I have long enjoyed reading and arguing with the “Ochlophobist.” Though we often disagree, I find him one of the most consistently thought provoking bloggers. So, am pleased to be included in his 10 questions series. In Q 8 I refer to “Antigone’s penultimate speech.” But I really meant the parts of her last speeches that John Francis Nieto translated and used as the first part of his “Fugue” in Glossae. I looked it up, and it is actually mostly from her antepenultimate speech. Here is Nieto’s translation:
Unwept. Unloved. Unwed,
And led, weary within,
Down the ready road.
Never to see the sun’s
Sacred eye—my doom.
This fate unwept.
No lover mourns.
Tomb, Bridal. Cavernous
Home, everwatching, I am coming
And to my own, whose number,
Great among the dead, added,
As they went down, to Persephone.
Last, I go down worst,
Before my lot of living is run out.
I yet feed strong hope:
To come dear to my father,
Held dear by you, mother,
Dear to you, born from one womb.
This hand washed each
As you died, pouring
Over tombs fit libations.
Now, big scrapper, such
Rewards covering your corpse.
Yet to those thinking right
I but honored you. No way,
Was I a mother of children,
Not if my dead husband lay
Wasting, would I bear such
Burden, against the city’s might.
Shall I say what law lets me?
Another husband for the dead one,
And a son got of someone else,
But, mother and father hidden in hell,
No brother will ever blossom.
By such law I honor you above all,
To Creon seeming to sin, to dare
Horrors, dear brother of one womb.
And now he leads me by the hand,
Taking me like this. Unbedded, unwed,
No share of marriage, no suckling
Of children, but so, abandoned
By friends, unfortunate, living
I come to the grave of the dead,
Overstepping what divine law?
Need I look longer to the gods?
Which shall I call, a comrade?
Impious I am by piety.