Book III

Interview of Telemachus with Nestor

Arrival of Telemachus, with Pallas in the shape of Mentor, at Pylos⁠—His interview with Nestor⁠—Nestor’s narrative of his return from Troy⁠—History of the death of Agamemnon and the revenge of Orestes⁠—Departure of Pallas to heaven⁠—Telemachus sent by Nestor with his son Peisistratus to Menelaus at Sparta.

Now from the fair broad bosom of the sea
Into the brazen vault of heaven the sun
Rose shining for the immortals and for men
Upon the foodful earth. The voyagers
Arrived at Pylos, nobly built, the town
Of Neleus. There, upon the ocean-side,
They found the people offering coal-black steers
To dark-haired Neptune. On nine seats they sat,
Five hundred on each seat; nine steers were slain
For each five hundred there. While they performed
The rite, and, tasting first the entrails, burned
The thighs to ocean’s god, the Ithacans
Touched land, and, lifting up the good ship’s sail,
Furled it and moored the keel, and then stepped out
Upon the shore. Forth from the galley came
Telemachus, the goddess guiding him,
And thus to him the blue-eyed Pallas said:⁠—

“Telemachus, there now is no excuse,
Not even the least, for shamefaced backwardness.
Thou hast come hither o’er the deep to ask
For tidings of thy father⁠—what far land
Conceals him, what the fate that he has met.
Go then at once to Nestor, the renowned
In horsemanship, and we shall see what plan
He hath in mind for thee. Entreat him there
That frankly he declare it. He will speak
No word of falsehood; he is truly wise.”

And thus discreet Telemachus replied:⁠—
“O Mentor, how shall I approach the chief,
And with what salutation? Little skill
Have I in courtly phrase, and shame becomes
A youth in questioning an aged man.”

Pallas, the blue-eyed goddess, spake again:⁠—
“In part thy mind will prompt thy speech; in part
A god will put the words into thy mouth⁠—
For well I deem that thou wert neither born
Nor trained without the favor of the gods.”

Thus having said, the blue-eyed Pallas moved
With hasty pace before, and in her steps
He followed close, until they reached the seats
Of those assembled Pylians. Nestor there
Sat with his sons, while his companions stood
Around him and prepared the feast, and some
Roasted the flesh at fires, and some transfixed
The parts with spits. As they beheld the approach
Of strangers they advanced, and took their hands,
And bade them sit. Peisistratus, a son
Of Nestor, came the first of all, and took
A hand of each, and placed them at the feast
On the soft hides that o’er the ocean sand
Were spread beside his brother Thrasymedes
And his own father; brought for their repast
Parts of the entrails, poured for them the wine
Into a golden goblet, held it forth
In his right hand, and with these words bespake
Pallas, the child of aegis-bearing Jove:⁠—

“Pray, stranger, to King Neptune. Ye have chanced
Upon his feast in coming to our coast.
And after thy libation poured, and prayer
Made to the god, give over to thy friend
The goblet of choice wine that he may make
Libation also; he, I question not,
Prays to the gods; we all have need of them.
A younger man is he than thou, and seems
In age to be my equal; therefore I
Will give the golden goblet first to thee.”

He spake, and in the hands of Pallas placed
The goblet of choice wine. Well pleased was she
With one so just and so discreet⁠—well pleased
That first to her he reached the cup of gold,
And thus she prayed to Neptune fervently:⁠—

“Hear, Neptune, thou who dost embrace the earth,
And of thy grace disdain not to bestow
These blessings on thy suppliants. First of all
Vouchsafe to Nestor and his sons increase
Of glory; on the Pylian people next
Bestow, for this most sumptuous hecatomb,
Large recompense; and, lastly, grant to us⁠—
Telemachus and me⁠—a safe return
To our own country with the end attained
Which brought us hither in our gallant barque.”

Thus did she pray, while she fulfilled the prayer;
And then she handed to Telemachus
The fair round goblet, and in words like hers
The dear son of Ulysses prayed. Meanwhile
The Pylians, having roasted well the flesh
And drawn it from the spits, distributing
To each his portion, held high festival.
And when the calls of hunger and of thirst
Were silenced, Nestor, the Gerenian knight,
Began discourse, and thus bespake his guests:⁠—

“The fitting time is come to ask our guests
Who they may be, since now their feast is o’er.
Say then, O strangers, who ye are, and whence
Ye come along the pathway of the deep.
Have ye an errand here, or do ye roam
The seas at large, like pirates, braving death,
And visiting with ravage foreign states?”

