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Ion   


Faithful attendants, say, respecting children,
For which we came, what fortune hath my lord
Borne hence? if good, declare it: you shall find
That to no thankless masters you give joy.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
O fortune!
CREUSA
To thy speech this is a proem
Not tuned to happiness.
LEADER
Unhappy fortune!
But why distress me for the oracle
Given to our lords? Be that as fate requires
In things which threaten death, what shall we do? CREUSA
What means this strain of woe? Whence are these fears? LEADER
What! shall we speak, or bury this in silence? CREUSA
Speak, though thy words bring wretchedness to me. LEADER
It shall be spoken, were I twice to die.
To thee, my queen, it is not given to clasp
In thy fond arms a child, or at thy breast
To hold it.
TUTOR
O my child, would I were dead!
CREUSA
Yes, this is wretchedness indeed, a grief
That makes life joyless.
TUTOR
This is ruin to us.
CREUSA
Unhappy me! this is a piercing grief,
That rends my heart with anguish.
TUTOR
Groan not yet.
CREUSA
Yet is the affliction present.
TUTOR
Till we learn-
CREUSA
To me what tidings?
TUTOR
If a common fate
Await our lord, partaker of thy griefs,
Or thou alone art thus unfortunate.
LEADER
To him, old man, the god hath given a son,
And happiness is his unknown to her.
CREUSA
To ill this adds the deepest ill, a grief
For me to mourn.
TUTOR
Born of some other woman
Is this child yet to come, or did the god
Declare one now in being?
LEADER
One advanced
To manhood's prime he gave him: I was present.
CREUSA
What hast thou said? Thy words denounce to me
Sorrows past speech, past utterance.
TUTOR
And to me.
CREUSA
How was this oracle accomplish'd? Tell me
With clearest circumstance: who is this youth?

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