The Suppliants Monologue
|The Suppliants Monologue by Aeschylus|
- DANAOS: Ye to the Argives should with sacrifice,
- As to Olympian gods, libations pour,
- My daughters! for deliverers they have proved,
- Beyond dispute. 'Gainst those assiduous friends,
- Your cousins, all that had been done they heard,
- Indignant, and forthwith, this body-guard,
- As mark of honour they assigned to me,
- Lest too, by secret spear-thrust slain, my death
- Should curse undying bring upon the land.
- Such favours reaping, justice bids us hold
- In higher honour still their kindly grace.
- These admonitions too ye shall inscribe
- With many prudent maxims of your sire,
- That Time this stranger company may test.
- Each 'gainst the alien bears an evil tongue,
- From which the slanderous word full lightly falls.
- But, I exhort you, do me no disgrace,
- Crowned as ye are with youth's attractive bloom.
- Not easy tender ripeness is to guard;
- Wild beasts despoil it,--mortals too no less,
- And wingèd tribes and treaders on the earth.
- Her gushing fruitage Kypris heraldeth,
- Nay, the unripe scarce suffers she to stay;
- And at the virgin's daintiness of form,
- Each passer-by, o'ercome by fond desire,
- Sends from his eye a shaft of suasive spell.
- Forget we not then wherefore many a toil,
- And breadth of sea was furrowed by our keel.--
- Shame to ourselves, but triumph to our foes,
- Let us not work. A two-fold dwelling here,
- (One doth Pelasgos give, the city one,)
- Awaits us, free of charge;--easy the terms.
- This only,--guard the mandates of your sire.
- And honour hold in more respect than life.
Credits: Reprinted from The Dramas of Aeschylus. Trans. Anna Swanwick. London: George Bell and Sons, 1907.