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    THE ENCHANTMENTS OF THE SIRENS

    THE SIRENS ARE ENCHANTERS

    Circe warns Odysseus about the Sirens:

    “You will come first of all to the Sirens, who are enchanters
    of all mankind and whoever comes their way; and that man
    who unsuspecting approaches them, and listens to the Sirens
    singing, has no prospect of coming home and delighting
    his wife and little children as they stand about him in greeting,
    but the Sirens by the melody of their singing enchant him.

    They sit in their meadow, but the beach before it is piled with boneheaps of men now rotted away, and the skins shrivel upon them.

    You must drive straight on past, but melt down sweet wax of honey
    and with it stop your companions’ ears, so none can listen;
    the rest, that is, but if you yourself are wanting to hear them,
    then have them tie you hand and foot on the fast ship, standing
    upright against the mast with the ropes’ ends lashed around it,
    so that you can have joy in hearing the song of the Sirens;
    but if you supplicate your men and implore them to set you
    free, then they must tie you fast with even more lashings.”

    Homerus, Odysseus

    ‘Sirenes’
    Charles Edward Boutibonne 1883

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