Lost is the bliss, the rank supreme,
The valour, Atreus' son display'd
Thro' Greece, and on the banks of Simois' stream,
The victor's glittering trophies are decay'd;
Of that ill-fated house the woes revive,
As, for the golden ram, when fate,
Steeling their breasts with ruthless hate,
Ordain'd the seed of Tantalus to strive;
Dire was the feast where royal infants bled;
A series hence ensued of impious deeds,
To slaughter past fresh slaughter still succeeds,
And their forefathers' guilt rests on the childrens' head.
The stroke tho' justice might demand,
In thee was it unjust to slay
A parent, and with unrelenting hand
Thy sword high waving in the solar ray,
To glory in the blood which thou hadst spilt.
In thy deliberate crime we find
Impiety with murder join'd,
And the distraction which attends on guilt.
For Tyndarus' wretched daughter did exclaim
Thro' fear of death; 'Unholy is the deed
Thou would'st commit: if thus thy mother bleed,
Zeal for thy Sire will brand thee with perpetual shame.'
Is there a being more forlorn on earth,
To whom are tears and pity due,
Rather than to the youth who drew
His ruthless blade 'gainst her who gave him birth
Since this exploit hath frenzy, direful pest,
Haunted the conscious breast
Of Agamemnon's son; for from the shades
Th' Eumenides, hell's awful maids,
To sting the murderer rise;
Glaring roll his haggard eyes.
Inhuman wretch! who could his mother view
In vain for pity sue,
When she her tissued robe did tear,
And lay her throbbing bosom bare,
Yet aim the wound with unabated ire,
Determin'd to revenge his Sire.