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(2.209-239) "Listen, bravest of all the Hellenes, if it be truly ye, whom by a king's ruthless command Jason is leading on the ship Argo in quest of the fleece. It is ye truly. Even yet my soul by its divination knows everything. Thanks I render to thee, O king, son of Leto, plunged in bitter affliction though I be. I beseech you by Zeus the god of suppliants, the sternest foe to sinful men, and for the sake of Phoebus and Hera herself, under whose especial care ye have come hither, help me, save an ill-fated man from misery, and depart not uncaring and leaving me thus as ye see. For not only has the Fury set her foot on my eyes and I drag on to the end a weary old age; but besides my other woes a woe hangs over me the bitterest of all. The Harpies, swooping down from some unseen den of destruction, ever snatch the food from my mouth. And I have no device to aid me. But it were easier, when I long for a meal, to escape my own thoughts than them, so swiftly do they fly through the air. But if haply they do leave me a morsel of food it reeks of decay and the stench is unendurable, nor could any mortal bear to draw near even for a moment, no, not if his heart were wrought of adamant. But necessity, bitter and insatiate, compels me to abide and abiding to put food in my cursed belly. These pests, the oracle declares, the sons of Boreas shall restrain. And no strangers are they that shall ward them off if indeed I am Phineus who was once renowned among men for wealth and the gift of prophecy, and if I am the son of my father Agenor; and, when I ruled among the Thracians, by my bridal gifts I brought home their sister Cleopatra to be my wife."

209     "Κλῦτε, Πανελλήνων προφερέστατοι, εἰ ἐτεὸν δὴ
210 οἵδ' ὑμεῖς, οὓς δή κρυερῇ βασιλῆος ἐφετμῇ
211 Ἁργῴης ἐπὶ νηὸς ἄγει μετὰ κῶας Ἰήσων.
212 ὑμεῖς ἀτρεκέως. ἔτι μοι νόος οἶδεν ἕκαστα
213 ᾗσι θεοπροπίῃσι. χάριν νύ τοι, ὦ ἄνα Λητοῦς
214 υἱέ, καὶ ἀργαλέοισιν ἀνάπτομαι ἐν καμάτοισιν.
215 Ἱκεσίου πρὸς Ζηνός, ὅτις ῥίγιστος ἀλιτροῖς
216 ἀνδράσι, Φοίβου τ' ἀμφὶ καὶ αὐτῆς εἵνεκεν Ἥρης
217 λίσσομαι, ᾗ περίαλλα θεῶν μέμβλεσθε κιόντες,
218 χραίσμετέ μοι, ῥύσασθε δυσάμμορον ἀνέρα λύμης,
219 μηδέ μ' ἀκηδείῃσιν ἀφορμήθητε λιπόντες
220 αὔτως. οὐ γὰρ μοῦνον ἐπ' ὀφθαλμοῖσιν Ἐρινὺς
221 λὰξ ἐπέβη, καὶ γῆρας ἀμήρυτον ἐς τέλος ἕλκω:
222 πρὸς δ' ἔτι πικρότατον κρέμαται κακὸν ἄλλο κακοῖσιν.
223 Ἅρπυιαι στόματός μοι ἀφαρπάζουσιν ἐδωδὴν
224 ἔκποθεν ἀφράστοιο καταΐσσουσαι ὄλεθροι.
225 ἴσχω δ' οὔτινα μῆτιν ἐπίρροθον. ἀλλά κε ῥεῖα
226 αὐτὸς ἑὸν λελάθοιμι νόον δόρποιο μεμηλώς,
227 ἢ κείνας: ὧδ' αἶψα διηέριαι ποτέονται.
228 τυτθὸν δ' ἢν ἄρα δήποτ' ἐδητύος ἄμμι λίπωσιν,
229 πνεῖ τόδε μυδαλέον τε καὶ οὐ τλητὸν μένος ὀδμῆς:
230 οὔ κέ τις οὐδὲ μίνυνθα βροτῶν ἄνσχοιτο πελάσσας,
231 οὐδ' εἴ οἱ ἀδάμαντος ἐληλάμενον κέαρ εἴη.
232 ἀλλά με πικρὴ δῆτα καὶ ἄατος ἴσχει ἀνάγκη
233 μίμνειν καὶ μίμνοντα κακῇ ἐνὶ γαστέρι θέσθαι.
234 τὰς μὲν θέσφατόν ἐστιν ἐρητῦσαι Βορέαο
235 υἱέας. οὐδ' ὀθνεῖοι ἀλαλκήσουσιν ἐόντες,
236 εἰ δὴ ἐγὼν ὁ πρίν ποτ' ἐπικλυτὸς ἀνδράσι Φινεὺς
237 ὄλβῳ μαντοσύνῃ τε, πατὴρ δέ με γείνατ' Ἀγήνωρ:
238 τῶν δὲ κασιγνήτην, ὅτ' ἐνὶ Θρῄκεσσιν ἄνασσον,
239 Κλειοπάτρην ἕδνοισιν ἐμὸν δόμον ἦγον ἄκοιτιν."

