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The Odyssey of Homer

translated from the Greek by T. E. Lawrence



Many-sided Odysseus then began: "Lord Alcinous, most eminent, we are in very deed privileged to have within our hearing a singer whose voice is so divinely pure. I tell you, to my mind the acme of intelligent delight is reached when a company sits feasting in some hall, by tables garnished with bread and meat, the while a musician charms their ears and a cup-bearer draws them wine and carries it round served ready for their drinking. Surely this, as I say, is the best thing in the world.

"Yet, lo, at such a moment your heart prompts you to seek the tale of my dismal fortunes: whose telling will wring from me yet deeper tears. How shall I rank my sorrows, to put this first, that afterwards? The Gods of heaven have given me such excess of woe. I will begin with my name to make you sure of me, that when this cruel spell is past I may become your host in my house — my very distant house, alas! I am Odysseus, son of Laertes: a name which among men spells every resource and subtlety of mind: and my fame reaches heaven. I live in pellucid Ithaca, the island of Mount Neriton, whose upstanding slopes are all a-quiver with the wind-blown leaves. About it lie many other islands very near to one another, Dulichium and Same and wooded Zacynthus. My island stands deep in the sea and nearer the west than its neighbours which rather face the dawning and the sun. It is a harsh land, yet it breeds good youths: but perhaps in every man's sight there is nothing better than his native land. Take my case: Calypso the fair goddess sought to keep me in her hollow cave and would have used me as her husband: and likewise Circe, the wily lady of Æaea, tried to detain me in her house, she too wanting me for a husband: but neither the one nor the other could pervert the heart in my manly breast. Wherefore I say that no matter how rich a man's circumstances may be abroad, among foreign parts, there is no sweet in life to compare with home and parents. However, let me hark back to the tale of the calamitous homeward journey with which Zeus had afflicted my return from Troy.

"From Ilion the wind served me to near Ismarus of the Cicones. I sacked the city and slew them. Their wives and wealth we took and divided precisely, so that no one of us, through me, should go short of his just share. I suggested then that we all flee, hot-foot: but my utter fools of men would not obey. There was much wine for the drinking, yet; and mutton or beef from the great droves of sheep and heavy screw-horned kine that they had butchered by the shore. Whilst they so dallied, our Cicones cried for help to the inland Cicones, their neighbours, but more numerous and better men of their hands; men who could fight mounted, but also (when need was) on foot with footmen. They were upon us, thick as the leaves and buds of spring-tide, at the first show of morning; while over us there hung a foreboding of disaster, by doom of Zeus who had further pains in store for our ill-fated heads. The troops set themselves to battle by the swift ships and rained thickly at one another their copper-bladed spears. So long as the dawn lasted and while the blessed day increased, just for so long we stood firm and repulsed their swarms; but when the sun had crossed his stage and brought near the hour for loosing plough-oxen homeward in the evening, then finally the Cicones caused the Achaean lines to waver and give way. Six warriors perished out of each ship's complement. We others who for that time fled our death and doom sailed from the spot with mixed feelings; rejoicing to have avoided fate, yet mourning our comrades for whose sake not one of those full-bellied ships of mine stirred thence till we had thrice invoked the name of each unhappy victim of the Cicones' violent hands, on the flats there by the shore.

"Next Zeus, the cloud-marshal, incited against our fleet a North wind, with screaming squalls. He blinded land and sea alike with clouds. Night plunged down from heaven. The ships were swept aside before the blast and their sails shredded into tatters by the gale. We had to strike them in instant fear of death, and take to the oars. Vehemently we tugged our ships shoreward. For two days and two nights we lay there, making no way and eating our hearts out with despair and the unceasing labour: but on the third morning bright-haired Dawn achieved clear daylight; wherefore up went our masts and white shining sails, enabling us to sit there at our ease watching how the winds and the steersmen held us to our course. Indeed, that time I nearly came unscathed to my fatherland; only for the swell and the sea-currents and a north wind which united against me as I beat round Cape Maleia and deflected me wide of Cythera. Thereafter for nine days I was driven by ravening winds across the sea. On the tenth day we made the land of the Lotos-eaters, men who browse on a food of flowers. We landed there to fill our water-butts, while my crews snatched a meal on the shore, beside their likely vessels. As soon as the first hunger for food and drink had passed, I chose out two fellows and added to them a third, as runner, that they might go inland to spy out and enquire what were the human beings there existing. Off they went at once and met a party of these Lotos-eaters, who had no notion of slaying my emissaries : instead they gave them a dish of their Lotos-flower. And so it was that as each tasted of this honey-sweet plant, the wish to bring news or return grew faint in him: rather he preferred to dwell for ever with the Lotos-eating men, feeding upon Lotos and letting fade from his mind all memory of home. I had to seek them and drag them back on board. They wept: yet into the ships we brought them perforce and chained them beneath the thwarts, deep in the well, while I constrained the rest of my adherents to hurry aboard, lest perhaps more of them might eat Lotos and lose their longing for home. They embarked promptly and sat to the rowing benches; then in their proper ranks, all together, they swung their oars and beat the sea hoary-white.

