Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ARGONAUTS (ARGONAUTICA): THE SAILING OF THE ARGO, by APOLLONIUS RHODIUS



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THE ARGONAUTS (ARGONAUTICA): THE SAILING OF THE ARGO, by            
First Line: As boys begin their dancing to apollo
Last Line: Achilles in her arms, to the father showing.
Alternate Author Name(s): Apollonius Of Rhodes


AS boys begin their dancing to Apollo
At Pytho or Quail Island or the fount
Ismenus; there to the sound
Of lyre's concent around his hearth they follow
Their rapid measure, the feet stamping the ground;
So now to Orpheus' lute the oarsmen urge
The rushing water with oars, until the surge
Covers their blades awash.
All ways the dark salt sea boils in an eddy
Of roaring foam that oarsmen's strength pulls steady.
Like flames their weapons in the sunshine flash
As the ship moves, her wake a long bright line
As white as path seen cutting the greensward.
This day the gods in heaven all regard
The ship and strength of heroes half divine,
Men in their time the best that sailed the sea.
And there upon the mountain tops amazed
The nymphs of Pelion gazed
At this, Athene's work in Thessaly,
The ship, the heroes plying hand to oar;
And Chiron son of Phillyra descends
From his high peak to where the sea inshore
Breaks in white foam; he wades in it, and tarries
Often waving his sturdy hand, invoking
Godspeed and good returning for his friends;
And with him Peleus' wife; held high she carries
Achilles in her arms, to the father showing.





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