“Orestes” by Euripides


Sweet charm of sleep! saviour in sickness! how dear to me thy coming was! how needed! All hail, majestic power, oblivion of woe! How wise this goddess is, how earnestly invoked by every suffering soul!

Dear sister, unveil thy face and cease to weep, despite our abject misery; and whensoe’er thou seest me give way to despair, be it thine to calm and soothe the terrors and distorted fancies of my brain; likewise when sorrow comes to thee, I must be at thy side and give the words of comfort; for to help our friends like this is a gracious task. …for if thou leave me or fall sick from nursing me, my doom is sealed; for thou art the only champion I now have, by all the rest deserted, as thou seest.

Great prosperity abideth not amongst mankind; but some power divine, shaking it to and fro like the sail of a swift galley, plunges it deep in the waves of grievous affliction, boisterous and deadly as the waves of the sea.

Yes! I am the son of Agamemnon, who was considered worthy to rule Hellas, no tyrant but yet god-like in power; I will not disgrace him by submitting to die like a slave; my last breath shall be free and I will take vengeance on Menelaus.



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