Lysistrata  conclusion (Athenians and Spartans bargain over the body of Reconciliation)


ATHENIANS: Tell us then, Spartans, what has brought you here?


SPARTANS:                   We come to treat o' Peace.


ATHENIANS: Well spoken there!
And we the same. Let us callout Lysistrata
Since she alone can settle the Peace-terms.


Hail, Wonder of all women! Now you must be in turn
Hard, shifting, clear, deceitful, noble, crafty, sweet, and stern.
The foremost men of
Hellas, smitten by your fascination,
Have brought their tangled quarrels here for your sole arbitration.



An easy task if the love's raging home-sickness
Doesn't start trying out how well each other
Will serve instead of us. But I'll know at once
If they do. O where's that girl, Reconciliation?

[a naked female figure appears, whom L orders,]

Bring first before me the Spartan delegates,
And see you lift no rude or violent hands--
None of the churlish ways our husbands used.
But lead them courteously, as women should.
And if they grudge fingers, guide them by other methods,
And introduce them with ready tact. The Athenians
Draw by whatever offers you a grip!!

Now, Spartans, stay here facing me. Here you,
Athenians. Both hearken to my words.
I am a woman, but I'm not a fool.
And what of natural intelligence I own
Has been filled out with the remembered precepts
My father and the city-elders taught me.
First I reproach you both sides equally
That when at Pylae and Olympia,
At Pytho and the many other shrines
That I could name, you sprinkle from one cup
The altars common to all Hellenes, yet
You wrack Hellenic cities, bloody Hellas
With deaths of her own sons, while yonder clangs
The gathering menace of barbarians.



We cannot hold it in much longer now.



Now unto you, O Spartans, do I speak.
Do you forget how your own countryman,
Pericleidas, once came hither suppliant
Before our altars, pale in his purple robes,
Praying for an army when in Messenia
Danger growled, and the Sea-god made earth quaver.
Then with four thousand hoplites Cimon marched
And saved all Sparta. Yet base ingrates now,
You are ravaging the soil of your preservers.



By Zeus, they do great wrong, Lysistrata.



Great wrong, indeed. O! What a luscious wench!



And now I turn to the Athenians.
Have you forgotten too how once the Spartans
In days when you wore slavish tunics, came
And with their spears broke a Thessalian host
And all the partisans of Hippias?
They alone stood by your shoulder on that day.
They freed you, so that for the slave's short skirt
You should wear the trailing cloak of liberty.



I've never seen a nobler woman anywhere.



Nor I one with such prettily jointing hips.



Now, brethren twined with mutual benefactions,
Can you still war, can you suffer such disgrace?
Why not be friends? What is there to prevent you?



We're agreed, gin that we get this tempting Mole.



Which one?


SPARTANS: That isle we've wanted to get into,
O for so long.... Pylos, of course.


ATHENIANS: By Poseidon,        Never!


LYSISTRATA: Give it up.



Then what will we do?
We need that ticklish place united to us--


LYSISTRATA:  Ask for some other lurking-hole in return.


ATHENIANS: Then, ah, we'll choose this snug thing here, Echinus,
Shall we call the nestling spot? And this backside haven,
These desirable twin promontories, the Maliac,
And then of course these Megarean Legs.


SPARTAN:  Not that, O surely not that, never that.



Agree! Now what are two legs more or less?



I want to strip at once and plough my land.



And mine I want to fertilize at once.



And so you can, when Peace is once declared.
If you mean it, get your allies' heads together
And come to some decision.


ATHENIANS: What allies?
There's no distinction in our politics:
We've risen as one man to this conclusion;
Every ally is jumping-mad to drive it home.


SPARTANS: And ours the same, for sure.


LYSISTRATA:               I agree with all of you.
Now off, and cleanse yourselves for the Acropolis,
For we invite you all in to a supper
From our commissariat baskets. There at table
You will pledge good behaviour and uprightness;
Then each man's wife is his to hustle home.


ATHENIANS:                 Come, as quickly as possible.


SPARTANS:                   As quick as ye like.  Lead on.


ATHENIANS: O Zeus, quick, quick, lead quickly on.
They hurry off.


CHORUS:                        Broidered stuffs on high I'm heaping,
Fashionable cloaks and sweeping
Trains, not even gold gawds keeping.
Take them all, I pray you, take them all (I do not care)
And deck your children--your daughter, if the Basket she's to bear.
Come, everyone of you, come in and take
Of this rich hoard a share.
Nought's tied so skilfully
But you its seal can break
And plunder all you spy inside.  ….