Hexameters and Rhythmic Prose

IN the July number of this magazine Mr. Lawton published a paper on Nausicaa, which contained some brilliant examples of the ease and power with which hexameters may be employed for the interpretation of Homer. Tennyson, Arnold, Dr. Hawtrey, have given us brief hexameter passages of superior subtlety ; but it is doubtful if we have seen an employment of this antique metre which exhibits more completely, on any large scale, its average efficiency in doing the hard work of Homer. From the very fact, however, that Mr. Lawton has so well shown the capacities of the hexameter, its incapacities for the translation of Homer become newly apparent. Fine a scholar of both Greek and English as Mr. Lawton is, he has not been able to relieve his renderings of an air of management and ingenuity more suggestive of the literary monument than of the actual occurrence. His lines do not read themselves. The reader, who should be thinking of Nausicaa and the ball dance, must engineer the metre, and give at least half his attention to placing his stresses correctly. Reality, compulsion of belief, absence of literary tang, adaptation to the general man, removal of attention from the medium employed, enchainment to the scene, that union of vividness with simplicity which stamps the pleasures of the years preceding rather than following our early teens, — these are qualities fundamental in Homer. They have not yet appeared in English hexameter translation. Mr. Lawton’s experiment, increases our doubt whether they ever will. A great poet, like Arthur Clough, can do much in this direction ; yet Clough used his strange verse for a serio-comic purpose, and then did not succeed in getting himself widely read. In the hands of a less virile workman, like Longfellow, the metre becomes too slipshod for permanent charm. The cause of these hexametrical difficulties a single sentence can state. The prevalent movement of English speech is iambic, — that is, a stress is thrown on nearly every second syllable ; the movement of the hexameter is largely dactylic, — that is, the stress falls on nearly every third. It may be true that in the ancient hexameter nothing like this English stress occurred, and it certainly is true that by devices both of the tendencies here mentioned are frequently headed off. But the fact remains that the hexameter as we must write it to-day is ill suited to Homer, not merely because it is an unusual metre, but because it calls for that which the English language—at least the Saxon half of it — does not most naturally supply, an abundance of dactylic words. Our native words, even when they have as many as three syllables, tend to accent the alternate ones. A tendency to alternate accent is deep in the temper of the language ; so deep that to thwart it in any long-continued way is to work at half power, and to omit those elements of our tongue which are most important for the purpose in hand. For it happens that it is precisely Saxon English, with its dominant iambic beat, which we must chiefly draw upon to equip an English Homer. His sharp-edged pictures, those utterances of his in which sight rather than thinking dictates the expression, will not come out in Latin diction. Whenever we English speakers say anything we really believe, we instinctively drop into Saxon: and Homer we always believe. He is a truth-teller who does not hunt for modes of speech, as Latinizers do. He is a thing-poet, not a word-poet, a master of incuriosa felicitas; and any measure which sets us far to seek in finding him appropriate words will distort him more than it will represent.

In one respect, however, I believe the hexametricians are on the right track. They seem to me to be feeling after a rhythmic effect which shall as little as possible be cut up into recognizable verse lengths. They want the allurement of poetry, but they want also the breadth and expansion which only prose can give. In the hexameter something of this compound power is suggested. In three respects its structure approaches prose. As blank or unrhymed verse, each line has no predetermined place in a stanza scheme ; instead, and as in prose, one line may be written or a thousand, nothing but the matter to be expressed fixing the number. Then the hexameter has an exceptionally long flight, half as long again as its nearest of kin the English ten-syllabled heroic. The choppy effect of verse is thus lessened. Strength is imparted by elongating in the direction of prose. Lastly, the variations permissible in the dominant foot and in the pauses are larger than in any of the more familiar English measures. These permissible variations are, however, treacherous. If we stick to dactyls, we produce a kind of feeble canter ; if we diversify much with spondees, — feet of two weighty syllables instead of three tripping ones, — we are in danger of puzzling our reader and rendering our verses hard to scan. But many as are the structural pitfalls which the hexameter contains for the writer, to the reader there is usually an appearance of arger license than ordinary poetry conveys. The sensuous effect, with all its palpitating rhythm, seems less rigidly metrical than the measures to which the ear is commonly tuned. To whatever the effect may be due, whether to the three considerations just pointed out or to others more elusive still, I cannot think there is a question that the hexameter strikes us all as a species of prose which has advanced a good way into the country of verse, or as verse temporarily sojourning in the regions of prose.

