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This song the famous minstrel sang. But the heart of Odysseus was melted and tears wet his cheeks beneath his eyelids. And as a woman wails and flings herself about her dear husband, who has fallen in front of his city and his people, [525] seeking toward off from his city and his children the pitiless day; and as she beholds him dying and gasping for breath, she clings to him and shrieks aloud, while the foe behind her smite her back and shoulders with their spears, and lead her away to captivity to bear toil and woe, [530] while with most pitiful grief her cheeks are wasted: even so did Odysseus let fall pitiful tears from beneath his brows. Now from all the rest he concealed the tears that he shed, but Alcinous alone marked him and took heed, [535] for he sat by him and heard him groaning heavily. And straightway he spoke among the Phaeacians, lovers of the oar: “Hear me, leaders and counsellors of the Phaeacians, and let Demodocus now check his clear-toned lyre, for in no wise to all alike does he give pleasure with this song. Ever since we began to sup and the divine minstrel was moved to sing, [540] from that time yon stranger has never ceased from sorrowful lamentation; surely, methinks, grief has encompassed his heart. Nay, let the minstrel cease, that we may all make merry, hosts and guest alike, since it is better thus. Lo, for the sake of the honored stranger all these things have been made ready, [545] his sending and the gifts of friendship which we give him of our love. Dear as a brother is the stranger and the suppliant to a man whose wits have never so short a range. Therefore do not thou longer hide with crafty thought whatever I shall ask thee;to speak out plainly is the better course.

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