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Descending now to ocean's secret bed,
As when along the beech, succinct for play,
Though sturdy billows strong against them strove.
Long as the vernal funs protract the light,
sol's youngest daughter, Pharthusa, leads
They pal's'd these meads by day; at day's decline
A senile isle towers o'er the Ionian tide,
Trinacria left, and numerous peri!- past, Her heaven-protected Argo moors at last, The heroes disembark'd Alcinciin hails, And ot their festive sacrifice regales. Mirth nnremitted throuijli the city runs, As though they welcorr.'d home their darling sons. 1 he godlike guests their social parr sustain, Jojgus as though ;hcy press'd Hxmciiia's plain:
But ere that distant plain delights their view, The chiefs must buckle on their arms anew. 1170 For, lo! those Colchians who adventurous stray'd Through deeps unknown, had enter'd undifmay'd The dire Cyanean rocks, here throng the coast, And wait th' arrival of the Grecian host. The forfeit maid should Argo's crew refuse, Vv'ar in each sad disastrous shape ensues. Arm'd and refolv'd they threaten instant fight, And future sleets t' assert their monarch's right. But king Alcinous interpos'd his aid, And, ere they rulh'd to tight their wrath allay'd. Arcte's knee the suppliant virgin press'd, 1181 And thus th' associate band and queen addrefs'd: 'O queen,' exdaim'd she,' lend thy timely aid 'To save from Colchian bands a suffering maid. 'With ruffian rage to bear me hence they come, 1 And to my wrathful sire conduct me home. 'Thou know'st, if one, like me, of human kind, 'How prone to err is man's unstable mind. 'Deem me no stave to lust's usurping pow'r; 'Prudence forsook me in the needful hour. 1190 1 Be witness fun, and thou, whose every rite 'Is wr.ipp'd, dire Hecate, in fable night, 'How I reluctant left my native home, 1 And with rude foreigners abhorr'd to roam. 'Fear wiug'd my flight; and, having once trans• gress'd,
'To flee I juds'd my last resource and best.
* Still have I liv'd, as with my father, chaste, 'My spotless zone fast girded to my waist.
'Oh: may my tale, fair princess, claim thy tears; 'Oh! teach thy lord compassion as he hears, lie* 'On thee may all th'immortal gods bestow 'Beauty and life, exempt from age and woe; 'Cities, that need no bold invaders dread,
* And a fair progeny to crown thy bed.'
In tears she spoke: then to each gallant chief Told in these plaintive strains her tale of grief:
'Low at your feet, ye warriors, suppliant view 'A princess doom'd to wretchedness for you. 'Yok'd were the bulls, and, desperate as they 'rose, UOff 'Crush'd by my aid were hosts of giant-foes.
* Yes, soon Hæmonia the rich prize will fee,
1 And boast of conquests which she owes tome.
* ?*'Iy country I, my parents, palace left,
'To pine through life, of all its joys bereft; 'But gave to yon, a base ungrateful train, 'To fee your country and your friends again. 'Spoil'd of my beauty's bloom by fate severe, 'In endless exile must I languish here. 'Revere your oaths; Erynnis' vengeance dread, 'Who heaps her curses on the perjur'd head: 'Dread heaven's sure wrath, if, to my fire re'stor'd, »«> 'My stiame or ruin wait his desperate word. 'No sheltering shrine, no fortress near, I fly 'To yon alone, on yonr defence rely. 1 Yet why on you? who, merciless and mute, 'Have heard my sries, nor seconded my suit; 'Unmov'd have seen me lift my suppliant hand 'To the kind princess of this foreign land, 'Elate with hope the golden fleece to gain, j ' Colchos oppes'd you, and hn king Hi Vain 5
'But fearful now the battle so renew,' 1231 1 Vt dread detachments, nor will fij;ht with few.' She said; and all who heard her suppliant moan.
Chcer'd her sad heart, and check'dthe rising groan.
Night now dispers'd the saint remains of day,
A< at the distaff toils th' industrious dame,
Wail their lost sire, and his return demand.