Perhaps it is partly this fact, that the English hexameter is a kind of tertium quid between verse and prose, which has so often enticed translators to try its difficult measure in the rendering of Homer. Squeezed into ordinary verse, a large part of Homer vanishes; for his so-called poems are straightforward narratives, broad and wide, with nothing lyrical about them. Alternations, antitheses, climaxes of feeling, rarely occur. The current runs even, calm, and clear. As the subject discussed is facts and events, not feelings, considerable space is usually needed for a single effect. This continuity, this actuality, this concernment with the men and things of every day, this emphasis of observation and of intellectual rather than emotional matters, leans toward prose. Verse establishes relations which are not wanted. It disjoints. It calls attention to portions of the poem too minute. Worst of all, it transports us from a real world into one of art and caprice. All this is hopelessly at issue with the large objective veracity of Homer. On the other hand, there is in Homer’s work a diffused and ever-present joy winch does not belong to prose. He does not write as a chronicler or man of business, but as a taster of beauty, a man of pleasure. His repetitions,— rhymes, as one may say, in the thought, — the coherence and steady elevation of his feeling, his plastic power and his delight in exercising it, all belong to verse. For rendering him fitly a medium is needed possessing the resources of both verse and prose.

Now, as has been said, the hexameter promises something of dual character. But it keeps its promise poorly. The difficulty just pointed out, of fitting our native Saxon iambics to its dactylic rhythm, narrows the means at the command of the translator, and is apt to render him artificial. But there are precious hints in the hexameter which have been insufficiently heeded. Though hampered by its foreign foot, it strongly suggests the gain that might come by compromise, the fresh power that might be obtained by lightly crossing the bounds which ordinarily separate verse from prose. For the question at once arises if we need restrict ourselves to crossing the bounds in this particular fashion. Dactylic rhythms are not obligatory. Why not employ iambic ? May we not abandon rhyme and stanza, just as the hexameter abandons them ; with it employ a structure capable of the longest or the shortest flights; then, in order to cast our phrases solid, make use of its large flexibility in pauses and even in the prevalent foot; and still retain the rhythmic beat, — a beat different, however, from that of the hexameter in being akin instead of alien to the genius of our language ? When we have done all this, we arrive at an iambic recitative, or free unmetred rhythm, whose cadences wait upon the pauses of the thought rather than upon those of any prearranged system.

Half a dozen years ago I published the first twelve books of the Odyssey, rendered in a rhythmic prose of this sort. Undertaking a novel thing, my work showed, I believe, a good many marks of the ’prentice hand. There were hitches as one read. One could not altogether withdraw attention from the method and be carried forward by the matter. In a line of verse, when a group of monosyllables falls together, the eye guides the ear to the intended rhythmic effect. In Tennyson’s lines,

“ Her manners had not that repose
Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere,”

every reader rightly accents “had,” and leaves “ not ” alone. When the semblance of a line is removed, the demand becomes more rigid and more difficult to fulfill, that the rhythmic accent and the thought accent shall instinctively coincide. With all the diversities which thought assumes in different minds, this coincidence is hard to insure. If by any oversight the reader has not been shut up to a single mode of approach, rhythmic roughnesses arise. Whether this difficulty can be altogether avoided in a predominantly Saxon diction, I am not clear. The aim, at any rate, should be to make the factor of rhythm entirely forgotten by the reader ; but through its overlooked influence to lend magic to the simple thought, to knit its structure, to justify its poetic peculiarities to the feeling, and so to explain why for twenty-five hundred years Homer has been a passion and an ennoblement among men of every station.

