Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; hexameter] [word count] [Ap. Rhod.].
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4.481Now as soon as the heroes saw the blaze of a torch, which the maiden raised for them as a sign to pursue, they laid their own ship near the Colchian ship, and they slaughtered the Colchian host, as kites slay the tribes of wood-pigeons, or as lions of the wold, when they have leapt amid the steading, drive a great flock of sheep huddled together. Nor did one of them escape death, but the heroes rushed upon the whole crew, destroying them like a flame; and at last Jason met them, and was eager to give aid where none was needed; but already they were taking thought for him too. Thereupon they sat to devise some) prudent counsel for their voyage, and the maiden came upon them as they pondered, but Peleus spake his word first:

4.495"I now bid you embark while it is still night, and take with your oars the passage opposite to that which the enemy guards, for at dawn when they see their plight I deem that no word urging to further pursuit of us will prevail with them; but as people bereft of their king, they will be scattered in grievous dissension. And easy, when the people are scattered, will this path be for us on our return."

4.503Thus he spake; and the youths assented to the words of Aeacus' son. And quickly they entered the ship, and toiled at their oars unceasingly until they reached the sacred isle of Electra, the highest of them all, near the river Eridanus.

4.507But when the Colchians learnt the death of their prince, verily they were eager to pursue Argo and the Minyans through all the Cronian sea. But Hera restrained them by terrible lightnings from the sky. And at last they loathed their own homes in the Cytaean land, quailing before Aeetes' fierce wrath; so they landed and made abiding homes there, scattered far and wide. Some set foot on those very islands where the heroes had stayed, and they still dwell there, bearing a name derived from Apsyrtus; and others built a fenced city by the dark deep Illyrian river, where is the tomb of Harmonia and Cadmus, dwelling among the Encheleans; and others live amid the mountains which are called the Thunderers, from the day when the thunders of Zeus, son of Cronos, prevented them from crossing over to the island opposite.

4.522Now the heroes, when their return seemed safe for them, fared onward and made their hawsers fast to the land of the Hylleans. For the islands lay thick in the river and made the path dangerous for those who sailed thereby. Nor, as aforetime, did the Hylleans devise their hurt, but of their own accord furthered their passage, winning as guerdon a mighty tripod of Apollo. For tripods twain had Phoebus given to Aeson's son to carry afar in the voyage he had to make, at the time when he went to sacred Pytho to enquire about this very voyage; and it was ordained by fate that in whatever land they should be placed, that land should never be ravaged by the attacks of foemen. Therefore even now this tripod is hidden in that land near the pleasant city of Hyllus, far beneath the earth, that it may ever be unseen by mortals. Yet they found not King Hyllus still alive in the land, whom fair Melite bare to Heracles in the land of the Phaeacians. For he came to the abode of Nausithous and to Macris, the nurse of Dionysus, to cleanse himself from the deadly murder of his children; here he loved and overcame the water nymph Melite, the daughter of the river Aegaeus, and she bare mighty Hyllus. But when he had grown up he desired not to dwell in that island under the rule of Nausithous the king; but he collected a host of native Phaeacians and came to the Cronian sea; for the hero King Nausithous aided his journey, and there he settled, and the Mentores slew him as he was fighting for the oxen of his field.

4.552Now, goddesses, say how it is that beyond this sea, near the land of Ausonia and the Ligystian isles, which are called Stoechades, the mighty tracks of the ship Argo are clearly sung of? What great constraint and need brought the heroes so far? What breezes wafted them?

4.557When Apsyrtus had fallen in mighty overthrow Zeus himself, king of gods, was seized with wrath at what they had done. And he ordained that by the counsels of Aeaean Circe they should cleanse themselves from the terrible stain of blood and suffer countless woes before their return. Yet none of the chieftains knew this; but far onward they sped starting from the Hyllean land, and they left behind all the islands that were beforetime thronged by the Colchians -- the Liburnian isles, isle after isle, Issa, Dysceladus, and lovely Pityeia. Next after them they came to Corcyra, where Poseidon settled the daughter of Asopus, fair-haired Corcyra, far from the land of Phlius, whence he had carried her off through love; and sailors beholding it from the sea, all black with its sombre woods, call it Corcyra the Black. And next they passed Melite, rejoicing in the soft-blowing breeze, and steep Cerossus, and Nymphaea at a distance, where lady Calypso, daughter of Atlas, dwelt; and they deemed they saw the misty mountains of Thunder. And then Hera bethought her of the counsels and wrath of Zeus concerning them. And she devised an ending of their voyage and stirred up storm-winds before them, by which they were caught and borne back to the rocky isle of Electra. And straightway on a sudden there called to them in the midst of their course, speaking with a human voice, the beam of the hollow ship, which Athena had set in the centre of the stem, made of Dodonian oak. And deadly fear seized them as they heard the voice that told of the grievous wrath of Zeus. For it proclaimed that they should not escape the paths of an endless sea nor grievous tempests, unless Circe should purge away the guilt of the ruthless murder of Apsyrtus; and it bade Polydeuces and Castor pray to the immortal gods first to grant a path through the Ausonian sea where they should find Circe, daughter of Perse and Helios.



Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; hexameter] [word count] [Ap. Rhod.].
<<Ap. Rhod. 4.391 Ap. Rhod. 4.522 (Greek) >>Ap. Rhod. 4.659

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