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The Odyssey by Homer & H. Rieu & E. V. Rieu & Peter Jones

The Odyssey by Homer & H. Rieu & E. V. Rieu & Peter Jones

Author:Homer & H. Rieu & E. V. Rieu & Peter Jones [Homer & Rieu, H. & Rieu, E. V. & Jones, Peter]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fantasy, Classics, Poetry, Historical, War, Adventure
ISBN: 9780140449112
Google: QZ6YApMzJt4C
Amazon: 0140449116
Barnesnoble: 0140449116
Goodreads: 1384
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: 1753-01-01T10:00:00+00:00


12

SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS

‘From the flowing waters of the River of Ocean my ship passed into the wide spaces of the open sea; and so reached the island of Aeaea, where, ever-fresh, Dawn has her home and her dancing-lawns, and where the Sun rises. Here we beached the ship on the sands and climbed out on to the shore, where we fell into a sound sleep, awaiting the coming of ethereal Dawn.

‘As soon as she appeared, fresh and rosy-fingered, I sent off a party to Circe’s house to fetch the dead body of Elpenor. We (10) quickly chopped some logs, and then, with the tears streaming down our cheeks, performed the funeral rites on the summit of the boldest headland of the coast. When the corpse was burnt, and with it the dead man’s armour, we built him a barrow, hauled up a stone for monument, and planted his shapely oar on the top of the mound.

‘When we had completed each of these rites, Circe became aware of our return from Hades, adorned herself, and came hurrying up with handmaidens laden with bread, a plentiful (20) supply of meat and sparkling red wine.

‘ “What audacity,” said the glorious goddess, as we gathered round her, “to descend alive into the House of Hades! Other men die once; you will now die twice. But come, spend the rest of the day here, enjoying this food and wine, and at daybreak tomorrow you shall sail. I myself will give you your route and make everything clear, to save you from the disasters you may suffer as a result of evil scheming on land or sea.”

‘We were not difficult to persuade. So the whole day long till sunset we sat and feasted on our rich supply of meat and mellow (30) wine. When the sun sank and darkness fell, my men settled down for the night by the ships; but Circe took me by the hand, led me away from my good comrades, and made me sit down and tell her everything as she lay beside me. When I had given her the whole tale from first to last the lady Circe said:

‘ “Very well; all that is done with now. But listen to my words – and some god will recall them to your mind. Your next encounter will be with the Sirens, who bewitch everybody who (40) approaches them. There is no homecoming for the man who draws near them unawares and hears the Sirens’ voices; no welcome from his wife, no little children brightening at their father’s return. For with their high clear song the Sirens bewitch him, as they sit there in a meadow piled high with the mouldering skeletons of men, whose withered skin still hangs upon their bones. Drive your ship past the spot, and to prevent any of your crew from hearing, soften some beeswax and plug their ears with it. But if you wish to listen yourself, make them bind you(50) hand and foot on board and place you upright by the housing of the mast, with the rope’s ends lashed to the mast itself.



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