The Golden Fleece—the only thing the flames
Have left unharmed, the only thing that ’scaped
Safe from the bloody, fiery death that slew
That fair Corinthian princess.—To the priests
I’ll go, and I’ll submit me to their will,
Ay, though they take my life to expiate
My grievous sins, or though they send me forth
To wander still through some far desert-waste,
My very life, prolonged, a heavier weight
Of sorrow than I ever yet have known!
[She holds up the gleaming Fleece before his eyes.]
Know’st thou the golden prize which thou didst strive
So eagerly to win, which seemed to thee
The shining crown of all thy famous deeds?
What is the happiness the world can give?—
A shadow! What the fame it can bestow?—
An empty dream! Poor man! Thy dreams were all
Of shadows! And the dreams are ended now,
But not the long, black Night!—Farewell to thee,
My husband, for I go! That was a day
Of heavy sorrows when we first did meet;
Today, ’mid heavier sorrows, we must part!
JASON. Deserted! All alone! My babes!
JASON. Lost! Lost!
MEDEA. Be patient!
JASON. Let me die!
MEDEA. I go, and nevermore thine eyes shall
My face again!
[As she departs, winding her way among the tumbled rocks, the curtain falls.]
* * * * *
AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY IN FIVE ACTS
By FRANZ GRILLPARZER
ALFONSO VIII., the Noble, King of Castile.
ELEANOR OF ENGLAND, Daughter of Henry II., his Wife.
THE PRINCE, their Son.
MANRIQUE, Count of Lara, Governor of Castile.
DON GARCERAN, his Son.
DONA CLARA, Lady in Waiting to the Queen.
The Queen’s Waiting Maid._
ISAAC, the Jew.
} his Daughters.
REINERO, the King’s Page.
Nobles, Court Ladies, Petitioners, Servants, and Other People.
Place, Toledo and Vicinity.
Time, about 1195 A.D._
TRANSLATED BY GEORGE HENRY DANTON AND ANNINA PERIAM DANTON
In the Royal Garden at Toledo.
Enter ISAAC, RACHEL, and ESTHER.