O my stalwart spirit, before you arouse
1260this madness again, come, give me a bridle
of steel to fasten my lips like stones;
and hold back your cries, for the deed forced upon you
brings joy to my sorrowing heart.

My followers, lift him up now, and grant me
your full forgiveness for what I must do.
But mark how the distant insensitive gods
have permitted these things to occur.
They bring forth children, they call themselves parents,
and yet they can look on this anguish and pain.
1270There is none who knows what the future may hold;
but the present is hard for us who are here -
for the gods it is shameful -
and for him who must bear the weight of destruction
this fate is cruelest of all.
     Maidens, you must not stay by the palace,
where you but lately have seen dreadful deaths
with many sorrows unheard of before -
and none of these things without Zeus.

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