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
To thy speech this is a proem
Not tuned to happiness.
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.
O my child, would I were dead!
Yes, this is wretchedness indeed, a grief
That makes life joyless.
This is ruin to us.
Unhappy me! this is a piercing grief,
That rends my heart with anguish.
Groan not yet.
Yet is the affliction present.
Till we learn-
To me what tidings?
If a common fate
Await our lord, partaker of thy griefs,
Or thou alone art thus unfortunate.
To him, old man, the god hath given a son,
And happiness is his unknown to her.
To ill this adds the deepest ill, a grief
For me to mourn.
Born of some other woman
Is this child yet to come, or did the god
Declare one now in being?
To manhood's prime he gave him: I was present.
What hast thou said? Thy words denounce to me
Sorrows past speech, past utterance.
And to me.
How was this oracle accomplish'd? Tell me
With clearest circumstance: who is this youth?