Then the goddess, flashing-eyed1
Athena, answered him:
“Father of us all, thou son of Cronos, high above all lords, aye, verily that man lies low in a destruction that is his due; so, too, may any other also be destroyed who does such deeds. But my heart is torn for wise Odysseus, hapless man, who far from his friends has long been suffering woes
in a sea-girt isle, where is the navel of the sea. 'Tis a wooded isle, and therein dwells a goddess, daughter of Atlas of baneful mind, who knows the depths of every sea, and himself holds the tall pillars which keep earth and heaven apart.
His daughter it is that keeps back that wretched, sorrowing man; and ever with soft and wheedling words she beguiles him that he may forget Ithaca
. But Odysseus, in his longing to see were it but the smoke leaping up from his own land, yearns to die. Yet thy
heart doth not regard it, Olympian. Did not Odysseus beside the ships of the Argives offer thee sacrifice without stint in the broad land of Troy
? Wherefore then didst thou conceive such wrath2
against him, O Zeus?”
Then Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, answered her and said: “My child, what a word has escaped the barrier of thy teeth?
How should I, then, forget godlike Odysseus, who is beyond all mortals in wisdom, and beyond all has paid sacrifice to the immortal gods, who hold broad heaven? Nay, it is Poseidon, the earth-enfolder, who is ever filled with stubborn wrath because of the Cyclops, whom Odysseus blinded of his eye—
even the godlike Polyphemus, whose might is greatest among all the Cyclopes; and the nymph Thoosa bore him, daughter of Phorcys who rules over the unresting3
sea; for in the hollow caves she lay with Poseidon. From that time forth Poseidon, the earth-shaker,
does not indeed slay Odysseus, but makes him a wanderer from his native land. But come, let us who are here all take thought of his return, that he may come home; and Poseidon will let go his anger, for he will in no wise be able, against all the immortal gods and in their despite, to contend alone.”