Friedrich Schiller.

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Veil thyself. Goddess, in a mortal form ! [Exit

Semele. {Callinrj beliind the sceneft.)
The sun is fast declining ! Maidens, haste.
Scatter ambrosial fragrance through the hall,
Strew roses and narcissus-liowers around,
Forgetting not tho gold embroider'd pillow.
He comes not yet — the sun is fast declinnig —

Juno. {Hastily entcrincf in the form of an old
woman.)
Prais'd be tho Deities, my dearest daughter ■

Semei.e. Ha ! Do I di-cam ? Am I awake ? Gods '
Buro^ '



38 BEMELE. '

Juno Is't possible that Semele can e'er
Porget lier nurse ?

Semele. 'Tis Beroe ! By Zens !

Oil, let thy daughter clasp thee to her heart !
Thou livest still ? What can have brought thee here
From Epidaurus ? Tell me all thy tale !
Thou'rt still my mother as of old ?

t/ UNO. Thy mother !

Time was, thou oall'dst me so.

Semele. Thou art so still,

And wilt remain so, till I drink full deep
Of Lethe's madd'ning draught.

Juno. Soon Beroe

Will drink oblivion from the waves of Lethe ;
But Cadmus' daughter ne'er will taste that draught.

Semele. How, my good nurse ? Thy language ne'er
was wont
To be mysterious or of hidden meaning ;
The spirit of gray hairs 'tis speaks in thee ;
Thou say'st I ne'er shall tast3 of Lethe's draught?

Juno. I said so, Yes ! But wherefore ridicule.
Grey hairs ? 'Tis true that they, unlike fair tresses,
Have ne'er been able to ensnare a God !

Semele. Pardon poor thoughtless me ! What caws*^
have I
To rklicule gray hairs ? Can I suppose
That mine for ever fair will grace my neck ?
But what was that I heard thee muttering
Between thy teeth ?— A God ?

Juno. Said I, a God 1

The Deities, in truth, dwell everywhere !
'Tis good for Earth's frail children to implore them.

The Gods are found where thoa art Semele !

What would'st thou ask !

Semele. Malicious heart ! But say

Wliat briugs thee to this spot from Epidaurus 1
'Tis not because the Gods delight to dwell
Near Semele •.

Juno. By Jupiter, nought else ! —

Wliat fire was that which mounted to thy cheeks
When I pronounced the name of Juiuter ?
Nought else, my daughter ! Fearfully the plague
At Epidaurus rages ; ev'ry blast



ia deadly poison, cv'ry breath (lostro>.< ;

The son his mother burns, his liritle the bridegroom

The funeral piles riar uj) tlicir Ihiminp: heads,

Convertinpj oven miihiijj;ht to l)riglit day,

Wliile hoAvls of anguish ceaseless rend the air;

Full to o'erf lowing is tlio cup of woe ! —

In anger, Zt^us looks down on our poor nation ;

In vain the vietini's bl(K)d is shed, in vain

Before the altar bows the priest his knee ;

Deaf is his car to all our supplications —

Therefore, my soriow-strieken country now

Has sent me here to Cadmus' r(>gal daughter

In hopes that I may move her to avert

His anger from us — " Beroe, tjie nurse,

" Has influence," thus they said, " with Semele,

" And Bemele Avitli Zeus " 1 know no more,

And understand still less what means iho saying,
That Semele such influence has with Zeus.

Semele. {F.afierly and t/ir,iff/h(lrs:vfi/.)
The plague shall cc'.se to-morrow ! Tell them so
Zeus loves mo ! Say so ! It si i all cease to-day !

