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And so I know not what to think. I see
only that I have done a dreadful deed.
Why - for what reason - should the beast whose death
I caused have shown me kindness as he died?
It cannot be! No, wishing to destroy
710his slayer, he deceived me. I have learned
too late, when learning can avail no longer!
For I alone - unless my mind deceives me -
I, to my grief, will bring about his ruin.
That very arrow, I am certain, wounded
Cheiron, a god; and it destroys whatever
creature it touches. The dark blood which flowed
from Nessus' wound contained that poison. Oh,
how can it not kill Heracles? It must!
And yet I am resolved, if he should fall,
720to perish with him in the selfsame onslaught.
One who takes pride in being good by nature
will not endure a life marred by dishonor.