I have studied the Science of departures,
in night-s sorrows, when a woman-s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there-s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night-s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow-s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman-s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word -departure- is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,
when a fire on the Acropolis lights the ground,
and why at the dawning of a new life,
when the ox chews lazily in its stall,
the cock, the herald of the new life,
flaps his wings on the city wall?

I like the monotony of spinning,
the shuttle moves to and fro,
the spindle hums. Look, barefoot Delia-s running
to meet you, like swansdown on the road!
How threadbare the language of joy-s game,
how meagre the foundation of our life!
Everything was, and is repeated again:
it-s the flash of recognition brings delight.

So be it: on a dish of clean earthenware,
like a flattened squirrel-s pelt, a shape,
forms a small, transparent figure, where
a girl-s face bends to gaze at the wax-s fate.
Not for us to prophesy, Erebus, Brother of Night:
Wax is for women: Bronze is for men.
Our fate is only given in fight,
to die by divination is given to them.