Iphigenia in Tauris
Grasping her garments hallow'd from the touch.
ORESTES My sister, my dear sister, from one sire,
From Agamemnon sprung, turn not away,
Holding thy brother thus beyond all hope.
IPHIGENIA My brother! Thou my brother! Wilt thou not
Unsay these words? At Argos far he dwells.
ORESTES Thy brother, O unhappy! is not there.
IPHIGENIA Thee did the Spartan Tyndarus bring forth?
ORESTES And from the son of Pelops' son I sprung,
IPHIGENIA What say'st thou? Canst thou give me proof of this?
ORESTES I can: ask something of my father's house.
IPHIGENIA Nay, it is thine to speak, mine to attend.
ORESTES First let me mention things which I have heard
Electra speak: to thee is known the strife
Which fierce 'twixt Atreus and Thyestes rose.
IPHIGENIA Yes, I have heard it; for the golden ram,-
ORESTES In the rich texture didst thou not inweave it?
IPHIGENIA O thou most dear! Thou windest near my heart.
ORESTES And image in the web the averted sun?
IPHIGENIA In the fine threads that figure did I work.
ORESTES For Aulis did thy mother bathe thy limbs?
IPHIGENIA I know it, to unlucky spousals led.
ORESTES Why to thy mother didst thou send thy locks?
IPHIGENIA Devoted for my body to the tomb.
ORESTES What I myself have seen I now as proofs
Will mention. In thy father's house, hung high
Within thy virgin chambers, the old spear
Of Pelops, which he brandish'd when he slew
Oenomaus, and won his beauteous bride,
The virgin Hippodamia, Pisa's boast.
IPHIGENIA O thou most dear (for thou art he,) most dear
Acknowledged, thee, Orestes, do I hold,
From Argos, from thy country distant far?
ORESTES And hold I thee, my sister, long deem'd dead?
Grief mix'd with joy, and tears, not taught by woe
To rise, stand melting in thy eyes and mine.
IPHIGENIA Thee yet an infant in thy nurse's arms
I left, a babe I left thee in the house.
Thou art more happy, O my soul, than speech
Knows to express. What shall I say? 'tis all
Surpassing wonder and the power of words.
ORESTES May we together from this hour be bless'd!
IPHIGENIA An unexpected pleasure, O my friends,
Have I received; yet fear I from my hands
Lest to the air it fly. O sacred hearths
Raised by the Cyclops! O my country, loved
Mycenae! Now that thou didst give me birth,
T thank thee; now I thank thee, that my youth
Thou trainedst, since my brother thou has train'd,
A beam of light, the glory of his house.
ORESTES We in our race are happy; but our life,
My sister, by misfortunes is unhappy.
IPHIGENIA I was, I know, unhappy, when the sword
My father, frantic, pointed at my neck.
ORESTES Ah me! methinks ev'n now I see thee there.
IPHIGENIA When to Achilles, brother, not a bride,
I to the sacrifice by guile was led,
And tears and groans the altar compass'd round.
ORESTES Alas, the lavers there!
IPHIGENIA I mourn'd the deed
My father dared; unlike a father's love;
Cruel, unlike a father's love, to me.
ORESTES Ill deeds succeed to ill: if thou hadst slain
Thy brother, by some god impell'd, what griefs