Aristophanes - Lysistrata, excerpts lyrics
O mistress of this venture and strategem,
why com'st thou from thy halls so dour of mien?
The deeds of ignoble women and the female heart
do make me pace dispirited to and fro.
What say'st thou? What say'st thou?
'Tis true, too true!
Hide not from me the damage we have taken.
The story in briefest compa**: we need to f**!
Why rend the air for Zeus? You see our plight.
The truth is, I can't keep the wives away from their husbands any longer; they're running off in all directions. The first one I caught was over there by Pan's Grotto, digging at her hole, and another was trying to escape by clambering down a pulley-cable. And yesterday another one mounted a sparrow and was about to fly off to Orsilochos' house when I pulled her off by her hair. They're coming up with every kind of excuse to go home. [A wife comes out of the Akropolis, looks around, and begins to run offstage.]
Hey you! What's your hurry?
FIRST WIFE I want to go home. I've got some Milesian wool in the house, and the moths are chomping it all up.
LYSISTRATA Moths! Get back inside.
FIRST WIFE By the Two Goddesses, I'll be right back; just let me spread it on the bed!
LYSISTRATA You won't be spreading anything, nor be going anywhere.
FIRST WIFE So I'm supposed to let my wool go to waste?
LYSISTRATA If that's what it takes. [As the first wife walks back toward LYSISTRATA a second runs out of the Akropolis.]
SECOND WIFE Oh my god, my god, the flax! I forgot to shuck it when I left the house!
LYSISTRATA Here's another one off to shuck her flax. March right back here.
SECOND WIFE By our Lady of Light, I'll be back in a flash; just let me do a little shucking.
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/aristophanes/-/lysistrata-excerpts.html]
LYSISTRATA No! No shucking! If you start doing it, some other wife will want to do the same. [While the second wife walks back toward LYSISTRATA, a third runs out of the Akropolis, holding her bulging belly.]
THIRD WIFE O Lady of Childbirth, hold back the baby till I can get to a more profane spot!
LYSISTRATA What are you raving about?
THIRD WIFE I'm about to deliver a child!
LYSISTRATA But you weren't pregnant yesterday.
THIRD WIFE But today I am. Please, Lysistrata, send me home to the midwife, and right away!
LYSISTRATA What's the story? [She feels the wife's belly.] What's this? It's hard.
THIRD WIFE It's a boy.
LYSISTRATA [Knocking on it.] By Aphrodite, it's obvious you've got something metallic and hollow in there. Let's have a look. [She lifts up the wife's dress, exposing a large bronze helmet.] Ridiculous girl! You're big with the sacred helmet, not with child!
THIRD WIFE But I am with child, by Zeus!
LYSISTRATA Then what were you doing with this?
THIRD WIFE Well, if I began to deliver here in the citadel, I could get int the helmet and have my baby there, like a pigeon.
LYSISTRATA What kind of story is that? Excuses! It's obvious what's going on. You'll have to stay here till your -- helmet has it's naming-day.
THIRD WIFE But I can't even sleep on the Akropolis, ever since I saw the snake that guards the temple.
FOURTH WIFE And what about poor me-- listening to the owls go woo woo all night is k**ing me!
LYSISTRATA You nutty girls, enough of your horror stories! I guess you do miss your husbands; but do you think they don't miss you? They're spending some very rough nights, I a**ure you. Just be patient, good ladies, and put up with this, just a little bit longer. There's an oracle predicting victory for us, if we stick together. Here's the oracle right here. [She produces a scroll.]
THIRD WIFE Tell us what it says.
LYSISTRATA Be quiet, then.
Yea, when the swallows hole up in a single home,
fleeing their hoopoes and leaving the penis along,
then are their problems solved, what's high is low:
so says high-thundering Zeus--
THIRD WIFE You mean we'll be lying on top?
if the swallows begin to argue and fly away
down from the citadel holy, all will say,
no bird more disgustingly horny lives today!
THIRD WIFE A pretty explicit oracle. Ye gods!
LYSISTRATA So let's hear no more talk of caving in. Let's go inside. Dear comrades, it would be a real shame if we betray the oracle.