee with sweet voices, answering
Each other. Then wouldst thou have seen no one
Of all the Argive host with eyes unwet,
The Muses’ song so moved them. Seventeen days
And nights we mourned thee⁠—both the immortal ones
And mortals. On the eighteenth day we gave
Thy body to the fire, and at the pile
Slew many fatling ewes, and many an ox
With crooked horns. In raiment of the gods
The fire consumed thee midst anointing oils
And honey. Many heroes of our host
In armor and in chariots, or on foot,
Contended round thy funeral pyre in games,
And mighty was the din. And when at length
The fires of Vulcan had consumed thy flesh,
We gathered up at morning thy white bones,
Achilles, pouring over them pure wine
And fragrant oils. Thy mother brought a vase
Of gold, which Bacchus gave, she said, the work
Of Vulcan the renowned, and in it now,
Illustrious son of Peleus, thy white bones
Are lying, and with thine are mingled those
Of dead Patroclus Menoetiades.
Apart we placed the ashes of thy friend
Antilochus, whom thou didst honor most
After the slain Patroclus. O’er all these
The sacred army of the warlike Greeks
Built up a tomb magnificently vast
Upon a cape of the broad Hellespont,
There to be seen, far off upon the deep,
By those who now are born, or shall be born
In future years. Thy mother, having first
Prayed to the gods, appointed noble games,
Within the circus, for the Achaian chiefs.
Full often have I seen the funeral rites
Of heroes, when the youth, their chieftain dead,
Were girded for the games, and strove to win
The prizes; but I most of all admired
Those which the silver-footed Thetis gave
To mark thy burial, who wert loved by all
The immortals. So thou hast not lost by death
Thy fame, Achilles, and among the tribes
Of men thy glory will be ever great;
But what hath it availed me to have brought
The war on Ilium to an end, since Jove
Doomed me to be destroyed on my return,
Slain by Aegisthus and my guilty wife?”

So talked they with each other. Now approached
The herald Argus-queller, bringing down
The souls of suitors by Ulysses slain.
Both chiefs moved toward them, wondering at the sight.
The soul of Agamemnon, Atreus’ son,
Knew well-renowned Amphimedon, whose birth
Was from Melanthius, and by whom he once
Was welcomed to his house in Ithaca;
And him the son of Atreus first bespake:⁠—

“Amphimedon, what sad mischance has brought
You all, who seem like chosen men, and all
Of equal age, into these drear abodes
Beneath the earth? ’Twere hard indeed to find,
In a whole city, nobler forms of men.
Has Neptune wrecked you in your ships at sea
With fierce winds and huge waves, or armed men
Smitten you on the land, while carrying off
Their beeves and sheep, or fighting to defend
Your wives and city? Tell me, for I claim
To have been once your guest. Rememberest thou
I lodged in thy own palace when I came
With godlike Menelaus, and besought
Ulysses to unite his gallant fleet
To ours, and sail for Troy. A whole month long
Were we in crossing the wide sea, and hard
We found the task to gain as our ally
Ulysses, the destroyer of walled towns.”

