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Dramas of Aeschylus (Swanwick)/Eumenides

< Dramas of Aeschylus (Swanwick)
For other English-language translations of this work, see Eumenides (Aeschylus).

 

EUMENIDES.

 

 

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Pythian Prophetess.
Apollo.
Orestes.
Ghost of Clytemnestra.
Chorus of Furies.
Athena.
Escort.




[The Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In the background the summits of Parnassus. The orchestra represents the open court in front of the temple. The Pythoness appears praying at an altar adorned with images of the successive divinities of the sanctuary.]

 

 

EUMENIDES.

Pythoness.

FIRST, with this prayer, I honour of the gods[1]
Earth, prophetess primeval; Themis next,
On this her mother's seat oracular
Second who sat—for so tradition tells;
Third by decree of Fate, with her good will,
Doing despite to none, took here her seat,
Another power Titanian, child of Earth,
Phœbe; she gave it as a birth-day gift
To Phœbos, who from Phœbe takes his name.
Leaving the lake and Delos' rocky isle,
At Pallas' ship-frequented shores he lands, 10
Then gains this region, those Parnassian seats;
Him onward speed, and mightily adore,
Hephæstos' sons, road-fashioners, who wrought,
Taming for him the savage wilderness.
Him, when he comes, highly the people honour,
King Delphos also, steersman of this land.
Zeus with prophetic art his mind inspired,
And throned him on this sacred seat, fourth seer;
So Loxias[2] now is prophet of his sire.
These gods I worship with preluding prayers. 20
But be Pronæan[3] Pallas likewise hailed
With words of honour! you too I salute,
Nymphs who frequent Korykia's caverned rock,
Kindly to birds, and haunt of deities.
Bromios, full well I wis, the region holds,
Since with his Thyads thence the god made war,
And Pentheus coursed, like doubling hare, to death.
The founts of Pleistos, and Poseidon's might
Invoking, and high-consummating Zeus,
Ah prophetess I now assume this seat.
Beyond the past my entrance may they crown 30
With fair response! Are sons of Hellas here,—
Let them, as custom is, approach by lot,
For as the god doth guide, I prophesy.

[She retires into the temple, and after a brief pause returns terror-stricken.]

Things dire to tell, direful for eyes to see,
Have forced me from the fane of Loxias,
So that no strength I have, no power to move;
But lacking speed of limb, with hands I run;
For age, when scared, is nought; a very child.
Towards the wreath-encircled nook I creep,
And at earth's navel-stone, behold a man 40
Defiled before the gods, as suppliant,
Holding his seat;—his hands still dripping gore,
His sword new-drawn, his lofty olive-branch
With ample fillets piously enwreathed,
White bands of wool;—for so I speak it plain.
But lo! before this man, on seats reclined,
A wondrous company of women sleeps;
Women? nay, Gorgons let me say; nor yet
To Gorgonean types compare I them.
Ere now in paintings [Harpies] I have seen,
Snatching the meal of Phineus. These to sight 50
Are wingless, black, and loathsome utterly.
With breathings unapproachable they snore,
Forth from their eyes drippeth a loathsome rheum;
Their garb too vile the effigies to touch
Of gods immortal, or the roofs of men.
Tribe of this sisterhood I ne'er have seen;
Neither may region boast such brood to rear
Scathless, unvisited by penance-throe.
But for the issue, let lord Loxias,
Mighty, who rules these seats, himself provide; 60
For prophet-leech, and portent-seer is he,
Who can for others purify their homes.

[Exit Pythoness.


[The interior of the sanctuary is disclosed, and exhibits the following group. Apollo appears standing beside Orestes, who is seated on the Omphalos.[4] The Furies are reclined on seats, fast asleep. Hermes in the background.]


Apollo.

I'll ne'er betray thee: to the end thy guard,
Beside thee standing, or when far aloof;
Nor will be gracious to thy enemies.
And captured now this maddened crew thou seest.
By sleep the loathsome virgins are o'erpowered,
Hoary primeval progeny,—with whom
Nor god, nor man, nor beast, will e'er consort. 70
For Evil's sake brought forth, in evil gloom
Of subterranean Tartaros they dwell,
Abhorred of men and of Olympian gods.
But hie thee hence, nor o'er relax thy speed,
For as thou tread'st the wand'rer-trampled earth.
They'll track thee o'er the ample continent,
O'er the wide ocean and the citied isles;
And faint thou not nor fail before the time,
O'er this toil brooding; hie to Pallas city;
As suppliant her ancient image clasp.
There having judges of thy cause, and words 80
Of suasive power, some means we shall devise
For evermore to free thee from these toils;
For at my bidding was thy mother slain.


Orestes.

Apollo lord, justice full well thou knowest;
Since then thou knowest, learn to practise it.
Of good success thy might is warranty.


Apollo.

Remember, nor let fear unnerve thy mind.
[To Hermes.
But thou, true brother mine, blood of my sire,
Hermes, protect him;—faithful to thy name,
Be thou his escort, shepherding this man, 90
My suppliant; for Zeus himself reveres
The sacred right of outlaws, which to mortals
From thy safe convoy cometh. Fortune's boon.

[Exit Orestes, conducted by Hermes.


[Ghost of Clytemnestra appears behind Apollo. She is arrayed in her robe of state, sombre and shadow-like. Her breast is bare, and the bloody wound visible near the neck.]


Ghost.

Sleep on! Ho there! what need of sleepers here?
But I by you, among the other dead,
Dishonoured thus, from them the keenest taunts,
For his sake whom I slew, must needs endure.
In deep disgrace I wander;—this I tell you,
Reproach among the shades forsakes me not;
Dire evil I have borne from those most dear, 100
And yet for me, by matricidal hands
Ruthlessly slain, no god is moved to wrath.
Behold these direful heart-wounds, whence they came,
For clear in sleep the vision of the mind,
While unforeseen by day the fate of men.
Full many gifts of mine have ye lapped up;
Wineless libations, sober, soothing rites,
And feasts, I offered on the sacred hearth,
At dead of night, the hour no god may share.
All these down-trampled now I must behold. 110
But gone is he, escaping like a fawn,
And, lightly bounding o'er the hunter's net,
At you he mocked, with many a scornful jeer.
Hear ye, how, pleading for my life, I speak.
Awake, dread demons of the lower world;
For Clytemnestra calls you, I, a dream.


Chorus.

[Moaning.]


Clytemnestra.

Moan on, but gone the man, flying far off;
For him are patron-gods, though not for me.


Chorus.

[Moaning.]


Clytemnestra.

By sleep oppressed, thou pitiest not my woe,
His mother's murderer, Orestes, flies. 120

 

Chorus.

[Groans.]


Clytemnestra.

