αἰαῖ : τίς ἄν ποτ᾽ ᾤεθ᾽ ὧδ᾽ ἐπώνυμον
τοὐμὸν ξυνοίσειν ὄνομα τοῖς ἐμοῖς κακοῖς ;
νῦν γὰρ πάρεστι καὶ δὶς αἰάζειν ἐμοὶ
καὶ τρίς : τοιούτοις γὰρ κακοῖς ἐντυγχάνω :
ὅτου πατὴρ μὲν τῆσδ᾽ ἀπ᾽ Ἰδαίας χθονὸς
τὰ πρῶτα καλλιστεῖ᾽ ἀριστεύσας στρατοῦ
πρὸς οἶκον ἦλθε πᾶσαν εὔκλειαν φέρων :
ἐγὼ δ᾽ ὁ κείνου παῖς , τὸν αὐτὸν ἐς τόπον
Τροίας ἐπελθὼν οὐκ ἐλάσσονι σθένει
οὐδ᾽ ἔργα μείω χειρὸς ἀρκέσας ἐμῆς ,
ἄτιμος Ἀργείοισιν ὧδ᾽ ἀπόλλυμαι .
καίτοι τοσοῦτόν γ᾽ ἐξεπίστασθαι δοκῶ :
εἰ ζῶν Ἀχιλλεὺς τῶν ὅπλων τῶν ὧν πέρι
κρίνειν ἔμελλε κράτος ἀριστείας τινί ,
οὐκ ἄν τις αὔτ᾽ ἔμαρψεν ἄλλος ἀντ᾽ ἐμοῦ .
νῦν δ᾽ αὔτ᾽ Ἀτρεῖδαι φωτὶ παντουργῷ φρένας
ἔπραξαν , ἀνδρὸς τοῦδ᾽ ἀπώσαντες κράτη .
κεἰ μὴ τόδ᾽ ὄμμα καὶ φρένες διάστροφοι
γνώμης ἀπῇξαν τῆς ἐμῆς , οὐκ ἄν ποτε
δίκην κατ᾽ ἄλλου φωτὸς ὧδ᾽ ἐψήφισαν .
νῦν δ᾽ ἡ Διὸς γοργῶπις ἀδάματος θεὰ
ἤδη μ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς χεῖρ᾽ ἐπεντύνοντ᾽ ἐμὴν
ἔσφηλεν , ἐμβαλοῦσα λυσσώδη νόσον ,
ὥστ᾽ ἐν τοιοῖσδε χεῖρας αἱμάξαι βοτοῖς :
κεῖνοι δ᾽ ἐπεγγελῶσιν ἐκπεφευγότες ,
ἐμοῦ μὲν οὐχ ἑκόντος : εἰ δέ τις θεῶν
βλάπτοι , φύγοι τἂν χὠ κακὸς τὸν κρείσσονα .
καὶ νῦν τί χρὴ δρᾶν ; ὅστις ἐμφανῶς θεοῖς
ἐχθαίρομαι , μισεῖ δέ μ᾽ Ἑλλήνων στρατός ,
ἔχθει δὲ Τροία πᾶσα καὶ πεδία τάδε .
πότερα πρὸς οἴκους , ναυλόχους λιπὼν ἕδρας
μόνους τ᾽ Ἀτρείδας , πέλαγος Αἰγαῖον περῶ ;
καὶ ποῖον ὄμμα πατρὶ δηλώσω φανεὶς
Τελαμῶνι ; πῶς με τλήσεταί ποτ᾽ εἰσιδεῖν
γυμνὸν φανέντα τῶν ἀριστείων ἄτερ ,
ὧν αὐτὸς ἔσχε στέφανον εὐκλείας μέγαν ;
οὐκ ἔστι τοὔργον τλητόν . ἀλλὰ δῆτ᾽ ἰὼν
πρὸς ἔρυμα Τρώων , ξυμπεσὼν μόνος μόνοις
καὶ δρῶν τι χρηστόν , εἶτα λοίσθιον θάνω ;
ἀλλ᾽ ὧδέ γ᾽ Ἀτρείδας ἂν εὐφράναιμί που .
οὐκ ἔστι ταῦτα . πεῖρά τις ζητητέα
τοιάδ᾽ ἀφ᾽ ἧς γέροντι δηλώσω πατρὶ
μή τοι φύσιν γ᾽ ἄσπλαγχνος ἐκ κείνου γεγώς .
αἰσχρὸν γὰρ ἄνδρα τοῦ μακροῦ χρῄζειν βίου ,
κακοῖσιν ὅστις μηδὲν ἐξαλλάσσεται .