Juno. {Stnriinff iip in cifttoni.i-'hment.)
Ha 1 Is it true Avhat Fame with thousand tongues
Has spnnul abroad froni Ida to Brount Hremus?
Zeus loves thee ! Zeus snlntes thee in the glory
Wherein the denizens of Heav'n regard liim.
When in Saturnia's arms he sinks to rest ? —
Let, O ye Gods, my gray hairs now descend
To Orcus' shades, iox I have lived enough I
In god-like splendor Kronos' mighty Son
Comes down to her, — to her, who on this breast
Once suclded — yes ! to her

Semele. Oh, Beroe 1

In youthful form he came, in lovelier guise
Than they who from Aurora's lap arise ;
Fairer than Hesper, breathing inecnse dim —
In floods of aether steep'd ippeared each limb ;
He mov'd with graceful and majestic motion,
Like silv'ry billows heaving o'er the ocean,
Or as Hyperion, whoso bright shoulders ever
His bow and arroMs bear, and clanging quiver;
His robe of light behind him gracefully
Danced in the breeze, his voice breath'd melody.
Like crystal streams with silv'ry murmur falling,



59



60 SEMELE.

More raviphing tJian Oii^lievis' strains enthralling.

Juno. My daughter ! — Inspiration spurs thee on
Raising thy heart to flights of Helicon !
If thus in strains of Delphic ecstasy
Ascends the short-liv'd blissful memoiy
Of his bright charms, — Oh, how divine must be
His owTi sweet voice, — his look how heavenly I
But why of that great attribute
Kronion joys in most, be mute, —
The majesty that hurls the thunder,
And tears the fleeting clouds asunder ?
Wilt thou say nought of that alone !
Prometheus and Deucalion
May lend the fairest charms cf love,
But none can wield tlie bolt save Jove I
The thunderbolt it is alone
Which ha before thy feet laid down
That proves thy right to Beauty's crown.

Semele. WTiat say'st thou ? What are thunderbolts
to me?

JvTNO. {Smiling.) Ah, Semele ! A jest becomes
thee well !

Semele. Deucalion lias no offspring so divine
As is my Zeus — of thunder naught I know.

Juno. Mere envy ! Fie !

Semele. No, Beroe ! By Zeus I

Juno. Thou swear'st ?

Semele. By Zetis ! By mine own Zeus !

Juno. {Shrieking. ) Thou swear'st ?

Unhappy one !

Semele. [^la alarm.) Wliat mean'st thou? Beroe!

Juno. Repeat the word tliat dooms thee to become
The wretchedest of all on Earth's wide face ! —
Alas, lost creature ! 'Twas not Zeus !

Semele. Not Zeus?

Oh, fearful thought !

Juno. A cunning traitcn* 'twas

From Attica, who, 'neath a god-like form,
Robb'd thee of honor, shame, and innocence ! — •

[Bkmele sinks to the ground,
Well may'st thou fall ! No'er maj^'st thou rise again I
May endless night enshroud thine eyes in darkness,
May endless silence round thine ears encamp 1
Remain for ever iiere a lifeless mass (



SE3TELE. 61

0^1, mfnmy ! Enonprh to Inirl cliasto day

Bade into "lloonte's gU)o:i:y n: ms once more I

Yo Gotla ! And is it tbus tl.'at Bcroc

Finro Ciidmus' diin.£?liti'r, after sixteen years

Of bitter separation ! Full of joy

I came from Epidaurus ; but -with shame

To Epidiiiinis mnat retrace my sf cpa. —

Deppair I take with me. A';'.a, my people I

E'en to the seroud Delupje ii- w tlio plagno

M.'\y rage at will, may pile Moaut Oeta high

With. cor|>ses uiion coqises, and may turn

.ill Greece into one mighty charm 1-house,

Ere Scmele cau bend the angry Gods.

I, thou, and Greece, and all, have been betray'd /

SEMEiiE. {Tremhlinrj as she riies, and extending an
arm towards her.) 01 1, Beroe!

Juxo. Take courage, my dear heart I

Perchance 'tis Zeus ! altho' it scarce can be 1
Perchance 'tis really Zt'ua i This we must learn
He must disclose himself to thee, or thou
Must fly his sight for ever, and dcvot'^
The -monster to the death-revoncre of Thebes.
Look up, dear daught'r — look wpon the face
Of thine own Benjii, who looks on thee
With sympathizing eyes — my Semele,
Were it not weii to try him?

