Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/144

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124
[Lines 681—715
SENECA'S TRAGEDIES.

Laxantur adyto fata, & immugit specus
Vocem Deo solvente. Quo postquam furens
Intravit Atreus, liberos fratris trahens,
Ornantur areæ. qui queat digne eloqui?
Post terga juvenum nobiles revocat manus, 685
Et mæsta vitta capita purpurea ligat:
Non thura desunt, non sacer Bacclii liquor.
Tangensve salsa victimam culter mola.
Servatur omnis ordo, ne tantum nefas
Non rite fiat. CHOR. Quis manum ferro admovet? 690
NUNT. Ipse est sacerdos. ipse funesta prece
Letale carmen ore violento canit.
Stat ipse ad aras. ipse devotos neci
Contrctat, & componit, & ferro admovet.
Attendit ipse, nulla pars sacri perit. 695
Lucus tremiscit. tota succusso solo
Nutavit aula, dubia, quo pondus daret,
Ac fluctuanti similis. e lævo æthere
Atrum cucurrit limitem fidus trahens.
Libata in ignes vina mutato fluunt 700
Cruenta Baccho. regium capiti decus
Bis terque lapsum est, flevit in templis ebur.
Movere cunctos monstra: sed solus sibi
Immotus Atreus constat, atque ultro Deos
Terret minantes. jamque dimissa mora 705
Assiluit aris, torvum & obliquum intuens.
Jejuna silvis qualis in Gangeticis
Inter juvencos tigris erravit duos,
Utriusque prædæ cupida, quo primos ferat
Incerta morsus, flectit huc rictus suos, 710
Illo reflectit, & famem dubiam tenet;
Sic dirus Atreus capita devota impiæ
Speculatur iræ. quem prius mactet sibi,
Dubitat; secunda deinde quem cæde immolet.
Nec interest: sed dubitat. & sævum scelus 715


of the consuming results of positive ignition following that phenomenon—Oftentimes, the grove resounds with loud barking, as if coming from three throats simultaneously (Cerberus-like), and very often the palace is haunted with enormous and terrifying ghosts! Nor does the light of day, when it arrives, allay one's fright—for night is the peculiar feature of this grove, and superstitious alarms take a firm hold of the imagination, even in broad daylight! Here responses are given to earnest supplicants upon which they can depend, for from a wide entrance, with a loud sound the decrees are pronounced, and the cavern groans again, whilst the judicial Deity is delivering his sentence! Into this place we see furious Atreus enter, dragging with him the children of Thyestes, and