Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SUPPLIANTS: PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE. CHORUS, by AESCHYLUS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: O bosomed earth, o altar of my prayer
Last Line: To save us from this lust and wrath?

OBOSOMED Earth, O altar of my prayer,
What is upon us? Whither can I fly?
In all this Apian land is there no lair
Hid deep from every eye?
I'd be a wisp of smoke, up-curled
To the soft clouds above the world,
Up, without wings, in the bright day,
Like dust, in dying streamers whirled
To pass in nothingness away.

The heart within my breast is passion-tossed
And will not sleep; mine eyes see nothing clear.
That sight my father saw has left me lost,
And my strength gone with fear.
O better toward my doom to hie
In a rope's strangling agony,
Than lay this body down beside
The man I loathe. Oh, best to die!
Let Hades take his bride!

Some skyey throne -- Oh, thither I would go,
Where the wet clouds, back-beaten, freeze to snow:
Some unbestridden, undescried,
Smooth vulture-crag, in lonely pride
Hanging; there to stand and leap
Alone, alone to the great deep,
Rather than face that forced Love
And the heart-stabbing shame thereof.

I fear not then a prey for dogs to lie,
A feast for all the vultures of the sky.
Once to be dead sets woman free
From every wrong and misery.
God give me to the grave instead
Of that polluting marriage-bed.
What outlet can I hew, what path
To save us from this lust and wrath?

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