(3.502-514) Thus he spake; and to all the contest seemed one that none could accomplish, and long, quiet and silent, they looked at one another, bowed down with the calamity and their despair; but at last Peleus spake with courageous words among all the chiefs: "It is time to be counselling what we shall do. Yet there is not so much profit, I trow, in counsel as in the might of our hands. If thou then, hero son of Aeson, art minded to yoke Aeetes' oxen, and art eager for the toil, surely thou wilt keep thy promise and make thyself ready. But if thy soul trusts not her prowess utterly, then neither bestir thyself nor sit still and look round for some one else of these men. For it is not I who will flinch, since the bitterest pain will be but death."
502 Ὧς ἄρ' ἔφη: πάντεσσι δ' ἀνήνυτος εἴσατ' ἄεθλος,
503 δὴν δ' ἄνεῳ καὶ ἄναυδοι ἐς ἀλλήλους ὁρόωντο,
504 ἄτῃ ἀμηχανίῃ τε κατηφέες: ὀψὲ δὲ Πηλεὺς
505 θαρσαλέως μετὰ πᾶσιν ἀριστήεσσιν ἔειπεν:
506 "Ὥρη μητιάασθαι ὅ κ' ἔρξομεν. οὐ μὲν ἔολπα
507 βουλῆς εἶναι ὄνειαρ, ὅσον τ' ἐπὶ κάρτεϊ χειρῶν.
508 εἰ μέν νυν τύνη ζεῦξαι βόας Αἰήταο,
509 ἥρως Αἰσονίδη, φρονέεις, μέμονάς τε πόνοιο,
510 ἦ τ' ἂν ὑποσχεσίην πεφυλαγμένος ἐντύναιο:
511 εἰ δ' οὔ τοι μάλα θυμὸς ἑῇ ἐπὶ πάγχυ πέποιθεν
512 ἠνορέῃ, μήτ' αὐτὸς ἐπείγεο, μήτε τιν' ἄλλον
513 τῶνδ' ἀνδρῶν πάπταινε παρήμενος. οὐ γὰρ ἔγωγε
514 σχήσομ', ἐπεὶ θάνατός γε τὸ κύντατον ἔσσεται ἄλγος."
(3.515-522) So spake the son of Aeacus; and Telamon's soul was stirred, and quickly he started up in eagerness; and Idas rose up the third in his pride; and the twin sons of Tyndareus; and with them Oeneus' son who was numbered among strong men, though even the soft down on his cheek showed not yet; with such courage was his soul uplifted. But the others gave way to these in silence. And straightway Argus spake these words to those that longed for the contest:
515 Ὧς ἔφατ' Αἰακίδης: Τελαμῶνι δὲ θυμὸς ὀρίνθη:
516 σπερχόμενος δ' ἀνόρουσε θοῶς: ἐπὶ δὲ τρίτος Ἴδας
517 ὦρτο μέγα φρονέων, ἐπὶ δ' υἱέε Τυνδαρέοιο:
518 σὺν δὲ καὶ Οἰνεΐδης ἐναρίθμιος αἰζηοῖσιν
519 ἀνδράσιν, οὐδέ περ ὅσσον ἐπανθιόωντας ἰούλους
520 ἀντέλλων: τοίῳ οἱ ἀείρετο κάρτεϊ θυμός.
521 οἱ δ' ἄλλοι εἴξαντες ἀκὴν ἔχον. αὐτίκα δ' Ἄργος
522 τοῖον ἔπος μετέειπεν ἐελδομένοισιν ἀέθλου:
(3.523-539) "My friends, this indeed is left us at the last. But I deem that there will come to you some timely aid from my mother. Wherefore, eager though ye be, refrain and abide in your ship a little longer as before, for it is better to forbear than recklessly to choose an evil fate. There is a maiden, nurtured in the halls of Aeetes, whom the goddess Hecate taught to handle magic herbs with exceeding skill all that the land and flowing waters produce. With them is quenched the blast of unwearied flame, and at once she stays the course of rivers as they rush roaring on, and checks the stars and the paths of the sacred moon. Of her we bethought us as we came hither along the path from the palace, if haply my mother, her own sister, might persuade her to aid us in the venture. And if this is pleasing to you as well, surely on this very day will I return to the palace of Aeetes to make trial; and perchance with some god's help shall I make the trial."
