Trachiniae

Sophocles

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.

  1. he toiled as a slave to a Lydian woman.
Deianeira
  1. If he endured even that, then one might believe any and all rumors.
Hyllus
  1. Well, he has been released from that service, as I hear.
Deianeira
  1. Where, then, is he reported to be now—alive, or dead?
Hyllus
  1. He is waging or yet planning a war,
  2. they say, upon Euboea, the realm of Eurytus.
Deianeira
  1. Are you aware, my son, that he has left with me sure oracles concerning that land?
Hyllus
  1. What are they, mother? I do not know the oracles you mean.
Deianeira
  1. They read that either he shall meet the end of his life,
  2. or, after taking on this contest, he shall thereafter, at least, enjoy a happy life for its duration. And so, my child, when his fate is thus trembling in the balance, will you not go to assist him? For we are saved,
  3. if he finds safety, or we perish along with him.
Hyllus
  1. I will go, Mother. Had I known the substance of these prophecies, I would have long been at his side. As it was, my father’s usual good fortune did not allow me to fear for him, nor to be overly anxious.
  2. Now that I have the knowledge, I will spare no pains to learn the whole truth in this matter.
Deianeira
  1. Go, then, my son. For prosperity yields advantage even for him who learns of it late.Exeunt Hyllus, on one side, and the Nurse into the house.
Enter the Chorus on the other side.
Chorus
  1. You, to whom Night gives birth when she is vanquished and despoiled of her starry crown,
  2. and whom, as you blaze, she lays to rest, I pray you, O Sun, Sun, tell me, where is Alcmena’s son, where dwells her child? O Shining god with your bright flash,
  3. is he on the straits of the sea, or does he lean upon the twin continents? Speak, you who surpass all in sight!
Chorus
  1. For with longing heart, as I hear, Deianeira, the battle-prize, now,
  2. like some mournful bird, never rests her eyes’ longing that they might be without tears, but nourishing a well-remembered fear for her husband’s travels she is constantly afflicted
  3. by her anxious, widowed marriage-bed and in her misery anticipates misfortune.