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Humane lie spoke, and Jason thus rejoin'd; "Much 1 admire the purpose of thy mind. "Go, friend, to thy Chakiope repair, "Sue her with soft entreaty and with pray'r: "But, ah ! vain h»} cs our vacant minds mult fill, *' Who trust for conquest to a woman's sicilL"
He said ; and soon they .join'd their social train, Rejoic'd to meet their princely peers again. Then Jason thus began his mournful tale:
■ With proud Æeta soft entreaties fail;
"Our purpos'd end unable to attain, 550 "Vain ate my words, and your inquiries vain. "' Two monstrous bulls the tyrant bid me tame;
■ Their hoofs of brass, their nostrils breathing
"flame; ■ "• ' '••<■; -:
*' These must my prowess to the yoke constrain,
To plough four acres of the stubborn plain; "My feed a dragon's teeth, to sow the land; "When lo! up springs a formidable band "Of bright-arm'd giants; soon as they appear, "Poiz'd bj this arm, jny well directed spear "Must pierce the foe intrepid 1 accede • 540} "To the hard terms, nor future dangers heed." >
He said they deem'd it all a desperate deed; j Silent they stood, with sad dejected look Each gaz'd on other, till bold Pelcus spoke:
* Time calls for our resolves; our safety stands
■ No more in counsel, but in strength of hands.
* If, Jason, eager of the honour, thou
* Wilt yoke these fiery monsters to the plough,
* Haste to the charge; but if thy foul relent,
* Sunk in fad bodings of the dire event, J 50
* Nor dar'tl thou go; then go not, nor look round,
* If haply here some fitter man be found:
'Myself will g", and risk my dearest breath;
* No greater evil can besal than death.'
He spoke . and Tclamon with rage inspir'd Stalls up, and Idas with like fury sir'.I; Next the twin race of Tyndarus arise; » last Œneus' son, who with the bravest vies; Though o'er hit cheeks scarce spreads the callow down,
His heart beats high for honour and renown. 56* And while the rest in mute attention stand, Argus bespeaks the emulative band: "Though hard the talk, O chiefs, I still portend "My parent will assist, and prove a friend. ** Still in your ship a while with patience wait; "For rastinei-will accelerate your fate. "Know, at Æeta'a court a maiden dwells, '* Deep flciU'd by Hecate in magic spells: [steep, "AU plants she knows that grow on mountains "On vales, on meads, or in the boundless deep: "By these she quells the fire's relentless force, 571 "Stops the mad torrent in its headlong course, "Retards the planets as they roll on high, 44 And draws the moon reluctant from the sky. *' As from the palace o'er the plain we came "'We mention'd oft my mother's honour'd name; *' If she perchance her sister could persuade, "And fix our interest in the magic maid. "Back, if you bid, my ready steps I bend; "fortune may smile, and fair success attend." He said; when, lo! this signal of their love, Was kindly given them by the powers above; Trsr, by the falcon chaj'd,a trembling dove,
Far from his foe, to Jason's bosom files;
They, they alone this gracious sign have giv'n,
With safety crown'd, like her auspicious do»e.
What Phineus deign'd prophetic to foretel:
Idas alone with indignation burn'd,
And with loud voice thuswifolent rcturn'd:
'Women, who still to Venus' altars fly,
Through the whole train; yet none oppos'd Ac man;
Indignant then he fat. Of dauntless breast
Thus Æson's'fon the listening train address'd:
"This instant Argus to the town 1 fend,
"For thus the general suffrages intend:
"Meanwhile approach we nearer to the land,
"And fix, in sight, our halsers to the strand;
"111 suits us longer thus to lie conceal'd;
"We neither fliun, nor dread the fighting fielil."
He said, and Argu< went without delay, 610 And to the city backward sped his way; At Jason's call they ply the labouring oar. And land their beds and couches on the shore.
