Sophocles


Electra's Song - Poem by Sophocles

O holy light of day,
And air with earth commensurate,
Many the wailing songs,
Many the echoing blow,
On bosom stained with blood
Thou heardest, when the night
Of murky darkness ceased;
And how, in all my vigils of the night
I wail my hapless sire,
It knows, the loathèd bed of hated house;
My sire, whom Ares fierce and murderous,
On alien shore received not as a guest,
But she, my mother, and her paramour,
Ægisthos, with the blood-stained hatchet, smote
As those that timber fell
Smite down with lofty oak.
And thou, my father, hast no pity gained
From any one but me,
Though thou a death hast died
So grievous and so foul to look upon.

But I at least will ne'er
Refrain mine eyes from weeping, while I live,
Nor yet my voice from wail;
Not while I see this day,
And yon bright twinkling stars;
But, like a nightingale
Of its young brood bereaved,
Before the gates I speak them forth to all.
O house of Hades and Persephone,
O Hermes of the abyss, and thou, dread Curse,
And ye, Erinnyes, daughters of the Gods,
Ye dreaded Ones who look
On all who perish, slain unrighteously,
On all whose bed is stealthily defiled,
Come ye, and help, avenge my father's death;
Send me my brother here,
For I alone must fail,
Sorrow's great burden in the balance cast.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 24, 2012



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