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The seven against thebes   


With iron, not gold, in your hands, ye shall come, at the last, to
divide!
Behold, how a shudder runs through me, lest now, in the fulness of
time,
The house-fiend awake and return, to mete out the measure of crime!
THE SPY enters.

THE SPY
Take heart, ye daughters whom your mothers' milk
Made milky-hearted! lo, our city stands,
Saved from the yoke of servitude: the vaunts
Of overweening men are silent now,
And the State sails beneath a sky serene,
Nor in the manifold and battering waves
Hath shipped a single surge, and solid stands
The rampart, and the gates are made secure,
Each with a single champion's trusty guard.
So in the main and at six gates we hold
A victory assured; but, at the seventh,
The god that on the seventh day was born,
Royal Apollo, hath ta'en up his rest
To wreak upon the sons of Oedipus
Their grandsire's wilfulness of long ago.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What further woefulness besets our home?

THE SPY
The home stands safe-but ah, the princes twain-

LEADER
Who? what of them? I am distraught with fear.

THE SPY
Hear now, and mark! the sons of Oedipus-

LEADER
Ah, my prophetic soul! I feel their doom.

THE SPY
Have done with questions!-with I-with their lives crushed out-

LEADER
Lie they out yonder? the full horror speak!
Did hands meet hands more close than brotherly?
Came fate on each. and in the selfsame hour?
THE SPY
Yea, blotting out the lineage ill-starred!
Now mix your exultation and your tears,
Over a city saved, the while its lords,
Twin leaders of the fight, have parcelled out
With forged arbitrament of Scythian steel
The full division of their fatherland,
And, as their father's imprecation bade,
Shall have their due of land, a twofold grave.
So is the city saved; the earth has drunk
Blood of twin princes, by each other slain.
CHORUS chanting
O mighty Zeus and guardian powers,
The strength and stay of Cadmus' towers!
Shall I send forth a joyous cry,
Hail to the lord of weal renewed?
Or weep the misbegotten twain,
Born to a fatal destiny
Each numbered now among the slain,

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