its neck, he tames the tireless mountain bull.
And speech, and wind-swift thought, and all the moods that mould a
state, hath he taught himself; and how to flee the arrows of the
frost, when 'tis hard lodging under the clear sky, and the arrows of
the rushing rain; yea, he hath resource for all; without resource he
meets nothing that must come: only against Death shall he call for aid
in vain; but from baffling maladies he hath devised escapes.
Cunning beyond fancy's dream is the fertile skill which brings
him, now to evil, now to good. When he honours the laws of the land,
and that justice which he hath sworn by the gods to uphold, proudly
stands his city: no city hath he who, for his rashness, dwells with
sin. Never may he share my hearth, never think my thoughts, who doth
(Enter the GUARD on the spectators' left, leading in ANTIGONE.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What portent from the gods is this?-my soul is amazed. I know
her-how can I deny that yon maiden is Antigone?
O hapless, and child of hapless sire,-Of Oedipus! What means this?
Thou brought a prisoner?-thou, disloyal to the king's laws, and
taken in folly?
Here she is, the doer of the deed:-caught this girl burying
him:-but where is Creon?
(CREON enters hurriedly from the palace.)
Lo, he comes forth again from the house, at our need.
What is it? What hath chanced, that makes my coming timely?
O king, against nothing should men pledge their word; for the
after-thought belies the first intent. I could have vowed that I
should not soon be here again,-scared by thy threats, with which I had
just been lashed: but,-since the joy that surprises and transcends our
hopes is like in fulness to no other pleasure,-I have come, though
'tis in breach of my sworn oath, bringing this maid; who was taken
showing grace to the dead. This time there was no casting of lots; no,
this luck hath fallen to me, and to none else. And now, sire, take her
thyself, question her, examine her, as thou wilt; but I have a right
to free and final quittance of this trouble.
And thy prisoner here-how and whence hast thou taken her?
She was burying the man; thou knowest all.
Dost thou mean what thou sayest? Dost thou speak aright?
I saw her burying the corpse that thou hadst forbidden to bury. Is
that plain and clear?
And how was she seen? how taken in the act?
It befell on this wise. When we had come to the place,-with
those dread menaces of thine upon us,-we swept away all the dust
that covered the corpse, and bared the dank body well; and then sat us
down on the brow of the hill, to windward, heedful that the smell from
him should not strike us; every man was wide awake, and kept his