Δουλιχίῳ τε Σάμῃ τε καὶ ὑλήεντι Ζακύνθῳ, οἵ τ᾿ αὐτὴν Ἰθάκην εὐδείελον ἀμφινέμονται, οἵ μ᾿ ἀεκαζομένην μνῶνται, τρύχουσι δὲ οἶκον.2 τῷ οὔτε ξείνων ἐμπάζομαι οὔθ᾿ ἱκετάων 135οὔτε τι κηρύκων, οἳ δημιοεργοὶ ἔασιν· ἀλλ᾿ Ὀδυσῆ ποθέουσα φίλον κατατήκομαι ἦτορ. οἱ δὲ γάμον σπεύδουσιν· ἐγὼ δὲ δόλους τολυπεύω. φᾶρος μέν μοι πρῶτον ἐνέπνευσε φρεσὶ δαίμων, στησαμένῃ μέγαν ἱστόν, ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ὑφαίνειν, 140λεπτὸν καὶ περίμετρον· ἄφαρ δ᾿ αὐτοῖς μετέειπον·
“‘κοῦροι, ἐμοὶ μνηστῆρες, ἐπεὶ θάνε δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς, μίμνετ᾿ ἐπειγόμενοι τὸν ἐμὸν γάμον, εἰς ὅ κε φᾶρος ἐκτελέσω—μή μοι μεταμώνια νήματ᾿ ὄληται— Λαέρτῃ ἥρωι ταφήιον, εἰς ὅτε κέν μιν 145μοῖρ᾿ ὀλοὴ καθέλῃσι τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο· μή τίς μοι κατὰ δῆμον Ἀχαιιάδων νεμεσήσῃ, αἴ κεν ἄτερ σπείρου κεῖται πολλὰ κτεατίσσας.’
“ὣς ἐφάμην, τοῖσιν δ᾿ ἐπεπείθετο θυμὸς ἀγήνωρ. ἔνθα καὶ ἠματίη μὲν ὑφαίνεσκον μέγαν ἱστόν, 150νύκτας δ᾿ ἀλλύεσκον, ἐπεὶ δαΐδας παραθείμην. ὣς τρίετες μὲν ἔληθον ἐγὼ καὶ ἔπειθον Ἀχαιούς· ἀλλ᾿ ὅτε τέτρατον ἦλθεν ἔτος καὶ ἐπήλυθον ὧραι, μηνῶν φθινόντων, περὶ δ᾿ ἤματα πόλλ᾿ ἐτελέσθη,3 καὶ τότε δή με διὰ δμῳάς, κύνας οὐκ ἀλεγούσας, 155εἷλον ἐπελθόντες καὶ ὁμόκλησαν ἐπέεσσιν.
Dulichium, and Same, and wooded Zacynthus—and those who dwell round about in clear-seen Ithaca itself, all these woo me against my will, and lay waste my house. Therefore I pay no heed to strangers or to suppliants or at all to heralds, whose trade is a public one; instead, in longing for Odysseus I waste my heart away. So these men urge on my marriage, and I wind a skein of wiles. First some god breathed the thought in my heart to set up a great web in my halls and fall to weaving a robe—fine of thread was the web and very wide; and I at once spoke among them:
“‘Young men, my suitors, since noble Odysseus is dead, be patient, though eager for my marriage, until I finish this robe—I would not have my spinning come to nothing—a shroud for the hero Laertes against the time when the cruel fate of pitiless death shall strike him down; for fear anyone of the Achaean women in the land should cast blame upon me, if he were to lie without a shroud, who had won great possessions.’
“So I spoke, and their proud hearts consented. Then day by day I would weave at the great web, but by night would unravel it, when I had had torches placed beside me. Thus for three years I kept the Achaeans from knowing, and beguiled them; but when the fourth year came, as the seasons rolled on, as the months waned, and the many days were brought in their course, then it was that by the help of my maids, shameless creatures and reckless, they came upon me and caught me, and upbraided