KASSANDRA in «Die Orestie: Agamemnon» II.

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    Act III 

    Cassandra with the Chorus.  

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    32098278 9783150195352 XlCASSANDRA: 
    Alas! what fire is this! It seizes me.
    Woe! woe! Lykeian god! Apollo! Woe!
    The biped lioness, that with the wolf
    In absence of the noble lion couched, ⁠
    Will me, her victim, slaughter, and as one
    Poison who mixeth, she my doom will add
    To crown her vengeance; whetting 'gainst her lord
    The murderous knife, she boasteth to exact
    His death, as payment for escorting me.
    Why longer wear this scorn-provoking gear,
    This wand, these wreaths prophetic round my neck?
    Thee I will shatter ere myself am doomed.
    Hence to destruction: I will follow soon;
    Another, in my place, enrich with woes.
    Behold, Apollo's self doth strip me bare ⁠
    Of the prophetic robe; coldly he gazed,
    What time, in these adornments vainly tricked,
    To friends and enemies, with one consent,
    All undeserved, a laughter I became:
    Vagrant yclept, poor hunger-stricken wretch,
    A strolling mountebank, I bare it all;
    And now the seer (his vengeance wreaked on me
    The seeress) calls me to this deadly fate.
    My father at the altar fell, but me
    The slaughter-block awaiteth, smitten down
    By stroke relentless, reeking with hot gore.
    Yet not unhonoured of the gods we fall; ⁠
    For other champion of our cause shall come,
    Seed matricidal, venger of his sire.
    An exiled wanderer, from this land estranged,
    Returns, this vengeance for his friends to crown.
    For, lo, the gods a mighty oath have sworn,
    His father's prostrate form shall lead him home.
    But why, an alien here, pour I my wail?
    When that I first have seen my Ilion fare
    As fared it hath, and they who won the town
    In sorry plight, through judgment of the gods. ⁠
    I'll do! I'll suffer! I will dare to die.
    These gates, as gates of Hades, I adjure,
    One prayer I offer, "mortal be the stroke;"
    Free from convulsive throes, in easy death,
    While ebbs my life-blood, may I close mine eyes.

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