<<<
>>>

The Argonautica

Page: 49

(ll. 1231-1241) And at nightfall they came to the island of Philyra, where Cronos, son of Uranus, what time in Olympus he reigned over the Titans, and Zeus was yet being nurtured in a Cretan cave by the Curetes of Ida, lay beside Philyra, when he had deceived Rhea; and the goddess found them in the midst of their dalliance; and Cronos leapt up from the couch with a rush in the form of a steed with flowing mane, but Ocean's daughter, Philyra, in shame left the spot and those haunts, and came to the long Pelasgian ridges, where by her union with the transfigured deity she brought forth huge Cheiron, half like a horse, half like a god.

(ll. 1242-1261) Thence they sailed on, past the Macrones and the far-stretching land of the Becheiri and the overweening Sapeires, and after them the Byzeres; for ever forward they clave their way, quickly borne by the gentle breeze. And lo, as they sped on, a deep gulf of the sea was opened, and lo, the steep crags of the Caucasian mountains rose up, where, with his limbs bound upon the hard rocks by galling fetters of bronze, Prometheus fed with his liver an eagle that ever rushed back to its prey. High above the ship at even they saw it flying with a loud whirr, near the clouds; and yet it shook all the sails with the fanning of those huge wings. For it had not the form of a bird of the air but kept poising its long wing-feathers like polished oars. And not long after they heard the bitter cry of Prometheus as his liver was being torn away; and the air rang with his screams until they marked the ravening eagle rushing back from the mountain on the self-same track. And at night, by the skill of Argus, they reached broad-flowing Phasis, and the utmost bourne of the sea.

(ll. 1262-1276) And straightway they let down the sails and the yard-arm and stowed them inside the hollow mast-crutch, and at once they lowered the mast itself till it lay along; and quickly with oars they entered the mighty stream of the river; and round the prow the water surged as it gave them way. And on their left hand they had lofty Caucasus and the Cytaean city of Aea, and on the other side the plain of Ares and the sacred grove of that god, where the serpent was keeping watch and ward over the fleece as it hung on the leafy branches of an oak. And Aeson's son himself from a golden goblet poured into the river libations of honey and pure wine to Earth and to the gods of the country, and to the souls of dead heroes; and he besought them of their grace to give kindly aid, and to welcome their ship's hawsers with favourable omen. And straightway Ancaeus spake these words:

(ll. 1277-1280) "We have reached the Colchian land and the stream of Phasis; and it is time for us to take counsel whether we shall make trial of Aeetes with soft words, or an attempt of another kind shall be fitting."


<<<
>>>