Euripides V: Bacchae, Iphigenia in Aulis, The Cyclops, Rhesus (The Complete Greek Tragedies)
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865 in the damp air, in the dew, as a running fawn would frisk for the green joy of the wide fields, freed from fear of the hunt, 870 freed from the circling beaters and the nets of woven mesh and the hunters hallooing on their yelping packs? And then, hard pressed, she sprints with the quickness of wind, bounding over the marsh, 875 leaping for joy by the river, joyous at the green of the leaves, where no man is. What is wisdom? What gift of the gods° is held in honor like
your madness and been self-controlled, you’d all be happy now, and would have the son of Zeus as your ally. CADMUS° We implore you, Dionysus. We have done wrong. DIONYSUS 1345 Too late. You did not know me when you should have. CADMUS We have learned. But you punish us too harshly. DIONYSUS I am a god. I was blasphemed by you. CADMUS Gods should be exempt from human passions. DIONYSUS Long ago my father Zeus ordained these things. AGAVE It is fated, Father. We must go.
quiet breeze, 45 green grass for the grazing? Look: the water from the brook swirls through your troughs beside the cave where your small lambs bleat. MESODE Hey, come here! Now! 50 Won’t you feed on the dewy hill? Move, or I’ll pelt you with stones! In with you, horny-head, move along into the fold of Shepherd Cyclops! (To a ewe.) ANTISTROPHE 55 Relieve your swollen teats! Come, suckle your young whom you left all alone in the lamb pens! Asleep all day, your newborn
costume, followed with them. Such is the man who comes to fight for Troy. Neither 315 by flight, nor yet by standing to him with the spear, will Peleus’ son Achilles find escape from death. CHORUS LEADER When the gods change and stand behind the citizens, a depressed fortune climbs uphill, and wins success. HECTOR Now that my spear is fortunate, and Zeus is on 320 our side, I shall be finding that I have many friends. We can do without them. We want none who did not fight our
heart, I mourn you. CHORUS LEADER I, too, as much as ever one can grieve 905 who has no kinship with the dead, grieve for your son. THE MUSE [still singing] ANTISTROPHE Perish the grandson of Oeneus. Perish the son of Laertes. He made me childless, who had the best child in the world. 910 Perish the woman who forsook her Greek home for a Phrygian bed. She, dearest son, she is your true destroyer, she, who made unnumbered cities empty of the brave. [now speaking] 915