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supposed, monuments erected in honour of the dead. Such an one the Argonauts are said to have found in the temple of Mars, when they lauded upon the coast of Pontus. This was the express object to which the Amazonian* paid tlieir adoration; as they lived in an age when statues were not known Bryant't Myth.
Ver. 1471 Ap'illonius mentions an ancient Typhonian Petra in the hollows of the mountain. It was an Ophite temple, where the deity was probably worshipped under the figure of a serpent. Hence the poet supposes the serpent, with which Jason engages, to have been produced in those parts. Bryant's Myth.
Ver. 1407. Saturn, to avoid being discovered by his wife Ops, while he was engaged with Philyra his mistress, turned himself into a beautiful horse.
Chiron, the famous centaur, was the son of this nymph Philyra.
Vitj 1547 The Greek here, and at v. 1399, is iftit. but at v. 534 the word is fr.yojt, a betcb: both which trees bearing mast, they .may perhaps be indiscriminately used.
Jcuo and Pallas intercede with Venus. They request that (he would persuade Cupid to inspire Medea with love for Jason. Venus consents; and the (hafts of Cupid, at her suit, have their desired effect. Jason, Augeas, and Telamon, proceed to the court of Æeta, where tbey are hospitably entertained. But having heard the occasion of their voyage, Æeta it incensed, and refuses to bestow the golden fleece on Jason, unless on such terms as he presumed he durst not comply with. The passion of Medea for Jason is described with great simplicity and delicacy. Medea early in the morning repairs to the temple of Hecate: thiiher J.iion, at the suggestion of Moisus, follows her. The poet dwells particularly on their interview and conference. Medea instructs him how to subdue the brazen-bulls and armies of giantt. With Jason's combat, and the success us it, the book
Com*, heavenly maid, thy timely succour bring,
Concral'd in sedges as the heroes lie,
* Daughter os Jove, thy sage advice impart,
"By what nice fraud, what well dissembled art,
* These venturous chiefs .shall gain the golden
"And safe convey it to the realms of Greece.
"So fam'd for fierce barbarity and pride?
"No art, no effort, must be lest umry'd." 2»
She said; and Palla- thus: ' O queen, I find
'The fame ideas rising in my mind:
4 To lend assistance to the Grecian train
'My heart is willing, but my counsel vain.'
This said, their minds on various proj-cts ran. On earth their eyes were fii'd, when Juno thus began:
"To Venus instant let us speed oar way,
She said Minerva patronis'd the plan,
* 1, who arose from Jove's immortal brain, 'Stranger to love, hit pleasure or his pain,
• Thy sage proposal from niy soul approve;
• Do thou explain it to the queen of love.'
This said, with speed the two immortals came, To the grand mansion of the Cyprian dame. 40 Which crippled Vulcan raia'd when first he led The Paphian goddess to his nuptial bid. The gate they pass, and to the dome retire Where Venus oft regales the god of fire: (He to Iiis forge had gone at early day, A floating ifle comain'd it on the bay, Here wond'rous works by fire's fierce power he wrought.
And on his anvil to perfection brought).
Fronting the door, all lovely and alone,
Sat Cyrherea on a polifh'd throne. 50
Adown the shoulders of the heavenly fair,
In easy ringlets flow'd her flaxen hair;
And with a golden comb, in matchless grace,
She taught each lock its most becoming place.
She saw the deities approach her dome,
And from her hand disinifs'd the golden comb;
Then rose respectful, all with beauty grae'd,
And on rich thrones the great immortals plac'd;
Resum'd her seat, and with a ready hand J9
Bound her loose ringlets, aud thus questioned bland:
• What cause, ye visitants from heaven, relate, 'Hat brought such guests to Cytherea's gate?
• Ye who excel in high Olympus' sphere,
'Such mighty deities, and strangers here?' Then thus Saturnia: " Wantonly you jest, u When pressing grief sits heavy on our breast. "Now in the Phasis, with his warlike train, "Great Jason moora, the golden fleece to gain: "For that fam'd chics, and for his martial host, "Dire fears alarm us, but for Jason most: 70 "This potent arm, whate'er our prowess can, "Shall foatch from misery the gallant man, "Though far as hell he, rash adventurer! go, "To free Ixion, link'd in chains of woe; "Lest Pelias proudly heaven's decrees deride, M Who on my altari sacrifice deny'd. "Nay more, young Jason claims my love and "grace,
"Whom late 1 met returning from the chafe, "Returning met, as o'er the world 1 stray'd, *' And human kind, and human works survey'd: •■ Hard by Aurarus I bchelo the man, 8l "Wide o'er its banks whose rapid currents ran; "From snow clad hills, in torrents loud and "strong, [mong). "Roar'd the Iwoln streams the rugged rocks a•' He on his back, though like a crone 1 stood, "Securely brought me o'er the foaming flood; "This won my love, a love for ever true, "Nor will the haughty-minded Pelias rue "His flagrant crimes, till you propitious deign «' To speed my Jason to his Greece again." 90 She spoke, and Venus stood amaz'd to find The queen of heaven to humble prayer inclin'd; Then thus familiar said,: ' O wife of Jove,
• Basest of beings call the queen of love,
■ Unless her every word a»d work conspire
• To give you all the succour you require:
■ All that my hand, my feeble hand, cm do, 'Shall unrewarded be perform'd for you.'