523 "̂Ὠ φίλοι, ἤτοι μὲν τόδε λοίσθιον. ἀλλά τιν' οἴω
524 μητρὸς ἐμῆς ἔσσεσθαι ἐναίσιμον ὔμμιν ἀρωγήν.
525 τῶ καί περ μεμαῶτες, ἐρητύοισθ' ἐνὶ νηὶ
526 τυτθὸν ἔθ', ὡς τὸ πάροιθεν, ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐπισχέμεν ἔμπης
527 λώιον, ἢ κακὸν οἶτον ἀφειδήσαντας ἑλέσθαι.
528 κούρη τις μεγάροισιν ἐνιτρέφετ' Αἰήταο,
529 τὴν Ἑκάτη περίαλλα θεὰ δάε τεχνήσασθαι
530 φάρμαχ', ὅσ' ἤπειρός τε φύει καὶ νήχυτον ὕδωρ,
531 τοῖσι καὶ ἀκαμάτοιο π̣̣ρὸς μειλίσσετ' ἀυτμή,
532 καὶ ποταμοὺς ἵστησιν ἄφαρ κελαδεινὰ ῥέοντας,
533 ἄστρα τε καὶ μήνης ἱερῆς ἐπέδησε κελεύθους.
534 τῆς μὲν ἀπὸ μεγάροιο κατὰ στίβον ἐνθάδ' ἰόντες
535 μνησάμεθ', εἴ κε δύναιτο, κασιγνήτη γεγαυῖα,
536 μήτηρ ἡμετέρη πεπιθεῖν ἐπαρῆξαι ἀέθλῳ.
537 εἰ δὲ καὶ αὐτοῖσιν τόδ' ἐφανδάνει, ἦ τ' ἂν ἱκοίμην
538 ἤματι τῷδ' αὐτῷ πάλιν εἰς δόμον Αἰήταο
539 πειρήσων: τάχα δ' ἂν σὺν δαίμονι πειρηθείην."
(3.540-544) Thus he spake, and the gods in their goodwill gave them a sign. A trembling dove in her flight from a mighty hawk fell from on high, terrified, into the lap of Aeson's son, and the hawk fell impaled on the stern-ornament. And quickly Mopsus with prophetic words spake among them all:
540 Ὧς φάτο: τοῖσι δὲ σῆμα θεοὶ δόσαν εὐμενέοντες.
541 τρηρὼν μὲν φεύγουσα βίην κίρκοιο πελειὰς
542 ὑψόθεν Αἰσονίδεω πεφοβημένη ἔμπεσε κόλποις:
543 κίρκος δ' ἀφλάστῳ περικάππεσεν. ὦκα δὲ Μόψος
544 τοῖον ἔπος μετὰ πᾶσι θεοπροπέων ἀγόρευσεν:
(3.545-554) "For you, friends, this sign has been wrought by the will of heaven; in no other way is it possible to interpret its meaning better, than to seek out the maiden and entreat her with manifold skill. And I think she will not reject our prayer, if in truth Phineus said that our return should be with the help of the Cyprian goddess. It was her gentle bird that escaped death; and as my heart within me foresees according to this omen, so may it prove! But, my friends, let us call on Cytherea to aid us, and now at once obey the counsels of Argus."
545 "̓́Υμμι, φίλοι, τόδε σῆμα θεῶν ἰότητι τέτυκται:
546 οὐδέ τῃ ἄλλως ἐστὶν ὑποκρίνασθαι ἄρειον,
547 παρθενικὴν δ' ἐπέεσσι μετελθέμεν ἀμφιέποντας
548 μήτι παντοίῃ. δοκέω δέ μιν οὐκ ἀθερίζειν,
549 εἰ ἐτεὸν Φινεύς γε θεᾷ ἐνὶ Κύπριδι νόστον
550 πέφραδεν ἔσσεσθαι. κείνης δ' ὅγε μείλιχος ὄρνις
551 πότμον ὑπεξήλυξε: κέαρ δέ μοι ὡς ἐνὶ θυμῷ
552 τόνδε κατ' οἰωνὸν προτιόσσεται, ὧς δὲ πέλοιτο.
553 ἀλλά, φίλοι, Κυθέρειαν ἐπικλείοντες ἀμύνειν,
554 ἤδη νῦν Ἄργοιο παραιφασίῃσι πίθεσθε."
