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Oedipus at Colonus   


We move hushed lips in reverent piety.
But now some godless man,
'Tis rumored, here abides;
The precincts through I scan,
Yet wot not where he hides,
The wretch profane!
I search and search in vain.

OEDIPUS I am that man; I know you near
Ears to the blind, they say, are eyes.

CHORUS O dread to see and dread to hear!
OEDIPUS Oh sirs, I am no outlaw under ban.
CHORUS Who can he be-Zeus save us!--this old man?
OEDIPUS No favorite of fate,
That ye should envy his estate,
O, Sirs, would any happy mortal, say,
Grope by the light of other eyes his way,
Or face the storm upon so frail a stay?

CHORUS (antistrophe 1)
Wast thou then sightless from thy birth?
Evil, methinks, and long
Thy pilgrimage on earth.
Yet add not curse to curse and wrong to wrong.
I warn thee, trespass not
Within this hallowed spot,
Lest thou shouldst find the silent grassy glade
Where offerings are laid,
Bowls of spring water mingled with sweet mead.
Thou must not stay,
Come, come away,
Tired wanderer, dost thou heed?
(We are far off, but sure our voice can reach.)
If aught thou wouldst beseech,
Speak where 'tis right; till then refrain from speech.

OEDIPUS Daughter, what counsel should we now pursue?
ANTIGONE We must obey and do as here they do.
OEDIPUS Thy hand then!
ANTIGONE Here, O father, is my hand,
OEDIPUS O Sirs, if I come forth at your command,
Let me not suffer for my confidence.
CHORUS (strophe 2)
Against thy will no man shall drive thee hence.
OEDIPUS Shall I go further?
CHORUS Aye.
OEDIPUS What further still?
CHORUS Lead maiden, thou canst guide him where we will.
ANTIGONE Follow with blind steps, father, as I lead.
CHORUS In a strange land strange thou art;
To her will incline thy heart;
Honor whatso'er the State
Honors, all she frowns on hate.

OEDIPUS Guide me child, where we may range
Safe within the paths of right;
Counsel freely may exchange
Nor with fate and fortune fight.

CHORUS (antistrophe 2)
Halt! Go no further than that rocky floor.
OEDIPUS Stay where I now am?
CHORUS Yes, advance no more.

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