CLYTEMNESTRA Ho, ye who heard me speak s...

Agamemnon

Clytemnestra

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CLYTEMNESTRA Ho, ye who heard me speak so long and oft

The glozing word that led me to my will--

Hear how I shrink not to unsay it all!

How else should one who willeth to requite

Evil for evil to an enemy

Disguised as friend, weave the mesh straitly round him,

Not to be overleaped, a net of doom?

This is the sum and issue of old strife,

Of me deep-pondered and at length fulfilled.

All is avowed, and as I smote I stand

With foot set firm upon a finished thing!

I turn not to denial: thus I wrought

So that he could nor flee nor ward his doom.

Even as the trammel hems the scaly shoal,

I trapped him with inextricable toils,

The ill abundance of a baffling robe;

Then smote him, once, again--and at each wound

He cried aloud, then as in death relaxed

Each limb and sank to earth; and as he lay,

Once more I smote him, with the last third blow,

Sacred to Hades, saviour of the dead.

And thus he fell, and as he passed away,

Spirit with body chafed; each dying breath

Flung from his breast swift bubbling jets of gore,

And the dark sprinklings of the rain of blood

Fell upon me; and I was fain to feel

That dew-- not sweeter is the rain of heaven

To cornland, when the green sheath teems with grain.

Elders of Argos--since the thing stands so,

I bid you to rejoice, if such your will:

Rejoice or not, I vaunt and praise the deed,

And well I ween, if seemly it could be,

'Twere not ill done to pour libations here,

Justly-- ay, more than justly-- on his corpse

Who filled his home with curses as with wine,

And thus returned to drain the cup he filled.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon. Trans. E.D.A. Morshead, http://classics.mit.edu/Aeschylus/agamemnon.pl.txt

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