Odysseus went up from the harbor
Along a rough path until he reached a high,
Wooded area where Athena had told him
He would find the noble swineherd. This man

Cared for his master's property
Better than any other slave Odysseus had.

He found him sitting in front of his house,
Which had a high-fenced yard with a view all around.
It was a fine, spacious yard, built by the herdsman

For his absent master's swine. Neither Penelope
Nor old Laertes knew anything of it.
He had built it with huge stones coped with thorns
And wedged on the outside with close-set stakes
Of split, black heart-oak. Inside the yard
He had made twelve sties, one next to the other,
As beds for the swine, and in each were penned
Fifty wallowing swine—breeding females.
The boars slept outside, and were far scarcer,
Their numbers depleted by the godlike suitors
Who feasted on them. The swineherd was always
Sending the best of all the fatted hogs.
There were three hundred and sixty in all.

Close by,
The dogs slept, four of them, wild as beasts,
Reared by the swineherd, who was a man

Who could have commanded a platoon in war.
At the moment, he was fitting sandals to his feet,


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