Imatges de pÓgina

PR. There's no unwillingness, but I hesitate to vex thy mind.

Io. Care not for me more than is pleasant to me.

PR. Since you are earnest, it behoves to speak; hear then.

CH. Not yet indeed; but a share of pleasure also give to me.
First we'll learn the malady of this one,

Herself relating her destructive fortunes,

And the remainder of her trials let her learn from thee.

PR. 'Tis thy part, Io, to do these a favor,

As well for every other reason, and as they are sisters of thy father.

Since to weep and to lament misfortunes,

There where one will get a tear

From those attending, is worthy the delay.

10. I know not that I need distrust you,

But in plain speech you shall learn

All that you ask for; and yet e'en telling I lament

The god-sent tempest, and dissolution

Of my form whence to me miserable it came.
For always visions in the night moving about
My virgin chambers, enticed me

With smooth words; "O greatly happy virgin,
Why be a virgin long? is permitted to obtain
The greatest marriage. For Zeus with love's dart
Has been warmed by thee, and wishes to unite
In love; but do thou, O child, spurn not the couch
Of Zeus, but go out to Lerna's deep
Morass, and stables of thy father's herds,

That the divine eye may cease from desire."
With such dreams every night

Was I unfortunate distressed, till I dared tell

My father of the night-wandering visions.
And he to Pytho and Dodona frequent

Prophets sent, that he might learn what it was necessary
He should say or do, to do agreeably to the gods.

And they came bringing ambiguous
Oracles, darkly and indistinctly uttered.
But finally a plain report came to Inachus,
Clearly enjoining him and telling,

Out of my home and country to expel me,
Discharged to wander to the earth's last bounds,
And if he was not willing, from Zeus would come

A fiery thunderbolt, which would annihilate all his race.
Induced by such predictions of the Loxian,
Against his will he drove me out,

And shut me from the houses; but Zeus' rein
Compelled him by force to do these things.
Immediately my form and mind were
Changed, and horned, as you behold, stung
By a sharp-mouthed fly, with frantic leaping
Rushed I to Cenchrea's palatable stream,
And Lerna's source; but a herdsman born-of-earth



Of violent temper, Argus, accompanied, with numerous
Eyes my steps observing.

But unexpectedly a sudden fate

Robbed him of life; and I, fly-stung,

By lash divine am driven from land to land.

You hear what has been done; and if you have to say aught,
What's left of labors, speak; nor pitying me
Comfort with false words; for an ill

The worst of all, I say, are made-up words.
CH. Ah! ah! enough, alas!

Ne'er, ne'er did I presume such cruel words
Would reach my ears, nor thus unsightly,

And intolerable hurts, sufferings, fears with a two-edged

Goad would chill my soul;

Alas! alas! fate! fate!

I shudder, seeing the state of Io.

PR. Before hand sigh'st thou, and art full of fears,
Hold till the rest also thou learn'st.

CH. Tell, teach; for to the sick 't is sweet

To know the remaining pain beforehand clearly.

PR. Your former wish ye got from me

With ease; for first ye asked to learn from her
Relating her own trials;

The rest now hear, what sufferings 't is necessary

This young woman should endure from Here.

But do thou, offspring of Inachus, my words

Cast in thy mind, that thou may'st learn the boundaries of the


First, indeed, hence toward the rising of the sun

Turning thyself, travel uncultivated lands,

And to the Scythian nomads thou wilt come, who woven roofs

On high inhabit, on well-wheeled carts.

With far-casting bows equipped;

Whom go not near, but to the sea-resounding cliffs

Bending thy feet, pass from the region.

On the left hand the iron-working

Chalybes inhabit, whom thou must needs beware,
For they are rude and inaccessible to strangers.

And thou wilt come to the Hybristes river, not ill named,
Which pass not, for not easy is 't to pass,

Before you get to Caucasus itself, highest

Of mountains, where the stream spurts out its tide
From the very temples; and passing over
The star-neighbored summits, 't is necessary to go,
The southern way where thou wilt come to the man-hating
Army of the Amazons, who Themiscyra one day
Will inhabit, by the Thermodon, where's
Salmydessia, rough jaw of the sea,
Inhospitable to sailors, step-mother of ships;
They will conduct thee on thy way, and very cheerfully.
And to the Cimmerian isthmus thou wilt come,

Just on the narrow portals of a lake, which leaving

It behoves thee with stout heart to pass the Mœotic straits;
And there will be to mortals ever a great fame

Of thy passage, and Bosphorus from thy name
"T will be called. And leaving Europe's plain

The continent of Asia thou wilt reach.-Seemeth to thee, for-

The tyrant of the gods in everything to be
Thus violent? For he a god with this mortal
Wishing to unite, drove her to these wanderings.
A bitter wooer didst thou find, O virgin,

For thy marriage. For the words you now have heard
Think not yet to be the prelude.

Io. Ah! me! me! alas! alas!

PR. Again dost shriek and heave a sigh? What

Wilt thou do when the remaining ills thou learn'st?
CH. And hast thou any further suffering to tell her?
PR. Aye, a tempestuous sea of baleful woe.

