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It happened that, as the sun rose, the priestess entered the god's prophetic shrine; she saw the baby and marvelled that some girl of Delphi had dared [45] to cast her secret child into the house of the god; she was eager to take it away from the shrine; but she let the harsh intent gave way to pity—and the god worked with her, so the child might not be hurled out of his house—she took up the child and raised it. [50] She did not know that Phoebus was the father, nor who the mother was, nor did the child know about his parents.

When young he played round the shrine, and was nourished there; but when he grew to manhood, the Delphians made him guardian of the god's treasures, [55] a trusted steward of all; and here in the temple of the god he has lived a holy life. But Creusa, the mother of the child, married Xuthus in these circumstances: a wave of war came over Athens and the Chalcidians, [60] who hold the land of Euboea; he joined their efforts, and with them drove out the enemy by his spear; for this he received the honor of marriage with Creusa; he was no native, but born an Achaean from Aeolus, the son of Zeus. Though married a long time [65] they are childless; so they have come to this oracular shrine of Phoebus, in longing for a child. Loxias is driving fortune on to this point, nor is he forgetful, as he seems. For he will give his child to Xuthus on entering this shrine, [70] and he will say the boy was born from Xuthus, so that Creusa may recognize the child when he comes to her house, and Phoebus' union with her may be kept secret, and the boy have his due. He will cause him, founder of the land of Asia, [75] to be called by the name of Ion throughout Greece. But I will go to this cave of laurels, so that I may learn what is fated for the child; I see this son of Loxias coming out to adorn the gates before the shrine with laurel boughs. [80] I am the first of the gods to give him that name, Ion, which he is about to have.Hermes vanishes. Ion and the attendants of the temple enter.

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