(3.705-710) Thus she spake, and straightway a torrent of tears gushed forth and low down she clasped her sister's knees with both hands and let her head sink on to her breast. Then they both made piteous lamentation over each other, and through the halls rose the faint sound of women weeping in anguish. Medea, sore troubled, first addressed her sister:
705 Ὧς ἄρ' ἔφη, τὸ δὲ πολλὸν ὑπεξέχυτ' αὐτίκα δάκρυ:
706 νειόθι θ' ἀμφοτέρῃσι περίσχετο γούνατα χερσίν,
707 σὺν δὲ κάρη κόλποις περικάββαλεν. ἔνθ' ἐλεεινὸν
708 ἄμφω ἐπ' ἀλλήλῃσι θέσαν γόον: ὦρτο δ' ἰωὴ
709 λεπταλέη διὰ δώματ' ὀδυρομένων ἀχέεσσιν.
710 τὴν δὲ πάρος Μήδεια προσέννεπεν ἀσχαλόωσα:
(3.711-717) "God help thee, what healing can I bring thee for what thou speakest of, horrible curses and Furies? Would that it were firmly in my power to save thy sons! Be witness that mighty oath of the Colchians by which thou urgest me to swear, the great Heaven, and Earth beneath, mother of the gods, that as far as strength lies in me, never shalt thou fail of help, if only thy prayers can be accomplished."
711 "Δαιμονίη, τί νύ τοι ῥέξω ἄκος, οἷ' ἀγορεύεις,
712 ἀράς τε στυγερὰς καὶ Ἐρινύας; αἲ γὰρ ὄφελλεν
713 ἔμπεδον εἶναι ἐπ' ἄμμι τεοὺς υἱῆας ἔρυσθαι.
714 ἴστω Κόλχων ὅρκος ὑπέρβιος ὅντιν' ὀμόσσαι
715 αὐτὴ ἐποτρύνεις, μέγας Οὐρανός, ἥ θ' ὑπένερθεν
716 Γαῖα, θεῶν μήτηρ, ὅσσον σθένος ἐστὶν ἐμεῖο,
717 μή σ' ἐπιδευήσεσθαι, ἀνυστά περ ἀντιόωσαν."
(3.718-723) She spake, and Chalciope thus replied: "Couldst thou not then, for the stranger -- who himself craves thy aid -- devise some trick or some wise thought to win the contest, for the sake of my sons? And from him has come Argus urging me to try to win thy help; I left him in the palace meantime while I came hither."
718 Φῆ ἄρα: Χαλκιόπη δ' ἠμείβετο τοῖσδ' ἐπέεσσιν:
719 "Οὐκ ἂν δὴ ξείνῳ τλαίης χατέοντι καὶ αὐτῷ
720 ἢ δόλον, ἤ τινα μῆτιν ἐπιφράσσασθαι ἀέθλου,
721 παίδων εἵνεκ' ἐμεῖο; καὶ ἐκ κείνοιο δ' ἱκάνει
722 Ἄργος, ἐποτρύνων με τεῆς πειρῆσαι ἀρωγῆς:
723 μεσσηγὺς μὲν τόνγε δόμῳ λίπον ἐνθάδ' ἰοῦσα."
(3.724-739) Thus she spake, and Medea's heart bounded with joy within her, and at once her fair cheeks flushed, and a mist swam before her melting eyes, and she spake as follows: "Chalciope, as is dear and delightful to thee and thy sons, even so will I do. Never may the dawn appear again to my eyes, never mayst thou see me living any longer, if I should take thought for anything before thy life or thy sons' lives, for they are my brothers, my dear kinsmen and youthful companions. So do I declare myself to be thy sister, and thy daughter too, for thou didst lift me to thy breast when an infant equally with them, as I ever heard from my mother in past days. But go, bury my kindness in silence, so that I may carry out my promise unknown to my parents; and at dawn I will bring to Hecate's temple charms to cast a spell upon the bulls."
724 Ὧς φάτο: τῇ δ' ἔντοσθεν ἀνέπτατο χάρματι θυμός,
725 φοινίχθη δ' ἄμυδις καλὸν χρόα, κὰδ δέ μιν ἀχλὺς
726 εἷλεν ἰαινομένην, τοῖον δ' ἐπὶ μῦθον ἔειπεν:
727 "Χαλκιόπη, ὡς ὔμμι φίλον τερπνόν τε τέτυκται,
728 ὧς ἔρξω. μὴ γάρ μοι ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖσι φαείνοι
729 ἠώς, μηδέ με δηρὸν ἔτι ζώουσαν ἴδοιο,
730 εἴ γέ τι σῆς ψυχῆς προφερέστερον, ἠέ τι παίδων
731 σῶν θείην, οἳ δή μοι ἀδελφειοὶ γεγάασιν,
732 κηδεμόνες τε φίλοι καὶ ὁμήλικες. ὧς δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ
733 φημὶ κασιγνήτη τε σέθεν κούρη τε πέλεσθαι,
734 ἶσον ἐπεὶ κείνοις με τεῷ ἐπαείραο μαζῷ
735 νηπυτίην, ὡς αἰὲν ἐγώ ποτε μητρὸς ἄκουον.
736 ἀλλ' ἴθι, κεῦθε δ' ἐμὴν σιγῇ χάριν, ὄφρα τοκῆας
737 λήσομαι ἐντύνουσα ὑπόσχεσιν:
738 ἦρι δὲ νηὸν
739 οἴσομαι εἰς Ἑκάτης θελκτήρια φάρμακα ταύρων."
(3.740-743) Thus Chalciope went back from the chamber, and made known to her sons the help given by her sister. And again did shame and hateful fear seize Medea thus left alone, that she should devise such deeds for a man in her father's despite.
740 Ὧς ἥγ' ἐκ θαλάμοιο πάλιν κίε, παισί τ' ἀρωγὴν
741 αὐτοκασιγνήτης διεπέφραδε. τὴν δέ μιν αὖτις
742 αἰδώς τε στυγερόν τε δέος λάβε μουνωθεῖσαν,
743 τοῖα παρὲξ οὗ πατρὸς ἐπ' ἀνέρι μητιάασθαι.
(3.744-771) Then did night draw darkness over the earth; and on the sea sailors from their ships looked towards the Bear and the stars of Orion; and now the wayfarer and the warder longed for sleep, and the pall of slumber wrapped round the mother whose children were dead; nor was there any more the barking of dogs through the city, nor sound of men's voices; but silence held the blackening gloom. But not indeed upon Medea came sweet sleep. For in her love for Aeson's son many cares kept her wakeful, and she dreaded the mighty strength of the bulls, beneath whose fury he was like to perish by an unseemly fate in the field of Ares. And fast did her heart throb within her breast, as a sunbeam quivers upon the walls of a house when flung up from water, which is just poured forth in a caldron or a pail may be; and hither and thither on the swift eddy does it dart and dance along; even so the maiden's heart quivered in her breast. And the tear of pity flowed from her eyes, and ever within anguish tortured her, a smouldering fire through her frame, and about her fine nerves and deep down beneath the nape of the neck where the pain enters keenest, whenever the unwearied Loves direct against the heart their shafts of agony. And she thought now that she would give him the charms to cast a spell on the bulls, now that she would not, and that she herself would perish; and again that she would not perish and would not give the charms, but just as she was would endure her fate in silence. Then sitting down she wavered in mind and said:
744 Νὺξ μὲν ἔπειτ' ἐπὶ γαῖαν ἄγεν κνέφας: οἱ δ' ἐνὶ πόντῳ
745 ναῦται εἰς Ἑλίκην τε καὶ ἀστέρας Ὠρίωνος
746 ἔδρακον ἐκ νηῶν: ὕπνοιο δὲ καί τις ὁδίτης
747 ἤδη καὶ πυλαωρὸς ἐέλδετο: καί τινα παίδων
748 μητέρα τεθνεώτων ἀδινὸν περὶ κῶμ' ἐκάλυπτεν:
749 οὐδὲ κυνῶν ὑλακὴ ἔτ' ἀνὰ πτόλιν, οὐ θρόος ἦεν
750 ἠχήεις: σιγὴ δὲ μελαινομένην ἔχεν ὄρφνην.
