The Tomb Of Laius

Where Delphi's consecrated pass
Boeotia's misty region faces,

Rises a tomb--like stony mass
Amid the bosky mountain--bases;
It seems no work of human care,
But many rocks split off from one:
Laius, the Theban king, lies there,--
His murderer OEdipus, his son.

No pilgrim to the Pythian shrine
But marked the spot with decent awe,
In presence of a power divine,
O'erruling human will and law:
And to some thoughtful hearts that scene--
Those paths, that mound, those browsing herds,
Were more than e'er that tale had been,
Arrayed in Sophoclean words.

So is it yet,--no time or space
That ancient anguish can assuage,
For sorrow is of every race,
And suffering due from every age;
That awful legend falls to us
With all the weight that Greece could feel,
And every man is OEdipus,
Whose wounds no mortal skill can heal.

Oh! call it Providence or fate,
The Sphynx propounds the riddle still,
That Man must bear and expiate
Loads of involuntary ill:
So shall Endurance ever hold
The foremost rank 'mid human needs,
Not without faith, that God can mould
To good the dross of evil deeds.

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