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Agamemnon   


As land beheld, past hope, by crews forlorn,
As sunshine fair when tempest's wrath is past,
As gushing spring to thirsty wayfarer.
So sweet it is to 'scape the press of pain.
With such salute I bid my husband hail
Nor heaven be wroth therewith! for long and hard
I bore that ire of old.
Sweet lord, step forth,
Step from thy car, I pray-nay, not on earth
Plant the proud foot, O king, that trod down Troy!
Women! why tarry ye, whose task it is
To spread your monarch's path with tapestry?
Swift, swift, with purple strew his passage fair,
That justice lead him to a home, at last,
He scarcely looked to see.
The attendant women spread the tapestry. For what remains,
Zeal unsubdued by sleep shall nerve my hand
To work as right and as the gods command.
AGAMEMNON still in the chariot
Daughter of Leda, watcher o'er my home,
Thy greeting well befits mine absence long,
For late and hardly has it reached its end.
Know, that the praise which honour bids us crave,
Must come from others' lips, not from our own:
See too that not in fashion feminine
Thou make a warrior's pathway delicate;
Not unto me, as to some Eastern lord,
Bowing thyself to earth, make homage loud.
Strew not this purple that shall make each step
An arrogance; such pomp beseems the gods,
Not me. A mortal man to set his foot
On these rich dyes? I hold such pride in fear,
And bid thee honour me as man, not god.
Fear not-such footcloths and all gauds apart,
Loud from the trump of Fame my name is blown;
Best gift of heaven it is, in glory's hour,
To think thereon with soberness: and thou-
Bethink thee of the adage, Call none blest
Till peaceful death have crowned a life of weal.
'Tis said: I fain would fare unvexed by fear.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Nay, but unsay it-thwart not thou my will!

AGAMEMNON
Know, I have said, and will not mar my word.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Was it fear made this meekness to the gods?

AGAMEMNON
If cause be cause, 'tis mine for this resolve.

CLYTEMNESTRA
What, think'st thou, in thy place had Priam done?

AGAMEMNON
He surely would have walked on broidered robes.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Then fear not thou the voice of human blame.

AGAMEMNON
Yet mighty is the murmur of a crowd.
CLYTEMNESTRA

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