I dare not!... Yes, I fear him. ’Tis
Life, and not his, comes first. And rumour saith
His heart yet burneth for his father’s death.
Why dost thou keep thine husband ever hot
’Tis his mood. And thou art
So gentle, child!
My spirit is too sore!
Howbeit, from this day I will no more
CLYTEMNESTRA (with a flash of hope).
O daughter!—Then, indeed, shall
I promise, never more be harsh to thee!
He lieth in my house, as ’twere his own.
’Tis that hath made him proud.
Nay, art thou flown
To strife again so quick, child?
Well; I say
No more; long have I feared him, and alway
Shall fear him, even as now!
Nay, daughter, peace!
It bringeth little profit, speech like this...
Why didst thou call me hither?
It reached thee,
My word that a man-child is born to me?
Do thou make offering for me—for the rite
I know not—as is meet on the tenth night.
I cannot; I have borne no child till now.
Who tended thee? ’Tis she should make the vow.
None tended me. Alone I bare my child.
What, is thy cot so friendless? And this wild
So far from aid?
Who seeks for friendship sake
A beggar’s house?
I will go in, and
Due worship for thy child, the Peace-bringer.
To all thy need I would be minister.
Then to my lord, where by the meadow side
He prays the woodland nymphs.
Ye handmaids, guide
My chariot to the stall, and when ye guess
The rite draws near its end, in readiness
Be here again. Then to my lord!... I owe
My lord this gladness, too.
[The Attendants depart; CLYTEMNESTRA, left alone, proceeds to enter the house.
My narrow roof! But have a care withal,
A grime of smoke lies deep upon the wall.
Soil not thy robe!...
Not far now shall it be,
The sacrifice God asks of me and thee.
The bread of Death is broken, and the knife
Lifted again that drank the Wild Bull’s life:
And on his breast.... Ha, Mother, hast slept well
Aforetime? Thou shalt lie with him in Hell.
That grace I give to cheer thee on thy road;
Give thou to me—peace from my father’s blood!
[She follows her mother into the house.
Lo, the returns of wrong.
The wind as a changed thing
Of one that of old lay dead
In the water lapping long:
My King, O my King!