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(4.1228-1250) Now had they left behind the gulf named after the Ambracians, now with sails wide spread the land of the Curetes, and next in order the narrow islands with the Echinades, and the land of Pelops was just descried; even then a baleful blast of the north wind seized them in mid-course and swept them towards the Libyan sea nine nights and as many days, until they came far within Syrtis, wherefrom is no return for ships, when they are once forced into that gulf. For on every hand are shoals, on every hand masses of seaweed from the depths; and over them the light foam of the wave washes without noise; and there is a stretch of sand to the dim horizon; and there moveth nothing that creeps or flies. Here accordingly the flood-tide -- for this tide often retreats from the land and bursts back again over the beach coming on with a rush and roar -- thrust them suddenly on to the innermost shore, and but little of the keel was left in the water. And they leapt forth from the ship, and sorrow seized them when they gazed on the mist and the levels of vast land stretching far like a mist and continuous into the distance; no spot for water, no path, no steading of herdsmen did they descry afar off, but all the scene was possessed by a dead calm. And thus did one hero, vexed in spirit, ask another:

1228      Ἤδη μέν ποθι κόλπον ἐπώνυμον ̓Λμβρακιήων,
1229 ἤδη Κουρῆτιν ἔλιπον χθόνα πεπταμένοισιν
1230  λαίφεσι καὶ στεινὰς αὐταῖς σὺν Ἐχινάσι νήσους
1231 ἑξείης, Πέλοπος δὲ νέον κατεφαίνετο γαῖα:
1232 καὶ τότ' ἀναρπάγδην ὀλοὴ βορέαο θύελλα
1233 μεσσηγὺς πέλαγόσδε Λιβυστικὸν ἐννέα πάσας
1234 νύκτας ὁμῶς καὶ τόσσα φέρ' ἤματα, μέχρις ἵκοντο
1235  προπρὸ μάλ' ἔνδοθι Σύρτιν, ὅθ' οὐκέτι νόστος ὀπίσσω
1236 νηυσὶ πέλει, ὅτε τόνγε βιῴατο κόλπον ἱκέσθαι.
1237 πάντῃ γὰρ τέναγος, πάντῃ μνιόεντα βυθοῖο
1238 τάρφεα: κωφὴ δέ σφιν ἐπιβλύει ὕδατος ἄχνη:
1239 ἠερίη δ' ἄμαθος παρακέκλιται: οὐδέ τι κεῖσε
1240  ἑρπετόν, οὐδὲ ποτητὸν ἀείρεται. ἔνθ' ἄρα τούσγε
1241 πλυμμυρίς--καὶ γάρ τ' ἀναχάζεται ἠπείροιο
1242 ἦ θαμὰ δὴ τόδε χεῦμα, καὶ ἂψ ἐπερεύγεται ἀκτὰς
1243 λάβρον ἐποιχόμενον--μυχάτῃ ἐνέωσε τάχιστα
1244 ἠιόνι, τρόπιος δὲ μάλ' ὕδασι παῦρον ἔλειπτο.
1245  οἱ δ' ἀπὸ νηὸς ὄρουσαν, ἄχος δ' ἕλεν εἰσορόωντας
1246 ἠέρα καὶ μεγάλης νῶτα χθονὸς ἠέρι ἶσα,
1247 τηλοῦ ὑπερτείνοντα διηνεκές: οὐδέ τιν' ἀρδμόν,
1248 οὐ πάτον, οὐκ ἀπάνευθε κατηυγάσσαντο βοτήρων
1249 αὔλιον, εὐκήλῳ δὲ κατείχετο πάντα γαλήνῃ.
1250  ἄλλος δ' αὖτ' ἄλλον τετιημένος ἐξερέεινεν:

(4.1251-1258) "What land is this? Whither has the tempest hurled us? Would that, reckless of deadly fear, we had dared to rush on by that same path between the clashing rocks! Better were it to have overleapt the will of Zeus and perished in venturing some mighty deed. But now what should we do, held back by the winds to stay here, if ever so short a time? How desolate looms before us the edge of the limitless land!"

1251     "Τίς χθὼν εὔχεται ἥδε; πόθι ξυνέωσαν ἄελλαι
1252 ἡμέας; αἴθ' ἔτλημεν, ἀφειδέες οὐλομένοιο
1253 δείματος, αὐτὰ κέλευθα διαμπερὲς ὁρμηθῆναι
1254 πετράων. ἦ τ' ἂν καὶ ὑπὲρ Διὸς αἶσαν ἰοῦσιν
1255  βέλτερον ἦν μέγα δή τι μενοινώοντας ὀλέσθαι.
1256 νῦν δὲ τί κεν ῥέξαιμεν, ἐρυκόμενοι ἀνέμοισιν
1257 αὖθι μένειν τυτθόν περ ἐπὶ χρόνον; οἷον ἐρήμη
1258 πέζα διωλυγίης ἀναπέπταται ἠπείροιο."

