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Chorus Leader
Where were you Phrygians in the house to help her?

With a loud cry from the house we battered down with bars the doors and doorposts where we had been, [1475] and ran to her assistance from every direction, one with stones, another with javelins, a third with a drawn sword; but Pylades came to meet us, undaunted, like [1480] Hector of Troy or Ajax triple-plumed, as I saw him, saw him, in Priam's gateway; and we met at sword's point. But then it was very clear how the Phrygians were, [1485] how much less we were in battle strength to the Hellene might. There was one man gone in flight, another slain, another wounded, yet another pleading to stave off death; but we escaped under cover of the darkness; while some were falling, some were about to fall, and others were lying dead. [1490] And just as her unhappy mother sank to the ground to die, the luckless Hermione came in. Those two, like Bacchantes when they drop the thyrsus for a mountain cub, rushed and seized her; then turned again to the daughter of Zeus to slay her; but she had vanished from the room, [1495] passing right through the house, o Zeus and Earth and light and night! whether by magic spells or wizards' arts or heavenly theft. What happened afterwards I do not know; for I stole out of the palace, a runaway. [1500] So Menelaus endured his painful, painful suffering to recover his wife Helen from Troy to no purpose.

Orestes comes out of the palace.

Chorus Leader
And look, here is a strange sight succeeding others; for I see Orestes sword in hand before the palace, [1505] advancing with excited steps.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 335
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