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Enter Odysseus from the cave.

Silence, you savages, for heaven's sake be quiet! [625] Let your lips be shut fast! I forbid anyone even to breathe or to blink or to clear his throat lest the monster wake up before the Cyclops' eye can have its contest with the fire.

We hold our peace, gulping down the air with our mouths.

[630] Come then, you must go inside and put your hands to the fire-brand. It is now glowing nicely.

Won't you say who must grasp the charred stake first and thus burn out the Cyclops' eye, so that we may share in what fate holds!

Leader of semi-Chorus A
[635] We stand too far from the door to push the fire into the Cyclops' eye.

Leader of semi-Chorus B
And we have just now become lame.

Leader of semi-Chorus A
The same thing has happened to me. As I was standing here I sprained my feet, I can't think how.

[640] You got a sprain while standing?

Leader of Semi-chorus A
Yes, and somehow my eyes have become full of dust or ash.

These allies of mine are cowardly and worthless.

Just because I take pity on my back and my spine and have no desire to have my teeth [645] knocked out, is that cowardice? But I know an incantation of Orpheus so wonderful that the firebrand all on its own will march up to his skull and set the one-eyed son of earth on fire.

For a long time I have known that your nature was like this, [650] but now I know it better. I must make use of my own friends. But if you have no strength in your arm, at least cheer us on so that with your encouragement we may find our friends brave.Exit Odysseus into the cave.

I shall do so and let a mercenary run my risk. [655] If encouragements can do it, let the Cyclops be burned!

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