Mandelbaum, trans., Odyssey, 1990

"Then Hermes crossed the wooded isle and left
for steep Olympus. And I took the path
to Círcë's house—most anxious as I went.
I stopped before the fair-haired goddess' door;
I halted, called aloud; she heard my voice.
At once she opened her bright doors and then
invited me to follow her. I went
with troubled heart. She led me to a chair,
robust and handsome, graced with silver studs;
a footrest stood below. And she poured out
an ample drink into a golden bowl.
With her conniving mind, she mixed her drugs
within that bowl, then offered it to me.
I drank it down. But I was not bewitched.
She struck me with her long wand. Then she said:
'Now to the sty, to wallow with your friends!'

"At that, out from its sheath along my thigh,
I drew my sword as if to have her die.
She howled. She clasped my knees and, as she wept,
with these winged words, made her appeal to me:

"'Who are you? From what family? What city?
You drank my drugs, but you were not entranced.
No other man has ever passed that test;
for once that potion's passed their teeth, the rest
have fallen prey: you have within your chest
a heart that can defeat my sorcery.
You surely are the man of many wiles,
Odysseus, he whom I was warned against
by Hermes of the golden wand: he said
that you would come from Troy in a black ship.
But now put back your blade within that sheath
and let us lie together on my bed:
in loving, we'll learn trust and confidence.'
"These were her words. And this was my reply:
'Círcë, how can you ask for tenderness,
you who have turned my comrades into swine
and now, insidiously, try to bind
me, too—for once I'm naked on your bed,
you'll snare me, leave me weak and impotent?
I will not share your bed unless you swear
the mighty oath, o goddess—to insure
that you'll forgo all thoughts of further plots.'

"These were my words. As I had asked, she swore
at once. And after that great oath was pledged,
I then climbed onto Círcë's lovely bed.