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THE CHOEPHORI by Aeschylus, Part 12

LEADER
Bids she bring henchmen, or to come alone?
NURSE
She bids him bring a spear-armed body-guard.
Nay, tell not that unto our loathed lord,
But speed to him, put on the mien of joy,
Say, Come alone, fear nought, the news is good:
A bearer can tell straight a twisted tale.
NURSE
Does then thy mind in this new tale find joy?
LEADER
What if Zeus bid our ill wind veer to fair?
NURSE
And how? the home's hope with ORESTES dies.
LEADER
Not yet-a seer, though feeble, this might see.
NURSE
What say'st thou? Know'st thou aught, this tale belying?
LEADER
Go, tell the news to him, perform thine hest,-
What the gods will, themselves can well provide.
NURSE
Well, I will go, herein obeying thee;
And luck fall fair, with favour sent from heaven.
(She goes out.)

CHORUS (singing)
strophe 1

Zeus, sire of them who on Olympus dwell,
Hear thou, O hear my prayer!
Grant to my rightful lords to prosper well
Even as their zeal is fair!
For right, for right goes up aloud my cry-
Zeus, aid him, stand anigh!

refrain 1

Into his father's hall he goes
To smite his father's foes.
Bid him prevail by thee on throne of triumph set,
Twice, yea and thrice with joy shall he acquit the debt.

antistrophe 1

Bethink thee, the young steed, the orphan foal
Of sire beloved by thee, unto the car
Of doom is harnessed fast.
Guide him aright, plant firm a lasting goal,
Speed thou his pace,-O that no chance may mar
The homeward course, the last!

strophe 2

And ye who dwell within the inner chamber
Where shines the stored joy of gold-
Gods of one heart, O hear ye, and remember;
Up and avenge the blood shed forth of old,
With sudden rightful blow;
Then let the old curse die, nor be renewed
With progeny of blood,-
Once more, and not again, be latter guilt laid low!

refrain 2

O thou who dwell'st in Delphi's mighty cave,
Grant us to see this home once more restored
Unto its rightful lord!
Let it look forth, from veils of death, with joyous eye
Unto the dawning light of liberty;

antistrophe 2

And Hermes, Maia's child, lend hand to save,
Willing the right, and guide
Our state with Fortune's breeze adown the favouring tide.
Whate'er in darkness hidden lies,
He utters at his will;
He at his will throws darkness on our eyes,
By night and eke by day inscrutable.

strophe 3

Then, then shall wealth atone
The ills that here were done.
Then, then will we unbind,
Fling free on wafting wind
Of joy, the woman's voice that waileth now
In piercing accents for a chief laid low;

refrain 3

And this our song shall be-
Hail to the commonwealth restored!
Hail to the freedom won to me!
All hail! for doom hath passed from him, my well-loved lord!

 

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