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The Argonautica

Page: 19

(ll. 834-835) She spoke, glozing over the murder that had been wrought upon the men; and Jason addressed her in answer:

(ll. 836-841) "Hypsipyle, very dear to our hearts is the help we shall meet with, which thou grantest to us who need thee. And I will return again to the city when I have told everything in order due. But let the sovereignty of the island be thine; it is not in scorn I yield it up, but grievous trials urge me on."

(ll. 842-852) He spake, and touched her right hand; and quickly he turned to go back: and round him the young maids on every side danced in countless numbers in their joy till he passed through the gates. And then they came to the shore in smooth-running wains, bearing with them many gifts, when now he had related from beginning to end the speech which Hypsipyle had spoken when she summoned them; and the maids readily led the men back to their homes for entertainment. For Cypris stirred in them a sweet desire, for the sake of Hephaestus of many counsels, in order that Lemnos might be again inhabited by men and not be ruined.

(ll. 853-864) Thereupon Aeson's son started to go to the royal home of Hypsipyle; and the rest went each his way as chance took them, all but Heracles; for he of his own will was left behind by the ship and a few chosen comrades with him. And straightway the city rejoiced with dances and banquets, being filled with the steam of sacrifice; and above all the immortals they propitiated with songs and sacrifices the illustrious son of Hera and Cypris herself. And the sailing was ever delayed from one day to another; and long would they have lingered there, had not Heracles, gathering together his comrades apart from the women, thus addressed them with reproachful words:

(ll. 865-874) "Wretched men, does the murder of kindred keep us from our native land? Or is it in want of marriage that we have come hither from thence, in scorn of our countrywomen? Does it please us to dwell here and plough the rich soil of Lemnos? No fair renown shall we win by thus tarrying so long with stranger women; nor will some god seize and give us at our prayer a fleece that moves of itself. Let us then return each to his own; but him leave ye to rest all day long in the embrace of Hypsipyle until he has peopled Lemnos with men-children, and so there come to him great glory."

(ll. 875-887) Thus did he chide the band; but no one dared to meet his eye or to utter a word in answer. But just as they were in the assembly they made ready their departure in all haste, and the women came running towards them, when they knew their intent. And as when bees hum round fair lilies pouring forth from their hive in the rock, and all around the dewy meadow rejoices, and they gather the sweet fruit, flitting from one to another; even so the women eagerly poured forth clustering round the men with loud lament, and greeted each one with hands and voice, praying the blessed gods to grant him a safe return. And so Hypsipyle too prayed, seizing the hands of Aeson's son, and her tears flowed for the loss of her lover:


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