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of Olympus give them sufferings in requital, and never may their
splendour bring them joy, who have done such deeds!

antistrophe 3

Be advised to say no more; canst thou not see what conduct it is
which already plunges thee so cruelly in self-made miseries? Thou hast
greatly aggravated thy troubles, ever breeding wars with thy sullen
soul; but such strife should not be pushed to a conflict with the
I have been forced to it,- forced by dread causes; I know my own
passion, it escapes me not; but, seeing that the causes are so dire,
will never curb these frenzied plaints, while life is in me. Who
indeed, ye kindly sisterhood, who that thinks aright, would deem
that any word of solace could avail me? Forbear, forbear, my
comforters! Such ills must be numbered with those which have no
cure; I can never know a respite from my sorrows, or a limit to this


At least it is in love, like a true-hearted mother, that I
dissuade thee from adding misery to miseries.
But what measure is there in my wretchedness? Say, how can it be
right to neglect the dead? Was that impiety ever born in mortal? Never
may I have praise of such; never when my lot is cast in pleasant
places, may I cling to selfish ease, or dishonour my sire by
restraining the wings of shrill lamentation!
For if the hapless dead is to lie in dust and nothingness, while
the slayers pay not with blood for blood, all regard for man, all fear
of heaven, will vanish from the earth.
I came, my child, in zeal for thy welfare no less than for mine
own; but if I speak not well, then be it as thou wilt; for we will
follow thee.
I am ashamed, my friends, if ye deem me too impatient for my oft
complaining; but, since a hard constraint forces me to this, bear with
me. How indeed could any woman of noble nature refrain, who saw the
calamities of a father's house, as I see them by day and night
continually, not fading, but in the summer of their strength? I,
who, first, from the mother that bore me have found bitter enmity;
next, in mine own home I dwell with my father's murderers; they rule
over me, and with them it rests to give or to withhold what I need.
And then think what manner of days I pass, when I see Aegisthus
sitting on my father's throne, wearing the robes which he wore, and
pouring libations at the hearth where he slew my sire; and when I
see the outrage that crowns all, the murderer in our father's bed at
our wretched mother's side, if mother she should be called, who is his
wife; but so hardened is she that she lives with that accursed one,
fearing no Erinys; nay, as if exulting in her deeds, having found
the day on which she treacherously slew my father of old, she keeps it
with dance and song, and month by month sacrifices sheep to the gods
who have wrought her deliverance.
But I, hapless one, beholding it, weep and pine in the house,
and bewail the unholy feast named after my sire,- weep to myself
alone; since I may not even indulge my grief to the full measure of my
yearning. For this woman, in professions so noble, loudly upbraids
me with such taunts as these: 'Impious and hateful girl, hast thou
alone lost a father, and is there no other mourner in the world? An

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