ODYSSEY 19

So Odysseus was left alone in the hall,
Planning death for the suitors with Athena's aid.
He spoke winged words to Telemachus:

"Telemachus, get all the weapons out of the hall.

When the suitors miss them and ask you
5
Where they are, set their minds at ease, saying:
'Oh, I have stored them out of the smoke.
They're nothing like they were when Odysseus
Went off to Troy, but are all grimed with soot.
Also, a god put this thought into my head,
10
That when you men are drinking, you might
Start quarreling and someone could get hurt,
Which would ruin your feasting and courting.
Steel has a way of drawing a man to it."'

Thus Odysseus. Telemachus nodded,
15
And calling Eurycleia he said to her:

"Nurse, shut the women inside their rooms
While I put my father's weapons away,
The beautiful weapons left out in the hall

And dulled by the smoke since he went off to war.
20
I was just a child then. But now I want
To store them away, safe from the smoke."

And Eurycleia, his old nurse, said:

"Yes, child, you are right

To care for the house and guard its wealth.
25

-290-

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