Then Juno thus: "Not difficult the talk; "No mighty force, no strength of arm 1 afle. ICO "Bid gentle love the Colchian maid inspire, "And for my Jason fan the rising sue; "If kind she prove, he gains the golden fleece, "And by her subtle aid conducts it safe to "Greece."
Love's queen replied: * Cupid, ye powers divine,
* Will reverence your injunctions more thaumine: 'Your looks will awe him, though, devoid of
'Of me the urchin makes eternal game, 'Oft he provokes my spleen, and then I vow 'Enrag'd, I'll break his arrows and his how: 110 "Restrain your ire," exclaims the sneering elf, u List you find reason to upbraid yourself." At this the powers with smiles each other view'd,
And Venus thus her woeful tale pursu'd: 'Others may ridicule the pains I feel, 1 Nor boots it all my sufferings to reveal. 1 But since ye jointly importune my aid, 'Cupid shall yield, and Venus be obey'd.' She said; and Juno press'd her hand and smilU Then answer'd thus, benevolent and mild: 1>0 "O grant this boon; do instant as you fay; "Chide not the brry, and he will soon obey."
This said, both hasten'd to the realms abort,
And found him there with Ganymede at play.
* What once to Jove dear Adrastxa gave.
■ When Jove was nourifh'd in the Cretan ca«, 'A sweet round hall; oh I keep it for my sake, 'A fines ball not Vulcan's hands can make. Ija 'Gold are the circles, beauteous to behold, 'And all the finifh'd scams are wrought m 'gold;
'But all so close, they scarcely can be sound: 'And the pale ivy winds its wreaths around. 'If high in air you fling this ball afar, 1 It shines and glimmers like a ridiant star. 'I his prize I'll give, if you propitious prote,
* And lure Medea to the toils of love j
* Fire all her foul for .Jason: haste, away;
1 'lite favour U diminish'd by delay.' l6o
* B- all that's sicred, and by all that's dear,
* Thou fit unerring in Medea's heart.' tJO This said, he gather'd all his dice with haste,
And in his mother's splendid ljp he plac'd. Tocn fnatch'd hit bow and quiver from the ground.
At*" to his back with golden girdle bound. From Jive's all-fertile plains he swift withdrew, Aim! through Ol mpu»' golden p rial" flew. Thence the descent is easy from the Iky, Where the two poles erect their heads on high. Where the tall mountain* their rough tops display And where the sun Erst gives the radiant day. Hence you behold the fert le t.irth below, 181 The winding streams, the cliffs' aerial brow, Cities extended on the distant plain, And through the vast expanse the roaring main.
On the bread Phalis, in a sedgy bay, Srrereh'd on the deck the Grecian heroes lay; Till call'd to council rose each godlike man, And Jason thc» the conference began: "To yon,my comrades, be my counsel known, "'1'isi yours that counsel with success to crown. "Or.e common cause our great emprise is made; ** The common cause demands the common aid.
* He who tmutter'd can his counsel keep,
"Stays our resailing o'er the sounding deep.
* To gain the fleece; complacence wins success.
"Be force the last alternative we take,
"For soothing speeches deep impressions make;
"And oft, where force and martial prowess fail,
"she milder powers of eloquence prevail.
"Once king Æeta kind reception gave
"To hlanicle's Phrixus, when escap'd the wave
"He fled from Ino's unrelenting hate, ail
"And the dire altars that denoune'd his fate
"Savage or social, all alike approve
* 'she sacred litesof hospitaWe Jove."
He said: the Greeks his sage advice rever'd; No voice dissentient through the host was heard: Aogcas then, and Telamon attends. And with them Phrixus' fans, his faithful friends; JjCon they follow: he thy peaceful wand, All sapient Hermes, brandifli'd in his hand. 12* Sdtm from the (hip they gain the rising ground. Mount every steep, and o'er the marines bound,
Till Circe's plain they reach; in many a row
The chiefs advance; but srie-ndly Juno shrouds
Which, rcar'd in rows, erect their heads on high
This, as by turns the Pleiads set or rose, 450
Fr.?m brszcn nostrils breathing living flame.
