There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.
A man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.
Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say that we devise their misery. But they themselves- in their depravity- design grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.
Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.
[I]t is the wine that leads me on, the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool – it drives the man to dancing... it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told.
Now from his breast into the 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 serf 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.
Yea, and if some god shall wreck me in the wine-dark deep, even so I will endure… For already have I suffered full much, and much have I toiled in perils of waves and war. Let this be added to the tale of those.
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end.
So, the gods don't hand out all their gifts at once, not build and brains and flowing speech to all. One man may fail to impress us with his looks but a god can crown his words with beauty, charm, and men look on with delight when he speaks out. Never faltering, filled with winning self-control, he shines forth at assembly grounds and people gaze at him like a god when he walks through the streets. Another man may look like a deathless one on high but there's not a bit of grace to crown his words. Just like you, my fine, handsome friend.
These nights are endless, and a man can sleep through them, or he can enjoy listening to stories, and you have no need to go to bed before it is time. Too much sleep is only a bore. And of the others, any one whose heart and spirit urge him can go outside and sleep, and then, when the dawn shows, breakfast first, then go out to tend the swine of our master. But we two, sitting here in the shelter, eating and drinking, shall entertain each other remembering and retelling our sad sorrows. For afterwards a man who has suffered much and wandered much has pleasure out of his sorrows.
Come then, put away your sword in its sheath, and let us two go up into my bed so that, lying together in the bed of love, we may then have faith and trust in each other.
Tell me about a complicated man. Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy, and where he went, and who he met, the pain he suffered in the storms at sea, and how he worked to save his life and bring his men back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools, they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus, tell the old story for our modern times. Find the beginning.
[B]ut it is only what happens, when they die, to all mortals. The sinews no longer hold the flesh and the bones together, and once the spirit has let the white bones, all the rest of the body is made subject to the fire's strong fury, but the soul flitters out like a dream and flies away.
There is no greater fame for a man than that which he wins with his footwork or the skill of his hands.
Say not a word in death's favor; I would rather be a paid servant in a poor man's house and be above ground than king of kings among the dead." -Achilles.
For they imagined as they wished--that it was a wild shot,/ an unintended killing--fools, not to comprehend/ they were already in the grip of death./ But glaring under his brows Odysseus answered: 'You yellow dogs, you thought I'd never make it/ home from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder,/ twisted my maids to serve your beds. You dared/ bid for my wife while I was still alive./ Contempt was all you had for the gods who rule wide heaven,/ contempt for what men say of you hereafter./ Your last hour has come. You die in blood.
τέτλαθι δή, κραδίη: καὶ κύντερον ἄλλο ποτ᾽ ἔτλης. - Be patient, my heart: for you have endured things worse than this before.
The rose Dawn might have found them weeping still had not grey-eyed Athena slowed the night when night was most profound, and held the Dawn under the Ocean of the East. That glossy team, Firebright and Daybright, the Dawn's horses that draw her heavenward for men- Athena stayed their harnessing.
First she said we were to keep clear of the Sirens, who sit and sing most beautifully in a field of flowers; but she said I might hear them myself so long as no one else did. Therefore, take me and bind me to the crosspiece half way up the mast; bind me as I stand upright, with a bond so fast that I cannot possibly break away, and lash the rope's ends to the mast itself. If I beg and pray you to set me free, then bind me more tightly still.
Come, weave us a scheme so I can pay them back! Stand beside me, Athena, fire me with daring, fierce as the day we ripped Troy's glittering crown of towers down. Stand by me - furious now as then, my bright-eyed one - and I would fight three hundred men, great goddess, with you to brace me, comrade-in-arms in battle!.
...if fifty bands of men surrounded us/ and every sword sang for your blood,/ you could make off still with their cows and sheep.
And what if one of the gods does wreck me out on the wine-dark sea? I have a heart that is inured to suffering and I shall steel it to endure that too. For in my day I have had many bitter and painful experiences in war and on the stormy seas. So let this new disaster come. It only makes one more.
Of the many things hidden from the knowledge of man, nothing is more unintelligible than the human heart.
If you are one of earth’s inhabitants, how blest your father, and your gentle mother, blest all your kin. I know what happiness must send the warm tears to their eyes, each time they see their wondrous child go to the dancing! But one man’s destiny is more than blest—he who prevails, and takes you as his bride. Never have I laid eyes on equal beauty in man or woman. I am hushed indeed.
down the dank mouldering paths and past the Ocean's streams they went and past the White Rock and the Sun's Western Gates and past the Land of Dreams, and soon they reached the fields of asphodel where the dead, the burnt-out wraiths of mortals make their home.