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[405] So was his head all befouled with dust; but his mother tore her hair and from her flung far her gleaming veil and uttered a cry exceeding loud at sight of her son. And a piteous groan did his father utter, and around them the folk was holden of wailing and groaning throughout the city. [410] Most like to this was it as though all beetling Ilios were utterly burning with fire. And the folk had much ado to hold back the old man in his frenzy, fain as he was to go forth from the Dardanian gates. To all he made prayer, grovelling the while in the filth, [415] and calling on each man by name:“Withhold, my friends, and suffer me for all your love to go forth from the city alone, and hie me to the ships of the Achaeans. I will make prayer to yon ruthless man, yon worker of violence, if so be he may have shame before his fellows and have pity on my old age. [420] He too, I ween, hath a father such as I am, even Peleus, that begat him and reared him to be a bane to Trojans; but above all others hath he brought woe upon me, so many sons of mine hath he slain in their prime. Yet for them all I mourn not so much, despite my grief, [425] as for one only, sharp grief for whom will bring me down to the house of Hades—even for Hector. Ah, would he had died in my arms; then had we taken our fill of weeping and wailing, the mother that bare him to her sorrow, and myself.” So spake he weeping, and thereto the townsfolk added their laments. [430] And among the women of Troy Hecabe led the vehement lamentation: “My child, ah woe is me! How shall I live in my sore anguish, now thou art dead?—thou that wast my boast night and day in the city, and a blessing to all, both to the men and women of Troy throughout the town, who ever greeted thee as a god; [435] for verily thou wast to them a glory exceeding great, while yet thou livedst; but now death and fate are come upon thee.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 513-862
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