Saturday, October 24, 2015


Seize the Day

Aeschylus, Persians 840-842 (ghost of Darius speaking; tr. Christopher Collard):
But I wish you elders well, despite the disaster:
give your spirits pleasure day by day,
since wealth is no use to the dead.

ὑμεῖς δέ, πρέσβεις, χαίρετ᾽, ἐν κακοῖς ὅμως
ψυχῇ διδόντες ἡδονὴν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν,
ὡς τοῖς θανοῦσι πλοῦτος οὐδὲν ὠφελεῖ.
David R. Slavitt's rendition bears little resemblance to the Greek:
                                               I leave you only
one word of advice—look to the small pleasures
along the way. Nothing else lasts or matters.
Ambition, power, wealth, and all the rest,
none of us misses down there. But a cold drink
on a hot day? What more can one want?

A pair of asyndetic privative adjectives sighted at Aeschylus, Persians 862: ἀπόνους ἀπαθεῖς.


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