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^ 3C>.i>7/. >/. 7 



Gr JL ^(^^-71 •'1. 7 

r \ 


Pint printed, November 1902 

ReprinUd, December 1903 ; March 1904 ; 
June 1904; October 1904; December 
190s; February 1906; ^/nV 1906; 
August 1908 ; November 1908 




Thb Goddess Artemis. 

Theseus, King rf Athens and Trettn, 

Phaedra, daughter of MinoSf King of Crete, wtfe to Theseus. 

HiPPOLYTUS, bastard son of Theseus and the Amaton Hippelytt. 

The Nurse of Phaedra. 

An Old Huntsman. 

A Henchman of Hippolytus. 

A Chorus of Huntsmen. 

A Chorus of Trozenian Women, with their Lkader. 

Attendants on the three Royal Persons. 

" The scene is laid in Trotht. The play was first acted when 
Epameinon was Archen, Olympiad 87, year 4 (b.c. 429). Euripides 
was first, lophon second, Ion third." 


scent rtpresnts thi front of fht royat caitle of 
TrtfuJtt, thi chttf dsor being in the centre^ facing the 
euditnte. Two itatuei are visii/ey that of Arvrmis 
•ff the right, that of Aphrodite or Cvpris on the 

Itfin The goddeii Aphrodite iV diicavered ahne. 


Great among men, and not unnamed am I, 
The Cyprian, in God's inmost halls on high* 
And wheresoever from Pontus to the far 
Red West men dwell, and see the glad day-star. 
And worship Me, the pious heart I bless, 
And wreck that life that lives in stubbornness. 
For that there is, even in a great God's mind, 
That hungcreth for the praise of human kind- 
So runs my word ; and soon the very deed 
Shall follow. For this Prince of Xheseus' seed, 
Hippolytus, child of that dead Amazon, 
And reared by saintly Pitthcus in his own 
Strait ways, hath dari^d, alone of all Troz^n, 
To hold me least of spirits and most mean. 
And spurns mv spell and seeks no woman's kis*. 
But great Apollo's sister, Artemis, 


He holds of all most high, gives love and praise, 
And through the vi'ild dark woods for ever strays, 
He and the Maid togetherj with swift hounds 
To slay all angry beasts from out these bounds, 
To more than mortal friendship consecrate ! 

I grudge it not. No grudge know I, nor hate ; 
Yet, seeing he hath offended, I this day 
Shall smite Hippolytus. Long since my way 
Was opened, nor needs now much labour more. 

For once firom Pittheus' castle to the shore 
Of Athens came Hippolytus over-seas 
Seeking the vision of the Mysteries. 
And Phaedra there, his father's Queen high-born j 
Saw him, and, as she saw, her heart was torn 
With great love, by the working of my wilL 
And for his sake, long since, on Pallas' hill, 
Deep in the rock, that Love no more might roam. 
She built a shrine, and named it Lovt-at-heme : 
And the rock held it, but its face alway 
Seeks Troz6n o'er the seas Then came the day 
When Theseus, for the blood of kinsmen shed. 
Spake doom of exile on himself, and fled, 
Phaedra beside him, even to this TroT^n. 
And here that grievous and amazed Queen, 
Wounded and wondering, with ne'er a word. 
Wastes slowly -, and her secret none hath heard 
Nor dreamed. 

But never thus this love shall end ! 
To Theseus' ear some whisper will I send, 
And all be bare ! And that proud Prince, my foe, 
His sire shall slay with curses. Even so 
Kndeth that boon the p;reat Lord of the Main 
To Theseus gave, the Three Prayers not in vain. 


And &he, not in dishonour, yet shall die. 
I would not rate this woman's pain so high 
As not to pay mine haters in full fee 
That vengeance that shall make all well with 

But soft, here comes he, striding from the 
Our Prince Hippolytus ! — I will go my ways. — 
And hunters at his heels : and a loud throng 
Glorying Artemis with praise and song I 
Little he knows that Hell's gates opened are, 
And this hi& last look on the great Day^^tar 1 

[Aphrodite withdraws^ unseen by Hippolytus 
and a band of huntsmen^ -who enter from 
the Itftf iinging. Thty pan the Statue of 
Aphrodite without mtict, 


Follow, O follow me, 

Singing on your ways 
Her in whose hand are wc, 
Her whose own flock we be, 
The Zeus-Child, the Heavenly ; 

To Artemis be praise ! 


Hail to thee, Maiden blest. 
Proudest and holiest : 
God*s Daughter, great in bliss, 
Leto-born, Artemis I 
Hail to thee. Maiden, far 
Fairest of all that are. 


Yea, and most high thine home, 
Child of the Father's hall j 
Hear, O most virginal, 
Heafj O most fair of all, 

In high God's golden dome. 

[Thf hunUmcH have gathered about the altar of 

Artemis. Hippolytus new advances from 

them^ and approaches the Statue with a 

tvreath in his hand. 


To thee this wreathM garland, from a green 
And virgin meadow bear I, O my Queen, 
Where never shepherd leads his grazing ewes 
Nor scythe has touched. Only the river dews 
Qleam, and the spring bee sings, and in the glade 
Hath Solitude her mystic garden made. 

No evil hand may cull it : only he 
Whose heart hath known the heart of Purity, 
Unlearned of man, and true whatever befall. 
Take therefore from pure hands this coronal, 
O mistress loved, thy golden hair to twine. 
For, sole of living men, this grace is mine. 
To dwell with thee, and speak, and hear replies 
Of voice divine, though none may see thine eyes. 

Oh, keep me to the end in this same road ! 

\Jn Old Hunts man, who has stood apart from 
the restf here comes up io HlPPOLVTUS, 


My Prince— for ' Master ' name I none but God- 
Gave I good counsel, wouldst thou welcome it i 



Right gladly, friend ; else were I poor of wit. 


K.nowest thou one law, that through the world has 
won ? 


What wouldst thou ? And how runs thy law ? 
Say on. 


It hates that Pride that speaks not all men fair I 


And rightly. Pride breeds hatred everywhere. 

And good words love, and grace in all men's sight ? 


Aye, and much gain withal, for trouble slight. 

How deem'st thou of the Gods? Are they the same ? 


Surely : we are but fashioned on their frame. 

Why then wilt thou be proud, and worship not . . . 


Whom i If the name be speakable, speak out 1 



She stands here at thy gate : the Cyprian Queen ! 

Hip POLY Tus, 
J greet her from afar : my life is clean. 

Clean ? Nay, proud, proud ; a mark for all to scan I 


Each mind hath its own bent, for God or man. 

God grant thee happiness . . . and wiser thought t 


These Spirits that reign in darkness like me not. 

What the Gods ask, O Son, that man must pay I 

HiPPOLYTUS {turning from him to tht stheri). 

On, huntsmen, to the Castle ! Make your way 

Straight to the feast room j 'tis a merry thing 
After the chase, a board of banqueting. 
And see the steeds be groomed, and in array 
The chariot dight. I drive them forth to-day. 

\_He pauses f and makes a slight gesture of reverence 
to the Statue on ike left. Then to the Old 
That for thy Cyprian, friend, ajid nought beside! 
[HiPPOLVTUS falioivi the huntsmen:^ who stream 
off hf the central door into the Castle. The 
Old Huntsman remaim. 


Huntsman {approaching the Status and knee Zing), 

Cyprian — for a young man in his pride 

1 will not follow ! — here before thee, meek. 
In that one language that a slave may speak, 
I pray thee ; Oh, if some wild heart in froth 
O youth surges against thee, be not wroth 
For ever ! Nay, be far and hear not then : 
Gods should be gentler and more wise than men ! 

[/// rises and fsUows the others into thi CsitU, 

^he Orchestra is empty for a mument^ then then tnttr 
Jram fight and left avtral Tr^t^nian ussmin^ yeung 
and $id. Their number eventually amounts t$ fifteen, 


There riseth a rock-born rtver, 
Of Ocean's tribe, men say ; 
The crags of it gleam and quiver, 
And pitchers dip in the spray : 
A woman was there with raiment white 
To bathe and spread in the warm sunlight, 
And she told a tale to me there by the river, 
The tale of the Queen and her evil day \ 

How, ailing beyond allayment, 

Within she hath bowed her head, 
And with shadow of silken raiment 
The bright brown hair bespread. 
For three long days she hath lain forlorn. 
Her lips untainted of flesh or corn, 

For that secret sorrow beyond allaymcnt 
That steers to the far sad shore of the dead, 



Is this some Spirit, O child of man ? 
Doth Heckt hold thee perchance, or Pan ? 
Doth She of the Mountains work her ban, 
Or the dread Cory ban tcs bind thee i 

Viajt is it sin that upon thee lies, 
Sin of forgotten sacri&ce, 
In thine own Dictynna's sest^wild eyes? 

Who in Limna here can find thee ; 
For the Deep's dry floor ts her easy way, 
And she moves in the salt wet whirl of the spr»y. 

Other JVemen, 
Or doth the Lord of Erechtheus' race^ 
Thy Theseus, watch for a fairer face, 
For secret arms in a silent place. 
Far from thy love or chiding ? 


Or hath there landed, amid the loud 

Hum of Piraeus' sailor-crowd, 

Some Cretan venturer, weary -browed, 

Who bears to the Queen some tiding ; 
Some far home- grief, that hath bowed her low. 
And chained her soul to a bed of woe ? 

An Older W^sman, 

Nay — know ye not ? — this burden hath alway lain 
On the devioiis being of woman ; yea, burdens twain, 
The burden of Wild Will and the burden of Pain. 
Through my Immi once that wind of terror sped j.^ 
But I, in fear confess^, 


Cried from the dark to Her in heavenly bliss, 
The Helper of PaiHf the Bow-Maid Artemts : 
Whose feet I praise for ever, where they tre^ 
F^r off among the blessM I 

The Leader. 

[But see, the Queen's grey nurse at the door, 
Sad-eyed a,nd sterner, met h inks, than of yore, 

With the Queen, Doth she lead her hither, 
To the wind and sun ? — Ah, fein would I know 
What strange betiding hath blanched that brow, 
And made that young life wither. 

[T/j^ Nurse com^r aut from tht ctntrel door^ 
followed by Phaedra, who is mpperted by 
two handmaids. They makt ready a eauch 
for Phaedra to lie upfin* 


O fiick a^d sore are the days of men I 

What wouldst thou ? What shall I change again ? 
Here is the Sun for thee ; here is the sky ; 
And thy weary pillows wind-swept lie, 

By the castle door. 
But the cloud of thy brow is dark, I ween ; 
And soon thou wilt back to thy bower within ; 
So swift to change is the path of thy feet, 
And near things hateful, and fa.T things sweet j 

So was it before I 

Oh, pain were better than tending pain I 
For that were single, and this is twain, 
With grief of heart and labour of limb. 
Yet all man's life is but ailing and dim, 
And rest upon earth comes never. 


But if ftny far-<]£F state there be. 

Dearer thaa life to mortality ; 

The hand of the Dark hath hold thereof, 

AnJ mist is under and mist above. 

And so we are sick for life, and cUng 

On earth to this nameless and shining thing. 

For other life is a fountain sealed, 

And the deeps below us are unrevealed^ 

And we drift on legends for ever ! 

[Phaedra during tkit has been laid m her CQuch 
shf spmki to the handmaids. 


Yes J lift me : not my head so low* 
There, hold my arms. — Fair arms they 

seem I — 
My poor limbs scarce obey me now I 
Take oif that hood that weighs my brow. 

And let my long hair stream. 


Nay, toss not, Childj so feveredly. 

The sickness best will win relief 
By quiet rest and constancy. 
All men have grief, 

Phaedra [mi noticing her). 

Oh for a deep and dewy spring, 

With runlets cold to draw and drink I 
And a great meadow blossomings 
Long-grassed, and poplars in a ring, 
To rest me by the brink ! 



Nay, Child \ Shall strangers hear (his tone 
So wild, and thoughts so fever-flown ? 


