Monday, March 06, 2006

The Death of Aeschylus

How cruel is fate when the Father of Tragedy, Aeschylus (C. 525 - 456 B.C.), is killed by an eagle who mistakes his bald head for a rock and drops a turtle on it? I'm sure it wasn't pleasant for the turtle either. Oddly enough I think Aeschylus himself would probably enjoy the irony if not for the excruciating pain and humiliation of being killed by near sighted bird famous for it's eyesight and a fast moving tortoise infamous for it's sloth. Still he was a gifted poet and playwright:

Now do our eyes behold
The tidings which were told:
Twin fallen kings, twin perished hopes to mourn,
The slayer, the slain,
The entangled doom forlorn
And ruinous end of twain.
Say, is not sorrow, is not sorrow's sum
On home and hearthstone come?
Oh, waft with sighs the sail from shore,
Oh, smite the bosom, cadencing the oar
That rows beyond the rueful stream for aye
To the far strand,
The ship of souls, the dark,
The unreturning bark
Whereon light never falls nor foot of Day,
Even to the bourne of all, to the unbeholden land.

Translated By A.E. Housman

No comments: