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So they all perished in the surging sea, but he on the keel of his ship was cast forth by the wave on the shore, on the land of the Phaeacians, who are near of kin to the gods. [280] These heartily showed him all honor, as if he were a god, and gave him many gifts, and were fain themselves to send him home unscathed. Yea, and Odysseus would long since have been here, only it seemed to his mind more profitable to gather wealth by roaming over the wide earth; [285] so truly does Odysseus beyond all mortal men know many gainful ways, nor could any mortal beside vie with him. Thus Pheidon, king of the Thesprotians, told me the tale. Moreover he swore in my own presence, as he poured libations in his halls, that the ship was launched and the men ready [290] who were to convey him to his dear native land. But me he sent forth first, for a ship of the Thesprotians chanced to be setting out for Dulichium, rich in wheat. And he showed me all the treasure that Odysseus had gathered; verily unto the tenth generation would it feed his children after him, [295] so great was the wealth that lay stored for him in the halls of the king. But Odysseus, he said, had gone to Dodona to hear the will of Zeus from the high-crested oak of the god, even how he might return to his dear native land after so long an absence, whether openly or in secret. [300] “Thus, as I tell thee, he is safe, and will presently come; he is very near, and not long will he now be far from his friends and his native land. Yet will I give thee an oath. Be Zeus my witness first, highest and best of gods, and the hearth of noble Odysseus to which I am come, [305] that verily all these things shall be brought to pass even as I tell thee. In the course of this very month shall Odysseus come hither, as the old moon wanes and the new appears.” Then wise Penelope answered him: “Ah, stranger, I would that this word of thine might be fulfilled. [310] Then shouldest thou straightway know of kindness and many a gift from me, so that one who met thee would call thee blessed. Yet in my heart I forebode it thus, even as it shall be. Neither shall Odysseus any more come home, nor shalt thou obtain a convoy hence, since there are not now in the house such masters [315] as Odysseus was among men—as sure as ever such a man there was—to send reverend strangers on their way, and to welcome them.

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