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The Choephori   


That this adornment cometh of the hand
Of mine Orestes, brother of my soul,
I may not venture, yet hope flatters fair!
Ah well-a-day, that this dumb hair had voice
To glad mine ears, as might a messenger,
Bidding me sway no more 'twixt fear and hope,
Clearly commanding, Cast me hence away,
Clipped was I from some head thou lovest not;
Or, I am kin to thee, and here, as thou,
I come to weep and deck our father's grave.
Aid me, ye gods! for well indeed ye know
How in the gale and counter-gale of doubt,
Like to the seaman's bark, we whirl and stray.
But, if God will our life, how strong shall spring,
From seed how small, the new tree of our home!-
Lo ye, a second sign-these footsteps, looks-
Like to my own, a corresponsive print;
And look, another footmark,-this his own,
And that the foot of one who walked with him.
Mark, how the heel and tendons' print combine,
Measured exact, with mine coincident!
Alas, for doubt and anguish rack my mind.

ORESTES and PYLADES enter suddenly.

ORESTES
Pray thou, in gratitude for prayers fulfilled,
Fair fall the rest of what I ask of heaven.
ELECTRA
Wherefore? what win I from the gods by prayer?

ORESTES
This, that thine eyes behold thy heart's desire.

ELECTRA
On whom of mortals know'st thou that I call?

ORESTES
I know thy yearning for Orestes deep.
ELECTRA
Say then, wherein event hath crowned my prayer?

ORESTES
I, I am he; seek not one more akin.
ELECTRA
Some fraud, O stranger, weavest thou for me?

ORESTES
Against myself I weave it, if I weave.
ELECTRA
Ah, thou hast mind to mock me in my woel

ORESTES
'Tis at mine own I mock then, mocking thine.

ELECTRA
Speak I with thee then as Orestes' self?

ORESTES
My very face thou see'st and know'st me not,
And yet but now, when thou didst see the lock
Shorn for my father's grave, and when thy quest
Was eager on the footprints I had made,
Even I, thy brother, shaped and sized as thou,
Fluttered thy spirit, as at sight of me!

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