(3.609-615) Meantime Argus, going to Aeetes' palace, with manifold pleading besought his mother to pray Medea's aid; and Chalciope herself already had the same thoughts, but fear checked her soul lest haply either fate should withstand and she should entreat her in vain, all distraught as she would be at her father's deadly wrath, or, if Medea yielded to her prayers, her deeds should be laid bare and open to view.
609 Τόφρα δὲ μητέρ' ἑήν, μετιὼν δόμον Αἰήταο,
610 Ἄργος παντοίοισι παρηγορέεσκ' ἐπέεσσιν,
611 Μήδειαν λίσσεσθαι ἀμυνέμεν: ἡ δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ
612 πρόσθεν μητιάασκε: δέος δέ μιν ἴσχανε θυμόν,
613 μή πως ἠὲ παρ' αἶσαν ἐτώσια μειλίξαιτο
614 πατρὸς ἀτυζομένην ὀλοὸν χόλον, ἠὲ λιτῇσιν
615 ἑσπομένης ἀρίδηλα καὶ ἀμφαδὰ ἔργα πέλοιτο.
(3.616-635) Now a deep slumber had relieved the maiden from her love-pains as she lay upon her couch. But straightway fearful dreams, deceitful, such as trouble one in grief, assailed her. And she thought that the stranger had taken on him the contest, not because he longed to win the ram's fleece, and that he had not come on that account to Aeetes' city, but to lead her away, his wedded wife, to his own home; and she dreamed that herself contended with the oxen and wrought the task with exceeding ease; and that her own parents set at naught their promise, for it was not the maiden they had challenged to yoke the oxen but the stranger himself; from that arose a contention of doubtful issue between her father and the strangers; and both laid the decision upon her, to be as she should direct in her mind. But she suddenly, neglecting her parents, chose the stranger. And measureless anguish seized them and they shouted out in their wrath; and with the cry sleep released its hold upon her. Quivering with fear she started up, and stared round the walls of her chamber, and with difficulty did she gather her spirit within her as before, and lifted her voice aloud:
616 Κούρην δ' ἐξ ἀχέων ἀδινὸς κατελώφεεν ὕπνος
617 λέκτρῳ ἀνακλινθεῖσαν. ἄφαρ δέ μιν ἠπεροπῆες,
618 οἷά τ' ἀκηχεμένην, ὀλοοὶ ἐρέθεσκον ὄνειροι.
619 τὸν ξεῖνον δ' ἐδόκησεν ὑφεστάμεναι τὸν ἄεθλον,
620 οὔτι μάλ' ὁρμαίνοντα δέρος κριοῖο κομίσσαι,
621 οὐδέ τι τοῖο ἕκητι μετὰ πτόλιν Αἰήταο
622 ἐλθέμεν, ὄφρα δέ μιν σφέτερον δόμον εἰσαγάγοιτο
623 κουριδίην παράκοιτιν: ὀίετο δ' ἀμφὶ βόεσσιν
624 αὐτὴ ἀεθλεύουσα μάλ' εὐμαρέως πονέεσθαι:
625 σφωιτέρους δὲ τοκῆας ὑποσχεσίης ἀθερίζειν,
626 οὕνεκεν οὐ κούρῃ ζεῦξαι βόας, ἀλλά οἱ αὐτῷ
627 προύθεσαν: ἐκ δ' ἄρα τοῦ νεῖκος πέλεν ἀμφήριστον
628 πατρί τε καὶ ξείνοις: αὐτῇ δ' ἐπιέτρεπον ἄμφω
629 τὼς ἔμεν, ὥς κεν ἑῇσι μετὰ φρεσὶν ἰθύσειεν.
630 ἡ δ' ἄφνω τὸν ξεῖνον, ἀφειδήσασα τοκήων,
631 εἵλετο: τοὺς δ' ἀμέγαρτον ἄχος λάβεν, ἐκ δ' ἐβόησαν
632 χωόμενοι: τὴν δ' ὕπνος ἅμα κλαγγῇ μεθέηκεν.