1 Oh! shield from Colchian foes an injur'd fair.
1 Pent in a dungeon's awful gloom she pin'd, 'DoooS'd by her savage sire obdurate brass to 'grind.' [breast, She said: soft pity touch'd the sovereign's Who thus his supplicating queen, address'd; 1290
"In me, O queen, these heroes should descry, "For the fair sufferer's lake, a firm ally; "Soon should my arms the Colchian foes remove, 11 But I revere the just decrees of Jove. "Unsafe I deem Æeta to deride, "Who sways the sceptre with a monarch's pride; "Able, though distant, if averse from peace, "To scatter discord through the realms of Greece. "Hear my propose! then; which you, 1 trust, "And all who hear it, will applaud as just : 1300 "If still a virgin's spotless name she bear, "Safe to her sire's domains conduct the fair: "But if one bed the wedded pair contain, "I will not fever Hymen's silken chain. "forbid it, Heaven! that I in wrath expose . "Her sinless offspring to insulting foes."
He said, and sunk to rest: his sage resolves Anxious and oft the wakeful queen revolves. She rose: their princess' footstep heard, arise Her female train, and each her wants supplies.
'Go,' to her page apart Arete said, 'Bid Æson's valiant son the virgin wed. 'Bid him no more Alcinous' ears assail • With long entreaties, and a well known tale. 'Himself, unafle'd, his advocate will go, "And tender these conditions to the foe: 'If still the fair a spotless maid remain,
■ Soon shall she view her father's courts again: 'But, if a matron'shonour'd name she bear,
■ He will not separate the wedded pair.' 1320 She said: her herald, eager to convey
The royal message, sped without delay;
To deck with honours due the bridal bed,
These arc the daughters of the Ægean flood,
From groves, from streams, at Juno's call they
To nuptial joy* the happy lovers led: 1360
And every chief, to guard the blissful spot, i
Aurora now her orient bcapis display'd, 1381 And piere'd the sullen night's surrounding shade.
The circling shores and new bespangled ground
True to his oath, he heard with Sx'd disdain
Soon as the Colchians law their purpose cross'i!,
Their sons emigrating explbr'd a home, 1439
On the seventh morn with gently bieatiirj;
Fropitious Jove expanded Argo's fails;
With the far-spreading spray the frnds arise:
'Have the rude tempests heaven-built Argo cast?
'Like heroes then (though Jove success deny . I
'What can »ur skill devise? the least delay 'It fatal here; the winds forbid our stay. 'How bleak and barren is the coast we tread! 'And what a desert waste is wide around us 'spread!'
He said; and, joining; in the loud lament, 1481 Aocatu* thus forbnded the event:
'What dire mishaps our gallant host befall'. 1 Thus by stern fate's decree we perish all! 'What woes await us on this desert cast, 4 If from the land awakes the furious blast! 1 For slimy seas my fight far off commands, 1 And whitening billows bursting o'er the lands. 1 And dreadfully had Argo's yawning sides, '489 1 Remote from shore, receiv'd the gushing tides, 1 Had net the surge which lifted her to hcav'n, 1 Foil on the pebbly beach the vessel driv'n. 1 But now the tide retiring quits the strand, 'And waves unfaithful skim the levell'd sand. 'Our projects baffled, and hope's cheerly dawn 1 From our expecting sight thus soon withdrawn, 1 Let other hands the pilot's art display, 1 And they who scar not danger steer the way. 1 But our joint labours Jove decrees to foil, 1 Nor will our native home reward our toil.' 15CO
He said; and all renown'd for naval skill, Close with his words, and wait th' impending ill. From every heart the vital motion fled. O'er every face a deadly paleness spread.
As when from street to street, in wild dismay, Affrighted mortals like pale spectres stray; liprcting wan, or plagues, or bursting rains, That deluge all the harvest of the plains: Or, as when statues drops of blood distil, And fancied bellowinga the temples fill; 151c The noon-day fun eclips'd involves in night TV astonifh'd world, and stars emit their light; Thus on the beach they stalk'd, a heartless clan! Like sweating statues, or like spectres wan. His feeble arm each round his comrade cast. Then funk into the sand to breathe his last, "Uttolv'd, as now the star of Hefper rose, To share the solace of united woes. S^me here, some there (elect their clay-cold bed, And round their shivering limbs their garments spread: Ijjo Refign'd to death, in midnight's sullen shade And at mid-day, here languishing they laid. Remote, Medea's fair attendants moan, [groan. Clicg rnuod their quetn, and groan return for
As when a nest, surcharg'd with callow young,
AU eight in plaintive elegies deplore.
