Odysseus in the palace of Circe

Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg, "Ulysses at the palace of Circe" (1667)

[210] “Within the forest glades they found the house of Circe, built of polished stone in a place of wide outlook, and round about it were mountain wolves and lions, whom Circe herself had bewitched; for she gave them evil drugs. Yet these beasts did not rush upon my men, but pranced about them fawningly, wagging their long tails. And as when hounds fawn around their master as he comes from a feast, for he ever brings them bits to soothe their temper, so about them fawned the stout-clawed wolves and lions; but they were seized with fear, as they saw the dread monsters. [220] So they stood in the gateway of the fair-tressed goddess, and within they heard Circe singing with sweet voice, as she went to and fro before a great imperishable web, such as is the handiwork of goddesses, finely-woven and beautiful, and glorious. Then among them spoke Polites, a leader of men, dearest to me of my comrades, and trustiest:

“‘Friends, within someone goes to and fro before a great web, singing sweetly, so that all the floor echoes; some goddess it is, or some woman. Come, let us quickly call to her.’

“So he spoke, and they cried aloud, and called to her. [230] And she straightway came forth and opened the bright doors, and bade them in; and all went with her in their folly. Only Eurylochus remained behind, for he suspected that there was a snare. She brought them in and made them sit on chairs and seats, and made for them a potion of cheese and barley meal and yellow honey with Pramnian wine; but in the food she mixed baneful drugs, that they might utterly forget their native land. Now when she had given them the potion, and they had drunk it off, then she presently smote them with her wand, and penned them in the sties. And they had the heads, and voice, and bristles, [240] and shape of swine, but their minds remained unchanged even as before. So they were penned there weeping, and before them Circe flung mast and acorns, and the fruit of the cornel tree, to eat, such things as wallowing swine are wont to feed upon.

“But Eurylochus came back straightway to the swift, black ship, to bring tiding of his comrades and their shameful doom. Not a word could he utter, for all his desire, so stricken to the heart was he with great distress, and his eyes were filled with tears, and his spirit was set on lamentation. But when we questioned him in amazement, [250] then he told the fate of the others, his comrades.

“‘We went through the thickets, as thou badest, noble Odysseus. We found in the forest glades a fair palace, built of polished stones, in a place of wide outlook. There someone was going to and fro before a great web, and singing with clear voice, some goddess or some woman, and they cried aloud, and called to her. And she came forth straightway, and opened the bright doors, and bade them in; and they all went with her in their folly. But I remained behind, for I suspected that there was a snare. Then they all vanished together, nor did one of them [260] appear again, though I sat long and watched.’

“So he spoke, and I cast my silver-studded sword about my shoulders, a great sword of bronze, and slung my bow about me, and bade him lead me back by the self-same road. But he clasped me with both hands, and be sought me by my knees, and with wailing he spoke to me winged words:

“‘Lead me not thither against my will, O thou fostered of Zeus, but leave me here. For I know that thou wilt neither come back thyself, nor bring anyone of thy comrades. Nay, with these that are here let us flee with all speed, for still we may haply escape the evil day.’

[270] “So he spoke, but I answered him, and said:‘Eurylochus, do thou stay here in this place, eating and drinking by the hollow, black ship; but I will go, for strong necessity is laid upon me.’

“So saying, I went up from the ship and the sea. But when, as I went through the sacred glades, I was about to come to the great house of the sorceress, Circe, then Hermes, of the golden wand, met me as I went toward the house, in the likeness of a young man with the first down upon his lip, in whom the charm of youth is fairest. [280] He clasped my hand, and spoke, and addressed me:

“‘Whither now again, hapless man, dost thou go alone through the hills, knowing naught of the country? Lo, thy comrades yonder in the house of Circe are penned like swine in close-barred sties. And art thou come to release them? Nay, I tell thee, thou shalt not thyself return, but shalt remain there with the others. But come, I will free thee from harm, and save thee. Here, take this potent herb, and go to the house of Circe, and it shall ward off from thy head the evil day. And I will tell thee all the baneful wiles of Circe. [290] She will mix thee a potion, and cast drugs into the food; but even so she shall not be able to bewitch thee, for the potent herb that I shall give thee will not suffer it. And I will tell thee all. When Circe shall smite thee with her long wand, then do thou draw thy sharp sword from beside thy thigh, and rush upon Circe, as though thou wouldst slay her. And she will be seized with fear, and will bid thee lie with her. Then do not thou thereafter refuse the couch of the goddess, that she may set free thy comrades, and give entertainment to thee. But bid her swear a great oath by the blessed gods, [300] that she will not plot against thee any fresh mischief to thy hurt, lest when she has thee stripped she may render thee a weakling and unmanned.’

