Third Episode - Circe
(as told by Odysseus in Book X)

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To the first draft

Odysseus (sailing along with 1 ship)
H ermes
(135) dread god with a singing voice,
(136) The blood sister of destructive-minded Aietes.

This is a revision of the first draft of the text.

Text added to the original is in blue.
Text to be erased from the original is in grey.

On the screen appears
(140) There we put in silently to land on t he shore with the ship
(141) Into a sheltered harbor, and some god guided us.
(183) And so the whole day till the setting of the sun
(184) We sat dining on endless meat and on sweet wine.
(185) And when the sun went down and the darkness c ame on,
(186) We lay down to sleep beside the surf of the sea.
(187) And when the early-born, rosy-fingered dawn appeared
(188) I called an assembly and spoke out to them all:

Od ysseus
(190) My friends, we do not know where dusk is, or dawn,
(191) Nor where the sun that gives light to mortals sets under earth
(192) Nor where it rises. Let us consider quickly
(193) If there is any plan left . I do not think there is.

(246) he was not able to speak a word, though he wanted to,
(247) Struck in his heart with a great grief; and his eyes
(248) Were filled with tears, an d his heart brooded on weeping

On the screen appears
(250) He recounted the ruin of our other companions:

(251) We went, as you bid, through the thicket, noble Odysseus,
(252) And in the glen we found lovely halls constructed
(254) There a woman tending a great web sang clearly,
(256) At once she opened the shining doors and came out
(257) and called. They all went with her in their ignorance.
(258) But I hung back myself, thinking it to be a trick
(259) They all vanished together.

(271) All right, Eurylochos, you stay here in this pl ace,
(272) Eating and drinking by the hollow black ship
(273) But I will go myself; strong necessity is on me.

On the screen appears
(274) [...] I went up from t he ship and the sea.
(275) And when I was about to go through the sacred glen
(276) To come to the great house of Circe of the many drugs,
(277) Hermes of the golden wand came across my path

(281) Where are you going, alone through the hills, hapless man,
(282) Ignorant of the place? These companions of yours are confined
(283) In Circe's house as swine, and keep to their dense lairs.
(287) Here, take this excellent dru g to the halls of Circe
(288) And enter; so it may ward off from your head the evil day.
(289) I shall tell you all of Circeís pernicious wiles.

On the screen appears
(290) She will make you a mixture and dro p drugs into the food.
(291) But she will not be able to charm you so. [...]
(293) At the moment when Circe hits you with her very long wand,
(294) Draw your sharp sword at once from along your thigh
(295) And ru sh upon Circe as if intending to kill her.
(296) She will be afraid of you and ask you to go to bed.
(297) And from that point on do not refuse the bed of the god,
(298) So she may free your companions and guide you yourself.
(299) But ord er her to swear a great oath by the blessed gods
(300) That she plot no other bad trouble against your person,
(301) Lest when you are naked she make you unmanly and a coward.

(314) She led me in and seated me on a silver-studded chair,
(316) She made me a mixture in a golden cup to drink
(319) She struck me with a wand
(321) but I drew the sharp sword from along my tigh
(322) And rushed on Circe as i f intending to kill her
(323) She gave a great shout, ran up under and took my knees

(325) What men are you from? Where are your city and parents?
(326) Wonder holds me that you drank this drug and were not charmed .
(327) No other man at all has been able to bear this drug
(328) Surely you are the Odysseus of many turns, [...]
(334) Go up to our bed so that when we have lain together
( 335) In love and in bed we may rely on one another.

(337) Circe, how can you request that I be mild to you,
(338) Who in your halls have turned my companions to swine
(339) And now with wiles on your mind you request me
(340) To go into your bedroom and to enter your bed,
(341) That when I am naked you may make me unmanly and a coward.
(345) So I said, and she swore at once as I had asked her.
(346) And when she had sworn the oath and completed it,
(347) I went up to the bed of the beautiful Circe.

(378) Why do you sit this way, Odysseus, as one with no voice,
(379) Eating your heart out, and do not touch food or drink?
(380) Perhaps you expect another trick. There is no need
(381) to fear; I have already sworn you a powerful oath.

(384) Who could endure to be partaking of food an drink
(385) Before he got his companions free and saw them with his eyes?
(387) Free them, so my eyes may behold my trusty companions.

(392) [...] with another drug she rubbed each one of them.
(395) They became men again, younger than they were before
(396) And far more handsome and larger to beho ld.

(456) Zeus-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles,
(457) Raise this swelling lament no longer, I myself know
(458) How many pains you have suffered [...]
(460) So come now and eat victuals and drink wine
(461) Until you have taken the spirit into your breast again
(462) As it was when you first left your fatherland
(463) Of rugged Ithaca. Now, wasted and without spirit,
(464) You remember hard wandering always, and your spirit has never
(465) Been in gladness, since you have suffered very much!

On the screen appears
(467) There day by day till the year was brought to a close
(468) We stayed, dining on endless meat and on sweet wine.
(469) But when the year was up and the seasons turned round
(470) As the moons were declining, and the long days came round to
(471) an end,
(476) So then the entire day till the setting of the su n
(477) We stayed, dining on endless meat and on sweet wine.
(478) But when the sun went down and the darkness came on
(479) They lay down to sleep through the shadowy halls,
(480) And I went up to the beautiful bed of Circe

(483) Circe, fulfill for me the promise you made,
(484)To send me home; the spirit is eager in me already

(489) Do not stay any longer in my home unwillingly.
(490) Yet you must first achieve another journey and come
(491) To the halls of Hades and dread Persephone,
(491) So you may consult the soul of Theban Tiresias,
(539) Who will tell you the course and measures of the way
(540) And about a return, how you may go on the fish-laden ocean

On the screen a ppears
(573) She passed by nimbly; for who could see with his eyes
(574) A god who did not wish it, whether going this way of that?

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