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What say I? What is this?

Do I not hear, ye Gods, their dear, loved tones,

Broken with sobs, and Creon, pitying me,

Hath sent the dearest of my children to me?

Is it not so?


It is so. I am he who gives thee this,

Knowing the joy thou hadst in them of old.


Good luck have thou! And may the powers on high

Guard thy path better than they guarded mine! Where are ye, O my children? Come, oh, come

To these your brother’s hands, which but now tore

Your father’s eyes, that once were bright to see,

Who, O my children, blind and knowing naught, Became your father—how, I may not tell.

I weep for you, though sight is mine no more,

Picturing in mind the sad and dreary life

Which waits you in the world in years to come;


Wat hoor ik? Zijn het niet mijn lievelingen

die snikkend naderen? Voert Creon mij mijn teerbeminde kroost

uit medelijden toe?

Of vergis ik mij?


Het is zo. Ik gaf u deze vreugde,

van zodra ik uw hartenwens vernam.


Mogen de goden u zegenen voor deze daad, Creon,

en u beter lot bezorgen, dan mij werd beschoren.

Kinderen, waar zijt ge toch, kom hierheen

en aanschouw mijn handen, de handen van uw broeder,

die de oorzaak zijn dat gij nu kijkt

in de eens heldere ogen van uw vader,

die u het levenslicht deed zien,

die, kinderen, zonder het te zien of te weten

uw vader bleek te zijn bij de vrouw,

uit wie hij zelf het licht aanschouwde.

Ook ween ik om u, want u zien vermag ik niet,

wanneer ik denk aan het vervolg van uw bitter bestaan,

dat ge moet verduren vanwege de mensen.

They took their stations where the appointed umpires placed them by lot and ranged the cars; then, at the sound of the brazen trump, they started. All shouted to their horses, and shook the reins in their hands; the whole course was filled with the noise of rattling chariots; the dust flew upward; and all, in a confused throng, plied their goads unsparingly, each of them striving to pass the wheels and the snorting steeds of his rivals; for alike at their backs and at their rolling wheels the breath of the horses foamed and smote.

Orestes, driving close to the pillar at either end of the course, almost grazed it with his wheel each time, and, giving rein to the trace-horse on the right, checked the horse on the inner side. Hitherto, all the chariots had escaped overthrow; but presently the Aenian's hard-mouthed colts ran away, and, swerving, as they passed from the sixth into the seventh round, dashed their foreheads against the team of the Barcaean. Other mishaps followed the first, shock on shock and crash on crash, till the whole race-ground of Crisa was strewn with the wreck of the chariots.

Ga, zwicht voor het lijk

Laat wat vergaan is rusten

Of wil je soms eer halen

Uit het doden van het dode


Ik zie hoe uit oud leed

Nieuwe rampen geboren worden

Zonder dat een vorige generatie

Ooit de volgende verlost.


Yes. Zeus did not announce those laws to me.

And Justice living with the gods below

sent no such laws for men. I did not think

anything which you proclaimed strong enough

to let a mortal override the gods

and their unwritten and unchanging laws.

They’re not just for today or yesterday,

but exist forever, and no one knows

where they first appeared. So I did not mean

to let a fear of any human will

lead to my punishment among the gods.

I know all too well I’m going to die—

how could I not?—it makes no difference

what you decree. And if I have to die

before my time, well, I count that a gain.

When someone has to live the way I do,

surrounded by so many evil things,

how can she fail to find a benefit

in death? And so for me meeting this fate

won’t bring any pain. But if I’d allowed

my own mother’s dead son to just lie there,

an unburied corpse, then I’d feel distress.

What’s going on here does not hurt me at all.

If you think what I’m doing now is stupid,

perhaps I’m being charged with foolishness

by someone who's a fool