previous next

You speak like that, you who sit at the lower oar when those upon the higher bench control the ship?1Old as you are, you shall learn how bitter it is [1620] at your age to be schooled when prudence is the lesson set before you. Bonds and the pangs of hunger are far the best doctors of the spirit when it comes to instructing the old. Do you have eyes and lack understanding? Do not kick against the goads lest you strike to your own hurt.

[1625] Woman that you are! Skulking at home and awaiting the return of the men from war, all the while defiling a hero's bed, did you contrive this death against a warrior chief?

These words of yours likewise shall prove a source of tears. The tongue of Orpheus is quite the opposite of yours. [1630] He led all things by the rapture of his voice; but you, who have stirred our wrath by your silly yelping, shall be led off yourself. You will appear tamer when put down by force.

As if you would ever truly be my master here in Argos, you who did contrive our king's death, and [1635] then had not the courage to do this deed of murder with your own hand!

Because to ensnare him was clearly the woman's part; I was suspect as his enemy of old. However, with his gold I shall endeavor to control the people; and whoever is unruly, [1640] him I'll yoke with a heavy collar, and in truth he shall be no well-fed trace-horse!2 No! Loathsome hunger that houses with darkness shall see him gentle.

Why then, in the baseness of your soul, did you not kill him yourself, but leave his slaying to a woman, [1645] a plague to her country and her country's gods? Oh, does Orestes perhaps still behold the light, that, with favoring fortune, he may come home and be the slayer of this pair with victory complete?

1 In a bireme, the rowers on the lower tier were called θαλαμῖται ; those on the upper tier, ζευγῖται.

2 The trace-horse bore no collar, and was harnessed by the side of the pair under the yoke.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus English (Robert Browning, 1889)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Argos (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: