Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose, Part 5 The Trachiniae; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892.
- And you know, further, from your own eyes my greeting to the foreign girl, how I welcomed her warmly.
- So much so that my heart was struck with joy.
- What more, then, is there for you to tell him? I am afraid that it would be too soon to speak of the longing on my part, before I know if I am longed for there.Exit Lichas on one side and Deianeira into the house.
- O you who dwell by the warm springs near ships’ haven and rocky cliff, and you who live by
- the crags of Oeta! And you dwellers by the land-locked waters of the Malian gulf, and the headland sacred to the virgin-goddess of the golden shuttle, where are the famed councils of the Greeks at the gates!
- Soon the glorious voice of the flute will go up for you again, sounding no bothersome, strident notes, but divine music worthy of the lyre! For the son whom Alcmena bore to Zeus
- is hurrying homeward, with spoils won by supreme valor.
- We thought him lost utterly to our land, a wanderer over sea, while we waited through twelve long months and knew nothing.
- She, his loving wife, miserable, was ever pining in her miserable heart, always weeping. But now Ares, stung to rage, has freed her days from their toil.
- May he come, may he come! Let him not halt the many-oared ship that carries him before he has reached this town, leaving the island altar where he is reported to be sacrificing!
- May he come from there full of desire, steeped in love on the pretext of the robe by Persuasion’s all-powerful ointment!
Enter Deianeira from the house.
Deianeira Chorus Deianeira Chorus Deianeira Chorus Deianeira
- Friends, how I fear that I may have gone too far in all that I was doing just now!
- What has happened, Deianeira, daughter of Oeneus?
- I do not know, but I despair that I will soon be found to have done a great wrong, when my hope was for good.
- Surely it is nothing that bears on your gift to Heracles?
- Yes, it is! So much so that I would never recommend to anybody
- that he be eager for action in obscurity.
- Tell us the cause of your fear, if it may be told.
- A thing has happened, my friends, such that, if I declare it, it will be a strange marvel for you to hear. The implement with which I was just now anointing the festal robe,
- a white tuft of fleecy sheep’s wool, has disappeared, eaten away by no animal in the courtyard, but self-devoured and self-destroyed it crumbled down over a stone slab. But I must tell the story at greater length, so that you may know exactly how this thing was accomplished.