A specimen of a recent experiment of mine in rhythmic prose I here subjoin. It is the twenty-third book of the Odyssey, the one entitled The Recognition of Odysseus by Penelope. After a twenty years’ absence Odysseus has returned from the war, and finds at his palace more than a hundred young nobles from Ithaca and the neighboring islands, who, under pretense of wooing the widowed queen, are living at free quarters there; devouring the wine and cattle of Odysseus, corrupting his serving-women, and disregarding the rights of Penelope and the young Telemachus. In the disguise of a beggar, Odysseus carefully acquaints himself with the situation at the palace before making himself known. To Telemachus first, and subsequently to his faithful swineherd Eumæus and the neatherd Philœtius, he discloses himself, and receives from them promises of secrecy and of aid. His old nurse Eurycleia has discovered him by means of a hunting-scar. Aware how impossible it would be for Penelope to know him and to hide the glad knowledge, Athene has kept her from the discovery, but has prompted her to bring her weary years of waiting to an end. To stop the waste of her son’s goods, she has offered to give herself to him among the suitors who can bend Odysseus’ bow and send an arrow through a line of axeheads set up in the great hall, or living-room. The trial has taken place this very morning, a festal day of Apollo. The bow proves too strong for everybody in the hall until the supposed beggar, standing on the threshold — the only exit — between Telemachus and the two herdsmen, gets it into his hands, shoots first an arrow through all the twelve openings of the axes, and then shoots one into the throat of Eurymachus, the leader of the suitors. Recognized now by all the riotous troop, but aided by Athene and his three human supporters, Odysseus slaughters every man in the hall except the bard Phemius and the page Medon. During the conflict Penelope has lain asleep in her chamber, and the women-servants have been locked into their own apartment by the old nurse Eurycleia. To Eurycleia Odysseus now gives orders to awaken Penelope.

So the old woman, full of glee, went to the upper chamber to tell her mistress her dear lord was in the house. Her knees grew strong ; her feet outran themselves. By Penelope’s head she paused, and thus she spoke : —

“ Awake, Penelope, dear child, to see with your own eyes what you have hoped to see this many a day. Odysseus is here ; he has come home at last, and slain the haughty suitors, — the men who vexed his house, devoured his substance, and oppressed his son.”

Then heedful Penelope said to her: “ Dear nurse, the gods have crazed you. They can befool one who is very wise, or set the simple in the paths of prudence. They have confused you ; you were sober-minded heretofore. Why mock me when my heart is full of sorrow, telling wild tales like these ? And why arouse me from the sleep that sweetly bound me and kept my eyelids closed ? I have not. slept so soundly since Odysseus went away to see accurséd Ilios, — name never to be named. Nay, then, go down, back to the hall. If any other of my maids had come and told me this and waked me out of sleep, I would soon have sent her off in sorry wise into the hall once more. This time age serves you well.”

Then said to her the good nurse Eurycleia : “ Dear child, I do not mock you. In very truth it is Odysseus; he is come, as I have said. He is the stranger whom everybody in the hall has set at naught. Telemachus knew long ago that he was here, but out of prudence hid his knowledge of his father till he should have revenge from these bold men for wicked deeds.”

So spoke she ; and Penelope was glad, and, springing from her bed, fell on the woman’s neck, and let the tears burst from her eyes ; and, speaking in wingèd words, she said: “Nay, tell me, then, dear nurse, and tell me truly, if he is really come as you declare, how was it he laid hands upon the shameless suitors, being alone, while they were always here together ? ”

Then answered her the good nurse Eurycleia: “I did not see; I did not ask ; I only heard the groans of dying men. In a corner of our protected chamber we sat and trembled, — the doors were tightly closed, — until your son Telemachus called to me from the hall; for his father bade him call. And there among the bodies of the slain I found Odysseus standing. All around, covering the trodden floor, they lay, one on another. It would have warmed your heart to see him, like a lion, dabbled with blood and gore. Now all the bodies are collected at the courtyard gate, while he is fumigating the fair house by lighting a great fire. He sent me here to call you. Follow me, then, that you may come to gladness in your true hearts together, for sorely have you suffered. Now the long hope has been at last fulfilled. He has come back alive to his own hearth, and found you still, you and his son. within his hall; and upon those who did him wrong, the suitors, on all of them here in his home, he has obtained revenge.”

Then heedful Penelope said to her : “Dear nurse, be not too boastful yet, nor filled with glee. You know how welcome here the sight of him would be to all, and most to me and to the son we had. But this is no true tale you tell. Nay, rather some immortal slew the lordly suitors, in anger at their galling insolence and wicked deeds; for they respected nobody on earth, bad man or good, who came among them. So for their sins they suffered. But Odysseus, far from Achaia, lost the hope of coming home; nay, he was lost himself.”

