“Then we kindled a fire and offered sacrifice, and ourselves, too, took of the cheeses and ate, and thus we sat in the cave and waited for him until he came back, herding his flocks. He bore a mighty weight of dry wood to serve him at supper time,
and flung it down with a crash inside the cave, but we, seized with terror, shrank back into a recess of the cave. But he drove his fat flocks into the wide cavern—all those that he milked; but the males—the rams and the goats—he left without in the deep court.1
Then he lifted on high and set in place the great door-stone, a mighty rock; two and twenty stout four-wheeled wagons could not lift it from the ground, such a towering mass of rock he set in the doorway. Thereafter he sat down and milked the ewes and bleating goats
all in turn, and beneath each dam he placed her young. Then presently he curdled half the white milk, and gathered it in wicker baskets and laid it away, and the other half he set in vessels that he might have it to take and drink, and that it might serve him for supper.
But when he had busily performed his tasks, then he rekindled the fire, and caught sight of us, and asked:
“‘Strangers, who are ye? Whence do ye sail over the watery ways? Is it on some business, or do ye wander at random over the sea, even as pirates, who wander,
hazarding their lives and bringing evil to men of other lands?’
“So he spoke, and in our breasts our spirit was broken for terror of his deep voice and monstrous self; yet even so I made answer and spoke to him, saying:
“‘We, thou must know, are from Troy
, Achaeans, driven wandering
by all manner of winds over the great gulf of the sea. Seeking our home, we have come by another way, by other paths; so, I ween, Zeus was pleased to devise. And we declare that we are the men of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, whose fame is now mightiest under heaven,
so great a city did he sack, and slew many people; but we on our part, thus visiting thee, have come as suppliants to thy knees, in the hope that thou wilt give us entertainment, or in other wise make some present, as is the due of strangers. Nay, mightiest one, reverence the gods; we are thy suppliants;
and Zeus is the avenger of suppliants and strangers—Zeus, the strangers' god—who ever attends upon reverend strangers.’
“So I spoke, and he straightway made answer with pitiless heart: ‘A fool art thou, stranger, or art come from afar, seeing that thou biddest me either to fear or to shun the gods.
For the Cyclopes reck not of Zeus, who bears the aegis, nor of the blessed gods, since verily we are better far than they. Nor would I, to shun the wrath of Zeus, spare either thee or thy comrades, unless my own heart should bid me. But tell me where thou didst moor thy well-wrought ship on thy coming.
Was it haply at a remote part of the land, or close by? I fain would know.’