The Nacreous Oughts

16 May 2008

Chorus from Alcestis

I have mused on the words of the wise,
Of the mighty in song;
I have lifted mine heart to the skies,
I have searched all truth with mine eyes;
But nought more strong
Than Fate have I found: there is nought
In the tablets of Thrace.
Neither drugs whereof Orpheus taught,
Nor in all that Apollo brought
To Asklepius' race,
When the herbs of healing he severed, and out of their anguish delivered
The pain-distraught.

There is none other Goddess beside,
To the altars of whom
No man draweth near, nor hath cried
To her image, nor victim hath died,
Averting her doom.
O Goddess, more mighty for ill
Come not upon me
Than in days overpast: for his will
Even Zeus may in nowise fulfill
Unholpen of thee.
Steel is molten as water before thee, but never relenting come o'er thee
Who art ruthless still.

----Euripedes tr A S Way)

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