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THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES by Aeschylus, Part 13

Yea, from one seed they sprang, and by one fate
Their heritage is desolate,
The heart's division sundered claim from claim,
And, from their feud, death came!
Now is their hate allayed,
Now is their life-stream shed,
Ensanguining the earth with crimson dye-
Lo, from one blood they sprang, and in one blood they lie!
A grievous arbiter was given the twain-
The stranger from the northern main,
The sharp, dividing sword,
Fresh from the forge and fire
The War-god treacherous gave ill award
And brought their father's curse to a fulfilment dire!
They have their portion-each his lot and doom,
Given from the gods on high!
Yea, the piled wealth of fatherland, for tomb,
Shall underneath them lie!
Alas, alas! with flowers of fame and pride
Your home ye glorified;
But, in THE END, the Furies gathered round
With chants of boding sound,
Shrieking, In wild defeat and disarray,
Behold, ye pass away!
The sign of Ruin standeth at the gate,
There, where they strove with Fate-
And the ill power beheld the brothers' fall,
And triumphed over all!

(ANTIGONE, ISMENE, and the CHORUS all take part in
the following responsive dirge.)

Thou wert smitten, in smiting,
Thou didst slay, and wert slain-
By the spear of each other
Ye lie on the plain,
And ruthless the deed that ye wrought was, and ruthless the
death of the twain!

Take voice, O my sorrow!
Flow tear upon tear-
Lay the slain by the slayer,
Made one on the bier!
Our soul in distraction is lost, and we mourn o'er the prey of
the spear!

Ah, woe for your ending,
Unbrotherly wrought!
And woe for the issue,
The fray that ye fought,
The doom of a mutual slaughter whereby to the grave ye are
brought!

Ah, twofold the sorrow-
The heard and the seen!
And double the tide
Of our tears and our teen,
As we stand by our brothers in death and wail for the love that
has been!

O grievous the fate
That attends upon wrong!
Stern ghost of our sire,
Thy vengeance is long!
Dark Fury of hell and of death, the hands of thy kingdom are.
strong!

O dark were the sorrows
That exile hath known!
He slew, but returned not
Alive to his own!
He struck down a brother, but fell, in the moment of triumph
hewn down!

O lineage accurst,
O doom and despair!
Alas, for their quarrel,
The brothers that were!
And woe! for their pitiful end, who once were our love and our
care!

O grievous the fate
That attends upon wrong)
Stern ghost of our sire,
Thy vengeance is long!
Dark Fury of hell and of death, the hands of thy kingdom are
strong!

By proof have ye learnt it!
At once and as one,
O brothers beloved,
To death ye were, done!
Ye came to the strife of the sword, and behold! ye are both
overthrown!

O grievous the tale is,
And grievous their fall,
To the house, to the land,
And to me above all!
Ah, God! for the curse that hath come, the sin and the ruin
withal!

O children distraught,
Who in madness have died!
Shall ye rest with old kings
In the place of their pride?
Alas for the wrath of your sire if he findeth you laid by his
side!
(A HeraLD enters.)

 

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