IPHIGENIA: Young women, let us sing to the glory of Artemis, daughter of Zeus! Let the men of Achaea remain in reverent silence. Prepare the baskets, the barley, and the fire. Let my father begin his walk around the altar, going left to right. For I will bring glory to my country and shelter it from harm.
Lead me forth, I am the destroyer of Troy!
Give me garlands for my head,
here is my hair for your wreaths.
Bring forth the purifying water.
Let us dance to Artemis,
Artemis the queen,
Artemis the blessed,
Let us dance round her temple and her altar.
Use my blood, the blood of my sacrifice,
to wash away any dark prophecy.
Oh Queen, Queen and mother,
we will not weep for you.
No tears are shed at such a holy time.
Sing with me, maidens.
Sing to Artemis, whose temple faces Chalkis.
In the narrow harbor of Aulis,
wooden ships, yearning for battle, wait for me.
Oh Pelasgia, land of my birth,
Oh Mycenae, my home.
You call upon the city of Perseus,
the city build with Cyclopean labor.
You raised me to be a light to my country.
I will not turn away from my death.
Your fame will last forever!
Oh, bright light of day,
the very light of Zeus.
I go to a different light,
a different fate.
Goodbye, beloved light.
(OLD SERVANT leads IPHIGENIA offstage.)
There she goes, the destroyer of Troy,
with garlands in her hair,
sprinkled by the purifying water,
ready to let blood gush onto the goddess’s altar
out from her beautiful neck.
Your father’s bountiful streams of pure water await you,
along with the army, eager for Troy.
Let us sing to Artemis, daughter of Zeus,
and ask her for good fortune.
Oh most reverend lady,
be pleased by this human sacrifice.
Send this army to treacherous Troy.
Let Agamemnon, with his spear,
put a wreath of deathless fame
upon the head of Achaea.