|PERSEUS||son of Zeus and Danaë|
|CEPHEUS||King of Syria|
|IOLAUS||son of Cepheus and Cassiopea|
|POLYDAON||priest of POSEIDON|
|PHINEUS||King of tyre|
|TYRNAUS||Merchant of Babylonia, wrecked on the coast of Syria|
|SMERDAS||Merchant of Babylonia, wrecked on the coast of Syria|
|THEROPS||a popular leader|
|PERISSUS||a citizen butcher|
|DERCETES||a Syrian captain|
|NEBASSAR||captain of the Chaldean Guard|
|CIREAS||a servant in the temple of POSEIDON|
|MEDES||an usher in the palace|
|CASSIOPEA||princess of Chaldea, Queen of Syria|
|ANDROMED||A daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopea|
|CYDONE||mistress of Iolaus|
|PRAXILLA||head of the palace household in the Women’s apartments|
|DIOMEDE||a slave-girl, servant and playmate of Andromeda|
|townsmen and villagers|
SCENE: The city of Cepheus, the seashore, the temple of POSEIDON On the headland and the surrounding country.
The Ocean in tumult, and the sky in storm:
Pallas Athene appears in the heavens with lightnings playing over her head and under her feet.
Error of waters rustling through the world,
Vast Ocean, call thy ravenous waves that march
With blue fierce nostrils quivering for prey,
Back to thy feet. Hush thy impatient surges
At my divine command and do my will.
VOICES OF THE SEA
Who art thou layest thy serene command
Upon the untamed waters?
I am Pallas,
Daughter of the Omnipotent.
What wouldst thou?
For we cannot resist thee; our clamorous hearts
Are hushed in terror at thy marble feet.
Awake your dread Poseidon. Bid him rise
And come before me.
Let thy compelling voice
Awake him; for the sea is hushed.
Illimitable Poseidon! let thy blue
And streaming tresses mingle with the foam
Emerging into light.
POSEIDON appears upon the waters.
What quite voice
Compels me from my rocky pillow piled
Upon the floor of the enormous deep?
A whiteness and a strength is in the skies.
How art thou white and beautiful and calm,
Yet clothed in tumult! Heaven above thee shakes
Wounded with lightning, goddess, and the sea
Flees from thy dreadful tranquil feet. Thy calm
Troubles me: who art thou, dweller in the light?
I am Athene
In beauty, disturber of the ancient world!
Ever thou seekest to enslave to man
The eternal Universe, and our huge motions
That shake the mountains and upheave the seas
Wouldst with the glancing visions of thy brain
Coerce and bridle.
Me the Omnipotent
Made from His being to lean and discipline
The immortal spirit of man, till it attain
To order and magnificent mastery
Of all his outward world.
What wouldst thou of me ?
The powers of the earth have kissed my feet
In deep submission, and they yield me tribute,
Olives and corn and all fruit-bearing trees,
And silver from the bowels of the hills,
Marble and iron ore. Fire is my servant.
But thou, Poseidon, with thy kindred gods
And the wild wings of air resist me. I come
To set my feet upon thy azure locks,
O shaker of the cliffs. Adore thy sovereign.
The anarchy of the enormous seas
Is mine, O terrible Athene: I sway
Their billows with my nod. Man’s feeble feet
Leave there no traces, nor his destiny
Has any hold upon the shifting waves.
Thou severest him with thy unmeasured wastes
Whom I would weld in one. But I will lead him
Over thy waters, thou wild thunderer,
Spurning thy tops in hollowed fragile trees.
He shall be confident in me and dare
The immeasurable oceans till the West
Mingles with India, and reach the northern isles
That dwell beneath my dancing aegis bright,
Snow-weary. He shall, armed with clamorous fire,
Rush o’er the angry waters when the whale
Is stunned between two waves and slay his foe
Betwixt the thunders. Therefore I bid thee not,
O azure strong Poseidon, to abate
Thy savage tumults: rather his march oppose.
For through the shocks of difficulty and death
Man shall attain his godhead.
What then desir’st thou, Athene?
On yonder inhospitable coast
Far-venturing merchants from the East, or those
Who put from Tyre towards Atlantic gains,
Are by thy trident fiercely shaken forth
Upon the jagged rocks, and who escape,
The gay and savage Syrians on their altars
Massacre hideously, thee to propitiate,
Moloch- Poseidon of the Syrian coasts,
Dagon of Gaza, lord of many names
And many natures, many forms of power
Who rulest from Philistia to the north,
A terror and woe. O iron king,
Desist from blood, be glad of kindlier gifts
And suffer men to live.
My waters! See them lift their foam-white tops
Charging from sky to sky in rapid tumult:
Admire their force, admire their thunderous speed.
With green hooves and white manes they trample onwards.
My mighty Voices fill the world, Athene.
Shall I permit the grand anarchic seas
To be a road and the imperious Ocean
A means of merchandise? Shall the frail keels
Of they ephemeral mortals score its back
With servile furrows and petty souls of men
Triumphing tame the illimitable sea?
I am not of the mild and later gods,
But of that elder world; Lemuria
And old Atlantis raised me crimson altars,
And my huge nostrils keep that scent of blood
For which they quiver. Return into thy heavens,
Pallas Athene, I into my deep.
Dash then thy billows up against my aegis
In battle! Think not to hide in thy deep oceans;
For I will drive thy waters from the world
And leave thee naked to the light.
I will not war with thee, armipotent.
Then send thy champion forth to meet my champion,
And let their conflict govern ours, Poseidon.
Who is thy champion?
Perseus, the Olympian’s son,
Whom Danaë in her strong brazen tower,
Acrisius’ daughter, bore, by heavenly gold
Lapped into slumber: for of that shining rain
He is the beautiful offspring.
That is to be? But my sea-monster’s fangs
And fiery breathings shall prevent that murder.
Farewell, until I press
My feet upon thy blue enormous mane
And add thy Ocean to my growing empire.
Poseidon disappears into the sea.
He dives into the deep and with a din
The thunderous divided waters meet
Above his grisly head. Thou wingest, Perseus,
From northern snows to this fair sunny land,
Not knowing in the night what way thou wendest;
But the dawn comes and over earth’s far rim
The round sun rises, as thyself shalt rise
On Syria and thy rosy Andromeda,
A thing of light. Rejoice, thou famous hero!
Be glad of love, be glad of life, whose bosom
Harbours the quiet strength of pure Athene.
She disappears into light.