Then Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, answered him, and said:
“Ah me, thou shaker of the earth, wide of sway, what a thing hast thou said! The gods do thee no dishonor; hard indeed would it be to assail with dishonor our eldest and best. But as for men, if any one, yielding to his might and strength, fails to do thee honor in aught, thou mayest ever take vengeance, even thereafter.
Do as thou wilt, and as is thy good pleasure.”
Then Poseidon, the earth-shaker, answered him: “Straightway should I have done as thou sayest, thou god of the dark clouds, but I ever dread and avoid thy wrath. But now I am minded to smite the fair ship of the Phaeacians,
as she comes back from his convoy on the misty deep, that hereafter they may desist and cease from giving convoy to men, and to fling a great mountain about their city.”
Then Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, answered him and said: “Lazy one, hear what seems best in my sight.
When all the people are looking forth from the city upon her as she speeds on her way, then do thou turn her to stone hard by the land—a stone in the shape of a swift ship, that all men may marvel; and do thou fling a great mountain about their city.”
Now when Poseidon, the earth-shaker, heard this
he went his way to Scheria
, where the Phaeacians dwell, and there he waited. And she drew close to shore, the seafaring ship, speeding swiftly on her way. Then near her came the Earth-shaker and turned her to stone, and rooted her fast beneath by a blow of the flat of his hand, and then he was gone.
But they spoke winged words to one another, the Phaeacians of the long oars, men famed for their ships. And thus would one speak, with a glance at his neighbor:
“Ah me, who has now bound our swift ship on the sea as she sped homeward? Lo, she was in plain sight.”
So would one of them speak, but they knew not how these things were to be. Then Alcinous addressed their company and said:
“Lo now, verily the oracles of my father, uttered long ago, have come upon me. He was wont to say that Poseidon was wroth with us because we give safe convoy to all men.
He said that some day, as a beautiful ship of the Phaeacians was returning from a convoy over the misty deep, Poseidon would smite her, and would fling a great mountain about our town. So that old man spoke, and lo, now all this is being brought to pass. But now come, as I bid let us all obey.
Cease ye to give convoy to mortals, when anyone comes to our city, and let us sacrifice to Poseidon twelve choice bulls, if haply he may take pity, and not fling a lofty mountain about our town.”