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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Snare Of The Fowler, parts 2196 - 2199

 2196. All the wooers cried out that none would favor Irus or deal his opponent a foul blow. Straightway Odysseus girt up his rags. When his great arms and shoulders and thighs were seen, the wooers were amazed and Irus was frightened. 


 2197. He would have slipped away if Antinous had not caught him and said to him, “You lubber, you! If you do not stand up before this man I will have you flung on my ship and sent over to King Echetus, who will cut off your nose and ears and give your flesh to his dogs to eat.” He took hold of Irus and dragged him into the ring.


 2198. The fighters faced each other. But Odysseus with his hands upraised stood for long without striking, for he was pondering if he should strike Irus a hard or a light blow. It seemed to him better to strike him lightly, so that his strength should not be made a matter for the wooers to note and wonder at. 


2199. Irus struck first. He struck Odysseus on the shoulder. Then Odysseus aimed a blow at his neck, just below the ear, and the beggar fell to the ground, with the blood gushing from his mouth and nose.

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