Now when that brightest of stars rose which ever comes to herald the light of early Dawn,
even then the seafaring ship drew near to the island.
There is in the land of Ithaca
a certain harbor of Phorcys, the old man of the sea, and at its mouth two projecting headlands sheer to seaward, but sloping down on the side toward the harbor. These keep back the great waves raised by heavy winds
without, but within the benched ships lie unmoored when they have reached the point of anchorage. At the head of the harbor is a long-leafed olive tree, and near it a pleasant, shadowy cave sacred to the nymphs that are called Naiads.
Therein are mixing bowls and jars of stone, and there too the bees store honey. And in the cave are long looms of stone, at which the nymphs weave webs of purple dye, a wonder to behold; and therein are also ever-flowing springs. Two doors there are to the cave,
one toward the North Wind
, by which men go down, but that toward the South Wind is sacred, nor do men enter thereby; it is the way of the immortals.
Here they rowed in, knowing the place of old; and the ship ran full half her length on the shore
in her swift course, at such pace was she driven by the arms of the rowers. Then they stepped forth from the benched ship upon the land, and first they lifted Odysseus out of the hollow ship, with the linen sheet and bright rug as they were, and laid him down on the sand, still overpowered by sleep.
And they lifted out the goods which the lordly Phaeacians had given him, as he set out for home, through the favour of great-hearted Athena. These they set all together by the trunk of the olive tree, out of the path, lest haply some wayfarer, before Odysseus awoke, might come upon them and spoil them.
Then they themselves returned home again. But the Shaker of the Earth did not forget the threats wherewith at the first he had threatened godlike Odysseus, and he thus enquired of the purpose of Zeus:
“Father Zeus, no longer shall I, even I, be held in honor among the immortal gods, seeing that mortals honor me not a whit—
even the Phaeacians, who, thou knowest, are of my own lineage. For I but now declared that Odysseus should suffer many woes ere he reached his home, though I did not wholly rob him of his return when once thou hadst promised it and confirmed it with thy nod; yet in his sleep these men have borne him in a swift ship over the sea
and set him down in Ithaca
, and have given him gifts past telling, stores of bronze and gold and woven raiment, more than Odysseus would ever have won for himself from Troy
, if he had returned unscathed with his due share of the spoil.”