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[1] As soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, the strong and mighty Alcinous rose from his couch, and up rose also Zeus-born Odysseus, the sacker of cities. And the strong and mighty Alcinous led the way [5] to the place of assembly of the Phaeacians, which was builded for them hard by their ships. Thither they came and sat down on the polished stones close by one another; and Pallas Athena went throughout the city, in the likeness of the herald of wise Alcinous, devising a return for great-hearted Odysseus. [10] To each man's side she came, and spoke and said: “Hither now, leaders and counsellors of the Phaeacians, come to the place of assembly, that you may learn of the stranger who has newly come to the palace of wise Alcinous after his wanderings over the sea, and in form is like unto the immortals.” [15] So saying she roused the spirit and heart of each man, and speedily the place of assembly and the seats were filled with men that gathered. And many marvelled at the sight of the wise son of Laertes, for wondrous was the grace that Athena shed upon his head and shoulders; [20] and she made him taller and sturdier to behold, that he might be welcomed by all the Phaeacians, and win awe and reverence, and might accomplish the many feats wherein the Phaeacians made trial of Odysseus. Now when they were assembled and met together, [25] Alcinous addressed their assembly and spoke among them: “Hearken to me, leaders and counsellors of the Phaeacians, that I may speak what the heart in my breast bids me. This stranger—I know not who he is—has come to my house in his wanderings, whether from men of the east or of the west. [30] He urges that he be sent on his way, and prays for assurance, and let us on our part, as of old we were wont, speed on his sending; for verily no man soever who comes to my house, abides here long in sorrow for lack of sending. Nay come, let us draw a black ship down to the bright sea [35] for her first voyage, and let men choose two and fifty youths from out the people, even those that have heretofore been the best. And when you have all duly lashed the oars to the thole-pins,1 go ashore, and then go your way to my house, and prepare a feast with speed; and I will provide bountifully for all. [40] To the youths this is my command, but do you others, the sceptred kings, come to my fair palace, that we may entertain yon stranger in the halls; and let no man say me nay. And summon hither the divine minstrel, Demodocus; for to him above all others has the god granted skill in song, [45] to give delight in whatever way his spirit prompts him to sing.”

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