Over ten years ago our brother kings set sail,
Their ships bristling with spears,
Carrying vengeance north—
When two great birds, the birds of Zeus,
Eagles, one black, one marked with white,
Flew overhead, to the right—
The spear-hand side! Omen of victory!
But then they stooped, and chased
A hare pregnant with babies,
And tore her open.
The royal black, the royal white-marked eagle
Devoured the living unborn young
Within their mother.
My song is pitiful. May good follow all evil.
Gibson, Graeme, comp. The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany. Doubleday Canada: 2005. “Chorus from Agamemnon” by Aeschylus 155-157.