The seven against thebes
Whilome in olden days the sin was wrought,
And swift requital brought-
Yea on the children of the child came still
New heritage of ill!
For thrice Apollo spoke this word divine,
From Delphi's central shrine,
To Laius-Die thou childless! thus alone
Can the land's weal be won!
But vainly with his wife's desire he strove,
And gave himself to love,
Begetting Oedipus, by whom he died,
The fateful parricide!
The sacred seed-plot, his own mother's womb,
He sowed, his house's doom,
A root of blood! by frenzy lured, they came
Unto their wedded shame.
And now the waxing surge, the wave of fate,
Rolls on them, triply great-
One billow sinks, the next towers, high and dark,
Above our city's bark-
Only the narrow barrier of the wal
Totters, as soon to fall;
And, if our chieftains in the storm go down,
What chance can save the town?
Curses, inherited from long ago,
Bring heavy freight of woe:
Rich stores of merchandise o'erload the deck,
Near, nearer comes the wreck-
And all is lost, cast out upon the wave,
Floating, with none to save!
Whom did the gods, whom did the chief of men,
Whom did each citizen
In crowded concourse, in such honour hold,
As Oedipus of old,
When the grim fiend, that fed on human prey,
He took from us away?
But when, in the fulness of days, he knew of his bridal unblest,
A twofold horror he wrought, in the frenzied despair of his breast-
Debarred from the grace of the banquet, the service of goblets of
He flung on his children a curse for the splendour they dared to
A curse prophetic and bitter-The glory of wealth and of pride,