Antigone Part 11

[start of Section 11: Lines 1035-1089]


(Str. 1)
Like to thee that maiden bright,
Danae, in her brass-bound tower,
Once exchanged the glad sunlight
For a cell, her bridal bower.
And yet she sprang of royal line,
My child, like thine,
And nursed the seed
By her conceived
Of Zeus descending in a golden shower.
Strange are the ways of Fate, her power
Nor wealth, nor arms withstand, nor tower;
Nor brass-prowed ships, that breast the sea
From Fate can flee.

(Ant. 1)
Thus Dryas’ child, the rash Edonian King,
For words of high disdain
Did Bacchus to a rocky dungeon bring,
To cool the madness of a fevered brain.
His frenzy passed,
He learnt at last
‘Twas madness gibes against a god to fling.
For once he fain had quenched the Maenad’s fire;
And of the tuneful Nine provoked the ire.

(Str. 2)
By the Iron Rocks that guard the double main,
On Bosporus’ lone strand,
Where stretcheth Salmydessus’ plain
In the wild Thracian land,
There on his borders Ares witnessed
The vengeance by a jealous step-dame ta’en
The gore that trickled from a spindle red,
The sightless orbits of her step-sons twain.

(Ant. 2)
Wasting away they mourned their piteous doom,
The blasted issue of their mother’s womb.
But she her lineage could trace
To great Erecththeus’ race;
Daughter of Boreas in her sire’s vast caves
Reared, where the tempest raves,
Swift as his horses o’er the hills she sped;
A child of gods; yet she, my child, like thee,
By Destiny
That knows not death nor age–she too was vanquished.