1 You will be sorry for it afterwards if you kill a bard who can sing both for gods and men as I can.
2 I would sing to you as though you were a god, do not therefore be in such a hurry to cut my head off.
3 As for herself, she was busy at her loom, shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing beautifully.
4 From the moment that we had done supper and Demodocus began to sing, our guest has been all the time groaning and lamenting.
5 Meanwhile the bard began to sing the loves of Mars and Venus, and how they first began their intrigue in the house of Vulcan.
6 The gods arranged all this, and sent them their misfortunes in order that future generations might have something to sing about.
7 This fellow means no harm by singing the ill-fated return of the Danaans, for people always applaud the latest songs most warmly.
8 As soon as he touched his lyre and began to sing Telemachus spoke low to Minerva, with his head close to hers that no man might hear.
9 Presently Ulysses and the swineherd came up to the house and stood by it, amid a sound of music, for Phemius was just beginning to sing to the suitors.
10 There was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre, while two tumblers went about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up with his tune.
11 Phemius was still singing, and his hearers sat rapt in silence as he told the sad tale of the return from Troy, and the ills Minerva had laid upon the Achaeans.
12 The suitors then returned to their singing and dancing until the evening; but when night fell upon their pleasuring they went home to bed each in his own abode.
13 You must have studied under the Muse, Jove's daughter, and under Apollo, so accurately do you sing the return of the Achaeans with all their sufferings and adventures.
14 First she said we were to keep clear of the Sirens, who sit and sing most beautifully in a field of flowers; but she said I might hear them myself so long as no one else did.
15 As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink they wanted music and dancing, which are the crowning embellishments of a banquet, so a servant brought a lyre to Phemius, whom they compelled perforce to sing to them.
16 Mother," answered Telemachus, "let the bard sing what he has a mind to; bards do not make the ills they sing of; it is Jove, not they, who makes them, and who sends weal or woe upon mankind according to his own good pleasure.
17 When the bard left off singing he wiped the tears from his eyes, uncovered his face, and, taking his cup, made a drink-offering to the gods; but when the Phaeacians pressed Demodocus to sing further, for they delighted in his lays, then Ulysses again drew his mantle over his head and wept bitterly.
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