Eumenides

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 to declare our allotted office, how our party directs the affairs of men. We claim to be just and upright. No wrath from us will come stealthily to the one who holds out clean hands,
  2. and he will go through life unharmed; but whoever sins, as this man has, and hides his blood-stained hands, as avengers of bloodshed we appear against him to the end, presenting ourselves as upright witnesses for the dead.
Chorus
  1. O mother Night, hear me, mother who gave birth to me as a retribution for the blind and the seeing. For Leto’s son dishonors me
  2. by snatching away this cowering wretch, a proper expiation for his mother’s blood.
Chorus
  1. This is our song over the sacrificial victim—frenzied,
  2. maddened, destroying the mind, the Furies’ hymn, a spell to bind the soul, not tuned to the lyre, withering the life of mortals.
Chorus
  1. For this is the office that relentless
  2. Fate spun for us to hold securely: when rash murders of kin come upon mortals, we pursue them until they go under the earth; and after death,
  3. they have no great freedom.
Chorus
  1. This is our song over the sacrificial victim—frenzied, maddened, destroying the mind,the Furies’ hymn,
  2. a spell to bind the soul, not tuned to the lyre, withering the life of mortals.
Chorus
  1. This office was ordained for us at birth;
  2. but the immortal gods must hold back their hands from us, nor does any of them share a feast in common with us; and I have neither lot nor portion of pure white ceremonial robes ---
Chorus
  1. For I have chosen the overthrow of houses,
  2. whenever violence raised in the home seizes someone near and dear. So speeding after this man, we weaken him, even though he is strong, because of the fresh blood.
Chorus
  1. We are eager to take these cares away from another, and to establish for the gods exemption from my concerns, so that it will not come to trial;
  2. for Zeus has considered us, a blood-dripping, hateful band, unworthy of his council.
Chorus
  1. For I have chosen the overthrow of houses,
  2. whenever violence raised in the home seizes someone near and dear. Speeding after this man, we weaken him, even though he is strong, because of the fresh blood.
Chorus
  1. And men’s thoughts, very proud under the sky, waste away and dwindle in dishonor beneath the earth,