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Be silent now: I see a man approaching
whose crown of laurel signifies good tidings. Enter an old man of Trachis, acting as a Messenger
180Queen Deianeira, I shall be the first
to free you from your fears; for I can tell you
Alcména's son is living and has triumphed
to bring home to our gods the spoils of battle.
What is it you are telling me, old man?
That soon the husband whom you long for will
come home victorious in all his might.
What citizen - or stranger - told you this?
Lichas the herald spoke these things to many
in a summer pasture land; and when I heard him
190I sprang away to be the first to tell you -
and, hopefully, to profit by your favor.
If he has brought good tidings, then where is he?
Lady, he has but little room to move.
The Malian people have surrounded him
to ask him questions, and will not let him go.
All are intent on learning what they hope for,
and will not set him free until they do.
And so, against his will, he is detained
by theirs; but soon you shall behold him here.
200O Zeus who rulest the unshorn plains of Oeta,
after long years thou grantest us great joy!
Raise up your voices, women, in the house
and in the outer court. Come, let us reap
the unenvisioned light this message brings us.