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[240] Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Hard were it, O queen, to tell to the end the tale of my woes, since full many have the heavenly gods given me. But this will I tell thee, of which thou dost ask and enquire. There is an isle, Ogygia, which lies far off in the sea. [245] Therein dwells the fair-tressed daughter of Atlas, guileful Calypso, a dread goddess, and with her no one either of gods or mortals hath aught to do; but me in my wretchedness did fate bring to her hearth alone, for Zeus had smitten my swift ship with his bright thunderbolt, [250] and had shattered it in the midst of the wine-dark sea. There all the rest of my trusty comrades perished, but I clasped in my arms the keel of my curved ship and was borne drifting for nine days, and on the tenth black night the gods brought me to the isle, Ogygia, where [255] the fair-tressed Calypso dwells, a dread goddess. She took me to her home with kindly welcome, and gave me food, and said that she would make me immortal and ageless all my days; but she could never persuade the heart in my breast. There for seven years' space I remained continually, and ever [260] with my tears would I wet the immortal raiment which Calypso gave me. But when the eight year came in circling course, then she roused me and bade me go, either because of some message from Zeus, or because her own mind was turned. And she sent me on my way on a raft, stoutly bound, and gave me abundant store [265] of bread and sweet wine, and clad me in immortal raiment, and sent forth a gentle wind and warm. So for seventeen days I sailed over the sea, and on the eighteenth appeared the shadowy mountains of your land; and my heart was glad, [270] ill-starred that I was; for verily I was yet to have fellowship with great woe, which Poseidon, the earth-shaker, sent upon me. For he stirred up the winds against me and stayed my course, and wondrously roused the sea, nor would the wave suffer me to be borne upon my raft, as I groaned ceaselessly. [275] My raft indeed the storm shattered, but by swimming I clove my way through yon gulf of the sea, until the wind and the waves, as they bore me, brought me to your shores. There, had I sought to land, the waves would have hurled me upon the shore, and dashed me against the great crags and a cheerless place, [280] but I gave way, and swam back until I came to a river, where seemed to me the best place, since it was smooth of rocks, and besides there was shelter from the wind. Forth then I staggered, and sank down, gasping for breath, and immortal night came on. Then I went forth from the heaven-fed river, [285] and lay down to sleep in the bushes, gathering leaves about me; and a god shed over me infinite sleep.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 12.451
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