Iphigenia

[A storm arises at the port of Aulis, preventing the Greek fleet from sailing for Troy. Their leader Agamemnon consults the seer Calchas for advise on calming the storm.]

I watch my father. The timely winds of Thrace
Augur hope for those who love him,
Hope that he might not depart us at his brother’s whim.
I see him hear with ashen face
The council of the Seer—is it good
News, no leaving? Or a solution to the storm,
The suggestion of some warm
Libation maybe, wine or blood?

He looks at me—I do not know that face.
Is it one they know who meet
Him in war? With halting pace
Unknown before to striding, kingly feet
He’s moving to the Altar.
Ah! Some god will be appeased,
The clouds will clear and father will go east,
Leaving love behind for slaughter.

He calls to me, the men are quiet.
I do not like their silence or their eyes,
Following me to father. What insight
Can they hope from our goodbyes?

The wind starts whipping harder,
Screaming louder as I reach
Him, screaming round the Praying
Stone, screaming, screaming.
Yes wise wind! Increase! Be greater
Than men’s rashness—keep them beached.

We are embracing. “Ah father,
Do not go to Troy—
Ahhh! Father!”
No! It can’t be…
But my blood is really spilling,
Without me tamely splashing,
And all the men are watching
As the screaming moans to nothing.

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