ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε , μοῦσα , πολύτροπον , ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη , ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν :
πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω ,
πολλὰ δ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν ,
5ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων .
ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς ἑτάρους ἐρρύσατο , ἱέμενός περ :
αὐτῶν γὰρ σφετέρῃσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὄλοντο ,
νήπιοι , οἳ κατὰ βοῦς Ὑπερίονος Ἠελίοιο
ἤσθιον : αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσιν ἀφείλετο νόστιμον ἦμαρ .
10 τῶν ἁμόθεν γε , θεά , θύγατερ Διός , εἰπὲ καὶ ἡμῖν .
ἔνθ᾽ ἄλλοι μὲν πάντες , ὅσοι φύγον αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον ,
οἴκοι ἔσαν , πόλεμόν τε πεφευγότες ἠδὲ θάλασσαν :
τὸν δ᾽ οἶον νόστου κεχρημένον ἠδὲ γυναικὸς
νύμφη πότνι᾽ ἔρυκε Καλυψὼ δῖα θεάων
15 ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι , λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι .
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ ἔτος ἦλθε περιπλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν ,
τῷ οἱ ἐπεκλώσαντο θεοὶ οἶκόνδε νέεσθαι
εἰς Ἰθάκην , οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα πεφυγμένος ἦεν ἀέθλων
καὶ μετὰ οἷσι φίλοισι . θεοὶ δ᾽ ἐλέαιρον ἅπαντες
20 νόσφι Ποσειδάωνος : ὁ δ᾽ ἀσπερχὲς μενέαινεν
ἀντιθέῳ Ὀδυσῆι πάρος ἣν γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι .
ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν Αἰθίοπας μετεκίαθε τηλόθ᾽ ἐόντας ,
Αἰθίοπας τοὶ διχθὰ δεδαίαται , ἔσχατοι ἀνδρῶν ,
οἱ μὲν δυσομένου Ὑπερίονος οἱ δ᾽ ἀνιόντος ,
25 ἀντιόων ταύρων τε καὶ ἀρνειῶν ἑκατόμβης .
ἔνθ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐτέρπετο δαιτὶ παρήμενος : οἱ δὲ δὴ ἄλλοι
Ζηνὸς ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν Ὀλυμπίου ἁθρόοι ἦσαν .
τοῖσι δὲ μύθων ἦρχε πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε :
μνήσατο γὰρ κατὰ θυμὸν ἀμύμονος Αἰγίσθοιο ,
30 τόν ῥ᾽ Ἀγαμεμνονίδης τηλεκλυτὸς ἔκταν᾽ Ὀρέστης :
τοῦ ὅ γ᾽ ἐπιμνησθεὶς ἔπε᾽ ἀθανάτοισι μετηύδα :
ὢ πόποι , οἷον δή νυ θεοὺς βροτοὶ αἰτιόωνται :
ἐξ ἡμέων γάρ φασι κάκ᾽ ἔμμεναι , οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
σφῇσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὑπὲρ μόρον ἄλγε᾽ ἔχουσιν ,
35ὡς καὶ νῦν Αἴγισθος ὑπὲρ μόρον Ἀτρεΐδαο
γῆμ᾽ ἄλοχον μνηστήν , τὸν δ᾽ ἔκτανε νοστήσαντα ,
εἰδὼς αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον , ἐπεὶ πρό οἱ εἴπομεν ἡμεῖς ,
Ἑρμείαν πέμψαντες , ἐύσκοπον ἀργεϊφόντην ,
μήτ᾽ αὐτὸν κτείνειν μήτε μνάασθαι ἄκοιτιν :
40ἐκ γὰρ Ὀρέσταο τίσις ἔσσεται Ἀτρεΐδαο ,
ὁππότ᾽ ἂν ἡβήσῃ τε καὶ ἧς ἱμείρεται αἴης .
ὣς ἔφαθ᾽ Ἑρμείας , ἀλλ᾽ οὐ φρένας Αἰγίσθοιο
πεῖθ᾽ ἀγαθὰ φρονέων : νῦν δ᾽ ἁθρόα πάντ᾽ ἀπέτισεν .
