previous next

Hephaistos -- sending a bright blaze from Ide.
Beacon did beacon send, from fire the poster,
Hitherward: Ide to the rock Hermaian
Of Lemnos: and a third great torch o' the island
Zeus' seat received in turn, the Athoan summit.
And, -- so upsoaring as to stride sea over,
The strong lamp-voyager, and all for joyance --
Did the gold-glorious splendour, any sun like,
Pass on -- the pine-tree -- to Makistos' watch-place;
Who did not, -- tardy, -- caught, no wits about him,
By sleep, -- decline his portion of the missive.
And far the beacon's light, on stream Euripos
Arriving, made aware Messapios' warders,
And up they lit in turn, played herald onwards,
Kindling with flame a heap of grey old heather.
And, strengthening still, the lamp, decaying nowise,
Springing o'er Plain Asopos, -- full-moon-fashion
Effulgent, -- toward the crag of Mount Kithairon,
Roused a new rendering-up of fire the escort --
And light, far escort, lacked no recognition
O' the guard -- as burning more than burnings told you.
And over Lake Gorgopis light went leaping,
And, at Mount Aigiplanktos safe arriving,
Enforced the law -- "to never stint the fire-stuff."
And they send, lighting up with ungrudged vigour,
Of flame a huge beard, ay, the very foreland
So as to strike above, in burning onward,
The look-out which commands the Strait Saronic.
Then did it dart until it reached the outpost
Mount Arachnaios here, the city's neighbour;
And then darts to this roof of the Atreidai
This light of Ide's fire not unforefathered!
Such are the rules prescribed the flambeau-bearers:
He beats that's first and also last in running.
Such is the proof and token I declare thee,
My husband having sent me news from Troia.

The gods, indeed, anon will I pray, woman!
But now, these words to hear, and sate my wonder
Thoroughly, I am fain -- if twice thou tell them.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus English (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph. D., 1926)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lemnos (Greece) (1)
Ilium (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: