By Aristophanes, Translated by Ian Johnston
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Extra info for Birds
PISTHETAIROS Look here— 1 Simonides: a well known lyric poet of the previous generation. 61  1190 I’ve just been making sacrifice today— the day our city gets its name. W hat’s more, it’s only now, as with a new-born child, I’ve given it that name. POET Ah yes, but Muses’ words are swift indeed— like twinkling hooves on rapid steeds. 1 1200  PISTHETAIROS This fellow here is going to give us trouble— unless we can escape by giving something. [calling one of the slaves] You there with the tunic and the jerkin on.
3 970 In other words, we’re all the oracles you need. Ammon, Delphi, and Dodona are shrines famous for prophecy. Apollo is the god of prophecy. 52 CHORUS LEADER Yes, to you, your children, and their children, too, we’ll grant wealth and health, good life, and happiness, peace, youth, laughter, dances, festivals of song— and birds’ milk, too— so much, you’ll find yourself worn out with our fine gifts— yes, that’s how rich you’ll be. CHORUS O woodland Muse Tio-tio-tio-tiotinx my muse of varied artful song on trees and from high mountain peaks tio-tio-tio-tiotinx to your notes I sing along in my leafy ash tree seat.
EUELPIDES I’m Euelpides, from Crioa. TEREUS W elcome both of you! PISTHETAIROS and EUELPIDES Thanks very much. TEREUS W on’t you come in? PISTHETAIROS Let’s go. But you go first— show us the way. TEREUS Come on, then. [Tereus enters his house] PISTHETAIROS [holding back, calling into the house] But . . it’s strange . . Come back a minute. 860 [Tereus reappears at the door] Look, tell us both how me and him can share the place with you when you can fly but we’re not able to. TEREUS I don’t see any problem there.
Birds by Aristophanes, Translated by Ian Johnston