The soul of dead Amphimedon replied:
“Atrides Agamemnon, far renowned,
And king of men, I well remember all
Of which thou speakest; I will now relate,
And truly, how we met our evil end.
We wooed the wife of the long-absent chief
Ulysses; she rejected not nor yet
Granted our suit, detested as it was,
But, meditating our destruction, planned
This shrewd device. She laid upon the loom
Within her rooms a web of delicate threads,
Ample in length and breadth, and thus she said
To all of us: ‘Young princes, who are come
To woo me⁠—since Ulysses is no more,
My noble husband⁠—urge me not, I pray,
To marriage, till I finish in the loom⁠—
That so my threads may not be spun in vain⁠—
A funeral vesture for the hero-chief
Laertes, when his fatal hour shall come,
With death’s long sleep; else some Achaian dame
Might blame me, should I leave without a shroud
Him who in life possessed such ample wealth.’
Such were her words, and easily they won
Upon our generous minds. So went she on
Weaving that ample web, and every night
Unravelled it by torchlight. Three full years
She practised thus, and by the fraud deceived
The Grecian youths; but when the hours had brought
The fourth year round, a woman who knew all
Revealed the mystery, and we ourselves
Saw her unravelling the ample web.
Thenceforth constrained, and with unwilling hands,
She finished it. And when at length she showed
The vesture she had woven, the broad web
That she had bleached to brightness like the sun’s
Or like the moon’s, some hostile deity
Brought back Ulysses to a distant nook
Of his own fields, and to his swineherd’s lodge.
And thither also came in his black ship
His son, returning from the sandy coast
Of Pylos. Thence the twain, when they had planned
To slay the suitors, came within the walls
Of the great city; first Telemachus,
And after him Ulysses, with his guide
The swineherd. He was clad in sordid weeds,
And seemed a wretched beggar, very old,
Propped on a staff. In that disguise of rags
None knew him, as he suddenly appeared,
Not even the oldest of us all. Harsh words
And blows we gave him. He endured them all
Awhile with patience, smitten and reviled
In his own palace. Moved at length by Jove,
He and his son Telemachus bore off
The shining weapons from the hall, to lie
In a far chamber, and barred all the doors.
Then, prompted by her husband’s craft, the queen
Proposed a game of archery, with bow
And rings of hoary steel, to all of us
Ill-fated suitors. This drew on our death.
Not one of us could bend that sturdy bow,
None had the strength. But as it passed from us
Into Ulysses’ hands, we loudly chid
The bearer, and forbade him, but in vain.
Telemachus alone with stern command
Bade him deliver it. When in his hands
The much-enduring chief, Ulysses, took
The bow, he drew the string with ease, and sent
A shaft through all the rings. He sprang and stood
Upon the threshold; at his feet he poured
The winged arrows, cast a terrible glance
Around him, and laid King Antinoüs dead,
Then sent the fatal shafts at those who stood
Before him; side by side they fell and died.
Some god, we saw, was with them, as they rushed
Upon us mightily, and chased us through
The palace, slaying us on every side;
And fearful were the groans of dying men,
As skulls were cloven, and the pavement swam
With blood. Such, Agamemnon, was the fate
By which we perished. Now our bodies lie
Neglected at the palace; for not yet
Our kindred, dwelling in our homes, have heard
The tidings, nor have come to cleanse our wounds
From the dark blood, and lay us on the bier
With tears⁠—such honors as are due the dead.”

In turn the soul of Agamemnon spake:
“Son of Laertes, fortunate and wise,
Ulysses! thou by feats of eminent might
And valor dost possess thy wife again.
And nobly minded is thy blameless queen,
The daughter of Icarius, faithfully
Remembering him to whom she gave her troth
While yet a virgin. Never shall the fame
Of his great valor perish, and the gods
Themselves shall frame, for those who dwell on earth,
Sweet strains in praise of sage Penelope.
Not such was she who treacherously slew
The husband of her youth⁠—she of the house
Of Tyndarus. Her name among mankind
Shall be the hateful burden of a song;
And great is the dishonor it has brought
On women, even the faithful and the good.”

So talked they with each other, standing there
In Pluto’s realm beneath the vaulted earth.
Meantime Ulysses, hastening from the town,
Came to the fair fields of Laertes, tilled
With care. Laertes, after years of toil,
Acquired them. There his dwelling stood; a shed
Encircled it, where ate and sat and slept
The servants of the household, who fulfilled
His slightest wish. An old Sicilian dame
Was there, who waited, in that distant spot,
On her old master with assiduous care.
And then Ulysses to his followers said:⁠—

“Go into that fair dwelling, and with speed
Slay for our feast the fattest of the swine.
I go to prove my father; I would learn
Whether he knows me when he sees my face,
Or haply knows me not, so long away.”

