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(Counter-turn B.) Cho. Be not alarmed, dears. Ant.

But whither must I fy?
Cho. Already deliverance

Cho. Has saved your fortunes from distress.
Ant. I see.

Deny me not your guess.
Ant. How shall we homeward make our way,
I despair.

Put the thought behind you !
Ant. Misery enfolds-

Whiles ago ye donned that!
Ant. Then inevitable, and now beyond that.
Cho. Perilous gulf, as it were, assigned you.
Ant. Woe! woe! Zeus, we know not where now !

Hope—is any hope yet, whither
A God can bid repair now?



Duet in Marching Measure. THESEUS and


With our eyes


us see

The. Cease the lament: 'tis a time not for mourn

Grace of the grave will abide as a treasure

Joint-stored. (85) 'Tis a sin to be yearning.
Ant. O son of Aegeus, list to us kneeling !
The. Daughter, the suit that you plead, say, what

is it? Ant. Grave of our sire we're fain to revisit:

The. Nay, this cannot be.
Ant. Prince of the Athenians, is this our answer ?
The. Children, the place is debarred — 'twas his

Mortal approach may never advance there,
Mortal voice he forbade the revealing
Where in his hallowed grave he reposes :
Which commandment duly obeying,
Ever unhurt shall abide my nation.
Such was the bond, and a God stood witness,

Oath, son of Zeus, a God all-surveying.
Ant. Nay, but if such were his charges, a fitness

Makes us accept such consummation.
Home to the ancient Thebes then send, to
Stay if we may what approaches of slaughter

Threaten our kin there.
The. Thereto aid, all aid will I lend to

Further your cause, and the cause, my daughter, Of the one 'neath th' earth, newly within

Gratitude forbids me to falter.


Nay, but enough of your dirges so tearful :

Time to be cheerful !
The thing fast-fixed cannot alter.



SCENE.Before the gates of the Palace at Thebes. Time :

Early morning.
Ant. Kinborn, Ismene, in sistership germane,

Know you in all our sire's entail of pain
A thing the like of which Zeus has not wrought
On us surviving ? Ever anguish-fraught !
Fraught ever with the curse ! No shame so

But in


lot and mine the like I've seen !
And now, once more, upon the people at large,
Newly proclaimed, they say the king lays charge
Of-what? You have no word? You do not

How on our friends moves malice from this foe?
Ism. Of those dear ones of ours, Antigone,

No news, welcome or painful, 's come to me
Since we two were bereft of brothers two,
Whom on one day a double murder slew.
Since the Argeian host this night withdrew
From leaguer, I'm aware of nothing more,

Blessing or tribulation, than before.
Ant. I knew it well ; and here without preferred

To speak where you may hear unoverheard.
Ism. O brooding groundswell of the unuttered word!

Ant. Yes ! Burial! Creon has advanced one brother

Of yours and mine, to disappoint the other :
Eteocles, they say, in earth’s enshrined
Duly, to honour among the dead consigned ;
The corpse of Polyneices, cruelly slain,
Word is gone out that every man refrain
From burying in the grave, or making moan :
Unwept, unburied, left to birds, alone,
Choice hoard for watchful appetites to see!

They say so runs it, mark you—nay, let me
Too mark it !-our good Creon's high decree
He comes his proclamation here to make
To all the unapprised, and does not take
The thing for naught; but whoso dares to try,
It is appointed shall be stoned and die.
So stands the case : you soon must prove the

Of your noblesse, or base belie your birth.
Ism. If this be so, what help, O sorely tried,

To unravel or to knit can I provide ? Ant. Think :—if you'll follow me to do and dare ! Ism. What sort of venture? Stands your purpose

Ant. - If you will help this arm to uplift the dead !
Ism. You mean to bury him ?-prohibited ?
Ant. Mine, and if you refuse—your brother : yes.
Ism. When Creon has said you nay? Foolhardiness !
Ant. He has no business me from mine to bar.
Ism. O sister, be advised of what we are !

Our sire fell,(88) execrated and defamed,
With suicidal stroke his vision maimed,
Of self-detected sins for very shame;
And then the mother-wife, the double name,

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