Eumenides 94-197

Ghost of Clytemestra:
Oh, you sleep do you? Hello! And what need is there of sleepers?
And I, because of you, remain dishonoured here
among the other corpses—those whom I killed
their rebuke is not abandoned among the dead,
and I am shamefully cast out; and I proclaim to you that
I bear the greatest censure of those below;
although I have suffered such horrors at the hands of my dearest kin—
no divine spirit is wroth on my behalf,
slain by matricidal hands.
See these blows in your heart;
[ for the sleeping heart has illuminated sight,
but in the day, the fate of mortals is unforeseen. ]
Indeed you have lapped up much of mine;
drink offerings without wine, unmixed propitiations,
and witching-hour feasts upon fire in the hearth
I did sacrifice, at a time shared by none of the gods.
And here I see all this tasted by the foot.
He has fled, he left akin to a fawn,
and what’s more he did nimbly from the midst of traps
dart forth, and he had a great laugh at your expense.
Listen! For I have spoken concerning my own
soul. Pay heed, oh goddesses beneath the earth.
For I, Clytemestra, now call upon you in a dream.
(A noise.)
Ghost of Clytemestra:
Oh you murmur? But the man departs, fleeing onward;
for he has allies not like to mine.
(A noise.)
Ghost of Clytemestra:
You are too drowsy and do not lament my suffering;
and Orestes, the murderer of his mother here departs.
(A cry.)
Ghost of Clytemestra:
You make a cry, you are drowsy; Will you not swiftly arise?
What business is alotted you except to work harm?
(A cry.)
Ghost of Clytemestra:
Sleep and toil, those lords, conspirators,
have exhausted the might of a frightful dragon.
(A piercing noise, twice.)
Get him! Get him! Get him! Get him! Show it!
Ghost of Clytemestra:
So you hunt your prey in a dream, you bay, the very
hound never at any time abandoning the object of your toil.
What are you doing? Rouse yourself! Do not let your toil defeat you,
nor misperceive the calamity, soothed by sleep.
Let your liver be pained by righteous reproaches;
for it becomes a goad for the wise.
And you, once you’ve sent after him a gale of murderous breath,
once you’ve reduced him to vapour, with fire in his bowels,
pursue him, wither him in a second pursuit.
Wake up! You here, wake up, as I do you!
Do you sleep? Get up, shake off sleep,
let us see if anything dallies of this prelude.

Alas! Alack! Curses! My sisters, we suffer—
— Oh so much have I suffered and all for nought.
— We have suffered a woeful setback, oh curses,
unbearable harm.
— He has slipped from our net, our prey has left.
— overcome by sleep, I ruined the hunt.

Alas, oh child of Zeus! You have become cunning,
you, young one, have ridden down old spirits,
honouring your suppliant, a godless man and
to his parents spiteful,
you have stolen away the matricide, although a god.1
What of this will anyone say is just?

A rebuke came to me in my dreams
and beat me in the manner of a charioteer
with a spur gripped at the middle,
under my heart, under my liver;
I can feel the grievous, so grievous cold
of the destructive public scourge;

The sorts of things these young gods do,
ruling with absolute power, beyond their right,
a throne dripping blood
from its head down to its foot,
here to behold, the navel of the earth, with blood,
a fearsome pollution, it is defiled.

Although an oracle, with defilement upon your own hearth,
have you smeared the inmost room, unprovoked, unbidden,
honouring mortals beyond the custom of gods,
and causing the ancient allotments to wane.

But he is offensive to me, and this is not resolved,
though he flee beneath the earth he is in no way set free,
though he be a suppliant for purification, on his head there is
another avenger which he shall acquire.

Out, I demand, quickly from this house;
withdraw, depart from the inmost of the oracular,
lest you receive the flashing winged serpent,
sent forth from the golden bow-string,
and so with pain throw up black foam from your lungs,
vomiting clots which you drained off from slaughter.
Indeed you are not fit to draw near this house,
but where there are beheadings, eye-pluckings,
judgements, and murders of seed by abortion
and of children, there youthful vigour is harmed, and mutilations,
and stonings, they make a piteous great moan,
those who are spiked under the spine. So do you hear
what sort of festival it is that you, spat out by the gods,
have affection for? The entire manner of your form
indicates it; at the cave of the blood-drinking lion
those of your sort are likely to dwell, not at the seat of an oracle,
your pollution to rub off on those nearby.
Depart you tended goats without a herdsman.
The sort of flock well-loved by none of the gods.

1. The implication is that his behaviour is unbecoming of a god.

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