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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 13

Translated by S. Butcher and A. Lang

Homer Bilingual Anthology  Studies  Homer in Print


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 So spake Alcinous, and the saying pleased them well. Then they went each one to his house to lay him down to rest; but so soon as early Dawn shone forth, the rosy-fingered, they hasted to the ship and bare the bronze, the joy of men. And the mighty king Alcinous himself went about the ship and diligently bestowed the gifts beneath the benches, that they might not hinder any of the crew in their rowing, when they laboured at their oars. Then they betook them to the house of Alcinous and fell to feasting. And the mighty king Alcinous sacrificed before them an ox to Zeus, the son of Cronos, that dwells in the dark clouds, who is lord of all. And when they had burnt the pieces of the thighs, they shared the glorious feast and made merry, and among them harped the divine minstrel Demodocus, whom the people honoured. But Odysseus would ever turn his head toward the splendour of the sun, as one fain to hasten his setting: for verily he was most eager to return. And as when a man longs for his supper, for whom all day long two dark oxen drag through the fallow field the jointed plough, yea and welcome to such an one the sunlight sinketh, that so he may get him to supper, for his knees wax faint by the way, even so welcome was the sinking of the sunlight to Odysseus. Then straight he spake among the Phaeacians, masters of the oar, and to Alcinous in chief he made known his word, saying:

 'My lord Alcinous, most notable of all the people, pour ye the drink offering, and send me safe upon my way, and as for you, fare ye well. For now have I all that my heart desired, an escort and loving gifts. May the gods of heaven give me good fortune with them, and may I find my noble wife in my home with my friends unharmed, while ye, for your part, abide here and make glad your wedded wives and children; and may the gods vouchsafe all manner of good, and may no evil come nigh the people!'

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