Those nymphs, who, when jn glistering arm» ar.
ray'd, [maid*, Rush'd from the thunderer's brain the martial In needful hour their kind assistance gave, IJ41 And cleaned her infant-limbs in Triton's wave.
'Twas noon : o'er Libya's sands the god of day Darted the splendours of his fiercest ray. Full besore Jason stoodthe nymphs confesi'd. And gently from his head withdrew the vest. Sudden he starts, imprefs'd with silent dread, And from his fair protectors turns his head. They in compassion's mild address began To free from terrors vain the hopeless man : IJ50
'Why griev'st thou thusOh! bid thy sorrows * cease:
'We know thy coming's cause, the Golden Fleece. 'We know the various toils by land you bore; 'How toss'd on ocean, how distrels'd on shore, 'Terrestrial powers, for acts of friendship known, 1 We mske the shepherd's rural cares our own. 1 We, Libya's daughters and avengers, boast 'Our sway extended o'er the Libyan coast. 'Arise, nor sink beneath thy sorrow's weight;' 'But rouse thy fellows from their drooping state. 'When Amphitrite v/ith officious speed 1 Unreins from Neprune's car the fiery steed, 'Thy mother then with dureous care repay, 'Whole womb hath borne thee many a toilsome 'day.'
'Discharge this duty, and resiiil to Greece,
'Safe and triumphant with the Golden Fleece.*
They fpr.ke, and vanish'd: from his sandy bed Jason arole, and looking round he said;
1 Ye godlike powers, the desert plains who rove-, 'Ye fair, who tend the flocks, propitious prove. 'Those dark mysterious truths your tongues fore'told, IJ 71
'I go. if haply can my friends unfold. 'C'onvcn'd.njay they some prudent schemedevist, 'For in th' advice os numbers safety lies.*
He said : and, wading through the driven sand, Roiled with loud voice the sad desponding band. Thus while the lion his lost mate explores. The forests ring, earth trembles as he roars: Herdsmen and herds, o'erwhelm'd with equal fear, All mute and trembling deem destruction near. But grateful to the host was Jason's call j No fears it cherish'd, but gave hope to all. Yet with dejected looks the heroes meet. Beside the female train to each his feat He near the shore assign'd; in order due His wondrous tale relates, and cheers the pensive ctew:
'Attend, my friends: three virgin forms, whs 'claim [came.
'From heaven their race, to sooth my sorrows
'Their shoulders round were shaggy goat-skins 'cast, '1589
'Which, low descending, girt their slender waili.
< High o'er my head they stood j with gentle haod
• My vesture rai>'d,and gave this dread command:
• That I with speed my piteons bed forsake, 1 And, risen, haste my comrades to awake.
■ f hat mindful we our mother's cares repay,
• V/liufe womb sustained ui many a toilsome day, * When Amphittite with officious speed
* Unreins from Neptune's car the fiery steed. 'Long have I fought this wonder to explain,
■ And still revolving I revolve in vain. isieo 'In the bold name of heroines they boast, 'Daughters and guardians they of Lybia's coast.
* Known to theft nymphs are all the toils we bore
* On the rough ocean arid the faithless shore.
* Nor staid they long; but, sudden from my view
* Their radiant forms an ambient cloud withdrew.'
■ Now by his consort's hand re leas'd I fee 'The car of Neptune, and his horses free.
* A mother's name for I predict in vain)
* Argo may boast ; she feels a mother's pain. "Her prt-gnar.t womb a troop of heroes hears, 'And endless perils for their safety shares. 1610
* Come, let us now our boasted strength display,
■ And on *»ur shoulders bear our ship away.
