Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EUMENIDES: CHORUS, by AESCHYLUS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE EUMENIDES: CHORUS, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Pallas' home contenteth me
Last Line: And bid to grief a long farewell!

PALLAS' home contenteth me:
Honour to the strong citie
Zeus Almighty made his own
And Ares' armed strength sustains;
A fortress for the Gods of Greece,
A jewel flashing forth anew,
When ravished were her costly fanes
And her high altars overthrown.
Breathe on her blessings, breathe the dew
Of prayer; Earth, yield her thine increase;
Shine, thou rejoicing Sun, and speed
All nature sends and mortals need!

I will have nor storm nor flood
Scathe her vines and olive-bowers;
No scorching wind shall blind the bud
In the waking-time of flowers.
By my grace all airs that blow
Their appointed bounds shall know.
No distemper blast her clime
With perpetual barrenness;
Flocks and herds in yeaning time
Pan shall with twin offspring bless;
And Earth's wombed wealth, God-sealed,
All its lucky ingots yield.

Untoward and untimely Doom
Bring not strong Youth to his death-bed:
Ye maidens, in your beauty bloom,
Live not unloved, nor die unwed.
You, Heavenly Pair, this good gift grant.
Grant it, ye Elder Destinies,
Our Sisters, whom one Mother bare,
Spirits whose governance is law,
Of every home participant,
And at all seasons, foul or fair,
Just Inmates, Righteous Presences,
Shadows of an Unseen Awe;
Over the wide earth and the deep seas
Honoured above all Deities.

Tiger-throated Faction fed
On the meat of human woe,
Filled but never surfeited,
Come not hither growling low,
Nor wake Athens with thy roar.
Never be this thirsty ground
Drunk with fratricidal blood,
Nor lust of Power insatiate
Snatch at vengeance evermore.

In one fellowship of Good
Each be to his neighbour bound,
One in love and one in hate;
For such grace, where'er 'tis found,
Lays the balm to many a wound.

Joy to you, joy and all good things!
Joy to the fortunate city that lies
With Zeus about her and above:
Vowed to the Unmarried Maiden's love
And in the dawn of Time made wise,
Whom Pallas covers with her wings
And the Father sanctifies!

Joy, joy to Athens! Oh, twice blest
Be all that in her borders dwell,
Or be they men of mortal mould
Or deathless Deities that hold
Pallas' rock-built citadel!
Love me that am your Sacred Guest
And bid to Grief a long farewell!

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