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The Argonautica

Page: 44

(ll. 930-945) And straightway they went aboard as the wind blew strong; and they drew the sail down, and made it taut to both sheets; then Argo was borne over the sea swiftly, even as a hawk soaring high through the air commits to the breeze its outspread wings and is borne on swiftly, nor swerves in its flight, poising in the clear sky with quiet pinions. And lo, they passed by the stream of Parthenius as it flows into the sea, a most gentle river, where the maid, daughter of Leto, when she mounts to heaven after the chase, cools her limbs in its much-desired waters. Then they sped onward in the night without ceasing, and passed Sesamus and lofty Erythini, Crobialus, Cromna and woody Cytorus. Next they swept round Carambis at the rising of the sun, and plied the oars past long Aegialus, all day and on through the night.

(ll. 946-965) And straightway they landed on the Assyrian shore where Zeus himself gave a home to Sinope, daughter of Asopus, and granted her virginity, beguiled by his own promises. For he longed for her love, and he promised to grant her whatever her hearts desire might be. And she in her craftiness asked of him virginity. And in like manner she deceived Apollo too who longed to wed her, and besides them the river Halys, and no man ever subdued her in love's embrace. And there the sons of noble Deimachus of Tricca were still dwelling, Deileon, Autolycus and Phlogius, since the day when they wandered far away from Heracles; and they, when they marked the array of chieftains, went to meet them and declared in truth who they were; and they wished to remain there no longer, but as soon as Argestes 1206 blew went on ship-board. And so with them, borne along by the swift breeze, the heroes left behind the river Halys, and left behind his that flows hard by, and the delta-land of Assyria; and on the same day they rounded the distant headland of the Amazons that guards their harbour.

(ll. 966-1001) Here once when Melanippe, daughter of Ares, had, gone forth, the hero Heracles caught her by ambuscade and Hippolyte gave him her glistening girdle as her sister's ransom, and he sent away his captive unharmed. In the bay of this headland, at the outfall of Thermodon, they ran ashore, for the sea was rough for their voyage. No river is like this, and none sends forth from itself such mighty streams over the land. If a man should count every one he would lack but four of a hundred, but the real spring is only one. This flows down to the plain from lofty mountains, which, men say, are called the Amazonian mountains. Thence it spreads inland over a hilly country straight forward; wherefrom its streams go winding on, and they roll on, this way and that ever more, wherever best they can reach the lower ground, one at a distance and another near at hand; and many streams are swallowed up in the sand and are without a name; but, mingled with a few, the main stream openly bursts with its arching crest of foam into the inhospitable Pontus. And they would have tarried there and have closed in battle with the Amazons, and would have fought not without bloodshed for the Amazons were not gentle foes and regarded not justice, those dwellers on the Doeantian plain; but grievous insolence and the works of Ares were all their care; for by race they were the daughters of Ares and the nymph Harmonia, who bare to Ares war-loving maids, wedded to him in the glens of the Acmonian wood had not the breezes of Argestes come again from Zeus; and with the wind they left the rounded beach, where the Themiscyreian Amazons were arming for war. For they dwelt not gathered together in one city, but scattered over the land, parted into three tribes. In one part dwelt the Themiscyreians, over whom at that time Hippolyte reigned, in another the Lycastians, and in another the dart-throwing Chadesians. And the next day they sped on and at nightfall they reached the land of the Chalybes.


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