Eumenides

Aeschylus

Aeschylus, creator; Aeschylus with an English translation Vol II. Smyth, Herbert Weir, 1857- 1937, editor, translator. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.: 1926.

  1. at our attack in black robes and the vindictive dance of our feet.
Chorus
  1. For surely with a great leap from above I bring down the heavily falling force of my foot,
  2. my limbs that trip even swift runners—unendurable ruin.
Chorus
  1. But, as he falls, he does not know it, because of his senseless folly; pollution hovers over the man in such darkness, and mournful rumor speaks of
  2. a dark mist over his house.
Chorus
  1. For surely with a great leap from above I bring down the heavily falling force of my foot,
  2. my limbs that trip even swift runners—unendurable ruin.
Chorus
  1. For it remains. We are skilled in plotting, powerful in execution, and we remember evil deeds; we are revered and hard for mortals to appease,
  2. pursuing our allotted office which is without rights, without honor, separated from the gods in sunless light—our office that makes the path rough for seeing and dim-sighted alike.
Chorus
  1. What mortal, then, does not
  2. stand in awe and dread of this, when he hears from me the law ordained by Fate, given by the gods for perfect fulfilment? My ancient privilege still remains, I do not meet with dishonor,
  3. although I have my place under the earth and in sunless darkness.
Enter Athena, wearing the aegis.
Athena
  1. From afar I heard the call of a summons, from the Scamander, while I was taking possession of the land, which the leaders and chiefs of the Achaeans
  2. assigned to me, a great portion of the spoil their spears had won, to be wholly mine forever, a choice gift to Theseus’ sons.[*](Athena confirms as ancient her possession of the district of Sigeum, which had been won from the Mityleneans by the Athenians early in the sixth century.) From there I have come, urging on my tireless foot, without wings rustling the folds of my aegis,
  3. yoking this chariot to colts in their prime.[*](Line 405 yoking this chariot to colts in their prime contradicts the statement in the preceding verse, and may have been interpolated for a later representation of the play when Athena appeared on a chariot (Paley, Wilam.).) As I see this strange company of visitors to my land, I am not afraid, but it is a wonder to my eyes. Who in the world are you? I address you all in common—this stranger sitting at my image,
  4. and you, who are like no race of creatures ever born, neither seen by gods among goddesses nor resembling mortal forms. But it is far from just to speak ill of one’s neighbor who is blameless, and Right stands aloof.
Chorus
  1. Daughter of Zeus, you will hear it all in brief. We are the eternal children of Night. We are called Curses in our homes beneath the earth.
Athena
  1. I now know your family and the names by which you are called.
Chorus
  1. You will soon learn my office.
Athena
  1. I shall understand, if someone would tell the story clearly.