Hesiod, Works and Days, vv. 42-105

Anna Zhang /
  • Created on 2019-09-16 04:28:49
  • Modified on 2019-12-02 18:05:45
  • Aligned by Anna Zhang
For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life . Else you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working ;

soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke , and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste . But Zeus in the anger of his heart hid it , because Prometheus the crafty deceived him ; therefore he planned sorrow and mischief against men .

He hid fire ; but that the noble son of Iapetus stole again for men from Zeus the counsellor in a hollow fennel-stalk , so that Zeus who delights in thunder did not see it . But afterwards Zeus who gathers the clouds said to him in anger : " Son of Iapetus , surpassing all in cunning ,

you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire—a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be . But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction . "

So said the father of men and gods , and laughed aloud .
And he bade famous Hephaestus make haste and mix earth with water and to put in it the voice and strength of human kind , and fashion a sweet , lovely maiden-shape , like to the immortal goddesses in face ; and Athena to teach her needlework and the weaving of the varied web ;

and golden Aphrodite to shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs . And he charged Hermes the guide , the Slayer of Argus , to put in her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature . So he ordered . And they obeyed the lord Zeus the son of Cronos .

Forthwith the famous Lame God moulded clay in the likeness of a modest maid , as the son of Cronos purposed . And the goddess brighteyed Athena girded and clothed her , and the divine Graces and queenly Persuasion put necklaces of gold upon her ,

and the rich-haired Hours crowned her head with spring flowers . And Pallas Athena bedecked her form with all manner of finery . Also the Guide , the Slayer of Argus , contrived within her lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature at the will of loud thundering Zeus ,

and the Herald of the gods put speech in her . And he called this woman Pandora , because all they who dwelt on Olympus gave each a gift , a plague to men who eat bread .

But when he had finished the sheer , hopeless snare , the Father sent glorious Argus-Slayer ,

the swift messenger of the gods , to take it to Epimetheus as a gift . And Epimetheus did not think on what Prometheus had said to him , bidding him never take a gift of Olympian Zeus , but to send it back for fear it might prove to be something harmful to men . But he took the gift , and afterwards , when the evil thing was already his , he understood .

For ere this the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills and hard toil and heavy sicknesses which bring the Fates upon men ; for in misery men grow old quickly . But the woman took off the great lid of the jar with her hands

and scattered , all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men . Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar , and did not fly out at the door ; for ere that , the lid of the jar stopped her , by the will of Aegis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds .

But the rest , countless plagues , wander amongst men ; for earth is full of evils , and the sea is full . Of themselves diseases come upon men continually by day and by night , bringing mischief to mortals silently ; for wise Zeus took away speech from them .

So is there no way to escape the will of Zeus .
κρύψαντες γὰρ ἔχουσι θεοὶ βίον ἀνθρώποισιν ·
ῥηιδίως γάρ κεν καὶ ἐπʼ ἤματι ἐργάσσαιο ,
ὥστε σε κεἰς ἐνιαυτὸν ἔχειν καὶ ἀεργὸν ἐόντα ·
αἶψά κε πηδάλιον μὲν ὑπὲρ καπνοῦ καταθεῖο ,
ἔργα βοῶν δʼ ἀπόλοιτο καὶ ἡμιόνων ταλαεργῶν .
ἀλλὰ Ζεὺς ἔκρυψε χολωσάμενος φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ,

ὅττι μιν ἐξαπάτησε Προμηθεὺς ἀγκυλομήτης ·
τοὔνεκʼ ἄρʼ ἀνθρώποισιν ἐμήσατο κήδεα λυγρά .
κρύψε δὲ πῦρ · τὸ μὲν αὖτις ἐὺς πάις Ἰαπετοῖο
ἔκλεψʼ ἀνθρώποισι Διὸς πάρα μητιόεντος
ἐν κοῒλῳ νάρθηκι λαθὼν Δία τερπικέραυνον .

