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The seven against thebes   


the spear!
Is thy hand set against us, O Ares, in ruin and wrath to o'erwhelm
Thine own immemorial land, O god of the golden helm?
Look down upon us, we beseech thee, on the land that thou lovest of
old.

strophe 1

And ye, O protecting gods, in pity your people behold!
Yea, save us, the maidenly troop, from the doom and despair of the
slave,
For the crests of the foemen come onward, their rush is the rush of
a wave
Rolled on by the War-god's breath! almighty one, hear us and save
From the grasp of the Argives' might! to the ramparts of Cadmus
they crowd,
And, clenched in the teeth of the steeds, the bits clink horror
aloud
And seven high chieftains of war, with spear and with panoply bold,
Are set, by the law of the lot, to storm the seven gates of our
hold!

antistrophe 1

Be near and befriend us, O Pallas, the Zeus-born maiden of might!
O lord of the steed and the sea, be thy trident uplifted to smite
In eager desire of the fray, Poseidon! and Ares come down,
In fatherly presence revealed, to rescue Harmonia's town!
Thine too, Aphrodite, we are! thou art mother and queen of our
race,
To thee we cry out in our need, from thee let thy children have
grace!
Ye too, to scare back the foe, be your cry as a wolf's howl wild,
Thou, O the wolf-lord, and thou, of she-wolf Leto the child!

strophe 2

Woe and alack for the sound, for the rattle of cars to the wall,
And the creak of the griding axles! O Hera, to thee is our call!
Artemis, maiden beloved! the air is distraught with the spears,
And whither doth destiny drive us, and where is the goal of our
fears?

antistrophe 2

The blast of the terrible stones on the ridge of our wall is not
stayed,
At the gates is the brazen clash of the bucklers-Apollo to aid!
Thou too, O daughter of Zeus, who guidest the wavering fray
To the holy decision of fate, Athena! be with us to-day!
Come down to the sevenfold gates and harry the foemen away!

strophe 3

O gods and O sisters of gods, our bulwark and guard! we beseech
That ye give not our war-worn hold to a rabble of alien speech!
List to the call of the maidens, the hands held up for the right,

antistrophe 4
Be near us, protect us, and show that the city is dear in your
sight!
Have heed for her sacrifice holy, and thought of her offerings
take,
Forget not her love and her worship, be near her and smite for her
sake!

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