Before this evil plague besieged my city
our people were happy.
Now there is disaster everywhere.
I dont understand
why the gods have done this to us.
I stopped the hideous Sphinx.
Answered the riddle.
Destroyed her utterly.
And for that
as custom required
I was made king and husband to you,
their widowed Queen.
And now this stinking pestilence
has struck a second time,
spreading havoc throughout the land,
making me think that
I may bein some unknown way
responsible for this catastrophe.
I feel at this very moment,
the Fates are planning
some savage stroke against me.
What else should I think
when the blight that ravages Thebes
seems only to spare me
and those closest to me.
For what punishment am I reserved
that I remain unscathed amidst the devastation
that lays waste to everything in its path?
The city is in ruins.
No section of the populace
has escaped its deadly touch.
It is obvious that unknowingly I have sinned,
or the gods would not wish to wreck my kingdom.
Look around you.
Have you been outside?
Beyond the palace nothing grows.
The harvests stand ruined.
Springs have dried up
and turned to stinking pools that reek of death.
The stench of rotting corpses is everywhere.
There isnt time any longer for a proper burial.
pile upon pile of diseased bodies
are heaped upon the funeral pyres and set ablaze.
Tearless relatives watch their once loved families
go up in billowing black smoke,
wondering when theyll be next.