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The seven against thebes   


By grace of the gods we hold it, a city untamed of the spear,
And the battlement wards from the wall the foe and his aspect of
fear!
What need of displeasure herein?
ETEOCLES
Ay, pay thy vows to Heaven; I grudge them not,
But-so thou strike no fear into our men-
Have calm at heart, nor be too much afraid.
Alack, it is fresh in mine ears, the clamour and crash of the fray,
And up to our holiest height I sped on my timorous way,
Bewildered, beset by the din!
ETEOCLES
Now, if ye hear the bruit of death or wounds,
Give not yourselves o'ermuch to shriek and scream,
For Ares ravins upon human flesh.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Ah, but the snorting of the steeds I hear!

ETEOCLES
Then, if thou hearest, hear them not too well

LEADER
Hark, the earth rumbles, as they close us round!

ETEOCLES
Enough if I am here, with plans prepared.

LEADER
Alack, the battering at the gates is loud!

ETEOCLES
Peace! stay your tongue, or else the town may hear!

LEADER
O warders of the walls, betray them not!

ETEOCLES
Beshrew your cries! in silence face your fate.

LEADER
Gods of our city, see me not enslaved!
ETEOCLES
On me, on all, thy cries bring slavery.

LEADER
Zeus, strong to smite, turn upon foes thy blow!

ETEOCLES
Zeus, what a curse are women, wrought by thee!

LEADER
Weak wretches, even as men, when cities fall.
What! clasping gods, yet voicing thy despair?
LEADER
In the sick heart, fear maketh prey of speech.

ETEOCLES
Light is the thing I ask thee-do my will!

LEADER
Ask swiftly: swiftly shall I know my power.

ETEOCLES
Silence, weak wretch! nor put thy friends in fear.

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