Page:Sophocles - Seven Plays, 1900.djvu/54

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20
[575–610
ANTIGONE

 Cr. 'Tis death must come between him and his joy.
 Ch. All doubts then resolved: the maid must die.
 Cr. I am resolved; and so, 'twould seem, are you.
In with her, slaves! No more delay! Henceforth
These maids must have but woman's liberty
And be mewed up; for even the bold will fly
When they see Death nearing the house of life
 [Antigone and Ismene are led into the palace.

 Chorus.
Blest is the life that never tasted woe. I 1
When once the blow
Hath fallen upon a house with Heaven-sent doom,
Trouble descends in ever-widening gloom
Through all the number of the tribe to flow;
 As when the briny surge
 That Thrace-born tempests urge
(The big wave ever gathering more and more)
Runs o`er the darkness of the deep,
 And with far-searching sweep
Uprolls the storm-heap'd tangle on the shore,
While cliff to beaten cliff resounds with sullen roar.

The stock of Cadmus from old time, I know, I 2
 Hath woe on woe,
Age following age, the living on the dead,
Fresh sorrow falling on each new-ris'n head,
None freed by God from ruthless overthrow.
 E'en now a smiling light
 Was spreading to our sight
O'er one last fibre of a blasted tree,—
When, lo! the dust of cruel death,
 Tribute of Gods beneath,
And wildering thoughts, and fate-born ecstasy,
Quench the brief gleam in dark Nonentity,

What froward will of man, O Zeus! can check thy
 might?  II 1
Not all-enfeebling sleep, nor tireless months divine,
Can touch thee, who through ageless time
Rulest mightily Olympus' dazzling height.