Iphigenia At Aulis
AGAMEMNON He who takes her to himself will see to that.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Happiness attend the pair! Which day will he marry
AGAMEMNON As soon as the full moon comes to give its blessing.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Hast thou already offered the goddess a sacrifice to
usher in the maiden's marriage?
AGAMEMNON I am about to do so; that is the very thing I was engaged
CLYTAEMNESTRA Wilt thou celebrate the marriage-feast thereafter?
AGAMEMNON Yes, when I have offered a sacrifice required by Heaven
CLYTAEMNESTRA But where am I to make ready the feast for the women?
AGAMEMNON Here beside our gallant Argive ships.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Finely here! but still I must; good come of it for
AGAMEMNON I will tell thee, lady, what to do; so obey me now.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Wherein? for I was ever wont to yield thee obedience.
AGAMEMNON Here, where the bridegroom is, will!
CLYTAEMNESTRA Which of my duties will ye perform in the mother's
AGAMEMNON Give thy child away with help of Danai.
CLYTAEMNESTRA And where am I to be the while?
AGAMEMNON Get thee to Argos, and take care of thy unwedded daughters.
CLYTAEMNESTRA And leave my child? Then who will raise her bridal
AGAMEMNON I will provide the proper wedding torch.
CLYTAEMNESTRA That is not the custom; but thou thinkest lightly of
AGAMEMNON It is not good thou shouldst be alone among a soldier-crowd.
CLYTAEMNESTRA It is good that a mother should give her own child
AGAMEMNON Aye, and that those maidens at home should not be left
CLYTAEMNESTRA They are in safe keeping, pent in their maiden-bowers.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Nay, by the goddess-queen of Argos! go, manage matters
out of doors; but in the house it is my place to decide what is proper
for maidens at their wedding. Exit.
AGAMEMNON Woe is me! my efforts are baffled; I am disappointed in
my hope, anxious as I was to get my wife out of sight; foiled at every
point, I form my plots and subtle schemes against my best-beloved.
But I will go, in spite of all, with Calchas the priest, to inquire
the goddess's good pleasure, fraught with ill-luck as it is to me,
and with trouble to Hellas. He who is wise should keep in his house
a good and useful wife or none at all. (Exit.)
CHORUS They say the Hellenes' gathered host will come in arms aboard
their ships to Simois with its silver eddies, even to Ilium, the plain
of Troy beloved by Phoebus; where famed Cassandra, I am told, whene'er
the god's resistless prophecies inspire her, wildly tosses her golden
tresses, wreathed with crown of verdant bay. And on the towers of
Troy and round her walls shall Trojans stand, when sea-borne troops
with brazen shields row in on shapely ships to the channels of the
Simois, eager to take Helen, the sister of that heavenly pair whom
Zeus begat, from Priam, and bear her back to Hellas by toil of Achaea's
shields and spears; encircling Pergamus, the Phrygians' town, with
murderous war around her stone-built towers, dragging men's heads
backward to cut their throats, and sacking the citadel of Troy from
roof to base, a cause of many tears to maids and Priam's wife; and
Helen, the daughter of Zeus, shall weep in bitter grief, because she
left her lord.
Oh! ne'er may there appear to me or to my children's children the
prospect which the wealthy Lydian dames and Phrygia's brides will
have, as at their looms they hold converse: "Say who will pluck this
fair blossom from her ruined country, tightening his grasp on lovely