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So he spoke, but Odysseus of many wiles made no answer, but he shook his head in silence, pondering evil in the deep of his heart. [185] Besides these a third man came, Philoetius, a leader of men, driving for the wooers a barren heifer and fat she-goats. These had been brought over from the mainland by ferrymen, who send other men, too, on their way, whosoever comes to them. The beasts he tethered carefully beneath the echoing portico, [190] but himself came close to the swineherd and questioned him, saying: “Who is this stranger, swineherd, who has newly come to our house? From what men does he declare himself to be sprung? Where are his kinsmen and his native fields? Hapless man! Yet truly in form he is like a royal prince; [195] howbeit the gods bring to misery far-wandering men, whenever they spin for them the threads of trouble, even though they be kings.” Therewith he drew near to Odysseus, and stretching forth his right hand in greeting, spoke and addressed him with winged words: “Hail, Sir stranger; [200] may happy fortune be thine in time to come, though now thou art the thrall of many sorrows! Father Zeus, no other god is more baneful than thou; thou hast no pity on men when thou hast thyself given them birth, but bringest them into misery and wretched pains. The sweat broke out on me when I marked the man, and my eyes are full of tears [205] as I think of Odysseus; for he, too, I ween, is clothed in such rags and is a wanderer among men, if indeed he still lives and beholds the light of the sun. But if he is already dead and in the house of Hades, then woe is me for blameless Odysseus, who [210] set me over his cattle, when I was yet a boy, in the land of the Cephallenians And now these wax past counting; in no other wise could the breed of broad-browed cattle yield better increase1 for a mortal man. But strangers bid me drive these now for themselves to eat, and they care nothing for the son in the house, [215] nor do they tremble at the wrath of the gods, for they are eager now to divide among themselves the possessions of our lord that has long been gone. Now, as for myself, the heart in my breast keeps revolving this matter: a very evil thing it is, while the son lives, to depart along with my cattle and go to a land of strangers, [220] even to an alien folk; but this is worse still, to remain here and suffer woes in charge of cattle that are given over to others. Aye, verily, long ago would I have fled and come to some other of the proud kings, for now things are no more to be borne; but still I think of that hapless one, if perchance he might come back I know not whence, [225] and make a scattering of the wooers in his house.”

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