So he set out, and with him went two-and-twenty comrades, all weeping; and they left us behind, lamenting.
Within the forest glades they found the house of Circe, built of polished stone in a place of wide outlook,1
and round about it were mountain wolves and lions, whom Circe herself had bewitched; for she gave them evil drugs. Yet these beasts did not rush upon my men,
but pranced about them fawningly, wagging their long tails. And as when hounds fawn around their master as he comes from a feast, for he ever brings them bits to soothe their temper, so about them fawned the stout-clawed wolves and lions; but they were seized with fear, as they saw the dread monsters.
So they stood in the gateway of the fair-tressed goddess, and within they heard Circe singing with sweet voice, as she went to and fro before a great imperishable web, such as is the handiwork of goddesses, finely-woven and beautiful, and glorious. Then among them spoke Polites, a leader of men,
dearest to me of my comrades, and trustiest:
“‘Friends, within someone goes to and fro before a great web, singing sweetly, so that all the floor echoes; some goddess it is, or some woman. Come, let us quickly call to her.’
“So he spoke, and they cried aloud, and called to her.
And she straightway came forth and opened the bright doors, and bade them in; and all went with her in their folly. Only Eurylochus remained behind, for he suspected that there was a snare. She brought them in and made them sit on chairs and seats, and made for them a potion of cheese and barley meal and yellow honey
with Pramnian wine; but in the food she mixed baneful drugs, that they might utterly forget their native land. Now when she had given them the potion, and they had drunk it off, then she presently smote them with her wand, and penned them in the sties. And they had the heads, and voice, and bristles,
and shape of swine, but their minds remained unchanged even as before. So they were penned there weeping, and before them Circe flung mast and acorns, and the fruit of the cornel tree, to eat, such things as wallowing swine are wont to feed upon.
“But Eurylochus came back straightway to the swift, black ship,
to bring tiding of his comrades and their shameful doom. Not a word could he utter, for all his desire, so stricken to the heart was he with great distress, and his eyes were filled with tears, and his spirit was set on lamentation. But when we questioned him in amazement,
then he told the fate of the others, his comrades.
“‘We went through the thickets, as thou badest, noble Odysseus. We found in the forest glades a fair palace, built of polished stones, in a place of wide outlook. There someone was going to and fro before a great web, and singing with clear voice,
some goddess or some woman, and they cried aloud, and called to her. And she came forth straightway, and opened the bright doors, and bade them in; and they all went with her in their folly. But I remained behind, for I suspected that there was a snare. Then they all vanished together, nor did one of them
appear again, though I sat long and watched.’