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Philoctetes
O my arms, what shames you suffer for lack of your cherished [1005] bow, now that you are made that man's bound quarry! And you, who cannot think one healthy or one noble thought, how stealthily you have once more ambushed and trapped me, taking this boy for your screen, because he was a stranger to me. He is too good for your company, but worthy of mine, [1010] since he had no thought but to execute his orders, and he already shows remorse for his own errors and for the wrongs done me. But your corrupt mind, always on the lookout from some position of ambush, trained him well—unsuited and unwilling though he was— [1015] to be cunning in evil. And now, wretch, for me you plan bonds and passage from the very shore on which you had me flung away, friendless, abandoned, citiless, a corpse in the eyes of the living. Ah! Hades take you! Indeed I have often so prayed for you. [1020] But, because the gods grant me nothing that is sweet, you remain alive and you laugh, while I live miserably among countless sufferings, mocked by you and by the sons of Atreus, the two generals whom you serve on this errand. [1025] And yet you sailed with them only when brought under their yoke by trickery and compulsion. But me, when, to my utter ruin, I sailed of my own accord as their mate with seven ships, me they cast out of ship and honor, as you claim, while they say that it was your doing. And now, why would you take me? Why have me led away? For what purpose? [1030] I am nothing, and, as far as you were concerned, I have long been dead. You creature abhorred by the gods, how is it that you no longer find me crippled and foul-smelling? How, if I sail with you, can you burn sacrifices to the gods, or make libations any more? That was your pretext for casting me away in the first place. [1035] A cruel death for you!—and die you shall for your unjust treatment of me, if the gods care for justice. But I know that they do care for it, since you would never have made this voyage for one so miserable, unless some god-sent goad had driven you after me. [1040] O, fatherland, and you watchful gods, bring your vengeance, bring your vengeance on them all after so long, if at all you pity me! Yes, my life merits pity. Yet if I were to see those men overthrown, I would believe that I had escaped my plague.

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