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Ajax   


Teucer, come!-Where is Teucer? Will he never
Come back from cattle-raiding?-while I perish!
LEADER
He seems in his right mind. But open the doors.
Perhaps even the sight of me may sober him.

(She opens the doors of the tent. AJAX is
revealed sitting among the slain beasts.)


TECMESSA
See, I have opened. You may now behold
What he has done, and in what plight he lies.
AJAX (chanting)
Alas!
My shipmates and friends, you that alone to me
Loyal and true remain, of all friends alone,
Behold how great a billow lately rising from the storm of blood
Surging around engulphs me!
LEADER
Ah me, too true, it seems, was thy report.
This sight reveals the work of no sane mind.
AJAX (chanting)
Alas!
My mates, skilled and tried in brave seamanship,
Ye who embarking drove the wave-cleaving oar,
In you, in you alone I see a help and refuge from despair.
Smite me, and spill my blood too.
LEADER
Keep silence from dread words; nor curing ill
By ill, so swell the misery of this curse.
AJAX (chanting)
Behold now the bold, the man stout of heart,
Who ne'er shrank in fight against foes-behold
How I have spent my rage on beasts that feared no harm!
Ah me, the mockery! To what shame am I brought low
TECMESSA
Ajax, my master, I entreat thee, speak not so.
AJAX (chanting)
Away hence, I command thee! Take thyself elsewhere.
Aiai! Aiai!
LEADER
Oh, by the Gods, we pray thee, yield to wisdom's voice.
AJAX (chanting)
Oh, wretch that I was to allow
Those cursed foes to slip from my hands, and assaulting
Horned kine and goodly flocks, madly to spill
Their life in streams of dark blood!
LEADER
Why still be afflicted, now the deed is done past cure?
Never can these things be as though they had not been.
AJAX (chanting)
Thou all-spying knave, of all deeds of shame
The prompt, easy tool, Odysseus the wise!
Villain, of all the camp the most foul and vile!
Huge laughter doubtless shakes thee now for sheer delight.
LEADER
As God appoints, so every man laughs or laments.
AJAX (chanting)
Would I might meet him, crushed and broken though I be.
Alas! Woe, woe!
LEADER
Speak no proud words. Seest thou not to what woe thou art sunk?
AJAX (chanting)
O Zeus, of my fathers the sire,

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