He spake, and laid his weapons in their hands.
Straight toward the house they went. Ulysses passed
Into the fruitful orchard, there to prove
His father. Going down and far within
The garden-plot, he found not Dolius there,
Nor any of the servants, nor his sons.
All were abroad, old Dolius leading them.
They gathered thorns to fence the garden-grounds.
There, delving in that fertile spot, around
A newly planted tree, Ulysses saw
His father only, sordidly arrayed
In a coarse tunic, patched and soiled. He wore
Patched greaves of bullock’s hide upon his thighs,
A fence against the thorns; and on his hands
gloves, to protect them from the prickly stems
Of bramble; and upon his head a cap
Of goatskin. There he brooded o’er his grief.
Him when the much-enduring chief beheld,
Wasted with age and sorrow-worn, he stopped
Beside a lofty pear-tree’s stem and wept,
And pondered whether he should kiss and clasp
His father in his arms, and tell him all,
How he had reached his native land and home,
Or question first and prove him. Musing thus,
It pleased him to begin with sportive words;
And thus resolved, divine Ulysses drew
Near to his father stooping at his task,
And loosening the hard earth about a tree,
And thus the illustrious son accosted him:⁠—

“O aged man! there is no lack of skill
In tending this fair orchard, which thy care
Keeps flourishing; no growth is there of fig,
Vine, pear, or olive, or of plants that grow
In borders, that has missed thy friendly hand.
Yet let me say, and be thou not displeased,
Thou art ill cared for, burdened as thou art
With years, and squalid, and in mean attire.
It cannot be that for thy idleness
Thy master treats thee thus; nor is there seen
Aught servile in thy aspect⁠—in thy face
Or stature; thou art rather like a king;
Thou seemest one who should enjoy the bath
And banquet, and lie soft⁠—for this befits
Old men like thee. Now say, and tell me true,
Who may thy master be? whose orchard this
Which thou dost tend? And, more than this, declare,
For much I long to know, if I am come
To Ithaca, as I just now was told
By one who met me as I came⁠—a man
Not overwise, who would not stop to tell
What I desired to learn, nor bear to hear
My questions, when I asked him if a guest
Of mine were living yet in health, or dead
And in the realm of Pluto. Let me speak
Of him, and mark me well, I pray; I lodged
Once, in my native land, a man who came
Into my house, and never stranger yet
More welcome was than he. He was by birth
Of Ithaca, he said, Laertes’ son,
And grandson of Arcesias. Him I led
Beneath my roof, and hospitably lodged,
And feasted in the plenty of my home,
And gave such gifts as might become a host⁠—
Seven talents of wrought gold, a silver cup
All over rough with flowers, twelve single cloaks,
Twelve mats, twelve mantles passing beautiful,
And tunics twelve, and, chosen by himself,
Twelve graceful damsels, skilled in household arts.”

And then his father answered, shedding tears:
“Thou art indeed, O stranger, in the land
Of which thou dost inquire, but wicked men
And lawless now possess it. Thou hast given
Thy generous gifts in vain; yet hadst thou found
Ulysses living yet in Ithaca,
Then would he have dismissed thee recompensed
With gifts and liberal cheer, as is the due
Of him who once has been our host. Yet say,
And truly say, how many years have passed
Since thou didst lodge my son, if he it was,
Thy hapless guest, whom, far away from home
And all his friends, the creatures of the deep,
And the foul birds of air, and beasts of prey,
Already have devoured. No mother mourned
His death and wrapped him in his shroud, nor I,
His father; nor did chaste Penelope,
His consort nobly dowered, bewail the man
She loved upon his bier with eyes dissolved
In tears, as fitting was⁠—an honor due
To those who die. Now, further, truly tell,
For I would learn, what is thy name, and whence
Thou comest, from what tribe, thy city where,
And who thy parents. Where is the good ship
At anchor which has brought thee and thy friends?
Or hast thou landed from another’s barque,
Which put thee on the shore and left the isle?”

Ulysses, the sagacious, answered thus:
“I will tell all and truly. I am come
From Alybas; a stately dwelling there
Is mine, Apheidas is my father, son
Of royal Polypemon, and my name
Eperitus. Some deity has warped
My course astray from the Sicanian coast,
And brought me hitherward against my will.
My barque lies yonder, stationed by the field
Far from the city. This is the fifth year
Since parting with me thy Ulysses left
My native land for his, ill-fated man!
Yet there were flights of birds upon the right
Of happy presage as he sailed, and I
Dismissed him cheerfully, and cheerfully
He went. We hoped that we might yet become
Each other’s guests, exchanging princely gifts.”