“So saying, Argeiphontes gave me the herb, drawing it from the ground, and showed me its nature. At the root it was black, but its flower was like milk. Moly the gods call it, and it is hard for mortal men to dig; but with the gods all things are possible.

Hermes then departed to high Olympus through the wooded isle, and I went my way to the house of Circe, and many things did my heart darkly ponder as I went. [310] So I stood at the gates of the fair-tressed goddess. There I stood and called, and the goddess heard my voice. Straightway then she came forth, and opened the bright doors, and bade me in; and I went with her, my heart sore troubled. She brought me in and made me sit on a silver-studded chair, a beautiful chair, richly wrought, and beneath was a foot-stool for the feet. And she prepared me a potion in a golden cup, that I might drink, and put therein a drug, with evil purpose in her heart. But when she had given it me, and I had drunk it off, yet was not bewitched, she smote me with her wand, and spoke, and addressed me: [320] ‘Begone now to the sty, and lie with the rest of thy comrades.’ “So she spoke, but I, drawing my sharp sword from beside my thigh, rushed upon Circe, as though I would slay her. But she, with a loud cry, ran beneath, and clasped my knees, and with wailing she spoke to me winged words:

“‘Who art thou among men, and from whence? Where is thy city, and where thy parents? Amazement holds me that thou hast drunk this charm and wast in no wise bewitched. For no man else soever hath withstood this charm, when once he has drunk it, and it has passed the barrier of his teeth. Nay, but the mind in thy breast is one not to be beguiled. [330] Surely thou art Odysseus, the man of ready device, who Argeiphontes of the golden wand ever said to me would come hither on his way home from Troy with his swift, black ship. Nay, come, put up thy sword in its sheath, and let us two then go up into my bed, that couched together in love we may put trust in each other.’ “So she spoke, but I answered her, and said:‘Circe, how canst thou bid me be gentle to thee, who hast turned my comrades into swine in thy halls, and now keepest me here, and with guileful purpose biddest me [340] go to thy chamber, and go up into thy bed, that when thou hast me stripped thou mayest render me a weakling and unmanned? Nay, verily, it is not I that shall be fain to go up into thy bed, unless thou, goddess, wilt consent to swear a mighty oath that thou wilt not plot against me any fresh mischief to my hurt.’

“So I spoke, and she straightway swore the oath to do me no harm, as I bade her. But when she had sworn, and made an end of the oath, then I went up to the beautiful bed of Circe. “But her handmaids meanwhile were busied in the halls, four maidens who are her serving-women in the house. [350] Children are they of the springs and groves, and of the sacred rivers that flow forth to the sea, and of them one threw upon chairs fair rugs of purple above, and spread beneath them a linen cloth; another drew up before the chairs tables of silver, and set upon them golden baskets; and the third mixed sweet, honey-hearted wine in a bowl of silver, and served out golden cups; and the fourth brought water, and kindled a great fire beneath a large cauldron, and the water grew warm.

[360] But when the water boiled in the bright bronze, she set me in a bath, and bathed me with water from out the great cauldron, mixing it to my liking, and pouring it over my head and shoulders, till she took from my limbs soul-consuming weariness. But when she had bathed me, and anointed me richly with oil, and had cast about me a fair cloak and a tunic, she brought me into the hall, and made me sit upon a silver-studded chair—a beautiful chair, richly wrought, and beneath was a foot-stool for the feet. Then a handmaid brought water for the hands in a fair pitcher of gold, and poured it over a silver basin [370] for me to wash, and beside me drew up a polished table. And the grave housewife brought and set before me bread, and therewith meats in abundance, granting freely of her store. Then she bade me eat, but my heart inclined not thereto. Rather, I sat with other thoughts, and my spirit boded ill.

“Now when Circe noted that I sat thus, and did not put forth my hands to the food, but was burdened with sore grief, she came close to me, and spoke winged words: “‘Why, Odysseus, dost thou sit thus like one that is dumb, eating thy heart, and dost not touch food or drink? [380] Dost thou haply forbode some other guile? Nay, thou needest in no wise fear, for already have I sworn a mighty oath to do thee no harm.’

