Maria Callas as Medea

Non ego te imploro contra taurosque virosque,
utque tua serpens victa quiescat ope;
te peto, quem merui, quem nobis ipse dedisti,
cum quo sum pariter facta parente parens.
dos ubi sit, quaeris? campo numeravimus illo,
qui tibi laturo vellus arandus erat.
aureus ille aries villo spectabilis alto,
dos mea, quam, dicam si tibi “redde,” neges.
dos mea tu sospes, dos est mea Graia iuventus.
i nunc, Sisyphias, inprobe, confer opes!
quod vivis, quod habes nuptam socerumque potentes,
hoc ipsum, ingratus quod potes esse, meum est.
quos equidem actutum—sed quid praedicere poenam
attinet? ingentes parturit ira minas.
quo feret ira sequar. facti fortasse pigebit;
et piget infido consuluisse viro.
viderit ista deus, qui nunc mea pectora versat.
nescio quid certe mens mea maius agit.
(Ovid, Her. 12.195-212)

I do not implore you to go forth against bulls and men, nor ask your aid to quiet and overcome a dragon; it is you I ask for,—you, whom I have earned, whom you yourself gave to me, by whom I became a mother, as you by me a father. Where is my dowry, you ask? On the field I counted it out—that field which you had to plough before you could bear away the fleece. The famous golden ram, sightly for deep flock, is my dowry—the which, should I say to you “Restore it!” you would refuse to render up. My dowry is yourself—saved; my dowry is the band of Grecian youth! Go now, wretch, compare with that your wealth of Sisyphus! That you are alive, that you take to wife one who, with the father she brings you, is of kingly station, that you have the very power of being ingrate—you owe to me. Whom, hark you, I will straight—but what boots it to foretell your penalty? My ire is in travail with mighty threats. Whither my ire leads, will I follow. Mayhap I shall repent me of what I do—but I repent me, too, of regard for a faithless husband’s good. Be that the concern of the god who now embroils my heart! Something portentous, surely, is working in my soul! (tr. Grant Showerman, revised by G.P. Goold)

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