Pythian

Pindar

Pindar, creator; Arnson Svarlien, Diane, 1960-, translator

  1. But on the sixth day, speaking in earnest, Jason confided the entire story from the beginning to his kinsmen; and they took his side. At once he hurried from the camp with them, and they came to the hall of Pelias.
  2. They rushed in, and took their stand. And when Pelias heard them he came to meet them himself, the son of Tyro with beautiful hair. And Jason, with his soothing voice distilling gentle language, laid the foundation of skillful words: “Son of Poseidon, Cleaver of the Rock,
  3. the minds of mortals are all too swift
  4. to praise crafty gain rather than justice, although they are moving towards a harsh reckoning. But you and I must govern our tempers rightly and weave our future prosperity. You know what I am going to say. A single cow was mother to Cretheus and to bold-thinking Salmoneus. And now we, sprung from them in the third generation, look on the golden strength of the sun.
  5. May the Fates withdraw if there is any hatred between members of the same family, which blots out reverence.
  6. It is not right for us to resort to swords of sharp bronze or spears in dividing the great honors of our ancestors. I leave you the flocks, and the golden herds of cattle, and all the fields, which you keep, having stolen them
  7. from my ancestors, feeding fat your wealth; and it does not grieve me that they provide for your household beyond all measure. But as for the royal scepter and the throne, in which Aeson son of Cretheus once sat, and dispensed straight justice for a nation of horsemen: without any distress between us,
  8. release these to me, lest some more disturbing evil arise from them.” So he spoke. And Pelias answered softly: “I will be such a man as you ask. But already old age attends me, while the flower of your youth is now swelling. You have it in your power to remove the anger of the gods below. For Phrixus asks us to bring his soul home,
  9. going to the halls of Aeetes, and to recover the deep-fleeced hide of the ram, on which he was once saved from the sea
  10. and from the impious weapons of his stepmother. A marvellous dream came and told me these things, and I have asked the oracle at Castalia whether it must be pursued; and the oracle urges me to make ready as soon as possible a ship to escort him home.
  11. Willingly fulfill this quest, and I swear that I will deliver up to you the royal power and the kingdom. And, as a mighty oath, may Zeus, who is ancestor to us both, be our witness.” They approved this agreement, and they parted. And Jason himself at once
  12. sent messengers everywhere to announce the voyage. Soon there came the three sons, untiring in battle, whom dark-eyed Alcmena and Leda bore to Zeus son of Cronus; and two high-haired men, sons of the earth-shaker, obeying their innate valor, one from Pylos and the other from the headland of Taenarus; you both achieved
  13. noble fame, Euphemus and wide-ruling Periclymenus. And from Apollo the lyre-player came, the father of songs, much-praised Orpheus.
  14. And Hermes of the golden wand sent two sons to take part in the unabating toil, Echion and Erytus, bursting with youth. Swiftly
  15. came those that dwell around the foothills of Mount Pangaeon, for with a smiling spirit their father Boreas, king of the winds, quickly and willingly equipped Zetes and Calais with purple wings bristling down their backs. And Hera kindled in the demigods an all-persuasive sweet longing
  16. for the ship Argo, so that no one would be left behind to stay by his mother's side, nursing a life without danger, but even at the risk of death would find the finest elixir of excellence together with his other companions. When the choicest seamen came down to Iolcus, Jason reviewed and praised them all; and
  17. the seer Mopsus, making his prophecy from birds and the casting of sacred lots, gladly gave the men the signal to set out. And when they hung the anchor over the ship's ram,
  18. the leader, standing at the stern, took in his hands a golden goblet and called on the father of Uranus' descendants, Zeus whose spear is the thunderbolt; and he called on the
  19. swift-rushing waves and winds, and on the nights, and the paths of the sea, and the propitious days, and on the kindly fortune of their homecoming.. And from the clouds there answered an auspicious peal of thunder, and bright flashes of lightning came bursting forth, and the heroes drew a breath of relief, trusting in the sign of the god.
  20. The seer shouted to them