The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

HELENA

Forceful he bore me off, a ten-year slender roe,
And in Aphidnus’ keep shut me, in Attica.

PHORKYAS

But thence full soon set free, by Castor, Pollux too,
In marriage wast thou sought by chosen hero-band.

HELENA

Yet hath Patroclus, he, Pelides’ other self,
My secret favor won, as willingly I own.

PHORKYAS

But thee thy father hath to Menelaus wed,
Bold rover of the sea, and house-sustainer too.

HELENA

His daughter gave he, gave to him the kingdom’s sway;
And from our wedded union sprang Hermione.

PHORKYAS

But while he strove afar, for Crete, his heritage,
To thee, all lonely, came an all too beauteous guest.

HELENA

Wherefore the time recall of that half-widowhood,
And what destruction dire to me therefrom hath grown!

PHORKYAS

That voyage unto me, a free-born dame of Crete,
Hath also capture brought, and weary servitude.

HELENA

As stewardess forthwith, he did appoint thee here,
With much intrusted,—­fort and treasure boldly won.

PHORKYAS

All which thou didst forsake, by Ilion’s tower-girt town
Allured, and by the joys, the exhaustless joys of love.

HELENA

Remind me not of joys:  No, an infinitude
Of all too bitter woe o’erwhelm’d my heart and brain.

PHORKYAS

Nathless ’tis said thou didst in two-fold shape appear;
Seen within Ilion’s walls, and seen in Egypt too.

HELENA

Confuse thou not my brain, distraught and desolate! 
Here even, who I am in sooth I cannot tell.

PHORKYAS

’Tis also said, from out the hollow shadow-dream,
Achilles, passion-fired, hath joined himself to thee,
Whom he hath loved of old, ’gainst all resolves of Fate.

HELENA

As phantom I myself, to him a phantom bound;
A dream it was—­thus e’en the very words declare. 
I faint, and to myself a phantom I become.
          [She sinks into the arms of the semi-chorus._]

CHORUS

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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