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Eumenides   


Heads lopped from necks, eyes from their spheres plucked out,
Hacked flesh, the flower of youthful seed crushed out,
Feet hewn away, and hands, and death beneath
The smiting stone, low moans and piteous
Of men impaled-Hark, hear ye for what feast
Ye hanker ever, and the loathing gods
Do spit upon your craving? Lo, your shape
Is all too fitted to your greed; the cave
Where lurks some lion, lapping gore, were home
More meet for you. Avaunt from sacred shrines,
Nor bring pollution by your touch on all
That nears yuu. Hence! and roam unshepherded-
No god there is to tend such herd as you.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
O king Apollo, in our turn hear us.
Thou hast not only part in these ill things,
But art chief cause and doer of the same.
APOLLO
How? stretch thy speech to tell this, and have done.

LEADER
Thine oracle bade this man slay his mother.

APOLLO
I bade him quit his sire's death,-wherefore not?

LEADER
Then didst thou aid and guard red-handed crime.

APOLLO
Yea, and I bade him to this temple flee.

LEADER
And yet forsooth dost chide us following him!,

APOLLO
Ay-not for you it is, to near this fane.

LEADER
Yet is such office ours, imposed by fate.

APOLLO
What office? vaunt the thing ye deem so fair.

LEADER
From home to home we chase the matricide.

APOLLO
What? to avenge a wife who slays her lord?

LEADER
That is not blood outpoured by kindred hands.

APOLLO
How darkly ye dishonour and annul
The troth to which the high accomplishers,
Hera and Zeus, do honour. Yea, and thus
Is Aphrodite to dishonour cast,
The queen of rapture unto mortal men.
Know, that above the marriage-bed ordained
For man and woman staddeth Right as guard,
Enhancing sanctity of trothplight sworn;
Therefore, if thou art placable to those
Who have their consort slain, nor will'st to turn

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