From Homer’s Odyssey

Odysseus reaches the country of the Lotophagoi, the Lotus-eaters

Provided by Werner Wallner

Photo by Werner Wallner

Greek (English below)

λλά με κμα όος τε περιγνάμπτοντα Μάλειαν        
κα βορέης πέωσε, παρέπλαγξεν δ Κυθήρων.

νθεν δ' ννμαρ φερόμην λοοσ' νέμοισι
πόντον π' χθυόεντα· τρ δεκάτ πέβημεν
γαίης Λωτοφάγων, ο τ' νθινον εδαρ δουσιν.
νθα δ' π' πείρου βμεν κα φυσσάμεθ' δωρ,
αψα δ δεπνον λοντο θος παρ νηυσν ταροι.
ατρ πε σίτοιό τ' πασσάμεθ' δ ποττος,
δ τότ' γν τάρους προΐην πεύθεσθαι όντας,
ο τινες νέρες εεν π χθον στον δοντες,
νδρε δύω κρίνας, τρίτατον κήρυχ' μ' πάσσας.        
δ' αψ' οχόμενοι μίγεν νδράσι Λωτοφάγοισιν·
οδ' ρα Λωτοφάγοι μήδονθ' τάροισιν λεθρον
μετέροισ', λλά σφι δόσαν λωτοο πάσασθαι.
τν δ' ς τις λωτοο φάγοι μελιηδέα καρπόν,
οκέτ' παγγελαι πάλιν θελεν οδ νέεσθαι,
λλ' ατο βούλοντο μετ' νδράσι Λωτοφάγοισι
λωτν ρεπτόμενοι μενέμεν νόστου τε λαθέσθαι.
τος μν γν π νας γον κλαίοντας νάγκ,
νηυσ δ' ν γλαφυρσιν π ζυγ δσα ρύσσας·
ατρ τος λλους κελόμην ρίηρας ταίρους        
σπερχομένους νη
ν πιβαινέμεν κειάων,
μή πώς τις λωτοο φαγν νόστοιο λάθηται.
ο δ' αψ' εσβαινον κα π κλησι καθζον,
ξς δ' ζόμενοι πολιν λα τύπτον ρετμος.

And now all unscathed should I have reached my native land, but the wave and the current and the North Wind beat me back as I was rounding Malea, and drove me from my course past Cythera. “Thence for nine days' space I was borne by direful winds over the teeming deep; but on the tenth we set foot on the land of the Lotus-eaters, who eat a flowery food. There we went on shore and drew water, and straightway my comrades took their meal by the swift ships. But when we had tasted food and drink, I sent forth some of my comrades to go and learn who the men were, who here ate bread upon the earth; two men I chose, sending with them a third as a herald. So they went straightway and mingled with the Lotus-eaters, and the Lotus-eaters did not plan death for my comrades, but gave them of the lotus to taste. And whosoever of them ate of the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, had no longer any wish to bring back word or to return, but there they were fain to abide among the Lotus-eaters, feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of their homeward way. These men, therefore, I brought back perforce to the ships, weeping, and dragged them beneath the benches and bound them fast in the hollow ships; and I bade the rest of my trusty comrades to embark with speed on the swift ships, lest perchance anyone should eat of the lotus and forget his homeward way. So they went on board straightway and sat down upon the benches, and sitting well in order smote the grey sea with their oars.

Read this in German

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