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AGAMEMNON by Aeschylus, Part 16

LEADER
No native is she, thus to read thy words
Unaided: like some wild thing of the wood,
New-trapped, behold! she shrinks and glares on thee.
CLYTEMNESTRA
'Tis madness and the rule of mind distraught,
Since she beheld her city sink in fire,
And hither comes, nor brooks the bit, until
In foam and blood her wrath be champed away.
See ye to her; unqueenly 'tis for me,
Unheeded thus to cast away my words.
(CLYTEMNESTRA enters the palace.)
LEADER
But with me pity sits in anger's place.
Poor maiden, come thou from the car; no way
There is but this-take up thy servitude.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Woe, woe, alas! Earth, Mother Earth! and thou
Apollo, Apollo!
LEADER
Peace! shriek not to the bright prophetic god,
Who will not brook the suppliance of woe.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Woe, woe, alas! Earth, Mother Earth! and thou
Apollo, Apollo!
LEADER
Hark, with wild curse she calls anew on him,
Who stands far off and loathes the voice of wail.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Apollo, Apollo!
God of all ways, but only Death's to me,
Once and again, O thou, Destroyer named,
Thou hast destroyed me, thou, my love of old!
LEADER
She grows presageful of her woes to come,
Slave tho' she be, instinct with prophecy.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Apollo, Apollo!
God of all ways, but only Death's to me,
O thou Apollo, thou Destroyer named!
What way hast led me, to what evil home?
LEADER
Know'st thou it not? The home of Atreus' race:
Take these my words for sooth and ask no more.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Home cursed of God! Bear witness unto me,
Ye visioned woes within-
The blood-stained hands of them that smite their kin-
The strangling noose, and, spattered o'er
With human blood, the reeking floor!
LEADER
How like a sleuth-hound questing on the track,
Keen-scented unto blood and death she hies!
CASSANDRA (chanting)
Ah! can the ghostly guidance fail,
Whereby my prophet-soul is onwards led?
Look! for their flesh the spectre-children wail,
Their sodden limbs on which their father fed!
LEADER
Long since we knew of thy prophetic fame,-
But for those deeds we seek no prophet's tongue-
CASSANDRA (chanting)
God! 'tis another crime-
Worse than the storied woe of olden time,
Cureless, abhorred, that one is plotting here-
A shaming death, for those that should be dear
Alas! and far away, in foreign land,
He that should help doth stand!
LEADER
I knew th' old tales, the city rings withal-
But now thy speech is dark, beyond my ken.
CASSANDRA (chanting)
O wretch, O purpose fell!

END

 

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Aeschylus Index

 

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