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At the Shore

У берега

O heart — abundant hive,
Peerless golden honeycomb!
I stagger through surf, and I dive
Through tatters of frothing foam.

Exhausted, at my trireme helm,
My chest bared to a storm gone mad,
I raced toward my island home
Against the blue-gray thunderhead.

I enter the door of the spacious house,
Glad to have made my way home,
At once I forget the black years
Guarded by Pallas* alone.

True! But who, like a soaring kite,
Hovered over my spirit as if
To draw me to a harsher fate,
And fling me anew from a steeper cliff?

A crack split the ship open,
The hurricane ploughed the seas,
And my promise of a shoreline
Was lost in the looming haze.

I gasped with a faltering breath
To howling on island and water:
“No, I’ll neither break my oath
To the goddess — nor curse her.”
___
* Throughout Odysseus’s wanderings, he has guided by the goddess Pallas Athena disguised as Mentor.

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