(2.240-243) So spake Agenor's son; and deep sorrow seized each of the heroes, and especially the two sons of Boreas. And brushing away a tear they drew nigh, and Zetes spake as follows, taking in his own the hand of the grief-worn sire:

240     Ἴσκεν Ἀγηνορίδης: ἀδινὸν δ' ἕλε κῆδος ἕκαστον
241 ἡρώων, πέρι δ' αὖτε δύω υἷας Βορέαο.
242 δάκρυ δ' ὀμορξαμένω σχεδὸν ἤλυθον, ὧδέ τ' ἔειπεν
243 Ζήτης, ἀσχαλόωντος ἑλὼν χερὶ χεῖρα γέροντος:

(2.244-253) "Unhappy one, none other of men is more wretched than thou, methinks. Why upon thee is laid the burden of so many sorrows? Hast thou with baneful folly sinned against the gods through thy skill in prophecy? For this are they greatly wroth with thee? Yet our spirit is dismayed within us for all our desire to aid thee, if indeed the god has granted this privilege to us two. For plain to discern to men of earth are the reproofs of the immortals. And we will never check the Harpies when they come, for all our desire, until thou hast sworn that for this we shall not lose the favour of heaven."

244     "̂Ἀ δείλ', οὔτινά φημι σέθεν σμυγερώτερον ἄλλον
245 ἔμμεναι ἀνθρώπων. τί νύ τοι τόσα κήδε' ἀνῆπται;
246 ἦ ῥα θεοὺς ὀλοῇσι παρήλιτες ἀφραδίῃσιν
247 μαντοσύνας δεδαώς; τῶ τοι μέγα μηνιόωσιν;
248 ἄμμι γε μὴν νόος ἔνδον ἀτύζεται ἱεμένοισιν
249 χραισμεῖν, εἰ δὴ πρόχνυ γέρας τόδε πάρθετο δαίμων
250 νῶιν. ἀρίζηλοι γὰρ ἐπιχθονίοισιν ἐνιπαὶ
251 ἀθανάτων. οὐδ' ἂν πρὶν ἐρητύσαιμεν ἰούσας
252 Ἁρπυίας, μάλα περ λελιημένοι, ἔστ' ἂν ὀμόσσῃς,
253 μὴ μὲν τοῖό γ' ἕκητι θεοῖς ἀπὸ θυμοῦ ἔσεσθαι."

(2.254-255) Thus he spake; and towards him the aged sire opened his sightless eyes, and lifted them up and replied with these words:

254     Ὧς φάτο: τοῦ δ' ἰθὺς κενεὰς ὁ γεραιὸς ἀνέσχεν
255 γλήνας ἀμπετάσας, καὶ ἀμείψατο τοῖσδ' ἐπέεσσιν:

(2.256-261) "Be silent, store not up such thoughts in thy heart, my child. Let the son of Leto be my witness, he who of his gracious will taught me the lore of prophecy, and be witness the ill-starred doom which possesses me and this dark cloud upon my eyes, and the gods of the underworld -- and may their curse be upon me if I die perjured thus -- no wrath from heaven will fall upon you two for your help to me."

256     "Σίγα: μή μοι ταῦτα νόῳ ἔνι βάλλεο, τέκνον.
257 ἴστω Λητοῦς υἱός, ὅ με πρόφρων ἐδίδαξεν
258 μαντοσύνας: ἴστω δὲ δυσώνυμος, ἥ μ' ἔλαχεν, κὴρ
259 καὶ τόδ' ἐπ' ὀφθαλμῶν ἀλαὸν νέφος, οἵ θ' ὑπένερθεν
260 δαίμονες, οἳ μηδ' ὧδε θανόντι περ εὐμενέοιεν,
261 ὡς οὔ τις θεόθεν χόλος ἔσσεται εἵνεκ' ἀρωγῆς."

(2.262-287) Then were those two eager to help him because of the oath. And quickly the younger heroes prepared a feast for the aged man, a last prey for the Harpies; and both stood near him, to smite with the sword those pests when they swooped down. Scarcely had the aged man touched the food when they forthwith, like bitter blasts or flashes of lightning, suddenly darted from the clouds, and swooped down with a yell, fiercely craving for food; and the heroes beheld them and shouted in the midst of their onrush; but they at the cry devoured everything and sped away over the sea after; and an intolerable stench remained. And behind them the two sons of Boreas raising their swords rushed in pursuit. For Zeus imparted to them tireless strength; but without Zeus they could not have followed, for the Harpies used ever to outstrip the blasts of the west wind when they came to Phineus and when they left him. And as when, upon the mountain- side, hounds, cunning in the chase, run in the track of horned goats or deer, and as they strain a little behind gnash their teeth upon the edge of their jaws in vain; so Zetes and Calais rushing very near just grazed the Harpies in vain with their finger-tips. And assuredly they would have torn them to pieces, despite heaven's will, when they had overtaken them far off at the Floating Islands, had not swift Iris seen them and leapt down from the sky from heaven above, and cheeked them with these words:

