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Author Topic: Odysseus/Ulysses  (Read 4495 times)
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« on: June 23, 2008, 05:50:45 pm »

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[157] OF all the heroes that fought against Troy, the wisest and shrewdest was Ulysses, the young king of Ithaca. Yet he went not willingly to the war. It would have pleased him better to remain at home with his fair wife, Penelope, and his baby boy, Telemachus. He was far happier pruning his grapevines and plowing among his orchard trees than he could ever be in the turmoil of battle, wielding the sword or thrusting the spear. But the princes of Greece demanded that he should help them, and rather than be deemed a coward he consented.

"Go, Ulysses," said Penelope, "I will keep your home and kingdom safe until you return."

"Do your duty, Ulysses," said his old father, Laertes. "Go, and may wise Athene speed your coming back."

And so, bidding farewell to Ithaca and all that he held dear, he sailed away. Forgetting the quiet delights of home, he thenceforth gave all his thoughts to war.

[158] Ten years passed before the weary siege of Troy was ended. When at length the city was laid in ashes, the Greeks embarked in their ships, and each chieftain with his followers sought, in his own way, to return to his native land. Fondly then did the thoughts of Ulysses turn to his loved wife and his child, now a sturdy lad with winning ways; and he longed to see again the rugged hills and pleasant shores of Ithaca.

"Spread the sails, my men, and row hard," he said to his fellows ; "for Penelope waits at home for my return, and keeps my kingdom for me."

But scarcely were his little ships well out to sea ere fearful storms arose. The vessels were tossed hither and thither at the mercy of the winds and waves. They were driven far, far out of their course. The sailors lost their reckoning, and not one could tell which way to steer for Ithaca. By strange, wild shores they sailed, past lands where barbarous people dwelt; and every puff of wind and every stroke of oars drove them farther and farther away from the port which they sought.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 06:50:13 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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