(4.1-5) Now do thou thyself, goddess Muse, daughter of Zeus, tell of the labour and wiles of the Colchian maiden. Surely my soul within me wavers with speechless amazement as I ponder whether I should call it the lovesick grief of mad passion or a panic flight, through which she left the Colchian folk.
1 Αὐτὴ νῦν κάματόν γε, θεά, καὶ δήνεα κούρης
2 Κολχίδος ἔννεπε, Μοῦσα, Διὸς τέκος. ἦ γὰρ ἔμοιγε
3 ἀμφασίῃ νόος ἔνδον ἑλίσσεται ὁρμαίνοντι,
4 ἢ ἔμεν ἄτης πῆμα δυσίμερον, ἦ τόγ' ἐνίσπω
5 φύζαν ἀεικελίην, ᾗ κάλλιπεν ἔθνεα Κόλχων.
(4.6-10) Aeetes all night long with the bravest captains of his people was devising in his halls sheer treachery against the heroes, with fierce wrath in his heart at the issue of the hateful contest; nor did he deem at all that these things were being accomplished without the knowledge of his daughters.
6 Ἤτοι ὁ μὲν δήμοιο μετ' ἀνδράσιν, ὅσσοι ἄριστοι,
7 παννύχιος δόλον αἰπὺν ἐπὶ σφίσι μητιάασκεν
8 οἷσιν ἐνὶ μεγάροις, στυγερῷ ἐπὶ θυμὸν ἀέθλῳ
9 Αἰήτης ἄμοτον κεχολωμένος: οὐδ' ὅγε πάμπαν
10 θυγατέρων τάδε νόσφιν ἑῶν τελέεσθαι ἐώλπει.
(4.11-29) But into Medea's heart Hera cast most grievous fear; and she trembled like a nimble fawn whom the baying of hounds hath terrified amid the thicket of a deep copse. For at once she truly forboded that the aid she had given was not hidden from her father, and that quickly she would fill up the cup of woe. And she dreaded the guilty knowledge of her handmaids; her eyes were filled with fire and her ears rung with a terrible cry. Often did she clutch at her throat, and often did she drag out her hair by the roots and groan in wretched despair. There on that very day the maiden would have tasted the drugs and perished and so have made void the purposes of Hera, had not the goddess driven her, all bewildered, to flee with the sons of Phrixus; and her fluttering soul within her was comforted; and then she poured from her bosom all the drugs back again into the casket. Then she kissed her bed, and the folding-doors on both sides, and stroked the walls, and tearing away in her hands a long tress of hair, she left it in the chamber for her mother, a memorial of her maidenhood, and thus lamented with passionate voice:
11 Τῇ δ' ἀλεγεινότατον κραδίῃ φόβον ἔμβαλεν Ἥρη:
12 τρέσσεν δ', ἠύτε τις κούφη κεμάς, ἥν τε βαθείης
13 τάρφεσιν ἐν ξυλόχοιο κυνῶν ἐφόβησεν ὁμοκλή.
14 αὐτίκα γὰρ νημερτὲς ὀίσσατο, μή μιν ἀρωγὴν
15 ληθέμεν, αἶψα δὲ πᾶσαν ἀναπλήσειν κακότητα.
16 τάρβει δ' ἀμφιπόλους ἐπιίστορας: ἐν δέ οἱ ὄσσε
17 πλῆτο πυρός, δεινὸν δὲ περιβρομέεσκον ἀκουαί.
18 πυκνὰ δὲ λευκανίης ἐπεμάσσατο, πυκνὰ δὲ κουρὶξ
19 ἑλκομένη πλοκάμους γοερῇ βρυχήσατ' ἀνίῃ.
20 καί νύ κεν αὐτοῦ τῆμος ὑπὲρ μόρον ὤλετο κούρη,
21 φάρμακα πασσαμένη, Ἥρης δ' ἁλίωσε μενοινάς,
22 εἰ μή μιν Φρίξοιο θεὰ σὺν παισὶ φέβεσθαι
23 ὦρσεν ἀτυζομένην: πτερόεις δέ οἱ ἐν φρεσὶ θυμὸς
24 ἰάνθη: μετὰ δ' ἥγε παλίσσυτος ἀθρόα κόλπων
25 φάρμακα πάντ' ἄμυδις κατεχεύατο φωριαμοῖο.
26 κύσσε δ' ἑόν τε λέχος καὶ δικλίδας ἀμφοτέρωθεν
27 σταθμούς, καὶ τοίχων ἐπαφήσατο, χερσί τε μακρὸν
28 ῥηξαμένη πλόκαμον, θαλάμῳ μνημήια μητρὶ
29 κάλλιπε παρθενίης, ἀδινῇ δ' ὀλοφύρατο φωνῇ:
(4.30-33) "I go, leaving this long tress here in my stead, O mother mine; take this farewell from me as I go far hence; farewell Chalciope, and all my home. Would that the sea, stranger, had dashed thee to pieces, ere thou camest to the Colchian land!"
30 "Τόνδε τοι ἀντ' ἐμέθεν ταναὸν πλόκον εἶμι λιποῦσα,
31 μῆτερ ἐμή: χαίροις δὲ καὶ ἄνδιχα πολλὸν ἰούσῃ:
32 χαίροις Χαλκιόπη, καὶ πᾶς δόμος. αἴθε σε πόντος,
33 ξεῖνε, διέρραισεν, πρὶν Κολχίδα γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι."
(4.34-56) Thus she spake, and from her eyes shed copious tears. And as a bondmaid steals away from a wealthy house, whom fate has lately severed from her native land, nor yet has she made trial of grievous toil, but still unschooled to misery and shrinking in terror from slavish tasks, goes about beneath the cruel hands of a mistress; even so the lovely maiden rushed forth from her home. But to her the bolts of the doors gave way self-moved, leaping backwards at the swift strains of her magic song. And with bare feet she sped along the narrow paths, with her left hand holding her robe over her brow to veil her face and fair cheeks, and with her right lifting up the hem of her tunic. Quickly along the dark track, outside the towers of the spacious city, did she come in fear; nor did any of the warders note her, but she sped on unseen by them. Thence she was minded to go to the temple; for well she knew the way, having often aforetime wandered there in quest of corpses and noxious roots of the earth, as a sorceress is wont to do; and her soul fluttered with quivering fear. And the Titanian goddess, the moon, rising from a far land, beheld her as she fled distraught, and fiercely exulted over her, and thus spake to her own heart:
34 Ὧς ἄρ' ἔφη: βλεφάρων δὲ κατ' ἀθρόα δάκρυα χεῦεν.
35 οἵη δ' ἀφνειοῖο διειλυσθεῖσα δόμοιο
36 ληιάς, ἥν τε νέον πάτρης ἀπενόσφισεν αἶσα,
37 οὐδέ νύ πω μογεροῖο πεπείρηται καμάτοιο,
38 ἀλλ' ἔτ' ἀηθέσσουσα δύης καὶ δούλια ἔργα
39 εἶσιν ἀτυζομενη χαλεπὰς ὑπὸ χεῖρας ἀνάσσης:
40 τοίη ἄρ' ἱμερόεσσα δόμων ἐξέσσυτο κούρη.
41 τῇ δὲ καὶ αὐτόματοι θυρέων ἱπόειξαν ὀχῆες,
42 ὠκείαις ἄψορροι ἀναθρώσκοντες ἀοιδαῖς.
43 γυμνοῖσιν δὲ πόδεσσιν ἀνὰ στεινὰς θέεν οἴμους,
44 λαιῇ μὲν χερὶ πέπλον ἐπ' ὀφρύσιν ἀμφὶ μέτωπα
45 στειλαμένη καὶ καλὰ παρήια, δεξιτερῇ δὲ
46 ἄκρην ὑψόθι πέζαν ἀερτάζουσα χιτῶνος.
47 καρπαλίμως δ' ἀίδηλον ἀνὰ στίβον ἔκτοθι πύργων
48 ἄστεος εὐρυχόροιο φόβῳ ἵκετ': οὐδέ τις ἔγνω
49 τήνγε φυλακτήρων, λάθε δέ σφεας ὁρμηθεῖσα.
50 ἔνθεν ἴμεν νηόνδε μάλ' ἐφράσατ': οὐ γὰρ ἄιδρις
51 ἦεν ὁδῶν, θαμὰ καὶ πρὶν ἀλωμένη ἀμφί τε νεκρούς,
52 ἀμφί τε δυσπαλέας ῥίζας χθονός, οἷα γυναῖκες
53 φαρμακίδες: τρομερῷ δ' ὑπὸ δείματι πάλλετο θυμός.
