"raise a mound for me on the shore of the grey sea"

Elpenor’s spirit cannot rest or  cross over into the Underworld until he has received proper burial. To be left unburied and unmourned was a tragic and pitiable fate for an ancient Greek, for whom burial was a vitally important custom. Elpenor asks for a mound, a method of burial typical of Homeric heroes. Bodies were cremated on a funeral pyre after which the bones would be collected and buried.