He spake, and a dark cloud of sorrow came
Over Laertes. With both hands he grasped
The yellow dust, and over his white head
Shed it with piteous groans. Ulysses felt
His heart within him melted; the hot breath
Rushed through his nostrils as he looked upon
His well-beloved father, and he sprang
And kissed and clasped him in his arms, and said:⁠—

“Nay, I am he, my father; I myself
Am he of whom thou askest. I am come
To mine own country in the twentieth year.
But calm thyself, refrain from tears, and grieve
No more, and let me tell thee, in a word,
I have slain all the suitors in my halls,
And so avenged their insolence and crimes.”

And then Laertes spake again, and said:
“If now thou be Ulysses, my lost son,
Give some plain token, that I may believe.”

Ulysses, the sagacious, answered thus:
“First, then, behold with thine own eyes the scar
Which once the white tusk of a forest boar
Inflicted on Parnassus, when I made
The journey thither, by thy own command,
And by my gracious mother’s, to receive
Gifts which her father, King Autolycus,
Once promised, when he came to Ithaca.
And listen to me further; let me name
The trees which in thy well-tilled orchard grounds
Thou gavest me; I asked them all of thee,
When by thy side I trod the garden walks,
A little boy. We went among the trees,
And thou didst name them. Of the pear thirteen,
And of the apple ten thou gavest me,
And forty fig-trees; and thou didst engage
To give me fifty rows of vines, each row
Of growth to feed the winepress. Grapes are there
Of every flavor when the hours of Jove
Shall nurse them into ripeness from on high.”

He spake; a trembling seized the old man’s heart
And knees, as he perceived how true were all
The tokens which Ulysses gave. He threw
Round his dear son his arms. The hardy chief,
Ulysses, drew him fainting to his heart.
But when the old man’s strength revived, and calm
Came o’er his spirit, thus he spake again:⁠—

“O father Jove, assuredly the gods
Dwell on the Olympian height, since we behold
The arrogant suitors punished for their crimes.
Yet much I fear lest all the Ithacans
Throng hither, and send messages to rouse
Against us all the Cephallenian states.”

Ulysses, the sagacious, answered thus:
“Take courage; let no thought like that disturb
Thy mind; but let us hasten to the house.
Telemachus is there, with whom I sent
The herdsman and the swineherd, bidding them
Make ready with all speed our evening meal.”

Thus talked the twain, and toward the dwelling took
Their way, and entering the commodious rooms
They found Telemachus, and by his side
The herdsman and the keeper of the swine,
Dividing for the feast the plenteous meats,
And mingling the dark wine. Then to the bath
Came the Sicilian dame, and ministered
To the large-souled Laertes, and with oil
Anointed him, and wrapped a sumptuous cloak
About him. Pallas gave the monarch’s limbs
An ampler roundness; taller to the sight
He stood, and statelier. As he left the bath,
His son beheld with wonder in his eyes,
So like a god Laertes seemed, and thus
Ulysses said to him in winged words:⁠—

“Someone among the ever-living gods
Hath surely shed, O father, on thy form
And aspect all this grace and majesty.”

The sage Laertes answered: “Father Jove,
And Pallas and Apollo! would that I
Were now as when I took the citadel
Of Nericus, the strongly built, beside
The seashore of Epirus, leading on
My Cephallenians! With such strength as then,
Armed for the fray, I would have met and fought
The suitors in the palace yesterday,
And struck down many lifeless in the hall,
And greatly would thy spirit have rejoiced.”

So talked they with each other. When they all
Ceased from their task, and saw their meal prepared,
They sat them down in order on the thrones
And seats, and each put forth his hand and shared
The banquet. Now approached an aged man,
Dolius, attended by his sons, who came
Weary with toil, for the Sicilian dame,
The nurse who reared them, went and summoned them⁠—
She who in his late age with faithful care
Cherished the father. These, when at the board
They saw Ulysses, and knew who he was,
Stopped in the hall astonished. Instantly
Ulysses called to them with friendly words:⁠—

“Sit at the board, old man; let none of you
Give way to blank amazement. Know that we,
Though keen our appetite for this repast,
Have waited long, expecting your return.”

