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No sir, you've got nothing to do with Aphrodite.

And may she stay away!
But she settled down on you and yours in force,
and destroyed your very self.

By God, that she did.
What you used to do to other mens's wives, you got hit with yourself.

And how have my Stheneboeas harmed the state, you wretch?

Since you persuaded noble ladies, wives of noble men
to drink hemlock out of shame because of people like that Bellerophon of yours.

So did I make up some non-existent story about Phaedra?

No, it existed. But a poet should conceal wickedness, not bring it forward and teach it. For little boys
have a teacher who advises them, and grown-ups have poets.
We have a serious obligation to speak of honorable things.

So, if you speak to us of Lycabettuses
and the heights of Parnassuses, this is “teaching honorable things”,
when a poet ought to speak in human terms?

You fiend! It is the compelling power
of great thoughts and ideas to engender phrases of equal size.
And anyway it is proper that demigods speak in grander terms.
For they also wear much finer clothes.
What I so nobly exhibited you defiled.

What did I do?

First you dressed the kingly types in rags, so
they'd look pitiful to the audience.

And what harm did I do by that?

Because of that, no wealthy man was willing to fund the navy,
but wrapped in rags he weeps and claims he's poor.

By Demeter, yes, but wearing a tunic of pure wool underneath!
And if he fooled 'em with that story, he'd pop up in the fish market.

Then again, you taught them to practice drivel and gossip,
which emptied the gymnasia and ruined the butts
of our prattling youths, and persuaded the Paralian crews
to argue with their officers. But when I was alive,
they knew nothing but to call for grits and sing Yo-ho!

Yessir, and fart in the face of their rowing mate,
dump on their mess partner, go ashore and rob someone.
But now he argues and doesn't row, and sails to and fro.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ATHE´NAE
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