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Creusa and her aged Tutor enter.

Creusa
[725] Old tutor of my father Erechtheus, while he was alive, come up to the oracular seat, so that you may rejoice with me, if lord Loxias has spoken any oracle on begetting of children. [730] For it is sweet to have good fortune in the presence of friends; if things should go badly—may they not—it is pleasant to look in the face of someone kind. Though I am your mistress, I tend you as a father, as once you tended my father.

Tutor
[735] My daughter, you keep customs worthy of your worthy ancesors, and you have not shamed your ancient line, the race native to your land. Draw me to the temple, draw me on and bring me. The oracular shrine is steep; [740] help my limbs, be a healer for my old age.

Creusa
Follow now; be careful where you set your steps.

Tutor
I am; my foot is slow, but my mind is quick.

Creusa
Support with a staff your steps that waver on the ground.

Tutor
That is blind also, whenever my sight is dim.

Creusa
[745] Well said; but do not give way to weariness.

Tutor
I am willing, but I have no power over my absent strength.

Creusa
Women, trusted servants of my loom and shuttle, what fortune did my husband take away concerning children, for which we came here? [750] If good, inform me; you will be doing a favor for masters that can be trusted.

Chorus Leader
sung
O fortune!

Tutor
The prelude of your speech is not prosperous.

Chorus Leader
sung
O unhappy!

Tutor
[755] But why do oracles given to my masters afflict me?

Chorus Leader
Well; what should we do? There is death in these matters.

Creusa
What is this eloquence? What are you afraid of?

Chorus Leader
Shall we speak or be silent? or what shall we do?

Creusa
Speak; you have some misfortune for me!

Chorus Leader
[760] It shall be spoken, even if I were to die twice. It is not for you, mistress, ever to hold a child in your arms or clasp it to your breast.

Creusa
sung
Alas, I wish I were dead!

Tutor
sung
My daughter!

Creusa
sung
O unhappy in my fate, I have received, I have suffered an unbearable pain, my friends. [765] I am wholly ruined.

Tutor
sung
My child!

Creusa
sung
Alas! A piercing grief has struck me in my heart.

Tutor
Do not groan yet.

Creusa
sung
But the mourning is already here.

Tutor
[770] Until we learn—

Creusa
sung
What message for me?

Tutor
If the master has a share in this same fate, or you alone are unfortunate.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 285
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