Iphigenia in Aulis: Section 7


Greek

Ἰφ.
εἰ μὲν τὸν Ὀρφέως εἶχον, ὦ πάτερ, λόγον,
πείθειν ἐπᾴδουσ᾽, ὥσθ᾽ ὁμαρτεῖν μοι πέτρας,
κηλεῖν τε τοῖς λόγοισιν οὓς ἐβουλόμην,
ἐνταῦθ᾽ ἂν ἦλθον: νῦν δέ, τἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ σοφά,
δάκρυα παρέξω: ταῦτα γὰρ δυναίμεθ᾽ ἄν.
ἱκετηρίαν δὲ γόνασιν ἐξάπτω σέθεν
τὸ σῶμα τοὐμόν, ὅπερ ἔτικτεν ἥδε σοι,
μή μ᾽ ἀπολέσῃς ἄωρον: ἡδὺ γὰρ τὸ φῶς
βλέπειν: τὰ δ᾽ ὑπὸ γῆς μή μ᾽ ἰδεῖν ἀναγκάσῃς.
πρώτη σ᾽ ἐκάλεσα πατέρα καὶ σὺ παῖδ᾽ ἐμέ:
πρώτη δὲ γόνασι σοῖσι σῶμα δοῦσ᾽ ἐμὸν
φίλας χάριτας ἔδωκα κἀντεδεξάμην.
λόγος δ᾽ ὁ μὲν σὸς ἦν ὅδ᾽: Ἆρά σ᾽, ὦ τέκνον,
εὐδαίμον᾽ ἀνδρὸς ἐν δόμοισιν ὄψομαι,
ζῶσάν τε καὶ θάλλουσαν ἀξίως ἐμοῦ;

Commentary

English

Iph: If I had the voice of Orpheus, father,
to be able to persuade with my song, so that rocks followed me,
and to charm with words whom I wanted,
I would have gone there: but as it is, I will offer tears,
the only skill in my power: for I am able to offer these.
As a suppliant’s olive branch, I throw at your knees
my body, which she here begat for you,
do not destroy me before my time: for it is sweet to see
the light: do not force me to see the things beneath the earth.
I was the first to call you father, and you to call me child:
I was the first to put my body on your knees
and give dear pleasures and receive them in return.
These were your words: “O child, will I see you
happy in the house of a husband,
living and flourishing in a manner worthy of me?”