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Iphis
[1080] Ah me! why do mortal men not have this, to live their youth twice over, and twice in turn to reach old age? If anything goes wrong within our homes, we set it right by judgment more maturely formed, but our life we may not so correct. Now if we had a second spell [1085] of youth and age, this double term of life would let us then correct each previous slip. For I, seeing others with children, longed to have them too, and found my ruin in that wish. Whereas if I had had my present experience, [1090] and by a father's light had learned how cruel a thing it is to be bereft of children, never should I have fallen on such evil days as these—I who begot a brave young son, and after all am now bereft of him. Enough of this. What remains for such a hapless wretch as me? [1095] Shall I to my home, there to see the desolation of the many halls and the blank within my life? or shall I go to the house of that dead Capaneus? sweet indeed to see in days gone by, when my daughter was alive. But she is lost and gone, she that would ever draw down my cheek [1100] to her lips, and take my head between her hands; for nothing is there more sweet unto an aged father than a daughter; our sons are made of sterner stuff, but less winning are their caresses. Oh! take me to my house at once, [1105] hide me in darkness, to waste and fret this aged frame with fasting! What shall it benefit me to touch my daughter's bones? Old age, resistless foe, how do I loathe your presence! Them too I loathe, whoever desire to lengthen out the span of life, [1110] seeking to turn the tide of death aside by food and drink and magic spells; those whom death should take away to leave the young their place, when they no more can benefit the world.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.5.3
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter VI
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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