some greater penalty on our city.
a man on earth, if a god leads him on,
who can escape his fate.
and take the gods for fools the next
from a stranger, lost as you are now,
or fail to lend a hand to save a life.
I am only a man, well I know,
and I have no more power over tomorrow,
Oedipus, than you.
now turn your glowing praises into action!
hide your own disgrace, consent—
return to Thebes, the house of your fathers!
your words like honey—your actions, drawn swords.
you do yourself no good, not now, not years ago,
indulging your rage despite the pleas of loved ones—
blind rage has always been your ruin.
that sanctions nothing without law, but you,
you flout our authorities, make your inroads,
seize your prizes, commandeer at will!
Tell me, did you imagine Athens stripped of men,
peopled by slaves? Myself worth nothing?
leaves me weak, however just my cause.
But opposing you, old as I am,
I'll stop at nothing, match you blow for blow.
A mans' anger can never age and fade away,
not until he dies. The dead alone feel no pain.
once I'd come to the world of pain, as come I did,
I fell to blows with my father, cut him down in blood—
blind to what I was doing, blind to whom I killed—
how could you condemn that involuntary act
with any sense of justice?
I beg them, I storm them with my prayers—
Come to the rescue, fight for me, my champions!
So you can learn your lesson, Creon, learn
what breed of men stands guard around this city.
Rush me, wing me into the whirlwind, O dear god,
like a dove at the thunderheads of heaven I'd look down
I'd scan these struggles, I would see their glory.
you and your great country. Here among you,
you alone of all mankind—
I have discovered reverence, humanity
and lips that never lie.
why fill the air with empty boasting?
to beg too long, or a man to receive help,
then fail to treat a fellow victim kindly.
who turns his back on a decent length of life,
I'll show the world a man who clings to folly.
when all is reckoned in, but once a man has seen the light
the next best thing, by far, is to go back
back where he came from, quickly as he can.
Die and be damned!
I spit on you! Out!—
your father cuts you off! Corruption—scum of the earth!—
out!—and pack these curses I call down upon your head:
never to win you mother-country with your spear,
never return to Argos ringed with hills—
Die by your own blood brother's hand—die!—
killing the very man who drove you out!
So I curse your life out!
You'll never look on me again, alive.
you and your country and your loyal followers,
may you be blessed with greatness,
and in your great day remember me, the dead,
the root of all your greatness, everlasting, ever-new.
let Oedipus rest forever.