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[225] and so came to the wood-clad abode of Thebe; for as yet no man lived in holy Thebe, nor were there tracks or ways about Thebe's wheat-bearing plain as yet.

And further still you went, O far-shooting Apollo, [230] and came to Onchestus, Poseidon's bright grove: there the new-broken colt distressed with drawing the trim chariot gets spirit again, and the skilled driver springs from his car and goes on his way. Then the horses for a while rattle the empty car, being rid of guidance; [235] and if they break the chariot in the woody grove, men look after the horses, but tilt the chariot and leave it there; for this was the rite from the very first. And the drivers pray to the lord of the shrine; but the chariot falls to the lot of the god.

Further yet you went, O far-shooting Apollo, [240] and reached next Cephissus' sweet stream which pours forth its sweet-flowing water from Lilaea, and crossing over it, O worker from afar, you passed many-towered Ocalea and reached grassy Haliartus.

Then you went towards Telphusa: and there the pleasant place seemed fit for [245] making a temple and wooded grove. You came very near and spoke to her: “Telphusa, here I am minded to make a glorious temple, an oracle for men, and hither they will always bring perfect hecatombs, [250] both those who live in rich Peloponnesus and those of Europe and all the wave-washed isles, coming to seek oracles. And I will deliver to them all counsel that cannot fail, giving answer in my rich temple.”

So said Phoebus Apollo, and laid out all the foundations [255] throughout, wide and very long. But when Telphusa saw this, she was angry in heart and spoke, saying: “Lord Phoebus, worker from afar, I will speak a word of counsel to your heart, since you are minded to make here a glorious temple to be an oracle for men who will always [260] bring hither perfect hecatombs for you; yet I will speak out, and do you lay up my words in your heart. The trampling of swift horses and the sound of mules watering at my sacred springs will always irk you, and men will like better to gaze at [265] the well-made chariots and stamping, swift-footed horses than at your great temple and the many treasures that are within.

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    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO HERMES
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