And I? What clime shall hold
My evil, or roof it above?
I cried for dancing of old,
I cried in my heart for love:
What dancing waiteth me now?
What love that shall kiss my brow
Nor blench at the brand thereof?
Back, back, in the wind and rain
Thy driven spirit wheeleth again.
Now is thine heart made clean within
That was dark of old and murder-fraught.
But, lo, thy brother; what hast thou wrought....
Yea, though I love thee.... what woe, what sin,
On him, who willed it not!
Saw’st thou her raiment there,
Sister, there in the blood?
She drew it back as she stood,
She opened her bosom bare,
She bent her knees to the earth,
The knees that bent in my birth....
And I ... Oh, her hair, her hair....
[He breaks into inarticulate weeping
Oh, thou didst walk in agony,
Hearing thy mother’s cry, the cry
Of wordless wailing, well know I.
She stretched her hand to my cheek,
And there brake from her lips a moan;
‘Mercy, my child, my own!’
Her hand clung to my cheek;
Clung, and my arm was weak;
And the sword fell and was gone.
Unhappy woman, could thine eye
Look on the blood, and see her lie,
Thy mother, where she turned to die?
I lifted over mine eyes
My mantle: blinded I smote,
As one smiteth a sacrifice;
And the sword found her throat.
I gave thee the sign and the word;
I touched with mine hand thy sword.
Dire is the grief ye have wrought.
Sister, touch her again:
Oh, veil the body of her;
Shed on her raiment fair,
And close that death-red stain.
—Mother! And didst thou bear,
Bear in thy bitter pain,
To life, thy murderer?
[The two kneel over the body of CLYTEMNESTRA, and cover her with raiment.
On her that I loved of yore,
Robe upon robe I cast:
On her that I hated sore.
O House that hath hated sore,
Behold thy peace at the last!
* * * * *
Ha, see: above the roof-tree high
There shineth ... Is some spirit there
Of earth or heaven? That thin air
Was never trod by things that die!
What bodes it now that forth they fare,
To men revealed visibly?
[There appears in the air a vision of CASTOR and POLYDEUCES. The mortals kneel or veil their faces.