(4.1259-1276) Thus one spake; and among them Ancaeus the helmsman, in despair at their evil case, spoke with grieving heart: "Verily we are undone by a terrible doom; there is no escape from ruin; we must suffer the cruellest woes, having fallen on this desolation, even though breezes should blow from the land; for, as I gaze far around, on every side do I behold a sea of shoals, and masses of water, fretted line upon line, run over the hoary sand. And miserably long ago would our sacred ship have been shattered far from the shore; but the tide itself bore her high on to the land from the deep sea. But now the tide rushes back to the sea, and only the foam, whereon no ship can sail, rolls round us, just covering the land. Wherefore I deem that all hope of our voyage and of our return is cut off. Let someone else show his skill; let him sit at the helm the man that is eager for our deliverance. But Zeus has no will to fulfil our day of return after all our toils."

1259     Ὧς ἄρ' ἔφη: μετὰ δ' αὐτὸς ἀμηχανίῃ κακότητος
1260  ἰθυντὴρ Ἀγκαῖος ἀκηχέμενος ἀγόρευσεν:
1261 "Ὠλόμεθ' αἰνότατον δῆθεν μόρον, οὐδ' ὑπάλυξις
1262 ἔστ' ἄτης: πάρα δ' ἄμμι τὰ κύντατα πημανθῆναι
1263 τῇδ' ἐπ' ἐρημαίῃ πεπτηότας, εἰ καὶ ἀῆται
1264 χερσόθεν ἀμπνεύσειαν: ἐπεὶ τεναγώδεα λεύσσω
1265  τῆλε περισκοπέων ἅλα πάντοθεν: ἤλιθα δ' ὕδωρ
1266 ξαινόμενον πολιῇσιν ἐπιτροχάει ψαμάθοισιν.
1267 καί κεν ἐπισμυγερῶς διὰ δὴ πάλαι ἥδ' ἐκεάσθη
1268 νηῦς ἱερὴ χέρσου πολλὸν πρόσω: ἀλλά μιν αὐτὴ
1269 πλημμυρὶς ἐκ πόντοιο μεταχθονίην ἐκόμισσεν.
1270  νῦν δ' ἡ μὲν πέλαγόσδε μετέσσυται, οἰόθι δ' ἅλμη
1271 ἄπλοος εἰλεῖται, γαίης ὕπερ ὅσσον ἔχουσα.
1272 τούνεκ' ἐγὼ πᾶσαν μὲν ἀπ' ἐλπίδα φημὶ κεκόφθαι
1273 ναυτιλίης νόστου τε. δαημοσύνην δέ τις ἄλλος
1274 φαίνοι ἑήν: πάρα γάρ οἱ ἐπ' οἰήκεσσι θαάσσειν
1275  μαιομένῳ κομιδῆς. ἀλλ' οὐ μάλα νόστιμον ἦμαρ
1276 Ζεὺς ἐθέλει καμάτοισιν ἐφ' ἡμετέροισι τελέσσαι."

(4.1277-1317) Thus he spake with tears, and all of them that had knowledge of ships agreed thereto; but the hearts of all grew numb, and pallor overspread their cheeks. And as, like lifeless spectres, men roam through a city awaiting the issue of war or of pestilence, or some mighty storm which overwhelms the countless labours of oxen, when the images of their own accord sweat and run down with blood, and bellowings are heard in temples, or when at mid-day the sun draws on night from heaven, and the stars shine clear through the mist; so at that time along the endless strand the chieftains wandered, groping their way. Then straightway dark evening came upon them; and piteously did they embrace each other and say farewell with tears, that they might, each one apart from his fellow, fall on the sand and die. And this way and that they went further to choose a resting-place; and they wrapped their heads in their cloaks and, fasting and unfed, lay down all that night and the day, awaiting a piteous death. But apart the maidens huddled together lamented beside the daughter of Aeetes. And as when, forsaken by their mother, unfledged birds that have fallen from a cleft in the rock chirp shrilly; or when by the banks of fair-flowing Pactolus, swans raise their song, and all around the dewy meadow echoes and the river's fair stream; so these maidens, laying in the dust their golden hair, all through the night wailed their piteous lament. And there all would have parted from life without a name and unknown to mortal men, those bravest of heroes, with their task unfulfilled; but as they pined in despair, the heroine-nymphs, warders of Libya, had pity on them, they who once found Athena, what time she leapt in gleaming armour from her father's head, and bathed her by Trito's waters. It was noon-tide and the fiercest rays of the sun were scorching Libya; they stood near Aeson's son, and lightly drew the cloak from his head. And the hero cast down his eyes and looked aside, in reverence for the goddesses, and as he lay bewildered all alone they addressed him openly with gentle words:

