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Odysseus to Laërtes

Одиссей у Лаэрта

One still within his lot of years,
O my fate, O sacred one!
I am no wolf, no murderer,
And I honor you, the faithful guardian.

Your face has furrowed features but
Your mind’s not dull to the whirl of life.
You, Laërtes, father, I salute,
Ruminative in your homeland’s strife.

I look out: the tended garden beds
Laid out on slopes of the craggy hills.
The produce hanging with ripened heads
Plucked fresh their fragrance fills the halls!

I shed a reluctant flow of tears,
I compel my heart to yield,
Then bow and flood the earth, to share
Abundant tears on the dry field.

It is sweet to me, and painful to me
To sit with you in your goatskin shirt.
I believe — god is in tranquility
Not the thunder, not the stormy blast.

But who to me, with a rosy aura,
Is that unspeakable delight?!
The warrior goddess Pallas Athena
Rises from the sea in her diamond shield.

Graybeard, I hasten to leave your sight,
The last time I see you wholly yourself
And once more bare-chested at night
I seem to see the maelstrom and cliff.

My black fate, as by the hand of Zeus
Was plucked from me and just in time.
And the deadly agonizing throes
I see at last are left behind.

And I do not remember the days of war,
Nor the flames and smoke and cries of victors,
Nor the women, lurid, fawning and eager,
Interchangeable each from the other —

You with your myrtle crown of honor
Look out on skies washed clean of cloud,
And with the cherished name of “father”
I will serve Erebus’s dark abode.

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