So she spoke, and the old woman hid her face in her hands and let fall hot tears, uttering words of lamentation:
“Ah, woe is me, child, because of thee, for that I can do naught. Surely Zeus hated thee above all men, though thou hadst a god-fearing heart.
For never yet did any mortal burn to Zeus, who hurls the thunderbolt, so many fat thigh-pieces or so many choice hecatombs as thou gavest him, with prayers that thou mightest reach a sleek old age and rear thy glorious son. But lo, now, from thee alone has he wholly cut off the day of thy returning.
Even thus, I ween, did women mock at him too,1
in a strange and distant land, when he came to some man's glorious house, as these shameless creatures here all mock at thee. It is to shun insult now from them and their many taunts that thou dost not suffer them to wash thy feet, but me, who am nothing loath, has
the daughter of Icarius, wise Penelope, bidden to wash thee. Therefore will I wash thy feet, both for Penelope's own sake and for thine, for the heart within me is stirred with sorrow. But come now, hearken to the word that I shall speak. Many sore-tried strangers have come hither,
but I declare that never yet have I seen any man so like another as thou in form, and in voice, and in feet art like Odysseus.”
Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Old dame, so say all men whose eyes have beheld us two, that
we are very like each other, even as thou thyself dost note and say.”
So he spoke, and the old dame took the shining cauldron with water wherefrom she was about to wash his feet, and poured in cold water in plenty, and then added thereto the warm. But Odysseus sat him down away from the hearth and straightway turned himself toward the darkness,
for he at once had a foreboding at heart that, as she touched him, she might note a scar, and the truth be made manifest. So she drew near and began to wash her lord, and straightway knew the scar of the wound which long ago a boar had dealt him with his white tusk, when Odysseus had gone to Parnassus
to visit Autolycus and the sons of Autolycus,
his mother's noble father, who excelled all men in thievery and in oaths. It was a god himself that had given him this skill, even Hermes, for to him he was wont to burn acceptable sacrifices of the thighs of lambs and kids; so Hermes befriended him with a ready heart. Now Autolycus, on coming once to the rich land of Ithaca
had found his daughter's son a babe new-born, and when he was finishing his supper, Eurycleia laid the child upon his knees and spoke, and addressed him:
“Autolycus, find now thyself a name to give to thy child's own child; be sure he has long been prayed for.”