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The Odyssey – Book I
The Odyssey
reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things,
O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you
may know them.
So now all who escaped death in battle or by ship-
wreck had got safely home except Ulysses, and he,
though he was longing to return to his wife and
country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who
had got him into a large cave and wanted to marry
him. But as years went by, there came a time when
the gods settled that he should go back to Ithaca;
even then, however, when he was among his own
people, his troubles were not yet over; nevertheless
all the gods had now begun to pity him except Nep-
tune, who still persecuted him without ceasing and
would not let him get home.
Now Neptune had gone off to the Ethiopians,
who are at the world’s end, and lie in two halves,
the one looking West and the other East. He had
gone there to accept a hecatomb of sheep and oxen,
and was enjoying himself at his festival; but the
other gods met in the house of Olympian Jove, and
Translated by Samuel Butler
TELL ME, O MUSE, of that ingenious hero who trav-
elled far and wide after he had sacked the famous
town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many
were the nations with whose manners and customs
he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by
sea while trying to save his own life and bring his
men safely home; but do what he might he could
not save his men, for they perished through their
own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god
Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever