Monday, 1 October 2018

Medea at Night - Apollonius of Rhodes

'T was night, all earth in shadowy silence slept ;
Lone on the deck his watch the sailor kept,
And gazed, where shines Orion's belt on high,
Or the Great Bear bestrides the northern sky.
The traveler couched beside his weary way;
Within his gate the drowsy warden lay.
Even by the couch where lay her infant dead.
The mother drooped her sleep-o'erburthened head.
No bay of dogs disturbed the silent street,
Mute the dull hum, the tramp of moving feet.
'T was darkness all, and voiceless silence deep;
Still from Medea fled the balmy sleep.

So she her fatal treasured casket sought,
With life and death in powerful compound fraught.
She placed it on her knees; the streams of woe
From her full eyes unchecked began to flow.
Long she bewailed her miserable state.
Then wildly seized the baleful drugs of fate.
Already hath she loosed the casket's band,
Sudden death's awful fear withholds her hand.
Then long she stood, to trembling doubt resigned,
And life's sweet cares came imaged to her mind.
She thought of all the joys of youth's glad years,
She thought of all her gentle maiden fears;
The very sun appeared to shine move bright,
As each fond image kindled on her sight.

Apollonius of Rhodes (2nd century BC) Greece
Translated by Henry Hart Milman
Source: Greek poets in English verse by William Hyde Appleton, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1893
Excerpt from Argonautica (Medea is the woman loved by Jason in the heroic legend)

1 comment:

Please keep your comments relevant and free from abusive language. Thank you. Note that comments are moderated so it may be a day or two before your comment is posted - irrelevant or abusive comments will not be published.