751 ἀλλὰ μάλ' οὐ Μήδειαν ἐπὶ γλυκερὸς λάβεν ὕπνος.
752 πολλὰ γὰρ Αἰσονίδαο πόθῳ μελεδήματ' ἔγειρεν
753 δειδυῖαν ταύρων κρατερὸν μένος, οἷσιν ἔμελλεν
754 φθίσθαι ἀεικελίῃ μοίρῃ κατὰ νειὸν Ἄρηος.
755 πυκνὰ δέ οἱ κραδίη στηθέων ἔντοσθεν ἔθυιεν,
756 ἠελίου ὥς τίς τε δόμοις ἐνιπάλλεται αἴγλη
757 ὕδατος ἐξανιοῦσα, τὸ δὴ νέον ἠὲ λέβητι
758 ἠέ που ἐν γαυλῷ κέχυται: ἡ δ' ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
759 ὠκείῃ στροφάλιγγι τινάσσεται ἀίσσουσα:
760 ὧς δὲ καὶ ἐν στήθεσσι κέαρ ἐλελίζετο κούρης.
761 δάκρυ δ' ἀπ' ὀφθαλμῶν ἐλέῳ ῥέεν: ἔνδοθι δ' αἰεὶ
762 τεῖρ' ὀδύνη σμύχουσα διὰ χροός, ἀμφί τ' ἀραιὰς
763 ἶνας καὶ κεφαλῆς ὑπὸ νείατον ἰνίον ἄχρις,
764 ἔνθ' ἀλεγεινότατον δύνει ἄχος, ὁππότ' ἀνίας
765 ἀκάματοι πραπίδεσσιν ἐνισκίμψωσιν Ἔρωτες.
766 φῆ δέ οἱ ἄλλοτε μὲν θελκτήρια φάρμακα ταύρων
767 δωσέμεν, ἄλλοτε δ' οὔτι: καταφθίσθαι δὲ καὶ αὐτή:
768 αὐτίκα δ' οὔτ' αὐτὴ θανέειν, οὐ φάρμακα δώσειν,
769 ἀλλ' αὔτως εὔκηλος ἑὴν ὀτλησέμεν ἄτην.
770 ἑζομένη δἤπειτα δοάσσατο, φώνησέν τε:
771 "Δειλὴ ἐγώ, νῦν ἔνθα κακῶν ἢ ἔνθα γένωμαι;
(3.772-801) "Poor wretch, must I toss hither and thither in woe? On every side my heart is in despair; nor is there any help for my pain; but it burneth ever thus. Would that I had been slain by the swift shafts of Artemis before I had set eyes on him, before Chalciope's sons reached the Achaean land. Some god or some Fury brought them hither for our grief, a cause of many tears. Let him perish in the contest if it be his lot to die in the field. For how could I prepare the charms without my parents' knowledge? What story call I tell them? What trick, what cunning device for aid can I find? If I see him alone, apart from his comrades, shall I greet him? Ill-starred that I am! I cannot hope that I should rest from my sorrows even though he perished; then will evil come to me when he is bereft of life. Perish all shame, perish all glow; may he, saved by my effort, go scatheless wherever his heart desires. But as for me, on the day when he bides the contest in triumph, may I die either straining my neck in the noose from the roof-tree or tasting drugs destructive of life. But even so, when I am dead, they will fling out taunts against me; and every city far away will ring with my doom, and the Colchian women, tossing my name on their lips hither and thither, will revile me with unseemly mocking -- the maid who cared so much for a stranger that she died, the maid who disgraced her home and her parents, yielding to a mad passion. And what disgrace will not be mine? Alas for my infatuation! Far better would it be for me to forsake life this very night in my chamber by some mysterious fate, escaping all slanderous reproach, before I complete such nameless dishonour."
