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Ajax   


Leaving to me despair and lamentation.
TEUCER (from without)
Alas, woe, woe!
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Keep silence! Is it Teucer's voice I hear
Lifting a dirge over this tragic sight?
(TEUCER enters.)
TEUCER
O brother Ajax, to mine eyes most dear,
Can it be thou hast fared as rumour tells?
LEADER
Yes, he is dead, Teucer: of that be sure.
TEUCER
Alas, how then can I endure my fate!
LEADER
Since thus it is...
TEUCER
O wretched, wretched me!
LEADER
Thou hast cause to moan.
TEUCER
O swift and cruel woe!
LEADER
Too cruel, Teucer!
TEUCER
Woe is me! But say-
His child-where shall I find him? Tell me where.
LEADER
Alone within the tent.
TEUCER (to TECMESSA)
Then with all speed
Go, bring him thither, lest some foe should snatch him
Like a whelp from a lioness bereaved.
Away! See it done quickly! All men are wont
To insult over the dead, once they lie low.
(TECMESSA departs.)
LEADER
Yes, Teucer, while he lived, did he not charge thee
To guard his son from harm, as now thou dost?
TEUCER
O sight most grievous to me of all sights
That ever I have looked on with my eyes!
And hatefullest of all paths to my soul
This path that now has led me to thy side,
O dearest Ajax, when I heard thy fate,
While seeking thee I tracked thy footsteps out.
For a swift rumour, as from some god, ran
Through the Greek host that thou wast dead and gone.
While yet far off I heard it, and groaned deep
In anguish; now I see, and my life dies.
Ay me!
Uncover. Let me behold woe's very worst.
(The cover is lifted from the body.)
O ghastly sight! victim of ruthless courage!
What miseries hast thou dying sown for me!
Whither, among what people, shall I go,
Who in thy troubles failed to give thee succour?
Oh doubtless Telamon, thy sire and mine,
With kind and gracious face is like to greet me,
Returned without thee: how else?-he who is wont
Even at good news to smile none the sweeter.
What will he keep back? What taunt not hurl forth
Against the bastard of a spear-won slave,
Him who through craven cowardice betrayed

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