τὸν δὲ χολωσάμενος προσέφη νεφεληγερέτα Ζευς ·
Ἰαπετιονίδη , πάντων πέρι μήδεα εἰδώς ,
χαίρεις πῦρ κλέψας καὶ ἐμὰς φρένας ἠπεροπεύσας ,
σοί τʼ αὐτῷ μέγα πῆμα καὶ ἀνδράσιν ἐσσομένοισιν .
τοῖς δʼ ἐγὼ ἀντὶ πυρὸς δώσω κακόν , κεν ἅπαντες

τέρπωνται κατὰ θυμὸν ἑὸν κακὸν ἀμφαγαπῶντες .
ὣς ἔφατʼ · ἐκ δʼ ἐγέλασσε πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε .
Ἥφαιστον δʼ ἐκέλευσε περικλυτὸν ὅττι τάχιστα
γαῖαν ὕδει φύρειν , ἐν δʼ ἀνθρώπου θέμεν αὐδὴν
καὶ σθένος , ἀθανάτῃς δὲ θεῇς εἰς ὦπα ἐίσκειν

παρθενικῆς καλὸν εἶδος ἐπήρατον · αὐτὰρ Ἀθήνην
ἔργα διδασκῆσαι , πολυδαίδαλον ἱστὸν ὑφαίνειν ·
καὶ χάριν ἀμφιχέαι κεφαλῇ χρυσέην Ἀφροδίτην
καὶ πόθον ἀργαλέον καὶ γυιοβόρους μελεδώνας ·
ἐν δὲ θέμεν κύνεόν τε νόον καὶ ἐπίκλοπον ἦθος

Ἑρμείην ἤνωγε , διάκτορον Ἀργεϊφόντην .
ὣς ἔφαθʼ · οἳ δʼ ἐπίθοντο Διὶ Κρονίωνι ἄνακτι .
αὐτίκα δʼ ἐκ γαίης πλάσσεν κλυτὸς Ἀμφιγυήεις
παρθένῳ αἰδοίῃ ἴκελον Κρονίδεω διὰ βουλάς ·
ζῶσε δὲ καὶ κόσμησε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη ·

ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ Χάριτές τε θεαὶ καὶ πότνια Πειθὼ
ὅρμους χρυσείους ἔθεσαν χροΐ · ἀμφὶ δὲ τήν γε
Ὧραι καλλίκομοι στέφον ἄνθεσιν εἰαρινοῖσιν ·
πάντα δέ οἱ χροῒ κόσμον ἐφήρμοσε Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη .
ἐν δʼ ἄρα οἱ στήθεσσι διάκτορος Ἀργεϊφόντης

ψεύδεά θʼ αἱμυλίους τε λόγους καὶ ἐπίκλοπον ἦθος
τεῦξε Διὸς βουλῇσι βαρυκτύπου · ἐν δʼ ἄρα φωνὴν
θῆκε θεῶν κῆρυξ , ὀνόμηνε δὲ τήνδε γυναῖκα
Πανδώρην , ὅτι πάντες Ὀλύμπια δώματʼ ἔχοντες
δῶρον ἐδώρησαν , πῆμʼ ἀνδράσιν ἀλφηστῇσιν .

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δόλον αἰπὺν ἀμήχανον ἐξετέλεσσεν ,
εἰς Ἐπιμηθέα πέμπε πατὴρ κλυτὸν Ἀργεϊφόντην
δῶρον ἄγοντα , θεῶν ταχὺν ἄγγελον · οὐδʼ Ἐπιμηθεὺς
ἐφράσαθʼ , ὥς οἱ ἔειπε Προμηθεὺς μή ποτε δῶρον
δέξασθαι πὰρ Ζηνὸς Ὀλυμπίου , ἀλλʼ ἀποπέμπειν

ἐξοπίσω , μή πού τι κακὸν θνητοῖσι γένηται .
αὐτὰρ δεξάμενος , ὅτε δὴ κακὸν εἶχʼ , ἐνόησεν .
Πρὶν μὲν γὰρ ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χθονὶ φῦλʼ ἀνθρώπων
νόσφιν ἄτερ τε κακῶν καὶ ἄτερ χαλεποῖο πόνοιο
νούσων τʼ ἀργαλέων , αἵ τʼ ἀνδράσι Κῆρας ἔδωκαν .

αἶψα γὰρ ἐν κακότητι βροτοὶ καταγηράσκουσιν .
ἀλλὰ γυνὴ χείρεσσι πίθου μέγα πῶμʼ ἀφελοῦσα
ἐσκέδασʼ · ἀνθρώποισι δʼ ἐμήσατο κήδεα λυγρά .
μούνη δʼ αὐτόθι Ἐλπὶς ἐν ἀρρήκτοισι δόμοισιν
ἔνδον ἔμιμνε πίθου ὑπὸ χείλεσιν , οὐδὲ θύραζε

ἐξέπτη · πρόσθεν γὰρ ἐπέλλαβε πῶμα πίθοιο
αἰγιόχου βουλῇσι Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο .
ἄλλα δὲ μυρία λυγρὰ κατʼ ἀνθρώπους ἀλάληται ·
πλείη μὲν γὰρ γαῖα κακῶν , πλείη δὲ θάλασσα ·
νοῦσοι δʼ ἀνθρώποισιν ἐφʼ ἡμέρῃ , αἳ δʼ ἐπὶ νυκτὶ

αὐτόματοι φοιτῶσι κακὰ θνητοῖσι φέρουσαι
σιγῇ , ἐπεὶ φωνὴν ἐξείλετο μητίετα Ζεύς .
οὕτως οὔτι πη ἔστι Διὸς νόον ἐξαλέασθαι .
For the gods hid and kept sustenance from people . For [ before this time ] you would easily accomplish even in one single day so as to have enough even for a full year , even if you were an idler . Quickly would you put away the steering oar up in the smoke , and the works of the oxen and the working-enduing asses would disappear . But zeus hid it , struck with anger in his chest because Prometheus of crooked counsel had deceived him . For that very reason he contrived pernicious woes for people . He hid fire . In turn the mighty son of Iapetus stole it back for people , from Zeus the Planner , in a hollow fennel stalk , escaping the notice of Zeus who delights in the thunderbolt . Struck with anger , Zeus the Cloud-Gatherer said to him : " Son of Iapetus , who know how to contrive above all others , you rejoice that you have stolen fire and cheated me in my chest , a great disaster for you yourself and also for men in the future . In return for fire , I will give them an evil thing , in which they may all delight in spirit as they embrace their evil . "
So he spoke , and the father of men and gods laughed out loud . He ordered the renowned Hephaestus to mix earth with water as quickly as he could , and to put into it human speech and strength , and to make a desirable , fair appearance of a virgin like the deathless goddess in face ; then he ordered Athena to teach her her works , to weave on the elegant loom . And golden Aphrodite he ordered to pour on her head charm and painful yearning and limb-devouring cares . And he commanded Hermes , the messenger Dog-Killer , to put in her a dog’s thinking and a deceitful character .
So he spoke , and they obeyed the lord Zeus , the son of Cronus . Straightway the famous Craftsman molded out of earth something resembling a revered virgin , in accordance with the plans of the son of Cronus . The goddess gleaming-eyed Athena girdled and adorned her ; the goddess Graces and lady Persuasion put golden necklaces on her skin ; around her the fair-haired Seasons crowned her with spring blooms : Pallas Athena fitted the entire adornment to her skin . Then in her breast the messenger Dog-killer molded lies and wheedling words , and a deceitful character , according to the plans of zeus the Heavy-Thunderer . Then in her the herald of the gods put a voice , and he named this woman Pandora because all those who have Olympian homes gave her as a gift : she was a disaster for bread-eating men .
But when he had fully brought about the sheer , ineluctable ruse , the father dispatched the famous Dog-Killer , swift envoy of the gods , bearing the gift into Epimetheus’s home ; and Epimetheus did not consider that Prometheus had told him never to accept a gift from Olympian Zeus , but to send it back again , lest somehow it turn out to be something evil for mortals . Then the receiver , just as he took hold of the evil , realized it .
For previously groups of people lived on the ground , apart from and without evils and without hard toil and painful diseases , which give dooms to men . But women removed with her hands the jar’s great lid and scattered the evils ; she contrived pernicious woes for people . Expectation alone remained there in her unbreakable home inside , under the jar’s lips , and did not fly out , for Pandora had already thrown the jar’s lid back on , according to the plans of Zeus the Aegis-Mover and Cloud-Gatherer . Countless other pernicious things roam among people , for the earth is full of evils , and the sea is full . There are diseases for people during the day , and others in the night that wander under their own power , bringing evils to mortals secretly because Zeus the Planner took out their voice . Thus there is no way at all to avoid the purpose of Zeus .

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