The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy.

IV

Then Odysseus spoke before the company and said, ’O Alcinous, famous King, it is good to listen to a minstrel such as Demodocus is.  And as for me, I know of no greater delight than when men feast together with open hearts, when tables are plentifully spread, when wine-bearers pour out good wine into cups, and when a minstrel sings to them noble songs.  This seems to me to be happiness indeed.  But thou hast asked me to speak of my wanderings and my toils.  Ah, where can I begin that tale?  For the gods have given me more woes than a man can speak of!’

’But first of all I will declare to you my name and my country.  I am Odysseus, son of laertes, and my land is Ithaka, an island around which many islands lie.  Ithaka is a rugged isle, but a good nurse of hardy men, and I, for one, have found that there is no place fairer than a man’s own land.  But now I will tell thee, King, and tell the Princes and Captains and Councillors of the Phaeacians, the tale of my wanderings.’

’The wind bore my ships from the coast of Troy, and with our white sails hoisted we came to the cape that is called Malea.  Now if we had been able to double this cape we should soon have come to our own country, all unhurt.  But the north wind came and swept us from our course and drove us wandering past Cythera.’

’Then for nine days we were borne onward by terrible winds, and away from all known lands.  On the tenth day we came to a strange country.  Many of my men landed there.  The people of that land were harmless and friendly, but the land itself was most dangerous.  For there grew there the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus that makes all men forgetful of their past and neglectful of their future.  And those of my men who ate the lotus that the dwellers of that land offered them became forgetful of their country and of the way before them.  They wanted to abide forever in the land of the lotus.  They wept when they thought of all the toils before them and of all they had endured.  I led them back to the ships, and I had to place them beneath the benches and leave them in bonds.  And I commanded those who had ate of the lotus to go at once aboard the ships.  Then, when I had got all my men upon the ships, we made haste to sail away.’

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’Later we came to the land of the Cyclopes, a giant people.  There is a waste island outside the harbour of their land, and on it there is a well of bright water that has poplars growing round it.  We came to that empty island, and we beached our ships and took down our sails.’

’As soon as the dawn came we went through the empty island, starting the wild goats that were there in flocks, and shooting them with our arrows.  We killed so many wild goats there that we had nine for each ship.  Afterwards we looked across to the land of the Cyclopes, and we heard the sound of voices and saw the smoke of fires and heard the bleating of flocks of sheep and goats.’

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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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