πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλει .
τοῦτο καὶ πολιοῦ πέραν πόντου χειμερίῳ νότῳ
χωρεῖ , περιβρυχίοισιν
περῶν ὑπʼ οἴδμασιν .
θεῶν τε τὰν ὑπερτάταν , Γᾶν
ἄφθιτον , ἀκαμάταν , ἀποτρύεται
ἰλλομένων ἀρότρων ἔτος εἰς ἔτος
ἱππείῳ γένει πολεύων .
κουφονόων τε φῦλον ὀρνίθων ἀμφιβαλὼν ἄγει
καὶ θηρῶν ἀγρίων ἔθνη πόντου τʼ εἰναλίαν φύσιν
σπείραισι δικτυοκλώστοις ,
περιφραδὴς ἀνήρ ·
κρατεῖ δὲ μηχαναῖς ἀγραύλου
θηρὸς ὀρεσσιβάτα , λασιαύχενά θʼ
ἵππον ὀχμάζεται ἀμφὶ λόφον ζυγῶν
οὔρειόν τʼ ἀκμῆτα ταῦρον .
καὶ φθέγμα καὶ ἀνεμόεν φρόνημα καὶ ἀστυνόμους
ὀργὰς ἐδιδάξατο καὶ δυσαύλων
πάγων ὑπαίθρεια καὶ δύσομβρα φεύγειν βέλη
παντοπόρος · ἄπορος ἐπʼ οὐδὲν ἔρχεται
τὸ μέλλον · Ἅιδα μόνον φεῦξιν οὐκ ἐπάξεται ·
νόσων δʼ ἀμηχάνων φυγὰς ξυμπέφρασται .
σοφόν τι τὸ μηχανόεν τέχνας ὑπὲρ ἐλπίδʼ ἔχων
τοτὲ μὲν κακόν , ἄλλοτʼ ἐπʼ ἐσθλὸν ἕρπει ,
νόμους γεραίρων χθονὸς θεῶν τʼ ἔνορκον δίκαν ,
ὑψίπολις · ἄπολις ὅτῳ τὸ μὴ καλὸν
ξύνεστι τόλμας χάριν . μήτʼ ἐμοὶ παρέστιος
γένοιτο μήτʼ ἴσον φρονῶν ὃς τάδʼ ἔρδει .
ἐς δαιμόνιον τέρας ἀμφινοῶ
τόδε · πῶς εἰδὼς ἀντιλογήσω
τήνδʼ οὐκ εἶναι παῖδʼ Ἀντιγόνην .
καὶ δυστήνου πατρὸς Οἰδιπόδα ,
τί ποτʼ ; οὐ δή που σέ γʼ ἀπιστοῦσαν
τοῖς βασιλείοισιν ἄγουσι νόμοις
καὶ ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ καθελόντες ;
Many the wonders but nothing is stranger than man .
This thing crosses the sea in the winter’s storm ,
making his path through the roaring waves .
And she , the greatest of gods , the Earth—
ageless she is , and unwearied — he wears her away
as the ploughs go up and down from year to year
and his mules turn up the soil .
Lighthearted nations of birds he snares and leads ,
wild beast tribes and the salty brood of the sea ,
with the twisted mesh of his nets , this clever man .
He controls with craft the beasts of the open air ,
walkers on hills . The horse with his shaggy mane
he holds and harnesses , yoked about the neck ,
and the strong bull of the mountain .
Language , and thought like the wind
and the feelings that govern a city ,
he has taught himself , and shelter against the cold ,
refuge from rain . He can always help himself .
He faces no future helpless . There’s only death
that he cannot find an escape from . He has contrived
refuge from illnesses once beyond all cure .
Clever beyond all dreams
the inventive craft that he has
which may drive him one time to good or another to evil .
When he honors the laws of the land and the gods’ sworn right
high indeed is his city ; but cityless the man
who dares to dwell with dishonor . Not by my fireside ,
never to share my thoughts , who does these things
Wonders are many , and none is more wonderful than man .
This power spans the sea , even when it surges white before the gales of the south-wind , and makes a path under swells that threaten to engulf him . Earth , too , the eldest of the gods , the immortal , the unwearied ,
he wears away to his own ends , turning the soil with the offspring of horses as the plows weave to and fro year after year .
The light-hearted tribe of birds
and the clans of wild beasts and the sea-brood of the deep he snares in the meshes of his twisted nets , and he leads them captive , very-skilled man . He masters by his arts
the beast who dwells in the wilds and roams the hills . He tames the shaggy-maned horse , putting the yoke upon its neck , and tames the tireless mountain bull .
Speech and thought fast as the
wind and the moods that give order to a city he has taught himself , and how to flee the arrows of the inhospitable frost under clear skies and the arrows of the storming rain .
He has resource for everything . Lacking resource in nothing he strides towards what must come . From Death alone he shall procure no escape , but from baffling diseases he has devised flights .
Possessing resourceful skill , a subtlety beyond expectation he moves now to evil , now to good . When he honors the laws of the land and the justice of the gods to which he is bound by oath ,
his city prospers . But banned from his city is he who , thanks to his rashness , couples with disgrace . Never may he share my home ,
never think my thoughts , who does these things !