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Hush! I must bear my own ills, and when the grief is single, I will not bear it double. What you call vile and infamous, [690] would be mine, if I cause you, who have toiled with me, to die; for it is not a hardship for me, suffering as I do at the hands of the gods, to give up my life. But you are prosperous, and you have a house that is pure, not afflicted, while mine is impious and unfortunate. [695] If you are saved and get sons from my sister, whom I gave to you for wife, my name would remain and the whole house of my father would not be wiped out in childlessness. But go, and live, and dwell in my father's house. [700] And when you come to Hellas and to Argos of the horses, I charge you, by this right hand: heap up a tomb and build a memorial for me, and let my sister give her hair and tears to the tomb. Report that I died at the hand of an Argive [705] woman, at an altar, purified for death. Do not ever betray my sister, when you see how lonely is my father's house that you have joined by marriage. And now farewell; I have found you the dearest of my friends, you who have hunted with me, grown up with me, [710] and borne with me many miseries.

Phoebus, though a prophet, has deceived me; creating his plot, he drove me far away from Hellas, ashamed of his earlier prophecies. I gave him my all and trusted in his words, [715] killed my mother, and myself perish in turn.

You will have a tomb, and I will never betray your sister's bed, unhappy youth, since I will hold you dearer when dead than when alive. But the prophecy of the god has not destroyed you yet; [720] although you stand near to slaughter. Great misfortune can offer great reversals, when it is fated; it can indeed.

Silence; the words of Phoebus are no benefit to me; here comes the woman out of the temple.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 367
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, PARTICLES
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