"We left in low spirits and later came to the land of the arrogant iniquitous Cyclopes who so leave all things to the Gods that they neither plant nor till: yet does plenty spring up unsown and unploughed, of corn and barley and even vines with heavy clusters: which the rains of Zeus fatten for them. They have no government nor councils nor courts of justice: but live in caves on mountain tops, each ruling his wives and children and a law unto himself, regardless. Across the bight of the Cyclopes' country extends a fertile island, a wooded island; not very far, yet not close. In it there harbour uncounted wild goats. No trace of man scares these, nor do hunters with dogs track them out, fighting their way through the bush to explore the summits of the hills. The herbage is not grazed down by flocks of sheep nor broken by any plough. Rather the spot continues in solitude, wholly uncultivated, a paradise for the bleating she-goats, by reason that the Cyclopes have no ruddle-cheeked ships, nor shipwrights to make them such seaworthy vessels for pleasuring among the cities of mankind, like those ordinary men who tempt the seas to know others and to be known. Otherwise they might have made this island theirs, it being not at all bad land. Anything would grow well there in season, in the soft moist meadows behind the dykes of the silvery sea: and its vine-stocks would bear for ever. The crop to be harvested at the due time from such smooth plough-loam would be heavy, seeing that the undersoil is fat. Its haven is a natural port requiring no such gear as anchors or warps. Ships can be beached directly, to lie there in peace while the sailors screw up their hearts to venture farther or until the winds blow kind. And at the head of this inlet is pure running water from a spring rising in a cave. Black poplars shadow it.

"Thither we sailed, some God assuredly guiding us, for the night was utterly dark, without glimmer. The ground-fog shrouded our boats nor could any moon-beam from the sky pierce the low-lying clouds. Wherefore no one of us saw anything of the island, or of the long slow waves rolling unbroken upon its shelving beach. All we knew was that our good ships gently grounded. As they touched we struck sail and climbed out: and there, just beyond the water's edge, sunken in a depth of sleep, we waited the goddess of Dawn. When She came, rosy-fingered, we began in amazement to compass the island, exploring it: and the nymph-daughters of Zeus himself flushed for us the wild goats of the hills, to give my men whereon to dine. We ran to seek our carved bows and long-tanged throwing spears from the ships and began shooting, after forming ourselves into three bands. Very quickly did the God provide us game to our hearts' content: so great was the bag that nine goats could be shared out to each of the twelve ships that made up my command. For my own ship, as a special allowance, ten were allotted. Afterwards throughout the live-long day and until the sun went down we sat about feasting; for the meat was unlimited and the drink good, the red wine being not yet altogether exhausted within our ships, since we had carried off a great store in jars from the hallowed little capital of the Cicones when we sacked it. While we ate we stared across at the land of the Cyclopes, so near that we could see its smoke going up and hear the sounds of its men and the bleating of their sheep and goats; until at last the sun sank and dusk drew down, causing us to stretch out in slumber where we were, on the margin of the sea.

"At dawn I met my men in council and delivered myself as follows: 'You, my trusty ones, will remain here while I with my ship and crew run over to try those men and find out if they are brutal savages or kindly to guests, reverent and just.' After giving these orders I went up into my ship and told her crew to get aboard when they had let go the hawsers. They obeyed at once and manned the rowing benches smartly. The sea turned pale beneath the flailing of their oars. As we came to the nearest point of land we could see a cave at its seaward extremity - a lofty cave, embowered in laurels. There were signs that large flocks of sheep and goats were wont to be penned within it for the night. Round the cave-mouth a strong-walled yard had been contrived of rocks deeply embedded, with a fence of logs from tall pines and spreading oaks. Actually it was the lair of a giant, a monstrous creature who pastured his flocks widely from that centre and avoided traffic with any man. He was a solitary infidel thing, this ogre, and fearfully made; not in the fashion of a bread-eating man but altogether singular and out-standing like a tree-grown crag of the high mountains.

