So spoke the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, and she departed in the likeness of a sea-eagle; and amazement fell upon all at the sight, and the old man marvelled, when his eyes beheld it. And he grasped the hand of Telemachus, and spoke, and addressed him:
“Friend, in no wise do I think that thou wilt prove a base man or a craven, if verily when thou art so young the gods follow thee to be thy guides. For truly this is none other of those that have their dwellings on Olympus
but the daughter of Zeus, Tritogeneia,1
the maid most glorious, she that honored also thy noble father among the Argives.
Nay, O Queen, be gracious, and grant to me fair renown, to me and to my sons and to my revered wife; and to thee in return will I sacrifice a sleek2
heifer, broad of brow, unbroken, which no man hath yet led beneath the yoke. Her will I sacrifice, and I will overlay her horns with gold.”
So he spoke in prayer, and Pallas Athena heard him. Then the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia
, led them, his sons and the husbands of his daughters, to his beautiful palace. And when they reached the glorious palace of the king, they sat down in rows on the chairs and high seats;
and on their coming the old man mixed for them a bowl of sweet wine, which now in the eleventh year the housewife opened, when she had loosed the string that held the lid. Thereof the old man bade mix a bowl, and earnestly he prayed, as he poured libations, to Athena, the daughter of Zeus who bears the aegis.
But when they had poured libations, and had drunk to their heart's content, they went, each to his home, to take their rest. But the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia
, bade Telemachus, the dear son of divine Odysseus, to sleep there on a corded bedstead under the echoing portico,
and by him Peisistratus, of the good ashen spear, a leader of men, who among his sons was still unwed in the palace. But he himself slept in the inmost chamber of the lofty house, and beside him lay the lady his wife, who had strewn the couch.