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Leader of the Chorus
Scan all sides with your glance. Hark! methinks I can hear the rustle of the swift wings of a god from heaven.

The Machine brings in Iris, in the form of a young girl.

Pisthetaerus
Hi! you woman! where, where, where are you flying to? Halt, don't stir! [1200] keep motionless! not a beat of your wing! She pauses in her flight. Who are you and from what country? You must say whence you come.

Iris
I come from the abode of the Olympian gods.

Pisthetaerus
What's your name, ship or head-dress?

Iris
I am swift Iris.

Pisthetaerus
Paralus or Salaminia?

Iris
[1205] What do you mean?

Pisthetaerus
Let a buzzard rush at her and seize her.

Iris
Seize me? But what do all these insults mean?

Pisthetaerus
Woe to you!

Iris
I do not understand it.

Pisthetaerus
By which gate did you pass through the wall, wretched woman?

Iris
[1210] By which gate? Why, great gods, I don't know.

Pisthetaerus
You hear how she holds us in derision. Did you present yourself to the officers in command of the jays? You don't answer. Have you a permit, bearing the seal of the storks?

Iris
Am I dreaming?

Pisthetaerus
Did you get one?

Iris
Are you mad?

Pisthetaerus
No [1215] head-bird gave you a safe-conduct?

Iris
A safe-conduct to me. You poor fool!

Pisthetaerus
Ah! and so you slipped into this city on the sly and into these realms of air-land that don't belong to you.

Iris
And what other roads can the gods travel?

Pisthetaerus
[1220] By Zeus! I know nothing about that, not I. But they won't pass this way. And you still dare to complain? Why, if you were treated according to your deserts, no Iris would ever have more justly suffered death.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 313
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