A little Stoic fatalism for you

This goes out to all the students who are embroiled in exams. From Seneca’s Oedipus, ll. 980-1003, my translation:


We are driven by the fates: yield to the fates;
anxious cares cannot
change the threads of the fixed spindle.
Whatever we suffer, mortal kind,
whatever we do comes from above,
and Lachesis preserves the decrees of her distaff
with a hard hand thrown back.
Everything goes on a fixed track
and the first day has given the last:
it is not allowed by the god for them to have turned,
which run, woven by their own causes.
The established moving order goes for anyone with not one prayer:
It injures many who have feared it,
many come to their own fate
while they fear the fates.

The doors sound and he struggles
his own way without a guide,
bereft of light.


It holds well, it is finished: I have paid justice for my father.
The darkness is pleasant. What god, finally placated by me,
has bathed my head with a black cloud?
Who forgives my crimes? I escaped the perceptive day.
Parricide, you owe nothing to your right hand:
Light has fled you. This face befits Oedipus.

Have a happy and blessed exam season, my friends! I know I sure am!


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