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
What need of displeasure herein?
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!
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!
Then, if thou hearest, hear them not too well
Hark, the earth rumbles, as they close us round!
Enough if I am here, with plans prepared.
Alack, the battering at the gates is loud!
Peace! stay your tongue, or else the town may hear!
O warders of the walls, betray them not!
Beshrew your cries! in silence face your fate.
Gods of our city, see me not enslaved!
On me, on all, thy cries bring slavery.
Zeus, strong to smite, turn upon foes thy blow!
Zeus, what a curse are women, wrought by thee!
Weak wretches, even as men, when cities fall.
What! clasping gods, yet voicing thy despair?
In the sick heart, fear maketh prey of speech.
Light is the thing I ask thee-do my will!
Ask swiftly: swiftly shall I know my power.
Silence, weak wretch! nor put thy friends in fear.