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The Birds   


olive-berries or the arbutus, hurry to come at my call, trioto,
trioto, totobrix; you also, who snap up the sharp-stinging gnats in
the marshy vales, and you who dwell in the fine plain of Marathon, all
damp with dew, and you, the francolin with speckled wings; you too,
the halcyons, who flit over the swelling waves of the sea, come hither
to hear the tidings; let all the tribes of long-necked birds
assemble here; know that a clever old man has come to us, bringing
an entirely new idea and proposing great reforms. Let all come to
the debate here, here, here, here. Torotorotorotorotix, kikkabau,
kikkabau, torotorotorolililix.
PITHETAERUS
Can you see any bird?
EUELPIDES
By Phoebus, no! and yet I am straining my eyesight to scan the
sky.
PITHETAERUS
It was hardly worth Epops' while to go and bury himself in the
thicket like a hatching plover.
A BIRD (entering)
Torotix, torotix.
PITHETAERUS
Wait, friend, there's a bird.
EUELPIDES
By Zeus, it is a bird, but what kind? Isn't it a peacock?
PITHETAERUS (as EPOPS comes out of the thicket)
Epops will tell us. What is this bird?
EPOPS
It's not one of those you are used to seeing; it's a bird from the
marshes.
EUELPIDES
Oh! oh! but he is very handsome with his wings as crimson as
flame.
EPOPS
Undoubtedly; indeed he is called flamingo.
EUELPIDES (excitedly)
Hi! I say! You!
PITHETAERUS
What are you shouting for?
EUELPIDES
Why, here's another bird.
PITHETAERUS
Aye, indeed; this one's a foreign bird too. (To EPOPS) What is
this bird from beyond the mountains with a look as solemn as it is
stupid?
EPOPS
He is called the Mede.
EUELPIDES
The Mede! But, by Heracles, how, if a Mede, has he flown here
without a camel?
PITHETAERUS
Here's another bird with a crest.
(From here on, the numerous birds that make up the CHORUS keep
rushing in.)

EUELPIDES
Ah! that's curious. I say, Epops, you are not the only one of your
kind then?
EPOPS
This bird is the son of Philocles, who is the son of Epops; so
that, you see, I am his grandfather; just as one might say,
Hipponicus, the son of Callias, who is the son of Hipponicus.
EUELPIDES
Then this bird is Callias! Why, what a lot of his feathers he
has lost!
EPOPS

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