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Hippolytus

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The scene is laid in Trozên. The play was first acted when Epameinon was Archon, Olympiad 87, year 4 (B.C. 429). Euripides was first, Iophon second, Ion third.



APHRODITE



Great among men, and not unnamed am I,

The Cyprian, in God’s inmost halls on high.

And wheresoe’er 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 hungereth for the praise of human kind.



So runs my word; and soon the very deed

Shall follow. For this Prince of Theseus’ seed,

Hippolytus, child of that dead Amazon,

And reared by saintly Pittheus in his own

Strait ways, hath dared, alone of all Trozên,

To hold me least of spirits and most mean,

And spurns my spell and seeks no woman’s kiss,

But great Apollo’s sister, Artemis,

He holds of all most high, gives love and praise,

And through the wild dark woods for ever strays,

He and the Maid together, 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 from Pittheus’ castle to the shore

Of Athens came Hippolytus over-seas

Seeking the vision of the Mysteries.


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