The Fragments. (Translation of
Trypanis , adapted.)
1. All wayfarers honored her for her hospitality, for
she kept her house open.
2. A salt tear fell from her.
3. [...] and the avenging stork was journeying with us.
4. She took down wood stored away a long time ago.
5. [...] as she saw him also getting up.
6. But tell me into what vessel am I to pour the water
for my feet, and from where.
7. [...] dry wood [...] to cut.
8. [...] fennel [...]
9. [...] for that is what the neighbors around called
10. From the deme of Colonae somebody brought me to live
in the same house.
11. She understood that it was the son of Aegeus.
12. [...] having at once snatched a small tattered garment
from the couch.
13. [...] having bent to the earth the terrible horns
of the beast.
14. She swiftly took off the hollow, boiling pot.
15. He cast off his wet garment.
16. He was dragging (the bull), and it was following,
a sluggish wayfarer.
17. Hold back, child, do not drink.
18. I marvel (as I look upon you).
19. I will sleep in a corner (of my hut). A couch is ready
20. Once on a hill of Erechtheus there lived a woman of
21. She made him sit on the humble couch.
22. The lips of an old woman are never at rest.
23. Therefore, father, let me go; you would again receive
me alive and well.
24. [...] thistles [...]
25. She emptied the tub, and then she drew another mixed
26. [...] where he did harmful deeds.
27. [...] whose tomb is this you are building?
28. You have come unexpectedly.
29. We miserable paupers suffer; and at home all our belongings
have been divided out.
30. From the bread box she took and served loaves in abundance,
such as women put away for herdsmen.
31. For poverty was not in my family, nor was I a pauper
from my grandparents. O that I, O that I had a third of [...]
32. [...] olives which grew ripe on the tree, and wild
olives, and the light colored ones, which in autumn she had put to swim
33. Go, gentle woman, the way which heart-gnawing worries
do not traverse. [...] Often, good mother [...] we will remember
your hospitable hut, for it was a common shelter for all.
34. [...] the wide hat, stretching out beyond the head,
a shepherd’s felt headgear, suited her, and in her hand a stick.
35. [...] was I refusing to hear death calling me for
a long time ago, that I might soon tear my garments over you too (dead)
36. These two I brought up on dainties, nor did anybody
else in such a manner [...] abundantly rich [...] they should be drenched
in a warm bath [...] carrying the children [...] these two of mine sprang
up like aspens, which in a ravine [...]
37. For in Troezen, he put it under a hollow stone together
with the boots. [...] whenever the child should be strong enough
to lift up with his arms the hollow stone. Having seized the sword
of Aedepsos...and the boots, which the abundant rotting mold had not ruined.
38. They guarded my threshing floor, trod in a circle
by the oxen. Horses (brought) him from Aphidnae, looking like [...] and
who were Zeus’ sons [...] I remember the beautiful [...] mantle held by
golden brooches, a work of spiders [...]
39. Thus she rejected our (race), nor [...] but may you
never fall from her favor. The anger of Athena is ever grievous. But I
was present as a little one, for this is my eighth generation, but [...]
the tenth for my parents.
40. I go down to Marathon, so that [...] and (Pallas)
leads the way. (You have thus learned from me) what you asked me. And you,
good mother, (tell me, for I also) wish to hear you for a while (speaking)
[...] you live an old woman in a lonely [...]
41. (Cercyon) [...] wrestlings [...] city, who fled from
Arcadia and took up residence near us, a bad neighbor [...] may I pierce
his impudent eyes with thorns while he is still alive, and if it is not
a sin, eat him raw [...] to bring horses from the Eurotas plentiful in
mint [...] the wave [...] for they unloosened the cables under the wings
of the sea-gull. With this omen may I neither myself (set sail), not a
person who has (undertaken a commission?) for me.
42. While it was still midday, and the earth was warm,
for so long the brilliant sky was clearer than glass, not was a wisp of
vapor to be seen, and cloudless stretched the heavens [...] But when to
their mother...(the daughters) ask for the evening meal, and take their
hands from work, then [...] First over Parnes, and then farther forward
and larger on the summit of thyme-covered Aegaleos, stood (the cloud?)
bringing much rain [...] and thereupon a double [...] of rugged Hymettus
[...] and lightning was flashing [...] as when [...] on the Ausonian Sea
[...] and the swift northern squall from Merithus fell upon the clouds.
43. But Pallas left him, the seed of Hephaestus, long
within (the chest), until for the sons of Cecrops [...] the rock [...]
secret, unutterable, but I neither knew, nor learned whence he was by descent,
but a report (spread) among the primeval bird that Earth herself bore him
to Hephaestus. Then she, that she might set up a guardian for her land,
which she had newly obtained by vote of Zeus and the twelve other immortals,
and by witness of the snake, was coming to Pellene in Achaea. Meanwhile,
the maidens that watched the chest planned to do an evil deed [...] undoing
the fastenings (of the chest) [...]
44. The other (strap) he fastened and put in his sword
[...] when they saw it they all trembled and shrank from looking face to
face on the great hero and the monstrous beast, until Theseus called to
them from afar: "Have courage and stay, and let the swiftest go to the
city to bear this message to my father Aegeus—for he shall relieve him
from many cares: ‘Theseus is close at hand, bringing the bull alive from
Marathon rich in water.’ " Thus he spoke, and when they heard, they all
cried out "Hurrah!" and stayed there. The south wind does not shed so great
a fall of leaves, nor the north wind, even in the month of falling leaves,
as those which in that hour the countryfolk threw all around and over Theseus,
the countryfolk who [...] encircled him, while the women [...] crowned
him with belts [...]
45. "May I have (this) alone as protection for my belly
against evil hunger [...] and barley groats, that dripped from the brew
upon the earth [...] messenger of bad news [...] O that you were still
alive then to know this: how the nymphs inspire the old crow. [...] Yes
by my old shrivelled skin, yes by this tree though dry, all the suns have
not yet disappeared in the West with a broken pole and axle. But it shall
be evening, or night, or noon, or dawn, when the raven, which now might
vie in color even with swans, or with milk, or with the finest cream of
the wave, shall put on a sad plumage, black as pitch, the reward that Phoebus
will one day give him for his message, when he learns terrible tidings
of Coronis, daughter Phlegyas, that she has gone with Ischys, the driver
of horses." While she spoke thus, sleep seized her and her hearer. They
fell asleep, but not for long. For soon the frosty early dawn came, when
the hands of thieves are no longer seeking for prey. For already the lamps
of dawn are shining. Many a gatherer of water is singing the Song of the
Well, and the axle creaking under the wagons wakes him who has his house
beside the highway, while many a blacksmith slave, with hearing deafened,
torments the ear [...]