Lo, yonder Ismene comes forth, shedding such tears as fond sisters weep;
a cloud upon her brow casts its shadow over her darkly-flushing face, and
breaks in rain on her fair cheek.
And thou, who, lurking like a viper in my house, wast secretly
draining my life-blood, while I knew not that I was nurturing two pests,
to rise against my throne-come, tell me now, wilt thou also confess thy
part in this burial, or wilt thou forswear all knowledge of it?
I have done the deed,-if she allows my claim,-and share the
burden of the charge.
Nay, justice will not suffer thee to do that: thou didst not
consent to the deed, nor did I give thee part in it.
But, now that ills beset thee, I am not ashamed to sail the
sea of trouble at thy side.
Whose was the deed, Hades and the dead are witnesses: a friend
in words is not the friend that I love.
Nay, sister, reject me not, but let me die with thee, and duly
honour the dead.
Share not thou my death, nor claim deeds to which thou hast
not put thy hand: my death will suffice.
And what life is dear to me, bereft of thee?
Ask Creon; all thy care is for him.
Why vex me thus, when it avails thee nought?
Indeed, if I mock, ’tis with pain that I mock thee.
Tell me,-how can I serve thee, even now?
Save thyself: I grudge not thy escape.
Ah, woe is me! And shall I have no share in thy fate?
Thy choice was to live; mine, to die.
At least thy choice was not made without my protest.
One world approved thy wisdom; another, mine.
Howbeit, the offence is the same for both of us.
Be of good cheer; thou livest; but my life hath long been given
to death, that so I might serve the dead.
Lo, one of these maidens hath newly shown herself foolish,
as the other hath been since her life began.
Yea, O king, such reason as nature may have given abides not
with the unfortunate, but goes astray.
Thine did, when thou chosest vile deeds with the vile.
What life could I endure, without her presence?
Antigone by Sophocles