Sunday, July 24, 2011


Greatest of Divinities

Euripides, Cyclops 332-340 (tr. David Kovacs):
The Earth brings forth grass will-nilly to feed my flock. These I sacrifice to no one but myself—never to the gods—and to my belly, the greatest of divinities. To guzzle and eat day by day and to give oneself no pain—this is Zeus in the eyes of men of sense. As for those who have passed laws and complicated men's lives, they can go hang.
The same, tr. Percy Bysshe Shelley:
The earth, by force, whether it will or no,
Bringing forth grass, fattens my flocks and herds,
Which, to what other God but to myself
And this great belly, first of deities,
Should I be bound to sacrifice? I well know
The wise man's only Jupiter is this,
To eat and drink during his little day,
And give himself no care. And as for those
Who complicate with laws the life of man,
I freely give them tears for their reward.
The Greek:
ἡ γῆ δ᾽ ἀνάγκῃ, κἂν θέλῃ κἂν μὴ θέλῃ,
τίκτουσα ποίαν τἀμὰ πιαίνει βοτά.
ἁγὼ οὔτινι θύω πλὴν ἐμοί, θεοῖσι δ᾽ οὔ,
καὶ τῇ μεγίστῃ, γαστρὶ τῇδε, δαιμόνων.
ὡς τοὐμπιεῖν γε κἀμφαγεῖν τοὐφ᾽ ἡμέραν,
Ζεὺς οὖτος ἀνθρώποισι τοῖσι σώφροσιν,
λυπεῖν δὲ μηδὲν αὑτόν. οἳ δὲ τοὺς νόμους
ἔθεντο ποικίλλοντες ἀνθρώπων βίον,
κλαίειν ἄνωγα.
Related post: Hail, Hail, Plump Paunch!

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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