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Ion   


And weave the dance with nimble feet;
Descendants from Aglauros they
In the third line, with festive play,
Minerva's hallow'd fane before
The verdant plain light-tripping o'er,
When thy pipe's quick-varying sound
Rings, O Pan, these caves around;
Where, by Apollo's love betray'd,
Her child some hapless mother laid,
Exposed to each night-prowling beast,
Or to the ravenous birds a feast;
For never have I heard it told,
Nor wrought it in historic gold,
That happiness attends the race,
When gods with mortals mix the embrace.
ION re-enters. ION
Ye female train, that place yourselves around
This incense-breathing temple's base, your lord
Awaiting, hath he left the sacred tripod
And oracle, or stays he in the shrine,
Making inquiries of his childless state?
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Yet in the temple, stranger, he remains. ION
But he comes forth; the sounding doors announce
His near approach; behold, our lord is here.
XUTHUS enters from the temple. He rushes to greet ION.

XUTHUS
Health to my son! This first address is proper. ION
I have my health: be in thy senses thou,
And both are well.
XUTHUS
O let me kiss thy hand,
And throw mine arms around thee.
ION
Art thou, stranger,
Well in thy wits? or hath the god's displeasure
Bereft thee of thy reason?
XUTHUS
Reason bids,
That which is dearest being found, to wish
A fond embrace.
ION
Off, touch me not; thy hands
Will mar the garlands of the god.
XUTHUS
My touch
Asserts no pledge: my own, and that most dear,
I find.
ION
Wilt thou not keep thee distant, ere
Thou hast my arrow in thy heart?
XUTHUS
Why fly me,
When thou shouldst own what is most fond of thee? ION
I am not fond of curing wayward strangers,
And madmen.
XUTHUS
Kill me, raise my funeral pyre;
But, if thou kill me, thou wilt kill thy father. ION
My father thou! how so? it makes me laugh
To hear thee.
XUTHUS
This my words may soon explain.

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