1277     Ὧς φάτο δακρυόεις: σὺν δ' ἔννεπον ἀσχαλόωντι
1278 ὅσσοι ἔσαν νηῶν δεδαημένοι: ἐν δ' ἄρα πᾶσιν
1279 παχνώθη κραδίη, χύτο δὲ χλόος ἀμφὶ παρειάς.
1280  οἷον δ' ἀψύχοισιν ἐοικότες εἰδώλοισιν
1281 ἀνέρες εἱλίσσονται ἀνὰ πτόλιν, ἢ πολέμοιο
1282 ἢ λοιμοῖο τέλος ποτιδέγμενοι, ἠέ τιν' ὄμβρον
1283 ἄσπετον, ὅς τε βοῶν κατὰ μυρία ἔκλυσεν ἔργα,
1284 ἢ ὅταν αὐτόματα ξόανα ῥέῃ ἱδρώοντα
1285  αἵματι, καὶ μυκαὶ σηκοῖς ἔνι φαντάζωνται,
1286 ὴὲ καὶ ἠέλιος μέσῳ ἤματι νύκτ' ἐπάγῃσιν
1287 οὐρανόθεν, τὰ δὲ λαμπρὰ δι' ἠέρος ἄστρα φαείνοι:
1288 ὧς τότ' ἀριστῆες δολιχοῦ πρόπαρ αἰγιαλοῖο
1289 ἤλυον ἑρπύζοντες. ἐπήλυθε δ' αὐτίκ' ἐρεμνὴ
1290  ἕσπερος. οἱ δ' ἐλεεινὰ χεροῖν σφέας ἀμφιβαλόντες
1291 δακρυόειν ἀγάπαζον, ἵν' ἄνδιχα δῆθεν ἕκαστος
1292 θυμὸν ἀποφθίσειαν ἐνὶ ψαμάθοισι πεσόντες.
1293 βὰν δ' ἴμεν ἄλλυδις ἄλλος ἑκαστέρω αὖλιν ἑλέσθαι:
1294 ἐν δὲ κάρη πέπλοισι καλυψάμενοι σφετέροισιν
1295  ἄκμηνοι καὶ ἄπαστοι ἐκείατο νύκτ' ἔπι πᾶσαν
1296 καὶ φάος, οἰκτίστῳ θανάτῳ ἔπι. νόσφι δὲ κοῦραι
1297 ἀθρόαι Αἰήταο παρεστενάχοντο θυγατρί.
1298 ὡς δ' ὅτ' ἐρημαῖοι πεπτηότες ἔκτοθι πέτρης
1299 χηραμοῦ ἀπτῆνες λιγέα κλάζουσι νεοσσοί:
1300  ἢ ὅτε καλὰ νάοντος ἐπ' ὀφρύσι Πακτωλοῖο
1301 κύκνοι κινήσωσιν ἑὸν μέλος, ἀμφὶ δὲ λειμὼν
1302 ἑρσήεις βρέμεται ποταμοῖό τε καλὰ ῥέεθρα:
1303 ὧς αἱ ἐπὶ ξανθὰς θέμεναι κονίῃσιν ἐθείρας
1304 παννύχιαι ἐλεεινὸν ἰήλεμον ὠδύροντο.
1305  καί νύ κεν αὐτοῦ πάντες ἀπὸ ζωῆς ἐλίασθεν
1306 νώνυμνοι καὶ ἄφαντοι ἐπιχθονίοισι δαῆναι
1307 ἡρώων οἱ ἄριστοι ἀνηνύστῳ ἐπ' ἀέθλῳ:
1308 ἀλλά σφεας ἐλέηραν ἀμηχανίῃ μινύθοντας
1309 ἡρῷσσαι, Λιβύης τιμήοροι, αἵ ποτ' ̓Λθήνην,
1310  ἦμος ὅτ' ἐκ πατρὸς κεφαλῆς θόρε παμφαίνουσα,
1311 ἀντόμεναι Τρίτωνος ἐφ' ὕδασι χυτλώσαντο.
1312 ἔνδιον ἦμαρ ἔην, περὶ δ' ὀξύταται θέρον αὐγαὶ
1313 ἠελίου Λιβύην: αἱ δὲ σχεδὸν Λἰσονίδαο
1314 ἔσταν, ἕλον δ' ἀπὸ χερσὶ καρήατος ἠρέμα πέπλον.
1315  αὐτὰρ ὅγ' εἰς ἑτέρωσε παλιμπετὲς ὄμματ' ἔνεικεν,
1316 δαίμονας αἰδεσθείς: αὐτὸν δέ μιν ἀμφαδὸν οἶον
1317 μειλιχίοις ἐπέεσσιν ἀτυζόμενον προσέειπον:

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