And therewith from that woody island went Hermes on his road
Unto the long Olympus, but I went to Circe's abode ;
And many things o'ershadowed my heart as I wended there.
"So I stayed me in the doorway of the Maid of the well-tressed hair,
And I stood and cried out loudly, and the Goddess heard, and straight
She gat her out and toward me, and came through the gleaming gate,
And called me, and I followed with the grief my heart did bear.
"So she brought me in and set me in a silver-studded chair,
In fashion fair adornèd, and a footstool under my feet;
Then a drink in a golden beaker for me did she mingle and mete,
And into the cup cast venom, devising evil sore.
Yet when I had taken and drunken, it bewitched me none the more;
So then with her staff she smote me, and spake unto me and said,
' Thou, too, to the sty betake thee ! with thy fellows make thy bed!'
" So she spake; but my sword keen-whetted I drew forth from my thigh,
And fell therewith on Circe, as though I would have her to die;
And she shrieked and ran under my hands and caught me about my knees,
And therewith upon me fawning, spake such wingèd words as these :
" ' What man art thou ? of what kindred, of what city comest thou ?
For I marvel that drinking this venom thou art nought enchanted now;
Since never hath any other borne my venom ere to-day, [way.
When once he hath drunk, and the drink by the tooth-hedge hath taken its
Then proof against all witchcraft is the heart that thy bosom doth hold.
Yea, art thou that shifty Odysseus, whom the Lord of the Staff of Gold,
The Argus-bane, would tell of? the man who should come, said he,
From Troy-town wending homeward in his swift black ship o'er the sea ?
But set thou thy sword in the scabbard ! and then how well if we went,
We twain, in one bed together ! and thereafter we being blent
In love and friendly pleasure shall trust each other well.'
"She spake, and thereto I answered and said such words to tell:
' O Circe, how wilt thou bid me to be kind and courteous
When thou hast turned my fellows into swine within thine house?
And for me, thou hast holden me here, and in thy craftihead
Thou biddest me to thy chamber and to go up into thy bed,
That thou may'st strip me of manhood and make me vile and base.
Nay, never with my goodwill shall I go to thy bed and thy place,
Unless thou hast heart, O Goddess, by the Oath of all avail
To swear that from henceforward thou devisest me no bale.'
" So I spake, and straight she swore it e'en as I bade her do;
And so when that was accomplished, and the oath made steadfast and true,
Then up to the bed of Circe, the lovely bed, I went.