rsus in their hands;—
for so the priest commanded them. Austere
the wrath of Bacchus if his power be scorned.
Mothers and youthful brides obeyed the priest;
and putting by their wickers and their webs,
dropt their unfinished toils to offer up
frankincense to the God; invoking him
with many names:—“O Bacchus! O Twice-born!
O Fire-begot! Thou only child Twice-mothered!
God of all those who plant the luscious grape!
O Liber!” All these names and many more,
for ages known—throughout the lands of Greece.
“Thy youth is not consumed by wasting time;
and lo, thou art an ever-youthful boy,
most beautiful of all the Gods of Heaven,
smooth as a virgin when thy horns are hid.—
The distant east to tawny India's clime,
where rolls remotest Ganges to the sea,
was conquered by thy might.—O Most-revered!
Thou didst destroy the doubting Pentheus,
and hurled the sailors' bodies in the deep,
and smote Lycurgus, wielder of the ax.
“And thou dost guide thy lynxes, double-yoked,
with showy harness
who neglected him,
let him then perish in his treachery.—
“But these are idle thoughts: his countenance,
reveals innate nobility and grace,
that should dispel all fear of treachery,
and guarantee his ever-faithful heart.
The Gods will witness our united souls,
and he shall pledge his faith. Secure of it
my fear will be removed. Be ready, then—
and make a virtue of necessity:
your Jason owes himself to you; and he
must join you in true wedlock. Then you shall
be celebrated through the land of Greece,
by throngs of women, for the man you saved.
“Shall I then sail away, and so forsake
my sister, brother, father, Gods, and land
that gave me birth? My father is indeed
a stern man, and my native land is all
too barbarous; my brother is a child,—
my sister's goodwill is good help for me;
and heaven's supreme god is within my breast.
“I shall not so be leaving valued hopes,
but will be going surely to great things.
And I should gain applause from all the world,
as having saved the threate
s welcome home;
and with him, also, his two comrades went,
Clytus and Butes.
Center of all eyes,
the hero still retained his charm,
the customary greetings were exchanged,
the graceful hero, bearing in his hands
a branch of olive from his native soil,
delivered the Athenian message, which
requested aid and offered for their thought
the treaty and the ancestral league between
their nations. And he added, Minos sought
not only conquest of the Athenian state
but sovereignty of all the states of Greece.
And when this eloquence had shown his cause;
with left hand on his gleaming sceptre's hilt,
King Aeacus exclaimed: “Ask not our aid,
but take it, Athens; and count boldly yours
all of the force this island holds, and all
things which the state of my affairs supplies.
My strength for this war is not light, and I
have many soldiers for myself and for
my enemy. Thanks to the Gods! the times
are happy, giving no excuse for my
refusal.” “May it prove so,” Cephalus
replied, “and may your city
all of Thebes; believe me, I
took Lesbos, Tenedos, Chryse and Cilla—
the cities of Apollo; and I took
Scyros; think too, of the Lyrnesian wall
as shaken by my hand, destroyed, and thrown
down level with the ground. Let this suffice:
I found the man who caused fierce Hector's death,
through me the famous Hector now, lies low!
And for those arms which made Achilles known
I now demand these arms. To him alive
I gave them—at his death they should be mine.
“After the grief of one had reached all Greece,
and ships a thousand, filled Euboean Aulis;
the breezes long expected would not blow
or adverse held the helpless fleet ashore.
Then ruthless oracles gave their command,
that Agamemnon should make sacrifice
of his loved daughter and so satisfy
Diana's cruel heart. The father stood
up resolute, enraged against the gods,
a parent even though a king. I turned,
by tactful! words, a father's tender heart
to the great issue of the public weal.
I will confess it, and when I have confessed,
“After the lofty Ilion was burnt
and Pergama had fed the Grecian flames,
and Ajax, the Narycian hero, had
brought from a virgin, for a virgin wronged,
the punishment which he alone deserved
on our whole expedition, we were then
dispersed and driven by violent winds
over the hostile seas; and we, the Greeks,
had to endure in darkness, lightning, rain,
the wrath both of the heavens and of the sea,
and Caphareus, the climax of our woe.
Not to detain you by relating such
unhappy things in order, Greece might then
have seemed to merit even Priam's tears.
“Although well armed Minerva's care preserved
me then and brought me safe through rocks and waves,
from my native Argos I was driven again,
for outraged Venus took her full revenge
remembering still that wound of long ago;
and I endured such hardships on the deep,
and hazards amid armies on the shore,
that often I called those happy whom the storm—
an ill that came on all, or Cephareus had drowned.
I even wished I had been one of them.
he fateful votes were given—:
all cast into the cruel urn were black!
Soon as that urn inverted poured forth all
the pebbles to be counted, every one
was changed completely from its black to white,
and so the vote adjudged him innocent.
By that most fortunate aid of Hercules
he was exempted from the country's law.
“Myscelus, breathing thanks to Hercules,
with favoring wind sailed on the Ionian sea,
past Sallentine Neretum, Sybaris,
Spartan Tarentum, and the Sirine Bay,
Crimisa, and on beyond the Iapygian fields.
Then, skirting shores which face these lands, he found
the place foretold the river Aesar's mouth,
and found not far away a burial mound
which covered with its soil the hallowed bones
of Croton.—There, upon the appointed land,
he built up walls—and he conferred the name
of Croton, who was there entombed, on his
new city, which has ever since been called
Crotona.” By tradition it is known
such strange deeds caused that city to be built,
by men of Greece upon the Italia