"I ordered my faithful crew to stand by the ship and guard the ship, while I picked the twelve men I judged best and set off with them. I took, as an afterthought, a goat-skin of potent wine, very mellow, which I had been given by Maron son of Euanthes, the priest of Apollo tutelary God of Ismarus. Maron lived in his dense grove (sacred to Phoebus Apollo) and when we sacked the town we had piously spared him and his wife and child. In reward he paid me valuable gifts - seven talents of refined gold and a mixing bowl of pure silver, over and above this great wine which he drew off neat for us into twelve wine-jars. Liquor for gods, it was. Only himself and his wife and the housekeeper knew of its existence; he had told none of his women slaves or house-maidens: and when he broached it he would draw off just the one cup of deep delight and pour it into twenty measures of water: whereupon there would waft abroad from the bowl a smell so sweet that it was heavenly: and to hold back from drinking, then, would indeed have been no joy. A great skin I filled with this drink and took with me; also corn in a leathern wallet; for at this very moment some masterful instinct warned me that we might have to do with a strange fierce being of vast strength, knowing neither right nor wrong, and ungovernable.

"Soon we were within the cave, to find its owner absent, grazing his goodly flocks in their pastures. So we explored the cave, staring round-eyed at cheese racks loaded with cheeses, and crowded pens of lambs and kids, each sort properly apart, the spring-younglings in this, mid-yearlings there, and the last born to one side. There were pails, buckets and tubs all brimming with whey: well-made vessels too, these milk-vessels of his. My men's first petition was that they might lay hold of the cheeses and make off with them, to return at a run and drive kids and lambs from the pens to the ship, in which we should then put hastily to sea. This advice, in the issue, would have profited us: but now I would not heed it, so set was I on seeing the master and getting (if he would give it) the guest's-present from him. Yet was his coming to prove disastrous to my party.

"We built up a fire, made a burnt offering, helped ourselves to cheese and ate as we sat there inside the cavern waiting for our man to come home from the pastures. He brought with him an immense burden of dried wood, kindling for his supper fire, and flung it upon the cave's floor with a crash that sent us scurrying in terror to its far corners. Then he drove under the arch his splendid flock, or rather those of them that were in milk. The rest, rams and he-goats, he left in the broad yard before the entry. Next he lifted into place and fixed in the cave's mouth a huge tall slab of stone, gigantic like himself. Two and twenty stout four-wheeled wagons would not have shifted it along the ground, so huge was it, this rock he used to block his door. Then he sat down to milk his ewes and bleating goats, all orderly, later putting her young lamb or kid beneath each mother-animal. One half of this white milk he curdled and put to press in the wicker cheese-baskets. The other half he left standing in the buckets as provision against his supper-time when he would drink it and satisfy himself.

"So far he had been wholly engaged in work, but now he rebuilt the fire and looked around and saw us. 'Why, strangers,' said he, 'who are you and where have you come from across the water? Are you traders? or pirates, those venturers who sea-prowl at hazard, robbing all comers for a livelihood?' So he asked, and our confidence cracked at the giant's dread booming voice and his hugeness. Yet I made shift to speak out firmly, saying, 'We are waifs of the Achaeans from Troy, intending homeward, but driven off our course haphazard across the boundless ocean gulfs by adverse winds from heaven: it may be by the will and decree of Zeus. We can vaunt ourselves companions of Atrides, Agamemnon's men, whose is now the widest fame under heaven for having sacked earth's greatest city and brought such multitudes to death. Here therefore we find ourselves suppliant at your knees, in hope of the guesting-fee or other rich gift such as is the meed of strangers. Have regard for the Gods, Magnificent! We are your suppliants: and Zeus who fares with deserving strangers along their road is the champion of suppliants, their protector and patron-God.'

"Thus far I got: but the reply came from his pitiless heart. 'Sir Stranger, you are either simple or very outlandish if you bid me fear the Gods and avoid crossing them. We are the Cyclopes and being so much the bigger we listen not at all to aegis-bearing Zeus or any blessed God: so if I should spare your life and your friends' it would not be to shun the wrath of Zeus, but because my heart counselled me mercy. Now tell me where you moored the stout ship when you came. On the far shore was it, or the near? I want to know.' With these words he laid a crafty snare for me, but to my subtlety all his deceits were plain. So I spoke back, meeting fraud with fraud: ' My ship was broken by Poseidon the Earth-shaker, who swept her towards the cape at the very end of your land, and cast her against the reefs: the wind drifted us in from the high sea. Only myself with these few escaped.' So I said.

