Hephaestus, from Ida speeding forth his brilliant blaze. Beacon passed beacon on to us by courier-flame: Ida, to the Hermaean crag in Lemnos; to the mighty blaze upon the island succeeded, third,
285the summit of Athos sacred to Zeus; and, soaring high aloft so as to leap across the sea, the flame, travelling joyously onward in its strength
the pinewood torch, its golden-beamed light, as another sun, passing the message on to the watchtowers of Macistus.
290He, delaying not nor carelessly overcome by sleep, did not neglect his part as messenger. Far over Euripus' stream came the beacon-light and signalled to the watchmen on Messapion. They, kindling a heap of
295withered heather, lit up their answering blaze and sped the message on. The flame, now gathering strength and in no way dimmed, like a radiant moon overleaped the plain of Asopus to Cithaeron's ridges, and roused another relay of missive fire.
300Nor did the warders there disdain the far-flung light, but made a blaze higher than their commands. Across Gorgopus' water shot the light, reached the mount of Aegiplanctus, and urged the ordinance of fire to make no delay.
305Kindling high with unstinted force a mighty beard of flame, they sped it forward so that, as it blazed, it passed even the headland that looks upon the Saronic gulf; until it swooped down when it reached the lookout, near to our city, upon the peak of Arachnaeus; and
310next upon this roof of the Atreidae it leapt, this very fire not undescended from the Idaean flame.
Such are the torch-bearers I have arranged, completing the course in succession one to the other; and the victor is he who ran both first and last. [Note]
315This is the kind of proof and token I give you, the message of my husband from Troy to me.
Lady, my prayers of thanksgiving to the gods I will offer soon. But as I would like to hear and satisfy my wonder at your tale straight through to the end, so may you tell it yet again.