on our ships to fight and win,
(They, their fathers too before them),
these our very kith and kin,
You should likewise, when they ask you,
pardon for their single sin.
O by nature best and wisest,
O relax your jealous ire,
Let us all the world as kinsfolk
and as citizens acquire,
All who on our ships will battle
well and bravely by our side.
If we cocker up our city,
narrowing her with senseless pride,
Now when she is rocked and reeling
in the cradles of the sea,
Here again will after ages deem we acted brainlessly.
And O if I'm able to scan
the habits and life of a man
Who shall rue his iniquities soon!
not long shall that little baboon,
That Cleigenes shifty and small,
the wickedest bathman of all
Who are lords of the earth-which is brought
from the isle of Cimolus, and wrought
With nitre and lye into soap-
Not long shall he vex us, I hope.
And this the unlucky one knows,
Yet ventures a peace to oppose,
And being addicted to blows
he carries a stick as he goes,
Lest while he is tipsy and reeling,
some robber his cloak should be stealing.
Often has it crossed my fancy,
that the city loves to deal
With the very best and noblest
members of her commonweal,
just as with our ancient coinage,
and the newly-minted gold.
Yea for these, our sterling pieces,
all of pure Athenian mould,
All of perfect die and metal,
all the fairest of the fair,
All of workmanship unequalled,
proved and valued everywhere
Both amongst our own Hellenes
and Barbarians far away,
These we use not: but the worthles
pinchbeck coins of yesterday,
Vilest die and basest metal,
now we always use instead.
Even so, our sterling townsmen,
nobly born and nobly bred,
Men of worth and rank and mettle,
men of honourable fame,
Trained in every liberal science,
choral dance and manly game,
These we treat with scorn and insult,
but the strangers newliest come,
Worthless sons of worthless fathers,
pinchbeck townsmen, yellowy scum,
Whom in earlier days the city
hardly would have stooped to use
Even for her scapegoat victims,
these for every task we choose.