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Stranger
[75] Take care now, stranger, that you come to no harm; for you are noble, if I may judge by your looks, leaving your ill-fortune aside. Stay here, where I found you, until I go and tell these things to the people of this district—not in the city. [80] They will decide for you whether you should stay or go back.Stranger exits.

Oedipus
My child, has the stranger left us?

Antigone
He is gone, and so you can speak what you wish, father, fully at ease, knowing that I alone am near.

Oedipus
Ladies of dread aspect, since your seat is [85] the first in this land at which I have bent my knee, show yourselves not ungracious to Phoebus or to myself; who, when he proclaimed that doom of many woes, spoke to me of this rest after long years: on reaching my goal in a land where I should find a seat of the Awful Goddesses [90] and a shelter for foreigners, there I should close my weary life, with profit, through my having fixed my abode there, for those who received me, but ruin for those who sent me forth, who drove me away. And he went on to warn me that signs of these things would come, [95] in earthquake, or in thunder, or in the lightning of Zeus. Now I perceive that in this journey some trusty omen from you has surely led me home to this grove; never otherwise could I have met with you, first of all, in my wanderings—I, in my sobriety, with you who touch no wine, [100] —or taken this august seat not shaped by men. Then, goddesses, according to the word of Apollo, give me at last some way to accomplish and close my course—unless, perhaps, I seem too lowly, [105] enslaved as I am evermore to woes the sorest on the earth. Hear, sweet daughters of primeval Darkness! Hear, you that are called the city of great Pallas, Athens, given most honor of all cities! Pity this poor ghost of the man Oedipus! [110] For in truth it is the former living body no more.

Antigone
Hush! Here come some aged men to spy out your resting-place.

Oedipus
I will be mute. But hide me in the grove, apart from the road, till I learn [115] how these men will speak. For in learning is the safeguard of our course.They exit.

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