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Artemis
O unhappy man, to what misfortune you are yoked! [1390] But it is the nobility of your mind that has destroyed you.

Hippolytus
But what is this? O breath of divine fragrance! Though I am in misfortune I sense you and my body's pain is lightened. The goddess Artemis is in this place!

Artemis
Poor one, she is, dearest of gods to you.

Hippolytus
[1395] Do you see me, lady, see my wretched state?

Artemis
Yes, but the law forbids me to shed tears.

Hippolytus
No more do you have your huntsman and your servant!

Artemis
No, but though you die, I love you still.

Hippolytus
No one to tend your horses or your statue!

Artemis
[1400] No, treacherous Aphrodite willed it so.

Hippolytus
Ah, now I learn the power that has destroyed me!

Artemis
The slight to her honor galled her, and your virtue.

Hippolytus
One power destroyed us three, I see it now.

Artemis
Your father, you, and Theseus' wife the third.

Hippolytus
[1405] Therefore I groan for Theseus' fate as well.

Artemis
He was deceived, a god contrived it so.

Hippolytus
How great, unhappy father, your misfortune!

Theseus
I am gone, my son, I have no joy in life.

Hippolytus
For your misstep I pity you more than me.

Theseus
[1410] Would I could die, my son, instead of you!

Hippolytus
Poseidon your father's gifts, what woe they brought!

Theseus
Would they had never come into my mouth!

Hippolytus
You would have killed me still, such was your anger.

Theseus
Yes, for the gods had robbed me of my mind.

Hippolytus
[1415] Oh! Would that the race of men could curse the gods!1

Artemis

Artemis
Let be! For though you are in the gloom under the earth, even so will you get revenge for the wrath that has fallen against you by Aphrodite's design, and this will be the reward of your piety and goodness. [1420] That mortal of hers that she loves the most I shall punish with these ineluctable arrows shot from my hand. To you, unhappy man, I shall grant, in recompense for these sorrows, supreme honors [1425] in the land of Trozen. For unmarried girls before their marriage will cut their hair for you, and over the length of ages you will harvest the deep mourning of their tears. The practiced skill of poetry sung by maidens will for ever make you its theme, and Phaedra's love for you [1430] shall not fall nameless and unsung.

1 A dying man's curse was believed to be efficacious, but the gods are exempt from its effects.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 123
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