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Father, I dread the purpose which your words
1180portend, but I will do as you think best.

Then first of all place your right hand in mine.

Why do you urge this needless pledge upon me?

Give me your hand, and do not disobey me.

Here: I cannot refuse you anything.

Swear by the head of Zeus, who is my father...

To do what? Will you tell me this as well?

To carry out the task which I command you.

I swear it then - and may Zeus be my witness!

Pray, if you break your oath, that you may suffer.

1190I shall not break my oath; yet I so pray.

Now . . . do you know Zeus' sacred mountain Oeta?

Yes. I have often sacrificed upon it.

That is the place where you must carry me
with your own hands, and with what friends you choose.
There hew the wood of deeply-rooted oaks
and slash the trunks of wild male olive trees,
placing my body on a pyre made from them;
then take a brightly blazing torch of pine
and light the pyre. And do not moan and weep,
1200for if you are my son you will perform this
without a sigh or tear. If not, my curse,
even when I am dead, will weigh upon you.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1902)
load focus English (Sir Richard Jebb, 1892)
load focus Greek (Francis Storr, 1913)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 1257
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