Of such things this hapless lady had no foreboding; but she saw
great mischief swiftly coming on her home from the new marriage. Her
own hand applied the remedy; but for the issues of a stranger's
counsel, given at a fatal meeting,- for these, I ween, she makes
despairing lament, shedding the tender dew of plenteous tears. And the
coming fate foreshadows a great misfortune, contrived by guile.
Our streaming tears break forth: alas, a plague is upon him more
piteous than any suffering that foemen ever brought upon that glorious
Ah, thou dark steel of the spear foremost in battle, by whose
might yonder bride was lately borne so swiftly from Oechalia's
heights! But the Cyprian goddess, ministering in silence, hath been
plainly proved the doer of these deeds.
LEADER OF ONE SEMI-CHORUS
Is it fancy, or do I hear some cry of grief just passing through
the house? What is this?
LEADER OF OTHER SEMI-CHORUS
No uncertain sound, but a wail of anguish from within: the house
hath some new trouble.
LEADER OF WHOLE CHORUS
And mark how sadly, with what a cloud upon her brow, that aged
woman approaches, to give us tidings.
(Enter NURSE, from the house.)
Ah, my daughters, great, indeed, were the sorrows that we were
to reap from the gift sent to Heracles!
Aged woman, what new mischance hast thou to tell?
Deianeira hath departed on the last of all her journeys,
departed without stirring foot.
Thou speakest not of death?
My tale is told.
Dead, hapless one?
Again thou hearest it.
Hapless, lost one! Say, what was the manner of her death?
Oh, a cruel deed was there!
Speak, woman, how hath she met her doom?
By her own hand hath she died.
What fury, what pangs of frenzy have cut her off by the edge of
a dire weapon? How contrived she this death, following death,- all
wrought by her alone?
By the stroke of the sword that makes sorrow.
Sawest thou that violent deed, poor helpless one?
I saw it; yea, I was standing near.
Whence came it? How was it done? Oh, speak
'Twas the work of her own mind and her own hand.