But dreadful is the mysterious power of fate — there is no deliverance from it by wealth or by war, by towered city, or dark, sea-beaten ships.
[ἀλλ᾽ ἁ μοιριδία τις δύνασις δεινά:
οὔτ᾽ ἄν νιν ὄλβος οὔτ᾽ Ἄρης, οὐ πύργος, οὐχ ἁλίκτυποι
κελαιναὶ νᾶες ἐκφύγοιεν.]
Antigone, l. 951, Strophe 1 (Stasimon 4) [Chorus] (441 BC) [tr. Jebb (1891)]
Original Greek. Alt. trans.:
Strange are the ways of Fate, her power
Nor wealth, nor arms withstand, nor tower;
Nor brass-prowed ships, that breast the sea
From Fate can flee.
[tr. Storr (1859)]
No power in wealth or war
Or tough sea-blackened ships
Can prevail against untiring Destiny!
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), ll. 744-46]
There is no tower.
So high, no armory so great,
No ship so swift, as is the power
Of man's inexorable fate.
[tr. Watling (1947)]
Mysterious, overmastering, is the power of Fate,
From this, nor wealth nor force of arms
Nor strong encircling city-walls
Nor storm-tossed ship can give deliverance.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]
Fate has a terrible power
That nothing escapes, not wealth,
Not warfare, not a fortress tower,
Not even black ships beating against the sea.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]
Fate's power, though, is mighty, and neither Lords of lands nor Ares nor castles nor flighty ships well-beaten by the waves can escape her.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]
But the power of fate is full of mystery.
There’s no evading it, no, not with wealth,
or war, or walls, or black sea-beaten ships.
[tr. Johnston (2005)]
But the power of fate (whatever it may be) is terrible and wonderful.
Neither wealth nor Ares,
no tower, no dark ships
beaten by the sea can escape it.
Added on 27-Jul-08 | Last updated 9-May-21
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