Meantime the king a council call'd, and sat, (60 were they wont) without the palace-gate. Assembled there, unceasing toils they plann'd, And wiles destructive to the Grecian band. Thus he ordain'd, that when the bulls had sUin And stretch'd this dauntless hero on the plain, Himself would lay the lofty forest low, 6j« And for the funeral pile prepare the bough: Their boasted ship should be consum'd with fire, And every traitor in the flames expire. No hospitable rites had Phrixus fhar'd, Though much he wifh'd and merited regard, Had not Jove hasten'd Hermes from above To win his savour aud bespeak his love. Were these invaders of his native foil To thrive unpunilh'd by rapacious spoil, Soon would they make his lowing herds a prey, And drive the shepherds and their slocks away. But Phrixus' sons, who join'd the lawless crew, He vow'd with double vengeance to pursue : 64 Base plunderers! come to spoil him of his ( So had the fun, his sapient fire, foreshown:
Wio warn'd him to suspect his faithless race,
And dread from them destruction aud disgrace.
Therefore dismiss'd he, by his fire's command,
The youths fir distant, ev'n to Grecian land.
His daughters gave him no perplexing care, 650
Nor young Absyrtus, his adopted heir;
Bat from Chalciope's detested race
He look'd for injuries, and sear'd disgrace.
Thos stern denouncing, as with rage he swells,
Death on each daring subject that rebels,
His guards he charg'd, and threaten'd vengeance
due, If either scap'd, the vessel or the crew.
Swift to the palace Argus now repairs.
Nor had the queen her son's request delay'd,
But not for honour or the fleece's fake;
TVn warm disputes and fierce contentions reign
look; Her foul reviv'd, and thus the virgin spoke: 689 'Alas! what fruitful dreams alarm my breast 'For these fam'd chiefs, but most the royal
* I fear, some mighty mischief will ensue
'From this bold leader and his gallant crew.
* Be mine my parents' house, my virgin's fame. "If from my headstrong purpose I refrain,
'My sister's counsel might relieve my pain:
* My griefs would cease, my sorrows be no more!'
She bid, and rose, nor longer deign'd to wait, Bet past the threshold of her sister's gate, 701 Barefoot, undrest; long time she there remain'd, (Far modest sears her pitting step rcstrain'd); Then back retreats; new courage soon acquires; Ajiin advances, and again retires: Fissions so various fway'd the virgin's breast, nsc when fierce lor* impell'd her, fearrrprcsi'd;
Thrice (he essay'd, and thrice retreating fled;
In marriage to the darling of her mind,
And the fad tale exceeded her belief:
'Say, why those tears that thus incessant fall? 'What mighty ills your feeble mind appal; 'Say, does some heaven-sent woe your grief in
« spire? 'Or in your bosom dwells Æeta's ire,
• My sons and I the cause? Oh ! far from home]
* On the worlds utmost limits may I roam,
'Nur see my parents, nor my native shore.
She said: Medea's cheeks the crimson stain'd;
"Dire fears, Chalciope, my soul dismay, [flay, "Lest with these guests my fire thy children "My frightful dreams such horrid scenes present; "May some kind deity these woes prevent! "Lest for thy sons the tears eternal flow:" Thus spoke the maid, inquisitive in woe, If haply for her children's fate afraid, 7J0
Chalciope might first solicit aid.
'"1 is for their fakes I now before thee stand; 'Lend me, O lend thy salutary hand! 'But swear by earth and heaven what I unsold 'Rests in thy bosom, never to be told: 'By the great gods, and all that's dear I call, 'Swear thou wilt never see my children fall, 'Lest I too perish, and in fell despight 76a
'Rise a dread fury from the (hades of night.'
Earnest she spoke, and tears incessant shed, Then on her sister's breast rcclin'd her head. And mix'd their mutual sighs; groan anfwer'd
groan, And the wide palace echo'd to their moan. Medea thus in mournful terms replica:
"Ala*: what succour can my thoughts devise,
"Tims with thy cruel menaces opprefs'd? "Oh, still uninjur'd may thine offspring rest! "By heaven above I swear, and earth below, ;;o "Earth, the great mother of the gods, I vow, "(If aught my power can do, or words persuade) "To give thee counsel, and to lend my aid." Thus spoke the maid; and thus Chalciope; 'Perhaps, in favour of my sons and me, 'Thy mind, to save the hero, might impart 1 Some secret counsel, some mysterious art. 'From Jason Argus comes, imploring aid; 1 They rest their safety on the magic maid.'
Thus she; with joy exults the virgin's heart, And rising blushes rosy charms impart; 781 But soon o'ercast with grief she thus reply'd: "To serve thee, sister, be no art untry'd. , "Ne'er may I see with pleasurable eyes "In yon bright orient cheerful morning rise, "If aught on earth be half so dear to me "As is the welfare of thy sons and thee. "As brethren, they my fond regard engage, "By blood related, and the fame our age. "My sister, most esteem'd, and ever dear, 790 "Thee with* a daughter's love I still revere. "For with thy children, nurs'd by thee, I fbar'd "(So fame reports) a mother's fond regard. "Go then, and from my prying parents hide "The means of succour which I now provide. "All-potent spells will I, at dawn of day, "To Hecate's mysterious shrine convey." Pleas'd with the tale, Chalciope departs, And with the prosser'd aid transports her children's hearts. Fear mix'd with (hame now sciz'd the lonely maid, 8cte Who dare, her sire reluctant, lend her aid.
Now rising shades a solemn scene display O'er the wide earth, and o'er th' etrurreal way; All night the sailor marks the Northern Team, And golden circlet of Orion's beam: A deep repose the weary watchman shares, Ami the faint wanderer sleeps away his cares; Ev'n the fund maid, while yet all breathless lies Her child of love, in slumber seals her eyes: No found of village-dog. no noise invades 810 The death-likt silence of the midnight shades; Alone Medea wakes: to love a prey, Restless she rolls, and groans the night away: For lovely Jifon cares on cares succeed, JLcst vanquifh'd by the bulls her hero bleed; In fad review dire scenes of horrors rife, Quick beats her heart, from thought to thought (he flies:
As from the stream-stor'd vase with dubious ray The fun beams dancing from the surface play; Now here, now there the trembling radiance
falls, 810 Alternate flashing round th' illumin'd walls: Thus fluttering bound* the trembling virgin's
And from her eyes descends a pearly flood.
Now (lie resolves the magic to betray-
"But could I yield O whither must. 1 run
"To find the chief—whom virtue bids me shun? "Shall I, all lost to (hame, to Jason fly? 8ja
"And yet I must if Jason bleeds I die!
"Honour farewell! adieu for ever shame'.
"Hail black disgrace ! and branded be my fame!
"Live, Jason, live! enjoy the vital air!
"Live through my aid! and sly where winds an
"But when he flies, cords, poisons lend yon "pow'rs:
"That day Medea treads th* infernal shore-' "Yet what reproach will after death be cast? "The maids of Colchos will my honour blast— "I hear them cry—the false Medea's dead, fcfo "Through guilty passion for a stranger's bed; "Medea, careless of her virgin fame, "Preferr'd a stranger to a father's name '. "O may I rather yield this vital breath, "Than bear that base dishonour worse thin "death '."
Thus wail'd the fair, and sciz'd, with horrid joy, Drugs foes to life, and potent to destroy; A magazine of death '. again (he pours From her swoln eye-lids tears in shining show'rs. With grief insatiate, comfortless (he stands, 0 '* And opes the casket, but with trembling hands. A sudden fear her labouring snul invades. Struck with the horrors of th' infernal (hades ". She stands deep-musing with a faded brow, Absorb'd in thought, a monument of woe '. While all the comforts that on life attend, The cheerful converse, and the faithful friend. By thought deep-imag'd in her bosom play, Endearing life, and charm despair away. Enlivening suns with sweeter light arise, I80 And every object brightens to her eyes. Then from her hand the baneful drugs (he throws, Consents to live,recover'd from her woes; Resolv'd the magic virtue to betray, She waits the dawn, and calls the lazy day: Time seems to stand, or backward drive his wheels;
The hours she chides, and eyes the eastern bills;
At length the morn displays her rosy light,
Her robe she next assume*, bright clasp* of gold
Thus forward mows the fairest of her kind, Bfeilo the future, ta the present blind. Twelve maids, attendants on her virgin bow'r, Able unconscious of the bridal hour, Join to the car her mules; dire rites to pay, To Hecate's fair fane she bends her way. A juice she bears, whose magic virtue tames 9 JO (Through fell Persephone) the rage of flames; f or one whole day it gives the hero might, To stand secure of harms in mortal fight; It mocks the sword ; the sword without a wound Leaps as from marble fhiver'd to the ground. This plant, which rough Caucascan mountains bore,
Sprung from the venom of Prometheus* gore,
At midnight hour, the ghost-compelling dame.
This root the Colchian maid selecting plac'd 930
Back fly the streets as swift the chariot rolls.
Ai when her limbs divine Diana laves 940
The fawning beasts before the goddef. play,
Or. trembling, savage adoration pay: 94?
Thus on her car sublime the nymph appears,
1 he crowd falls back, and, as she moves, reveres:
Swift to the fane aloft her course she bends,
The fane stie reaches, and on earth descends:
Then to her train "Ah me! 1 fear we stray,
"Misled by folly to this lonely way I
"Alas! should Jason with his Greeks appear,
"Where should we f!y? I fear, alas, I fear!
"No more the Colchian youths, and virgin train,
"Haunt the cool shade, or tread in dance the
"plain. 9J9 "But since alone—with sports beguile your hours, "Collect sweet herbs, and pluck the fairest
"flow'rs: "If due attention to my words ye pay, "With richest spoils yc shall return to-day. "For Argus and Chalciope require, "(Buc sacred keep this secret from my sire) "That for large presents, for my succo>:r pai J, "To this rash stranger I should Irnd my aid. "I pass'd my word, and soon without his train "The Grecian will attend me at the fane: "In equal portions we the spoil will share— 970 "For him a dose more fatal I prepare— "But when he comes, ye nymphs, retire apart." She spoke; the nymphs approv'd the virgin's art.
When Argus heard the maid with caily day To Hecate's fair fane would speed her way, He beckon'd Jason from his hold compeers Apart, and Mopsus most renown'd of seers; For prescient Mopsus every omen knew Of birds that parting or approaching flew. No mortal ever of the first-born race 98© Oisplay'd like Jason such superior grace, Whether from demigods he trae'd his line, Or Jove himself immortal and divine, As grae'd by Juno, Jove's imperial queen, With soft address, and dignity of mien. His comrades gaz'd with wonder as he went; Mopsus foresaw, and hail'd the blest event. Hard by the path, and near the temple, stands A poplar tall, that wide its arms expands; Here frequent rooks their airy pastime take, 990 And on the boughs their spray-form'd mansions
One shook its pinions (louder than the rest). And croaking, thus Saturnia's mind exprefs'd: 'Vain feer! whose divinations fail to tell 'Those plain events which children know so well; 'That maids will not, with comrades in the train, 'Tell the soft love-tale to their favour'd swain. 'False prophet, hence ! for thee nor love inspires, 'Nor Venus gratifies with soft desires." 999 Then Mopsus laugh'd, as scoffing thus she spoke, To hear the bird her dark predictions croak; And thus: " Hence, Jason, to the fane and find "The maiden to thy warmest wishes kind; "Venus approves, and fortune will ensue, "If what prophetic Phineussaid prove true. "Myself and Argus here will wait apart, "Go and unsold the secrets of thy heart; Be every mode of soft persuasion try'd." He counsel'd wisely, and the chief comply'd.
Meanwhile the maid her secret thoughts en-
And one dear object all her foul emplny'd:
No more her knees their wonted office knew,
breeze, Till from th' Æolian caves a blast unbound Bend their proud tops, and bids their boughs resound: 1030 Thus gazing they; till by the breath of love, Strongly at last inspir'd, they speak, they move; With smiles the love-sick virgin he stirvey'd, And fondly thus address'd the blooming maid: 'Dismiss, my fair, my love, thy virgin fear;
* 'Tis Jason speaks, no enemy is here!
* Dread not in me a haughty heart to find,
'In Greece I bore no proud inhuman mind.
* Whom wouldst thou fly? stay, lovely virgin,
* Speak every thought ! far hence be fears away!
* ^pcak! and be truth in every accent found ! 1050
* Scorn to deceive! we tread on hallow'd ground.
* By the stern power who guards this sacred place,
* By the fam'd author"; of thy royal race;
* Bjr Jove, to whom the stranger's cause belongs, 'To whom the suppliant, and who feels their
'wrongs: 'O guard me, save me, in the needful hour! "Without thy aid thy Jason is no more. 'To thee a suppliant in distress I bend, 'To thee a stranger, one who wants a friend!
* Then, when between us seas and mountains
• rife, 1060
'Medea's name shall sound in distant skies;
* All Greece to thee shall owe her hero's fates, 'And bless Medea through her hundred Hates. 'The mother and the wife who now in vain
* Roll their fad eyes fast streaming o'er the main
* Shall stay their tear*: the mother and the wife, 'Shall bless th'.e for a sen's or husband's life!
'Fair Ariadne, sprung from Minot' bed,
'Sav'd valiant Ivt feus, and with Thefcnt Scd.
* Forsook her father, and her native plain, 1070
1 And stemm'd the tumult* os the surging main j
'Yet the stern Cre relented, and forgave
'The maid, whose only rrinic it was to sav?;
c Ev'n the just gods forgave; and now on hi,jh
1 A star she shines, and beautifies the sky:
'What blessings then lhall righteous heaven it
'cree 'For all qur heroes sav'd, and sav'd by thee? € Heaven gave thee not to kill, so soft an air; 'And cruelty sure never look'd so fair!"
He ccas'd, but left so charming on her ear lC$o His voice, that listening still she seem'd to hear; Her eyes to earth she bends with modest grace, And heaven in smiles is opep'd on her face. A look she steals; but rosy fustics spread O'er her fair cheek, and thel she hangs her head. A thousand words at once tJ speak she tries; 111 vain—but s):eaks a thousand with her eyes; Trembling the shining casket she expands, Then gives the magic virtue tn his hands; And had the power been granted to convey iG;e Her heart—had given her very heart away. For Jason beam'd in beauty's charms so bright, The maid admiring, languish'd with delight. Thus, when the rising sun appears in view, On the fair rose dissolves the radiant dew. Now on the ground both cast their bashful eyes, Both view each other now with mild surprise. The rosy smiles now dimpling on their cheeks. The fair at length in saultcring accents speaks:
"Observant thou to my advice attend, IICO "And here what succour I propose to lend. "Soon as my sire Æeta shall bestow "The dragon's teeth in Mart's field to sow, "The following night in equal stiarcs divide; "Bathe well thy limbs in some perennial tide; "Then all rctir'd, thyself in biack array, "Dig the round toss, and there a victim slay, "A female lamb; the carcase place entire "Above the sos», tb< n light the sacred pyre, "And Perseus daughter, Hecate, appease 1110 "With honey, sweetest labour of the bees; "This done, retreat, nor while the relics burn, "Let howling dog« provoke thee to return. "Nor human footsteps; lest thou render vain "The charm, and with dishonour juin thy train. "Next morn, the whole enchantment to fulfil, "This magic unguent on thy limbs distil: "Then thou with cafe wilt strong and graceful
"move, "Not like a mortal, but the gods above. "Forget not with this unguent to besmear 1110 "Thy sword, thy buckler, and tremendous spear: "No giant's fanlchions then can harm thy frame, "Nor the fell rage of bulls expiring flame. "One day, nor longer, wilt thou keep the field; n Nor thou to perils, nor to labour yield. "But mark my words; when thou with ceaseless
"Hast yok'd the bulls and plough'd the stubborn "And seest up.springing on the teeth-sown land "Of giant foes a formidable band,