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.

Hear me, oh, look up! 
See how my heart, which hath been closed so long
Doth open to the bliss of seeing thee,
The dearest treasure that the world contains,—­
Of falling on thy neck, and folding thee
Within my longing arms, which have till now
Met the embraces of the empty wind. 
Do not repulse me,—­the eternal spring,
Whose crystal waters from Parnassus flow,
Bounds not more gaily on from rock to rock,
Down to the golden vale, than from my heart
The waters of affection freely gush,
And round me form a circling sea of bliss. 
Orestes!  O my brother!

ORESTES

Lovely nymph! 
Nor thy caresses, nor thyself I trust;
Diana claims attendants more severe,
And doth avenge her desecrated fane. 
Remove thy circling arm!  Wilt thou indeed
Safety and love upon a youth bestow,
And fondly tender him earth’s fairest joy
Unto my friend, more worthy than myself,
Impart thy favors; ’mong yon rocks he roves. 
Go, seek him; guide him hence, and heed not me.

IPHIGENIA

Brother, command thyself, and better know
Thy sister, newly found!  Misconstrue not
Her pure and heavenly rapture, blaming it
As lustful heat unbridled.  O ye gods,
Remove delusion from his rigid gaze,
Lest that this moment, fraught with bliss supreme,
Should make us trebly wretched!  She is here,
Thine own, thy long-lost sister!  From the altar
The goddess rescued me, and placed me here,
Secure within her consecrated fane—­
A captive thou, prepared for sacrifice,
And findest here a sister in the priestess.

ORESTES

Unblessed one!  So may the radiant sun
The final horror of our house behold! 
Is not Electra here?  That she with us
May also perish, nor her life prolong
For heavier destiny and direr woe. 
’Tis well,—­I follow, priestess!  Fratricide
Is an old custom of our ancient house;
And you, ye gods, I thank, that ye resolve
Childless to root me hence.  Thee let me counsel
To view too fondly neither sun nor stars. 
Come, follow to the gloomy realms below! 
As dragons, gender’d in the sulphur pool,
Swallow each other with voracious rage,
So our accursed race destroys itself. 
Childless and guiltless come below with me! 
There’s pity in thy look! oh, gaze not so,—­
’Twas with such looks that Clytemnestra sought
An entrance to her son Orestes’ heart,
And yet his uprais’d arm her bosom pierc’d. 
His mother fell!—­Appear, indignant shade! 
Within the circle step, ye fiends of hell,
Be present at the welcome spectacle,
The last, most horrible that ye prepare! 
Nor hate, nor vengeance whets the poniard now;
A loving sister is constrain’d to deal
The fatal blow.  Weep not!  Thou hast no guilt. 
From earliest infancy I naught have lov’d,
As thee I could have lov’d, my sister.  Come,
The weapon raise, spare not, this bosom rend,
And make an outlet for its boiling streams!

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