“We then sailed on up the narrow strait with wailing.
For on one side lay Scylla and on the other divine Charybdis terribly sucked down the salt water of the sea. Verily whenever she belched it forth, like a cauldron on a great fire she would seethe and bubble in utter turmoil, and high over head the spray would fall on the tops of both the cliffs.
But as often as she sucked down the salt water of the sea, within she could all be seen in utter turmoil, and round about the rock roared terribly, while beneath the earth appeared black with sand; and pale fear seized my men. So we looked toward her and feared destruction;
but meanwhile Scylla seized from out the hollow ship six of my comrades who were the best in strength and in might. Turning my eyes to the swift ship and to the company of my men,1
even then I noted above me their feet and hands as they were raised aloft. To me they cried aloud, calling upon me
by name for that last time in anguish of heart. And as a fisher on a jutting rock, when he casts in his baits as a snare to the little fishes, with his long pole lets down into the sea the horn of an ox of the steading,2
and then as he catches a fish flings it writhing ashore,
even so were they drawn writhing up towards the cliffs. Then at her doors she devoured them shrieking and stretching out their hands toward me in their awful death-struggle. Most piteous did mine eyes behold that thing of all that I bore while I explored the paths of the sea.
“Now when we had escaped the rocks, and dread Charybdis and Scylla, presently then we came to the goodly island of the god, where were the fair kine, broad of brow, and the many goodly flocks of Helios Hyperion. Then while I was still out at sea in my black ship,
I heard the lowing of the cattle that were being stalled and the bleating of the sheep, and upon my mind fell the words of the blind seer, Theban Teiresias, and of Aeaean Circe, who very straitly charged me to shun the island of Helios, who gives joy to mortals.
Then verily I spoke among my comrades, grieved at heart:
“‘Hear my words, comrades, for all your evil plight, that I may tell you the oracles of Teiresias and of Aeaean Circe, who very straitly charged me to shun the island of Helios, who gives joy to mortals;
for there, she said, was our most terrible bane. Nay, row the black ship out past the island.’