Sunday, April 05, 2015


Path to Happiness

Bacchylides, fragments 11-12 (tr. David A. Campbell):
(11) There is one guideline, one path to happiness for mortals: to be able to keep an ungrieving spirit throughout life. The man who busies his mind with a thousand cares, whose heart is hurt day and night for the sake of the future, has fruitless toil.

(12) For what relief is there any longer in buffeting one's heart with useless lamentation?

(11) εἷς ὅρος, μία βροτοῖσίν ἐστιν εὐτυχίας ὁδός,
θυμὸν εἴ τις ἔχων ἀπενθῆ δύναται
διατελεῖν βίον· ὃς δὲ μυρία
μὲν ἀμφιπολεῖ φρενί,
τὸ δὲ παρ᾿ ἆμάρ τε καὶ νύκτα μελλόντων
χάριν αἰὲν ἰάπτεται
κέαρ, ἄκαρπον ἔχει πόνον.

(12) τί γὰρ ἐλαφρὸν ἔτ᾿ ἐστὶν ἄπρακτ᾿
ὀδυρόμενον δονεῖν
The same, tr. R.C. Jebb:
(11) One canon is there, one sure way, of happiness for mortals—if one can keep a cheerful spirit throughout life. But he whose thoughts are busy with countless cares, and who afflicts his soul day and night about the future, has barren toil.

(12) What ease is left to him who agitates his heart with vain laments?
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