Dost groan, dost sleep, nor on the instant rise?
What have ye done except to work me bale?


Chorus.

[Groans.]


Clytemnestra.

Slumber and toil, worthy conspirators,
Have sorely wasted the fell dragon's might.


Chorus.

[Redoubled and shrill groans.]

Chorus-leader.[5] Take heed there.
Furies. 2. 3.Seize.
4. 5.Seize.
6. 7.Seize.
8. 9.Seize.
10. 11.Seize.
12. 13.Seize.
14. 15.Seize.


Clytemnestra.

In dreams dost track the game, yelping amain,
Like hound that never intermits the chase.
What dost thou? Rise, be not subdued by toil,
Nor yet, relaxed by sleep, to grief be blind.
By just reproaches let thy heart be stung, 130
For to the prudent sharp they are as goads.
But on thy quarry wafting gory breath,
Scorch him with fiery vapour from thy maw;—
Chase hard, with second coursing wear him down.


[The Ghost vanishes. The Chorus-leader starts from her seat.]


Leader.

Awake! Awaken her, as I wake thee!
Sleepest thou still? Arise, and slumber spurn;
Then try we whether vain our prelude be.


[The Furies start up one after another from their seats, and range themselves upon the stage, right and left of their leader.]


Chorus. Strophe I.

1st Fury. Woe! woe! alack! Friends, we have suffered scorn.
2. Much have I suffered and in vain.
1. Alack! dire anguish we have borne, 140
Intolerable pain!
2. Burst from the toils, fled is the game away.
3. By sleep o'ermastered I have lost the prey.

Antistrophe I.

4. Fie! Son of Zeus! Thou thievish art, I trow;
5. Us, hoary gods, thou youngster ridest down;
4. This godless wight, bitter to parents, thou
As suppliant dost own.
5. A god the matricide has filched away.
6. That aught herein is just will any say?

Strophe II.

7. Voice of reproachful blame, to me in dreams that came 150
Smote me, like charioteer with scourge grasped tight,
8. 'Neath heart and reins. Such chilly pang I know
As from the public scourger's ruthless blow.

Antistrophe II.

9. The upstart doings these of younger deities,
Usurping power beyond the sway of right.
10. Dark-smeared from foot to crown, earth's navel-stone 160
Blood's horrible defilement now doth own.

Strophe III.

11. 12. But Thou, the seer, with hearth-stain hast thy shrine
Polluted, self-invited, self-impelled;
Revering mortal things 'gainst law divine
The Fates thou hast dishonoured, grey with eld.

Antistrophe III.

13. 14. Me while he plagues, himself he shall not free;
A captive still, though under earth he fled,
For, stained with blood, another after me,
Avenger stern, shall light upon his head.


Apollo.

Avaunt, I charge thee, leave those hallowed seats; 170
Depart with speed from this prophetic shrine,
Lest thou,—by wingèd glistering snake transfixed,
Shot from this golden-twisted cord,—through pain,
Shouldst vomit forth black gore, the clots disgorging
Which thou from slaughtered men hast ruthless sucked.
Thee it befits not to approach these seats,
But where head-lopping, eye-outscooping rage,
With vengeance that doth sap youth's vital powers,
Where slaughters, mutilations, stonings reign, 180
And where impaled, wretches with cruel throes
Groan forth their anguish. These the feasts ye love,
And therefore are ye hateful to the gods.
Your whole aspèct attests it,—such should dwell
In blood-gorged lion's den, not tarry here
Bringing pollution to these hallowed seats.
Begone, ye grisly troop, unshepherded,
For to such flock no heavenly power is kind.


Chorus.

Apollo lord, do thou in turn give ear;
No mere accomplice art thou in those ills; 190
Rather of all, sole author thou, sole cause.


Apollo.

How so! To greater length extend thy speech.

 

Chorus.

The stranger thou didst prompt to matricide.


Apollo.

To avenge his sire I prompted him; why not?


Chorus.

With promise this new bloodshed to defend.


Apollo.

And bade him seek as suppliant this shrine.


Chorus.

And these, his escort, thou forsooth revilest.


Apollo.

Because not meet their presence for these seats.


Chorus.

Yet unto us hath been assigned this charge.


Apollo.

What function this? Extol thy fair employ. 200


Chorus.

All mother-slayers from their homes we chase.


Apollo.

How if the wife her husband should have slain?


Chorus.

Not one in blood were she with him she slew.

 

Apollo.

Greatly thou dost misprise and set at nought
The nuptial bond of Hera and of Zeus;
Dishonoured too is Kypris by these words,
From whom to mortals come their dearest joys;
For, under Justice' shield, the nuptial couch,
'Twixt man and wife the heaven-appointed bond,
Is mightier than oath; to wedded pair,
When one slays other, if thou lenient be, 210
These not pursuing with keen-sighted wrath,
Not justly then Orestes thou dost chase;
For thee, right earnest in his case I find,
But openly in hers more mild in sooth.
But Pallas shall both sides with justice scan.


Chorus.

Never will I desist this man to chase.


Apollo.

Pursue him then, prolong thy fruitless toil.


Chorus.

Claim not by word my honours to abridge.


Apollo.

Honours like thine I would reject with scorn.


Chorus.

For great thy rank before the throne of Zeus. 220
But I, led on by mother's blood, this man
To death will chase; I follow on his track.

[Exit Chorus.

 

Apollo.

But I will aid, will save, the fugitive;
For dire with men and gods the suppliant's wrath,
If I his cause should willingly betray.


[The scene changes to Athens, and the temple of Apollo is transformed into the temple of Athena Polias on the Acropolis.]


Orestes, embracing the sacred image of Pallas.

Athena, Queen, at Loxias' hest I'm come;
A wretched outcast graciously receive,
Not blood-polluted, nor with hands unclean,
For blunted now and worn the edge of crime
At other homes, and in the paths of men. 230
Holding my course alike o'er land and sea,
Faithful to Loxias' word oracular,
I to thy fane am come, thy image, goddess,
Here keeping guard, I will abide my doom.


[Enter the Leader of the Chorus, followed by the Furies. As they advance they spread themselves out towards both sides of the orchestra.]


Leader.

'Tis well; sure token this, the man is here.
Follow the leading of this voiceless guide;
For still we track, as hound the wounded fawn,
By blood and reeking drops, our destined prey;
Spent with full many man-outwearing toils, Pant my deep vitals, for on every spot
Of the wide earth my charge I shepherded, 240
And now in hot pursuit with wingless flight
Swift as swift galley o'er the sea I course;
Here in some nook ensconced, crouching he lies;
Of human blood the odour gladdens me.


[The Furies having taken their stations opposite to one another in the orchestra, sing the following Strophes in responsive order.]


Chorus.

