There is a city, Canobus
, on the extremity of the land at the very mouth and silt-bar of the Nile
. There at last Zeus restores you to your senses by the mere stroke and touch of his unterrifying hand.
And you shall bring forth dark Epaphus,1
thus named from the manner of Zeus' engendering; and he shall gather the fruit of all the land watered by the broad-flowing Nile
. Fifth in descent from him, fifty maidens shall return to Argos
, not of their own
free choice, but fleeing marriage with their cousin kin; while these, their hearts ablaze with passion, like falcons eagerly pursuing doves, shall come in pursuit of wedlock unlawful to pursue; but God shall grudge them enjoyment of their brides.
Pelasgian soil shall offer the maids a home, when, in the watches of the night, their husbands have been slain by a deed of daring wrought by the women's murderous blows. For each bride shall take the life of her lord, dyeing a two-edged sword in his blood—in such ways may Love come upon my enemies!
However, love's desire shall charm one of the maidens not to slay her mate; rather, her resolve will lose its edge; for she will make her choice between two evil names to be called coward rather than murderess. She it is who shall give birth in Argos
to a royal line—
a long story is necessary to explain this clearly; of her seed, however, shall be born a man of daring, renowned with the bow, who shall deliver me from these toils.2
Such is the oracle recounted to me by my mother, Titan Themis, born long ago.
The manner and the means—these need lengthy speech to tell, and to learn them all would not be of any benefit.