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Before the royal palace of Thebes. Jocasta enters from the palace alone. Jocasta O Sun-god, you who cut your path in heaven's stars, mounted on a chariot inlaid with gold and whirling out your flame with swift horses, what an unfortunate beam you shed on Thebes, the day that Cadmus left Phoenicia's realm beside the sea and reached this land! He married at that time Harmonia, the daughter of Cypris, and begot Polydorus from whom they say Labdacus was born, and Laius from him. I am known as thThebes, the day that Cadmus left Phoenicia's realm beside the sea and reached this land! He married at that time Harmonia, the daughter of Cypris, and begot Polydorus from whom they say Labdacus was born, and Laius from him. I am known as the daughter of Menoeceus, and Creon is my brother by the same mother. They call me Jocasta, for so my father named me, and I am married to Laius. Now when he was still childless after being married to me a long time in the palace, he went and questioned Phoebus, and asked for us both to have sons for the house. But the god said: “Lord of Thebes famous for horses, do not sow a furrow of children against the will of the gods; for if you beget a son, that child will kill you, and all your house sh
Chorus Cadmus of Tyre came to this land, and at his feet a four-footed, untamed heifer threw itself down, fulfilling an oracle, where the god's prophecy told him to make his home in the plains rich with wheat, and where the lovely waters of Dirce pour over the fields, the green and deep-seeded fields; here Bromius' mother gave birth from her union with Zeus; Bromius, round whom the ivy twined its wreaths while he was still a baby, covering him and blessing him in the shades of its green foliage, a Bacchic dance for the maids and wives inspired in Thebes.
Chorus O snow-capped Cithaeron, dear to Artemis, holy vale of leaves, crowded with wild animals, would that you had never reared the one exposed to die, Oedipus, Jocasta's child, when as a baby he was cast forth from his home, marked with a golden brooch; and would that the Sphinx, that winged maid, monster from the hills, had never come as a grief to our land with her inharmonious songs, she that once drew near our walls and snatched the sons of Cadmus away in her taloned feet to the untrodden light of heaven, sent by Hades from hell to plague the men of Thebes; once more unhappy strife is coming into bloom between the sons of Oedipus in home and city. For never can wrong be right, nor can there be good in unlawful children, their mother's birth pangs, their father's pollution; she came to the bed of her son. . . .