1, 2. Look here! Look there!
Peer everywhere;
Lest, scathless in flight, illuding our sight,
The matricide 'scape unaware.
3, 4. He refuge hath found;
With arms twined around
The goddess immortal, this murderous wight
A verdict now seeks through her aid 'gainst the right 250
5, 6. But baseless his trust;
Mother's blood from the dust
Is hard to recover;—once shed on the plain,
The life-blood is gone, it returns not again.
7, 8. Lo, suffer thou must
In requital most just,
And I the red clot from thy members will drain.
9, 10. The foul draught I'll taste,
Thy strength I will waste,
Then drag thee still living to regions below,
The forfeit to pay for thy mother's death-blow.
11, 12. There thou shalt see in durance drear,
'Gainst god or guest or parents dear, 260
Like thee who sinned, receiving their due meed.
13, 14. For Hades, ruler of the nether sphere,
Exactest auditor of human kind,
Graved on the tablet of his mind
Doth every trespass read.


Orestes.

To me, long disciplined in woe, are known
Divers lustrations; when to speak I know,
When to be silent; but in present need
By sapient teacher I was charged to speak.
The blood now sleepeth, fading from my hand; 270
Washed clean away the matricidal stain;
For while yet fresh, by rites of slaughter'd swine,
At Phœbos' altar it was duly purged;—
Tedious the tale, were I to reckon o'er
How many fared with me nor suffered harm.
Time, waxing old, doth all things purify;
Now, with pure lip, I piously invoke
Athena, of this region queen, to come,
My pleader: so she weaponless shall earn
Myself, my realm, and all the Argive host, 280
Honestly true, allies for evermore.
But whether on the Libyan plain, beside
Her natal Triton wave, she stand erect,
Or sit, with foot enveloped, to her friends
Dispensing aid;—or on Phlegraian fields,
Like warlike leader, marshal her array,—
Oh may she come (a goddess hears from far),
And be my saviour from these miseries.


Chorus.

Thee nor Apollo, nor Athena's might
Can save from perishing, an outcast, spurned; 290
With heart of joy oblivious, thou shalt pine,
The Furies' blood-sucked victim, a mere shade.—
How! no reply! Dost thou contemn my words,
Thou, fattened for me, thou, my victim doomed,
Slain at no altar, but my living prey?—
Our hymn, as chain to bind thee, thou shalt hear.


[The Chorus-leader ascends the steps of the altar. The rest of the Chorus arrange themselves in the orchestra, and sing the following Strophes.]


Choral Hymn.

Haste we now the dance to wind,
Since beseems in dread refrain,
To utter how our bodeful train 300
Deal the lots to mortal kind.
Loyal are we to the Right;—
Whosoe'er clean hands extendeth,
Not on him our wrath may light,
Scathless still through life he wendeth.
But when wretch, like yonder wight,
Gory hands to hide is fain,
Blood-avengers,—for the slain
True witnesses,—still lurking near,—
His doom at length completing, we appear. 310

Full Chorus. Strophe I.

Oh mother, hear me, Mother Night,
Who brought me forth, a living dread,
To scare the living and the dead,
Latona's son does me despite;—
Stealing away my trembling prey,
Destined a mother's murder to requite.

Thus o'er the victim chant we our refrain,
Frenzy's dread carol, madness-fraught,
The Furies' hymn, from Hades brought,
Soul-binding, lyreless, mortal-blighting strain.

Antistrophe I.

For Fate unswerving span, that we 320
This office hold for evermore:—
Mortals imbrued with kindred gore
We chase, till under earth they flee;
And when in death they yield their breath,
Not e'en in realm of Hades are they free.

Thus o'er the victim chant we our refrain,
Frenzy's dread carol, madness-fraught,
The Furies' hymn, from Hades brought,
Soul-binding, lyreless, mortal-blighting strain.

Strophe II.

For even at birth Fate assigned our career 330
Apart from the gods;—we approach not their sphere;
Our banquets they share not,
White garments we wear not,
Men's homes to destroy is the Furies' employ.
When Ares in strife
Robs a brother of life,
Relentless, the blood-dripping caitiff we chase;—
Though girded with strength, he must falter at length,
And falls, overpowered in the race.

Antistrophe II.

No partner brook we in our time-honoured cares, 340
Nor share with the gods jurisdiction nor prayers.
For, us,—the detested,—
Blood-stained, sable-vested,
High Zeus from his hall did exclude one and all.
So downward we stoop
On our foe with fell swoop,
And crush him with heavy footfall where he lies;
These limbs overthrow both the swift and the slow;
Once prostrate, our victims ne'er rise. 350

Strophe III.

Men's glory, though beneath the sky
Proudly august, below the earth
Dwindles dishonoured, nothing worth,
Before our dark-stoled company,
What time in bodeful dance, untired, our feet we ply.

Antistrophe III.

Through evil blind, the wretch, though prone,
Knows not his fall; for dark the cloud
That doth the guilty mind o'ershroud;
And Fame proclaims with heavy groan,
The doom, like murky cloud, that wraps a house o'erthrown.

Strophe IV.

For such Fate's decree:—awful ministers we,— 360
Keen-eyed to conceive what untired we achieve;
Of crime ever mindful, obdurate to prayer,
Apart from the gods our loathed mission we bear;—
To living and dead, 'neath our sunless torch-ray,
Dark and rugged our way.

Antistrophe IV.

Who then without fear among mortals can hear
My Fate-sanctioned law, and who quail not with awe,
Mine office thus learning, my god-given right?
For not with dishonour I wield my dread might,
Although my hoar mission, in darkness profound,
I hold 'neath the ground.


[Athena appears in a chariot, and alights.]


Athena.

A voice I heard from far Scamander's banks
Invoking me, what time the land I claimed,—
Fair portion of the booty, spear-achieved,
Which chiefs and leaders of Achaia's host
Apportioned, root and branch, for ever mine,
To Theseus' sons a chosen heritage. 380
Thence have I come, urging unwearied feet
Of prime young coursers harnessed to my car;
My swelling Ægis rustling, without wings.
And now, beholding here these uncouth guests,
I fear not, yet the marvel takes mine eye.
Who are ye? I address myself to all,
To you and also to this stranger here,
Who as a suppliant at mine image sits.
But no begotten race do ye resemble,
Neither of goddesses by gods beheld,
Nor in similitude of mortal shapes;— 390
But to speak ill of those who harm us not
Reason forbids, and Justice stands aloof.


Chorus.

Daughter of Zeus, all shalt thou hear in brief.
The progeny of ancient Night are we,
"Curses" yclept in homes beneath the earth.


Athena.

I know your lineage and the names ye bear.


Chorus.

My honours also quickly shalt thou learn.


Athena.

Mine ears are open, be the word but plain.


Chorus.