Ohj take me to the Mountain ! Oh, 
Past the great pines and through the wood, 
Up where the lean hounds softly go, 

A- whine for wild things' blood, 
And madly flies the dappled roe. 
O God, to shout and speed theni there, 
An arrow by my chestnut hair 
Drawn tight, and one keen glimmering spear- 
Ahl if I could! 


What wouldst thou with them — fancies all !— 
Thy hunting and thy fountain brinL ? 
What wouldst thou ? By the city wall 
Canst hear our own brook plash and fall 
Downhill, if thou wouldst drink, 


O Mistress of the Sea- lorn Mere 

Where horse- hoofs beat the sand and sing^ 
O Artemis, that I were there 
To tame Enetian steeds and steer 
Swift chariots in the ring I 

Nay, mountain ward but now thy hands 

Yearned out, with craving for the chase ; 
And now toward the unseaswept ^ands 

Thou roamest, where the coursers pace ! 



O wild young steed, what prophet knows 
The power that holds thy curb^ and throws 
Thy swift heart from its race ? 

[At theif wordi Phaedra gradually recmtgrt 
htrstlf and pays atttntiofi, 


What have 1 said ? Woe's me I And where 
Gone straying from my wholesome mind ? 
What ? Did I fall in some god's snare ? 
— Nurse, veil my head again, and blind 
Mine eyes, — There is a tear behind 
That lash, — Oh, I am sick with shame t 

Aye, but it hath a sting. 
To come to reason ; yet the name 
Of madness is an awful thing. — 
Could I but die in one swift flame 
Unthinking:, unknowing ! 


I veil thy faccj Child.^Woiild that so 
Mine own were veiled for evermore, 
So sore I love thee ! , . , Though the 
Of long life mocks me, and 1 know 
How love should be a lightsome thing 
Not rooted in the deep o' the heart j 
With gentle tics, to twine apart 
If need so call, or closer cling. — 
Why do I love thee so ? O fool, 

O fool, the heart that bleeds for twain. 
And builds, men tell us, walls of pain, 
To walk by lovers unswerving rule, 



The same for ever, stern and true I 
For * Thorough * is no word of peace : 
'Tis * Naught-too-much ' makes trouble cease, 
And many a wise man bows thereto. 

[The Leadsr of the Chorus here approaches 
the Nurse. 


Nurse of our Queen, thou watcher old and true, 
We see her great affliction, but no clue 
Have we to learn the sickness. Wouldst thou tell 
The name and sort thereof, ^twould like us well. 

Small leechcraft have I, and she tells no man. 

Thou know'st no cause ? Nor when the unrest began ? 

It all comes to the same. She will not speak. 

Leader {turning and looking at Phaedra). 
How she is changed and wasted ! And how weak ! 

'Tis the third day she hath fasted utterly. 

What, is she mad ? Or doth she seek to die ? 

I know not. But to death it sure must lead. 



*Tis strange that Theseus takes hereof no Iiecd. 

She hides her wound^ and vows it is not so. 

Can he not look into her face and know i 

Nay^ he is on a journey these last days. 


Canst thou not force her, then ? Or think of wayi 
To trap the secret of the sick heart's pain i 


Have I not tried all ways, and all in vain ? 
Yet will I cease not now, and thou shalt tell 
If in her grief I serve my mistress well ! 

[Shf g6i$ across to -where Phaedra lies ; and pn 
sently., while speaking^ in f els by her. 
Dear daughter mine^ all that before was said 
Let both of us forget ; and thou instead 
Be kindlier, and unlock that prisoned brow. 
And I, who followed then the wrong road, now 
Will leave it and be wiser. If thou fear 
Some secret sickness, there be women here 
To give thee comfort. [Phaedra shahs her head. 

No ; not secret ? Then 
Is it a sickness meet for aid of men i 
Speakj that a leech may tend thee. 


Silent still ? 
Nay, Child, what profits silence ? If 'tis ill 
This that I counsel, make me see the wrong : 
If well, then yield to me. 

Nay, Child, I long 
For one kind word, one look ! 

[Phaedra lies motionless. The Nursk rises. 
Oh, woe is me ! 
Women, we labour here all fruitlessly. 
All as fer o£f as ever from her heart ! 
She ever scorned me, and now hears no part 
Of all my prayers ! [Turning to Phaedra again. 

Nay, hear thou shalt, and be. 
If so thou will, more wild than the wild sea ; 
But know, thou art thy little ones' betrayer I 
If thou die now, shall child of thine be heir 
To Theseus' castle ? Nay, not thine, I ween. 
But hers ! That barbed Amazonian Queen 
Hath left a child to bend thy children low, 
A bastard royal-hearted — sayst not so ? — 
Hippol3rtus . . . 

[She starts «/, sitting^ and throws the veil off. 

That stings thee ? 


Nurse, most sore 
Thou hast hurt me ! In God's name, speak that name 
no more. 




Thou secst ? Thy mind is clear ; but with thy mind 
Thou wilt not save thy children, nor be kind 
To thine own life. 


My children ? Nay, most dear 
I love them. — Far, fiur other grief is here. 

Nurse [after a pamey wondering). 
; Thy hand is clean, O Child, from stain of blood ? 

My hand is clean ; but is my heart, O God ? 

Some enemy's spell hath made thy spirit dim i 

He hates me not that slays me, nor I him. 

Theseus, the King, hath wronged thee in man*s wise ? 

Ah, could but I stand guiltless in his eyes I 

O speak ! What is this death-fraught mystery ? 

Nay, leave me to my wrong. I wrong not thee. 


Nurse (suddenly throwing herself in supplicatten 
at PHAXDKA*sfeet). 

Not wrong me, whom thou wouldst all desolate leave I 

Phaedra {rising and trying to move away). 

What wouldst thou ? Force me ? Clinging to my 
sleeve ? 


Yea, to thy knees ; and weep ; and let not go 1 

Woe to thee, Woman, if thou learn it, woe I 

I know no bitterer woe than losing thee. 

I am lost I Yet the deed shall honour me. 

Why hide what honours thee ? *Tis all I claim ! 

Why, so I build up honour out of shame 1 

Then speak, and higher still thy fame shall stand. 

■ Go^ in God's name ! — Nay, leave me ; loose my hand I 

lever, until thou grant me what I pray. 


Phaedra {yielding^ after a pause). 
So be it. I dare not tear that hand away. 

NiTRSE {rising and releasing Phabdra). 
Tell all thou wilt, Daughter. I speak no more. 

Phaedra {after a long pause). 
.fi. ' Mother, poor Mother, that didst love so sore ! 


What mean*st thou, Child ? The Wild Bull of the 


kne And thou, sad sister, Dion]rsus* bride I 


Child ! wouldst thou shame the house where thou 
wast born ? 


And I the third, sinking most all-forlorn I 

Nurse {to herself). 
I am all lost and feared. What will she say ? 

From there my grief comes, not from yesterday. 

I come no nearer to thy parable. 

Oh, would that thou couldst tell what I must tell I 


I am no seer in things I wot not of. 

Phaedra {again hesitating). 
What is it that they mean, who say men . . . love ? 

A thing most sweet, my Child, yet dolorous. 

Only the half, belike, hath ^en on us 1 

Nurse (starting). 

On thee ? Love ? — Oh, what sayst thou ? What 
man's son ? 


What man^s ? There was a Queen, an Amazon . . . 

Hippolytus, sayst thou ? 

Phaedra (again wrapping her fact in the veil). 

Nay, *twas thou, not 1 1 
[Phaedra sinks back on the couch and covers her 
face again. The Nurse starts violently from 
her and walks up and down. 


OGod! what wilt thou say. Child ? Wouldst thou try 
To kill me ? — Oh, *tis more than I can bear ; 
Women, I will no more of it, this glare 
Of hated day, this shining of the sky. 
I will fling down my body, and let it lie 
Till life be gone 1 



Women, GoJ rest with you. 
My works are over ! For the pure and true 
Arc forced to evil, against their own heart's vow, 

And love it I 

[She suddenly sees the Statue o/CvpRis, and standi 
with her eyei riveted upon it. 

Ah, Cyprian ! No god art thou, 
But more than god, and greater^ that hath thrust 
Me and my queen and all our house to dust ! 

[She throws herself on the ground close te the stat 

Some fVsmen. 
O Women, have yc heard ? Nay, dare ye hear 
The desolate cry of the young Queen's misery ? 
A Wsman, 
My Queen, I love thee dear. 

Yet Jiefcr were I dead than framed like thee, 
Woe, woe to me for this thy hitter bane, 
Surely the food man feeds upon is pain 1 


How wilt thou bear thee through this livelong day, 

Lost, and thine evil naked to the light ? 
Strange things are close upon us — -who shall say 

How strange ? — save one thing that is plain to sighl 
Xhe stroke of the Cyprian and the fell thereof 
On thecj thou child of the Isle of fearful Love I 

[Phaedra during this has risen from the antch* 
and comes for^t/ard coUectedlyt As she speaks 
the NuxsE graduelly reuses htrseif and lister 
more culmly. 




Women, dwellers In this portal-scat 
Of Pelops' land, gazing towards my Crete, 
How oft, in other days than these, have I 
Through night's long hours thought of man's misery. 
And how this life is wrecked 1 And, to mine eyes, 
Not in man's knowledge, not in wisdom, lies 
The lack that makes for sorrow. Nay, we scan 
And know the right — for wit hath many a man — 
But will not to the last end strive and serve. 

For some grow too soon weary, and some swerve 
To other paths, setting before the Right 
The diverse far-ofF image of Delight ; 
And many are delights beneath the sun 1 
Long hours of converse ; and to sit alone 
Musing — a deadly happiness ! — and Shame ; 
Though two things there be hidden In one name, 
And Shame can be slow poison if it will 1 

This is the truth I saw then, and sec still ; 
Nor is there any magic that can stain 
That white truth for me, or make me blind again. 
Come, I will show thee how my spirit hath moved. 
When the first stab came, and I knew I loved, 

1 cast about how best to face mine ill. 

And the first thought that came, ^vas to be stfU 
And hide my sickness.— For no trust there is 
In m^n's tongue, that so well admonishes 
And counsels and betrays, and waxes fat 
With griefs of its own gathering I — After that 
I would my madness bravely bear, and try 
To conquer by mine own heart's purity. 

My third mind, when these two availed me naught 



To queJl love, was to die — 

[Afotian of protest among the iVemett, 
the best, best thought — 
— Gainsay me not — of all that man can say ! 
I would not have tnine honour hidden away \ 
Why should I have my shame before men's eyes 
Kept living ? An<l I knew, in deadly wise, 
Shame was the deed and shame the suffering \ 
And I a woman, too, to face the thing, 
Despised of ail I 

Oh, utterly accurst 
Be she of women, whoso dared the first 
To cast her honour out to a strange man ! 
Twas in some great house, surely, that began 
This plague upon us ; then the baser kind, 
When the good led towards evil, followed blind 
And Joyous I Cursed be they whose lips are clcati 
And wise and seemJy, but their hearts within 
Rank with bad daring I How can they, O Thou 
That walkest on the waves, great Cyprian, how 
Smile in their husbands' faces, and not fall. 
Not cower before the Darkness that knows all, 
Aye, dread the dead still chambers, lest one A^y 
The stones find voicCj and all be finished ! 

Friends, 'tis for this 1 die j lest I stand there 
Having shamed my husband and the babes I bare. 
In ancient Athens they shall some day dwell, 
My babes, free men, free-spoken, honourable, 
And when one asks their mother, proud of me 1 
For, ohj it cows a man, though bold he be, 
To know a mother's or a father's sin, 

*Tis written, one way is there, one, to win 



This life's race> could man Tceep it from his birth^ 
A true clean spirit. And through all this earth 
To every false man^ that hour comes apace 

I When Time holds up a. mirror to his face, 
And girl-like, marvelling, there he stares to sec 
How foul his heart ! Be it not so with me ! 

H Leader of Chorus. 

^Ah God J how sweet is virtue, and how wise, 
I And honour its due meed In all men's eyes ! 

^^ NURSS [tvho has now risert and r^covfnd heneif)* 

Mistress, a sharp swift terror struck me low 
A moment since, hearing of this thy woe. 
' But now — I was a coward ! And men say 
t Our second thought the wiser is alway. 

