|Agamemnon Monologue by Aeschylus|
- CLYTEMNESTRA: Though much to suit the times before was said,
- It shames me not the opposite to speak:
- For, plotting against foes,--our seeming friends,--
- How else contrive with Ruin's wily snare,
- Too high to overleap, to fence them round?
- To me, not mindless of an ancient feud,
- Hath come at last this contest;--late indeed.
- The deed achieved, here stand I, where I slew.
- So was it wrought (and this I'll not deny),
- That he could neither 'scape, nor ward his doom;
- Around him, like a fish-encircling net,
- This garment's deadly splendour did I cast;--
- Him twice I smote, and he, with twofold groan,
- His limbs relaxed;--then, prostrate where he lay,
- Him with third blow I dowered, votive gift
- To nether Hades, saviour of the dead.
- Thus as he fell he chafed his soul away;
- And gurgling forth the swift death-tide of blood,
- He smites me with black drops of gory dew,
- Not less exultant than, with heaven-sent joy
- The corn-sown land, in birth-hour of the ear.
- For this great issue, Argive Senators,
- Joy ye, if joy ye can, but I exult.
- Nay, o'er the slain were off'rings meet,--with right
- Here were they poured,--with emphasis of right.
- Such goblets having filled with cursed ills
- At home,--himself on his return drains off.
- Me thou dost doom to exile,--to endure
- The people's hate, their curse deep-muttered,--thou,
- Who 'gainst this man of yore hadst naught to urge.
- He, all unmoved, as though brute life he quenched,
- The while his fleecy pastures teem'd with flocks,
- His own child slaughtered,--of my travail throes
- To me the dearest,--charm for Thracian blasts.
- Him shouldst thou not have chased from land and home
- Just guerdon for foul deed? Stern judge thou art
- When me thou dost arraign;--but, mark my words,
- (Nerved as I am to threat on equal terms,)
- If with strong hand ye conquer me, then rule;--
- But should the god decree the opposite,
- Though late, to sober sense shalt thou be schooled.
Credits: Reprinted from The Dramas of Aeschylus. Trans. Anna Swanwick. London: George Bell and Sons, 1907.