Then answered her the good nurse Furycleia: “My child, what word has passed the barrier of your teeth, to say your husband, who is now beside your hearth, will never come! Your heart is always doubting. Come, then, and let me name another sign most sure, — the scar the boar dealt long ago with his white tusk. I found it as I washed him, and I would have told you then; but he laid his hand upon my mouth, and in his watchful wisdom would not let me speak. But follow me. I stake my very life; if I deceive you, slay me by the vilest death.”

Then heedful Penelope answered her: “ Dear nurse, 't is hard for you to trace the counsels of the everlasting gods, however wise you are. Nevertheless, let us go down to meet my son, and see the suitors who are dead, and him who slew them.”

So saying, she went from her chamber to the hall, and much her heart debated whether aloof to question her dear husband, or to draw near and kiss his face and take his hand. But when she entered, crossing the stone threshold, she sat down opposite Odysseus, in the firelight, beside the farther wall, He sat by a tall pillar, looking down, waiting to hear if his stately wife would speak when she should look his way. But she sat silent long; amazement filled her heart. Now she would gaze with a long look upon his face, and now she would not know him for the mean clothes that he wore. But Telemachus rebuked her, and spoke to her and said: —

“ Mother, hard mother, of ungentle heart, why do you hold aloof so from my father, and do not sit beside him, plying him with words and questions? There is no other woman of such stubborn spirit to stand off from her husband, who, after many grievous toils, comes, in the twentieth year, home to his native land. Your heart is always harder than a stone.”

Then said to him heedful Penelope: “ My child, my soul within is dazed with wonder. I cannot speak to him, nor ask a question, nor look him in the face. But if indeed this he Odysseus come at last, we certainly shall know each other better than others know; for we have signs which we two understand,— signs hidden from the rest.”

As she, long tried, thus spoke, royal Odysseus smiled, and said to Telemachus forthwith in winged words : “ Telemachus, leave your mother in the hall to try my truth. She soon will know me better. Now, because I am foul and dressed in sorry clothes, she holds me in dishonor, and says I am not he. But you and I have yet to plan how all may turn out well. For whoso kills one man among a tribe, though the man leaves few champions behind, becomes an exile, quitting kin and country. We have destroyed the pillars of the state, the very noblest youths of Ithaca. Form, then, a plan, I pray.”

Then answered him discreet Telemachus : “ Look you to that, dear father. Your wisdom is, they say, the best among mankind. No mortal man can rival you. Zealously will we follow, and not fail, I think, in daring, so far as power is ours.”

Then wise Odysseus answered him and said: “ Then I will tell you what seems best to me. First wash and put on tunics, and bid the maids about the house array themselves. Then let the sacred bard with tuneful lyre lead us in sportive dancing, that men may say, hearing us from without, ' It is awedding,’ whether such men be passers-by or neighboring folk; and so broad rumor may not reach the town about the suitors’ murder till we be gone to our well-wooded farm. There will we plan as the Olympian shall grant us wisdom.”

So he spoke, and willingly they heeded and obeyed. First, then, they washed themselves and put on tunics, and the women also put on their attire. And then the noble bard took up his hollow lyre, and in them stirred desire for merry music and the gallant dance; and the great house resounded to the tread of lusty men and gay-girt women. And one who heard the dancing from without would say, “ Well, well! some man has married the long-courted queen. Hard-hearted! For the husband of her youth she would not guard her great house to the end, till he should come.” So they would say, but knew not how things were.

Meanwhile, within the house, Eurynome the housekeeper bathed resolute Odysseus, and anointed him with oil, and on him put a goodly robe and tunic. Upon his face Athene cast great beauty, and made him taller than before, and stouter to behold; and she made the curling locks to fall around his head as on the hyacinth flower. As when a man lays gold on silver, some skillful man whom Hepluestus and Pallas Athene have trained in every art, and he fashions graceful work, so did she lay a grace upon his head and shoulders. Forth from the bath he came, in bearing like the immortals, and once more took the seat from which he first arose, facing his wife, and spoke to her these words : —

“ Lady, a heart impenetrable beyond the sex of women the dwellers on Olympus gave to you. There is no other woman of such stubborn spirit to stand off from her husband when, after many grievous toils, he comes, in the twentieth year, home to his native land. Come, then, good nurse, and make my bed that I may lie alone. For certainly of iron is the heart within her breast.”

