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Works by Sophocles
Pages of Antigone

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And what worse ill is yet to follow upon ills?
Thy queen hath died, true mother of yon corpse-ah, hapless lady by
blows newly dealt.

antistrophe 1

Oh Hades, all-receiving whom no sacrifice can appease! Hast
thou, then, no mercy for me? O thou herald of evil, bitter tidings,
what word dost thou utter? Alas, I was already as dead, and thou
hast smitten me anew! What sayest thou, my son? What is this new
message that thou bringest-woe, woe is me!-Of a wife's doom-of
slaughter headed on slaughter?
Thou canst behold: 'tis no longer hidden within.

(The doors of the palace are opened, and the corpse of EURYDICE is


antistrophe 2

Ah me,-yonder I behold a new, a second woe! What destiny, ah what,
can yet await me? I have but now raised my son in my arms,-and
there, again, I see a corpse before me! Alas, alas, unhappy mother!
Alas, my child!
There, at the altar, self-stabbed with a keen knife, she
suffered her darkening eyes to close, when she had wailed for the
noble fate of Megareus who died before, and then for his fate who lies
there,-and when, with her last breath, she had invoked evil fortunes
upon thee, the slayer of thy sons.

strophe 3

Woe, woe! I thrill with dread. Is there none to strike me to the
heart with two-edged sword?-O miserable that I am, and steeped in
miserable anguish!
Yea, both this son's doom, and that other's, were laid to thy
charge by her whose corpse thou seest.
And what was the manner of the violent deed by which she passed
Her own hand struck her to the heart, when she had learned her
son's sorely lamented fate.

strophe 4

Ah me, this guilt can never be fixed on any other of mortal
kind, for my acquittal! I, even I, was thy slayer, wretched that I
am-I own the truth. Lead me away, O my servants, lead me hence with
all speed, whose life is but as death!
Thy counsels are good, if there can be good with ills; briefest is
best, when trouble is in our path.

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