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But they greatly trembled and feared, and none, not even the richest of them, dared receive Phoebus, [50] until queenly Leto set foot on Delos and uttered winged words and asked her:

Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple —; for no other will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be rich in oxen and sheep, [55] nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo, all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed those who dwell in you [60] from the hand of strangers; for truly your own soil is not rich.”

So spake Leto. And Delos rejoiced and answered and said: “Leto, most glorious daughter of great Coeus, joyfully would I receive your child the far-shooting lord; for it is all too true that I am ill-spoken of [65] among men, whereas thus I should become very greatly honored. But this saying I fear, and I will not hide it from you, Leto. They say that Apollo will be one that is very haughty and will greatly lord it among gods and men all over the fruitful earth. [70] Therefore, I greatly fear in heart and spirit that as soon as he sees the light of the sun, he will scorn this island —for truly I have but a hard, rocky soil —and overturn me and thrust me down with his feet in the depths of the sea; then will the great ocean wash deep above my head for ever, [75] and he will go to another land such as will please him, there to make his temple and wooded groves. So many-footed creatures of the sea will make their lairs in me and black seals their dwellings undisturbed, because I lack people. Yet if you will but dare to swear a great oath, goddess, [80] that here first he will build a glorious temple to be an oracle for men, then let him afterwards [81a] make temples and wooded groves amongst all men; for surely he will be greatly renowned.

So said Delos. And Leto swear the great oath of the gods: “Now hear this, Earth and wide Heaven above, [85] and dropping water of Styx (this is the strongest and most awful oath for the blessed gods), surely Phoebus shall have here his fragrant altar and precinct, and you he shall honor above all.”

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