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Chorus From Oedipus At Colonos Analysis



Author: poem of Anthony Hecht Type: poem Views: 7

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What is unwisdom but the lusting after

Longevity: to be old and full of days!

For the vast and unremitting tide of years

Casts up to view more sorrowful things than joyful;

And as for pleasures, once beyond our prime,

They all drift out of reach, they are washed away.

And the same gaunt bailiff calls upon us all.

Summoning into Darkness, to those wards

Where is no music, dance, or marriage hymn

That soothes or gladdens.  To the tenements of Death.



Not to be born is, past all yearning, best.

And second best is, having seen the light.

To return at once to deep oblivion.

When youth has gone, and the baseless dreams of youth,

What misery does not then jostle man's elbow,

Join him as a companion, share his bread?

Betrayal, envy, calumny and bloodshed

Move in on him, and finally Old Age--

Infirm, despised Old Age--joins in his ruin,

The crowning taunt of his indignities.



So is it with that man, not just with me.

He seems like a frail jetty facing North

Whose pilings the waves batter from all quarters;

From where the sun comes up, from where it sets,

From freezing boreal regions, from below,

A whole winter of miseries now assails him,

Thrashes his sides and breaks over his head.






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