Jean Racine “Phaedra”

   HIPPOLYTUS
          I have said too much
          Not to say more. Prudence in vain resists
          The violence of passion. I have broken
          Silence at last, and I must tell you now
          The secret that my heart can hold no longer.
          You see before you an unhappy instance
          Of hasty pride, a prince who claims compassion
          I, who, so long the enemy of Love,
          Mock'd at his fetters and despised his captives,
          Who, pitying poor mortals that were shipwreck'd,
          In seeming safety view'd the storms from land,
          Now find myself to the same fate exposed,
          Toss'd to and fro upon a sea of troubles!
          My boldness has been vanquish'd in a moment,
          And humbled is the pride wherein I boasted.
          For nearly six months past, ashamed, despairing,
          Bearing where'er I go the shaft that rends
          My heart, I struggle vainly to be free
          From you and from myself; I shun you, present;
          Absent, I find you near; I see your form
          In the dark forest depths; the shades of night,
          Nor less broad daylight, bring back to my view
          The charms that I avoid; all things conspire
          To make Hippolytus your slave. For fruit
          Of all my bootless sighs, I fail to find
          My former self. My bow and javelins
          Please me no more, my chariot is forgotten,
          With all the Sea God's lessons; and the woods
          Echo my groans instead of joyous shouts
          Urging my fiery steeds.
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