Prometheus Bound

Aeschylus

Aeschylus, creator; Aeschylus with an English translation Vol I. Smyth, Herbert Weir, 1857- 1937, editor, translator. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.: 1922.

  1. not even in death does the earth conceal him, but passing from the shades he hounds me, the forlorn one, and drives me famished along the sands of the seashore.
Io
  1. The waxen pipe drones forth in accompaniment a clear-sounding slumberous strain. Alas, alas! Where is my far-roaming wandering course taking me? In what, O son of Cronus, in what have you found offence so that you have bound me
  2. to this yoke of misery—aah! are you harassing a wretched maiden to frenzy by this terror of the pursuing gadfly? Consume me with fire, or hide me in the earth, or give me to the monsters of the deep to devour; but do not grudge, O Lord, the favor that I pray for.
  3. My far-roaming wanderings have taught me enough, and I cannot discern how to escape my sufferings. Do you hear the voice of the horned virgin?
Prometheus
  1. How can I fail to hear the maiden frenzied by the gadfly, the
  2. daughter of Inachus? It is she who fires the heart of Zeus with passion, and now, through Hera’s hate, is disciplined by force with interminable wandering.
Io
  1. Why do you call my father’s name? Tell me, the unfortunate maid, who you are,
  2. unhappy wretch, that you thus correctly address the miserable maiden, and have named the heaven-sent plague that wastes and stings me with its maddening goad. Ah me! In frenzied bounds I come,
  3. driven by torturing hunger, victim of Hera’s vengeful purpose. Who of the company of the unfortunate endures—aah! aah!—sufferings such as mine? Oh make it clear to me
  4. what misery I am fated to suffer, what remedy is there, what cure, for my affliction. Reveal it, if you have the knowledge. Oh speak, declare it to the unfortunate, wandering virgin.
Prometheus
  1. I will tell you plainly all that you would like to know,
  2. not weaving riddles, but in simple language, since it is right to speak openly to friends. Look, I whom you see am Prometheus, who gave fire to mankind.
Io
  1. O you who have shown yourself a common benefactor of mankind, wretched Prometheus, why do you suffer so?
Prometheus
  1. I have only just now finished lamenting my own calamities.
Io
  1. You will not then do this favor for me?
Prometheus
  1. Say what it is you wish; for you can learn all from me.
Io
  1. Tell me who has bound you fast in this ravine.
Prometheus
  1. Zeus by his will, Hephaestus by his hand.
Io
  1. And for what offence do you pay the penalty?
Prometheus
  1. It suffices that I have made clear to you this much and no more.