|Alcestis Monologue by Euripides|
- ADMETUS: My friends, I deem the fortune of my wife
- Happier than mine, though otherwise it seems;
- For never more shall sorrow touch her breast,
- And she with glory rests from various ills.
- But I, who ought not live, my destined hour
- O'erpassing, shall drag on a mournful life,
- Late taught what sorrow is. How shall I bear
- To enter here? To whom shall I address
- My speech? Whose greeting renders my return
- Delightful? Which way shall I turn? Within
- In lonely sorrow shall I waste away,
- As widowed of my wife I see my couch,
- The seats deserted where she sat, the rooms
- Wanting her elegance. Around my knees
- My children hang, and weep their mother lost:
- These too lament their mistress now no more.
- This is the scene of misery in my house:
- Abroad, the nuptials of Thessalia's youth
- And the bright circles of assembled dames
- Will but augment my grief: ne'er shall I bear
- To see the loved companions of my wife.
- And if one hates me, he will say, "Behold
- The man, who basely lives, who dared not die,
- But, giving through the meanness of his soul
- His wife, avoided death, yet would be deemed
- A man: he hates his parents, yet himself
- Had not the spirit to die." These ill reports
- Cleave to me: why then wish for longer life,
- On evil tongues thus fallen, and evil days?
Credits: Reprinted from The Plays of Euripides in English, vol. ii. Trans. Shelley Dean Milman. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1922.