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Now when the fair lady had come to the store-room, and had stepped upon the threshold of oak, which of old the carpenter had skilfully planed and made straight to the line— [45] thereon had he also fitted door-posts, and set on them bright doors—straightway she quickly loosed the thong1 from the handle and thrust in the key, and with sure aim shot back the bolts. And as a bull bellows [50] when grazing in a meadow, even so bellowed the fair doors, smitten by the key; and quickly they flew open before her. Then she stepped upon the high floor, where the chests stood in which fragrant raiment was stored, and stretched out her hand from thence and took from its peg the bow together with the bright case which surrounded it. [55] And there she sat down and laid the case upon her knees and wept aloud, and took out the bow of her lord. But when she had had her fill of tearful wailing, she went her way to the hall, to the company of the lordly wooers, bearing in her hands the back-bent bow and the quiver [60] that held the arrows, and many arrows were in it, fraught with groanings. And by her side her maidens bore a chest, wherein lay abundance of iron and bronze, the battle-gear of her lord. Now when the fair lady reached the wooers, she stood by the door-post of the well-built hall, [65] holding before her face her shining veil; and a faithful handmaid stood on either side of her. Then straightway she spoke among the wooers, and said: “Hear me, ye proud wooers, who have beset this house to eat and drink ever without end, [70] since its master has long been gone, nor could you find any other plea to urge, save only as desiring to wed me and take me to wife. Nay, come now, ye wooers, since this is shewn to be your prize.2 I will set before you the great bow of divine Odysseus, [75] and whosoever shall most easily string the bow in his hands and shoot an arrow through all twelve axes, with him will I go, and forsake this house of my wedded life, a house most fair and filled with livelihood, which, methinks I shall ever remember even in my dreams.”

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
load focus Greek (1919)
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