Monday, January 26, 2015


What Use Is Gold?

Anacreontea 36 (tr. David A. Campbell):
If Wealth offered life to mortals for gold, then I would persevere in hoarding it, so that if Death came he could take some and pass on. But since mortals cannot buy life, why should I groan in vain, why weep and wail? If I am fated to die, what use is gold? Let me drink, then, and when I have drunk the sweet wine join my friends or on a soft bed perform Aphrodite's rites.

ὁ Πλοῦτος εἴ γε χρυσοῦ
τὸ ζῆν παρεῖχε θνητοῖς,
ἐκαρτέρουν φυλάττων,
ἵν᾿, ἂν Θάνατος ἐπέλθῃ,
λάβῃ τι καὶ παρέλθῃ.
εἰ δ᾿ οὖν μὴ τὸ πρίασθαι
τὸ ζῆν ἔνεστι θνητοῖς,
τί καὶ μάτην στενάζω;
τί καὶ γόους προπέμπω;
θανεῖν γὰρ εἰ πέπρωται,
τί χρυσὸς ὠφελεῖ με;
ἐμοὶ γένοιτο πίνειν,
πιόντι δ᾿ οἶνον ἡδὺν
ἐμοῖς φίλοις συνεῖναι,
ἐν δ᾿ ἁπαλαῖσι κοίταις
τελεῖν τὰν Ἀφροδίταν.

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