Io. What profit then for me to live, and not in haste
To cast myself from this rough rock,

That rushing down upon the plain I may be released
From every trouble? For better once for all to die,
Than all my days to suffer evilly.

PR. Unhappily my trials would'st thou hear,
To whom to die has not been fated;
For this would be release from sufferings;
But now there is no end of ills lying
Before me, until Zeus falls from sovereignty.

Io. And is Zeus ever to fall from power?

PR. Thou would'st be pleased, I think, to see this accident.

Io. How should I not, who suffer ill from Zeus ?

PR. That these things then are so, be thou assured.
Io. By what one will the tyrants' power be robbed ?

PR. Himself, by his own senseless counsels.

Io. In what way show, if there's no harm.

PR. He will make such a marriage as one day he'll repent.

Io. Of god or mortal? If to be spoken, tell.

PR. What matter which? For these things are not to be told.

Io. By a wife will he be driven from the throne?

PR. Aye, she will bring forth a son superior to his father.
Io. Is there no refuge for him from this fate?

PR. None, surely, till I may be released from bonds.

Io. Who then is to release thee, Zeus unwilling?

PR. He must be some one of thy descendants.

Io. How sayest thou that my child will deliver thee from ills?

PR. Third of thy race after ten other births.
Io. This oracle is not yet easy to be guessed.

PR. But do not seek to understand thy sufferings.

Io. First proffering gain to me, do not then withhold it.

PR. I'll grant thee one of two relations.

Io. What two propose, and give to me my choice.
PR. I give; choose whether thy remaining troubles

I shall tell thee clearly, or him that will release me.
CH. Consent to do her the one favor,

Me the other, nor deem us undeserving of thy words;
To her indeed tell what remains of wandering,
And to me, who will release; for I desire this.

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PR. Since ye are earnest, I will not resist

To tell the whole, as much as ye ask for.

To thee first, Io, vexatious wandering I will tell,
Which engrave on the remembering tablets of the mind.
When thou hast passed the flood boundary of continents,
Towards the flaming orient sun-travelled *

Passing through the tumult of the sea, until you reach
The gorgonean plains of Cisthene, where
The Phorcides dwell, old virgins,

Three, swan-shaped, having a common eye,
One-toothed, whom neither the sun looks on
With his beams, nor nightly moon ever.
And near, their winged sisters three,
Dragon-scaled Gorgons, odious to men,
Whom no mortal beholding, will have breath;
Such danger do I tell thee,

But hear another odious sight;

Beware the gryphons, sharp-mouthed

Dogs of Zeus, which bark not, and the one-eyed Arimaspian

Host, going on horse-back, who dwell about

The golden-flowing flood of Pluto's channel;
These go not near. But to a distant land
Thou 'lt come, a dusky race, who near the fountains
Of the sun inhabit, where is the Ethiopian river.
Creep down the banks of this, until thou com'st
To a descent, where from Byblinian mounts
The Nile sends down its sacred palatable stream.
This will conduct thee to the triangled land
Nilean, where, Io, 't is decreed

Thou and thy progeny shall form the distant colony

If aught of this is unintelligible to thee, and hard to be found

Repeat thy questions, and learn clearly;
For more leisure than I want is granted me.

CH. If to her aught remaining or omitted

Thou hast to tell of her pernicious wandering,
Speak; but if thou hast said all, give us
The favor which we ask, for surely thou remember'st.

PR. The whole term of her travelling has she heard.

But that she may know that not in vain she hears me,
I'll tell what before coming hither she endured,
Giving this as proof of my relations.

The great multitude of words I will omit,
And proceed unto the very limit of thy wanderings.
When then you came to the Molossian ground,
And near the high-ridged Dodona, where
Oracle and seat is of Thesprotian Zeus,
And prodigy incredible, the speaking oaks,
By whom you clearly, and nought enigmatically,
Were called the illustrious wife of Zeus

About to be, if aught of these things soothes thee;

Thence, driven by the fly, you came

The seaside way to the great gulf of Rhea,

From which by courses retrograde you are now tempest-tossed.
But for time to come the sea gulf,

Clearly know, will be called Ionian,

Memorial of thy passage to all mortals.
Proofs to thee are these of my intelligence,
That it sees somewhat more than the apparent.

But the rest to you and her in common I will tell,
Having come upon the very track of former words.
There is a city Canopus, last of the land,
By Nile's very mouth and bank;

There at length Zeus makes thee sane,
Stroking with gentle hand, and touching only.
And, named from Zeus' begetting,
Thou wilt bear dark Epaphus, who will reap
As much land as broad-flowing Nile doth water;
And fifth from him, a band of fifty children
Again to Argos shall unwilling come,
Of female sex, avoiding kindred marriage
Of their cousins; but they, with minds inflamed,
Hawks by doves not far left behind,

Will come pursuing marriages

Not to be pursued, but heaven will take vengeance on their


For them Pelasgia shall receive by Mars

Subdued with woman's hand with night-watching boldness.

For each wife shall take her husband's life,
Staining a two-edged dagger in his throat.
Such 'gainst my foes may Cypris come.
But one of the daughters shall love soften

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