Oedipus at Colonus
Fret no more 'gainst Heaven's will;
Fate hath dealt with you not ill.
ANTIGONE (antistrophe 1)
Love can turn past pain to bliss,
What seemed bitter now is sweet.
Ah me! that happy toil is sweet.
The guidance of those dear blind feet.
Dear father, wrapt for aye in nether gloom,
E'en in the tomb
Never shalt thou lack of love repine,
Her love and mine.
CHORUS His fate-
ANTIGONE Is even as he planned.
CHORUS How so?
ANTIGONE He died, so willed he, in a foreign land.
Lapped in kind earth he sleeps his long last sleep,
And o'er his grave friends weep.
How great our lost these streaming eyes can tell,
This sorrow naught can quell.
Thou hadst thy wish 'mid strangers thus to die,
But I, ah me, not by.
ISMENE Alas, my sister, what new fate
Befalls us orphans desolate?
CHORUS His end was blessed; therefore, children, stay
Your sorrow. Man is born to fate a prey.
ANTIGONE (strophe 2)
Sister, let us back again.
ISMENE Why return?
ANTIGONE My soul is fain-
ISMENE Is fain?
ANTIGONE To see the earthy bed.
ISMENE Sayest thou?
ANTIGONE Where our sire is laid.
ISMENE Nay, thou can'st not, dost not see-
ANTIGONE Sister, wherefore wroth with me?
ISMENE Know'st not-beside-
ANTIGONE More must I hear?
ISMENE Tombless he died, none near.
ANTIGONE Lead me thither; slay me there.
ISMENE How shall I unhappy fare,
Friendless, helpless, how drag on
A life of misery alone?
CHORUS (antistrophe 2)
Fear not, maids-
ANTIGONE Ah, whither flee?
CHORUS Refuge hath been found.
ANTIGONE For me?
CHORUS Where thou shalt be safe from harm.
ANTIGONE I know it.
CHORUS Why then this alarm?
ANTIGONE How again to get us home
I know not.
CHORUS Why then this roam?
ANTIGONE Troubles whelm us-
CHORUS As of yore.
ANTIGONE Worse than what was worse before.
CHORUS Sure ye are driven on the breakers' surge.
ANTIGONE Alas! we are.
CHORUS Alas! 'tis so.