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I have the power to proclaim the augury of triumph given on their way [105] to princely men—since my age1still breathes Persuasion upon me from the gods, the strength of song—how the twin-throned command of the Achaeans, [110] the single-minded captains of Hellas' youth, with avenging spear and arm against the Teucrian land, was sent off by the inspiring omen appearing to the kings of the ships—kingly birds, [115] one black, one white of tail, near the palace, on the spear-hand2, in a conspicuous place, devouring a hare with offspring unborn [120] caught in the last effort to escape.3

Sing the song of woe, the song of woe, but may the good prevail!

1 σύμφυτος αἰών, literally “life that has grown with me,” “time of life,” here “old age,” as the Scholiast takes it; cf. Mrs. Barbauld, “Life. We've been long together.”

2 The right hand.

3 The Scholiast, followed by Hermann and some others, takes λαγίναν γένναν as a periphrasis for λαγωόν, with which βλαβέντα agrees (cp. πᾶσα γέννα ... δώσων Eur. Tro. 531). With Hartung's φέρματα, the meaning is “the brood of a hare, the burden of her womb, thwarted of their final course.”λοισθίων δρόμων, on this interpretation, has been thought to mean “their final course” (towards birth) or even their “future racings.”

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