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I see, dear friends; my watchful eyes have not
failed to discern this group which is approaching.
All hail the herald, who has now returned
at long last . . . if it is good news you bring. Enter the herald Lichas, followed by a group of captive women; among them, Iole.
Gladly do we arrive and gladly hear you,
230lady, so fitly welcome us. The man
who prospers merits fair words in return.
Dearest of men, first tell me what I most
desire to know: is Heracles alive?
When I last saw him he was in full strength,
alive and flourishing and free from illness.
Where? In his homeland or some far-off country?
Making his offering to Cenaean Zeus
with fruitful tribute on Euboea's shore.
To pay a vow or fill some oracle?
240A vow made when he captured and despoiled
the country of these women whom you see.
Who are they, tell me, and who were their parents?
I pity them - unless their plight deceives me.
When Heracles sacked Eurytus's city
he chose them as the gods' prize, and his own.
Then was it for this city he was gone
till time was meaningless and days lost number?