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THE CHOEPHORI by Aeschylus, Part 14

ORESTES
Can I my mother spare? speak, PYLADES.
PYLADES
Where then would fall the hest Apollo gave
At Delphi, where the solemn compact sworn?
Choose thou the hate of all men, not of gods.
ORESTES
Thou dost prevail; I hold thy counsel good.
(To CLYTEMNESTRA)
Follow; I will to slay thee at his side.
With him whom in his life thou loved'st more
Than AGAMEMNON, sleep in death, the meed
For hate where love, and love where hate was due!
CLYTEMNESTRA
I NURSEd thee young; must I forego mine eld?
ORESTES
Thou slew'st my father; shalt thou dwell with me?
CLYTEMNESTRA
Fate bore a share in these things, O my child
ORESTES
Fate also doth provide this doom for thee.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Beware, O child, a parent's dying curse.
ORESTES
A parent who did cast me out to ill!
CLYTEMNESTRA
Not cast thee out, but to a friendly home.
ORESTES
Born free, I was by twofold bargain sold.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Where then the price that I received for thee?
ORESTES
The price of shame; I taunt thee not more plainly.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Nay, but recount thy father's lewdness too.
ORESTES
Home-keeping, chide not him who toils without.
CLYTEMNESTRA
'Tis hard for wives to live as widows, child.
ORESTES
The absent husband toils for them at home.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Thou growest fain to slay thy mother, child.
ORESTES
Nay, 'tis thyself wilt slay thyself, not I.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Beware thy mother's vengeful hounds from hell.
ORESTES
How shall I 'scape my father's, sparing thee?
CLYTEMNESTRA
Living, I cry as to a tomb, unheard.
ORESTES
My father's fate ordains this doom for thee.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Ah me! this snake it was I bore and NURSEd.
ORESTES
Ay, right prophetic was thy visioned fear.
Shameful thy deed was-die the death of shame!
(He drives her into the house before him.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Lo, even for these I mourn, a double death:
Yet since ORESTES , driven on by doom,
Thus crowns the height of murders manifold,
I say, 'tis well-that not in night and death
Should sink the eye and light of this our home.

CHORUS (singing)
strophe 1

There came on Priam's race and name
A vengeance; though it tarried long,
With heavy doom it came.
Came, too, on AGAMEMNON's hall
A lion-pair, twin swordsmen strong.
And last, the heritage doth fall
To him, to whom from Pythian cave
The god his deepest counsel gave.

refrain 1
Cry out, rejoice! our kingly hall
Hath 'scaped from ruin-ne'er again
Its ancient wealth be wasted all
By two usurpers, sin-defiled-
An evil path of woe and bane!

antistrophe 1

On him who dealt the dastard blow
Comes Craft, Revenge's scheming child.
And hand in hand with him doth go,
Eager for fight,
The child of Zeus, whom men below
Call justice, naming her aright.
And on her foes her breath
Is as the blast of death;

 

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