dreams; for sweet it is to look on those we love in dreams, however
brief the night.
Ah! If I had the tongue and song of Orpheus so that I might
charm Demeter's Daughter or her Lord, and snatch you back from
Hades, would go down to hell; and neither Pluto's dog nor Charon,
Leader of the Dead, should hinder me until I had brought your life
back to the light!
At least await me there whenever I shall die, and prepare the
house where you will dwell with me. I shall lay a solemn charge upon
these children to stretch me in the same cedar shroud with you, and
lay my side against your side; for even in death let me not be
separate from you, you who alone were faithful to me!
LEADER (to ADMETUS)
And I also will keep this sad mourning with you, as a friend
with a friend; for she is worthy of it.
O my children, you have heard your father say that never will he
set another wife over you and never thus insult me.
Again I say it, and will perform it too!
ALCESTIS (placing the children's hands in his)
Then take these children from my hand.
I take them-dear gifts from a dear hand.
Now you must be the mother for me to my children.
It must be so, since they are robbed of you.
O children, I should have lived my life out-and I go to the
Alas! What shall I do, left alone by you?
Time will console you. The dead are nothing.
Take me with you, by the Gods! Take me to the Underworld!
It is enough that I should die-for you.
O Fate, what a wife you steal from me!
ALCESTIS (growing faint)
My dimmed eyes are heavily oppressed.
O woman, I am lost if you leave me!
You may say of me that I am nothing.
Lift up your head! Do not abandon your children!
Ah! Indeed it is unwillingly-but, farewell, my children!
Look at them, look....
I am nothing.
What are you doing? Are you leaving me?
ALCESTIS (falling back dead)
ADMETUS (staring at the body)
Wretch that I am, I am lost!
She is gone! The wife of Admetus is no more.