Through the angry ocean, wind-blasted surge,
I have gone my journey, horrific passage.
Now at length to this shore I have come,
To this green, afforested shore of long presage,
To a land, after much labour, level and calm.
Hither I came, whether for warfare or in peace
Knowing not well, in accordance with a madcap scheme,
Conceived by another man to a dark purpose.
Among a strange people, in a strange city I tread,
Doubtful how to act and what might come to pass,
But assuming a mask of courtesy or trade.
Lady, what do you see, you in whose gaze
My hesitant appearance so well is tried?
Do you perceive my features under this disguise?
Medea, lovely wench, led on by her gaze,
Through her father’s house to Jason’s chamber goes.
There she finds Jason sleepless but in bed,
Cap-a-pe acoutred all in martial guise:
Armour on legs and limbs, armour on head and body.
Upon that dragon he turns his restless mind,
That on the morrow he is set down to combat,
Not of his own choosing, but by regal command.
Upon that treasure also he turns his thought
Whose value by no means is to be determined,
Which he came to win and will not leave without.
But when fair Medea, lovely in every regard,
He saw standing there, need you wonder that
Armour and thought shortly lay in the discard?
I come, led on by the dream of a supposed visage,
Whose fulfillment not at all did I envisage.
A greater treasure to be brought into arms’ reach
Either by negotiation, asking or siege,
That is than a golden fleece in which a king is rich.
A fiercer dragon, a serpent of more horrid size,
Had not prevented me else miserable wretch
From such a possession as this which I now seize.
O dream, o vision, o sight remotely glimpsed
While yet I navigated oceans, stormy seas,
You led me on by fitful and faint gleams.
Woman, such potency is yours, thus to bewitch
With lovely face, bosom, and lips, and limbs,
The dream alone sustained me through the long watch.
In the death that comes from the loss of heart I live,
Sustained by despair itself and your love.
From this source do I derive the hardihood,
The strength of heart and fortitude required to cleave
The dragon through and through, to sever body and head.
As for that treasure hoard that the dragon guarded,
Great as it is, I count it little to be had;
But, as lightly won, to be lightly regarded.
All petty desires of having and fears of loss
No less from my heart have been discarded,
And the thought of you emplanted in their place.
Lady, in your embrace I find that despair
Turns into a world of joy and solace;
Such is your love’s effect on me, such is its power.