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The Frogs   


Are quite inflamed and swoln with all these smitings.
EURIPIDES
Wait till you've heard another batch of lays
Culled from his lyre-accompanied melodies.
DIONYSUS
Go on then, go: but no more smitings, please.
EURIPIDES
"How the twin-throned powers of Achaea,
the lords of the mighty Hellenes.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
Sendeth the Sphinx, the unchancy, the chieftainness bloodhound.
O phlattothrattophlattothratt
launcheth fierce with brand and hand the avengers
the terrible eagle.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
So for the swift-winged hounds of the air he provided a booty.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
The throng down-bearing on Aias.
O phlattothrattophlattotbrat!"
DIONYSUS
Whence comes that phlattothrat?
From Marathon, or
Where picked you up these cable-twister's strains?
AESCHYLUS
From noblest source for noblest ends brought them,
Unwilling in the Muses' holy field
The self-same flowers as Phrynichus to cull.
But he from all things rotten draws his lays,
From Carian flutings, catches of Meletus,
Dance-music, dirges. You shall hear directly.
Bring me the lyre. Yet wherefore need a lyre
For songs like these? Where's she that bangs and jangles
Her castanets? Euripides's Muse,
Present yourself: fit goddess for fit verse.
DIONYSUS
The Muse herself can't be a wanton? No!
AESCHYLUS
Halycons, who by the ever-rippling
Waves of the sea are babbling,
Dewing your plumes with the drops that fall
From wings in the salt spray dabbling.
Spiders, ever with twir-r-r-r-r-rling fingers
Weaving the warp and the woof,
Little, brittle, network, fretwork,
Under the coigns of the roof.
The minstrel shuttle's care.
Where in the front of the dark-prowed ships
Yarely the flute-loving dolphin skips.
Races here and oracles there.
And the joy of the young vines smiling,
And the tendril of grapes, care-beguiling.
O embrace me, my child, O embrace me.
(To DIONYSUS) You see this foot?
DIONYSUS
I do.
AESCHYLUS
And this?
DIONYSUS
And that one too.
AESCHYLUS (to EURIPIDES)
You, such stuff who compile,
Dare my songs to upbraid;
You, whose songs in the style
Of Cyrene's embraces are made.

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