Who are ye then, that thus around the monarch’s
With Maenad rage, ye dare like drunken ones to rave?
Who are ye then that ye the house’s stewardess
Thus bay, like pack of hounds hoarsely that bay the moon?
Think ye, ’tis hid from me, the race whereof ye are?
Thou youthful, war-begotten, battle-nurtured brood,
Lewd and lascivious thou, seducers and seduced,
Unnerving both, the soldier’s and the burgher’s strength!
Seeing your throng, to me a locust-swarm ye seem,
Which, settling down, conceals the young green harvest-field.
Wasters of others’ toil! ye dainty revellers,
Destroyers in its bloom of all prosperity!
Thou conquer’d merchandise, exchanged and marketed!
Who in the mistress’ presence chides her handmaidens,
Audacious, doth o’erstep her household privilege;
For her alone beseems, the praise-worthy to praise,
As also that to punish which doth merit blame.
Moreover with the service am I well-content,
Which these have rendered me, what time proud Ilion’s strength
Beleaguer’d stood, and fell and sank; nor less indeed
When we, of our sea-voyage the dreary changeful woe
Endured, where commonly each thinks but of himself.
Here also I expect the like from this blithe train;
Not what the servant is, we ask, but how he serves.
Therefore be silent thou, and snarl at them no more!
If thou the monarch’s house till now hast guarded well,
Filling the mistress’ place, that for thy praise shall count;
But now herself is come, therefore do thou retire,
Lest chastisement be thine, instead of well-earn’d meed!
The menial train to threat, a sacred right remains,
Which the illustrious spouse of heaven-favor’d lord
Through many a year doth earn of prudent governance.
Since that, now recognized, thy ancient place as queen,
And mistress of the house, once more thou dost resume,
The long-time loosen’d reins grasp thou; be ruler here,
And in possession take the treasures, us with them!
Me before all protect, who am the elder-born,
From this young brood, who seem, thy swan-like beauty near,
But as a basely winged flock of cackling geese!
How hideous beside beauty showeth hideousness!
How foolish by discretion’s side shows foolishness!
[Henceforth the choristers respond in turn, stepping forth singly from the chorus.]
Tell us of Father Erebus, tell us of Mother Night!
Speak thou of Scylla, speak of her, thy sister-born!