Pictures by Nick Hayes for Storynory. Click to Enlarge.
We begin our four part “epic” poem written in verse by Bertie for Storynory.
You may know this famous story by other titles including Jason and the Golden Fleece and Jason and the Argonauts. We have chosen to call it “Jason and Medea” to emphasis the parts of the hero and the heroine, who are both interesting characters. It tells the tale of how Jason sailed from Greece on a quest to the land of Colchis which is now known as Georgia (South of Russia, North of Turkey, West of Armenia, on the Black Sea). He took with him a gang of “hardened heros” including the famous strongman, Heracles, who features in Part One. His goal was to bring back the fabulous Golden Fleece – but he must contend with fierce dragons and beautiful witches.
The poem will be in four parts, and there are three songs to go with it. There are 12 specially commissioned pictures. This part and part two is beautifully narrated by Richard Scott. Parts three and four will be read by Natasha in the voice of Medea.
The story if very loosely based on / inspired by The Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes.
Read by Richard Scott.
Pictures by Nick Hayes.
Written by Bertie.
Music by Gabriella Burnell.
Jason and Medea, The Story of the Golden Fleece, told in verse in four parts, by Storynory.
Part One : The Voyage Begins.
It is a youthful traveller
Only just a man
A single sandal upon one foot,
He has not more than
Twenty years spent upon earth,
“My Shoe”, he says, “I lost.
Stolen by the winter stream,
Snatched, as I crossed.”
And here, to Iolcus, he has tramped,
His cloak is tattered and torn.
And Pelias, the king, he looked at his foot
And felt utterly forlorn.
“Come in my boy, sit down, your name?”
“I’m Jason”, he replied,
The king he looked, again, at that foot
And felt that he had died.
For he had heard that his doom would be dealt
By just such a man
A single sandal upon one foot
That was destiny’s plan.
“Away, I must send him, he thought to himself
Far over the wine dark sea
He can go on a quest, to prove he is best
To fetch his boyhood glory.”
“Away across the blackest sea
To a gorgeous, wild state,
With mountains of riches, and women that are witches,
Where dragons guard the gate”.
“Yes, Georgia, Colchis, call it what you will
It stands by the sea that is black
Many have assaulted, its citadel vaulted,
But not one has ever come back.”
“A prince he is, supposedly.
He looks somewhat a dope
I think it’s a plan, for just such a man,
A quest that has no hope.”
But Jason scrubbed up rather well
Bathed and clothed he looked better.
He had long dark locks, and a hero’s looks,
And was quite the trend setter.
A hero’s quest, was what he wanted best,
To add glory to his name.
He would not cease, until he had the fleece,
The Georgian Fleece of fame.
For in a cave in Colchis there hung
The golden, shimmering fleece,
The Georgian garment of great renown
Coveted by all of Greece.
Once worn by a living creature,
A ram with golden wings
Phrixos flew there from Greece on the ram.
And gave it to the king.
Get it, said Pelias, Bring it to me
And Jason gladly agreed.
Gold turned him cold, but fame was his flame
He suffered not from greed.
“I am a man to manage a challenge,”
He said boldly in the court.
Who will join me on this quest
A journey, danger fraught?”
And forth came heroes, real heroes,
Men who had sailed the seas
Polydeuces, Castor, Idmon and last,
Not least, Heracles.
And Argos, the oldest, greatest ship maker,
He set to work with his saw.
He made them the strongest, fleetest, ship
Like none that had sailed before.
Then gathered the gang, a hero to the man.
They named their ship the Argo.
And the crew they called, the Argonauts,
And the Fleece was to be their cargo.
They went down to the shore, gave an ox to the gods
Then sat on the beach, and drank wine.
The men tell tales, but Jason he ails,
Troubles on his mind.
And Idas of Arene, an irksome fellow
Though handy in a fight
Saw Jason brood, and guessed his mood,
“He’s a coward, alright”.
“Is this scrawny boy to lead,
A gang of hardened heroes?
Will he hold his nerve, and never swerve
When the clanging fear grows?”
“See here, a hero, Herakles.
Now this is a man.
He is more than a man, he makes war
Like a mighty entire clan.”
“He caries a club, his foes to drub,
He smashes, and trashes them in.
He loves to kill, it gives him a thrill
His heart, as black as sin”.
“When he was small, he was sent a gift,
A sinuous, venomous snake.
To slither in, and silence him,
But he did take
That snake, and shake and break it,
And fling it to the floor.
You know his mother’s milk, was creamy silk
She was a goddess, for sure. ”
“So Herakles, choose him, he’s the one
To lead us across the sea.”
“- No No”, he said, hanging his head,
Struck down by modesty.
The others told Idas to hold his tongue
And then they took up the boat
And shouting with glee, they shoved it to sea,
And soon they were fast afloat.
They sat down at the benches, and took their oars,
And mid all sat Heracles.
