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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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ANTIQUE STATUES. l8l
When the sun sinks in golden clouds over a landscape
with billowing fields, grazing herds, friendly cabins and
happy men ;
when a veil of sweet enchantment covers
all the unrest and pain that go with life, and makes us
aware of existence as an unmingled joy—it is a smile
upon the lips of Aphrodite, mirrored again by nature and
our own feelings. When the veil has fallen, and the
world shows itself as it is, with its strife and anguish, she
reveals herself in the shape of a loving mother, wife, sis-
ter, or consoling friend. She is present on the battle-
field itself, in the strength of union and self-sacrifice, and
can be felt even in the Tyrtsean war-song that sounds,
accompanied by the Doric flute, before the spear-shafts
of the tribes cross each other :
Peerless is death, if bravely thou fall, Tviih the line that leadeth.
Fall in thefightfor thy land, diefor thy city and home.
Therefore, with hearts offire, up, ward the gift of our fathers I
Hasten to offer with joy life for the races unborn !
On, yeyouth, ever on, in ranks unflinching and steadfast
,
Never a feeling offear, never but thinking offlight /
Shame befalls the host, and disgrace, that in front of the legions
Sees, in advafice of theyoung, veterans bleeding in death,
Yeojnen, with locks besilvered by age and cheeks that are ashen,
Prone in the dust exhale, dauntless, the warrior’s heart.
This, beseetneth the boy, and nobly, as yet he beareth
Gracefully bindittg his locks, wreaths of the beauty of Spring,
Comely to women, stately to men should he seem, as he liveth.
Beautiful even in death, slain in the thick of thefray.
It was this Aphrodite, of harmony, health, strength
and devotion, that I saw in the Melian statue. She
recalled to me both the high divinity and the gentle
sister. Herself infinitely hale and full of life, she told me
that we do not lead the life of health, but in the glad

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