"'You will now come to the Thrinacian island, and here you willsee many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep belonging to the sun-god-seven herds of cattle and seven flocks of sheep, with fifty head ineach flock. They do not breed, nor do they become fewer in number, andthey are tended by the goddesses Phaethusa and Lampetie, who arechildren of the sun-god Hyperion by Neaera. Their mother when shehad borne them and had done suckling them sent them to theThrinacian island, which was a long way off, to live there and lookafter their father's flocks and herds. If you leave these flocksunharmed, and think of nothing but getting home, you may yet aftermuch hardship reach Ithaca; but if you harm them, then I forewarnyou of the destruction both of your ship and of your comrades; andeven though you may yourself escape, you will return late, in badplight, after losing all your men.'
"Here she ended, and dawn enthroned in gold began to show in heaven,whereon she returned inland. I then went on board and told my men toloose the ship from her moorings; so they at once got into her, tooktheir places, and began to smite the grey sea with their oars.Presently the great and cunning goddess Circe befriended us with afair wind that blew dead aft, and stayed steadily with us, keeping oursails well filled, so we did whatever wanted doing to the ship's gear,and let her go as wind and helmsman headed her.
"Then, being much troubled in mind, I said to my men, 'My friends,it is not right that one or two of us alone should know the propheciesthat Circe has made me, I will therefore tell you about them, sothat whether we live or die we may do so with our eyes open. First shesaid we were to keep clear of the Sirens, who sit and sing mostbeautifully in a field of flowers; but she said I might hear themmyself so long as no one else did. Therefore, take me and bind me tothe crosspiece half way up the mast; bind me as I stand upright,with a bond so fast that I cannot possibly break away, and lash therope's ends to the mast itself. If I beg and pray you to set mefree, then bind me more tightly still.' www paulayoung com
"I had hardly finished telling everything to the men before wereached the island of the two Sirens, for the wind had been veryfavourable. Then all of a sudden it fell dead calm; there was not abreath of wind nor a ripple upon the water, so the men furled thesails and stowed them; then taking to their oars they whitened thewater with the foam they raised in rowing. Meanwhile I look a largewheel of wax and cut it up small with my sword. Then I kneaded the waxin my strong hands till it became soft, which it soon did betweenthe kneading and the rays of the sun-god son of Hyperion. Then Istopped the ears of all my men, and they bound me hands and feet tothe mast as I stood upright on the crosspiece; but they went on rowingthemselves. When we had got within earshot of the land, and the shipwas going at a good rate, the Sirens saw that we were getting in shoreand began with their singing. wigs and hairpieces
"'Come here,' they sang, 'renowned Ulysses, honour to the Achaeanname, and listen to our two voices. No one ever sailed past us withoutstaying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song- and he wholistens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we knowall the ills that the gods laid upon the Argives and Trojans beforeTroy, and can tell you everything that is going to happen over thewhole world.'
"They sang these words most musically, and as I longed to hearthem further I made by frowning to my men that they should set mefree; but they quickened their stroke, and Eurylochus and Perimedesbound me with still stronger bonds till we had got out of hearing ofthe Sirens' voices. Then my men took the wax from their ears andunbound me.
"Immediately after we had got past the island I saw a great wavefrom which spray was rising, and I heard a loud roaring sound. The menwere so frightened that they loosed hold of their oars, for thewhole sea resounded with the rushing of the waters, but the shipstayed where it was, for the men had left off rowing. I went round,therefore, and exhorted them man by man not to lose heart.
"'My friends,' said I, 'this is not the first time that we have beenin danger, and we are in nothing like so bad a case as when theCyclops shut us up in his cave; nevertheless, my courage and wisecounsel saved us then, and we shall live to look back on all this aswell. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say, trust in Jove and row onwith might and main. As for you, coxswain, these are your orders;attend to them, for the ship is in your hands; turn her head away fromthese steaming rapids and hug the rock, or she will give you theslip and be over yonder before you know where you are, and you will bethe death of us.'
"So they did as I told them; but I said nothing about the awfulmonster Scylla, for I knew the men would not on rowing if I did, butwould huddle together in the hold. In one thing only did I disobeyCirce's strict instructions- I put on my armour. Then seizing twostrong spears I took my stand on the ship Is bows, for it was therethat I expected first to see the monster of the rock, who was to do mymen so much harm; but I could not make her out anywhere, though Istrained my eyes with looking the gloomy rock all over and over