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By Aphrodite, it isn't. Your belly's hollow,
And it has the feel of metal.... Well, I soon can see.
You hussy, it's Athene's sacred helm,
And you said you were with child.

And so I am.

Then why the helm?

So if the throes should take me
Still in these grounds I could use it like a dove
As a laying-nest in which to drop the child.

More pretexts! You can't hide your clear intent,
And anyway why not wait till the tenth day
Meditating a brazen name for your brass brat?

And I can't sleep a wink. My nerve is gone
Since I saw that snake-sentinel of the shrine.

And all those dreadful owls with their weird hooting!
Though I'm wearied out, I can't close an eye.

You wicked women, cease from juggling lies.
You want your men. But what of them as well?
They toss as sleepless in the lonely night,
I'm sure of it. Hold out awhile, hold out,
But persevere a teeny-weeny longer.
An oracle has promised Victory
If we don't wrangle. Would you hear the words?

Yes, yes, what is it?

Silence then, you chatterboxes.
Whenas the swallows flocking in one place from the hoopoes
Deny themselves love's gambols any more,
All woes shall then have ending and great Zeus the Thunderer
Shall put above what was below before.

Will the men then always be kept under us?

But if the swallows squabble among themselves and fly away
Out of the temple, refusing to agree,
Then The Most Wanton Birds in all the World
They shall be named for ever. That's his decree.

It's obvious what it means.

Now by all the gods
We must let no agony deter from duty,
Back to your quarters. For we are base indeed,
My friends, if we betray the oracle.
She goes out.

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