(3.555-563) He spake, and the warriors approved, remembering the injunctions of Phineus; but all alone leapt up Apharcian Idas and shouted loudly in terrible wrath: "Shame on us, have we come here fellow voyagers with women, calling on Cypris for help and not on the mighty strength of Enyalius? And do ye look to doves and hawks to save yourselves from contests? Away with you, take thought not for deeds of war, but by supplication to beguile weakling girls."
555 Ἴσκεν: ἐπῄνησαν δὲ νέοι, Φινῆος ἐφετμὰς
556 μνησάμενοι: μοῦνος δ' Ἀφαρήιος ἄνθορεν Ἴδας,
557 δείν' ἐπαλαστήσας μεγάλῃ ὀπί, φώνησέν τε:
558 "̂Ὠ πόποι, ἦ ῥα γυναιξὶν ὁμόστολοι ἐνθάδ' ἔβημεν,
559 οἳ Κύπριν καλέουσιν ἐπίρροθον ἄμμι πέλεσθαι,
560 οὐκέτ' Ἐνυαλίοιο μέγα σθένος; ἐς δὲ πελείας
561 καὶ κίρκους λεύσσοντες ἐρητύεσθε ἀέθλων;
562 ἔρρετε, μηδ' ὔμμιν πολεμήια ἔργα μέλοιτο,
563 παρθενικὰς δὲ λιτῇσιν ἀνάλκιδας ἠπεροπεύειν."
(3.564-571) Such were his eager words; and of his comrades many murmured low, but none uttered a word of answer back. And he sat down in wrath; and at once Jason roused them and uttered his own thought: "Let Argus set forth from the ship, since this pleases all; but we will now move from the river and openly fasten our hawsers to the shore. For surely it is not fitting for us to hide any longer cowering from the battle-cry."
564 Ὧς ηὔδα μεμαώς: πολέες δ' ὁμάδησαν ἑταῖροι
565 ἦκα μάλ', οὐδ' ἄρα τίς οἱ ἐναντίον ἔκφατο μῦθον.
566 χωόμενος δ' ὅγ' ἔπειτα καθέζετο: τοῖσι δ' Ἰήσων
567 αὐτίκ' ἐποτρύνων τὸν ἑὸν νόον ὧδ' ἀγόρευεν:
568 "Ἄργος μὲν παρὰ νηός, ἐπεὶ τόδε πᾶσιν ἕαδεν,
569 στελλέσθω: ἀτὰρ αὐτοὶ ἐπὶ χθονὸς ἐκ ποταμοῖο
570 ἀμφαδὸν ἤδη πείσματ' ἀνάψομεν. ἦ γὰρ ἔοικεν
571 μηκέτι δὴν κρύπτεσθαι ὑποπτήσσοντας ἀυτήν."
(3.572-575) So he spake, and straightway sent Argus to return in haste to the city; and they drew the anchors on board at the command of Aeson's son, and rowed the ship close to the shore, a little away from the back-water.
572 Ὧς ἄρ' ἔφη: καὶ τὸν μὲν ἄφαρ προΐαλλε νέεσθαι
573 καρπαλίμως ἐξαῦτις ἀνὰ πτόλιν: οἱ δ' ἐπὶ νηὸς
574 εὐναίας ἐρύσαντες ἐφετμαῖς Αἰσονίδαο
575 τυτθὸν ὑπὲξ ἕλεος χέρσῳ ἐπέκελσαν ἐρετμοῖς.
(3.576-608) But straightway Aeetes held an assembly of the Colchians far aloof from his palace at a spot where they sat in times before, to devise against the Minyae grim treachery and troubles. And he threatened that when first the oxen should have torn in pieces the man who had taken upon him to perform the heavy task, he would hew down the oak grove above the wooded hill, and burn the ship and her crew, that so they might vent forth in ruin their grievous insolence, for all their haughty schemes. For never would he have welcomed the Aeolid Phrixus as a guest in his halls, in spite of his sore need, Phrixus, who surpassed all strangers in gentleness and fear of the gods, had not Zeus himself sent Hermes his messenger down from heaven, so that he might meet with a friendly host; much less would pirates coming to his land be let go scatheless for long, men whose care it was to lift their hands and seize the goods of others, and to weave secret webs of guile, and harry the steadings of herdsmen with ill-sounding forays. And he said that besides all that the sons of Phrixus should pay a fitting penalty to himself for returning in consort with evildoers, that they might recklessly drive him from his honour and his throne; for once he had heard a baleful prophecy from his father Helios, that he must avoid the secret treachery and schemes of his own offspring and their crafty mischief. Wherefore he was sending them, as they desired, to the Achaean land at the bidding of their father -- a long journey. Nor had he ever so slight a fear of his daughters, that they would form some hateful scheme, nor of his son Apsyrtus; but this curse was being fulfilled in the children of Chalciope. And he proclaimed terrible things in his rage against the strangers, and loudly threatened to keep watch over the ship and its crew, so that no one might escape calamity.
576 Αὐτίκα δ' Αἰήτης ἀγορὴν ποιήσατο Κόλχων
577 νόσφιν ἑοῖο δόμου, τόθι περ καὶ πρόσθε κάθιζον,
578 ἀτλήτους Μινύῃσι δόλους καὶ κήδεα τεύχων.
579 στεῦτο δ', ἐπεί κεν πρῶτα βόες διαδηλήσωνται
580 ἄνδρα τόν, ὅς ῥ' ὑπέδεκτο βαρὺν καμέεσθαι ἄεθλον,
581 δρυμὸν ἀναρρήξας λασίης καθύπερθε: κολώνης
582 αὔτανδρον φλέξειν δόρυ νήιον, ὄφρ' ἀλεγεινὴν
583 ὕβριν ἀποφλύξωσιν ὑπέρβια μηχανόωντες.
584 οὐδὲ γὰρ Αἰολίδην Φρίξον μάλα περ χατέοντα
585 δέχθαι ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἐφέστιον, ὃς περὶ πάντων
586 ξείνων μελιχίῃ τε θεουδείῃ τ' ἐκέκαστο,
587 εἰ μή οἱ Ζεὺς αὐτὸς ἀπ' οὐρανοῦ ἄγγελον ἧκεν
588 Ἑρμείαν, ὥς κεν προσκηδέος ἀντιάσειεν:
589 μὴ καὶ ληιστῆρας ἑὴν ἐς γαῖαν ἰόντας
590 ἔσσεσθαι δηναιὸν ἀπήμονας, οἷσι μέμηλεν
591 ὀθνείοις ἐπὶ χεῖρα ἑὴν κτεάτεσσιν ἀείρειν,
592 κρυπταδίους τε δόλους τεκταινέμεν, ἠδὲ βοτήρων
593 αὔλια δυσκελάδοισιν ἐπιδρομίῃσι δαΐξαι.
594 νόσφι δὲ οἷ αὐτῷ φάτ' ἐοικότα μείλια τίσειν
595 υἱῆας Φρίξοιο, κακορρέκτῃσιν ὀπηδοὺς
596 ἀνδράσι νοστήσαντας ὁμιλαδόν, ὄφρα ἑ τιμῆς
597 καὶ σκήπτρων ἐλάσειαν ἀκηδέες: ὥς ποτε βάξιν
598 λευγαλέην οὗ πατρὸς ἐπέκλυεν Ἠελίοιο,
599 χρειώ μιν πυκινόν τε δόλον βουλάς τε γενέθλης
600 σφωιτέρης ἄτην τε πολύτροπον ἐξαλέασθαι:
601 τῶ καὶ ἐελδομένους πέμπειν ἐς Ἀχαιίδα γαῖαν
602 πατρὸς ἐφημοσύνῃ, δολιχὴν ὁδόν. οὐδὲ θυγατρῶν
603 εἶναί οἱ τυτθόν γε δέος, μή πού τινα μῆτιν
604 φράσσωνται στυγερήν, οὐδ' υἱέος Ἀψύρτοιο:
605 ἀλλ' ἐνὶ Χαλκιόπης γενεῇ τάδε λυγρὰ τετύχθαι.
606 καί ῥ' ὁ μὲν ἄσχετα ἔργα πιφαύσκετο δημοτέροισιν
607 χωόμενος: μέγα δέ σφιν ἀπείλεε νῆά τ' ἔρυσθαι
608 ἠδ' αὐτούς, ἵνα μήτις ὑπὲκ κακότητος ἀλύξῃ.