Sophocles the plays and fragments, Part 5: The Trachiniae. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892.
Right it is, for to my eyes you have rejected the right by killing the best and bravest of men in all the world, whose equal you will never see again.Deianeira moves towards the house.
Why do you leave without a word? Do you not know that your silence pleads your accuser’s case?
Let her leave. May a fair wind speed her far from my sight! Why should she falsely keep the dignity of the name “Mother,” when she is all unlike a mother in her deeds? No, let her go—farewell to her. May such delight as
she gives my father become her own!Exit Deianeira into the house, followed at a distance by Hyllus.
See, maidens, how suddenly the divine word of the old prophecy has closed upon us, which allotted this destiny: that when the twelfth year
with its full complement of months should have come to an end, it would complete the undertaking of toils for the true-born son of Zeus! And that promise rides before a steady wind to sure fulfillment. For how shall he who does not see the light of day
ever have toilsome servitude any more in death?
For if the Centaur’s deceitful torture smears his sides with a murderous net, where clings the venom which Death birthed and the gleaming serpent nourished,
how can he look upon tomorrow’s sun, when that appalling Hydra-shape grasps him? Those murderous goads, prepared
by the deceptive words of black-haired Nessus, torment him with confused thrashing and seethe on his skin.
In these matters this miserable lady had no apprehension, when she foresaw in the new marriage a great plague swiftly rushing upon her household. Her own hand applied the drug. But no doubt for the results yielded by a stranger’s
counsel, given at a fatal meeting—for these she despairingly groans and sheds a tender dew of thickly-falling tears.
And the coming fate foreshadows a great disaster, contrived by guile.
Our streaming tears break forth. Ah, no! An infection pours over him, an illness more to be pitied
than any suffering that adversaries ever brought upon that glorious hero. Ah, you dark head of the spear foremost in battle, who by your mighty point recently led that swift bride from Oechalia’s heights!
But the Cyprian goddess, ministering in silence, has been plainly proved the author of these deeds.
Is it fancy, or did I just now hear some cry of grief rushing through the house?
What is this?
It is no uncertain sound, but a wail of anguish from inside. The house has some new trouble.
And note how strangely, with what consternation on her brow