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O black curse on the family, Oedipus' curse, now brought to fulfillment! A chill of horror falls about my heart. [835] In frenzy like a maenad I make my song for the grave as I hear of their corpses dripping with blood, how they died through the workings of cruel fate. This song of the spear, sung to the flute, is indeed born of an ill omen.1

1 This passage has also been taken to deprecate as inauspicious the previous ode (720 ff.) because it was sung during the combat of the brothers: “It was for a tomb I framed my song when, inspired by frenzy, I heard (prophetically) . . . Ill-omened, indeed, the contest of the spear to such an accompaniment.”

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