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“So they spoke, sending forth their beautiful voice, and my heart was fain to listen, and I bade my comrades loose me, nodding to them with my brows; but they fell to their oars and rowed on. [195] And presently Perimedes and Eurylochus arose and bound me with yet more bonds and drew them tighter. But when they had rowed past the Sirens, and we could no more hear their voice or their song, then straightway my trusty comrades took away the [200] wax with which I had anointed their ears and loosed me from my bonds. “But when we had left the island, I presently saw smoke and a great billow, and heard a booming. Then from the hands of my men in their terror the oars flew, and splashed one and all in the swirl, and [205] the ship stood still where it was, when they no longer plied with their hands the tapering oars. But I went through the ship and cheered my men with gentle words, coming up to each man in turn: “‘Friends, hitherto we have been in no wise ignorant of sorrow; surely this evil that besets us now is no greater than when the Cyclops [210] penned us in his hollow cave by brutal strength; yet even thence we made our escape through my valor and counsel and wit; these dangers, too, methinks we shall some day remember. But now come, as I bid, let us all obey. Do you keep your seats on the benches [215] and smite with your oars the deep surf of the sea, in the hope that Zeus may grant us to escape and avoid this death. And to thee, steersman, I give this command, and do thou lay it to heart, since thou wieldest the steering oar of the hollow ship. From this smoke and surf keep [220] the ship well away and hug the cliff, lest, ere thou know it, the ship swerve off to the other side and thou cast us into destruction.’ “So I spoke, and they quickly hearkened to my words. But of Scylla I went not on to speak, a cureless bane, lest haply my comrades, seized with fear, should cease [225] from rowing and huddle together in the hold. Then verily I forgot the hard command of Circe, whereas she bade me in no wise to arm myself; but when I had put on my glorious armour and grasped in my hand two long spears, I went to the fore-deck of the ship, [230] whence I deemed that Scylla of the rock would first be seen, who was to bring ruin upon my comrades. But nowhere could I descry her, and my eyes grew weary as I gazed everywhere toward the misty rock.

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