Jason and the Argonauts

This fun and lively poem for kids, telling the story of Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece, was written in 2014 by Paul Perro.

According to the myth, Jason was sent on a quest by King Pelias to bring back the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram, which was owned by the King of Colchis, and was a symbol of power.  Jason set sail in his ship Argos with his crew, known as The Argonauts, and had many adventures along the way, including struggles with harpies, dragons, and clashing rocks.

The story was told, quite faithfully, in the fondly remembered 1963 movie Jason and The Argonauts which featured monster special effects by Ray Harryhausen.

Jason and the Argonauts
A poem for kids by Paul Perro

It was King Pelias who sent them out.
There were fifty Argonauts, or thereabout.
The crew of the ship “Argo” – brave and bold,
Searching for a fleece that was made of gold.

Their captain was Jason, a great wise man,
But he did not know Pelias’s plan.
The king feared Jason would kill him one day;
The quest was a ruse, to send him away.
It was all because of a prophecy,
The superstitious king sent him to sea.

They stopped on the way at a land called Thrace.
The blind old king Phineus ruled the place.
King Phineus was not in a good mood,
Monsters called harpies kept stealing his food.
Harpies were nasty old women with wings
They’d no respect for the mealtimes of kings.
So Jason and his men chased them away
A favour they asked the king to repay.

The king, who was a fortune teller, said
They should beware of clashing rocks ahead.
The men thanked Phineus for the warning
And set sail again the following morning.

They came to some rocks, they had to go through,
But Phineus had told them what to do.
They knew that the rocks would clash together,
Crushing all ships in the way, however,
They’d also been told that if they rowed fast
They’d beat the rocks and avoid getting clashed.
They rowed so very hard, they pulled, they pushed,
They made it through without getting crushed.

And so the Argo sailed on to Colchis,
That’s where King Aeetes held the golden fleece.
When Jason told the king about his quest
The king decided to set him a test.
He had to tame fire breathing cattle,
Plough a field with them, then win a battle.
Passing this test was not an easy thing,
But Jason did it, and said to the king
“Your highness, I’ve fulfilled your condition
Give me the fleece I need for my mission.”

The king was very surprised when he heard,
He decided he would not keep his word.
But he had a daughter named Medea -
This young lady had a different idea.
She liked Jason – she was rather smitten –
She took him to where the fleece was hidden.

It was hanging from the branch of a tree,
Next to a dragon, unfortunately.
But Medea had a plan all along
She charmed the beast with a magical song,
And while the dragon was in a deep trance
Jason took the fleece slowly from the branch.

They both went back to his ship, the Argo,
And showed the men their precious new cargo.
Then they set sail again, returned to Greece,
And gave King Pelias the golden fleece.

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