Is suppliant of mine by sacred right,
Guest of my holy hearth and cleansed by me
Of blood-guilt: then, to set me at his side
And in his cause bear part, as part I bore
Erst in his deed, whereby his mother fell.
Let whoso knoweth now announce the cause.
ATHENA to the CHORUS
'Tis I announce the cause-first speech be yours;
For rightfully shall they whose plaint is tried
Tell the tale first and set the matter clear.
Though we be many, brief shall be our tale.
setting word to match with word;
And first avow-hast thou thy mother slain?
I slew her. I deny no word hereof.
Three falls decide the wrestle-this is one.
Thou vauntest thee-but o'er no final fall.
Yet must thou tell the manner of thy deed.
Drawn sword in hand, I gashed her neck. 'Tis told.
But by whose word, whose craft, wert thou impelled?
By oracles of him who here attests me.
The prophet-god bade thee thy mother slay?
Yea, and thro' him less ill I fared, till now.
If the vote grip thee, thou shalt change that word.
Strong is my hope; my buried sire shall aid.
Go to now, trust the dead, a matricide!
Yea, for in her combined two stains of sin.
How? speak this clearly to the judges' mind.
Slaying her husband, she did slay my sire.
Therefore thou livest; death assoils her deed.