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The Choephori   


From head to breast; distraught with blows
Throb dizzily my brows.
ELECTRA
Aweless in hate, O mother, sternly brave!
As in a foeman's grave
Thou laid'st in earth a king, but to the bier
No citizen drew nears-
Thy husband, thine, yet for his obsequies,
Thou bad'st no wail arise!
ORESTES
Alas, the shameful burial thou dost speak!
Yet I the vengeance of his shame will wreak-
That do the gods command!
That shall achieve mine hand!
Grant me to thrust her life away, and
Will dare to die!
CHORUS
List thou the deed! Hewn down and foully torn,
He to the tomb was borne;
Yea, by her hand, the deed who wrought,
With like dishonour to the grave was brought,
And by her hand she strove, with strong desire,
Thy life to crush, O child, by murder of thy sire:
Bethink thee, hearing, of the shame, the pain
Wherewith that sire was slain!
ELECTRA
Yea, such was the doom of my sire; well-a-day,
I was thrust from his side,-
As a dog from the chamber they thrust me away,
And in place of my laughter rose sobbing and tears,
As in darkness I lay.
O father, if this word can pass to thine ears,
To thy soul let it reach and abide!
CHORUS
Let it pass, let it pierce, through the sense of thine ear,
To thy soul, where in silence it waiteth the hour!
The past is accomplished; but rouse thee to hear
What the future prepareth; awake and appear,
Our champion, in wrath and in power!
ORESTES
O father, to thy loved ones come in aid.

ELECTRA
With tears I call on thee.
CHORUS
Listen and rise to light!
Be thou with us, be thou against the foe!
Swiftly this cry arises-even so
Pray we, the loyal band, as we have prayed!
ORESTES
Let their might meet with mine, and their right with my right.
ELECTRA
O ye Gods, it is yours to decree.
CHORUS
Ye call unto the dead; I quake to hear.
Fate is ordained of old, and shall fulfil your prayer.

ELECTRA
Alas, the inborn curse that haunts our home,
Of Ate's bloodstained scourge the tuneless sound!
Alas, the deep insufferable doom,
The stanchless wound!
ORESTES
It shall be stanched, the task is ours,-

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