“So she spoke, but I answered her, and said: ‘Circe, what man that is right-minded could bring himself to taste of food or drink, ere yet he had won freedom for his comrades, and beheld them before his face? But if thou of a ready heart dost bid me eat and drink, set them free, that mine eyes may behold my trusty comrades.’

“So I spoke, and Circe went forth through the hall holding her wand in her hand, and opened the doors of the sty, [390] and drove them out in the form of swine of nine years old. So they stood there before her, and she went through the midst of them, and anointed each man with another charm. Then from their limbs the bristles fell away which the baneful drug that queenly Circe gave them had before made to grow, and they became men again, younger than they were before, and far comelier and taller to look upon. They knew me, and clung to my hands, each man of them, and upon them all came a passionate sobbing, and the house about them rang wondrously, and the goddess herself was moved to pity.

εὗρον δ’ ἐν βήσσῃσι τετυγμένα δώματα Κίρκης        210
ξεστοῖσιν λάεσσι, περισκέπτῳ ἐνὶ χώρῳ.
ἀμφὶ δέ μιν λύκοι ἦσαν ὀρέστεροι ἠδὲ λέοντες,

τοὺς αὐτὴ κατέθελξεν, ἐπεὶ κακὰ φάρμακ’ ἔδωκεν.
οὐδ’ οἵ γ’ ὡρμήθησαν ἐπ’ ἀνδράσιν, ἀλλ’ ἄρα τοί γε
οὐρῇσιν μακρῇσι περισσαίνοντες ἀνέσταν.
ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἂν ἀμφὶ ἄνακτα κύνες δαίτηθεν ἰόντα
σαίνωσ’· αἰεὶ γάρ τε φέρει μειλίγματα θυμοῦ·
ὣς τοὺς ἀμφὶ λύκοι κρατερώνυχες ἠδὲ λέοντες
σαῖνον· τοὶ δ’ ἔδδεισαν, ἐπεὶ ἴδον αἰνὰ πέλωρα.
ἔσταν δ’ ἐν προθύροισι θεᾶς καλλιπλοκάμοιο,        220
Κίρκης δ’ ἔνδον ἄκουον ἀειδούσης ὀπὶ καλῇ
ἱστὸν ἐποιχομένης μέγαν ἄμβροτον, οἷα θεάων
λεπτά τε καὶ χαρίεντα καὶ ἀγλαὰ ἔργα πέλονται.
τοῖσι δὲ μύθων ἦρχε Πολίτης, ὄρχαμος ἀνδρῶν,
ὅς μοι κήδιστος ἑτάρων ἦν κεδνότατός τε·

“ὦ φίλοι, ἔνδον γάρ τις ἐποιχομένη μέγαν ἱστὸν
καλὸν ἀοιδιάει, δάπεδον δ’ ἅπαν ἀμφιμέμυκεν,
ἢ θεὸς ἠὲ γυνή· ἀλλὰ φθεγγώμεθα θᾶσσον.”

ὣς ἄρ’ ἐφώνησεν, τοὶ δ’ ἐφθέγγοντο καλεῦντες.
ἡ δ’ αἶψ’ ἐξελθοῦσα θύρας ὤϊξε φαεινὰς        230
καὶ κάλει· οἱ δ’ ἅμα πάντες ἀϊδρείῃσιν ἕποντο·
Εὐρύλοχος δ’ ὑπέμεινεν· ὀΐσατο γὰρ δόλον εἶναι.
εἷσεν δ’ εἰσαγαγοῦσα κατὰ κλισμούς τε θρόνους τε,
ἐν δέ σφιν τυρόν τε καὶ ἄλφιτα καὶ μέλι χλωρὸν
οἴνῳ Πραμνείῳ ἐκύκα· ἀνέμισγε δὲ σίτῳ
φάρμακα λύγρ’, ἵνα πάγχυ λαθοίατο πατρίδος αἴης.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δῶκέν τε καὶ ἔκπιον, αὐτίκ’ ἔπειτα
ῥάβδῳ πεπληγυῖα κατὰ συφεοῖσιν ἐέργνυ.
οἱ δὲ συῶν μὲν ἔχον κεφαλὰς φωνήν τε τρίχας τε
καὶ δέμας, αὐτὰρ νοῦς ἦν ἔμπεδος ὡς τὸ πάρος περ.        240
ὣς οἱ μὲν κλαίοντες ἐέρχατο· τοῖσι δὲ Κίρκη
πὰρ ἄκυλον βάλανόν τ’ ἔβαλεν καρπόν τε κρανείης
ἔδμεναι, οἷα σύες χαμαιευνάδες αἰὲν ἔδουσιν.

