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785 Ah, If I was created so, born to this fate,Who could deny the savagery of God?Oh holy majesty of heavenly powers!May I never see that day! Never!790Rather let me vanish from the race of menThan know the abomination destined me!Choragos.We too, my lord, have felt dismay at this.But there is hope: you have yet to hear the shepherd.Oedipus.
Indeed, I fear no other hope is left me.Jocasta.What do you hope from him when he comes?795Oedipus.This much: If his account of the murder tallies with yours,Then I am cleared.Jocasta.What was it that I said Of such importance?Oedipus.Why, “marauders,” you said, Killed the King, according to this man’s story.800If he maintains that still, if there were several,Clearly the guilt is not mine: I was alone.But if he says one man, single-handed, did it,Then the evidence all points to me.Jocasta.You may be sure that he said there were several;805And can he call back that story now? He cannot.The whole city heard it as plainly as I.But suppose he alters some detail of it:He cannot ever show that Laius’ deathFulfilled the oracle: for Apollo said810My child was doomed to kill him; and my child—Poor baby!—it was my child that died first.No. From now on, where oracles are concerned,I would not waste a second thought on any.Oedipus.You may be right.But come: let someone go 815For the shepherd at once. This matter must be settled.Jocasta.I will send for him.I would not wish to cross you in anything,And surely not in this.—Let us go in.[Exeunt into the palace.] ODE 2Strophe 1Chorus.Let me be reverent in the ways of right,820Lowly the paths I journey on;Let all my words and actions keepThe laws of the pure universeFrom highest Heaven handed down.For Heaven is their bright nurse,825Those generations of the realms of light;Ah, never of mortal kind were they begot,Nor are they slaves of memory, lost in sleep:Their Father is greater than Time, and ages not.Antistrophe 1The tyrant is a child of Pride830Who drinks from his great sickening cupRecklessness and vanity,Until from his high crest headlongHe plummets to the dust of hope.That strong man is not strong.835But let no fair ambition be denied;May God protect the wrestler for the StateIn government, in comely policy,Who will fear God, and on His ordinance°wait.Strophe 2Haughtiness and the high hand of disdain840Tempt and outrage God’s holy law;And any mortal who dares hold
No immortal Power in aweWill be caught up in a net of pain:The price for which his levity is sold.845Let each man take due earnings, then,And keep his hands from holy things,And from blasphemy stand apart—Else the crackling blast of heavenBlows on his head, and on his desperate heart;850Though fools will honor impious men,In their cities no tragic poet sings.