Euripides. The Plays of Euripides, Translated into English Prose from the Text of Paley. Vol. II. Coleridge, Edward P., translator. London: George Bell and Sons, 1891.
O Pelasgia, I take up the dirge, doing bloody outrage on my cheeks with white nail, and beating on my head; these are the portion of Persephone, fair young goddess of the nether world.
Let the Cyclopian land break forth into wailing for the sorrows of our house, laying the steel upon the head to crop it close. This is the piteous, piteous strain that goes up for those who are about to die,
once the battle-leaders of Hellas.
It has gone, it has gone, and is lost, all the race of Pelops, and the glory that crowned their happy home once; the envy of heaven seized them and that cruel
murdering vote among the citizens.
Oh, oh! you tribes of short-lived men, full of tears, full of suffering, see how fate runs counter to your hopes! All receive in turn their different
troubles in length of time; and the whole of mortal life is uncertain.
Oh! to reach that rock which hangs suspended midway between earth and heaven, that fragment from Olympus, which swings on chains of gold, so that I may utter my lament
to Tantalus, my forefather, who begot the ancestors of my house. They saw infatuate ruin, the chase of winged steeds, when Pelops in four-horse chariot
drove over the sea, hurling the body of murdered Myrtilus into the ocean swell, after his race near Geraestus’ strand, foam-flecked from the tossing sea.
From this came a woeful curse upon my house, brought to birth among the sheep by the son of Maia, when there appeared a baleful, baleful portent of a lamb with golden fleece,
for Atreus, breeder of horses; from which Strife changed the course of the sun’s winged chariot, fitting the westward path of the sky towards the single horse of Dawn;
and Zeus diverted the career of the seven Pleiads into a new track and exchanged . . . death for death: both the banquet to which Thyestes gave his name, and the treacherous love of Cretan Aerope,
in her treacherous marriage; but the crowning woe has come on me and on my father by the bitter constraints of our house.
Look, here comes your brother, condemned to die, and with him Pylades, most loyal of friends,
true as a brother, guiding his feeble steps, his yoke-fellow, pacing carefully.
Alas! I weep to see you stand before the tomb, my brother, face to face with the funeral pyre.
Alas, again! as I take my last look at you, my senses leave me.
Be silent! an end to womanish lamenting! resign yourself to your fate. It is piteous, but nevertheless you must bear the present fate.
How can I be silent, when we poor sufferers are no longer to gaze upon the sun-god’s light?