Sesiele. No, by Heaven :

I should not find him then

Juno. A^Tiat ! Wilt thou be

Perchance less wi-etched, if thou pinest on
In mournful doubt ? — and if 'tis really he, —

SESiEiiE. {Hiding her face in Juno's lap.) Ah!
'tis not he !

JtJxo. And if ho came to thee

Array'd in all the majesty wherein
Olympus sees him ? Semele ! Wiat then ?
Wouldst thou rc-peut theo then of liavmg tri' d him ?

Semele. {Sjiringing up.) Hal be it so! He
must unveil himself!

Juno. {Ilastihj.) Thou muft not let him sink into
thnie arms
Till ho unveils himself — so hearken, child.
To what tJiy faithful nurse now counsels thee,-
To what affection whispers in mine ear.



52 SSIyfEl;E,

And will ficconiplisli ! — Say ! -will lie sonn come ?

Semele. Before Hyperion sinks in Thetis' bed.
He promis'd to appear.

Juno, (ForgetHnff herself, kastib/.) Is't so, indeed •
He ijromis'd ? Ha ! To-day ? {liecovcring herself,"

Let l;im appruach.
And "when lie would aitenpt, inlinm'd xnth. love,
To clnsp his arms around tbeej then do thou, —
Observe me -well, — as if by lightnirig struck,
Start back in haste. Ha ! picture his surprise I
Leave him not long in wonderment, my child ;
Continue to repulse him v.ith a look
As cold PS ice — more wildly, with more ardor
He'll press thee then — the coyness of the fair
Is but a dam, that for awhile keeps back
The torrent, only to increase the flood
With greater Airy. Tlien begin to weep :
'Gainst giants he might stand, — look calmly on
"Wlien TyiJheus, hundred-arm'd, in fury hurl'd
Mount Ossa and 01;vTnpus 'gainst his throne :
But Zeus is soon subdued by beauiy's tears.
Thou smilest? — Be it so ! Is, then, the schc?<ir
Wiser, perchance, than she who teachcsher V— ^
Then thou must pray the God one little, little
Most innocent r<~ quest to grnnt to thee —
One that may seal his love and Godhead too.
He'll swear by Styx. Tlie Stj-x he must obey !
That oath he dares not break ! Then speak these words:
"Thou shalt not touch this body, till tliou com'st
" To Cadmus' daughter cloth 'd in nil the might
"Wherein thou art embrac'd by Ivronos' daughter !"
Be not thou terrified, my Semele,
If he, in order to escape thy wish.
As bugbears paints the horrors of his presence —
Describes the flames that round about him roar,
The thunder roiuid liim rolhng wlion he comes:
These, Semele, are nought but (>mpty fears —
The Gods dislike to show to us frail nKU-tals
These tlie most glorious oi tlunr attributes ;
Be thou but obstinate in tliy request,
And Juno's self will gaze on thee with envy.

Sejiele. Tlie friglitful ox-eyed one ! How often he
Complains, in the blest moments of our love,
Of her tormenting him with her black gall-



SEStELE. 63

Jttjto. (Aside, fiirious^ij, but with emi'n-rassmcnt.)
Ha I creature ! Thou sbalt die for this coutempt !

Semklh. My Beroe ! What art thou munnuriug
thor<^ ?

Juno, {/a confusion.)
Notliing, my Seraele ! Black gall torments
Me also — Yos ! a sharp, reproacliful look
"V.'itli lovers often jiassi « r,s black gall —
i'et ox-eyes, after a; I, are not so ii.cjiy.

SEiLELR. Oh, Beroii, for shame, they're quite the
worst
That any head can possibly contain !
And then her cheeks of green and yellow hues,
The obvious penalty of poisonous euvy —
Zeus oft complains to ma that that same slirew
Each ni^lit torments liira with her nauseous love,
And with her jealous whims, — enough, I'm sure.
Into Ixion's wheel to turn all Heaven.

Juxo. {Raving tip and down in extreme confusion^j
No more of this !

Semele. Wliat, Beroe ! So angry ?

