Phugoi

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Tοὺς δὲ μέτα τριτάτην Ἑλένην τέκε θαῦμα βροτοῖσι·
τήν ποτε καλλίκομος Νέμεσις φιλότητι μιγεῖσα
Ζηνὶ θεῶν βασιλῆϊ τέκε κρατερῆς ὑπ’ ἀνάγκης·
φεῦγε γὰρ οὐδ’ ἔθελεν μιχθήμεναι ἐν φιλότητι
πατρὶ Διὶ Κρονίωνι· ἐτείρετο γὰρ φρένας αἰδοῖ
καὶ νεμέσει· κατὰ γῆν δὲ καὶ ἀτρύγετον μέλαν ὕδωρ
φεῦγε, Ζεὺς δ’ ἐδίωκε—λαβεῖν δ’ ἐλιλαίετο θυμῷ—
ἄλλοτε μὲν κατὰ κῦμα πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης
ἰχθύϊ εἰδομένην πόντον πολὺν ἐξοροθύνων,
ἄλλοτ’ ἀν’ Ὠκεανὸν ποταμὸν καὶ πείρατα γαίης,
ἄλλοτ’ ἀν’ ἤπειρον πολυβώλακα· γίγνετο δ’ αἰνὰ
θηρί’, ὅσ’ ἤπειρος πολλὰ τρέφει, ὄφρα φύγοι νιν.
(Cypria fr. 10)

Third after them he begat Helen, a wonder to mortals,
whom beautiful-haired Nemesis having mingled in love
with Zeus, king of the gods, once bore under harsh necessity.
For she fled and was not willing to mingle in love
with father Zeus, son of Cronus. Her mind was oppressed by shame
and reproach. Along the earth and the barren black water
she fled, but Zeus pursued—he was eager in his heart to take her—
at times over the swell of the much-crashing sea
she in the likeness of a fish, he disturbing the great sea,
at another time as far as the stream of Ocean and the limits of the earth,
at another time along the much-fertile land. But she became dire
beasts, as many as the earth nourishes, in order to escape him.
(tr. Benjamin Sammons)

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