Cassandra from Agamemnon by Aeschylus 1

Cassandra from Agamemnon by Aeschylus 1

Classical Greek – Women

Cassandra (ll.1256-1295)

Ah,ah! It is like fire, and it comes over me!
Oh, Lycean Apollo, woe is me!
This two-footed lioness that beds
with the wolf in the noble lion’s absence
will kill me, poor wretch; and as though brewing
a potion she will put in the cup a wage for me also.
She boasts, as she sharpens the sword for the man,
that he shall pay with murder for his bringing of me.
Why do I preserve these things to mock myself,
this staff and these fillets of prophecy about my neck?
You I shall destroy before my death!
Go you to ruin! As you fall, so I pay you back!
Make rich with destruction some other instead of me!
But see, Apollo himself stripping me
of my prophetic raiment, he who has watched me
mightily mocked even with these ornaments upon me
by friends turned enemies, mocked without doubt in vain.
And like a wandering mendicant
I bore with being called beggar, wretch,starveling;
and now the prophet has undone me, his prophetess,
and has hailed me off to such a deadly fate as this.
Instead of my father’s altar, a chopping block awaits me,
soon to be red with my hot blood when I am struck before the sacrifice.
Yet shall my death not go without vengeance from the gods!
For there shall come another to avenge us in turn,
a son that slays his mother, an atoner for his father;
an exile and a wanderer, estranged from this land
he shall return to put the coping-stone on this destruction for his kin.
For a great oath has been sworn by the gods,
that the stroke that lay his father low shall fetch him home.
Why do I make this pitiful lament, now that I have seen Ilium’s city
faring as it fared, and those that took the city
have come off like this in the judgment of the gods?
I shall go and act; I shall endure to die;
and I call on these gates as gates of Hades.
I pray I may receive a mortal stroke
that without a struggle my blood may gush forth
in easy death, and I may close these eyes of mine.