Have I suid more than what is true ? Said more
Than what is wise ?

Ji'xo, Thou hast said more, young woman.

Than what is true — said more than what is wise !
Deem thyself tiu'.y blest, if thy blue eyes
Smile theo not into Charon's bark too soon!
Saturn ia has her altars and her temples,
And w;;nders amongst mortals — that great Goddess
Avenges naught so bitterly as scorn.

Semele. Here let her wander, and give birth to
scorn !
Wliat is't to me ? — "My Jupiter protects
My ev'ry hair, — what harm cau Juno do?
But now enough of this, my Beroe ! '

Zeus must appear to-day in all his glory ;
Aiid i^Sduraia should on that account
Find out the path to Orcus —

Juxo. {Aside.) That same path

Another probably will find before her.
If but Krou'iou's lightning hits the mark ! —

{To Semele.)
Tea, Semele, she well may burst with envy
"When Cadmus' daughter, in the sight of Greece



64 SiEMEt,^.

Ascends in triumpli to 01 jmpiis' heights ! —

Semele. {Smiling gcntlij.)
Tliiuk'st tiiou they'll hear in Greece of Cadmus*
daughter ?

Juno. From Sidon to Athens the trumpet of Fama
Shall riug with no other but Semele's name !
The Gods from the Heavens shall even descend,
A.nd before thee their knees in deep homage shall bend.
While mortals in silent submission abide
The will of the Giant-Destroyer's lov'd bride ;
And when distant years shall see
Thy last hour^
Semele. {Sprinrjinr/ up, and falling on her neck.')

Oh Beroc !
Ju>fo. Then a tablet white shall bear
Thi« inscription graven there:
Here is Avorshipp'd Semele !
Who on earth so fair as she ?
She who from Olympus' throne
Lur'd the Thunder-hurler doTvm i
She who, with her kisses sweet,
Laid lum prostrate at her feet !
And when Fame on her thoiteand wings bears it

around.
The echo from valley and hill shall resound.
Semele. {Beside herself.)

Pythia ! Apollo ! Hear !
Wlien, oh when will he api^eai?
Juno. And on smoking altars they

Rites divine to thee shall pay —
Semele. {Insjiired.)

I will hearken to their jorayer,
And will drive away their care, —
Quench with my tears the lightning of great Jove,
His breast to pity with eutraaty move !
Juno. {Aside.) Poor thing! that wilt thou ne'er
have power to do. {Meditating.)
Ere long will molt . . . . yet — yet — she call'd me

ugly !—
No I Pitv only when in Tartarus !

{To Semele.)
Fly now, my love ! Make haste to leave this spot.
That Zeus may not observe thee — Let him wait
Long for tliy coming, that ho with more fire
May languish for thee —



feEMEIiE. 68

SEMBiiK. Berne ! The Heavens

Have chosen thee their nionthpiece ! H!ii)i>y I !
The Gods from Oljnipns shiill even clesceiid,
And hefore me tlieir kueea in deep homage shall bend,
While mortals in-«ileiit Buhmission abide —
But hold ! — 'tia time for me to haste uway !

[J'hlt hurnedly.

JiTsro, {Loolnntj after her vlth cj-uUation.)
Weak, prouii, and easily-deluded woman !
His tender looks sliall l)e consuming Hre —
His kiss, annihilation — his embrace,
A ragiitg tempest to thee ! Human frames
Are powerless to endure the dreaded presence
Of Him "who wields the thunderbolt on high !

( With raving ecstacy.^
Ha ! when her waxen mortal body melts
Witliiu the arms of Him, the Fire-distilling,
As melts the fleecy snow btforo the heat
Of the bright sun — and wheu the perjur'd one.
In place of his soft tender bride, embraces
A form of terror — with wliat ecstasy
Shall I gaze downwards from Cithajron's height.
Exclaiming, so that in his hand the bolt
Shall quake : "For shame, Satunuus ! Fie, for shame 1
" Wh8,t need is there for thee to clasp so roughly ? "

l^Exit hastily.
{A Symphony.)

SCENE II.

