Oedipus at Colonus
OEDIPUS May I sit down?
CHORUS Move sideways towards the ledge,
And sit thee crouching on the scarped edge.
ANTIGONE This is my office, father, O incline-
OEDIPUS Ah me! ah me!
ANTIGONE Thy steps to my steps, lean thine aged frame on mine.
OEDIPUS Woe on my fate unblest!
CHORUS Wanderer, now thou art at rest,
Tell me of thy birth and home,
From what far country art thou come,
Led on thy weary way, declare!
OEDIPUS Strangers, I have no country. O forbear-
CHORUS What is it, old man, that thou wouldst conceal?
OEDIPUS Forbear, nor urge me further to reveal-
CHORUS Why this reluctance?
OEDIPUS Dread my lineage.
OEDIPUS What must I answer, child, ah welladay!
CHORUS Say of what stock thou comest, what man's son-
OEDIPUS Ah me, my daughter, now we are undone!
ANTIGONE Speak, for thou standest on the slippery verge.
OEDIPUS I will; no plea for silence can I urge.
CHORUS Will neither speak? Come, Sir, why dally thus!
OEDIPUS Know'st one of Laius'-
CHORUS Ha? Who!
OEDIPUS Seed of Labdacus-
CHORUS Oh Zeus!
OEDIPUS The hapless Oedipus.
CHORUS Art he?
OEDIPUS Whate'er I utter, have no fear of me.
OEDIPUS O wretched me!
OEDIPUS O daughter, what will hap anon?
CHORUS Forth from our borders speed ye both!
OEDIPUS How keep you then your troth?
CHORUS Heaven's justice never smites
Him who ill with ill requites.
But if guile with guile contend,
Bane, not blessing, is the end.
Arise, begone and take thee hence straightway,
Lest on our land a heavier curse thou lay.
ANTIGONE O sirs! ye suffered not my father blind,
Albeit gracious and to ruth inclined,
Knowing the deeds he wrought, not innocent,
But with no ill intent;
Yet heed a maiden's moan
Who pleads for him alone;
My eyes, not reft of sight,
Plead with you as a daughter's might
You are our providence,
O make us not go hence!
O with a gracious nod
Grant us the nigh despaired-of boon we crave?
Hear us, O hear,
But all that ye hold dear,
Wife, children, homestead, hearth and God!
Where will you find one, search ye ne'er so well.
Who 'scapes perdition if a god impel!