But wilt thou slay the betrothed of thine own son?
Nay, there are other fields for him to plough.
But there can never be such love as bound him to her.
I like not an evil wife for my son.
Haemon, beloved! How thy father wrongs thee!
Enough, enough of thee and of thy marriage!
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Wilt thou indeed rob thy son of this maiden?
'Tis Death that shall stay these bridals for me.
'Tis determined, it seems, that she shall die.
Determined, yes, for thee and for me.-(To the two attendants) No
more delay-servants, take them within! Henceforth they must be
women, and not range at large; for verily even the bold seek to fly,
when they see Death now closing on their life.
(Exeunt attendants, guarding ANTIGONE and ISMENE.-CREON remains.)
Blest are they whose days have not tasted of evil. For when a
house hath once been shaken from heaven, there the curse fails
nevermore, passing from life to life of the race; even as, when the
surge is driven over the darkness of the deep by the fierce breath
of Thracian sea-winds, it rolls up the black sand from the depths, and
there is sullen roar from wind-vexed headlands that front the blows of
I see that from olden time the sorrows in the house of the
Labdacidae are heaped upon the sorrows of the dead; and generation
is not freed by generation, but some god strikes them down, and the
race hath no deliverance.
For now that hope of which the light had been spread above the
last root of the house of Oedipus-that hope, in turn, is brought
low--by the blood-stained dust due to the gods infernal, and by
folly in speech, and frenzy at the heart.
Thy power, O Zeus, what human trespass can limit? That power which
neither Sleep, the all-ensnaring, nor the untiring months of the
gods can master; but thou, a ruler to whom time brings not old age,
dwellest in the dazzling splendour of Olympus.
And through the future, near and far, as through the past, shall
this law hold good: Nothing that is vast enters into the life of
mortals without a curse.
For that hope whose wanderings are so wide is to many men a
comfort, but to many a false lure of giddy desires; and the
disappointment comes on one who knoweth nought till he burn his foot
against the hot fire.
For with wisdom hath some one given forth the famous saying,