164 • The Restriction of Being


Into the sounding of the word, as well,

and into wind-swift all-understanding

he found his way, and into the mettle

to rule over cities.

He has considered, too, how he might flee

exposure to the arrows

of unpropitious weather and its frosts.

Everywhere trying out, underway; untried, with no way out he comes to Nothing.52

A single onslaught, death, he was unable

ever to resist by any flight,

even if in the face of dire illness

deft escape should be granted him.

Clever indeed, for he masters

skill’s devices beyond expectation,

now he falls prey to wickedness,

yet again valor succeeds for him.

Between the ordinance of the earth and the

gods’ sworn fittingness he fares.

Rising high over the site, losing the site

is he for whom what is not, is, always,

for the sake of daring.53

52. The Greek that Heidegger translates in these two lines, παντοπόρος ἄπορος οὐδὲν ἔρχεται τὸ μέλλον [Antigone 359], can be more conventionally translated as: “resourceful in all, he meets nothing that is to come resourceless.” Where Heidegger sees a paradox in the sentence, most translators would see merely an expansion of the notion “resourceful in all” (παντοπόρος).

53. A more conventional translation of the previous five lines would be: “If he follows the laws of the earth and the gods’ sworn justice he is high in the city (or: his city is high), but he is cast out from the city if he dwells with dishonor for the sake of daring.”

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