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Electra   


trickles from our eyes.

(The following lines between ORESTES
and ELECTRA are chanted responsively.)


ELECTRA

strophe

Offspring of him whom I loved best, thou hast come even now,
thou hast come, and found and seen her whom thy heart desired!
ORESTES
I am with thee;- but keep silence for a while.
ELECTRA
What meanest thou?
ORESTES
'Tis better to be silent, lest some one within should hear.
ELECTRA
Nay, by ever-virgin Artemis, I will never stoop to fear women,
stay-at-homes, vain burdens of the ground!
ORESTES
Yet remember that in women, too, dwells the spirit of battle; thou
hast had good proof of that, I ween.
ELECTRA
Alas! ah me! Thou hast reminded me of my sorrow, one which, from
its nature, cannot be veiled, cannot be done away with, cannot forget!
ORESTES
I know this also; but when occasion prompts, then will be the
moment to recall those deeds.
ELECTRA

antistrophe

Each moment of all time, as it comes, would be meet occasion for
these my just complaints; scarcely now have I had my lips set free.
ORESTES
I grant it; therefore guard thy freedom.
ELECTRA
What must I do?
ORESTES
When the season serves not, do not wish to speak too much.
ELECTRA
Nay, who could fitly exchange speech for such silence, when thou
hast appeared? For now I have seen thy face, beyond all thought and
hope!
ORESTES
Thou sawest it, when the gods moved me to come....
ELECTRA
Thou hast told me of a grace above the first, if a god hath indeed
brought thee to our house; I acknowledge therein the work of heaven.
ORESTES
I am loth, indeed, to curb thy gladness, but yet this excess of
joy moves my fear.
ELECTRA

epode

O thou who, after many a year, hast deigned thus to gladden mine
eyes by thy return, do not, now that thou hast seen me in all my woe-
ORESTES
What is thy prayer?
ELECTRA
-do not rob me of the comfort of thy face; do not force me to
forego it!

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