saepe illam perhibent ardenti corde furentem
clarisonas imo fudisse e pectore voces ,
ac tum praeruptos tristem conscendere montes ,
unde aciem in pelagi vastos protenderet aestus ,
tum tremuli salis adversas procurrere in undas
mollia nudatae tollentem tegmina surae ,
atque haec extremis maestam dixisse querellis ,
frigidulos udo singultus ore cientem :
' sicine me patriis avectam , perfide , ab aris
perfide , deserto liquisti in litore , Theseu ?
sicine discedens neglecto numine divum ,
immemor a ! devota domum periuria portas ?
nullane res potuit crudelis flectere mentis
consilium ? tibi nulla fuit clementia praesto ,
immite ut nostri vellet miserescere pectus ?
at non haec quondam blanda promissa dedisti
voce mihi , non haec miserae sperare iubebas ,
sed conubia laeta , sed optatos hymenaeos ,
quae cuncta aereii discerpunt irrita venti .
nunc iam nulla viro iuranti femina credat ,
nulla viri speret sermones esse fideles ;
quis dum aliquid cupiens animus praegestit apisci ,
nil metuunt iurare , nihil promittere parcunt :
sed simul ac cupidae mentis satiata libido est ,
dicta nihil metuere , nihil periuria curant .
certe ego te in medio versantem turbine leti
eripui , et potius germanum amittere crevi ,
quam tibi fallaci supremo in tempore dessem .
pro quo dilaceranda feris dabor alitibusque
praeda , neque iniacta tumulabor mortua terra .
quaenam te genuit sola sub rupe leaena ,
quod mare conceptum spumantibus exspuit undis ,
quae Syrtis , quae Scylla rapax , quae vasta Carybdis ,
talia qui reddis pro dulci praemia vita ?
Often loud shrieks cried the frenzy in her ardent heart
poured out from the depths of her breast ,
and then she would climb the steep cliffs in her grief ,
where the vast sea-surge stretches out to the view ,
then run against the waves into the salt tremor
holding her soft clothes above her naked calves ,
and call out mournfully this last complaint ,
a frozen sob issuing from her wet face :
‘False Theseus , is this why you take me from my father’s land ,
faithless man , to abandon me on a desert shore ?
Is this how you vanish , heedless of the god’s power ,
ah , uncaring , bearing home your accursed perjuries ?
Nothing could alter the measure of your cruel mind ?
No mercy was near to you , inexorable man ,
that you might take pity on my heart ?
Yet once you made promises to me in that flattering voice ,
you told me to hope , not for this misery
but for joyful marriage , the longed-for wedding songs ,
all in vain , dispersed on the airy breezes .
Now , no woman should believe a man’s pledges ,
or believe there’s any truth in a man’s words :
when their minds are intent on their desire ,
they have no fear of oaths , don’t spare their promises :
but as soon as the lust of their eager mind is slaked
they fear no words , they care nothing for perjury .
Surely I rescued you from the midst of the tempest
of fate , and more , I gave up my half-brother ,
whom I abandoned to you with treachery at the end .
For that I’m left to be torn apart by beasts , and a prey
to sea-birds , unburied , when dead , in the scattered earth .
What lioness whelped you under a desert rock ,
what sea conceived and spat you from foaming waves ,
what Syrtis , what fierce Scylla , what vast Charybdis ,
you who return me this , for the gift of your sweet life ?
They often say that
she , raving from a blazing heart , had uttered shrill oaths
from the bottom of her breast , and then that the unhappy
woman climbed steep mountains from which to extend her gaze
into the desolate swell of the sea , and then that she rolled
forth into the waves of the splashing sea that faced her as
she raised the voluptuous coverings from her denuded calf ,
and that she had said these unhappy words , her final
lamentation : " Treacherous , treacherous Theseus ! Is this the
way you abandon me , who was carried off from patriarchal
altars , onto the lonely shore ? Feckless man , have you run
away because you thought the gods ' heavenly powers
inconsequential ? Are you coming home to bear unholy
perjuries ? Could nothing divert the deliberations of a cruel
mind ? Did you have no mercy available for your implacable
heart to wish me tenderness ? Yet you did not formerly give
me these assurances with a sweet voice , and you were not
bidding me , who was unhappy , to anticipate these things , but
the airy winds tear to pieces a desired marriage and a happy
wedding , the whole of which is null and void . Even now , may
no woman put faith in a man who swears by oath , and may no
woman trust that a man ' s discourses are worthy of trust ;
while the mind of men , when it desires , is especially eager
to obtain something , the men are by no means loath to swear
by oath and by no means refrain from promises : but as soon
as the desirous mind ' s lust has been satisfied , by no means
do men fear what has been said , and by no means do they care
about their breaches of oath ! Certainly I snatched you away
as you were tossing and turning in the middle of death ' s
maelstrom , and I decided to lose a brother rather than fail
you at a critical and treacherous time . For the which I
shall be given as prey to be torn piecemeal by birds and
beasts , and when I have died , I shall not be covered with a
burial mound ! What lioness gave birth to you from her lonely
crag ? What sea , conceived by foaming waves , has spit you
out ? What Syrtis , what predatory Scylla , what endless
Charybdis gave you birth , you who return such rewards for
living sweet ?