Well pl-as'cther sons stic fees, and raptur'd stands, Wh-.ie hi^h to heaven (he rears her greeting W,m equal joy to her embrace they fly. [hands i Then thus Chalciope with plaintive cry:
* Here though you left me, heedless of my cries,
* See! fa'e htith frown'd upon your bold emprise;
■ Hath check'd your voyage o'er the distant main, 1 And soon restor'd you to these arms again.
* Wretch that I was, when, by your sire's com
* Ye fought in evil hour the Grecian land!
* Sad was the task your dying lire enjoin'd,
* Sad and distressful to a mother's mind.
■ Ah! whence the wish Orchomenos to fee, 4 His city visit, and abandon me?
* Yes, Athamas's fancied wealth to gain,
'Ye left me sorrowing, and ye sought the main.'
Rous'd by her,cries, at length /Leta came, And to the hall repair'd his royal dame. With busy crowds the spacious hall is sill'd; The steer is chosen, and the victim kill'd. Some heat the bath, some cleave the knotty wood, And all attentive round their monarch stood,
Cnpid, meantime, through liquid air serene, Speeds to the Colchian court, bis flight unseen; Like that large sly, which breeze the shepherds call,
That bastes to stinir the heifers in the stall. 310
The rich repast by seneschals prepar'd, Fresh from thtir baths return'd, the strangers fhar'd;
And when the rage ofliunprr was suppress'd, 339 His grandsons thus*he Colchian king address'd: * Sons of my child, and Phrixus, honour'd most
• Of all the guests that reach'd the Colchian coast, 'Say, why so soon return'd ? what loss constrains
• This speedy visit to your imtivc plains?
• In vain, with terrors for your safety fraught, 'I urg'U the distance of the climes ye sought j
'Warn'd, since of old my sire's bright chariot bore
'Me and fair Circe to Hefperia's shore, 34J 'Where now o'er Tuscan realms my sister reigni, 'A long, long distance from the Colchian plains. 'But what of this? come now, the cause declare 'That brought you back, and who these hctoci ■ are."
Then Argus, anxious for the Grecian band, By birthright eldest, rose andanswer'd bland:
"Our ship, O king, by nightly tempests toll, "On Mars's isle, a dreary coast, was loll; "We, on the wreck by furious surges driv'c, "Were fav'd at last by kind protecting heav'n, "Nor did those birds then desolate the shore, '* Dire harpies that infested it before; 361 "For these brave warriors the preceding day, "Had driv'n the curst, infernal fiends away. "Sure to our prayer some god iHclin'd his ear; "For when of Phrixus and your name they "hear,
"Food for our wants, and raiment they convey, "And to your city now they bend their way. "But would you know, I'll tell their purpos'd "plan:
'' Lo! sprung from Æolu3 the godlike man, "Whom a fierce tyrant's stern decree constrains "To quit his country and his rich domains: 3;o "Nor can he 'scape Jove's rage, unless the fleece, "Base theft of Phrixus, be restor'd to Greece, "Their ship was fafliion'd by Minerva's aid; "How different are the Colchian vessels made! "Ours, far the worst that ever rcar'd a mast, "Split with the tempest's desokting blast; "Theirs, sirm-conipacted, and of fittest wood, "Defied each storm that heav'd the troubled "flood:
"With equal speed their nimble vessel sails, "Impell'd by oars alone, or favouring gales, 380 "In this their chief, with chosen Greeks explores "Unnumber'd seas, and towns, aud wide extend*
"ed shores. "And now he sues the golden fleece to gain; "But that as best your princely will ordain— "Nor hostile comes he: as a friend he brings "Large gifts proportion'd to the slate of kings. '* Insorni'd the fierce Sarmatians waste your lanes, "He vows destruction to their barbarous band'. "Their names and lineage would you wish to
"Lend to my narrative a listening ear, 39*
"He, in whose cause the Grecian chiefs conspire
"Is valiant Jaioh, Æson is his sire,
"The son ol Cret'neus :. thus are we ally'd
"By blot d, relations on the father's side:
"The sons of Æolus were Crethcus faai'd,
"And Athemas, whoscjheir was Phrixus nara'd.
"'Mid your brave chiefs, Augeus you survey,
"Illustrious offspring of the god of day,
"And Tclamon, who high his birth can prove,
"His sire is Æacus, his grandsire Jove: 400
"The rest, thac visit your august abodes,
"Are all the Ions or grandsons of the gods.'
