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Creon
[1625] You have spoken well, in refusing to touch my knees, but I could not allow you to dwell in the land. Of these dead, bear one at once to the palace; but the other, who came with strangers to sack his native town, the dead Polyneices, [1630] cast forth unburied beyond the borders of this land. To all the race of Cadmus shall this be proclaimed: “Whoever is caught decking his corpse with wreaths or giving it burial, shall be requited with death.” [let him be unwept, unburied, a meal for birds.] [1635] As for you, Antigone, leave your mourning for these lifeless three and go indoors, to lead your maiden life until to-morrow, when Haemon waits to marry you.

Antigone
O father, in what cruel misery are we plunged! [1640] For you I mourn more than for the dead; for in your woes you do not have something that is grievous and something not; but you were born wholly unfortunate, father. As for you, new-made king, I ask you, who do you insult my father with banishment? [1645] Why do you make laws over a helpless corpse?

Creon
This was Eteocles' purpose, not mine.

Antigone
It is senseless, and you are a fool to obey it!

Creon
How so? Isn't it right to carry out his commands?

Antigone
No; not if they are wrong and ill-advised.

Creon
[1650] What? Isn't it right for that other to be given to the dogs?

Antigone
No, for the vengeance you are exacting is not a lawful one.

Creon
Yes, if he was his country's enemy, when not born an enemy.

Antigone
Well, he rendered up his destiny to fate.

Creon
Let him now pay the penalty in his burial too.

Antigone
[1655] What crime did he commit, in coming to claim his portion of the land?

Creon
Be very sure of this, he shall have no burial.

Antigone
I will bury him, although the state forbids.

Creon
Do so, and you will be making your own grave by his.

Antigone
A noble end, for two so near and dear to lie side by side!

Creon
[1660] Seize and take her inside.

Antigone
Oh, no! For I will not let go of this corpse.

Creon
These are the god's decrees, my girl, not what seems good to you.

Antigone
And this has been decreed, not to insult the dead.

Creon
Be sure that no one will sprinkle over the corpse the moistened dust.

Antigone
[1665] O Creon, by my mother Jocasta, I implore you!

Creon
Your labor is in vain; you will not gain your prayer.

Antigone
Let me only bathe the dead body.

Creon
That would be part of what is forbidden by the city.

Antigone
At least let me bandage the cruel wounds.

Creon
[1670] No; you will never pay honor to this corpse.

Antigone
O my dearest! At least I will kiss your mouth.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, PREPOSITIONS
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