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The first messenger enters in haste.

Menelaos, I find you, after taking great trouble to look for you, wandering over the whole of this foreign land; I am sent by the comrades whom you left behind.

[600] What is it? Surely you are not being plundered by the foreigners?

It is a miracle; what I say is of less account than what happened.

Tell me; for, judging by this eagerness, you are certainly bringing something new.

I say that you have suffered countless labors in vain.

You are mourning over old sorrows; what is your message?

[605] Your wife has disappeared, taken up into the folds of the unseen air; she is hidden in heaven, and as she left the hallowed cave where we were keeping her, she said this: “Miserable Phrygians, and all the Achaeans! On my account you were dying by the banks of Skamandros, [610] through Hera's contrivance, for you thought that Paris had Helen when he didn't. But I, since I have stayed my appointed time, and kept the laws of fate, will now depart into the sky, my father; but the unhappy daughter of Tyndareus, [615] guilty in no way, has borne an evil name without reason.”

Catching sight of Helen
Welcome, daughter of Leda, were you here after all? I was just announcing your departure up to the hidden starry realms, not knowing that you had a winged body. I will not let you mock us like this again, [620] for you gave your fill of trouble to your husband and his allies in Ilion.

This is the meaning of that; her words have turned out to be true. O longed-for day, that has given you to my arms!

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 751
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