Page:Tragedies of Seneca (1907) Miller.djvu/327

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309
Thyestes


Keen scented, on the long leash held, he goes
With lowered muzzle questing on the trail.
While distant still the game and faint the scent,
Obedient to the hash, with silent tongue 500
He goes along; but when the prey is near,
With straining neck he struggles to be free,
Bays loud against the cautious hunter's check,
And bursts from all restraint.
When, near at hand,
Hot wrath perceives the blood for which it thirsts,
It cannot be restrained. Yet must it be.
See how his unkempt, matted hair conceals 505
His woeful countenance; how foul his beard.
[He now addresses Thyestes.]
My promised faith, my brother, will I keep;
'Tis a delight to see thee once again.
Come to my arms in mutual embrace;
For all the anger which I felt for thee
Has melted clean away. From this time forth
Let ties of blood be cherished, love and faith; 510
And let that hatred which has cursed us both
Forever vanish from our kindred souls.

Thyestes: I should attempt to palliate my sins,

Hadst thou not shown me such fraternal love;
But now I own, my brother, now I own
That I have sinned against thee past belief.
Thy faithful piety has made my case
Seem blacker still. A double sinner he 515
Who sins against a brother such as thou.
Now let my tears my penitence approve.
Thou, first of all mankind, beholdest me
A suppliant; these hands, which never yet
Have touched the feet of man, are laid on thine.
Let all thy wrathful feelings be forgot,
Be utterly erased from off thy soul; 520
And take, O brother, as my pledge of faith
These guiltless sons of mine.

Atreus: Lay not thy hands

Upon my knees. Come, rather, to my arms