mischance hath marred thy reason? Come forth, my child! I pray
thee-I implore!' But the boy glared at him with fierce eyes, spat in
his face, and, without a word of answer, drew his cross-hilted
sword:-as his father rushed forth in flight, he missed his
aim;-then, hapless one, wroth with himself, he straightway leaned with
all his weight against his sword, and drove it, half its length,
into his side; and, while sense lingered, he clasped the maiden to his
faint embrace, and, as he gasped, sent forth on her pale cheek the
swift stream of the oozing blood.
Corpse enfolding corpse he lies; he hath won his nuptial rites,
poor youth, not here, yet in the halls of Death; and he hath witnessed
to mankind that, of all curses which cleave to man, ill counsel is the
(EURYDICE retires into the house.)
What wouldst thou augur from this? The lady hath turned back,
and is gone, without a word, good or evil.
I, too, am startled; yet I nourish the hope that, at these sore
tidings of her son, she cannot deign to give her sorrow public vent,
but in the privacy of the house will set her handmaids to mourn the
household grief. For she is not untaught of discretion, that she
I know not; but to me, at least, a strained silence seems to
portend peril, no less than vain abundance of lament.
Well, I will enter the house, and learn whether indeed she is
not hiding some repressed purpose in the depths of a passionate heart.
Yea, thou sayest well: excess of silence, too, may have a perilous
(The MESSENGER goes into the palace. Enter CREON, on the spectators'
left, with attendants, carrying the shrouded body of HAEMON on
bier. The following lines between CREON and the CHORUS are
Lo, yonder the king himself draws near, bearing that which tells
too clear a tale,-the work of no stranger's madness,-if we may say
it,-but of his own misdeeds.
Woe for the sins of a darkened soul, stubborn sins, fraught with
death! Ah, ye behold us, the sire who hath slain, the son who hath
perished! Woe is me, for the wretched blindness of my counsels!
Alas, my son, thou hast died in thy youth, by a timeless doom, woe
is me!-thy spirit hath fled,-not by thy folly, but by mine own!
Ah me, how all too late thou seemest to see the right!
CREON Ah me, I have learned the bitter lesson! But then, methinks,
oh then, some god smote me from above with crushing weight, and hurled
me into ways of cruelty, woe is me,-overthrowing and trampling on my
joy! Woe, woe, for the troublous toils of men!
(Enter MESSENGER from the house.)
Sire, thou hast come, methinks, as one whose hands are not
empty, but who hath store laid up besides; thou bearest yonder
burden with thee-and thou art soon to look upon the woes within thy