And then discreet Telemachus replied
Boldly⁠—for Pallas strengthened in that hour
His heart that he might confidently ask
News of his absent father, and so win
A worthy fame among the sons of men:⁠—

“O Nestor, son of Neleus, pride of Greece!
Thou bid’st us tell thee whence we came, and I
Will faithfully declare it. We are come
From Ithaca, beneath the Neritus,
And private, and not general, is the cause
Of which I am to speak. I came to ask
Concerning my great father, the large-souled
And nobly-born Ulysses, who ’tis said
With thee, his friend in arms, laid waste the town
Of Ilium. We have heard where all the rest
Who warred against the Trojans were cut off,
And died sad deaths; his fate alone the son
Of Saturn hath not chosen to reveal⁠—
Whether he fell on land by hostile hands,
Or while at sea was whelmed beneath the waves
Of Amphitritè. Wherefore to thy knees
I come, to ask that thou⁠—if so thou wilt⁠—
Relate the manner of his mournful death,
As thou didst see it with thine eyes, or else
As thou from other wanderers hast heard
Its history; for she who brought him forth
Bore him to be unhappy. Think thou not
To soften aught, through tenderness to me,
In thy recital, but in faithful words
Tell me the whole, whatever thou hast seen.
And I conjure thee, that if, in his life,
My father, great Ulysses, ever gave
Promise of word or deed for thee, and kept
His promise, in the realm of Troy, where ye
Achaians bore such hardships, that thou now
Remember it and speak without disguise.”

And Nestor the Gerenian knight replied:⁠—
“My friend, since thou recallest to my mind
The sufferings borne by us the sons of Greece,
Although of peerless valor, in that land,
Both when we ranged in ships the darkling sea
For booty wheresoe’er Achilles led,
And when around King Priam’s populous town
We fought, where fell our bravest, know thou then
That there the valiant Ajax lies, and there
Achilles; there Patroclus, like the gods
In council; there my well-beloved son
Blameless and brave, Antilochus the swift
Of foot and warlike⁠—many woes beside
We bore, and who of mortal birth could give
Their history? Nay, though thou shouldst remain
Five years or six, and ask of all the griefs
Endured by the brave Greeks, thou wouldst depart
Outwearied to thy home, ere thou hadst heard
The whole. Nine years in harassing the foe
We passed, beleaguering them and planning wiles
Innumerable. Saturn’s son at last
With difficulty seemed to close the war.
Then was there none who might presume to vie
In wisdom with Ulysses; that great man
Excelled in every kind of stratagem⁠—
Thy father⁠—if indeed thou be his son.
I look on thee amazed; all thy discourse
Is just like his, and one would ne’er believe
A younger man could speak so much like him.
While we were there, Ulysses and myself
In council or assembly never spake
On different sides, but with a like intent
We thoughtfully consulted how to guide
The Achaians in the way we deemed the best;
But after we had overthrown and spoiled
King Priam’s lofty city, and set sail
For home, and by some heavenly power the Greeks
Were scattered, Jupiter ordained for them
A sad return. For all were neither wise
Nor just, and many drew upon themselves
An evil doom⁠—the fatal wrath of her,
The blue-eyed maid, who claims her birth from Jove.
’Twas she who kindled strife between the sons
Of Atreus. They had called the Achaians all
To an assembly, not with due regard
To order, at the setting of the sun,
And thither came the warriors overpowered
With wine. The brother kings set forth the cause
Of that assembly. Menelaus first
Bade all the Greeks prepare for their return
O’er the great deep. That counsel little pleased
King Agamemnon, who desired to keep
The people longer there, that he might soothe
By sacred hecatombs the fiery wrath
Of Pallas. Fool! who could not see how vain
Were such persuasion, for the eternal gods
Are not soon won to change their purposes.
They stood disputing thus, with bitter words,
Till wrangling noisily on different sides
Rose up the well-armed Greeks. The ensuing night
We rested, but we cherished in our breasts
A mutual hate; so for our punishment
Had Jove ordained. With early morn we drew
Our ships to the great deep, and put our goods
And our deep-bosomed women all on board.
Yet half the host went not, but on the shore
Remained with Agamemnon, Atreus’ son,
And shepherd of the people. All the rest
Embarked, weighed anchor, and sailed swiftly thence;
A deity made smooth the mighty deep,
And when we came to Tenedos we paid
Our offerings to the gods and longed for home⁠—
Vainly; it pleased not unpropitious Jove
To favor our return, and once again
He sent among us strife. A part of us
Led by Ulysses, that sagacious prince,
To please Atrides Agamemnon turned
Their well-oared galleys back. But I, with all
The vessels of the fleet that followed me,
Fled on my way, perceiving that some god
Was meditating evil. With us fled,
Encouraging his men, the warlike son
Of Tydeus. Fair-haired Menelaus came
Later to us in Lesbos, where we planned
For a long voyage, whether we should sail
Around the rugged Chios, toward the isle
Of Psyria, keeping that upon the left,
Or under Chios pass beside the steeps
Of windy Mimas. We besought the god
That he would show a sign, and he complied,
And bade us to Euboea cross the deep
Right in the midst, the sooner to escape
All danger. Then the wind blew strong and shrill,
And swiftly o’er the fishy gulfs our fleet
Flew on, and reached Geraestus in the night.
There, having passed the mighty deep, we made
To Neptune offerings of many a thigh
Of beeves. The fourth day dawned, and now the men
Of Diomed, the mighty horseman, son
Of Tydeus, stopped at Argos with their fleet,
While I went on to Pylos with the wind,
Which never, from the moment that the god
First sent it o’er the waters, ceased to blow.

