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[465] So he spoke, and tied the cable of a dark-prowed ship to a great pillar and flung it round the dome, stretching it on high that none might reach the ground with her feet. And as when long-winged thrushes or doves fall into a snare that is set in a thicket, [470] as they seek to reach their resting-place, and hateful is the bed that gives them welcome, even so the women held their heads in a row, and round the necks of all nooses were laid, that they might die most piteously. And they writhed a little while with their feet, but not long. Then forth they led Melanthius through the doorway and the court, [475] and cut off his nostrils and his ears with the pitiless bronze, and drew out his vitals for the dogs to eat raw, and cut off his hands and his feet in their furious wrath. Thereafter they washed their hands and feet, and went into the house to Odysseus, and the work was done. [480] But Odysseus said to the dear nurse Eurycleia: “Bring sulphur, old dame, to cleanse from pollution, and bring me fire, that I may purge the hall; and do thou bid Penelope come hither with her handmaidens, and order all the women in the house to come.” [485] Then the dear nurse Eurycleia answered him: “Yea, all this, my child, hast thou spoken aright. But come, let me bring thee a cloak and a tunic for raiment, and do not thou stand thus in the halls with thy broad shoulders wrapped in rags; that were a cause for blame.” [490] Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her: “First of all let a fire now be made me in the hall.” So he spoke, and the dear nurse Eurycleia did not disobey, but brought fire and sulphur; but Odysseus throughly purged the hall and the house and the court. [495] Then the old dame went back through the fair house of Odysseus to bear tidings to the women and bid them come; and they came forth from their hall with torches in their hands. They thronged about Odysseus and embraced him, and clasped and kissed his head and shoulders [500] and his hands in loving welcome; and a sweet longing seized him to weep and wail, for in his heart he knew them all.

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