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L. 680-738.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 29

Minyse, who questioned her on what business bent she
came amongst them. And forthwith she thus made answer
with all haste to their questions, " Verily, 'twas the daughter
of Thoas, Hypsipyle, who sent me on my journey hither to
call the captain of the ship, whosoever he is, that she may
tell him somewhat that hath found favour with her folk ;
moreover she bids you, an you list, at once now set foot
within her land and city with a good heart."

So spake she ; and welcome to all was her fair message.
Now they imagined that Hypsipyle, the well -beloved
daughter of-^Thoas, did reign in his stead ; so quickly sent
they Jason on his way, yea, and themselves made ready
to go.

Now he had buckled on his shoulders a purple mantle
of double woof, the handiwork of the Tritonian goddess,
which Pallas gave him, on that first day she laid down the
props for the ship Argo, and taught him to measure
cross-planks with the rule. More easily might you gaze
on the sun at his rising than on that mantle, or face the
sheen thereof. For lo ! the middle was red, and the top
was all of purple, and on either end many cunning things
were worked passing well. On it were the Cyclopes sitting
at their work, that never decayeth, fashioning the thunder-
bolt for king Zeus ; lo ! it was all but made * in its bright
splendour, but yet it lacked one single flash, which they
with their hammers of iron were forging, with its breath
of fierce fire.

On it were the two sons of Antiope, daughter of Asopus,
Amphion and Zethus ; near by lay Thebes, as yet ungirt
with towers, whereof they were just laying the foundations
in eager haste. Zethus was bearing shoulder-high the top

1 i.e. the bolt was all but finished ; it only wanted one ray of light-
ning to complete its composition ; and so natural was the embroidery,
that the Cyclopes seemed to be in the very act of adding it.

The Cyclopes were Brontes and Steropes, i.e. Thunder and Lightning.


of a steep mountain, like unto a man that toiled ; and be-
hind him came Amphion, 1 singing aloud to his golden lyre,
while in his track twice as large a rock followed.

Next was worked thereon Cytherea, of the thick tresses,
carrying the nimble shield of Ares ; and from her shoulder,
from beneath her bosom, hung her girdle loosely over her
left arm ; and there as she stood one seemed to see her
sure reflection thrown upon the brazen shield. And there
was a shaggy herd upon it ; and the Teleboans 2 and the
sons of Electryon were fighting about the cattle ; these in
their defence, but those others, Taphian pirates, longing to
rob them ; and the dewy meadow was wet with their blood,
and the many had the mastery of the few, even of the

Two chariots racing were fashioned there. Pelops drove
the one that was in front, shaking the reins, and with him
was Hippodamia for his companion ; while hard upon him
Myrtilus urged his steeds, and with him was (Enomaus,
gripping in his hand his couched lance, but down he fell as
the axle of the wheel break sideways in the nave, in his
eagerness to wound Pelops in the back.

There too was broidered Phoebus Apollo, a big boy not
yet grown up, shooting at Tityos 3 as he tried, with bold
hand, to snatch away his mother's veil, great Tityos,
whose mother indeed was divine Elare, but the earth gave
him second birth, and brought him up.

1 The legend was that Amphion, by playing on his lyre, drew the stones
after him till they ranged themselves in order on the battlements of Thebes.

2 The Teleboans lived in the island of Taphos, one of the Echinades
group. They are notable pirates in Homer's Odyssee.

3 The legend is given in two ways about the birth of the giant
Tityos. His mother Elare, the daughter of Orchomenus, was buried
alive when pregnant by Zeus, on account of the jealousy of Hera, but
Earth brought the child to birth. The other legend says that Elare
could not be delivered, so great was the child, and died in the effort ;
whereon Earth bore the babe and reared him.

1. 739-796.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 31

Yea, and Minyan Phrixus was there, even as though he
were really listening to the ram, while it was like to one
that spoke. Ah ! shouldst thou see them, thou wouldst
be silent and deceive thy soul, expecting haply to hear
their voice aloud ; and long mightest thou gaze thereon in
that hope.

Such then were the presents of the Tritonian goddess
Athene. And in his right hand he held a spear, far-dart-
ing, which on a day Atalanta gave to him in Msenalus as a
gift to a stranger, what time she met him graciously ; for
greatly did she long to join him on that voyage ; but yet of
himself and willingly he held her back, for he feared
grievous quarrels for her love.

