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So he spoke, and they all praised his words, and bade send the stranger on his way, since he had spoken fittingly. Then the mighty Alcinous spoke to the herald, saying: [50] “Pontonous, mix the bowl, and serve out wine to all in the hall, in order that, when we have made prayer to father Zeus, we may send forth the stranger to his own native land.” So he spoke, and Pontonous mixed the honey hearted wine and served out to all, coming up to each in turn; [55] and they poured libations to the blessed gods, who hold broad heaven, from where they sat. But goodly Odysseus arose, and placed in the hand of Arete the two-handled cup, and spoke, and addressed her with winged words: “Fare thee well, O queen, throughout all the years, till old age [60] and death come, which are the lot of mortals. As for me, I go my way, but do thou in this house have joy of thy children and thy people and Alcinous the king.” So the goodly Odysseus spake and passed over the threshold. And with him the mighty Alcinous sent forth a herald [65] to lead him to the swift ship and the shore of the sea. And Arete sent with him slave women, one bearing a newly washed cloak and a tunic, and another again she bade follow to bear the strong chest, and yet another bore bread and red wine. [70] But when they had come down to the ship and to the sea, straightway the lordly youths that were his escort took these things, and stowed them in the hollow ship, even all the food and drink. Then for Odysseus they spread a rug and a linen sheet on the deck of the hollow ship [75] at the stern, that he might sleep soundly; and he too went aboard, and laid him down in silence. Then they sat down on the benches, each in order, and loosed the hawser from the pierced stone. And as soon as they leaned back, and tossed the brine with their oarblades, sweet sleep fell upon his eyelids, [80] an unawakening sleep, most sweet, and most like to death. And as on a plain four yoked stallions spring forward all together beneath the strokes of the lash, and leaping on high swiftly accomplish their way, even so the stern of that ship leapt on high, and in her wake [85] the dark wave of the loud-sounding sea foamed mightily, and she sped safely and surely on her way; not even the circling hawk, the swiftest of winged things, could have kept pace with her. Thus she sped on swiftly and clove the waves of the sea, bearing a man the peer of the gods in counsel, [90] one who in time past had suffered many griefs at heart in passing through wars of men and the grievous waves; but now he slept in peace, forgetful of all that he had suffered.

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