"And now you weep; you wept not at these woes
Until you wept your own. But I - I weep not.
These things are not for tears, but for Endurance.
My son is like his sire - a parricide!
Toil, exile, beggary - daily bread doled out
From stranger hands - these are your gifts, my son!
My nurses, guardians - they who share the want,
Or earn the bread, are daughters; call them not
Women, for they to me are men. Go to!
Thou art not mine - I do disclaim such issue.
Behold, the eyes of the avenging God
Are o'er thee! but their ominous light delays
To blast thee yet. March on - march on - to Thebes!
Not - not for thee, the city and the throne;
The earth shall first be reddened with thy blood -
Thy blood and his, thy foe - thy brother! Curses!
Not for the first time summoned to my wrongs -
Curses! I call ye back, and make ye now
Allies with this old man!
* * * * * *
Yea, curses shall possess thy seat and throne,
If antique Justice o'er the laws of earth
Reign with the thunder-god. March on to ruin!
Spurned and disowned - the basest of the base -
And with thee bear this burden: o'er thine head
I pour a prophet's doom; nor throne nor home
Waits on the sharpness of the levelled spear:
Thy very land of refuge hath no welcome;
Thine eyes have looked their last on hollow Argos.
Death by a brother's hand - dark fratricide,
Murdering thyself a brother - shall be thine.
Yea, while I curse thee, on the murky deep
Of the primeval hell I call! Prepare
These men their home, dread Tartarus! Goddesses,
Whose shrines are round me - ye avenging Furies!
And thou, oh Lord of Battle, who hast stirred
Hate in the souls of brethren, hear me - hear me! -
And now, 'tis past! - enough! - depart and tell
The Theban people, and thy fond allies,
What blessings, from his refuge with the Furies,
The blind old Oedipus awards his sons!" 
As is usual with Sophocles, the terrific strength of these execrations is immediately followed by a soft and pathetic scene between Antigone and her brother. Though crushed at first by the paternal curse, the spirit of Polynices so far recovers its native courage that he will not listen to the prayer of his sister to desist from the expedition to Thebes, and to turn his armies back to Argos. "What," he says,
"Lead back an army that could deem I trembled!"
Yet he feels the mournful persuasion that his death is doomed; and a glimpse of the plot of the "Antigone" is opened upon us by his prayer to his sister, that if he perish, they should lay him with due honours in the tomb. The exquisite loveliness of Antigone's character touches even Polynices, and he departs, saying,