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Enter Eurydice.

People of Thebes, I heard your words as I was on my way to the gates to address divine Pallas with my prayers. [1185] At one and the same time I was loosening the bolts of the gate to open it, and the sound of a blow to our house struck my ear. In terror I sank back into the arms of my handmaids, and my senses fled. [1190] But repeat what your news was, for I shall hear it with ears that are no strangers to sorrow.


Dear mistress, I will tell what I witnessed and leave no word of the truth unspoken. For what good would it do that should I soothe you with words in which I must later be found false? [1195] The truth is always best. I attended your husband as his guide to the furthest part of the plain, where unpitied the body of Polyneices, torn by dogs, still lay. After we had prayed to the goddess of the roads [1200] and to Pluto to restrain their anger in mercy, we washed him with pure washing, and with freshly-plucked boughs we burned what remains there were. Lastly we heaped a high-mounded tomb of his native earth. Afterwards we turned away to enter the maiden's stoney-bedded [1205] bridal chamber, the caverned mansion of Hades' bride. From a distance, one of us servants heard a voice of loud wailing near that bride's unwept bed and came to tell our master Creon. And as the King moved closer and closer, obscure signs rising from a bitter cry surrounded him— [1210] he groaned and said in bitter lament, “Ah, misery, am I now the prophet of evil? Am I going on the path most lined with grief of all that I have walked before? My son's voice greets me. Go, my servants, [1215] hurry closer, and when you have reached the tomb, enter the opening where the stones of the mound have been torn away, up to the cell's very mouth. See if it is Haemon's voice that I recognize, or if I am cheated by the gods.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 552
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1459
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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