So they were busied with their meal in the halls; but meanwhile Rumor, the messenger, went swiftly throughout all the city, telling of the terrible death and fate of the wooers.
And the people heard it all at once, and gathered from every side with moanings and wailings before the palace of Odysseus. Forth from the halls they brought each his dead, and buried them; and those from other cities they sent each to his own home, placing them on swift ships for seamen to bear them,
but they themselves went together to the place of assembly, sad at heart. Now when they were assembled and met together Eupeithes arose and spoke among them, for comfortless grief for his son lay heavy on his heart, even for Antinous, the first man whom goodly Odysseus had slain.
Weeping for him he addressed their assembly and said:
“Friends, a monstrous deed has this man of a truth devised against the Achaeans. Some he led forth in his ships, many men and goodly, and he has lost his hollow ships and utterly lost his men; and others again has he slain on his return, and these by far the best of the Cephallenians.
Nay then, come, before the fellow goes swiftly to Pylos
or to goodly Elis
, where the Epeans hold sway, let us go forth; verily even in days to come shall we be disgraced forever. For a shame is this even for men that are yet to be to hear of, if we shall not
take vengeance on the slayers of our sons and our brothers. To me surely life would then no more be sweet; rather would I die at once and be among the dead. Nay, let us forth, lest they be too quick for us, and cross over the sea.”
So he spoke, weeping, and pity laid hold of all the Achaeans. Then near them came Medon and the divine minstrel
from the halls of Odysseus, for sleep had released them; and they took their stand in the midst, and wonder seized every man. Then Medon, wise of heart, spoke among them:
“Hearken now to me, men of Ithaca
, for verily not without the will of the immortal gods has Odysseus devised these deeds.
Nay, I myself saw an immortal god, who stood close beside Odysseus, and seemed in all things like unto Mentor. Yet as an immortal god now in front of Odysseus would he appear, heartening him, and now again would rage through the hall, scaring the wooers; and they fell thick and fast.”