Εὐρύλοχος δ’ ἂψ ἦλθε θοὴν ἐπὶ νῆα μέλαιναν,
ἀγγελίην ἑτάρων ἐρέων καὶ ἀδευκέα πότμον.
οὐδέ τι ἐκφάσθαι δύνατο ἔπος, ἱέμενός περ,
κῆρ ἄχεϊ μεγάλῳ βεβολημένος· ἐν δέ οἱ ὄσσε
δακρυόφιν πίμπλαντο, γόον δ’ ὠΐετο θυμός.
ἀλλ’ ὅτε δή μιν πάντες ἀγαζόμεθ’ ἐξερέοντες,
καὶ τότε τῶν ἄλλων ἑτάρων κατέλεξεν ὄλεθρον·        250

“ᾔομεν, ὡς ἐκέλευες, ἀνὰ δρυμά, φαίδιμ’ Ὀδυσσεῦ·
εὕρομεν ἐν βήσσῃσι τετυγμένα δώματα καλὰ
ξεστοῖσιν λάεσσι, περισκέπτῳ ἐνὶ χώρῳ.
ἔνθα δέ τις μέγαν ἱστὸν ἐποιχομένη λίγ’ ἄειδεν
ἢ θεὸς ἠὲ γυνή· τοὶ δ’ ἐφθέγγοντο καλεῦντες.
ἡ δ’ αἶψ’ ἐξελθοῦσα θύρας ὤϊξε φαεινὰς
καὶ κάλει· οἱ δ’ ἅμα πάντες ἀϊδρείῃσιν ἕποντο·
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ὑπέμεινα, ὀϊσάμενος δόλον εἶναι.
οἱ δ’ ἅμ’ ἀϊστώθησαν ἀολλέες, οὐδέ τις αὐτῶν
ἐξεφάνη· δηρὸν δὲ καθήμενος ἐσκοπίαζον.”        260

ὣς ἔφατ’, αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ περὶ μὲν ξίφος ἀργυρόηλον
ὤμοιϊν βαλόμην, μέγα χάλκεον, ἀμφὶ δὲ τόξα·
τὸν δ’ ἂψ ἠνώγεα αὐτὴν ὁδὸν ἡγήσασθαι.
αὐτὰρ ὅ γ’ ἀμφοτέρῃσι λαβὼν ἐλλίσσετο γούνων
καί μ’ ὀλοφυρόμενος ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα·

“μή μ’ ἄγε κεῖσ’ ἀέκοντα, διοτρεφές, ἀλλὰ λίπ’ αὐτοῦ·
οἶδα γὰρ ὡς οὔτ’ αὐτὸς ἐλεύσεαι οὔτε τιν’ ἄλλον
ἄξεις σῶν ἑτάρων. ἀλλὰ ξὺν τοίσδεσι θᾶσσον
φεύγωμεν· ἔτι γάρ κεν ἀλύξαιμεν κακὸν ἦμαρ.”

ὣς ἔφατ’, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον·        270
“Εὐρύλοχ’, ἦ τοι μὲν σὺ μέν’ αὐτοῦ τῷδ’ ἐνὶ χώρῳ
ἔσθων καὶ πίνων κοίλῃ παρὰ νηῒ μελαίνῃ·
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν εἶμι· κρατερὴ δέ μοι ἔπλετ’ ἀνάγκη.”

ὣς εἰπὼν παρὰ νηὸς ἀπήϊον ἠδὲ θαλάσσης.
ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ ἄρ’ ἔμελλον ἰὼν ἱερὰς ἀνὰ βήσσας
Κίρκης ἵξεσθαι πολυφαρμάκου ἐς μέγα δῶμα,
ἔνθα μοι Ἑρμείας χρυσόῤῥαπις ἀντεβόλησεν
ἐρχομένῳ πρὸς δῶμα, νεηνίῃ ἀνδρὶ ἐοικώς,
πρῶτον ὑπηνήτῃ, τοῦ περ χαριεστάτη ἥβη·
ἔν τ’ ἄρα μοι φῦ χειρὶ ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζε·        280

