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“Polyphemus answered nothing, but without more ado caught up two of the men, as a man might catch up a dog's puppies, and dashed them on the ground, and tore them limb from limb, and devoured them, with huge draughts of milk between, leaving not a 5 morsel, not even the very bones. But we that were
, left, when we saw the dreadful deed, could only weep and pray to Zeus for help. And when the giant was filled with human flesh and with the milk of the flocks, he lay down among his sheep and slept.
“Then I questioned much in my heart whether I should slay the monster as he slept, for I doubted not that my good sword would pierce the giant's heart, mighty as he was. But my second thought kept me back, for I remembered that, should I slay him, I 15 and my comrades would yet perish miserably. For who could move away the great rock that lay against the door of the cave? So we waited till the morning, with grief in our hearts. And the monster woke, and milked his flocks, and afterwards, seizing two men, devoured them for his meal. Then he went to the pastures, first putting the great rock against the mouth of the cave."
“All that day I was thinking what I might best do to save myself and my companions, and the end of my 25 thinking was this. There was a mighty pole in the cave, green wood of an olive tree, big as a ship's mast, which Polyphemus purposed to use, when the smoke should have dried it, as a walking staff. Of this I cut 5 off a fathom's length, and my comrades sharpened it and hardened it in the fire, and then hid it away. At evening the giant came back, and drove his sheep into the cave, nor left the rams outside, as he had
been wont to do before, but shut them in. And hav10 ing duly done his shepherd's work, he took, as before,
two of my comrades, and devoured them. And when he had finished his supper, I came forward, holding the wine-skin in my hand, and said:
"Drink, Cyclops, now that thou hast feasted. 15 Drink, and see what precious things we had in our
ship. But no one hereafter will come to thee with such like, if thou dealest with strangers as cruelly as thou hast dealt with us.'
“Then the Cyclops drank, and was mightily pleased, 20 and said: “Give me again to drink, and tell me thy
name, stranger, and I will give thee a gift such as a host should give. In good truth this is a rare liquor. We, too, have vines, but they bear not wine like this,
which, indeed, must be such as the gods drink in 25 heaven.'
“Then I gave him the cup again, and he drank. Thrice I gave it to him, and thrice he drank, not know
ing what it was, and how it would work within his brain.
“Then I spake to him: “Thou didst ask my name, Cyclops. My name is No Man. And now that thou knowest my name, thou shouldst give me thy gift.'
“And he said, 'My gift shall be that I will eat thee last of all thy company.
“And as he spake, he fell back in a drunken sleep. Then I bade my comrades be of good courage, for the time was come when they should be delivered. And 10 they thrust the stake of olive into the fire till it was ready, green as it was, to burst into flame, and they thrust it into the monster's eye; for he had but one eye, and that in the midst of his forehead, with the eyebrow below it. And I, standing above, leaned 15 with all my force upon the stake, and turned it about, as a man bores the timber of a ship with a drill. And the burning wood hissed in the eye, just as the red-hot iron hisses in the water when a man seeks to temper steel for a sword.
“Then the giant leapt up, and tore away the stake, and cried aloud, so that all the Cyclopes who dwelt on the mountain side heard him and came about his cave, asking him: What aileth thee, Polyphemus, that thou makest this uproar in the peaceful night, 25 driving away sleep? Is any one robbing thee of thy sheep, or seeking to slay thee by craft or force?'
"And he answered, “No Man slays me by craft.'
“Nay,' they said, 'if no man does thee wrong, we cannot help thee. The sickness which great Zeus may send, who can avoid? Pray to our father, Posei5 don, for help.'
“So they spake, and I laughed in my heart when I saw how I had beguiled them by the name that I gave.
“But the Cyclops rolled away the great stone from the door of the cave, and sat in the midst, stretching 10 out his hands, to feel whether perchance the men within the cave would seek to go out among the sheep.
‘Long did I think how I and my comrades should best escape. At last I lighted upon a device that
seemed better than all the rest, and much I thanked 15 Zeus that this once the giant had driven the rams with
the other sheep into the cave. For, these being great and strong, I fastened my comrades under the bellies of the beasts, tying them with willow twigs, of which
the giant made his bed. One ram I took, and fastened 20 a man beneath it, and two others I set, one on either
side. So I did with the six, for but six were left out of the twelve who had ventured with me from the ship. And there was one mighty ram, far larger than
all the others, and to this I clung, grasping the fleece 25 tight with both my hands. So we all waited for the
morning. And when the morning came, the rams rushed forth to the pasture; but the giant sat in the