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The Phoenissae   


like dream for all the strength thou hast.
OEDIPUS Woe unto thee that art driving my aged limbs in grievous
exile from their land! Ah me! the sorrows I endure!
ANTIGONE "Endure"! why speak of enduring? Justice regardeth not the
sinner and requiteth not men's follies.
OEDIPUS I am he whose name passed into high songs of victory because
I guessed the maiden's baffling riddle.
ANTIGONE Thou art bringing up again the reproach of the Sphinx. Talk
no more of past success. This misery was in store for thee all the
while, to become an exile from thy country and die thou knowest not
where; while I, bequeathing to my girlish friends tears of sad regret,
must go forth from my native land, roaming as no maiden ought.
Ah! this dutiful resolve will crown me with glory in respect of my
father's sufferings. Woe is me for the insults heaped on thee and
on my brother whose dead body is cast forth from the palace unburied;
poor boy! I will yet bury him secretly, though I have to die for it,
father.
OEDIPUS To thy companions show thyself.
ANTIGONE My own laments suffice.
OEDIPUS Go pray then at the altars.
ANTIGONE They are weary of my piteous tale.
OEDIPUS At least go seek the Bromian god in his hallowed haunt amongst
the Maenads' hills.
ANTIGONE Offering homage that is no homage in Heaven's eyes to him
in whose honour I once fringed my dress with the Theban fawn-skin
and led the dance upon the hills for the holy choir of Semele?
OEDIPUS My noble fellow-countrymen, behold me; I am Oedipus, who
solved the famous riddle, and once was first of men, I who alone cut
short the murderous Sphinx's tyranny am now myself expelled the land
in shame and misery. Go to; why make this moan and bootless lamentation?
Weak mortal as I am, I must endure the fate that God decrees.
CHORUS (chanting) Hail majestic Victory! keep thou my life nor ever
cease to crown my song!
THE END

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