The Hall as before. — Sudden brightness.

Zeus in the shape of a Youth. — Mekcusx in the

distance.

Zeus. Thou Son of Maia I

Merctxry. {Kneeling, with his head bowed rever-
entially.)

Zeus !
Zeus. Up 1 Hasten ! Turn

Tliy pinions' flight tow'rd far Scomander's bank!
A shepherd there is weeping o'er the grave
Of his lov'd s'lepherdesa. No one shall weep
When Zeus ia loving: Call the dead to life I



66 MUMOi,

MERctTET', (Rising.') Let but thy liead a hod

almiglity give,
And in an instant I am there, — am back
In the same instant —

Zeus. Stay ! As I o'er Argos

Was flying, from my temj)les curling rose
The sacrificial smoke : it gave me joy
That thus the people worship me — so fly
To Ceres, to my sister, — thus speaks Zeus:
*' Ten-thousaudfohl for fifty years to come
" Let her reward the Argive husbandmen ! " —
]Mkrcitry, With trembling haste I execute thy

wrath, —
With joyous speed thy messages of grace,
Pather of All ! Por to the Deities
'Tis bliss to make man happy ; to destroy him
Is anguish to the Gods. Tliy will be done !
Where shall I jjour into Thine ears their thanks, —
Below in dust, or at Thy throne on high ?

Zei's. Here at my throne on earth — within the

palace,
Of Semele ! Away !

\_Exit Mercury,
Does she not come,
As is her wont, Olympus' mighty king
To clasp against her rapture-swelling breast ?
Why hastens not my Semele to meet me ?
A vacant, death-like, fearful silence reigns
On ev'ry side around the lonely palace,
So wont to ring with Avild Bacehantic shouts —
No breath is stirring — on Cithferou's height
Exulting Juno stands. Will Semele
Never again make haste to meet her Zf^us ?

{A j)ause, after tcJiich he continues,]
Ha ! Can yon impious one perchance have dar'd
To set her ioot in my love's sanctuary ? —
Safiirnia— Mount Cithssron — her rejoicings 1
Fearfid foreboding ! — Semele — yet peace; ! —
Take courage ! — I'm thy Zeus ! the scatter'd Heav'us
Shall learn, my Semele, thnt I'm thy Zeus !
Where is the breath of air that dares presume
Roughly to blow on her whom Zeus calls Ills f
I scoft'ac all lur malice. — Where art thou.
Oh Semele ? I long have piu'd to rest



SElIELtf 67

My voild-torrarntctl Load upon thy breast, —

To l\iil my wearied seiib( a to repose

From tho wild storm of oiirthlyjoys andwoee,-

To droftm nway tho embli'ms of my might,

My r^ius, my tiUer, and my chariot bright.

And live for naught beyond tlie joya of love I

Oh heav'nly in.si)iratiou, that can move

Even tlio Gods divine ! V\niat is tho blood

Of mighty Uranus — -what uU tlie flood

Of Nectar and ambrosia — Avhat tho throne

Of high OljTnpus — what the pow'r I own,

The golden scoptre of the starry skies —

Wliat the Omnipotence that never dies.

What Might eternal, Immortality —

What e'en a God, oh love, if reft of thee ?

The shepherd who, beside tho murmuring brook.

Leans on Lis true love's breast, uor cares to look

Aftei his straying lambs, in that sweet hour

Envies me not my thunderbolt of power !

She coniC'* — she hastens nigh ! Pearl of my works,

Woman !- -the Artist who created thee

Shcmld be a<''or'd. 'Twas I — myself I worship i

Zeiis worshipr Zous, for Zeus created thee.

Ha ! who will now, in all the Being- realm,

Condemn me ? How unseen, yes, how despised

Dwindle away my worlds, my constellations.

So ray-diffusing, all my dancing systems,

"Wliat wise men call tiie music of my spheres ! —

Fo,y dead are all when weigh'd against a soul I

(S'emele approaches icithout looking ujx}
My pnJ.e ! my thi-one on earth ! Oh Semele !

