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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Chorus of Women

By Aristophanes (c. 448–c. 388 B.C.)

From the ‘Thesmophoriazusæ’: Translation of William Collins

THEY’RE always abusing the women,

As a terrible plague to men:

They say we’re the root of all evil,

And repeat it again and again;

Of war, and quarrels, and bloodshed,

All mischief, be what it may!

And pray, then, why do you marry us,

If we’re all the plagues you say?

And why do you take such care of us,

And keep us so safe at home,

And are never easy a moment

If ever we chance to roam?

When you ought to be thanking heaven

That your Plague is out of the way,

You all keep fussing and fretting—

“Where is my Plague to-day?”

If a Plague peeps out of the window,

Up go the eyes of men;

If she hides, then they all keep staring

Until she looks out again.