Page:Sophocles - Seven Plays, 1900.djvu/37

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ANTIGONE


Antigone Ismene


 Antigone. Own sister of my blood, one life with me,
Ismene, have the tidings caught thine ear?
Say, hath not Heaven decreed to execute
On thee and me, while yet we are alive.
All the evil Oedipus bequeathed? All horror,
All pain, all outrage, falls on us! And now
The General's proclamation of to-day—
Hast thou not heard?—Art thou so slow to hear
When harm from foes threatens the souls we love?
 Ismene. No word of those we love, Antigone,
Painful or glad, hath reached me, since we two
Were utterly deprived of our two brothers,
Cut off with mutual stroke, both in one day.
And since the Argive host this now-past night
Is vanished, I know nought beside to make me
Nearer to happiness or more in woe.
 Ant. I knew it well, and therefore led thee forth
The palace gate, that thou alone mightst hear.
 Ism. Speak on! Thy troubled look bodes some dark
 news.
 Ant. Why, hath not Creon, in the burial-rite.
Of our two brethren honoured one, and wrought
On one foul wrong? Eteocles, they tell.
With lawful consecration he lays out.
And after covers him in earth, adorned
With amplest honours in the world below.
But Polynices, miserably slain.
They say 'tis publicly proclaimed that none
Must cover in a grave, nor mourn for him;
But leave him tombless and unwept, a store
Of sweet provision for the carrion fowl
That eye him greedily. Such righteous law
Good Creon hath pronounced for thy behoof—