54 τὴν δὲ νέον Τιτηνὶς ἀνερχομένη περάτηθεν
55 φοιταλέην ἐσιδοῦσα θεὰ ἐπεχήρατο Μήνη
56 ἁρπαλέως, καὶ τοῖα μετὰ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔειπεν:
(4.57-65) "Not I alone then stray to the Latinian cave, nor do I alone burn with love for fair Endymion; oft times with thoughts of love have I been driven away by thy crafty spells, in order that in the darkness of night thou mightest work thy sorcery at ease, even the deeds dear to thee. And now thou thyself too hast part in a like mad passion; and some god of affection has given thee Jason to be thy grievous woe. Well, go on, and steel thy heart, wise though thou be, to take up thy burden of pain, fraught with many sighs."
57 "Οὐκ ἄρ' ἐγὼ μούνη μετὰ Λάτμιον ἄντρον ἀλύσκω,
58 οὐδ' οἴη καλῷ περιδαίομαι Ἐνδυμίωνι:
59 ἦ θαμὰ δὴ καὶ σεῖο κίον δολίῃσιν ἀοιδαῖς,
60 μνησαμένη φιλότητος, ἵνα σκοτίῃ ἐνὶ νυκτὶ
61 φαρμάσσῃς εὔκηλος, ἅ τοι φίλα ἔργα τέτυκται.
62 νῦν δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ δῆθεν ὁμοίης ἔμμορες ἄτης:
63 δῶκε δ' ἀνιηρόν τοι Ἰήσονα πῆμα γενέσθαι
64 δαίμων ἀλγινόεις. ἀλλ' ἔρχεο, τέτλαθι δ' ἔμπης,
65 καὶ πινυτή περ ἐοῦσα, πολύστονον ἄλγος ἀείρειν."
(4.66-82) Thus spake the goddess; but swiftly the maiden's feet bore her, hasting on. And gladly did she gain the high-bank of the river and beheld on the opposite side the gleam of fire, which all night long the heroes were kindling in joy at the contest's issue. Then through the gloom, with clear-pealing voice from across the stream, she called on Phrontis, the youngest of Phrixus' sons, and he with his brothers and Aeson's son recognised the maiden's voice; and in silence his comrades wondered when they knew that it was so in truth. Thrice she called, and thrice at the bidding of the company Phrontis called out in reply; and meantime the heroes were rowing with swift- moving oars in search of her. Not yet were they casting the ship's hawsers upon the opposite bank, when Jason with light feet leapt to land from the deck above, and after him Phrontis and Argus, sons of Phrixus, leapt to the ground; and she, clasping their knees with both hands, thus addressed them:
66 ̂Ὠς ἄρ' ἔφη: τὴν δ' αἶψα πόδες φέρον ἐγκονέουσαν.
67 ἀσπασίως δ' ὄχθῃσιν ἐπηέρθη ποταμοῖο,
68 ἀντιπέρην λεύσσουσα πυρὸς σέλας, ὅ ῥά τ' ἀέθλου
69 παννύχιοι ἥρωες ἐυφροσύνῃσιν ἔδαιον.
70 ὀξείῃ δἤπειτα διὰ κνέφας ὄρθια φωνῇ
71 ὁπλότατον Φρίξοιο περαιόθεν ἤπυε παίδων,
72 φρόντιν: ὁ δὲ ξὺν ἑοῖσι κασιγνήτοις ὄπα κούρης
73 αὐτῷ τ' Αἰσονίδῃ τεκμήρατο: σῖγα δ' ἑταῖροι
74 θάμβεον, εὖτ' ἐνόησαν ὃ δὴ καὶ ἐτήτυμον ἦεν.
75 τρὶς μὲν ἀνήυσεν, τρὶς δ' ὀτρύνοντος ὁμίλου
76 Φρόντις ἀμοιβήδην ἀντίαχεν: οἱ δ' ἄρα τείως
77 ἥρωες μετὰ τήνγε θοοῖς ἐλάασκον ἐρετμοῖς.
