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Now when they had prayed, and had strewn the barley grains, straightway the son of Nestor, Thrasymedes, high of heart, came near and dealt the blow; and the axe cut through the sinews [450] of the neck, and loosened the strength of the heifer. Then the women raised the sacred cry, the daughters and the sons' wives and the revered wife of Nestor, Eurydice, the eldest of the daughters of Clymenus, and the men raised the heifer's head from the broad-wayed earth and held it, and Peisistratus, leader of men, cut the throat. [455] And when the black blood had flowed from her and the life had left the bones, at once they cut up the body and straightway cut out the thigh-pieces all in due order, and covered them with a double layer of fat, and laid raw flesh upon them. Then the old man burned them on billets of wood, and poured over them sparkling wine, [460] and beside him the young men held in their hands the five-pronged forks. But when the thigh-pieces were wholly burned, and they had tasted the inner parts, they cut up the rest and spitted and roasted it, holding the pointed spits in their hands. Meanwhile the fair Polycaste, [465] the youngest daughter of Nestor, son of Neleus, bathed Telemachus. And when she had bathed him and anointed him richly1 with oil, and had cast about him a fair cloak and a tunic, forth from the bath he came in form like unto the immortals; and he went and sat down by Nestor, the shepherd of the people. [470] Now when they had roasted the outer flesh and had drawn it off the spits, they sat down and feasted, and worthy men waited on them, pouring wine2 into golden cups. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, was first to speak, saying: [475] “My sons, up, yoke for Telemachus horses with beautiful mane beneath the car, that he may get forward on his journey.” So he spoke, and they readily hearkened and obeyed; and quickly they yoked beneath the car the swift horses. And the housewife placed in the car bread and wine [480] and dainties, such as kings, fostered of Zeus, are wont to eat. Then Telemachus mounted the beautiful car, and Peisistratus, son of Nestor, a leader of men, mounted beside him, and took the reins in his hands. He touched the horses with the whip to start them, and nothing loath the pair sped on [485] to the plain, and left the steep citadel of Pylos. So all day long they shook the yoke which they bore about their necks. Now the sun set and all the ways grew dark. And they came to Pherae, to the house of Diocles, son of Ortilochus, whom Alpheus begot. [490] There they spent the night, and before them he set the entertainment due to strangers. So soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, they yoked the horses and mounted the inlaid car, and drove forth from the gateway and the echoing portico. Then Peisistratus touched the horses with the whip to start them, and nothing loath the pair sped onward. [495] So they came to the wheat-bearing plain, and thereafter pressed on toward their journey's end, so well did their swift horses bear them on. And the sun set and all the ways grew dark.

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