'Tis ours men-slayers from their homes to chase.


Athena.

And to the slayer's flight what goal is fixed? 400


Chorus.

Where to rejoice not is th' appointed doom.

 

Athena.

And to this bourn thou houndest now this man?


Chorus.

Yea, for he chose his mother's blood to shed.


Athena.

Urged by no mandate whose strong dread he feared?


Chorus.

Where is the goad should urge to matricide?


Athena.

Two parties plead, one only have I heard.


Chorus.

But neither will he take nor tender oath.


Athena.

Repute of justice, not just act, thou wishest.


Chorus.

How? Tell me. For no lack of wit is thine.


Athena.

By oaths win not unjust success, I say. 410


Chorus.

Question then put, and rightful verdict give.


Athena.

Leave ye to me the ruling of the cause?

 

Chorus.

Why not? just homage just regard requites.


Athena.

What wilt thou, stranger, to this charge reply?
Thy land, thy race, and thy misfortunes tell,
And then ward off the blame thus cast on thee.
If, trusting in the right, thou thus dost sit
Clasping mine image, near my sacred shrine,
Ixion-like, a suppliant revered,—
To all these queries give me clear reply. 420


Orestes.

Athena queen! matter of grave import
First will I from thy closing words remove.
Not blood-polluted am I, nor doth stain
Cleave to thine image from thy suppliant's hand.
Sure proof of this will I adduce;—'tis law
That voiceless lives the man defiled by blood,
Till purifier's hand hath him besprent
With victim's blood, slain in life's budding prime.
Long since in other homes have been performed,
With victims and with streams, these lustral rites. 430
Thus then this care, as cancelled, I dismiss.
My lineage, what it is, thou soon shalt hear.
Argive am I, my sire thou knowest well,
Marshal of naval heroes, Agamemnon,
In league with whom thou madest Ilion,
Troia's proud city, and uncited waste.
Returning home, he without honour perished;
For him, my mother, black of soul, hath slain,
Wrapt in her subtle toils, which witness bare
To the foul murder in the laver wrought.
Myself, long time an exile, coming home,
Slew her who bare me,—I deny it not,—
Avenging my dear father, blood for blood,—
And sharer in the blame is Loxias,
Who goads of anguish to my heart announced,
Unless the guilty found from me their due.
My deed, or just, or unjust, do thou judge;—
Whate'er thy verdict, I shall be content.


Athena.

Too grave the cause for mortal to adjudge,
Nor is it lawful for myself to try
A suit of murder freighted with sharp wrath. 450
Moreover, though, all needful rites performed,
My shrine thou visitest as suppliant,
Harmless and pure; yet in my city's cause,
Hurtful to it, I claim, thou shalt not be.
For these hold functions hard to set aside,
And not triumphant in their suit, henceforth,
The poison of their hate, falling to earth,
Will to this land breed dire and cureless plague.—
So stands the matter;—each alternative,
For them to stay, for me to banish them,
Is mischief-fraught, nor know I remedy.
But since this weighty cause hath lighted here, 460
Judges of murder, bound by oath, I'll choose,—
Solemn tribunal for all future time.
But for yourselves call witnesses and proofs,—
Sworn evidence collect to aid your suit;
And having from my townsmen culled the best,
Them will I set, truly to judge this cause,
Sworn nought to utter adverse to the Right.

[Exit.


Chorus. Strophe I.

Subversion born of upstart laws
Will anarchy and discord breed,
If he the matricidal deed
Who wrought, prevail, and win the cause.
Such verdict shall to reckless crime
Embolden mortals;—through all time
Murder, henceforth, unchecked shall reign, 470
And parents perish, by their children slain.

Antistrophe I.

For as on evil deeds no more
Fierce anger from this frenzied train,
Keen watch o'er mortals who maintain,
Shall steal full surely, as of yore;—
To murder I will give the rein.
Who tells his neighbour's sorrow o'er, 480
Shall hear in turn Griefs anguished moan;
Who comforts other's woe, himself must groan.

Strophe II.

Let none, 'neath Sorrow's stroke
Writhing, our aid invoke,
Pleading with anguished moan,
"O Justice, Justice, O Erinys' throne!"
Some father thus may wail,
Some mother smit with bale,
Vainly, since Justice' altar lieth prone. 490

Antistrophe II.

Throned in the heart let Awe,
Guardian of sacred law,
There hold her stedfast reign!
Well earned is wisdom at the cost of pain.—
But who in blithesome cheer
That lives, absolved from Fear,
Or man, or State, will Justice long revere?

Strophe III.

Neither life by law unblest, 500
Nor by tyrant yoke opprest,
Sanction thou;—
All extremes the gods detest;
They the golden mean, I trow,
Stamp with might. The truth I speak
Weighty is. Defiant scorn
Is from godless folly born;
While from inward health doth flow,
Beloved of all, true bliss which mortals seek.

Antistrophe III.

This, the sum of wisdom, hear;— 510
Justice' altar aye revere,
Nor ever dare,
Lusting after worldly gear,
With atheist foot to spurn; beware,
Lurketh Retribution near,
Direful issue doth impend;
Honour then with holy fear
Thy parents,—household rights revere,
Nor guest-observing ordinance offend.

Strophe IV.

But who unforced, with spirit free 520
Dares to be just, is ne'er unblest;
Whelmed utterly he cannot be:
But for the wretch with lawless breast,
Bold seizer of promiscuous prey,—
I warn you,—he, perforce, his sail
In time shall strike, when troubles him assail,
And breaks his yard-arm, neath the tempest's sway.

Antistrophe IV.

He cries, but mid the whirlpool's roar
None heeds him; for the gods deride,
Eyeing the boaster, proud no more, 530
Struggling amid the surging tide;
Shorn of his strength he yields to Fate;—
The cape he weathers not, but thrown
On Justice' sunken reef, with precious freight,
He perisheth for aye, unwept, unknown.


[Athena enters at the head of the twelve Areopagites, who take their seats in the orchestra.]


Athena.

Herald, proclaim! Hold back the multitude,
Let Tyrrhene trumpet, filled with mortal breath,
Piercing the welkin with sonorous blast,
Ring out its brazen summons to the crowd:
For, while this council-hall the jurors fill, 540
Silence to keep availeth, and to learn
(Yea, the whole city and this stranger too)
What laws for time eternal I ordain;
So may the cause be righteously adjudged.


[Apollo appears on the stage.]


Chorus.

Apollo lord, rule thou thine own domain;—
In this affair say, what concern hast thou?


Apollo.

Twofold my errand here. As witness, first:
For this man at my shrine is suppliant,
Guest of my hearth; by me from murder cleansed.
Also I come as pleader in his cause;
For of his mother's death-blow mine the blame. 550
[To Athena.
Now, as thy wisdom prompteth, open thou
The trial, Pallas: legalize the suit.


