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So saying, the beautiful goddess led the way quickly, and he followed in the footsteps of the goddess. And they came to the hollow cave, the goddess and the man, [195] and he sat down upon the chair from which Hermes had arisen, and the nymph set before him all manner of food to eat and drink, of such sort as mortal men eat. But she herself sat over against divine Odysseus, and before her the handmaids set ambrosia and nectar. [200] So they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them. But when they had their fill of food and drink, Calypso, the beautiful goddess, was the first to speak, and said: “Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, [205] would'st thou then fare now forthwith home to thy dear native land! Yet, even so fare thee well. Howbeit if in thy heart thou knewest all the measure of woe it is thy fate to fulfil before thou comest to thy native land thou wouldest abide here and keep this house with me, and wouldest be immortal, for all thy desire to see [210] thy wife for whom thou longest day by day. Surely not inferior to her do I declare myself to be either in form or stature, for in no wise is it seemly that mortal women should vie with immortals in form or comeliness.” Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: [215] “Mighty goddess, be not wroth with me for this. I know full well of myself that wise Penelope is meaner to look upon than thou in comeliness and in stature, for she is a mortal, while thou art immortal and ageless. But even so I wish and long day by day [220] to reach my home, and to see the day of my return. And if again some god shall smite me on the wine-dark sea, I will endure it, having in my breast a heart that endures affliction. For ere this I have suffered much and toiled much amid the waves and in war; let this also be added unto that.” [225] So he spoke, and the sun set and darkness came on. And the two went into the innermost recess of the hollow cave, and took their joy of love, abiding each by the other's side.

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