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Clytaemestra
Hephaestus, from Ida speeding forth his brilliant blaze. Beacon passed beacon on to us by courier-flame: Ida, to the Hermaean crag in Lemnos; to the mighty blaze upon the island succeeded, third, [285] the summit of Athos sacred to Zeus; and, soaring high aloft so as to leap across the sea, the flame, travelling joyously onward in its strength
* the pinewood torch, its golden-beamed light, as another sun, passing the message on to the watchtowers of Macistus. [290] He, delaying not nor carelessly overcome by sleep, did not neglect his part as messenger. Far over Euripus' stream came the beacon-light and signalled to the watchmen on Messapion. They, kindling a heap of [295] withered heather, lit up their answering blaze and sped the message on. The flame, now gathering strength and in no way dimmed, like a radiant moon overleaped the plain of Asopus to Cithaeron's ridges, and roused another relay of missive fire. [300] Nor did the warders there disdain the far-flung light, but made a blaze higher than their commands. Across Gorgopus' water shot the light, reached the mount of Aegiplanctus, and urged the ordinance of fire to make no delay. [305] Kindling high with unstinted force a mighty beard of flame, they sped it forward so that, as it blazed, it passed even the headland that looks upon the Saronic gulf; until it swooped down when it reached the lookout, near to our city, upon the peak of Arachnaeus; and [310] next upon this roof of the Atreidae it leapt, this very fire not undescended from the Idaean flame.

Such are the torch-bearers I have arranged, completing the course in succession one to the other; and the victor is he who ran both first and last.1 [315] This is the kind of proof and token I give you, the message of my husband from Troy to me.

Chorus
Lady, my prayers of thanksgiving to the gods I will offer soon. But as I would like to hear and satisfy my wonder at your tale straight through to the end, so may you tell it yet again.

1 The light kindled on Mt. Ida is conceived as starting first and finishing last; the light from Mt. Arachnaeus, as starting last and finishing first.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BOEO´TIA
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