78 οὔπω πείσματα νηὸς ἐπ' ἠπείροιο περαίης
79 βάλλον, ὁ δὲ κραιπνοὺς χέρσῳ πόδας ἧκεν Ἰήσων
80 ὑψοῦ ἀπ' ἰκριόφιν: μετὰ δὲ Φρόντις τε καὶ Ἄργος,
81 υἷε δύω Φρίξου, χαμάδις θόρον: ἡ δ' ἄρα τούσγε
82 γούνων ἀμφοτέρῃσι περισχομένη προσέειπεν:
(4.83-91) "Save me, the hapless one, my friends, from Aeetes, and yourselves too, for all is brought to light, nor doth any remedy come. But let us flee upon the ship, before the king mounts his swift chariot. And I will lull to sleep the guardian serpent and give you the fleece of gold; but do thou, stranger, amid thy comrades make the gods witness of the vows thou hast taken on thyself for my sake; and now that I have fled far from my country, make me not a mark for blame and dishonour for want of kinsmen."
83 "Ἔκ με, φίλοι, ῥύσασθε δυσάμμορον, ὧς δὲ καὶ αὐτοὺς
84 ὑμέας Αἰήταο, πρὸ γάρ τ' ἀναφανδὰ τέτυκται
85 πάντα μάλ', οὐδέ τι μῆχος ἱκάνεται. ἀλλ' ἐπὶ νηὶ
86 φεύγωμεν, πρὶν τόνδε θοῶν ἐπιβήμεναι ἵππων.
87 δώσω δὲ χρύσειον ἐγὼ δέρος, εὐνήσασα
88 φρουρὸν ὄφιν: τύνη δὲ θεοὺς ἐνὶ σοῖσιν ἑταίροις,
89 ξεῖνε, τεῶν μύθων ἐπιίστορας, οὕς μοι ὑπέστης,
90 ποίησαι: μηδ' ἔνθεν ἑκαστέρω ὁρμηθεῖσαν
91 χήτει κηδεμόνων ὀνοτὴν καὶ ἀεικέα θείης."
(4.92-98) She spake in anguish; but greatly did the heart of Aeson's son rejoice, and at once, as she fell at his knees, he raised her gently and embraced her, and spake words of comfort: "Lady, let Zeus of Olympus himself be witness to my oath, and Hera, queen of marriage, bride of Zeus, that I will set thee in my halls my own wedded wife, when we have reached the land of Hellas on our return."
92 Ἴσκεν ἀκηχεμένη: μέγα δὲ φρένες Αἰσονίδαο
93 γήθεον: αἶψα δέ μιν περὶ γούνασι πεπτηυῖαν
94 ἦκ' ἀναειρόμενος προσπτύξατο, θάρσυνέν τε:
95 "Δαιμονίη, Ζεὺς αὐτὸς Ὀλύμπιος ὅρκιος ἔστω,
96 Ἥρη τε Ζυγίη, Διὸς εὐνέτις, ἦ μὲν ἐμοῖσιν
97 κουριδίην σε δόμοισιν ἐνιστήσεσθαι ἄκοιτιν,
98 εὖτ' ἂν ἐς Ἑλλάδα γαῖαν ἱκώμεθα νοστήσαντες."
(4.99-108) Thus he spake, and straightway clasped her right hand in his; and she bade them row the swift ship to the sacred grove near at hand, in order that, while it was still night, they might seize and carry off the fleece against the will of Aeetes. Word and deed were one to the eager crew. For they took her on board, and straightway thrust the ship from shore; and loud was the din as the chieftains strained at their oars, but she, starting back, held out her hands in despair towards the shore. But Jason spoke cheering words and restrained her grief.
99 Ὧς ηὔδα, καὶ χεῖρα παρασχεδὸν ἤραρε χειρὶ
100 δεξιτερήν: ἡ δέ σφιν ἐς ἱερὸν ἄλσος ἀνώγει
101 νῆα θοὴν ἐλάαν αὐτοσχεδόν, ὄφρ' ἔτι νύκτωρ
102 κῶας ἑλόντες ἄγοιντο παρὲκ νόον Αἰήταο.
103 ἔνθ' ἔπος ἠδὲ καὶ ἔργον ὁμοῦ πέλεν ἐσσυμένοισιν.
104 εἰς γάρ μιν βήσαντες, ἀπὸ χθονὸς αὐτίκ' ἔωσαν
105 νῆα: πολὺς δ' ὀρυμαγδὸς ἐπειγομένων ἐλάτῃσιν
106 ἦεν ἀριστήων: ἡ δ' ἔμπαλιν ἀίσσουσα
107 γαίῃ χεῖρας ἔτεινεν ἀμήχανος. αὐτὰρ Ἰήσων
108 θάρσυνέν τ' ἐπέεσσι, καὶ ἴσχανεν ἀσχαλόωσαν.