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The Suppliants   


sky,
That as dust which flits up without wings I might pass and evanish
and die!

antistrophe 1

I dare not, I dare not abide: my heart yearns, eager to fly;
And dark is the cast of my thought; I shudder and tremble for fear.
My father looked forth and beheld: I die of the sight that draws
near.
And for me be the strangling cord, the halter made ready by Fate,
Before to my body draws nigh the man of my horror and hate.
Nay, ere I will own him as lord, as handmaid to Hades I go!

strophe 2

And oh, that aloft in the sky, where the dark clouds are frozen to
snow,
A refuge for me might be found, or a mountain-top smooth and too
high
For the foot of the goat, where the vulture sits lonely, and none
may descry
The pinnacle veiled in the cloud, the highest and sheerest of all,
Ere to wedlock that rendeth my heart, and love that is loveless,
I fall!

antistrophe 2

Yea, a prey to the dogs and the birds of the mount will I give me
to be,-
From wailing and curse and pollution it is death, only death, sets
me free:
Let death come upon me before to the ravisher's bed I am thrust;
What champion, what saviour but death can I find, or what refuge
from lust?

strophe 3

I will utter my shriek of entreaty, a prayer that shrills up to the
sky,
That calleth the gods to compassion, a tuneful, a pitiful cry,
That is loud to invoke the releaser. O father, look down on the
fight;
Look down in thy wrath on the wronger, with eyes that are eager for
right.
Zeus, thou that art lord of the world, whose kingdom is strong over
all,
Have mercy on us! At thine altar for refuge and safety we call.

antistrophe 3

For the race of Aegyptus is fierce, with greed and with malice
afire;
They cry as the questing hounds, they sweep with the speed of
desire.
But thine is the balance of fate, thou rulest the wavering scale,
And without thee no mortal emprise shall have strength to achieve
or prevail.
The CHORUS rushes to the altar during the final part of the song.

Alack, alack! the ravisher-
He leaps from boat to beach, he draweth near!
Away, thou plunderer accurst!
Death seize thee first,

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