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.
- he toiled as a slave to a Lydian woman.
- If he endured even that, then one might believe any and all rumors.
- Well, he has been released from that service, as I hear.
- Where, then, is he reported to be now—alive, or dead?
- He is waging or yet planning a war,
- they say, upon Euboea, the realm of Eurytus.
- Are you aware, my son, that he has left with me sure oracles concerning that land?
- What are they, mother? I do not know the oracles you mean.
- They read that either he shall meet the end of his life,
- 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,
- if he finds safety, or we perish along with him.
- 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.
- Now that I have the knowledge, I will spare no pains to learn the whole truth in this matter.
- 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.
- You, to whom Night gives birth when she is vanquished and despoiled of her starry crown,
- 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,
- is he on the straits of the sea, or does he lean upon the twin continents? Speak, you who surpass all in sight!
- For with longing heart, as I hear, Deianeira, the battle-prize, now,
- 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
- by her anxious, widowed marriage-bed and in her misery anticipates misfortune.