The. Ay, ’tis thy character to honour thyself far more than reverence thy parents, as thou shouldst.
Hip. Unhappy mother! son of sorrow! Heaven keep all friends of mine from bastard birth!
The. Ho! servants, drag him hence! You heard my proclamation long ago condemning him to exile.
Hip. Whoso of them doth lay a hand on me shall rue it; thyself expel me, if thy spirit move thee, from the land.
The. I will, unless my word thou straight obey; no pity for thy exile steals into my heart.
Hip. The sentence then, it seems, is passed. Ah, misery! How well I know the truth herein, but know no way to tell it! O daughter of Latona, dearest to me of all deities, partner, comrade in the chase, far from glorious Athens must I fly. Farewell, city and land of Erechtheus; farewell, Trœzen, most joyous home wherein to pass the spring of life; ’tis my last sight of thee, farewell! Come, my comrades in this land, young like me, greet me kindly and escort me forth, for never will ye behold a purer soul, for all my father’s doubts.
Cho. In very deed the thoughts I have about the gods, whenso they come into my mind, do much to soothe its grief, but though I cherish secret hopes of some great guiding will, yet am I at fault when I survey the fate and doings of the sons of men; change succeeds to change, and man’s life veers and shifts in endless restlessness. Fortune grant me this, I pray, at heaven’s hand,—a happy lot in life and a soul from sorrow free; opinions let me hold not too precise nor yet too hollow; but, lightly changing my habits to each morrow as it comes, may I thus attain a life of bliss! For now no more is my mind free from doubts, unlooked-for sights greet my vision; for lo! I see the morning star of Athens, eye of Hellas, driven by his father’s fury to another land. Mourn, ye sands of my native shores, ye oak-groves on the hills, where with his fleet hounds he would hunt the quarry