Miletus: A Play (excerpt)

[On rise: CHORUS of Miletan elders.]

[Enter MILETUS, aged.]

MILETUS: An old man I, bent and seamed with living,
Hard work my lot. Once supple these limbs, bright
these eyes, thick and curling this blanched* hair;
No man might claim more of beauty than I.
Young my father, wise his head, strong his voice,
Wise in council, transcendent in high song,
Apollo his name. No merit from this
I claim, nor honours unwon by striving:
A fact only I state. Listen, now, hark!
This my life I place before you, elders,
Townsmen, tradesmen, children, women, fools, all:
A long life, long in labour, long in love,
From inauspicious unattended birth
To trembling, palsied age, and hence, to death.

CHORUS: Speak, Miletus, we listen!

MILETUS: Well, attend.
Minos my grandfather, long king in Crete,
Whom you well know, lawgiver, conqueror,
Judge, arbiter, of Zeus Skyking, bullbright son
From Europa born, two lov’d brothers had:
Sarpedon, exile, and Rhadamanthys.
Adopted sons of king Asterius.
Minos their leader, clever eldest son
Wise even then. Paisiphae his to wife,
Proud Helian daughter, fruitful, clement
Pasiphae! Two godly scions, long-lived,
These my grandparents. Fruitful Pasiphae
A daughter brought forth, shy Acacallis
My sorrowed mother. Bright yet her beauty!
Shy, pretty Acacallis, chaste, retired.