He spake, and Dolius sprang with outstretched arms
And seized Ulysses by the hand, and kissed
The wrist; and thus in winged words he spake:⁠—

“Dear master! since thou art returned to us,
Who longed and yet expected not to see
Thy face again⁠—since some divinity
Has led thee hither⁠—hail! and great may be
Thy happiness, and may the gods bestow
All blessings on thee! But declare, for I
Would gladly know, if sage Penelope
Have heard the tidings yet of thy return,
Or must we send them by a messenger.”

Ulysses, the sagacious, answered thus:
“My aged friend, she knows already all.
Why wouldst thou take that care upon thyself?”

He spake, and Dolius on a polished seat
Sat down, but round the great Ulysses came
His sons, and welcomed him with loving words,
And hung upon his hand, and then they took
Their places by their father. So they sat
Beneath Laertes’ roof, and banqueted.

Now through the city meantime swiftly ran
The rumor that the suitors all had met
A bloody death. No sooner had men heard
The tidings than they came with cries and moans
Before the palace, moving to and fro.
Each carried forth his dead, and gave to each
His funeral rites, except to those who came
From distant cities; these they put on board
Swift-sailing galleys of the fishermen,
That they might bear them home. And then they came
Sorrowing together in the marketplace.
There, when the assembly now was full, arose
Eupeithes and addressed them. In his heart
Was sorrow, that could never be consoled,
For his slain son Antinoüs, who was first
To fall before Ulysses. Weeping rose
The father, and harangued the assembly thus:⁠—

“Great things, indeed, my friends, hath this man done
For us Achaians. Many valiant men
He gathered in his ships and led abroad,
And lost his gallant ships, and lost his men
And now, returning, he has put to death
The best of all the Cephallenian race.
Come, then, and ere he find a safe retreat
In Pylos, or in hallowed Elis, where
The Epeians rule, pursue him; endless shame
Will be our portion else, and they who live
In future years will hear of our disgrace.
If we avenge not on these men of blood
The murder of our sons and brothers, life
Will not be sweet to me, and I would go
At once, and gladly, down among the dead.
Rise, then, and fall upon them ere they flee.”

So spake he, weeping; and the Greeks were moved
With pity as they heard him. Now appeared
The herald Medon and the sacred bard,
As, rising from the sleep of night, they left
The palace of Ulysses. They stood forth
Amid the multitude, who all beheld
With wonder. Then sagacious Medon spake:⁠—

“Give ear, ye men of Ithaca, and know
That not without the approval of the gods
Ulysses hath done this. I saw, myself,
One of the immortals taking part with him,
In all things like to Mentor. Now the god
Standing before Ulysses strengthened him
For combat, and now drove the routed band
Of suitors through the hall; in heaps they fell.”

He spake, and all who heard were pale with fear.
The aged hero, Halitherses, son
Of Mastor, then came forward; he alone
Knew what was past and what was yet to come,
And, wisely judging, to the assembly said:⁠—

“Hear now my words, ye men of Ithaca.
Through your own wrong all this has come to pass.
To me ye would not hearken, nor obey
When Mentor, shepherd of the people, spake.
On the mad doings of your sons ye put
No curb, nor checked the guilty insolence
That dared to waste the substance and insult
The consort of a man of eminent worth,
Who, so they thought, would nevermore return.
Now be it as I counsel; let us not
Go forth to draw down evil on our heads.”

He spake; but more than half the assembly rushed
Abroad with shouts; the others kept their place
Together. Ill the augur’s speech had pleased
The most. Eupeithes had persuaded them.
They flew to arms, and when they had put on
The glittering brass, they mustered in close ranks
Before the spacious city. At their head
Eupeithes led them on, who madly deemed
Himself the avenger of his slaughtered son.
Yet he from that encounter nevermore
Was to return; his fate o’ertook him there.