“πῇ δὴ αὖτ’, ὦ δύστηνε, δι’ ἄκριας ἔρχεαι οἶος,
χώρου ἄϊδρις ἐών; ἕταροι δέ τοι οἵδ’ ἐνὶ Κίρκης
ἔρχαται ὥς τε σύες πυκινοὺς κευθμῶνας ἔχοντες.
ἦ τοὺς λυσόμενος δεῦρ’ ἔρχεαι; οὐδέ σέ φημι
αὐτὸν νοστήσειν, μενέεις δὲ σύ γ’ ἔνθα περ ἄλλοι.
ἀλλ’ ἄγε δή σε κακῶν ἐκλύσομαι ἠδὲ σαώσω·
τῆ, τόδε φάρμακον ἐσθλὸν ἔχων ἐς δώματα Κίρκης
ἔρχευ, ὅ κέν τοι κρατὸς ἀλάλκῃσιν κακὸν ἦμαρ.
πάντα δέ τοι ἐρέω ὀλοφώϊα δήνεα Κίρκης.
τεύξει τοι κυκεῶ, βαλέει δ’ ἐν φάρμακα σίτῳ·        290
ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ὧς θέλξαι σε δυνήσεται· οὐ γὰρ ἐάσει
φάρμακον ἐσθλόν, ὅ τοι δώσω, ἐρέω δὲ ἕκαστα.
ὁππότε κεν Κίρκη σ’ ἐλάσῃ περιμήκεϊ ῥάβδῳ,
δὴ τότε σὺ ξίφος ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηροῦ
Κίρκῃ ἐπαΐξαι ὥς τε κτάμεναι μενεαίνων.
ἡ δέ σ’ ὑποδδείσασα κελήσεται εὐνηθῆναι·
ἔνθα σὺ μηκέτ’ ἔπειτ’ ἀπανήνασθαι θεοῦ εὐνήν,
ὄφρα κέ τοι λύσῃ θ’ ἑτάρους αὐτόν τε κομίσσῃ·
ἀλλὰ κέλεσθαί μιν μακάρων μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμόσσαι
μή τί τοι αὐτῷ πῆμα κακὸν βουλευσέμεν ἄλλο,        300
μή σ’ ἀπογυμνωθέντα κακὸν καὶ ἀνήνορα θήῃ.”

ὣς ἄρα φωνήσας πόρε φάρμακον Ἀργεϊφόντης
ἐκ γαίης ἐρύσας καί μοι φύσιν αὐτοῦ ἔδειξε.
ῥίζῃ μὲν μέλαν ἔσκε, γάλακτι δὲ εἴκελον ἄνθος·
μῶλυ δέ μιν καλέουσι θεοί, χαλεπὸν δέ τ’ ὀρύσσειν
ἀνδράσι γε θνητοῖσι· θεοὶ δέ τε πάντα δύνανται.

Ἑρμείας μὲν ἔπειτ’ ἀπέβη πρὸς μακρὸν Ὄλυμπον
νῆσον ἀν’ ὑλήεσσαν, ἐγὼ δ’ ἐς δώματα Κίρκης
ἤϊα· πολλὰ δέ μοι κραδίη πόρφυρε κιόντι.
ἔστην δ’ εἰνὶ θύρῃσι θεᾶς καλλιπλοκάμοιο·        310
ἔνθα στὰς ἐβόησα, θεὰ δέ μευ ἔκλυεν αὐδῆς.
ἡ δ’ αἶψ’ ἐξελθοῦσα θύρας ὤϊξε φαεινὰς
καὶ κάλει· αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ἑπόμην ἀκαχήμενος ἦτορ.
εἷσε δέ μ’ εἰσαγαγοῦσα ἐπὶ θρόνου ἀργυροήλου,
καλοῦ δαιδαλέου· ὑπὸ δὲ θρῆνυς ποσὶν ἦεν·
τεῦχε δέ μοι κυκεῶ χρυσέῳ δέπᾳ, ὄφρα πίοιμι,
ἐν δέ τε φάρμακον ἧκε, κακὰ φρονέουσ’ ἐνὶ θυμῷ.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δῶκέν τε καὶ ἔκπιον οὐδέ μ’ ἔθελξε,
ῥάβδῳ πεπληγυῖα ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζεν·

