Strength Imposed on Song: The Nightingale and the Hawk

Warning: Any resemblance to current events is not accidental.

Hesiod, Works & Days, 202-212

now I will tell a fable to rulers;
they can think it through for themselves:

this is how Hawk addressed mottled-throat Nightingale,
carrying her high up into the clouds
gored on his talons,
as she, in the grips of two hooked claws,
plaintively wept.

he spoke to her like one who holds all the cards:

“dearie, why the hollering?
one much stronger
has you now.
you’ll go here, there . . .
wherever I take you,
even with your talent for song.
if it pleases me, I’ll make a meal of you.
or, I’ll let you go.
silly, she who thinks to say no to her superior in strength.
she won’t win.
and along with disgrace,
there’s the pain she’ll suffer.”

thus spoke Hawk,
fast flyer–
a bird stretching its wings.

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.
ὣς ἔφατ᾽ ὠκυπέτης ἴρηξ, τανυσίπτερος ὄρνις.

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