*{ This is no monstrous thing ; no grief too dire 
To meet with quiet thinking. In her ire 
A most strong goddess hath swepr down on thee. 
Thou lovest. Is that so strange ? Many there be 
Beside thee ! ... And because thou lovest, wilt fall 
And die ! And must all lovers die, then ? All 
That are or shall be ? A blithe law for them ! 
Nay, when in might she swoops, no strength can stem 
Cypris ; and if man yields bimj she is sweet ; 
But is he proud and stubborn ? From his feet 
She lifts him, and — how think you f — flings to scorn ! 
II, She ranges with the scars of eve and morn, 
^Kbc wanders in the heaving of the sea^ 
^"And all life lives from her. — Aye, this is she 

EThat sows Love's seed and brings Love*s fruit to 
I birth ; 
And great Love's brethren are all we on earth ! 



Nay, thry who con grey books of ancient days 
Or dwell among the Muses, tell — and praise — 
How Zeus himself once yearned for Scmelft ; 
How maiden Efls in her radiancy 
Swept Kephalos to heaven away, away, 
For sore love's sake. And there they dwell, men 

And fear not, fret not ; for a thing too stern 
Hath met and crushed them I 

And must thou, then, turn 
And struggle ? Sprang there from thy father's blood 
Thy little soul all lonely ? Or the god 
That rules thee, is he other than our gods ? 

Nay, yield thee to men's ways, and kiss their rods 1 
How many, deem'st thou^ of men good and wise. 
Know their own home's blot, and avert their eyes ? 
How many fathers, when a son has strayed 
And toiled beneath the Cyprian, bring him aid, 
Not chiding ? And man's wisdom e'er hath been 
Xo keep what is not good to see, unseen ! 

A straight and perfect life is not for man ; 
Nay, in a shut house, let him, if he can, 
*Mid sheltered rooms, make all lines true. But hert 
Out in the wide sea fallen, and fiiil of fear, 
Hopest thou so ea*>ily to swim to land ? 

Canst thou but set thine ill days on one hand 
And more good days on the other, verily, 
O child of woman, life is well with thee 1 

\Sht pameif and then draws nearer to Phaedrj 
Nay, dear my daughter, cease thine evil mind. 
Cease thy fierce pride ! For pride it is, and blind, 
Xo seek to outpass gods ! — -Love on and dare : 
A god hath willed it 1 And, since pain is there. 


Make the pain sleep I Songs are there to bring calm^ 
And magic words. And I shall find the balm, 
Be surcj to heal thee. Else in sore dismay 
''ere men, could not we women find our way I 

Leader of the Chorus. 

Help is there. Queen, in all this woman says, 
Xo ease thy suffering. But 'tis thee I praise ; 
Albeit that praise is harder to thine ear 
!'han all her chiding was, and bitterer ] 


Oh, this it is hath flung to dogs and birds 
Men*s lives and homes and cities — fair false words I 
Oh, ^hy speak things to please our ears ? We crave 
Not that. 'Tis honour, honour, we must save 1 


Why prate so proud ? *Tis no words^ brave nor base, 
Thou cravest ; 'tis a man's arms ! 

[Phaedra movfs indignantly. 
Up and tace 
The truth of what thou artj and name it straight ! 
^ere not thy hfe thrown open here for Fate 
^o beat on ; hadst thou been a woman pure 

wise or strong ; never had I for lure 
tf joy nor heartache led thee on to this 1 
But when a whole life one great battle is, 
To win or lose — no man can blame me then. 


ame on thee I Lock those lips, and ne'er again 
It word nor thought so foul have harbour there I 




Foul, if thou wilt : but better than the fair 
For thee and me. And better, too, the deed 
Behind them, if it save thee in thy need^ 
Than that word Honour thou wilt die to win ! 


Nay, in God's nan:ie,-^uch wisdom and such sin 
Arc all about thy hps ! — urge me no more. 
For all the soul within me is wrought o'er 
By Love ; and if thou speak and speak, I may 
Be spent, and drift where now I shrink away, 


Wcll^ if thou wilt ! — *Twcre best never to err. 
But, having erred, to take a counsellor 
Is second. — Mark me now. I have within 
Love-philtres, to make peace where storm hath been, 
That^ with no shame, no scathe of mind, shall save 
Thy life from anguish ; wilt but thou be brave ! 

Ah, but from him, the well-beloved, some sign 
We need, or word, or raiment's hem, to twine 
Amid the charm, and one spell knit from twain, 

U it a potion or a salve ? Be plain. 

Who knows I Seek to be helped, Child, not to knowij 


Why art thou ever subtle ? I dread thee, so. 




'hou wouldst dread everjfthing ! — What dost thou 
dread ? 


IfTSt to his ear some word be whispered. 


Let be^ ChiJd ! I will make all well with thee ! 

— Only do thou, O Cyprian of the Sea, 

Be wth me ! And mine own heart, come what 

Shall know what ear to seek, what word to say ! 

[^Tfit NtTR5E» having spoken these last words in 
prayer apart to the Statue ^Cypris, turns 
hack and goes into the h&usi. Phaedra sits 
pensi'ue again on her couch tili towards the 
tnd of the following Song^ when she rises and 
hends close to the door. 


ErdSj ErAs, who blindest, tear by tear. 
Men's eyes with hunger ; thou swift Foe, 
that pliest 
Deep in our hearts joy like an edged spear ; 
Come not to me with Evil hauriting near, 
Wrath on the wtndj nor jarring of the dear 

Wing's music as thou fiiest ! 
There is no shaft that burneth^ not in fire. 
Not in wild stars, far ofFand flinging fear, 
As in thine hands the shaft of All Desire, 
Erfis, Child of the Highest 1 



In vain^ in vain, by old Alphetls* shore 

The blood of many bulls doth stain the riverj 
And all Greece bows on Phoebus* Pythian floor 
Yet bring wc to the Master of Man no store* 
The Keybearer, who standeth at the door 

Close-faarred, where hideth ever 
The heart of the shrine. Yea, though he sack] 
man's life 
Like a sacked city, and moveth evermore 
Girt with calamity and strange ways of strife. 
Him have we worshipped never I 

There roamed a Steed in Oechalia's wild, 
A Maid without yoke, without Master, 
And Love she knew not, that far King's child ; 
But he came, he came, with a song in the nighty 
With fire, with blood ; and she strove in flightj 
A Torrent Spirit, a Maenad white. 
Faster and vainly faster, 
Sealed unto Heracles by the Cyprian's Might. 
Alas, thou Bride of Disaster I 

O Mouth of Dirce, O god-built wall, 
■^ That Dirce's wells run under, 

Ye Jcnow the Cyprian's fleet footfall 1 
Ye saw the heaven's around her flare, 
When she lulled to her sleep that Mother fair 
Of Twy-born Bacchus, and decked her there 
The Bride of the bladed Thunder, 
For her breath is on all that hath life, and she floats in 
the air. 
Bee-like, death -like, a wonder. 
{During the last iinei Phaedra hai apprMchtd 
the doer And is listming. 


Silence, ye Women I Something is amiss. 

How i In the house ? — Phaedra, what fear is this ? 

Let me but listen ! There are voices. Hark I 

I hold my peace : yet is thy presage dark. 

Oh, misery ! 
O God, that such a thing should ^1 on me I 

What sound, what word, 

Woman, Friend, makes that sharp terror start 
Out at thy lips ? What ominous cry half-heard 

Hath leapt upon thine heart ? 


1 am undone ! — Bend to the door and hark. 

Hark what a tone sounds there, and sinks away I 

Thou art beside the bars. *Tis thine to mark 
The castle's floating message. Say, Oh, say 
What thing hath come to thee ? 

Phaedra {calmly). 
Why, what thing should it be ? 
The son of that proud Amazon speaks again 
In bitter wrath : speaks to my handmaiden ^ 



I hear a noise of voices, nothing clear. 

For thee the din hath words, as through barred locks 
Floating, at thy heart it knocks, 

** Pander of Sin " it says. — Now canst thou hear ?- 
And there : " Betrayer of a master's bed." 

Ah me, betrayed ! Betrayed ! 
Sweet Princess, thou art ill bested, 
Thy secret brought to light, and ruin near, 

By her thou heldest dear, 
By her that should have loved thee and obeyed ! 

Aye, I am slain. She thought to help my fall 
With love instead of honour, and wrecked atU 

Where wilt thou turn thee, where ? 
And what help seek, O wounded to despair .' 

I know not, save one thing, to die right soon. 
For such as tne God keeps no other boon. 

[Thf doer in the centre huriti opfiiy and Hjppo-^ 
LYTUS Crimes for thy chiely foll^tuid hy tht 
yp Nurse. Phaedra cswen asidt. 


O Mother Earthy O Sun that makest clean, 
What poison have I heard, what speechless sin I 


Hush, O my Prince, lest others mark, and guess . . . 


I have heard horrors ! Shall I hold my peace ? 

Yea, by this fair right arm, Son, by thy pledge . . . 


Down with that hand ! Touch not my garment's 
edge ! 


Oh, by thy knees, be silent or I die ! 


Why, when thy speech was all so guiltless ? Why ? 

It is not meet, fair Son, for every ear ! 


Good words can bravely forth, and have no fear. 

Thine oath, thine oath ! I took thine oath before ! 


*Twas but my tongue, *twas not my soul that swore. 


Nurse. / 

O Son, what wilt thou ? Wilt thou slay thy kin ? / 

C / 

\ " 



I own no kindred with the spawn of sin I 

{Hffi'tngi htr from him„ 


Nay, spare me ! Man was born to err j oh, spare I . 


O God, why hast Thou made this gleaming snare, 
Woman, to dog us on the happy earth ? 
Was It Thy will to make Man, why his birth 
Through Love and Woman ? Could we not have rollt 
Our store of prayer and offering, royal gold. 
Silver and weight of bronze before Thy feet, 
And bought of God new child-souIs, as were meet 
For each man's sacrifice, and dwelt in homes 
Free, where nor Love nor Woman goes and comes ? 

How, is that daughter not a banc confessed, 
Whom her own sire sends forth— (He knows 


And, will some man but take her, pays a dower ! 
And he, poor fool, takes home the poison- flower ; 
Laughs to hang jewels on the deadly thing 
He joys in j labours for her robe- wearing, 
Till wealth and peace are dead. He smarts the less 
In whose high seat is set a Nothingness, 
A woman naught availing. Worst of all 
The wise deep-though ted ! Never in my hall 
May she sft throned who thinks and waits and sighs 1] 
For Cypris breeds most evil in the wise, 
And least in her whose heart has naught within ; 
For puny wit can work but puny sin. 

Why do we let their handmaids pass the gate ? 
Wild beasts were best, voiceless and fanged, to wait 



About their rooms, that they might speak with none, 

Nor ever hear one answering human tone ! 

But now dark women in stiU chamben lay 

Plans that creep out into the light of day 

On handmaids' Itps— [Turning fa thi Nurse 

A% thine accursed head 
Braved the high honour of my Father's bed, 
And came to traffic. . . , Our white torrent"'s spray 
Shall drench mine ears to wash those words away ! 
And couldst thou dream that / , . , ? 1 feel impure 
Still at the very hearing I Know for sure. 
Woman, naught but mine honour saves ye both. 
Hadst thou not trapped me with that guileful oath, 
No power had held me secret till the King 
Knew all I But now, while he is journeying, 
I too will go my ways and make no sound. 
And when he comes again, I shall be found 
Beside him, silent, watching with what grace 
Thou and thy mistress greet him face to face ! 
Then shall I have the taste of tt, and know 
What woman's guile is. — Woe upon you, woe 1 
How can I too much hate you, while the ill 
Ye work upon the world grows deadlier still ? 
Too much ? Make woman pure, and wild Love tame, 
Or let me cry for ever on their shame ! 

\^He goes 9^ in Jury to the hft. PhA£DRA \uU 
catuering in her place hegim to wi, 


Sad, sad and evjUstarrcd 
Is Woman's state. 
What shelter now h left or guard ? 
What spell to loose the iron knot of fate ? 


And this thing, O my Gt>d, 

thou sweet Sunlight, is but my desert 1 

1 csinnot fly before the avenging rod 
Falls, cannot hide my hurt. 

What help, O yc who love me, can come near, 

What god or man appear, 
To aid a thing so evil and so lost ? 
Lost, for this anguish presses, soon or late, 
To that swift river that no life hath crossed. 
No woman ever lived so desolate. I 

Leader of the Chorus, 

Ah me, the time for deeds Is gone ; the boast 
Proved vain that spake thine handmaid { and all lost 

[Jt these tut)rdi pHAEDRA tuddeniy rfmemberM 
the Nurse, who ti anuering ti/eni/y Ufher4 
HiPPOLVTUS had thrswrt htrfrom him. Shi 
turm upon her. 


wicked, wicked, wicked ! Murderess heart 
To them that loved thee ! Hast thou played thy part 
Am I enough trod down ? 

May Zeus, my sire, 
Blast and uproot thee ! Stab thee dead with fire ! 
Said I not — Knew I not thine heart ? — to name 
To no one soul this that ts now my shame r 
And thou couldst not be silent ! So no more 

1 die in honour. But enough ; a store 

Of new words must be spoke and new things thought 
This man's whole being to one blade is wrought 
Of rage against me. Even now he speeds 
To abase me to the King with thy misdeeds ; 


'Tell Pjttheus ; fill the land ivith talk of sin I 

Cursed be thou, and whoso else leaps in 
|To bring bad aid to friends that want it not. 

[ The Nurse has r a tied herself^ and facti 
Phaedra, dnwncait hut iulm. 


Mistress, thou blamest me ; and all thy lot 
[So bitter sore is, and the sting so wild, 
1 bear with all. Yet, if I would, my Child, 
I have mine answer, couldst thou hcaiken aught. 

I nursed thee, and I love thee ; and I sought 
Only some balm to heal thy deep despair. 
And found — not what I sought for. Else I were 
Wise, and thy friend, and good, had all sped right. 
So fares it with us ali in the world's sight. 


'Ptrst stab me to the heart, then humour me 
^With words ! *Tis fair ; 'tis all as It should be I 


^e talk too long. Child. I did ill ; but, oh, 
There is a way to save thee, even so J 


way ? No more ways ! One way hast thou trod 
Already, foul and false and loathed of god ! 
Begone out of my sight ; and ponder how 
Thine own life stands ! I need no helpers now. 

\^ht turns from the Nurse, wAj crttpi ahaihed 
azuay into the Cait/f. 



Only do ye, high Daughters of Trozin, 
Let all ye hear be as it had not been ; 
Know naughty and speak of naught t *Th my hut 


By God's pure daughter, Artemis, I swear, 
No word will I of these thy griefs reveal I 


'Tis well. But now, yea, even while I r«l 

And falter, one poor hope, as hope now is, 

I clutch at in this coil of miseries ; 

To save some honour for my children's sake ; 

Yea, for myself some fragment, though things break 

In ruin around me. Nay, I will not shame 

The old proud Cretan castle whence I came, 

I will not cower before King Theseus' eyes, 

Abasedj for want of one life's sacrifice I 

What wilt thou ? Some dire deed beyond recall ? 

Phaedra {mming). 
Die ; but how die ? 

Let not such wild words &11 \ 

Phaedra {turning upon her). 

Give thou not such light counsel ! Let me be 
To sate the Cyprian that is murdering me ! 
To-day shall be her day ; and, all strife past, 
Fler bitter Love shall quell me at the last. 


Yet, dyingj shail I die another's bane \ 
He shall not stand so proud where I have lain 
Bent in the dust ! Oh, he shall stoop to share 
The life I live in, and learn mercy there ! 

[She goti 6^-wHdly intQ the Caitlf. 


Could I take me to some cavern for miric hiding, 

In the hill-tops where the Sun scarce hath trod ; 
Or a cloud make the home of mine abiding, 

As a bird among the bird-droves of God ! 
Could I wing me to my rest amid the roar 
Of the deep Adriatic on the shore, 
Where the waters ofEridanus are clear, 

And PhaJ?thoii's sad sisters by his grave 
Weep into the river, and each tear 

Gleams, a drop of amber, in the wave. 

To the strand of the Daughters of the Sunset, 

The Apple-treCj the singing and the gold ; 
Where the mariner must stay him from his onset, 

And the red wave is tranquil as of old ; 
Yea, beyond that Pillar of the End 
That Atlas guardeth, would I wend ; 
Where a voice of living waters never ceaseth 

In God's quiet garden by the sea, 
And Earth, the ancient life-giver, increascth 

Joy among the meadows^ like a tree. 

O shallop of Crete, whose milk-white wing 
Through the swell and the storm- beating, 


Bore us thy Prince's daughter^ 
Was it well she came from a joyous home 
To a far Kifig*s brida) across the foam ? 

What joy hath her brida! brought her i 
Sure some spell upon either band 
Flew with thee from the Cretaxt strand, 
Seeking Athena's tower divine ; 
And there, where Mun)fchus fronts the brine, 
Crept by the shore-flung cables' line, 

The curse from the Cretan water ! 

And, for that dark spell that about her clings. 
Sick desires of forbidden things 

The soul of her rend and sever ; 
The bitter tide of calamity 
Hath risen above her lips ; and she, 

Where bends she her last endeavour ? 
She will hie her alone ed her bridal room, 
And a rope swing slow in the rafters' gloom ; 
And a fair white neck shall creep to the noose, 
A-shudder with dread, yet firm to choose 
The one strait way for fame, and lose 

The Love and the pain for ever. 

[The VsUe of the Nurse is heard ffsm witktn^ 
cryingy at frit inarticulately^ then cUnrly. 


Help ho ! The Queen J Help, whoso hearkeneth I 
Help I Theseus' spouse caught in a noose of death I 

A Woman. 

God, is it so soon finished ? That bright head 
Swinging beneath the rafters I Phaedra dead I 



haste ! This knot about her throat is made 
So fast ! Will no one bring me a swift blade i 

A Woman, 

Say, friends, what think ye f Should we haste within, 
And from her own hand's knotting loose the Queen ? 


Nay, are there not men there ? 'Tis an ill road 
In life, to finger at another's load. 


Let it lie straight 1 Alas ! the cold white thing 
That guards his enipty castle for the King 1 

A Woman. 

rAh 1 * Let it lie straight ! * Heard ye what she said ? 

No need for helpers now ; the Queen is dead J 

[The fp^ometiy intent upon the 'voices from the 
Castle^ have not noticed the approach of 
Theseus. He enUri from the left ; his 
drea and the garland m hit head show that 
he has returned from some oracle or special 
abode of a God, He stands for a moment 


)j Women, and what means this loud acclaim 
^jthin the house I The vassals^ outcry came 
~o smite mine ears far off. It were more meet 
To fliftg out wide the Castle gates, and greet 


With joy a herald from God*s Presence ! 

[The confusion and horror of the WomtrCs facn 
gradually affecU him, A dirgt'-cry comes 
from the Castle, 

Not Pittheus ? Hath Time struck that hoary brow ? 
Old is he, old, I know. But sore it were, 
Returning thus, to find his empty chair 1 

[The Women hesitate i then the Leader comes ftrward. 

O Theseus, not on any old man's head 
This stroke falls. Young and tender is the dead. 

Ye Gods I One of my children torn from me f 

Thy motherless children live, most grievously. 

How sayst thou ? What ? My wife ? . . . 

Say how she died. 

In a high death-knot that her own hands tied. 

A fit of the old cold anguish — ^Tell me all — 
That held her ? Or did some fresh thing befall ? 

We know no more. But now arrived we be, 
Theseus, to mourn for thy calamity. 

[Theseus stays for a moment silenty and puts his 
hand to his brow. He notices the wreath. 




What ? And all garlanded I come to her 
With flowers, most evil-starred GodVmcsscngcr ! 

Ho, varlcts, loose the portal bars ; undo 
The bolts J and let me see the bitter view 
Of her whose death hath brought me to mine own. 

[Th grtat ientrai dour cf the CanU ii thrown 
opm tuidif and the body of Phaedra ti seen 
lying OTi a bierj surrounded by a group of 
Handmaidiy wai/ing. 

The Handmaids. 

Ah me^ what thou hast suffered and hast done : 

A deed to wrap this roof in flame I 
Why was thine hand so strong, thine heart &q bold ? 
Wherefore, O dead in anger, dead in shame, 
The long, long wrestling ere thy breath was cold ? 

O ill-starred Wife, 
What brought this blackness over all thy life ? 

[^ thru fig sf Men and W^emen has grsdualh 


Ah me, this is the last 
^Hear, O my countrymen ! — and bitterest 
Of Theseus' labours 1 Fortune all un blest, 
How hath thine heavy heel across me passed I 
Is it the stain of sins done long ago, 

Some fell God still remembereth, 
That must so dim and fret my life with death ? 
sin not win to shore ; and the waves flow 



Above mine eyes, to be surmounted not. 

Ah wife, sweet wife, what name 

Can fit thine heavy lot ? 
Gone like a wild bird, like a blowing flame, 
In one swift gust, where all things are forgoi f 

Alas ! this misery ! 
Sure *tJ5 some stroke of God's great anger rolled 

From age to age on me. 
For some dire sin wrought by dim Icings of old, 


Sire, this great grief hath come to many an one, 
A true wife lost. Thou art not all alone. 


Deep, deep beneath the Earth, 
Dark may my dwelling be> 
And Night my heart's one comrade, in the dearth, 
O Lovcj of thy most sweet society. 
This is my deathj O Phaedra, more than thine. 

\_Hr turnt tuddenly sn the AtitTtdan^ 
Speak who speak can ? What was it ? What malign 
Swift stroke, O heart discounscUed, leapt on thee ? 
{He bmdi Qver PhAEDRA ; ihen^ as ns one sprai 
looks fiercely up. 
What, will ye speak ? Or are they dumb as death, J 
This herd of thralls, my high house harboureth f 

\Tbere h no answer. He hends again m 
Ah me, why shouidst thou die ? 
A wide and royal grief I here behold. 
Not to be borne in peace, not to be told. 
As a lost man am I, 


My children motherless and my house undone^ 

Since thou art vanished quite, 
Purest of hearts that e'er the wandering Sun 
pouched, or the star-eyed splendour of the Night. 

[/fif throws himsilf btiidi the bod^. 


Unhappy one, O most unhappy one \ 

With what strange evil is this Castle vexed I 
Mine eyes are molten with the tears that run 

For thee and thine ; but what thing follows next ? 
I tremble when I think thereon 1 
[They have net iced that there is a tablet with 
writing fastened to the dead woman* t wrists 
Thbseus aht> sees it, 


Ha, what is this that hangs from her dear hand ? 
A tablet ! It would make me understand 
Some dying wish, some charge about her bed 
And children. *Twas the last prayer, ere her head 
Was bowed for ever. [Taitng the tablet. 

Fear not, ray lost bride, 
No woman born shall lie at Theseus* side, 
Nor rule in Theseus' house ! 

A seal ! Ah, see 
How her gold signet here looks up at me. 
Trustfully. Let me tear this thread away. 
And read what tale the cablet seeks to say. 

[//rf pr deeds to undo and r€ad the iabiet. The 
Chorus breaks int^ horrified groups. 



Some Womsn, 

Woe, woe ! God brings to birth 
A new grief here, close oa the other's tread I 

My life hath lost its worth. 
May si] go now with what is finished I 
The cast!e of my King is overthrown, 
A house no more, a house vanished and gone 1 

Othkr. Women. 

God, if it may be in any way, 
Let not this house be wrecked ! Help us who pray] 

1 know not what is here : some unseen thing 
That shows the Bird of Evil en the wing. 

[Theseus hai read the tablet and breaks out 
uncoHtriiiabU emotion. 


Oh, horror piled on horror !■ — Here is writ . . . 
Nayj who could bear it, who could speak of it ? 

What, O my King ? If I may hear it, speak 1 


Doth not the tablet cry aloud, yea, shriek, 
Things not to be forgotten ?— Oh^ to fly 
And hide mine head I No more a man am L 
Ah, God, what ghastly music echoes here ! 

How wild thy voice 1 Some terrible thing is near. 




No ; my lips' gates will hold it back no more | 

This deadly word, 
That struggles on the brink and will not o'er, 
Yet will not stay unheard. 
[Hf raises his kand^ts m^ke pr&diim/itisn io a /I present, 
Ho^ hearken all this land ! 

[The piQple gather expectantly attmt kim, 
Hippolytus by violence hath laid hand 
On this my wife, forgetting God's great eye. 

[Murmurs sf amnz^ment and horror ^ TffEslUa, 
apparently caim^ raises hfith arms ts hurven. 
Therefore, O Thou my Father, hear my cry, 
Poseidon \ Thou didst grant me for mine own 
Three prayers \ for one of thescj slay now my son, 
Hippolytus ; let him not outlive this day, 
If true thy promise was 1 Lo, thus I pray. 

^K^h, call that wild prayer back ! O King, take heed t 
^H know that thou wilt live to rue this deed. 




t may not be, — And more, I cast him out 
From all my realms. He shall be held about 
By two great dooms. Or by Poseidon's breath 
He shall fall swiftly to the house of Death ; 
Or wandering, outcast, o'er strange land and sea, 
Shall live and drain the cup of misery. 

p Leader. 

Ah, see ! here comes he at the point of need. 
Ihake off that evil mood, O King : have heed 



For all thine house and folk. — Great Theseus, hear I 
[Theseus Hands stlmt in fitrct ghsm. HiPPO- 
LYTUS comti tn fram thg right* 


Father, I heard thy cry, and sped m fear 
To help thee. — But I see not yet the ca.use 
That racked thee so. — Say, Father, what it was, 

\The murmun in the croivd^ the silent gloam 
his Father^ and the horror of the Chorui- 
•tvomen gradually work en HippOlytus anJ 
bewilder him. He catches sight of the biti 
Ahj what is that ! Nay, Father, not the Queen 
Dead ! {Murmurs in th crowd,) 

*Tis most strange. *Tis passing strange, I weei 
'Twas here I left her. Scarce an hour hath run 
Since here &he stood and looked on this same sun. 
What is it with her ? Wherefore did she die ? 

[Theseus remalm silent. The murmurs increat 
Father, to thee I speak. Oh, tell me, why, 
Why art thou silent ? What doth silence know 
Of skill to stem the bitter flood of woe ? 
And human hearts in sorrow crave the more 
For knowledge, though the knowledge grieve them sore 
It is not love, to veil thy sorrows in 
From one most near to thee^ and more than kin 

Theseus {tg himself). 

Fond race of men, so striving and so blind, 
Ten thousand arts and wisdoms can ye find, 
Desiring ail and all imagining : 
But ne'er have reached nor understood one thing, 
To make a true heart there where no heart is ! 



That were indeed beyond man's mysteriesj 
To make a felse heart true against his will. 
But why this subtle talk ? It likes me ill, 
i'ather ; thy speech runs wild beueath this blow. 

Theseus {as before). 

would that God had given us here below^ 
Some test of love, some sifting of the soul, 
To tell the false and true ! Or through the whole 
Of men two voices ran, one true and right, 
The other as chance willed \t ; that we might 
Convict the liar by the true man's tone. 
And not live duped forever, every one ! 

I HlPPOLVTUS {mhunderitanding him ; then guessing at 
iofmtking of the truth), 

What ? Hath some friend proved false ? 

Or in thine ear 
'htspercd some slander ? Stand I tainted herCj 
'hough utterly innocent ? [Murmurs from the crowd. 

Yea^ dazed am I ; 
*Tis thy words daze me, falling all awry, 
Away from reason^ by fell fancies vexed ! 


heart of man, what height wilt venture next ? 
What end comes to thy daring and thy crime ? 
Tor if with each man's life 'twill higher climb, 
"And every age break out in blood and lies 
Beyond its fathers, must not God devise 
Some new world far from ours, to hold therein 
Such brood of all un faith ftilrt ess and sin i' 





Look, all, upon this man, my son, hfs life 
Sprung forth from mine 1 He hath defiled 

And standeth here convicted by the dead, 
A most black villain ! 

[HiPPOLYTUS falls bad with a cry and cavm 
fact with hh Tohe. 

Nay J hide not thine head ] 
Pollutionj IS It ? Thee it will not stain. 
Look up, and face thy Father's eyes again ! 

Thou friend of Gods, of all mankind elect ; 
Thou the pure heart, by thoughts of ill unflccked ! 
I care not for thy boasts. I am not mad^ 
To deem that Gods love best the base and bad. 

Now is thy day I Now vaunt thee ; thou so pur« 
No flesh of life may pass thy lips ! Now lure 
Fools after thee ; call Orpheus King and Lord ; 
Make ecstasies and wonders ! Thumb thine hoard 
Of ancient scrolls and ghostly mysteries — 
Now thou art caught and known ! 

Shun men like th( 
I charge ye all ! With solemn words they chase 
Their prey, and in their hearts plot foul disgrace. 

My wife is dead. — 'Ha, so that saves thee now ? * 
That is what grips thee worst, thou caitiff, thou I 
What oaths, what subtle words, shall stronger be 
Than this dead hand, to clear the guilt from thee ? 

*She hated thee,' thou sayest ; *the bastard born 
Is ever sore and bitter as a thorn 
To the true brood.' — A sorry bargainer 
In the ills and goods of life thou makest her. 
If all her bcst-bcloved she cast away 
To wreak blind hate on thee ! — What, wilt thou sai 




'Through every woman's nature one blind strand 

Of passion winds, that men scarce understand?* — 

Are we so different f Know I not the fire 

And perilous fiood of a young man's desire, 

Desperate ^s any woman, and as blind^ 

When Cypris stings ? Save that the man behind 

Has all men's strength to aid him. Nay, 'twas thou . , , 

But what avail to wrangle with thee now, 
When the dead speaks for all to understand, 
A perfect witness ! 

Hie thee from this land 
To exile with all speed. Come never more 
To god-built Athens, not to the utmost shore 
Of any realm where Theseus* arm is strong ! 
What ? Shall I bow my head beneath this wrong, 
And cower to thee ? Not Isthmian Sin is so 
Will bear men witness that I laid him low, 
Nor Skiron's rocks, that share the salt sea's prey, 

rrant that my hand hath weight vile things to slay I 


.Alas ! whom shall I call of mortal men 
[appy P The highest are cast down again, 


Father, the hot strained fury of thy heart 
terrible. Yet, albeit so swift thou art 
►f speech, if all this matter were laid bare, 
Speech were not then so swift ; nay, nor so fair. . , 
[Murmtiri again In the crowd, 
\ have no skill before a crowd to tell 
[y thoughts. 'Twcre best with few, that know me 



Nay, that is natural ; tongites that sound but rude 
In wise men's cars, speak to the multitude 
With music. 

None the less, since there is corae 
This stroke upon me, I must not be dumb, 
But speak perforce. , . , And there will I begin 
Where thou beganst, as though to strip my sin 
Naked, and I not speak a word ! 

Dost see 
This sunlight and this earth ? I swear to thee 
There dwellcth not in these one man — deny 
All that thou wilt I — more pure of sin than I. 

Two things I know on earth : God's worship first 
Next to win friends about me, few, that thirst 
To hold them clean of all unrighteousness. 
Our rule doth curse the tempters, and no less 
Who yictdeih to the tempters. — How, thou say'st, 
* Dupes that I jest at ?' Nay ; I make a jest 
Of no man. I am honest to the end. 
Near or far off, with him I call my friend* 
And most in that one thing, where now thy mesh 
Would grip me, stainless quite ! No woman's flesh 
Hath e'er this body touched. Of all such deed 
Naught wot I, save what things a man may read 
In pictures or hear spoke ; nor am 1 fain. 
Being virgin-souled, to read or hear again* 

My life of innocence moves thee not 5 so be it. 
Show then what hath seduced me ; let me see it. 
Was that poor fiesh so passing fair, beyond 
All women's loveliness ? 

Was I some fond 
False plotter, that I schemed to win through her 
Thy castle's heirdom ? Fond indeed I were I 



if, a stark msdman ! *But a crown/ thou saysi, 
'Usurped, i$ sweet/ Nay, rather most ttnblest 
ill wise-hearted ; sweet to fools and them 
hose eyes are hlfndcd by the dkdem. 
!ti contests of all valour fain would I 

d Hellas ; but in rank and majesty 
ot leadj but be at ease, with good men near 
love me, free to work and not to fear, 
hat brings more joy than any crown or throne. 

[//rf it£i from the dimennour ^Theseus and of 
the (rowd that his wordi are not •winning 
thfmy hut rather making them hitierer than 
before. It £9mti to hii iipi ts speak the whole 
have said my say ; save one thing . » , one alone. 
had I here some witness in my need, 
As 1 was witness ! Could she hear me plead, 
'ace me and face the sunlight ; well I know, 
^Ur deeds would search us out for thee^ and show 

I Who lies ! 
I But now, I swear — so hear me both, 

|he Earth beneath and Zeus who Guards the 
I Oath— 
I tiever touched this woman that was thine ! 
No words could win me to it, nor incline 
My heart to dream it. May God strike me down, 
Nameless and fameless, without home or town, 
An outcast and a wanderer of the world ; 
Way my dead bones rest never, but be hurled 
*'rom sea to land, from land to angry sea, 
■ If evil is my heart and fialse to thee I 
^H [Hi waits a moment ; hut sees that his Father h 



Jr 'twa^ some fear that made her cast away 
Her life ... 1 know not. More I must not say. 
Right hath she done when in her was no rigbt ; 
And Right I follow to mine own despite I 


It is enough ! God's name is witness large, 
And thy great oath, to assoil thee of this charge. 


Is not the man a juggler and a mage. 

Cool wits and one right oath ^— what more P — 

Sin and the wrath of injured fatherhood I 


Am I so cool ? Nay, Father^ 'tis thy mood 

That makes me marvel ! By my faith, wcrt thou 

The son, and I the sire ; and deemed I now 

In very truth thou hadst my wife assailed^ 

I had not exiled thee, nor stood and railed, 

But lifted once mine arm, and struck, thee dead I 


Thou gentle judge ! Thou shalt not so be s] 
To simple death, nor by thine own decree. 
Swift death is bliss to men in misery. 
Far off, friendless forever, thou shalt drain 
Amid strange cities the last dregs of pain t 


Wilt verily cast me now beyond thy pale, 
Not wait for Time^ the lifter of the veil ? 


These LTs. 

Aye, if I could, past PontuSj and ihc red 
AtlantK: marge ! So do I hate thine head, 


Wilt weigh nor oath nor faith nor prophet's word 
To prove me ? Drive mc from thy sight unheard ? 


This tablet here, that needs no prophet's lot 
Xo speak from, tells me all. I ponder not 
Thy fowls that Ay above us t Let them fly. 


|0 ye great Gods, wherefore unlock not I 
[My tips, ere yet ye have slain me utterly, 
Yc whom I love most ? No. It may not be 1 
The one heart that I need I ne'er should gain 
T^o trust me, I should break mine oath in vain. 


Death I but he chokes me with his saintly tone ! — 
Up, get thee from this land ! Begone I Begone ! 


Where shall I turn me ? Think. To what friend'h 

Betake me, banished on a charge so sore f 


Whoso delights to welcome to his hall 

Vile ravishers ... to guard his hearth withal ! 



Thou seekst my heart, my tears ? Aye, let it be 
Thus I I am vile to all men, and to thee I 

There was a time for tears and thought ; the time 
Ere thou didst up and gird thee to thy crime. 


Ye stones, will ye not speak ? Ye castle walls I 
Bear witness if I be so vile, so false ! 


Aye, fly to voiceless witnesses ! Yet here 

A dumb deed speaks against thee, and speaks clear I 



Would I could stand and watch this thing, and see 

My face, and weep for very pity of me I 


Full of thyself, as ever ! Not a thought 

For them that gave thee birth ; nay, they are naught I 


O my wronged Mother ! O my birth of shame ! 
May none I love e*er bear a bastard*s name ! 

Theseus (in a sudden blaze of rage). 

Up, thralls, and drag him from my presence ! What ? 
*Tis but a foreign felon ! Heard ye not ? 

[The thralls still hesitate in spite of his fury. 




"hty touch me at their peri! ! Thine own hand 
Pift, if thou canst, to drive me from the land. 

'hat will I straightj unless my will be done 1 

[HipPOLYTUS £omei clois to him and kneth. 
Nay ! Not for thee my pity I Get thee gone ! 

[HiPPOLYTUs riKJ, makei a sign of submission^ and 
skvjly mo-ves away. Theseus, as mun as 
he sees him goings turns rapidly and enters 
the Castle. The doar is closed again. HlP- 
POLYTUS has stopped fir a mc)ne?tt befirt ihi 
Statue j/ Artemis, and^ as Theseus departs, 
breaks out in prayer^ 


; it is done 1 O dark and miserable ! 
see it all, but see not how to tell 
'he tale. — O thou beloved, Leto's Maid, 
Chase-comrade^ fellow-rester in the glade, 
Lo, I am driven with a caitifPs brand 
Forth from great Athens ! Fare ye well, O land 
And city of old Erechtheus ! Thou, Traz^n, 
What riches of glad youth mine eyes have seen 
In thy broad plain 1 Farewell J This is the end ; 
'he last wordj the last loot ! 

Come, every friend 
tnd fellow of my youth that sttU may stay, 
live me god-speed and cheer me on my way* 


Ne*cr shall ye see a man more pure of spot 

Than me, though mine own Father loves me not ! 

[HiPPOLYTUS goes away to the righty followed by 
many Huntsmen and other young men. The 
rest of the crowd has by this time dispersed^ 
except the Women of the Chorus and seme 
Men of the Chorus of Huntsmen, 


Surely the thought of the Gods hath balm in it alway, 
to win me 
Far from my griefs ; and a thought, deep in the 
dark of my mind, 
Clings to a great Understanding. Yet all the spirit 
within me 
Faints, when I watch men's deeds matched with 
the guerdon they find. 

For Good comes in Evil's traces. 
And the Evil the Good replaces ; 
And Life, *mid the changing faces, 
Wandereth weak and blind. 


What wilt thou grant me, O God ? Lo, this is the 
prayer of my travail — 
Some well-being ; and chance not very bitter 
thereby ; 
A Spirit uncrippled by pain ; and a mind not deep to 
Truth unseen, nor yet dark with the brand of 
a lie. 


With a veering mood to borrow 
Its light hrom every morrow^ 
Fair friends and no deep sorrow, 
Well could man live and dte ! 

Yet my spirit is no more dean. 

And the weft of my hope Is torn, 
For the deed of wrong that mine eye* 
have seen, 
The h'e and the rage and the scorn ; 
A Star among men, yea, a Star 
Thiit in Hellas was bright. 
By a Father's wrath driven fer 

To the wilds and the night. 
Oh, alas for the sands of the shore ! 

Alas for the brakes of the bill, 
Where the wolves shall fear thee no more, 
And thy cry to Dictynna is still I 

No more in the yoke of thy car 

Shall the colts of Enetia fleet j 
Nor Limna's echoes quiver afar 

To the clatter of galloping feet. 
The sleepless music of old, 

That leaped in the lyre:, 
Ceaseth now, and is cold, 

In the halls of thy sire. 
The bowers are discrowned and unladen 

Where Artemis lay on the lea ; 
And the love-dream of many a maiden 

Lost, in the losing of thee 



A Matden, 

And I, even I, 

For thy fall, O Friend, 
Amid tears and tears, 
Endure to the end 
Of the empty years, 
Of a life run dry. 

In vain didst thou bear him. 

Thou Mother forlorn I 
Ye Gods that did snare him, 
Lo, I cast in your faces 

My hate and my scorn I 
Ye love-linked Graces, 
(Alas for the day !) 

Was he naught, then, to you, 
That ye cast him away, 
The stainless and true. 
From the old happy places ? 


Look yonder ! Surely from the Prince *tis one 
That Cometh, full of haste and woe-begohe. 

[A Henchman enters in haste. 



Ye women, whither shall I go to seek 

King Theseus ? Is he in this dwelling ? Speak ! 


Lo, where he cometh through the Castle gate I 

[Theseus comes out from the Castle, 



O King, I bear thee tidings of dire weight 

"o thee, aye, and to every man, I ween, 
"From Athens to the marches of TrozSn. 


'What? Some new stroke hath touched^ unknown to mc, 
The sister cities of my sovranty ? 


fHippolytus is . . . Nay, not dead ; but stark 
Outstretched, a hairs breadth this side of the dark, 

Theseus {m though unmoved). 

[ow slain ? Was there some other man, whose wife 
^Hc had like mine detiled, that sought his h'fe ? 


His own wild team destroyed him, and the dire 
Curse of thy lips. 

The boon of thy great Sire 
[e granted thee, O King, and thy son slain. 


''e Gods ! And thou, Poseidon ! Not in vain 
called thee Father ; thou hast heard my prayer 1 
How did he die ? Speak on. How closed the snare 
tf Heaven to slay the shamer of my blood f 


Vas by the bank of beating sea we stood, 
^e thralls, and decked the steeds, and combed each 



Weeping ; for word had come that ne'er again 
The foot of our Hippolytus should roam 
This land, but waste in exile by thy doom. 

So stood we till he came^ and in bis tone 
No music now save sorrow's, lite our own, 
And in his train a concourse without end 
Of many a chase -fellow and many a friend. 
At last he brushed his sobs away, and spake : 
'Why this fond loitering? I would not break 
My Father's law, — Ho, there 1 My coursers four 
And chariot, quick ! This land is mine no more.' 

Thereat, be sure, each man of us made speed. 
Swifter than speech we brought them up, each steed 
Well dight and shining, at our Prince's side. 
He grasped the reins upon the rail : one stride 
And there he stood, a perfect chariotcerj 
Each foot in its own station set. Then clear 
His voice rose, and his arms to heaven were spread : 
'O Zeus, if I be false, strike thou me dead ! 
But, dead or living, let my Father see 
One day, how falsely he hath hated me ! ' 

Fven as he spake, he lifted up the goad 
And smote ; and the steeds sprang. And down tbl 

We henchmen followed, hard beside the rein, 
Each hand, to speed him, toward the Argivc plail 
And Epidaurus. 

So we made our way 
Up toward the desert region, where the bay 
Curls to a promontory near the verge 
Of our Trozfin, facing the southward surge 
Of Saron*s gulf. Just there an angry sound, 
Slow -swelling, like God's thunder underground, 



Broke on us, and we trembled. And the steeds 
Pricked their ears skyward, and threw back their heads. 
And wonder came on all men, and afifnght, 
'Whence rose that awful voice. And swift our sight 
Turned seaward, down the salt and roaring sand. 

And there, above the horizonj seemed to stand 
A wave unearthly, crested in the sky ; 
Till Skiron*s Cape first vanished from mine eye, 
Then sank the Isthmus hidden, then the rock 
Of Epidaums, Then it broke, one shock 
And roar of gasping sea and spray Rung far, 
And shoreward swept, where stood the Prince's car. 

Three lines of wave together raced, and, full 
In the white crest of them, a wild Sea-Bul! 
Flung to the shore, a fell and marvellous Thing. 
The whole land held his voice, and answering 
Roared in each echo. And all we, gaztng there, 
Gazed seeing not ; 'twas more than eyes could hear. 

Then straight upon the team wild terror fell. 
Howbeit, the Prince, cool-eyed and knowing well 
£ach changing mood a horse has, gripped the reins 
Hard in both hands ; then as an oarsman strains 
Up from his bench, so strained he on the thong, 
Back in the chariot swinging. But the young 
Wild steeds bit hard the curb, and fled afar ; 
Nor rein nor guiding hand nor morticed car 
Stayed them at all. For when he veered them round, 
And aimed their flying feet to grassy ground » 
In front uprose that Thing, and turned again 
"he four great coursers, terror-mad. But when 
'heir blind rage drove them toward the rocky places^ 
lilent, and ever nearer to the trac«, 

followed, rockward, till OJie wheel-edge grazed. 



The chariot tript and flew^ and all was maKcd 
In turmoil. Up went wheel-box with a din^ 
Where the rock jagged, and nave and axle-pin. 
And there — the long reins round him — there 'was h< 
Dragging, entangled irretrievably. 
A dear head battering at the chariot side, 
Sharp rocks, and ripped flesh, and a voice that cried 
* Slay, stay, O ye who fattened at my stalls, 
Dash me not into nothing I — O thou false 
Curse of my Father ! — Help ! Help, whoso can. 
An innocent, innocent and stainless man 1 ' 

Many there were that laboured then, I wot, 
To bear him succour, but could reach him not, 
Till — who knows how ? — at iast the tangled rein 
Unclasped him, and he fell, some little vein 
Of life still pulsing in him« 

Alt beside^ 
The steeds, the horned Horror of the Tide, 
Had vanished — who knows where ? — in that wild !an( 

O King, I am a bondsman of thine hand ; 
Yet bve nor fear nor duty me shall win 
To say thine innocent son hath died in sin. 
All women born may hang themselves, for me. 
And swing their dying words from every tree 
On Ida 1 For I know that he was true I 

O God^ so Cometh new disaster, new 
Despair t And no escape from what must be ! 

Hate of the man thus stricken lifted mc 
At first to joy at hearing of thy tale ; 
But now, some shame before the Gods, some pale 


Pity for mine own blood, hath o'er me come. 
I laugh noC) neither weep, ^i this fell dooin» 


How then ? Behoves it bear him here, or how 
Best do thy pleasure ? — Speak, Lord, Yet if thou 
Wilt mark at all my word, thou wilt not be 
Kierce-h carted to thy child in misery. 


Aye, bring him hither. Let me see the face 
Of him who durst deny my deep disgrace 
Arid his own sin ; yea, speak with him, and prove 
[is clear guilt by God's judgments from above. 

[The Henchman departs ts fetch Hiffolytus j 
Theseus j/>j waiting in sUrn gtesMy v^hile 
//ff Chorus iing. At the dme sf their ssng a 
Dwine Figure is mn approach ing on a cioud 
in the air and the voice of Arte Mis speaks. 


Thou comest to bend the pride 

Of the hearts of God and man, 
Cypris ; and by thy side. 

In earth-encircling span^ 
He of the changing plumes^ 
The Wing that the world illumes, 
As over the leagues of land flies he. 
Over the salt and sounding sea. 

For mad is the heart of Love, 
And gold the gleam of his wing ; 

And all to the spell thereof 
Bendf when he makes his spring ; 


All life that i$ wild and young 

In mountain and wave and stream, 
All that of earth is sprung^ 

Or breathes in the red sunbeam ; 
Yea, and Mankind. O'er all a royal throne^ 
Cyprian, Cyprian, is thine alone I 

A Voice from the Cloud. 

thou that nilcst in Aegeus' Hall, 

1 charge thee, hearken I 

Yea, it is X, 
Artemis, Virgin of God most High. 
Thou bitter King, art thou glad withal 

For thy murdered son ? 
For thine ear bent low to a lying Queen, 
For thine heart so swift amid things unseen 
Lo, all may sec what end thou hast won ! 
Go, sink thine head in the waste abyss ; 
Or aloft to another world than this, 

Bird wise with wings, 

FJy far to thine hiding, 
Far over this blood that clots and clings | 
For in righteous men and in holy things 

No rest is thine nor abiding I 
[The cloud has become stationary in the at 

Hear, Theseus, all the story of thy grief ! 
Verily, I bring but anguish, not relief; 
Yet, *twas for this I came, to show how high 
And clean was thy son's heart, that he may die 
Honoured of men ; aye, and to tell no less 
The frenzy, or in some sort the nobleness, 


thy dead wife. One Spirit there is, whom we 
That know the joy of white virginity, 
Most hate tn heaven. She sent her fire to run 
In Phaedra's veins, so that she loved thy son. 
Yet strove she long with love, and in the stress 
Fell not, till by her Nurse's craftiness 
Betrayed, who stole, with oaths of secrecy, 
To entreat thy son. And he, most righteously, 
Nor did her will, nor, when thy railing scorn 
Beat on him, broke the oath that he had sworn, 
For God's sake. And thy Phaedra, panic-eyed. 
Wrote a false writ, and slew thy son, and died, 

(laying ; but thou wast nirable to believe ! 
I [Theseus, at Jirsl hrwilderedy then durnhfoundtrtd^ 
I nflw; uiiiTi a deep grsan, 

t Stings thce^ Theseus ? — Nay, hear on, and grieve 
Yet sorer. Wottest thou three prayers were thine 
Of sure fulfilment, from thy Sire divine i 
Hast thou no foes about thee, then, that one — 
Thou vile King ! — must be turned against thy 
■ son I 

Trhe deed was thine. Thy Sea-born Sire but heard 
The call of prayer, and bowed him to his word. 
But thou in his eyes and in mine art found 
Evil, who wouldst not think, nor probe, nor sound 
The deeps of prophet's lore, nor day by day 
Leave Time to search ; but, swifter than man 

I may, 
t loose the curse to slay thine innocent son ! 

