YES, it was the ship of pine hewn on Mount Pelion, that first opened a path over the wonder-stricken billows--a path beset with perils and bestrewn with reefs--the ship of pine which, amid the clashing rocks, bore away the ram famed for its golden fleece. Would to heaven that the Argo had been swallowed up in the depths of the sea so that never mortal man should vex the wide ocean with his oars. For see now, here is Corinna leaving her own dear bed and all her household gods, and making ready to trust herself to the deceiving deep. Wherefore dost thou make thy hapless lover tremble for thy sake at every wind that blows, the West wind and the East, the icy North and the warm South? Thou'lt find no cities on thy way, no woods to enchant thy gaze, only and always the blue-grey waters of the treacherous main. Not on the open sea wilt thou discover dainty shells and pebbles many-hued; they are the pastime of the sandy shore; leave on the sands, my sweet ones, the imprint of your lovely feet; there doth safety lie; beyond, who knows what perils lurk? Let others tell thee of the warring winds, what seas by Scylla and Charybdis are infested, and on what rocks enthroned the grim Ceraunian peaks tower o'er the main, and where the Syrtes hidden lie, where Malea lurks. These things let others tell. Whate'er they say, give credence to their tales; for tempests the believer never harm. When once the cable's loosed and the carven ship sweeps out on to the wide, salt sea, 'tis long ere one beholds the land again. Then doth the anxious sailor dread the wrath of the winds and sees the face of death in every wave. What will become of you if Triton stirs his waves to fury. You'll look a pretty pallid object then. Then you'll cry for succour to the sons of fruitful Leda and exclaim, "Happy the woman that's safe on her native shore." It's a far safer thing to snuggle down in bed, to read diverting tales, or wake the music of the Thracian lyre. But if my words be vain and wind-dispersed, may Galatea look with favour on thy ship. If so precious and so fair a freight were lost, heavy on you, daughters divine of Nereus, heavy on thee, old Nereus thyself, would lie the blame. Go then, and take me with thee in thy thoughts; go thou, and soon return with prospering gales, and stronger be the winds that on thy homeward way shall swell thy sails. Let mighty Nereus roll the billows toward these shores, let all the winds breathe hither, and hither let the moon the waters draw. Pray thou thyself the Zephyrs to breathe full upon thy sails, and with thine own hand shake the canvas out.
I, gazing seawards from the shore, shall be the first to see thy vessel dear, and I shall cry, "That barque brings home my heaven." I'll fold thee in my arms, and with a riot of wild kisses smother thee; the victim, consecrate to thy return, shall slaughtered be; the sands of the shore I'll fashion like a couch, and any mound will serve us for a table. There, with the wine beside us, thou shalt all thy tale narrate; thou shalt tell me how thy vessel almost foundered mid the waves; thou shalt tell how, in hastening home to me, thou didst not fear the cold, dark nights, no, nor the stormy southern gales. They may be travellers' tales, yet I'll believe them, every one. Wherefore should I not smile on what I long for most? Oh, may the Morning Star, that has no rival in the fields of night, spur on his steed and bring with speed that happy day.