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Chorus
[245] Oh, but I hear horses snorting!

Eteocles
Hear them, then, but not too clearly.

Chorus
The city groans from deep in the earth, as though we are surrounded.

Eteocles
Surely it is enough that I am making plans for this?

Chorus
I am terrified—the crashing at the gates is increasing.

Eteocles
[250] Won't you be silent, and speak none of this throughout the city?

Chorus
Divine company, do not betray our fortifications!

Eteocles
Damn you! Will you not endure these events in silence?

Chorus
Gods of our city! Do not let my fate be slavery!

Eteocles
You would enslave both me and all the city.

Chorus
[255] Almighty Zeus, turn your missile against the enemy!

Eteocles
O Zeus, what a breed you have made for us in women!

Chorus
A breed steeped in misery, just like men whose city is captured.

Eteocles
Why are your words ill-omened, when you still grasp the gods' statues?

Chorus
In my weakness fear controls my tongue.

Eteocles
[260] If only you would grant my plea for a small service.

Chorus
Please state it as quickly as possible, and I will quickly know what to do.

Eteocles
Be silent, wretched woman; do not terrify your own men.

Chorus
I am silent. I will suffer what is destined together with the others.

Eteocles
I welcome this sentiment of yours over what you said before. [265] And in addition, keep your distance from the gods' images and make a stronger prayer, that the gods fight on our side. And once you have heard my prayers, then sing the victory song, the sacred cry of joy and goodwill, our Greek ritual of shouting in tribute, [270] that brings courage to our friends and dissolves fear of the enemy.

And nowHere Eteocles makes his vow. to the gods who guard our city's land, both those who dwell in the plain and those who watch over its meeting-place, to Dirce's springs and the waters of Ismenus, I vow that, if things go well and the city is saved, [275] the citizens shall redden the gods' altars with the blood of sheep and sacrifice bulls to the gods—this is my vow—and offer trophies, while I will crown their holy temples with the spoil of the enemy's spear-pierced garments.

[280] Make this kind of prayer to the gods, without your previous lamentation, nor with wild and useless panting; for you will not escape your destiny any the more. As for me, I will go station six men, with me as the seventh, as champions to oppose the enemy in proud fashion [285] at the seven exits in the wall, even before speedy messengers or swift-rushing reports arrive and inflame us with urgent need.Exit.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1491
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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