Book Twenty-Three of The Odyssey
By natm88, Updated
Penelope proves Odysseus's loyalty.
Homer's The Odyssey: Book 23
"Athena lent him beauty, head to foot. She made him taller, and massive, too, with crisping hair in curls like petals of wild hyacinth but all red-golden."
Odysseus sits on his throne and meets with his wife, Penelope.
Odysseus acknowledges his wife's indifference to his arrival home and commands the servants to make up his own bed.
Penelope refutes this...
Servants, move my bed and set it outside for Odysseus to sleep on.
Odysseus is enraged!
I laid that trunk of olive here myself! Nobody else could have known our secret! The bed is immovable!
"Do not rage at me Odysseus....Forgive me, don't be angry. I could not welcome you with love on sight!...But here and now, what sign could be so clear as this of our own bed?"
"Now from his breast into his eyes the ache of longing mounted, and he wept at last, his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms, longed for as the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer spent in rough water where his ship went down under Poseidon's blows, gale winds and tons of sea. Few men can keep alive through a big surf to crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches in joy, in joy knowing the abyss behind: and so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband, her white arms round him pressed as though forever."
In the end, all was resolved.
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