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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Savage Prayer
By Theognis (fl. Sixth Century B.C.)
 
Translation of John Hookham Frere

MAY Jove assist me to discharge the debt
Of kindness to my friends, and grant me yet
A further boon—revenge upon my foes!
With these accomplished, I could gladly close
My term of life—a fair requital made;        5
My friends rewarded, and my wrongs repaid:
Revenge and gratitude, before I die,
Might make me deemed almost a deity!
  Yet hear, O mighty Jove, and grant my prayer,
Relieve me from affliction and despair!        10
Oh, take my life, or grant me some redress,
Some foretaste of returning happiness!
Such is my state: I cannot yet descry
A chance of vengeance on mine enemy,
The rude despoilers of my property;        15
Whilst I—like to a scared and hunted hound
That scarce escaping, trembling and half drowned,
Crosses a gully, swelled with wintry rain—
Have crept ashore, in feebleness and pain.
  Yet my full wish,—to drink their very blood,—        20
Some power divine, that watches for my good,
May yet accomplish. Soon may he fulfill
My righteous hope, my just and hearty will.
 
 
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