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The Suppliants   


Nor with the young men's will hath their will stood.
They knew right well
Th' unearthly watching fiend invincible,
The foul avenger-let him not draw near!
For he, on roofs ill-starred,
Defiling and polluting, keeps a ghastly ward!
They knew his vengeance, and took holy heed
To us, the sister suppliants, who cry
To Zeus, the lord of purity:
Therefore with altars pure they shall the gods revere.
Thus, through the boughs that shade our lips, fly forth in air,

strophe 2

Fly forth, O eager prayer!
May never pestilence efface
This city's race,
Nor be the land with corpses strewed,
Nor stained with civic blood!
The stem of youth, unpluckt, to manhood come,
Nor Ares rise from Aphrodite's bower,
The lord of death and bane, to waste our youthful flower.

antistrophe 2

Long may the old
Crowd to the altars kindled to consume
Gifts rich and manifold-
Offered to win from powers divine
A benison on city and on shrine:
Let all the sacred might adore
Of Zeus most high, the lord
Of guestright and the hospitable board,
Whose immemorial law doth rule Fate's scales aright:
The garners of earth's store
Be full for evermore,
And grace of Artemis make women's travail light;

strophe 3

No devastating curse of fell disease
This city seize;
No clamour of the State arouse to war
Ares, from whom afar
Shrinketh the lute, by whom the dances fail-
Ares, the lord of wail.
Swarm far aloof from Argos' citizens
All plague and pestilence,
And may the Archer-God our children spare!

antistrophe 3

May Zeus with foison and with fruitfulness
The land's each season bless,
And, quickened with Heaven's bounty manifold,
Teem grazing flock and fold.
Beside the altars of Heaven's hallowing
Loud let the minstrels sing,
And from pure lips float forth the harp-led strain in air!

strophe 4

And let the people's voice, the power
That sways the State, in danger's hour

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