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(4.109-122) Now at the hour when men have cast sleep from their eyes~huntsmen, who, trusting to their bounds, never slumber away the end of night, but avoid the light of dawn lest, smiting with its white beams, it efface the track and scent of the quarry -- then did Aeson's son and the maiden step forth from the ship over a grassy spot, the "Ram's couch" as men call it, where it first bent its wearied knees in rest, bearing on its back the Minyan son of Athamas. And close by, all smirched with soot, was the base of the altar, which the Aeolid Phrixus once set up to Zeus, the alder of fugitives, when he sacrificed the golden wonder at the bidding of Hermes who graciously met him on the way. There by the counsels of Argus the chieftains put them ashore.

109     ̂Ἠμος δ' ἀνέρες ὕπνον ἀπ' ὀφθαλμῶν ἐβάλοντο
110  ἀγρόται, οἵ τε κύνεσσι πεποιθότες οὔποτε νύκτα
111 ἄγχαυρον κνώσσουσιν, ἀλευάμενοι φάος ἠοῦς,
112 μὴ πρὶν ἀμαλδύνῃ θηρῶν στίβον ἠδὲ καὶ ὀδμὴν
113 θηρείην λευκῇσιν ἐνισκίμψασα βολῇσιν:
114 τῆμος ἄρ' Αἰσονίδης κούρη τ' ἀπὸ νηὸς ἔβησαν
115  ποιήεντ' ἀνὰ χῶρον, ἵνα κριοῦ καλέονται
116 εὐναί, ὅθι πρῶτον κεκμηότα γούνατ' ἔκαμψεν,
117 νώτοισιν φορέων Μινυήιον υἷ' Ἀθάμαντος.
118 ἐγγύθι δ' αἰθαλόεντα πελεν βωμοῖο θέμεθλα,
119 ὅν ῥά ποτ' Αἰολίδης Διὶ Φυξίῳ εἵσατο Φρίξος,
120  ῥέζων κεῖνο τέρας παγχρύσεον, ὥς οἱ ἔειπεν
121 Ἑρμείας πρόφρων ξυμβλήμενος. ἔνθ' ἄρα τούσγε
122 Ἄργου φραδμοσύνῃσιν ἀριστῆες μεθέηκαν.

(4.123-161) And they two by the pathway came to the sacred grove, seeking the huge oak tree on which was hung the fleece, like to a cloud that blushes red with the fiery beams of the rising sun. But right in front the serpent with his keen sleepless eyes saw them coming, and stretched out his long neck and hissed in awful wise; and all round the long banks of the river echoed and the boundless grove. Those heard it who dwelt in the Colchian land very far from Titanian Aea, near the outfall of Lycus, the river which parts from loud-roaring Araxes and blends his sacred stream with Phasis, and they twain flow on together in one and pour their waters into the Caucasian Sea. And through fear young mothers awoke, and round their new-born babes, who were sleeping in their arms, threw their hands in agony, for the small limbs started at that hiss. And as when above a pile of smouldering wood countless eddies of smoke roll up mingled with soot, and one ever springs up quickly after another, rising aloft from beneath in wavering wreaths; so at that time did that monster roll his countless coils covered with hard dry scales. And as he writhed, the maiden came before his eyes, with sweet voice calling to her aid sleep, highest of gods, to charm the monster; and she cried to the queen of the underworld, the night-wanderer, to be propitious to her enterprise. And Aeson's son followed in fear, but the serpent, already charmed by her song, was relaxing the long ridge of his giant spine, and lengthening out his myriad coils, like a dark wave, dumb and noiseless, rolling over a sluggish sea; but still he raised aloft his grisly head, eager to enclose them both in his murderous jaws. But she with a newly cut spray of juniper, dipping and drawing untempered charms from her mystic brew, sprinkled his eyes, while she chanted her song; and all around the potent scent of the charm cast sleep; and on the very spot he let his jaw sink down; and far behind through the wood with its many trees were those countless coils stretched out.

