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Chorus Leader
[But the bolts of the palace-doors rattle; be silent; for one of the Phrygians is coming out, from whom we will inquire how it is within.]

The Phrygian Eunuch enters from the palace, expressing the most abject terror. His lines are sung, in answer to the Chorus' spoken questions.

Phrygian
I have escaped from death by Argive sword, [1370] in my Asian slippers, by clambering over the cedar-beams that roof the porch and the Doric triglyphs, away, away! O Earth, Earth! in barbaric flight! [1375] Alas! You foreign women, where can I escape, flying through the clear sky or over the sea, which bull-headed Ocean rolls about as he circles the world in his embrace?

Chorus Leader
[1380] What is it, Helen's slave, creature from Ida?

Phrygian
Ilium, Ilium, oh me! city of Phrygia, and Ida's holy hill with fruitful soil, how I mourn for your destruction [a shrill song] [1385] with barbarian cry; destroyed through her beauty, born from a bird, swan-feathered, Leda's cub, hellish Helen! to be a curse to Apollo's tower of polished stone. Ah! Alas! [1390] woe to Dardania, its wailing, wailing, for the horsemanship of Ganymede, bedfellow of Zeus.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1186-1222
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