Context: "Nine years have rolled, the tenth is rolling" since Menelaus and Agamemnon sailed for Troy to get Helen back from Paris. Agamemnon, King of Argos, when he departed, left behind his wife Clytemnestra, "the masculine-minded." Now the torch, "the appointed flame that wings a voice from Troy,/ Telling of capture," has just been sighted by the watch, and the Chorus has gathered to sing of the significance of the happenings and of man's relations with the gods. In the Strophe they say:
CHORUSFor Jove doth teach men wisdom, sternly winsTo virtue by the tutoring of their sins;Yea! drops of torturing recollection chillThe sleeper's heart; 'gainst man's rebellious willJove works the wise remorse:Dread Powers, on awful seats enthroned, compelOur hearts with gracious force.