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Admetus
It shall be so, fear not, it shall be so. While you lived you were my wife, and in death [330] you alone will bear that title. No Thessalian bride will ever speak to me in place of you: none is of so noble parentage or so beautiful as that. And of children I have enough. I pray to the gods [335] that I may reap the benefit of them, as I have not of you. I shall mourn you not a year only but as long as my life shall last, hating her who bore me and loathing my father. For their love was in word, not deed. [340] But you sacrificed what is most precious so that I might live. Do I not have cause to mourn when I have lost such a wife as you?

I shall put an end to revels and the company of banqueters and to the garlands and music which once filled my halls. [345] I shall never touch the lyre, or lift my heart in song to the Libyan pipe. For you have taken all the joy from my life. An image of you shaped by the hand of skilled craftsmen shall be laid out in my bed. [350] I shall fall into its arms, and as I embrace it and call your name I shall imagine, though I have her not, that I hold my dear wife in my arms, a cold pleasure, to be sure, but thus I shall lighten my soul's heaviness. And perhaps you will cheer me [355] by visiting me in dreams. For even in sleep it is pleasant to see loved ones for however long we are permitted.

If I had the voice and music of Orpheus so that I could charm Demeter's daughter or her husband with song and fetch you from Hades, [360] I would have gone down to the Underworld, and neither Pluto's hound nor Charon the ferryman of souls standing at the oar would have kept me from bringing you back to the light alive. But now wait for me to arrive there when I die and prepare a home where you may dwell with me. [365] For I shall command my children here to bury me in the same coffin with you and to lay out my body next to yours. Never, even in death, may I be parted from you, the woman who alone has been faithful to me!

Chorus-Leader
Be sure that I will share in this bitter grief with you [370] as friend with friend. She deserves no less.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 651
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