Then Pallas thus addressed Saturnian Jove:
“Our Father, son of Saturn, king of kings,
Tell me, I pray, the purpose of thy heart
Yet unrevealed. Shall there be cruel war
And deadly combats, or wilt thou ordain
That these shall henceforth dwell in amity?”

And cloud-compelling Jove made answer thus:
“My child, why ask me? Was it not with thee
A cherished purpose, that, returning home,
Ulysses amply should avenge himself
Upon the suitors? Do, then, as thou wilt.
Yet this, as the most fitting, I advise.
Now that the great Ulysses has avenged
His wrongs, let there be made a faithful league
With oaths, and let Ulysses ever reign;
And we will cause the living to forget
Their sons and brothers slain, and all shall dwell
In friendship as they heretofore have dwelt,
And there shall be prosperity and peace.”

He spake, and eager as she was before,
Encouraged by his words, the goddess plunged
Down from the summits of the Olympian mount
Now when they all had feasted to the full,
The much-enduring chief, Ulysses, said:
“Go, one of you, and see if they are near.”

He spake; a son of Dolius at his word
Went forth, and, coming to the threshold, stopped.
He saw them all at hand, and instantly
Bespake Ulysses thus, with winged words:
“They are upon us; we must arm at once.”

He spake; they rose, and quickly were in arms.
Four were Ulysses and his friends, and six
The sons of Dolius. Old Laertes then,
And Dolius, put on armor with the rest,
Gray-headed as they were, for now their aid
Was needed. When they all had clad themselves
In shining brass, they threw the portals wide
And sallied forth, Ulysses at their head.

Now Pallas, daughter of almighty Jove,
Drew near them. She had taken Mentor’s form
And Mentor’s voice. The much-enduring chief,
Ulysses, saw her and rejoiced, and said
To his beloved son, Telemachus:⁠—

“Now wilt thou, of thyself, Telemachus,
Bethink thee, when thou minglest in the fray
That tries men’s valor, not to cast disgrace
Upon thy forefathers⁠—a race renowned
For manly daring over all the earth.”

And thus discreet Telemachus replied:
“Nay, if thou wilt, my father, thou shalt see
That by no lack of valor shall I cast,
As thou hast said, dishonor on thy race.”

Laertes heard them, and rejoiced, and said:
“O what a day for me, ye blessed gods,
Is this! With what delight I see my son
And grandson rivals on the battlefield.”

And then the blue-eyed Pallas, drawing near
Laertes, said: “Son of Arcesias, loved
By me beyond all others of my friends,
Pray to Jove’s blue-eyed daughter, and to Jove,
And brandish thy long spear, and send it forth.”

So Pallas spake, and breathed into his frame
Strength irresistible. The aged chief
Prayed to the daughter of almighty Jove,
And brandished his long spear and sent it forth.
It smote Eupeithes on the helmet’s cheek.
The brass stayed not the spear, the blade passed through,
And heavily Eupeithes fell to earth,
His armor clashing round him as he fell.
Then rushed Ulysses and his valiant son
Forward, the foremost of their band, and smote
Their foes with swords and lancet double-edged,
And would have struck them down to rise no more,
If Pallas, daughter of the god who bears
The aegis, had not with a mighty voice
Commanded all the combatants to cease:⁠—

“Stay, men of Ithaca; withhold your hands
From deadly combat. Part, and shed no blood.”

So Pallas spake, and they grew pale with awe,
And fear-struck; as they heard her words they dropped
Their weapons all upon the earth. They fled
Townward as if for life, while terribly
The much-enduring chief Ulysses raised
His voice, and shouted after them, and sprang
Upon them as an eagle darts through air.
Then Saturn’s son sent down a bolt of fire;
It fell before his blue-eyed daughter’s feet,
And thus the goddess to Ulysses called:⁠—

“Son of Laertes, nobly born and wise,
Ulysses, hold thy hand; restrain the rage
Of deadly combat, lest the god who wields
The thunder, Saturn’s son, be wroth with thee.”

She spake, and gladly he obeyed; and then
Pallas, the child of aegis-bearing Jove,
Plighted, in Mentor’s form with Mentor’s voice,
A covenant of peace between the foes.