“So he spoke, and I cast my silver-studded sword about my shoulders, a great sword of bronze, and slung my bow about me, and bade him lead me back by the self-same road. But he clasped me with both hands, and be sought me by my knees,
and with wailing he spoke to me winged words:
“‘Lead me not thither against my will, O thou fostered of Zeus, but leave me here. For I know that thou wilt neither come back thyself, nor bring anyone of thy comrades. Nay, with these that are here let us flee with all speed, for still we may haply escape the evil day.’
“So he spoke, but I answered him, and said:‘Eurylochus, do thou stay here in this place, eating and drinking by the hollow, black ship; but I will go, for strong necessity is laid upon me.’
“So saying, I went up from the ship and the sea.
But when, as I went through the sacred glades, I was about to come to the great house of the sorceress, Circe, then Hermes, of the golden wand, met me as I went toward the house, in the likeness of a young man with the first down upon his lip, in whom the charm of youth is fairest.
He clasped my hand, and spoke, and addressed me:
“‘Whither now again, hapless man, dost thou go alone through the hills, knowing naught of the country? Lo, thy comrades yonder in the house of Circe are penned like swine in close-barred sties. And art thou come to release them? Nay, I tell thee, thou shalt not
thyself return, but shalt remain there with the others. But come, I will free thee from harm, and save thee. Here, take this potent herb, and go to the house of Circe, and it shall ward off from thy head the evil day. And I will tell thee all the baneful wiles of Circe.
She will mix thee a potion, and cast drugs into the food; but even so she shall not be able to bewitch thee, for the potent herb that I shall give thee will not suffer it. And I will tell thee all. When Circe shall smite thee with her long wand, then do thou draw thy sharp sword from beside thy thigh,
and rush upon Circe, as though thou wouldst slay her. And she will be seized with fear, and will bid thee lie with her. Then do not thou thereafter refuse the couch of the goddess, that she may set free thy comrades, and give entertainment to thee. But bid her swear a great oath by the blessed gods,
that she will not plot against thee any fresh mischief to thy hurt, lest when she has thee stripped she may render thee a weakling and unmanned.’