[He sinks exhausted.]
Alone I cannot bear this bliss and woe.
Where art thou, Pylades? Thine aid I need.
ORESTES (recovering from his swoon and standing up)
Give yet another! reach from Lethe’s stream
The last reviving draught of cool refreshment!
Soon shall its waters in my bosom still
Life’s fitful fever; and my spirit then
Adown oblivion’s stream shall glide to you,
Ye spirits shrouded in eternal mist.
With tranquil pleasure in your deep repose
A weary son of earth may lave his soul!—
What whisp’ring sounds pervade the dreary grove?
What hollow murmurs haunt its twilight gloom?—
They gather round to view the stranger guest!
Who are you troop in high communion met,
Like an assembled family of princes?
They mingle peacefully, of every age,
Of either sex; godlike, of kindred mould,
Appear the gliding figures. Yes, ’tis they,
The fathers of my race! With Atreus,
In friendly converse glides Thyestes’ shade,
And children playfully around them sport.
Is there no enmity among you now?
And is revenge extinguish’d with the sun
So am I also welcome, and may hope
To mingle in your solemn company.
Welcome, my sires! Orestes bids you hail!
The seed that ye have sow’d, that hath he reap’d.
Laden with curses he descends to you.
But burdens here are lighter far to bear.
Receive him, oh, receive him in your circle!
Thee, Atreus, I revere, and thee, Thyestes
Here all are free from enmity and hate.—
Show me my father, whom I only once
In life beheld.—Art thou my father, thou,
My mother leading thus familiarly?
Dares Clytemnestra reach her hand to thee
Then may Orestes also draw near her,
And say, Behold thy son!—My ancestors,
Behold your son, and bid him welcome here.
Among the sons of ancient Tantalus,
A kind salute on earth was murder’s watchword,
And all their joys commence beyond the grave.
Ye welcome me! Ye bid me join your circle!
Oh, lead me to my honor’d ancestor!
Where is our aged sire? Let me behold
The dear, the venerable head of him
Who with the immortal gods in council sat.
Ye seem to shudder and to turn away!
What may this mean? Suffers the godlike man?
Alas! the mighty gods, with ruthless hate,
To his heroic breast, with brazen chains,
Have cruel pangs indissolubly bound.
ORESTES, IPHIGENIA, PYLADES
How! Are ye come already here below?
Welcome, my sister! Still Electra fails;
O that some kindly god, with gentle arrow,
Her too, full speedily, would downward send!
Thee, hapless friend, I must compassionate!
Come with me! Come! To Pluto’s gloomy throne,
There to salute our hosts like stranger guests.