“So, my dear child, I reached my home, nor knew
Nor heard from others who among the Greeks
Was saved, or who had perished on the way.
Yet what I since have heard while here I sit
Within my palace thou shalt duly learn.
Nor is it what I ought to keep from thee.

“ ’Tis said the Myrmidonian spearmen, led
By great Achilles’ famous son, returned
Happily home; as happily the son
Of Paeas, Philoctetes the renowned.
Idomeneus brought also back to Crete
All his companions who survived the war;
The sea took none of them. But ye have heard,
Though far away, the fate of Atreus’ son⁠—
How he came home, and how Aegisthus laid
A plot to slay him, yet on his own head
Drew heavy punishment⁠—so fortunate
It is when he who falls by murder leaves
A son; for ’twas the monarch’s son who took
Vengeance upon the crafty murderer
Aegisthus, by whose hand Atrides died.
Thou too, my friend, for thou art large of frame,
And of a noble presence, be thou brave,
That men in time to come may give thee praise.”

Then spake discreet Telemachus again:⁠—
“O Nestor, son of Neleus, pride of Greece,
Ample was his revenge, and far and wide
The Greeks will spread his fame to be the song
Of future times. O might the gods confer
On me an equal power to avenge myself
On that importunate, overbearing crew
Of suitors, who insult me, and devise
Evil against me! But the gods deny
Such fortune to my father and to me,
And all that now is left me is to bear.”

Again spake Nestor the Gerenian knight:⁠—
“Since thou, my friend, hast spoken words which bring
What I have heard to mind⁠—the rumor goes
That in thy palace many suiters wait
About thy mother, and in spite of thee
Do grievous wrong. Now tell me; dost thou yield
Willingly, or because the people, swayed
By oracles, regard thee as their foe?
Thy father yet may come again⁠—who knows?⁠—
Alone, or with the other Greeks, to take
The vengeance which these violent deeds deserve.
Should blue-eyed Pallas deign to favor thee,
As once she watched to guard the glorious chief
Ulysses in the realm of Troy, where we,
The Achaians, bore such hardships⁠—for I ne’er
Have seen the gods so openly befriend
A man as Pallas there befriended him⁠—
Should she thus deign to favor thee and keep
Watch over thee, then haply some of these
Will never think of marriage rites again.”

Then spake discreet Telemachus again:⁠—
“O aged man! I cannot think thy words
Will be fulfilled! for they import too much
And they amaze me. What thou sayst I wish
May come to pass, but know it cannot be,
Not even though the gods should will it so.”

Then thus the blue-eyed goddess, Pallas, spake:⁠—
“Telemachus, what words have passed thy lips?
Easily can a god, whene’er he will,
In the most distant regions safely keep
A man; and I would rather reach my home
Securely, after many hardships borne,
Than perish suddenly on my return
As Agamemnon perished by the guile
Of base Aegisthus and the queen. And yet
The gods themselves have not the power to save
Whom most they cherish from the common doom
When cruel fate brings on the last long sleep.”

