Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aeschylus
Pages of Eumenides

Previous | Next


Sleep on! awake! what skills your sleep to me-
Me, among all the dead by you dishonoured-
Me from whom never, in the world of death,
Dieth this course, 'Tis she who smote and slew,
And shamed and scorned I roam? Awake, and hear
My plaint of dead men's hate intolerable.
Me, sternly slain by them that should have loved,
Me doth no god arouse him to avenge,
Hewn down in blood by matricidal hands.
Mark ye these wounds from which the heart's blood ran,
And by whose hand, bethink ye! for the sense
When shut in sleep hath then the spirit-sight,
But in the day the inward eye is blind.
List, ye who drank so oft with lapping tongue
The wineless draught by me outpoured to soothe
Your vengeful ire! how oft on kindled shrine
I laid the feast of darkness, at the hour
Abhorred of every god but you alone!
Lo, all my service trampled down and scorned!
And he bath baulked your chase, as stag the hounds;
Yea, lightly bounding from the circling toils,
Hath wried his face in scorn, and flieth far.
Awake and hear-for mine own soul I cry-
Awake, ye powers of hell! the wandering ghost
That once was Clytemnestra calls-Arise!

The FURIES mutter grimly, as in a dream. Mutter and murmur! He hath
flown afar-
My kin have gods to guard them, I have none!

The FURIES mutter as before. O drowsed in sleep too deep to heed my
Orestes flies, who me, his mother, slew.
The FURIES give a confused
Yelping, and drowsed again? Up and be doing
That which alone is yours, the deed of hell!
The FURIES give another
Lo, sleep and toil, the sworn confederates,
Have quelled your dragon-anger, once so fell!

THE FURIES muttering more fiercely and loudly
Seize, seize, seize, seize-mark, yonder!
In dreams ye chase a prey, and like some hound,
That even in sleep doth ply woodland toil,
Ye bell and bay. What do ye, sleeping here?
Be not o'ercome with toil, nor, sleep-subdued,
Be heedless of my wrong. Up! thrill your heart
With the just chidings of my tongue,-Such words
Are as a spur to purpose firmly held.
Blow forth on him the breath of wrath and blood,
Scorch him with reek of fire that burns in you,
Waste him with new pursuit-swift, hound him down!

The GHOST sinks.

FIRST FURY awaking
Up! rouse another as I rouse thee; up!
Sleep'st thou? Rise up, and spurning sleep away,
See we if false to us this prelude rang.
strophe 1

Alack, alack, O sisters, we have toiled,
O much and vainly have we toiled and borne!
Vainly! and all we wrought the gods have foiled,
And turned us to scorn!
He hath slipped from the net, whom we chased: he hath 'scaped us
who should be our prey-

Previous | Next
Site Search