AGAUE in «Die Bakchen»

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    Act V 

    Agave with the Chorus, later Kadmus. 

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    AGAVE: All ye who dwell in fair fenced Thebes, draw near! that ye may see the fierce wild beast that we daughters of Cadmus made our prey, not with the thong-thrown darts of Thessaly, nor yet with snares, but with our fingers fair. Ought men idly to boast and get them armourers’ weapons? when we with these our hands have caught this prey and torn the monster limb from limb? Where is my aged sire? let him approach. And where is Pentheus, my son? Let him bring a ladder and raise it against the house to nail up on the gables this lion’s head, my booty from the chase. [...] Father, loudly mayst thou boast, that the daughters thou hast begotten are far the best of mortal race; of one and all I speak, though chiefly of myself, who left my shuttle at the loom for nobler enterprise, even to hunt savage beasts with my hands; and in my arms I bring my prize, as thou seest, that it may be nailed up on thy palace-wall; take it, father, in thy hands, and proud of my hunting, call thy friends to a banquet; for blest art thou, ah! doubly blest in these our gallant exploits. [...] How peevish old age makes men! what sullen looks! Oh, may my son follow in his mother’s footsteps and be as lucky in his hunting, when he goes in quest of game in company with Theban youths! But he can do naught but wage war with gods. Father, ’tis thy duty [and mine, too,] to warn him [against finding pleasure in mischievous conceits. Where is he?] Who will summon him hither to my sight to witness my happiness?

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