Nay, stranger, do thou quickly hearken to my words, that with all speed
thou mayest win from my father an escort and a return to thy land. Thou wilt find a goodly grove of Athena hard by the road, a grove of poplar trees. In it a spring wells up, and round about is a meadow. There is my father's park and fruitful vineyard, as far from the city as a man's voice carries when he shouts.
Sit thou down there, and wait for a time, until we come to the city and reach the house of my father. But when thou thinkest that we have reached the house, then do thou go to the city of the Phaeacians and ask for the house of my father, great-hearted Alcinous.
Easily may it be known, and a child could guide thee, a mere babe; for the houses of the Phaeacians are no wise built of such sort as is the palace of the lord Alcinous. But when the house and the court enclose thee, pass quickly through the great hall, till thou comest
to my mother, who sits at the hearth in the light of the fire, spinning the purple yarn, a wonder to behold, leaning against a pillar, and her handmaids sit behind her. There, too, leaning against the selfsame pillar, is set the throne of my father, whereon he sits and quaffs his wine, like unto an immortal.
Him pass thou by, and cast thy hands about my mother's knees, that thou mayest quickly see with rejoicing the day of thy return, though thou art come from never so far. If in her sight thou dost win favour, then there is hope that thou wilt see thy friends, and return
to thy well-built house and unto thy native land.”
So saying, she smote the mules with the shining whip, and they quickly left the streams of the river. Well did they trot, well did they ply their ambling feet,1
and she drove with care that
the maidens and Odysseus might follow on foot, and with judgment did she ply the lash. Then the sun set, and they came to the glorious grove, sacred to Athena. There Odysseus sat him down, and straightway prayed to the daughter of great Zeus: “Hear me, child of aegis-bearing Zeus, unwearied one.
Hearken now to my prayer, since aforetime thou didst not hearken when I was smitten, what time the glorious Earth-shaker smote me. Grant that I may come to the Phaeacians as one to be welcomed and to be pitied.”
So he spoke in prayer, and Pallas Athena heard him; but she did not yet appear to him face to face, for she feared
her father's brother; but he furiously raged against godlike Odysseus, until at length he reached his own land.