633 παλλομένη δ' ἀνόρουσε φόβῳ, περί τ' ἀμφί τε τοίχους
634 πάπτηνεν θαλάμοιο: μόλις δ' ἐσαγείρατο θυμὸν
635 ὡς πάρος ἐν στέρνοις, ἀδινὴν δ' ἀνενείκατο φωνήν:
(3.636-644) "Poor wretch, how have gloomy dreams affrighted me! I fear that this voyage of the heroes will bring some great evil. My heart is trembling for the stranger. Let him woo some Achaean girl far away among his own folk; let maidenhood be mine and the home of my parents. Yet, taking to myself a reckless heart, I will no more keep aloof but will make trial of my sister to see if she will entreat me to aid in the contest, through grief for her own sons; this would quench the bitter pain in my heart."
636 "Δειλὴ ἐγών, οἷόν με βαρεῖς ἐφόβησαν ὄνειροι.
637 δείδια, μὴ μέγα δή τι φέρῃ κακὸν ἥδε κέλευθος
638 ἡρώων. περί μοι ξείνῳ φρένες ἠερέθονται.
639 μνάσθω ἑὸν κατὰ δῆμον Ἀχαιίδα τηλόθι κούρην
640 ἄμμι δὲ παρθενίη τε μέλοι καὶ δῶμα τοκήων.
641 ἔμπα γε μὴν θεμένη κύνεον κέαρ, οὐκέτ' ἄνευθεν
642 αὐτοκασιγνήτης πειρήσομαι, εἴ κέ μ' ἀέθλῳ
643 χραισμεῖν ἀντιάσῃσιν, ἐπὶ σφετέροις ἀχέουσα
644 παισί: τό κέν μοι λυγρὸν ἐνὶ κραδίῃ σβέσαι ἄλγος."
(3.645-673) She spake, and rising from her bed opened the door of her chamber, bare-footed, clad in one robe; and verily she desired to go to her sister, and crossed the threshold. And for long she stayed there at the entrance of her chamber, held back by shame; and she turned back once more; and again she came forth from within, and again stole back; and idly did her feet bear her this way and that; yea, as oft as she went straight on, shame held her within the chamber, and though held back by shame, bold desire kept urging her on. Thrice she made the attempt and thrice she checked herself, the fourth time she fell on her bed face downward, writhing in pain. And as when a bride in her chamber bewails her youthful husband, to whom her brothers and parents have given her, nor yet does she hold converse with all her attendants for shame and for thinking of him; but she sits apart in her grief; and some doom has destroyed him, before they have had pleasure of each other's charms; and she with heart on fire silently weeps, beholding her widowed couch, in fear lest the women should mock and revile her; like to her did Medea lament. And suddenly as she was in the midst of her tears, one of the handmaids came forth and noticed her, one who was her youthful attendant; and straightway she told Chalciope, who sat in the midst of her sons devising how to win over her sister. And when Chalciope heard the strange tale from the handmaid, not even so did she disregard it. And she rushed in dismay from her chamber right on to the chamber where the maiden lay in her anguish, having torn her cheeks on each side; and when Chalciope saw her eyes all dimmed with tears, she thus addressed her:
645 ̂Ἠ ῥα, καὶ ὀρθωθεῖσα θύρας ὤιξε δόμοιο,
646 νήλιπος, οἰέανος: καὶ δὴ λελίητο νέεσθαι
647 αὐτοκασιγνήτηνδε, καὶ ἕρκεος οὐδὸν ἄμειψεν.
