<<<
>>>

The Argonautica

Page: 96

(ll. 1450-1457) Thus she spake; and they gladly with joyful steps ran to the spot where Aegle had pointed out to them the spring, until they reached it. And as when earth-burrowing ants gather in swarms round a narrow cleft, or when flies lighting upon a tiny drop of sweet honey cluster round with insatiate eagerness; so at that time, huddled together, the Minyae thronged about the spring from the rock. And thus with wet lips one cried to another in his delight:

(ll. 1458-1460) "Strange! In very truth Heracles, though far away, has saved his comrades, fordone with thirst. Would that we might find him on his way as we pass through the mainland!"

(ll. 1461-1484) So they spake, and those who were ready for this work answered, and they separated this way and that, each starting to search. For by the night winds the footsteps had been effaced where the sand was stirred. The two sons of Boreas started up, trusting in their wings; and Euphemus, relying on his swift feet, and Lynceus to cast far his piercing eyes; and with them darted off Canthus, the fifth. He was urged on by the doom of the gods and his own courage, that he might learn for certain from Heracles where he had left Polyphemus, son of Eilatus; for he was minded to question him on every point concerning his comrade. But that hero had founded a glorious city among the Mysians, and, yearning for his home-return, had passed far over the mainland in search of Argo; and in time he reached the land of the Chalybes, who dwell near the sea; there it was that his fate subdued him. And to him a monument stands under a tall poplar, just facing the sea. But that day Lynceus thought he saw Heracles all alone, far off, over measureless land, as a man at the month's beginning sees, or thinks he sees, the moon through a bank of cloud. And he returned and told his comrades that no other searcher would find Heracles on his way, and they also came back, and swift-footed Euphemus and the twin sons of Thracian Boreas, after a vain toil.

(ll. 1485-1501) But thee, Canthus, the fates of death seized in Libya. On pasturing flocks didst thou light; and there followed a shepherd who, in defence of his own sheep, while thou weft leading them off 1411 to thy comrades in their need, slew thee by the cast of a stone; for he was no weakling, Caphaurus, the grandson of Lycoreian Phoebus and the chaste maiden Acacallis, whom once Minos drove from home to dwell in Libya, his own daughter, when she was bearing the gods' heavy load; and she bare to Phoebus a glorious son, whom they call Amphithemis and Garamas. And Amphithemis wedded a Tritonian nymph; and she bare to him Nasamon and strong Caphaurus, who on that day in defending his sheep slew Canthus. But he escaped not the chieftains' avenging hands, when they learned the deed he had done. And the Minyae, when they knew it, afterwards took up the corpse and buried it in the earth, mourning; and the sheep they took with them.


<<<
>>>