Circe’s Magic
Circe with Animals

The Wine of Circe by Edward Burne-Jones

Scansion, lines 291-296

Ovid’s Metamorphoses from the Tuft’s Perseus website, Book 14

Pācĭfĕr/ huīc dĕdĕ/rāt flō/rēm Cyll/ēnĭŭs/ ālbum,
mōly vŏ/cānt sŭpĕ/rī, nī/grā rā/dīcĕ tĕ/nētur;
tūtŭs ĕ/ō mŏnĭ/tīsquĕ sĭ/mūl caē/lēstĭbŭs/ īntrat
īllĕ dŏ/mūm Cīr/cēs, ĕt ăd/ īnsĭdĭ/ōsă vŏ/cātus
pōcŭlă, cōnān/tēm vīr/gā mūl/cērĕ că/pīllos
rēppŭlĭt /ēt strīc/tō păvĭ/dām dē/tērrŭĭt /ēnse.

Wheelock’s Adaption

Haec ubi nos vidit, dicta acceptaque salute,
nec mora, tum accipimus sacra data pocula dextra
Quae simul arenti sitientes hausimus ore,
et tetigit summos virga dea dira capillos,
(et pudet et referam!) saetis horrescere coepi
nec iam posse loqui, pro verbis edere raucum
murmur et in terram toto procumbere vultu;
osque meum sensi pando occallescere rostro,
colla tumere toris, et qua modo pocula parte
sumpta mihi fuerant, illa vestigia feci,
cumque eadem passis (tantum medicamina possunt!)
claudor hara, solumque suis caruisse figura
vidimus Eurylochum: solus data pocula fugit;
quae nisi vitasset, pecoris pars una manerem
nunc quoque saetigeri, nec tantae cladis ab illo
certior ad Circen ultor venisset Ulixes.

Pacifer huic dederat florem Cyllenius album,
moly vocant superi, nigra radice tenetur;
tutus eo monitisque simul caelestibus intrat
ille domum Circes, et ad insidiosa vocatus
pocula, conantem virga mulcere capillos
reppulit et stricto pavidam deterruit ense.
Inde fides dextraeque datae, thalamoque receptus
coniugii dotem sociorum corpora poscit.
Spargimur ignotae sucis melioribus herbae
percutimurque caput conversae verbere virgae,
verbaque dicuntur dictis contraria verbis.
Quo magis illa canit, magis hoc tellure levati
erigimur, saetaeque cadunt, bifidosque relinquit
rima pedes, redeunt umeri et subiecta lacertis
bracchia sunt: flentem flentes amplectimur ipsi
haeremusque ducis collo nec verba locuti
ulla priora sumus quam nos testantia gratos.

Annua nos illic tenuit mora, multaque praesens
tempore tam longo vidi, multa auribus hausi.


When this one (Circe) saw us, and after greetings were spoken and received,
Then without delay we received goblets given by the sacred right hand,
Which at once, since we were parched, we drained with a thirsty mouth,
And the dread goddess touched the top of our hair with a twig,
(It is shameful, yet I recount it) I began to bristle with hair,
Nor any longer could I speak, (but) instead of words to made a harsh
Sound and onto the earth to fall with my whole face
And then I felt my mouth grow as a huge snout,
and my neck swell with muscles, and with that very part with which
I had just received a goblet I made tracks;
With those experiencing the same thing (so powerful was the medicine!)
I was shut in a sty, and the only one missing a pig’s face
We saw Eurylochus: Alone he fled the proffered goblets;
If he hadn’t avoided them, I would have remained one part of a herd,
Even now also hairy, nor of such a disaster by him
Informed would Ulysses the avenger have come to Circe.

The peace-bringer, Cyllenian born god brought a white flower
Which the gods call moly, held by a black root.
Safe because of it as well as as the heavenly warnings he entered
The home of Circe, and, being called toward the deadly
Goblet, the one striving to touch his hair with a twig,
He repelled and terrified her, fearful, with his unsheathed sword.
After faith and right hands were given, received in the marriage bed
He sought as a dowry the bodies of his companions.
We were sprinkled with the best juices of an unknown herb
And struck on the head with the lash of the twig turned over,
And words were said, the reverse of the words already spoken.
The more she sang, the more raised from the earth
We were lifted, and the bristles fell off, the crack left
The cloven feet, shoulders returned, and from beneath the arms
Were rejoined; We ourselves weeping embraced him weeping
and we clung to the leader’s neck; nor did we speak any words
before those giving witness to our thanks.

A year’s delay kept us; and being there
For so long a time, I saw much, and took in much with my ears.