Page:Tragedies of Seneca (1907) Miller.djvu/345

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327
Thyestes


Oh, come! For when mine eyes behold you here,
Perchance this care will pass away.—But whence
Those answering calls?

Atreus [returning, with a covered platter in his hands]:

Now spread thy loving arms.
See, here they are.

[He uncovers the platter revealing the severed heads of Thyestes'

sons.]
Dost recognize thy sons? 1005

Thyestes: I recognize my brother! How, O Earth,

I Canst thou endure such monstrous crime as this?
Why dost thou not to everlasting shade
And Styx infernal cleave a yawning gulf,
And sweep away to empty nothingness
This guilty king with all his realm? And why
Dost thou not raze, and utterly destroy 1010
The city of Mycenae? Both of us
Should stand with Tantalus in punishment.
If, far below the depths of Tartarus,
There is a deeper hell, O Mother Earth,
Thy strong foundations rend asunder wide,
And send us thither to that lowest pit. 1015
There let us hide beneath all Acheron;
Let damned shades above our guilty heads
Go wandering; let fiery Phlegethon
In raging torrent pour his burning sands
Above our place of exile.
But the earth
Insensate lies, and utterly unmoved. 1020
The gods have fled.

Atreus: Nay, come with thankful heart

Receive thy sons whom thou hast long desired.
Enjoy them, kiss them, share among the three
Thy fond embraces.

Thyestes: And is this thy bond?

Is this thy grace, thy fond fraternal faith?
So dost thou cease to hate? I do not ask 1025
That I may have my sons again unharmed;
But what in crime and hatred may be given,