TEIRESIAS:You are sick, Kreon! You are deathly sick!KREON:As you say: it is not my place to challenge a prophet.TEIRESIAS:Yet you have said my prophecy is for sale.60KREON:The generation of prophets has always loved gold.TEIRESIAS:The generation of kings has always loved brassKREON:You forget yourself!You are speaking to the King.TEIRESIAS:I know it.You are a king because of me.KREON:You have a certain skill; but you have sold out.65TEIRESIAS:King, you will drive me to words that —KREON:Say them, then!Only remember: I will not pay you for them.TEIRESIAS:No, you will find them too costly.KREON:No doubt.Speak:Whatever you say, you will not change my will.TEIRESIAS:Then take this, and take it to heart!70The time is not far off when you shall pay backCorpse for corpse, flesh of your own flesh.You have thrust the child of this world into living night,You have kept from the gods below the child that is theirs:The one in a grave before her death, the other,75Dead, denied the grave. This is your crime:And the Furies and the dark gods of HellAre swift with terrible punishment for you.Do you want to buy me now, Kreon?Not many days,And your house will be full of men and women weeping, 80And curses will be hurled at you from farCities grieving for sons unburied, left to rotBefore the walls of Thebes.These are my arrows, Kreon: they are all for you,
(To Boy) But come, child: lead me home.85Let him waste his fine anger upon younger men.Maybe he will learn at lastTo control a wiser tongue in a better head.(Exit Teiresias.)CHORAGOS: The old man has gone, King, but his wordsRemain to plague us. I am old, too,90But I cannot remember that he was ever false.KREON:That is true....It troubles me.Oh it is hard to give in! but it is worseTo risk everything for stubborn pride.CHORAGOS: Kreon: take my advice.KREON:What shall I do?95CHORAGOS:Go quickly: free Antigone from her vaultAnd build a tomb for the body of Polyneices.KREON:You would have me do this!CHORAGOS:Kreon, yes!And it must be done at once: God movesSwiftly to cancel the folly of stubborn men.100KREON:It is hard to deny the heart! But IWill do it: 1 will not fight with destiny.CHORAGOS: You must go yourself, you cannot leave it to others.KREON:I will go.— Bring axes, servants:Come with me to the tomb.I buried her, I105Will set her free.Oh quickly!My mind misgives —The laws of the gods are mighty, and a man must serve themTo the last day of his life!(Exit Kreon.)PAEAN • Strophe 1CHORAGOS:God of many namesCHORUS:O Iacchossonof Kadmeian SemeleO born of the Thunder!Guardian of the WestRegentof Eleusis' plainO Prince of maenad Thebesand the Dragon Field by rippling Ismenos:5Antistrophe 1CHORAGOS:God of many names
CHORUS:the flame of torchesflares on our hillsthe nymphs of Iacchosdance at the spring of Castaliafrom the vine-close mountaincome ah come in ivy:Evohe evohe! sings through the streets of Thebes10Strophe 2CHORAGOS: God of many namesCHORUS:Iacchos of Thebesheavenly Childof Semele bride of the Thunderer!