And those unwelcome guests, the
Of Harpyes, from the monarch's table chase.
marked by erratic changeableness in affections
Thy native land, tho' barb'rous, can present
A bridegroom worth a royal bride's content:
And whether this advent'rer lives, or dies,
In Fate, and Fortune's
fickle pleasure lies.
cheat or trick
Pull off the
cozening masque, and oh! in time
Discover and avoid the fatal crime.
satisfy, as thirst
She finds the fury of her flames
But, seeing Jason there, again they rag'd.
a ceremonial or emblematic staff
The king himself high-thron'd above the rest,
scepter, and in purple drest.
With brazen hoofs they beat the ground, and choke
ambient air with clouds of dust and smoke:
be or do something to a greater degree
One labour more remains, and, tho' the last,
In danger far
surmounting all the past;
Amidst these revels, why that cloud of care
On Jason's brow? (to whom the largest share
mirth was due)
relating to or characteristic of or befitting an offspring
To his ag'd sire such
filial duty shown,
So diff'rent from her treatment of her own,
But still endeav'ring her remorse to hide,
She check'd her rising sighs, and thus replied.
belonging to or active during the night
The circling crescents of th' encreasing moon;
Then, in the height of her
Medea steals from court; her ankles bare,
Her garments closely girt, but loose her hair;
someone who has been legally convicted of a crime
And stubborn lawless winds obey my call:
With mutter'd words disarm'd the viper's jaw;
Up by the roots vast oaks, and rocks cou'd draw,
Make forests dance, and trembling mountains come,
malefactors, to receive their doom;
Mal (bad) + facere (to perform) = malefactor--in the example sentence, Medea describes the mountains as malefactors that need to be punished by the winds. But the winds could also be seen as malefactors since they are "lawless" and uproot oaks. And Medea is a malefactor since 1) she would be the one controlling the winds; 2) she worships Hecate, the goddess of sorcery and black magic.
indicate by signs
And you'll perform't-
You will; for lo! the stars, with sparkling fires,
Presage as bright success to my desires:
And now another happy omen see!
look for and gather
Some by the roots she plucks; the tender tops
Of others with her
culling sickle crops.
goods or money obtained illegally
Nor could the
plunder of the hills suffice,
Down to the humble vales, and meads she flies;
beyond ordinary understanding
New wine she pours, and milk from th' udder warm,
mystic murmurs to complete the charm,
And subterranean deities alarm.
Note the alliteration that emphasizes the sound of Medea's mystic murmurs--these alarm the gods below the earth because she is magically trying to keep Aeson from them by helping him to live longer than the Fates had intended.
make dull or muddle with drunkenness or infatuation
Then calls to have decrepit Aeson brought,
stupefies him with a sleeping draught;
On Earth his body, like a corpse, extends,
purify by means of a ritual
Piece-meal the consecrated wood she splits,
And dips the splinters in the bloody pits,
Then hurls 'em on the piles; the sleeping sire
lustrates thrice, with sulphur, water, fire.
consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
Then, from the bottom of her conj'ring bag,
Snakes' skins, and liver of a long-liv'd stag;
Last a crow's head to such an age arriv'd,
That he had now nine centuries surviv'd;
These, and with these a thousand more that grew
sundry soils, into her pot she threw;
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
His guiltless daughters, with
And well dissembled friendship, she beguiles:
The strange achievements of her art she tells,
With Aeson's cure, and long on that she dwells,
'Till them to firm persuasion she has won,
The same for their old father may be done:
From Middle French, aveugler, the word literally means "to delude, make blind"--"inveigle," "wile," "beguile," and "dissemble" all connect to deceit, which Medea uses to convince the daughters of Pelias to shed their father's blood.
in an advanced state of decomposition and having a foul odor
Come-drench your weapons in his
'Tis charity to wound, when wounding will restore.
Since Pelias is not dead yet, his gore should not be putrid, but Medea could also be using "putrid" to mean "morally corrupt or evil"--while she would not want this meaning to be obvious to the daughters, she planned this in order to take revenge on the man who had stolen the throne from her beloved's father and then sent Jason on a dangerous mission to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
fear resulting from the awareness of danger
consternation, he essays
(Welt'ring in blood) his feeble arms to raise:
Environ'd with so many swords-From whence
This barb'rous usage? what is my offence?
a lover, especially a secret or illicit one
Then Hyrie's lake, and Tempe's field o'er-ran,
Fam'd for the boy who there became a swan;
For there enamour'd Phyllius, like a slave,
Perform'd what tasks his
paramour would crave.
The one enamored is Phyllius, and his desired paramour is Cycnus. But Cycnus does not love Phyllius--he is a young boy who only enjoys ordering Phyllius to bring him wild animals to play with.
marked by sound judgment
Here Aegeus so engaging she addrest,
That first he treats her like a royal guest;
Then takes the sorc'ress for his wedded wife;
The only blemish of his
kill intentionally and with premeditation
Mean-while his son, from actions of renown,
Arrives at court, but to his sire unknown.
dispatch a dang'rous heir
(She knew him), did a pois'nous draught prepare;
tending to betray
The gen'rous king, altho' o'er-joy'd to find
His son was safe, yet bearing still in mind
The mischief by his
treacherous queen design'd;
The horrour of the deed, and then how near
The danger drew, he stands congeal'd with fear.
"Treacherous" also means "dangerously unstable and unpredictable"--this could be a fitting description for Medea, who killed her own children to get revenge on her cheating husband. But in the example sentence, the treachery that Aegeus is focused on is Medea betraying him and the kingdom by trying to kill his son.
incapable of being attacked or tampered with
Paros, with marble cliffs afar display'd;
Impregnable Sithonia; yet betray'd
To a weak foe by a gold-admiring maid,
a pause from doing something
That question does the Gnossian's grief renew,
And sighs from his afflicted bosom drew;
Yet after a short solemn
The ruler of the hundred cities said:
powerful and effective language
Their common danger, ev'ry thing cou'd wake
Concern, and his address successful make:
Strength'ning his plea with all the charms of sense,
And those, with all the charms of
By chance a rev'rend oak was near the place,
Sacred to Jove, and of Dodona's race,
frugal ants laid up their winter meat,
Whose little bodies bear a mighty weight:
flattery intended to persuade
Thou always art most welcome to my breast;
I faint; approach, thou dearest, kindest guest!
blandishments, and more than these, I said
(By Fate to unsuspected ruin led),