"What screech-owl has eaten your nerve away, what
foul thing or corpse have you trodden on at a cross-road in the dark? Never even in
could you hold your own, but you were weakly, feeble,
tired, and like a cab-horse on a hill you wasted your efforts and your sweat. And
not content with failing yourself, you have roused the gods to wrath against me. . .
And she took me unresisting into the priestess's room again, and pushed me over the
bed, and took a cane off the door and beat me again when I remained unresponsive.
And if the cane had not broken at the first stroke and lessened the force of the
blow, I daresay she would have broken my head and my arm outright. Anyhow I groaned
at her dirty tricks, and wept abundantly, and covered my head with my right arm, and
leaned against the pillow. She was upset, and cried too, and sat on another piece of
the bed, and began to curse the delays of old age in a quavering voice, when the
priestess came in.
Why have you come into my room as if you were visiting a fresh-made grave?" she said.
“Especially on a holiday, when even mourners smile.”
“Ah, Oenothea,” said the woman, “this young man was born under a
bad planet; he cannot sell his treasure to boys or girls either. You never
beheld such an unlucky creature: he is a piece of wash-leather, not a real man.
Just to show you, what do you think of a man who can come away from Circe
without a spark of pleasure?” When Oenothea heard this she sat down
between us, shook her head for some time, and then said, "I am the only woman alive
who knows how to cure that disease. Et ne me
perplexe agere, rogo ut adulescentulus mecum nocte dormiat. .
nisi illud tam rigidum reddidero quam cornu:
“Whatever thou seest in the world is obedient to me. The flowery earth, when I
will, faints and withers as its juices dry, and, when I will, pours forth its
riches, while rocks and rough crags spurt waters wide as the Nile. The great sea
lays its waves lifeless before me, and the winds lower their blasts in silence
at my feet. The rivers obey me, and Hyrcanian tigers, and serpents, whom I bid
stand still. But I will not tell you of small things; the shape of the moon is
drawn down to me by my spells, and Phoebus trembles and must turn his fiery
steeds as I compel him back in his course. So great is the power of words. The
flaming spirit of bulls is quenched and calmed by a maiden's rites, and Circe,
the child of Phoebus, transfigured Ulysses's crew with magic songs, and Proteus
can take what form he will. And I, who am cunning in these arts, can plant the
bushes of Mount Ida in the sea, or set rivers back on lofty peaks.”