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Translation From The Medea of Euripides

Lord Byron


When fierce conflicting passions urge

The breast where love is wont to glow,

What mind can stem the stormy surge

Which rolls the tide of human woe?

The hope of praise, the dread of shame,

Can rouse the tortured breast no more;

The wild desire, the guilty flame,

Abosrbs each wish it felt before.

But if affection gently thrills

The soul by purer dreams possest,

The pleasing balm of mortal ills

In love can soothe the aching breast:

If thus thou comest in disguise,

Fair Venus     From thy native heaven,

What heart unfeeling would despise

The sweetest boon the gods have given?

But never from thy golden bow

May I beneath the shaft expire !

Whose creeping venom, sure and slow,

Awakes an all-consuming fire:

Ye racking doubts   Ye jealous fears !

With others wage internal war:

Repentance, source of future tears,

From me be ever distant far !

May no distracting thoughts destroy

The holy calm of sacred love !

May all the hours be wing'd with joy,

Which hover faithful hearts above !

Fair Venus    On thy myrtle shrine

May I with some fond lover sigh,

Whose heart may mingle pure with mine ---

With me to live, with me to die !

My native soil    Beloved before,

Now dearer as my peaceful home,

Ne'er may I quit thy rocky shore,

A hapless banish'd wretch to roam !

This very day, this very hour,

May I resign this fleeting breath !

Nor quit my silent humble bower;

A doom to me far worse than death.

Have I not heard the exile's sigh,

And seen the exile's silent tear,

Through distant climes condem'd to fly

A pensive weary wanderer here?

Ah    Hapless dame    No sire bewails,

No friend thy wretched fate deplores,

No kindred voice with rapture hails

Thy steps within a stranger's doors.

Perish the fiend whose iron heart,

To fair affection's truth unknown,

Bids her he fondly loved depart,

Unpitied, helpless and alone;

Who ne'er unlocks with silver key

The milder treasures of his soul, ---

May such a friend be far from me,

And ocean's storms between us roll !


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