So she spoke, and lulled Penelope's laments, and made her eyes to cease from weeping. She then bathed, and took clean raiment for her body,
and went up to her upper chamber with her handmaids, and placing barley grains in a basket prayed to Athena:
“Hear me, child of Zeus who bears the aegis, unwearied one. If ever Odysseus, of many wiles, burnt to thee in his halls fat thigh-pieces of heifer or ewe,
remember these things now, I pray thee, and save my dear son, and ward off from him the wooers in their evil insolence.”
So saying she raised the sacred cry, and the goddess heard her prayer. But the wooers broke into uproar throughout the shadowy halls, and thus would one of the proud youths speak:
“Aye, verily the queen, wooed of many, is preparing our marriage, nor does she know at all that death has been made ready for her son.”
So would one of them speak; but they knew not how these things were to be. And Antinous addressed their company, and said:
shun haughty speech
of every kind alike, lest someone report your speech even within the house. Nay come, in silence thus let us arise and put into effect our plan which pleased us one and all at heart.”
So he spoke, and chose twenty men that were best, and they went their way to the swift ship and the shore of the sea.
The ship first of all they drew down to the deep water, and set the mast and sail in the black ship, and fitted the oars in the leathern thole-straps, all in due order, and spread the white sail. And proud squires brought them their weapons.
Well out in the roadstead they moored the ship, and themselves disembarked. There then they took supper, and waited till evening should come.
But she, the wise Penelope, lay there in her upper chamber, touching no food, tasting neither meat nor drink, pondering whether her peerless son would escape death,
or be slain by the insolent wooers. And even as a lion is seized with fear and broods amid a throng of men, when they draw their crafty ring about him, so was she pondering when sweet2
sleep came upon her. And she sank back and slept, and all her joints relaxed.