refrain them from all amorous commerce, then will be the end of all
the ills of life; yea, and Zeus, who doth thunder in the skies,
shall set above what was erst below...."
What! shall the men be underneath?
"But if dissension do arise among the swallows, and they take wing
from the holy temple, it will be said there is never a more wanton
bird in all the world."
Ye gods! the prophecy is clear.
Nay, never let us be cast down by calamity! let us be brave to
bear, and go back to our posts. It would be shameful indeed not to
trust the promises of the oracle.
(They all go back into the Acropolis.)
CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing)
I want to tell you a fable they used to relate to me when I was
a little boy. This is it: Once upon a time there was a young man
called Melanion, who hated the thought of marriage so sorely that he
fled away to the wilds. So he dwelt in the mountains, wove himself