you all know me, the world knows my fame:
I am Oedipus.
launched against our walls
you hurled the flame of pain
far, far from Thebes—you gods,
come now, come down once more!
and the suffering rises
wails for mercy rise
and the wild hymn for the Healer blazes out
clashing with our sobs our cries of mourning—
O golden daughter of god, send rescue
radiant as the kindness in your eyes!
a lone man unknown in his crime
or one among many, let that man drag out
his life in agony, step by painful step—
I'll bear mine. It's better that way,
please believe me.
you and your birds, your gods—nothing.
No, but I came by, Oedipus the ignorant,
I stopped the Sphinx! With no help from the birds,
the flight of my own intelligence hit the mark.
be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
he will grope his way toward a foreign soil,
a stick tapping before him step by step.
whether a seer can fathom more than I—
there is no test, no certain proof
though matching skill for skill
a man can outstrip a rival. No, not till I see
these charges proved will I side with his accusers....
Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.
you will go too far. It's perfect justice:
natures like yours are hardest on themselves.
straight on course. Now again, good helmsman,
steer us through the storm!
no skill in the world,
nothing human can penetrate the future.
born for the brilliant vault of heaven—
Olympian Sky their only father,
nothing mortal, no man gave them birth,
their memory deathless, never lost in sleep:
within them lives a mighty god, the god does not
now our masters strike them off the rolls.
Nowhere Apollo's golden glory now—
the gods, the gods go down.
that is the only name I have for you,
that, no other—ever, ever, ever!
you were born for pain.
More wed to pain and frenzy? Not a man on earth,
the joy of your life ground down to nothing
O Oedipus, name for the ages—"
quickly, cast me away, my friends—
this great murderous ruin, this man cursed to heaven,
the man the deathless gods hate most of all!
count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last.