for him. One night brings distress,and the next night, in turn, drives it out. Children, furthermore, were born to us, whom at the time he looked at only as the farmer looks at a distant field, visiting it only once to sow seed and once to reap. Such was the manner of his life, ever sending himto and from our home in servitude to some master.
But now, when he has risen above those trials—now it is that my fear is keenest. For ever since he slew the mighty Iphitus, we have been dwelling here in Trachis, refugeesin the home of a foreign host. But where Heracles is, no one knows. I only know that he is gone, and has caused me sharp pain for him. I am almost sure that he has come to some suffering. The interval has not been brief; rather, he is unheard from ten months already,plus another five. Yes, there has been some terrible misfortune. That tablet which he left with me before departing suggests it to me. I often pray to the gods that I did not receive it to my misfortun