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So he spake, and placed in her hand the cup of sweet wine. But Pallas Athena rejoiced at the man's wisdom and judgment, in that to her first he gave the golden cup; and straightway she prayed earnestly to the lord Poseidon: [55] “Hear me, Poseidon, thou Earth-enfolder, and grudge not in answer to our prayer to bring these deeds to fulfillment. To Nestor, first of all, and to his sons vouchsafe renown, and then do thou grant to the rest gracious requital for this glorious hecatomb, even to all the men of Pylos; [60] and grant furthermore that Telemachus and I may return when we have accomplished all that for which we came hither with our swift black ship.” Thus she prayed, and was herself fulfilling all. Then she gave Telemachus the fair two-handled1 cup, and in like manner the dear son of Odysseus prayed. [65] Then when they had roasted the outer flesh and drawn it off the spits, they divided the portions and feasted a glorious feast. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia,2 spoke first among them: “Now verily is it seemlier to ask and enquire [70] of the strangers who they are, since now they have had their joy of food. Strangers, who are ye? Whence do ye sail over the watery ways? Is it on some business, or do ye wander at random over the sea, even as pirates, who wander hazarding their lives and bringing evil to men of other lands?” [75] Then wise Telemachus took courage, and made answer, for Athena herself put courage in his heart, that he might ask about his father that was gone, and that good report might be his among men: “Nestor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Achaeans, [80] thou askest whence we are, and I will surely tell thee. We have come from Ithaca that is below Neion; but this business whereof I speak is mine own, and concerns not the people. I come after the wide-spread rumor of my father, if haply I may hear of it, even of goodly Odysseus of the steadfast heart, who once, men say, [85] fought by thy side and sacked the city of the Trojans. For of all men else, as many as warred with the Trojans, we learn where each man died a woeful death, but of him the son of Cronos has made even the death to be past learning; for no man can tell surely where he hath died,— [90] whether he was overcome by foes on the mainland, or on the deep among the waves of Amphitrite. Therefore am I now come to thy knees, if perchance thou wilt be willing to tell me of his woeful death, whether thou sawest it haply with thine own eyes, or didst hear from some other the story [95] of his wanderings;3 for beyond all men did his mother bear him to sorrow. And do thou nowise out of ruth or pity for me speak soothing words, but tell me truly how thou didst come to behold him. I beseech thee, if ever my father, noble Odysseus, promised aught to thee of word or deed and fulfilled it [100] in the land of the Trojans, where you Achaeans suffered woes, be mindful of it now, I pray thee, and tell me the very truth.”

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
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