Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/473

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453
MEDEA.

day which will require useful exertions at your hands (acting up to thy previous example, of. slaying thy husbands on the first night of thy marriage.) And now! Oh! thou Star of the Night (the Moon), invoked by my sacred appeals, come forth, assume thy most angry looks, but be thou not threatening in one of thy aspects only! but in all three of them. (Diana, Hecate, Phœbe.) It is for thee, releasing my tresses from their fastenings, after the fashion of nocturnal magicians, that I have wandered through the solitary groves with my naked feet, and have drawn down, by my incantations, copious showers from a cloudless sky, and have caused the sea to sink down to its lowest depths, whilst the ocean, with its impetuous tides subdued by my powers, has retired with its ponderous waters quite below its accustomed bed, and in like manner the entire laws of the firmament have been controverted and placed in abeyance, and the wonder-struck world has been known to be gazing at the sun, and the stars at one and the same moment of time, and the Arctic Bears, which are expressly forbidden to fall below the horizon, have been made by me to dip themselves in the sea! I have changed the very order of the seasons, the Earth has flourished with all the golden tints of summer, and Ceres has been coerced into yielding a plenteous harvest in the very depths of winter—The turbulent waves of the Phasis I have transformed into whimpering streams! And the Danube, which is divided into so many estuaries, has been caused by me to draw in its threatening waters, and has only modestly approached its various banks! The waves have sounded, one moment, like thunder, and the sea has swelled with very rage, when the winds were absolutely quiescent; at my word of command the entire area of some ancient forest has been suddenly denuded of its foliage—Phœbus has stopped at my bidding his fiery chariot in the middle of the day, and the Hyades, moved by my incantations, have absolutely trembled! Oh Phœbe, come thou to the sacrifice which I have prepared in honor of thee, this chaplet intertwined with nine serpents thereon has been woven for thee by my very own blood-stained hands, which are herewith at thy disposal are the very portions (the serpents) of the body although out of character once possessed by the recalcitrant Typhœus, (some of the giants had those appendages to their feet) when he shook from its very foundations the mighty Kingdom of Jupiter! Here is some of the blood of that treacherous abductor, Nessus, which he gave me himself, when he was dying! These cinders are just imported from the funeral pile at Oëta, which swallowed up the poison, that destroyed