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[145] Then again the messenger Argeiphontes answered her: “Even so send him forth now, and beware of the wrath of Zeus, lest haply he wax wroth and visit his anger upon thee hereafter.” So saying, the strong Argeiphontes departed, and the queenly nymph went to the great-hearted Odysseus, [150] when she had heard the message of Zeus. Him she found sitting on the shore, and his eyes were never dry of tears, and his sweet life was ebbing away, as he longed mournfully for his return, for the nymph was no longer pleasing in his sight. By night indeed he would sleep by her side perforce [155] in the hollow caves, unwilling beside the willing nymph, but by day he would sit on the rocks and the sands, racking his soul with tears and groans and griefs, and he would look over the unresting sea, shedding tears. Then coming close to him, the beautiful goddess addressed him: [160] “Unhappy man, sorrow no longer here, I pray thee, nor let thy life pine away; for even now with a ready heart will I send thee on thy way. Nay, come, hew with the axe long beams, and make a broad raft, and fasten upon it cross-planks for a deck well above it, that it may bear thee over the misty deep. [165] And I will place therein bread and water and red wine to satisfy thy heart, to keep hunger from thee. And I will clothe thee with raiment, and will send a fair wind behind thee, that all unscathed thou mayest return to thy native land, if it be the will of the gods who hold broad heaven; [170] for they are mightier than I both to purpose and to fulfil.” So she spoke, and much-enduring goodly Odysseus shuddered, and he spoke, and addressed her with winged words: “Some other thing, goddess, art thou planning in this, and not my sending, seeing that thou biddest me cross on a raft the great gulf of the sea, [175] dread and grievous, over which not even the shapely, swift-faring ships pass, rejoicing in the wind of Zeus. But I will not set foot on a raft in thy despite, unless thou, goddess, wilt bring thyself to swear a mighty oath that thou wilt not plot against me any fresh mischief to my hurt.” [180] So he spoke, but Calypso, the beautiful goddess, smiled, and stroked him with her hand, and spoke, and addressed him: “Verily thou art a knave, and not stunted in wit, that thou hast bethought thee to utter such a word. Now therefore let earth be witness to this, and the broad heaven above, [185] and the down-flowing water of the Styx, which is the greatest and most dread oath for the blessed gods, that I will not plot against thee any fresh mischief to thy hurt. Nay, I have such thoughts in mind, and will give such counsel, as I should devise for mine own self, if such need should come on me. [190] For I too have a mind that is righteous, and the heart in this breast of mine is not of iron, but hath compassion.”

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