At length Fulfilment, fairest child of Jove,
Thou dost descend upon me from on high!
How vast thine image! Scarce my straining eye
Can reach thy hands, which, fill’d with golden fruit
And wreaths of blessing, from Olympus’ height
Shower treasures down. As by his bounteous gifts
We recognize the monarch (for what seems
To thousands opulence, is naught to him),
So you, ye heavenly Powers, are also known
By bounty long withheld, and wisely plann’d.
Ye only know what things are good for us;
Ye view the future’s wide-extended realm,
While from our eye a dim or starry veil
The prospect shrouds. Calmly ye hear our prayers,
When we like children sue for greater speed.
Not immature ye pluck heaven’s golden fruit;
And woe to him, who with impatient hand,
His date of joy forestalling, gathers death.
Let not this long-awaited happiness,
Which yet my heart hath scarcely realiz’d,
Like to the shadow of departed friends,
Glide vainly by with triple sorrow fraught!
Dost thou for Pylades and for thyself
Implore the gods, blend not my name with yours;
Thou wilt not save the wretch whom thou wouldst join,
But will participate his curse and woe.
My destiny is firmly bound to thine.
No; say not so: alone and unattended
Let me descend to Hades. Though thou shouldst
In thine own veil enwrap the guilty one,
Thou couldst not shroud him from his wakeful foes;
And e’en thy sacred presence, heavenly maid,
But driveth them aside and scares them not.
With brazen, impious feet they dare not tread
Within the precincts of this sacred grove
Yet in the distance, ever and anon,
I hear their horrid laughter, like the howl
Of famish’d wolves, beneath the tree wherein
The traveler hides. Without, encamp’d they lie,
And should I quit this consecrated grove,
Shaking their serpent locks, they would arise,
And, raising clouds of dust on every side,
Ceaseless pursue their miserable prey.
Orestes, canst thou hear a friendly word
Reserve it for one favor’d by the gods.
To thee they give anew the light of hope.
Through clouds and smoke I see the feeble gleam
Of the death-stream which lights me down to hell.
Hast thou one sister only, thy Electra?