φθίνει μὲν … φθίνει δὲ, epanaphora, as 5, O. T. 25 “φθίνουσα μὲν … ι φθίνουσα δ᾽”, 259 “ἔχων μὲν...ἔχων δέ.” γῆς has been needlessly suspected: here, as in the great speech of Ajax (Ai. 669—677), human destiny is viewed in relation to the whole order of nature. Cp. Tennyson, Tithonus 1 “"The woods decay, the woods decay and fall, The vapours weep their burthen to the ground, Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath, And after many a summer dies the swan."”
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