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asks only death. It wearies her to see
the sun in heaven. Yet that she might hold fast
her dread resolve to quit the light of day,
behold, when on an incense-breathing shrine
her offering was laid—O fearful tale!—
the pure libation blackened, and the wine
flowed like polluting gore. She told the sight
to none, not even to her sister's ear.
A second sign was given: for in her house
a marble altar to her husband's shade,
with garlands bright and snowy fleeces dressed,
had fervent worship; here strange cries were heard
as if her dead spouse called while midnight reigned,
and round her towers its inhuman song
the lone owl sang, complaining o'er and o'er
with lamentation and long shriek of woe.
Forgotten oracles by wizards told
whisper old omens dire. In dreams she feels
cruel Aeneas goad her madness on,
and ever seems she, friendless and alone,
some lengthening path to travel, or to seek
her Tyrians through wide wastes of barren lands.
Thus frantic Pentheus flees the stern array
of the Eumenides, and thinks to see
two noonday lights blaze oer his doubled Thebes;
or murdered Agamemnon's haunted son,
Orestes, flees his mother's phantom scourge
of flames and serpents foul, while at his door
avenging horrors wait.
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