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If you must know, then I shall tell you all.
750After he plundered Eurytus's city
he carried off the choicest spoils of battle;
and, by a wave-washed headland of Euboea,
Cenaeum, he was dedicating altars
and woodland precincts to his father Zeus
when I, with joyous longing, first beheld him.
He was about to make great sacrifice
when his own herald Lichas came from home
bearing your gift to him, the robe of death.
He put it on as you had told him to,
760and held and slaughtered twelve unblemished bulls,
the finest of the spoil; for he had brought
a hundred varied oxen to the altar.
At first - oh wretched man! - he prayed in calm
of mind, rejoicing in his lovely garment;
but when the gory flame began to blaze
up from the offerings on the sappy pine,
sweat covered all his body, and the robe
clung to his sides as if glued by a craftsman
to every joint; and from his very bones
770shot up spasmodic, stinging pangs: the poison,
like some detested, bloody snake's, devoured him.
Then he cried out aloud for ill-starred Lichas,
who was in no way guilty of your crime,
to ask what treachery made him bring the robe;
but he, unlucky man! knew not, and answered
he had but brought the gift which you had given.
When Heracles heard this a penetrating
convulsive spasm clutched his lungs, and he
seized Lichas where the ankle joins the foot
780and dashed him on a rock swept by the sea
so that the white brain seeped among his hairs,
and all his shattered skull was bloodied over.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1902)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 1087
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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