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The Argonautica

Page: 98

(ll. 1554-1561) "Take it, friends, for no stranger's gift of great worth have I here by me now to place in the hands of those who beseech me. But if ye are searching for a passage through this sea, as often is the need of men passing through a strange land, I will declare it. For my sire Poseidon has made me to be well versed in this sea. And I rule the shore if haply in your distant land you have ever heard of Eurypylus, born in Libya, the home of wild beasts."

(ll. 1562-1563) Thus he spake, and readily Euphemus held out his hands towards the clod, and thus addressed him in reply:

(ll. 1564-1570) "If haply, hero, thou knowest aught of Apis 1412 and the sea of Minos, tell us truly, who ask it of you. For not of our will have we come hither, but by the stress of heavy storms have we touched the borders of this land, and have borne our ship aloft on our shoulders to the waters of this lake over the mainland, grievously burdened; and we know not where a passage shows itself for our course to the land of Pelops."

(ll. 1571-1585) So he spake; and Triton stretched out his hand and showed afar the sea and the lake's deep mouth, and then addressed them: "That is the outlet to the sea, where the deep water lies unmoved and dark; on each side roll white breakers with shining crests; and the way between for your passage out is narrow. And that sea stretches away in mist to the divine land of Pelops beyond Crete; but hold to the right, when ye have entered the swell of the sea from the lake, and steer your course hugging the land, as long as it trends to the north; but when the coast bends, falling away in the other direction, then your course is safely laid for you if ye go straight forward from the projecting cape. But go in joy, and as for labour let there be no grieving that limbs in youthful vigour should still toil."

(ll. 1586-1596) He spake with kindly counsel; and they at once went aboard, intent to come forth from the lake by the use of oars. And eagerly they sped on; meanwhile Triton took up the mighty tripod, and they saw him enter the lake; but thereafter did no one mark how he vanished so near them along with the tripod. But their hearts were cheered, for that one of the blessed had met them in friendly guise. And they bade Aeson's son offer to him the choicest of the sheep and when he had slain it chant the hymn of praise. And straightway he chose in haste and raising the victim slew it over the stern, and prayed with these words:

(ll. 1597-1600) "Thou god, who hast manifested thyself on the borders of this land, whether the daughters born of the sea call thee Triton, the great sea-marvel, or Phoreys, or Nereus, be gracious, and grant the return home dear to our hearts."


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