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But I went through the halls, and roused my men with gentle words, coming up to each man in turn. “‘No longer now sleep ye, and drowse in sweet slumber, but let us go; lo! queenly Circe has told me all.’ [550] “So I spoke, and their proud hearts consented. But not even from thence could I lead my men unscathed. There was one, Elpenor, the youngest of all, not over valiant in war nor sound of understanding, who had laid him down apart from his comrades in the sacred house of Circe, [555] seeking the cool air, for he was heavy with wine. He heard the noise and the bustle of his comrades as they moved about, and suddenly sprang up, and forgot to go to the long ladder that he might come down again, but fell headlong from the roof, and his neck [560] was broken away from the spine, and his spirit went down to the house of Hades. “But as my men were going on their way I spoke among them, saying: ‘Ye think, forsooth, that ye are going to your dear native land; but Circe has pointed out for us another journey, even to the house of Hades and dread Persephone, [565] to consult the spirit of Theban Teiresias.’ “So I spoke, and their spirit was broken within them, and sitting down right where they were, they wept and tore their hair. But no good came of their lamenting. “But when we were on our way to the swift ship and the shore of the sea, [570] sorrowing and shedding big tears, meanwhile Circe had gone forth and made fast beside the black ship a ram and a black ewe, for easily had she passed us by. Who with his eyes could behold a god against his will, whether going to or fro?

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