Sunday, July 13, 2008

Aeschylus on Helen of Troy

Once a man fostered in his house
a lion cub, from the mother's milk
torn, craving the breast given.
In the first steps of its young life
mild, it played with children and delighted the old.
Caught in the arm's cradle
they pampered it like a newborn child,
shining eyed and broken to the hand
to stay the stress of its hunger.

But it grew with time, and the lion
in the blood strain came out; it paid
grace to those who had fostered it
in blood and death. . . .

Aeschylus, Agamemnon ll. 716 ff., trans. Lattimore.

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