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I, Apollo, proclaim to all gods and all mortal men2: I shall give a golden basin to whoever can bring back my cattle from far away. It is quite unpleasant to me that they are gone, all of them: cows, calves, heifers. They are all gone, and I look in vain for their tracks, while they wander far from their own mangers. I never thought that any of the gods or of men, whose lives are like a single day, would dare do such a thing. Since I found out about this, shocked as I was, I have been seeking them, and I have proclaimed the deed so that no god or mortal men could be unaware of it. I am beside myself. I have gone to visit the whole nation of the Locrians, those who inhabit Opus, those in Ozolis, those in Knemis by the Cephisus. I have gone to Aetolia and to Acarnanian Argos. From there I came to the grove of Zeus at Dodona, shaded by leaves of prophecy. I then hastened to the fruitful plains of Thessaly and the wealthy cities of Boeotia. And then I came to Attica, to holy Athens, but I see my cows nowhere. Then I came to Dorian Argos and the nearby hill. From there I came, in one leap, to the Stymphalian Lake and Mount Cyllene, hard to climb. I speak to the forest: if any shepherd or any rustic or any charcoal-burner is here, or any saytr from the mountains, child of the river-nymphs, I announce these things to one and all. Whoever can capture the one who stole the cattle of Apollo Paean, his is the reward that stands here. Enter Silenus, left.3 Silenus
As soon as I heard you shouting your proclamation, I came as fast as an old man can, because I want to help you out, Phoebus Apollo, and perhaps I can hunt up your cattle. Then a messenger will announce my golden reward. I will tell my children to look carefully, if you really do mean to do what you've promised. Apollo
I will indeed; only confirm your promise. Silenus
I will bring you back your cattle; but you confirm the reward. Apollo
Whoever finds them will have it; it is ready at hand. Silenus
... seek ... Apollo
missing line Apollo
What? What are you saying? Apollo
I say that you, and all the race of your children, will be free. Exit Apollo, right.
1 There are no stage directions in the texts of Greek plays; translators normally add them for the convenience of the modern reader. Apollo could appear on the roof of the skene building, like Athena in Ajax, or could enter in the usual way from the wings.
2 This speech is rather fragmentary. I have followed Walker's heavily-supplemented text. The main ideas are clear, but the details are missing.
3 Silenus is the father of the satyrs and serves almost as a chorus-leader.
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