Shewring, trans., Odyssey, 1980
'Then Hermes departed over the wooded island and went his
way to the mountain of Olympus. I myself passed on to Circe's
palace, with my thoughts in turmoil as I walked. I paused at the
doorway of the goddess, and standing there I gave a great cry;
she heard my voice and came out quickly, opening the shining
doors and calling me in. I went up to her though my heart sank.
She ushered me in and gave me a tall silver-studded chair to sit
in - handsome and cunningly made it was - with a stool beneath
it for the feet. In a golden goblet she brewed a potion for
me to drink, and treacherously mingled her drug with it. When I
had taken and drunk it up and was unenchanted still, she struck
at me with her wand, and "Now" she said "be off to the sty, to
wallow with your companions there."
'So she spoke, but I drew the keen sword from beside my thigh,
rushed at her and made as if to kill her. She shrieked, she slipped
underneath my weapon, she clasped my knees and spoke in rapid
appealing words: "Who are you, and from where? Where are
your city and your parents? It bewilders me that you drank this
drug and were not bewitched. Never has any other man resisted
this drug, once he has drunk it and let it pass his lips. But you
have an inner will that is proof against sorcery. You must surely
be that man of wide-ranging spirit, Odysseus himself; the Radiant
One of the golden wand has told me of you; he always said that
Odysseus would come to me on his way from Troy in his dark
and rapid vessel. But enough of this; sheathe your sword; then
let us go to bed together, and embracing there, let us learn to
trust in one another."
'So she spoke, but I answered her: "Circe, how can you ask me
to show you gentleness? In this very house you have turned my
comrades into swine, and now that you have me also here you
ask me in your treacherousness to enter your room and lie with
you, only that when I lie naked there you may rob me of courage
and of manhood. Never, goddess, could I bring myself to lie with
you unless you consented first to swear a great oath to plot no
mischief to me henceforward."
'So I spoke, and she swore at once the thing I asked for. When
Circe had uttered the due appointed words, I lay down at last in
her sumptuous bed.