Menander, fragment 373 (from Ὑποβολιμαῖος
), lines 1-7, tr. F.H. Sandbach:
I count that man happiest of all, Parmenon, who has gazed untroubled upon these majestic sights, the sun in whom we all have our share, the stars, rain, clouds and lightning, and who then has quickly left for the place whence he came. Even if you live for a hundred years, it is these sights that will always be there for you to see, just as much as if you lived for only a very few years. You will never see anything grander than these.
τοῦτον εὐτυχέστατον λέγω,
ὅστις θεωρήσας ἀλύπως, Παρμένων,
τὰ σεμνὰ ταῦτ᾽ ἀπῆλθεν, ὅθεν ἦλθεν, ταχύ·
τὸν ἥλιον τὸν κοινόν, ἄστρ᾽, ὕδωρ, νέφη,
πῦρ. ταῦτα, κἂν ἑκατὸν ἔτη βιῷς, ἀεὶ
ὄψει παρόντα, κἂν ἐνιαυτοὺς σφόδρ᾿ ὀλίγους·
σεμνότερα τούτων ἕτερα δ᾿ οὐκ ὄψει ποτέ.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.