* Steer we through depths of land our dangerous
'Led by the steps of this portentous horse.
* His steps reluctant press the dusty plain,
* Thither attend his slight.' Thus spoke the seer: His pleasing counsels graiify'd their ear.
This wondrous tale the tuneful nine recite, And as the mules dictate I must write. 1630 This have I heard, and this as truth proclaim, That you, O princtly peers, of deathless lame, By the joint clTurts of united hands, [finds, Twelve days and nighrs through Lybia's burning High on yi.ur shiuldcrs rsis'd the vessel's weight, All that its wemb contain'd, a mighty freight. What woes o'erlook them, and what toils befell, Ho verse can celebrate, no tongue can tell. Such brave exploits pruclaim'd their godlike line, For, as their lineage, were their deeds divine. 16.10 But when Tritonis' lake the chiefs attain, They eas'd their shoulders, and embark'd again. Poom'd to acutcr griefs they now are curs'd With all the miseries of burning thirst; Like dogs they run its fury to assuage. And at a fountain's head suppress its rage. Nor wander'd they in vain; but soon cxplor'd The sacred spot with golden apples stor'd, In Atlas' realm: the ierpent's wakeful eyes Watch'd till but yesterday the golden prize. 1650 The fair Hespcrides with kind survey Tended the serpent as they tun'd their lay. But, lo I the monster by Alcides slain, Beneath a branching pear-tree prefs'd the plain. His tail still vibrates, though his ghastly head And spire immense lie motionless and dead, Flics in thick swarms his gory sides surround. Drink his black blood, and dry the dripping wound,
Made by the darts, whose poisun'd tips detain
* Whether ye grace the splendid courts of Jove,
* Or on this humble earth auspicious move; 1673 'Whether to flowery pastures ye repair,
'And the lov'd name of shepherdesses bear; 'Illustrious nymphs, from ocean sprung, arise, 'Bless with a recent view our longing eyes. 'Bid from the thirsty foil a torrent burst, 'Or open some hard rock to slake our thirst. 'Should we again our tatter'd sails expand, 'And greet at last the dear Achaian land, 'Grateful we then these favours will repay, 'And choicest offerings on your altars lay: 'No goddess who frequents the court of Jot;, 'Shall greater honour (hare, or greater lote.' Thus Orpheus pray'd, with feeble voice zr.i sow:
The listening nymphs commiserate their woe
First tender grass they bade the foil disclose;
Then hiph anove it verdant branches rose,
Erect and strong, the spreading boughs display*!
Wide o'er the barren foil an ample shade.
A poplar's trunk fair Hespera receives,
And ill a weeping willow Ægle grieves. 1650
But Erythci-. in an elm remains:
Each in her tree her proper shape retains;
Stupendous fight! first Ægle silence broke,
And kindly thus the suppliant band bespoke:
'Hilhcr some lawless plunderer came of lite, 'Who will reverse the colour of your fate.
* Yon beast he slew for whom we sorrow no*,
* And ti re the golden apples from their bougk. 'But yesterday the desperate giant came;
'From his black eye-brows slash 'A the livid flame "A lion's shaggy skin, hesmear'd with gore, I;?
■ Wide o'er his shoulders spread the monster won 'On his stout staff his fearless step rcly'd,
■ And by-his deadly dart the serpent died. 'He like a sturdy traveller stalk'd along,
'Seeking some fount to cool his fiery tongue.
* With eager haste he-trod the dusty plain,
* And still for water look'd, but look'd in vain 'To this tall rock, hard by Titonis' lake,
« Some god conducted him his thirst to slake. 171
* Struck by his heel its deep foundation shook,
* And from the yawning clefts a torrent btoVc.
* Prone on the ground the limpid streams he fwd 'And, groveling like a beast, his belly fills.'
Klated with the tale, they speed their course. To find as Ægle told, the fountain's source.
As when assembled ants with joint essay Strive in some chink their lifted grain to lay: Or as when flies some liquid sweet explore, 1 hey haiig in clusters round the honied store; Like them the Mynians: such their number* see And such their haste to gather round the ftreac