Lelēkas

Herrick_Hawk.JPG
Henry Walker Herrick, The hawk and the nightingale

Νῦν δ᾽ αἶνον βασιλεῦσ᾽ ἐρέω φρονέουσι καὶ αὐτοῖς.
ὧδ’ ἴρηξ προσέειπεν ἀηδόνα ποικιλόδειρον,
ὕψι μάλ’ ἐν νεφέεσσι φέρων, ὀνύχεσσι μεμαρπώς·
ἡ δ’ ἐλεόν, γναμπτοῖσι πεπαρμένη ἀμφ’ ὀνύχεσσι,
μύρετο· τὴν ὅ γ’ ἐπικρατέως πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν·
“δαιμονίη, τί λέληκας; ἔχει νύ σε πολλὸν ἀρείων·
τῇ δ’ εἶς ᾗ σ’ ἂν ἐγώ περ ἄγω καὶ ἀοιδὸν ἐοῦσαν·
δεῖπνον δ’ αἴ κ’ ἐθέλω, ποιήσομαι ἠὲ μεθήσω.
ἄφρων δ’ ὅς κ’ ἐθέλῃ πρὸς κρείσσονας ἀντιφερίζειν·
νίκης τε στέρεται πρός τ’ αἴσχεσιν ἄλγεα πάσχει.”
ὣς ἔφατ᾽ ὠκυπέτης ἴρηξ, τανυσίπτερος ὄρνις.
(Hesiod, Erga kai Hēmerai 202-212)

And now I will tell a fable to kings who themselves too have understanding. This is how the hawk addressed the colorful-necked nightingale, carrying her high up among the clouds, grasping her with its claws, while she wept piteously, pierced by the curved claws; he said to her forcefully, ‘Silly bird, why are you crying out? One far superior to you is holding you. You are going wherever I shall carry you, even if you are a singer; I shall make you my dinner if I wish, or I shall let you go. Stupid he who would wish to contend against those stronger than he is: for he is deprived of the victory, and suffers pains in addition to his humiliations.’ So spoke the swift-flying hawk, the long-winged bird. (tr. Glenn W. Most)

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