Sophocles

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Sophocles Poems

WHO, loving life, hath sought
To outrun the appointed span,
Shall be arraigned before my thought
...

What man is he that yearneth
For length unmeasured of days?
Folly mine eye discerneth
Encompassing all his ways.
...

O LOVE, thou art victor in fight: thou mak'st all things afraid;
Thou couchest thee softly at night on the cheeks of a maid;
...

A weary life is that the sailors lead,
To whom no gift from Heaven or Fortune sent
Could offer worthy recompense. Poor souls,
Adventuring traffic far on slender chance,
They save, or gain, or lose all utterly.
...

Soon will the clear-voiced flute return to you
With no unfitting strain,
But like a lyre with hymn
And song the Gods approve;
For, lo! the hero whom Zeus owns as son,
...

Fair Salamis, the billow's roar
Wanders around thee yet;
And sailors gaze upon thy shore
Firm in the Ocean set.
...

They took their stand where the appointed judges
Had cast their lots and ranged the rival cars.
...

O that 'twere mine to keep
An awful purity,
In words and deeds whose laws on high are set
Through heaven's clear æther spread,
...

9.

Blessed are those whose life no woe doth taste!
For unto those whose house
The Gods have shaken, nothing fails of curse
Or woe, that creeps to generations far.
...

Ah, race of mortal men,
How as a thing of nought
I count ye, though ye live;
For who is there of men
...

I by myself am nought; yea, oftentimes
So look I upon all our womenkind,
That we are nothing. Young, we lead a life
Of all most joyous, in our father's house,
...

A pleasant ill is this disease of love,
And 'twere not ill to sketch its likeness thus:
When sharp cold spreads through all the æther clear,
And children seize a crystal icicle,
At first they firmly hold their new-found joy;
...

Not mortal men alone does Love assail,
No, nor yet women, but it leaves its stamp
Upon the souls of Gods, and passes on
To mighty ocean. Zeus omnipotent
Is powerless to avert it, and submits
And yields full willingly.
...

O tomb, my bridal chamber, vaulted home.
Guarded right well for ever, where I go
To join mine own, of whom the greatest part
Among the dead doth Persephassa hold;
...

Lord of the Pythian treasure,
What meaneth the word thou hast spoken?
The strange and wondrous word,
Which Thebes has heard,
...

O holy light of day,
And air with earth commensurate,
Many the wailing songs,
Many the echoing blow,
On bosom stained with blood
...

I know that God is ever such as this,
Darkly disclosing counsels to the wise;
But to the simple, speaking fewest words,
Plain teacher found.
...

If wisdom fail me not,
As seer misled by doubtful auguries,
And wanting counsel wise,
She comes, true augur with foreshadowing tread,
...

There stretcheth by the sea
A fair Eubœan shore, and o'er it creeps
The vine of Bacchus, each day's growth complete.
...

O Love, in every battle victor owned;
Now on a maiden's soft and blooming cheek,
In secret ambush hid;
Now o'er the broad sea wandering at will,
...

Sophocles Biography

Sophocles (c. 497/6 BC- winter 407/6 BC)was the second of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus and earlier than those of Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th century encyclopedia, Sophocles wrote 123 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Trachinian Women, Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most-awarded playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. Sophocles competed in around 30 competitions; he won perhaps 24 and never received lower than second place; in comparison, Aeschylus won 14 competitions and was defeated by Sophocles at times, while Euripides won only 4 competitions.

The most famous of Sophocles' tragedies are those concerning Oedipus and Antigone: these are often known as the Theban plays, although each play was actually a part of different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost. Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor and thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus

The Best Poem Of Sophocles

Long Life Not To Be Desired

WHO, loving life, hath sought
To outrun the appointed span,
Shall be arraigned before my thought
For an infatuate man.
Since the added years entail
Much that is bitter; -- joy
Flies out of ken, desire doth fail,
The wished-for moments cloy.
But when the troublous life,
Be it less or more, is past,
With power to end the strife
Comes rescuing Death at last.
Lo! the dark bridegroom waits! No festal choir
Shall grace his destined hour, no dance, no lyre!

Far best were ne'er to be;
But, once he hath seen the day,
Next best by far for each to flee
As swiftly as each may,
Yonder from whence he came;
For let but Youth be there
With her light fooleries, who shall name
The unnumbered brood of Care?
No trial spared, no fall!
Feuds, battles, murders, rage,
Envy, and last of all,
Despised, dim, friendless age!
Ay, there all evils, crowded in one room.
Each at his worst of ill, augments of gloom.

Such lot is mine, and round this man of woe,
As some gray headland of a northward shore
Bears buffets of all wintry winds that blow,
Fresh storms of Fate are bursting evermore
In thunderous billows, borne
Some from the waning light,
Some through mid-noon, some from the rising morn,
Some from the stars of Night.

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