Goddess, let me die 1 ' 




Nay ; thou hast done 

yet even beyond this ill 

A heavy wrong ; yet even 

Abides for thee forgiveness. 'Twas th^ 

Of Cypris that these evil things should 

Sating her wrath. And this immutahlj 

Hath Zeus ordained tn heaven : no God may thwart 

A God's fixed will ; we grieve but stand apart. 

Else, but for fear of the Great Father's blame, 

Never had I to such extreme of shame 

Bowed me^ be sure, as here to stand and see 

Slain him I loved best of mortality ! 

Thy fault J O King, its ignorance sunders wide 
From very wickedness ; and she who died 
By death the more disarmed thee, making dumb 
The voice of question. And the storm has come 
Most bitterly of all on thee I Yet I 
Have mine own sorrow, too. When good men die, 
There is no joy in heaven, albeit our ire 
On child and house of the evil falls like fire, J 

[j/ tkrcng is iten approaching ; Hippolytus aittrtj 

supported hy his attendants. 


Lo, it is he I The bright young head 

Yet upright there ! 
Ah, the torn flesh and the blood-stained hair ; 

Alas for the kindred's trouble 1 
It falls as fire from a God's hand sped, 

Two deaths, and mourning double. 



Hr ppoLYTTra . 

Ahf pam^ pain, pain ] 
O unrighteous curse ! O unrighteous sire I 
No hope.— My head Is stabbed with fire, 
And a leaping spasm about my brain. 
Stay, let me rest. I can no more. 
^0 fell J fell steeds that my own hand fed, 
Have ye maimed me and slain, that Joved me of yore ! 
I — Soft there, ye thralls ! No trembling hands 
[As ye lift me, now I — Who is that that stands 
[At the right ? — Now firm, and with measured tread, 
JiL>ift one accursW and stricken sore 
By a father's sinning. 

'hou, Zeus, dost see me ? Yea, it is I ; 
The proud and pure, the server of God, 
[The white and shining in sanctity ! 
[Xo a visible death, to an open sod, 
I walk my ways ; 
knd all the labour of saintly days 

Lost, lost, without meaning I 

Ah God, it crawls 

This agony, over me ! 
Let be, ye thralls ! 

Come, Death, and cover me | 
Come, O thou Healer blest 1 

But a little more. 

And my soul is clear^ 
And the anguish o'er I 

Oh, a spear, a spear 1 
To rend my soul to its rest ! 



Was there some blood'^ 

Oh^ strangC) ^se Curse I 

stained hcad^ 
Some father of my line, unpunished. 

Whose guilt lived in his kin. 
And passed} and slept, till after this long day 
It lights, . . . Oh, why on me ? Mc, far away 

And innocent of sin ? 

O words that cannot save T 

When will this breathing end in that last deep 
Pain that is painlessne^ ? *Tis sleep I crave. 

When wilt thou bring mc sleep, 
Thou dark and midnight magic of the grave f 


Sore-strlclten man, bethink thee in this stress, 
Thou dost but die for thine own nobleness. 



O breath of heavenly fragrance ! Though my pain 

Burns, I can feel thee and find rest again. 

The Goddess Artemis is with me here. 

With thee and loving thee, poor sufierer ! 


Dost see me, Mistress, nearing my last sleep ? 


Aye, and would weep for thee:, if Gods could weep. 


Who now shall hunt with thee or hold thy quiver ? 


He dies ; but my love cleaves to him for ever. 


Who guide thy chariot, keep thy shrine-flowers fresh r 

The accursed Cyprian caught him in her mesh I 


The Cyprian ? Now I see it ! — ^Aye, *twas she. 

She missed her worship, loathed thy chastity ! 


Three lives by her one hand I 'Tis all clear now. 

Yea, three ; thy father and his Queen and thou. 


My father ; yea, he too is pitiable 1 

A plotting Goddess tripped him, and he fell. 


Father, where art thou ? . . . Oh, thou sufferest sore I 

Even unto death, child. There is joy no more. 


I pity thee in this coil ; aye, more than me. 


Would I could lie there dead instead of thee 1 


Oh, bitter bounty of Poseidon's love I 

Would God my lips had never breathed thereof ! 

HiPPOLYTUS {gently). 
Nay, thine own rage had slain me then, some wise I 

A lying spirit had made blind mine eyes I 


Ah me! 

Would that a mortal's curse could reach to God I 


Let be I For not, though deep beneath the sod 
Thou liest, not unrequited nor unsung 
Shall this fell stroke, from Cypris' rancour sprung. 
Quell thee, mine own, the saintly and the' true ! 
My hand shall win its vengeance, through and 
Piercing with flawless shaft what heart soe'er 
Of all men living is most dear to Her. 
Yea, and to thee, for this sore travail's sake. 
Honours most high in Troz6n will I make ; 
For yokeless maids before their bridal night 
Shall shear for thee their tresses ; aMd a rite 
Of honouring tears be thine in ceaseless store ; 



And virgins* thoughts in music rvcrmore 
Turn toward thee, and praise thee in the Song 
Of Phaedra's far-famed love and thy great wrong. 

O seed of ancient AegcuSj bend thee now 
And clasp thy son. Aye, hold and fear not thou ! 
Not knowingly hast thou slain him ; and man's way, 
\Vhcn Gods send error, needs must fall astray. 

And thou, Hippolytus, shrink not from the King, 
Thy father. Thou wast born to bear this thing. 

Farewell ! I may not watch man's fleeting breath, 
Nor stain mine eyes with the effluence of deaths 
And sure that Terror now is very near. 

[The cloud slowly rises and floats away. 


T*arcwcll, farewell, most ElcssM ! Lift thee clear 
Of soiling men ! Thou wilt not grieve in heaven 
For my long love ! , , , Father, thou art forgiven. 
It was Her will. I am not wroth with thee. . , . 
I have obeyed Her all my days ! . . . 

Ah me. 
The dark is drawing down upon mine eyes j 
It hath me ! . . . Father ! . . ♦ Hold me I Help me 
rise ] 

Theseus (support in^ him in his arms). 
Ah, woe ! How dost thou torture me, my son f 

I see the Great Gates opening. I am gone. 

Gone f And my hand red-reeking from this thing t 



Nay, nay ; thou art assoiled of manslaying. 

Thou leav*st me clear of murder ? Sayst thou so ? 


Yea, by the Virgin of the Stainless Bow I 

Dear Son ! Ah, now I see thy nobleness I 


Pray that a true-born child may fill my place. 

Ah me, thy righteous and godfearing heart ! 


Farewell ; 

A long farewell, dear Father, ere we part I 

[Theseus bends down and embraces him passionately, 

Not yet ! — O hope and bear while thou hast breath ! 


Lo, I have borne my burden. This is death. • . . 
Quick, Father ; lay the mantle on my face. 

[Theseus covers his face with a mantle and rises, 

Ye bounds of Pallas and of Pelops* race, 
What greatness have ye lost ! 

Woe, woe is me ! 
Thou Cyprian, long shall I remember thee I 



Chorus . 

On all this folk, both low and high, 
A grief hath fallen beyond men*s fears. 
There cometh a throbbing of many tears, 

A sound as of waters falling. 
For when great men die, 
A mighty name and a bitter cry dl Utu .. ''-^ Clx. vccc 

Rise up from a nation calling. A {^-\u r\<'cxCc\cy. Stsl 
[They move into the CastUy carrying the body of 



Prologue. — The Aphrodite of Euripides' actual 
>elicf, if one may venture to dogmatise on such a 
subject, was almost certainly not what we should call 
3 goddess, but rather a Force of Nature, or a Spirit 
working in the world. To deny her existence you 
would have to say not merely, " There is no such 
person," but "There is no such thing ;" and such a 
denial would be a defiance of obvious facts. It is in 
this sense that it is possible to speak of Hippolytus as 
"sinning against Aphrodite." 

For the purposes of drama, of course^ this ** thing** 
must be made into a person, and even represented in 
human form according to the current conceptions of 
mythology. And, once personified, she becomes, like 
most of the Olympians in Euripides, certainly hateful 
and perhaps definitely evil, though still far removed 
from the degraded^ ultra- feminine goddess of Ovid and 
the handbooks of mythology. In this prologue she 
retains much of the impersonal grandeur of a Force of 
Nature. The words "I grudge it not : no grudge 
know I, nor hate,** arc doubtless intended to be true. 

P. 3, 1. iij Pittheus.] — Father of Aethra, who was 
["Theseus* mother. Formerly King of Troz^n, now 
lending his days in a life of meditation. 

P. 4, 11. 31 ff., She built a shrine.] — An obscure 
passage, in which I follow the suggestion of Dr. 




Vcrrall {C/an. Rfv. xv, 449), Euripides is cvidcn 
giving an account of the origin of a sanctuary- 
Aphrodite Pand^mos on the Acropolis, which tn hti 
day was known as 'AtftpoSinj eVt ' IinroXvTtay j.^. (as^ 
at least, he imagined) "Aphrodite for Hippolytus," or 
*'with a view to Hippolytus." Phaedra, he says, 
built this shrine bemun e/j thinking of, Hippolytus 
— 'i,€. seeking to exorcise her passion for hitn^ and to 
fix her errant love at home as she fixed the shrine in 
the rock. She perhaps — so Dr. V err all sugges' 
called it Aphrodite Enddmos, " Love-at-home 
*' in-the-land," When her plan failed^ and it appeared 
that Love will not be fixed down in one place, the name 
was changed to Pand^mos, " of-ali-lands." Of course 
it is not certain, nor even very probable, that either 
ndifBijfJU}<i or err* 'fTrTroXi^T^ originally bore the mean- 
ing that Euripides and his contemporaries attached to 
them. 'EttI 'IttttoXiSt^, for instance, is quite likely, 
in its original form, to have meant *' the shrine at thi 
place where horses are unyoked." 


P. 6, 1. 73, From a green and virgin meadow,] 
— There are long discus&ions in the ancient Greek 
commentators, whether this meadow is real or alle- 
gorical. Is it only the garland of his adoration from 
the meadow of his virgin soul ? " It seems odd," says 
one of them, " to have a meadow which you are not 
allowed to enter until you can show that your gocMl 
qualities do not come from education ! " Doubtless 
it is a real sacred meadow. ^| 

Pp. 7j 8, 11. 99, 103. — Tn two lines, " Ther why wilt! 
thou be proud ? " and " Clean ? Nay, proud, ' I follow 
my own published text, reading trc/xi-o? for (t**i*V *"<J 



P. 9, L 121 J Of Ocean's tribe,] — The river Ocean 
was, by some accounts, the father of all fresh and 
pure water. 

P. 10, 11. 143, 143, Hecate , . . Pan ... the Cory- 
bajites.] — These powers all produced seizures, terrors, 
and ecstasies. Dictynna (often a mere alternative 
najne for Artemis) was, strictly speaking, a Cretan sea- 
goddess — cf. BixTvovj "a net " — a hunter of the sea as 
Artemis is a hunter of the land. (She is identified with 
Artemis on p, 59.) She can catch Phaedra in Limna, 
the "Mere" in the neigh bourhooti of Troz^n, because 
Limna is a dried-up lagoon that was once part of the 
sea, and therefore belongs to the sea powers. 

