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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

Cavafy Bilingual Anthology : PERFIDY

from Poems 1896-1904, * Translated by Memas Kolaitis
(The Greek Poems of C.P. Cavafy, 1989, published by A.D.Caratzas)  *
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Page 2

Thus, while Achilles was maturing, with

such loveliness that had become the pride of Thessaly,

the great god's words by Thetis always were recalled.

But then one day some older men brought news,

the story that Achilles had been slain at Troy.

Now Thetis rent her purple robes,

cast down

her rings and bracelets to the ground,

and in her deep distress recalled the god's old words

and asked, what was the wise Apollo doing at the time?

Where was the poet who at banquets

spoke so eloquently? Where was he, the prophet, wandering

when they laid low her son in his first prime?

And these old men responded that the god

had come in person down to Troy,

and with the Trojans slain her son.

Κι ὅταν μεγάλωνεν ὁ Ἀχιλλεύς, καὶ ἦταν

τῆς Θεσσαλίας ἔπαινος ἡ ἐμορφιά του,

ἡ Θέτις τοῦ Θεοῦ τὰ λόγια ἐνθυμοῦνταν.

Ἀλλὰ μιὰ μέρα ἦλθαν γέροι μὲ εἰδήσεις,

κ' εἶπαν τὸν σκοτωμὸ τοῦ Ἀχιλλέως στὴν Τροία.

Κ' ἡ Θέτις ξέσχιζε τὰ πορφυρά της ροῦχα,

κ' ἔβγαζεν ἀπὸ πάνω της καὶ ξεπετοῦσε

στὸ χῶμα τὰ βραχιόλια καὶ τὰ δαχτυλίδια.

Καὶ μὲς στὸν ὀδυρμό της τὰ παληὰ θυμήθη·

καὶ ρώτησε τί ἔκαμνε ὁ σοφὸς Ἀπόλλων,

ποῦ γύριζεν ὁ ποιητὴς ποὺ στὰ τραπέζια

ἔξοχα ὁμιλεῖ, ποῦ γύριζε ὁ προφήτης

ὅταν τὸν υἱό της σκότωναν στὰ πρῶτα νειάτα.

Κ' οἱ γέροι τὴν ἀπήντησαν πὼς ὁ Ἀπόλλων

αὐτὸς ὁ ἴδιος ἐκατέβηκε στὴν Τροία,

καὶ μὲ τοὺς Τρώας σκότωσε τὸν Ἀχιλλέα.

 

Cf.

HOMER : Achilles' Grief ||| SAPPHO : Dearest Earth's offspring and Heaven's ||| SOPHOCLES : Oedipus' ascension

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