This said, the king with indignation swell'dj But chief enrag'd bis grandsons he beheld ,
Through them he deem'd the Greeks to Colchus came:
His eyeballs redden'd with avenging flame, While thus he spoke: * Hence from my sight * away,
'Nor longer, traitors, in my kingdom (lay: 'Back, back to Greece your speedy course pursue, 'Nor idly hope the golden fleece to view. 410 ■ Nut for that fleece (vain pretext ye must own) 'But for my sceptre came ye, and my crown, 'Had ye not first my feast partook to-day, 'Your tongues and hands, torn out and lopp'd « away,
'- Should for your bold atrocious crimes atone: 'My just revenge had spir'd your feet alone, 'To bear you hastily to Greece again, 'Dreading to visit more my just domain, • Aim! with your perjuries the gods profs
He said: bold Telanajn with fury burn'd, 420 And to the king stern answer had return'd. Bat Jason check'd his warmth,; "La not Æeta falsely thus decide. "Nor crowns, nor empires, come we here to "gain; [main?
*• Who for such wealth would measure half the "But fate, and Pelias' more severe command, "Have fore'd the suppliant on your friendly
"Aid as, and Greece your praises shall record, * And thank you, sovereign, wish their conquer
"ing sword; t , "Whether the fierce Sanhatians to enthrall 430 '• Or realms more barbarous for your vengeance
While Jason thus in gentlest terms reply'd,
* With tedious tales my harass'd tars to stun i
'Or match'd in might ye dare with me contend, 1 Soon will I prove; that proof must thou display; 'Then, if victorious, bear the fleece away; 44I 'Nor (hall my hand the golden prize withhold: 'like your proud lord, I envy not the bold. 'This nervous arm (hall now sustain the fight, 'Which calls to speedy proof thy boasted might, ■ * Two bulls in Mars's field yuur wonder claim, 'Their hoofs of brass, their nostrils breathing 'flame.
'These oft I seize, and to the yoke constrain 'To plough sour acres of the stubborn plain. 'No feeds I sow, but scatter o'er the land 450 'A dragon's teeth; when, lo! an armed band 'Of chiefs spring up; but, soon as they appear, "I flay th' embattled squadrons with my spear. 'Each morn 1 yoke the bulls, at eve resign:
* Perform this labour, and the fleece is thine.
'These arc the terms; on these the prize I quit: 1 The weaker to the stronger most submit.'
He said; and Jason, sunk in thought profound, Sat mate, his eyes fast fix'd upon the ground; Lag time he ponder'd o'er the vast design, 460 Nir dar'd with confidence the battle join. Tians. II.
So hard the talk, he stood embarrass'd long, At last these words dropp'd cautious from his tongue:
"Cruet thy terms, but just : my strength I'll try "In this dread conflict, though ordain'd to die. "For, fay, what law so rigorous can there he "As the hard law of fix'd necessity t "That law which sore'd me from my native "home,
■ And bade me thus in search of dangers roam?" - Pcrplex'd he spoke; then thus the king in
rage: 470 'Rtjoin thy comrades, since thou dar'st engage. 'But if the bulls constrain thy heart to yield, 'Or the dread dangers of the martial field, 'Be mine the toil; that hence the coward slave 1 May dread to combat with the bold and brave.'
Imperious thus the haughty king replies; And from their feats incens'd the heroes rise. To warn his brothers here, at home, to wait, Argus stopp'd stum awhile; then rufh'd they
through the gate. 479 Far o'er the rest, in grace uamatch'd alone, And charms superior, youthful Jason shone. Him through her veil the love-distracted maid With melting eyes and glance oblique survey'd: Her mind, as in a dream, bewilder'd ran, And trae'd the footsteps of the godlike man. Sorrowing they went : to shun the monarch's ire, With fond Chalciope her sons retire: Medea follow'd, but with cares oppress'd; Such cares as love had rais'd within her breast. His graceful image in her n"ad she bore, 400 His gait, his manner, and the robe he wore, His pointed words: through earth's remotest
No prince she deem'd with such perfections His tuneful voice, still still she seems to hear, Still the sweet accents charm her listening ear. The bulls and wrathful king excite her dread: She mourns his fate, as if already dead. From her bright eyes the shower of anguish breaks, And thus, o'erwhelm'd with woe, Medea speaks: "Why fall the tears of sorrow from my eyes, "Though he the first or last of heroes dies? jot "Perish the man !—no, safely let him sail; "And may my prayer, kind Hecate, prevail! "Safe sail he home; but, ah! if doom'd to bleed, "Teach him, that I rejoice not in the deed." Thus mourn'd the maid: meantime, to jotja
The chiefs pursue their course along the plain; Then Argus thus: 'Though, Jason you may 'blame,
'And spurn the counsel which I now proclaim;
* Yet sure for us, with threatening dangers press'd,
* To try some safe expedient mull be best. 511 'A maid there is whose wond'rous art excels,
'Long taught by Hecate, in magic spells: 'If she propitious to our wishes yield,
■ Thou com'st victorious from the martial field j 'But if Chalciope decline her aid,
1 Be mine with tenderest motives to persuade.