Sunday, October 26, 2008


Leaving the City

Nicaenetus of Samos, fragment 6 (tr. J.W. Mackail, revised):
I do not wish to feast down in the city, Philotherus, but by the temple of Hera, delighting myself with the breath of the west wind; sufficient couch for me is a strewing of boughs under my side, for at hand is a bed of native willow and osier, the ancient garland of the Carians; but let wine be brought, and the delightful lyre of the Muses, that drinking at our will we may sing the renowned bride of Zeus, lady of our island.

οὐκ ἐθέλω, Φιλόθηρε, κατὰ πτόλιν, ἀλλὰ παρ᾽ Ἥρῃ
  δαίνυσθαι, ζεφύρου πνεύμασι τερπόμενος.
ἀρκεῖ μοι λιτὴ μὲν ὑπὸ πλευροῖσι χαμεύνα·
  ἐγγὺς γὰρ προμάλου δέμνιον ἐνδαπίης,
καὶ λύγος, ἀρχαῖον Καρῶν στέφος. ἀλλὰ φερέσθω
  οἶνος καὶ Μουσέων ἡ χαρίεσσα λύρη,
θυμῆρες πίνοντες ὅπως Διὸς εὐκλέα νύμφην
  μέλπωμεν νήσου δεσπότιν ἡμετέρης.
Seneca, Phaedra 483-485 (tr. John G. Fitch):
No other life is more free and blameless, or better cherishes the ancient ways, than that which abandons city walls and loves the forests.

non alia magis est libera et vitio carens
ritusque melius vita quae priscos colat,
quam quae relictis moenibus silvas amat.

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