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Agamemnon   


Shrink not from envy, appanage of bliss.

AGAMEMNON
War is not woman's part, nor war of words.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Yet happy victors well may yield therein.

AGAMEMNON
Dost crave for triumph in this petty strife?

CLYTEMNESTRA
Yield; of thy grace permit me to prevail!

AGAMEMNON
Then, if thou wilt, let some one stoop to loose
Swiftly these sandals, slaves beneath my foot;
And stepping thus upon the sea's rich dye,
I pray, Let none among the gods look down
With jealous eye on me-reluctant all,
To trample thus and mar a thing of price,
Wasting the wealth of garments silver-worth.
Enough hereof: and, for the stranger maid,
Lead her within, but gently: God on high
Looks graciously on him whom triumph's hour
Has made not pitiless. None willingly
Wear the slave's yoke-and she, the prize and flower
Of all we won, comes hither in my train,
Gift of the army to its chief and lord.
-Now, since in this my will bows down to thine,
I will pass in on purples to my home.
He descends from the chariot, and moves towards the palace.
CLYTEMNESTRA
A Sea there is-and who shall stay its springs?
And deep within its breast, a mighty store,
Precious as silver, of the purple dye,
Whereby the dipped robe doth its tint renew.
Enough of such, O king, within thy halls
There lies, a store that cannot fail; but I-
I would have gladly vowed unto the gods
Cost of a thousand garments trodden thus,
(Had once the oracle such gift required)
Contriving ransom for thy life preserved.
For while the stock is firm the foliage climbs,
Spreading a shade, what time the dog-star glows;
And thou, returning to thine hearth and home,
Art as a genial warmth in winter hours,
Or as a coolness, when the lord of heaven
Mellows the juice within the bitter grape.
Such boons and more doth bring into a home
The present footstep of its proper lord.
Zeus, Zeus, Fulfilment's lord! my vows fulfil,
And whatsoe'er it be, work forth thy will!
She follows AGAMEMNON into the palace.

CHORUS singing
strophe 1

Wherefore for ever on the wings of fear
Hovers a vision drear
Before my boding heart? a strain,
Unbidden and unwelcome, thrills mine ear,
Oracular of pain.
Not as of old upon my bosom's throne

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