Woe for the sins of a darkened soul, stubborn sins, fraught with death! Ah, ye behold us, the sire who hath slain, the son who hath perished! Woeis me, for the wretched blindness of my counsels! Alas, my son, thou hast died in thy youth, by a timeless doom, woe is me!-thy spirit hath fled,-not by thy folly, but by mine own!
Ah me, how all too late thou seemest to see the right!
CREON Ah me, I have learned the bitter lesson! But then, methinks, oh then, some god smote me from above with crushing weight, and hurledme into ways of cruelty, woe is me,-overthrowing and trampling on my joy! Woe, woe, for the troublous toils of men!
And what worse ill is yet to follow upon ills?
Oh Hades, all-receiving whom no sacrifice can appease! Hast thou, then, no mercy for me? O thou herald of evil, bitter tidings, what word dost thou utter? Alas, I was already as dead, and thou hast smitten me anew! What sayest thou, my son? What is this new message that thou bringest-woe, woe is me!-Of a wife’s doom-of slaughter headed on slaughter?
Thou canst behold: ’tis no longer hidden within.
Ah me,-yonder I behold a new, a second woe! What destiny, ah what, can yet await me? I have but now raised my son in my arms,-and there,again, I see a corpse before me! Alas, alas, unhappy mother! Alas, my child!
There, at the altar, self-stabbed with a keen knife, she suffered her darkening eyes to close, when she had wailed for the noble fate of Megareus who died before, and then for his fate who lies there,-and when, with her last breath, she had invoked evil fortunes upon thee, the slayer of thy sons.
Ah me, this guilt can never be fixed on any other of mortal kind, for my acquittal! I, even I, was thy slayer, wretched that I am-I own the truth. Lead me away, O my servants, lead me hence with all speed, whose life is but as death!
All my desires, at least, were summed in that prayer.
Lead me away, I pray you; a rash, foolish man; who have slain thee, ah my son, unwittingly, and thee, too, my wife-unhappy that I am! I know not which way I should bend my gaze, or where I should seek support; for all is amiss with that which is in my hands,-and yonder, again, a crushing fate hath leapt upon my head.
Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness; and reverence towards the gods must be inviolate. Great words of prideful men are ever punished with great blows, and, in old age, teach the chastened to be wise.