guillaume guillon lethière, philoctète abandonné sur l'île de lemnos, 1798
Guillaume Guillon Lethière, Philoctète abandonné sur l’île de Lemnos (1798)


[ΝΕΟ.] τί δ’ ἔστιν οὕτω νεοχμὸν ἐξαίφνης, ὅτου
τοσήνδ’ ἰυγὴν καὶ στόνον σαυτοῦ ποεῖ;
[ΦΙΛ.] οἶσθ’, ὦ τέκνον;
[ΝΕΟ.] τί δ’ ἔστιν;
[ΦΙΛ.] οἶσθ’, ὦ παῖ;
[ΝΕΟ.] τί σοί;
οὐκ οἶδα.
[ΦΙΛ.] πῶς οὐκ οἶσθα; παππαπαππαπαῖ.
[ΝΕΟ.] δεινόν γε τοὐπίσαγμα τοῦ νοσήματος.
[ΦΙΛ.] δεινὸν γὰρ οὐδὲ ῥητόν· ἀλλ’ οἴκτιρέ με.
[ΝΕΟ.] τί δῆτα δράσω;
[ΦΙΛ.] μή με ταρβήσας προδῷς·
ἥκει γὰρ αὐτὴ διὰ χρόνου, πλάνης ἴσως
ὡς ἐξεπλήσθη, νόσος.
[ΝΕΟ.] ἰὼ δύστηνε σύ,
δύστηνε δῆτα διὰ πόνων πάντων φανείς.
βούλει λάβωμαι δῆτα καὶ θίγω τί σου;
[ΦΙΛ.] μὴ δῆτα τοῦτό γ’· ἀλλά μοι τὰ τόξ’ ἑλὼν
τάδ’, ὥσπερ ᾐτοῦ μ’ ἀρτίως, ἕως ἀνῇ
τὸ πῆμα τοῦτο τῆς νόσου τὸ νῦν παρόν,
σῷζ’ αὐτὰ καὶ φύλασσε. λαμβάνει γὰρ οὖν
ὕπνος μ’, ὅταν περ τὸ κακὸν ἐξίῃ τόδε·
κοὐκ ἔστι λῆξαι πρότερον· ἀλλ’ ἐᾶν χρεὼν
ἕκηλον εὕδειν. ἢν δὲ τῷδε τῷ χρόνῳ
μόλωσ’ ἐκεῖνοι, πρὸς θεῶν ἐφίεμαι
ἑκόντα μηδ’ ἄκοντα μηδέ τῳ τέχνῃ
κείνοις μεθεῖναι ταῦτα, μὴ σαυτόν θ’ ἅμα
κἄμ’, ὄντα σαυτοῦ πρόστροπον, κτείνας γένῃ.
[ΝΕΟ.] θάρσει προνοίας οὕνεκ’· οὐ δοθήσεται
πλὴν σοί τε κἀμοί· ξὺν τύχῃ δὲ πρόσφερε.
[ΦΙΛ.] ἰδού, δέχου, παῖ· τὸν φθόνον δὲ πρόσκυσον
μή σοι γενέσθαι πολύπον’ αὐτὰ μηδ’ ὅπως
ἐμοί τε καὶ τῷ πρόσθ’ ἐμοῦ κεκτημένῳ.
[ΝΕΟ.] ὦ θεοί, γένοιτο ταῦτα νῷν· γένοιτο δὲ
πλοῦς οὔριός τε κεὐσταλὴς ὅποι ποτὲ
θεὸς δικαιοῖ χὠ στόλος πορσύνεται.
(Sophocles, Philoctetes 751-781)


[NEO.] What is this sudden new thing that makes you cry out and groan so much?
[PHIL.] You know, my son!
[NEO.] What is it?
[PHIL.] You know, my boy!
[NEO.] What is the matter with you? I do not know.
[PHIL.] How can you not know? A-a-a-a-a-h!
[NEO.] The burden of the sickness is grievous!
[PHIL.] Grievous indeed, and indescribable! Come, take pity on me!
[NEO.] What shall I do?
[PHIL.] Do not take fright and betray me! It has come in person after a time, perhaps because it is weary of wandering, the sickness.
[NEO.] Ah, unlucky one! Unlucky you are found to be in every kind of trouble! Do you wish me to take hold of you and hold you?
[PHIL.] No, not that! But take my bow here, as you asked me for it earlier, and guard it and keep it, until the pain of the sickness that is now upon me shall abate; for sleep takes me, whenever this trouble is departing, and it cannot stop till then. You must leave me to sleep peacefully; and if meanwhile those people come, I beg you not to let them have it, willingly or unwillingly or in any way, in case you cause the death both of yourself and me, who am your suppliant.
[NEO.] Be assured as regareds the care that I shall take! It shall be given to no one except you and me; hand it to me, and may good luck come of it!
[PHIL.] There, take it, boy; and kiss it to avert a curse, in case it should bring trouble upon you, as things were with me and with him who had it before me.
[NEO.] O gods, grant this to us! And may our voyage be prosperous and rapid to wherever the god thinks right and our mission lies!
(tr. Hugh Lloyd-Jones)

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