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As soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, straightway Odysseus put on a cloak and a tunic, [230] and the nymph clothed herself in a long white robe, finely woven and beautiful, and about her waist she cast a fair girdle of gold, and on her head a veil above. Then she set herself to plan the sending of the great-hearted Odysseus. She gave him a great axe, well fitted to his hands, [235] an axe of bronze, sharpened on both sides; and in it was a beautiful handle of olive wood, securely fastened; and thereafter she gave him a polished adze. Then she led the way to the borders of the island where tall trees were standing, alder and popular and fir, reaching to the skies, [240] long dry and well-seasoned, which would float for him lightly. But when she had shewn him where the tall trees grew, Calypso, the beautiful goddess, returned homewards, but he fell to cutting timbers, and his work went forward apace. Twenty trees in all did he fell, and trimmed them with the axe; [245] then he cunningly smoothed them all and made them straight to the line. Meanwhile Calypso, the beautiful goddess, brought him augers; and he bored all the pieces and fitted them to one another, and with pegs and morticings did he hammer it together. Wide as a man well-skilled in carpentry marks out the curve of the hull of a freight-ship, [250] broad of beam, even so wide did Odysseus make his raft. And he set up the deck-beams, bolting them to the close-set ribs, and laboured on; and he finished the raft with long gunwales. In it he set a mast and a yard-arm, fitted to it, [255] and furthermore made him a steering-oar, wherewith to steer. Then he fenced in the whole from stem to stern with willow withes to be a defence against the wave, and strewed much brush thereon.1 Meanwhile Calypso, the beautiful goddess, brought him cloth to make him a sail, and he fashioned that too with skill. [260] And he made fast in the raft braces and halyards and sheets, and then with levers2 forced it down into the bright sea.

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