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THE FROGS by Aristophanes, Part 19

Blest the man who possesses
Keen intelligent mind.
This full often we find.
He, the bard of renown,
Now to earth reascends,
Goes, a joy to his town,
Goes, a joy to his friends,
Just because he possesses
Keen intelligent mind.
Right it is and befitting,
Not, by Socrates sitting,
Idle talk to pursue,
Stripping tragedy-art of
All things noble and true.
Surely the mind to school
Fine-drawn quibbles to seek,
Fine-set phrases to speak,
Is but the part of a fool


Farewell then Aeschylus, great and wise,
Go, save our state by the maxims rare
Of thy noble thought; and the fools chastise,
For many a fool dwells there.
And this (handing him a rope) to Cleophon give, my friend,
And this to the revenue-raising crew,
Nichomachus, Myrmex, next I send,
And this to Archenomus too.
And bid them all that without delay,
To my realm of the dead they hasten away.
For if they loiter above, I swear
I'll come myself and arrest them there.
And branded and fettered the slaves shall
With the vilest rascal in all the town,
Adeimantus, son of Leucolophus, down,
Down, down to the darkness below.
I take the mission. This chair of mine
Meanwhile to Sophocles here commit,
(For I count him next in our craft divine,)
Till I come once more by thy side to sit.
But as for that rascally scoundrel there,
That low buffoon, that worker of ill,
O let him not sit in my vacant chair,
Not even against his will.
Escort him up with your mystic throngs,
While the holy torches quiver and blaze.
Escort him up with his own sweet gongs,
And his noble festival lays.
First, as the poet triumphant
is passing away to the light,
Grant him success on his journey,
ye powers that are ruling below.
Grant that he find for the city
good counsels to guide her aright;
So we at last shall be freed
from the anguish, the fear, and the woe,
Freed from the onsets of war.
Let Cleophon now and his band
Battle, if battle they must,
far away in their own fatherland.


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