648 δὴν δὲ καταυτόθι μίμνεν ἐνὶ προδόμῳ θαλάμοιο,
649 αἰδοῖ ἐεργομένη: μετὰ δ' ἐτράπετ' αὖτις ὀπίσσω
650 στρεφθεῖσ': ἐκ δὲ πάλιν κίεν ἔνδοθεν, ἄψ τ' ἀλέεινεν
651 εἴσω: τηΰσιοι δὲ πόδες φέρον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα:
652 ἤτοι ὅτ' ἰθύσειεν, ἔρυκέ μιν ἔνδοθεν αἰδώς:
653 αἰδοῖ δ' ἐργομένην θρασὺς ἵμερος ὀτρύνεσκεν.
654 τρὶς μὲν ἐπειρήθη, τρὶς δ' ἔσχετο, τέτρατον αὖτις
655 λέκτροισιν πρηνὴς ἐνικάππεσεν εἱλιχθεῖσα.
656 ὡς δ' ὅτε τις νύμφη θαλερὸν πόσιν ἐν θαλάμοισιν
657 μύρεται, ᾧ μιν ὄπασσαν ἀδελφεοὶ ἠδὲ τοκῆες,
658 οὐδέ τί πω πάσαις ἐπιμίσγεται ἀμφιπόλοισιν
659 αἰδοῖ ἐπιφροσύνῃ τε: μυχῷ δ' ἀχέουσα θαάσσει:
660 τὸν δέ τις ὤλεσε μοῖρα, πάρος ταρπήμεναι ἄμφω
661 δήνεσιν ἀλλήλων: ἡ δ' ἔνδοθι δαιομένη περ
662 σῖγα μάλα κλαίει χῆρον λέχος εἰσορόωσα,
663 μή μιν κερτομέουσαι ἐπιστοβέωσι γυναῖκες:
664 τῇ ἰκέλη Μήδεια κινύρετο. τὴν δέ τις ἄφνω
665 μυρομένην μεσσηγὺς ἐπιπρομολοῦσ' ἐνόησεν
666 δμωάων, ἥ οἱ ἑπέτις πέλε κουρίζουσα:
667 Χαλκιόπῃ δ' ἤγγειλε παρασχεδόν: ἡ δ' ἐνὶ παισὶν
668 ἧστ' ἐπιμητιόωσα κασιγνήτην ἀρέσασθαι.
669 ἀλλ' οὐδ' ὧς ἀπίθησεν, ὅτ' ἔκλυεν ἀμφιπόλοιο
670 μῦθον ἀνώιστον: διὰ δ' ἔσσυτο θαμβήσασα
671 ἐκ θαλάμου θάλαμόνδε διαμπερές, ᾧ ἔνι κούρη
672 κέκλιτ' ἀκηχεμένη, δρύψεν δ' ἑκάτερθε παρειάς:
673 ὡς δ' ἴδε δάκρυσιν ὄσσε πεφυρμένα, φώνησέν μιν:
(3.674-680) "Ah me, Medea, why dost thou weep so? What hath befallen thee? What terrible grief has entered thy heart? Has some heaven-sent disease enwrapt thy frame, or hast thou heard from our father some deadly threat concerning me and my sons? Would that I did not behold this home of my parents, or the city, but dwelt at the ends of the earth, where not even the name of Colchians is known!"
674 "Ὤι μοι ἐγώ, Μήδεια, τί δὴ τάδε δάκρυα λείβεις;
675 τίπτ' ἔπαθες; τί τοι αἰνὸν ὑπὸ φρένας ἵκετο πένθος;
676 ἤ νύ σε θευμορίη περιδέδρομεν ἅψεα νοῦσος,
677 ἦέ τιν' οὐλομένην ἐδάης ἐκ πατρὸς ἐνιπὴν
678 ἀμφί τ' ἐμοὶ καὶ παισίν; ὄφελλέ με μήτε τοκήων
679 δῶμα τόδ' εἰσοράαν, μηδὲ πτόλιν, ἀλλ' ἐπὶ γαίης
680 πείρασι ναιετάειν, ἵνα μηδέ περ οὔνομα Κόλχων."
