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[975] Why does this terror so persistently hover standing before my prophetic soul? Why does my song, unbidden and unfed, chant strains of augury? Why does assuring confidence not sit on my heart's throne [980] and spurn the terror like an uninterpretable dream? But Time has collected the sands of the shore upon the cables cast thereon [985] when the shipborn army sped forth for Ilium.1

1 The sense of the Greek passage (of which no entirely satisfactory emendation has been offered) is that so much time has passed since the fleet, under Agamemnon's command, was detained at Aulis by the wrath of Artemis, that Calchas' prophecy of evil, if true, would have been fulfilled long ago.

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load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1089
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