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Yes, truly, the day will come when Zeus, although stubborn of soul, shall be humbled, seeing that he plans a marriage that shall [910] hurl him into oblivion from his sovereignty and throne; and then immediately the curse his father Cronus invoked as he fell from his ancient throne, shall be fulfilled to the uttermost. Deliverance from such ruin no one of the gods can show him clearly except me. [915] I know the fact and the means. So let him sit there in his assurance, putting his trust in the crash reverberating on high and brandishing his fire-breathing bolt in his hands. For these shall not protect him from falling in ignominious and unendurable ruin. [920] Such an adversary is he now preparing despite himself, a prodigy irresistible, even one who shall discover a flame mightier than the lightning and a deafening crash to outroar the thunder; a prodigy who shall shiver the trident, [925] Poseidon's spear, that scourge of the sea and shaker of the land.1Then, wrecked upon this evil, Zeus shall learn how different it is to be a sovereign and a slave.

Surely, it is only your own desire that you utter as a curse against Zeus.

I speak what shall be brought to pass and, moreover, my own desire.

[930] Must we really look for one to gain mastery over Zeus?

Yes, and he shall bear upon his neck pangs more galling than these of mine.

How is it that you are not afraid to utter such taunts?

Why should I fear since I am fated not to die?

But he might inflict on you an ordeal even more bitter than this.

[935] Let him, for all I care! I am prepared for anything.

Wise are they who do homage to Necessity.2

Worship, adore, and fawn upon whoever is your lord. But for Zeus I care less than nothing. Let him do his will, let him hold his power [940] for his little day— since he will not bear sway over the gods for long. But wait, for over there I see his messenger, the servant of our new lord and master. Certainly he has come to announce some news.

1 The poet adopts the legend that Poseidon was a rival with Zeus for the hand of Thetis, of whose son it had been prophesied by Themis that he should be mightier than his father. The prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Peleus' son, Achilles.

2 Adrasteia, “the inescapable,” another name of Nemesis, punished presumptuous words and excessive happiness.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 64
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 816
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter IV
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter VI
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
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