The Odyssey

by: Homer

Books 12–14

Quotes Books 12–14
1
. . . listen closely to what I tell you now
and god himself will bring it back to mind.
First you will raise the island of the Sirens,
those creatures who spellbind any man alive,
whoever comes their way. Whoever draws too close,
off guard, and catches the Sirens’ voices in the air —
no sailing home for him, no wife rising to meet him,
no happy children beaming up at their father’s face.
The high, thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him,
lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses
rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones . . .
2
Come, enough of this now. We’re both old hands
at the arts of intrigue. Here among mortal men
you’re far the best at tactics, spinning yarns,
and I am famous among the gods for wisdom,
cunning wiles, too.
3
Trust me, the blessed gods have no love for crime.
They honor justice, honor the decent acts of men.
Even cutthroat bandits who raid foreign parts —
and Zeus grants them a healthy share of plunder,
ships filled to the brim, and back they head for home —
even their dark hearts are stalked by the dread of vengeance.