Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ANTIGONE: THE UNDYING LAW, by SOPHOCLES



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ANTIGONE: THE UNDYING LAW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was not zeus, I think, made this decree
Last Line: A foolish judgement reckons me a fool.


IT was not Zeus, I think, made this decree,
Nor Justice, dweller with the Gods below,
Who made appointment of such laws to men.
Nor did I think your edicts were so strong
That any mortal man should override
The Gods' unwritten and undying laws.
Their life is not to-day and yesterday
But always, and none knoweth whence they came.
I would not pay the price before the Gods
Of breaking these for fear of any man.
I knew that I should die; and why not so?
Though you had not ordained it. If I die
Before my time, I count it something gained.
For whoso lives with many miseries
As I live, is not death a gain to him?
Therefore I count the coming of this doom
No grief at all. Rather, -- if I had left
Unburied mine own mother's son in death, --
That would have grieved me. This can bring no grief.
If what I do seems foolishness to you,
A foolish judgement reckons me a fool.





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