Jean Delville, Orphée (1893)

…ἢ ὡς Οἰάγροιο πάϊς Θρηΐκιος Ὀρφεὺς
ἐκ θυμοῦ Κάλαϊν στέρξε Βορηϊάδην,
πολλάκι δὲ σκιεροῖσιν ἐν ἄλσεσιν ἕζετ᾿ ἀείδων
ὃν πόθον, οὐδ’ ἦν οἱ θυμὸς ἐν ἡσυχίῃ,
ἀλλ’ αἰεί μιν ἄγρυπνοι ὑπὸ ψυχῇ μελεδῶναι
ἔτρυχον, θαλερὸν δερκομένου Κάλαϊν.
τὸν μὲν Βιστονίδες κακομήχανοι ἀμφιχυθεῖσαι
ἔκτανον, εὐήκη φάσγανα θηξάμεναι,
οὕνεκα πρῶτος ἔδειξεν ἐνὶ Θρῄκεσσιν ἔρωτας
ἄρρενας, οὐδὲ πόθους ᾔνεσε θηλυτέρων.
τοῦ δ’ ἀπὸ μὲν κεφαλὴν χαλκῷ τάμον, αὐτίκα δ’ αὐτὴν
εἰς ἅλα Θρηϊκίῃ ῥῖψαν ὁμοῦ χέλυϊ
ἥλῳ καρτύνασαι, ἵν’ ἐμφορέοιντο θαλάσσῃ
ἄμφω ἅμα, γλαυκοῖς τεγγόμεναι ῥοθίοις.
τὰς δ᾿ ἱερῇ Λέσβῳ πολιὴ ἐπέκελσε θάλασσα·
. . .
ἠχὴ δ’ ὣς λιγυρῆς πόντον ἐπέσχε λύρης,
νήσους τ’ αἰγιαλούς θ’ ἁλιμυρέας, ἔνθα λίγειαν
ἀνέρες Ὀρφείην ἐκτέρισαν κεφαλήν,
ἐν δὲ χέλυν τύμβῳ λιγυρὴν θέσαν, ἣ καὶ ἀναύδους
πέτρας καὶ Φόρκου στυγνὸν ἔπειθεν ὕδωρ.
ἐκ κείνου μολπαί τε καὶ ἱμερτὴ κιθαριστὺς
νῆσον ἔχει, πασέων δ’ ἐστὶν ἀοιδοτάτη.
Θρῇκες δ’ ὡς ἐδάησαν ἀρήϊοι ἔργα γυναικῶν
ἄγρια, καὶ πάντας δεινὸν ἐσῆλθεν ἄχος,
ἃς ἀλόχους ἔστιζον, ἵν’ ἐν χροῒ σήματ’ ἔχουσαι
κυάνεα στυγεροῦ μὴ λελάθοιντο φόνου·
ποινὰς δ’ Ὀρφῆϊ κταμένῳ τίνουσι γυναῖκες
εἰσέτι νῦν κείνης εἵνεκεν ἀμπλακίης.
(Phanocles, fr. 1)

Or how Thracian Orpheus, the son of Oeagrus, loved Calaïs, the son of Boreas, with all his heart and often he would sit in the shady groves singing his heart’s desire; nor was his spirit at peace, but always his soul was consumed with sleepless cares as he gazed on fresh Calaïs. But the Bistonian women of evil devices killed Orpheus, having poured about him, their keen-edged swords sharpened, because he was the first to reveal male loves among the Thracians and did not recommend love of women. The women cut off his head with their bronze and straightaway they threw it in the sea with his Thracian lyre of tortoiseshell, fastening them together with a nail, so that both would be borne on the sea, drenched by the grey waves. The hoary sea brought them to land on holy Lesbos […] and thus the lyre’s clear ring held sway over the sea and the islands and the sea-soaked shores, where the men gave the clear-sounding head of Orpheus its funeral rites, and in the tomb they put the clear lyre, which used to persuade even dumb rocks and the hateful water of Phorcys. From that day on, songs and lovely lyre-playing have held sway over the island and it is the most songful of all islands. As for the warlike Thracian men, when they had learned the women’s savage deeds and dire grief had sunk into them all, they began the custom of tattooing their wives, so that having on their flesh signs of dark blue, they would not forget their hateful murder. And even now, the women pay reparations to the dead Orpheus because of that sin. (tr. Sarah Burges Watson)

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