Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/148

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128
[Lines 749—779
SENECA'S TRAGEDIES.

NUNT. Utinam arcuisset, ne tegat functos humus,
Ne solvat ignis! avibus epulandos licet 750
Ferifque triste pabulum sævus trahat;
Votum est sub hoc, quod esse supplicium solet.
Pater insepultos spectet. o nullo sscelus
Credibile in ævo, quodque posteritas neget!
Erepta vivis exta pectoribus tremunt, 755
Spirantque venæ, corque adhuc pavidum falit.
At ille fibras tractat. ac fata inspicit;
Et adhuc calentes viscerum venas notat.
Postquam hostiæ placuere, securus vacat
Jam fratris epulis, ipse divisum secat 760
In membra corpus; amputat trunco tenus
Humeros patentes, & lacertorum moras;
Denudat artus dirus, atque ossa amputat:
Tantum ora servat, & datas fidei manus.
Hæc verubus hærent viscera, & lentis data 765
Stillant caminis: illa flammatus latex,
Querente aheno, jactat: impositas dapes
Transiluit ignis, inque trepidantes focos
Bis ter regestus, & pati jussus moram,
Invitus ardet. stridet in verubus jecur. 760
Nec facile dicam, corpora an flammæ magis
Gemuere. piceus ignis in fumos abit:
Et ipse fumus tristis, ac nebula gravis,
Non rectus exit, seque in excelsum levans,
Ipsos penates. nube deformi obsidet. 775
O Phœbe patiens, fugeris retro licet,
Medioque ruptum merseris cœlo diem,
Sero occidisti. lancinat natos pater,
Artusque mandit ore funesto suos.


MESS. Oh! I wish that he had thus interposed his veto and had ordered that the earth should cover their remains and that fire should not destroy them! then it would have been possible that they would have been feasted on by the birds of prey, or have attracted the wild animals to the tristful repast! But the point desired to be arrived at in all this, was that what was always considered a great punishment, should now be allowed to transpire! (What pleasure to Atreus) that the father should gaze on the unburied remains of his sons! Oh! Atrocity not yet accredited, of any time, past or present, so bad indeed, that posterity will never believe it to have been done! The entrails quiver, they are torn out of the bodies, only just dead, and the muscular coat of the veins (arteries) still acts (with the blood oozing) and the hearts as yet only having been quivering (as the result of the first impression of fear) now give a gudden leap! But Atreus carefully turns the entrails about, and seeking to invoke