Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bacchylides: Fragment on Deianeira

... since Ourania on her lovely throne has sent me from Pieria a golden freighter loaded with glorious songs [5] ... by the flowery Hebrus he takes delight in ... , or in a long-necked swan ... delighting his mind ... you come to seek the flowers of paeans, [10] Pythian Apollo, all those which choruses of Delphians loudly sing at your glorious temple. Meanwhile we sing of how the son of Amphitryon, a bold-minded man, left Oechalia devoured by fire, [15] and arrived at the headland with waves all around it; there he was going to sacrifice from his booty nine loud-bellowing bulls for Cenaean Zeus, lord of the wide-spread clouds, and two for the god who rouses the sea and subdues the earth, [20] and a high-horned unyoked ox for the virgin Athena, whose eyes flash with might. Then a god, useless to fight against, wove for Deianeira, to her great sorrow, [25] a clever scheme, when she heard the bitter news that the son of Zeus, fearless in battle, was sending white-armed Iole to his splendid house to be his bride. [30] Poor woman, ill-fated, what a plan she devised! Widely powerful envy destroyed her, and the dark veil which covered what was to come, when on the rosy banks of the Lycormas [35] she received from Nessus the fateful, monstrous gift.  ~ Bacchylides (known as the "Cean nightingale"), Ode 16 (fragment).

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