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The Argonautica

Page: 20

(ll. 888-898) "Go, and may heaven bring thee back again with thy comrades unharmed, bearing to the king the golden fleece, even as thou wilt and thy heart desireth; and this island and my father's sceptre will be awaiting thee, if on thy return hereafter thou shouldst choose to come hither again; and easily couldst thou gather a countless host of men from other cities. But thou wilt not have this desire, nor do I myself forbode that so it will be. Still remember Hypsipyle when thou art far away and when thou hast returned; and leave me some word of bidding, which I will gladly accomplish, if haply heaven shall grant me to be a mother."

(ll. 899-909) And Aeson's son in admiration thus replied: "Hypsipyle, so may all these things prove propitious by the favour of the blessed gods. But do thou hold a nobler thought of me, since by the grace of Pelias it is enough for me to dwell in my native land; may the gods only release me from my toils. But if it is not my destiny to sail afar and return to the land of Hellas, and if thou shouldst bear a male child, send him when grown up to Pelasgian Iolcus, to heal the grief of my father and mother if so be that he find them still living, in order that, far away from the king, they may be cared for by their own hearth in their home."

(ll. 910-921) He spake, and mounted the ship first of all; and so the rest of the chiefs followed, and, sitting in order, seized the oars; and Argus loosed for them the hawsers from under the sea-beaten rock. Whereupon they mightily smote the water with their long oars, and in the evening by the injunctions of Orpheus they touched at the island of Electra, 1105 daughter of Atlas, in order that by gentle initiation they might learn the rites that may not be uttered, and so with greater safety sail over the chilling sea. Of these I will make no further mention; but I bid farewell to the island itself and the indwelling deities, to whom belong those mysteries, which it is not lawful for me to sing.

(ll. 922-935) Thence did they row with eagerness over the depths of the black Sea, having on the one side the land of the Thracians, on the other Imbros on the south; and as the sun was just setting they reached the foreland of the Chersonesus. There a strong south wind blew for them; and raising the sails to the breeze they entered the swift stream of the maiden daughter of Athamas; and at dawn the sea to the north was left behind and at night they were coasting inside the Rhoeteian shore, with the land of Ida on their right. And leaving Dardania they directed their course to Abydus, and after it they sailed past Percote and the sandy beach of Abarnis and divine Pityeia. And in that night, as the ship sped on by sail and oar, they passed right through the Hellespont dark-gleaming with eddies.


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