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And by now a sprinter, putting his legs in swift motion, would be reaching the finish-line of the two-hundred-yard course,1 when the poor woman wakened from her silence, opened her eyes, and gave forth a terrible groan. [1185] For she was being attacked with a double pain. The golden circlet about her head shot forth a terrible stream of consuming fire, and the fine-spun gown, gift of your sons, was eating into the wretched girl's white flesh. [1190] And all aflame she leapt from the chair and fled, tossing her hair this way and that, trying to shake off the diadem. But the gold crown held its fastenings firmly, and when she shook her hair, the fire only blazed up twice as high. [1195] She fell to the floor, overwhelmed by disaster, barely recognizable to any but her father. Her eyes no longer kept their wonted form nor did her shapely face, and from the top of her head blood dripped, mingled with fire, [1200] and her flesh dropped from her bones like resin from a pine-torch, torn by the unseen jaws of the poison, a dreadful sight to behold. And we were all afraid to touch the corpse, taught well by the event we had seen.

But her poor father, ignorant of the calamity, [1205] stumbled upon her body unprepared as he entered the chamber. And at once he groaned aloud and throwing his arms about her kissed her and said, ‘O unhappy child, which of the gods has destroyed you so shamefully and has bereft me of you, me, an old man [1210] at death's door? Oh, may I die with you, my child!’ But when he had ceased from his wailing and lamenting and wished to raise up his aged body to his feet, he stuck fast to the fine-spun dress, as ivy clings to laurel-shoots, and a terrible wrestling ensued. [1215] For he wanted to rise to his knees, but she held him fast and prevented him. And if he used force, he would rip his aged flesh from his bones. Finally the poor man gave up and breathed his last, for he could not overcome the calamity. [1220] They lie dead, the daughter and her old father [nearby, a disaster that calls for tears]

As regards your fate, I will say nothing: you will know soon enough the punishment that will visit you. As for our mortal life, this is not the first time that I have thought it to be a shadow, [1225] and I would say without any fear that those mortals who seem to be clever and workers-up of polished speeches are guilty of the greatest folly. For no mortal ever attains to blessedness. One may may be luckier than another [1230] when wealth flows his way, but blessed never.Exit Messenger by Eisodos B.

1 I.e., about twenty seconds elapsed. The reference is to the Olympic stade-race, whose winner gave his name to the Olympiad.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
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