Seneca the Younger, Phoenician Women

LCL 62: 252-253

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SENECA

PHOENISSAE

oedipus

Caeci parentis regimen et fessi unicum patris levamen, nata, quam tanti est mihi genuisse vel sic, desere infaustum patrem. in recta quid deflectis errantem gradum? 5permitte labi; melius inveniam viam, quam quaero, solus, quae me ab hac vita extrahat et hoc nefandi capitis aspectu levet caelum atque terras. quantulum hac egi manu! non video noxae conscium nostrae diem, 10sed videor. hinc iam solve inhaerentem manum et patere caecum qua volet ferri pedem. ibo, ibo qua praerupta protendit iuga meus Cithaeron, qua peragrato celer per saxa monte iacuit Actaeon suis 15nova praeda canibus, qua per obscurum nemus silvamque opacae vallis instinctas deo egit sorores mater et gaudens malo vibrante fixum praetulit thyrso caput; vel qua cucurrit, corpus invisum trahens, 20Zethi iuvencus, qua per horrentes rubos tauri ferocis sanguis ostentat fugas; vel qua alta maria vertice immenso premit

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PHOENICIAN WOMEN

PHOENICIAN WOMEN

oedipus

Guidance for your blind parent, only solace for your weary father, my daughter: to me it is worth the cost to have produced you, even as it happened; but abandon your ill-fated father. Why do you turn my wandering steps aside onto the straight path? Allow me to stray; when alone I shall better find the path I am searching for, the path that can draw me from this life, and free heaven and earth from seeing this unspeakable body. How little I accomplished with this hand! I cannot see the daylight that witnessed my wrongdoing, but I can be seen. Now release your hand from its grip on mine, and let my blind feet travel where they will. I shall go, I shall go where my own Cithaeron extends its sheer ridges, where Actaeon swiftly traversed the rocky mountain and fell as strange prey for his own hounds, where through the dark grove, the glen shaded with trees, a mother led her god-ridden sisters, and gleeful in her ruin displayed on her quivering thyrsus a head fixed there;1 or where the bull of Zethus ran, dragging a hated body, where the fierce bull’s flight through the tangled brambles is traced in blood; or where Ino’s crag looms over

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-phoenician_women.2018