But in feasts everlasting,
Around the gold tables
Still dwell the immortals.
From mountain to mountain
They stride; while ascending
From fathomless chasms
The breath of the Titans,
Half-stifled with anguish,
Like volumes of incense
Fumes up to the skies.
From races ill-fated,
Oft turn the celestials,
And shun in the children
To gaze on the features
Once lov’d and still speaking
Of their mighty sire.
So chanted the Parcae;
The banish’d one hearkens
The song, the hoar captive
Immur’d in his dungeon,
His children’s doom ponders,
And boweth his head.
I own I am perplex’d and scarcely know
’Gainst whom to point the shaft of my suspicion,
Whether the priestess aids the captives’ flight,
Or they themselves clandestinely contrive it.
’Tis rumor’d that the ship which brought them here
Is lurking somewhere in a bay conceal’d.
This stranger’s madness, these new lustral rites,
The specious pretext for delay, excite
Mistrust, and call aloud for vigilance.
Summon the priestess to attend me here!
Then go with speed, and strictly search the shore,
From yonder headland to Diana’s grove:
Forbear to violate its sacred depths,
A watchful ambush set, attack and seize,
According to your wont, whome’er ye find.
Fierce anger rages in my riven breast,
First against her, whom I esteemed so pure;
Then ’gainst myself, whose foolish lenity
Hath fashion’d her for treason. Man is soon
Inur’d to slavery, and quickly learns
Submission, when of freedom quite depriv’d.
If she had fallen in the savage hands
Of my rude sires, and had their holy rage
Forborne to slay her, grateful for her life,
She would have recogniz’d her destiny,
Have shed before the shrine the stranger’s blood,
And duty nam’d what was necessity.
Now my forbearance in her breast allures
Audacious wishes. Vainly I had hoped
To bind her to me; rather she contrives
To shape an independent destiny.
She won my heart through flattery; and now
That I oppose her, seeks to gain her ends
By fraud and cunning, and my kindness deems
A worthless and prescriptive property.
Me hast thou summon’d? wherefore art thou here?