Libation Bearers

Aeschylus

Aeschylus, creator; Aeschylus with an English translation Vol II. Smyth, Herbert Weir, 1857- 1937, editor, translator. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.: 1926.

  1. And you have done well. Therefore do not yoke your tongue to an ill-omened speech, nor let your lips give vent to evil forebodings,
  2. since you have freed the whole realm of Argos by lopping off the heads of two serpents with a fortunate stroke.
Orestes
  1. Ah, ah! You handmaidens, look at them there: like Gorgons, wrapped in sable garments, entwined with
  2. swarming snakes! I can stay no longer.
Chorus
  1. What fantasies disturb you, dearest of sons to your father? Wait, do not be all overcome by fear.
Orestes
  1. To me these are no imagined troubles. For there indeed are the hounds of wrath to avenge my mother.
Chorus
  1. It is that the blood is still fresh on your hands; this is the cause of the disorder that assails your wits.
Orestes
  1. O lord Apollo, look! Now they come in troops, and from their eyes they drip loathsome blood!
Chorus
  1. There is one way to cleanse you: the touch of Loxias
  2. will set you free from this affliction.
Orestes
  1. You do not see them, but I see them. I am pursued. I can stay no longer. Rushes out
Chorus
  1. Then may blessings go with you, and may the god watch benevolently over you and guard you with favorable fortunes!
  1. Look! Now again, for the third time, has the tempest of this clan burst on the royal house and run its course. First, at the beginning, came the cruel woes of children slain for food; next, the fate of a man, a king,
  2. when the warlord of the Achaeans perished, murdered in his bath. And now, once again, there has come from somewhere a third, a deliverer, or shall I say a doom?
  3. Oh when will it finish its work, when will the fury of calamity, lulled to rest, find an end and cease?