"His savagery disdained me one word in reply. He leapt to his feet, lunged with his hands among my fellows, snatched up two of them like whelps and rapped their heads against the ground. The brains burst out from their skulls and were spattered over the cave's floor, while he broke them up, limb from limb, and supped off them to the last shred, eating ravenously like a mountain lion, everything - bowels and flesh and bones, even to the marrow in the bones. We wept and raised our hands to Zeus in horror at this crime committed before our eyes: yet there was nothing we could do. Wherefore the Cyclops, unhindered, filled his great gut with the human flesh, and washed it down with raw milk. Afterwards he stretched himself out across the cavern, among the flocks, and slept.

"I was wondering in my bold heart whether I should now steal in, snatch the keen sword hanging on my hip, and stab him in the body; after making sure with my fingers where was that vital place in the midriff, below the heart and above the liver. Yet my second thoughts put me off this stroke, for by it I should finally seal our own doom: not enough strength lay in our hands to roll back the huge block with which he had closed the cave. So we sighed there night-long with misery, awaiting Dawn: upon whose shining the giant awoke, relit his fire, milked his flock in due order and put each youngling under its dam. After his busy work was done, he seized two more of us, who furnished his day-meal. Then he drove his sleek beasts out of the cave, easily pulling aside the great door-block and putting it back, as one of us might snap its lid upon a quiver. With loud halloos to the flock the Cyclops led them into the hills, leaving me imprisoned there to plot evil against him in the depths of my mind, wherein I sought means to pay him back, would but Athene grant me the opportunity for which I prayed.

"Of what came to me this seemed best. There lay in the sheep-pens a great cudgel belonging to Cyclops, or rather a limb of green olive wood from which he meant to make himself a staff when it had seasoned. In our estimation we likened it to the mast of a twenty-oared black ship, some broad-beamed merchantman of the high seas - it looked so long and thick. I straddled it and cut off about a fathom's length which I took to my fellows, bidding them taper it down. They made it quite even while I lent a hand to sharpen its tip. Then I took it and revolved it in the blazing flame till the point was charred to hardness. Thereafter we hid it under the sheep-droppings which were largely heaped up throughout the cave. Lastly I made the others draw lots, to see who would have the desperate task of helping me lift up our spike and grind it into his eye when heavy sleep had downed him. The luck of the draw gave me just the four men I would have chosen with my eyes open. I appointed myself the fifth of the party.

"Cyclops came back at evening shepherding his fleecy flocks and straightway drove them into the wide-vaulted cave, the whole fat mass of them, leaving no single one in the outer yard. Something on his mind, was it, or did some God move him? Then he lifted up the great door-stone and propped it into place before he sat down to his milking, dealing in turn with every ewe and noisy milch-goat and later setting their young beneath them. Briskly he attacked his household work; only after it to snatch up two more of us and dine off them. Then I went up to the Giant with an ivy-cup of my dark wine in hand and invited him, saying, ' Cyclops, come now and on top of your meal of man's flesh try this wine, to see how tasty a drink was hidden in our ship. I brought it for you, hoping you would have compassion on me and help me homeward: but your unwisdom is far beyond all comprehending. O sinful one, how dare you expect any other man from the great world to visit you, after you have behaved towards us so unconscionably?' I spoke: he took and drank. A savage gladness woke in him at the sweetness of the liquor and he demanded a second cup, saying, 'Give me another hearty helping and then quickly tell me your name, for me to confer on you a guest-gift that will warm your heart. It is true our rich soil grows good vines for us Cyclopes, and the moisture of heaven multiplies their yield: but this vintage is a drop of the real nectar and ambrosia.' Thus he declared and at once I poured him a second cup of the glowing wine: and then one more, for in his folly he tossed off three bowls of it. The fumes were going to his Cyclopean wits as I began to play with him in honeyed phrase:- 'Cyclops, you ask me for my public name: I will confess it to you aloud, and do you then give me my guest-gift, as you have promised. My name is No-man: so they have always called me, my mother and father and all my friends.'

