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you forsooth were taunting me but now
Who would not, When but a word, which you pretend to know,
Would save a people ?
One of them at least
Oh, scarce any man, methinks,
If that would ransom all.
Yet one, you see,
You have not heard, perchance, Tiresias
But him who, knowing who, will not reveal ?
I hear it now.
And are inflexible
It might be, to Fear
And by the God I serve inviolate ?
Is not your King a Minister of Zeus,
Than any Priest or Augur in his realm ?
Implore, denounce, and threaten as you may,
What unrevealed I would, I will not say.
You will not! Mark then how, default of your
Will not reveal — nay, might yourself have done
Could those blind eyes have aimed the murderous hand ? Tiresias
You say so! Now then, listen in your turn
The people's life - I tell you – You are he?
Forbear, old man, forbear! And you, my King,
Heed not the passion of provoked old age.
And thus, in your blind passion of revenge,
Under Apollo's mantle.
Ay, and more,
Peace, O peace, old man!
Nay, let him shoot his poisoned arrows out;
They fall far short of me.
Not mine, but those
And you have drawn upon yourself. .
Your Master's ?
Whispers of late have reached me --Creon, ha!
Under the mask of Phæbus
Oh, forbear -
When, his mad Passion having passed —
Suborned to stand a greater aŭ his side
for me prepare. Tiresias
Quick to your vengeance, then; for this same day
That you shall play the tyrant in. (Edipus
Since first I saved you !
And shall save again;
Decide between us, let them lead me home. (Edipus —
Ay, lead him hence — home - Hades - anywhere!
Blind in his inward as his outward eye.
Poor man! that in your inward vision blind,
FROM EURIPIDES' "MEDEA."
TRANSLATION OF E. P. COLERIDGE.
[EURIPIDES : The last of the three Greek tragic poets; born on the island of Salamis in B.C. 480, according to popular tradition, on the day of the famous naval battle. He received instruction in physics from Anaxagoras, in rhetoric from Prodicus, and was on terms of intimate friendship with Socrates. He early devoted his attention to dramatic composition, and at the age of twenty-five obtained a prize for his first tragedy. After a successful career at Athens, he retired for unknown reasons to Magnesia in Thessaly, and thence proceeded to the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, where he died in B.c. 405. Of over seventy-five tragedies there have come down to us only eighteen, the best known being: “Alcestis,” “Medea,” “Hippolytus,” “Hecuba,” “Andromache," “ Iphigenia at Aulis," " Iphigenia among the Tauri,” “ Electra," “Orestes," “ Bacchæ.'']
Jason — I am come at thy bidding, for e'en though thy hate for me is bitter thou shalt not fail in this small boon, but I will hear what new request thou hast to make of me, lady.
Medea -- Jason, I crave thy pardon for the words I spoke, and well thou mayest brook my burst of passion, for ere now we twain have shared much love. For I have reasoned with my soul and railed upon me thus: “Ab! poor heart! why am I thus distraught, why so angered 'gainst all good advice, why have I come to hate the rulers of the land, my husband too, who does the best for me he can, in wedding with a princess and rearing for my children noble brothers ? Shall I not cease to fret? What possesses me, when heaven its best doth offer? Have I not my children to consider? do I forget that we are fugitives, in need of friends ?” When I had thought all this, I saw how foolish I had been, how senselessly enraged. So now I do commend thee and think thee most wise in forming this connection for us; but I was mad, I who should have shared in these designs, helped on thy plans, and lent my aid to bring about the match, only too pleased to wait upon thy bride. But what we are, we are, we women, evil I will not say; wherefore thou shouldst not sink to our sorry level nor with our weapons meet our childishness.
I yield and do confess that I was wrong then, but now have I come to a better mind. Come hither, my children, come, leave the house, step forth, and with me greet and bid farewell to your father, be reconciled from all past bitterness unto your friends, as now your mother is; for we have made a truce and anger is no more.
By permission of Geo. Bell & Sons. (2 vols., price 58. each.)