The Death of Agamemnon by Jose-Maria de Heredia

Translated from the French by Thomas Banks (October 2021)

Le meurtre d'Agamemnon, Eugene Delacroix, 19th C

 


Within his silent chamber fast asleep
Upon his rich bed, lies the Lord of Men,
Troubled by dreams of Troy that lightly creep
Into his mind to steal his peace again.

And on his eyes tomorrow will not shine,
For Clytemnestra, full of joy and hate,
Spurs on her lover with a fatal sign.
His timid hand holds Agamemnon’s fate.

Her lover’s trembling betrays his fear;
With a strong kiss she sends Aegisthus toward
The royal bed, nearer and still more near;
His hand and knife seek out the sleeping lord.

The dim lamp sheds red light upon the scene:
Aegisthus standing by his smiling queen.



La Mort d’Agamemnon

Dans le fond du palais, sur sa couche d’airain,
Agamemnon repose et son âme se noie
Dans le divin sommeil; le souvenir de Troie
Vient à peine parfois plisser son front serein.

Il dort et pour ses yeux le jour du lendemain
Ne luira pas. Le cœur plein de haine et de joie,
Clytemnestre déjà désigne de la main
A son timide amant cette royale proie.

Il tremble: ses cheveux se hérissent d’effroi;
Mais, vers le lit de pourpre où repose le roi,
L’élancant fortement d’une étreinte enivrante,

Elle le pousse; ils vont sans haleine, à pas lents…
Egisthe va frapper… Et la lampe mourante
Les éclaire tous deux de ses reflets sanglants.

Table of Contents

 
 

__________________________________
Thomas Banks has taught literature and Latin for many years in Idaho, Montana, and North Carolina, where he currently lives. Other writings of his have appeared in First Things and the St. Austin Review.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
 
Comments
30 Sep 2021
Send an emailArmando Simon
I was under the impression that the poem was originally in Spanish.

30 Sep 2021
Send an emailArmando Simon
My previous query about the poem being originally written in Spanish was mistaken.


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