“ἔρχεο νῦν συφεόνδε, μετ’ ἄλλων λέξο ἑταίρων.”        320
ὣς φάτ’, ἐγὼ δ’ ἄορ ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηροῦ
Κίρκῃ ἐπήϊξα ὥς τε κτάμεναι μενεαίνων.
ἡ δὲ μέγα ἰάχουσα ὑπέδραμε καὶ λάβε γούνων
καί μ’ ὀλοφυρομένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα·

“τίς πόθεν εἰς ἀνδρῶν; πόθι τοι πόλις ἠδὲ τοκῆες;
θαῦμά μ’ ἔχει, ὡς οὔ τι πιὼν τάδε φάρμακ’ ἐθέλχθης.
οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδέ τις ἄλλος ἀνὴρ τάδε φάρμακ’ ἀνέτλη,
ὅς κε πίῃ καὶ πρῶτον ἀμείψεται ἕρκος ὀδόντων·
σοὶ δέ τις ἐν στήθεσσιν ἀκήλητος νόος ἐστίν.
ἦ σύ γ’ Ὀδυσσεύς ἐσσι πολύτροπος, ὅν τέ μοι αἰεὶ        330
φάσκεν ἐλεύσεσθαι χρυσόῤῥαπις Ἀργεϊφόντης,
ἐκ Τροίης ἀνιόντα θοῇ σὺν νηῒ μελαίνῃ.
ἀλλ’ ἄγε δὴ κολεῷ μὲν ἄορ θέο, νῶϊ δ’ ἔπειτα
εὐνῆς ἡμετέρης ἐπιβήομεν, ὄφρα μιγέντε
εὐνῇ καὶ φιλότητι πεποίθομεν ἀλλήλοισιν.”

ὣς ἔφατ’, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον·
“ὦ Κίρκη, πῶς γάρ με κέλῃ σοὶ ἤπιον εἶναι,
ἥ μοι σῦς μὲν ἔθηκας ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἑταίρους,
αὐτὸν δ’ ἐνθάδ’ ἔχουσα δολοφρονέουσα κελεύεις
ἐς θάλαμόν τ’ ἰέναι καὶ σῆς ἐπιβήμεναι εὐνῆς,        340
ὄφρα με γυμνωθέντα κακὸν καὶ ἀνήνορα θήῃς.
οὐδ’ ἂν ἐγώ γ’ ἐθέλοιμι τεῆς ἐπιβήμεναι εὐνῆς,
εἰ μή μοι τλαίης γε, θεά, μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμόσσαι,
μή τί μοι αὐτῷ πῆμα κακὸν βουλευσέμεν ἄλλο.”

ὣς ἐφάμην, ἡ δ’ αὐτίκ’ ἀπώμνυεν, ὡς ἐκέλευον.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ’ ὄμοσέν τε τελεύτησέν τε τὸν ὅρκον,
καὶ τότ’ ἐγὼ Κίρκης ἐπέβην περικαλλέος εὐνῆς.

ἀμφίπολοι δ’ ἄρα τεῖος ἐνὶ μεγάροισι πένοντο
τέσσαρες, αἵ οἱ δῶμα κάτα δρήστειραι ἔασι.
γίνονται δ’ ἄρα ταί γ’ ἔκ τε κρηνέων ἀπό τ’ ἀλσέων        350
ἔκ θ’ ἱερῶν ποταμῶν, οἵ τ’ εἰς ἅλαδε προρέουσι.
τάων ἡ μὲν ἔβαλλε θρόνοισ’ ἔνι ῥήγεα καλὰ
πορφύρεα καθύπερθ’, ὑπένερθε δὲ λῖθ’ ὑπέβαλλεν·
ἡ δ’ ἑτέρη προπάροιθε θρόνων ἐτίταινε τραπέζας
ἀργυρέας, ἐπὶ δέ σφι τίθει χρύσεια κάνεια·
ἡ δὲ τρίτη κρητῆρι μελίφρονα οἶνον ἐκίρνα

