Iphigenia

By George Sterling

Methought I saw that daughter of despair
    By marshalled Hellas at the altar-stone
    Bound as a victim surest to atone.
Flawless, effulgent and surpassing fair
From tender instep to the wreathéd hair,
    She stood; the Aulic wave's prophetic moan
    Echoed among the ships; die day-moon shone
White as her bosom on the windless air.

Brighter, to her whose day was victory's price,
Gleamed at her throat die sword of sacrifice,
    Loosing die first drops of that sea of blood
        Whose gulf at last should mirror Troy aflame.
    Appalled, I pondered as the scarlet flood
        Rose, and the dream-god murmured me thy name.

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