So he went on his way toward the city like a bright star,
which maidens through their curtains, newly made, do see,
when they awake, rising o'er their home, and through the
dark mist it charms their eyes with its lovely blush ; and
the maiden is cheered in her longing for the youth who is
amongst strange folk, for whom her parents are keeping
her to be his wedded wife ; like to that star the hero
stepped along the path before the city. Now when they
were come within the gates of the city, the maidens of the
people surged behind them, glad to see the stranger ; but
he, with his eyes upon the ground, kept straight on, until
he reached the glorious halls of Hypsipyle ; and at his
appearing maids threw wide the folding-doors, fitted with
planks well wrought. Then did Iphinoe lead him hastily
through a fair hall, and seat him on a shining couch before
her mistress ; but that lady cast down her eyes, and a
.blush stole o'er her maiden cheek ; yet for all her modesty
found she wheedling word to address him withal : " Strange
sir, why sat ye thus so long outside our battlements ? for
our husbands abide not now within the city, but they are
sojourners awhile upon the Thracian mainland, and do
plough the wheat-bearing tilths. And I will tell thee


truly all our trouble, that ye may know it surely for your-
selves. When my father Thoas was king over the burghers,
then did bands of our folk start forth and plunder from
their ships the folds of the Thracians who dwell over
against us, and hither they brought endless booty and
maidens too. But Cypris, deadly goddess, schemed a
scheme, which cast upon them a fatal curse. For lo!
they loathed their wedded wives, and chased them from
their homes, yielding to their folly, and they took for con-
cubines the captives of their spears, luckless wights ! Long
time did we endure, if haply they might change their mind
again at last ; but ever the evil went on and doubled, for
they dishonoured their true children in their halls, and
there grew up a bastard race. And so maids unwed, and
widowed mothers with them, went wandering in neglect
through the city. Nor did a father care ever so little for
his daughter, though he saw her done to death before his
eyes by the hand of an insolent step-mother ; nor did chil-
dren ward off unseemly outrage from their mother as
before, nor had brothers any thought for a sister. But
only captive maidens found favour at home and in the
dance, in the place of assembly, and at festivals, till some
god put overweening boldness in our hearts, that we
would no more receive them in our battlements on their
return from the Thracians, that so they might either be
minded aright, or start and go elsewhither, captive maids
and all. Thereon did they demand all the male children
that were left within the city, and went back again to the
place where still they dwell on the snowy ploughlands of
Thrace. Wherefore tarry ye here and sojourn ; and if,
indeed, thou wilt dwell here, and it find favour with thee,
verily then shalt thou have the honour of my father
Thoas. And methinks thou canst not scorn my land,
for very fruitful is it beyond all other isles that lie in
the JSgean sea. Nay, come now, get thee to thy ship,.

L. 797-864.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 33

and tell our words unto thy crew, and abide not outside
the city."

So spake she, glozing over the murderous end that had
been worked upon the men ; and Jason said to her in
answer, " Hypsipyle, lo ! so shall we gain a request that is
very dear unto our hearts, which thou dost offer to our de-
sire. But I will return again unto the city, when I have
told each thing in order. But thine, and thine alone be
the lordship of the island ; 'tis from no scorn that I shrink
therefrom, but upon me grievous toils press hard."

He spake, and took her right hand, and at once went on
his way back ; while about him throngs of maidens danced
on every side for very joy, till he passed outside the gates.
Next they went unto the shore, bearing on smoothly-
running wains gifts full many for the strangers, as soon
as he had told them all the message from beginning to
end, even the word that Hypsipyle declared when she
summoned him. Yea, and they led the heroes to their
houses to entertain them, willingly. For Cypris stirred up
sweet desire 1 for the sake of Hephaestxis, the crafty ; that so
Lemnos might again be inhabited by men in time to come
and get no hurt.

