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Oedipus at Colonus   


Are not my teachers surer guides than thine-
Great Phoebus and the sire of Phoebus, Zeus?
Thou art a messenger suborned, thy tongue
Is sharper than a sword's edge, yet thy speech
Will bring thee more defeats than victories.
Howbeit, I know I waste my words-begone,
And leave me here; whate'er may be my lot,
He lives not ill who lives withal content.
CREON Which loses in this parley, I o'erthrown
By thee, or thou who overthrow'st thyself?
OEDIPUS I shall be well contented if thy suit
Fails with these strangers, as it has with me.
CREON Unhappy man, will years ne'er make thee wise?
Must thou live on to cast a slur on age?
OEDIPUS Thou hast a glib tongue, but no honest man,
Methinks, can argue well on any side.
CREON 'Tis one thing to speak much, another well.
OEDIPUS Thy words, forsooth, are few and all well aimed!
CREON Not for a man indeed with wits like thine.
OEDIPUS Depart! I bid thee in these burghers' name,
And prowl no longer round me to blockade
My destined harbor.
CREON I protest to these,
Not thee, and for thine answer to thy kin,
If e'er I take thee-
OEDIPUS Who against their will Could take me?
CREON Though untaken thou shalt smart.
OEDIPUS What power hast thou to execute this threat?
CREON One of thy daughters is already seized,
The other I will carry off anon.
OEDIPUS Woe, woe!
CREON This is but prelude to thy woes.
OEDIPUS Hast thou my child?
CREON And soon shall have the other.
OEDIPUS Ho, friends! ye will not surely play me false?
Chase this ungodly villain from your land.
CHORUS Hence, stranger, hence avaunt! Thou doest wrong
In this, and wrong in all that thou hast done.
CREON (to his guards) 'Tis time by force to carry off the girl,
If she refuse of her free will to go.
ANTIGONE Ah, woe is me! where shall I fly, where find
Succor from gods or men?
CHORUS What would'st thou, stranger?
CREON I meddle not with him, but her who is mine.
OEDIPUS O princes of the land!
CHORUS Sir, thou dost wrong.
CREON Nay, right.
CHORUS How right?
CREON I take but what is mine.
OEDIPUS Help, Athens!
CHORUS What means this, sirrah? quick unhand her, or
We'll fight it out.
CREON Back!
CHORUS Not till thou forbear.
CREON 'Tis war with Thebes if I am touched or harmed.
OEDIPUS Did I not warn thee?
CHORUS Quick, unhand the maid!
CREON Command your minions; I am not your slave.
CHORUS Desist, I bid thee.
CREON (to the guard) And O bid thee march!
CHORUS To the rescue, one and all!
Rally, neighbors to my call!
See, the foe is at the gate!
Rally to defend the State.

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