This Dorian is too light. I will unseal
The breast of him.” He took the heavier blade,
And clave the bone. And there Aegisthus stayed,
The omens in his hand, dividing slow
This sign from that; till, while his head bent low,
Up with a leap thy brother flashed the sword,
Then down upon his neck, and cleft the cord
Of brain and spine. Shuddering the body stood
One instant in an agony of blood,
And gasped and fell. The henchmen saw, and straight
Flew to their spears, a host of them to set
Against those twain. But there the twain did stand
Unfaltering, each his iron in his hand,
Edge fronting edge. Till “Hold,” Orestes calls:
“I come not as in wrath against these walls
And mine own people. One man righteously
I have slain, who slew my father. It is I,
The wronged Orestes! Hold, and smite me not,
Old housefolk of my father!” When they caught
That name, their lances fell. And one old man,
An ancient in the house, drew nigh to scan
His face, and knew him. Then with one accord
They crowned thy brother’s temples, and outpoured
joy and loud songs. And hither now he fares
To show the head, no Gorgon, that he bears,
But that Aegisthus whom thou hatest! Yea,
Blood against blood, his debt is paid this day.
[He goes off to meet the others—ELECTRA stands as though stupefied.
Now, now thou shalt dance in our dances,
Beloved, as a fawn in the night!
The wind is astir for the glances
Of thy feet; thou art robed with delight.
He hath conquered, he cometh to free us
With garlands new-won,
More high than the crowns of Alpheues,
Thine own father’s son:
Cry, cry, for the day that is won!
O Light of the Sun, O chariot wheels of flame,
O Earth and Night, dead Night without a name
That held me! Now mine eyes are raised to see,
And all the doorways of my soul flung free.
Aegisthus dead! My father’s murderer dead!
What have I still of wreathing for the head
Stored in my chambers? Let it come forth now
To bind my brother’s and my conqueror’s brow.
[Some garlands are brought out from the house to ELECTRA.
Go, gather thy garlands, and lay them
As a crown on his brow, many-tressed,
But our feet shall refrain not nor stay them:
’Tis the joy that the Muses have blest.
For our king is returned as from prison,
The old king, to be master again,
Our beloved in justice re-risen:
With guile he hath slain...
But cry, cry in joyance again!
[There enter from the left ORESTES and PYLADES, followed by some thralls.