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Works by Sophocles
Pages of Philoctetes

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For far above all other gifts doth Jove,
Th' almighty father, hold true piety:
Whether we live or die, that still survives
Beyond the reach of fate, and is immortal.
PHILOCTETES (chanting)
Once more to let me hear that wished-for voice,
To see thee after so long time, was bliss
I could not hope for. Oh! I will obey
Thy great commands most willingly.
NEOPTOLEMUS (chanting)
And I.
HERCULES (chanting)
Delay not then. For lo! a prosperous wind
Swells in thy sail. The time invites. Adieu!
(HERCULES disappears above.)
PHILOCTETES (chanting)
I will but pay my salutations here,
And instantly depart. To thee, my cave,
Where I so long have dwelt, I bid farewell!
And you, ye nymphs, who on the watery plains
Deign to reside, farewell! Farewell the noise
Of beating waves, which I so oft have heard
From the rough sea, which by the black winds driven
O'erwhelmed me, shivering. Oft th' Hermaean mount
Echoed my plaintive voice, by wintry storms
Afflicted, and returned me groan for groan.
Now, ye fresh fountains, each Lycaean spring,
I leave you now. Alas! I little thought
To leave you ever. And thou sea-girt isle,
Lemnos, farewell! Permit me to depart
By thee unblamed, and with a prosperous gale
To go where fate demands, where kindest friends
By counsel urge me, where all-powerful Jove
In his unerring wisdom hath decreed.
CHORUS (chanting)
Let us be gone, and to the ocean nymphs
Our humble prayers prefer, that they would all
Propitious smile, and grant us safe return.


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