Odysseus and his men can almost touch their homeland, Ithaca... and then they make a terrible mistake that sets them far back from their goal of reaching home.
Nine days we sailed, by night and day alike, and on the tenth our homeland came into sight, so near that we could see men tending fires.
But sweet Sleep overtook me - I was tired: I'd held the steering oar without a let; I'd not entrusted it to any comrade; I wanted our return home to be quick.
Meanwhile, my crewmen had begun to speak.
Just see what booty, splendid spoils, he carries back from Troy, while we, who toiled beside him, must return with empty hands.
To this, he now can add the friendly gift of Aeolus. Let's see what's in that sack- see how much gold and silver he has packed.
That's what they urged- and their disastrous plan prevailed. They opened up the sack.
The band of winds leaped out. The hurricane was quick to whirl my men away from their own land: Thrust back to sea, they wept.
When I awoke, my staunch soul hesitated. Should I leap off from the deck and die, or should I keep silent and stay among the living?
To be or not to be?
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