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The Suppliants   


Or e'er thou touch me-off! God, hear our cry,
Our maiden agony!
Ah, ah, the touch, the prelude of my shame.
Alas, my maiden fame!
O sister, sister, sister, to the altar cling,
For he that seizeth me,
Grim is his wrath and stern, by land as on the sea.
Guard us, O king!

The HERALD OF AEGYPTUS enters with attendants. The lines in the
following scene between the HERALD and the CHORUS are sung and are
accompanied by a frenzied symbolic dance.


HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Hence to my barge-step swiftly, tarry not.

CHORUS
Alack, he rends-he rends my hair! O wound on wound!
Help! my lopped head will fall, my blood gush o'er the ground!

HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Aboard, ye cursed-with a new curse, go!

CHORUS
Would God that on the wand'ring brine
Thou and this braggart tongue of thine
Had sunk beneath the main-
Thy mast and planks, made fast in vain!
Thee would I drive aboard once more,
A slayer and a dastard, from the shore!
HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Be still, thou vain demented soul;
My force thy craving shall control.
Away, aboard! What, clingest to the shrine?
Away! this city's gods I hold not for divine.
CHORUS
Aid me, ye gods, that never, never
I may again behold
The mighty, the life-giving river,
Nilus, the quickener of field and fold!
Alack, O sire, unto the shrine I cling-
Shrine of this land from which mine ancient line did spring!

HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Shrines, shrines, forsooth!-the ship, the ship be shrine
Aboard, perforce and will-ye nill-ye, go!
Or e'er from hands of mine
Ye suffer torments worse and blow on blow.
CHORUS
Alack, God grant those hands may strive in vain
With the salt-streaming wave,
When 'gainst the wide-blown blasts thy bark shall strain
To round Sarpedon's cape, the sandbank's treach'rous grave.

HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Shrill ye and shriek unto what gods ye may,
Ye shall not leap from out Aegyptus' bark,
How bitterly soe'er ye wail your woe.
CHORUS
Alack, alack my wrong!
Stern is thy voice, thy vaunting loud and strong.
Thy sire, the mighty Nilus, drive thee hence,
Turning to death and doom thy greedy violence!
HERALD OF AEGYPTUS
Swift to the vessel of the double prow,

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