The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

ORESTES

They both survive.

IPHIGENIA

Golden Apollo, lend thy choicest beams! 
Lay them an offering at the throne of Jove! 
For I am poor and dumb.

ORESTES

If social bonds
Or ties more close connect thee with this house,
As this thy rapturous joy betrayeth to me,
O then rein in thy heart and hold it fast! 
For insupportable the sudden plunge
From happiness to sorrow’s gloomy depth. 
Thou knowest only Agamemnon’s death.

IPHIGENIA

And is not this intelligence enough?

ORESTES

Half of the horror only hast thou heard.

IPHIGENIA

What should I fear’?  Orestes, Electra lives.

ORESTES

And fearest thou for Clytemnestra naught?

IPHIGENIA

Her, neither hope nor fear have power to save.

ORESTES

She to the land of hope hath bid farewell.

IPHIGENIA

Did her repentant hand shed her own blood?

ORESTES

Not so; yet her own blood inflicted death.

IPHIGENIA

More plainly speak, nor leave me in suspense. 
Uncertainty around my anxious head
Her dusky, thousand-folded pinion waves.

ORESTES

Have then the powers above selected me
To be the herald of a dreadful deed,
Which in the drear and soundless realms of night
I fain would hide for ever?  ’Gainst my will
Thy gentle voice constrains me; it demands,
And shall receive, a tale of direst woe. 
Electra, on the day when fell her sire,
Her brother from impending doom conceal’d;
Him Strophius, his father’s relative,
Receiv’d with kindest care, and rear’d him up
With his own son, named Pylades, who soon
Around the stranger twin’d love’s fairest bonds. 
And as they grew, within their inmost souls
There sprang the burning longing to revenge
The monarch’s death.  Unlook’d for, and disguis’d,
They reach Mycene, feigning to have brought
The mournful tidings of Orestes’ death,
Together with his ashes.  Them the queen
Gladly receives.  Within the house they enter;
Orestes to Electra shows himself: 
She fans the fires of vengeance into flame,
Which in the sacred presence of a mother
Had burn’d more dimly.  Silently she leads
Her brother to the spot where fell their sire;
Where lurid blood-marks, on the oft-wash’d floor,

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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