"My poor man, you shall not stay
here grieving and fretting your life out any longer. I am going to
send you away of my own free will; so go, cut some beams of wood, and
make yourself a large raft with an upper deck that it may carry you
safely over the sea. I will put bread, wine, and water on board to
save you from starving. I will also give you clothes, and will send
you a fair wind to take you home, if the gods in heaven so will it -
for they know more about these things, and can settle them better
than I can."
Odysseus shuddered as he heard
her. "Now goddess," he answered, "there is something behind all this;
you cannot be really meaning to help me home when you bid me do such
a dreadful thing as put to sea on a raft. Not even a well-found ship
with a fair wind could venture on such a distant voyage: nothing that
you can say or do shall make me go on board a raft unless you first
solemnly swear that you mean me no mischief."
Calypso smiled at this and
caressed him with her hand: "You know a great deal," said she, "but
you are quite wrong here. May heaven above and earth below be my
witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx - and this is the most
solemn oath which a blessed god can take - that I mean you no sort of
harm, and am only advising you to do exactly what I should do myself
in your place. My noos is favorable towards you; my heart is
not made of iron, and I am very sorry for you."
When she had thus spoken she led
the way rapidly before him, and Odysseus followed in her steps; so
the pair, goddess and man, went on and on till they came to
Calypso's cave, where Odysseus took the seat that Hermes had
just left. Calypso set meat and drink before him of the food that
mortals eat; but her maids brought ambrosia and nectar for herself,
and they laid their hands on the good things that were before them.
When they had satisfied themselves with meat and drink, Calypso