|Agamemnon Monologue by Aeschylus|
- AEGISTHOS: Hail, joyous light of justice-bearing day!
- At length I can aver that God's supernal,
- Judges of men, look down on earthly woes,
- Beholding, in the Erinyes' woven robes,
- This man, thus prostrate, welcome sight to me,
- The wiles atoning compassed by his sire.
- For Atreus, Argos' ruler, this man's father,
- Did from the city and his home expel
- Thyestes, rival in the sovereignty,--
- My father, to be plain, and his own brother.
- But coming back, a suppliant of the hearth,
- Wretched Thyestes found a lot secure,
- Not doomed his natal soil with blood to stain,
- Here in his home: but this man's godless sire,
- Atreus, with zeal officious more than kind,
- Feigning a joyous banquet-day to hold,
- Served to my sire, for food, his children's flesh.
- Their feet indeed, the members of their hands,--
- Seated aloof, in higher places, he hides.
- Partaking of the undistinguished parts,
- In ignorance, Thyestes eats the food,
- Curse-laden, as thou seest, to the race.
- Discerning then the impious deed, he shrieked,
- And back recoiling the foul slaughter spewed.
- Spurning, with righteous curse, th' insulted board
- Dread doom he vows to the Pelopidae;--
- "So perish the whole race of Pleisthenes."
- Hence is it that ye see this man laid low;
- The righteous planner of his death am I.
- For me, the thirteenth child, in swathing clothes,
- He with my wretched sire, to exile drove.
- But, grown to manhood, Justice lead me back,
- And I, although aloof, have reached this man,
- The threads combining of the fatal plot.
- Now for myself 'twere glorious to die,
- Seeing this man entrapped in Justice' toils.
Credits: Reprinted from The Dramas of Aeschylus. Trans. Anna Swanwick. London: George Bell and Sons, 1907.