Then did he, the son of ^Eson, start for the royal home
of Hypsipyle, but those others went whither chance led
each, all save Heracles, for he stayed by the ship of his
own free will, and with him a few chosen comrades. Anon
the city made merry with dance and feast, filled with the
smoke of steaming sacrifice ; and beyond the rest of the
immortal gods did they propitiate the famous son of Hera,
yea, and Cypris too, with song and sacrifice. And ever
day by day was their voyage delayed, and long time would
they have tarried and rested there, had not Heracles assem-
bled his companions, apart from the women, and thus up-

1 Lemnos was sacred to Hephaestus, the husband of Aphrodite ; so
she would not allow the island to remain for ever void of males.


braided them : " God help you, sirs ! is it a kinsman's
murder that keeps us from our country ? "Was it for want
of weddings that we came from that land to this, scorning
the maidens of our people ? or is it your pleasure to dwell
here and till the fat glebes of Lemnos ? No fair fame shall
we win, I trow, from this our long sojourn with strange
women ; nor will some god of his own accord take the
fleece and give it us at our prayer. Let us go each man to
his own again ; but leave ye that other to spend the live-
long day in the arms of Hypsipyle, till he people Lemnos
with male children, and so there come to him great

Thus did he chide the company, and none durst look
him in the face or make answer to him, but, even as they
were, hasting from the assembly they made readv to be
gone. But the women ran to them, when they learnt
thereof. And as when bees hum round fair lilies, pouring
forth from their hive in the rock, and around the dewy
meadow is glad, and they the while flit from flower to
flower, and gather their sweet food ; even so, I ween, did
those women pour forth eagerly around the men, with loud
lament, while with hand and word they greeted each one,
praying to the blessed gods to grant them a safe return.
So too Hypsipyle prayed, taking the son of ^Eson by the
hands, and the tears that she shed were for the loss of him
departing, " Go, and heaven guide thee hither again with
thy comrades all unmaimed, bearing the golden fleece to
the king, even thus as thou wilt and as is thy desire.
And this mine isle and my father's sceptre shall be thine,
if some day hereafter thou wilt yet return and come again;
and easily couldst thou gather for thyself a countless host
from other cities. Nay, but thou wilt never hare this eager
desire, and of myself I foresee that thus it will not come to
pass; still I pray thee, though thou art far away, and
when thou art returning, remember Hypsipyle ; and leave

:L. 865-927.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 35

me now thy bidding, which I will fulfil gladly, if, as may
be, the gods grant me to bear thy child."

But the son of Mson, with a look of admiration answered
her : " Hypsipyle, may all these things turn out luckily by
the will of the blessed gods. But do thou devise some
better thought for me, for 'tis enough for me to dwell in
my fatherland by the grace of Pelias ; only may heaven
loose me from my toils ! But if it is not destined that I
should come to the land of Hellas after my far journey,
and thou do bear a boy, send him, when he is grown,
within Pelasgian lolchos, to my father and mother, to
soothe their grief, if haply he find them yet alive, that they
may sit within their halls and be cared for, though I, the
king, be far away."

Therewith he went aboard before them all, and in like
manner went the other chiefs, and, sitting in rows, they
grasped the oars in their hands, and Argus loosed for them
the stern-cables from beneath the sea-beat rock. Then did
they smite the water lustily with the long oars. At eve, by
the counsel of Orpheus, they beached the ship at the isle 1 of
Electra, daughter of Atlas, that they might learn the secret
rites through gentle initiation, and so might fare more
safely over the chilling sea. Of these things will I speak
no further ; nay, farewell to yon isle itself, and farewell to
the gods who dwell there, whose mysteries these are ; of
them 'tis not right for us to sing.

Hence did they row over the depths of the Black sea,
speeding on, with the land of Thrace on the one side, and
on the other side to starboard Imbros over against Thrace ;
and just at sunset they reached the promontory of Cher-
sonese. Then did the swift south- wind blow upon them ;
so they set the sails to the breeze and entered the rushing

1 " The isle of Electra," i.e. Samothrace. Initiation into the sacred
mysteries of the Cabiri in this island was supposed to insure safety to
mariners. Odysseus took this precaution, according to tradition.


stream l of the daughter of Athamas. At dawn the open
sea to the north was left behind, and at night were they
measuring their way over that which lies within the head-
land of Rhceteum, keeping the land of Ida on the right.
Leaving Dardania they steered for Abydos, and on that
night passed by Percote and the sandy beach of Abarnis
and sacred Pityeia. Yea, on that night, as the ship sped
on with oar and sail, 2 they passed right through the Helles-
pont with its dark eddies.

