Ajax

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose Part 7 The Ajax; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1893.

  1. who alone still abide by the true bond of friendship, see how great a wave has just now crested over and broken around me, set on by a murderous storm!
Chorus
  1. Ah, lady, too true, it seems, was your testimony!
  2. The fact proves that he is not sane.
Ajax
  1. Ah, you clan staunch in maritime skill, who embarked and stroked the oar-blade upon the brine, in you, in you alone
  2. I see a defense against suffering. Come, slay me on top of these!
Chorus
  1. Hush! Speak words of better omen! Do not cure evil by prescribing evil; do not increase the anguish of your mad disaster.
Ajax
  1. Do you see the bold, the strong of heart,
  2. the dauntless in battles with the enemy—do you see me now, terrible in the force of my hands against beasts unformidable? Oh, the mockery! How I have been violated!
Tecmessa
  1. Ajax, my lord, I beg you, do not talk this way!
Ajax
  1. Away with you! Will you not take yourself outside!
  2. Ah, me! Ah, me!
Chorus
  1. By the gods I plead, give way and acquire good sense!
Ajax
  1. My rotten fortune!—I let slip from my grasp those men who were begging for punishment,
  2. and fell instead on cattle with twisted horns and fine goats, making their dark blood flow!
Chorus
  1. Why grieve when the deed is past recall? These things can never be but as they are.
Ajax
  1. Ah, you who spy out all things,
  2. you ready tool of every crime, ah, son of Laertes, you filthiest sneak in all the army, I am sure you laugh loud and long for joy!
Chorus
  1. It is at the god’s dispensation that every man both laughs and mourns.
Ajax
  1. Yet if only I could see him, even shattered as I am!
  2. Oh! Oh!