Athena.

[To the Chorus.
'Tis yours to speak;—thus I commence the suit.
Since that the plaintiff, taking first the word,
To state the argument may justly claim.


Chorus.

Though we be many, brief shall be our speech.
[To Orestes.
Do thou in turn make answer, word for word:—
And first declare,—didst thou thy mother slay?

 

Orestes.

I slew her, nor have e'er denied the deed.


Chorus.

Thus of three wrestling-bouts the first is ours.


Orestes.

Not prostrate he o'er whom this vaunt thou makest. 560


Chorus.

Behoveth thee to tell how thou didst slay.


Orestes.

This hand, my drawn sword wielding, smote her neck.


Chorus.

By whom persuaded, and by whose advice?


Orestes.

By Phœbos' words: he witnesseth for me.


Chorus.

How? did the prophet counsel matricide?


Orestes.

Certes,—nor thus far have I blamed my lot.


Chorus.

Caught by the vote, another tune thou'lt sing.


Orestes.

Faith have I: from the tomb my sire will aid.

 

Chorus.

Good: having slain thy mother, trust the dead!


Orestes.

Polluted was she with a twofold stain. 570


Chorus.

How! To the jurors make the matter clear.


Orestes.

Slaying her husband, she my father slew.


Chorus.

But thou art living,—she through death is free.


Orestes.

Her while she lived, why didst thou not pursue?


Chorus.

Not of one blood was she with him she slew.


Orestes.

But am I with my mother one in blood?


Chorus.

Thee 'neath her zone she nourished;—blood-stained wretch,
A mother's dearest blood dost thou disown?


Orestes.

Now bear me witness and expound for me,
Apollo, whether I with justice slew. 580
The deed, as wrought, we do not disavow;—
But whether justly shed, or not, this blood,
Judge thou, that answer I may make to these.


Apollo.

To you, Athena's great tribunal, now
Justly I'll speak; a prophet may not lie;—
Ne'er from my throne prophetic spake I aught
Either of man, of woman, or the state,
Which Zeus, Olympian sire, hath not ordained.
Learn ye how potent is the plea I urge;—
The Father's will I charge you to obey; 590
For oaths are not of greater force than Zeus.


Chorus.

Zeus, as thou sayest, gave this oracle,
And bade Orestes here, his father's death
Avenging, to despise a mother's rights.


Apollo.

Unlike the case, when dies a highborn man,
Richly adorned with sceptres Heaven-bestowed,
Dies too by woman's craft, not slain in war
By Amazon's far-shooting, eager bow,
But Pallas, as thyself shalt hear, and these
Who sit, by ballot to adjudge this cause. 600
For when from distant warfare ho returned,
With fair successes crowned, receiving him
With friendly welcome, she, the while he bathed,
The laver curtain'd o'er, from head to foot,
Then, tangled in inextricable maze
Of broider'd garment, she her husband smites.
As I have told you, such the hero's death,
By all revered, marshal of naval hosts;—
Her thus I signalize, their hearts to prick
Who here have mission to decide this cause.


Chorus.

A father's death Zeus honours,—so thou sayest,— 610
Yet he his father, aged Kronos, chained:—
How prove this deed not adverse to thy word?
Here I invoke you, judges, to give heed.


Apollo.

Oh hateful progeny, of Heaven abhorred!
Fetters he might unloose,—this ill hath cure,
And yields to many a method of release.
But when the dust hath once the blood sucked up
Of murdered man, he riseth never more.
No charm for that, my father hath ordained,
Who all things else upturneth as he will, 610
Nor with the toil panteth his mighty heart.


Chorus.

Beware of voting for this man's escape.
Shall he, a mother's kindred blood who shed,
Dwell safe in Argos, in his father's house?
What altars of his people may he touch?
How share the lustral water with his tribe?


Apollo.

Thus I declare, learn ye how just my words.
Not mother of her so-called child is she,
Who bears it;—she is but the embryo's nurse;
He who begets is parent; she for him, 610
As stranger for a stranger, rears the germ,
Unless the god should blight it in the bud.
Sure warrant of my word I will adduce;—
Without a mother may a father be;
Witness this daughter of Olympian Zeus,
Not nurtured in the darkness of the womb,
Yet such a scion goddess never bare.
In will, in action, Pallas, be it mine
Thy city and thy people to exalt.
This man I sent, a suppliant to thy shrine,
That faithful he might be for evermore. 640
That, goddess! thou for allies mightest win
Him and his after-race, and that these pacts
Might last eternal, blessed by men unborn.


Athena.

I do command you, as your judgment leads,
Just verdict give,—of pleadings now enough.


Chorus.

By us in sooth our shafts have all been shot,
The issue of the cause I wait to hear.


Athena.

How may I rule the cause, unblamed by you?


Chorus.

Ye heard what ye have heard;—now in your hearts,
Your oaths revering, strangers, give your votes. 650


Athena.

Hear ye my statute, men of Attica,—
Ye who of bloodshed judge this primal cause.
And for the host of Ægeus shall abide
This court of jurors, sacred evermore.
The Hall of Ares this, of Amazons
The seat and camping ground, what time of old,
In hate of Theseus, waging war they came,
And 'gainst this city, newly fortified,
A counter-fortress for themselves upreared.
To Ares they did sacrifice, and hence
This rock is titled Areopagus.
Here then shall sacred Awe, and Fear, her kin, 660
By day and night my lieges hold from wrong,
Save if themselves do innovate my laws.
With influx base or mud, if thou defile
The sparkling water, thou no drink shalt find.
Nor Anarchy, nor Tyrant's lawless rule
Commend I to my people's reverence;—
Nor let them from their city banish Fear
For who 'mong men, uncurbed by fear, is just?
Thus holding Awe in seemly reverence, 670
A bulwark for your state shall ye possess,
A safeguard to protect your city-walls,
Such as no mortals other-where can boast,
Neither in Scythia, nor in Pelops' realm.
Behold! This court august, untouched by bribes,
Sharp to avenge, wakeful for those who sleep,
Establish I, a bulwark to this land.
This charge, extending to all future time,
I give my lieges. Meet it is ye rise,
Assume the pebbles, and decide the cause,
Your oath revering. All hath now been said. 680

 

[The first Areopagite rises, takes a pebble from the altar, and drops it into the urn. The rest follow in succession between the following distichs.]


Chorus.

This sisterhood, oppressive to the land,
My council is that ye in no wise shame.


Apollo.

And I enjoin you, fear mine oracles;
From Zeus they issue, fruitless make them not.


Chorus.

Usurping championship of bloody suit,
No longer shall thine oracles be pure.


Apollo.

