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Am I a prophet? Does this journey bode
Disaster worse than any bygone road ?
My son! His voice caresses me! Go near,-
Quick !—servants!—place you by the tomb, and peer!
That joint in the barrow-moundthat rocky breach,
In with you there! On till the mouth you reach-
See if I know his voice, or Gods delude !

Urged by our downcast lord's solicitude,
We peered. In the after-part of the sepulchre,
Hung by the neck, we first had sight of her,
Clipt by a thready halter-knot of lawn.
He, with his arms about her middle drawn,
Clung fast—the match undone among the dead
Bemoaning, father's acts, the dismal bed.
He, when he saw his son, with sullen moan
Comes in to him ; then loud in dirge-like tone,
O wretch ! What handiwork has here been

wrought? What meant you? Where's the stroke that so

distraught? Come out. I supplicate, beseechmy child !

But the boy stared at him with eyeballs wild, Spat in his face, and answered not a word, But tugged the cross hilt-pieces of his sword. His father-whipt away in flight-he missed : But then and there, self-maddened, turned his

wrist And leaned—the blade plunged midway in his side!

[Exit EURYDICE. Close to his failing arms he folds his bride, Yet conscious : panting forth an eager flood, Dyes the white cheek with crimson gouts of



And dead about the dead he lies—poor boy !
His marriage-rite only in the grave to enjoy :
Preaching to all the world how thoughtlessness

Is worst of ills that can a man possess.
L. of Cho. What may you make of this ? My lady, fled

Back-not a word, or good or evil, said ?
Mes. Well, I'm amazed! And yet on hopes I fare:

Her son's sad news received, she will not care
To wail at large, but close-retired prepare
Her maids to mourn a private grief with her.

She does not want for sense, that she should err. L. of Cho. I know not : too much silence is no less

Ill circumstance than cries in vain excess.
Mes. Well, we shall know—maybe in secret fashion

She covers with restraint a heart of passion-
If we advance and enter. Ay, I'm with you :
Your too much silence, that is ominous too.


CHORUS (march measure).
See tho'-the king in person advances.
Yon monument whereupon he's bending,
(God forgive me !) of none's mischances
Tells tale but his own offending.

Enter Creon with attendants carrying the body of

HAEMON on a bier.

(Turn A.)

The fool's retribution-

Wise fool ! (138)—for sin,
Deathly, pitilessly willd!

See we pass, all akin :
Yet some here be killers

And some be killed.
Woe for the wise presuming,

O lad freshly blooming !

Fresh-fallen fate !
Not thy folly but mine,

To death's dissolution
Thee doth resign.

Cho. How all too late the right you now divine !

(Turn B.) Cre,

Ay me!
Oh all too well I know it! Yet methinks,

these days
A God heavily ’lighting

Has oppressed my brain :
He smote and hurried me along bloodthirsty ways,
Ay me! Spurned my pleasure, wrecked what

I'd upraise.

O man, man ! doomed to fighting

Pain, toil and pain !

Enter a MESSENGER from the palace.
Mes. O Sir, enough in hand, enough in store ! (139)
This much to come and

go upon,

and more Anon, within, of troubles to be had ! Cre. What worse can yet remain when all's so bad? Mes. Your wife is dead—to motherhood too true,

Poor lady! Fresh the cuts her knife did hew.

(Counter-turn A.)
Cre. Heigho !
O, past all atoning,

Thou, hav'n ot Death,
Thou bringest me to naught!

Tale of woe rumoureth
This convoy of anguish,

Why will ye have a dead man

Despatched anew ?
Rehearse the grief you said, man !

What more's to rue ?
A victim yet to fall ?
A wife lost! The crowning

Doom closes all !

Cho. You may behold : 'tis no more closeted. Lo!

[The doors open and the body of EURYDICE is exposed.

(Counterturn B.) Cre. Here, sorrow-stricken, I behold another blow !

Remains yet any other ?

Is any yet undone ?
This little while my arms uplift my child, and oh,
Alas! here before


low ! Oh ill-starred the mother,

Ill-starred the son !

yet one lic

Mes. She at the altar's base with whetted blade

Relaxed her darkling eyelids. Loud she made
Lament for Megareus, (140) nobly doomed before,
And then for him ; and last on you she laid,
Who killed her sons, a spell of trouble in store.


“That stony-paven bridal-bower of the grave"

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