So he lay there asleep, the much-enduring goodly Odysseus, overcome with sleep and weariness; but Athena went to the land and city of the Phaeacians. These dwelt of old in spacious Hypereia
hard by the Cyclopes, men overweening in pride who plundered them continually and were mightier than they. From thence Nausithous, the godlike, had removed them, and led and settled them in Scheria
far from men that live by toil. About the city he had drawn a wall, he had built houses
and made temples for the gods, and divided the ploughlands; but he, ere now, had been stricken by fate and had gone to the house of Hades, and Alcinous was now king, made wise in counsel by the gods. To his house went the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, to contrive the return of great-hearted Odysseus.
She went to a chamber, richly wrought, wherein slept a maiden like the immortal goddesses in form and comeliness, Nausicaa, the daughter of great-hearted Alcinous; hard by slept two hand-maidens, gifted with beauty by the Graces, one on either side of the door-posts, and the bright doors were shut.
But like a breath of air the goddess sped to the couch of the maiden, and stood above her head, and spoke to her, taking the form of the daughter of Dymas, famed for his ships, a girl who was of like age with Nausicaa, and was dear to her heart. Likening herself to her, the flashing-eyed Athena spoke and said:
“Nausicaa, how comes it that thy mother bore thee so heedless? Thy bright raiment is lying uncared for; yet thy marriage is near at hand, when thou must needs thyself be clad in fair garments, and give other such to those who escort thee. It is from things like these, thou knowest, that good report goeth up among men,
and the father and honored mother rejoice. Nay, come, let us go to wash them at break of day, for I will follow with thee to aid thee, that thou mayest with speed make thee ready; for thou shalt not long remain a maiden. Even now thou hast suitors in the land, the noblest
of all the Phaeacians, from whom is thine own lineage. Nay, come, bestir thy noble father early this morning that he make ready mules and a wagon for thee, to bear the girdles and robes and bright coverlets. And for thyself, too, it is far more seemly
to go thus than on foot, for the washing tanks are far from the city.”
So saying, the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, departed to Olympus
, where, they say, is the abode of the gods that stands fast forever. Neither is it shaken by winds nor ever wet with rain, nor does snow fall upon it, but the air
is outspread clear and cloudless, and over it hovers a radiant whiteness. Therein the blessed gods are glad all their days, and thither went the flashing-eyed one, when she had spoken all her word to the maiden.