Act 5: Chorus 5 and Clytemnestra

from by David Avidor and Nicole V. Gagné

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Ned Sublette - Chorus 5 - voice, radio
Vera Beren - Clytemnestra - voice
David Avidor - Emax, synthesizers, tape
Nicole V. Gagné - voice, found objects

and they that of his victory and comming home were glad
to sodayne mourning chaunge their myrth with heavinesse bestad

I am not ashamed herewithal
at speaking words that were not true
in working mischiefe men do take the rediest way they fynde

longe I did my husbandes death conspyre
and to day by sleight and subtil guyle
entangled hath I this man refusing cleane to be confound

my gashing sword stucke him
thrust through his ribbes
it did sucke the sappy marrow out immixed with his bloud
and this juice it conveyed every where
like the sacred raygne
launching from his gory syde
stayning every thing
in a darke wave that I stil taste of

his death is not sawst with soppes of sorrow
I doe rejoyce

in his lyfetyme hee did temper poyson strong
which to day hee did feede on him selfe

this heavy sight
this noble hearte deprived of his life

and her with her rough and churlishe lookes

I will not waver with feare
like some weak harted woman

I stroke him downe

prayes mee or curse mee
it all is the same

one law doth rule
I did keepe it

and that is that

thou hast committed sinfully a great and grievous guilt
goe purge thy hardned hands the which thy husbande bloud have spilt

scud out of my sight

now nurtures lore neglected is all ryght doth clean decay

after what sorte dost thou
declare mee an outcast banisht woman

as yet forget I not my daughter
and that infamy whose blemish staynes his bloud

yet never did makest thou him
in such reproachfulness to wade
nothing dismayde thee at Aulis Ile
to check what hee durst do

as at a wedding alter syde th'unpitiful parent stoode
and for the sacred virgins love
hee retourned death
slaughtered my child
snapped her head of with his swerd

could not that offence suffice for exile
give mee to understande
what man is hee
that should not pay his paynes and suffer death

if thou can so enstruct mee
my kingdome therfore I cast of
now wil I rove at large

if not I shall teach thee
how to a queene thy taunting to forbeare

her spotted weede with sprinkles
signe of slaughter
beare recorde of her deede
as yet they bee not dry

some man els I have
him that of my perills all dost suffer part with mee
and in my realme wil also rule with egall dignity

Aegisthus who lights the blase in my private simple bower

my husband eflamd with Troyan prophets love
retourned a prysoners spouse and Pryams sonne in law

but that trull of prynces bed did meete her death
like as the swan with a songe inspyred by Phoebus grace divine

see his breathless corse tossed uppon hers
encreasyng leaudnes still
his boyling brest doth smoke
with wound but newly stroke
and freshly still hee fedes his lust least
his chamber chast should want a stewes

my death when I shall take I shall bee pleased well to dye

hee that of thousand captaynes was graunde captayne generall
come to as great calamity as Troy it selfe did fall

Troy is become
a wyde gaping hole
with dreadfull sounds and stinking smels
yet Helen is wed to Menela agayne

now after death why dost thou seeke

with these paynes wee ryght our selves

o bussard blynde you doe delight in your brutish guise

the Furies hale them on
in this house of the Tantalus bloude

Tantalus hee hath made this stock a bloudy raunsome pay

the author of this wicked pedagrew
hee burns now with thyrst of hell
yet the graundsires payneful pangues
can not the childrens wrath asswage

with a lewde unlucky hand
hee did beginne the rusty rancours the cankred hate
which never purged is

thy husband is bereved quight of breath his lyfe is donne

but what heere is not Gods will

all this is the sonnes of Tantalus and theyr grudge

one might not move theyr sprights

in law to theyr mynds I did not spare my husband

Agamemnons death is on thy heade

but the children doe complayne from Thyestes paunch
the fathers guilt hath caused the force of furious foes

the chariot horse with raynes clogde and overquelmed
this geare out stretched ready lies in every coast
and is spread the seas uppon

I did but returne the self same trade a new
paying il with yll

his fate deservde is by guiltles bloud of our daughter

now in hell hee seekes about for his defence
but his conscience doth pricke and bringes him
to the shame that stills his lips

fortune hales on a rayne of bloude
and with unmeasureable might

our house is topsy turvey tost our kingdomes doe decay
our ruthfull realmes to ruin ronne our stock is cast away

suffer mee take parte of sacrifice with thee
graunt mee my dome by means of death to passe unto my grave

all plunge of perills past hee is and at a quiet stay
hee is escapte and gone

who shall celebrate his funerall with dirge and solemne songe

there wil be no teares to night
no woefull waylings hard in any place about

wee shall passe him to deadly grave
but no cause of mourning have we
the people wil not mone theyr prynces death

at the blackest streame of Sticks
hee shall stand with dolor beyng prest agaynst her

our child who did take his deadly stroake
shee wil holdeth him

heere is wrath for wrath ech opprest with egall griefe
which aunswere were sufficient to please a parent just

they who sowe death
shall reap death
that is Gods fact

what person can bee free of this bloude wrath

by bloud wee win the waveryng windes
with this sacryfice wee wrap our selves out of this woe

it is the best to chuse that chaunce and follow on that way

may the lowring Gods unto us
now favourable make them selves

the furious force that makes such rigour raygne
let it thrive no more heere in
let this be the last cryme that ever in this princely court was sowen


from AGAMEMNON, released September 26, 2012



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