στρ. βφέρε, πῶς χάρις ἁ χάρις, ὦ φίλος; 546εἰπέ, ποῦ τις ἀλκά; τίς ἐφαμερίων ἄρηξις; οὐδ᾿ ἐδέρχθης ὀλιγοδρανίαν ἄκικυν ἰσόνειρον, ᾇ τὸ φωτῶν 550ἀλαὸν γένος ἐμπεποδισμένον; οὔποτε τὰν Διὸς ἁρμονίαν θνατῶν παρεξίασι βουλαί.
ἀντ. βἔμαθον τάδε σὰς προσιδοῦσ᾿ ὀλο- ὰς τύχας, Προμηθεῦ· 555τὸ διαμφίδιον δέ μοι μέλος προσέπτα τόδ᾿ ἐκεῖνό θ᾿, ὅτ᾿ ἀμφὶ λουτρὰ καὶ λέχος σὸν ὑμεναίουν ἰότητι γάμων, ὅτε τὰν ὁμοπάτριον 560ἄγαγες Ἡσιόναν πιθὼν δάμαρτα κοινόλεκτρον.
<ἰώ·> τίς γῆ; τί γένος; τίνα φῶ λεύσσειν
- 545φερέ πῶς Burges: φέρ᾿ ὅπως codd.
- 545χάρις ἁ χάρις Headlam: χάρις ἄχαρις codd.
- 558ὁμοπάτριον Lachmann: ὁμοπάτριον ἕδνοις codd.
- 561<ἰώ·> add. West.
Come, my friend, what favour has this favour done you? 64 Tell me, where do you find any support? What help can there be from creatures of a day? Did you not even consider the helpless, dreamlike feebleness by which the blind race of men is fettered? Never will the schemes of mortals transgress the ordering of Zeus.
I learned this from seeing your wretched fortune, Prometheus; and this song that has flown to my lips is very different from the wedding-song I sang in honour of bath 65 and bed on the occasion of your marriage, when you wooed and won 66 my sister Hesione 67 to be your wife and bedfellow.
<Ió!> What land, what people are these? Who should I say this is
- 64lit. “how is the favour a favour?”
- 65The ritual bathing of bride and groom was an important preliminary to an Athenian wedding.
- 66“With bride-gifts”, add the manuscripts; but (i) this makes the antistrophe two syllables longer than the strophe, (ii) the word-order is strained, (iii) except in abnormal circumstances (e.g. those of Odyssey 18.158–303) the bride-gifts (ἕδνα) offered by suitors in the heroic age were given not to the woman but to her father.
- 67The wife of Prometheus (and mother of Deucalion, the Flood hero) is variously identified in various sources; the fifth-century mythographer Acusilaus of Argos (FGrH 2 F 34) names her as Hesione the Oceanid, as here. Hesione is not mentioned in Hesiod’s list of forty-one daughters of Oceanus.