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Works by Sophocles
Pages of Philoctetes

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But why the' Atreidae, after so long time,
Again should wish to see this wretched exile,
Whence this desire? Came it from th' angry gods
To punish thus their inhumanity?
I can inform you; for perhaps from Greece
Of late you have not heard. There was a prophet,
Son of old Priam, Helenus by name,
Hlim, in his midnight walks, the wily chief
Ulysses, curse of every tongue, espied;
Took him. and led him captive. to the Creeks
A welcome spoil. Much he foretold to all,
And added last that Troy should never fall
Till Philoctetes from this isle returned.
Ulysses heard, and instant promise gave
To fetch him hence; he hoped by gentle means
To gain him; those successless, force at last
Could but compel him. He would go, he cried,
And if he failed his head should pay th' forfeit.
I've told thee all, and warn thee to be gone,
Thou and thy friend, if thou wouldst wish to save him.
And does the traitor think he can persuade me?
As well might he persuade me to return
From death to life, as his base father did.
Of that know not: I must to my ship.
Farewell, and may the gods protect you both!
(The Spy departs.)
Lead me- expose me to the Grecian host!
And could the insolent Ulysses hope
With his soft flatteries e'er to conquer me?
No! Sooner would I listen to the voice
Of that fell serpent, whose envenomed tongue
Hath lamed me thus. But what is there he dare not
Or say or do? I know he will be here
E'en now, depend on't. Therefore, let's away!
Quick let the sea divide us from Ulysses.
Let us be gone; for well-timed expedition,
The task performed, brings safety and repose.
Soon as the wind permits us we embark,
But now 'tis adverse.
Every wind is fair
When we are flying from misfortune.
And 'tis against them too.
Alas! no storms
Can drive back fraud and rapine from their prey.
I'm ready. Take what may be necessary,
And follow me.
I want not much.
My ship will furnish you.
There is a plant
Which to my wound gives some relief; I must

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