Saturday, July 10, 2010


Short Is the Season

Greek Anthology 5.12 (Rufinus, tr. W.R. Paton):
Let us bathe, Prodike, and crown our heads, and quaff untempered wine, lifting up greater cups. Short is the season of rejoicing, and then old age comes to forbid it any longer, and at the last death.
The same, tr. J.W. Mackail:
Let us bathe, Prodice, and garland ourselves, and drain unmixed wine, lifting larger cups; little is our life of gladness, then old age will stop the rest, and death is the end.
The same, tr. Jane Minot Sedgwick:
Having bathed, and bound our hair,
Prodicè, with garlands fair,
Let us drink a draught divine
Of the pure unmingled wine;
To our lips still lifting up
Every time a larger cup.
Short our life of joy at best,
Old age comes to stop the rest;
And, when age itself is past,
Death must be our end at last.
The same, tr. J.M. Edmonds:
Come let us bathe, and flow'rs for chaplets twine,
Then fill great cups and quaff unwater'd wine:
Brief is our life of joyance; soon, sweet friend,
Old Age will come to thwart and Death to end.
Latin translation by Hugo Grotius:
Sumamus Prodice (nam lavimus ambo) coronas,
  Plenaque ducamus grandia pocla meri.
Gaudia quae patitur vita est brevis: inde senectus
  Impedit, & finem mors inimica facit.
The Greek:
Λουσάμενοι, Προδίκη, πυκασώμεθα, καὶ τὸν ἄκρατον
  ἕλκωμεν, κύλικας μείζονας αἰρόμενοι.
βαιὸς ὁ χαιρόντων ἐστὶν βίος· εἶτα τὰ λοιπὰ
  γήρας κωλύσει, καὶ τὸ τέλος θάνατος.
Commentary by Denys Page in The Epigrams of Rufinus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), p. 74.

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