262     Τὼ μὲν ἔπειθ' ὅρκοισιν ἀλαλκέμεναι μενέαινον.
263 αἶψα δὲ κουρότεροι πεπονήατο δαῖτα γέροντι,
264 λοίσθιον Ἁρπυίῃσιν ἑλώριον: ἐγγύθι δ' ἄμφω
265 στῆσαν, ἵνα ξιφέεσσιν ἐπεσσυμένας ἐλάσειαν.
266 καὶ δὴ τὰ πρώτισθ' ὁ γέρων ἔψαυεν ἐδωδῆς:
267 αἱ δ' ἄφαρ ἠύτ' ἄελλαι ἀδευκέες, ἢ στεροπαὶ ὥς,
268 ἀπρόφατοι νεφέων ἐξάλμεναι ἐσσεύοντο
269 κλαγγῇ μαιμώωσαι ἐδητύος: οἱ δ' ἐσιδόντες
270 ἥρωες μεσσηγὺς ἀνίαχον: αἱ δ' ἅμ' ἀυτῇ
271 πάντα καταβρόξασαι ὑπὲρ πόντοιο φέροντο
272 τῆλε παρέξ: ὀδμὴ δὲ δυσάσχετος αὖθι λέλειπτο.
273 τάων δ' αὖ κατόπισθε δύω υἷες Βορέαο
274 φάσγαν' ἐπισχόμενοι ὀπίσω θέον. ἐν γὰρ ἕηκεν
275 Ζεὺς μένος ἀκάματόν σφιν: ἀτὰρ Διὸς οὔ κεν ἑπέσθην
276 νόσφιν, ἐπεὶ ζεφύροιο παραΐσσεσκον ἀέλλας
277 αἰέν. ὅτ' ἐς Φινῆα καὶ ἐκ Φινῆος ἴοιεν.
278 ὡς δ' ὅτ' ἐνὶ κνημοῖσι κύνες δεδαημένοι ἄγρη;
279 ἢ αἶγας κεραοὺς ἠὲ πρόκας ἰχνεύοντες
280 θείωσιν, τυτθὸν δὲ τιταινόμενοι μετόπισθεν
281 ἄκρῃς ἐν γενύεσσι μάτην ἀράβησαν ὀδόντας:
282 ὧς Ζήτης Κάλαΐς τε μάλα σχεδὸν ἀίσσοντες
283 τάων ἀκροτάτῃσιν ἐπέχραον ἤλιθα χερσίν.
284 καί νύ κε δή σφ' ἀέκητι θεῶν διεδηλήσαντο
285 πολλὸν ἑκὰς νήσοισιν ἔπι Πλωτῇσι κιχόντες,
286 εἰ μὴ ἄρ' ὠκέα ̂Ἰρις ἴδεν, κατὰ δ' αἰθέρος ἆλτο
287 οὐρανόθεν, καὶ τοῖα παραιφαμένη κατέρυκεν:

(2.288-290) "It is not lawful, O sons of Boreas, to strike with your swords the Harpies, the hounds of mighty Zeus; but I myself will give you a pledge, that hereafter they shall not draw near to Phineus."

288     "Οὐ θέμις, ὦ υἱεῖς Βορέω, ξιφέεσσιν ἐλάσσαι
289 Ἁρπυίας, μεγάλοιο Διὸς κύνας: ὅρκια δ' αὐτὴ
290 δώσω ἐγών, ὡς οὔ οἱ ἔτι χρίμψουσιν ἰοῦσαι."

(2.291-300) With these words she took an oath by the waters of Styx, which to all the gods is most dread and most awful, that the Harpies would never thereafter again approach the home of Phineus, son of Agenor, for so it was fated. And the heroes yielding to the oath, turned back their flight to the ship. And on account of this men call them the Islands of Turning though aforetime they called them the Floating Islands. And the Harpies and Iris parted. They entered their den in Minoan Crete; but she sped up to Olympus, soaring aloft on her swift wings.

291     Ὧς φαμένη λοιβὴν Στυγὸς ὤμοσεν, ἥ τε θεοῖσιν
292 ῥιγίστη πάντεσσιν ὀπιδνοτάτη τε τέτυκται,
293 μὴ μὲν Ἀγηνορίδαο δόμοις ἔτι τάσδε πελάσσαι
294 εἰσαῦτις Φινῆος, ἐπεὶ καὶ μόρσιμον ἦεν.
295 οἱ δ' ὅρκῳ εἴξαντες ὑπέστρεφον ἂψ ἐπὶ νῆα
296 σώεσθαι. Στροφάδας δὲ μετακλείουσ' ἄνθρωποι
297 νήσους τοῖό γ' ἕκητι, πάρος Πλωτὰς καλέοντες.
298 Ἄρπυιαί τ' ̂Ἰρίς τε διέτμαγεν. αἱ μὲν ἔδυσαν
299 κευθμῶνα Κρήτης Μινωίδος: ἡ δ' ἀνόρουσεν
300 Οὔλυμπόνδε, θοῇσι μεταχρονίη πτερύγεσσιν.

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