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When the iron men saw the stone, each sprang quickly to seize it. Then they began to bicker amongst each other, because each wished to have it, and to cut and thrust at each other; and as soon as one got his feet out of the soil, he ran to join the others, and all of them fought together, until every one of them was killed. Meanwhile Jason walked leisurely over the field and cut off the heads of those that were about to grow up. In this way, all the iron men perished, and King Æetes became like a madman; but Medea and the heroes and the people were well pleased.

The next morning, Jason went to King Eetes and asked him now to give him the fleece; but the king did not give it to him, and said that he must come at another time; for he meant to have Jason murdered. Medea told this to Jason, and told him also that he must fetch the fleece himself, or else he would never get it. The fleece was nailed to an oak, and at the foot of the oak lay a dragon that never slept, and devoured all men that might touch the fleece. As the dragon was immortal, Medea could not help Jason to kill him. But the dragon ate sweet cakes with delight, and Medea gave to Jason honeycakes, in which she had mixed a juice which would make the dragon go fast asleep. So Jason took the cakes and threw them before him; the dragon ate all of them, and at once fell asleep. Then Jason stepped over him, and drew out the nails with which the fleece was fastened to the oak; and taking down the fleece, he wrapped it in his cloak and carried it off to the ship. Medea came also, and became Jason's wife, and went with him to Greece.

Æetes, thinking the Argonauts would go back in the Argo, the same way they had come, sent a great many vessels to attack them; but they took another way, carried the Argo into the Ocean (which goes all around the earth), and so they came safe back to Iolcos. Jason gave the fleece to Pelias; Pelias soon after was put to death, and Æson became king.

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High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray,

He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music

On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again,

Her friends were all gone. They took her lightly back,

Between the night and morrow; They thought that she was fast asleep, But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since

Deep within the lakes, On a bed of flag-leaves, Watching till she wakes.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mòsses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.

Is any man so daring

As dig them up in spite?
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting

For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!


ONE fine evening a young princess went into a wood and sat down by the side of a cool spring of water. She had a golden ball in her hand, which was her favorite plaything, and she amused herself with tossing it into the air and catching it again as it fell. After a time she threw it up so high that when she stretched out her hand to catch it, the ball bounded away and rolled along upon the ground, till at last it fell into the spring. The princess looked into the spring after her ball; but it was very deep, so deep that she could not see the bottom of it. Then she began to lament her loss, and said, "Alas! if I could only get my ball again, I would give all my fine clothes and jewels, and everything that I have in the world."

While she was speaking a frog put its head out of the water and said, "Princess, why do you weep so bitterly?" "Alas!" said she, "what can you do for me, you nasty frog? My golden ball has fallen into the spring." The frog said, "I want not your pearls and jewels and fine clothes; but if you will love me and let me live with you, and eat from your little golden plate, and sleep upon your little bed, I will bring you your ball again." "What nonsense," thought the princess, "this silly frog is talking! He can never get out of the well: however, he may be able to get my ball for me; and therefore I will promise him what he asks." So she said to the frog, “Well, if you will bring me my ball, I promise to do all you require.”

Then the frog put his head down, and dived deep under the water; and after a little while he came up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the ground. As soon as the young princess saw her ball, she ran to pick it up, and was so overjoyed to have it in her hand again, that she never thought of the frog, but ran home with it as fast as she could. The frog called after her, "Stay, princess, and take me with you as you promised;" but she did not stop to hear a word.

The next day, just as the princess had sat down to dinner, she heard a strange noise, tap-tap, as if somebody was coming up the marble staircase; and soon afterwards something knocked gently at the door, and said:

"Open the door, my princess dear,
Open the door to thy true love here!

And mind the words that thou and I said,

By the fountain cool in the greenwood shade."

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