Back to the ships Odysseus dragged the unwilling men, weeping that they must leave so much joy behind. Beneath the benches of his ship he tightly bound them, and swiftly he made his ships sail from the shore, lest yet others of his company might eat of the lotus and forget their homes and their kindred.
Soon they had all embarked, and, with heavy hearts, the men of Ithaca smote the gray sea-water with their long oars, and sped away from the land of forgetfulness and of sweet day-dreams.
HOW ODYSSEUS CAME TO THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPES, AND HIS ADVENTURES THERE
On and on across the waves sailed the dark-prowed ships of Odysseus, until again they came to land.
It was the Land of the Cyclopes, a savage and lawless people, who never planted, nor plowed, nor sowed, and whose fields yet gave them rich harvests of wheat and of barley, and vines with heavy clusters of grapes. In deep caves, high up on the hills, these people dwelt, and each man ruled his own wife and children, but himself knew no ruler.
Outside the harbor of the Land of the Cyclopes lay a thickly wooded island. No hunters went there, for the Cyclopes owned neither ships nor boats, so that many goats roamed unharmed through the woods and cropped the fresh green grass.
It was a green and pleasant land. Rich meadows stretched down to the sea, the vines grew strong and fruitful, and there was a fair harbor where ships might be run right on to the beach. At the head of the harbor was a well of clear water flowing out of a cave, and with poplars growing around it. Thither Odysseus directed his ships. It was dark night, with no moon to guide, and mist lay deep on either side, yet they passed the breakers and rolling surf without knowing it, and anchored safely on the beach.
All night they slept, and when rosy dawn came they explored the island and slew with their bows and long spears many of the wild goats of the woods.
All the livelong day Odysseus and his men sat and feasted. As they ate and drank, they looked across the water at the Land of the Cyclopes, where the smoke of wood fires curled up to the sky, and from whence they could hear the sound of men’s voices and the bleating of sheep and goats. When darkness fell, they lay down to sleep on the sea-beach, and when morning dawned Odysseus called his men together and said to them: “Stay here, all the rest of you, my dear companions, but I will go with my own ship and my ship’s company and see what kind of men are those who dwell in this land across the harbor.”
So saying, he climbed into his ship, and his men rowed him across to the Land of the Cyclopes. When they were near the shore they saw a great cave by the sea. It was roofed in with green laurel boughs and seemed to be meant for a fold to shelter sheep and goats. Round about it a high outer wall was firmly built with stones, and with tall and leafy pines and oak-trees.