"I spoke, and he answered from his cruel heart,' I will eat No-man finally, after all his friends. The others first—that shall be your benefit.' He sprawled full-length, belly up, on the ground, lolling his fat neck aside; and sleep that conquers all men conquered him. Heavily he vomited out all his load of drink, and gobbets of human flesh swimming in wine spurted gurgling from his throat. Forthwith I thrust our spike into the deep embers of the fire to get it burning hot: and cheered my fellows with brave words lest any of them hang back through fear. Soon the stake of olive wood despite its greenness was almost trembling into flame with a terrible glowing incandescence. I snatched it from the fire, my men helping. Some power from on high breathed into us all a mad courage, by whose strength they charged with the great spear and stabbed its sharp point right into his eye. I flung my weight upon it from above so that it bored home. As a ship-builder's bit drills its timbers, steadily twirling by reason of the drag from the hide thong which his mates underneath pull to and fro alternately, so we held the burning pointed stake in his eye and spun it, till the boiling blood bubbled about its pillar of fire. Eyebrows, with eyelids shrivelled and stank in the blast of his consuming eyeball: yea, the very roots of the eye crackled into flame.

"Just as a smith plunges into cold water some great axe-head or adze and it hisses angrily - for that is the treatment, and the strength of iron lies in its temper - just so his eye sizzled about the olive-spike. He let out a wild howl which rang round the cavern's walls and drove us hither and thither in terror. He wrenched the spike of wood from his eye and it came out clotted and thick with blood. The maddening pain made him fling it from his hands, and then he began to bellow to the other Cyclopes living about him in their dens among the windy hills. They had heard his screaming and now drew towards the closed cave, calling to know his trouble: 'What so ails you, Polyphemus, that you roar across the heavenly night and keep us from sleep? Do not pretend that any mortal is driving your flocks from you by force, or is killing you by sheer might or trickery.' Big Polyphemus yelled back to them from within his cave, 'My friends, No-man is killing me by sleight. There is no force about it.' Wherefore they retorted cuttingly, 'If you are alone and no one assaults you, but your pain is some unavoidable malady from Zeus, why then, make appeal to your father King Poseidon.'

"They turned away and my dear heart laughed because the excellent cunning trick of that false name had completely taken them in. Cyclops was groaning in his extremity of torment. He groped with his hands until he had found and taken the stone from the entrance. Then he sat himself in the cave's mouth with his fingers extended across it, to catch anyone who tried to steal through with the sheep. In his heart he judged me such a fool as that: while I was thinking my very hardest to contrive a way out for myself and my fellows from destruction, we being truly in the jaws of death. Many notions and devices I conceived thus for dear life, and the best of them seemed finally as follows. Some rams there were of big stock, fleecy great splendid beasts with wool almost purple in its depth of colour. I took them by threes silently and bound them abreast with the pliant bark-strips from which the wicked monster's bed was plaited. The middle beast could then take a man and the one on either side protect him from discovery. That meant three rams for each shipmate: while for myself there remained the prize ram of all the flock. I took hold of him, tucked myself under his shaggy belly and hung there so, with steadfast courage: clinging face upwards with my hands twisted into his enormous fleece. Thus we waited in great trepidation for the dawn.

"At its first redness the rams rushed out towards their pasture: but the ewes hung about their pens unmilked, bleating distressfully with bursting udders. The lord, distraught with his terrible pains, felt the back of each sheep as it stood up to march straight past him. The dullard suspected not that there were men bound beneath their fleecy ribs. Last of all the prime ram came to go out, walking stiffly with the weight of his wool and me the deep plotter. Strong Polyphemus stroked him and said, 'Beloved ram, why are you the last of all my flock to quit the cave? Never before have you let yourself lag behind the others; but have been always the first to stride freely across the sward nibbling its smooth buds, and first into the hill-streams to drink: while at evening, which was homing time, you would be ever the first that wanted to turn back. And now you come last! Are you feeling the loss of your lord's sight, blinded by that villain with his knavish crew after he had made me helpless with wine? That No-man, who I swear has not yet got away from death. If only you could feel like me and had the gift of speech to tell where he skulks from my wrath. How I would dash his brains out against the ground and spill them over the cave, to lighten my heart of the pains which this worthless No-man has inflicted!'