Discreet Telemachus made answer thus:⁠—
“Let us, O Mentor, talk no more of this,
Though much we grieve; he never will return,
For his is the black doom of death ordained
By the great gods. Now suffer me to ask
Of Nestor further, since to him are known,
Beyond all other men, the rules of right
And prudence. He has governed, so men say,
Three generations, and to me he seems
In aspect like the ever-living gods.
O Nestor, son of Neleus, truly say
How died the monarch over mighty realms,
Atrides Agamemnon? Where was then
His brother Menelaus? By what arts
Did treacherous Aegisthus plan his death,
And slay a braver warrior than himself?
Was not the brother in the Achaian town
Of Argos? or was he a wanderer
In other lands, which made the murderer bold?”

The knight, Gerenian Nestor, answered thus:⁠—
“I will tell all and truly. Thou hast guessed
Rightly and as it happened. Had the son
Of Atreus, fair-haired Menelaus, come
From Troy, and found Aegisthus yet alive
Within the palace, he had never flung
The loose earth on his corpse, but dogs and birds
Had preyed upon it, lying in the fields
Far from the city, and no woman’s voice
Of all the Greeks had raised the wail for him.
Great was the crime he plotted. We were yet
Afar, enduring the hard toils of war,
While he, securely couched in his retreat
At Argos, famed for steeds, with flattering words
Corrupted Agamemnon’s queen. At first
The noble Clytemnestra turned away
With horror from the crime; for yet her heart
Was right, and by her side there stood a bard
With whom Atrides, when he went to Troy,
Had left his wife with many an earnest charge.
But when the gods and fate had spread a net
For his destruction, then Aegisthus bore
The minstrel to a desert isle, and there
Left him to be devoured by birds of prey,
And led the queen, as willing as himself,
To his own palace. Many a victim’s thigh
Upon the hallowed altars of the gods
He offered, many a gift of ornaments
Woven or wrought in gold he hung within
Their temples, since at length the mighty end
For which he hardly dared to hope was gained.
We sailed together from the coast of Troy,
Atrides, Menelaus, and myself,
Friends to each other. When the headland height
Of Athens, hallowed Sunium, met our eyes,
Apollo smote with his still shafts, and slew
Phrontis, Onetor’s son, who steered the barque
Of Menelaus, holding in his hands
The rudder as the galley scudded on⁠—
And skilled was he beyond all other men
To guide a vessel when the storm was high.
So there did Menelaus stay his course,
Though eager to go on, that he might lay
His friend in earth and pay the funeral rites.
But setting sail again with all his fleet
Upon the dark-blue sea, all-seeing Jove
Decreed a perilous voyage. He sent forth
His shrill-voiced hurricane, and heaped on high
The mountain waves. There, scattering the barques
Far from each other, part he drove to Crete,
Where the Cydonians dwell, beside the stream
Of Jardanus. A smooth and pointed rock
Just on the bounds of Gortys stands amidst
The dark-blue deep. The south wind thitherward
Sweeps a great sea towards Phoestus, and against
The headland on the left, where that small rock
Meets and withstands the mighty wave. The ships
Were driven on this, and scarce the crews escaped
With life; the ships were dashed against the crags
And wrecked, save five, and these, with their black prows,
Were swept toward Egypt by the winds and waves.

“Thus adding to his wealth and gathering gold
He roamed the ocean in his ships among
Men of strange speech. Aegisthus meantime planned
His guilty deeds at home; he slew the king
Atrides, and the people took his yoke.
Seven years in rich Mycenae he bore rule,
And on the eighth, to his destruction, came
The nobly-born Orestes, just returned
From Athens, and cut off that man of blood,
The crafty wretch Aegisthus, by whose hand
Fell his illustrious father. Then he bade
The Argives to the solemn burial-feast
Of his bad mother and the craven wretch
Aegisthus. Menelaus, that same day,
The great in war, arrived, and brought large wealth⁠—
So large his galleys could contain no more.
“And thou, my friend, be thou not long away,
Wandering from home, thy rich possessions left,
And in thy palace-halls a lawless crew,
Lest they devour thy substance, and divide
Thy goods, and thou have crossed the sea in vain.
Yet must I counsel and enjoin on thee
To visit Menelaus, who has come
Just now from lands and nations of strange men,
Whence one could hardly hope for a return;
Whom once the tempest’s violence had driven
Into that great wide sea o’er which the birds
Of heaven could scarce fly hither in a year,
Such is its fearful vastness. Go thou now,
Thou with thy ship and friends; or if thou choose
The way by land, a car and steeds are here,
And here my sons to guide thee to the town
Of hallowed Lacedaemon, there to find
The fair-haired Menelaus. Earnestly
Beseech of him that he declare the truth.
Falsely he will not speak, for he is wise.”

