710I commend these sensible prayers, dear children; but do not be troubled yourselves when you hear the unexpected and startling tidings your father has to tell. From my post of look-out here on the sanctuary of suppliants I see that ship; for it is well-marked and does not escape me:
715the trimming of its sail, its side-guards, and the prow that with its eyes scans its onward course, obeying—all too well for those to whom it is unfriendly—the guiding rudder at the stern. The men on board are plainly seen, their black
720limbs showing from their white attire. The rest of the ships and all the assisting fleet stand clear in view: but the leading ship herself has furled her sail and draws near the shore with full sweep of sounding oars. Yet
725you must face the matter calmly and with self-control, and not be unmindful of these gods. For my part, I will secure allies and advocates to urge our cause, and return. Perhaps some herald or envoys may come, eager to seize you as a prize and drag you away, but nothing will happen: do not fear them.
730Yet in the event that we should be slow in bringing aid, it would be better not to forget for a moment the means of help you have here at hand. Courage! In good time, assuredly, and on the day ordained, he who dishonors the gods will suffer punishment.
Father, I am afraid. With what swift wings the ships
735approach! There is not much time left.