Hermes Comes to Odysseus’ Help

Circe offers Odysseus her magic potion - J W Waterhouse (image from atrogallery on Tumblr)

Circe offers Odysseus her magic potion – J W Waterhouse (image from atrogallery on Tumblr)

….I left the ship and shore and took the path upward; but as I traversed those haunted glades, as I came close to Kirke’s house and neared the palace of the enchantress, I was met by golden-wanded Hermes; he seemed a youth in the lovely spring of life, with the first down upon his lip. He seized my hand and spoke thus to me: `Luckless man, why are you walking thus alone over these hills, in country you do not know? Your comrades are yonder in Kirke’s grounds; they are turned to swine, lodged and safely penned in the sites.

…..“Is your errand her to rescue them? I warn you, you will never return yourself, you will only be left with the others there. Yet no–I am ready to save you from all hazards, ready to keep you unscathed. Look. Here is a herb of magic virtue; take it and enter Kirke’s house with it; then the day of evil never will touch your head. I will tell you of all her witch’s arts. She will brew a potion for you, but with good things she will mingle drugs as well. Yet even so, she will not be able to enchant you; my gift of the magic herb will thwart her. I will tell you the rest, point by point.

…..“When Kirke strikes you with the long wand she has, draw the keen sword from beside your thigh, rush upon her and make as if to kill her. She will shrink, back, and then ask you to lie with her. At this you must let her have her way; she is a goddess; accept her bed, so that she may release your comrades and make you her cherished guest. But first, make her swear the great oath of the Blessed Ones [by the river Styx] to plot no mischief to you thenceforward– if not, while you lie naked there, she may rob you of courage and of manhood.’

…..“So spoke the Radiant One…”
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What happened next? Find out at Theoi Greek Mythology. Includes a storehouse of references to Circe in ancient Greek literature.
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Read more Sunday Art and Poetry posts here

Categories: Art, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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