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Then back he came and perched upon a projecting roof-beam, [545] and with the voice of a mortal man checked my weeping, and said: “‘Be of good cheer, daughter of far-famed Icarius; this is no dream, but a true vision of good which shall verily find fulfillment. The geese are the wooers, and I, that before was the eagle, am now again come back as thy husband, [550] who will let loose a cruel doom upon all the wooers.’ “So he spoke, and sweet sleep released me, and looking about I saw the geese in the halls, feeding on wheat beside the trough, where they had before been wont to feed.” Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her and said: [555] “Lady, in no wise is it possible to wrest this dream aside and give it another meaning, since verily Odysseus himself has shewn thee how he will bring it to pass. For the wooers' destruction is plain to see, for one and all; not one of them shall escape death and the fates.” Then wise Penelope answered him again: [560] “Stranger, dreams verily are baffling and unclear of meaning, and in no wise do they find fulfillment in all things for men. For two are the gates of shadowy dreams, and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory [565] deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfillment.1 But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn bring true issues to pass, when any mortal sees them. But in my case it was not from thence, methinks, that my strange dream came. Ah, truly it would then have been welcome to me and to my son. [570] But another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart. Even now is coming on this morn of evil name which is to cut me off from the house of Odysseus; for now I shall appoint for a contest those axes which he was wont to set up in line in his halls, like props of a ship that is building, twelve in all, [575] and he would stand afar off and shoot an arrow through them.2

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
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