from The Oedipus Rex of Sophocles, Scene 1
You are the madman. There is no one here
Who will not curse you soon, as you curse me.
You child of total night! I would not touch you,
Neither would any man who sees the sun.
True: it is not from you my fate will come.
That lies within Apollo’s competence,
As it is his concern.
Tell me, who made
These fine discoveries? Kreon? or someone else?
Kreon is no threat. You weave your own doom.
Wealth, power, craft of statesmanship!
Kingly position, everywhere admired!
What savage envy is stored up against these,
If Kreon, whom I trusted, Kreon my friend,
For this great office which the city once
Put in my hands unsought-if for this power
Kreon desires in secret to destroy me!
He has bought this decrepit fortune-teller, this
Collector of dirty pennies, this prophet fraud
Why, he is no more clairvoyant than I am!
And a bit further on the blind guy goes on.
You are a king. But where argument’s concerned
I am your man, as much a king as you.
I am not your servant, but Apollo’s.
I have no need of Kreon’s name.
Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you?
But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind:
You can not see the wretchedness of your life,
Nor in whose house you live, no, nor with whom.
Who are your father and mother? Can you tell me?
You do not even know the blind wrongs
That you have done them, on earth and in the world
But the double lash of your parents’ curse will whip you
Out of this land some day, with only night
Upon your precious eyes.
Your cries then-where will they not be heard?
What fastness of Kithairon will not echo them?
And that bridal-descant of yours-you’ll know it then,
The song they sang when you came here to Thebes
And found your misguided berthing.
All this, and more, that you can not guess at now,
Will bring you to yourself among your children.
Be angry, then. Curse Kreon. Curse my words.
I tell you, no man that walks upon the earth
Shall be rooted out more horribly than you.