(Medea, vv. 820–61.) Ere Time grew old,
Life flowed for the Erechthean race
In sands of gold.

Sons of the gods for ever blest,
And banqueting on loftiest lore—
Fruit of the sacred shore
No victor's foot had ever pressed—
They wandered in ethereal grace
Through most pellucid air.note
'Tis there they tell, Harmonia bore—
She of the golden hair—
The Muses nine, in days of yore,
The chaste Pierides.note

And there, they say—
With lip still wet from thy fair stream,
Cephisus!—many a gentle breeze,
With fragrance laden, Cypris breathes
O'er all the land; and as she wreathes
Rose-garlands aye,
To shed their perfume on the gleam
Of sunbright hair,
The Loves she sends
To sit at Wisdom's side, as friends
Of all things good and fair.

How shall the City
Of Sacred Waters,

  ― 178 ―
Welcoming only the harmless of men,
Number thee, then,
In the list of her daughters?—
Thee the unholy, whose red right hand runs
With blood of thy sons!

Whilst still there is time,
Oh, think of the crime
Thou art minded to do!

Spare them! Suppliantly we sue—
At thy knees we suppliant fall,
All ways suppliant, suppliant all!
Heart and hand will fail thee, sure—
Thou canst never do the deed!
Tearless, can thine eyes endure
To behold thy children bleed?

When before thy feet they lie,
When thou hear'st their pleading cry—
Mother! Canst thou that withstand?
Savage as thy heart may be,
In the blood that sprang from thee,
Thou wilt not dip thy murderous hand?