They heaved and hoe-ed, and on they rowed
Gliding over the seas.
And next to Heracles sat Hylas,
His one and only friend.
The golden one, he loved a liked son
To the end he would defend.
And Poseidon the god of the oceans
Followed them over the surf.
And his seven steeds, that galloped the seas.
Strained for all they were worth.
They rowed across the deep black sea
A never ending stretch.
They heaved and hoe-ed, and on they rowed
The Fleece for Greece they’ll fetch!
And when at night, they slept at their seats,
Heracles rowed on.
He would have rowed more, but he broke his oar,
Snap! and it was gone.
When rosy-fingered dawn awoke,
They glided toward the land
No longer afloat, they jumped over the boat,
And warmed their toes in the sand
Heracles was in need of an oar
A tree would suit his grip,
To Hylas he said, fetch water instead
My thirst could do with a sip.
At first the friends walked together
The ambled along light hearted.
Tracks on the beach, the woods they did reach,
And in the woods they parted.
Hylas headed for the sacred spring
But he did not go unseen.
The nymphs along route, thought he looked cute
One, was the woodland queen.
And when he reached the gushing water.
He knelt down to fill his urn.
A nymph saw his face, she longed to embrace,
And her little heart did burn.
She entwined her arm around his neck,
And kissed him in full wonder.
She entwined her arm, she meant no harm,
But she pulled him under.
Did Hylas drown? It’s hard to say
He glugged beneath the water
The king of the spring, welcomed him in,
And married him to his daughter.
But Heracles, he had lost his friend
He could not find him anywhere,
The strongest man, now began
To surrender to despair.
He cried, he wailed, he felt he had failed
He didn’t know what to do
The incredible hulk has muscles that bulk,
But his heart is broken in two.
And Jason waits by the bulk of the boat.
He waits and waits for the hulk.
But he is gone. He wanders on.
Now he’s the incredible sulk.
And Jason waits by the bulk of the boat
His oar at his side.
To sail away. Or to stay.
He is unable to decide.
And Polydeuces puts his hand on his shoulder
“This is no time to fret.”
Says the hero, “It’s time to go.
On the fleece our sight must set.”
So Jason summons all his Argonauts.
He calls each man by name.
“Push down the boat, and on we float,
To Colchis and our fame.”
They pull at the oars, it’s harder than before,
They plough the sea wearily.
As they heave through the haze, all their eyes gaze
On the middle bench that is empty.
And Telamon, of the strong spear, speaks up:
“It’s not hard to see your mind.
Jason, my lad, you were only too glad
To leave the real hero behind.”
There is no reply. Only tears in his eye.
Then the sea stirs deeply.
The Argo rocks. The Argonauts are in shock.
Now the waves rise steeply.
And before them shaking the prow of the boat
A god has risen from the deep.
his name. His tongue is a flame.
The men began to weep.
“On whose authority did you take with you,
Heracles, I ask?
According to Zeus, he cannot be let loose,
Until he has done his twelfth task.”
“For 12 Herculean labours must he do
And back to Argos he has gone
Do not doubt him, you must go without him.
To take him with you was wrong.”
And then the water wrapped around him like a cloak,
He was gone and all was calm.
“Forgive me”, said Telamon, “for I was wrong.
Believe me, I meant no harm.”
And Jason nods and prudently speaks:
“Your words were cruel and hot.
But in the end, you spoke for a friend,
For gain you spoke not.”
“So I take it that you, are to a comrade true;
And I value you more for that
So get back to your oar, we are as before,
Together in this combat.”
And they raised the mast, and the wind blew fast,
Driving them across the sea
And all night long, the wind blew on
Until dawn, rose rosily.
And that was the first part of Jason and Medea read by me Richard Scott. In the next part I will be telling you about Jason and the Argonauts’ adventures on the way to Colchis to fetch the Golden Fleece. Later on you will hear the voice of Natasha as the Georgian princess and witch, Medea. And we have we have music by Gabriella Burnell. Also if you drop by at Storynory.com you can see the fantastic illustrations of the story by Nick Hayes. All in all this is a big production for Storynory so we do hope that you enjoy it !
Jason and Medea was written for Storynory by Bertie, very loosely following the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rodes.
For now, from me, Richard, Bye.
Summary: The youthful Jason arrives at the court of King Pelias wearing only one shoe. Pelias as been told that a man with one scandal will kill him. He sends Jason on an impossible quest to get the golden fleece from Colchis (modern Georgia). Jason collects a gang of heroes including Heracles and they set sail. Some of the heroes think that Heracles should be the leader. They land and Heracles friend Hylas is abducted by a water nymph. Heracles wanders off in grief. One hero says that Jason is glad to lose his rival. But a sea god rises out of the sea and says Heracles had to go to complete his labours. Jason forgives the insubordinate sailor.