LEADER OF THE CHORUS: Weak mortals, chained to the earth, creatures of clay as frail as the foliage of the woods, you unfortunate race, whose life is but darkness, as unreal as a shadow, the illusion of a dream.

Aristophanes (c. 450-c. 388 BC) Athenian comedic playwright
The Birds, ll. 685-687 (414 BC) [tr. O’Neill (1938)]

Full  text.

Alt. trans.: Frere (1839) (text): "CHORUS (LEADER): Ye Children of Man! whose life is a span, / Protracted with sorrow from day to day, / Naked and featherless, feeble and querulous, / Sickly, calamitous creatures of clay!"

Alt. trans.: Hickie (1853) (text): "CHORUS (LEADER): Come now, ye men, in nature darkling, like to the race of leaves, of little might, figures of clay, shadowy feeble tribes, wingless creatures of a day, miserable mortals, dream-like men."

Added on 15-Apr-11 | Last updated 15-Apr-11
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