Meilissoio

sheep

This is part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Φράζεο νῦν, ὥς κέν τοι ἐγὼ μητίσομ’ ἀρωγήν.
εὖτ’ ἂν δὴ μετιόντι πατὴρ ἐμὸς ἐγγυαλίξῃ
ἐξ ὄφιος γενύων ὀλοοὺς σπείρασθαι ὀδόντας,
δὴ τότε μέσσην νύκτα διαμμοιρηδὰ φυλάξας,
ἀκαμάτοιο ῥοῇσι λοεσσάμενος ποταμοῖο,
οἶος ἄνευθ’ ἄλλων ἐνὶ φάρεσι κυανέοισιν
βόθρον ὀρύξασθαι περιηγέα· τῷ δ’ ἔνι θῆλυν
ἀρνειὸν σφάζειν, καὶ ἀδαίετον ὠμοθετῆσαι,
αὐτῷ πυρκαϊὴν εὖ νηήσας ἐπὶ βόθρῳ.
μουνογενῆ δ’ Ἑκάτην Περσηΐδα μειλίσσοιο,
λείβων ἐκ δέπαος σιμβλήϊα ἔργα μελισσέων.
(Apollonius of Rhodes, Arg. 3.1.1026-1036)

Listen carefully now, so that I can devise help for you. After you go to meet my father and he gives you the deadly teeth from the snake’s jaws to sow, then watch for the time when the night is divided in the middle and bathe in the streams of a tireless river; and, alone, apart from all others, clad in dark garments, dig a round pit. Slay a female sheep in it and place the unbutchered carcass on a pyre which you have carefully erected over the pit itself. Appease Hecate, the only child of Perses, as you pour from a goblet libations of the hive-held labors of bees. (tr. William H. Race)

 

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