Telemachus dispatches Eumæus to the city to inform Penelope of his safe return from Pylus; during his absence, Ulysses makes himself known to his son. The suitors, having watched for Telemachus in vain, arrive again at Ithaca.
Kindling fresh fire, Ulysses and his friend
Noble Eumæus dressd their morning fare,
And sent the herdsmen with the swine abroad.
Seeing Telemachus, the watchful dogs
Barkd not, but fawnd around him. At that sight,
And at the sound of feet which now approachd,
Ulysses in wingd accents thus remarkd.
Is nigh at hand, or one whom well thou knowst;
Thy dogs bark not, but fawn on his approach
Obsequious, and the sound of feet I hear.
Stood in the vestibule. Upsprang at once
Eumæus wonder- struck, and from his hand
Let fall the cups with which he was employd
Mingling rich wine; to his young Lord he ran,
His forehead kissd, kissd his bright-beaming eyes
And both his hands, weeping profuse the while,
As when a father folds in his embrace
Arrived from foreign lands in the tenth year
His darling son, the offspring of his age,
His only one, for whom he long hath mournd,
So kissd the noble peasant oer and oer
Godlike Telemachus, as from death escaped,
And in wingd accents plaintive thus began.
Sweetest Telemachus! I had no hope
To see thee more, once told that oer the Deep
Thou hadst departed for the Pylian coast.
Enter, my precious son; that I may sooth
My soul with sight of thee from far arrived,
For seldom thou thy feeders and thy farm
Visitest, in the city customd much
To make abode, that thou mayst witness there
The manners of those hungry suitors proud.
It will be so. There is great need, my friend!
But here, for thy sake, have I now arrived,
That I may look on thee, and from thy lips
Learn if my mother still reside at home,
Or have become spouse of some other Chief,
Leaving untenanted Ulysses bed
To be by noisome spiders webbd around.
Not so, she, patient still as ever, dwells
Beneath thy roof, but all her cheerless days
Despairing wastes, and all her nights in tears.
His brazen lance, and oer the step of stone
Enterd Telemachus, to whom his sire
Relinquishd, soon as he appeard, his seat,
But him Telemachus forbidding, said
Some other, which Eumæus will provide.
Reposed again; then good Eumæus spread
Green twigs beneath, which, coverd with a fleece,
Supplied Ulysses offspring with a seat.
He, next, disposed his dishes on the board
With relicts charged of yesterday; with bread,
Alert, he heapd the baskets; with rich wine
His ivy cup replenishd; and a seat
Took opposite to his illustrious Lord
Ulysses. They toward the plenteous feast
Stretchd forth their hands, (and hunger now and thirst
Both satisfied) Telemachus, his speech
Addressing to their genrous host, began.
Came he to Ithaca? What country boast
The mariners with whom he here arrived?
For, that on foot he found us not, is sure.
I will with truth answer thee, O my son!
He boasts him sprung from ancestry renownd
In spacious Crete, and hath the cities seen
Of various lands, by fate ordaind to roam.
Evn now, from a Thesprotian ship escaped,
He reachd my cottagebut he is thy own;
I yield him to thee; treat him as thou wilt;
He is thy suppliant, and depends on thee.
Thy words, Eumæus, pain my very soul.
For what security can I afford
To any in my house? myself am young,
Nor yet of strength sufficient to repel
An offerd insult, and my mothers mind
In doubtful balance hangs, if, still with me
An inmate, she shall manage my concerns,
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