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I know it, Odysseus, and some time ago I came on the path as a lookout friendly to your hunt.

And so, dear mistress, do I toil to good effect?

Know that that man is the doer of these deeds.

[40] Then to what end did he thrust his hand so senselessly?

He was mad with anger over the arms of Achilles.

Why, then, his onslaught upon the flocks?

It was in your blood, he thought, that he was staining his hand.

Then was this a plot aimed against the Greeks?

[45] Yes, and he would have accomplished it, too, had I not been attentive.

And what reckless boldness was in his mind that he dared this?

Under night's cover he set out against you, by stealth and alone.

And did he get near us? Did he reach his goal?

He was already at the double doors of the two generals.

[50] How, then, did he restrain his hand when it was eager for murder?

[65] It was I who prevented him, by casting over his eyes oppressive notions of his fatal joy, and I who turned his fury aside on the flocks of sheep and the confused droves guarded by herdsmen, the spoil which you had not yet divided. [55] Then he fell upon them and kept cutting out a slaughter of many horned beasts as he split their spines in a circle around him. At one time he thought that he was killing the two Atreidae, holding them in his very hand; at another time it was this commander, and at another that one which he attacked. And I, while the man ran about in diseased frenzy, [60] I kept urging him on, kept hurling him into the snares of doom. Soon, when he rested from this toil, he bound together the living oxen along with with all the sheep and brought them home, as though his quarry were men, not well-horned cattle. And now he abuses them, bound together, in the house.

But to you also will I show this madness openly, so that when you have seen it you may proclaim it to all the Argives. Be of good courage and stand your ground, and do not regard the man as a cause of disaster for you. I will turn away the beams of his eyes [70] and keep them from landing on your face.

To Ajax.
You there, you who bind back your captive's arms, I am calling you, come here! I am calling Ajax! Come out in front of the house!

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 971
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 631
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 123
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
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