Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Incantation
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
 
Tiresias
CHOOSE 1 the darkest part o’ the grove;
Such as ghosts at noonday love.
Dig a trench, and dig it nigh
Where the bones of Laius lie:
Altars raised of turf or stone        5
Will the infernal powers have none.—
Answer me, if this be done.
  Chorus.  ’Tis done.
 
Tir.  Is the sacrifice made fit?
Draw her backward to the pit;        10
Draw the barren heifer back:
Barren let her be, and black.
Cut the curlèd hair that grows
Full betwixt her horns and brows.
And turn your faces from the sun.—        15
Answer me, if this be done.
  Chor.  ’Tis done.
 
Tir.  Pour in blood, and blood-like wine,
To mother Earth and Proserpine;
Mingle milk into the stream;        20
Feast the ghosts that love the steam:
Snatch a brand from funeral pile;
Toss it in to make them boil:
And turn your face from the sun.—
Answer me, if all be done.        25
  Chor.  All is done.
 
Note 1. From the Tragedy of Œdipus, 1679. [back]
 
 
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