Did then my Father towards Ixion err,
Who first as blood-stained suppliant, sued for aid?


Chorus.

Say on I but I, defrauded in my suit,
In turn will haunt the land, dread visitant. 690


Apollo.

Alike of younger and of elder gods
Art thou unhonoured. I the cause shall win.


Chorus.

So whilom wroughtest thou in Pheres' house,
Moving the Fates mortals from death to free.


Apollo.

Was it not just my votary to aid,
Then chiefly in his hour of sorest need?

 

Chorus.

But thou the prime allotments didst o'errule
With wine deluding the hoar goddesses.


Apollo.

But thou, full soon, defeated in thy suit,
Wilt spew thy venom, harmless to thy foes. 700


Chorus.

Since thou, young god, o'erridest my hoar age,
The issue I await with list'ning ear,
And doubtful stay my wrath against the town.


[After the twelfth Areopagite has dropped his pebble into the urn, Athena takes one from the altar, and holds it in her hand.]


Athena.

With me it rests to give the casting vote,
And to Orestes I my suffrage pledge.
For to no mother do I owe my birth;
In all, save wedlock, I approve the male,
And am, with all my soul, my father's child.
Nor care I to avenge a woman's death
Who slew her husband, guardian of the house. 710
Orestes, judged by equal votes prevails.[6]
The pebbles now pour quickly from the urns,
Judges, to whom this office is assigned.


Orestes.

Phœbos Apollo, how will end this suit?

 

Chorus.

O Night, dark mother, seest thou these things?


Orestes.

The noose awaits me, or to see the light.


Chorus.

Ruin for us, or firm prerogative.


[The pebbles are poured out of the urn and counted.]


Apollo.

Now strangers, count the pebbles with due care;
And while ye tell them o'er, let justice reign;
Lack of right judgment breedeth mighty woe, 720
The while one suffrage hath a house restored.


Athena.

This man acquitted is from charge of blood,
For equal are the numbers of the votes.


Orestes.

Hail Pallas! Hail thou saviour of my house!
Me, when bereft of my paternal land,
Thou leadest home: haply some Greek will say,
"The man an Argive is once more, and dwells
On his paternal heritage, by aid
Of Pallas, and of Loxias, and Him,
Third Saviour, mighty consummator, Zeus,"—
Who, honouring my father's death, saves me, 730
Beholding these my mother's advocates.
Now to my native Argos I depart,
Pledged to this country and thy lieges here
By oath to be revered for evermore,
That never helmsman of the Argive State
Shall hither bear the well-appointed spear.
For we, ourselves, though couching in the grave,
On those who violate these present oaths
By sore perplexities will work, and send
In march despondency, in crossing streams 740
Omens averse, till they repent their toil.
But unto those who keep this pledge, and honour
Athena's city with confederate spear,
To them will we be gracious evermore.
Hail goddess, and these city-wardens, hail!
Still may your gripe be fatal to your foes,
While victory and safety crown your spear.

[Exit.


Chorus.

1.Ye upstart gods, time-honoured laws
Down-riding, ye have seized my prey.
2.But I, dishonoured, stung by grief, 750
Woe, woe, my torture to allay,
On all the ground, will cast around
Venom, whose baleful drops shall cause
Where it doth light a sterile blight,
Fatal alike to germ, to leaf.
The pest, O Justice, scouring o'er the plain,
Shall fling abroad its man-destroying stain.
3.I groan anew; what dare? what do?
My pangs the citizens shall rue;
Alas, most wretched are thy daughters, Night!
Enduring this dishonourable slight. 760

 

Athena.

Be moved by me to stay these heavy groans;
Not vanquished are ye, nor to your disgrace
Fell justice, equal-voted, from the urn.
Besides from Zeus clear oracles were sent,
And he who uttered them himself avouched,
Orestes for this deed should know no scath.
Hurl not your heavy wrath upon this land;
Your rage abate, cause not sterility,
Nor rain your poison-drops, like venomed darts,
Ruthless devourers of each tender germ. 770
For I most righteously do promise you
Both sanctuaries and shrines in this just land;
Seated at hearths with unctuous off'rings fed,
And held in honour by my lieges here.


Chorus.

1.Ye upstart gods, time-honoured laws
Down-riding, ye have seized my prey.
2.But I, dishonoured, stung by grief,
Woe, woe, my torture to allay,
On all the ground, will cast around
Venom, whose baleful drops shall cause 780
Where it doth light a sterile blight,
Fatal alike to germ, to leaf.
The pest, O Justice, scouring o'er the plain,
Shall fling abroad its man-destroying stain.
3.I groan anew; what dare? what do?
My pangs the citizens shall rue;
Alas, most wretched are thy daughters, Night!
Enduring this dishonourable slight.

 

Athena.

Not slighted are ye, powers august! through rage
Curse not with hopeless blight the abode of man.
I too on Zeus rely; why speak of that? 790
And sole among the gods I know the key
That opes the halls where sealèd thunder sleeps.
But such we need not. Be appeased by me,
Nor scatter o'er the land, from froward tongue,
The harmful seed that turneth all to bane.
Of bitter rage lull ye the murky wave;
Be venerated here and dwell with me.
Sharing the first fruits of this ample realm,
For children offered, and for nuptial rite,
This word of mine thou wilt for ever praise. 800


Chorus.

1.That I should suffer this, oh Fie!
2.That, old in wisdom, I on earth should dwell
Dishonour'd! Fie! Debasement vile!
3.Rage I breathe forth, and wrath no stint that knows.
4.Fie! Fie! O earth, alas!
5.What agony of pain creeps o'er my heart!
6.Hear, Mother Night, my passion.
7. Mark for scorn,
By crafty gods deluded, held for nought,
Of ancient honour I am basely shorn.


Athena.

I'll bear thine anger, for mine elder thou, 810
And wiser art, in that regard, than I.
Yet me, with wisdom, Zeus not meanly dowers.
But ye, if now ye seek some alien soil,
Will of this land enamour'd be; of this
You I forewarn; for onward-flowing time
Shall these my lieges raise to loftier fame;
And thou, in venerable seat enshrined
Hard by Erectheus' temple, shalt receive
Honours from men and trains of women, such
As thou from other mortals ne'er may'st win.
But cast ye not abroad on these my realms, 820
To waste their building strength, whetstones of blood,
Evoking frantic rage not born of wine;
Nor, as out-plucking hearts of fighting-cocks,
Plant ye among my townsmen civil strife,
Reckless of kindred blood; let foreign war
Rage without stint, affording ample scope
For him who burns with glory's mighty rage.
No war of home-bred cocks, I ween, is that!
Such terms I proffer, thine it is to choose;
Blessing and blest, with blessed rites revered, 830
To share this country dear unto the gods.


Chorus.

