So he spoke, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, smiled, and stroked him with her hand, and changed herself to the form of a woman, comely and tall, and skilled in glorious handiwork.
And she spoke, and addressed him with winged words:
“Cunning must he be and knavish, who would go beyond thee in all manner of guile, aye, though it were a god that met thee. Bold man, crafty in counsel, insatiate in deceit, not even in thine own land, it seems, wast thou to cease from guile
and deceitful tales, which thou lovest from the bottom of thine heart. But come, let us no longer talk of this, being both well versed in craft, since thou art far the best of all men in counsel and in speech, and I among all the gods am famed for wisdom and craft. Yet thou didst not know
Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus, even me, who ever stand by thy side, and guard thee in all toils. Aye, and I made thee beloved by all the Phaeacians. And now am I come hither to weave a plan with thee, and to hide all the treasure, which the lordly Phaeacians
gave thee by my counsel and will, when thou didst set out for home; and to tell thee all the measure of woe it is thy fate to fulfil in thy well-built house. But do thou be strong, for bear it thou must, and tell no man of them all nor any woman that thou hast come back from thy wanderings, but in silence
endure thy many griefs, and submit to the violence of men.”
Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Hard is it, goddess, for a mortal man to know thee when he meets thee, how wise soever he be, for thou takest what shape thou wilt. But this I know well, that of old thou wast kindly toward me,
so long as we sons of the Achaeans were warring in the land of Troy
. But after we had sacked the lofty city of Priam, and had gone away in our ships, and a god had scattered the Achaeans, never since then have I seen thee, daughter of Zeus, nor marked thee coming on board my ship, that thou mightest ward off sorrow from me.
Nay, I ever wandered on, bearing in my breast a stricken heart, till the gods delivered me from evil, even until in the rich land of the Phaeacians thou didst cheer me with thy words, and thyself lead me to their city. But now I beseech thee by thy father—for I think not
that I am come to clear-seen Ithaca
; nay, it is some other land over which I roam, and thou, methinks, dost speak thus in mockery to beguile my mind—tell me whether in very truth I am come to my dear native land.”