123 τὼ δὲ δι' ἀτραπιτοῖο μεθ' ἱερὸν ἄλσος ἵκοντο,
124 φηγὸν ἀπειρεσίην διζημένω, ᾗ ἔπι κῶας
125  βέβλητο, νεφέλῃ ἐναλίγκιον, ἥ τ' ἀνιόντος
126 ἠελίου φλογερῇσιν ἐρεύθεται ἀκτίνεσσιν.
127 αὐτὰρ ὁ ἀντικρὺ περιμήκεα τείνετο δειρὴν
128 ὀξὺς ἀύπνοισιν προϊδὼν ὄφις ὀφθαλμοῖσιν
129 νισσομένους, ῥοίζει δὲ πελώριον: ἀμφὶ δὲ μακραὶ
130  ἠιόνες ποταμοῖο καὶ ἄσπετον ἴαχεν ἄλσος.
131 ἔκλυον οἳ καὶ πολλὸν ἑκὰς Τιτηνίδος Αἴης
132 Κολχίδα γῆν ἐνέμοντο παρὰ προχοῇσι Αύκοιο,
133 ὅς τ' ἀποκιδνάμενος ποταμοῦ κελάδοντος Ἀράξεω
134 Φάσιδι συμφέρεται ἱερὸν ῥόον: οἱ δὲ συνάμφω
135  Καυκασίην ἅλαδ' εἰς ἓν ἐλαυνόμενοι προχέουσιν.
136 δείματι δ' ἐξέγροντο λεχωίδες, ἀμφὶ δὲ παισὶν
137 νηπιάχοις, οἵ τέ σφιν ὑπ' ἀγκαλίδεσσιν ἴαυον,
138 ῥοίζῳ παλλομένοις χεῖρας βάλον ἀσχαλόωσαι.
139 ὡς δ' ὅτε τυφομένης ὕλης ὕπερ αἰθαλόεσσαι
140  καπνοῖο στροφάλιγγες ἀπείριτοι εἱλίσσονται,
141 ἄλλη δ' αἶψ' ἑτέρῃ ἐπιτέλλεται αἰὲν ἐπιπρὸ
142 νειόθεν εἰλίγγοισιν ἐπήορος ἐξανιοῦσα:
143 ὧς τότε κεῖνο πέλωρον ἀπειρεσίας ἐλέλιξεν
144 ῥυμβόνας ἀζαλέῃσιν ἐπηρεφέας φολίδεσσιν.
145  τοῖο δ' ἑλισσομένοιο κατ' ὄμματα νίσσετο κούρη,
146 Ὕπνον ἀοσσητῆρα, θεῶν ὕπατον, καλέουσα
147 ἡδείῃ ἐνοπῇ, θέλξαι τέρας: αὖε δ' ἄνασσαν
148 νυκτιπόλον, χθονίην, εὐαντέα δοῦναι ἐφορμήν.
149 εἵπετο δ' Αἰσονίδης πεφοβημένος, αὐτὰρ ὅγ' ἤδη
150  οἴμῃ θελγόμενος δολιχὴν ἀνελύετ' ἄκανθαν
151 γηγενέος σπείρης, μήκυνε δὲ μυρία κύκλα,
152 οἷον ὅτε βληχροῖσι κυλινδόμενον πελάγεσσιν
153 κῦμα μέλαν κωφόν τε καὶ ἄβρομον: ἀλλὰ καὶ ἔμπης
154 ὑψοῦ σμερδαλέην κεφαλὴν μενέαινεν ἀείρας
155  ἀμφοτέρους ὀλοῇσι περιπτύξαι γενύεσσιν.
156 ἡ δέ μιν ἀρκεύθοιο νέον τετμηότι θαλλῷ
157 βάπτουσ' ἐκ κυκεῶνος ἀκήρατα φάρμακ' ἀοιδαῖς
158 ῥαῖνε κατ' ὀφθαλμῶν: περί τ' ἀμφί τε νήριτος ὀδμὴ
159 φαρμάκου ὕπνον ἔβαλλε: γένυν δ' αὐτῇ ἐνὶ χώρῃ
160  θῆκεν ἐρεισάμενος: τὰ δ' ἀπείρονα πολλὸν ὀπίσσω
161 κύκλα πολυπρέμνοιο διὲξ ὕλης τετάνυστο.

(4.162-182) Hereupon Jason snatched the golden fleece from the oak, at the maiden bidding; and she, standing firm, smeared with the charm the monster's head, till Jason himself bade her turn back towards their ship, and she left the grove of Ares, dusky with shade. And as a maiden catches on her finely wrought robe the gleam of the moon at the full, as it rises above her high-roofed chamber; and her heart rejoices as she beholds the fair ray; so at that time did Jason uplift the mighty fleece in his hands; and from the shimmering of the flocks of wool there settled on his fair cheeks and brow a red flush like a flame. And great as is the hide of a yearling ox or stag, which huntsmen call a brocket, so great in extent was the fleece all golden above. Heavy it was, thickly clustered with flocks; and as he moved along, even beneath his feet the sheen rose up from the earth. And he strode on now with the fleece covering his left shoulder from the height of his neck to his feet, and now again he gathered it up in his hands; for he feared exceedingly, lest some god or man should meet him and deprive him thereof.

