Henry Webb

Augustana College

Medea by Seneca, lines 211 - 228a

Henry Webb /
  • Created on 2020-03-31 23:40:23
  • Modified on 2020-04-04 02:30:18
  • Aligned by Henry Webb
Quodcumque placidis flexibus Phasis rigat
Pontusque quicquid Scythicus a tergo videt ,
palustribus qua maria dulcescunt aquis ,
armata peltis quicquid exterret cohors
inclusa ripis vidua Thermodontiis ,
hoc omne noster genitor imperio regit .
Generosa , felix , decore regali potens
fulsi : petebant tunc meos thalamos proci ,
qui nunc petuntur . Rapida fortuna ac levis
praecepsque regno eripuit , exilio dedit .
Confide regnis , cum levis magnas opes
huc ferat et illuc casus hoc reges habent
magnificum et ingens , nulla quod rapiat dies :
prodesse miseris , supplices fido lare
protegere . Solum hoc Colchico regno extuli ,
decus illud ingens Graeciae et florem inclitum ,
praesidia Achivae gentis et prolem deum ,
servasse memet .
Those fields gently winding
Rioni stiffens to harvest , all
the Black Sea looks upon towards the east ,
this , with the glitter of regal power ,
my father rules . There the bitter sea
is sweetened by fresh water , there women
are only kept inside the natural bounds
made by the Thermodon . They need no men .
And when they band together for a fight ,
they need no armor to protect themselves
and rout their enemies out of their land .
Nobly born , I promisingly flowered ;
I gleamed in the regalia of power .
Princes then begged to marry me ; now
I must beg them . For fickle Luck has wrenched
all this away . She swooped down , tore me from
my throne , and dropped me into banishment .
Trust in your royal power , when fickle Chance
tosses great riches to and fro !
Yet kings
do have a huge and marvelous resource
which time cannot destroy : the power to help
the suffering , the power to protect ,
not punish , those who beg mercy .
The sole
resource and treasure I salvaged from days
of power in Colchis was precisely this .
l saved the glory of your race of Greeks .
The wondrous flowering beauty , sprung of gods
without me would have been by now erased .
Whatever winding Phasis gently waters
and Scythian Pontus views to its rear
where marsh waters sweeten the ocean ,
whatever is threatened by the manless horde
armed with shields and bound by Thermodon ' s banks ,
all this my father holds under his sway .
Highborn , rich , glowing with princely powerful
I shone . Suitors then sought my hand who now
are sought . Fortune violent , fickle , and swift
plucked me from my realm and gave me exile .
So trust in your power , though fickle chance
flings wealth to the winds ! The splendid , mighty
gift of kings is this immune to time ' s rape :
To help the wretched , to protect the suppliant
with trust and shelter . From my Colchic realm
I brought only this : Greece ' s great glory
and famed flower , shield of the Achaean race ,
Seed of gods I saved them .

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