Homer's Odyssey – Chapman 1614-15
And thus flew Mercurie
Up to immense Olympus, gliding by
The sylvan Iland. I made backe my way
To Circe's house, my mind of my assay
Much thought revolving. At her gates I staid
And cald: she heard and her bright doores displaid,
Invited, led; I followed in, but tract
With some distraction. In a Throne she plac't
My welcome person. Of a curious frame
Twas and so bright I sate as in a flame. 0
A foote-stoole added. In a golden boule
She then subornd a potion, in her soule
Deformd things thinking, for amidst the wine
She mixt her man-transforming medicine—
Which when she saw I had devourd, she then
No more observ'd me with her soothing vaine
But strooke me with her rod, and to her Sty
Bad—"Out, away, and with thy fellowes lie."
I drew my sword and charg'd her as I ment
To take her life—when out she cri'd, and bent
Beneath my sword her knees, embracing mine,
And (full of teares) said: "Who? Of what high line
Art thou the issue? Whence? What shores sustaine
Thy native Citie? I amaz'd remaine
That, drinking these my venomes, th'art not turnd.
Never drunke any this cup but he mournd
In other likenesse if it once had past
The ivorie bounders of his tongue and taste.
All but thy selfe are brutishly declind:
Thy breast holds firme yet and unchang'd thy mind.
Thou canst be, therefore, none else but the man
Of many virtues—Ithacensian,
Deepe-soul'd Ulysses: who, I oft was told
By that slie God that beares the rod of gold,
Was to arrive here in retreat from Troy.
Sheath then thy sword, and let my bed enjoy
So much a man, that, when the bed we prove,
We may beleeve in one another's love."
'I then: "O Circe, why entreat'st thou me
To mixe in any humane league with thee,
When thou my friends hast beasts turnd?—and thy bed
Tenderst to me, that I might likewise leade
A beast's life with thee, softn'd, naked stript,
That in my blood thy banes may more be steept?
I never will ascend thy bed before
I may affirme that in heaven's sight you swore
The great oath of the Gods, that all attempt
To do me ill is from your thoughts exempt."
'I said; she swore—when, all the oath-rites said,
I then ascended her adorned bed,