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The Libation Bearers Quotes

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The Libation Bearers Quotes

Quote 1: "The godless woman/sends me forth. But terror/is on me for this word let fall/What can wash off the blood once spilled upon the ground?/O hearth soaked in sorrow,/o wreckage of a fallen house./Sunless and where men fear to walk/the mists huddle upon this house/where the high lords have perished." Line 45-53

Quote 2: "But, as a beam balances, so/sudden disasters wait, to strike/some in the brightness, some in gloom/of half dark in their elder time./Desperate night holds others./Through too much glut of blood drunk by our fostering ground/the vengeful gore is caked and hard, will not drain through./The deep-run ruin carries away/the man of guilt. Swarming infection boils within." Line 61-70

Quote 3: "Grant good return to those who send to you these flowers/of honor: gifts to match the...evil they have done/Or, quiet and dishonored, as my father died/shall I pour out this offering for the ground to drink,/and go, like one who empties garbage out of doors,/and turn my eyes, and throw the vessel far away." Line 94-99

Quote 4: "By some good fortune let Orestes come/back home. Such is my prayer, my father. Hear me; hear./And for myself, grant that I be more temperate/of heart than my mother; that I act with purer hand./Such are my prayers for us; but for our enemies,/father, I pray that your avenger come, that they/who killed you shall be killed in turn, as they deserve." Line 138-144

Quote 5: "[Clytaemnestra] never could have cut [the hair], she who murdered him/and is my mother, but no mother in her heart/which has assumed God's hate and hates her children. No,/And yet, how can I say in open outright confidence/that it is a treasured token from the best beloved/of men to me, Orestes? Does hope fawn on me?" Line 189-193

Quote 6: "The gods know, and we call upon the gods; they know/how we are spun in circles like seafarers, in/what storms. But if we are to win, and our ship live,/from one small seed could burgeon an enormous tree." Line 201-204

Quote 7: "O dearest, treasured darling of my father's house,/hope of the seed of our salvation, wept for, trust/your strength of hand, and win your father's house again./O bright beloved presence, you bring back four lives/to me.../You alone bring me honor; but let Force, and Right,/and Zeus almighty, third with them, be on your side." Line 235-245

Quote 8: "Here is work that must be done./Here numerous desires converge to drive me on:/the god's urgency and my father's passion, and/with these the loss of my estates wears hard on me;/the thought that these my citizens, most high renowned/of men, who toppled Troy in show of courage, must/go subject to this brace of women; since his heart/is female; or, if it be not, that soon will show." Line 298-305

Quote 9: "For the word of hatred spoken, let hate/be a word fulfilled. The spirit of Right/cries out aloud and exacts atonement/due: blood stroke for the stroke of blood/shall be paid. Who acts, shall endure. So speaks/the voice of age-old wisdom." Line 309-314

Quote 10: "Child, child, you are dreaming, since dreaming is a light/pastime, of fortune more golden than gold/or the Blessed Ones north of the North Wind./But the stroke of the twofold lash is pounding/close, and powers gather under ground/to give aid. The hands of those who are lords/are unclean, and these are accursed./Power grows on the side of the children." Line 372-379

Quote 11: "May Zeus, from all shoulder's strength,/pound down his fist upon them,/ohay, smash their heads./Let the land once more believe./There has been wrong done. I ask for right./Hear me, Earth. Hear me, grandeurs of Darkness." Line 394-399

Quote 12: "Of what thing can we speak, and strike more close,/than of the sorrows they who bore us have given.../For we are bloody like the wolf/and savage born from the savage mother." Line 418-422

Quote 13: "O all unworthy of him, that you tell me./Shall she not pay for this dishonor/for all the immortals,/for all my own hands can do?/Let me but take her life and die for it." Line 434-438

Quote 14: "We gather into murmurous revolt. Hear/us, hear. Come back into the light./Be with us against those who hate." Line 458-460

