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Look, the stranger, it seems, is coming here to us. [1250] Yes, without attendants, father, with tears streaming from his eyes.

Who is he?

The very man who was in our thoughts from the first. Polyneices has come to us.

Enter Polyneices.

Ah, me, what should I do? Should I weep first [1255] for my own woes, sisters, or for those of my father here, in his old age? I have found him in a foreign land, here with you two as an exile, clad in such garments as these. Their unfriendly filth has resided with the old man for long, [1260] wasting his flesh; while above the sightless eyes the unkempt hair flutters in the breeze; and matching with these things, it seems, is the food that he carries, sustenance for his poor stomach.

Wretch that I am! I learn all this too late. [1265] And I bear witness that I have proved the worst of men in all that concerns care for you; from my own lips hear what I am. But seeing that Zeus himself in all his actions has Shame beside him to share his throne, may she come to your aid too, father. For the sins committed can be healed, [1270] but can never be made worse.

Why are you silent? Speak, father. Do not turn away from me. Do you not have any answer at all for me? Will you dismiss me without a word, dishonored, and not tell me why you are angry? [1275] Seed of this man, my sisters, you at least must try to move our father's implacable, inexorable silence, so that he may not send me away like this, dishonored and with no word in return, when I am the suppliant of the god.

[1280] Tell him yourself, unhappy man, what you have come to seek. When words flow, you know, they may give joy, or incite anger or pity, and so they may give a voice to the mute.

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