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Alcestis   


Can I touch, speak to her, as my living wife?
HERACLES
Speak to her-you have all you desired.
ADMETUS (taking ALCESTIS in his arms)
O face and body of the dearest of women! I have you once more,
when I thought I should never see you again!
HERACLES
You have her-may the envy of the Gods be averted from you!
ADMETUS
O noble son of greatest Zeus, fortune be yours, and may your
Father guard you! But how did you bring her back from the Underworld
to the light of day?
HERACLES
By fighting with the spirit who was her master.
ADMETUS
Then did you contend with Death?
HERACLES
I hid by the tomb and leaped upon him.
ADMETUS
But why is she speechless?
HERACLES
You may not hear her voice until she is purified from her
consecration to the Lower Gods, and until the third dawn has risen.
Lead her in.
And you, Admetus, show as ever a good man's welcome to your
guests.
Farewell! I go to fulfil the task set me by the King, the son of
Sthenelus.
ADMETUS
Stay with us, and share our hearth.
HERACLES
That may be hereafter, but now I must be gone in haste.
(HERACLES departs.)
ADMETUS (gazing after him)
Good fortune to you, and come back here! (To the CHORUS) In all
the city and in the four quarters of Thessaly let there be choruses to
rejoice at this good fortune, and let the altars smoke with the
flesh of oxen in sacrifice! To-day we have changed the past for a
better life. I am happy.
(He leads ALCESTIS into the Palace.)
CHORUS (singing)
Spirits have many shapes,
Many strange things are performed by the Gods.
The expected does not always happen,
And God makes a way for the unexpected.
So ends this action.


-THE END-

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