Then said to him heedful Penelope: “Nay, sir, I am not proud, nor contemptuous of you, nor too much dazed with wonder. I very well remember what you were when you went upon your long-oared ship away from Ithaca. However, Eurycleia, make up his massive bed outside that stately chamber which he himself once built. Move the massive frame out there, and throw the bedding on, — the fleeces, robes, and bright-hued rugs.”

She said this in the hope to prove her husband; but Odysseus spoke in anger to his faithful wife: “Woman, these are bitter words which you have said. Who set my bed elsewhere ? A hard task that would be for one, however skilled, unless a god should come and by his will set it with ease upon some other spot; but among men no living being, even in his prime, could lightly shift it; for a great token is inwrought into its curious frame. I built it; no one else. There grew a thick-leaved olive shrub inside the yard, full grown and vigorous, in girth much like a pillar. Round this I formed my chamber, and I worked till it was done, building it out of closeset stones, and roofing it over well. Framed and tight-fitting doors I added to it. Then I lopped the thick-leaved olive’s crest, cutting the stem high up above the roots, neatly and skillfully smoothed with my axe the sides, and to the line I kept all true to shape my post, and with an auger I bored it all along. Starting with this. I fashioned me the bed till it was finished, and I inlaid it well with gold, with silver, and with ivory. On it I stretched a thong of ox-hide, gay with purple. This is the token I now tell. I do not know whether the bed still stands there, wife, or whether somebody has set it elsewhere, cutting the olive trunk.

As thus he spoke, her knees grew feeble, and her very soul, when she recognized the tokens which Odysseus truly told. Then, bursting into tears, she ran straight toward him, threw her arms round Odysseus’ neck and kissed his face, and said : —

“ Odysseus, do not scorn me. Ever before you were the wisest of mankind. The gods have sent us sorrow, and grudged our staying side by side to share the joys of youth and reach the threshold of old age. But do not be angry with me now, nor take it ill that then when I first saw you I did not greet you thus; for the heart within my breast was always trembling. I feared some man might come and cheat me with his tale. Many a man makes wicked schemes for gain, is Nay, Argive Helen, the daughter of Zeus, would not have given herself to love a stranger if she had known how warrior sons of the Achæns would bring her home again, back to her native land. And yet it was a god prompted her deed of shame. Before she did not cherish in her heart such sin, such grievous sin, from which began the woe which stretched to us. But now, when you have clearly told the tokens of our bed, which no one else has seen but only you and I and the single servant, Actoris, whom my father gave me on my coming here to keep the door of our closed chamber, you make even my ungentle heart believe.”

So she spoke, and stirred still more his yearning after tears; and he began to weep, holding his loved and faithful wife. As when the welcome land appears to swimmers, whose sturdy ship Poseidon wrecked at sea, confounded by the winds and solid waters ; a few escape the foaming sea and swim ashore ; thick salt-foam crusts their flesh; they climb the welcome land, and are escaped from danger: so welcome to her gazing eyes appeared her husband. From round his neck she never let her white arms go. And rosy-fingered dawn had found them weeping, but a different plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed Athene. She checked the long night in its passage, and at the Ocean stream she stayed the gold-throned dawn, and did not suffer it to yoke the swift-paced horses which carry light to men, Lampus and Phaeton which bear the dawn. And now to his wife said wise Odysseus : —

“O wife, we have not reached the end of all our trials yet. Hereafter comes a task immeasurable, long and severe, which I must needs fulfill; for so the spirit of Teiresias told me, that day when I descended to the house of Hades to learn about the journey of my comrades and myself. But come, my wife, let us to bed, that there at last we may refresh ourselves with pleasant sleep.”

Then said to him heedful Penelope : " The bed shall be prepared whenever your heart wills, now that the gods have let you reach your stately house and native land. But since you speak of this and God inspires your heart, come tell that trial. In time to come I know I shall experience it. To learn about it now makes it no worse.”

Then wise Odysseus answered her and said: “ Lady, why urge me so insistently to tell ? Well. I will speak it out; I will not hide. Yet your heart will feel no joy ; I have no joy myself ; for Teiresias bade me go to many a peopled town, bearing in hand a shapely oar, till I should reach the men that know no sea and do not eat food mixed with salt. These, therefore, have no knowledge of the red-cheeked ships, nor of the shapely oars which are the wings of ships. And this was the sign, he said, easy to be observed. I will not hide it from you. When another traveler, meeting me, should say I had a winnowing-fan on my white shoulder, there in the ground he bade me fix my oar and make fit offerings to lord Poseidon, — a ram, a bull, and the sow’s mate, a boar, — and, turning homeward, to offer sacred hecatombs to the immortal gods who hold the open sky, all in the order due. And on myself death from the sea shall very gently come and cut me off, bowed down with hale old age. Round me shall be a prosperous people. All this, he said, should be fulfilled.”

