Him dost thou praise, who underrates his deeds?
Who weigheth his own deeds is justly blam’d.
He too, real worth too proudly who condemns,
As who, too vainly, spurious worth o’er-rateth.
Trust me, and heed the counsel of a man
With honest zeal devoted to thy service:
When Thoas comes to-day to speak with thee,
Lend to his purposed words a gracious ear.
Thy well-intention’d counsel troubles me:
His offer I have ever sought to shun.
Thy duty and thy interest calmly weigh.
Sithence King Thoas lost his son and heir,
Among his followers he trusts but few,
And trusts those few no more as formerly.
With jealous eye he views each noble’s son
As the successor of his realm, he dreads
A solitary, helpless age—perchance
Sudden rebellion and untimely death.
A Scythian studies not the rules of speech,
And least of all the king. He who is used
To act and to command, knows not the art,
From far, with subtle tact, to guide discourse
Through many windings to its destin’d goal.
Thwart not his purpose by a cold refusal,
By an intended misconception. Meet,
With gracious mien, half-way the royal wish.
Shall I then speed the doom that threatens me?
His gracious offer canst thou call a threat?
’Tis the most terrible of all to me.
For his affection grant him confidence.
If he will first redeem my soul from fear.
Why dost thou hide from him thy origin?
A priestess secrecy doth well become.
Naught to a monarch should a secret be;
And, though he doth not seek to fathom thine,
His noble nature feels, ay, deeply feels,
That thou with care dost hide thyself from him.
Ill-will and anger harbors he against me?
Almost it seems so. True, he speaks not of thee,
But casual words have taught me that the wish
Thee to possess hath firmly seiz’d his soul;
O leave him not a prey unto himself,
Lest his displeasure, rip’ning in his breast,
Should work thee woe, so with repentance thou
Too late my faithful counsel shalt recall.