Monday, December 19, 2016


The Hawk and the Nightingale

Hesiod, Works and Days 203-211 (tr. Glenn W. Most):
This is how the hawk addressed the colorful-necked nightingale,
carrying her high up among the clouds, grasping her with its claws,
while she wept piteously, pierced by the curved claws;
he said to her forcefully,
"Silly bird, why are you crying out? One far superior to you is holding you.
You are going wherever I shall carry you, even if you are a singer;
I shall make you my dinner if I wish, or I shall let you go.
Stupid he who would wish to contend against those stronger than he is:
for he is deprived of the victory, and suffers pains in addition to his humiliations."

ὧδ᾿ ἴρηξ προσέειπεν ἀηδόνα ποικιλόδειρον,
ὕψι μάλ᾿ ἐν νεφέεσσι φέρων, ὀνύχεσσι μεμαρπώς·
ἡ δ᾿ ἐλεόν, γναμπτοῖσι πεπαρμένη ἀμφ᾿ ὀνύχεσσιν,        205
μύρετο· τὴν ὅ γ᾿ ἐπικρατέως πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν·
"δαιμονίη, τί λέληκας; ἔχει νύ σε πολλὸν ἀρείων·
τῇ δ᾿ εἶς ᾗ σ᾿ ἂν ἐγώ περ ἄγω καὶ ἀοιδὸν ἐοῦσαν·
δεῖπνον δ᾿ αἴ κ᾿ ἐθέλω ποιήσομαι ἠὲ μεθήσω.
ἄφρων δ᾿ ὅς κ᾿ ἐθέλῃ πρὸς κρείσσονας ἀντιφερίζειν·        210
νίκης τε στέρεται πρός τ᾿ αἴσχεσιν ἄλγεα πάσχει."

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