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[1485] I do not veil my tender cheek shaded with curls, nor do I feel shame, from maiden modesty, at the dark red beneath my eyes, the blush upon my face, as I hurry on, in bacchic revelry for the dead, [1490] casting from my hair its mantle and letting my delicate saffron robe fly loose, a tearful escort to the dead. Ah me! Oh, Polyneices! you were rightly named, after all; woe to you, Thebes! [1495] Your strife—not strife, but murder on murder— has brought the house of Oedipus to ruin with dire and grim bloodshed. What harmonious or tuneful wailing can I summon, [1500] for my tears, my tears, oh, my home! oh, my home! as I bear these three kindred bodies, my mother and her sons, a welcome sight to the Fury? She destroyed the house of Oedipus, root and branch, [1505] when his shrewdness solved the Sphinx's unsolvable song and killed that savage singer. Alas for you, father! What other Hellene or barbarian, [1510] what mortal from a noble line ever endured the anguish of such visible afflictions? Ah! poor girl, how piteous is your cry! [1515] What bird, perched on the high-leaved branches of oak or pine, will come to mourn with me, left motherless? With cries of woe, [1520] I lament before it comes the piteous lonely life, that I shall live for the rest of time, in streaming tears. On which of these [1525] shall I throw my offerings first, plucking the hair from my head? on the breast of the mother that suckled me, or beside the ghastly death-wounds of my brothers' corpses?

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