Tell me , O Muse , of that many-sided hero who traveled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy . Many cities did he visit , and many were the people with whose customs and thinking [ noos ] he was acquainted ; many things he suffered at sea while seeking to save his own life [ psukhê ] and to achieve the safe homecoming [ nostos ] of his companions ; but do what he might he could not save his men , for they perished through their own sheer recklessness in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Helios ; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home . Tell me , as you have told those who came before me , about all these things , O daughter of Zeus , starting from whatsoever point you choose .
So now all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck had got safely home except Odysseus , and he , though he was longing for his return [ nostos ] to his wife and country , was detained by the goddess Calypso , who had got him into a large cave and wanted to marry him . But as years went by , there came a time when the gods settled that he should go back to Ithaca ; even then , however , when he was among his own people , his trials [ athloi ] were not yet over ; nevertheless all the gods had now begun to pity him except Poseidon , who still persecuted him without ceasing and would not let him get home .
Now Poseidon had gone off to the Ethiopians , who are at the world ' s end , and lie in two halves , the one looking West and the other East . He had gone there to accept a hecatomb of sheep and oxen , and was enjoying himself at his festival ; but the other gods met in the house of Olympian Zeus , and the sire of gods and men spoke first . At that moment he was thinking of Aigisthos , who had been killed by Agamemnon ' s son Orestes ; so he said to the other gods :
" See now , how men consider us gods responsible [ aitioi ] for what is after all nothing but their own folly . Look at Aigisthos ; he must needs make love to Agamemnon ' s wife unrighteously and then kill Agamemnon , though he knew it would be the death of him ; for I sent Hermes to warn him not to do either of these things , inasmuch as Orestes would be sure to take his revenge when he grew up and wanted to return home . Hermes told him this in all good will but he would not listen , and now he has paid for everything in full . "
[ 1 ] Tell me , O Muse , of the man of many devices , who wandered full many ways after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy . Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose mind he learned , aye , and many the woes he suffered in his heart upon the sea , [ 5 ] seeking to win his own life and the return of his comrades . Yet even so he saved not his comrades , though he desired it sore , for through their own blind folly they perished—fools , who devoured the kine of Helios Hyperion ; but he took from them the day of their returning . [ 10 ] Of these things , goddess , daughter of Zeus , beginning where thou wilt , tell thou even unto us . Now all the rest , as many as had escaped sheer destruction , were at home , safe from both war and sea , but Odysseus alone , filled with longing for his return and for his wife , did the queenly nymph Calypso , that bright goddess , [ 15 ] keep back in her hollow caves , yearning that he should be her husband . But when , as the seasons revolved , the year came in which the gods had ordained that he should return home to Ithaca , not even there was he free from toils , even among his own folk . And all the gods pitied him [ 20 ] save Poseidon ; but he continued to rage unceasingly against godlike Odysseus until at length he reached his own land . Howbeit Poseidon had gone among the far-off Ethiopians—the Ethiopians who dwell sundered in twain , the farthermost of men , some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises , [ 25 ] there to receive a hecatomb of bulls and rams , and there he was taking his joy , sitting at the feast ; but the other gods were gathered together in the halls of Olympian Zeus . Among them the father of gods and men was first to speak , for in his heart he thought of noble Aegisthus , [ 30 ] whom far-famed Orestes , Agamemnon ' s son , had slain . Thinking on him he spoke among the immortals , and said : " Look you now , how ready mortals are to blame the gods . It is from us , they say , that evils come , but they even of themselves , through their own blind folly , have sorrows beyond that which is ordained . [ 35 ] Even as now Aegisthus , beyond that which was ordained , took to himself the wedded wife of the son of Atreus , and slew him on his return , though well he knew of sheer destruction , seeing that we spake to him before , sending Hermes , the keen-sighted Argeiphontes , 1 that he should neither slay the man nor woo his wife ; [ 40 ] for from Orestes shall come vengeance for the son of Atreus when once he has come to manhood and longs for his own land . So Hermes spoke , but for all his good intent he prevailed not upon the heart of Aegisthus ; and now he has paid the full price of all . "