ODYSSEY 18

And now there came the town beggar
Making his rounds, known throughout Ithaca
For his greedy belly and endless bouts
Of eating and drinking. He had no real strength
Or fighting power—just plenty of bulk. 5
Arnaeus was the name his mother had given him,
But the young men all called him Irus
Because he was always running errands for someone.
He had a mind to drive Odysseus out of his own house
And started in on him with words like this: 10

"Out of the doorway, geezer, before I throw you out
On your ear! Don't you see all these people
Winking at me to give you the bum's rush?
I wouldn't want to stoop so low, but if you don't

Get out now, I may have to lay hands on you."
15

Odysseus gave him a measured look and said:

"What's wrong with you? I'm not doing
Or saying anything to bother you. I don't mind
If someone gives you a handout, even a large one.

This doorway is big enough for both of us.
20
There's no need for you to be jealous of others.
Now look, you're a vagrant, just like I am.
Prosperity is up to the gods. But if I were you,
I'd be careful about challenging me with your fists.
I might get angry, and old man though I am,
25
I just might haul off and bust you in the mouth.

-276-

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Odyssey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Homer - Odyssey *
  • Contents v
  • Introduction xiii
  • Note on the Text lxiv
  • Odyssey 1 1
  • Odyssey 2 *
  • Odyssey 3 28
  • Odyssey 4 44
  • Odyssey 5 70
  • Odyssey 6 85
  • Odyssey 7 95
  • Odyssey 8 106
  • Odyssey 9 125
  • Odyssey 10 141
  • Odyssey 11 158
  • Odyssey 12 178
  • Odyssey 13 192
  • Odyssey 14 206
  • Odyssey 15 222
  • Odyssey 16 240
  • Odyssey 17 256
  • Odyssey 18 276
  • Odyssey 19 290
  • Odyssey 20 309
  • Odyssey 21 322
  • Odyssey 22 336
  • Odyssey 23 353
  • Odyssey 24 365
  • Translator''s Postscript 382
  • Glossary of Names 385
  • Index of Speeches 403
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 412
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