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The Argonautica

Page: 51

(ll. 52-54) "Good friends, what intent, what occasion brings you here after so long? Why have ye come, not too frequent visitors before, chief among goddesses that ye are?"

(ll. 55-75) And to her Hera replied: "Thou dost mock us, but our hearts are stirred with calamity. For already on the river Phasis the son of Aeson moors his ship, he and his comrades in quest of the fleece. For all their sakes we fear terribly (for the task is nigh at hand) but most for Aeson's son. Him will I deliver, though he sail even to Hades to free Ixion below from his brazen chains, as far as strength lies in my limbs, so that Pelias may not mock at having escaped an evil doom—Pelias who left me unhonoured with sacrifice. Moreover Jason was greatly loved by me before, ever since at the mouth of Anaurus in flood, as I was making trial of men's righteousness, he met me on his return from the chase; and all the mountains and long ridged peaks were sprinkled with snow, and from them the torrents rolling down were rushing with a roar. And he took pity on me in the likeness of an old crone, and raising me on his shoulders himself bore me through the headlong tide. So he is honoured by me unceasingly; nor will Pelias pay the penalty of his outrage, unless thou wilt grant Jason his return."

(ll. 76-82) Thus she spake, and speechlessness seized Cypris. And beholding Hera supplicating her she felt awe, and then addressed her with friendly words: "Dread goddess, may no viler thing than Cypris ever be found, if I disregard thy eager desire in word or deed, whatever my weak arms can effect; and let there be no favour in return."

(ll. 83-89) She spake, and Hera again addressed her with prudence: "It is not in need of might or of strength that we have come. But just quietly bid thy boy charm Aeetes' daughter with love for Jason. For if she will aid him with her kindly counsel, easily do I think he will win the fleece of gold and return to Iolcus, for she is full of wiles."

(ll. 90-99) Thus she spake, and Cypris addressed them both: "Hera and Athena, he will obey you rather than me. For unabashed though he is, there will be some slight shame in his eyes before you; but he has no respect for me, but ever slights me in contentious mood. And, overborne by his naughtiness, I purpose to break his ill-sounding arrows and his bow in his very sight. For in his anger he has threatened that if I shall not keep my hands off him while he still masters his temper, I shall have cause to blame myself thereafter."

(ll. 100-105) So she spake, and the goddesses smiled and looked at each other. But Cypris again spoke, vexed at heart: "To others my sorrows are a jest; nor ought I to tell them to all; I know them too well myself. But now, since this pleases you both, I will make the attempt and coax him, and he will not say me nay."


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