I knew but one: yet her kind destiny,
Which seemed to us so terrible, betimes
Removed an elder sister from the woe
Which o’er the house of Pelops aye impends.
O cease thy questions, nor thus league thyself
With the Erinnys; still they blow away,
With fiendish joy, the ashes from my soul,
Lest the last embers of the fiery brand
The fatal heritage of Pelops’ house,
Should there be quenched. Must then the fire for aye,
Deliberately kindled and supplied
With hellish sulphur, sear my tortured soul!
I scatter fragrant incense in the flame.
O let the pure, the gentle breath of love,
Low murmuring, cool thy bosom’s fiery glow.
Orestes, fondly lov’d,—canst thou not hear me?
Hath the terrific Furies’ grisly band
Dried up the blood of life within thy veins?
Creeps there, as from the Gorgon’s direful head,
A petrifying charm through all thy limbs?
With hollow accents from a mother’s blood,
If voices call thee to the shades below,
May not a sister’s word with blessing rife
Call from Olympus’ height help-rendering gods?
She calls! she calls!—Dost thou desire
Is there a Fury shrouded in thy form?
Who art thou, that thy voice thus horribly
Can harrow up my bosom’s inmost depths!
Thine inmost heart reveals it. I am she,—
Iphigenia,—look on me, Orestes!
My own brother!
Hence, away, begone!
I counsel thee, touch not these fatal locks!
As from Creusa’s bridal robe, from me
An inextinguishable fire is kindled.
Leave me! Like Hercules, a death of shame,
Unworthy wretch, locked in myself, I’ll die!
Thou shalt not perish! Would that I might hear
One quiet word from thee! dispel my doubts,
Make sure the bliss I have implored so long.
A wheel of joy and sorrow in my heart,
Ceaseless revolves. I from a man unknown
With horror turn; but with resistless might
My inmost heart impels me to my brother.
Is this Lyaeus’ temple? Doth the glow
Of holy rage unbridled thus possess
The sacred priestess?