162 ἔνθα δ' ὁ μὲν χρύσειον ἀπὸ δρυὸς αἴνυτο κῶας,
163 κούρης κεκλομένης: ἡ δ' ἔμπεδον ἑστηυῖα
164 φαρμάκῳ ἔψηχεν θηρὸς κάρη, εἰσόκε δή μιν
165  αὐτὸς ἑὴν ἐπὶ νῆα παλιντροπάασθαι Ἰήσων
166 ἤνωγεν, λεῖπεν δὲ πολύσκιον ἄλσος Ἄρηος.
167 ὡς δὲ σεληναίην διχομήνιδα παρθένος αἴγλην
168 ὑψόθεν ἐξανέχουσαν ὑπωροφίου θαλάμοιο
169 λεπταλέῳ ἑανῷ ὑποΐσχεται: ἐν δέ οἱ ἦτορ
170  χαίρει δερκομένης καλὸν σέλας: ὧς τότ' Ἰήσων
171 γηθόσυνος μέγα κῶας ἑαῖς ἐναείρατο χερσίν:
172 καί οἱ ἐπὶ ξανθῇσι παρηίσιν ἠδὲ μετώπῳ
173 μαρμαρυγῇ ληνέων φλογὶ εἴκελον ἷζεν ἔρευθος.
174 ὅσση δὲ ῥινὸς βοὸς ἤνιος ἢ ἐλάφοιο
175  γίγνεται, ἥν τ' ἀγρῶσται ἀχαιινέην καλέουσιν,
176 τόσσον ἔην πάντῃ χρύσεον ἐφύπερθεν ἄωτον.
177 βεβρίθει λήνεσσιν ἐπηρεφές: ἤλιθα δὲ χθὼν
178 αἰὲν ὑποπρὸ ποδῶν ἀμαρύσσετο νισσομένοιο.
179 ἤιε δ' ἄλλοτε μὲν λαιῷ ἐπιειμένος ὤμῳ
180  αὐχένος ἐξ ὑπάτοιο ποδηνεκές, ἄλλοτε δ' αὖτε
181 εἴλει ἀφασσόμενος: περὶ γὰρ δίεν, ὄφρα ἓ μή τις
182 ἀνδρῶν ἠὲ θεῶν νοσφίσσεται ἀντιβολήσας.

(4.183-189) Dawn was spreading over the earth when they reached the throng of heroes; and the youths marvelled to behold the mighty fleece, which gleamed like the lightning of Zeus. And each one started up eager to touch it and clasp it in his hands. But the son of Aeson restrained them all, and threw over it a mantle newly-woven; and he led the maiden to the stern and seated her there, and spake to them all as follows:

183      Ἠὼς μέν ῥ̓ ἐπὶ γαῖαν ἐκίδνατο, τοὶ δ' ἐς ὅμιλον
184 ἷξον: θάμβησαν δὲ νέοι μέγα κῶας ἰδόντες
185  λαμπόμενον στεροπῇ ἴκελον Διός. ὦρτο δ' ἕκαστος
186 ψαῦσαι ἐελδόμενος δέχθαι τ' ἐνὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.
187 Αἰσονίδης δ' ἄλλους μὲν ἐρήτυε, τῷ δ' ἐπὶ φᾶρος
188 κάββαλε νηγάτεον: πρύμνῃ δ' ἐνεείσατο κούρην
189 ἀνθέμενος, καὶ τοῖον ἔπος μετὰ πᾶσιν ἔειπεν:

(4.190-205) "No longer now, my friends, forbear to return to your fatherland. For now the task for which we dared this grievous voyage, toiling with bitter sorrow of heart, has been lightly fulfilled by the maiden's counsels. Her -- for such is her will -- I will bring home to be my wedded wife; do ye preserve her, the glorious saviour of all Achaea and of yourselves. For of a surety, I ween, will Aeetes come with his host to bar our passage from the river into the sea. But do some of you toil at the oars in turn, sitting man by man; and half of you raise your shields of oxhide, a ready defence against the darts of the enemy, and guard our return. And now in our hands we hold the fate of our children and dear country and of our aged parents; and on our venture all Hellas depends, to reap either the shame of failure or great renown."

190      "Μηκέτι νῦν χάζεσθε, φίλοι, πάτρηνδε νέεσθαι.
191 ἤδη γὰρ χρειώ, τῆς εἵνεκα τήνδ' ἀλεγεινὴν
192 ναυτιλίην ἔτλημεν ὀιζύι μοχθίζοντες,
193 εὐπαλέως κούρης ὑπὸ δήνεσι κεκράανται.
194 τὴν μὲν ἐγὼν ἐθέλουσαν ἀνάξομαι οἴκαδ' ἄκοιτιν
195  κουριδίην: ἀτὰρ ὔμμες Ἀχαιίδος οἷά τε πάσης
196 αὐτῶν θ' ὑμείων ἐσθλὴν ἐπαρωγὸν ἐοῦσαν
197 σώετε. δὴ γάρ που, μάλ' ὀίομαι, εἶσιν ἐρύξων
198 Αἰήτης ὁμάδῳ πόντονδ' ἴμεν ἐκ ποταμοῖο.
199 ἀλλ' οἱ μὲν διὰ νηός, ἀμοιβαδὶς ἀνέρος ἀνὴρ
200  ἑζόμενος, πηδοῖσιν ἐρέσσετε: τοὶ δὲ βοείας
201 ἀσπίδας ἡμίσεες, δῄων θοὸν ἔχμα βολάων,
202 προσχόμενοι νόστῳ ἐπαμύνετε. νῦν δ' ἐνὶ χερσὶν
203 παῖδας ἑοὺς πάτρην τε φίλην, γεραρούς τε τοκῆας
204 ἴσχομεν: ἡμετέρῃ δ' ἐπερείδεται Ἑλλὰς ἐφορμῇ,
205  ἠὲ κατηφείην, ἢ καὶ μέγα κῦδος ἀρέσθαι."

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