previous next

Io
Ah me, ah me, alas!

Prometheus
What! You are crying and groaning again? What will you do, I wonder, when you have learned the sufferings still in store for you?

Chorus
[745] What! Can it be that you have sufferings still left to recount to her?

Prometheus
Yes, a tempestuous sea of calamitous distress.

Io
What gain have I then in life? Why did I not hurl myself straightaway from this rugged rock, so that I was dashed to earth and freed from [750] all my sufferings? It is better to die once and for all than linger out all my days in misery.

Prometheus
Ah, you would hardly bear my agonies to whom it is not foredoomed to die; for death would have freed me from my sufferings. [755] But now no limit to my tribulations has been appointed until Zeus is hurled from his sovereignty.

Io
What! Shall Zeus one day be hurled from his dominion?

Prometheus
You would rejoice, I think, to see that happen.

Io
Why not, since it is at the hand of Zeus that I suffer?

Prometheus
[760] Then you may assure yourself that these things are true.

Io
By whom shall he be despoiled of the sceptre of his sovereignty?

Prometheus
By himself and his own empty-headed purposes.

Io
In what way? Oh tell me, if there be no harm in telling.

Prometheus
He shall make a marriage that shall one day cause him distress.

Io
[765] With a divinity or with a mortal? If it may be told, speak out.

Prometheus
Why ask with whom? I may not speak of this.

Io
Is it by his consort that he shall be dethroned?

Prometheus
Yes, since she shall bear a son mightier than his father.

Io
And has he no means to avert this doom?

Prometheus
[770] No, none—except me, if I were released from bondage.

Io
Who then is to release you against the will of Zeus?

Prometheus
It is to be one of your own grandchildren.

Io
What did you say? A child of mine will release you from your misery?

Prometheus
The third in descent after ten generations.

Io
[775] Your prophecy is not easy to understand.

Prometheus
Yes, so do not seek to learn the full extent of your own sufferings.

Io
Do not offer me a favor and then withdraw it.

Prometheus
I will present you with one or other of two tales.

Io
Which two? Set them forth and offer me the choice.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (3 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: