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The Homeric Hymns A New Prose translation and Essays, Literary and Mythological

Page: 31

[Of the crew, whosoever sought in heart to comprehend what he was . . . On all sides he kept swaying to and fro, and shaking the timbers of the galley.] But all they sat silent and in fear aboard the ship, nor loosed the sheets, nor the sail of the black-prowed galley; nay, even as they had first set the sails so they voyaged onward, the strong p. 126south-wind speeding on the vessel from behind. First they rounded Malea, and passed the Laconian land and came to Helos, a citadel by the sea, and Tænarus, the land of Helios, that is the joy of mortals, where ever feed the deep-fleeced flocks of Prince Helios, and there hath he his glad demesne. There the crew thought to stay the galley, and land and consider of the marvel, and see whether that strange thing will abide on the deck of the hollow ship or leap again into the swell of the fishes’ home. But the well-wrought ship did not obey the rudder, but kept ever on her way beyond rich Peloponnesus, Prince Apollo lightly guiding it by the gale. So accomplishing her course she came to Arene, and pleasant Arguphea, and Thryon, the ford of Alpheius, and well-builded Aepu, and sandy Pylos, and the Pylian men, and ran by Crounoi, and Chalcis, and Dyme, and holy Elis, where the Epeians bear sway. Then rejoicing in the breeze of Zeus, she was making for Pheræ, when to them out of the clouds showed p. 127forth the steep ridge of Ithaca, and Dulichium, and Same, and wooded Zacynthus. Anon when she had passed beyond all Peloponnesus, there straightway, off Crisa, appeared the wide sound, that bounds rich Peloponnesus. Then came on the west wind, clear and strong, by the counsel of Zeus, blowing hard out of heaven, that the running ship might swiftest accomplish her course over the salt water of the sea.

Backward then they sailed towards the Dawn and the sun, and the Prince was their guide, Apollo, son of Zeus. Then came they to far-seen Crisa, the land of vines, into the haven, while the sea-faring ship beached herself on the shingle. Then from the ship leaped the Prince, far-darting Apollo, like a star at high noon, while the gledes of fire flew from him, and the splendour flashed to the heavens. Into his inmost Holy Place he went through the precious tripods, and in the midst he kindled a flame showering forth his shafts, and the splendour filled all Crisa, {127} and the p. 128wives of the Crisæans, and their fair-girdled daughters raised a wail at the rushing flight of Phœbus, for great fear fell upon all. Thence again to the galley he set forth and flew, fleet as a thought, in shape a man lusty and strong, in his first youth, his locks swathing his wide shoulders. Anon he spake to the seamen winged words:


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