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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/38

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10
JEUX D'ESPRIT AND MINOR POEMS, 1798-1824.

Oh may Mammas relent, and Sires forgive!
And scribbling Sons grow dutiful and live!

Constantinople, June 7th., 1810.
[First published, Murray's Magazine, 1887, vol. i. pp. 290, 291.]


TRANSLATION OF THE NURSE'S DOLE IN THE MEDEA OF EURIPIDES.

Oh how I wish that an embargo
Had kept in port the good ship Argo!
Who, still unlaunched from Grecian docks,
Had never passed the Azure rocks;
But now I fear her trip will be a
Damn'd business for my Miss Medea, etc., etc.[1]

June, 1810.
[First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 227.]


MY EPITAPH.[2]

Youth, Nature, and relenting Jove,

To keep my lamp in strongly strove;
  1. ["I am just come from an expedition through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and the Cyanean Symplegades, up which last I scrambled with as great risk as ever the Argonauts escaped in their hoy. You remember the beginning of the nurse's dole in the Medea [lines 1-7], of which I beg you to take the following translation, done on the summit;—[A 'damned business'] it very nearly was to me; for, had not this sublime passage been in my head, I should never have dreamed of ascending the said rocks, and bruising my carcass in honour of the ancients."—Letter to Henry Drury, June 17, 1810, Letters, 1898, i. 276. Euripides, Medea, lines 1-7—

    Εἴθ' ὤφελ' Ἀργοῦς μὴ διαπτάσθαι σκάφος, κ.τ.λ.]

  2. ["The English Consul ... forced a physician upon me, and in three days vomited and glystered me to the last gasp. In this state I made my epitaph—take it."—Letter to Hodgson, October 3, 1810, Letters, 1898, i. 298.]