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The Birds   


Something that concerns our common safety, and that is just as
pleasant as it is to the point. Two men, who are subtle reasoners,
have come here to seek me.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Where? How? What are you saying?
EPOPS
I say, two old men have come from the abode of humans to propose a
vast and splendid scheme to us.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Oh! it's a horrible, unheard-of crime! What are you saying?
EPOPS
Never let my words scare you.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What have you done to me?
EPOPS
I have welcomed two men, who wish to live with us.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
And you have dared to do that!
EPOPS
Yes, and I am delighted at having done so.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
And are they already with us?
EPOPS
Just as much as I am.
CHORUS (singing)
Ah! ah! we are betrayed; 'tis sacrilege! Our friend, he who picked
up corn-seeds in the same plains as ourselves, has violated our
ancient laws; he has broken the oaths that bind all birds; he has laid
a snare for me, he has handed us over to the attacks of that impious
race which, throughout all time, has never ceased to war against us.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
As for this traitorous bird, we will decide his case later, but
the two old men shall be punished forthwith; we are going to tear them
to pieces.
PITHETAERUS
It's all over with us.
EUELPIDES
You are the sole cause of all our trouble. Why did you bring me
from down yonder?
PITHETAERUS
To have you with me.
EUELPIDES
Say rather to have me melt into tears.
PITHETAERUS
Go on! you are talking nonsense. How will you weep with your
eyes pecked out?
CHORUS (singing)
Io! io! forward to the attack, throw yourselves upon the foe,
spill his blood; take to your wings and surround them on all sides.
Woe to them! let us get to work with our beaks, let us devour them.
Nothing can save them from our wrath, neither the mountain forests,
nor the clouds that float in the sky, nor the foaming deep.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Come, peck, tear to ribbons. Where is the chief of the cohort? Let
him engage the right wing.
(They rush at the two Athenians.)
EUELPIDES
This is the fatal moment. Where shall I fly to, unfortunate wretch
that am?
PITHETAERUS
Wait! Stay here!
EUELPIDES
That they may tear me to pieces?
PITHETAERUS

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