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The Choephori   



CLYTEMNESTRA
'Tis hard for wives to live as widows, child.

ORESTES
The absent husband toils for them at home.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Thou growest fain to slay thy mother, child.

ORESTES
Nay, 'tis thyself wilt slay thyself, not I.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Beware thy mother's vengeful hounds from hell.

ORESTES
How shall I 'scape my father's, sparing thee?

CLYTEMNESTRA
Living, I cry as to a tomb, unheard.
ORESTES
My father's fate ordains this doom for thee.

CLYTEMNESTRA
Ah me! this snake it was I bore and nursed.

ORESTES
Ay, right prophetic was thy visioned fear.
Shameful thy deed was-die the death of shame!
He drives her into the house before him.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Lo, even for these I mourn, a double death:
Yet since Orestes, driven on by doom,
Thus crowns the height of murders manifold,
I say, 'tis well-that not in night and death
Should sink the eye and light of this our home.

CHORUS singing
strophe 1

There came on Priam's race and name
A vengeance; though it tarried long,
With heavy doom it came.
Came, too, on Agamemnon's hall
A lion-pair, twin swordsmen strong.
And last, the heritage doth fall
To him, to whom from Pythian cave
The god his deepest counsel gave.

refrain 1

Cry out, rejoice! our kingly hall
Hath 'scaped from ruin-ne'er again
Its ancient wealth be wasted all
By two usurpers, sin-defiled-
An evil path of woe and bane!

antistrophe 1

On him who dealt the dastard blow
Comes Craft, Revenge's scheming child.
And hand in hand with him doth go,

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