Τοῦ ὅ γ’ ἐπιμνησθεὶς ἔπε’ ἀθανάτοισι μετηύδα·
“ὢ πόποι, οἷον δή νυ θεοὺς βροτοὶ αἰτιόωνται·
ἐξ ἡμέων γάρ φασι κάκ’ ἔμμεναι, οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
σφῇσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὑπὲρ μόρον ἄλγε’ ἔχουσιν,
ὡς καὶ νῦν Αἴγισθος ὑπὲρ μόρον Ἀτρεΐδαο
γῆμ’ ἄλοχον μνηστήν, τὸν δ’ ἔκτανε νοστήσαντα,
εἰδὼς αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον, ἐπεὶ πρό οἱ εἴπομεν ἡμεῖς,
Ἑρμείαν πέμψαντες, ἐΰσκοπον Ἀργεϊφόντην,
μήτ’ αὐτὸν κτείνειν μήτε μνάασθαι ἄκοιτιν·
ἐκ γὰρ Ὀρέσταο τίσις ἔσσεται Ἀτρεΐδαο,
ὁππότ’ ἂν ἡβήσῃ τε καὶ ἧς ἱμείρεται αἴης.
ὣς ἔφαθ’ Ἑρμείας, ἀλλ’ οὐ φρένας Αἰγίσθοιο
πεῖθ’ ἀγαθὰ φρονέων· νῦν δ’ ἁθρόα πάντ’ ἀπέτισεν.”
(Homer, Od. 1.31-42)
Recalling Aegisthus, Zeus harangued the immortal powers:
“Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods.
From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes,
but they themselves, with their own reckless ways,
compound their pains beyond their proper share.
Look at Aegisthus now…
Above and beyond his share he stole Atrides’ wife,
he murdered the warlord coming home from Troy
though he knew it meant his own total ruin.
Far in advance we told him so ourselves,
dispatching the guide, the giant-killer Hermes.
‘Don’t murder the man,’ he said, ‘don’t court his wife.
Beware, revenge will come from Orestes, Agamemnon’s son,
that day he comes of age and longs for his native land.’
So Hermes warned, with all the good will in the world,
but would Aegisthus’ hardened heart give way?
Now he pays the price – all at a single stroke.”
(tr. Robert Fagles)