Where was then the kingdom you receive as a dowry with Creusa? how little was your father-in-law, or the daughter of mighty Creon then in your thoughts? You left us thoughtful: I followed your departing steps with eyes moistened in tears; and my tongue in a soft accent bade you farewell. When with a heart fatally wounded I had retired to my quiet bed, the whole night was spent in shedding floods of tears. The fierce bulls and threatening crop of armed men stood before my eyes; but most I was haunted by the image of the watchful dragon. On the one side was love, on the other fear: but fear served only to augment my love. It was now morning, when my darling sister entered my chamber, and found me lying upon my face, my hair disheveled, and the bed under me wet with my tears. She entreats me in behalf of the Argonauts: one asks, and another shall reap the fruit: she craves that aid which I freely grant to the young son of Æson. There is a grove where a darksome shade is formed by pitch-trees and leafy oaks; scarcely can the rays of the sun find admittance. Here had long
been, and still was, a temple sacred to Diana, with a golden statue of the goddess, the work of a barbarian artist. Perhaps, as you have forgotten me, so have you also the place. Thither we came; when thus you addressed me with your deluding tongue: "Fortune has given you the disposal and command of my lot; my life and death are in your hands. If you glory in the possession of power, it is enough that you can destroy: but to preserve me in danger will do you greater honor. I implore you by my distresses, which your art alone can succour; by your race, and the majesty of your all-seeing grandfather; by the deity and sacred mysteries of the threefold goddess, and whatever other Gods this nation adores; amiable virgin, take pity on me; take pity on my companions, and bind me eternally to you by your good offices! If you disdain not to give up your heart to a Grecian youth, (but why should I flatter myself that the Gods will be so favorable and indulgent?) sooner may my soul vanish
into air, than any besides Medea be received a partner of my bed. May Juno, who presides over the marriage-bed, bear witness to this oath, and the goddess in whose marble temple we are." These declarations (and how small a part is this of what you promised?) made too great an impression upon the mind of an innocent credulous maid; and your right-hand was joined to mine. I saw, moreover, your tears: are these too capable of deceit? Thus was I easily betrayed by your enchanting words. You yoked the brazen-footed bulls, unhurt by their flaming breath, and cleft the hard earth with the commanded plough. You sowed the land with the teeth of poisonous serpents instead of seed, and a harvest of soldiers sprang up armed with swords and bucklers. Even I, who secured you by my art, sat pale and trembling, when I saw this sudden crop of men grasp their arms. But at length the earth-born brothers (mournful catastrophe!) turned against one another their ready-armed right-hands. And now,
lo the watchful serpent, terrible by his sounding scales, hisses, and sweeps the ground with his winding breast. Where was then your rich dowry? where then your royal spouse, and the Isthmus which divides the circling sea? Even I, Medea, whom you now despise as a barbarian, whom you deem indigent and criminal, forsaken Medea, locked up his fiery orbs in enchanted sleep, and left you the golden fleece a secure and easy prize.