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Philoctetes   


It comes, it hastens! Do not, do not leave me!
Oh! that Ulysses felt this racking torture,
E'en to his inmost soul! Again it comes!
O Agamemnon! Menelaus! why
Should not you bear these pangs as I have done?
O death! where art thou, death? so often called,
Wilt thou not listen? wilt thou never come?
Take thou the Lemnian fire, my generous friend,
Do me the same kind office which I did
For my Alcides. These are thy reward;
He gave them to me. Thou alone deservest
The great inheritance. What says my friend?
What says my dear preserver? Oh! where art thou?
NEOPTOLEMUS
I mourn thy hapless fate.
PHILOCTETES
Be of good cheer,
Quick my disorder comes, and goes as soon;
I only beg thee not to leave me here.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Depend on 't, I will stay.
PHILOCTETES
Wilt thou indeed?
NEOPTOLEMUS
Trust me, I will.
PHILOCTETES
I need not bind thee to it
By oath.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Oh, no! 'twere impious to forsake thee.
PHILOCTETES
Give me thy hand, and pledge thy faith.
NEOPTOLEMUS
I do.
PHILOCTETES (pointing up to heaven)
Thither, oh, thither lead!
NEOPTOLEMUS
What sayst thou? where?
PHILOCTETES
Above-
NEOPTOLEMUS
What, lost again? Why lookst thou thus
On that bright circle?
PHILOCTETES
Let me, let me go!
NEOPTOLEMUS (lays hold of him)
Where wouldst thou go?
PHILOCTETES
Loose me.
NEOPTOLEMUS
I will not.
PHILOCTETES
Oh!
You'll kill me, if you do not.
NEOPTOLEMUS (lets him go)
There, then; now
Is thy mind better?
PHILOCTETES
Oh! receive me, earth!
Receive a dying man. Here must I lie;
For, oh! my pain's so great I cannot rise.

(PHILOCTETES sinks down on the earth
near the entrance of the cave.)

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