Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

SPECIMENS

OF

TRANSLATION FROM MEDEA.

Σκακιες δι λιγων κεδέν τι σοφες
Τες προσθε βρoτες και αν αμαρτους.

Medea, v. 194, p. 33, Glasg. edit
Tell me, ye bards, whose skill sublime
First charmed the ear of youthful Time,
With numbers wrapt in heav'nly fire ;
Who bade delighted Echo swell
The trembling transport of the lyre,
The murmur of the shell, --
Why to the burst of Joy alone
Accords sweet Music's soothing tone ?
Why can no bard, with magic strain,
In slumbers steep the heart of pain?
While varied tones obey your sweep,
The mild, the plaintive, and the deep,
Bends not despairing Grief to hear
Your golden lute, with ravished ear?
Oh! has your sweetest shell no power to bind
The fiercer pangs that shake the mind,
And lull the wrath, at whose command
Murder bares her

gory

hand ?
When flushed with joy, the rosy throng
Weave the light dance, ye swell the song !
Cease, ye vain warblers ! cease to charm
The breast with other raptures warm!
Cease! till your hand with magic strain
In slumbers steep the heart of pain!

SPEECH OF THE CHORUS

IN

THE SAME TRAGEDY,

To dissuade Medea from her purpose of putting her children to death, and flying for protection to Athens.

O haggard queen! to Athens dost thou guide

Thy glowing chariot, steeped in kindred gore; Or seek to hide thy damned parricide

Where Peace and Mercy dwell for ever more ? The land where Truth, pure, precious, and sublime,

Woos the deep silence of sequestered bowers, And warriors, matchless since the first of Time,

Rear their bright banners o'er unconquered towers ! Where joyous Youth, to Music's mellow strain,

Twines in the dance with Nymphs for ever fair, While Spring eternal, on the lilied plain,

Waves amber radiance through the fields of air!

The tuneful Nine (so sacred legends tell)

First waked their heavenly lyre these scenes among ; Still in your greenwood bowers they love to dwell;

Still in your vales they swell the choral song!

For there the tuneful, chaste, Pierian fair,

The guardian nymphs of green Parnassus now, Sprung from Harmonia, while her graceful hair

Waved in bright auburn o'er her polished brow'

ANTISTROPHE I.

Where silent vales, and glades of green array,

The murm’ring wreaths of cool Cepbisus lave, There as the Muse hath sung, at noon of day,

The Queen of Beauty bowed to taste the wave;

And blest the stream, and breathed across the land,

The soft sweet gale that fans yon summer bowers And there the sister Loves, a smiling band,

Crowned with the fragrant wreaths of rosy flowers !

And

go, she cries, in yonder valleys rove With Beauty's torch the solemn scenes illume; Wake in each eye the radiant light of Love,

Breathe on each cheek young Passion's tender bloom!

Entwine with myrtle chains, your sost control,

To sway the hearts of Freedom's darling kind ! With glowing charms enrapture Wisdom's soul,

And mould to grace ethereal Virtue's mind.”

STROPHE II.

The land where Heaven's own hallowed waters play,

Where friendship binds the generous and the good, Say, shall it hail thee from thy frantic

way, Unholy woman! with thy hands imbrued

In thine own children's gore?--Oh! ere they bleed,

Let Nature's voice thy ruthless heart appal ! Pause at the bold, irrevocable deed

The mother strikes—the guiltless babes shall fall! Think what remorse thy maddening thoughts shall sting,

When dying pangs their gentle bosoms tear; Where shalt thou sink, when lingʻring echoes ring

The screams of horror in thy tortured ear?

No! let thy bosom melt to Pity's cry,

In dust we kneel—by sacred Heaven imploreO! stop thy lifted arm, ere yet they die,

Nor dip thy horrid hands in infant gore!

ANTISTROPHE II.

Say, how shalt thou that barb’rous soul assume,

Undamped by horror at the daring plan?
Hast thou a heart to work thy children's doom?

Or bands to finish what thy wrath began?
When o'er each babe you look a last adieu,

And gaze on innocence that smiles asleep, Shall no fond feeling beat, to nature true,

Charm thee to pensive thought-and bid thee weep? When the young suppliants clasp their parent dear,

Heave the deep sob, and pour the artless prayer,Ay! thou shalt melt;—and many a heart-shed tear

Gush o'er the hardened features of despair ! Nature shall throb in ev'ry tender string,

Thy trembling heart the ruffian's task deny; Thy horror-smitten hands afar shall fling

The blade, undrenched in blood's eternal dye!

CHORUS.

Hallowed Earth! with indignation

Mark, oh mark, the murd'rous deed!
Radiant

eye of wide creation,
Watch the damned parricide !

Yet, ere Colchia's rugged daughter

Perpetrate the dire design,
And consign to kindred slaughter

Children of thy golden line :

Shall the hand, with murder gory,

Cause immortal blood to flow? Sun of Heav'n--arrayed in glory!

Rise,-forbid, -avert the blow! In the vales of placid gladness

Let no rueful maniac range; Chase afar the fiend of Madness

Wrest the dagger from Revenge! Say, hast thou, with kind protection,

Reared thy smiling race in vain; Fost'ring Nature's fond affection,

Tender cares, and pleasing pain? Hast thou, on the troubled ocean,

Braved the tempest loud and strong,
Where the waves, in wild commotion,

Roar Cyanean rocks among?
Didst thou roam the paths of danger,

Hymenean joys to prove?
Spare, O sanguinary stranger,

Pledges of thy sacred love !
Shall not Heaven, with indignation

Watch thee o'er the barb'rous deed ?
Shalt thou cleanse, with expiation,

Monstrous, murd'rous, parricide?

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »