Page:The Plays of Euripides Vol. 1- Edward P. Coleridge (1910).djvu/108

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80
[L. 199–279
EURIPIDES.

Phæ. Lift my body, raise my head! My limbs are all unstrung, kind friends. O handmaids, lift my arms, my shapely arms. The tire on my head is too heavy for me to wear; away with it, and let my tresses o’er my shoulders fall.

Nur. Be of good heart, dear child; toss not so wildly to and fro. Lie still, be brave, so wilt thou find thy sickness easier to bear; suffering for mortals is nature’s iron law.

Phæ. Ah! would I could draw a draught of water pure from some dew-fed spring, and lay me down to rest in the grassy meadow ’neath the poplar's shade!

Nur. My child, what wild speech is this? O say not such things in public, wild whirling words of frenzy bred!

Phæ. Away to the mountain take me! to the wood, to the pine-trees I will go, where hounds pursue the prey, hard on the scent of dappled fawns. Ye gods! what joy to hark them on, to grasp the barbed dart, to poise Thessalian hunting-spears close to my golden hair, then let them fly.

Nur. Why, why, my child, these anxious cares? What hast thou to do with the chase? Why so eager for the flowing spring, when hard by these towers stands a hill well watered, whence thou may'st freely draw?

Phæ. O Artemis, who watchest o’er sea-beat Limna[1] and the race-course thundering to the horse’s hoofs, would I were upon thy plains curbing Venetian steeds!

Nur. Why betray thy frenzy in these wild whirling words? Now thou wert for hasting hence to the hills away to hunt wild beasts, and now thy yearning is to drive the steed over the waveless sands. This needs a cunning seer to say what god it is that reins thee from the course, distracting thy senses, child.

Phæ. Ah me! alas! what have I done? Whither have I strayed, my senses leaving? Mad, mad! stricken by some demon’s curse! Woe is me! Cover my head again, nurse.

  1. A sea-coast town of Trœzen.