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. I am afraid when I hear this eager haste. Your tongue’s sharp edge does not please me.
Tecmessa
  1. Ajax, my lord, what can you have in mind?
Ajax
  1. Do not keep asking me, do not keep questioning. Self-restraint is a virtue.
Tecmessa
  1. Ah, how I despair! Now, by your child, by the gods, I implore you, do not betray us!
Ajax
  1. You annoy me too much. Do you not know
  2. that I no longer owe any service to the gods?
Tecmessa
  1. Hush, no impiety!
Ajax
  1. Speak to those who hear.
Tecmessa
  1. You will not listen?
Ajax
  1. Already your words have been too many.
Tecmessa
  1. Yes, because I am afraid, my king!
Ajax
  1. Close the doors this instant!
Tecmessa
  1. In the name of the gods, be softened!
Ajax
  1. You have foolish hope, I think,
  2. if you plan so late to begin schooling my temper.
Chorus
  1. O famous Salamis, you, I know, have your happy seat among the waves that beat your shore, eternally conspicuous in the eyes of all men.
  2. But I, miserable, have long been delayed here, still making my bed through countless months in the camp on the fields of Ida.
  3. I am worn by time and with anxious expectation still of a journey to Hades the abhorred, the unseen.
Chorus
  1. And now a new struggle awaits me, ah, me!—a match with
  2. Ajax, hard to cure, sharing his tent with a madness of divine origin. It is he whom mighty in bold war you dispatched from you once far in the past. But now he is changed; he grazes his thoughts in isolated places