Some of the words you’ll find within yourself,
the rest some power will inspire you to say.
You least of all — I know —
were born and reared without the gods’ good will.
[τὸν δ᾽ αὖτε προσέειπε θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη:
‘Τηλέμαχ᾽, ἄλλα μὲν αὐτὸς ἐνὶ φρεσὶ σῇσι νοήσεις,
ἄλλα δὲ καὶ δαίμων ὑποθήσεται: οὐ γὰρ ὀίω
οὔ σε θεῶν ἀέκητι γενέσθαι τε τραφέμεν τε.’]
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 3, l. 25ff (3.25) [Athena to Telemachus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
Original Greek. Alternate translations:
Thy mind will some conceit impress,
And something God will prompt thy towardness;
For, I suppose, thy birth, and breeding too,
Were not in spite of what the Gods could do.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]
Telemachus, said Pallas, do not fear,
You’ll somewhat prompted be by your own breast
(You never by the Gods neglected were),
The God that loves you will supply the rest.
[tr. Hobbes (1675)]
To whom the martial goddess thus rejoin'd:
"Search, for some thoughts, thy own suggesting mind;
And others, dictated by heavenly power,
Shall rise spontaneous in the needful hour.
For nought unprosperous shall thy ways attend,
Born with good omens, and with heaven thy friend."
[tr. Pope (1725)]
Thou wilt, in part, thyself
Fit speech devise, and heav’n will give the rest;
For thou wast neither born, nor hast been train’d
To manhood, under unpropitious Pow’rs.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 33ff]
Thou shalt bethink thee of somewhat in thine own breast, and somewhat the god will give thee to say. For thou, methinks, of all men wert not born and bred without the will of the gods.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]
Some words surely the thought in thine heart shall make,
And some the Gods shall give thee: for this of thee I wot,
That against the will of the Godfolk thy birth and thy life were not.
[tr. Morris (1887)]
Some promptings you will find in your own breast, and Heaven will send still more; for, certainly, not unbefriended of the gods have you been born and bred.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]
Some things, will be suggested to you by your own instinct, and heaven will prompt you further; for I am assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth until now.
[tr. Butler (1898)]
"Some things, Telemachus," answered owl-vision Athena, “will be suggested to you by your own instinct, and some superhuman force will prompt you further; for I am assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth until now."
[tr. Butler (1898), rev. Kim/McCray/Nagy/Power (2018)]
Somewhat thou wilt of thyself devise in thy breast, and somewhat heaven too will prompt thee. For, methinks, not without the favour of the gods hast thou been born and reared.
[tr. Murray (1919)]
Your heart will prompt you in part: and other things the spirit will teach you to say. I think if ever anyone was conceived and grew to manhood with the fostering care of the gods, it was yourself.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]
Reason and heart will give you words, Telémakhos;
and a spirit will counsel others. I should say
the gods were never indifferent to your life.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]
You'll come up with some things yourself, Telemachus,
And a god will suggest others. I do not think
You were born and bred without the gods' good will.
[tr. Lombardo (2000)]
You will work out what to do,
through your own wits and with divine assistance.
The gods have blessed you in your life so far.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]
Added on 21-Apr-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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