The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 679 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06.

GORA.  Alas that I, so old and gray, should aid,
             Unknowing, such dark deeds!  I counseled her
             To take revenge:  but such revenge—­oh, gods! 
             Where are the babes?  ’Twas here I left them late. 
             Where art thou, O Medea?  And thy babes—­
             Ah, where are they?

[She, too, disappears down the colonnade.  Through the windows of the palace in the background the rapidly mounting flames now burst forth.]


Creusa!  O Creusa!

KING’S VOICE (from within).

O my daughter!

[GORA bursts out of the palace and falls upon her knees in the middle of the stage, covering her face with her hands.]

GORA.  What have I seen?—­Oh, horror!

[MEDEA appears at the entrance to the colonnade; in her left hand she brandishes a dagger; she raises her right hand to command silence.]

[The curtain falls.]


The outer court of CREON’S palace, as in the preceding act; the royal apartments in the background lie in blackened ruins whence smoke is still curling up; the court-yard is filled with various palace attendants busied in various ways.  The dawn is just breaking.

The_ KING appears, dragging GORA out of the palace; a train of CREUSA’S slave-women follows him.

KING.  Away with thee!  It was thy wicked hand
             That to my daughter brought those bloody gifts
             Which were her doom!  My daughter!  Oh, Creusa! 
             My child, my child!

[He turns to the slave-women.]

’Twas she?

GORA.  Yea, it was I! 
             I knew not that my hands bore doom of death
             Within thy dwelling.

KING.  Knew’st not.  Never think
             To ’scape my wrath on this wise!

GORA.  Dost thou think
             I shudder at thy wrath?  Mine eyes have seen—­
             Woe’s me!—­the children weltering in their blood,
             Slain by the hand of her that bore them, ay,
             Medea’s very hand!  And after that,
             All other horrors are to me but jest!

KING.  Creusa!  Oh, my child, my pure, true child! 
             Say, did thy hand not shake, thou grisly dame,
             When to her side thou broughtest death?

GORA.  I shed no tears for her!  She had her due! 
             Why would she seek to snatch away the last
             Possession of my most unhappy mistress? 
             I weep for these my babes, whom I did love
             So tenderly, and whom I saw but now
             Butchered—­and by their mother!  Ah, I would
             Ye all were in your graves, and by your side

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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