At home thou wilt remain,
Thee most important work doth there detain;
The ancient scrolls unfolding cull
Life’s elements, as taught by rule,
And each with other then combine with care;
Upon the What, more on the How, reflect!
Meanwhile as through a piece of world I fare,
I may the dot upon the “I” detect.
Then will the mighty aim accomplish’d be;
Such high reward deserves such striving;—wealth,
Honor and glory, lengthen’d life, sound health,
Knowledge withal and virtue—possibly.
Farewell! That grieves my heart full sore!
I fear indeed I ne’er shall see thee more.
Now to Peneios forth we wend!
We must not slight our cousin’s aid.
(To the spectators)
At last, in sooth, we all depend
On creatures we ourselves have made.
* * * * *
ACT THE THIRD
BEFORE THE PALACE OF MENELAUS IN SPARTA
Enter HELENA, with a chorus of captive Trojan women PENTHALIS, leader of the chorus
The much admired and much upbraided, Helena,
From yonder strand I come, where erst we disembark’d,
Still giddy from the roll of ocean’s billowy surge,
Which, through Poseidon’s favor and through Euros’ might,
On lofty crested backs hither hath wafted us,
From Phrygia’s open field, to our ancestral bays.
Yonder King Menelaus, glad of his return,
With his brave men of war, rejoices on the beach.
But oh, thou lofty mansion, bid me welcome home,
Thou, near the steep decline, which Tyndareus, my sire,
From Pallas’ hill returning, here hath builded up;
Which also was adorned beyond all Sparta’s homes,
What time with Clytemnestra, sister-like, I grew,
With Castor, Pollux, too, playing in joyous sport.
Wings of yon brazen portals, you I also hail!
Through you, ye guest-inviting, hospitable gates,
Hath Menelaus once, from many princes chosen,
Shone radiant on my sight, in nuptial sort arrayed.
Expand to me once more, that I the king’s behest
May faithfully discharge, as doth the spouse beseem.
Let me within, and all henceforth behind remain,
That, charged with doom, till now darkly hath round me stormed!
For since, by care untroubled, I these sites forsook,
Seeking Cythera’s fane, as sacred wont enjoined,
And by the spoiler there was seized, the Phrygian,
Happened have many things, whereof men far and wide
Are fain to tell, but which not fain to hear is he
Of whom the tale, expanding, hath to fable grown.
Disparage not, oh glorious dame,
Honor’d possession of highest estate!
For sole unto thee is the greatest boon given;
The fame of beauty that all over-towers!
The hero’s name before him resounds,
So strides he with pride;
Nathless at once the stubbornest yields
To beauty, the presence which all things subdues.