As soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, Telemachus, the dear son of divine Odysseus, bound beneath his feet his fair sandals and took his mighty spear, that fitted his grasp,
hasting to the city; and he spoke to his swineherd, saying:
“Father, I verily am going to the city, that my mother may see me, for, methinks, she will not cease from woeful wailing and tearful lamentation until she sees my very self. But to thee I give this charge.
Lead this wretched stranger to the city, that there he may beg his food, and whoso will shall give him a loaf and a cup of water. For my part, I can in no wise burden myself with all men, seeing that I have grief at heart. But if the stranger is sore angered at this,
it will be the worse for him. I verily love to speak the truth.”
Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him, and said: “Friend, be sure I am not myself fain to be left here. For a beggar it is better to beg his food in the town than in the fields, and whoso will shall give it me.
For I am no more of an age to remain at the farmstead, so as to obey in all things the command of an overseer. Nay, go thy way; this man that thou biddest will lead me as soon as I have warmed myself at the fire, and the sun has grown hot. For miserably poor are these garments which I wear, and I fear lest
the morning frost may overcome me; and ye say it is far to the city.”
So he spoke, and Telemachus passed out through the farmstead with rapid strides, and was sowing the seeds of evil for the wooers. But when he came to the stately house he set his spear in place, leaning it against a tall pillar,
and himself went in and crossed the threshold of stone.
Him the nurse Eurycleia was far the first to see, as she was spreading fleeces on the richly-wrought chairs. With a burst of tears she came straight toward him, and round about them gathered the other maids of Odysseus of the steadfast heart,
and they kissed his head and shoulders in loving welcome.
Then forth from her chamber came wise Penelope, like unto Artemis or golden Aphrodite, and bursting into tears she flung her arms about her dear son, and kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes;
and with wailing she spoke to him winged words:
“Thou art come, Telemachus, sweet light of my eyes; I thought I should never see thee more after thou hadst gone in thy ship to Pylos
—secretly, and in my despite, to seek tidings of thy dear father. Come, then, tell me what sight thou hadst of him.”