Eumenides 881-1047

Indeed, I shall not grow weary of arguing the good to you,
so you may never say that by me, the younger,
and by city-dwelling mortals, an ancient god was
banished to go to her doom.
But if it is hallowed to you to worship Persuasion,
the soothing and enchanting song of my tongue—
you should therefore remain. And if you should wish to remain,
you would not rightly allot to this city
any wrath, nor any rancour, nor harm to the host;
for it is possible for you to have a share of this land,
to be justly honoured for all time.
Lady Athena, what home do you say I will have?
One untouched of all woe; you should welcome it.
Let’s say I have taken it; what honour remains for me?
That no home will flourish without you.
You would do this with such that I would have such vast strength?
We shall set right the affairs for any who revere you.
Will you set a surety for me for the entirety of time?
Indeed, for it is not for me to speak on what I do not fulfill.
It seems you beguile me, and I shall let go of my anger.
Accordingly, living upon the land, you shall acquire additional friends.
So then, what do you command me to sing over this land?
The sort that touches on victory without evil,
and those from the earth and from pure water of the sea
and from the sky, and that gusts of the winds,
approach the earth should blow on sunny days,
that the fruit of both earth and beast should flow
to the townsmen, a flourishing not wearying with time,
a saviour of mortal seed.
Let ye become more ready to bring about the prayers of the pious;
For I love, like a gardener of man,
the unsorrowed race of these righteous men.

Such things are yours; and this city of those struck by Ares,
this victorious city of renowned contests,
I shall not endure it not to be honoured among mortals.

I shall welcome the community of Pallas,
I shall not dishonour the city
which even Zeus the all-powerful, and Ares
too, allots as a fortress of the gods,
defending altars of the Hellenes,
the glory of the divinities;
for her I earnestly pray,
having prophesied graciously,
that the shining flame of the sun
make sudden and profitable fortunes of life,
to gush from the earth.
This do I, readily for these citizens,
bring about; great and ill-to-please
deities have I settled here;
for these have obtained as their lot
to admininister all things for men.
And he who has not acquired these burdens
does not know whence the blows of life;
for the errors of his ancestors
lead him here, and destruction, moving silently,
although he makes a great sound,
utterly destroys him, with a hateful temperament.
May no tree-blasting harm blow—
I tell you my boon—
that a scorching heat, robbing buds from plants,
shall not pass through the boundary of these places;
and let no perpetual, barren
sickness creep up,
and may Pan, the flourishing sheep
with two-fold young
increase at their appointed time; and may your offspring,
rich in earthly treasure, honourably repay
their windfall, the gift of the divinities.
Do you hear this, guardian of the city,
what sort of things she brings to pass?
The mistress Erinys can do great things
both at the house of the undying above the earth,
and with men, it is manifest how thoroughly
they do their work: to grant
to some, songs, while to others,
a life darkened by tears.
And untimely, man-wearying
fortunes do I forbid;
for lovely maidens
wedded life do grant, oh you with rightful power
and goddesses, oh Fates,
oh sisters of one mother,
divinities making just award,
sharing in common with every house,
falling heavy upon every occasion,
for law-abiding intercourse,
by all, most highly honoured of the gods.
Of those bringing about
these things here in my land, of their free will,
I am glad.
I feel affection for Persuasion, her eyes
that watch over my tongue and mouth
against these women, savagely rejecting;
But Zeus of the Agora prevailed,
for a victory of the good
thus is our rivalry for all time.
And may internal strife, insatiable
for misfortune, never in this city
ring, this I pray.
and may the drinking dust never eagerly exact from the city
the black blood of citizens
through wrath, as a penalty
in return for murder, reckless ruin.
May they repay sources of joy,
by a resolve for common affection,
and show their hatred with one mind.
For this is a cure for much among mortals.
Are they not intent to find
the path of a good tongue?
From these fearsome faces
I see great profit for the citizens;
for you kindly men ever these kindly women,
offering them great honour, and the earth, and the city,
by which justice is upheld,
doing so, you shall be conspicuous in every way.
Fare well, rejoice amid the due apportions of wealth.
Fare well oh people of the town,
seated close by Zeus,
beloved of the beloved maiden,
temperate and wise in due time.
You under the wing of Pallas,
for being so, the father admires you.
And also you fare well; but I must march
at the lead to show forth
the inner chambers by the holy light
of this procession. Go, and by these
august sacrifices, rushing along the earth,
keep the baneful separate,
and the profitable and cunning,
of the city, send for victory.

And you, who dwell in the city, lead the way,
children of Cranaus,1 for these foreign residents.
And may there be for the good,
good intention for the citizens.
Farewell and farewell again, since I redouble,
everyone in the city,
both divinities and mortals;
managing the city of Pallas,
and my migration,
revering it, do not censure
the calamities of life.
And I praise your words of prayer,
and I will send by the light of light-bearing torches
to places from beneath and along the earth,
with handmaidens who keep watch over your wooden
idol, righteously. For the eye of the whole land
of Theseus may arrive at, a famed armed band
of children, of women, and an expedition of old women
. . . . .
. . . . .
To those clad in purple-dyed garments,
give honour, and cheer on the light of their fire,
so that this kindly intercourse of the earth,
may in the future show itself in outcomes prosperous to man.
The Procession:
Step into the house, oh great and honour-loving,
childless children of Night, by kindly procession.
And use words of good omen, countrymen.

Beneath the primeval2 depths of the earth,
obtaining much revered status by honours and sacrifices.
And use words of good omen, all citizens.

Gracious and good-hearted to the land,
come hither, Revered3 Goddesses, with torched
consumed in fire, delighting yourselves along the way.
Cry aloud now for our song and dance.

Peace libations now for all from their houses with lighted torches
for the townsmen of Pallas. Thus did all-seeing Zeus
and Fate come down together.
Cry aloud now for our song and dance.

1. Children of Cranaus was a popular epithet for people of Athens. Athenian mythology holds that he was an ancient king of Athens, but very little is known and he may be an invention to explain the epithet rather than the source of it.
2. The Greek here is ὠγυγίοισιν (ogygioisin, or “ogygian”) and refers to a mythical king of Athens, Ogyges. We might say something like antediluvian, but Athens doesn’t have an equivalent flood myth. Enochian might work, but it seems too obscure and fraught with mystical connotations.
3. This seems to have been a new proper name for the Furies, αἱ Σεμναί (the Semnai, or “Revered Ones”.)

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