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The Suppliants   


And then on him withal,
Who, as amid the flowers the grazing creature ranged,
Was in her by a breath of Zeus conceived;
And, as the hour of birth drew nigh,
By fate fulfilled, unto the light he came;-
And Epaphus for name,
Born from the touch of Zeus, the child received

antistrophe 1

On him, on him I cry,
And him for patron hold-
While in this grassy vale I stand,
Where lo roamed of old!
And here, recounting all her toil and pain,
Signs will I show to those who rule the land
That I am child of hers; and all shall understand,
Hearing the doubtful tale of the dim past made plain.

strophe 2

And, ere the end shall be,
Each man the truth of what I tell shall see.
And if there dwell hard by
One skilled to read from bird-notes augury,
That man, when through his ears shall thrill our tearful wail,
Shall deem he hears the voice, the plaintive tale
Of her, the piteous spouse of Tereus, lord of guile-
Whom the hawk harries yet, the mourning nightingale.

antistrophe 2

She, from her happy home and fair streams scared away,
Wails wild and sad for haunts beloved erewhile.
Yea, and for Itylus-ah, well-a-day!
Slain by her own, his mother's hand,
Maddened by lustful wrong, the deed by Tereus planned!

strophe 3

Like her I wail and wail, in soft lonian tones,
And as she wastes, even so
Wastes my soft cheek, once ripe with Nilus' suns,
And all my heart dissolves in utter woe.
Sad flowers of grief I cull,
Fleeing from kinsmen's love unmerciful-
Yea, from the clutching hands, the wanton crowd,
I sped across the waves, from Egypt's land of cloud.

antistrophe 3

Gods of the ancient cradle of my race,
Hear me, just gods! With righteous grace
On me, on me look down!
Grant not to youth its heart's unchaste desire,
But, swiftly spurning lust's unholy fire,
Bless only love and willing wedlock's crown!
The war-worn fliers from the battle's wrack
Find refuge at the hallowed altar-side,
The sanctuary divine,-
Ye gods! such refuge unto me provide-
Such sanctuary be mine!

strophe 4

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