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Come close, stand near your father and do examine the magnitude of the misfortune by which I suffer; for I will uncover my suffering. Look! See all of you this miserable body; [1080] see how wretched, how pitiable I am!

Ah, misery! The ruinous spasm flames again; it shoots through my sides—I must wrestle once more with that cruel, devouring plague!

[1085] King Hades, receive me! Strike me, O fire of Zeus! Hurl down your thunderbolt, ruler, dash it, Father, upon my head! Again the pest consumes me, it has blazed up, it has leapt to fury! O hands, my hands, [1090] O shoulders and chest and trusty arms, you are indeed those noted arms which once subdued with your might the dweller in Nemea, the scourge of herdsmen, the lion, a creature that no man might approach or confront; you tamed the Lernaean Hydra, [1095] and that monstrous army of beasts with double form, hostile, going on hoofed feet, violent, lawless, of surpassing violence; you tamed the beast in Erymanthia, and underground the three-headed whelp of Hades, a resistless terror, offspring of the fierce Echidna; you tamed the dragon [1100] that guarded the golden fruit in the farthest places of the earth. These toils and thousands more have I tasted, and no man has ever erected a trophy of victory over my hands. But now, with joints unhinged and with flesh torn to shreds, I have become the miserable spoil of an unseen destroyer, [1105] —I, who am called the son of noblest mother, I, who am reputed the seed of Zeus, lord of the starry sky.

But you may be sure of one thing: though I am nothing, though I cannot move a step, yet she who has done this deed shall feel my heavy hand even so. Let her but come to me [1110] so that she may learn to proclaim this message to all the world, that in my death, as in my life, I punished the guilty!

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load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1902)
load focus English (Robert Torrance)
load focus Greek (Francis Storr, 1913)
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