772 πάντῃ μοι φρένες εἰσὶν ἀμήχανοι: οὐδέ τις ἀλκὴ
773 πήματος: ἀλλ' αὔτως φλέγει ἔμπεδον. ὡς ὄφελόν γε
774 Ἀρτέμιδος κραιπνοῖσι πάρος βελέεσσι δαμῆναι,
775 πρὶν τόνγ' εἰσιδέειν, πρὶν Ἀχαιίδα γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι
776 Χαλκιόπης υἷας. τοὺς μὲν θεὸς ἤ τις Ἐρινὺς
777 ἄμμι πολυκλαὕτους δεῦρ' ἤγαγε κεῖθεν ἀνίας.
778 φθίσθω ἀεθλεύων, εἴ οἱ κατὰ νειὸν ὀλέσθαι
779 μοῖρα πέλει. πῶς γάρ κεν ἐμοὺς λελάθοιμι τοκῆας
780 φάρμακα μησαμένη; ποῖον δ' ἐπὶ μῦθον ἐνίψω;
781 τίς δὲ δόλος, τίς μῆτις ἐπίκλοπος ἔσσετ' ἀρωγῆς;
782 ἦ μιν ἄνευθ' ἑτάρων προσπτύξομαι οἶον ἰδοῦσα;
783 δύσμορος: οὐ μὲν ἔολπα καταφθιμένοιό περ ἔμπης
784 λωφήσειν ἀχέων: τότε δ' ἂν κακὸν ἄμμι πέλοιτο,
785 κεῖνος ὅτε ζωῆς ἀπαμείρεται. ἐρρέτω αἰδώς,
786 ἐρρέτω ἀγλαΐη: ὁ δ' ἐμῇ ἰότητι σαωθεὶς
787 ἀσκηθής, ἵνα οἱ θυμῷ φίλον, ἔνθα νέοιτο.
788 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν αὐτῆμαρ, ὅτ' ἐξανύσειεν ἄεθλον,
789 τεθναίην, ἢ λαιμὸν ἀναρτήσασα μελάθρῳ,
790 ἢ καὶ πασσαμένη ῥαιστήρια φάρμακα θυμοῦ.
791 ἀλλὰ καὶ ὧς φθιμένῃ μοι ἐπιλλίξουσιν ὀπίσσω
792 κερτομίας: τηλοῦ δὲ πόλις περὶ πᾶσα βοήσει
793 πότμον ἐμόν: καί κέν με διὰ στόματος φορέουσαι
794 Κολχίδες ἄλλυδις ἄλλαι ἀεικέα μωμήσονται:
795 ἥτις κηδομένη τόσον ἀνέρος ἀλλοδαποῖο
796 κάτθανεν, ἥτις δῶμα καὶ οὓς ᾔσχυνε τοκῆας,
797 μαργοσύνῃ εἴξασα. τί δ' οὐκ ἐμὸν ἔσσεται αἶσχος;
798 ᾤ μοι ἐμῆς ἄτης. ἦ τ' ἂν πολὺ κέρδιον εἴη
799 τῇδ' αὐτῇ ἐν νυκτὶ λιπεῖν βίον ἐν θαλάμοισιν
800 πότμῳ ἀνωίστῳ, κάκ' ἐλέγχεα πάντα φυγοῦσαν,
801 πρὶν τάδε λωβήεντα καὶ οὐκ ὀνομαστὰ τελέσσαι."