Now there is within Propontis a hilly isle, 3 a little from
the Phrygian mainland with its rich corn-fields, sloping to
the sea, and there is an isthmus in front of the mainland
stretching across the sea, but the waves just wash over it.
And there are there two beaches, and they lie beyond the
waters of the JEsepus ; and they who dwell around call the
hill Arctos. On it a wild and lawless race of earth-born
men ever had their home, a great wonder to their neigh-
bours to behold ; for each hath six masterful hands hang-
ing from him, twain from his strong shoulders, and other
four joined below upon his fearsome sides. About the
isthmus and the plain the Doliones had their dwelling, and
amongst them Cyzicus, son of -5neus, held sway, whom
jEnete, daughter of divine Eusorus, bare. But these the
earth-born race in no wise harried, for all their fearsome-
ness, for Poseidon guarded them ; for from him were the
Doliones first sprung. Thither Argo pressed forward,
driven by the winds of Thrace, and a fair haven received
the speeding ship. There too by the advice of Tiphys they
loosed and left their light anchor-stone below a fountain,
even the Artacian fountain ; and they chose another, which
suited them, a ponderous stone ; but that old one did the

1 The Hellespont, so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas.

2 diav&xa = in two ways, i.e. by oar and sail.

3 Cyzicus, afterwards mainland. Apparently there was a bar of land,
just covered by surf, joining Cyzicus to the mainland; eventually this
bar rose clear from the water, and Cyzicus was no longer an island.

L. 928-985.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 37

lonians, 1 sons of Neleus, in the after time, in obedience to
the oracle of Hecatus, set up as holy, as was right, in the
temple of Athene, who was with Jason.

Now the Doliones, yea, and Cyzicus himself, came forth
to meet them in a body, and treated them with kindness and
hospitality, when they heard of their expedition and knew
their lineage, and who they were, and they persuaded them
to row on a space and moor the ship in the harbour of the
city. There they builded an altar to Apollo, god of em-
barkation, and set it by the beach and busied themselves
with sacrifice. And the king of his own bounty gave them
in their need sweet mead and sheep as well ; for lo ! there
came a voice from heaven which said, that when there
should arrive a goodly expedition of heroes, he should
straightway meet them graciously, and take no thought
for war. Now he was about Jason's age ; his beard was
just sprouting, nor yet had he gotten children to his joy,
but his bride within his house had not yet known travail,
the daughter of Percosian Merops, Cleite with the fair
tresses, whom he had but lately brought thither from the
mainland opposite, with wondrous gifts of wooing to her
father. Yet even so he left his bridal bed and chamber,
and made ready a banquet amongst them, 2 casting all fear
from his heart. And they questioned one another in turn ;
and he asked them of the end of their voyage and of the
commands of Pelias, while they enquired about the cities
of the folk around and about the whole gulf of wide
Propontis ; but he knew not how to tell them when they
were anxious to know aught far ahead. So at dawn they
went up to mighty Dindymus, 3 that they might spy out
for themselves the passage of that sea, and they drave forth

1 Ionian colonists led by Neleus, son of Codrus, from Attica.

2 An oracle had warned king Cyzicus of the fate awaiting him at the
liands of the Argonauts.

3 A mountain in Cyzicus, sacred to Rhea. Chytns is the harbour of


the ship from the outer basin of the harbour of Chytus ;.
wherefore this way they went is called Jason's way.

But the earth-born men, rushing from both sides of the
mountain, blocked the sea- ward mouth of boundless Chytus
with rocks at the bottom, lying in wait as though for a-
wild beast inside. Now Heracles had been left there with
the younger men ; so quickly he stretched his curved bow
against them and brought them to the ground one after
another ; and they for their part caught up jagged rocks
and hurled them. For lo ! Hera, goddess wife of Zeus,
I wis, had raised those fearful monsters too, a labour for
Heracles ; and the other warlike heroes turned back anon
to meet them, or ever they had mounted to their place of
outlook, and joined in the slaughter of the earth-born men,.
receiving them with arrows and swords till they had slain
them all as they rushed to meet them impetuously.

As when wood-cutters throw down in rows upon the
beach long beams just hewn by their axes, that they
may soak and so receive the strong bolts ; even so those
monsters lay stretched there l in the entrance to the gray
haven, some with head and chest plunged all at once into
the salt water, and their limbs below spread out upon the
strand ; others again were resting their heads upon the
sand of the beach and their feet in the deep water, both
alike to be a prey to birds and fishes.

But the heroes, as soon as there was nought to fear for
their enterprise, at once loosed the cables of the ship to the
breath of the wind, and voyaged on across the ocean-swell.
And the ship sped on the live-long day under canvas ; but,
as night came on, the rushing wind no longer abode stead-
fast, but contrary blasts caught and swept them backward,
till they drew nigh again to the hospitable Doliones. And
they disembarked that self-same night ; and that rock is

i.e. not merely the entrance to the harbour, but also all the
circumference of it.

