Aeschylus, Agamemnon (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy] [word count] [Aesch. Ag.].
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Chorus Thyestes' banquet on his children's flesh I understood, and I tremble. Terror possesses me as I hear the truth, nothing fashioned out of falsehood to resemble truth. 1245But as for the rest I heard I am thrown off the track.

Cassandra I say you shall look upon Agamemnon dead.

Chorus To words propitious, miserable girl, lull your speech.

Cassandra Over what I tell no healing god presides.

Chorus No, if it is to be; but may it not be so!

Cassandra 1250You do but pray; their business is to slay.

Chorus What man is he that contrived this wickedness?

Cassandra Surely you must have missed the meaning of my prophecies.

Chorus I do not understand the scheme of him who is to do the deed.

Cassandra And yet all too well I understand the Greek language.

Chorus 1255So too do the Pythian oracles; yet they are hard to understand.

Cassandra Oh, oh! What fire! It comes upon me! Woe, woe! Lycean Apollo! Ah me, ah me! This two-footed lioness, who mates with a wolf in the absence of the noble lion, 1260will slay me, miserable as I am. Brewing as it were a drug, she vows that with her wrath she will mix requital for me too, while she whets her sword against her husband, to take murderous vengeance for bringing me here. Why then do I bear these mockeries of myself, 1265this wand, these prophetic chaplets on my neck?Breaking her wand, she throws it and the other insignia of her prophetic office upon the ground, and tramples them underfootYou at least I will destroy before I die myself. To destruction with you! And fallen there, thus do I repay you. Enrich with doom some other in my place. Look, Apollo himself is stripping me 1270of my prophetic garb—he that saw me mocked to bitter scorn, even in this bravery, by friends turned foes, with one accord, in vain—but, like some vagrant mountebank, called “beggar,” “wretch,” “starveling,” I bore it all. 1275And now the prophet, having undone me, his prophetess, has brought me to this lethal pass. Instead of my father's altar a block awaits me, where I am to be butchered in a hot and bloody sacrifice. Yet, we shall not die unavenged by the gods; 1280for there shall come in turn another, our avenger, a scion of the race, to slay his mother and exact requital for his sire; an exile, a wanderer, a stranger from this land, he shall return to put the coping-stone upon these unspeakable iniquities of his house. For the gods have sworn a mighty oath 1285that his slain father's outstretched corpse shall bring him home. Why then thus raise my voice in pitiful lament? Since first I saw the city of Ilium fare what it has fared, while her captors, by the gods' sentence, are coming to such an end, 1290I will go in and meet my fate. I will dare to die. This door I greet as the gates of Death. And I pray that, dealt a mortal stroke, without a struggle, my life-blood ebbing away in easy death, I may close these eyes.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy] [word count] [Aesch. Ag.].
<<Aesch. Ag. 1202 Aesch. Ag. 1242 (Greek English(2)) >>Aesch. Ag. 1295

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