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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Cavafy Bilingual Anthology : THE HORSES OF ACHILLES

from Poems 1896-1904, * Translated by Peter J. King and Andrea Christofidou  * Greek Fonts


The Original Greek New Testament
And when they saw that Patroclus was dead,

who'd been so strong and young and brave,

Achilles' horses started weeping,

their immortal natures anguished

by this work of death which they beheld.

They tossed their heads and shook their long manes,

stamped their feet upon the ground, and mourned

for Patroclus whom they saw lifeless – levelled –

spirit lost – a lump of cheapened flesh –

defenceless – without breath –

returned from life into the Void.

τὰ ἄλογα τοῦ Ἀχιλλέως

Τὸν Πάτροκλο σὰν εἶδαν σκοτωμένο,

ποὺ ἦταν τόσο ἀνδρεῖος, καὶ δυνατός, καὶ νέος,

ἄρχισαν τ' ἄλογα νὰ κλαῖνε τοῦ Ἀχιλλέως·

ἡ φύσις των ἡ ἀθάνατη ἀγανακτοῦσε

γιὰ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτὸ τὸ ἔργον ποὺ θωροῦσε.

Τίναζαν τὰ κεφάλια των καὶ τὲς μακρυὲς χαῖτες κουνοῦσαν,

τὴν γῆ χτυποῦσαν μὲ τὰ πόδια, καὶ θρηνοῦσαν

τὸν Πάτροκλο ποὺ ἐνοιώθανε ἄψυχο – ἀφανισμένο –

μιὰ σάρκα τώρα ποταπὴ – τὸ πνεῦμα του χαμένο

ἀνυπεράσπιστο χωρὶς πνοὴ

εἰς τὸ μεγάλο Τίποτε ἐπιστραμένο ἀπ' τὴν ζωή.

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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

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