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A revised version appeared in The Cornhill Magazine in 1901. This is the version which is most widely known, being published again in The Yale Review in 1928, and is also posted on James O'Donnell's site at the University of Georgetown.
The original version is posted here, so a textual comparison may be made. It was re-published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1946 by Alfred's brother Laurence, who preferred it to the more polished revision.
Cho. O gracefully-enveloped-in-a-cloak
Head of a stranger, wherefore, seeking what,
Whence, by what way, how purposed are you come
To this well-nightingaled vicinity?
My cause of asking is, I wish to know.
But if perchance, from being deaf and dumb,
You cannot understand a word I say,
Then wave your hand, to signify as much.
Alc. I journeyed hither on Ambracian road.
Cho. Sailing on horseback, or with feet for oars?
Alc. Plying with speed my partnership of knees.
Cho. Beneath a shining or a rainy Zeus?
Alc. Mud's sister, not himself, adorns my legs.
Cho. Your name I not unwillingly would learn.
Alc. Not all that men desire do they obtain.
Cho. Might I then know at what your presence aims?
Alc. A shepherd's questioned tongue informed me that -
Cho. What? for I know not yet what you will say.
Alc. - this house was Eriphyle's, no one's else.
Cho. Nor did he shame his throat with hateful lies.
Alc. Might I then enter, going through the door?
Cho. Go; drag into the house a lucky foot;
And, O my son, be on the one hand good,
And do not on the other hand be bad.
And then thou wilt be like the man who speaks,
And not unlike thine interlocutor.
Alc. I go into the house with legs and speed.
I would not willingly acquire a name
For ill-digested thought;
But, after pondering much,
To this conclusion I at last have come:
Life is uncertain.
This I have written deep
In my reflective midriff,
On tablets not of wax.
Nor with a stylus did I write it there,
For obvious reasons: Life, I say, is not
Divested of uncertainty.
Not from the flight of omen-yelling fowls
This truth did I discover,
Nor did the Delphian tripod bark it out,
Nor yet Dodona.
Its native ingenuity sufficed
My self-taught diaphragm.
Why should I mention
The Inachian daughter, loved of Zeus,
Her whom of old the gods,
More provident than kind,
Provided with four hoofs, two horns, one tail,
A gift not asked for:
And sent her forth to learn
The unaccustomed science
Of how to chew the cud?
She, therefore, all about the Argive fields,
Went cropping pale green grass and nettle tops,
Nor did they disagree with her;
But yet, however wholesome, such repasts,
Myself, I deem unpleasant.
Never may Cypris for her seat select
My dappled liver!
Why should I mention lo? I repeat.
I have no notion why.
Why does my boding heart
Unhired, unaccompanied, sing
A most displeasing tune?
Nay even the palace appears
To my yoke of circular eyes,
The right one as well as the left,
Like a slaughter-house, so to speak,
Garnished with woolly deaths
And many shipwrecks of cows.
I, therefore, in a Cissian strain lament, And with the rapid,
Loud, linen-tattering thumps upon my chest
Resounds in concert
The battering of my unlucky head.
Rhetoricians may notice the use of tropes including periphrasis, catachresis, hypostatsis, and paralepsis. Students of tragedy will notice many semi-quotations: I see references to Agamemnon 52, 495, 1059, 1130, 1343; Choephoroi 22ff, 175; Prometheus 589ff; Sophocles' Electra 733 and 1444, Ajax 309, and I'm sure the Bacchae is in there too.