Page:Sophocles - Seven Plays, 1900.djvu/44

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10
[226–257
ANTIGONE

And wheeled me to return. My mind discoursed
Most volubly within my breast, and said—
Fond wretch! why go where thou wilt find thy bane?
Unhappy wight! say, wilt thou bide aloof?
Then if the king shall hear this from another,
How shalt thou 'scape for 't? Winding thus about
I hasted, but I could not speed, and so
Made a long journey of a little way.
At last 'yes' carried it, that I should come
To thee; and tell thee I must needs, and shall,
Though it be nothing that I have to tell.
For I came hither, holding fast by this—
Nought that is not my fate can happen to me;
 Cr. Speak forth thy cause of fear. What is the
 matter?
 Watch. First of mine own part in the business. For
I did it not, nor saw the man who did,
And 'twere not right that I should come to harm.
 Cr. You fence your ground, and keep well out of
 danger;
I see you have some strange thing to declare.
 Watch. A man will shrink who carries words of fear.
 Cr. Let us have done with you. Tell your tale, and
 go.
 Watch. Well, here it is. The corse hath burial
From some one who is stolen away and gone,
But first hath strown dry dust upon the skin,
And added what religious rites require.
 Cr. Ha!
What man hath been so daring in revolt?
 Watch. I cannot tell. There was no mark to show—
No dint of spade, or mattock-loosened sod,—
Only the hard bare ground, untilled and trackless.
Whoe'er he was, the doer left no trace.
And, when the scout of our first daylight watch
Showed us the thing, we marvelled in dismay.
The Prince was out of sight; not in a grave,
But a thin dust was o'er him, as if thrown
By one who shunned the dead man’s curse. No sign
Appeared of any hound or beast o' the field