Padraic Colum > The Golden Fleece > Part I. > Chapter IX. The Lemnian Maidens > II
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived before Achilles.  1921.

Part I. The Voyage to Colchis
Chapter IX. The Lemnian Maidens
PERSEPHONE had been playing with the nymphs who are the daughters of Ocean—Phæno, Ianthe, Melita, Ianeira, Acaste—in the lovely fields of Enna. They went to gather flowers—irises and crocuses, lilies, narcissus, hyacinths and rose-blooms—that grow in those fields. As they went, gathering flowers in their baskets, they had sight of Pergus, the pool that the white swans come to sing in.   1
  Beside a deep chasm that had been made in the earth a wonder flower was growing—in color it was like the crocus, but it sent forth a perfume that was like the perfume of a hundred flowers. And Persephone thought as she went toward it that having gathered that flower she would have something much more wonderful than her companions had.   2
  She did not know that Aidoneus, the lord of the Underworld, had caused that flower to grow there so that she might be drawn by it to the chasm that he had made.   3
  As Persephone stooped to pluck the wonder flower, Aidoneus, in his chariot of iron, dashed up through the chasm, and grasping the maiden by the waist, set her beside him. Only Cyane, the nymph, tried to save Persephone, and it was then that she caught the girdle in her hands.   4
  The maiden cried out, first because her flowers had been spilled, and then because she was being reft away. She cried out to her mother, and her cry went over high mountains and sounded up from the sea. The daughters of Ocean, affrighted, fled and sank down into the depths of the sea.   5
  In his great chariot of iron that was drawn by black steeds Aidoneus rushed down through the chasm he had made. Into the Underworld he went, and he dashed across the River Styx, and he brought his chariot up beside his throne. And on his dark throne he seated Persephone, the fainting daughter of Demeter.   6



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