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Agamemnon   


To share the sprinklings of the lustral bowl,
Beside the altar of his guardianship,
Slave among many slaves. What, haughty still?
Step from the car; Alcmena's son, 'tis said,
Was sold perforce and bore the yoke of old.
Ay, hard it is, but, if such fate befall,
'Tis a fair chance to serve within a home
Of ancient wealth and power. An upstart lord,
To whom wealth's harvest came beyond his hope,
Is as a lion to his slaves, in all
Exceeding fierce, immoderate in sway.
Pass in: thou hearest what our ways will be.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Clear unto thee, O maid, is her command,
But thou-within the toils of Fate thou art-
If such thy will, I urge thee to obey;
Yet I misdoubt thou dost nor hear nor heed.
CLYTEMNESTRA
I wot-unless like swallows she doth use
Some strange barbarian tongue from oversea-
My words must speak persuasion to her soul.
LEADER
Obey: there is no gentler way than this.
Step from the car's high seat and follow her.
CLYTEMNESTRA
Truce to this bootless waiting here without!
I will not stay: beside the central shrine
The victims stand, prepared for knife and fire-
Offerings from hearts beyond all hope made glad.
Thou-if thou reckest aught of my command,
'Twere well done soon: but if thy sense be shut
From these my words, let thy barbarian hand
Fulfil by gesture the default of speech.
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.

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