τί γὰρ παρ᾽ ἦμαρ ἡμέρα τέρπειν ἔχει
προσθεῖσα κἀναθεῖσα τοῦ γε κατθανεῖν ;
οὐκ ἂν πριαίμην οὐδενὸς λόγου βροτὸν
ὅστις κεναῖσιν ἐλπίσιν θερμαίνεται :
ἀλλ᾽ ἢ καλῶς ζῆν ἢ καλῶς τεθνηκέναι
τὸν εὐγενῆ χρή . πάντ᾽ ἀκήκοας λόγον .
Aiai ! Who would ever think my given name
would fit my sorrows in such a way ?
For now it’s possible for me to cry Aiai !
twice and three times : for I meet such sorrows .
I whose father from the land of Ida
having won the army’s the fairest prize of valour
came home carrying every honor .
And I , the child of that man , having come after
to this region of Troy with no lesser strength ,
performing no lesser deeds by my hand ,
I am thus perishing utterly , dishonored by the sons of Atreus .
And indeed this I think I know :
if while living Achilles was going to judge
the power of excellence for his arms ,
no one other than me would have seized them .
But now the sons of Atreus have passed them over to a man with wicked will ,
having thrust away the victories of this man .
And if these eyes and twisted mind
had not sprung from my intent , they would never
have voted such a judgment against another man .
And now the daughter of Zeus , the fierce-eyed unconquered goddess
overthrew me as I was steadying my hand against them ,
throwing on me a disease of madness ,
so that I bloodied my hands on these beasts .
And those men laugh having escaped me ,
not by my will . But if any of the gods
hinders , even a worthless man may flee the mightier .
And now what is it necessary to do ? I who am clearly abhorred by the gods ,
and the army of Hellas hates me ,
and all of Troy and these plains detests me .
Should I pass through the Aegean sea towards home ,
leaving the ship-safe seat and the sons of Atreus alone ?
And having appeared , what face will I show to my father Telamon ?
How will he ever bear to see me ,
appearing naked without the prize for valour ,
the glory for which he won the great crown ?
It is an unendurable task . But then going
towards the bulwarks of Troy , having fallen alone against others alone
and doing something useful , should I then die at last ?
But in doing that I might somehow gladden the sons of Atreus ,
and that is not possible . Some attempt must be made
by which I may show my aged father
that the nature of this man has not become gutless .
For it is shameful of a man to desire a long life
for he who sees no change at all from his troubles .
For what does he have to enjoy day after day
advancing him towards and pulling him back from dying .
I would not buy a man at any price
who is warmed by empty hopes .
It’s necessary for a well-born man to live beautifully or die beautifully .
You have heard the whole tale .
Aiai ! Who could’ve known my name would fit my sorrows so well ?
Now I may cry my name " Aiai ! " twice then three times :
for such are the sorrows I meet .
My father came home from the land of Ida
having won the army’s fairest prize and carrying every honor .
I am his child , and I came upon this Trojan land
with no lesser strength and performing by my hand no lesser deeds
--but now I’m dying , honorless among the Argives .
Still this I know : If Achilles had judged a contest for his arms while living ,
I would’ve seized them before anyone .
But now the sons of Atreus have given them to a wicked-willed man ,
ignoring my own victories .
If my eyes and warped senses had not sprung from my plan ,
they would’ve never voted such a judgment against anyone again .
But the fierce-eyed daughter of Zeus , that unconquered goddess ,
thwarted me just as I was aiming my hand against them ,
inflicting a disease of madness so that I bloodied my hands with beasts instead .
Now they laugh to have escaped me -- that was not by my will .
But if one of the gods interferes , even a worthless man may escape the mightier .
Now what can I do ? I am clearly abhorred by the gods ;
the army of Hellas hates me and all of Troy and these plains detests me .
Should I go home across the Aegean Sea , leaving my station by the ships
and the sons of Atreus alone ? How can I show my face to my father Telamon ?
How will he ever bear to see me when I’ve returned naked without the prize for valor
which he himself won as a great crown ?
No , that’s unendurable . But then should I go towards the bulwarks of Troy ,
fighting alone man-to-man -- doing something useful before dying at last ?
But no , that might please the sons of Atreus ,
and that can’t be . I must find a plan by which I can prove to my father
that his son is not gutless by nature .
It’s shameful for a man to want a long life when his trouble are never-ending .
What joy is there in inching forward and then back to and from death day after day ?
I wouldn’t buy a man at any price who warmed himself with empty hopes .
A well-born may either live beautifully or die beautifully .
You’ve heard the whole tale .