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Then again Alcinous made answer and said:“Odysseus, in no wise as we look on thee do we deem this of thee, that thou art a cheat and a dissembler, such as are many [365] whom the dark earth breeds scattered far and wide, men that fashion lies out of what no man can even see. But upon thee is grace of words, and within thee is a heart of wisdom, and thy tale thou hast told with skill, as doth a minstrel, even the grievous woes of all the Argives and of thine own self. [370] But come, tell me this, and declare it truly, whether thou sawest any of thy godlike comrades, who went to Ilios together with thee, and there met their fate. The night is before us, long, aye, wondrous long, and it is not yet the time for sleep in the hall. Tell on, I pray thee, the tale of these wondrous deeds. [375] Verily I could abide until bright dawn, so thou wouldest be willing to tell in the hall of these woes of thine.” Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him and said: “Lord Alcinous, renowned above all men, there is a time for many words and there is a time also for sleep. [380] But if thou art fain still to listen, I would not begrudge to tell thee of other things more pitiful still than these, even the woes of my comrades, who perished afterward, who escaped from the dread battle-cry of the Trojans, but perished on their return through the will of an evil woman. [385] “When then holy Persephone had scattered this way and that the spirits of the women, there came up the spirit of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, sorrowing; and round about him others were gathered, spirits of all those who were slain with him in the house of Aegisthus, and met their fate. [390] He knew me straightway, when he had drunk the dark blood, and he wept aloud, and shed big tears, and stretched forth his hands toward me eager to reach me. But no longer had he aught of strength or might remaining such as of old was in his supple limbs. [395] “When I saw him I wept, and my heart had compassion on him, and I spoke, and addressed him with winged words: ‘Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, what fate of grievous death overcame thee? Did Poseidon smite thee on board thy ships, [400] when he had roused a furious blast of cruel winds? Or did foemen work thee harm on the land, while thou wast cutting off their cattle and fair flocks of sheep, or wast fighting to win their city and their women?’

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