(Jle rushes ioivards her; she seeks to fly.)
ThouflyVt:— Ai-t mute?— Ha! Semele! thou fly'st?

SEirEiiE. {I^epulsing him.) Away!

Zeus. {Aj'f^r a pause of astonishment.)

Is Jupiter asleep ? Will Nature
Bush to her fall *' -Can Semele speak thus?-
What, not an answei ? Eagerly mine arms
Tow'rd thee are stretck'd — my bosom never th?-obb'd
Responsive to Agenor's uanghter — never
Throbb'd against Lrda's l)reast, - my bps ve'ey biirnad
For tho sweet kiss of prisoned Pauae,
As now —

SEMEiiE. Peace, Traitor ! Peace I



68 SEMEIiE.

Zeus. ( Wif7i dtsj^leasnrc, hut tenderly.) M\ Semele \

Semele. Out of my sight !

Zeus, {Looking at her with Tnajesty.')

Know, I am Zens !

Semele, Tliou Zeus ?

Tremble, Salmonexxs, for lie fearfully
Will soon demand again tlie stolen cliai-ms
That thou hast robb'd him of — thou art not Zeus !

Zeus, ( With dignity. )
The mighty universe around me whirls,
And calls me so — -

Semele. Ha ! Fearful blasphemy !

Zeus. {More gcnlhj.) How, my divine one ?
Wlierefore such a tone ?
What reptile dares to steal thine heart from me ?

Semele, Mj heai-t was vow'd to Him whose ape
thou art !
Men ofttimes come beneath a godlike form
To snare a woman. Hence ! thoxi art not Zeus !

Zeus, Thou doubtest ? What! Can Semele still
doubt
My Godhead?

Semele, {Mournfully.) Would that thou "V^ert Zeus!
No son
Of morrow-nothin.gness shall touch this mouth ;
This heart is vow'd to Zeus ! Would thou wert He !

Zeus. Thou weepest ? Zeus is here — weeps Semele?

^Falling down before her.
Speak ! But command ! and then shall slavish Nature
Lie trembling at the feet of Cadmus' daughter !
Command ! and streams shall instantly make halt —
And Helicon, and Caucasus, and Cynthus,
And Athos, Mycale, and Rliodope, and Piudus,
Shall burst their bonds when I order it so,
And kiss the valleys and plains below.
And dance in tlie breeze like Hakes of snow.
Command ! and the Winds from the East and tho

North,
And the fierce Tornado shall sally fortli,
While Poseidon's trident thtdr power shall own,
Wlien tliey shake to its base his watery throne ;
The billows in angry fury sliall rise,
And every sea-mark and dam despise ;
yije lightning sLall gleam thro' the firmament black,



BEMELE. ^

Whilo the pnl(>B o{ Enrth anil of H<mvon shall crack;
Tlio Oct'iin tlio heights of ()Iviiipii"5 exphu-c,
From tlioiiKiuulfold jjiws wilh wild (Ifalcniiigroar
The thunder kIijiII howl, -while witli mud jubilee
The huiTicane iiirce siugs iu triumpli to thee.
Command —

8kmkle. I'm hut a woman, a frail woman 1
TTmw can the Potter b lul before his pot ?
How can the Ai'tist kneel before his statue?

Zet'S. I\vgmaliou bow'd before his masterpiece —
And Zeus now worships his own Semele !

Semele. ( Weeping biftcrlj/.)
Arise — arise ! Alas, for us poor maidens !
Zeus has my heart, Gods only can I love.
The Gods deride me, Zeus despises me I

Zeus. Z^nis Avho is uow before thy feet —

Semele. Arise !

Zeus reigns on high, above the thunderbolts,
And, clasp'd iu Juno's arms, a reptde scorns.

Zeus. {JIastily.)
Ha ! Semele and Juno — which the r(,>ptile?

Sejikle. How blest beyond all utterance would be
Cadmus' daughter — wert thou Zeus ! Alas !
Thou art not Zeus !

Zeos. {Arises.') I am !
(7/e extends his hand, and a rainbow Jills the hall;
music av.co)nx>anics its appearance.)

