Ezra Pound





from Women of Trachis

KHOROS:
 Strophe 1
OYEZ:
Things foretold and forecast:
Toil and moil.
God’s Son from turmoil shall
- when twelve seed-crops be past - 
be loosed with the last,
                               his own.
Twining together, godword found good,
Spoken of old,
         as the wind blew, truth’s in the flood.
We and his brood see in swift combine,
         here and at last that:
Amid the dead is no servitude
         nor do they labour.

 Antistrophe 1
LO, beneath deadly cloud
Fate and the Centaur’s curse, black venom spread.
Dank Hydra’s blood
Boils now through every vein, goad after goad
from spotted snake to pierce the holy side,
nor shall he last to see a new day’s light,
Black shaggy night descends
                               as Nessus bade.

 Strophe 2
WHAT MOURNFUL case
       who feared great ills to come,
New haste in mating threatening her home,
Who hark’d to reason in a foreign voice
Entangling her in ravage out of choice.
Tears green the cheek with bright dews
                                                               pouring down;
Who mourns apart, alone,
Oncoming swiftness in o’erlowering fate
To show what wreck is nested in deceit.

 Antistrophe 2
LET the tears flow.
       Ne’er had bright Herakles in his shining
Need of pity till now
       Whom fell disease burns out.
How swift on Oechal’s height
        to take a bride.
Black pointed shaft that shielded her in flight,
Attest
That
Kupris stood by and never said a word,
Who now flares here the contriver
manifest...
and indifferent.