Then said to him heedful Penelope: “ If gods can make old age the better time, then there is hope there will be rest from trouble.”

So they conversed together. Meanwhile, Eurynome and the nurse prepared their bed with clothing soft, under the light of blazing torches. And after they had spread the comfortable bed, with busy speed, the old woman departed to her room to rest; while Eurynome the chambermaid, with torch in hand, walked on before, as they two came to bed. She brought them to their chamber, and then she went her way. So they came gladly to their old bed’s rites. And now Telemachus, the neatherd, and the swineherd stayed their feet from dancing, and bade the women stay, and all betook themselves to rest throughout the dusky halls.

So when the pair had joyed in happy love, they joyed in talking too, each one relating : she, the royal lady, what she endured at home, watching the wasteful throng of suitors, who, making excuse of her, slew many cattle, beeves and sturdy sheep, and stores of wine were drained from out the casks ; he, highborn Odysseus, what miseries he brought on other men and what he bore himself in anguish, — all he told, and she was glad to listen. No sleep fell on her eyelids till he had told her all.

He began with how at first he conquered the Ciconians, and came thereafter to the fruitful land of Lotus-eaters ; then what the Cyclops did, and how he took revenge for the brave comrades whom the Cyclops ate and never pitied ; then how he came to Æolus, who gave him hearty welcome and sent him on his way; but it was fated that he should not reach his dear land yet, for a sweeping storm bore him once more along the swarming sea. loudly lamenting; how he came to Telepylus in Lajstrygonia, where the men destroyed his ships and his mailed comrades, all of them ; Odysseus fled in his black ship alone. He told of Circe, too, and all her crafty guile ; and how on a ship of many oars he came to the mouldering house of Hades, there to consult the spirit of Teiresias of Thebes, and looked on all his comrades, and on the mother who had borne him and cared for him when little ; how he had heard the full-voiced Sirens’ song ; how he came to the Wandering Rocks, to dire Charybdis and to Scylla, past whom none goes unharmed ; how then his crew slew the Sun’s kine ; how Zeus with a blazing bolt smote his swift ship, — Zeus, thundering from on high, — and his good comrades perished utterly, all, while lie escaped their evil doom; how he came to the island of Ogygia and to the nymph Calypso, who held him in her hollow grotto, wishing him to be her husband, cherishing him, and saying she would make him an immortal, young forever, but site never beguiled the heart within his breast; then how he came through many toils to the Phæacians, who honored him exceedingly, as if he were a god, and brought him on his way to his own native land, giving him stores of bronze and gold and clothing. This was the latest tale he told, when pleasant sleep fell on him, easing his limbs and from his heart removing care.

Now a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed Athene, when in her mind she judged Odysseus had enough of love and sleep. Straightway from out the Ocean stream she roused the gold-throned dawn, to bring the light to men. Odysseus was aroused front his soft bed, and gave his wife this charge : —

“ Wife, we have had in days gone by our fill of trials : you mourning here my grievous journey home; me, Zeus and the other gods bound fast in sorrow, all eager as I was, far from my native land. But since we now have reached the rest we long desired together, do you protect whatever wealth is still within my halls. As for the flocks which the audacious suitors wasted, I shall myself seize many, and the Achæans shall give me more besides, until they fill my folds. But now I go to the well-wooded farm to visit my good father, who for my sake has been in constant grief. On you, my wife, wise as you are, I lay this charge. Straight with the sunrise a report will go abroad about the suitors whom I slew here in the hall. Then go to the upper chamber with your waiting-women, and there abide. Give not a look to any one, nor ask a question.”

He spoke, and girt his beautiful arms about his shoulders; and he awoke Telemachus, the neatherd, and the swineherd, and bade them all take weapons in their hands for fighting. They did not disobey, but took their brazen harness. They opened the doors ; they sallied forth ; Odysseus led the way. Over the land it was already light, but Athene, hiding them in darkness, led them swiftly from the town.

George Herbert Palmer.