Fifth Episode - Calypso
(as told by Odysseus in Book XII)
(and as told by Homer in Book V)
To the Revised Version
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(39) First you will come to the Sirens, who enchant
(40) All men, whenever anyone comes upon them.
(41) Whoever in ignorance nears them and hears the voice
] soften honey-sweet wax and smear it
(48) In the ears of your companions lest any of the rest
(49) Should listen. And if you yourself desire to listen,
(50) Let them bind you upon the swift ship hand and foot
(51) Erect at the mast; and let the rope ends be made fast from it,
(52) So that you may hear and enjoy the Sirens song.
(55) And when your companions have got on past those women,
(56) At that point I shall no longer tell you in full detail
(57) Which one of two ways will be yours, but you yourself
(58) Must decide in your heart. I will tell you the alternatives:
(59) In the one place there are overhanging rocks;
(85) There within dwells Scylla, who barks dreadfully
(86) And her voice comes as loud as that of an unweaned puppy.
(87) But she herself is an evil monster [
(98) There no sailors may ever claim to have escaped past
(99) Unharmed with their ship [
(101) The second crag you will see lying lower, Odysseus,
(102) Close to the other. And you could shoot an arrow across it.
(103) Upon it is a large wild fig tree blooming with leaves;
(104) There divine Charybdis sucks black water back under.
(105) Three times daily she sends it up, three times sucks back
(106) Terribly. Do not happen to be there when she sucks,
(107) For not even the earth-shaker could save you from evil then,
(234) And we sailed on through the narrow passage, lamenting,
(235) There was Scylla, and on the other side godly Charybdis
(244) We looked at her in fear of our destruction.
(245) Meanwhile Scylla snatched off of the hollow ship
(246) Six of my companions, who were mightiest in strength.
(247) But when I looked into the swift ship toward my companions
(248) I saw already their hands and their feet from above
(249) As they were lifted on high. [
(258) That was the most piteous thing I saw with my eyes
(259) Of all that I suffered as I sought out the paths of the sea.
(260) But when we had fled the rocks and terrible Charybdis
(261) And Scylla, we arrived at once at the blameless island
(262) Of the god, where the beautiful broad-browed cattle were,
(263) And the many goodly flocks of Hyperion, The Sun
(127) You will arrive at the isle of Thrinacria. There many
(128) Oxen of the Sun and goodly sheep are pasturing,
(129) Seven herds of cattle and as many lovely flocks of sheep,
(130) Fifty in each.
(137) If you let them go unmolested and think of your return,
(138) You may get to Ithaca, though you do suffer ills.
(139) But if you molest them, then I prophesy destruction
(140) For you ship and companions. And even if you escape yourself
(141) You will return late an ill, having lost all your companions.
(329) But when all the provisions had been used up from the ship,
(330) They went out on the hunt, roving from necessity
(331) For fish and birds, with bent hooks, for whatever came
(332) Into their own hands. Hunger wore down their bellies.
(353) At once they drove the best of the cattle of the Sun
(354) From nearby. For not far away from the dark blue-prowed ship
(355) Did the fine crumple-horned, broad-browed cattle pasture.
(385) O Sun, do indeed shine among the immortals
(386) And among mortal men on the grain-giving earth.
(387) I shall smite their swift ship soon with a gleaming bolt
(388) Into small pieces, and burn it in the middle of the wine-faced ocean.
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(400) At that point the wind ceased raging in a tempest.
(401) We boarded at once and set out upon the broad ocean,
(402) When we had set the mast up and hoisted the white sails.
(403) And when we had left the island behind, no other land
(404) Appeared at all, but only heaven and the sea.
] For at once there came
The shrieking West Wind raging in a great tempest,
And a storm of wind broke the forestays of the mast,
] My companions fell from the ship,
And they resembled sea crows around the black ship
As they were borne on the waves; a god took away their return.
I wandered through my ship until the surge had loosed
The planks from the keel, and the wave carried it stripped.
It broke the mast off the keel, and then the backstay,
] was flung up on it.
(424) Then I bound both the keel and the mast together
Seated on them, I was carried by the destructive winds.
(447) Nine days I was borne thence, and on the tenth night
The gods brought me near the island of Ogygia, where lives
Fair-braided Calypso, dread god with a singing voice.
She befriended me and cared for me.
(Book V) Odysseus, Calypso, Hermes
( 54) [
] Hermes bore himself over many waves
(55) But when he arrived at the island that was far away,
(56) He stepped from the violetlike ocean onto the dry land,
(57) And went on till he came to the great cave wherein the nymph
(58) Of the fair braids was dwelling. He came upon her within.
On the screen appears
( 78) Calypso, the divine goddes, did not fail to know him by sight,
(79) For the gods never fail to know one another
] follow me, so I may entertain you as a guest
(97) You, a goddess, ask me a god, why I come. And I
(98) Will tell you the story unerringly, since you ask me.
(99) Zeus ordered me to come here against my own will.
(100) Who would willingly cross so much indescribable
(101) Salt water? [
(105) He says you have with you the wretchedest man of all
(112) Zeus now orders you to send him off as fast as you can.
(113) For it is not right he should waste here far from his dear ones.
(114) No, his fate is still to see his dear ones and come
(115) To his high-roofed home and his own fatherland.
] the divine goddess, went cold;
(118) You are so cruel, you gods, jealous above all other,
(119) Who begrudge it to goddesses when they sleep with men
(120) Openly, if one wants to make a man her dear husband.
(129) So now you gods begrudge a mortal mans being with me.
(130) I myself saved him as he was bestriding his keel
(131) All alone, when Zeus with a dazzling thunderbolt
(132) Crushed his swift ship, and sank it in the middle of the wine-faced sea.
(133) Then all the others, his noble companions, perished.
(135) I have loved him and nourished him and I have declared to him
(136) I would make him immortal and ageless all his days.
(146) Send him off this way now, and respect the wrath of Zeus,
(146) So that afterward he will not be enraged and hold it against you.
(147) When he had said this the strong slayer of Argos departed,
(148) And the queenly nymph went to great-hearted Odysseus.
(151) She found him seated on the shore. His eyes never
(152) Were dry of tears, but his sweet life was flowing away
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(153) As he mourned for a return, since the nymph no longer pleased him.
(154) But he slept the nights with her by necessity
(155) In the hollow cave, an unwilling man with a willing woman
(156) During the days, sitting up on the rocks and on the beaches,
(157) Shattering his heart with tears and laments and groans,
(158) He kept looking over the barren ocean, shedding tears.
(160) Ill-fated man, do not mourn here longer beside me, do not let
Your life waste away, for I shall now graciously send you off.
] godly Odysseus, who had borne much, went cold
(Go to sketch of possible ending sequence of episode 5)