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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Danaë’s Lament
By Simonides (c. 556–468 B.C.)
 
Translation of Alphonso Gerald Newcomer

AND while she lay within the carven chest,
Rocked by the soughing winds and troubled waves,
Fear crept into her not untearstained cheeks,
And clasping Perseus closelier round she spake:—
 
“O child, what woes are mine! Yet thou sleep’st sound.        5
In infant heedlessness thou slumberest
            Within the bronze-nailed chest,
While lampless night and darkness swathe thee round.
Nor though the washing brine bedew thy hair,
          Takest thou care,        10
Nor though the wind lift up its voice aloud,—
Face to my face, wrapped in thy purple shroud.
Not fearful unto thee the name of Fear!
Else wouldst thou to my words lend readier ear.
 
“Yet sleep, my babe, I bid thee sleep, my child,        15
          And sleep, ye waters wild;
          Sleep, mine insatiate woe!
And grant, O father Zeus, some respite come
Out of thy mercy. Nay, too bold I know
This boon I ask, past justice to bestow:        20
I pray thee, pardon me, my lips are dumb.”
 
 
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