And heark what Oath-gods gather to my side!
By my dead child’s Revenge, now satisfied,
By Mortal Blindness, by all Powers of Hell
Which Hate, to whom in sacrifice he fell,
My Hope shall walk not in the house of Fear,
While on my hearth one fire yet burneth clear,
One lover, one Aigisthos, as of old!
What should I fear, when fallen here I hold
This foe, this scorner of his wife, this toy
And fool of each Chryseis under Troy;
And there withal his soothsayer and slave,
His chanting bed-fellow, his leman brave,
Who rubbed the galleys’ benches at his side.
But, oh, they had their guerdon as they died!
For he lies thus, and she, the wild swan’s way,
Hath trod her last long weeping roundelay,
And lies, his lover, ravisht o’er the main
For his bed’s comfort and my deep disdain.
CHORUS. (Some Elders.)
Would God that suddenly
With no great agony,
No long sick-watch to keep,
My hour would come to me,
My hour, and presently
Bring the eternal, the
Now that my Shepherd, he
Whose love watched over me,
Lies in the deep!
For woman’s sake he endured and battled well,
And by a woman’s hand he fell.
What hast thou done, O Helen blind of brain,
O face that slew the souls on Ilion’s plain,
One face, one face, and many a thousand slain?
The hate of old that on this castle lay,
Builded in lust, a husband’s evil day,
Hath bloomed for thee a perfect flower again
And unforgotten, an old and burning stain
Never to pass away.
Nay, pray not for the hour of death, being tried
Too sore beneath these blows
Neither on Helen turn thy wrath aside,
The Slayer of Men, the face which hath destroyed
Its thousand Danaan souls, and wrought a wide
Wound that no leech can close.
—Daemon, whose heel is set
On the House and the twofold kin
Of the high Tantalidae,
A power, heavy as fate,
Thou wieldest through woman’s sin,
Piercing the heart of me!
—Like a raven swoln with hate
He hath set on the dead his claw,
He croaketh a song to sate
His fury, and calls it Law!
Ah, call upon Him! Yea, call—
And thy thought hath found its path—
The Daemon who haunts this hall,
The thrice-engorged Wrath;
From him is the ache of the flesh
For blood born and increased;
Ere the old sore hath ceased
It oozeth afresh.
—Indeed He is very great,
And heavy his anger, He,
The Daemon who guides the fate
Of the old Tantalidae:
Alas, alas, an evil tale ye tell
Of desolate angers and insatiable!