The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 196 pages of information about The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy.

’When Circe saw me sitting silent and troubled she said, “Why, Odysseus, dost thou sit like a speechless man?  Dost thou think there is a drug in this food?  But I have sworn that I will not treat thee guilefully, and that oath I shall keep."’

’And I said to her, “O Circe, Enchantress, what man of good heart could take meat and drink while his companions are as swine in swine-pens?  If thou wouldst have me eat and drink, first let me see my companions in their own forms."’

’Circe, when she heard me say this, went to the swine-pen and anointed each of the swine that was there with a charm.  As she did, the bristles dropped away and the limbs of the man were seen.  My companions became men again, and were even taller and handsomer than they had been before.’

’After that we lived on Circe’s island in friendship with the enchantress.  She did not treat us guilefully again and we feasted in her house for a year.’

’But in all of us there was a longing to return to our own land.  And my men came to me and craved that I should ask Circe to let us go on our homeward way.  She gave us leave to go and she told us of the many dangers we should meet on our voyage.’


When the sun sank and darkness came on, my men went to lie by the hawsers of the ship.  Then Circe the Enchantress took my hand, and, making me sit down by her, told me of the voyage that was before us.’

’"To the Sirens first you shall come,” said she, “to the Sirens, who sit in their field of flowers and bewitch all men who come near them.  He who comes near the Sirens without knowing their ways and hears the sound of their voices—­never again shall that man see wife or child, or have joy of his home-coming.  All round where the Sirens sit are great heaps of the bones of men.  But I will tell thee, Odysseus, how thou mayst pass them."’

’"When thou comest near put wax over the ears of thy company lest any of them hear the Sirens’ song.  But if thou thyself art minded to hear, let thy company bind thee hand and foot to the mast.  And if thou shalt beseech them to loose thee, then must they bind thee with tighter bonds.  When thy companions have driven the ship past where the Sirens sing then thou canst be unbound."’

’"Past where the Sirens sit there is a dangerous place indeed.  On one side there are great rocks which the gods call the Rocks Wandering.  No ship ever escapes that goes that way.  And round these rocks the planks of ships and the bodies of men are tossed by waves of the sea and storms of fire.  One ship only ever passed that way, Jason’s ship, the Argo, and that ship would have been broken on the rocks if Hera the goddess had not helped it to pass, because of her love for the hero Jason."’

’"On the other side of the Rocks Wandering are two peaks through which thou wilt have to take thy ship.  One peak is smooth and sheer and goes up to the clouds of heaven.  In the middle of it there is a cave, and that cave is the den of a monster named Scylla.  This monster has six necks and on each neck there is a hideous head.  She holds her heads over the gulf, seeking for prey and yelping horribly.  No ship has ever passed that way without Scylla seizing and carrying off in each mouth of her six heads the body of a man."’

Project Gutenberg
The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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