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[780] I am making the offer: choose whether I shall reveal the sufferings still in store for you or the one who will be my deliverer.

Consent to bestow on her one of these favors, and on me the other; do not deny me the tale. Tell her about her further wanderings; [785] tell me who will deliver you—for I would like to know this.

Well, since you are bent on this, I will not refuse to proclaim all that you still crave to know. First, to you, Io, will I declare your much-vexed wandering, and may you engrave it on the recording tablets of your mind.

[790] When you have crossed the stream that bounds the two continents, toward the flaming east, where the sun walks,......

crossing the surging sea until you reach the Gorgonean plains of Cisthene, where the daughters of Phorcys dwell, ancient maids, [795] three in number, shaped like swans, possessing one eye amongst them and a single tooth; neither does the sun with his beams look down upon them, nor ever the nightly moon. And near them are their three winged sisters, the snake-haired Gorgons, loathed of mankind, [800] whom no one of mortal kind shall look upon and still draw breath. Such is the peril that I bid you to guard against. But now listen to another and a fearsome spectacle. Beware of the sharp-beaked hounds of Zeus that do not bark, the gryphons, [805] and the one-eyed Arimaspian folk, mounted on horses, who dwell about the flood of Pluto's1stream that flows with gold. Do not approach them. Then you shall come to a far-off country of a dark race that dwells by the waters of the sun, where the river Aethiop is. [810] Follow along its banks until you reach the cataract, where, from the Bybline mountains, Nile sends forth his hallowed and sweet stream. He will conduct you on your way to the three-angled land of Nilotis, where, at last, it is ordained for you, [815] O Io, and for your children to found your far-off colony.

If anything of this is confusing to you and hard to understand, may you question me yet again, and gain a clear account; for I have more leisure than I crave.

1 Πλούτον is an abbreviation of Πλουτοδότης or Πλουτοδοτήρ, “giver of wealth”; hence the apparent confusion with Πλούτος.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 80
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