1.That I should suffer this, oh Fie!
2.That, old in wisdom, I on earth should dwell
Dishonour'd! Fie! Debasement vile!
3.Rage I breathe forth, and wrath no stint that knows.
4.Fie! Fie! O earth, alas!
5.What agony of pain creeps o'er my heart!
6.Hear, Mother Night, my passion.
7. Mark for scorn,
By crafty gods deluded, held for nought,
Of ancient honour I am basely shorn. 840

 

Athena.

I will not weary to entreat thee fair;
For ne'er with justice shalt thou urge the plaint,
That thou, the elder deity, by me
The younger, and these city-guarding men,
Wert, like an outcast, banished from the land.
But if Persuasion's power ye hold in awe,—
The charm and honeyed sweetness of my tongue,
Tarry thou must; but if thou wilt not tarry,
Not justly wouldst thou on this city hurl
Revenge, or wrath, or do my people wrong;
For thine it is to share with me this land, 850
In aye-enduring honour justly held.


Chorus.

Athena, queen, what seat dost offer me?


Athena.

One where no sorrow scathes. Receive it thou!


Chorus.

If I consent, what honour waiteth me?


Athena.

No house unblest by thee shall henceforth thrive.


Chorus.

This wilt thou do? endow me with such might?


Athena.

Ay, and will prosper him who worships thee.

 

Chorus.

Wilt thou sure warrant give me for all time?


Athena.

I may not pledge what I will not perform.


Chorus.

Thine utterance soothes me;—I relax my wrath. 860


Athena.

Established here thou wilt be rich in friends.


Chorus.

What blessings shall we hymn for this thy land?


Athena.

Such as, with gracious influence, from earth,
From dew of ocean, and from heaven, attend
On conquest not ignoble. That soft airs,
With sunshine blowing, wander o'er the land;
That earth's fair fruit, rich increase of the flocks,
Fail not my citizens for evermore,
With safety of the precious human seed;—
But, for the impious,—weed them promptly out. 870
For I, like one who tendeth plants, do love
This race of righteous men, by grief unscathed:—
Such be thy charge. Be mine not to endure
That, among mortals, in wars splendid toils,
Athena's city be not conquest-crowned.


Chorus. Strophe I.

Pallas, thy chosen seat henceforth be mine!
No more the city I despise
Which Zeus omnipotent and Ares prize,
Stronghold of gods, altar-protecting shrine
Of Hellas' deities, 880
For which, with friendly augury I pray;
to light from earth's dark womb,
May life's fair germs prolific bloom,
Lured by the solar ray.


Athena.

I for my citizens with gracious mind
These blessings mediate; these deities
Installing here, mighty and hard to please.
For unto them hath Fate assigned 890
The destinies to fix of human kind.
But whoso findeth them severe
Knows not whence come life's strokes; for crime,
Dread heritage from bygone time,
Doth lead him to these powers august.
Him noiseless Ruin, midst his proud career,
With hostile anger, levels with the dust.


Chorus. Antistrophe I.

Here may no tree-destroying mildew sweep,—
(So show I forth my grace),
May no fierce heat within these bounds alight, 900
Blasting the tender buds; no sterile blight,
Disastrous, onward creep.
But in due season here may flocks of worth
Twin yeanlings bear; and may this race,
Enriched with treasures of the earth,
Honour the Heaven-sent grace!

 

Athena.

Ye city-guardians do ye hear aright
What thus she promises. For great the might 910
Erinys wields—dread brood of night—
Alike with Hades and the Olympian Powers;
O'er men confessed and absolute her reign,
To some she giveth song, and some she dowers
With life, tear-blinded, marred by pain.


Chorus. Strophe II.

Here may there fall no man-destroying blight!
And ye, great Powers, o'er marriage who preside,
In wedlock bands each lovely maid unite;—
Ye too, dread sisters, to ourselves allied, 920
Awful dispensers of the Right,
In every human home confessed,
In every age made manifest,
By righteous visitations;—aye revered,
And, everywhere, of deities most feared.


Athena.

While thus ye ratify with friendly zeal
These blessings to my country, I rejoice,
And love Persuasion's eye, who moved my voice
To soothe these stern refusers, passion-stung. 930
But Zeus hath conquered, swayer of the tongue,
God of the Forum. Triumphs now for aye
In noble benefits our rivalry.

 

Chorus. Antistrophe II.

Within this city ne'er may civil strife,
Insatiate of ill, tumultuous roar;
Nor thirsty dust quaff deep the purple gore
Of citizens; nor rage, with murder rife,
Snatch greedily the vengeful knife!
But studious of the common weal
May each to each in turn be kind, 940
Hate may they ever with one common mind;
This among mortals many a woe can heal.


Athena.

Grow they not wise, as they the pathway find
Of tongue propitious? From these shapes of fear,
I to my lieges see rich gain. For here,
If ye these gracious ones with gracious mind
Adore and magnify,—your state and town
Ye shall for evermore with justice crown.


Chorus. Strophe III.

Farewell, farewell, enriched with wealth's fair prize,
Farewell, ye people of the city, near 950
To Zeus himself who dwell, to Pallas dear,
Friends to the friendly Virgin;—timely wise;
'Neath Pallas' wings who rest, her father doth revere.


[Athena stations herself at the head of the Chorus in the orchestra, where they are joined by the escort of females with torches.]


Athena.

Ye too farewell! Mine is it first to show
Your destined seats and thitherward to lead.
Escorted by the torchlight's sacred glow,
The while in sacrifice the victims bleed 960
The downward slope descend.
Whate'er is baneful to the land restrain,
And conquest's gracious ministry upsend
To this my city. Tutelary train,
Children of Cranaos, it belongs to you,
These alien settlers to their homes to guide;
And with my lieges may there aye abide,
Discernment rightful of the Right and True.


Chorus. Antistrophe III.

Farewell once more, my farewell I repeat, 970
All ye, or gods or mortals, who reside
In Pallas' city, and who here preside.
Holding in pious awe my hallow'd seat,
The fortunes of your life ye never-more shall chide.


Athena.

The utt'rance of your pious vows I praise;—
I will escort you with the flashing light
Of torches, to your cavernous abodes
Beneath the earth, with sacred ministers,
And those mine image loyally who guard.
For now, of all the land of Theseus let 980
The eye come forth,—a glorious company
Of girls, of wives, of matrons hoar with eld,
In festive garb apparelled, vermeil-hued,—
Proceed and let the torch-flame lead the way,
That evermore this gracious sisterhood
May, with events auspicous, bless this land.

 

[During the following Chant the procession leaves the temple and descends escorting the Erinnyes to their Shrines.]


Chorus of the Escort. Strophe I.

Night's hoary children, venerable train,
With friendly escort leave the hallowed fane.


