Theseus and Hippolyta

  Hippolyta . Eternal hatred I have sworn against
The persecutor of my sisterhood;
In vain, proud son of Ægeus, hast thou snapt
Their arrows and derided them; in vain
Leadest thou me a captive; I can die,
And die I will.
  Theseus . Nay; many are the years
Of youth and beauty for Hippolyta.
  Hippolyta . I scorn my youth, I hate my beauty. Go!
Monster! of all the monsters in these wilds
Most frightful and most odious to my sight.
  Theseus . I boast not that I saved thee from the bow
Of Scythian.
  Hippolyta . And for what? to die disgraced.
Strong as thou art, yet thou art not so strong
As Death is, when we call him for support.
  Theseus . Him too will I ward off; he strikes me first,
Hippolyta long after, when these eyes
Are closed, and when the knee that supplicates
Can bend no more.
  Hippolyta . Is the man mad?
  Theseus . He is.
  Hippolyta . So, thou canst tell one truth, however false
In other things.
  Theseus . What other? Thou dost pause,
And thine eyes wander over the smooth turf
As if some gem (but gem thou wearest not)
Had fallen from the remnant of thy hair.
Hippolyta! speak plainly, answer me,
What have I done to raise thy fear or hate?
  Hippolyta . Fear I despise, perfidy I abhor.
Unworthy man! did Heracles delude
The maids who trusted him?
  Theseus . Did ever I?
Whether he did or not, they never told me:
I would have chided him.
  Hippolyta . Thou chide him! thou!
The Spartan mothers well remember thee.
  Theseus . Scorn adds no beauty to the beautiful.
Heracles was beloved by Omphalè,
He never parted from her, but obey'd
Her slightest wish, as Theseus will Hippolyta's.
  Hippolyta . Then leave me, leave me instantly; I know
The way to my own country.
  Theseus . This command,
And only this, my heart must disobey.
My country shall be thine, and there thy state
  Hippolyta . Am I a child? give me my own,
And keep for weaker heads thy diadems.
Thermodon I shall never see again,
Brightest of rivers, into whose clear depth
My mother plunged me from her warmer breast,
And taught me early to divide the waves
With arms each day more strong, and soon to chase
And overtake the father swan, nor heed
His hoarser voice or his uplifted wing.
 Where are my sisters? Are there any left?
  Theseus . I hope it.
  Hippolyta . And I fear it: theirs may be
A fate like mine; which, O ye Gods, forbid!
  Theseus . I pity thee, and would assuage thy grief.
  Hippolyta . Pity me not; thy anger I could bear.
  Theseus . There is no place for anger where thou art.
Commiseration even men may feel
For those who want it: even the fiercer beasts
Lick the sore-wounded of a kindred race,
Hearing their cry, albeit they may not help.
  Hippolyta . This is no falsehood: and can he be false
Who speaks it?
I remember not the time
When I have wept, it was so long ago.
Thou forcest tears from me, because . . because . .
I can not hate thee as I ought to do.
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