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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Sophocles Bilingual Anthology : OEDIPUS' ASCENSION

from Oedipus at Colonus, * Lines 1583-1779, * Translated by F. Storr.
* Text in <angle brackets> Translated by Elpenor, *
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HORUS) What, has he gone, the unhappy man?

(MESSENGER) Know well That he has passed away from life to death.

(CH.) How? By a god-sent, painless doom, poor soul?

(M.) Thy question hits the marvel of the tale. How he moved hence, you saw him and must know; Without a friend to lead the way, himself Guiding us all. So having reached the abrupt Earth-rooted Threshold with its brazen stairs, He paused at one of the converging paths, Hard by the rocky basin which records The pact of Theseus and Peirithous. Betwixt that rift and the Thorician rock, The hollow pear-tree and the marble tomb, Midway he sat and loosed his beggar's weeds; Then calling to his daughters bade them fetch Of running water, both to wash withal And make libation; so they clomb the steep; And in brief space brought what their father bade, Then laved and dressed him with observance due.

Οἰδίποδος ἀνάληψις

(ΧΟ.) Ὄλωλε γὰρ δύστηνος;

(ΑΓ.) Ὡς λελογχότα κεῖνον τὸν αἰεὶ βίοτον ἐξεπίστασο.

(ΧΟ.) Πῶς; ἆρα θείᾳ κἀπόνῳ τάλας τύχῃ;

(ΑΓ.) Τοῦτ΄ ἐστὶν ἤδη κἀποθαυμάσαι πρέπον. Ὡς μὲν γὰρ ἐνθένδ΄ εἷρπε͵ καὶ σύ που παρὼν ἔξοισθ΄͵ ὑφηγητῆρος οὐδενὸς φίλων͵ ἀλλ΄ αὐτὸς ἡμῖν πᾶσιν ἐξηγούμενος· ἐπεὶ δ΄ ἀφῖκτο τὸν καταρράκτην ὀδὸν χαλκοῖς βάθροισι γῆθεν ἐρριζωμένον͵ ἔστη κελεύθων ἐν πολυσχίστων μιᾷ͵ κοίλου πέλας κρατῆρος͵ οὗ τὰ Θησέως Περίθου τε κεῖται πίστ΄ ἀεὶ ξυνθήματα· ἀφ΄ οὗ μέσος στὰς τοῦ τε Θορικίου πέτρου κοίλης τ΄ ἀχέρδου κἀπὸ λαΐνου τάφου͵ καθέζετ΄· εἶτ΄ ἔλυσε δυσπινεῖς στολάς͵ κἄπειτ΄ ἀΰσας παῖδας ἠνώγει ῥυτῶν ὑδάτων ἐνεγκεῖν λουτρὰ καὶ χοάς ποθεν. Τὼ δ΄͵ εὐχλόου Δήμητρος εἰς προσόψιον πάγον μολοῦσαι͵ τάσδ΄ ἐπιστολὰς πατρὶ ταχεῖ ΄πόρευσαν σὺν χρόνῳ λουτροῖς τέ νιν ἐσθῆτί τ΄ ἐξήσκησαν ᾗ νομίζεται.

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