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Then hear your task: the time has come for you
to show what breed of man is called my son.
My father prophesied to me of old
1160that none who breathed would ever take my life,
but one already dead and gone to Hades.
And now this beast, the Centaur, as the god
foretold, though dead, has torn my life away.
Now I will tell you of new oracles
confirming those delivered long ago.
I wrote them in the forest of the Selli -
a mountain tribe that sleeps upon the ground -
where Zeus's multi-tongued prophetic oak-tree
told me that in the time which has now come
1170the many toils that I had long endured
would reach an end. I thought I would then prosper -
and yet, it only meant that death was waiting.
In death there is no toil for anyone.
Child, since these words are clearly coming true,
you must stand by me and support me now,
and not provoke my anger by delaying.
Help me by doing what I say, and learn
the best of laws, which is to serve your father.