Know'st thou me now ?

SEJTEiiE. Strong is that mortal's arm, whom Gods
protect, —
Saturuius loves thee — ^uone can /e'er love
But Deities — ■

Zeus. "Wliat ! art thou doubting still

Wlxether my might is lent mo by the Gods,
And not God-born ? The Gods, my Semele,
In charity oft lend their strength to man ;
Ne'er do the Deities their terrors lend —
Death and destruction is the Godhead's seal-
Eearer of death to thee were Zeus unveil'd !
{lie extends his hand, lliunder, fire, smoke, and
carthf/iinhe. Music accompanies the spell here
and suf/f<rrfiienth/.)
Semele. Withdraw, Avithdraw thy hand ! — Oh, mercy,
mercy



70 SEMELE.

For the poor nation ! Yes ! thou art the CliilQ.
Of great Satumius — •

Zeus. Ha ! tliou tliouglitless one !

Shall Zeus, to jjlease a woman's stubborness,
Bid planets -whiii, and bid the suns stand still?
Zeus ivill do so ! — Oft has a God's descendant
Ripp'd lip the fire-impregnate womb of rocks,
Ajid yet his might's confined to Tellus' boiuids ;

Zeus only can do this!

{He extends his hand — the sun vanishes, and ii
becomes suddenly night.)

Semele. {Falling doivn before him. ) Almighty one J
Couldst thoii but love !

\Day reappears.

Zeus. Ha ! Cadmus' daughter asks

Kronion if Kronion e'er can love !
One word, and he throws off Divinity —
Is flesh and blood, and dies, and is belov'd !

Semele. Would Zeus do thaf^

Zeus. Sjjeak, Semele ! What more?

Apollo's self confesses that 'tis bliss
To be a man 'mongst men — a sign from thee,
And I'm a man !

Semele. {Fallincj on 7iis neck.)
Oh Jupiter, the Epidaurus women
Tliy Semele a foolish maiden call.
Because, though by the Thunderer belov'd.
She can obtain naught from him—

Zeus. {Eagerly. ) They shall blush,

Those Epidaurus women ! Ask ! — but ask !
And by the dreaded Styx — whose boimdless might
Binds e'en the Gods like slaves — if Zeus deny thee,
Then shall the Gods, e'en in that seK-same moment,
Hurl me despairing to annihilation !

Semele. {Springing yp.joyfulli/.)
By this I know that thou'rfc my Jupiter !
Thou swearest — and the Siyx has heard thine oath I
Let me embrace thee, then, in the same guise
In which —

ZiLus. {ShrieJdng with alarm.)

Unhappy one ! Oh stay ! oh staj !

Semele. Saturnia —

Zeus. {Attempting to stop her month.)

B^ thou dumb !



SEjrELE, 71

Semele. Embracrs thee.

Zeus. {Pale, and turning awai/.)
Too late ! The Boinul cscap'd !— The Styx !— 'Tis death
Tliou, Si'iuek^, liast guiu'd !

Semele, Ha ! Lotos Zeus thus ?

Zei'h. All Heavon I would have given, had I only
Lov'd thee l:)ut less ! {(iaziiirj at her with cold hurror.)
Thou'rt los^-

Sesiele. ' Oh, Jupiter i

Zeus. {/S'pcalinr/ furioitsliy to himself.)
Ah ! Now I mark thine exultation, Juno !
Aceurscd jealousy ! This rose must die !
Too fair — alas ! too sweet for Acheron !

Semele. Methinks thou'rt niggard of thy majesty !

Zex's. Accursed be my majesty, that now
Has blinded thee ! AcciU'sed be my greatness,
That must destroy thee ! Curs'd be 1 mysplf
For having built my bliss on crumbling dust !

Semele. These are but cmjity terrors, Zeus ! In
truth
I do not dread thy threats !

Zeus. Deluded child !

Go ! take a last farewell for evermore
Of all thy friends belov'd— naught, naught has power
To save thee, Semele I I am thy Zeus !


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