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Then may the gods not quench their fated strife, and may it fall to me to decide this war on which they are now setting their hands, raising spear against spear! [425] For then neither would he who now holds the scepter and the throne survive, nor would the exile ever return; seeing that when I, their father, was being thrust without honor from my country, they did not stop or defend me. No, they saw me sent forth homeless, [430] and heard the crier proclaim my sentence of exile. Perhaps you will say that that was my own wish then, and that the city fittingly granted me that gift. Not so! For on that first day, when my heart seethed, [435] and my sweetest wish was for death—indeed, death by stoning—no one was found to help me in that desire. But after a time, when all my anguish was now softened, and when I began to feel that my heart had been excessive in punishing those past errors, [440] then it was that the city set about to drive me by force from the land, after all that time. And my sons, when they had the strength to bring help—sons to their own father—they would not do it. For lack of one little word from them, I was left to wander, an outcast and a beggar forever. [445] Instead, it is from these, maidens as they are, insofar as nature enables them, that I obtain my daily food, and a shelter in the land, and the aid of family. Their brothers have bartered their father for the throne, the scepter of power, and the rule of the realm. [450] No, never will they win Oedipus for an ally, nor will good ever come to them from this reign at Thebes; that I know, when I hear this maiden's oracles and reflect on the old prophecies stored in my own mind, which Phoebus has fulfilled for me at last. [455] Therefore let them send Creon to seek me—or whoever else is mighty in Thebes. For if you, strangers, with the help of the dread goddesses who reign among your district, are willing to defend me, you will obtain a great savior for this city, [460] and troubles for my enemies.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 375
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 327
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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 6
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