KLYTAIMESTRA in «Die Orestie: Agamemnon» III.

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    Act IV

    Clytemnestra with the Chorus.  

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    CLYTEMNESTRA:
    (behind her, under a cover, are the bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra)

    As witless woman are ye proving me;
    But I with steadfast heart, to you who know,
    Proclaim,—and whether ye will praise or blame,
    It recks me not,—this man is Agamemnon,—
    My husband, dead, the work of this right hand,
    Doer of righteous deed;—so stands the case.
    [...] 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.
    [...] This solemn sanction of mine oaths thou hearest;—
    By the accomplished vengeance of my child,
    By Até, by Erinyes, unto whom
    I slew this man,—Expectancy for me
    Treads not the halls of Fear, while on my hearth,
    Ægisthos, kind as heretofore, burns fire;—
    For he of boldness is no puny shield.
    There prostrate lies this woman's outrager,
    Minion to each Chryseis under Troy.
    There too, this captive slave, this auguress,
    And this man's concubine,—this prophetess,
    His faithful bedfellow, who shared with him
    The sailor's bench. Not unrequited wrought they;
    For he lies—thus. While she, in swan-like fashion,
    Having breathed forth her last, her dying wail,
    Lies here, to him a paramour, and so
    Adds keener relish to my sweet revenge.

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