Monday, May 24, 2010


Hymn to Health

Ariphron, Hymn to Health, tr. William Cowper:
Eldest born of powers divine!
Blest Hygeia! be it mine
To enjoy what thou canst give,
And henceforth with thee to live:
For in power if pleasure be,
Wealth or numerous progeny,
Or in amorous embrace
Where no spy infests the place;
Or in aught that Heaven bestows
To alleviate human woes
When the wearied heart despairs
Of a respite from its cares;
These and every true delight
Flourish only in thy sight;
And the sister Graces three
Owe, themselves, their youth to thee,
Without whom we may possess
Much, but never happiness.
The same, tr. Hartley Coleridge:
Holiest and first of all the happy powers,
Sacred Hygeia! let me dwell with thee—
For all the remnant of my living hours,
Come thou, benign, and share my home with me;
    For if there be or good or grace
    In riches, offering, or high place
    Of godlike empery or delight,
    Which, in the hidden nets of Aphrodite,
    We would inveigle—aught at all
    That from the gods poor man obtains
    To soothe him in his toils and pains,—
    Blest Hygeia! at thy call
    Blossoms every pleasant thing:
  With thee the Graces spend their spring;
      But without thee
    No living thing can happy be.
The same, tr. J.M. Edmonds:
Health, eldest of Gods, with thee may I dwell for the rest of my life and find thee a gracious house-mate. If there be any joy in wealth or in children, or in that kingly rule that maketh men like to Gods, or in the desires we hunt with the secret nets of Aphrodite, or if there be any other delight or diversion sent of Heaven unto man, 'tis with thy aid, blessed Health, that they all do thrive and shine in the converse of the Graces; and without thee no man alive is happy.
I don't have access to D.L. Page's Poetae Melici Graeci, where Ariphron's hymn is number 813, so the following Greek text comes from Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Melic Poets (London: Macmillan and Co., 1900), p. 134, with excerpts from his notes on p. 457:
Ὑγίεια, πρεσβίστα μακάρων, μετὰ σεῦ ναίοιμι τὸ λειπόμενον
βιοτᾶς, σὺ δέ μοι πρόφρων σύνοικος εἴης·
εἰ γάρ τις ἢ πλούτου χάρις ἢ τεκέων,
ἢ τᾶς ἰσοδαίμονος ἀνθρώποις βασιληΐδος ἀρχᾶς, ἢ πόθων,
οὓς κρυφίοις Ἀφροδίτας ἕρκυσιν θηρεύομεν,
ἢ εἴ τις ἄλλα θεόθεν ἀνθρώποισι τέρψις ἢ πόνων ἀμπνοὰ πέφανται,
μετὰ σεῖο, μάκαιρ' Ὑγίεια,
τέθαλε πάντα καὶ λάμπει Χαρίτων ὄαρος.
σέθεν δὲ χωρὶς οὔτις εὐδαίμων ἔφυ.

ὄαρος: vulg. ἔαρ, and so Boeckh, and Schneidewin, who explain instar veris, quod Gratiae reddunt pulchrum, affulgent (cf. Hor. 4.5.6)....Bergk read ἔαρι, Crusius ὀάροις.
There are three Latin versions in Henry Wellesley, ed., Anthologia Polyglotta (London: John Murray, 1849), pp. 292-293.

By Federicus Morellus:
Divarum antiquissima Sanitas,
Utinam semper tecum habitarem,
Animus dum meus hos reget artus!
Placeant nostri tibi, Diva, lares.
Nam si gratia opum est, aut sobolis,
Superisque homines reddentis pares
Regalis honoris, amorumque,
Occultis quos Veneris laqueis
Carpimus; aut siqua viris a Deo
Missa voluptas, requiesque mali est;
Ubi ades cunque, alma favens Sanitas,
Florent omnia; Charitum ver nitet:
Te sine nulli esse beato licet.
By George Booth:
Alma Salus, qua nulla magis veneranda dearum
  Incolit aeterni regna serena poli;
Esse velim tecum, superest quod mobilis aevi,
  Tuque meo faveas hospes amica lari.
Siquis enim dives censu laetatur opimo,
  Seu pia cui sobolis pectora mulcet amor:
Regia coelesti par visa potentia sorti,
  Praeda Cytheriacis illaqueanda dolis;
Sive alia est hominum divinitus orta voluptas,
  Grata vel alterno facta labore quies:
Omnia, blanda Salus, florent ea gaudia tecum,
  Et Charitum vernans splendet ubique decus.
Te sine, non hominum cuiquam licet esse beato,
  Non superis placita, te sine, luce frui.
By John Ernest Bode:
Alma Salus, superos inter sanctissima, tecum
  Sit mihi vitai degere quod superest.
Tuque volens in tecta veni; nam siquid amoeni
  Divitiae, si quid pignora amoris habent,
Regis honos si quid, superisque aequata potestas,
  Aut dolus, et Paphiae dulcia furta Deae,
Sive alia humanis dantur bona munera votis,
  Si requies curae, si medicina mali,
Alma Salus, tecum surgunt tecumque virescunt,
  Tecum agitat nitidos Gratia verna choros.
Omnia tu tecum mortalibus optima praebes,
  Teque carens felix vivere nemo potest.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?