"Man the Skilled, the Brilliant"
From Sophocles' Antigone
Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man; the
power that crosses the white sea, driven by the stormy
south-wind, making a path under surges that threaten to
engulf him; and Earth, the eldest of the gods, the immortal,
the unwearied, doth he wear, turning the soil with the offspring of
horses, as the ploughs go to and fro from year to year.
And the light-hearted race of birds, and the tribes of
savage beasts, and the sea-brood of the deep, he snares in
the meshes of his woven toils, he leads captive, man
excellent in wit. And he masters by his arts the beast
whose lair is in the wilds, who roams the hills; he tames the horse
of shaggy mane, he puts the yoke upon its neck, he tames
the tireless mountain bull.
And speech, and wind-swift thought, and all the moods that
mould a state, hath he taught himself; and how to flee the
arrows of the frost, when 'tis hard lodging under the
clear sky, and the arrows of the rushing rain; yea, he
hath resource for all; without resource he meets nothing that must come:
only against Death shall he call for aid in vain; but from
baffling maladies he hath devised escapes.
Cunning beyond fancy's dream is the fertile skill which
brings him, now to evil, now to good. When he honours the
laws of the land, and that justice which he hath sworn by
the gods to uphold, proudly stands his city: no city hath
he who, for his rashness, dwells with sin. Never may he share
my hearth, never think my thoughts, who doth these things!