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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Athens

Altered Condition of Athens

By Eupolis (c. 446–411 B.C.)

(From The People)
Translated by W. Peter

IT grieves me to behold the commonwealth.

Things were not thus administered of old;

Then men of sense and virtue, men whose merits

Gave them consideration in the state,

Held the first offices: to such we bowed

As to the gods,—and gods indeed they were,—

For under their wise counsels we enjoyed

Security and peace. But now, alas!

We have no other guide in our elections

Save chance, blind chance, and on whatever head

It falls, though worst and meanest of mankind,

Up starts he a great man, and is at once

Installed prime Rogue and Minister of State.