P. io> 1, 151, Erechtheus.] — -An old king of 

P. 12,11, 193, 194, This nameless and shining thing.] 
— Reading tov S on tovto artXySei . . . Bva-iptore^. 

P. 13, L 228, The Sea-lorn Mere.] — The dried 
lagoon, Limna, near Troz^n, used for chariot races. 
The "unseaswept sands/* just below, are the sam^ 

P, 15, U, 264, 265.— « Thorough " and ** Naught 
too much " were mottoes of two of the legendary 
Seven Wise Men. 

P, 16, 1. 281, He is on a journey.] — Apparently to 
an oracle (see below). Perhaps there was a definite 
tradition saying where he had gone and why, but if so, 
it is lost. A niodera playwright would, of course, fill 
in these details, for the sake of verisimilitude; the 
ancient playwright intentionally omits them as irre- 
levant, just as he om.its to give proper names to his 
J*^^urses, Messengers, and Leaders of the Chorus. 

P. 19, I. 325, What wouldst thou ? Force me.] — 
It was of the nature of sin to reject a suppliant, i.e. 



a person who threw himself entirely upon your mcrcr, 
and implored you. The repugnance that an ordi- 
nary person has to such a rejection was felt by the 
Greeks in a religious way* The ultimate sanction, 
if you did harden your heart, would be twofold : first, 
the gods would have a natural repulsion against one 
who formally and knowingly refused to be merciful ; 
secondly, the suppliant might do what the Nurse 
threatens to do here, and stay immovable till he died 
of hunger or exposure — and his death would He at ti^^ 
door of his rejector ! ^M 

P. 20, 11. 337-341, Mother, poor Mother, that didst 
love so sore.] — Phaedra thinks of the general wreck 
of her house through love. Her mother, Pasipha^, 
wife of Minos, loved the pirate or adventurer Tauros 
("The Buir*)> was cast into prison by her husband^ 
and there starved herself to death. Her sist(^H 
AriadnS, had loved Theseus ; he saved hd^^ 
from her father's vengeance, but by command of 
the gods left her on the lonely island of NaxoSj 
where the god Dionysus came and carried h( 

P. 22, 1. 372, The Isle of awful Love.] — Crete, 
because of Pasiphafi, Ariadn^, Aerop^j the wife of 
Thycstes, and other heroines of terrible love-stories. 

P, 23, 1. 373, O Womenj dwellers in this portal- 
seat.] — This wonderful passage is very characteristic 
of Euripides — a subtle and beautiful study of character 
expressed in a formal, self-analysing speech. The 
** delights" that have tempted and undone her are^ 
first, the pleasure of long talks — with Hippolytm, or 
about him ; next, the pleasure of losing hci^r i* Jn 
dreams ; and thirdly, in s«me sense not pt^veh 



explained, but surely not difficult to understand, a feel- 
ing of shame or cowardice. She feels that if only she 
had had more courage ah might have been well ! 
Why this "shame," this yielding to fear, strikes her 
at this moment as a "delight," is not explained; but 
it does not seem to me unnatural. 

P. 25 J 1. 433, Mistress, a sharp, swift terror, &c.] — 
This speech of the Nurse, so beautiful and so full of 
sophistries, is typically the kind of thing that caused 
Euripides to be accused of immoral writing. 

P. 28, L 478, Love-philtres.] — The situation at 
the end of this scene seems to be this : The Nurse 
goes in to prepare a magic charm which shall cure 
Phaedra of her Uve^ but mentions that, in order to 
prepare it, she must get something belonging to 
Hippolytus to weave into the charm. (Either a 
material object to be actually woven into the charm, 
or a wordj to be ceremonially caught and woven in 
—a common device in magic.) Phaedra suspects that 
she means to speak to Hippolytus, and the Nurse's 
next words rather confirm her suspicions j but, broken 
and weary as she is, she has not strength or keenness 
of mind enough to make sure and to prevent her doing 
so. A large part of her nature, no doubt, Jongs to have 
Hippolytus told J and succeeds at this critical moment 
in lulling to sleep her exhausted will and conscience. 

P, 30, II. 545-564, Chorus.] — The second strophe 
nd antistrophe (** On Oechalian hilts, &c."), are rather 
obscure. The connection of thought is : "Think of 
the terrible things that have befallen through love ! 
How lol^, daughter of Eurytus, suffered, when the 
angry love of Heracles made him burn her father's 

tin Oechalia, and carry her off amid flames and 



blood. And how Semel^ the mother of Bacchus, 
suffered in Thebes by the waters of Dirc^, when 
Zeus came to her in a blaze of lightning, and his love 
was her death.'* 

P' 33t 1- 6 '2, *Twas but my tongue^ *twas not 
my soul that swore.] — A line constantly misrepre- 
sented and attacked (sec on Frogs, I. loi, p. 187), In 
reality Hippolytus faces death rather than break the 
oath that he vr^A trapped into. 

P. 34, L 616, O Godj why hast thou made this 
gleaming snare.] — The fury of this speech j while not 
unnatural to the youthful saintliness of Hippolytus, 
is intentionally made bitter and offensive by the play- 
wright, so as to throw our sympathies for the time 
entirely on the side of Phaedra, We hate Hippolytus, 
and can for the moment sympathise with^ or at least 
understand, her terrible act of blind self-preservation 
and revenge. 

P. 36, I 6go, He speeds to abase me to the King.] 
— He had definitely said that he would not da so j 
hut she felt his hatred, she had no reason to trust 
him, she had just been betrayed by one much closer 
to her, and probably she had hardly even noticed the 
actual words tn his torrent of rage. 

P. 38, 1, 712, Know naught and speak of naught.] 
— This oath of the Chorus is important for the sequel 
of the play. It prevents them from saving Hippolytus. 
P. 39, 1. 732^ Could I take me to some cavern for 
mine hiding,] — This lovely song seems to «nc a good 
instance of the artistic value of the Gre*rk chorus. 
The last scene has been tragic to the poir^ of pnin- 
fulness ; the one thing that can heal the pa * vritbout 
Spoihng the interest is an outburst of pw^ poetry. 



And the sentiment of this song, the longing to escape 
to a realmj if not of happiness, at least of beautiful 
sadness, is io magically right, 

Phadthon, who tried to drive the chariot of the Sun 
and fell, was buned by the river Eridanus (afterwards 
identified with the Po). His sisters wept over his 
grave, and their tears turned to drops of amber. 

P. 39, I. 742j The apple-tree, the singing and the 
goW.] — The Garden of the Hespertdes, or Daughters 
of the Sunset, was in the West, near the Pillars of 
Heracles, which marked the utmost limit to which 
man might travel. The apple-tree bore golden 
apples, and it was here that Zeus walked in the 
garden and first met his brtde^ Hera. 

P. 40, L 756, Sure some spell upon either hand.] — 
A curse or spell must have come with her from Crete. 
It was difficult for a curse to come from one country 
to another. Exactly like infectronj it had to be some- 
how carried. The women suggest that it came with 
Phaedra in the shipv and then, when the sblp was 
moored in Munychia, the old harbour of Athens, it 
crawled up the cables to the shore. 

P. 42, 1. 803, A fit of the old cold anguish ?] — It 
is characteristic of Euripides to throw these sudden 
lights back on the history of his characters. We 
never knew before {except perhaps from the Pro- 
logue) that Phaedra had had these fits of '*cold 
anguish," or that Theseus had noticed them. Cf. p. 
56, where for the first time we have a reference to 
Thesteus' own turbulent youth, and his crime against 
the A^mazon, Hippolytus' mother. And p. 50, where 
we akst hear that Hippoiytus fasted and followed 
Orph tc rites. 




P. 42y L 804, But now arrived we be, J — A Ite^ to 
make the avo)da.nce of explanations easier. 

Pp. 43 f., U. 817-851,]— The laments of Tlt»eus, 
though they cannot compensate for the drop of dra- 
matic interest after Phaedra's death, arc full of beauty 
and also of character. They bring out dearer the 
passionatciiess of the old hero, and also the wiv in 
which he only graduallyj and then with increasing 
emotion, realises his loss. 

P. 51, 1. 9 7 7. J — Sints was a robber slain by Tbcscus 
at the Isthmus of Corinth. He tied bis victims to 
the tops of pine-trees, which he had bent to the 
ground, and, according to Hyginus, sent them flying 
in the air so that they fell and 'vrere kiUctJ ; fts 
Pausanias rather more intelligibly puts it, he tied them 
between two pines, which he had bent together, and 
then let the pines spring back and rack the men 
asunder. Skiron was another robber in the same 
neighbourhood ; he made travellers wash his feet on 
the top of a cliff — the Skiron I an Rock (cf. p. 63) — 
and then kicked them into the sea. 

Pp. 51-54* 11 983 ffl, Hippolytus' speech.] — The ^ 
ineffectiveness of this speech is, of course^ incmtional ■ 
on the poet's part. The one effective annrer for ' 
Hippolytus would be to break his oath and wU the 
whole truth. As it is, he can do nothing hv* *pt>cal 
to his known character, and plead passiouatel) vpiirtst 
all the inferences that his father has drawn a w his 
general hypocrisy. | 

P. 54, 1. 1036, It is enough.] — The Choi t% de- 
barred from announcing the truth, catch at any **irs 
that tell in favour of the truth. 

P, 54, 1. 1041, Father, 'tis thy mood that maj 



marvel.] — He mcanfi, 1 think, to make Theseus realise 
that the charge is flatly incredible. "You yourself do 
not believe that I have done such a thing ! I know, 
and you know, that you do not believe it. If you did, 
you would kill me on the spot, not go on talking like 

P. J5, 1. 1057, No prophet*s lot.] — A prophet spoke 
from «ome "sign" or "lot" which he interpreted. 
This might be an actual " lot," drawn or cast ; or by 
extension, any other sign, from the flesh of a victim or 
froTTi the flight of birds. 

P. 60, L 1 142> And I, even I, &c.] — The song of 
this maiden may have given Racine the hint of his 
additional character, Aricie, the princess whom his 
Hippolyte loves. 

P, 6a, L 1 195, And down the road we henchmen 
followed,] — They walked or ran beside the chariot, 
accompftnying their master to the frontier. Ancient 
chariots, when used for travelling, went slowly. 

P. 70, 1. 1 391, O breath of heavenly fragrance, &c,] 
— This and the next line make one doubt whether 
ArteniES was supposed to be visible, or only present 
as a votcc Cf. p. 6, I 86, '* Though none may sec 
thine eyes." 

P. ^Z, L 1420, My hand shall win its vengeance.] — 
By causing the death of Ad6nis, whom Aphrodite 
loved. It is noteworthy how Euripides' moral hatred 
of the orthodox Olympian gods breaks out even in 
this passage, otherwise so exquisitely beautiful. The 
human beings are full of love and mutual forgiveness. 
The godde«s, radiantly lovely as she is and pure with 
the purity of dawn, still thinks of revenge, and — as 
at her departure — is, in some profoundly tragic 


sensC) unloving : a being to be adored, not to love 
back. The last consolation of Hippolytus <is the 
thought of his perfect devotion to one who in the 
nature of things can care for him only a little : " I 
have obeyed Her all my days." 

The thing that is missing from Artemis is exactly 
what is present in the beautiful vase picture of the 
Dawn Goddess raising in her arms the body of her 
slain son, Memnon. 

This last scene is one of those passages which show 
the ultimate falseness of the distinction between^ Classi- 
cal and Romantic. The highest poetry has the- beautv 
of both. 

/ X .."j Printed by Ballamtyne, Hanson A* Ca 

, _ Edinburgh Sr" Tx)ndon 




DEC ,-9^LH