He spake; the sun went down; the darkness crept
Over the earth, and blue-eyed Pallas said:⁠—
“Most wisely hast thou spoken, ancient man.
Now cut ye out the tongues, and mingle wine,
That we to Neptune and the other gods
May pour libations, and then think of rest;
For now the hour is come; the light is gone,
Nor at a feast in honor of the gods
Should we long sit, but in good time withdraw.”

Jove’s daughter spake; they hearkened to her words;
The heralds came to them, and on their hands
Poured water; boys began to fill the bowls
To the hard brim, and ministered to each
From left to right. Then threw they to the flames
The victims’ tongues, and, rising, poured on earth
Wine to the gods; and when that rite was paid,
And when their thirst was satiate, Pallas rose
With nobly-born Telemachus to go
To their good ship, but Nestor still detained
The twain, and chidingly bespake them thus:⁠—

“Now Jove and all the other gods forbid
That ye should go from me to your good ship,
As from some half-clad wretch, too poor to own
Mantles and blankets in whose soft warm folds
He and his guests might sleep; but I have both⁠—
Mantles and blankets⁠—beautifully wrought,
And never shall the son of that great man
Ulysses lie upon a galley’s deck
While I am living. After me I hope
My sons, who dwell within my palace-halls,
Will duly welcome all who enter here.”

And thus again the blue-eyed Pallas spake:⁠—
“Well hast thou said, my aged friend, and well
Doth it become Telemachus to heed
Thy words, for that were best. Let him remain
With thee and sleep in thine abode, while I
Repair to our black ship, encouraging
The crew, and setting them their proper tasks,
For I am eldest of them all; the rest
Are young men yet, and moved by friendship joined
Our enterprise; the peers in age are they
Of the large-souled Telemachus. Tonight
I sleep within the hull of our black ship,
And sail with early morning for the land
Of the Cauconians, large of soul, from whom
A debt is due me, neither new nor small.
Send meantime from thy palace in a car,
And with thy son, this youth, and be the steeds
The fleetest and the strongest in thy stalls.”

The blue-eyed Pallas, having spoken thus,
Passed like an eagle out of sight, and all
Were seized with deep amazement as they saw.
The aged monarch, wondering at the sight,
Took by the hand Telemachus, and said:⁠—

“Of craven temper, and unapt for war,
O friend, thou canst not be, since thus the gods
Attend and guide thee in thy youth. And this,
Of all the gods whose dwelling is in heaven,
Can be no other than the spoiler-queen
Pallas, the child of Jove, who also held
Thy father in such eminent esteem
Among the Grecians. Deign to favor us,
O queen! bestow on me and on my sons
And on my venerable spouse the meed
Of special glory. I will bring to thee
A sacrifice, a broad-horned yearling steer,
Which never man hath tamed or led beneath
The yoke. Her will I bring with gilded horns,
And lay an offering on thine altar-fires.”

Such were his words, and Pallas heard the prayer,
And then Gerenian Nestor led the way,
And with his sons and sons-in-law approached
His glorious palace. When they came within
The monarch’s sumptuous halls, each took his place
In order on the couches and the thrones.
The old man mingled for them as they came
A bowl of delicate wine, eleven years old,
Drawn by the damsel cupbearer, who took
Its cover from the jar. The aged chief
Mingled it in the bowl, and, pouring out
A part to Pallas, offered earnest prayer
To her, who sprang from aegis-bearing Jove.

When due libations had been made, and all
Drank till they wished no more, most went away,
Each to his home to sleep; but Nestor made
Telemachus, the son of the great chief
Ulysses, rest upon a sumptuous couch
Within the echoing hall, and near to him
The chief of squadrons, skilled to wield the spear,
Peisistratus, who only of his sons
Abode in Nestor’s halls unwedded yet;
While in an inner room of that tall pile
The monarch slumbered on a bed of state,
Decked for him by the labors of his queen.