"He pushed the ram gently from him through the doorway. When we were a little space from the cave and its surrounding yard I loosed myself and then set free my men. Often turning head to look back we drove the leggy flock, the fat ripe beasts, down to the ship where the sight of us gladdened the others at thought of the death we had escaped. They would have stayed to lament the fallen: but I would not have it. Sternly I bent my brows and checked each man's weeping: and set them instead by sharp gestures to tumbling the glossy-fleeced animals into the ship and launching out for the open sea. At once they were aboard and on their benches. Smartly they sat and gave way, so that the sea paled beneath their oar-strokes: but when we were just as far from the land as a man's shout might carry, then I hailed the Cyclops in malignant derision. 'So, Cyclops, you were unlucky and did not quite have the strength to eat all the followers of this puny man within your cave? Instead the luck returned your wickedness upon yourself in fit punishment for the impiety that had dared eat the guests in your house. Zeus has repaid you, the other Gods agreeing.'

"My cry stung his heart more terribly yet. He tore the crest from a great mountain and flung it at the black-prowed ship, but overcast by a hair's breadth. The rock nearly scraped the end of the tiller. The sea heaped up above its plunging, and the back-thrust, like a tidal wave from the deep, washed us landward again very swiftly, almost to shore. I snatched a long pole and used it as a quant, while I signed with my head to the crew how they must lay to it over the oar-looms if we were to avoid disaster. They put their backs into it and rowed till we were twice our former distance from the coast. Then I would have taunted Cyclops once more, but my followers each in his vein sought with gentle words to restrain me, protesting, 'Hothead, why further provoke this savage creature who with his last deadly shot so nearly brought our ship to shore that we did already judge ourselves dead? Had he caught but a whisper or sound from us just now, he would have crushed our heads and our ship's timbers flat beneath some jagged stone, the marvellous thrower that he is.' Thus ran their plea, but my pride was not to be dissuaded. Wherefore once again I spilled my heart's malice over him: 'Cyclops, if any human being asks of you how your eye was so hideously put out, say that Odysseus, despoiler of cities, did it; even the son of Laertes whose home is in Ithaca.

"Thus I shouted, and his answer came back in a pitiful voice: 'O miserable day, which sees the ancient oracle come true! We had a good and a great prophet living with us, Telemus, the son of Eurymus best of soothsayers, who passed all his life amongst us Cyclopes, practising that art. He told me it should so come to pass after many days, and I lose my sight by the hand of one Odysseus. Wherefore ever I watched for some tall man, bristling with might, to move impressively upon me: and instead there comes this mean poor pigmy and steals my eye after fuddling my wits with his drink. See here, my Odysseus, come back to me and take my guest-bounty together with a god-speed I will win you from the great Earth-shaker: for Poseidon avows himself my father, and so I dare call myself his son. He, if he be kind, will heal my hurt, which no other of the blessed Gods nor any man can do.' 'Heal your sight,' I cried back at him, 'never: not even the Earth-shaker will do it. Would God I had power to strip you of life and soul and send you down to Hades, so surely as I know that!'

"So far - but he lifted up his hands to the starry firmament and prayed to his Lord, Poseidon. 'Hear me, dark-haired Girdler of the earth, if indeed I am yours and you my sire. Grant that there be no homecoming for this Odysseus, son of Laertes of Ithaca. Yet if it is fated that he must see his friends once more in his stately house and fatherland, let it be late and miserably, in a strange ship, after losing all his crews. And let him find trouble there in the house.' So he made his petition and the dark God heard him. Then the giant bent to another stone (much larger than before) whirled it with immeasurable force and let fly. It too fell very near but this time a little short of the ship, just failing to shatter the rudder. The sea swelled over the bulk of the falling stone and a wave boiled up and swept us right across to the far side; to the island where were all my other well-decked ships, with their crews sorrowing near-by for that we had failed them so long. We ran our keel hard up on the sand and came ashore driving the sheep of the Cyclops. These we shared out, I being very exact to see that no one lacked his part in the division. My warrior company decreed the prize ram to me, as gage of honour, and I devoted him to cloud-wrapped Zeus, son of Crohos and Universal King, to whom I consumed the choice parts of the thighs with fire. Yet did Zeus not care for my offering, but was inventing ways to destroy all my trim ships and staunch company.

"However, the sun went down upon us while we sat there, filling ourselves with flesh in incredible abundance and with sweet wine. After the sun had gone and the shadow fallen we lay down by the water's brink till dawn's rosy showing: when I roused the force and bade them embark and cast off. Soon they were aboard and ready on their thwarts, sitting to the oars and frothing the sea with their well-timed strokes: our voyage being sad, insomuch as we had lost a part of our fellowship; and glad, that we had delivered our own souls from death."

Book 10 >>

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