L. 986-1046.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 39

still called the sacred rock, whereto they bound the cables
of the ship in their haste. Nor did any man surely know
that it was really the island, nor did the Doliones by night
perceive for certain that it was the heroes again coming to
them ; but they supposed maybe some band of Pelasgian
warriors from the Macrians l was landing. Wherefore they
did on their harness and stretched forth their hands against
them. And they drove their ashen spears and shields
against each other, like a swift rush of fire, which falling
on a dry thicket rears its head; and withal upon the
Dolionian folk fell the din of battle, terrible and furious.
Nor was he, their king, to rise above the doom of battle
and come again home to his bridal chamber and bed. Nay,
him did the son of JEson, with one bound, smite through
the middle of the breast as he turned to face him, and the
bone splintered about his spear, and he grovelling on the
sand wound up his clew of fate. For mortal man may not
escape his fate, but on all sides is spread a mighty snare
around him. Thus upon that night it caught him in its
toils, as he thought, maybe, to avoid the bitter doom dealt
out by the chieftains, what time he fought with them ; and
many other champions were slain. Heracles slew Telecles
and Megabrontes ; and Acastus stript Sphodris of his arms ;
and Peleus laid Zelys low, and Gephyrus, that fleet warrior.
And Telamon of the stout ashen spear killed Basileus.
Idas slew Promeus, and Clytius Hyacinthus ; and the two
sons of Tyndarus slew Megalossaces and Phlogius.

Besides these the son of (Eneus smote bold Itymoneus,
yea, and Artaces, a leader of men ; all these do the inhabi-
tants still honour with the worship due to heroes.

But the rest gave way and fled in terror, even as doves

1 The Macrians or Macrones were colonists from Eubcea, and neigh-
bours of the Doliones.

" Pelasgic," because Eutcea was close to Peloronnesus, the old name
of which was Pelasgia.


in flocks fly cowering from swift hawks, and they rushed
headlong to the gates with loud cries ; then straight was
the city filled with cries and groans as the battle was
turned backward. But at daybreak did both sides per-
ceive their grievous, cureless error; and bitter anguish
seized the Miiiyau heroes when they saw before them
Cyzicus fallen mid the dust and blood. Three whole days
they mourned, they and the folk of the Doliones together,
tearing out their hair. And then thrice about his tomb
they marched in their bronze harness and made his funeral,
and instituted trial of games, as was right, on the meadow
plain, where to this day is his tomb heaped up for men
that shall be hereafter to see.

Nor could his bride Cleite survive her husband's death,
but in her grief she wrought a deed more awful still, what
time she fastened the noose about her neck. And the
wood nymphs mourned her death, and all the tears they
let fall to earth from their eyes for her, of these did the
goddesses make a spring, which men call Cleite, the storied
name of that poor maid. Tea, that was the direst day
that Zeus ever sent upon the men and women of the
Doliones ; for none of them could bear to taste of food, and
for a long time after their trouble they minded them not of
the work of grinding ; but they dragged on their life, eating
the food, as it was, uncooked. There to this day, whenso
the lonians, that dwell in Cyzicus, pour the yearly libation
to the dead, they ever grind their meal l at the public mill.

From thenceforth for twelve whole days and nights
arose tempestuous winds, which kept them there from
their voyage. But on the next night, all the other chiefs,
ere this, I ween, o'ercome by sleep, were resting there for

j'oi, literally any half-liquid mixture of various consistency. Not
unfrequently a mixture of meal, honey, and oil offered to the gods, such
as Circe (cf. infra, Bk. iv. 1. 7 1 2) offers when purifying Jason and Medea.
Here apparently = ir^ara, i.e. any kind of cooked food or sweetmeats.

L. 1047-1111.] THE ARGONAUTICA. 41

the last time, while Acastus and Mopsus, son of Arnpycus,
guarded their sound slumbers. When lo ! above the
yellow head of the son of jEson there flew a king-fisher,
boding by her shrill note an end of the violent winds ; and
Mopsus, directly he heard the lucky cry of that bird of the
shore, marked it well ; and the goddess brought it back
again, and it darted aloft and perched above the carved
stern ; then did Mopsus stir Jason, where he lay upon the

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