(3.681-687) Thus she spake, and her sister's cheeks flushed; and though she was eager to reply, long did maiden shame restrain her. At one moment the word rose on the end of her tongue, at another it fluttered back deep within her breast. And often through her lovely lips it strove for utterance; but no sound came forth; till at last she spoke with guileful words; for the bold Loves were pressing her hard:
681 Ὧς φάτο: τῆς δ' ἐρύθηνε παρήια: δὴν δέ μιν αἰδὼς
682 παρθενίη κατέρυκεν ἀμείψασθαι μεμαυῖαν.
683 μῦθος δ' ἄλλοτε μέν οἱ ἐπ' ἀκροτάτης ἀνέτελλεν
684 γλώσσης, ἄλλοτ' ἔνερθε κατὰ στῆθος πεπότητο.
685 πολλάκι δ' ἱμερόεν μὲν ἀνὰ στόμα θυῖεν ἐνισπεῖν:
686 φθογγῇ δ' οὐ προύβαινε παροιτέρω: ὀψὲ δ' ἔειπεν
687 τοῖα δόλῳ: θρασέες γὰρ ἐπεκλονέεσκον Ἔρωτες:
(3.688-692) "Chalciope, my heart is all trembling for thy sons, lest my father forthwith destroy them together with the strangers. Slumbering just now in a short-lived sleep such a ghastly dream did I see -- may some god forbid its fulfilment and never mayst thou win for thyself bitter care on thy sons' account."
688 "Χαλκιόπη, περί μοι παίδων σέο θυμὸς ἄηται,
689 μή σφε πατὴρ ξείνοισι σὺν ἀνδράσιν αὐτίκ' ὀλέσσῃ.
690 τοῖα κατακνώσσουσα μινυνθαδίῳ νέον ὕπνῳ
691 λεύσσω ὀνείρατα λυγρά, τά τις θεὸς ἀκράαντα
692 θείη, μηδ' ἀλεγεινὸν ἐφ' υἱάσι κῆδος ἕλοιο."
(3.693-704) She spake, making trial of her sister to see if she first would entreat help for her sons. And utterly unbearable grief surged over Chalciope's soul for fear at what she heard; and then she replied: "Yea, I myself too have come to thee in eager furtherance of this purpose, if thou wouldst haply devise with me and prepare some help. But swear by Earth and Heaven that thou wilt keep secret in thy heart what I shall tell thee, and be fellow-worker with me. I implore thee by the blessed gods, by thyself and by thy parents, not to see them destroyed by an evil doom piteously; or else may I die with my dear sons and come back hereafter from Hades an avenging Fury to haunt thee."
693 Φῆ ῥα, κασιγνήτης πειρωμένη, εἴ κέ μιν αὐτὴ
694 ἀντιάσειε πάροιθεν ἑοῖς τεκέεσσιν ἀμύνειν.
695 τὴν δ' αἰνῶς ἄτλητος ἐπέκλυσε θυμὸν ἀνίη
696 δείματι, τοῖ' ἐσάκουσεν: ἀμείβετο δ' ὧδ' ἐπέεσσιν:
697 "Καὶ δ' αὐτὴ τάδε πάντα μετήλυθον ὁρμαίνουσα,
698 εἴ τινα συμφράσσαιο καὶ ἀρτύνειας ἀρωγήν.
699 ἀλλ' ὄμοσον Γαῖάν τε καὶ Οὐρανόν, ὅττι τοι εἴπω
700 σχήσειν ἐν θυμῷ, σύν τε δρήστειρα πέλεσθαι.
701 λίσσομ' ὑπὲρ μακάρων σέο τ' αὐτῆς ἠδὲ τοκήων,
702 μή σφε κακῇ ὑπὸ κηρὶ διαρραισθέντας ἰδέσθαι
703 λευγαλέως: ἢ σοίγε φίλοις σὺν παισὶ θανοῦσα
704 εἴην ἐξ Ἀίδεω στυγερὴ μετόπισθεν Ἐρινύς."