Quote 15: "If this snake came out of the same place whence I came,/if she wrapped it in robes, as she wrapped me, and if/its jaws gaped wide around the breast that suckled me,/and if it stained the intimate milk with an outburst/of blood, so that for fright and pain she cried aloud,/it follows then, that as she nursed this hideous thing/of prophesy, she must be cruelly murdered. I/turn snake to kill her. This is what the dream portends." Line 543-550

Quote 16: "The female force, the desperate/love crams its resisted way/on marriage and the dark embrace/of brute beasts, of mortal men." Line 599-602

Quote 17: "The guile, treacheries of the woman's heart/against a lord armored in/power, a lord his enemies revered,/I prize the hearth not inflamed within the house,/the woman's right pushed not into daring." Line 624-630

Quote 18: "Oh curse upon our house, bitter antagonist,/how far your eyes range. What was clean out of your way/your archery brings down with a distant deadly shot/to strip unhappy me of all I ever loved./Even Orestes now! He was so well advised/to keep his foot clear of this swamp of death. But now/set down as traitor the hope that was our healer once/and made us look for a bright revel in our house." Line 692-699

Quote 19: "I took the other troubles bravely as they came:/but now, darling Orestes! I wore out my life/for him. I took him from his mother, brought him up./There were times when he screamed at night and woke me from/my rest; I had to do many hard tasks, and now/useless; a baby is like a beast, but it does not think/but you have to nurse it, do you not, the way it wants." Line 748-754

Quote 20: "Then at last we shall sing/for deliverance of the house/the woman's song that sets the wind/fair, no thin drawn and grief/struck wail, but this: 'The ship sails fair.'/My way, mine, the advantage piles here, with wreck/and ruin far from those I love./Be not fear struck when your turn comes in the action/but with a great cry Father/when she cries Child to you/go on through with the innocent murder." Line 819-830

Quote 21: "The bloody edges of the knives that rip/man-flesh are moving to work. It will mean/utter and final ruin imposed/on Agamemnon's/house: or our man will kindle a flame/and light of liberty, win the domain/and huge treasure again of his fathers./Forlorn challenger, though blessed by god,/Orestes must come to grips with the two,/so wrestle. Yet may he throw them." Line 859-869

Quote 22: "Hold, my son. Oh take pity, child, before this breast/where many a time, a drowsing baby, you would feed/and with soft gums sucked in the milk that made you strong." Line 896-898

Quote 23: "Divinity keeps, we know not how, strength to resist/surrender to the wicked./The power that holds the sky's majesty wins our worship./Light is here to behold./The big bit that held our house is taken away./Rise up, you halls, arise; for time grown too long/you lay tumbled upon the ground." Line 957-964

Quote 24: "And this thing: what shall I call it and be right, in all/eloquence? Trap for an animal or winding sheet/for a dead man? Or bath curtain? Since it is a net,/robe you could call it, to entangle a man's feet./Some highwayman might own a thing like this, to catch/the wayfarer and rob him of his money and/so make a living. With a treacherous thing like this/he could take many victims and go warm within./May no such wife as she was come to live with me./Sooner, let God destroy me, with no children born." Line 997-1006

Quote 25: "And look upon me now, how I go armored in/leafed branch and garland on my way to the centrestone/and sanctuary, and Apollo's level place,/the shining of the fabulous fire that never dies,/to escape this blood that is my own. [Apollo] ordained/that I should turn to no other shrine than this./To all men in Argos in time to come I say/they shall be witness, how these evil things were done." Line 1034-1041

Quote 26: "No!/Women who serve this house, [the Furies] come like gorgons, they/wear robes of black, and they are wreathed in a tangle/of snakes. I can no longer stay." Line 1048-1050

Quote 27: "Here on this house of the kings the third/storm has broken, with wind/from the inward race, and gone its course./The children were eaten: there was the first/affliction, the curse of Thyestes./Next came the royal death, when a man/and the lord of Achaean armies went down/killed in the bath. Third is for the savior. He came. Shall I call/it that, or death? Where/is the end? Where shall the fury of fate/be stilled to sleep, be done with?" Line 1065-1076

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