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“‘But thy brother escaped, indeed, the fates and shunned them with his hollow ships, for queenly Hera saved him. But when he was now about [515] to reach the steep height of Malea, then the storm-wind caught him up and bore him over the teeming deep, groaning heavily, to the border of the land,1 where aforetime Thyestes dwelt, but where now dwelt Thyestes' son Aegisthus. But when from hence too a safe return was shewed him, [520] and the gods changed the course of the wind that it blew fair, and they reached home, then verily with rejoicing did Agamemnon set foot on his native land, and he clasped his land and kissed it, and many were the hot tears that streamed from his eyes, for welcome to him was the sight of his land. Now from his place of watch a watchman saw him, whom [525] guileful Aegisthus took and set there, promising him as a reward two talents of gold; and he had been keeping guard for a year, lest Agamemnon should pass by him unseen, and be mindful of his furious might. So he went to the palace to bear the tidings to the shepherd of the people, and Aegisthus straightway planned a treacherous device. [530] He chose out twenty men, the best in the land, and set them to lie in wait, but on the further side of the hall he bade prepare a feast. Then he went with chariot and horses to summon Agamemnon, shepherd of the people, his mind pondering a dastardly deed. So he brought him up all unaware of his doom, [535] and when he had feasted him he slew him, as one slays an ox at the stall. And not one of the comrades of the son of Atreus was left, of all that followed him, nor one of the men of Aegisthus, but they were all slain in the halls.’ “So he spoke, and my spirit was broken within me, and I wept, as I sat on the sands, nor had my heart [540] any longer desire to live and to behold the light of the sun. But when I had had my fill of weeping and writhing, then the unerring old man of the sea said to me: “‘No more, son of Atreus, do thou weep long time thus without ceasing, for in it we shall find no help. Nay, rather, with all the speed thou canst, [545] strive that thou mayest come to thy native land, for either thou wilt find Aegisthus alive, or haply Orestes may have forestalled thee and slain him, and thou mayest chance upon his funeral feast.’ “So he spoke, and my heart and spirit were again warmed with comfort in my breast despite my grief, [550] and I spoke, and addressed him with winged words: “‘Of these men now I know, but do thou name the third, who he is that still lives, and is held back upon the broad sea, or is haply dead. Fain would I hear, despite my grief.’

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
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