All.

Rustics, glad shouts of triumph raise.


Chorus. Antistrophe I.

In ancient crypts remote from light,
Victims await you and the hallowed rite. 990


All.

People, ring out your notes of praise.


Chorus. Strophe II.

With promise to this land of blessings rare,
Down the steep path ye awful beings wend,
Rejoicing in the torchlight's dazzling glare.


All.

Your cries of jubilee ring out amain.


Chorus. Antistrophe II.

Let torchlights and libations close the rear.
Thus Zeus, all-seeing, and the Fates descend,
To bless these citizens to Pallas dear.


All.

Your cry of jubilee ring out amain.



  1. In a passage of deep significance Æschylus traces the successive steps in the history of Revelation, as it passed from the Chthonian (earthly) to the Olympian powers. Earth herself was the first prophet. In the simplest phenomena of nature she first spoke to men of the divine character and will. As time went on she gave place to "Right" (Themis), a daughter who was born to her; for the teaching of society and life carries us forward in the knowledge of God. "Right" in turn gave place to a younger sister, Phœbe, the embodiment of light, the symbol of spiritual intelligence. With her ministry the office of the earthly powers was fulfilled, and she transferred her charge, not by claim of succession, but as a voluntary offering, to the bright God of heaven, Phœbus, who himself adopted her name for his own.—Brook F. Westcott.
  2. Loxias, an epithet of Apollo, interpreted by most etymologists as alluding to the ambiguities (λοξά) of Delphian oracles; some, indeed, think it can be referred to λόγος, speech, as implying that Apollo is the interpreter of Zeus.
  3. Pronæan, an epithet of Athena at Delphi, as having a chapel or statue there in front of the great temple of Apollo.
  4. On the hearth [of the Delphian temple] burnt a perpetual fire, and near it was the omphalos, or navel-stone, which was supposed to mark the middle point of the earth—Smith's Classical Geography.
  5. Müller, p. 61. These exclamations are uttered by the leader and the other Furies in rapid succession.
  6. Athena's ballot is the mythic expression of the principle, that where Justice is undecided Mercy prevails.—Müller.



 

NOTES ON THE TEXT.

Eumenides.

132. ἐπουρίσασα τῷ This use of τῷ for αὐτῷ is undoubtedly corrupt in 166 and 337; so, also, as I think, in Agam. 7. I have no Index that will tell of other such passages, but I think this ought to be ἐπουρίσασά τῳ, i.e. τινί, "some one."

155. βαρὺ τὸ περίβαρυ is clearly wrong βαρύ τι, περίβαρυ, proposed by Wakefield, is adopted by Schutz and Hermann.

158. For θρόνον Dindorf reads θρόμβον, which has no syntax. I can believe in θρόμβῳ or θρόμβοις, joining φονολιβῆ to ὀμφαλόν.

166. καὶ τὸν is absurd: ἑαυτὸν gives the necessary sense. The simplest change is χαὐτὸν for καὶ τὸν.

168. Linwood condemns ἐν κάρα. Certainly ἐν Ἀϊδα is more to the purpose, especially with ἔκ γ᾽ ἐμοῦ.

169. ἐκείνου. Scholefield proposed ἐξ ἐμοῦ; qu., ἔκ γ᾽ ἐμοῦ? But Hermann suggested ἔστιν οὗ.

337. Dindorf excellently changes ἐπὶ τὸν ὦ to ἐπιτόνως, and ὄνθ᾽ ὁμοίως to ὄντα περ, ὅμως (perhaps following Hermann); and bolder still, writes νεόαιμον in place of ὑφ᾽ αἵματος νέου. It must be admitted that the last words are a mere interpretation of some adjective whose place they have usurped; but I should look rather for an adjective which did not contain the word αἷμα, as νεοθηγῆ or νεοαρδῆ.

341. In ἐμαῖσι λιταῖς I suspect that ἐμοῖς ἀλίταις, "my criminals," is hidden. We need such a phrase to make ἔθνος τόδε clear. The rare word ἀλίτης (Homeric ἀλείτης) would easily be mistaken.

343. αἱματοσταγὲς is metrically refuted, but Dindorf's innovations (here and in the strophic line also) are extreme. We must drop out αἰματοσταγὲς; thereupon we find a trochaic word needful before ἔθνος. The lost word may have been φοινόν, interpreted by ἁιματοσταγές.

348. σφαλερὰ seems to be active, and καὶ to have been lost after it: "my limbs, which trip up even swift runners."

352. κατὰ γᾶν, if opposed to ὑπ᾽ αἰθέρι, should be κατὰ γᾶς.

363. ἀτίεται is against the metre. Drop it entirely, and the theory of a hiatus in the antistrophe drops with it.

448. A corrupt and doubtful word is ἀμφότερα. Musgrave's συμφορὰ gives good sense. Δυσπήμαντα, I believe, ought to be δυσπέπαντα.

456. ἥξω cannot be right. Better Τάξω (Dind. 3rd. ed. v. 488.)

457 is a very doubtful line. Perhaps
ὅρκου παρέντας μηδὲν ἐκδίκοις φρεσίν.

481. ὑπόδοσιν, "a diminution," gives a wrong sense: λῆξιν ἐπίδοσιν τε, "allotment and augmentation," is what we expect; yet ἐπίδοσιν would not have been corrupted into ὑπόδοσιν. Is it not possible that λῆξις is is the first allotment of tax, and ὑπόδοσις means "after-payment," a second rate, when the first has proved insufficient?

492–4. Vulg. δειμαίνει is impossible. I suggest δάμναται. Also οἴκοι, "within,""in the heart," for εὖ καί, which is nonsense.

497. ἐν φάει καρδίαν is clearly wrong. The obviously right sense is given, with right metre, by τίς δὲ μηδέν᾽ ἐμφυῆ κῆρι δεῖμον ἀνατρέφων, ἔμπολις βροτοῖς. [ἢ πόλις βροτός θ᾽ is not Greek.]

531. τὸν οὔποτ᾽ αὐχοῦντ᾽.—I think οὔποτ᾽ should be οὐκέτ᾽.

553. τοίγαρ, therefore, is against the sense. Perhaps τί γὰρ; will set it right.

570. πιθαύσκω δ᾽ ὕμμ᾽ is corrupt. Read βουλῇ δὲ φάσκω δεῖν

582. τὰ πλεῖστ᾽ ἀμείνον᾽ εὔφροσιν.—Ἄμεινον᾽ is obviously corrupt. I believe the poet wrote ἁμλλαις εὔφροσιν, and in next line, παρεῖχε λουτρά, κἀπὶ δέρματι. There is no reason for supposing a line lost.

677. Linwood's διανομὰς, for δαίμονας, removes all difficulty.