Soon as the daughter of the dawn appeared,
The rosy-fingered Morning, Nestor left
His bed and went abroad, and took his seat
On smooth white stones before his lofty doors,
That glistened as with oil, on which before
Sat Neleus, wise in council as the gods.
But he had yielded to the will of fate,
And passed into the Underworld. Now sat
Gerenian Nestor in his father’s place,
The guardian of the Greeks. Around his seat,
Just from the chambers of their rest, his sons
Echephron, Stratius, and Aretus came,
Perseus, and Thrasymedes; after these
Came brave Peisistratus, the sixth and last.
They led Telemachus, the godlike youth,
And placed him near them. The Gerenian knight
Nestor began, and thus bespake his sons:⁠—

“Do quickly what I ask, dear sons, and aid
To render Pallas, first of all the gods,
Propitious⁠—Pallas, who has deigned to come,
And at a solemn feast to manifest
Herself to me. Let one of you go forth
Among the fields, and bring a heifer thence,
Led by the herdsman. To the dark-hulled ship
Of the large-souled Telemachus I bid
Another son repair, and bring the crew
Save only two; and let another call
Laërceus hither, skilled to work in gold,
That he may plate with gold the heifer’s horns.
Let all the rest remain to bid the maids
Within prepare a sumptuous feast, and bring
Seats, wood, and limpid water from the fount.”

He spake, and all were busy. From the field
The bullock came; from the swift-sailing barque
Came the companions of the gallant youth
Telemachus; with all his implements⁠—
Hammer and anvil, and well-jointed tongs⁠—
With which he wrought, the goldsmith also came,
And to be present at the sacred rites
Pallas came likewise. Nestor, aged knight,
Brought forth the gold; the artisan prepared
The metal, and about the bullock’s horns
Wound it, that Pallas might with pleasure see
The victim so adorned. Then Stratius grasped
The horns, and, aided by Echephron, led
The bullock. From his room Aretus brought
A laver filled with water in one hand,
And in the other hand a canister
Of cakes, while Thrasymedes, great in war,
Stood near with a sharp axe, about to smite
The victim. Perseus held a vase to catch
The blood, while Nestor, aged horseman, took
Water and cakes, and offering first a part,
And flinging the shorn forelock to the flames,
Prayed to the goddess Pallas fervently.

And now, when they had prayed, and flung the cakes,
The large-souled Thrasymedes, Nestor’s son,
Struck, where he stood, the blow; the bullock’s strength
Gave way. At once the daughters of the king,
And his sons’ wives, and queen Eurydicè⁠—
Nestor’s chaste wife, and daughter eldest born
Of Clymenus, broke forth in shrilly cries.
From the great earth the sons then lifted up
And held the victim’s head. Peisistratus,
The chief of squadrons, slew it. When the blood
Had ceased to flow, and life had left its limbs,
They quickly severed joint from joint; they hewed
The thighs away, and duly covered them
With caul, a double fold, on which they laid
Raw strips of flesh. The aged monarch burned
These over the cleft wood, and poured dark wine
Upon them, while beside him stood the youths
With five-pronged spits; and when the thighs were burned
And entrails tasted, all the rest they carved
Into small portions and transfixed with spits,
And roasted, holding the sharp spits in hand.
Meantime, fair Polycastè, youngest born
Of Nestor’s daughters, gave Telemachus
The bath; and after he had bathed she shed
A rich oil over him, and in a cloak
Of noble texture and a tunic robed
The prince, who, like a god in presence, left
The bath, and took his place where Nestor sat,
The shepherd of the people. When the youths
Had roasted well and from the spits withdrawn
The flesh, they took their places at the feast.
Then rose up chosen men, and poured the wine
Into the cups of gold; and when at length
The thirst and appetite were both allayed,
The knight, Gerenian Nestor, thus began:⁠—

“Rise now, my sons; join to the bright-haired steeds
My car, and let Telemachus depart.”

He spake; they hearkened and obeyed, and straight
Yoked the swift horses to the car. Then came
The matron of the household, laying bread
And wine within the car, and dainties such
As make a prince’s fare. Telemachus
Then climbed into the sumptuous seat. The son
Of Nestor and the chief of armed bands,
Peisistratus, climbed also, took his place
Beside him, grasped the reins, and with the lash
Urged on the coursers. Not unwillingly
They darted toward the plain, and left behind
The lofty Pylos. All that day they shook
The yoke on both their necks. The sun went down;
The highways lay in darkness when they came
To Pherae and the abode of Diocles,
Son of Orsilochus, who claimed to be
The offspring of Alpheius. They with him
Found welcome there, and there that night they slept.

And when the rosy-fingered Morn appeared,
They yoked the horses, climbed the shining car,
And issued from the palace gate beneath
The sounding portico. Peisistratus
Wielded the lash to urge the coursers on,
And not unwillingly they flew and reached
A land of harvests. Here the travellers found
Their journey’s end, so swiftly those fleet steeds
Had borne them on. And now the sun went down,
And darkness gathered over all the ways.