Death and Odysseus, by Lord Dunsany
In the Olympian courts Love laughed at Death, because he was
unsightly, and because She couldn't help it, and because he never
did anything worth doing, and because She would.
And Death hated being laughed at, and used to brood apart thinking
only of his wrongs and of what he could do to end this intolerable
But one day Death appeared in the courts with an air and They all
noticed it. "What are you up to now?" said Love. And Death with
some solemnity said to Her: "I am going to frighten Odysseus"; and
drawing about him his grey traveller's cloak went out through the
windy door with his jowl turned earthwards.
And he came soon to Ithaca and the hall that Athene knew, and
opened the door and saw there famous Odysseus, with his white
locks bending close over the fire, trying to warm his hands.
And the wind through the open door blew bitterly on Odysseus.
And Death came up behind him, and suddenly shouted.
And Odysseus went on warming his pale hands.
Then Death came close and began to mouth at him. And after a
while Odysseus turned and spoke. And "Well, old servant," he said,
"have your masters been kind to you since I made you work for me
And Death for some while stood mute, for he thought of the laughter
Then "Come now," said Odysseus, "lend me your shoulder," and he
leaning heavily on that bony joint, they went together through the open