ἡδὺν ἐν ἀργυρέῳ, νέμε δὲ χρύσεια κύπελλα·
ἡ δὲ τετάρτη ὕδωρ ἐφόρει καὶ πῦρ ἀνέκαιε
πολλὸν ὑπὸ τρίποδι μεγάλῳ· ἰαίνετο δ’ ὕδωρ.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ ζέσσεν ὕδωρ ἐνὶ ἤνοπι χαλκῷ,        360
ἔς ῥ’ ἀσάμινθον ἕσασα λό’ ἐκ τρίποδος μεγάλοιο,
θυμῆρες κεράσασα, κατὰ κρατός τε καὶ ὤμων,
ὄφρα μοι ἐκ κάματον θυμοφθόρον εἵλετο γυίων.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ λοῦσέν τε καὶ ἔχρισεν λίπ’ ἐλαίῳ,
ἀμφὶ δέ με χλαῖναν καλὴν βάλεν ἠδὲ χιτῶνα,
εἷσε δέ μ’ εἰσαγαγοῦσα ἐπὶ θρόνου ἀργυροήλου,
καλοῦ δαιδαλέου· ὑπὸ δὲ θρῆνυς ποσὶν ἦεν·
χέρνιβα δ’ ἀμφίπολος προχόῳ ἐπέχευε φέρουσα
καλῇ χρυσείῃ, ὑπὲρ ἀργυρέοιο λέβητος,
νίψασθαι· παρὰ δὲ ξεστὴν ἐτάνυσσε τράπεζαν.        370
σῖτον δ’ αἰδοίη ταμίη παρέθηκε φέρουσα,
εἴδατα πόλλ’ ἐπιθεῖσα, χαριζομένη παρεόντων·
ἐσθέμεναι δ’ ἐκέλευεν· ἐμῷ δ’ οὐχ ἥνδανε θυμῷ,
ἀλλ’ ἥμην ἀλλοφρονέων, κακὰ δ’ ὄσσετο θυμός.

Κίρκη δ’ ὡς ἐνόησεν ἔμ’ ἥμενον οὐδ’ ἐπὶ σίτῳ
χεῖρας ἰάλλοντα, στυγερὸν δέ με πένθος ἔχοντα,
ἄγχι παρισταμένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα·

“τίφθ’ οὕτως, Ὀδυσεῦ, κατ’ ἄρ’ ἕζεαι ἶσος ἀναύδῳ,
θυμὸν ἔδων, βρώμης δ’ οὐχ ἅπτεαι οὐδὲ ποτῆτος;
ἦ τινά που δόλον ἄλλον ὀΐεαι; οὐδέ τί σε χρὴ        380
δειδίμεν· ἤδη γάρ τοι ἀπώμοσα καρτερὸν ὅρκον.”

ὣς ἔφατ’, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ μιν ἀμειβόμενος προσέειπον·
“ὦ Κίρκη, τίς γάρ κεν ἀνήρ, ὃς ἐναίσιμος εἴη,
πρὶν τλαίη πάσσασθαι ἐδητύος ἠδὲ ποτῆτος,
πρὶν λύσασθ’ ἑτάρους καὶ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἰδέσθαι;
ἀλλ’ εἰ δὴ πρόφρασσα πιεῖν φαγέμεν τε κελεύεις,
λῦσον, ἵν’ ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἴδω ἐρίηρας ἑταίρους.”

ὣς ἐφάμην, Κίρκη δὲ διὲκ μεγάροιο βεβήκει
ῥάβδον ἔχουσ’ ἐν χειρί, θύρας δ’ ἀνέῳξε συφειοῦ,
ἐκ δ’ ἔλασεν σιάλοισιν ἐοικότας ἐννεώροισιν.        390
οἱ μὲν ἔπειτ’ ἔστησαν ἐναντίοι, ἡ δὲ δι’ αὐτῶν
ἐρχομένη προσάλειφεν ἑκάστῳ φάρμακον ἄλλο.
τῶν δ’ ἐκ μὲν μελέων τρίχες ἔῤῥεον, ἃς πρὶν ἔφυσε
φάρμακον οὐλόμενον, τό σφιν πόρε πότνια Κίρκη·
ἄνδρες δ’ ἂψ ἐγένοντο νεώτεροι ἢ πάρος ἦσαν
καὶ πολὺ καλλίονες καὶ μείζονες εἰσοράασθαι.
ἔγνωσαν δέ με κεῖνοι, ἔφυν τ’ ἐν χερσὶν ἕκαστος·
πᾶσιν δ’ ἱμερόεις ὑπέδυ γόος, ἀμφὶ δὲ δῶμα
σμερδαλέον κονάβιζε· θεὰ δ’ ἐλέαιρε καὶ αὐτή.

—Homer, Odyssey (X, 210-399), translated by A.T. Murray


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