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Dearest son of Aegeus, to the gods alone old age and death never come, but everything else sinks into chaos from time which overpowers all. [610] Earth's strength decays, and so too the strength of the body; trust dies; distrust is born; and the same spirit is never steadfast among friends, or between city and city. For some now, for others tomorrow, sweet feelings turn to bitter, and then once more to being dear. [615] And if now the sun shines brightly between Thebes and you, yet time in his course gives birth to days and nights untold, in which from a small cause they will [620] scatter with the spear today's pledges of concord. Then one day my slumbering and buried corpse, cold in death, will drink their warm blood, if Zeus is still Zeus, and Phoebus, the son of Zeus, speaks clear. But, since I would not break silence concerning words that must not spoken, allow me to cease where I began. [625] Only keep your own pledge good, and never will you say that in vain you welcomed Oedipus to dwell in this land—if indeed the gods do not deceive me.

Lord, from the first this man has shown a [630] will to bring these words, or similar ones, to completion for our land.

Who, then, would reject the goodwill of such a one? To whom, first, the hearth of a spear-friend is always available on our side, by reciprocal right; then too he has come as a suppliant to our gods, [635] paying no small recompense to this land and to me. In reverence for these claims, I will never spurn his favor, and I will establish a dwelling for him as a citizen in the land. And if it is the pleasure of the stranger to remain here, I will command you to [640] protect him; or, if it pleases him, to come with me. This choice or that, Oedipus, you may take; your desire will be mine.

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