ἄφρων δ᾽, ὅς κ᾽ ἐθέλῃ πρὸς κρείσσονας ἀντιφερίζειν

νῦν δ᾽ αἶνον βασιλεῦσιν ἐρέω φρονέουσι καὶ αὐτοῖς:
ὧδ᾽ ἴρηξ προσέειπεν ἀηδόνα ποικιλόδειρον
ὕψι μάλ᾽ ἐν νεφέεσσι φέρων ὀνύχεσσι μεμαρπώς:
ἣ δ᾽ ἐλεόν, γναμπτοῖσι πεπαρμένη ἀμφ᾽ ὀνύχεσσι,
μύρετο: τὴν ὅγ᾽ ἐπικρατέως πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν:
δαιμονίη, τί λέληκας; ἔχει νύ σε πολλὸν ἀρείων:
τῇ δ᾽ εἶς, ᾗ σ᾽ ἂν ἐγώ περ ἄγω καὶ ἀοιδὸν ἐοῦσαν:
δεῖπνον δ᾽, αἴ κ᾽ ἐθέλω, ποιήσομαι ἠὲ μεθήσω.
ἄφρων δ᾽, ὅς κ᾽ ἐθέλῃ πρὸς κρείσσονας ἀντιφερίζειν:
νίκης τε στέρεται πρός τ᾽ αἴσχεσιν ἄλγεα πάσχει.

(ll. 202-211) And now I will tell a fable for princes who themselves understand. Thus said the hawk to the nightingale with speckled neck, while he carried her high up among the clouds, gripped fast in his talons, and she, pierced by his crooked talons, cried pitifully. To her he spoke disdainfully: `Miserable thing, why do you cry out? One far stronger than you now holds you fast, and you must go wherever I take you, songstress as you are. And if I please I will make my meal of you, or let you go. He is a fool who tries to withstand the stronger, for he does not get the mastery and suffers pain besides his shame.’ So said the swiftly flying hawk, the long- winged bird.

From Hesiod’s Works and Days (c. 7th century BC)

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