Classics
Bulfinch Mythol.
The Odyssey
The Iliad
Argonautica
Hesiod-Theogony

Site Search



greece
athens airport
casino
bet
greek news
tavli sto internet
livescore
news now



Olympians Titans Other Gods Myths Online Books
 
Aristophanes Index


< Previous Next>

THE BIRDS by Aristophanes, Part 11

PITHETAERUS
That is soon done; my name is Pithetaerus, and his, Euelpides,
of the deme Crioa.
EPOPS
Good! and good luck to you.
PITHETAERUS
We accept the omen.
EPOPS
Come in here.
PITHETAERUS
Very well, you are the one who must lead us and introduce us.
EPOPS
Come then.
(He starts to fly away.)
PITHETAERUS (stopping himself)
Oh! my god! do come back here. Hi! tell us how we are to follow
you. You can fly, but we cannot.
EPOPS
Well, well.
PITHETAERUS
Remember Aesop's fables. It is told there that the fox fared
very badly, because he had made an alliance with the eagle.
EPOPS
Be at ease. You shall eat a certain root and wings will grow on
your shoulders.
PITHETAERUS
Then let us enter. Xanthias and Manodorus, pick up our baggage.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Hi! Epops! do you hear me?
EPOPS
What's the matter?
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Take them off to dine well and call your mate, the melodious
Procne, whose songs are worthy of the Muses; she will delight our
leisure moments.
PITHETAERUS
Oh! I conjure you, accede to their wish; for this delightful
bird will leave her rushes at the sound of your voice; for the sake of
the gods, let her come here, so that we may contemplate the
nightingale.
EPOPS
Let is be as you desire. Come forth, Procne, show yourself to
these strangers.
(PROCNE appears; she resembles a young flute-girl.)
PITHETAERUS
Oh! great Zeus! what a beautiful little bird! what a dainty
form! what brilliant plumage! Do you know how dearly I should like
to get between her thighs?
EUELPIDES
She is dazzling all over with gold, like a young girl. Oh! how I
should like to kiss her!
PITHETAERUS
Why, wretched man, she has two little sharp points on her beak!
EUELPIDES
I would treat her like an egg, the shell of which we remove before
eating it; I would take off her mask and then kiss her pretty face.
EPOPS
Let us go in.
PITHETAERUS
Lead the way, and may success attend us.
(EPOPS goes into the thicket, followed by PITHETAERUS and
EUELPIDES.)
CHORUS (singing)
Lovable golden bird, whom I cherish above all others, you, whom
I associate with all my songs, nightingale, you have come, you have
come, to show yourself to me and to charm me with your notes. Come,
you, who play spring melodies upon the harmonious flute, lead off
our anapests.
(The CHORUS turns and faces the audience.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Weak mortals, chained to the earth, creatures of clay as frail
as the foliage of the woods, you unfortunate race, whose life is but
darkness, as unreal as a shadow, the illusion of a dream, hearken to
us, who are immortal beings, ethereal, ever young and occupied with
eternal thoughts, for we shall teach you about all celestial
matters; you shall know thoroughly what is the nature of the birds,
what the origin of the gods, of the rivers, of Erebus, and Chaos;
thanks to us, even Prodicus will envy you your knowledge.
At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night, dark Erebus, and
deep Tartarus. Earth, the air and heaven had no existence. Firstly,
black-winged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite
deeps of Erebus, and from this, after the revolution of long ages,
sprang the graceful Eros with his glittering golden wings, swift as
the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in deep Tartarus with dark
Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was
the first to see the light. That of the Immortals did not exist
until Eros had brought together all the ingredients of the world,
and from their marriage Heaven, Ocean, Earth and the imperishable race
of blessed gods sprang into being. Thus our origin is very much
older than that of the dwellers in Olympus. We are the offspring of
Eros; there are a thousand proofs to show it. We have wings and we
lend assistance to lovers. How many handsome youths, who had sworn
to remain insensible, have opened their thighs because of our power
and have yielded themselves to their lovers when almost at THE END
of their youth, being led away by the gift of a quail, a waterfowl,
a goose, or a cock.
And what important services do not the birds render to mortals!
First of all, they mark the seasons for them, springtime, winter,
and autumn. Does the screaming crane migrate to Libya,-it warns the
husbandman to sow, the pilot to take his ease beside his tiller hung
up in his dwelling, and ORESTES to weave a tunic, so that the rigorous
cold may not drive him any more to strip other folk. When the kite
reappears, he tells of the return of spring and of the period when the
fleece of the sheep must be clipped. Is the swallow in sight? All
hasten to sell their warm tunic and to buy some light clothing. We are
your Ammon, Delphi, Dodona, your Phoebus Apollo. Before undertaking
anything, whether a business transaction, a marriage, or the
purchase of food, you consult the birds by reading the omens, and
you give this name of omen to all signs that tell of the future.
With you a word is an omen, you call a sneeze an omen, a meeting an
omen, an unknown sound an omen, a slave or an ass an omen. Is it not
clear that we are a prophetic Apollo to you? (More and more rapidly
from here on.) If you recognize us as gods, we shall be your
divining Muses, through us you will know the winds and the seasons,
summer, winter, and the temperate months. We shall not withdraw
ourselves to the highest clouds like Zeus, but shall be among you
and shall give to you and to your children and the children of your
children, health and wealth, long life, peace, youth, laughter,
songs and feasts; in short, you will all be so well off, that you will
be weary and cloyed with enjoyment.

 

< Previous Next>

Aristophanes Index

 



[Home] [Olympians] [Titans] [Other Gods] [Myths] [Online Books]

Contact:  
Copyright 2000-2014, GreekMythology.comTM. 

For more general info on Greek Gods, Greek Goddesses, Greek Heroes, Greek Monsters and Greek Mythology Movies visit Greece.com Mythology.

All information in this site is free for personal use. You can freely use it for term papers, research papers, college essays, school essays. Commercial use, and use in other websites is prohibited.
If you have your own Greek Mythology stories, free research papers, college term papers, college essays, book reports, coursework, homework papers and you want to publish them in this site please contact us now at:

Griyego mitolohiya, 그리스 신화, 希腊神话, griekse mythologie, mythologie grecque, griechischen Mythologie, ギリシャ神話, Греческая мифология, mitología griega, ग्रीक पौराणिक कथाओं, الأساطير اليونانية, Grekisk mytologi