Odyssey's voyage past the Island of Sirens and past Scylla and Charybdis

The next day we buried the body Elpenor and a high mound was built over his grave. After learning about our return, the sorceress also came to the seashore Kirk; her maids followed her, they brought to the ship a lot of luxuriously cooked food and furs with wine. We feasted on the seashore until nightfall. When my companions went to bed, the sorceress Kirka told me what dangers lay ahead of me on the way, and taught me how to avoid them.

As soon as the dawn broke in the sky, I woke up my comrades. We lowered the ship to the sea, the rowers pulled together on the oars, and the ship rushed into the open sea. A fair wind blew the sails, we sailed calmly on the sea. The island of sirens was already not far away. Then I turned to my companions:

Odysseus' ship sails past the island of Sirens
Odysseus' ship sails past the island of sirens.
(Drawing on a vase.)

- Friends! Now we have to sail past the island of sirens. With their singing, they lure sailors sailing by and betray them to a cruel death. Their whole island is littered with the bones of the people they have torn apart. I will cover your ears with soft wax so that you do not hear their singing and do not die, but you will tie me to the mast, the sorceress Kirka allowed me to hear the singing of sirens. If I, fascinated by their singing, ask you to untie me, then you will tie me even tighter.

I had just said this when suddenly the tailwind died down. My comrades lowered the sail and sat down on the oars. The island of sirens was already visible. I covered the ears of my companions with wax, and they tied me so tightly to the mast that I could not move a single joint. Our ship sailed quickly past the island, and the charming singing of sirens was rushing from it.

- Oh, swim to us, great Odysseus! - so the sirens sang, - send your ship to us to enjoy our singing. Not a single sailor will sail by without listening to our sweet singing. Having enjoyed it, he leaves us, having learned a lot. We all know - and what the Greeks suffered by the will of the gods under Troy, and what is being done on earth.

Fascinated by their singing, I signaled to my comrades to untie me. But, remembering my instructions, they bound me even more tightly. Only then did my companions take the wax out of my ears and untie me from the mast, when the island of sirens had already disappeared from our eyes. The ship sailed on calmly, but suddenly I heard a terrible noise in the distance and saw smoke. I knew it was Charybdis. My comrades got scared, let the oars out of their hands, and the ship stopped. I walked around my companions and began to encourage them.

- Friends! We have experienced many troubles, we have avoided many dangers, - so I said, - the danger that we have to overcome is no worse than the one we experienced in the cave Polypheme. Don't lose your courage, lean harder on the oars! Zeus will help us avoid death. Steer the ship further away from the place where the smoke is visible and a terrible noise is heard. Steer closer to the cliff!

I encouraged my companions. With all their might they leaned on the oars. About Scylla I didn't tell them anything. I knew that Scylla would snatch only six satellites from me, and in Charybdis we would all die. I myself, forgetting the instructions of the Pickaxe, grabbed a spear and waited for the attack of the Skill. I searched in vain for her with my eyes.

The ship sailed quickly through the narrow strait. We saw how Charybdis absorbed seawater: waves bubbled near her mouth, and in her deep belly, as if in a cauldron, sea mud and earth boiled. When she spewed water, the water boiled and bubbled around with a terrible roar, and salt spray flew up to the very top of the cliff. Pale with horror, I looked at Charybdis. At this time, the terrible Skill stretched out all its six necks and grabbed six of my companions with its six huge mouths with three rows of teeth. I only saw their arms and legs flash in the air, and I heard them calling for my help. At the entrance to their cave, the Skill devoured them; in vain the unfortunate ones stretched out their hands with supplication to me. With great difficulty we passed Charybdis and Skill and sailed to the island of the god Helios - Trinacria.