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The Phoenissae

By Coleridge, E. P.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000629016
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 69.42 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: The Phoenissae  
Author: Coleridge, E. P.
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Blackmask Online


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Coleridge, E. (n.d.). The Phoenissae. Retrieved from

Excerpt: JOCASTA O SUN?GOD, who cleavest thy way along the starry sky, mounted on golden?studded car, rolling on thy path of flame behind fleet coursers, how curst the beam thou didst shed on Thebes, the day that Cadmus left Phoenicia?s realm beside the sea and reached this land! He it was that in days long gone wedded Harmonia, the daughter of Cypris, and begat Polydorus from whom they say sprung Labdacus, and Laius from him. I am known as the daughter of Menoeceus, and Creon is my brother by the same mother. Men called me Jocasta, for so my father named me, and I am married to Laius. Now when he was still childless after being wedded to me a long time, he went and questioned Phoebus, craving moreover that our love might be crowned with sons born to his house. But the god said, ?King of Thebes for horses famed! seek not to beget children against the will of heaven; for if thou beget a son, that child shall slay thee, and all thy house shall wade through blood.? But he, yielding to his lust in a drunken fit, begat a son of me, and when his babe was born, conscious of his sin and of the god?s warning, he gave the child to shepherds to expose in Hera?s meadow on mount Cithaeron, after piercing his ankles with iron spikes; whence it was that Hellas named him Oedipus. But the keepers of the horses of Polybus finding him took him home and laid him in the arms of their mistress. So she suckled the child that I had borne and persuaded her husband she was its mother. Soon as my son was grown to man?s estate, the tawny beard upon his cheek, either because he had guessed the fraud or learnt it from another, he set out for the shrine of Phoebus, eager to know for certain who his parents were; and likewise Laius, my husband, was on his way thither, anxious to find out if the child he had exposed was dead. And they twain met where the branching roads to Phocis unite; and the charioteer of Laius called to him, ?Out of the way, stranger, room for my lord!? But he, with never a word, strode on in his pride; and the horses with their hoofs drew blood from the tendons of his feet. Then?but why need I tell aught beyond the sad issue??son slew father, and taking his chariot gave it to Polybus his foster?father.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: THE PHOENISSAE, 1 -- by Euripides, 1


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